DIY Industrial Shelf

AROUND HERE JUNE 21Michelle and I are enjoying our summer (and I hope you are too). I suppose if you are on the other side of the globe than keeping cozy with your winter (hard to envision winter when it’s 90 + out). We are doing a ‘best of besotted’ this week. These are the posts that you found the most interesting or shared with others (we thank you). Hopefully some of these posts will be new to you and just as exciting as it was for others. Enjoy!

I had been seeing these pipe shelves crop up all over the internet and really wanted to try my hand at making one; I had a couple of obstacles 1) I have a hard time following directions 2) I don’t own any real power tools (a drill + mini sander but those don’t really count now, do they?) My husband is not handy but he sure is handsome so there’s that. So here is my “Cliff” notes version of how this came about. Last summer I decided to give it a try. At Home Depot I eyed the plumbing pipes longingly (as one does) when a salesperson asked if he could help me, I told him that I wanted to make a pipe shelf but they didn’t have pipes in the sizes I needed and I didn’t have tools, (insert crazy look here) I showed him some on-line images, and he said no problem they could cut the pipes to any size I needed for a nominal fee. I went home and started figuring out my exact dimensions needed. This is important since a lot of the DIY instructions on-line are for what worked for that individual, if you are going to make this, make it so it works for you. I had a very long narrow closet where I wanted this to go, so I knew my boards/shelves needed to have a narrow profile (these were cut for free to size at Home Depot, I think Lowes does free cuts as well). I used the standard 2′ x 4’s. I chose to make my bottom shelf higher so I could fit my filing boxes in neatly, which were tall and narrow. I also added metal casters so I could easily roll the shelf out of the slim closet and could see everything. It was smooth sailing from there–sanding, stain + polyurethane for the aesthetics, for functionality, I used Gorilla glue and screws to get all the pipe flanges in place and that was it. It was a weekend project because of the staining and wood glue which needed to dry but it comes together so fast and it did not look like a DIY project, in fact I sold it for a pretty penny when I moved and that was out in the middle of nowhere (the photo above was from my Craigslist listing), just imagine if I lived in the city?! I am now wanting to make a whole studio space in our tiny city loft and this image has my wheels spinning.

If you need more detailed instructions for this project I have collected some here:

Industrial shelf (they set their shelves on top of the pipes instead of screwing them directly into the shelves like I did).

Here’s the same concept for a coffee table that I think looks equally as good and would probably be the easiest of all the pipe projects.

Be still my beating heart, the already lovely Roost just got even lovelier (hard to believe but it’s true!) My jaw is still on the floor…

I get a lot of emails each day, but one of my very favorites is the word of the day from Merriam Webster, it not only gives you the word + definition but also the pronunciation and in context examples! It makes me feel like I accomplished at least one great thing each day.

I haven’t been up for doing much lately, but I did download the Graveminder by Melissa Marr (it was on sale!). I am not a big fiction reader but when I do read it I always wonder why I don’t read it more often. I am not that deep into the book, but I’m already impressed with Ms. Marr’s imagination, how did she come up with such things? From the reviews this isn’t even her most creative book, my curiosity has been peaked.

On a whim the other night my husband and I watched Extreme Couponing, my husband is appalled by the stock piling and I agree there’s not a lot I could/would eat (100 packs of hot dogs anyone?) but gosh darn am I impressed by how much these couponers save. It has me motivated to look into it a little further, I found this site that gives you a crash course. I would love to have a stock pile of basics like laundry detergent, wouldn’t you?

The Visual Supply Company aka VSCO has just updated their VSCAM app and I love it even more (if that’s possible). I always recommend it as the app to get if you are trying to recreate that film look with your cameraphone. The app is free and has plenty of filter choices, scroll down here to see some awe inspiring sample images.

Couldn’t get enough of my blogging unsolicited blogging advice? Well here’s some more links to inspire more great content from Alt Summit!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. 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.

Good to know:: Chalk Pencil

Chalk Pencil Besotted Blog

Michelle and I are enjoying our summer (and I hope you are too). I suppose if you are on the other side of the globe than keeping cozy with your winter (hard to envision winter when it’s 90 + out). We are doing a ‘best of besotted’ this week. These are the posts that you found the most interesting or shared with others (we thank you). Hopefully some of these posts will be new to you and just as exciting as it was for others. Enjoy!

I re-designed this blog with the intention of it becoming a creative resource destination, I had this grand idea that I would create a series called ‘Good to know’. My idea was that I would present information and/or products to you that would be equal parts ‘aha!’ and ‘I am so happy to know that’. Being that I have been on this earth much longer than most of the visitors here I have aggregated quite a storehouse of info in my little brain. Most of the time I think, ‘this is lame everyone knows about this already, don’t they?’ After being told time and time again from people that they were so excited by the tid bits I shared in my personal life, I thought what the heck? If even one or two of you are excited than I am pleased, but secretly I am hoping that more of you are all like ‘whoa, no way’. To that I would counter–‘way’. I wasn’t planning on sharing my first ‘Good to know’ on my Lettering Love post, but it fit and I like order, you? There’s a current chalk typography frenzy that has blown through the blogosphere like polyester on fire, I don’t know about you, but traditional chalk and myself are not compatible. I have tried and tried, I have even followed a Pinterest suggestion of taking a traditional chalk stick and using a large pencil sharpener to create a point. I know, this sounds like genius, but it’s stupid, don’t try it, it’s messy and still looks like you wrote out your typographical masterpiece in chalk (but bad chalk). Lately, I have been teaching myself to draw (I will go more into that soon) and was buying some pencils with soft lead when I spied the white charcoal pencils or chalk pencils; yes, the angels indeed started singing and beams of bright light shone (shined?) down from the heavens above. Chalk pencils are exactly what I needed (and perhaps you too?) to create beautiful and legible chalk art. I love that I can get extra thin strokes, yet I can still get a nice thick stroke as well. This is brilliant folks! The best part is that they are very inexpensive and there doesn’t seem to be a difference between brands. I bought both The General’s Charcoal White and Giocanda’s White Chalk (you can can find them in singles as well) and felt that there wasn’t much quality differential (within the parameters I am using them for). So, if you were planning on using chalkboard art for your next event or even home decor, I hope I saved you from pulling out all your hair or committing hari-kiri--you are welcome.

P.S. The background is a faux chalkboard d.i.y. by Jenny of Hank & Hunt (a fave).

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. 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.

Modern Calligraphy Tips + Nibs

Nib Identification System

Nib Faves Besotted Blog

Michelle and I are enjoying our summer (and I hope you are too).  I suppose if you are on the other side of the globe than keeping cozy with your winter (hard to envision winter when it’s 90 + out). We are doing a ‘best of besotted’ this week. These are the posts that you found the most interesting or shared with others (we thank you). Hopefully some of these posts will be new to you and just as exciting as it was for others. Enjoy!

I am a bit of a Type A personality. I once remarked that I was not a perfectionist because I could never get anything perfect which made the room of girls that heard my sentiment erupt in laughter; I guess I didn’t understand the meaning of the word and they all knew me too well. I always learn the hard way.  One of the things I have been struggling with in my lettering practice is being able to identify a nib once it is in its holder. Even though I feel like I thoroughly clean my nibs after each use there’s always ink that hides the nib identification and the nib holder hides the other part. I don’t know about you, but I have the hardest time removing my nibs from the holder. I have even tried the suggested jewelery pliers and only succeeded in breaking my nib in the holder thus rendering it useless and almost losing an eye.  In these novice stages of my lettering adventure it’s important to me to know which nibs I am enjoying so I can reference back to them for the future, if I can’t read what they are (and trust me it is hard enough without ink on them and being hidden in the holder) then I am working blindly. I decided to start from ground zero and replace nibs + holders and use a label (a sheet of label paper cut to size). I am so happy with this system! Eventually I plan to create a chart so I can reference the different effects I can achieve with each nib. This may seem like a lot of extra work that you aren’t up for and you may wonder why I have so many different nibs. In this nascent stage I want to find the nibs that work best with how I create my letterforms. I am very heavy handed and a flexible, ‘bouncy’ nib creates a completely different look than a stiffer nib for me.  I haven’t been doing this very long, but I feel like I have already outgrown some of my earlier nib favorites in favor of nibs that respond to my heavy-handedness.  My main goal for the identification system is to be able to have a quick reference so I can re-create a look.  I also want to reiterate that what I am doing is not traditional calligraphy (although I admire that very much), although I do reference traditional calligraphy techniques like using guidelines and referencing calligraphy specimens. My goal is create my own hand(s) and thus the need/desire to experiment with multiple tools (nibs).

Since I get this email about 20 times a day I thought I would make sure I included my current favorite nibs, these most likely will change in the coming months but these are the ones I have been gravitating towards and why:

Hiro Leonardt No. 41-I would not suggest this for a beginner, it is very flexible and delicate. This is my favorite nib to create loopy girly letters, it makes loop forms like a champ.

Blue Pumpkin- This seems to be a favorite of  modern lettering artists/calligraphers (for good reason) such as Meredith Bullock of Hazel Wonderland. Both Poppy Pedals and Holly Hollon love it for cotton envelopes which have a lot of pulp. It is similar to the the above nib, a little stiffer. Again, this may not be the best nib to try if you are just starting out. I feel like I can control this nib well when I want to create very thin hairline strokes and a balanced down stroke. Sample lettering.

Gillot 1068A-I honestly don’t remember why I bought this, a mistake? Perhaps. It has turned out to be a happy accident. It’s very stiff and I would recommend for an advanced beginner. It works best on smooth surfaces so if you have any texture it will catch. You can get very nice angular/sharp letter-forms with this nib. Sample lettering.

Zebra G-I can’t recommend this nib enough. If you are starting out buy this nib, please.  It’s a little more flexible than the Nikko G (these two are very similar). It’s a nice stiff + smooth nib. When you are starting out with your lettering/calligraphy practice you have so many new things to worry about (angle, pressure, inking, substrates, etc.) just make it easy on yourself and get a nib that won’t be too wonky in your newbie hands and that won’t get caught on your paper and cause messy disasters. You can create nice fine hairlines (which seems to be what calligraphers around the globe covet). As long as I am lettering this nib will be in my lettering rotation.

Brause Rose-I have mentioned this nib before, I LOVE it! This nib is very flexible and the nib I go to when I want to re-create an almost brush like stroke, the upside is that it can also create very thin hairlines. Again, not a beginner nib (stick with stiff nibs), but it is a nib that you may want to add to your nib arsenal if you love the look of brush lettering but can’t get the hang of using a paint brush to letter. Sample lettering.

Nikko G-This nib is so similar to the Zebra G and the reason I mention them both is in the off chance you can’t find one or the other you have options. Stiffer than the Zebra G, again a great nib for beginners. I really love Japanese nibs they are precision cut, the Nikko G by hand! So smooth–like butter.  This is another nib that is in regular rotation. Advanced letterers will love this nib as well.

What I have learned in this lettering quest is that anyone can learn calligraphy, it’s about practice + practice (and then more practice), dedication and a passion for the art. I absolutely want to learn traditional calligraphy in the near future, but I have been so happy with where this project has taken me both personally and (recently) professionally. Let me know if you have specific questions I am interviewing an amazingly talented calligrapher for an upcoming feature and would be happy to pose some of your questions to her.

P.S. I have linked to the nibs in this feature (companies I trust like Amazon + Dick Blick), but you can always reference The Directory and look under Calligraphy Supplies for vendors I recommend. If you have a reputable Calligraphy supply company overseas that you like please let me know and I will add.  I want everyone to be able to find calligraphy supplies at a great price without worrying about outrageous shipping fees or long delivery times.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. 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.

Nude Eyeliner? Heck Yes! | Best of Besotted

smashbox nude kohl eyeliner besotted blog

Michelle and I are enjoying our summer (and I hope you are too).  I suppose if you are on the other side of the globe than keeping cozy with your winter (hard to envision winter when it’s 90 + out). We are doing a ‘best of besotted’ this week. These are the posts that you found the most interesting or shared with others (we thank you). Hopefully some of these posts will be new to you and just as exciting as it was for others. Enjoy!

I usually don’t write about beauty on Monday’s but I felt this deserved to be shouted from the mountain tops a.s.a.p. My friend Mary used to be a make-up artist many years ago and always has the best tips, always. I even begged her to do a series of ‘before & after’s’ here so we can see her in action, but alas she declined. This latest tip was too good not to swipe from her arsenal of goodies. Let me segue, I recently was photographed by a majorly talented and lovely photographer, more on that soon. I wanted Mary to do my make-up because she excels at that flawlessly natural look I love, but again she declined because I am super picky and she knew how important this shoot was to me and that I wanted to look like myself (but a heck of a lot better). [Read more…]

Nars Cosmetics | Fonts in the Wild

Nars Cosmetics font | Fonts in the wild via besotted blog

It was a no brainer that on a beauty week the font I was going to choose to highlight would be the one used on the Nars packaging. Helvetica is a classic (they even made a documentary on it). It is one of my all time favorite fonts and I used it in various weights for the branding of my former PR company.  If I were to pull together a new logo for my brand consulting I would most likely use it again. Elegant, modern, classic, it just resonates with my minimalist vibe. Although the Nars collection launched in 1994 the packaging still feels fresh and elegant in its simplicity. This is such an excellent example of ‘less is more’. When you are designing, cut the fat, see what you can pull out, watch for things that may date your brand. I have made many a design mistake in my career, fallen into the trap of designing to please an audience instead of sticking with what I revere and I can tell you it always backfires. Find some fonts that exemplify your aesthetic I have my list, even though I will throw in a handful of hand lettered fonts for interest sometimes in things that are more ephemeral like an email blast for a client or a blog post, I won’t use a hand writing font for something like a logo (actual lettering is a different story) I don’t stray too far from my base.

How about you, are there fonts that you just adore? Let us know, we love to hear from you and I do have to say I was pleasantly surprised by last weeks font discovery as that is a font I would have never even looked at twice and now I am trying to find ways to incorporate it into projects!

//RESOURCES//

Font family

Fave Nars Cosmetics: Blush, lipgloss, illuminator, bronzer, body glow

Nars bio-This man is amazing, not only is he the founder/creative director of his namesake company, he’s also the in-house photographer and copywriter!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. 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