A couple of weeks ago I showcased some of the new stationery stamp designs for Besotted Brand and held a very casual contest in which I randomly chose individuals to win. The purpose was so I could make the initial designs reality and see whether or not the design would translate to a stamp. This here anchor stamp was plenty popular. I ended up choosing Amelia Plummer and set to work on getting her stamp created. I chose to not notify any of the winners before hand, which may or may not be my smartest move to date. I decided that it might be fun (and wildly surprising) to utilize the photographs + posts as the announcement. My thought was that the winner would hopefully check in and see their name in ‘lights’ and do that thing winners do where they fan themselves, start hyperventilating and repeating something along the lines of, ‘this can’t be real, is it real? Did I really win? I never win anything.’ I know it’s not exactly the same as being handed a huge Publisher Clearinghouse check for millions of dollars, but perhaps it will be a little thrill. As those of you that participated know I had quite a few new designs to create so you will see new winners being announced every.single.day. If I am feeling especially motivated I may even add more announcements per day,; I am feeling a little crazy like that. I am so happy with how this design came out, the text is legible, the anchor nice and crisp and the solid color part has the perfect amount of hand stamped charm. Congrats to Amelia! If you wanted this stamp in a bad way and didn’t win, I am feeling super generous so please feel free to use the coupon code ANCHOR at check-out and get your own custom anchor stamp for half off, (this week only)!
I rarely take on custom wedding projects any longer because of my extreme sensitivity and inability to know when to say no. All I ever want in life is to make my clients happy; I am a text book co-dependent, please let me please you. I received an email last week from a well respected (and admired) wedding planner for a large letter vintage inspired postcard for her client with the city being Hermosa Beach, CA. I love doing these types of linen postcards because I like to believe I am very good at it. I have a rather large collection of these with all the major cities. I utilize and tweak colors to suit but lo and behold there is not an Hermosa Beach large letter postcard to be had. I searched the interwebs tirelessly, it just doesn’t exist. I decided to try my hand at recreating and was up to 13 comps and counting when I threw in my proverbial towel. At the time of this writing I still don’t know if the last comp was accepted and I sit here in defeat. I really wanted this project for my portfolio since as you can see I don’t have a portfolio link. Yes, I have been very lax with documenting my work so basically I need to start from scratch. I offered to do the project at a deep discount so I could add this to the phantom portfolio link. The colors were not solidified, just a vague ‘antique-y colors’ were given for a palette suggestion so I used what I thought were colors that worked with the theme of beach and still felt vintage. I later found out colors were actually supposed to be purple, orange, yellow and black. I checked all the emails 52 times (perhaps more), they were never specified. If you know my aesthetic at all you may deduce that those colors in combination would never ever make it into my portfolio–ever. I am not talking muted versions of those colors, which could work but full-on bright, saturated and in your face colors. As a designer you need to know when to walk away from a project or flat out take a pass, but please refer to the first and second sentence of this post where I don’t know how to say no and all I want is to make my client happy. I have trouble walking away, I am not one to ‘give up’, but alas I have been defeated by a large letter, bright orange, purple, black and yellow postcard project. The above graphics are a couple of the rejected comps which I figured if I was having such a hard time finding a vintage Hermosa Beach postcard option there may be one or two others out there looking for one as well. Please feel free to download them hereand here and use them in your upcoming Hermosa Beach project. They are a hi-resolution so you can print a traditional postcard size 4″ x 6″ without a problem. As always these are for personal use only, no re-sale or distributing of them willy nily, thank you very much.
This has taught me a huge lesson and besides the fodder it gave me above (and the download for you). I am going to work on a mini-series of posts about how to work with a graphic designer, what questions to ask, how to ask them to get the best results from the collaboration. I will also be interviewing a few of my favorite designers so they can offer their two cents to the conversation. You may not need the series now, but perhaps in the future you will and you will be so happy you read through it. Please note this has nothing to do with my client, but is a realization for me and how I need to set my boundaries when working with clients. This is good practice for anyone just starting out in a new business and to those like myself that should know better but always seem to learn the hard way.
Since I launched the illustrious Besotted Brand shop last fall, I have gotten a multitude of requests to purchase the packaging. I wasn’t able to sell it prior because that would involve me adding more inventory and we previously lived in a space that made a shoebox look like a mansion. Now I have a whole floor of space to fill to the brim with product! I do have plans to open a bulk supply company for the packaging so that many of the items can be bought in larger quantities and at discounted pricing, but really now I just unpacked here–baby steps. I put together these favor kits which I do believe have so much creative possibility; if I do say so myself. The kit comes with 6 round mini hat boxes and are as cute as can be. They are handmade from recycled kraft paper and no two are exactly alike which imparts that perfectly charming rustic vibe I covet. They are perfect blank canvasses to put your own personal touch on and they are sturdy enough so you can feel free to paint, decoupage, stamp or keep them plain + simple. All the round boxes come filled with natural wood shred, ready for you to place your favor in. To round out the kit I’ve included 18 feet of natural twine and 8 mini shipping tags. Use them at your next dinner party, brunch, birthday party or shower they are sure to delight the recipient, who wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of this little pretty? You canstock up on your kits here.
When I first started Besotted Brand I cut every.single. stamp by hand, mounted it on cling cushion and adhered it to lucite. It was a long and arduous process, a labor of love for sure. Thankfully, I am at a point in the growth of the company where I can invest in having the stamps mounted at the factory. I do have a lot of sets that have not been mounted and I would love to get them into some extremely crafty individuals hands (these are best left to the d.i.y. segment that have the verve + patience to do the mounting). There’s over 21 stamps in the set (I will add in extras for the proud new owners). This is a huge discount compared to the pre-mounted stamps. I won’t be having these unmounted stamps again, so I would love to make room for future mounted inventory. I have counted 7 sets of the above but I haven’t finished cutting into all the plates so the quantity may grow and my fingers may be getting more blisters (ah, the things I do for you). I also have 12 sets of unmounted alphabets, which I will be adding as well. It’s a regular smorgasbord of unmounted goodness! You can pick your set up here.
Have you heard about Society6? It’s a pretty rad site to showcase your art + photography, bonus if someone wants to take one of your works home Society 6 will print on multiple substrates for you, ship it and you get a little deposit in your piggy bank! Ah, the magic of the interwebs. I had been wanting to put some prints for sale for some time, but I didn’t want the angst of printing them out and buying specialty packaging to ship them, this was a no brainer for me. It did take me a while to get some photos up and name the shop/collection. I was so proud when I had most of it done (I still have a bunch of images I want to upload). I proudly showed my husband who may or may not have a dusting of Aspergers (the jury is out), he took a look at the site and creased his brows together, after a thoughtful moment he surmised, “I think it looks like you hate deer.” Wha? “It’s a natural history inspired shop, antlers are awesome”. He shrugged his shoulders, cocked his head and took another look, “I don’t think it’s your best work.” This is what you must know about my husband, he is not mean but he is honest, very honest, he says whatever the flip, flappin’ jackin’ thought is on his mind at any given time and it is take no prisoners. We have worked on this, since not everyone in the world can appreciate his brutal honesty. I have grown to ignore it, accustomed to it. The other day he was staring at my visage and thoughtfully asked, “Would it not be appropriate to tell you that I prefer you wear less make-up?” Because I am all about working in the solution I immediately countered, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN?”, he looked panicked like perhaps it was not appropriate to tell his wife that and now he would have to suffer the wrath of his wife’s supreme insecurities. “Ur, I just think you look prettier when you don’t have as much make-up on; and your face and neck are, uh, two different colors.” Another less vain evolved wife might have been hurt by this truth, but I took it as an opportunity to re-visit my make-up routine. I am glad he said something about my make-up but I am less happy about his shop comment. Why you ask? Going back to working in the solution, I asked him, ‘What photographs of mine do you prefer?’ His only answer was a shoulder shrug, which is infinitely less satisfying than a proper example. So there you have it–I have a new print shop, I don’t hate deer, in fact I am quite fond of antler’d animals and the skin on my face and neck match beautifully now.
P.S. I have no idea why my floral images look so murky & dark. I have a couple thousand emails out to Society 6 and I am sure they wish I would have never found them…