Curator Garance Dore Besotted

Garance Dore is an internet success story/super star. Her name may be familiar to you as the very chic fashion illustrator (and photographer, writer and blogger). I was happily surprised when I saw that she was curating on Pinterest, it’s always a delight to spot an unexpected luminary there.  As you’d expect, Garance has some very forward boards, she is ‘in the know’ after all.  My favorite board though was her ‘Forever Cool’ a collection of photos of timeless beauties from various decades (from Grace Kelly to a young Kate Moss). I think you might also like to visit her Mes Classiques, Studio and La Parisienne.

I am working on my 2014 new year’s goals as I’m not great with resolutions.  As you can imagine I am more motivated than ever, my brain has been on over drive of what I need to accomplish this year and how I am going to go about doing it.  Do you have big plans as well?  I hope that I can make this place an even better resource for you to accomplish some of those goals, I have been working hard behind the scenes to try to make this happen.  I would love to hear any of your goals, I understand that if you let people know your goals that you are more apt to accomplish them.  Here’s to taking care of business!

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 sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they just welcomed to the world a baby girl. 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. Happy New Year!  I am wishing you a ton of happiness, health and prosperity!


retro 3 screen tv Life magazine

I mentioned I haven’t been able to do anything lately for any length of time. A movie?  No way.  A shower?  Sometimes.  I have been watching some snippets of TV in the wee hours of the night and earliest morning hours and I thought I would share with you some of the shows I have really enjoyed.  My husband and I enjoy the Food Network very much, you?  Any food related show reels us in. I had mentioned to my friend Michelle a while back about a new (to me) show called Cut Throat Kitchen and she said that her and her husband were enjoying a show called Master Chef, we decided to check it out, we got hooked.  Better than Master Chef though was Master Chef Junior, if you are interested in the culinary arts this show should blow your mind, it’s all under 13 years of age chefs, some as young as seven and if you aren’t duly impressed, I am not sure what will impress you.  We watched these shows on On Demand, but I am sure you can look on line to see where you can see the shows.

My mom has been wanting me to watch Shark Tank for ages, I finally acquiesced and was so glad I did. This show has made me re-evaluate my entire business and how I go about running it–game changer.  I thought I knew how to run a business, but there are so many unanswered questions and missing pieces in my company that I need to address and yes, this epiphany was from a TV show, go figure?  It has become my resolution to tighten up my ship for 2014.  Shark Tank even has an audiobook that you can download for free right now! My mother-in-law is a television addict and we usually defer to her to introduce us to new shows, she turned us on to Luther a British detective show that we binged on.  It says a lot that my husband would watch it as he hates British television, so there’s that.  It’s very heavy and dark, so if you have a sensitive disposition, skip the show.

Portlandia, okay it’s not always funny, but it’s the majority folks.  Since you are reading this blog, I am going to suppose you know a little about blog culture and I feel like they nail the bloggy world so well.  You’d have to watch to see what the heck I am talking about even the location of the show is blog centric to me (the blog world has definitely made Portland seem like utopia).

The last show rec is The Walking Dead, yes it’s zombies but gosh is it seat of your pants suspenseful.  Everything about this show is impressive to me, the writing, the acting, the make-up, etc. It’s just a really great show.  I wouldn’t recommend watching by yourself in a dark house, but if you are snuggled up close to your loved one(s) than it’s a great show to share. I was actually sad when they broke for hiatus, I am still missing the show.

Have you seen any of these shows?  Do you agree or disagree with me? Let me know if you have any recommendations, as you can see I am pretty varied in my tastes so I am open to hearing your thoughts and suggestions!

photo via Life magazine

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 sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they just welcomed to the world a baby girl. 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.


I have a lot of unrealistic expectations, one of them was that I was going to be photographing my baby like crazy with my “real” camera. Well, my camera has sat in the camera bag gathering dust as I am lucky if I have enough energy to take a shower these days.  My husband keeps asking me when I was going to post about her, but I have to be honest I wanted to keep her all to myself for a little bit, is that weird?  Probably.  I know I promised to reveal her name and I am darn it!  I have been dragging my feet on this because I am still not sure if this is her name, although my husband insists it is.  At the 11th hour on the day of check-out from the hospital we had it narrowed down to two names (and I am still wondering if the other name wasn’t ‘better’) but I have a notoriously hard time making decisions.  I so envy those supreme beings that can just make a decision without that tinge of ‘buyers remorse’ that I seem to get no matter what decision I make, it’s one of my worse foibles.  We decided on Emerson Leighton Wren, “Elle” as a nickname.  We liked that Emerson had potential for many nicknames and didn’t really rhyme with anything that could be teased on the school yard (remember my husband not liking Colette because he thought kids would tease ‘toilet’?) Some of the nickname possibilities-Emmy, Emry, Emery, Emme, and Elle (her initials E.L.)  I liked Leighton after hearing it on a tennis player and it was a contender for first name, I wanted her to have a good middle name in case she didn’t like her first name and she could change it.  Did you know there are a ton of celebrities that use their middle names instead of their first?  Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Bruce Willis, here’s a fun list.   Wren, I really liked as a first name contender as well, but wasn’t sure if it was strong enough, my dad asked me what I was thinking ‘Wrench’?  Hmmm? I still like it so I added it on (against my husband’s wishes, he thought I was being a bit excessive).

Do you know of anyone else that had as hard a time as me deciding on a baby name?  Have any of you changed your name to your middle name?  I only know a couple people that have changed their names, but in each case I think their name change was much more fitting, maybe because they were so happy with it.  I do hope that Elle loves her name, but at least she has options in case she doesn’t.

Thinking of you…

P.S. This is a photo of Elle with my other ‘baby’ Georgie (in a rare moment of sleep).  I was so worried how the pups would react to this interloper but they adore her. Georgie is there for all of Elle’s feedings and my Frenchie is there for all the late night duties, getting up with us for whatever it is we need to do at 3:00 a.m or earlier…



PINTEREST CURATOR ROSE EBERSON BESOTTED BLOGAm I the only one in disbelief that Christmas is next week?  How did that happen, it was just February wasn’t it?  I miss it here I do, thank you for being patient with me while I try to figure out how to be a new mom and also be part of the world at large, it’s not as seamless as I had imagined.  I did get to spend some time on my beloved (and sorely missed) Pinterest to discover Rose Eberson.  Roses’s boards have a moody romanticism to them, there are tons of categories to choose from and her boards are like a blog, there’s a lot of community interaction which I wish I had more of, I love knowing there are other like-minded individuals out there.

I imagine that things will start to quiet down now that the rush of holiday is done for my shop.  I didn’t have all my faculties together (not sleeping for a month will do that) and I made many mistakes (behind the scenes) and had to incur lots of extra fees for expedited shipping, but I was able to ship everything out and breathe a sigh of relief, I did it!  On another note I am going to compile a list of shows I have been able to watch (and enjoy) in all the time I have been spending not sleeping.  I wish I could say I have some movies or documentaries I could recommend but I don’t know when I will ever be able to watch a movie again (when she is 18?)  I will compile my list next week and we can compare notes, perhaps you will have some recommendations to add?  Wishing you all a happy weekend!

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 sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they just welcomed to the world a baby girl. 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.


julie song feature besotted blog

I can’t believe I have been sitting on this interview for so long, granted I hope I have a good excuse and I pinky promise it is so worth the wait.  Today’s featured lettering artist is Julie Song. One of the reasons I reached out to her is because she is doing some spectacular work with her watercolor lettering, it’s just very fresh and original and I just know she is going to become one of your favorites (as she is one of mine).  She does wedding work of course, but some of her recent logo work has me wishing I was as gifted.  Lucky for us she is generously sharing her ‘secrets’ with us. Please feel free to leave questions in the comments and as always it’s so appreciated when you leave a nice note for our interviewee so don’t be shy and let her know how grateful we are! Without further ado…



Where are you located?

Currently in Oakland, California.

How did you get started in lettering?

I think I got into drawing bubble letters as a kid through some artsy relatives, and then somehow that evolved into me trying to turn every school assignment into an art project. I remember having to write a report about the Medieval period, and then buying a gold calligraphy pen so I could write it in a gothic hand on a parchment scroll, kind of like an illuminated manuscript. I’m sure it was horrible, but you gotta start somewhere :)

What are some of your favorite supplies (inks, brushes, nibs, paper)?

I think this is fairly common, but I love Sumi ink for so many uses, and enjoy using round watercolor brushes for brush-y lettering. But I love trying anything and everything to see how it writes, including Chinese brushes! I have a variety of nibs, but I’ve been using the Zebra G the most lately. I generally write on grid paper, especially if I need to write particularly neat or straight.

Can you please discuss any watercolor lettering supplies or techniques?

As I mentioned above, I love round watercolor brushes because they can hold a point well. I actually use some generic Blick brushes, but I keep buying new ones when the tips start losing their points (and I should probably take better care of the ones I have by not leaving them pointing down in the water too long!!). It’s nice to experiment with different sizes depending on what effect you’re going for. In terms of the paint, I tend to mix about a 40/60 ratio of paint to water, but again, this may vary depending on how transparent I want the lettering to look. Or I will use watered down gouache if I want it to be a bit more opaque. On technique – ironically, it seems to take a lot of tries to make something look spontaneous, so I seem to end up using more paper than I’d like!

Can you name some of your inspirations?

I’m of course very inspired by calligraphers like Neither Snow and Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls, who can do no wrong! I’m also fond of signatures of painters like Joan Miro – or even anyone’s signatures for that matter. I love their efficiency and personality. And I know this is cheesy, but I’m always inspired by children’s drawings in all their awkward splendor, and save all of my niece’s and nephew’s art for inspiration. I guess I agree with Picasso, I seriously hope to draw like them someday.

Can you go a little into your process of how you work on a project?

For projects involving hand-lettering, I typically write the wording out as close as possible to scale, and then scan it in at 300 dpi or higher resolution. There is often some cleaning of rough edges in Photoshop or Illustrator (unless of course it’s part of the look!)

Any tips for newbies on how to develop their own style?

Make a lot of different marks and then keep pushing the ones you like best! One fun thing to do is to experiment with everything, from writing tools to surfaces…even writing with things like feathers are fun just to see what marks you can make! A glass of wine is a great tool too …I think loosening up usually helps :)

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

Everyone probably already knows this, but I know Maybelle provides classes all over the world. For book inspiration, I love any and all typography books to see how people are using letter forms, such as Louise Fili’s Elegantissima.

Do you have some favorite projects you would like me to mention?

I’ve started to slowly populate my Society 6 and Etsy shops again with some fun (but maybe not very marketable) products! I also love combining gold foil and letterpress with watercolor; in particular, a recent rustic invitation suite involved the combination of letterpress and embossing with vibrant watercolor and hand-lettering on handmade paper, with other handmade details like stitching and wood paper, dried caspia sprigs, and stitched linen menus. I think this was one of most handmade detail-heavy projects I’ve done, but I think it helped convey the personal effort the couple put into creating a special wedding weekend for their guests. There are some peeks of this on my Instagram feed.

Any advice on what ‘not’ to do?

Yes! Don’t let your desk get so messy that your inkwells sit precariously at the edge of your desk, and then knock them over with one fell swoop, spraying black ink all over your white walls. And don’t put your paint water right next to your drinking water. But in seriousness, I think it’s important not to be afraid of mistakes, because sometimes you’ll love how they turn out.

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

Carving rubber stamps. I used to carry around an X-acto knife at all times as a kid so I was at the ready. Until they confiscated it from me at the airport. So sad.

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 sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they just welcomed to the world a baby girl. 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.

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