Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar childrenRansom Riggs.  I wonder what will happen if my computer is ever confiscated and “they” (the forensic scientists) find that I have been searching ‘Ransom’ for three days straight, how would that look? I imagine trying to explain that I was looking up a person, trying to figure out who would name their son Ransom?  I would also have to explain my stalker-esque zeal at trying to discover more and more about this obviously magical creature but no matter how you slice it I would just look guilty as charged.  I had a sample of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children on my Kindle queue for ages, I had neglected to read it as a few reviewer’s had noted that it wasn’t good for the Kindle as it had photos and letters and other ephemera that would be more appreciated in a paper book form.  The other night after tossing and turning for what seemed like hours, I picked up my Kindle and without much motivation to look for another sample I read the one I had.  I wish I hadn’t.  I already couldn’t sleep and now all I wanted to do was read the rest of the book.  I decided to look up Ransom and thus fell into a world so incredibly creative and original that I am wondering what I have been doing with myself for the past few decades (obviously not being as awesome as Ransom). Ransom has traveled the world, finding obscure abandoned (and decidedly unglamorous) locations and then putting his unique voice to describe them; filming + narrating them making you wish you could be by his side on the adventure. What I didn’t know before my interweb stalking had begun was that Ransom is a prolific writer having penned multiple books on a variety of interesting subjects such as Sherlock Holmes or his collection of found photos (quite a story there) called ‘Talking Pictures’.  At this rate I am sure that we will have many more intriguing projects of his to follow in the near future; I for one am wholeheartedly looking forward to them.  You can see a trailer for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children here (created by Ransom of course) and if you want to fall down the rabbit hole with me, here’s a trailer for his ‘Talking Pictures’ and a short called ‘The Accidental Sea’. In Ransom’s copious spare time when he’s not penning best selling tomes or getting said tomes turned into movies which are then directed by Tim Burton he writes a blog about his adventures and a column for the always erudite Mental Floss called Strange Geographies. For the record I was never able to sleuth why his name is Ransom.

Have you read any of his books? I just started reading the one so I can’t give a proper review but so far I am pleasantly ‘sucked in’. I can absolutely see this being turned into a movie. I know a lot of you are Sherlock Holmes fans (like myself) so perhaps you know of him from his Sherlock Holmes book? Do you know why his name is Ransom?

P.S. Yes, I am fully aware of how creepy this image is, thank you.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She likes to stay up (very) late and read, she’s a bit wild like that.


Valentine's Set Besotted Blog iiSometimes I feel like one of the only people that truly loves Valentine’s day.  I have heard the cynics cry that it’s a made up holiday to move greeting cards, but to me the ever optimist I like the idea that it’s a day to stop and let people you love  know it. I am not much for pomp and circumstance in general, I think you can deduce that, I like simple things. I don’t view Valentine’s as a day for hokey candlelit dinners, cheesy drugstore cards or bad chocolate but a day to just spread the love. You can send an email, note, carrier pigeon (which would be awesome) or pick up the phone but as we roll heart first into Valentine’s 2013 try to think of it as day to tell the people you are closest to you that you are thinking of them, love them or that they are your favorite.  To help you send that note or decorate that tag that will adorn your batch of freshly baked sweets I am giving away 2 sets of the Limited Edition Petite Valentine’s.  In order to enter to win just answer the following question in the comments below-What’s your favorite love story? It can be from a book, film or real life. eg. When Harry Met Sally, Jane Eyre & Mr. Rochester, Napoleon and Josephine or your parent’s, etc.  I will announce the winners next Monday, January 28, 2013.  Good luck!

P.S. Thank you EVERYONE who played last week!  Thank you does not seem good enough, please know that I appreciate all your thoughtful feedback and I will be showing off the ‘from’ I chose in the shop soon!  I will be creating a download for you this week since I can’t afford to give away a set to everyone which I surely wish I could!  The randomly chosen winners for last week are Sarah Widman and Jillian I will make them the ‘from’ that they chose!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She loves love and her fave love story is yours, but she also thinks Paul & Linda McCartney run a close second.


MMXIII Week 3 V Besotted BlogI have made it to week 3!  Not much of an accomplishment if you are thinking, ‘it’s only one photo a week Miss B. ‘. True, it’s only one, but it’s amazing how even one, becomes a mind numbingly difficult task in my hands.  I have been shooting all week, here and there, but what I was anxiously anticipating  was a snow day.  The news reports this week would have you believing that we were in for a storm that would blanket my world with layers of beautiful, fluffy white snow vistas. I could barely sleep the night before said storm was supposed to land, making a mental checklist of the types of photographs I was going to create.  I awoke early the next morning to find the world outside looking less winter wonderland and more apocalyptic. I don’t have much experience with snow, so I was unprepared for snow that ‘doesn’t stick’, meaning it lands in clumps and then melts leaving your yard and the surrounding areas messy, squishy mud piles of gook.  I went from blissfully inspired to freaking out about walking my two white dogs through this mire. I have become pretty adept at working with the light I have instead of ruing it, but I have to be honest these moody shots are bringing me down.  I am not embracing the dark & mysterious, in fact I am resenting it.  I like the storm shots, they feel modern and abstract, but really there’s only so many I can take, right?  When I was in a photo rut before I would shoot florals and I felt very inspired doing so, but flowers are hard to come by where I am. The only flowers I can get at the store are ugly mixed bouquets of tight mass manufactured roses mixed in with the saddest daisies this side of the Mississippi. Farmer’s markets are no better, I missed out on Peony, Ranunculus and Tulip  season.  I honestly did not know that flowers would be an issue here, I thought that if I went to a Farmers market I would be able to get the flowers I wanted, I was wrong.   I am not going to stop my 52 because of a little light or subject issues, but I am going to have to try even harder to produce something that happy with. I did win a much coveted film camera in an online auction, I still can’t believe I got it for under $30! It’s worth a lot more, so I am hoping it works and I can explore more film with this project.  The two images that I developed with my last roll of film are amongst my favorite to date.  What about you?  Are you doing a photo project?  Are you struggling with what to shoot? Have you been exploring film or want to?



adler hair powder review besotted blogI have been wanting to reduce the amount of times I washed my hair each week as we (the blogosphere) have learned that too much washing is not good for the mane.  I have only been able to make it to every other day, which still seems excessive, but my hair looks dirty by the third day and that’s not pretty.  This gorgeous girl doesn’t wash her hair for a week at a time and it shows (in a good way) she has long, flowy locks that anyone would covet. I have read that a lot of people with these beautiful manes use dry shampoo.  I have tried it once, I bought a Sauve aerosol from the drug store but I didn’t like the smell and I was worried about chemicals so close to my scalp (and in turn my brain).  When I received a gift certificate to Kaufman Mercantile, I admittedly was drawn to the Adler Hair Powder because of it’s packaging, when I saw that it was what I thought ‘dry shampoo’ I was in.  So, my thoughts?  It doesn’t exactly look like I have clean hair, when you put it on (and only use a little) it immediately adheres to the oil in your roots (is that TMI?) and creates an almost clay/pomade like texture. It doesn’t feel clean, in fact it feels a little ‘producty’ which wasn’t what I was expecting from a natural product.  The upside was that I can get my roots to lift and appear like I have a lot of body/volume, which is near impossible with my super straight, heavy hair, body is not usually what I have.  You really need to go easy on this product, it reads to use a teaspoon, but I would even go lighter and build (that’s my philosophy with most cosmetics). If you have dark hair like I do, you are also going to want to rub in very well or else you will look like you have gray hair, which is a very specific look and not one I want to have at this juncture. So, this product is great to create root lifting volume, but I don’t like it for a shampoo substitute.   Don’t get me wrong, I will take volume at my roots whenever I can get it, but I won’t use this to combat the look of dirty locks, for now I will continue to wash my hair every other day until I get a better suggestion.  What about you?  Do you use dry hair shampoo?  If so, which brand do you like?  Have you tried the Adler hair powder and had a different experience? I would love to know!


Chalk Pencil Besotted BlogI re-designed this blog with the intention of it becoming a creative resource destination, I had this grand idea that I would create a series called ‘Good to know’. My idea was that I would present information and/or products to you that would be equal parts ‘aha!’ and ‘I am so happy to know that’.  Being that I have been on this earth much longer than most of the visitors here I have aggregated quite a storehouse of info in my little brain.  Most of the time I think, ‘this is lame everyone knows about this already, don’t they?’  After being told time and time again from people that they were so excited by the tid bits I shared in my personal life, I thought what the heck?  If even one or two of you are excited than I am pleased, but secretly I am hoping that more of you are all like ‘whoa, no way’. To that I would counter–‘way’. I wasn’t planning on sharing my first ‘Good to know’ on my Lettering Love post, but it fit and I like order, you?  There’s a current chalk typography frenzy that has blown through the blogosphere like polyester on fire, I don’t know about you, but traditional chalk and myself are not compatible. I have tried and tried, I have even followed a Pinterest suggestion of taking a traditional chalk stick and using a large pencil sharpener to create a point.  I know, this sounds like genius, but it’s stupid, don’t try it, it’s messy and still looks like you wrote out your typographical masterpiece in chalk (but bad chalk). Lately, I have been teaching myself to draw (I will go more into that soon) and was buying some pencils with soft lead when I spied the white charcoal pencils or chalk pencils; yes, the angels indeed started singing and beams of bright light shown (shined?) down from the heavens above. Chalk pencils are exactly what I needed (and perhaps you too?) to create beautiful and legible chalk art.  I love that I can get extra thin strokes, yet I can still get a nice thick stroke as well.  This is brilliant folks!  The best part is that they are very inexpensive and there doesn’t seem to be a difference between brands.  I bought both The General’s Charcoal White and Giocanda’s White Chalk (you can can find them in singles as well) and felt that there wasn’t much quality differential (within the parameters I am using them for).  So, if you were planning on using chalkboard art for your next event or even home decor, I hope I saved you from pulling out all your hair or committing hari-kiri--you are welcome.  Next week I am bringing you an interview with a very admired lettering artist Meredith C. Bullock of Hazel Wonderland so stick with me, k?

P.S. The background is a faux chalkboard d.i.y. by Jenny of Hank & Hunt (a fave).

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She likes the look of chalkboards but not the mess–never the mess.