{charmed earth}

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

28 June 2010

Something Glass: Cold Water, Cold Juice

I am an avid lover of portion control--portion control snacks, portion control juice boxes, portion control ice cream. But portion control is very wasteful. Consumer packaging is taking all sorts of green renovations, and I know that I need to research it more. One interesting fact that I discovered here is that sales for concentrated liquids--mostly cleaning supplies--went up 400% in 2008.

You know what else comes concentrated? Juice. I know. I already wrote about it. But I am writing again. I don't drink that much juice, but I do drink a lot of water. And I like my water cold. Solution? Besides my insulated mug that keeps my drinks cold at the pool and softball games, I've discovered glass bottles at the grocery store.

These glass bottles are a bit more expensive than juice boxes, but they are a one-time investment. They clean well with soap and water. And they will clean even more wonderfully when we get a dishwasher! There is always cold juice or water in the fridge, and the glass bottles are perfect for packing in a cooler. So for all of you that are filling the fridge and your coolers with plastic bottles this summer, why not give the glass ones a try? I know they are a bit smaller, and I know they are breakable. But the glass is pretty thick, and we haven't broken any yet.

I use the glass apple juice bottles found in the juice aisle at Dierbergs in St. Louis and the glass club soda and ginger ale bottles found in the liquor section at most grocery stores. I have five total for juice, and eight total for water at the moment. And I've even invested in a few glass bottles with cold coffee drinks to use for my smoothies on the go--they are the perfect size and shape for shaking.

Ahhh. Re-freshing.

27 June 2010

Something Accomplished: Craft Fair

The craft fair started in the shade. A cool breeze welcomed us. And after an early morning sale, I thought--this is good. And looking back, I still think that it was good. I finally entered, set up, and participated in selling my handmade jewelry and accessories. I am so thankful for the friends and family that stopped by and helped all day. And I am thankful for the connections I made with other sellers.

I just hope the next fair I enter is advertised and better attended! And I think I need to find a tent.

Here are some pictures from the day. My next goal: more fairs and an etsy shop.

15 June 2010

Something Sneak Peek: Craft Fair

The craft fair will be here in less than two weeks! And I thought that some of you might want to see the charming flair that could be yours! The top photo showcases my antique button earrings. All earring are decades old as far as I can tell, and the posts are stainless steel. Some pairs are truly one of a kind, while others might be one of a duplicate. But no more than three pairs exist that are exactly the same. All charmed earth button earrings will be on sale for $10 a pair. And dangle earrings made from vintage necklaces and bracelets will be for sale at $15 a pair.

The only thing charmed earth about the fringe scarves is the fact that they are charming! A few very special friends and family members were delighted to receive these as gifts back in December, and I know it's a long shot trying to sell them in June heat. But, they will be available at my table. I haven't purchased any yarn since December, so I suppose they are somewhat old. But all that aside, I don't think anyone wants a scarf made of vintage yarn. Just the thought of it makes me itchy.

I've blogged about the beauty above before, but the charming aprons will be up for sale. And they are all entirely upcycled--the main front of the apron is a vintage top quilt, the binding was discovered in a bag of sewing odds and ends I picked up at Artichoke Annie's, the white fabric was thrifted, and the thread was even discovered in my sewing box from years past. These girls are starting at $15.

The ornaments were gifts for friends and family this past Christmas as well. And I have to admit that they may not make it to the craft table. Tell me what you think: Should I whip up a few? They are upcycled using old sheet music and dictionary pages. All of the drawing and calligraphy is done by yours truly, with my dependable Sharpie Markers. If I find a few for my table, I will see how it goes. If I hit a fall craft show, they will be a showcase item. Though I will have to buy more wood circles.

The pictures above are all upcyling at its finest. The covers are old New Yorker magazine covers from past subscriptions and the recycle barrel at school. And the sheet music inside of each small notebook was headed for the recycle bin as well. But it's all put to better reuse. They are perfect for keeping track of lists, story ideas, and quote collections.

So. What do you think? Are you going to stop by my table at the craft fair? If you are in the St. Louis area, let me know. I will send the location out to you!

13 June 2010

Something Biodegradable: The Facts

This may have dawned on you when you were in the fourth grade, but it didn't hit me until a few months ago. The craze these days is biodegradable everything. I even made the claim that I could buy stuff that's biodegradable. Then I started thinking about it. Biodegradable. Trash bags are not biodegradable--even the ones sold as biodegradable take a long time to disappear. And more often than not I am invited to a gathering where we use biodegradable plates and cups--tossing them without thought into those trash bags.

I started researching online, and I discovered some facts about biodegradables.

This one speaks to me the most from the Website "Project Green Bag."

“The public thinks that biodegradability means ‘If I throw it away, it will completely go away,’” says Narayan. “They don’t even know what ‘going away’ means.” Real biodegradable plastic should be sent to a commercial composting facility, where it will spend its final days being eaten by microbes. But here’s the catch: In 2007, only 42 communities nationwide offered compost collection. (Seventeen were in California.) And though some biodegradable plastics can be recycled, no curbside recycling program will take them. So before you buy biodegradable plastics, make sure you can help them “go away” the right way.

I don't live in California. And I don't compost at home (yet). I will once I take the time to attend a composting class at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood--and do some library reading about it.

But the fact if the matter is this: Biodegradable sells--but that doesn't mean that it's decomposing.

I've been recycling my plastics and aluminum cans since we moved to our charming city bungalow. I didn't do paper because I didn't want the clutter (the plastics are fine outside.). I used to think that the paper would just biodegrade. But the more I think about it, the more I realize: Nothing biodegrades in a landfill. Nothing goes away the right way. Nothing.

So I vow to make sure that when it comes to paper, glass, plastic, tin, and paper I will do my part it making it go away the right way. When I can reuse, I will reuse. When I can't, I will recycle. And when I learn the art of composting, I will be sure to tell all of you about it.

12 June 2010

Something Old: Camera Bag Found at Garage Sale

For Christmas, right before I started my challenge, my charming husband surprised me with a DSLR Canon Rebel T1i. I love it. It is the best gift. But, though I am a very careful girl, I did worry about it taking cross country trips with me. And since I didn't buy a bag prior to my challenge, I've been wrapping it in the bubble wrap--sometimes traveling with the box, sometimes cushioning it with t-shirts in a tote bag (across New York). These solutions weren't terrible, but I needed something more reliable.

Right before I left for Wyoming, Garage Sale Season hit. And on my way over to my godmother's house to borrow a sleeping bag (something borrowed!), I stopped at no less than five garage sales to see what I could find...no end tables (we've been using vintage chairs since we got married to house our alarm clocks, books, and lamps), no vintage buttons to upcycle into earrings, and no hand weights. But what did I find?!

A very vintage camera bag.

Cost: $3.

Condition: Gently Used.

Perks: A vintage video camera came inside with an owner's manual. No film, but it could almost be artwork. The interior is plaid. It has a removable shoulder strap that will go across my body. The bag can carry over 20 cricket vials, and it can carry a notebook and pen easily.

I am in love.

10 June 2010

Something Beautiful

I'm back! And summer is off to a simple and relaxing start. My first post has to include some details and photos from my trip out West.

Charmed Earth Status: I came away without anything new for myself with the exception of a new journal. And considering paper is all biodegradable at one point or another, I think that it's approved. Plus, I did a lot of writing out west. I needed the extra pages for the numerous poems I just had to write. I am considering posting my poetry from the trip online in another blog of sorts; I will let you know when that happens.

For now, I just want you to see the beautiful simplicity of life at the AMK Ranch in Wyoming.

The pine cone is from a Lodge Pole Pine tree that fell in the forest. Before she fell, I think that her pine cones had some of the best views of the mountains.

The mountain view is right at the ranch. The skies were cloudless the morning we left.

The tree is an Aspen, and it's my new favorite. I want to plant a line of them one day when I live on a farm. I love how I can see her eyes in her white bark. Her green-yellow leaves were just springing to life.

The chipmunk to my left was tame. Very tame, and very cute with his chubby cheeks.

04 June 2010

Something Wyoming

I have limited access to the internet here, but I forgot to remind all of you that I am out in Wyoming. It is paradise here. My trip is going well. I'm ready to write more posts, and I am ready to update all of you with photos and Charmed Earth wisdom when I return home. Please keep reading.

Wyoming is beautiful--I've got pictures, and I haven't felt the need to buy anything new for myself yet. But I think I am regretting not buying the hiking boots--it's been wet.