Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls on-line modern calligraphy workshop

maybelle by elizabeth messina copy

It is with great fanfare, excitement & delight that we announce that the incredible Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls, the doyenne of modern calligraphy herself will finally be teaching an online calligraphy workshop!  Queue the angels singing, I am so excited that I am about to pop out of my desk chair (very hard to do in my current injured state). I make it no secret that I adore Maybelle, she is talented, kind, generous and exactly how you’d imagine her to be–wonderful. We met when Maybelle consulted* with me when she came out of ‘retirement’ three years after having her twins (trust me it will probably take me twice as long to get back to ‘normal). I have watched Maybelle soar and my heart explodes with joy whenever I get to witness her hit another pinnacle of success, she has earned it. Maybelle teamed up with San Francisco based online workshop purveyors Creative Bug to film a month long series of her consistently sold out workshop. I have never been able to attend one of Maybelle’s live workshops so the opportunity to take her course at my own pace, whenever time permits is ideal. Maybelle has also put together some (insert whistle) fine calligraphy kits for you so you don’t have to scour the interwebs or city to get your supplies to get started. She created three options the luxe (of course I am going to have to have this one!), mid-level (but still luxe to me!) and dabbler/beginner kit (for those who aren’t sure if they will love lettering, you will so just get the luxe!)

For those unfamiliar with Creative Bug it is an online resource for creative craft classes taught by many familiar and popular artists (I just took the Lisa Congdon series). It is subscription based, but it is one click cancellation if you feel like it isn’t for you or you have powered through all their classes in a month (a pretty hefty feat to accomplish). Maybelle’s workshop launches today and will continue for the month, I am anxious to get started, if you take it let me know what you think!  You can sign-up here!

P.S. Creative Bug has a promo that you can sign-up for 14 days free and cancel anytime, so you could technically watch half the workshop for nada! Now you have nothing to lose!

*For those that have no idea what I do in my ‘real’ life, (I have mentioned it in passing), I build brands, specifically I work with luxury brands to maintain continuity, advise on brand development + new product offerings and of course packaging.  I have been doing this for longer than most of you reading have been on earth. I am pretty darn good at it now.

photo by elizabeth messina

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.


brush lettering font via besotted

I must own as many fonts as I own BB & CC Creams, I have quite the collection!  Even though I am deep into my 365 lettering project (I actually made it through an entire month!), I can still get giddy over a new font offering especially if it has a realistic hand lettered look to it! I loved the one above and saw it was on sale for 50% off! Which is perfect because there are so many new fonts that I think are worth taking a look at right now to add to your collection.

Michelle and I liked the new Sudtipos offering  Distillery, it’s a nice monoline casual script, good for display. I also noticed there was some new really well priced modern calligraphy scripts that might be a good alternative to some of the more expensive similar versions. Salt & Spices has the same easy going vibe of Jacques & Gilles.  If you are looking for something a little more sophisticated don’t forget about Feast, I just LOVE it and I think it would be great if you wanted to be able to get inspired for your own lettering projects. Speaking of sophisticated, Copperlove is stunning, perfect for a wedding project and really nicely priced for what a beauty it is!

If you ever end up using any of the fonts we suggest in a project let us know, we would love to take a peek!

P.S. It’s not too late to jump on board and start your own 365 lettering project with me, we’d love to have more people on board (makes me accountable!) Lisa Mavian of Post Calligraphy has been joining in and it’s so inspiring to see her beautiful, flowy hand each day. Sabine Pick (a reader fave) is on board as well, both are worth a look + follow!



Adjusting opacity in Photoshop via Besotted i

As we ramp up for our Foto Rx launch we know that it would behoove us to provide some tutorials for those not as well versed in Photoshop. All of our actions are non-destructive and completely adjustable via an opacity adjustment in the layers palette, that may sound like gibberish right this second but trust me it’s much easier than it sounds! I do plan on creating some screencasts (I’m pretty terrible at them), but until launch I thought I would provide some visual step-by-steps.

My photo above was looking like it needed to get some light stat, so…

  • I ran our ‘lots of light’ action.
  • This created a new layer which is evidenced by the blue highlight in the layers palette.
  • On the images above I circled where you can find the opacity slider in the layers palette.
  • Slide the slider to the left or right to minimize or maximize the effect.
  • In my example the highlighted layer was set to 100% opacity (for Foto Rx purposes that would be considered full strength)
  • I decreased the opacity/strength (by moving the slider to the left) until it was at 65% (see photo sample).
  • You can keep editing after this or wrap it up!
  • Congrats! You now know how to- 1) identify an ‘active’ layer 2) Find the opacity slider 3) adjust the opacity slider! You are on your way to Photoshop ninja status!

Feel free to ask questions in the comments, let us know if this made sense to you. We know the screencasts may be a lot easier to follow so bear with us as I try to overcome my learning curve.  If you would like to be notified of the launch for our Foto Rx actions you can sign-up here!

Tip: Michelle read that putting the image all together in a long vertical graphic is what is preferred by Pinterest users for pinning, so there you have it!

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.

Foto Rx Prescription Pad

Feeling yellow sample via besotted blog

If you are wondering why we have gone m.i.a. on you it’s because we are deep, deep in the midst of launching our Foto Rx actions (we do plan to go into detail in the future about launching a product). We have been writing the pdf/”prescription pad”, so that all it’s future owners will be able to have an easy visual reference. When I first started buying Photoshop actions (oh, so long ago) no one and I mean no one was providing instructions, you just bought them and then ‘see ya’.  Now action purveyors are a bit more sensitive to the cause and we wanted to make sure that we too made the journey into photo goodness as seamless as possible for our clients.  Another thing that most actions don’t usually consider is the fact that you may just have had a bum photo shoot day and we understand that, it’s real life and we know you are better than that, so we are here for you!  I wanted to give you a sneak peek here behind the scenes, we currently aren’t sure if anything will stay this way, but for now this is what we have, we reference the ‘symptoms’  (why is the photo in a bad way?) and then provide our expert ‘prescription’. These photos have not been altered in any other way than what is noted to ensure if you have a similar photo you will have similar results. We are hoping that we will have this wrapped up and ready to launch for you in the next week or so, ambitious indeed with a toddler that has currently decided to never nap ever again, but with Michelle by my side helping me hold my eyelids open and being both the voice of reason and wit (yes, she is responsible for 99.9% of the witty + smart  repertoire going on in our pdf,, and I am responsible for all the grammatical errors), we shall make this happen.

To continue our research we asked you to send in your photos that you thought could use some Foto Rx, we have some in and we will be previewing the results this week so you can get a better idea of how the actions may work on photos that aren’t ours. We will be opening up an email list for launch (hopefully, fingers crossed), but let me get some shut eye first…

If you have any questions for us now please do ask away!


Foto Rx-Coming soon!

Photoshop CC 2014-We are using the photography bundle it’s a really good deal and I always enjoy a good Photoshop upgrade!

Google Docs pdf editor-This is a great free tool for multiple individuals to collaborate on a document for free! It has a lot of formatting options and is fairly easy to use. There are options that I would like to have available that aren’t (like text tracking and being able to access my own fonts), so although we are using this now we may change in the near future.


mlk dahl quote i On this MLK day I thought I would letter a favorite quote by a favorite author that felt apropos. If you are having trouble reading my hand, here is the quote:

‘Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world’.

I do believe it’s from Matilda by Roald Dahl but nonetheless it is attributed to the master wordsmith himself. I don’t think my lettering is good enough yet to be lettering full quotes, but I felt inspired to give this a go. I find it hard to find a consistent hand, I can do one word but multiple words are a bit challenging for me. I know there are a plethora of beginning modern calligraphy workshops out there right now and the market may seem saturated for those putting them on, but if there are a few savvy calligraphers reading this here blog, the only logical step now is to start offering the next level of classes. I know I would be interested in that next step, forming sentences and what not, you?  Hopefully we will start to see more advanced calligraphy workshops becoming available in the near future. In the interim I will continue lettering my one word a day on Instagram, #365lettering, if you care to join me please do! The more the merrier!

Blog by Hello Monday Creative