I mentioned a while back that I was taking Holly + Leslie's course 'Blogging Your Way'. I have thoroughly enjoyed it thus far even though my time has been very limited because I work like a slave. On the bright side? At least I am still working! Our homework for week three was to create an inspiration board (no computer generation allowed) that would best represent how you would like your blog to be (okay totally paraphrasing, maybe that wasn't even the assignment, as usual I saw something shiny and got distracted). I have mentioned for months that the Blahg will be going under the knife soon, it's going to make Heidi Montag's makeover look like chopped liver. What she only had 50 surgeries in 24hours? Well, the Blahg has been on the operating table for months now--watch out world!.
The above is a fair representation more or less (more less, meaning there's much more). The new 'theme' will be very school centric, passing notes in class will be totally de rigeur, go ahead chew gum, talk to your bestie, I won't stop you, heck I may even join in. The Polaroids and their subject represent that I will have a photo focus, that's right Souvenir Foto, School of Creative Captures, will be in session soon. The twine? It is always my aim to help you see the extraordinary in the ordinary. If even one person see's the sublime in the every day I have succeeded. I will be introducing more D.I.Y. and of course I will be doing a boat load of D.I.Y. with the new products in our Besotted Brand arsenal, because having the right tools and introduction to a new skill or new project may open the doors to all sorts of creative possibilities. The postcard of the bear represents that I will not be taking away the cute baby animals (never), and will continue to showcase new talent (the artist realm, not the dancing bear). The most exciting part will be the guest lecturers and subs! You don't have to just have me talk your eyeballs off, there will be others joining in. Lucky you (and me!). I plan on printing this photo out and adding it to my gridded notebook (it's an accounting ledger I got at Staples) via photo corners. I use the ledger a lot to house my inspiration and I always scan and print out my tears, scraps etc. on Staples matte photo paper. It looks great and it prevents my inspiration from getting wonky. There is nothing I detest more than wonky inspiration, you?
P.S. Some extras (just in case you haven't had enough of me):
These are mini glassine bags, I like most anything that comes in glassine. I even love the word glassine, it sounds like a pretty French girl- 'this is mon amie Glassine...'. The label is from Besotted Brand, this is our 'archive' label (a personal fave) and we made a sheet of multi-sizes so you can use for anything from your tiny glassine bags to large packages but doesn't everything look cuter when it's made in its tiniest version? The vintage library card is from Paper Valise, it's in French because it seems I am a Franco-phile. I made a version of these for free download in bookplate size. The hand typed luggage tag is from my business partner/bestie Jules, I have begged her to pull out her 'old big blue' typewriter and add these to the shop. I love everything about it.
Below is what I couldn't fit in the inspiration board photo, trust me I tried! We'll consider this photo an out take, k?...
Sigh, I truly am trying hard to be a better 'blogger'. Oh how I despise that word (not the meaning mind you), sounds like a bored jogger or how my Mother Marie might say the slang for mucus in her thick, lisping, Spanglish accent if she would EVER say that word (she would not). I want to share my excitement with a new find but still find myself reluctant to share my treasures. It's like middle child syndrome where you need to have something that you can claim is yours and yours alone that nobody has. With the information super highway I can't keep too many things to myself (try as hard as I may) and when I start seeing my 'secret' plastered EVERYWHERE my heart breaks and I wish upon more stars in the sky that it was I that would have shared with you the treasure but alas sigh I am obviously information stingy. My resolution for the new decade is to be more forthcoming with my finds. It will take practice but practice I shall. I did send these images to my cyber bestie Julieta because I love her dearly and trust that she will tell me whether or not I have lost my marbles. I sent her the below images with the subject:: MY FUTURE STUDIO/LAB:
Jules sent me back this response--LOVE! (But of course. Jules has great taste in both friends and furniture....). Monique Keegan is a stylist, master renovator, friend of the lovely (and talented) Amy Butler (she was at their 'Wrecking Ball" so I assume they are pals). She is also the proprietress of a store that I wish was closer to the left coast--Enjoy Co. I LOVE. LOVE, LOVE any business that has 'Co.' in it's name, I have had four businesses with this addition, so 18th-early 19th century. I do wish Monique great success and hope that her business becomes virtual as well so we can all do a little reno 'Keegan' style.
For my resolution I will add some handy dandy links to help you get started on your own little vintage lab/studio makeover, gasp, resources, here I go....
-Need some labware? Of course you do! Perfect for pencil holders, vases and light reflection. I have an affinity for this shop--Cheap + Cool. I am hoping that Jules allows me a 'Miscellanea' section for Besotted Brand LLC so we can offer some of the apothecary glass I have collected over the many years on this planet. I do think labels and apothecary/science ware are a perfect coupling for our label offerings, no?
-Interested in some anatomical charts? Ones like Monique has can be a bit spendy in the big city, so you can try an equally interesting effect by grouping some smaller prints on the wall. I am addicted to Etsy for these finds, originals! This seller here has some beauties.
-If you are in Los Angeles and have saved up some $$$ this is one of my very favorite stores, I could move in, it's so perfect.
That should get you both inspired + started. If you have any resources that you are willing to part with and share I will be happy to collect and when the new blog is revealed I will be sure to add a resource section because sharing is caring....
Shameless, (okay little shame), plug here...Over a year ago we took most of The Bella Bella co. designs off of Etsy and the dedicated site down as well so we could regroup with our new venture Besotted Brand LLC. BTW not to get crazy or anything but it looks like the Besotted site will launch end of January 2010,! What? Only a million years later (totally stop by and make sure you sign up for the launch!). During this period of insanity (aka starting a new business) we quietly put up a small Bella Bella co. Zazzle shop (cringe) 'Zazzle', that name just makes me think of jazz hands, picture it--"ZAZZLE!". I digress...We put up the most popular prints which allows the client to add the artwork to whatever they like-stamps, mugs, t-shirts, buttons, ties, bumper stickers and other useless items, on and on. Hands down (or is that jazz hands down?) our best seller is LOVE. In all its incarnations either our 'grunge love' or our 'love is a circus' print. The word on the street is Zazzle does a great job printing on items and their pricing is pretty fair. So if you were looking for LOVE that's where you'll find it...
Since I didn't have time to write yesterday, I thought a second post would make up for my absence, perhaps? I wanted to get some link love going. First up? I Heart Faces. I have mentioned this site before, newbie photographer to seasoned pro will enjoy this site, you will pick up some amazing tips + tricks. Also, I happen to be a contributor for Fix-it Fridays, which I am very honored to be part of. I am in great company and I just love to see how the pro's do their post processing. Jessica Paige happens to be one of my faves, so it makes me extra giddy. Visit you won't be sorry!
On The Bright Side Project we have our very first post in a series, "A few of my favorite things', where bloggers we love (and you will too) write about some of their favorite things. The giveaway will be one of (sometimes more!) of their favorites. We are thrilled that Melissa from 'Melissa Loves' agreed to launch! We LOVE Melissa, because she embodies the sunshine spirit, she's like a little blog fairy spreading good cheer in the comments section around the world. She really knocked it out of the park and the link love she gives is mind boggling (22 links!) All those darn links make me wanna spend my pay check in full. Seriously.
I just finished this book, it's a visual feast for anyone that enjoys printing ornamentation. It's a little history lesson + fine specimen perusing. I recommend it highly to those that fancy this sort of thing.
If you are looking for a TRUE opaque white pen, look no further. This pen RULES! I have been using it non-stop at work (our envelopes are dark, dark brown, like espresso) and this pen is just spectacular. It has a fairly nice tip, not too thick or fat. I can still print decently, although with script it can skip. It's brought to you by the same folks that created the silver metallic pen I covet. I have big plans for this pen, BIG plans...
Lovely Miss Whitney has officially gotten her stock in and is selling her Divine Twine, yes, the wait is over! My stash is on it's way and I couldn't be more thrilled. The lay person will never understand the sheer joy that this twine will make myself and my fellow Craftista's. Congrats Whitney!
I hope your weekend is filled with fun. I shall be working (as usual) but not at my soul sucking establishment, uhm, my usual job. I will be working on Besotted Brand LLC products + testing. I am champing (as Miss Jules has pointed out is the correct spelling) at the bit to get this launched. I received some new products last night and SWOON is about accurate. My goodness. I do hope you will be as elated as we are.
P.S. Frenchie and cute baby animal lovers, I couldn't resist this one last link here.
I wanted to share some of my b-day surprises with you. No, not because I want to brag! I just think that you might be interested in some of the items that were so generously bestowed upon moi. They were all quite thoughtful and some are new to me and maybe I might be lucky enough to introduce you to something that you fall madly in love with or desperately "need"....I got this package on Saturday from my Bestie Jules. Nope that's not a Besotted Brand label but the next best thing--Martha! So pretty and gray, one of my fave 'colors'.
Trust me it took everything in my being not to rip this open Saturday afternoon. I opened yesterday and to say it was perfect for me is an understatement. It was two mascara tubes sitting there like manna from heaven. One tube I have been dying to try--Tarte's 'Lights. Camera, Lashes'. The other was called 'Buxom' and even though I didn't remember her mentioning this tube before (she swears she did), it had me at 'Bux'. I pulled this one out last night and slopped that fat brush on my lashes like it was going out of style. LOVE. LOVE.LOVE. It's a beautiful blackest black and as of last wearing I had no problems with flaking or raccoon eyes. I feel like it's more volume making than lengthening but then again I am insane with the lengths I want my lashes to go. If it doesn't look like I have spider legs attached to my eyelids I am not content. I am very happy with this formula, brush and cheeky packaging. PLUS it's paraben free, no sulfates, no synthetic fragrance or dye. I practically feel like it's good for me.
Of course we will launch with one of my fave colors. Hint I use it waaay to much in Jules esteemed opinion. Can you guess? The other color will be a beautiful classic neutral. Eventually clients will be able to order the color border of their hearts desire (within reason of course, trust me color matching is near impossible!) I think being able to choose a color to coordinate with your event or business suite would be heavenly. Trust me the whole reason we are doing this project is because we wanted labels like this and couldn't find them and if we did find something similiar there weren't any color or size options. Jules and I LOVE options as I am sure you do too, no? We are chomping at the bit to make the first sets available. We can't wait!!!
Okay, so this my dears was the FAVE part of yesterday's suite. It's the R.S.V.P. and we created it to look like a vintage linen postcard. It turned out so much better than we even dreamed! If we had a larger budget (and more time) we could have had these printed on actual linen cardstock but really these turned out quite swell indeed!
I think it's important that you know the image was just a snapshot that we pulled from a free stock photo site. I think it would have been even more special if it was an image from the couple's travels but they aren't shutterbugs so we opted on the stock site. I hope when we do this suite in the future we will be able to get a photo that really means something to the couple because this would be so cool to turn into their personal stationery, don't you think? Here is the 'before' photo in all it's humble glory:
I really don't know if it's even possible but if it is I would love to turn the process of making this photo look like a vintage linen postcard into a Photoshop action for our creative photo kits (I am working on them scout's honor!) So the above photo was turned into this:
To say I love Photoshop is such an understatement. To say I love it and want to marry it isn't even enough. To say it changed my life is giving it plenty of credit but surely not as much as it truly deserves. We really were happy with the result of the RSVP and the printing was nice and yummy too, the stock was thick and the colors were spot on for this piece ( a rarity as you designers out there can attest). We think this would ROCK as a Save the date (but we are biased).
Being that this wedding is taking place in D.C. there was only one wedding planner that could pull this off, my very fave DC event designer--Ms. Maria Cooke of Ritzy Bee events + blog! It was a great coincidence that we were designing this suite and she was planning the couples wedding (I designed the Ritzy Bee logo!). I can't wait to see the pics. If you are planning a DC/Virginia based event and need something stunning Maria really is the end all, be all. Plus she's sweeter than sugar and has the best taste. What more could you ask for?
As promised here's a little looksey into the custom wedding suite we recently created for our bride + groom. It was a rush job, which we ordinarily wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole or a stack of Benjamin's (sanity first is our motto) but the bride had us at 'hello'. She was smart, sassy and loved us so who were we to turn her away? The budget was super tight, especially with it being a rush. To be honest I really wasn't sure if we could pull it off but when the bride loved the first comp and only made spelling changes we forged ahead. I am so happy we did!
Since the couple met while traveling and it is their great passion we used that as our creative spring board. We created a faux 'company' dubbed 'A & A Adventure Co.' (their initials). We designed the invite to mimic an antique train ticket and asked the couple for a favorite quote to place in the space which would normally be reserved for the train's destination.
The ticket number on the bottom is actually the date of their wedding and of course this ticket is one way!
We added a vintage world map to the back of the invite, which in the future when we do this suite again I don't think we would do. I would have loved to have lined the envelopes instead with the map or create envelope wrap labels with the motif.
Okay, so I am a little late on the reveal here and it's only going to be the tiniest of peeks because I am rushed. Unfortunately I am a grown up (well sometimes being one really does has perks) and I have to do grown up things like get ready for a big 'ol bid'ness meeting this Wednesday morn. Oh what I wouldn't do to just have the only thing on my schedule being to play a mean game of tether ball at recess and then take a nap. Alas, I have to bring home the metaphorical bacon and fry it up in a pan....But a girl can dream and while I toil away in corporate land, here's what my lovely business partner Julieta and I have been cookin' up in our spare time:
Happy Friday lovelies! I know, I know, the Blahg has been under construction and it has been a mess, so forgive the changes and the changes back. I didn't have time to repair my ugly pixelated banner so best to just throw a sheet of the prior banner over it, right? So, it's bid'ness time, I will get the other images up on our new products sometime soon, but I wanted to reveal the new name AND new logo....
Okay, the name. I was formerly "The Bella Bella co.", which we (yes, I am now a we ) will phase out because we have a new name and a new game; we are Besotted Brand...Because we are totally, head over heels in love with everything we do and we will be doing quite a lot. Our emphasis will be on one of our first loves-- paper and the accouterments that enhance the whole paper experience (wait til' you see what we have up our sleeves...). We are not ruling out building an empire and I wouldn't mind slipping in some of my fine parfumerie skills to make some extra special lovelies for the line. We just want the company to be a repository for creative bliss and to be able to share that with you. So the fabulous part? Our logo, our identity, our newly minted company and tag line on show for the whole wide world to see: