What joy to be back amongst the living again!  I think you may have gathered from my absence that I came down with my husband’s flu last week and indeed I did catch the influenza in a bad way.  I spent five days straight in bed where I did not even lift my head off the pillow. If I could have cried I would have, but I was in a delirium state so I didn’t.  Yes, I did lose weight-lot’s. When I asked my husband the other night what was for dinner he said, “Butter with a side of butter.”  He likes his wife with a little meat on her bones.  I can’t remember being as sick as I was since forever, next year I am getting the flu shot, yes I am.  Yup, no doubt about it.  Thank you to everyone that emailed to make sure I hadn’t gone the way of the Dodo, your little notes brightened my day when I finally could sit up and type again and I loved feeling missed (who doesn’t?)  Well, it’s Monday so I must get back to business as usual, no?  I made this stamp a while ago, but it’s so darling and I think it may have been forgotten with all the new items I have since added to the shop, but since I love it and you as well I am going to be giving one away.  To enter to win answer the following question by Sunday February 13, 2013–What 3 things are you most grateful for today?  I can tell you that number 1 is my health, 2 is my husband (even though he gave me the virus) he waited on his coughing, sneezing, fever ridden, delirious wife like a knight in shining armor and 3 would be a tie between my pups and you.  I will announce the winner next Monday, good luck!

For the previous giveaway, which was near impossible to choose, everyone left such great stories I ended up having to randomly choose and the winner is– Iris. Please email me to collect your prize!  Tomorrow I have some downloads for you that I can’t wait to share. Wednesday I have another great Pinterest Curator and Thursday I am going to answer some of your specific lettering questions that you have been asking me about.  This is going to be a great week!

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.


amy_merrick by jen causey 1Today is supposed to be a snow day, but yesterday felt like one. My husband caught the flu but acted as though he had contracted the plague, thus making it near impossible to work my regular 12-15 hour day (I have mentioned how I treat myself like an indentured servant, no?) My husband’s took full advantage of having a wife/nurse maid. Every time I sat down at my desk chair I heard my husband cry from downstairs, “Hon, can you come down here for a sec?” So I would dutifully run down for something miniscule like ice cubes in his Gatorade or to bus his bowl of soup or larger requests such as running to the store (which is a good 20 minutes away). It went on like this for hours, until I finally raised the white flag of surrender and stopped working for the day. It was hard. We watched one boring documentary after another (I allowed him to choose which I never do), and I sat quietly and dreamt of florist extraordinaire Amy Merrick’s studio space. I think after you see these amazing shots from brilliant photographer Jennifer Causey you will have a case of studio envy too. I love working from home, but I do sometimes dream of commuting to a beautiful + inspiring space.  Amy’s is so full of texture, beautiful light and character that I find myself wistful for something just like it one day.

Photo by Jennifer Causy


Hazel Wonderland Besotted BlogWhen I first started this series I had no idea that it would have such a phenomenal response + reach.  I love to know that there are other lettering enthusiasts out there and that you are as excited about this subject as much as I am. When I get an email or comment that these posts have motivated you to try your hand at this medium.  Now that cursive is no longer taught in school I feel more than ever that we need to rally and not let hand lettering go the way of the Dodo.  Another amazing  is that I have been able to contact lettering artists that I admire without them shooing me away (wipes sweat from brow). I am thrilled to be able to offer you an interview today with Ithaca, New York based Meredith C. Bullock of Hazel Wonderland.  You may have seen her work before, I know I have pinned it more times than I can count. Her hand has a wonderful, loose, romantic and un-contrived flow to it.  I am a fan and I hope you will become one too!


I love the name of your business, ‘Hazel Wonderland’ what is the story behind it?

Thank you! The name Hazel Wonderland came to me in a moment of love, endlessness, beauty, inspiration and grace. A moment I experienced when I fell in love with my husband and looked into his speckled hazel eyes and felt everything.

How did you get started in lettering?

When I was a teen instead of doodling, I wrote my name or my crushes name over and over again till I liked the way it looked. My mom caught on and gave me a calligraphy set. I was hired at the age of 16 to write escort cards for a graduation party. Years later, I picked up the pen again for my wedding invitations and I haven’t put it down since.

What are some of your favorite lettering supplies?

The blue pumpkin is my favorite nib, Higgins and sumi are my favorite inks. Smooth illustration paper is my favorite paper. And pens, it’s all in the wrist.

Name one random talent you have that people may not know?

I’m an award winning hairstylist.

Any recommendations of books or classes for lettering enthusiasts to further their studies?

Wow, I would say reading your blog is the best education I know of! I am completely self-taught sans books. Just a whole lot of practice.

Any advice on what ‘not’ to do in your lettering practice? 

Great question!  I’ve learned the hard way too. Lets see, I’ve got a few:

1. Never leave your nib in water or any sort of fluid for longer than 12-24 hours. It will eat away at the coating that allows the ink to flow smoothly. An old cloth/rag and spit is all you need.

2. Don’t skimp on paper and ink, these two things foster beautiful, clean, crisp and professional results.

3. When creating a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, always do a sketch first without pressing too hard with the pencil, refrain from erasing the sketch till your absolutely certain the ink is dry, make sure the ink is waterproof and the paper is archival, try to use a fresh new nib and lastly always practice on a scrap piece of paper before you you dive in. I find I’m always a bit rusty my first 2-5 words.

A huge thank you to Meredith!  I hope you liked this interview and if you have any burning lettering questions please email me and I will be sure to pose them to future interviewee’s.

P.S. Meredith has a great blog as well, you can visit here.

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.


The Gilded Lobster Besotted BlogToday I bring you the New England based The Gilded Lobster.  Of course with a name like that you would expect a little cheek and of course a lot of shine going on.  She describes her style as ‘classic with a pinch of glam’ and I concur. If I were to dare try my hand at a descriptive I would go with Haute Prep. I love that throughout her pins there’s a sense of humor like the photo of the model in the middle bubble, but never ever does she veer to corny.  I wish she pinned more, because every time she does I feel all giddy inside like I have sipped extra fizzy champagne, my nose tickles and my heart flutters. She’s great you need to check her out (if you haven’t already). While you are there you can always visit me too as I am constantly re-pinning The Gilded Lobster thus look like I have much better taste than I do.


Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar childrenRansom Riggs.  I wonder what will happen if my computer is ever confiscated and “they” (the forensic scientists) find that I have been searching ‘Ransom’ for three days straight, how would that look? I imagine trying to explain that I was looking up a person, trying to figure out who would name their son Ransom?  I would also have to explain my stalker-esque zeal at trying to discover more and more about this obviously magical creature but no matter how you slice it I would just look guilty as charged.  I had a sample of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children on my Kindle queue for ages, I had neglected to read it as a few reviewer’s had noted that it wasn’t good for the Kindle as it had photos and letters and other ephemera that would be more appreciated in a paper book form.  The other night after tossing and turning for what seemed like hours, I picked up my Kindle and without much motivation to look for another sample I read the one I had.  I wish I hadn’t.  I already couldn’t sleep and now all I wanted to do was read the rest of the book.  I decided to look up Ransom and thus fell into a world so incredibly creative and original that I am wondering what I have been doing with myself for the past few decades (obviously not being as awesome as Ransom). Ransom has traveled the world, finding obscure abandoned (and decidedly unglamorous) locations and then putting his unique voice to describe them; filming + narrating them making you wish you could be by his side on the adventure. What I didn’t know before my interweb stalking had begun was that Ransom is a prolific writer having penned multiple books on a variety of interesting subjects such as Sherlock Holmes or his collection of found photos (quite a story there) called ‘Talking Pictures’.  At this rate I am sure that we will have many more intriguing projects of his to follow in the near future; I for one am wholeheartedly looking forward to them.  You can see a trailer for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children here (created by Ransom of course) and if you want to fall down the rabbit hole with me, here’s a trailer for his ‘Talking Pictures’ and a short called ‘The Accidental Sea’. In Ransom’s copious spare time when he’s not penning best selling tomes or getting said tomes turned into movies which are then directed by Tim Burton he writes a blog about his adventures and a column for the always erudite Mental Floss called Strange Geographies. For the record I was never able to sleuth why his name is Ransom.

Have you read any of his books? I just started reading the one so I can’t give a proper review but so far I am pleasantly ‘sucked in’. I can absolutely see this being turned into a movie. I know a lot of you are Sherlock Holmes fans (like myself) so perhaps you know of him from his Sherlock Holmes book? Do you know why his name is Ransom?

P.S. Yes, I am fully aware of how creepy this image is, thank you.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She likes to stay up (very) late and read, she’s a bit wild like that.