THE BEST SOFT COVER PHOTO BOOKS | ARTIFACT UPRISING

photo book review via besottedblog ii

How many photos do you have on your computer or phone? What’s that? Too many to count? For me it was so many that I couldn’t even take another photo with my Iphone without deleting, the problem for me is I don’t want to delete any photos of my girl, not even the blurry ones so there’s that. I am going to be completely honest here, I tried several photo book companies and found something wrong with them all (I guess I’m the Goldilocks of photo book printing). The first time I tried Artifact Uprising I was not happy (insert a collective gasp from the blogosphere). I ordered the 8.5″ x 8.5″ book, the photos I used were from a professional photographer, I chose a layout with nice amounts of white space and I thought I was golden–I wasn’t.  The pros on that first run were that the process was pretty easy, the order came super fast and the packaging and presentation were so tight. When I pulled out my album and flipped through it, my heart sank, the paper seemed thin (I could see through to the other pages), the printing had a sheen to it and it felt like my colors had shifted, I was disappointed, Artifact Uprising had rave reviews from many individuals that I admire and consider to have good taste, I was flummoxed, could the impeccable branding be what people were excited about that they didn’t care about the end product? Maybe it was my choice of layout? Whatever it was, it wasn’t working. I asked around everyone loved them. Maybe it was just me…

A few months later I received an email from Artifact Uprising about their new app that would allow me to design my photo book on my phone (that’s crazy talk!), since my time is limited and my camera roll perpetually full I decided to give it another try but this time I chose the popular 5.5″ x 5.5″ size. Artifact Uprising did not disappoint this time, I LOVE my little 5.5″ x 5.5″ book. The print quality was excellent my colors stayed true, the paper stock seemed thicker, it was a winner! Printing a photo book from your phone could not have been easier and the end product is surprisingly elegant for the effort + price. I am planning to order a slew more ala Jennie Prince! I wanted to show a close-up of the cover so you could see the slight textured detail, it’s a nice touch. The logo on the back is very subtle (another huge plus in my book all the other photo books I ordered had ginormous logos). My book has many double-sided pages and the printing is clear on every page without show through. The best part beside the ease of creating the book is the price, under $20! Another perfect idea for holiday!I don’t know what to chalk up the bad first copy I got to, but the 5.5″ x 5.5″ has more than made up for it, for this Goldilocks, I finally got it ‘just right’.

photobook review iii besotted blog

Let us know if you have any questions, we will go into home printers tomorrow perfect for both photo printing and perhaps some of your newly acquired lettering skills?

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. She lives in sunny Seattle with her handsome husband, wonderful baby girl and two pups. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

Welcome to Print Week // Printing Gift Cards

printing resources via besotted blog

Welcome to print week! As promised, we are going to give you some ideas on how to get those photos (or lettering, now that you know how to digitize), off of your computer and into your hands. We’ll try to keep it easy and approachable, and we hope you’ll chime in if you have any questions. Keep an eye out for some diy gift ideas along the way, since the holidays are now approaching at lightning speed!

I always like to have a few small gift cards on hand, in case a gift-worthy occasion pops up unexpectedly, or simply to save me from spending way too much time picking out cards, since I have to look at every single card in a shop before choosing one. In fact, I bet most people would like to have a few gift cards handy, so why not consider turning your favorite Instagram photos into gift cards then package a few up to give as gifts themselves? That photo of your sweet pup, adorable kiddo, or the nature scene that made you pull the car over, is much more personal than a card of someone else’s design, and there’s likely a story behind it so it’s already more interesting.

Instagram photos to gift tags via besotted blog photo by michelle p

These gift cards were ordered through the Print Studio app by Social Print Studio. It’s well-integrated with Instagram and a piece of cake to use. Just download the app, select a product (gift cards are called tiny cards), choose the photos you’d like to print (and how many of each), then place your order. That’s it! My cards arrived in just over a week, but they can take a bit longer than that so make sure to plan ahead if you’d like to use them for holiday.

Tiny cards via besotted blog

As for quality, the card stock is much sturdier than I expected, the kraft envelopes were a pleasant surprise, and the blacks printed beautifully. My lighter photos with pale backgrounds arrived with some grain, but I don’t mind it for such petite cards. Tristan likes that there’s only a small heart logo on the back of the cards instead of tons of text and clutter.

Including tax, the cards ring in at just under $1.00 each. Not bad for a custom printed product on decent card stock. So take a peek at your Instagram stream, could a few of those photos dress up your next thoughtful gift? If you end up printing some let us know, we’d love to see!

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, designer and co-professor for Souvenir Foto School. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.

VICINITY STUDIO | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

All Hallow’s Eve:: Cozy Edition

hallows eve cozy edition

There are two very talented women I know that do Halloween like no other, that would be Ms. Stirling and Mrs. Limestone. Me on the other hand, well I have pretty much ignored the great Hallow’s Eve for a couple decades now.  I don’t do scary well, except for a certain zombie show that I am inexplicably addicted to. This year we are doing Halloween lite because there is nothing cuter than a baby in a bear costume; my little with her chocolate ringlets and growl (yes, a growl!) has just about given me a toothache from the sweetness. I know there are tons of ideas for a spooky evening, but Michelle and I decided to find some Hallow’s Eve inspiration for those that prefer cozy to scary.

You will need a mask to enjoy our little soiree, we think this Perfecting Mask is  a bit indulgent but so is the evening, no? Since we are going there, we might as well bring Gwyneth into the mix, her Goop Pumpkin soup recipe looks divine (note, pumpkin is amazing for you, high in vitamin C, fiber, low cal. For us urban dwellers a fireplace is not the norm, this Hearth candle might make up for the absence of one. It wouldn’t be Halloween without some treats, the Fika NYC chocolate skulls look pretty delish. For those that aren’t indulging in zombie shows (I don’t blame you, I am terrified the entire time I watch it), It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is more my usual speed. What about you? Big plans? Dressing up? I’m not this year but I think next year we’ll make it a family affair. I’m currently trying to stay away from the giant jack-o-lantern filled with bad (but oh, so good) candy that is downstairs calling my name…

GOOD GLOSS

 

laura mercier mini glace reviewLately, I have been reaching for a tinted gloss instead of lipstick. A quick swipe as I walk out the door, (no mirror required) and call it done. This Laura Mercier Mini Lip Glacé set has been my go-to for the last few months. The colors are essentially bumped up neutrals, which works nicely for my fair skin tone, but I bet they would look great on darker complexions as well. I have used every single one (except the champagne color on the far right if you click over, which wasn’t in my set).

laura mercier mini glace review photo by michelle pFor the scent-averse, you should know that it does smell sweet, a bit like cake batter. I like the scent, then again, I would wear actual cake batter on my lips every day if I could.

The size of these mini tubes is perfect for tossing into a small handbag or clutch. My little handbag is showing signs of stress from continually being stuffed into a much larger laptop-sized tote, so I’ve been dreaming of replacing it with this classic and cute dotted clutch, or if I’m really dreaming (sigh)  – this gorgeous little number. Come to think of it, I could use a new tote for my laptop too. It’s so hard to find a handsome tote that fits a 15″ MacBook  … have you seen anything good out there?

//UPDATE// Chelsey’s recommendation for the Everlane Tote is too perfect not to pass on. It’s $40, fits a 15″ MacBook, and it has a zipper closure. Thank you Chelsey!

2nd  photo by michelle p.

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, designer and co-professor for Souvenir Foto School. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.

VICINITY STUDIO | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

The Mega List of How-to Digitize Your Lettering Tutorials

 

how to digitize your hand lettering via besotted blog

This seems to be the most requested tutorial here, I understand the desire especially if you have been dipping your toes in the hand lettering pool and now want to be able to showcase your work to the world! I hope I have rounded up enough tutorials to thoroughly get you through this process. Some of these tutorials will be step-by-step, others videos, of course some may be better than others but they all have great information to glean and I hope you find this post to be a useful future resource. If you have any questions please let us know!

//FREE DIGITIZING LETTERING TUTORIALS//

Hand lettering from pencil sketch to digital graphic

Making your lettering into a vector graphic

 Making your lettering available for web*

A beginner’s guide to spiffing up your hand lettering

Using the calligraphic brush to create decorative type

Hand lettering in Illustrator (this is great for learning about the Wacom tablet settings)

How to digitize brush or hand lettering

How to digitize your calligraphy

*Note her tutorial reads to save as a ‘gif’, but I always save as either a .png or .jpeg for web unless the graphic is animated then I use the .gif file format

//PAID DIGITIZING LETTERING CLASSES/TUTORIALS//

Digitizing your calligraphy with Molly Suber Thorpe

Introduction to the Wacom tablet

How to turn your handlettering into vectors

Digitizing hand lettering: creating organic and precise vectors

Lettering II by Mary Kate McDevitt

//RESOURCES/TOOLS//

These are some of the tools that you will need or read about in the tutorials that will help make your digitizing life a whole lot easier.

Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements

Adobe Illustrator

Wacom tablet (there’s entry level versions that are affordable)

Scanner

Lettering Supplies

P.S. That awesome font ‘lettering’ is in is available here

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. She lives in sunny Seattle with her handsome husband, wonderful baby girl and two pups. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

Blog by Hello Monday Creative