{charmed earth}

The Lifestyle blog of Katie Storms.: something simple, something sweet, something styled.

30 December 2010

Something Listed: 29 Before 30

It's better late than never. And since I am already drafing New Year's Goals, I thought I better publish this one: Elsie at A Beautiful Mess inspired this idea for a list, and I love it.

28 December 2010

Something Magical: Christmas

Mayor's Christmas Tree at Crown Center in Kansas City

Christmas was wonderful this year. It snowed. We saw the Mayor's Christmas tree. We admired the Plaza Lights in Kansas City. We caught the new Cohen Brothers flick at the movies: True Grit. And we continued our traditions.

Plaza Lights in Kansas City
We celebrated Christmas together the night before we headed to Kansas City. We continued our dinner tradition with a dinner of roasted chicken and veggies on the china:) And we started a new tradition: sharing cards.

My charming husband gave me the most rockin' boots and my own copy of Charlie Brown's Christmas and a few other surprises. And I gifted him some shades he's been dying to have, as well as some other surprises.

Christmas Eve
In Kansas City we went to mass at 4:30 on Christmas Eve and headed to my Aunt Gracie's for the traditional appetizer dinner. Around nine, we headed home to mom and dad's to open gifts. I have the most wonderful family: gifts showered down on us. I really love the sweet box my mama picked out--plus a very sweet etsy necklace. I love it.
Cute Box, Sweet Necklace, Lovely Christmas
I hope your holiday was amazing.


21 December 2010

Something Santa: The Cards are Glittered, Mailed

I  mailed cards earlier this week. They should be at their destinations. This year, I dug out every single extra card from past Christmases. I even found the time to glitter the vintage Santas I found in October. I am so satisfied: I didn't buy any new cards. I did break and buy a few photos and stamps. Don't they look pretty?

There's a visual glitter-tutorial if you are curious:)

Merry Christmas!

19 December 2010

Something Personalized: Child's Artist Dream Notebook

My goddaughter doesn't read this blog. Nor do my best friend's twin boys. So this handmade DIY will be a safe surprise. My goddaughter love unicorns. She also, like me, loves to draw. We had a surprise snow day Thursday (yippee), and the roads were more than drivable by 9 a.m. My shopping was much behind, so I headed out to get my gifts.

I was looking for anything artsy with a unicorn on it: no luck. Why I didn't start with DIY is beyond me. I settled for a box of colored pencils -- the biggest box of 50-- and a standard stack of drawing paper. I drove home to play Santa's elf. And that's when I started thinking.

It finally came to me Friday evening around 5:30. The perfect gift for a 7-8-9-year-old: a personalized drawing pad. I'm pretty savvy when it comes to design and fonts. Most of my fonts come from dafont.com or fontsquirrel.com. My friend Erin at LansdowneLife gave me the heads up on them. I designed all of my covers in Pages, since that's what we have on our computer. But you could do this in any document type application.

Drawing Paper Pad with a Spiral (any size. I like a heavy card stock cover)
Card Stock (from stash)
Printer with ink (I still haven't bought ink!)
Good Glue Stick (I've had mine for 5 years...I don't know the brand, but use something hefty)
Computer Application to design with fonts

1. Design your cover using fonts, images, etc. You could even draw it.
2. Save the image as a PDF, and print it at the percentage that you think will best fit the cover of your drawing pad/notebook
3. Print the image on card stock.
4. Trace the image to match the cover of the drawing pad with a pencil. I lined it up under the spiral tabs.
5. Cut your card stock cover.
6. Cover the drawing pad cover with glue, not the card stock like my image suggests.
7. Adhere your card stock.
8. Let it dry--I placed mine under a heavy cake stand to help set it.
9. Gift!

I thought this would also be a great gift for writers and teachers. If I had the time, I would print off favorite quotes by writers to gift to my English teacher friends. I think next year I am going to make covers of my own with my stack of cereal boxes and sheet music paper to make an entirely upcycled notebook.

Happy Christmas!


14 December 2010

Something Tinsel: Silver Sparkle Wreath

Last week, I stopped inside one of my favorite thrift joints at exactly 3:59 p.m. They close at 4, but the ladies let me shop--alone--until 4:30. It was heaven. I found the best holiday hat for New Year's, but I might bust it out this weekend:) I also scored beautiful rainbow icicle ornaments for 50% off early (the 50%-off sale started the next day).

But the $1 find I couldn't pass up? Silver tinsel garland. Twenty-five feet. In a original box. It's beautiful. At first, I considered draping it somewhere, but the mantle already has my holly, the tree is small, and the frozen snow and wind would destroy it outside. Then I considered: it would make a beautiful full or small wreath.

Wire hanger to bend or Embroidery Hoop
Vintage Garland
Ribbon scrap to hang wreath.

Step-by-Step How To:
1. Bend your hanger into a circle.
2. Tape one edge of the garland to the circle.
3. Wrap the garland around the circle.
4. Squish the garland to make the wreath full.
5. Trip the garland when wreath is full. Tape to stay.
6. Bend back the top of the hanger (or cut it off).
7. Add ribbon.
8. Display.

I made the large wreath with the hanger, but I also made a smaller one with a vintage hoop. The smaller one is perfect for the base of my cake stand, but I also think they would be adorable around the base of a candle.


09 December 2010

Something Literary: Poker Chip Bookmark

My Aunt Mary had an ongoing rummage sale in her basement over the summer. After my sister and I rolled nearly 100 raviolis with her and my nanni, I was allowed to check it out.

I walked away with some treasures I live to find thrifting: a stack of heart-shaped tins, a tea cup, and a box of nearly 100 poker chips. All, of course, free of charge.

The poker chips aren't smooth like most poker chips I use to make jewelry, but once I got to thinking, I created the perfect gift: bookmarks.

Materials for this Project:
Vintage Sheet Music, Vintage Dictionary Pages, or any paper
Sharpie Markers
Sticker Maker Paper (or a sticker maker): Double sided.
Circle punch, 1 1/2 inch
Poker Chips (the same size as your circle punch)

Step-by Step DIY:
1. Peel the sticker paper, and smoothly apply it to your vintage sheet music.
2. Cut away the excess paper.
3. Using a 1 1/2 inch circle punch, with the sticker paper baking facing you, punch the circles.
4. Cut your ribbon to the desired length.
5. Burn both ends of the ribbon with the flame from your matches, lighter, or candle to keep the ribbon from fraying.
6. Draw your designs on your paper circles; I drew a cupcake and the letter 'E.'
7. Place the ribbon on top of the poker chip, peel away the sticker backing, and fix your sticker over the ribbon and poker chip. The ribbon should be centered, stuck between the sticker and poker chip.
8. Fix another sticker to the opposite side of the poker chip.
9. Gift to your mamas, librarian friends, and family.


06 December 2010

Something Stamped: Glass Jars for Treats

My mother-in-law was sweet enough to save baby food jars for me over the summer when she was helping my sister-in-law babysit a sweet baby. I love the smallness of the jars. Something mini is something cute {if you ask me}.

Every year for the holidays, I usually bake. I used to bake over fifteen types of cookies and sweets. But last year--and this year I'm staying to it--I only baked my top three: rolo turtles, peanut butter cups, and monster mint m&m cookies.

Last year, I gifted my treats in the tins I love from Hobby Lobby and Michael's. This year, I am making my own. And I think I like them better.

Glass Jars--from baby food, olives, cherries, etc.
Rubber Bands
Stamps--mine are letters, a snowflake, and one with reindeer. I did buy them this year.
Fabric to stamp--mine is from Hobby Lobby. Plus I have some vintage holiday patterns.
Iron--to heat set your stamps
String and Tags {optional}

1. Cut your fabric in a square large enough to cover the lid of your jar with excess to hang over
2. Stamp fabric
3. Heat set with iron, holding heat on the stamp for two minutes
4. Fill jar with cookies or candies
5. Cover the lid with the fabric, and secure it with the rubber band
6. Tie with extra yarn, string, or rick-rack
7. Add a tag

8. Gift

01 December 2010

Something For You: Old Christmas Cards, New Christmas Gift Tags

This one isn't really a revelation, but it's always nice to be reminded of the simple things.

I always save Christmas cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, any card in the mail is always welcome. Some I save and cherish for years. And some stay in the shoe box for years because I am hate the thought of a card in the trash.

I have one rule for the cards that become tags: cards with sweet notes will never be punched with a craft punch. They stay wrapped with a rubber band in a special bundle at home or at school.

 Materials for this DIY:
Circle or Scallop Craft Punch
Old Cards--I dug through the Christmas ones
String from your stash
Hole punch (mine's a mini)

1. Choose your Card.
2. Punch it.
3. Hold punch it.
4. Tie on string.
5. Personalize: To: You, From: Me
6. Attach to gift.

katie scarlett

20 November 2010

Something Mailed: Upcycled Envelopes

I found the most charming stack of vintage Santa cards out thrifting a few weeks ago. They came without envelopes. I thought I would have the perfect size at home--but it turns out that I didn't. I considered buying a small package for cheap, but as I was sifting through the Christmas labels, tags, ribbon, and string box, I found a few sheets of wrapping paper I couldn't bear to trash last year.

Solution: Make envelopes with something pretty: last year's folded wrapping paper.

Supplies: Scissors, pencil or pen, tape, an envelope to trace (I used a resume envelope, but you could use any envelope you've received in the mail, old labels or white paper, and old wrapping paper, old scrapbook paper, old maps, any old paper will do. I 'm also considering using some Anthropologie magazine pages.

Step 1: Carefully tear apart the pattern envelope.
Step 2: Lay envelope flat on old wrapping paper.
Step 3:Trace the patten of the envelope. I had to add inches to mine so that the card would fit. I determined the right size by placing the card in the middle as I traced.
Step 4: Cut out the traced shape.

Step 4: Flip envelope so the pretty paper faces down.
Step 5: Fold up the bottom edge and side edges. Check to see if card fits.

Step 6: Tape the edges down with Scotch tape (I have way to much of this stashed from last year) or a glue stick.
Step 7: Add a label or white paper to the front for writing the address and return address.
Step 8: Place envelope in card, seal back flap with glue or vintage holiday stickers.
Step 9: Pass along the holiday cheer, and mail this beauty.

17 November 2010

Something Glittery: Christmas Craft Countdown

Coming Soon:

All sorts of Christmas Crafts to glue and twist throughout the season. Here's a sneak peek at a few ornaments--start stashing your corks, searching for old milk bottle caps, and washing your glass jars. And while you're at it, bring on that glitter.

Keep reading. I'll be your Christmas Muse.

09 November 2010

Something Without: Ten Month Confession

"Let's start with ridiculous and work backwards" 
~Stranger Than Fiction

Ten Months. Ten Months without buying a bottle of lip gloss. Ten Months without buying a new nail polish. Ten Months without buying a shiny pack of black Flair pens. Ten Months without buying body wash. Ten Months without buying cotton balls. Ten Months without buying press and seal Gladwrap. Ten Months without buying stationary. Ten Months without buying new books. Ten Months without buying new dishes. Ten months without buying new picture frames. Ten months without buying a new hair dryer. Ten months without buying new slippers.

Ten Months without buying A LOT.

Maybe I can even count it as ten-and-a-half with the tone of a ten-and-a-half-year-old that's almost eleven.

And I suppose ten was my limit. I broke down with birthday cash in September, and tried to pass it off as "okay." And I know it's cliche, but I can't help but think of dear Emma Thompson as Karen Eiffel in Stranger Than Fiction. I'm "okay" with ten months.

But this weekend, when the mall called to me and my Anthropologie giftcard, I admitted defeat: a new shirt and a new scarf. Yes. The total exceeded the giftcard.

And then when Target boasted their new fall lines, I admitted total destruction: a new sweater (inspired by the one marked $128 at Anthropologie), a new dress, and two new, unstretched t-shirts. All new.

I almost made it. And I'm still not giving up. But I thought you should know.

08 November 2010

Something I Love: Falling Back

I woke up this morning at 3:41 a.m. with an overwhelming sense of calm. And I fell back to sleep for another hour and a half willingly. I still hate Mondays, but this one may have been the best Monday morning of the year: I drove to work with Aurora, and I drove home with sights of a cheshire moon above a blanket of pink, indigo, and violet. I wish I had a picture.

03 November 2010

Something Appreciated: Cool Weather

It feels like Autumn. I'm wearing my winter coat in the black mornings. The leaves are painted gold. My morning coffee warms my fingertips. I hope this weather stays just as it is--no snow--unless it's a snow day!

02 November 2010

Something Thankful: Basketball in Autumn

We're looking forward to another wonderful Spurs season.

I adore the Spurs. No. We are not from Texas. We just like them. And we both adore basketball. I also adore poetry. And autumn. I wish my poetry was as wonderful as Sherman Alexie's, but who am I kidding?

For some basketball poetry, read Alexie's "Defending Walt Whitman." I also enjoy Naomi Shihab Nye's collection Honeybee (she mentions Duncan in the intro)and a poem called "Old Men Playing Basketball," but the author escapes me right now.

Jump Ball!

Thank you autumn for Manu Ginobli, Tim Duncan, and, I suppose, Tony Parker.

Thank you for The Post and their NBA league pass.

Thank you for the park, a dribble and a pass away.

Thank you  for my charming husband and charming bulldog.

Thank you, autumn, for basketball.

The photo is from Cheryl. You can find her here. Isn't she amazing?!

31 October 2010

Something Halloween: Felt and Buttons

Starting in November, I plan to post something I am thankful for at least once a week. But before the monster holiday closes, I want to share the treats I gave out this year: a yarn wreath for my mama, hair clips, bookmarks, and brooches for my girlfriends, pillows and spicy pumpkin seeds for my charming husband, a bumble bulldog and jack-o-lanterns for the neighbors, and a pumpkin charm for etsy.

Happy Halloween! I hope yours is spook-tack-u-lar!

The pillows were a cinch, by the way. I found the embroidered images in frames for less than $4 for the pair at the Value Village and Weekend Flea Market.


26 October 2010

24 October 2010

Something Spooky: Upcycled Halloween Cards

Haunted October. Spooky Graveyard. Vampire Crushes. Candy Craving. Happy Halloween. Fearful Fate.

A few days ago, we received gifts in the mail. You know. Those free gifts from organizations seeking support. Free return address labels, free cards, free calendars. Usually, I just throw them in the recycling. This time, I saved the cards. And about an hour ago, ideas carved their way into my creative mind.

Materials: Glue stick, dictionary pages, scrapbook paper stash, scrapbook sticker stash, sharpie ink, and the most charming Hallmark Halloween seals (I wish I knew the publication date; they are the sweetest).

Page through the dictionary to hunt down Halloween words. I picked: Halloween, candy, and spooky. But I also like graveyard, ghoul, devil, monster, zombie, vampire, bite, and witchcraft.

Glue stick your dictionary page (cut to size) over the advertised material. Embellish as you wish.

I only had the cards to make three this time, but I have some postcards that might be perfect to upcycle for Christmas. I always see stacks of cards at rummage sales and out thrifting for as little as 25-cents a pack, with 8-10 cards and envelopes. Now I know exactly what to do with them:)

Do you have a favorite of the three I brewed?

10 October 2010

Something St. Louis: Saturday Night Life

St. Louis is known for her theaters. The Tivoli, The Moolah, The Chase, The Hi-Pointe. These are Landmarks, and if I ever leave this city, I want to have photos I love. Last Saturday, my charming husband and I waltzed up and down the streets of the Loop, toasted near South City, and ritz-ed it up in the Central West End. Here are some of my favorite shots, and I can't wait to have prints!

The Tivoli in Black and White. I can't wait for Howl to release, by the way, on October 22nd. It's starring James Franco as Ginsberg!

The Chase. Don't the street lights look almost magical. It makes me think of Christmas.

And The Pageant. The place we saw the couple from Once and Iron and Wine. And the shot looks so vintage--I didn't edit a thing!

02 October 2010

Something Magnetic: Upcycled Bottle Caps

I am a hoarder. Throwing out anything with potential to be upcycled tears me to shreds. For years I've been stashing wine corks in clear vases, beer bottle caps in large bowls, and bath tissue rolls in baskets. It drives my charming husband nuts, and, to be honest, the clutter overwhelms me at times.

Solution: Upcycle Now.

Beer bottle caps don't take up much room. After a year of saving--maybe longer--I've only collected a half gallon bagful. That's roughly 200 bottle caps. My dear friend Cori's husband can make belts with them, but he's got a pretty large stash, too. And I can only use one bottle cap belt at a time. And I think my friend Mary keeps hers on display in her dining room. But I'm out of shelf space.

My Project Decision: I'm upcycling by making magnets for the fridge. I did have to buy magnets; however, I am very happy with this artistic project.

Materials: Beer Bottle caps, E-6000 glue, magnets, buttons, mod podge, dictionary pages, paint brushes, sharpie markers, and creative thinking. {the buttons give the magnets a lift, keeping the metal from scratching your fridge}

My favorite ones are the ones that spell Poet and the ones with cupcakes. What do you think? I'll have them for sale at the fair October 23rd at Fort Zumwalt High School in St. Louis.

25 September 2010

Something Organized: Saturday Simplicity

Today is Saturday. Our south city bungalow is a beautiful mess. My charming husband is fixing up some much needed household messes, and I've been crafting like mad for the upcoming craft fair in October. I apologize for the lack of posts; I've been grading papers. And our kitchen is under renovation--that other "outlaw" purchase that I "okay-ed" in January. We're getting a dishwasher; Mother Earth will be happy.

Since the house is a mess, I've been trying to at least find some sanity. One place untouched by the spill of renovation is our bedroom. A few weekends ago I discovered a vintage printer's drawer at on of my antique malls. I paid around $20, and I just love the new way I'm displaying my jewelry. If you find one under $30, snag it. It's the best discovery. And they can go for upwards of $90 on etsy.

All last week I wore black and jeans to work--with a different signature accessory. And that brought happiness to the stack of papers.

Go treasure hunting this Saturday!

13 September 2010

Something Monday: Mix Tapes

I tried. Really, I did. I wanted to post another anything before having two Mix Tape Mondays in a row. But this weekend was super busy. And school is just a pile of paper right now.

Over the weekend, I celebrated my Birthday...I started in Kansas City for my class reunion, then I headed to Columbia on Saturday to watch my baby brother run for Mizzou, and while we were there we celebrated me at Shakespeare's Pizza (love that place).

On the way back to STL, I stopped at Artichoke Annie's Antique mall to find some super cute buttons for rings and some great vintage milk cap bottles for a Christmas project. Saturday night, we cleaned. Cleaning parties are super fun with my charming husband. And Sunday--my actual birthday--was spent at the art fair in our neighborhood--I found some great upcycled jewelry. And we enjoyed dinner at a local spot called Local Harvest. I loved it all.

And this is what I listened to.

1. Junky Star by Ryan Bingham
2. Falling Slowly from the Once Soundtrack
3. Saving All My Love by Joe Firstman
4. I and Love and You by The Avett Brothers
5. Hand Eye by The Antiques
6. American Honey by Lady Antebellum
7. Please Read the Letter by Alison Kraus and Robert Plant
8. Just Breathe by Pearl Jam

07 September 2010

Something Monday: Mixed Tape

I [heart] mixed tapes. I do, truly. I miss the days of cuing the blank tape, rushing toward the radio to hit the "play and record" buttons simultaneously, hoping to catch dj-voice-less renditions of Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now" and Reba McEntire and Linda Davis's "Does He Love You" duet. I know. You miss it too.

And as I was blog surfing just now, I discovered two fresh ideas to bring to my posts:

Mix Tapes Mondays and the super cute teddy bear headphones I hope still exist in January. I am in LOVE with these honey ones with the red bow from A Beautiful Mess.

My Mix Tape Monday
1. You and I by Ingrid Michaelson
2. You and I by Wilco
3. The Poet by Ryan Bingham
4. If I Die Young by The Band Perry
5. Whole Wide World by Reckless Eric
6. Grace Kelly by Mika
7. King of Anything by Sara Bareilles
8. Jealous Guy, American Idol Casey James's version

I do wish I was listening to these tunes on my Teddy Bear headphones (p.s.--my birthday is Sunday; maybe I will gift a pair of these honey ones to myself).

P.S. Ryan Bingham's newest album, Junky Star, just released. And I did purchase it on iTunes...but it brings no clutter to my home. Isn't he dreamy? And my charming husband--my main music source--is loving it. So it can count as a gift, right?!.

03 September 2010

Something Pink: Ballerina Cupcakes

I love cupcakes. I dream of opening my own swirly shop one day. I even picked out a name for this sweet shop. And if I lived in Savannah, I might try to find a job at the Back in the Day Bakery. They are just my style.

If you are in Savannah, stop by the Back in the Day bakery and eat a Star Brownie and a small cupcake. And adore the vintage wares in the shop--including a wall of vintage cake accessorites.

If you aren't in Savannah, like me, bake a batch of Magnolia Bakery cupcakes. Magnolia Bakery is in New York, and the line twists about a mile long daily. You'll need a pound of butter. I found the vintage ballerinas for 25-cents. And I think she's a very pretty dancer on a very pretty cupcake.

29 August 2010

Something Weekend: Fresh Flowers

I can't get enough of Trader Joe's flowers. They are beautiful, fresh, and pocket-book-friendly. I never leave without a bouquet. This weekend I hosted a small birthday lunch for my friend Rita, and the flowers looked perfect in a trio of glass jars. As I was putting away the china, I rediscovered this silver service teapot I picked up for $4 nearly a year ago. I think she adds a glamorous element, and one of the jars fit just right.

And on our morning walk today around the park near our charming bungalow I discovered these sweet, sweet, cupcake icing pink roses. Love. Love like I love Ingrid Michaelson's "You and I" right now.

charmed earth

26 August 2010

Something Versatile: Vintage Top Quilt Apron, Earrings, and Tape

I found the top quilt back in March. She was hiding under a pile of completed quilts in the last booth at the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall along highway 70. And I almost didn't buy her at the *expensive* $20 ticket price. In fact, I did another loop back toward some blue Ball jars before committing to the purchase.

It's one of the best purchases I've discovered, and I can't wait to find another top quilt that's as versatile. Her first project: The charming aprons I posted over the winter. Her most recent affairs? Cover button earrings and tape.

The tape is inspired by Maya*made's blog. She fell in love with the new Japanese tapes with designs. I fell in love, too, the first time I spied them in a Martha magazine. But fancy-colorful-tape-at-a-pricy-ticket-price didn't seem justified. Even if I intended to use it to wrap presents. After reading through Annekata's Blog, I discovered the step-by-step that involved some glue, some scissors, some fabric, some wax paper, some packaging tape, some sand paper, and some scissors. And some patience. I considered finding packaging tape and pasting and cutting away for a moment. Until I realized that I had a roll of hem tape in my dresser drawer, a roll of hem tape I never got around to using.

Oh what a discovery! No glue, no sandpaper, no wax paper, just hem tape and top quilt fabric scraps. I can't wait to wrap a present!

Here's a step-by-step picture DIY.

And then I found a stack of cover buttons at a tent sale, cover buttons that are considered "old" because a fellow crafter bought them new. What a delight when I put another two and two together--so many designs, so little fabric, so much fun. I' wearing a pair right now! And look for your own pair to buy in late September at the Corner Cottage in Dexter.