{charmed earth}

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

29 October 2011

{something home sweet home} a simple cleaning schedule

I work long hours. Jv works long hours. We used to spend the weekends cleaning every room in the house. Then, sometimes, the weekends forgot their responsibility. But no sprites or brownies were sneaking into our city bungalow to magically make it sparkle. So this former brownie girl scout, it seemed, had to take matters into her own hands.

Solution: one schedule, one day, one room. 

Our house is small. So the solution turned out to be rather simple. And with the week nearly over, I must say it was a simple success. There's no reason we don't have time to clean one room an evening, with essentially two days {Tuesday and Saturday} to sit back and relax a bit.

Mondays we clean the powder rooms. 
This involves using my Alice's Wonder Spray on all surfaces, washing the bath mats in the laundry, freshening the towels, and organizing the medicine cabinet or closets if they need it. It also means recycling magazines that have been read and moving any items that don't belong to their rightful place.

Tuesdays we water the plants. 
Right now, all I have are the autumn mums on the front porch. Come summer, I will include watering all the herbs, flowers, and landscaping. But for now, this is almost a day off. I suggest finding a simple day like this to work into your routine to avoid burning yourself out.

Wednesdays we clean the living room. 
This involves dusting the tv, bookshelves, window ledges, side tables, and tv stand. I wish I had a more eco-friendly way of dusting, but nothing works like pledge. So I use that, the anti-allergy kind. Other than that, it's a simple room. I might involve washing the blankets if they need it or running the vacuum. But my overall plan is to vacuum one day, Saturday. Mainly because our vacuum is heavy. I also straighten any books, coasters, and frames. Oh. And I sort through mail if it's still sitting around, recycling what needs to recycled, responding to what needs response. Sometimes we need to clean the windows, too. 

Thursdays we clean the bedroom
This involves dusting and organizing the dresser and night stand tops. It also means moving any dirty laundry to the laundry room, changing the sheets and pillow cases, and hanging up any clothes in the closet that found their way to the floor or dresser top. 

Fridays we clean the dining room. 
This involves clearing off the dining room table and dusting and polishing it with pledge. I also clear off the bar, side table, and buffet. Then I restyle any dining table centerpieces and bring items to rightful places if they don't belong in the dining room. This day is fairly simple. But it needs to be done every week because we use the dining room table for too many items that don't belong. This room also needs a quick vacuum on Saturdays.

Saturdays we do laundry and vacuum. 
This means washing the towels from Monday, sheets from Thursday, and any kitchen towels already piling up. We also attempt to wash any clothing, but we can usually get by doing this every other Saturday. The only other thing left to to is to vacuum the rooms upstairs, which takes about 20 minutes.

Sundays we clean the kitchen. 
This involves decluttering the countertops and using my Alice's Wonder Spray on all surfaces--counter top, fridge, oven, and dishwasher. It also means applying my Counter Top Magic to our counters. We may also need to clean out the fridge, unload the dishwasher and load it {this one does need to be kept up others days, too}, move any items from the kitchen back to their rightful places, and scrubbing the floor. Sometimes we need to clean the windows, too. 

I hope this can bring some simplicity to your days and some sparkle to your rooms. My current cleaning supply wishlist includes a dustbuster--to not have to always carry the heavy vacuum--and some time to sew some more flannel dusting/cleaning rags.

If you have any simple cleaning tips or ideas, we'd love to hear about them in the comments.


27 October 2011

{something threads and feathers} autumn feather centerpieces

Laura over at Violet Bella is one of my favorite artists. Her style exudes a life of relaxation and art. I adore it. For the past month, she's been hosting guest feather projects. And it gave me some inspiration today.

I started with some vintage and craft supplies I've had in my art supply box for years: vintage wooden spools and feathers. And it was the simplest DIY I've designed for quite some time.

Supplies: vintage wooden spools, with or without threads; feathers of your choice.

Step One: Select your feathers and spools. I went with an array of autumn tones.
Step Two: Arrange your feathers in groupings of 3-6.
Step Three: Insert the feathers into the open end of your spool.
Step Four: Arrange as you wish.

I arranged a large number of them for a bigger impact with the candles I always have in the dining room. I think it added a nice layer of height. I created the table runner using vintage dictionary pages, using the starting pages for the letters G-I-V-E-T-H-A-N-K-S. It's a simple autumn centerpiece that will last beautifully through the end of November. It just brings a smile to my face.

Thanks, Laura, for the inspiration. And thank you art supply box for a stash of spools, threads, and feathers.

xo, katie

26 October 2011

{something carved} halloween jack-o-lanterns

We carved our pumpkins a few weeks ago at Maddie and Chris's house. It was a super sweet event. Maddie prepped their garage with tarps, knives, and buckets for the guts. We just had to come with  pumpkins and ideas:)

We picked up our pumpkins are the simple mennonite market in a small town outside of JV's hometown. It was a simply delightful stop. I loved all the autumn veggies and flowers. So pretty.

My design this year was on a small pumpkin, a witch of my own imagination with stars and moon. JV drew a grid. Then we left them on his parents' porch to spread the holiday happiness.


24 October 2011

{something 29+1} DIY photo booth

I found a complete set of Star Wars sheets on my road trip to Springfield. And I only paid $10 for the full set, vintage. And that's where the photo booth starts. There and with a suitcase of props.

I know the photo of my LOML {Love of My Life}, Jv, and me is blurry. But it's the only sweet one we took. I told him we will need to recreate the shot soon. It's not every day that I get to wear my rose flower crown. Or that he wears his MadMen sweater.

I love having photos of us, family, and friends all over my home. But for some reason I always forget to take the shots when we are all together. Setting up the photo booth with my camera, a vintage sheet, and a tripod was one of the best solutions and decisions. I can't wait to order prints.

I created the props suitcase with all of our old Halloween and date party costumes. The felt mustaches and lips were a DIY using wooden dowels and stiff felt. I'll post the DIY soon. And then I added my vintage flash cards and small chalkboard for guests to spell out words. It was simply delightful.

Oh. And though the sign says open 8-9, the Photo Booth was clearly open all night long. The sign didn't seem to be as helpful as me showing people how to work the camera. But I think it was a pretty way to share the idea with guests.

Displaying the sheet turned out to be wonderfully simple since Home Wine Kitchen, the space, already had a curtain in the spot. So I just safety pinned onto it. If you don't have a space like that, I suggest using a few clips and 3M strips. Or push pins.

And this is my friend Katie. She's creative, too. And she's started her own business, SewIn2You. We didn't plan the outfits, but it was pretty darn delightful to have such a sweet and similar style. I'm glad I had two flower crowns to share.

katie scarlett

15 October 2011

{something I love} five prints

If I had a million walls, I would have enough space to display my favorite of things: art prints. I find a new one to love at least daily. So I thought, at the very least, I could share them with you virtually. I can't wait to find a wall and an excuse for all of them, especially the first two.



11 October 2011

{something odyssey halloween}: cyclops necklace DIY

Max conquered the Wild Things by staring into their eyes, demanding that they "be still." Odysseus defeated the Cyclops, a long, long time ago. The one-eyed monster is one of the original Halloween scare-fest contenders. And while Odysseus and Max were searching for their way home, I was simply searching for more order at home. And I came across these ancient googly-Cyclops-eyes in my craft stash.

They stared at me for a few days before I could discover what to make of them. Then, sitting side-by-side with my button collection, it came to me: cyclops necklaces. The DIY is fairly simple. You'll need some jewelry making supply staples, which I always happen to have on hand, as well as some googly eyes and vintage {or new} buttons just a tad larger than your monster googly eyes.

Supply List: Extra-strong jewelry glue, vintage buttons, googly eyes, jump rings, jewelry pliers, and figure eight connectors. You could use jewelry bails instead of the figure eight connectors and jump rings, but I used the less expensive option for this DIY.

Step 1 Place your button on a surface that can get ruined {scrap paper, an old card, an old cereal box} and add a small drop of glue. 

Step 2 Attach the Cyclops googly eye.

Step 3 Flip the button so that the eye is face down {this is so the glue doesn't continue to leak through the button holes and firmly stick to your surface. You may need to wipe the glue smooth with a toothpick.

Step 4 Glue the figure eight connector to the back of the button.

Step 5 After waiting for it to dry for a bit, add the jump ring using your jewelry pliers. If you need assistance for a visual for how to open and close the jump rings with the pliers, this YouTube video is helpful.

Step 6 Make your Cyclops necklace complete with a strand of string or a simple ball chain.

I also thought glueing some eyes to bobby pins or pin backs might be cute. And I can't wait to wear mine when I read Odysseus's story against the Cyclops in the coming weeks. Or for all monster stories for that matter. Even Max and the Wild Things. Watch out!

08 October 2011

{something fringe} saturday night artist

Before I call it a night for art, I wanted to post: I've created a pretty set of fringe scarves headed for Corner Cottage next weekend. And I am in the process of creating the coasters I've been dreaming up for weeks. So they should be on the way to the Corner Cottage in Dexter, Mo. next weekend as well.

Be sure to check out both shops in Dexter--Corner Cottage and The Metro Gallery--as well as my etsy shop as the holidays approach. I hope your Saturday evening was as wonderful as mine. Oh, and all photos are by the wonderful Cheryl of Cheryl M. Photography. I can't wait for another photo shoot!


07 October 2011

{something to write} friday writing prompt

It's been awhile. But here's your prompt for the weekend: write a story or poem {or just design something} using the six words posted above. Be original with them--don't limit yourselves to the literal language, push yourselves to the figurative nature of them with sound and simile.


Ms. Scarlett

03 October 2011

{something 29+1} the cake, rainbow style

When I was four, I adored Rainbow Bright. And this memory starts with a photo: four candles sit on top of a rectangle sheet cake that my mama baked for me. Using the crafty skills {she passed along to me} she decorated the top with pink, blue, green, and yellow iced sculptures of Miss Rainbow Bright and her sprites, much more homemade and much more wonderful than any professional baker could imagine.

And my fuzzy memory brings me back to the kitchen the night before, baking my first rainbow cake with Mama in our blue kitchen. We added the eggs, oil, and water to the white cake mix. Then we separated it into four bowls, one for each color of food coloring. We squeezed the drops into the batter, then magically each batter began to take on its magical colors. The next step, Mama showed me, was to pour parts of each color directly into the buttered pan, at random, creating a zigzag, mish-mash, checkerboard of sorts. Then we baked it. Mama iced it the next morning, and after I blew out the candles in my violet corduroy dress, we cut into the rainbow surprise no one was expecting. {and note I wrote out this memory before digging up the photo for the post, "sweets to the sweet!"}

I have always loved my rainbows, especially my rainbow cake. And now the DIY market is full of them. And since Mama lives hours away, and I'm a little on the busy side, I called in a professional baker for this six-layer beauty. The 29+1 party wouldn't be complete without it, and I am so thankful for the talented and kind people at Kreative Kakes. The cake was a hit.

My friend Maddie snapped some photos of me cutting into it, but I haven't seen them yet. For now,  I suppose just cake will do. With the cake table, Home Wine Kitchen provided a very vintage mantle surround. I decorated it with a string of white ball lights, blue glass ball jars, and one of my custom quote mugs with Shakespeare's Hamlet line Sweets to the Sweet,"flowers, and two vintage flash cards reading "let's eat."

I even brought along my custom silver forks from lisa leonard designs {year five anniversary gift to JV since year five is silver and wood, but that post is for another day} that read "forever and ever." They are so perfect and sweet.

Yay for the cake. And yay for four-year-old birthdays and 29+1 birthdays. And yay for rainbows.