A Big Announcement and a Coupon Code!

Guess what you guys??  I have opened an Etsy shop!

OK, so it’s not the biggest news – that would be “I have finished my dissertation and am finally, after eight years and six or seven different topics, going to be Dr. CharmingChris!”

But in lieu of that, it’s pretty big news, and I’m very excited.  How did this happen?  Well, I am terrible at being idle. Really, really terrible at it.  And I’ve been holding off on promoting my full-time business any more than I already do until I graduate, because I don’t want client deadlines to interfere with grad school deadlines. But meanwhile, I’ve been having to wait two or three weeks at a time for my advisor to send me his rounds of edits and feedback.

~thumb twiddling~

That’s part of how this blog was born, in fact.  And it’s part of what drew me into Origami Owl. In my heart, I’m a businesswoman. Yes, I take a lot of pictures of flowers and gush about my dog, but the core of CharmingChris… well, if I see a niche and I know I have a talent to fill it, I am off and running. And as time kept ticking away, I realized I have another hobby (a lifelong hobby in fact, thanks to my folks and our holiday traditions) that could become a bit more than a hobby if I just gave it a shot. See, I stamp stuff. I make all of my own cards (and I send them too – it’s a big deal to me). I make our gift tags at Christmas. I have an obscene collection of stamps and paper. And I recently got it all out to play with the kids, and something clicked. I didn’t want to put it away. I was tired of twiddling my thumbs and I had a creative itch to boot.

So charmingchris creations has officially been born. And as a thank-you to you, my dear sweet blog readers, I’m offering you 20% off your entire order, no minimum.  Just enter coupon code CCGRANDOPENING at the checkout. I’m making more as we speak. I accept custom orders too, so send me your idea and we can be off and running. Ahhh. That itchy idle feeling is subsiding!



New DIY Laundry Detergent – Dry Version (via How Does She)

DIY Laundry Detergent via How Does She

DIY Laundry Detergent via How Does She

OK, so I’ve already posted my detergent recipe via Jillee… and don’t get me wrong, I love it and it works well. But because I use the “no-grate” method with no actual bar soap, it is very thin. I find that I use a lot just because it looks so watery. Plus, it runs right through my dispenser, which probably isn’t an issue, but does contribute to my over-usage and also just bothers me in a weird OCD kind of way.

So when I stumbled on this new recipe from How Does She, I thought I’d give it a shot. Yes you still have to grate laundry bar soap. But you don’t have to cook it. Well, not on the stove. The soap actually goes in the microwave and gets all puffy, which I think sounds like fun! As much fun as making laundry soap can be, that is.  I have to get some ingredients yet, but this is on my list to tackle next week.

Have you tried this recipe or anything similar? Do you have your own homemade laundry detergent recipe that you swear by? Let me know in the comments – I’m all for laundry experimentation.



Spray Paint Project Teaser – One Pic a Day Spring 2013

Spring project in the works. It will be vibrant! More to come. I’m already kicking myself though, for forgetting to take a “before” picture. Kinda like with my birthday cake post. I suppose that this whole “step-by-step” photography thing is going to take some practice. I’ll try to find a similar “before” online so you get the idea. It’s a major transformation of a cheap little thing, but so far I am thrilled! Would that I could speed the drying time and show you today, but alas, we must be patient.

Origami Owl Display – My Next DIY Project!

I have a problem. See, Target wants all of my money.  All of it. I’m not big on shopping – not a girlie-girl in the traditional sense. But Target does something to me. The problem is, they feel like a discount big-box store, but you find as you’re checking out, that you’ve deluded yourself. They mix in some great deals with a lot of very attractive–but not-Walmart-priced–things that seem to throw themselves into your cart.

So yesterday (with my hem hanging out like a bag lady and everything), I made it my mission to tackle Target with a skeptical eye and a DIYer’s heart. I promised to come out with at least one good idea for an item that I could create at a fraction of what they want for it.  And I won!!  I present to you, a charming, shabby-chic jewelry display pegboard!

Tacks and Pinboard from Target

I can do this!

Target has priced the tacks at $9.99, and the pegboard at a whopping $29.99. I believe it came with four jeweled pins. But it has a lovely picture on the label of several necklaces dangling, so classily, that inspiration overcame me. This will become an absolutely perfect display for my Origami Owl lockets, I just know it. And I assure you I can do this for less than $40 bucks.

Now for the bad news: it will be a couple of weeks before I get to this project. But that leaves you, dear readers, with time to offer advice, ideas for where to get these materials for the best price, and if I’m lucky, pictures of similar projects!  I already have large thumbtacks, batting to cushion them, and scrap fabric (enough for both the tacks and board). I have craft glue and thread as well. I need a cheap frame and some corkboard. Anything else I’m forgetting?

The Fragrant Pharmacy, via One Good Thing by Jillee

The Fragrant Pharmacy via Jillee

The Fragrant Pharmacy via Jillee

Sorry to keep stealing from Jillee, but everything she posts is so useful that i just can’t help it!  Today she’s got her sister guest posting about essential oils – specifically, which ones can replace certain items in your medicine cabinet. I have only a small collection of essential oils… and I admit I’ve been afraid to use them for much beyond fragrance in my homemade cleaners and potpourri. This post helps bolster my courage a little – maybe I’ll branch out!

via The Fragrant Pharmacy | One Good Thing by Jillee.


Yarn Easter Eggs – better late than never?

I just remembered that when I posted my one-a-day picture of our DIY yarn easter eggs, I said I would post instructions. And then I didn’t.  So… yeah, it’s a little late for this year, but pin this baby and you’ll be a full year ahead of the game for Easter 2014!

This project requires yarn, small balloons, and starch.  And patience for overnight drying.  And then, finally, kids who like to pop balloons. This link is to the instructions we started with, and we stuck pretty close to this method. We used plain liquid starch though, and regular old dollar-bin yarn in several shapes and textures. It all worked beautifully, except for very thin, whispy yarns, which were inclined to stick to the balloons and collapse once they were popped.

We displayed these in a basket for awhile, and then I had the idea to slip them over a string of lights for an indoor Easter tree. This picture does not to any justice to how cool it looked. LED lights recommended though, because I don’t know what happens when starchy yarn gets hot.

Yarn Easter Egg Tree

Yarn Easter Egg Tree

Super Concentrated No-Grate Liquid Laundry Detergent via One Good Thing by Jillee

I think I’m the last person on earth to discover One Good Thing by Jillee’s blog, but thank goodness I finally did.  I’m whipping up my second batch of homemade laundry detergent today.  I feel like a complete sucker when I consider how many hundreds of dollars I’ve spent over a lifetime of buying store-bought detergent.  I’m going to try adding some lavender essential oil this time to see if I can make it smell as great as it works!

Super Concentrated No-Grate Liquid Laundry Detergent