{charmed earth}

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

26 November 2011

{something traditional} thanksgiving photo shoot

Mama didn't mail this one off, but we found it to be quite entertaining.
My mama still sends a family Christmas card with our photo. Since I started leaving for college, we started taking it annually as a tradition on Thanksgiving. This year, since my baby brother is in college, and we are rarely home at the same time, it's more difficult to get it taken in time for the Christmas mailing.

My Dad likes to take the candid shots. That's Vito, our bulldog, in his clear usual misbehavior.
This is me with my sisters, Melissa {Mj} and Molly
And this is me with my brothers, Max and Boomer, and my husband, Jv.

Since I wasn't with the family this year, I was a bit saddened that I couldn't be there for the photo op. Mama's going to have two photos--one with my brothers and sisters, one with me and Jv.

This is one of the good ones from 2008.
In honor of the tradition, I thought I'd share some favorites from the past few years. It's a goal for me to post the collection one of these days, but I'll need to collect and scan the non-digital archives.

This is one of the good ones from 2009.
I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving Traditions. I did make our traditional family recipes for cranberry salad and rolls to share with my husband and our family on his side.

22 November 2011

{something accomplished} 29 before 30 review

I didn't forget my list, and my next list, 29+1 {it sounds much more magical than "30 before 31"} is written, just not public yet. So here's the recap of Year 29, accomplished and unaccomplished.

1. Make a scarf out of an old t-shirt: Check. I don't have a photo. It was a steely/dove gray, and I wasn't super excited about it. Next time, I think I'll try a braided headband.

2. Visit New Orleans, Louisiana: Check. It was a wonderful summer trip. It might be too much information, but I'm pretty sure it's where our baby *Jupiter* found the way into the world. It was the perfect city to just have fun, take lots of great pictures, and enjoy lots of great food and music.

3. Visit Death Valley, photography it: Check. I almost thought this one wouldn't happen. But it did. And it was the best place I've ever been with Jv. The landscapes were beautiful, it was so simple to just be there without towers of buildings and crowds of people. I have never seen stars more beautiful than the ones we saw the first night in Death Valley. I loved it, and I can't wait to go on a family vacation there. It was wonderful to photograph.

4. Open Etsy Shop: Check. I've been so invested in the shop, I forgot it was a 29 before 30 goal. It seems like such a part of my life now. My next goal is to make more sales, but for now I am just happy that it's there. My business needs more growth, but I am happy to be with etsy, The Corner Cottage, and The Metro Gallery. It's wonderful.

5. Enter another craft fair: Better luck next year on this one, I hope. I had good intentions, but I decided to invest my money sponsoring a few blogs and hosting giveaways this summer. And since sponsoring blogs wasn't a goal, I think this was a good replacement.

6. Mama's Recipe Cards: Check. Though they are still in progress, these are more complete than not complete.

7. Submit Art to Gallery: Check. My jewelry, photography, hair accessories, stationary, and other items are at the gallery in Dexter, and I couldn't be happier.

8. Print Notebooks with Quotes: Not yet. I did start my quote blog posts, so at least I'm still quote collecting and designing!

9. Empty My File Cabinet at Work: Check. I was pretty much forced to do this one since my office space was demolished over the summer, but it felt so good to whittle down seven years of files, 12 years if I add on the college papers that I found in the mess.

10. Organize Storage Area(s) at Home: Check. This felt so cleansing. I think I filled the curb out front by our bungalow nearly five times. And I filled my entire sedan--trunk, back seat, passenger seat--for a church rummage sale. It felt wonderful. I know I could still cut back even more, but what I let go of was so refreshing. This pic is my design closet restyled. I love how my stash of perfume boxes--from over a decade of Christmases and birthdays--look so perfect and organized with my vintage-style "Hello-My-Name-Is" labels.

11. Garage Sale and Purge:Sorta-check. I can lump this one with goal 10. And I decided to donate instead of garage sale it. I'm border-line embarrassed to post the pic above, but this is just a small percentage of what I donated...reality at its finest.

12. ReInspired Bedroom Makeover: Check. Painting the walls this summer has set such an everlasting, calming mood in our bedroom. I love every detail--my golden quotes that share how we fell in love, the collages of prints and photos, the romantic bedding and lighting, and the simple map drawer pulls on real night stands. It's a beautiful place to sleep...

13. Backpaint Glass with Favorite Quote: Nope.

14. Embroider a rainbow on felt: Nope. But I like this one...

15. Road Trip and Thrift Somewhere: Check. I drove from Dexter to Springfield, Springfield to St. Louis. And it was a delightful trip where I discovered my ivory 29+1 dress at Red Velvet, mint green ice cream bowls, vintage cookie cutters, gold clutch purse, vintage Star Wars sheets, vintage buttons, and more fabulous finds. Plus my sister met me in Springfield for a delightful weekend.

16. Photo Journal Years 4 and Five: Half-Check. We did year four, but we need to get year five. We should get it written by the new year...

17. Learn to Crochet: Nope. And the sad part is that I didn't even try. But I really want to do it this time around. My dream is to learn how to crochet flowers, red roses to be precise.

18. Moosewood Mondays: Check. I did a few. The best recipe was the tomato soup. Yum!

19. Apply for MFA: Nope.

20. ReStyle Art/Design Space: Check. I loved the black, white, gray, and yellow motif that spilled out as I built the collage of art on the wall. Plus, reorganizing my art supplies with "Hello, My Name Is Name Tags" and old perfume boxes makes me smile every time I go to my supply closet.

21. Host a MadMen Dinner Party: Nope.

22. Create a Design Notebook: Check. I think I created at least three:)

23. Discover a New Band: Check. I fell in love with "She & Him."

24. Hang Vintage Family {wedding} photos: Nope/In Progress.

25. Write a Poem: Check. I actually wrote a few. My favorite is one I wrote about crickets in Wyoming. Or maybe the ones about distance in a field of maize or Chinese take-out.

26. Continue to Blog: Check.

27. Find White Truffle Butter and Make the Pasta: Check and Nope.I found the butter, but I didn't make the pasta. I made fabulous grilled cheese with it, though.

28. Discover a New Poet: Check. This one is difficult, but I discovered how much I still love Billy Collins. What's incredibly terrible is that I found two poets, and one of them slips my mind. I also found Priscilla Becker when I read my poem a day in my inbox {from Poets.org}. I love her conclusions in the few poems I've read. I might find my way into buying her collection...

29. Listen to Records on a Saturday Night: Check. We listened to Joni Mitchell, Connor Oberst, Warren Zevon, and Van Morrison. Plus we had wine and snacks. I can't wait for our next record party; I'm trying to decide what vinyl I might wish for for Christmas.

Wow. Typing this up, I feel greatly accomplished and inspired to write my 29+1 list. I hope you reach all the goals you set for a day, a week, a month, a year, a lifetime.


21 November 2011

{something feathers, leather, and gold} hair feathers DIY

When the clock struck midnight Sunday, my golden feathers DIY appeared magically at Threadesque.

When Sam, the delightful blogger and Rose Vintage shop owner, asked me to host a November DIY on her super cute blog, I did a little dance. Her blog inspires creativity all the time, and her vintage finds compliment any fashion statement.  I am so glad to have such an artistic new friend. 
For this Thanksgiving inspired DIY, you will need the supplies listed below. You can find almost everything at your local craft store or via etsy. 

Supply List: Feathers, embroidery thread {I chose DMC gold}, leather or suede ribbon, bobby pin, clothespins, and scissors.

Step One: Gather and arrange your feathers. Secure them with a clothespin. 
Step Two: Add your leather ribbon to the feather arrangement, on the back side. Re-secure clothespin.
Step Three: Begin to tie the gold thread around the feathers and leather ribbon. 
Step Four: Flip the feathers and leather to tie another knot. Continue to flip and tie knots until your feathers and leather are securely together. A band of gold will begin to form. When you hit the top, tie three or four extra knots on the back side. 
Step 5: Secure a bobby pin in the middle of the leather ribbon.
Step 6: Let the golden threads fly with the wind; they look magical blended in with the feathers, and chances of the gold unraveling will disappear.

All you have to do next is wear them. My favorite fashion accessories to pair them with are leggings, fringe boots, and simple earrings. You could even use colorful feathers for a bright holiday look.
Thank you, Sam, for hosting this DIY. I am truly grateful for the chance to share my ideas with you and your readers. 


18 November 2011

{something grateful} thanksgiving inspired quote

I am grateful this year. I am grateful for my dear husband. I am grateful that we are welcoming a new baby {jupiter}into our family in April. I am grateful for the ongoing support of my parents. I am grateful for time to create. I am grateful for art. I am grateful for dear friends. And I am, of course, very grateful for my dear readers. 


15 November 2011

{something storybook}: glitter storybook ornaments and santas

Snowflakes aren't falling yet, but I am in the mood for winter: a snow day or two, holiday vinyls, peppermint hot cocoa, and winter wish list dreaming.

Here are a few items I've been creating that are on the way to The Corner Cottage and The Metro Gallery for the Black Friday rush and thereafter. If you are in Southeast Missouri this holiday season, be sure to checkout the Glitter Storybook Christmas Series.

I might post some in the shop, but this little elf only has so much time in her workshop after eight-hour days reading stories to teenagers and helping teenagers write their own stories.

Oh. The image above is with a  special winter bell jar I created awhile back. I'm hoping to post a DIY in December...

be merry,

09 November 2011

{something wonderful} baby love

This is how I shared the news with Jv

Let's be simple: Jv and I are expecting a baby. We are delighted.

This is where it seems to have started: New Orleans, LA. July 2011

07 November 2011

{something wood, something silver} five year wedding anniversary gifts

Before I even looked for the traditional gift guide for year five, I was secretly wishing it was the year to gift wood for two reasons: I've been wanting an excuse to gift JV this screen printed lucha mask key hook by New Duds on etsy, and I've always wanted to have these sweet handmade cake toppers by peanutbutter bandit on etsy{I collect vintage and handmade wedding cake toppers} gifted to me, from my love. My love also found a handmade wood bracelet for me on etsy that is super cute. I wore it all summer.

If you haven't been reading {charmed earth} for long // or just to remind you // here are all the years posted. Year Five will be it until June 24, 2012. First Year: Paper. Second Year: Cotton. Third Year: Leather and Glass. Fourth Year: Appliances. Fifth Year: Wood and Silver.

If you want a full list, here's one online. We usually go with traditional, but sometimes the modern or alternate gifts make more sense.

When I read to my delight that year five wasn't just wood but silverware, too, I couldn't help but take the signal to order these custom forks from lisa leonard designs. I had them engraved with the words *forever* *and ever*. Most anniversaries involve a night out for dinner, but sometimes we stay in. And even if there isn't dinner, sometimes there's cake.

For our five year wedding anniversary--back in June--we dined at a St. Louis spot, Eleven Eleven Mississippi. It was delicious. And I always want to remember the golden candlelit glow of that night, how we sat across from one another and shared our dreams for starting a family together one day soon. I can't wait.

I hope your five-year anniversaries are {were} as delightful. And let's hope there are many more to come.

katie scarlett

05 November 2011

{something organized} kitchen pantry and spices

I've been organizing. It turns out that my cleaning schedule is so easy to manage--and some rooms don't need the extras like dusting this second week around. Plus I've been avoiding a stack of student essays. I stack them in groups of five. After I grade five, I can stop for a break. I usually find something like reorganizing the pantry a good reason to stop.

Storage Solution: Vintage Glass for Grains
My pantry isn't perfect, but here's my list of tips. My first tip is to find something clear to store your grains, baking supplies, and pretty supplies. I've been collecting glass Ball jars, the blue ones, for three years. I also have a vintage fine China sugar bowl for Wilton icing tips, a vintage Miss Piggy jam jar for sea salt from Paris, and a Dolle's saltwater taffy box for food coloring. Be simple with your containers. Find something pretty. Clean it. And store something in it.

Storage Solution: Clear Canisters for Baking
The flour and sugar containers were purchased at a home store right after we got married. And I'd love to replace them with glass one day....

I did personalize them a bit with some pretty blue washi tape and Sharpie ink. And sometimes I use the same washi tape to stick to the bottoms of jars with grains that have expiration dates. It's an easy way to keep a record of that important fact.

I bought marshmallows last night to compliment the season of hot cocoa. Right now, the bag fits nicely on top of the powdered sugar. I'd like a prettier container, but you can see that space is limited. And marshmallows are seasonal.

Storage Solution: Vintage Books to maximize Space and View
To maximize space on the lower shelf of the pantry, I stacked vintage Reader's Digests and a bunch of free books I got from my library when they had a spring cleaning. I always love having hardcover vintage books around. They add height in a stylish way, like my fireplace display. I can never pass up a Reader's Digest with a beautifully designed cover. I never pay more than a dollar for one, and I think this is money very well spent. I can easily see the second and third rows of grains, sprinkles, vanilla extract, you name it.

Storage Solution: Kitchen Drawer for Spices
Since there's not enough space in the pantry to keep my spices all pretty in a row, I discovered that they are just the right size to fit in one of our four kitchen drawers. There are a few extras that I keep on the counter or in the coffee cabinet, but for the most part, they fit perfectly.

I lined the drawer with one of the 12 handmade bibs my Nani sewed for my wedding. We had meatballs and mostaccioli for our wedding supper. My parents had spaghetti at theirs, and my mother made bibs for her wedding party. I continued the tradition with the same style and pattern for the bibs {red gingham}. They are perfect for all sorts of kitchen needs. And they were great insurance in keeping my dress white all evening.

Storage Solution: Candy Box for Icing Colors
I keep my beautiful collection of Wilton Icing colors in this adorable box from Dolle's, a saltwater taffy company in Delaware. My friend Nikki brought it back--full of taffy--a few years ago. I just couldn't part with its strong lines and beautiful design. And now I'll never have to lose it; it's perfect for every color, and there's plenty of room for my collection to grow.

Storage Solution: Sugar Bowl for Icing Tips
My Wilton Icing Tips used to be in a small glass baby food jar, but the collection grew. So I found this fine china sugar bowl at a thirft shop for $2. It's Noritake, and the pattern is an autumn leaf type pattern. It's perfect for the icing tips and attachments. And there's even room for a few more.

That's our home sweet home kitchen with my tips for organizing your pantry. I'd love to hear your ideas if you have any! I feel like I should do some baking today...

katie scarlett

02 November 2011

{something appliance} year four anniversary gift

Year Four. I almost didn't post about it. But then I just wouldn't be true to us. It's a year of a *mistake* we learned from.

When our 4th wedding anniversary came up, we were in the process of *restyling* our kitchen, making it easier for us to appreciate and for our house to appreciate. The first step was new counters. And the next step was a dishwasher. And a matching stove with an overhead microwave.

Jv and I fell in love with our bungalow the moment we stepped inside on a November afternoon. We didn't notice there wasn't a dishwasher. We didn't notice the countertops weren't cut right. We didn't notice that the corners above the countertops weren't painted. And we didn't notice that the vinyl flooring would be impossible to clean. We didn't notice.

But after living in our charming bungalow for a few weeks, we began to notice. And we began to plan. And we began to *dream*. And we began to save. And to save even more we decided that since the four year wedding anniversary gift is appliances, that would be our gift.

It makes sensible sense. But I like little gifts, even if they are less than a dollar. So year four was celebrated with the traditional appliances and the tradition that we'd never substitute a kitchen remodel for an anniversary celebration.

I still think we exchanged cards. If my memory is right, the handmade card from JV that year was pretty complex. And the one I found in New York, by Belle and Boo, is framed in our dining room. If we ever move, we'll take those with us. But I think the dishwasher--though a much appreciated new addition to our family--with have to stay with the bungalow.

What are your plans for your four year wedding anniversaries? Past and future...

katie scarlett