{charmed earth}

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

31 January 2012

{something january} 31 instagram photos

I started a Project 365 account this month to organize my photos. I'll share them with you each month. My hope is to order some each month, too. One of my favorite Instagramming things to do is to load wedding photos and trip photos into Instagram. They make the days look even more magical.

I hope you find my collage as beautiful as I do. It's the perfect reminder of January 2012. I can't believe we are a month down, and months closer to meeting baby Jupiter.


You can find me on Instagram under katie_scarlett. You can also follow me on 365Project as Katie Scarlett, too.

29 January 2012

{something vintage storybook} five prints I love

Last night I hit one of my favorite area flea markets. It's a bit pricey, but every time I go I plan to get one new candlewick piece. This time I purchased a three part serving dish. I also picked up one of the cutest books ever for baby Jupiter. It's called Small-Trot by Francoise. The illustrations are amazing. I can't wait to choose a few to frame {or copy and frame}.

So with inspiration from my flea market storybook find, here are five prints I love.



These prints are simply beautiful. I can't wait to find more storybooks for baby Jupiter on my thrifting adventures.


28 January 2012

{something calligraphy} chinese calligraphy class after school

This Friday was the World Languages celebration at the high school. There are a number of international students at our school as well as a number of students with international experiences. The World Languages department put on quite a day--and they added after school events like basic Arabic, oragami, dance, and a Chinese calligraphy class {among others}.

I have always been fond of calligraphy. It's something I'm good at--something I've always had a natural talent for creating. When I was in high school myself coaches would constantly ask me to pen names of athletes on state award certificates, and one teacher even hired me to pen her wedding invitations. At one point, I wanted to make it a career--the art of handwriting. Nothing could be more soothing and relaxing.

So when the bell rang at 3, I headed toward the art room for my first lesson in Chinese calligraphy. A delightfully sweet student--a master at Chinese calligraphy--led the small class. And she said I was really good. And she helped me with some strokes. And after a bit of practice, she helped me write the words I wanted to write: my name, love, and Jupiter.

In Chinese, the planets are defined as their elements, followed by the Chinese character for star. And the Chinese character for star is made up of--if I remember correctly--the characters for "sun" and "sons" because stars are the sons of the sun. Jupiter is the wood element, so by combining the Chinese characters for wood and star, I wrote Jupiter with the beautiful calligraphy brush and ink.

It was a wonderful experience. I need more art classes.


20 January 2012

{something socrates} a simple quote

I stumbled across this quote on the Apartment Therapy blog, and I knew I had to post it. It's been a long, rough week. But we are slowly getting back into things. Whenever I get sad or stressed, I think of all the things I want--new sheets from Anthropologie, a new read flower crochet ear warmer, winter boots that can repel water and snow.

But I have to remind myself of this quote and what really more important. You can find more Living with Less inspirational quotes here.


12 January 2012

{something family} my father-in-law

My true love's father has been part of my family since Jv and I have been together. That's 11 years this month. Back in August, we found out he was sick. Really sick. It seemed such tough circumstances--all our joy for the baby, but all of our sadness for Jv's dad.

Sometimes I wonder if I should add it to the blog. But for the past two weeks I've felt the inkling to add it. And though I see this space as a place to share ideas and art with the world, it's also a capsule of my life. And my life wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention this part of it.

My father-in-law's name is John. He's a very honorable, thoughtful, and generous man. Whenever Jv and I need anything, he is there to help us. I think his smile was the brightest when we showed him the first snapshots of Baby Jupiter. The doctor's say we don't have much time left. And so I dedicate this post to him now. I love him very much.


11 January 2012

{something 29+1} a list to accomplish

I love design. I love lists. I was blog reading this evening, and I discovered fatmumslim.com.au. And I love some of her styling. She inspired me to publish my 29+1 list this way. And I just love it.

I can't wait to get a color copy printed for the studio and even the fridge.

Well. My dear bulldog Vito and I are off to catch some sweet dreams.


10 January 2012

{something let go, something acquired} living with less

My goal to live with less and live more thoughtfully is off to a wonderful beginning. So far, I've let go of over 50 knick-knacks. I stacked most of them on the curb outside our charming bungalow. They disappeared in less than an hour.

My reward for letting go of the knick-knacks was this super cute vintage Avon bottle for Jupiter's baby dreamland. It's going to look so sweet on the shelving we want to have built one we get the walls painted white. Plus, I found it on etsy. So I'm supporting an independent vintage seller, Vintage Seekers.

Other items I've acquired since the start of the new year include:

This great calendar from gingiber on etsy. I'm going to frame the April 2011 one in Jupiter's Room. I'm thinking it will look very cute in a photo collage corner above the rocking chair.

These super sweet Valentines from vol25. I look forward to them every year. Jessica is one of my favorite artists. I consider these a collection. I can't wait to hang them like a garland in our bedroom. I'm thinking of writing dates on the back like the idea Elsie of A Beautiful Mess shared via Rockstar Diaries.

This anthropologie ceramic basket I've been dreaming of for months. I used a surprise giftcard my brother gave me for Christmas. My everyday makeup fits perfectly. I love it.

And one new eye shadow from Bare Minerals. The color is "nude beach." I let go of over ten empty or overdue makeup items in order to get this one. And it's just beautiful. It sure makes Monday mornings more bearable.

Have you gotten anything new lately? Or let anything go?

katie scarlett

09 January 2012

{something handmade}: a handmade holiday, mama's recipe cards

I created many handmade gifts this year. My sister Lissa got some very pretty potholders. My English teacher friends got some very literary mugs. I'll have more posts about my other projects. But this post is for the pretty recipe cards I made for my Mama.

These are Mama's recipes, some of her favorites. She's the best chef I know. I love bringing home leftovers from my visits. This time she sent me home with my favorite grapefruit, orange, cherry fruit salad, fig cookies, olive salad, lasagna, burritos, and Chex Mix. I think she sent more cookies, too, for Jv.

One thing Mama's always wanted to do is to type up her recipes to share with me, my sisters, and my girl cousins {Mama's nieces}. I've been planning this gift for years. I've been collecting e-mails and texts for years. And I finally finished part of it. I still want Mama to hand write a few recipes for me. That's another project. I'd like for my grandmas to do it, too. And my MIL. There's just something about having a cherished recipe handwritten just for you.

One of my favorite things to do when I visit my mama is to sift through her recipe box at home and ask her which woman in our family wrote which recipe. There's a history of recipes, all in pen, all in cursive, all on batter-stained cards. One day I hope I can carry home one of my GG DeFeo's recipe cards. We shared a birthday, and I've always cherished the one tea cup I have that was hers. She was a good woman.

Though these cards aren't handwritten, they do pass along a great tradition of recipes. Besides, only a few special ones need to be handwritten. It's easier to pass these ones along since the digital files can be stored.

I created these handmade cards {part of my 29 Before 30 list} just last month. I simply created them using the Pages application on my Mac. I created a border with mint colored polka dots. And the fonts are used are Lady Rene {my favorite} and Elegant Light

I think Mama really liked getting them. And now she can pass them along. And we can begin to create an entire stack of family favorites.

katie scarlett

08 January 2012

{something now and then} living with less

One of my first posts on the blog was when I whole-heartedly admitted a shameful truth: I was guilty of hoarding way too many bottles of shower gel.

Last night I felt a sense of calm--that had something more to do with it than my calming bubble bath.

This is what the bathtub looked like in January 2010.

This is what the bathtub looks like in January 2012.
I really am living with less, one thing at a time. This year, I hope we can make it more than what's lined up along the bathtub.

katie scarlett

06 January 2012

{something vintage pattern} DIY pocket mirror

One of my students gave me a Sephora pocket mirror and a Sephora gift card a few years ago to thank me for writing her letter of rec. She was one of the most thoughtful students I have ever taught. Her name was Hayley, and she wrote thank you notes every time she needed to write them. She was truly a remarkable teenager.

I've kept the mirror in my purse for a few years, and since then it's gotten a bit smudged and scratched up. And when I found this other mirror at an Estate sale, {the back side broken, but the parts still princess beautiful} I realized I could make both mirrors even more personal and beautiful with a few patterns from my vintage pattern collection.

I've been dying to do a project with some of my vintage patterns. I can't resist buying them when they are so beautiful and usually priced a nickel or a dime at estate sales, rummage sales, and some thrift shops. They are an addiction. And now I don't regret buying a single one.

Supplies: mirror, vintage sewing pattern, Mod Podge, paint brush, scissors, and fine sandpaper.

Step One:If the mirror you plan to restyle is plastic, scruff it up with the sandpaper. This will allow the glue and paper to stick to the smooth surface more securely. One of my mirrors was plastic, the other needed to have cardboard covered. I didn't need to roughen up the cardboard.
Step Two:Trace your mirror's size onto the vintage pattern using a pencil.
Step Three:Cut your vintage pattern.
Step Four:Cover your mirror's plastic surface with a thin layer of Mod Podge. Be sure to cover every corner and edge well.
Step Five:Smooth out any wrinkles and allow the paper and glue to dry for fifteen minutes or longer if you can wait. I usually can't wait. It would be wise to do this step while working on another project like a longer blog post or photo editing.
Step Six:Cover the pattern image with a layer of Mod Podge. Allow it to dry for another fifteen minutes or more. Then add more coats, drying in between, until you have the coverage and sheen you like. I used three coats.

I think my favorite detail about the pocket mirror is the pair of glasses in the girl's hand. I love how I could almost get the entire image by using the top and bottom halves.

And now that you project is complete, you have a beautiful, one of a kind mirror that you can keep in your purse or gift to a beautiful princess goddaughter.


04 January 2012

{something italy} framed prints for baby jupiter

When we went to Italy back in 2008, I fell in love with a little shop along the back streets of Florence called le 18 Lune. It would be the reason I go back to Italy.

Some of my favorites from the shop include these beautiful post cards--that I see as prints. I think I paid less than two Euro for each of them, and I adore the storybook element. I'm so glad I don't have to regret not bringing them home with us.

I found the frames for less than $6 for all three at the Value Village. Then I had the mattes custom cut to fit. I can't wait to display some of them on the custom shelving we are planning to have installed in her baby dreamland.

We are ordering a crib tonight. It's truly the highlight of my day.


{something in review} 2011--a year in photos

Last year's year in review was one of my favorite posts. I just love seeing the year come together. As I sift through my iPhoto albums,  I see so many memories. I am always reminded of how far along I've come as an artist and person. This is truly one of my favorite posts to complete each year. You can see the recap of 2010 here.

January 2011: I started a Year of Hearts. It lasted two months, but I am totally ok with not completing that project. It made me realize how much I wanted to thoughtfully think out my goals for 2012. One of my favorite projects was my glitter heart headband. It's still on of my favorite accessories:) My Valentine's Day cards are still one of my favorite design projects, too.

February 2011: I think this month was one of many tears and conversations--but it all worked out. I always want to remember our special Valentine's date in downtown St. Louis. I will always cherish the satin red dress and nude heels I bought for the occasion. I can't wait to wear them again post baby! We spent a delightful evening just the two of us at a downtown hotel and with dinner and a bottle of wine. The next morning we walked around downtown snapping photos and window shopping. It was sort of magical.

March 2011: I couldn't believe fate when Death Valley called JV to say they had an opening for us. So we cancelled our New Orleans trip {saving it for July} and headed for Death Valley. I crossed out a 28+1 wish that I really didn't think would happen. And we visited a place both of us consider one of the most beautiful vacation spots in the world. We can't wait to return with our future family--hopefully in a motor home:) Ending the trip in Vegas was the perfect was to relax and live up some glamor! You can review my 29 Before 30 List here.

April 2011: I discovered this salted brownie recipe on Emma's blog. I added extra green sprinkles to make them Master's brownies at Jv's request {since he was watching the Master's all weekend}. This recipe became one of my go-to recipes when I want to wow people with dessert. It's the best.

May 2011: This is the month I really started thinking about restyling our home. My first project was to create a beautiful space with our living room fireplace. I took to heart the idea that decorating with items I love can be one of the best ways to personalize our space. I also realized that decorating a home can {and should} be a timeless and constant art. I used to always think that I needed to re-decorate and re-style my spaces with the seasons. Though I've made small changes to the fireplace mantle, this design is still holding strong. I still like it. And I, of course, love that I don't feel like I have to spend time re-doing it {unless the moment strikes}.

June 2011: Our bedroom makeover was one of my favorite home restyle projects of the year. It was an item to cross off on my 29+1 list, and I loved every moment of planning, styling, and shopping with JV. The painting part was tedious, but it was so worth it. I feel so happy and calm in the space now, and I love the tiny vignettes we created on the walls and with our night stands and dressers. I think I still need to post a formal tour. That's a goal for 2012--after Baby Jupiter's room is complete. So look for a home tour sometime in March or April. I think my favorite part of the room--besides the prints above the bed--is that we blended our new duvet with our old granny blanket. It made everything perfect.

July 2011: New Orleans happened. It was a delightful trip--the weather wasn't too hot, the streets weren't too crowded, and the food wasn't too spicy. I loved our night at Baccanal's the best. Their food, wine, venue, and music was just the most delightful experience. If we ever travel that way again I would love to spend an evening there one more time.

August 2011: Jv and I found out our dream come true: we are expecting a baby in April.

September 2011: Planning my 29+1 party was so wonderful. One of the most wonderful parts was decorating the space in my own style. It was like planning my wedding on a much smaller scale all over again. But I think the most magical part of the evening was being able to share with our friends and family our news about having a baby. I am so happy we had such a wonderful event to share our exciting news. We will always remember it. You can see the photo booth pics and DIY here.

October 2011: Hosting a mini room tour of the living room and kitchen was really fun in connection with my {this house gets clean schedule}. It makes me look forward to hosting our home tour later this year. Plus I got to photograph my beautiful cake toppers that Jv gifted to me for our five year wedding anniversary.

November 2011: Being a guest blogger at Threadesque was so much fun. I need to make more time to host and guest more often. I am so happy Sam offered me the opportunity.

December 2011: Our date day was a highlight of this huge month. I had so many posts to choose from. It was truly a great month overall for time to blog and create. But our date day was so special. I can't wait to plan another one. Or another month of dates. I just love my wonderful husband. He's the greatest.

I would love to see your year in review, too. Just link in the comments below. And here's to a great year of the dragon--2012.


03 January 2012

{something set} 2012 goals

My 2012 Goals

1. Living with Less: 
This involves letting go of even more "stuff" we don't need in our home. I've already made lists like "Let go of 15 knick-knacks/kitch" = "the candlewick plates I've been dreaming of for years" and "let go of 15 books/magazines" = "new book." This means that unless I let go, I can't let anything in.

I'm also considering hosing a few giveaways on the blog for items that I think you might enjoy. Stay on the lookout for some great accessories!

Living with Less also means that--come summertime--I'm cutting back even more on my wardrobe. I'm not going to do the "not buying anything new" bit again, but I am going to buy more meaningfully. This means that I might splurge on something, but it's because I plan to buy less by focusing on quality and longevity. One question I'm going to ask myself with each personal puchase--including vintage--is "will I wear or use this in 5 years?"  If I can confidently answer yes, and I LOVE the item, it's ok to come home with me. I learned this idea from a fellow blogger featured in Better Homes and Gardens, and it's perfect for me. To keep myself honest, I want to try to do what she does--post what I've acquired every week. I may have to limit the number of purchases I make when the time comes. Right now, my closet is pretty empty since only maternity clothes fit {and a few cardigans and a dress}.

2. Cutting Back on Sweets:
For this goal, as I mentioned before, I'm allowing myself one sweet and one Coca-Cola a week. I'm going to keep track in my planner, with stickers. I have some really cute sweet stickers already in my stash at school. Plus I have my gold stars.

3. "A Photo and A Line A Day"
For this goal, I'm hoping to take at least one Instax Photo a Day. This means I'll also have a line with the photo, but I also received a new book for Christmas that's a five-year journal. So I'm using that, too.

4. "Take Time Every Week to Create"
When I create, I am happier. I hand make gifts for people I love, and I am much more relaxed. I have considered making this goal more specific, but for now I like that's it's open.

5. "Celebrate Us"
This means taking time for walks, preparing the nursery, dreaming up the perfect baby girl name, date nights, and all that fun.

6. Of course my 29+1 list is part of my goal setting, too.

I hope you have time to set your goals this season. And here's to sticking to them.

katie scarlett

02 January 2012

{something cozy} woodland baby blanket, granny style

Our baby *jupiter* and I have already met in a dream. She had pink pig tails like Jem, and she giggled when she called me mama.

Our nursery is still a pretty empty room across the hall from our room. People keep asking us if we have a theme. We don't. Really, we don't. I don't want a theme. And I want to say, for the record, that if there's a theme, it's vintage-handmade, with a touch of woodland.

The other day I meant to stop at a the Book House to search for images and titles to bring home for Jupiter's library. But my pregnant mind forgot, and I'd already arrived at Trader Joe's.

I headed home afterward to do something else for her: I finished her handmade blanket. This is the one way I know how to make a blanket by heart. It takes little measuring and minimal sewing machine skills. And, it turns out, this is the method Jv's Granny most likely used to make her popular "Granny Blankets" that are in our bedroom.

Part of me wanted to get different fabric since I've discovered the best fabric store in all of St. Louis. But the "Living With Less" attitude got the better of me. I needed to use the fabric I already bought at the store with my Mama back in the fall. It's a woodland spring motif. My favorite part about it is the fawns--they are so beautiful.

This baby blanket took me a few hours--minus pre-washing and ironing the fabric.

Supplies you need: two layers of fabric, 2 yards of each; crib sized batting; yarn; sewing machine; darning needle; scissors; safety pins; and thread. {isn't my needle book super cute?! My friend Sheri handmade it for me for Christmas, and I adore it.}

Step One: Lay your first layer of fabric out on a large space. I used my dining room table. Make sure your pretty side is facing away from you. Lay the batting on top of the fabric. If it's too wide, you can trim it later.
Step Two: Lay the second layer of fabric on top of the batting. Make sure the pretty side is facing you. Smooth out the fabric and batting so that there are no wrinkles. {mine has a few wrinkles--all the more handmade}
Step Three: Safety pin the layers together, making sure you pin enough spots so that the fabric doesn't slip.
Step Four:Thread your darning needle with your yarn, and cut a long piece of yarn off of the ball. I think I cut about a yard or two.
Step Five: Sew your yarn through all three layers of fabric and batting. Pull the yarn all the way through until you have about a one to two inch piece left.
Step Six:Tie your yarn into a knot. Trim yarn. Repeat this step and step six all over your blanket so that you have enough knots that the blanket is secure. Remove your safety pins when you are finished.
Step Seven: You might need to do some trimming so that you can cleanly bind the blanket.
Step Eight: Fold the edges in to face each other.
Step Nine:Sew the edges with your sewing machine {now you are binding that baby blanket}. When you get to the corners, fold the corners in like a paper airplane so that you can have a firm corner before going back to Step Ten. As you do this, backstitch a few times to secure the corners. After each seam is bound, your blanket is ready for a sweet, sweet baby.

I hope she likes it:)

katie scarlett