Flourish stamp Besotted Brand IFlourish stamp Besotted Brand ii

 I learned how to make flourishes in Melissa Esplin’s course, she said it felt like making the letter ‘S’, since I am not as skilled as Miss Melissa I just make cursive ‘L’s’ linked together (try it, it’s a lot of fun). I made this flourish with the idea that it would be stamped off-set on an item, no matter which way you stamp it you will get a nice flourish-y result. You would be amazed how many items you can find to add a flourish to. I had just made this for myself with no intention of putting it in the shop until I got better at flourishing, but I took a snap of it and uploaded to Instagram and emails kept coming in asking when it was going to be available.  ‘Uhm, never’, didn’t seem like a really good answer, nor explaining that I was waiting to become a world class flourisher (which may or may not ever happen). So, I did a few custom orders and when the last email came in again requesting it, I figured maybe I should get over my flourish insecurity and just put it out there. Thus, it is in the shop.  Since it is Monday I feel like it would be a good item to give away!  This looks great printed in metallic colors, I have the ink stack that has both copper and silver inks in it, both of those inks are so beautiful.  I probably would have never tried the copper ink if it didn’t come in the stack, it’s perfect + shiny like a new penny. This stamp is also great for creating your own custom pattern, which would be beautiful for envelope lining. I have always said from the launch of Besotted Brand that I feel like hand stamps are like owning miniature printing presses. You can have beautiful, professional & handcrafted results, it takes practice but the learning curve is much shorter and perhaps easier than any other printing techniques. To enter to win this stamp + a set of inks I am going to ask you to answer the following question in the comments below- What would you do if you knew you would not/could not fail?  I know it’s a heavy question, but a good one, right?

I want you to know I LOVED reading all your comments last week about what you are grateful for and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your concern! I chose NewsDiva, she was in a car accident and is lucky to be alive, it’s amazing how something that seems so awful could change your life for the better, it’s how I feel right now that now that I am healthier (I am still coughing and weak) that I can take on the world (and I plan to).  Congrats to NewsDiva, please email me with your address and good luck to everyone this week, I will announce the winner next Monday, 2.18.13. 

P.S. I am going to admit that I am a bit starstruck,you? I met Bruce Springsteen once and just about fainted. Over the weekend one of my most revered blog reads ‘Design Mom’ (who doesn’t want to live vicariously through a woman that is raising her family in the French countryside?) mentioned this little blog!  Yes, I know, I am about as surprised as you are!  I just needed to share as my husband (one of the only people I ever get to socialize with out here in the country) just didn’t get as excited as I wish he would have and I know you would!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She believes in you. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups.


Sticker Maker II Besotted Blog

I have been wanting to start a series here for awhile about some of the tools I use as a designer + crafter. I am very hands on with my work and although I adore the convenience of working with digital tools (like the Adobe suite and my beloved Mac) what I really relish is being able to work with my hands. That is one of the reasons I launched with rubber stamps in my business, it’s so gratifying to be able to create something with ‘professional’ results with something so humble.  One of my favorite finds is the Xyron machine which turns just about anything into a sticker/label by adding adhesive to the back. It comes in multiple sizes, I own both the small one below and the full-size one, where you can run a full 9″ wide sheet through.

Sticker Maker I Besotted Blog

The Xyron offers multiple adhesive option cartridges, from permanent to semi-permanent (so you can easily reposition) and even has a laminate + magnet cartridge available. They aren’t the most aesthetically beautiful machines.  I so wish I could have my own craft tool line, I would design tools that were simple + clean so you could leave them out. These purple monstrosities are hidden deep in my craft closet. Purple? Le sigh. The newer versions are a tad easier on the eye. Even though I cringe when I see them, they do perform their task extremely well.  You can even run ribbon + fabric through the machine which opens up so many creative possibilities.  If you are planning to DIY your wedding or special event this machine would make a great investment, you could create seals for your envelopes, envelope liners, labels for favors, the options are endless! If you are trying to build a creative craft arsenal I highly recommend adding a Xyron to the mix.

Have you ever tried one of these before?  If so, what did you make with them?

P.S. I finished Miss Peregine’s Home for Peculiar Children it was not creepy at all, it was quite delightful + original and I am chomping at the bit to see the movie and read the upcoming sequel! Now I need to find another book for February so I can complete my 12 books in 12 months!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups.


LETTERING RESOURCES DINKY DIPIf you have been following along with my lettering adventures here and trying it out for yourself I want to recommend you invest in what is called a dinky dip. They come in many incarnations, most of them are four small vials housed in a natural pine block.  There’s pros and cons with that one, the big pro is if you knock one over (which you invariably will) you spill only the most minute amount of ink on your work surface. The cons for me are that I have been using an oblique holder (and sometimes nib) and I find it difficult to navigate the nib dipping within such a small space. Perhaps there’s a trick to it, but I don’t know it yet. The other con is I hate the way the natural unfinished wood gets so messy. I ended up spray painting mine with black chalkboard paint so it didn’t look like such a mess.  The one I purchased above has a much wider dipping area and you don’t need to fill it to the top, so if you knock it over again the mess is less. I also like that the block is finished which means if I get ink on it I just wipe it off after each session and it looks brand new (yes, I am a neat freak).


This is an oblique nib holder, this version is a very inexpensive plastic option, I wanted to try the oblique holder out and didn’t want to invest in one that was more expensive if I wasn’t going to enjoy using it. I have since found that I do indeed like using this type of holder a lot. The oblique holder assists me with keeping on a nice slant which I have found very helpful. I have since invested in a more comfortable version, but it is pretty ugly so I didn’t photograph it, but you can take a peek at what I own here.


This is an oblique nib, which to me is one my most favorite lettering discoveries thus far, you can use it with a straight holder.  This nib is made by Mitchell and is firm, for beginner’s it seems a firmer nib is much easier to manipulate (at least that has been my experience). You can get beautiful hair line strokes with this nib. The nib holder with the cork is so nice to have when you are doing long practice sessions or writing out multiple envelopes (which I have not tried to do yet).  I promise to get up some specimen samples created with this nib so you can get a better idea, but I think this is a lot of information to process for today, no?

P.S. for those of you lucky enough to be in NYC, Paperfinger is doing a workshop-Love Letters & Valentines that I wish I could attend! It’s a beginning modern calligraphy workshop in a very intimate setting. I don’t know if there are still spaces but here is the link.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups.


Jill Lauck Curator Besotted BlogI am delighted to have Jill Lauck as my Pinterest Curator today. Jill’s style is feminine, festive, classic and utterly sophisticated.  You will never find any garish colors, fading fads or aesthetic mis-steps–just great taste.  I am not exactly sure what Pinterest protocol is but I am pretty sure it’s not following behind your fave Pinner and re-pinning everything they just did, but it’s hard to resist when you visit Jill’s boards.  Jill is dangerously close to 7,000 followers and I am hoping with your help we can take her over the edge, you won’t be sorry.  This blushy pink is just one side of this curator, like me she veers to the neutrals + classics and has a penchant for stars, the celestial kind of course.  I do hope you pay her a visit!

In other news, I have received a slew of emails as of late asking me how to go about becoming more popular on Pinterest.  I am not sure that I am the best person to ask as I don’t feel very popular, but I am flattered that others think I am (I think all closet nerds must feel this way). If the question is about having more people follow you I suggest you start pinning!  Find great pins out in the wild yonder and not just re-pin the same great thing from other boards (although there is nothing wrong with that), but if your goal is to get more people interested in you–be original.  Specialize.  Find one subject/board that you are really, really enthusiastic about and start pinning!  My most popular board is my hand-lettering board, I add to it almost everyday. It is not a chore, but a complete pleasure to uncover new specimens and introduce them to a broader audience. So instead of going nuts with multiple boards find one that makes your heart sing.  This bit of advice is for people that gravitate to Pinterest and want it to be their social networking medium. Don’t pin if you think it’s a bore, nor tweet or what have you, find something that you enjoy and it will come easily to you.  For the life of me I can not get into Facebook, thus I am never there. I have tried, but I am resigned to knowing that it’s just not my thing. So for those of you that want to build your Pinterest following what board do you think you will create that will be your ‘specialty’? Add a link to it in the comments and maybe we can all try to visit!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups.



 As soon as I got back on my feet this weekend I started a cleaning frenzy of epic proportions.  My studio which I usually straighten up before I leave each night was a mess of papers, pens and other ephemera from the night I came down with influenza (yes, I like to call it that, it sounds as scary as it was). I needed to get organized and that I did. As I was cleaning out some boxes I found a stack of antique natural history plates that I have been meaning to scan for you for the longest time.  I didn’t scan them all but a nice amount (I will finish the second half soon, pinky promise), all super hi-res to use in your personal projects. For those wondering what you might do with such things, really the limit is only your imagination but since I love to read I made a set into bookplates for you to print, it’s 8 designs from botanicals to butterflies.  I have also updated all the links on the download page so you shouldn’t have any trouble downloading your heart out.  Have fun!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups.