Vintage Postmark Besotted I

Vintage Postmark II

When I was a publicist, (so very, very long ago), I used to tell my clients not to get too excited about a magazine photographing their design. There was always that off chance that the design could end up not working at the 11th hour and it would be removed from the publication. It was always disheartening for both myself and my client, maybe more so for me as I do like to believe I have some modicum of control and when things are not in my sphere of control I get very agitated, which is the same reaction I have to over-the-counter cough medicine (which I am allergic to).  This scenario actually happened to me in February.  I thought I was going to be in a magazine and  then I flipped through the mag and I wasn’t.  Of course I was sad, but it’s always onward and upward for me so I moved on. I received the same magazine for March, I was thrilled that it had arrived, simply because it’s an inspiring magazine.  I actually had it for three days reading it in order like it was a book (I wanted to savor each page) and on the fourth day I came upon a six page spread in which Besotted Brand was featured on five of the pages!  To have such a sweet + unexpected surprise like this made me feel as if I had won the lottery. The spread was styled & shot by the talented Amy Lockheart, I made her some stamps based on her re-design and also used our vintage postmark design. Her whole branding package is quite exquisite–clean, nature-inspired but also modern in its simplicity.  I hadn’t seen the big reveal of the branding so it was even more of a delight when I saw how she incorporated the stamps into her packaging.  I have always said I felt like our hand stamps are like miniature printing presses and I love how Amy was able to add some D.I.Y. to her brand without compromising the high-end, boutique feel or taking away from any of the other press printed elements.  This is how I use the stamps and how I envisioned my clients using them as well, creating high-quality materials for their brands, weddings, special events and even their personal stationery wardrobes (thank you notes are always in style). The magazine is called Click ‘for the modern photograp(her).  If you are a photography enthusiasts there is plenty of inspiration, how-to and visual story-telling going on. The pages are printed on a beautiful stock and I wouldn’t dare flip through it like a regular magazine as I don’t want to miss a thing.  I don’t usually get paper magazines because I am afraid my Postman will wrinkle them, thus rendering them tainted in my obsessive compulsive eyes, but he’s been very careful with this publication (and he also knows that I am a bit batty).

For today’s Bestowal I want to give away one of the custom vintage inspired postmark stamps, it’s a good one to have indeed.  To enter to win, please answer the following question in the comments below by Monday, March 10, 2013.  Good luck!

If you could move anywhere on earth for a year, where would you move and why?


Emma Leonard Besotted Blog

I love the joy of new discovery, it’s one of the delights of the interwebs that I could chance upon a young artist on the other side of the globe and be able to revel in her talent.  My only shock upon discovery is that this girl is not more famous. I would think every fashion mag on the planet would scoop her up and have her create beautiful illustrations for their publication. If I ever come out with a beauty book, I know who I will tap to illustrate and that would be Miss Emma Leonard. I love the soft, simple and absolute gorgeousness that she conjures. There’s also a bit of an edge which keeps the illustrations fresh and not too sweet. I love her work and hope you do too!

Since it is Friday, I didn’t want to end the week without a beauty recommendation. I recently picked up a new mascara after I finally came to terms that I actually went through two whole tubes of the Maybelline Falsies. For those that are unaware I am not prone to docile lashes, if I am going to wear mascara, I am going to wear mascara.  Most days in my country studio I just curl my lashes so I don’t scare my husband, but since I am about to travel and meet a lot of people I admire for the first time I wanted to find a mascara that would last all day, not clump, and both lengthen + thicken my lashes but not make me look like I worked at a Gentleman’s club. I picked up L’Oreal Collagen Power mascara and it fulfills my list on all fronts except maybe the last. It is a tad sexy, so something you may not want to wear to say a PTA meeting or a house of worship. I have dry skin, but by some incredible evolutionary twist I have oily eyes. I mean I don’t know if they are actually oily, but most mascara’s run down my face making me look like a young, drug addled Courtney Love (not a good look). Why not try waterproof mascara you ask?  I just don’t like to mess with anything near my eyes anymore than I have to, it is delicate and I am aging rapidly so I need to be careful.  I do have to say L’Oreal has cornered the market on quality for drugstore mascaras, you can’t go wrong, price is right and they have a formula and brush for any look you are trying to achieve.  If you are looking to splurge I love Tarte’s Lights, Cameras, Lashes. It’s amazing, but unfortunately not in my budget right now.

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 and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.



Mastering Copperplate Besotted Blog I

Mastering Copperplate Besotted Blog iiThis is a bit if a controversial recommendation of a calligraphy book for most traditional calligraphers, but since a lot of you who are interested in this medium would prefer to develop your own contemporary calligraphy or modern lettering hand, than I think it would be a valuable addition to your studies. I am sure you have heard the adage that you must first learn the rules before you can break them? This book will assist you with the basics so you can then feel free to riff on your own.  It will give you a ‘base’ + reference to begin to build your own lettering style. I have checked out many calligraphy books and watched numerous videos (I recommend Dr. Vitolo’s copperplate video’s and if you have an Ipad you can download his free book at Itunes), but Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy is the one that I keep coming back to. It is such a great reference because the author truly breaks down each letter to its very basics starting with the strokes you will need to know to create your initial letterforms. She has many examples of right and wrong ways for each letter and why a letter works or doesn’t (very helpful). I also like that she gives you many different variations/styles on a letter so you can work on the style you prefer most. There are guideline sheets in the book that you can copy and Winters even explains in depth how to create your own.

Many of you might be thinking, “peeshaw, I don’t want to learn traditional calligraphy, it’s not my thing”. I understand this sentiment (especially the peeshaw part), but I can tell you from my experience that even trying to practice a basic calligraphy alphabet will get you to your ultimate goal faster. You will learn things like spacing, baselines, heights of letters, how wide, etc. All of these tools will give you a better foundation to build your own alphabet one day.  It may not look like there is any sort of structure to my own lettering samples I show you, but I do create all my samples utilizing a guideline sheet and starting the letters at the same baseline and adjusting the heights (the ascender, ie. the loop of an ‘h’ or the descender, ie the bottom loop of a ‘g’). I do take a lot of liberties and may make a rouge ‘u’ lower than it technically should be but I try to make sure it flows and works well with the word as a total. Of course, these are all things I have learned in my very limited time lettering and I am not trained as a traditional calligrapher so take this advice with a grain of salt; I am just sharing my personal experience. It has helped me a lot to hear that you are ‘drawing’ the letters rather than writing them. It makes sense to me and helps me feel better when I feel like I am taking too long creating a letterform.  For those of you that are feeling completely overwhelmed right about now, my friend Maybelle (artist & calligrapher extraordinaire) suggests just using the nib + ink paired with your own handwriting to create a unique hand, she says that you may just be pleasantly surprised by the results; yes, even those of you like myself that have terrible cursive handwriting, she assures it can look quite charming!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She practices her lettering almost every night and indeed looks like she works in a coal mine by the end of her long day.



Viva Bailey Curator Besotted BlogViva Bailey is another wonderful reader that requested consideration for the Curator series, so I hopped over to Pinterest to see if it would be a good fit and from the looks above I do believe  it is! Her tastes are eclectic as it seems we all tend to be when presented with the ‘all you can see buffet’ of inspiration that is served up at Pinterest.  A good curator knows how to wade through the sea of goodness and present only the most tempting of morsels. I love her black + white board, although I wish there were more photo attributions, because I do love discovering a new to me photographer or two. I also love her very interestingly paired map + stars which has antique maps, constellation charts and a few modern ones thrown in for good measure. Viva updates her pins regularly so you are sure to be oohing and ahhing over her latest discovery as I have been this week!

P.S. If you are interested in being considered for a future Curator feature send me an email with a link to your boards or leave in the comments so we can all visit. I like curators that update often and have over 1,000 pins (the more the merrier). If you have a unique bent like Moira did with her canine curations that’s even better!

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 and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.


MSL Little Flower School

If I could take one class for the sake of just taking a class that had nothing to do with my business, but for pure indulgence sake it would be a flower design class. If I were to dream big it would specifically be to take a class from The Little Flower School run by Nicolette Owen of Nicolette Camille Floral Design Studio and Sarah Ryhanen of Saipua fame. I love both of their effortless style and it seems like it would be such a privledge to learn from such masters.  Amy Merrick, one of my all time favorite interweb crushes, a talented floral designer in her own right learned under the tutledge of Rhyanen. So you know you would walk away filled to the brim with floral knowledge + inspiration.  I just found out that The Little Flower School has been taking their classes on the road, recently they were in Australia and in May they will be in California at the beautiful Garden Valley Ranch. I know a class like this would be a luxury to most, although if this is your passion I think it would be well worth the investment.

For those of us that are on a budget and would be taking a floral design class for the sheer love of flowers I found some alternate options. Recently Nicole’s Classes has started to diversify and add more to their curriculum. I was delighted to see that stylist Chelsea Fuss has been added to the roster and is teaching an on-line floral arranging class. I don’t know if you are familiar with Chelsea’s work, but if not you can take a peek at her stylist portfolio with photographer Lisa Waringer here (get ready to obsessively Pin). I found another on-line school in NYC- Flower School New York, I don’t know much about it but one of the classes is taught by revered floral designer Meredith Waga Perez of Belle Fleur New York.

Have any of you ever wanted to do something like this or have you ever taken a floral design class before?

P.S. This book looks like it would be worth adding to your library: Bringing Nature Home: Floral Arrangements Inspired by Nature.

P.P.S. For easy reference the links to the school + on-line classes can be found in The Directory: An A-Z Compendium of Creative Resources. Look under ‘F’.

Photo by Jennifer Causey

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She loves the scent of lemon & orange blossoms and has warmed to the idea of carnations, dubbing them ‘nature’s pom poms.