alice gabb write more letters via besotted blog

I haven’t made a new years resolution in years, they just never pan out like I had intended, even with the most earnest and motivated of intentions. I’d often last a week or so and come to a crashing halt (and feelings of failure). I don’t know if it’s semantics or not or if resolutions generally tend to be more along the lines of cutting things out then adding them in, but I basically have switched from resolutions to goals and it generally suits me much better.  Last year with a new baby and being a bit shell shocked I didn’t do much planning other than to one day get some sleep again (eventually later in the year I finally did!)  This year I am making up for last and may have gotten a bit goal gluttonous but let’s see how it goes!

So I have made this a little more loose than I otherwise would (I am a bit of a tightly wound creature and thrive on structure), but I am a new mom and I need to be a little more malleable than I have been in the past.  I decided on the following 2015 projects + goals (these are just of the creative kind, business + life will be shared in another post):

365 days of Gratitude-This is a hard one to share because well, I don’t think I will ever be able to share them with you! They would be too personal for both myself and the recipient.  I have been writing a thank you note a day and plan to continue for the remainder of the year. I wanted to do this for tenfold, I love the idea of expressing my gratitude of course but I also wanted to get over my criticalness of my penmanship. Penmanship for me is different from lettering, even with lettering I don’t feel competent enough to letter one sentence, let alone multiple ones that are meant to be heartfelt (and legible). I am hoping an added bonus for this project would be a massive improvement in this area. Btw, to make sure I would be able to follow through and this was a feasible project, I started practicing+ writing at the beginning of December, so far so good. This man did it and it changed his life!

Lettering-I really wanted to bring back my lettering practice.  I think I stopped lettering a few months into my pregnancy and didn’t start again until a few weeks ago.  I am so happy I did! I love to just be able to zone out and work with my hands. I decided to do just that and really take ‘practice’ literally. My 365 project is to pen a word a day (this came about after not being able to choose just one mantra/goal word for 2015, typical). I have been practicing different iterations of the word and then uploading to Instagram. I chose to do it this way so I can be accountable. I am open (and would welcome) any other lettering enthusiasts that would like to join in! We can use the hashtag #365lettering

Photo-Of course I am going to add a photo project here! I have an idea for a series that I have been playing around with. I am not sure how it will be received but I am excited about it.  I have never been great about putting together a series and this feels right. I want to be able to blow some of the images up huge like this exhibit! What? Too ambitious? Actually, I just want to do some printing any size printing since I am often guilty of keeping my photos on my hard drive. Once I have more of the series in order I am sure I will be sharing a peek!

E.-I wanted to do a project that included my daughter. I recently read an article on Rachel Hullin photographer/mom that wrote the book, ‘Flying Henry’. I got wildly inspired and knew that E. would love a book with her featured in it (most babies love babies and also seeing themselves, so I think it would be a hit for her). I have been outlining some ideas for it and hopefully can pull it off before the end of the year. If I am successful I plan to get it made into a custom board book for her since she seems to really enjoy trying to crumple paper pages of books!

I have some other not so pressing creative endeavors like sketching more, but that’s more a life long goal and not limited to just this year. What about you?  I would love to hear your plans + projects for 2015!  I feel if you publicly ‘claim’ them then there’s more of a chance that they will come into fruition, besides it’s great to have your friends cheer you on, so leave them below, I’ll be here for you!

write more letters by alice gabb


naive lettering samples via besotted blog

It is no surprise to anyone that I have a love of lettering, but what may come as a surprise is that I am a die hard fan of naive lettering. I love, love, love the look of an effortless hand, the perfectly imperfect. There’s a very fine line from being wonderfully charming to just plain bad. I can’t quite put my finger on what that slight differentiation is but it is very apparent when I see it. I also noticed a little pattern that evolved, these sort of naive/crude hands were mostly done by illustrators. I am a word person, but I am also a visual person, I suppose that is the draw for me in my fanaticism of lettering, it’s a beautiful marriage of  the two. I love seeing the resurgence of hand lettering and I hope that by showcasing lettering that I love it inspires you to either give it a go, your handwriting may be as good or (bad) as these fine folks or be introduced to more artists that may inspire you. Do any of you like this type of lettering as well? Any favorites I may have left out or I should know about?

Maira Kalman

Oliver Jeffers

Charlotte Farmer

Katt Frank

P.S. I have always liked this font for a simple, charming (legible) naive hand.

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 Samples Besotted Blog

I think I am about to fall out of my seat from excitement that I can finally reveal one of the projects Michelle and I have been furiously working on these past months (you know, when we have been suspiciously m.i.a. from this here blog). I think I should back up a little in case you are a new reader and have no idea that I am a Photoshop ninja (truly), each year for the past four I took on as one of my 365 projects to edit a terrible photo a day for 365 days (I have never finished), it was always super labor intensive but the results always made me feel like I accomplished something, the problem is I could never keep up the pace, it was not conducive to working (or eating and sleeping). I do love a good before and after (see here and here and make sure you click the ‘before’ links!). During this period I did develop some tricks to make the process go faster, I use those same tricks on the photos I take for the blog (Michelle doesn’t really need my tricks, she’s a pretty darn good photographer straight out of camera), but we all have those days where we need to contend with the rogue color cast, or photo that we wished came out better (you just knew you nailed it when you shot it…), our Foto Rx actions should be the perfect prescription for curing any myriad of photo ailments! As you can see in our example above the ‘Original’ we used ‘Magic Pill’  (that’s only one Photoshop action folks!) it saved this photo (and memory) from being tossed into the trash bin.  I could have stopped editing there, but I am prone to tinker (you?) and (full disclosure) I also wanted to show you some more of the goodies in our set. All of the actions are fully adjustable/non-destructive. We have been testing and know they work in CS3, CS5, CC 2014 (my new obsession) and most work in CS4 but we need to do a tweak on a couple. We are *this close* to launching the first (of many) Foto Rx Photoshop action sets, it has been a long time coming and to finally be this close to release date is just making me giddy!  We hope you don’t mind us showing more samples in the coming weeks and I am so anxious to see what you can do with them. We want to make this a collaborative project and want to hear from you what types of actions you’d like to see in the future. Here’s to the ‘cure for the common capture’, may all your photos look aces and all your memories be saved!

For those that want a quick walk-thru on what I did and why:

Magic Pill-This action will usually fix a photo immediately, you just need to adjust to suit your taste, this I ran at 100%

Felling Yellow?-This action adjusts a too yellow photo. I wanted to remove the yellow color cast from this image, as you can see I only have it at 10% opacity, it was a subtle color shift but I really liked the tweak.

Darken on the spot-This action allows you to ‘paint’ dark on select areas of your image. On this particular image I could see that I had some highlights on the fur (in the leg and back) that were looking a little blown out (thus not showing detail) I painted on the too light spots and brought back detail.

20/20 on the spot-This has been a favorite amongst our testers! It allows you to sharpen a specific area/detail of an image, this is great for eyes. I use it a ton when we shoot products. I chose to sharpen specific areas of the fur and water bubbles rather than doing a global sharpen because there were areas that I wanted to remain a little softened by the water.

Have any questions? Let us know!

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.

Happy New Year!

happy by min choi for citizens of optimism via besottedHappy New Year friends!  Just popping in while my daughter is happily mushing banana slices into her curls. I know, you can’t take how glamorous my life is, right? I have so much to share with you, I am so excited to go over some of my 365 projects and of course hear about yours!  I am especially excited to share a project that Michelle and I have been working on, it’s finally here (well, almost) I will try to get that update up when E. starts smushing blueberries into our white dog (now lavender dog, tres chic) like she did yesterday! Wishing you a happy day and of course a marvelous new year!



P.S. This delightful image is from Citizens for Optimism check them out for a smile!


Lettering Gift Guide I via Besotted Blog

I have been behind on pretty much everything, so a gift guide a few days before Christmas doesn’t seem so strange, right? I have good reason (as I usually do), I don’t have much time these days but I have been on fire inspired. I don’t know if it’s the prospect of a new year but there’s so much I want to do, I am not sure how I will be able to fit it all in between naps (as that is the only ‘me’ time I get these days). I am dubbing this lettering gift guide ‘I’ because there will be more to come, so many links to be sure, but the kits, the class and a great scanner are all things I am sure any lettering enthusiast would enjoy!

Kal’s brush lettering class should be a must see for everyone. What? Let me tell you, I have watched it several times already, her LOVE for her craft is so awe inspiring, if you don’t feel this way about what you do (or something in your life) than you need to re-evaluate. She just love, love, loves it, everything about it. I think we all need to have that something that we are wildly crazy about and it doesn’t have to be lettering, but that something that drives us to be better, try harder and get lost in the process. A  truly wonderful class!

I think if you are going to be gifting a newbie lettering enthusiast a kit, there’s so many lovely ones out there right now and even if the recipient has a kit, it’s nice to have new supplies and also new exemplars to follow.

I have misplaced the power source plug to my scanner and have been annoying everyone to scan things for me. I really love my scanner and have recommended it before but I have been noticing a lot of artists have been using scanners that are not flat beds so I added one I think looks pro enough (quality wise) and has that low profile that these artist seem to like (great for small spaces).

fig. o1 Kal Barteski Script Class

fig. 02 (but here are some others that I wouldn’t mind, here, here and here!)

fig. 03

fig. 04 (not shown) I think this Adobe Photoshop subscription is a total bang for your buck, I wish they had it when I first started out as a graphic designer!

P.S. If you want even more Kal inspiration, because who doesn’t? Watch her Ted Talks, be forewarned it brought tears to my eyes!

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.

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