{charmed earth}

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

30 December 2011

{something jane} jane austen quote print

One of my goals for the New Year is to learn more quotes. My background with American authors Thoreau, Dickinson, Whitman, and Emerson is more astonishing that I could have ever imagined. And since I started creating my quote mugs, I'm getting much better with that Brit William Shakespeare.

But there's so much more to learn. So my hope is to post a few more quote prints with new authors here on the blog. This one is from the ever popular Jane Austen. I searched her lines on GoodReads, and this one inspired me to create this evening.

I hope you like it. If you have any quotes you'd like to share, I'd love to let them be my muse. Just leave them in the comments below.

xo, katie

29 December 2011

{something wonderful} a date day with my true love

I'm off this week. It's a good thing. But my charming husband is not. In fact, he's working overtime right now like a rock star. But since the weekend was spent out of town, he took Tuesday off with me. It was delightful.

We enjoyed brunch at a *new* St. Louis spot called Half&Half over in Clayton. It was simply delicious. I can't wait to go back. I couldn't decide between the egg sandwich or the blackberry french toast with marscapone cheese. I went with the most amazing egg sandwich that's ever touched these lips. And now, next time, I might have to just get both. Jv went with the very yummy steak sandwich. It was the bartender's favorite, too {since it was so packed, and we had a movie date to catch, we sat at the bar}.

One of my favorite parts was the chai tea latte. It's the best chai tea latte in all of St. Louis hands down. I may have to treat myself if they are open and I am early on my way to work. I might even have to grab an egg sandwich to go...maybe my next early start day will start with this delightful breakfast.

After brunch, we headed over to our old stomping grounds--the Central West End--to walk around a bit and catch a movie at The Chase. We saw the new Jason Reitman {Juno, Up In the Air} film, Young Adult. I have to say I really enjoyed it. It was funny and heartfelt at the same time. Plus, the soundtrack is great. I really loved this one by Teenage Fanclub.

The Concept by Teenage Fanclub on Grooveshark

After that we even headed over to Pottery Barn Kids to browse some cute baby stuff that makes us wish we were millionaires. We finished our delightful day with some yummy pigs in a blanket and a few episodes of House Hunters. I wish every day was a day off with my one true love.

xo, katie

{something hot, something sewn} handmade pot holders DIY

My sister Lissa asked for handmade potholders for her birthday in October. I never got around to it. That is until now. I found some fabulous Christmas Grinch fabric and some just for fun fabric.

I spent the evening and night cutting and sewing like a little elf to create twenty of these beautiful gifts. I'm saving some for future birthdays for friends, but I just know my sister will adore them...a few months late.

If you want to sew these on your own, here's the supply list and a written step-by-step. I forgot to snap photos as I was creating.

Supplies: pretty fabric, thread, cotton batting, ribbon, scissors, and a sewing machine.

Step One: Cut your fabric into your desired size squares. You will need two squares per potholder. I just traced around a potholder I already had in the kitchen. And I didn't measure.
Step Two: Place your fabric pretty sides facing.
Step Three: Using your sewing machine, sew three sides of the fabric, so that you have an open pouch. Step Four: Turn the fabric right side out.
Step Five: Cut three layers of batting the size of your potholder.
Step Six: Place the batting inside the pocket. Trim it so that there's about half and inch to an inch more fabric than batting.
Step Seven: Tuck your unsewn top layers inside.
Step Eight: Add a loop of ribbon at the corner of the open end.
Step Nine: Sew shut. Move slowly with your machine. You might want to use heavy duty needles. I didn't. One broke, but then I moved slowly. During this step I also used a shiny silver thread.
Step Ten: Sew around the entire potholder, with about a quarter inch border around the edge.
Step Eleven: Sew a letter "x" across the potholder, if you desire.

Yay! You did it. I know I need photos! But if you have questions, just ask me. It's such a delightful gift. I, of course, made a few more for myself. And these are tried and true in my kitchen. The batting has enough layers to protect your hands!


28 December 2011

{something mailed} holiday cheer is mailed

I mailed our cards a little late this year, so instead of a Merry Christmas, they say Happy New Year.

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is finding cards from dear friends and family in our mailbox. I always will love getting mail.

This year, instead of the usual online photo ordering, I decided to make handmade cards at Kinkos. They turned out well. I love that I could add the personal touch of my handwriting. Plus, they were much more cost friendly.

I hope you like them as much as we do. It took forever to get a good shot with our very misbehaved bulldog, but I think we pulled it off.


27 December 2011

{something princess} DIY flower crown

My goddaughter, Francesa, is like me. She likes bows and ribbons in her long, long hair.

For her Christmas gift this year, I decided to make her a flower crown. Since she's little, I didn't want to have any exposed wires. This delightful solution involving a simple needle and wire came to my mind in line at Michaels.

Supplies you need: flexible jewelry wire, craft roses {just the buds pulled off of the stems}, beads, a thick needle, scissors, tape {floral or washi}, and ribbon.

Step One: Cut your wire about six inches longer than the desired length to make up for unexpected trims.
Step Two: Push your needle through the base of a rose. 
Step Three: String the rose onto the wire.
Step Four: Add your beads and more roses in your desired alternating pattern.
Step Five: Once you have the length you need, wrap the wire tightly around itself.
Step Six: Cover the wire with washi or floral tape. 
Step Seven: Cut your ribbons as twice as long as you'd like them to fall.
Step Eight: Tie your ribbons in a tight knot over the washi tape.
Step Nine: Shape crown into a clean circle.

And then gift to your favorite princess. I hope she likes it:)


25 December 2011

{something merry} merry christmas

When Jv and I got married, I was so excited to start a handful of Christmas traditions together. One of my favorites is our picture card we send in the mail. Peek back later this week for more of our traditions.

And from our family to yours...have a smokin' Christmas and New Years.


24 December 2011

{something delightful} a sweet christmas with my true love

Last night, Jv and I celebrated our Christmas. At half past six, we exchanged gifts. I absolutely adore every gift, especially my new spoon ring {my newest collection} and a beautiful dish from Urban. Oh and I just loved the bear skin rug he bought for our baby girl. I post more on gifts later.

After that we spent part of the night sharing a pizza while watching A Charlie Brown Christmas together all cozy on the couch. The night was complete after we went for a walk around the neighborhood to look at all the pretty houses and lights.

katie {+jv+vito+our baby girl *jupiter*}

23 December 2011

{something wrapped} christmas gifts wrapped under the lighted tree

Wrapping presents has always been something I've had a talent for doing well and enjoying. I used to think I would get a job at the mall in the gift wrap station during the holidays.

For the past five years or so I think I've gotten away without buying {or using} a single roll of wrapping paper. Last year I used paper grocery sacks. And the year before that I used a lot of tissue paper and tulle leftover from a Halloween tutu. And some year in there I used sheet music.

This year I pulled out all my years of gift wrapping supplies. I will admit that I have bought some of these supplies within the past year--the sticker paper for my handmade Christmas tags, the washi tape I found online and at anthropologie, and the wax paper bags I always have on hand in the kitchen. But overall, I, like most artists and crafty people, had most of my supplies on hand marked in a box for "gift wrapping."

This first gift is a throwback to a few years ago. First, wrap the gift with a pretty color tissue paper. I used my last sheet of mint. Then cut a piece of black tulle to fit. Secure the tulle with ribbon {I used yarn my Mama gave me last weekend when I was home}. Add a tag, curly pipe cleaner, or ornament, and it's complete.

As you know, I adore anthropologie. I received a few gift cards last year in these super cute white boxes. I reused this one with a simple twist of yarn, a handmade gift tag, and a key ornament I handmade for JV. Simple. Simple.

Wax paper bags are such a treat. For this package, I wrapped my gifts with a bright colored tissue paper {red} and simply placed them inside the wax paper bag. I finished them off with a simple strip of washi tape and a handmade sticker tag. They are so simple, but I think these are one of my favorites. And they seem to be a perfect alternative to the infamous gift bag.

This one is wrapped with some simple plaid tissue paper I had leftover from wrapping some gifts for my dad last year. I try to use it sparingly. It's like a cross between wrapping paper and tissue paper, and I love it. I finished it off with a yarn bow.

To wrap something smaller, I used some 5x7 manilla envelopes I bought a few years ago for some baby shower invitations. I used simple vintage labels to write names, and I finished the look off with some washi tape and a felt reindeer from Hobby Lobby. These are super cute, and they are much more festive than a plain white envelope.

I did something similar with this envelope I received in the mail a few weeks ago. I had to cover the shipping label with some of my plaid paper. To make it stick, I used washi tape. Then I completed the package with a few snowflake stickers that I've had in the "gift wrap" box for years.

These packages are so pretty under the tree. I have to say--I know wrapping takes time, but I love it.

Do you have any beautiful packaging tips or ideas for the holidays?


21 December 2011

{something warm} quote mug gifts

My local Value Village can be a treasure chest. And sometimes it can be, well, full of trash. I dropped in this week and scored a TON of ivory diner mugs: treasure chest. At sixty to eighty cents each, I stocked up. And, to be honest, I think I might have to make a third trip tomorrow or Thursday.

Some people might not be comfortable drinking out of a vintage mug, but I've washed them and sanitized them on high heat. And I own up to the idea that it might become a pencil holder.

Since I am so fond of quotes, I simply collected some of my favorites and wrote them on the mugs as pretty as I could with a Porcelain 150 fine point pen in black, like this one here. I usually get mine at Art Mart here in St. Louis. They are currently out of stock, but they will make an order for me when I call them:) I'm going to do something similar with names or monograms later this week--totally in the spirit of anthropologie.

There are nineteen teachers in our English department. And I usually only give my closest friends at work a handmade gift at work. But this time, I couldn't help myself. I packaged each one with a fancy bag of Tazo Joy tea, which you can find here. But try to buy it at Starbucks like I did. It's way too expensive online. If I had more time, I might use my favorite peppermint tea or make my own with this DIY at A Beautiful Mess.

You could also include a special handmade coaster and Starbucks gift card if you wanted to make the gift something more expensive. Or you could also fill them with cocoa and marshmallows {I'm hoping to personalize a few for some kiddos in my life with cocoa}, with a few special pens or markers, with chocolate covered spoons, or with a blend of your favorite coffee.


katie scarlett

20 December 2011

{something yummy} rolo turtles with christmas pretzels

My mama bakes anywhere between ten and fifteen types of cookies for the holidays--sesame logs, fig cookies, white chocolate covered pretzels, rice krispie treat trees, cut out sugar cookies, chocolate rolos, peanut butter kisses, press cookies, mexican wedding cakes, you name it, she's probably baking it one night this week.

I have all of her recipes. And in college I used to spend half my December grocery budget on sugar, butter, eggs, flour, and sprinkles. But somewhere along the line I stopped baking the list. I've left it to Mama. I do, however, make one special treat to share with all my family and friends: pecan rolo turtles.

My godmother introduced me to the recipe. It was never on Mama's list. It's all "mine." Though my nani and my aunt Mary stole the recipe this season.

It's super simple, and I'm sure you've seen it done, but it's my holiday cookie share. I found Christmas tree pretzels online here, but be careful of where you order from. They might get broken:(

Ingredients: pretzels {mine are Utz Christmas shapes}, pecan halves, and Rolo candies {unwrapped}

1. Place your pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet.
2. Add a Rolo to the top of each pretzel.
3. Bake at 300 degrees for two to two-and-a-half minutes.
4. Remove them from the oven and smash a pecan half onto the top of each Rolo.
5. Cool in your freezer {I had to make room in mine} or outside if it's cold enough. 
6. Package and enjoy! {I package mine in clear treat sacks from Target in the gift wrap area, and I seal them with my handmade sticker gift tags}.

I'm giving a pair to each of my delightful English teacher colleagues tomorrow {with another surprise I hope to post tomorrow}. And Jv's been enjoying a few with a glass of milk the past few nights.


14 December 2011

{something tin man} wizard of oz ornament story

My mama sewed this ornament for me for my first Christmas. I was 3 months old. The Tin Man was part of a set, but he was the only one she was able to sew. The rest of the designs disappeared. I used to wonder how I could re-create the rest of the team--Dorothy, the Lion, and the Scarecrow. But I never really got around to it.

Then, one day, on one of my frequent visits to a favorite local vintage shop, I found a package set of the originals. The goal was to make the Lion this year for our baby girl who will join us in April. And maybe this post will inspire me to just find where I stashed it...

Either way, it's one of my favorite ornaments. I like the the Tin Man is alone. And maybe the Lion will be the only one that joins him.

Do you have favorite handmade ornaments?


10 December 2011

{something pretty} holiday gift tags

I've been covered with glitter for the past few days, but I thought these holiday gift tags might get you in the spirit to finish your shopping and hand-making or start your wrapping.

I've designed some of my own tags this year, too. But they are hand drawn, and I can't get them online. But here are some for you to choose from online. Just print them on a nice card stock or sticker paper.  If you have time, bring them to your local print shop for a fancier finish.


vol25 freebie
blush gift tags, via etsy

more from blush printables
eat, drink, chic mail tags
nelle designs
brooklyn limestone naughty or nice tags

06 December 2011

{something musical} winter wonderland playlist

This is a picture of us at my mama and daddy's house. I love our old school stockings...you can't find anything like them anymore.

Winter Wonderland by katie storms on Grooveshark

I'm baking poppy seed bread tonight. And then I need to get some serious house cleaning or glitter gluing on. Here's my playlist of winter favorites. Enjoy listening as you create, bake, or wish for snow.


03 December 2011

{something cookie cutter} rocking horse ornament story

Welcome to Ornament Story. This is a new feature I'm adding to the blog to prepare for the holidays. I've been designing and collecting Christmas ornaments for as long as I can remember. I still have some hanging on the tree at Mom and Dad's, but most of them are here with us in St. Louis. As part of the ornament story series, my hope is to write a short vignette about some of the ornaments in my collection. Along with each story, I'm posting a new Christmas Ornament DIY for you to create this holiday season. 

I used to dance. The studio's building is still in my parents' old neighborhood, but now it's a church. I think it was a church before it was Lori's dance studio, too. I wasn't that great at dance, but I do remember Lori. She had long, curly black hair. And she was very kind. 

Every year at Christmas we always had a recital in studio; one year, we wore elf costumes. My sister Lissa and I still have the pieces. Lori also hosted a Christmas party every December with cookies. And no one left without a gift. Each year, I think, the gift was the same, an ornament. I only remember one ornament, and it still hangs on my tree today. It's a blue rocking horse with plaid details. Lori lettered her name and the date, 1988, in gold paint pen. Each year I hang it on the tree I am reminded of the short days of dance, the elf costumes, and Lori. 

For this Cookie Cutter DIY, you will need the following supplies: vintage cookie cutters {I find these out thrifting all the time, and this Christmas set was too cute and affordable to pass up}, spray paint {I used a champagne gold color}, a hot glue gun, hot glue sticks, ribbon {my glittery find is from Michaels}, and a button.

As you work, here's a great song for your listening. I heard it on Glee the other night, and I love it.

Girls just wanna have fun by Glee Cast on Grooveshark

The first thing you want to do is spray paint your ornaments. Lay them out on paper, and give them a light spray. I did two light coats, allowing some of the original colors to subtly sneak through for a magical effect. Allow them to dry overnight. You can see the before above and the after below.

The Step by Step
Step 1: Spray Paint your ornaments.
Step 2: After your ornaments are dry, take them inside.
Step 3: Add a small dime sized amount of hot glue to the back of the ornament.
Step 4: Place the ribbon in the glue, creating a loop for it to hang on the tree.
Step 5: Secure the ribbon to the cookie cutter {and polish the look} by adding a button over the exposed glue.
Step 6 {optional}: sign your name and the date with a black or white paint pen {in true Lori fashion}

I think these will be super cute to gift with a package of cookies for friends or family this holiday season. If you have even more time, I also thought it would be cute to add more paint or glitter to the ridges of the cookie cutters. 

If you have any great ornament stories or links of your own, please share them in the comments below. Enjoy creating this winter, and I hope you find some time to dance.