{charmed earth}

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

22 February 2012

{something reused} why this artist saves cereal boxes

Sometimes I forget why I started Charmed Earth. One reason is clearly art. But the other reason, to simplify my life, sometimes gets lost on me.

This post is in honor of all things I keep that most of us recycle or throw away. It should be a new feature. Let's try it out.

Something I never toss or recycle right away: cereal boxes. Jv and I love a good bowl of cereal, sometimes it's the perfect supper, sometimes it's the perfect snack. And in the end it's the perfect artist's medium. I have a paper bag set up in our stairwell to keep my boxes neat and orderly. When the bag gets too full, I do resort to recycling extra boxes {and, just in case you are wondering, I save the waxy liners for cookies, cupcakes, and other baking projects}.

Five Uses for Cereal Boxes {and other snacks like Cheeze-Its and fruit snacks}  Before Recycling:

One: Post Cards: The Heavy Stock is perfect for heavy duty mail. One year I glued Harlequin Romance novel covers to cereal boxes for valentines. And I've also glued photos, magazine pages, vintage patterns, and scrap paper to them. The weight of the cereal box is perfect for holding up in the mail. And it mails at regular post card postage.

Two: Paint Palette/Canvas: The weight is perfect for painting any design {I am thinking it would be perfect for kids} and just for keeping paint while you are working on a wood or canvas project.

Three: Gift Tags: I use pre-cut cereal boxes from Peanut Butter and Yelly to package and sell my button earrings. By adding my own embellishments like sheet music, it creates a professional and extra sweet handmade feel to any handmade gift.

Four: Business Cards: I love the natural look of the cardboard on the inside of a cereal box--it just feels rustic, earthy, and natural. I enjoy stamping or handwriting my contact information on them when I am at craft fairs. They are also perfect for writing little notes when I mail a package via etsy or package a special gift for a friend. I even think they are the best size for slipping a love note to Jv in his work bag.

Five: Pattern Templates: I love making my own envelopes, frames, and boxes. I don't do it often, but when I do, I love having a solid pattern. It's also nice to have patterns for fabric and felt projects. The cardboard of a cereal box is solid. It can stand countless tracings and it's fairly easy to cut with a good pair of scissors.

So. What do you use your cereal boxes for after you've eaten that last bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and Count Chocula?!

katie scarlett

21 February 2012

{something acquired} spring shopping

Yellow Polka Dot Bow Headband, Forever21; Floral Clutch, Target; Aqua Long Sleeve Maternity TShirt, Target
Shopping. When Mama was in town for the weekend, we did a little light shopping. I've got a box of stuff to let go in the basement. There's another bag or two in the spare bed room that I want to drop off at the consignment shop. And I know I should follow through with that before I add more accessories to my closet, but I didn't.

20 February 2012

{something lately} us

Ordering Prints from Persnikety Prints (amazing)
Lately, I've been busy. My godmother hosted our first baby shower over the weekend. My true love and I have been enjoying our dates. And there's a stack of essays piled up on my desk. Amidst all of that, I thought I'd just post a few highlights of life lately.

Date Night: Starting Baby Jupiter's Book {a gift from my mama} with Jv.

Impulse Bowl in The Loop at PinUp Bowl: At 7 months pregnant, I actually won against Jv! I think our shoes always look so silly together. I am thinking another cute photo shoot would be with the baby shoes when she's here:)

Red Stamp App: I discovered this one through my friend Maddie. I love sending love notes with it.

Waffle House Supper Date: Jv's choice. My favorite part was that we were basically the only ones there, so the jukebox was all ours. We had to play Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" as well as some Johnny Cash.

Record Party Date: Last night we listened to our newest vinyl: The Civil War. I love them!

What have you been up to lately?


13 February 2012

{something valentine} heart shirt for a mama-to-be

When I saw Jennifer Lopez wearing a white sweatshirt with a beautiful sparkly heart, I had a case of the I-want-thats. And when my issue of St. Louis magazine {a gift from a student} came this month, I saw the price tag for the same magical sweatshirt: $108. And, no, it wasn't a maternity sweatshirt. And it wasn't worth $108.

Many places this year--it seems--are boasting the white sweater with the large red heart. The A Beautiful Mess blog even beat me to the post. But I want to go on record that I had this idea before my dose of a daily read. Plus my method is a bit different.

Supplies you Need: one white {maternity} shirt {mine is from Target}, red and red glitter fabric paints {I used the new Martha Stewart line, and next time I think I will add the fabric mix in or opt for a truer fabric paint}, a heart template {I cut mine from a remnant of craft paper}, straight pins, foam board {I had mine from a recent online photo order}, a paint brush, and a washable fabric ink pen.

Step One: Pre-wash your shirt if you need to. I was *lazy*, and I didn't this time. We'll see how that turns out when I gently wash this one.
Step Two:Cut your heart pattern to the size you want. Mine is really, really giant:)
Step Three: Place the foam board between your shirt. Pin the heart pattern to the board. Be sure the heart is centered and positioned how you want it.
Step Four: Trace the heart pattern with the washable fabric ink pen.
Step Five: Paint your heart with red paint. I used a slanted paintbrush to make sure my edges were fine and clean.
Step Six: Allow the red paint to dry for an hour. Then add a layer of red glitter paint. Allow that to dry for 24-hours.
Step Seven: Wear your valentine shirt for any day of L O V E.


katie scarlett

P.S. I found a great new photo app {pixl-ro-matic}--plus you can edit online without your iPhone. That's pretty cool. I love this filter:)

08 February 2012

{something for a party} DIY bottle openers

I found these wonderful vintage bottle openers months ago at a local vintage shop here in St. Louis. I just couldn't pass them up. The woman running the register asked me, "Are you have a big party?!" Nope. I guess I should be. It would be a delightful party idea just for fun or for favors.

This time I decided to personalize them for Christmas gifts for my brothers and other guys {and some gals} in our family. I also realized--last minute--that a way to make these less victim to scratching is to use a porcelain pen instead of a paint pen to add detail work {like the initial and arrow designs I illustrated}. I'm even wondering if doing the whole project with porcelain paint might be a nice pay off.

Supplies you Need: vintage bottle openers, paint {I used the new Martha Stewart line} or porcelain paint, a paint pen or porcelain pen, clear sealer, and paint brushes.

Step One: Paint the flat side of the bottle opener. Use the side that won't touch the bottle cap. I painted three coats, allowing each coat to dry in between. Make sure the base coats have had time to dry overnight.
Step Two: Draw your designs with a paint pen or porcelain pen.  Allow design work to dry overnight.
Step Three: If you are using porcelain paint and paint pens, follow the baking directions to set the ink. If you use regular paints, spray a layer of sealer over the bottle opener.

That's it. So simple. I know I've posted these before with more colorful designs, but I thought these were a super cute gift for the guys. And the paint pens made design work so much easier. And so what if I'm still wrapping up my handmade Christmas in February!?


07 February 2012

{something musical}: pandora playlists

I couldn't live without Pandora. That might be an exaggeration. But it makes my walks more enjoyable, my artistic endeavors more musical, and my mornings more manageable. This reminds me: tune up the Pandora more in the morning.

My favorite part about this beautifully innovative Internet radio phenomenon is discovering new artists with the stations I love. Without Pandora, I wouldn't know The Watson Twins, Lily Allen, or Amos Lee.

For the most part, I love every song on every one of my stations. And, for tonight, I thought I would share some of my top stations {always by artist} with you. If you have any suggestions to enhance my listening, please share them in the comments section below.

My favorite Pandora stations: 

02 February 2012

(something date night} valentine date garland

Rockstar Diaries and A Beautiful Mess spotlight this date night garland idea, each in their own ways. When I saw it, I thought it was the perfect way to get in more dates with my one true love. There are only a few more months of just us. We are so excited to meet baby Jupiter, but I want the moments that I have with Jv, just the two of us, to be even more special. 

Jessica at Vol25 is one of my favorite artists. I've said that before. And when I purchased her newest set, I knew they would be perfect for my garland. Jv and I each took six Valentines. We wrote date nights on the back, and I strung them across the fireplace with bakers twine. I used mini clothespins from Hobby Lobby to attach them to the twine. We marked dates that take more time with gold stars.

Last night we went on our first date: Vintage Vinyl to find a new vinyl for our collection. It was so refreshing to go on a date on a Wednesday night. I almost felt guilty. We searched the vintage and new vinyls until we settled on "Grace" by Jeff Buckley. I can't wait to listen to it together on our next record night. And as a bonus Jv suggested grabbing a quick bonus date at Pinup Bowl--and here's the kicker: at seven months pregnant, I won! I've never beat him in my life. Baby Jupiter must me lucky.

Now I can't wait to see the dates Jv wrote down. It's so romantic, exciting, delightful, wonderful. I love dates.

katie scarlett

01 February 2012

{something iPhone} my favorite photo apps

There is one reason I feel like I could never let go of my iPhone: the photo apps. No other smart phone compares. And I don't know how I would complete my Project 365 {photo-a-day} goal without my Instagram app.

So since I love my photo apps so much, I thought I would share my favorite ones with you.

1. Instagram. This app has beautiful filter features. I usually use the Earlybird filter. It gives the photos a nice frame and vintage look. I am also fond of how the X-Pro II filter boosts colors so vibrantly. Plus I love how the prints come out squares. One of my 29+1 goals is to order some actual prints:)

2. Hipstamatic. This app always has a surprise. I love the John S. lens, and I love how the prints come out square. This filters create a vintage look while keeping colors vibrant. This app was my first iPhone photo app, and I will never regret it.

3. Diptic. This app allows you to make collages with your photos right on your iPhone. It's simple to use, with very few layouts and border colors, which keeps every collage looking classic and well balanced. It's perfect to use when I want to post a few pics from a trip or when I just can't decide which photos to post.

4. Color Splash. I have always been a fan of the black and white photo with parts still in color. I recently learned how to edit photos this way in PhotoShop, but Color Splash is so much easier. All you have to do it choose your photos and use your fingers to erase away the black and white to reveal the color underneath. Plus you can save the image as a high resolution. I printed on of mine at Kinkos just the other afternoon at an 8x10 size, and it looks amazing.

Magazine Filter
1974 Filter (My favorite)
Instant Filter

5. Camera Bag. This app's filters are amazing. I love how quick the app works, too. All you have to do it upload a photo from a camera roll and slide through the options. I am particularly fond of the Instant, 1974, Cinema, Magazine, and 1962 filters. I love how each one gives each photo a new look.

6. Picture Show. This app is the most sophisticated and intricate photo app on my iPhone. Which means that it takes the most time. And there are TONS of filters to page through. But the number of styles, light filters, borders, and noise filters make it worth while. I could easily spend hours playing around with all of the options. My favorite part is the ability to make a photo look vintage in more ways than the coloring--the light filters really add an interesting layer. You can also add text and the date to your photos with this app, which makes it a true hit.

Maybe you've already got these apps on your phone, maybe you don't. Either way, I am happy to share my favorites. Enjoy your own Project 365s.

Note that the photos with the vintage red phone booth and the photos in our Spurs wear are by Cheryl M. Photography. She's just great:)