NEW GOODIES AT BESOTTED BRAND!

Happy Monday!  I am getting pretty excited about November, I have a blog re-design that should be launching (crossing my fingers) and I have a very special month planned for you, October has been non-stop prepping. I definitely am going to be asking you soon about what you would like to see here at my little home on the interwebs, but that’s for another post.

I got in some new inventory this weekend,  I am just starting to shoot it but will definitely have in the shop soon.  Some of the items I am bringing in now are amazing vintage finds that I picked up for the shop. I have beautiful vintage globes, the world’s cutest mini silver-plated urn and more!  I have been wanting to bring in select vintage items to the shop for awhile and hope that you like what treasures I have discovered. I also just got in a tiny version of the Trove alphabet stamp at an outstanding price (compared to its big sister). I have been using this stamp on tags, seals and small slips of paper to write notes, it’s teeny but a surprisingly useful size. I thought it might be fun to give a few away this week, what do you think?  Just re-pin this and leave me the letter of your choice in the comments on Pinterest, if you aren’t on Pinterest and prefer to Tweet or FB it by all means do so and leave your letter choice here. I will announce the winners next Monday.  Good luck!

P.S. Just in case you don’t know my Etsy shop has free shipping for the entire month of October! The code is TREATNOTRICK31!

REALISTIC CALLIGRAPHY FONT BY CORRESPONCE INK FOUNDRY

Today I am interviewing one very talented individual–Debi Sementelli, calligrapher, lettering artist and font designer for the launch of her new font Dom Loves Mary (it’s a font family, so think series!) It should be available any day now.  If you like a great love story, a good cry and finding a new beautiful font read on. This is part I of a two part interview, part II Debi will divulge some of her lettering ‘secrets’, favorite supplies and will give us lettering novices some sage advice.

Q&A | DEBI SEMENTELLI

Can you tell us when you launched your first font and the names of all the fonts you have to date?
My first calligraphy font, Belluccia, was launched on myfonts.com last June.  To my delight, it made the “Hot New Fonts” list, “Rising Stars” list, “Best Sellers” list (where it remained for 14 months!) and finally the “Most Popular Fonts of 2011” list ! “DomLovesMary” will be my second hand lettered font.  It will be launched sometime late next week ( fingers crossed:) and will be available here. 
How did you get started in font design?  
It was very serendipitous.  I work with brides all the time and I have two sons who are at the “marrying” age so I’ve helped some of lots of their friends who are are getting married as well.
I noticed that, often, while they love the look of calligraphy, some brides just don’t have it in their budget to do all of the things they’d like with it. That planted the first seed.  I thought if I could create a calligraphy font I could give them the beautiful look they wanted at a price they could afford.
But I had no idea how to make a font. So I started researching.  Then I noticed two “Creative Character” interviews in the Myfonts.com newsletter. One was with Stuart Sandler who works with the calligrapher Crystal Kluge. The other was with Laura Worthington, a calligrapher and graphic designer who became a font designer. I sent e-mails to both Stuart and Laura to ask them for any advice they could give me or resources they could point me towards. They both, simultaneously, gave me the name of another font designer, Brian Bonislawsky , each not knowing that the other person had also recommended Brian.  I e-mailed him and when he responded he told me he’d seen my work online and was planning on contacting me about partnering up. Serendipity! So we created “Correspondence Ink Font Foundry” and launched Belluccia last June.  And will launch “DomLovesMary” next week! It’s been a good partnership.  I create the design and do all of the original hand lettering.  I scan them in and clean them up in Photoshop. Then I send them to Brian and he digitizes the letters in FontLab.  He sends me the result.  Then I make any needed changes and send them back to him for more tweaking. That’s where we are right now.  Doing some final tweaking and getting all the graphics ready for the launch date.   Once we submit it to Myfonts.com it takes from 3- 6 days for them to get it up on the site.  So that’s why it can be hard to pinpoint an exact launch date.  But as soon as I know, you’ll know! 
Have you seen your fonts in action for a project you loved? 
 I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen Belluccia used and am just thrilled with the design.  That’s one of the best parts of creating a font.  You get to see all the different ways people use it.  I’m constantly amazed at the creativity and great design talent that is out there.
Here’s a few links to just some of the ways it’s been used:  
The “Quill” invitation by Aerialist Press was one of the first things I saw with Belluccia.  I love everything about it. Inspired Coco Chanel and Ombre, the way Belluccia is carried throughout the theme is very cool. A creative DIY invitation suite with great colors and style.  Jami Dixon is a local Dallas designer who not only used Belluccia for her logo and website but has several invitation designs that all wow me.
Your newest font has some special inspiration, can you please give us a little more detail?
Well it’s a very sweet story and I would be happy to share it.  The font is named after an actual couple named Dominic and Mary Sementelli.  They were my in-laws and sadly they are both gone now.  I wanted to honor them and thank them for being such a blessing in my life. In addition to being great grandparents to my two sons, they treated me like the daughter they never had and were always so supportive of my calligraphy work. 
When I married my husband (another sweet story for another font:) Dom and Mary instantly welcomed me into their close Italian family. I’m Italian too, so it was an easy fit:)  The more I got to know them, the more I saw what a perfect fit they were for each other.  She was feisty, loved to dance and sing and be the life of the party.  He was cool, calm and collected.  Nothing frazzled him.  She cooked and he cleaned up.  He took care of the car and the garden and she took care of the house. They did a lot of things together but still had their own interests. They balanced each other out in a really great way.  They were truly “made for each other”.
Dom passed away in 1995 and left a huge hole in our lives.  Seeing Mary without Dom was heartbreaking.  But she was a strong woman and she carried on.  Fifteen years later, in 2009 when she only had 6 more months to live, my husband and I spent a month with her, moving her from her apartment into assisted living.  To ease her transition and brighten her spirits I brought the collection of photos from her life to the home and spent hours going through them with her. She was so animated telling me about all the people and events. We laughed and cried together.  It was such a special time for both of us. She was realizing how blessed she was to have had such a good life and to have found the love of her life.  She’d had “Una bella vita!” ( a beautiful life! ) and was so grateful for all of it.  
When I began working on this font, I was going through some of the boxes that had some of her things that we kept.  I found their wedding album and started looking through it.  I saw them with that beautiful look on their faces as they got ready to start their life together as man and wife.  It’s a look you see on most brides and grooms. Excitement, joy and anticipation of having  “una bella vita”.  
I decided at that moment that I was going to create a font with them in mind represented by two different lettering styles that were literally “made for each other”.  It’s my way of honoring them and sharing their beautiful life with all the couples that are just starting theirs.

TO BE CONTINUED….

If you want more Dom & Mary visit here for photos of the couple, so sweet!

CROWN(ED)

I love getting notes from clients of how much they enjoy their Besotted Brand parcels, it’s a huge thrill to know that my work is appreciated. What I love even more is being able to see how a client has used their Besotted Brand supplies in action. I am always in awe of how creative people are. Take Meg, a brilliant photographer (she excels at capturing that beautiful, soft, glowy creamy light), she sent me the image above of what she created with the antler stamp, parcel twine and round favor box. I am crazy for the feather, the gilded edges of her hand-cut tags and of course how she wrapped her small present in muslin.  It looks like it should be featured in some crazy cool, Swedish home magazine, right?  Meg knows the importance of styling a shoot and how important a great prop is, that is why she created ‘Crown(ed)‘. Meg designed the beautiful gilded lace crown that I photographed my pup Bella in for her birthday. The crowns are intended for newborn baby shoots and are the sweetest little heirlooms, imagine your daughter passing it down to her daughter and so on.  Meg is launching her Winter 2012 collection and I am sure it will be just as exquisite as the last.  They would be perfect for the the new mom-to-be, you could have it framed or slip under a bell jar fro her and not to mention all those photographers that are always looking for unique props to set them apart.  I am not sure if this is Meg’s last collection, but I highly suggest  if you want one you don’t wait and get one because they may not be available in the future!
P.S. If you have created something beautiful with your Besotted Brand wares, don’t be shy and send me an email. I would love to see what you crated and maybe feature your creativity too!

PINTEREST CURATOR | ANOUK B.

One of the things that I have become hyper aware of since I started this series (no, it’s not how much time I have fettered away on Pinterest), but it is how quickly my weeks are flying by. When I realize that it’s Wednesday I can’t believe it, it was just the weekend and already I am half-way through the week?  It boggles my mind. I hear that when you get older time starts to feel like it speeds up because you have experienced so much more than say a child, so your brain needs less time to process and thus it feels like it is moving more rapidly. Does anyone else here feel like time is flying by?
Ok, back to the topic at hand, my fave Pinterest curator this week–Anouk B.  A girl from Haarlem, no, I didn’t spell that wrong, she’s from the Haarlem in the Netherlands, but fun fact Harlem, New York is named after Haarlem in the Netherlands.  Anouk is a photo stylist and if it feels like I showcase a lot of stylists or photographers in this series, I do because they have mad ‘pinning’ skills. I chose some of Anouk’s more dark + mysterious pins, with tons of texture, it feels nice and seasonal (for the states at least, where we are getting cozy with fall).  I love finding new blogs via Anouk’s pins and she is a very active pinner which I really appreciate, I love the thrill of new discovery, don’t you?  The photo on the bottom of Sofia Coppola is one I haven’t seen before, I love that. If you are looking for some beautiful European inspiration than please go visit Anouk B. via her Pinterest and be sure to check out her site too!

EYE-FI WITH MY LITTLE EYE…

I have been meaning to mention an amazing purchase for months now, but every time I stop by here I forget. Note to self, write down good ideas I want to share!  I had purchased a gadget that I hadn’t heard much personal feedback on, it sounded a little too good to be true and you know what they say about too good to be true–it’s usually just that.  This gadget though proved to be better than I anticipated (and you know that never happens, right?) I bought something called an Eye-Fi and if you are someone like me that takes a zillion photos each day or even at a time, this little gadget will blow.your.mind. It’s perfect for both the lazy + the procrastinator and yes, I suppose it can be a darn right Godsend for those that have no more time in their schedules for one more menial task. Are you ready for what this thing does? It’s pretty brilliant.  You stick the Eye-fi in your card reader slot in your camera (it will become your new card reader) and shoot. Once you are ready to download instead of stopping everything and either plugging in a usb cord or plugging into your card reader all you need to do is set the camera down and it will download to your computer quite magically; anywhere you like, (I have mine set to download to an external hard drive). You can pre-name your files in advanced so you know what you downloaded + you can have the reader re-format with each download (meaning you can erase images once you download) so you always have a card reader with space available on it!   I used to have to find my usb cord (which was always in some obscure place in my studio, plug it in sit and download, the Eye-fi makes this all happen behind the scenes. The other day I had multiple shoots–editorial, Souvenir Foto School class, products for the shop and of course my pups and all I needed to do was sit the camera down and it connected to my computer and downloaded. They recently added a camera raw option reader which they didn’t have when I bought mine.  They have great customer service, because I had questions, many questions because I don’t follow directions well and they were patient and walked me through it (for the record it did not sound like they were rolling their eyes at all either). You can visit their site and watch a short video on how it works, but suffice to say it’s pretty simple even I figured it out! 
How about you? Do you have a gadget I should know about? Does this sound like an invention for a terribly lazy person? Or does this sound awesome?
P.S. This is an older photo, but I am working on new Photoshop actions and re-editing some older photographs. I haven’t seen a rose since we moved here, so this made me a little wistful. In Los Angeles flowers are always blooming, especially roses.  These were stolen from my neighbors front yard, she had so many of them that she never missed the ones I heisted.