hello monday besotted blog iiI know the title of this post seems suspect as it is Tuesday (or maybe even Thursday or Friday depending on the day you come upon this), but every day is Monday at Hello Monday Creative!  There are some of you who are groaning because Monday’s are about as appetizing as eating live worms, I was right there with you a year + ago, but now and to the future you Monday’s will always be awesome, you will look forward to Monday’s and it will be blissful.  How do I know this?  Because if I made it out alive and happy to see Monday’s you can too!  Hello Monday is the new creative studio/duo of Sarah Kim and Lindsay Pruitt two of my fave ladies of the blogosphere.  I have been a fan of Sarah’s for about a million years, she has impeccable taste and an equally impeccable wit. Lindsay may seem a familiar name to you that read this blog as she has been the genius/Jedi that has coded this here blog and my previous one (trust me no small feat to work with me).  She is so patient, smart and has a great eye.  After she finished my last blog I asked her if she worked on Word Press and at the time she didn’t, I loved her so much that I waited until she did (I am not known for being a patient person, she is that worth it). When I heard that Sarah & Lindsay were going to team up I knew that they were a perfect fit.  If you have wanted to take your blog or business to the next level then you need to get on their soon to be waiting list (I am sure people will be lining up around the block to work with them). I am so happy for them and their new endeavor and have no doubt it will be a huge success.  I asked them for their elevator pitch and they were happy to oblige:

Hello Monday is a graphic, branding and web design studio that just recently launched this New Year’s day. Lindsay from Lindsay Nicole Design and Sarah from Truly Smitten decided that based on how freakishly well they worked together in the past and agreeing that two creative heads are certainly better than one decided to start their design studio together. The whole concept behind Hello Monday is to brew up fresh, positive and optimistic designs for clients. Every project they work on is created with a well thought out process, pay attention to every detail, and have a discerning eye for typography and color. Ever since the launch, arriving to work on a Monday morning has never felt this enjoyable!
Congrats Lindsay & Sarah!  If you are looking to create some interweb awesomeness than contact Hello Monday today!
P.S. We’re giving away some Big Love over on Art Social, go visit!
Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She loves Monday’s and wants a bunny. She recently moved from the city to the country with her husband and two pups.

photo by monica wang


FROM BESOTTED BLOGBeing a small business owner I get to make my own hours; being me I choose to work as if I am under a malevolent dictator’s rule, there are no days off and I am basically an indentured servant.  It is one of my goals for 2013 to break away from this mentality and join the ranks of the living, but not just yet. Baby steps.  I worked all weekend as I usually do, and after work I spent a nice chunk of time practicing my lettering.  You see, I received an email from a potential wholesale client that asked if I have a ‘from’ to go with my ‘to’ stamp.  I do not.  The reason I did not offer a ‘from’ stamp previously is because this lettering is all very new to me and well, I have hated all my previous ‘from’ incarnations.  I am so new to lettering that the basic ability to link letters together thus creating words is a little over my head. Before I wrote back and said, ‘no’ I do not have a ‘from’ stamp, I decided I would spend precious hours trying to create a ‘from’ that did not make me cringe.  I am sure these will one day do just that, but for today they are far better than what I could have come up with in December of last year. For today’s Bestowal I am going to ask you (of fine taste and refined eye) to help me choose a nice ‘from’.  Just let me know in the comments below which one you prefer (or if none tickle your fancy).  I will randomly select 2 winners to receive a set of to/from stamps with some Parcel tags thrown in for good measure. I will announce the winners next Monday, 21, 2013.

For last week, gosh it was so hard to choose, I loved so many of your answers but I couldn’t stop laughing at Sarah Kate believing after her boyfriend complimented her that she was potentially ‘all that’ because people were staring at her only to find she had a craft googly eye stuck to her forehead.  Congrats Sarah Kate & a huge thank you to everyone that left a comment, don’t worry if you didn’t win this week no one reads this blog besides you and my husband so chances are really in your favor for next week, good luck!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She loves lettering, but not the letter ‘B’ as it’s too difficult, which is too bad since it’s part of her name. She recently moved from the city to the country with her husband and two pups.


MMXIII_WK2_BESOTTEDBLOGI have made it to week two of my photo project!  It was easy this week, because the world was so photogenic.  We had a strange heat front that came into town and made our little nestle of woods rife with fog + moodiness. I absolutely love it when it’s foggy, it makes every image feel dreamy and otherworldly.  This shot was taken at the beginning of my neighbors woods, a word that I only had a vague idea of what it meant prior to living here.  I remember being on the phone with my friend early into our move and telling her that we found a house right next to a ‘little forest’, and she responded, ‘you mean the woods?’.  Yes, that is what I meant, but didn’t know it when the previous descriptive plopped out of my mouth. All the formerly lush trees have lost their leaves and are just skeleton branches now, which makes for a nice winter eeriness. It was nice to have an ‘assignment’ and deadline to shoot, I work well with both and it had me motivated to shoot all week.  It’s not too late to join us on Flickr and upload your photos each week, it’s very casual, just get your photo up each week or edit a photo that you shot previously that is just sitting on your hard drive collecting virtual cobwebs. Are any of you doing a photo project?  Let me know I will come visit!


library by shannon mcgrathI have been wanting to write a post about some of my goals for 2013 (I’m not one to make resolutions) and I really want to hear what yours are if you are so inclined to share, but I will need to save that for another day (soon) as I am short on time (per usual).  One silly thing I always do when I create said goals is to make a couple of them ridiculously easy to attain, it makes me feel like I have a) accomplished something and b) have some momentum. In essence I like to trick myself. One of the goals I have set for myself is to read a book a month for the year; this is an easy goal for me as I often read a few books a month (I have terrible insomnia). I am currently off to a stellar start as I have just finished Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson and a little ‘book-ette’ by Mr. Ronson called Phoenix Jones about real life super heroes. I plan on reading all of Jon Ronson’s books this year I love his style and I am a big non-fiction fan so I think it will not be difficult at all to breeze through his work in one fell swoop.  I am pondering what to read next though, I had a few in mind previously (Moonwalking with Einstein & Pigeons) but have decided to put those off for now.  I want a book that I can’t wait to read and am reluctant to put down, is that too much to ask for?  I have considered reading about the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, which is a story that is endlessly heartbreaking but also very intriguing. There’s a new book out called Cemetery John which was written by Robert Zorn, his father supposedly knew the accomplices so new evidence has been unearthed. I am curious. I don’t know if I am curious enough to spend $17 though, you?  I have some how-to books on my list as well and will share those with you when I go over my 2013 goals (I am sure you are on the edge of your seat, I jest), but somehow I don’ think the how-to books are going to be riveting in the way that I want to be riveted, you understand, right?  I have 11 books to go to meet my quota so I am open for suggestions. Here is the short list of books I am currently pondering-

The Earth Moved by Amy Stewart, it’s about earthworms, this subject could be incredibly interesting in a deft wordsmith’s hands, no really.

City of Scoundrels by Gary Kismet, I am usually always up for any story that takes place in the early 1900’s , extra draw for me is the use of the word ‘scoundrel in the title.

Fraud by David Rakoff, the name may already sound familiar to fans of This America Life, he was a frequent contributor.  I read the excerpt and it was laugh out loud funny (especially the bit about hiking boots + hiking ). “Just think, the shoes I wouldn’t be caught dead in might actually turn out to be the shoes I am caught dead in.”

Fooling Houdini by Alex Stone, I may have mentioned this as a book I wanted to read, it has magicians, mentalists and math geeks that seems like a recipe for good times, no?

Have you read any of these or heard anything about them? I would love to know what you are reading right now if anything!

photo by Shanon McGrath


Lettering resources Besotted BlogI have to confess that up until a couple days ago, I hadn’t picked up a nib and ink for nearly three weeks!  I have mentioned that you can’t ‘will’ yourself to become better at lettering, you need to put the time + effort in; although I believe that sentiment wholeheartedly I did find myself wishing I could get better without having to pull out my supplies.  The holiday season took a lot out of me with work, visitors and such, so I never had that extra energy after my 12-15 hour days to pull out my nibs and get cracking.  I was also plagued with a bout of extreme insecurity, after practicing some legitimate calligraphy exercises and my letters looking more like a ransom note than calligraphy, I was feeling a bit dejected.  Monday I started playing again and I even gave those ‘ransom’ notes a second look, you know what?  They weren’t as horrible as I remembered!  There may be hope for me yet. Some of the tools that have helped me get back on track are finding some guidelines that are a good size for me, I have a download available for you if you want to use the same ones (they were made for Copperplate practice). I have found a paper that I really like practicing on, it’s smooth, but not too slick (formerly I tried mixed media pads and bristol paper both were a little tricky) the paper is made by Canson and is the Pro-Layout for markers; bonus is that it is semi-transparent so you can slide your guidelines underneath and see them nice and clearly–so helpful!  I have become more and more attached to using the weirdly shaped oblique pen holder with the Zebra G nibs, I didn’t use it for the above lettering (this was the Blue Pumpkin another current favorite), but I am finding the oblique pen helps me with angle and being a little more fluid. It seems I naturally want to letter like Frankenstein would (if he was into calligraphy and all) just choppy and uncoordinated, so the oblique pen holder has given me a little more fluidity in my strokes.  The last thing I will mention is finding exemplars to study and re-create, these are usually alphabets with both upper and lowercase samples, sometimes you may find some with words (I once spent a few hours writing out the word ‘minimum’ to practice connecting). The Paper Bride has a really pretty + simple alphabet/practice guide that you can download here.

In my limited experience with lettering I can tell you that the tools make a big difference, if your paper is too slick or has too much texture you may run into problems with how your nib reacts to the substrate (paper). Calligraphy can be a relatively inexpensive hobby (as compared to my photography one), I am not including classes in this but quality nibs, holders, ink and paper can be procured for under $20, so don’t skimp on your tools. Let me know if you have any questions!

P.S. I had The Directory nice and loaded with resources for you for this post, but I must have accidentally deleted it (still learning how to use this here blog) so I will work on getting that updated again this weekend.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She is obsessed with hand lettering and also enjoys taking a photo or two. She recently moved from the city to the country with her husband and two pups.