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Charme Silkiner

DIY: Color Blocked Baskets

You know when you see something you love and realize you could make it? That is exactly what happened here. We saw these adorable baskets and just had to have them. But for a fraction of the price. If there is anything you need to know about us here in the CSJ studio, it's that we love a craft that is easy. If it gets too complicated we kinda lose motivation. One thing we will warn you about though, is this project takes t i m e. Read on for all the details.

What You Need:

  • Rope (of a natural / white color)
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Share scissors
  • Glue gun / glue
  • String
  • A bowl of the similar shape / size you'd like to model your basket after

 After you measure out how much rope you need (we used about 12 yards for a medium sized bowl), section off small parts to paint. This part should be totally random. Make big sections, small sections, use different gaps between them, you get the point. Not gonna lie, this part took well over 4 hours. It's the most time consuming part but totally worth it.

The paint dried pretty quick so by the time we finished painting the entire length of the rope it was good to go. Just make sure that as you're painting the rope has enough space to be spread out. Otherwise it might smudge and get messy.

You'll want to start with a tight, round, coil-like shape to form the base. Use a dab of glue gun to keep everything together. Once that shape is formed you will expand on that until multiple layers have been glued.

After the base is done begin molding the basket into a bowl-like shape. You can use a bowl as an example to help shape it. Use the glue gun for small strips at a time so it doesn't get messy and you can press firmly on the rope as you go. You'll start to see the bowl take share after a few layers have been glued.

We wanted tassels for added cuteness so when we were done wrapping the rope, we made a little loop that we could attach the tassels to.

These baskets reminded us of Greece, which is perfect timing, since the new spring collection is also inspired by the Greek Islands. Don't be surprised if you see us making lots more of these fun baskets!

DIY: Sweet V-Day Cookies

Can anyone believe Valentine's Day is already upon us?! It seems like New Years just happened a day ago! In an effort to get the ball rolling and expand our creative horizons, we have teamed up with Jessica from Gypset Kitchen to create these super sweet (literally) Valentine's Day themed cookies. It all started when we stumbled across the lip shaped cookie cutters, but we needed the help of a pro for the rest ;)

Jessica was sweet enough to spend the day baking and decorating with us and we cannot lie, we may have done more cookie eating than decorating (lol), BUT, rest assured, we documented the whole thing so you can easily recreate these pretty little desserts at home.

What You Need:

  • Sugar Cookie mix (follow the instructions for additional ingredients)
  • Cookie cutters in all different shapes
  • Icing (for "flooding")
  • Sprinkles
  • Tooth picks (tons & tons!!)
  • A drying rack
  • Cookie sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Flour
  • Rolling pin (or bottle of wine)
  • Cake tips & bags


Once you have your cookie dough ready to go, roll it out on a flat surface sprinkled with flour to help it not stick. Since we didn't have a rolling pin (are we alone here?!), we used a straight bottle of wine to roll out the dough to a good thickness.

The cookies will expand and rise so it's best to keep the thickness around 1/4"

Peel away excess dough, re-roll and repeat until you've cookie cut all your desired shapes.

 Gypset Kitchen tip: before baking your cookies in the over, let them sit on a flat shelf in the freezer for 15 minutes or until the dough has hardened. This will help the cookies hold their shape.

After all your cookies have baked, let them sit for 15 minutes before you start frosting. Otherwise the flooding will actually floor over, which would not make for a very pretty cookie.

The first step to flooding is outlining the cookie with the icing at a thicker consistency. Once you've outlined all your cookies add a small teaspoon of water and mix until it is a lot more liquidy.

 

Now is when you'll need about 3000 toothpicks. Before getting into the design element, we used a toothpick to move the "background" color around. This helped conserve the icing. Be prepared to move fairly quick, as the icing does settle immediately.

To add a festive touch to these cookies we did a combination of little lips, hearts, polka dots, and a herringbone design. This part also requires a TON of toothpicks, as you need to use a new one for each stroke.

And if you're just not feeling that ambitious you can always go the sprinkle route. They are equally as cute and much simpler! Either option is very sweet and thoughtful, and you know guys don't pay attention to that kind of thing anyway! Wishing you all a lovely Valentine's Day with your sweetie!

DIY Jewelry Dishes

Happy Monday! Today's craft was inspired by a need. A need to create something cute AND practical. After the holidays I spent a lot of time re-organizing my studio and realized that I wanted a better way to display my current favorite pieces of jewelry. After searching for the perfect little dishes to no avail, I decided to take matters into my own hands (literally!). A quick trip to the craft supply store, and 1 hour spent deciding on the color scheme later I was ready to go!

One thing I can promise is this...you will definitely want more than one, and this craft is actually pretty simple. After making a few too many I'm starting to think that these are great little gifts to give someone who is an avid jewelry lover. Happy Crafting!

Aside from the above, you might want to roll out the clay on some wax paper to avoid staining your table.

After you work and warm up the clay, roll it into a smooth little ball.

We used a smooth / flat book to flatter the ball out before using the rolling pin. You can alternate between the two. The rolling pin might create little divots, so the book comes in handy to really get a smooth surface.

Once the clay is flay and wide enough for the cookie cutter, push down once and remove the excess clay. Remove from the cutter and move onto the next color. Sidenote, make sure to wipe the cookie cutter between colors. We started with the hot pink and found little pieces of hot pink in our other lighter colors. Luckily we were gold foiling those so we covered up the mess but it can be avoided.

Before baking the clay gently lift and fold the edges to create a dish / bowl shape. We played around with the edges and made some flatter and some more bowl-like. Either way comes out super cute! From here, lay a piece of wax paper on a baking trey and put all the clay dishes in the oven. Read the label of your clay to determine the temperature (ours was 275) for 20ish minutes. Let cool for a but before moving on to the next step.

We went straight for the gold foil to fix our little imperfection and it worked perfectly. All you will need to do is crinkle up little pieces of gold foil and press them directly onto the bowl. There's no way to mess this up--just rip and stick!

Our last and favorite step is painting the liquid gold onto the edges of the dishes. The Martha Stewart liquid gold paint is literally what it sounds like. It goes on super easy, dries fast, and makes absolutely everything look fabulous. It was a dead give-in that we were going to use it on this project. We decided to get a little fancy and draw a heart on one of the dishes too, however, after we were done we desperately wanted to draw a diamond ring on one...next time!

DIY Marble Ornaments

Well, it's official. We are completely obsessed with marble. Believe it or not we have been plotting to make marbled ornaments since October and secretly made these last month (out of excitement) just to be ready for you this week. After all, you need time to get these babies done before the tree goes up, right?!

The good news is, we can say with absolute conviction that this is the easiest project we have crafted to date. Seriously. We have a habit of thinking projects are "easy" until we are knee-deep in it and want to break down and cry (ie: failed marbled pumpkins). The only necessary component to these is patience. And trust us, you will have to control yourself from excitement on these when you see how easily they marble and look beautiful. BUT, if you want the end result to remain that beautiful, you need to be patient.

The supply list on these is pretty simple: clear glass ornaments and acrylic paint (we suggest 3-4 colors).

Follow the instructions below:

 

Remove the cap / top from your ornaments and begin dripping the paint (1 drop at a time) into the bottom of the ornament. You will want to layer the colors a few times to create a "puddle" of color. One you've layered them 3-4 times begin Step 2.

Very slowly swirl the ornament (pretend you're swirling a scotch or wine) until the colors create a marbled effect. Super important: DO NOT SHAKE! When you shake the ornament the colors will eventually run together and you will lose the marbled effect.

Once the paint has settled (or stopped moving), lay the ornament on the side you just covered so the paint doesn't drag. You will want to let it dry for a good 15-20 minutes before starting the process all over again. This is what you will need to do several times to get the entire ornament covered. As previously stated though, it will most likely take you and entire day to get the full ornament covered. However, since the project is fairly easy you can do one side, set it down to dry, and go do something else for a while. Let the ornaments dry overnight before every thinking about closing them up.

A few extra tips:

  • When you are dripping the paint, if it happens to get on the side before hitting the "floor" of the ornament don't panic. There is really no wrong way to do this (unless you shake it lol!).
  • If you have a heavy hand with the paint and feel like you still have a puddle of paint after a full day of drying, you will want to empty them out by draining the ornament upside down.
  • The swirling motion comes from the wrist. Don't get too aggressive with the swirling.
  • If you are doing other color combinations, adding black is kind of the greatest thing ever. It just adds a contrast that is necessary to the marbling.
  • Be aware that white takes over. If you are using white, drip a little less of it than all the other colors.
  • Don't be like us! Over-buy paint and return what you don't need. There is nothing worse than needing to go back to the store mid-project. Especially if this is your first time, you will most likely use more than actually necessary.
  • Don't overthink it! Marbling is an organic process so just have fun with it!

Travel + Leisure: How to plan a tropical vacation

Hi guys! It's Sivan + Kelly from MUSE. Today we are going to take you through the steps of planning your dream tropical vacation based on our experiences. We are both about to leave for Greece for Sivan's wedding and so we figured it was an appropriate time to share our best travel tips and such. Below is a timeline we would highly recommend following that will help you map out every stage of the planning and we will touch a bit on the actual vacationing as well.

1 Year Out: Destination

This may seem like common sense but a lot of people jump into a vacation solely based on their desire to go there. When planning a bigger vacation (aka not a hop, skip, & a jump away like Vegas for us Cali girls or Miami for you NYC girl)s, you need to consider 2 major things: 1) your budget, and 2) the prime time to visit the destination. Obviously the budget is a huge factor in whether or not that vacation is feasible in the next year. If you are thinking something huge like a Eurotrip or an expensive island such as Bora Bora you might need to give yourself longer than a year to actually save a small fortune. But even if you are good in that department we still suggest giving yourself a year to really prepare.

Considering the prime time to visit a location is pretty crucial. Could you image landing in St. John to a week of thunder storms ahead?! This kind of happened to me (Sivan), as to accommodate our budget we traveled during "off season." While the weather was actually pretty spectacular, we did have a few passing thunder storms during our week stay on the island. Prime time to us really just means 'when is the best weather?' You don't necessarily want to travel when it is "prime" to the masses (aka spring break...eek!). Wikipedia has a pretty decent timeline of weather averages to help you map out what you consider prime weather.

9 Months Out: Flights

Kelly was a travel agent in her past life lol. We are definitely convinced of that theory. She somehow always manages to squeeze in a quick flight search when planning a vacation, and she will tell you to do the same. Actively looking up flights 7 days a week until they are booked is really the only way to get a deal. While you can't ever predict when rates will drop, keeping your eye on them will give you the knowledge of knowing when they have dropped. When they do, BOOK IT! Don't wait. Sure, sometimes booking a trip last minute works out but do you really want to take that risk? Didn't think so. 

There are tons of rumors that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days to book travel. There are also tons of rumors that those same days are the best days to actually be in the air, as you're not leaving during the Friday-Sunday crowd, which tends to be pricier. We can't confirm that airlines lower their rates on any specific day(s), but we do know that flying out mid-week is cheaper for the most part.

If you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of checking flight EVERYDAY do not panic. We know all about those damn pop-ups Kayak has and those give us anxiety, too. Skip any of those sites and head straight to Google Flights when looking. This way you see every flight option (minus the annoying pop-ups) and when you are actually ready to book you can click through to the airline to make your reservation.

6 Months Out: Hotel

Booking the hotel takes literally 10 minutes, but doing the research that will help you pick a hotel / save your vacation is what takes time. The actual hotel sites can be a little sneaky about amenities, views, food, nightlife, etc., so to avoid the fluffed info and photos use Trip Advisor to read real traveler reviews. This may seem a little overboard but we actually like to scroll through the reviews that were written during the months you plan to travel to your destination. That way you can see people's thoughts on the weather and culture during that time of year specifically. You will also have the opportunity to check out real traveler photos to compare to the hotel's photos. The difference can be quite shocking.

A little side-note when checking into your hotel, always check on free upgrades. If they happen to be slow or nobody has booked their creme de la creme room they might just pass it over to you. Don't forget to mention it's your birthday, anniversary, honeymoon, etc. Kelly is known for getting that free upgrade or champagne!

3 Months Out: Itinerary

I'm (Sivan) not the biggest fan of scheduling things when on vacation. It's the only time in life I can truly just go with the flow and enjoy whatever I / we want that very moment. However, there are some things you should line up to avoid wasting your vacation time on such as a rental car or guides. If you're planning to explore an island and know you'll need a vehicle you will want to shop around before booking. Hotels in tropical locations typically offer Jeeps to rent but you may end up paying the same rate for an entire week when going through an actual car rental company than the one day from your hotel. Plus, car rental companies always have promocodes online.

Again, reserving your activities doesn't always take so long (most beaches offer these services as well as hotel concierge), but you should most likely look into the type of activities you will want to book when traveling (ie: zip-lining, diving, volcano hiking, etc.). If you can consult with a local that would be ideal but if you just don't have friends in Santorini, check Trip Advisor ;)

1 Month Out: Beauty Scheduling

This is when being a super planner really comes into play. And if you're not, keep reading. You'll thank us later when you're laying on the beach hair-free and gorgeous lol!

Schedule out all your beauty regimes to accommodate your trip dates. If possible, leave the day before your trip open to do the following:

-Waxing-Most European waxing centers use hard wax that will not irritate your skin. That way you can schedule your session the day before your trip, be hair-free and ready to jump into the water the very next day!

-Nails- If you're going to be on a beach your entire vacation consider getting gels. That way your nails are safe and chip-free. Nothing worse than a super chipped mani on your vacation.

-Hair- As long as you're going to your usual hair person that is. We wouldn't really recommend trying a new color, style, or stylist the day before JUST in case. A month before should be good enough though. You know, just in case you need time to fix it!

-Order prescriptions- Another one of those things you don't want to forget or deal with while ON vacation.

-Dry Cleaning- We know all about chiffon and silk getting rumpled in transit. Get your items pressed and / or dry cleaned in this time to ensure your wardrobe is looking crisp and it will actually help eliminate wrinkles after they are packed since they will be freshly pressed.

-Pack- Ok, so we don't actually mean start packing a month before your vacation, but double check your closet for all the necessities. Since we are talking tropical vacations here, consider things like: do I have enough bikinis, do I own a decent pair of sandals and wedges, do I have cover-ups, do I have a suitcase?? If the answer to any of those are NO, then get shopping!!!

1 Week-4 Days Out: Packing

Ok, now you should actually pull out the luggage and start getting things situated. Make sure you've picked up all the fun outfits you plan to wear from the dry cleaner and set aside to make sure you don't forget anything. We tend to over-pack as girls and looking at your packing situation for a few days will help put things into perspective. Will you actually wear heels in a cobble-stoned town? Probably not. Do you actually need a parka? Not so much in 80+ degree weather...you get it.

Another packing tip: always bring a change of clothes and a bikini in your carry-on. We pray you are never that unlucky person who loses their luggage on a trip but you want to be prepared. Wearing a Rite-Aid bikini the first few days (or dare we say, the whole time?!) would just be downright unfortunate. Also, never check in anything expensive in the event that your luggage does get lost and they can't retrieve it. Chanel is Chanel no matter where you are and people WILL rummage...

Kelly + Sivan's Packing Guide:

  • Bikinis (a week's worth if possible)
  • Bathing suit cover-ups
  • Sun dresses & maxi dresses
  • Sandals
  • Wedges
  • Sneakers (if you are an active vacation kinda gal)
  • Denim shorts
  • Basic tees & tanks
  • Hat
  • Pajamas
  • Toiletries (consider: bug spray, hydrocortisone, mini versions of your fave shampoo + conditioner, aloe vera, sun scnreen (duh!))
  • Plug converters
  • Chargers (phone, camera, tablet, etc.)
  • Camera
  • Reading material
  • Comfy plane clothes (for the way home)

 

DIY Fiesta Door Tassels

Happy Cinco de Mayo! This holiday makes us exceptionally happy, as the colors, cacti, and cocktails involved are just so FUN! This year we decided to indulge in a craft we have been eyeing for quite some time...door tassels! Sure, you might be thinking that these look somewhat like dream-catchers, but think of them more as a necklace for your doors. After all, no one (even inanimate objects) should be shorted their accessories.These are relatively simple to make and the more you get into it the more you'll realize that cheesy can be extra cute! Picking out beads was probably the toughest part since you don't really know how it will turn out until the end but you really can't go wrong. Follow along below for a step-by-step tutorial on these little ladies!

What You Need:

  • Yarn (the more colors the better!)
  • Beads
  • Metal rings (feel free to get different sizes)

Select a substantial amount of yarn in various colors to make your tassels. We went for a neon meets rainbow meets Mexican blanket. Grab some chunky beads as well...these can be any shape, color, and size. We actually scoured the sale bins to find cheap ones that translate really well when the tassels are done.

 Follow these super simple tassel instructions to make your tassels. You'll want to make them in all different thickness / fullness and lengths.

Once you have made all your tassels begin to attached them to your ring. You will want to hold them up first to see if you need to shorten any of them before attaching.

After they are attached and you are satisfied with the placement, use more yarn to wrap the ring. You can use 2 colors at the same time or do a color-blocking technique. This is another one of those things that you can't go wrong. Any color variation or thickness will look great!

These Fiesta door tassels add a really fun pop of color to any door that is lacking that little something!

Our "edgier" door tassel that is perfection in this white, black, and gold room!

DIY Gold Chipped Easter Eggs

Can anyone believe it is Easter already?! While it is somewhat scary that times is actually FLYING by, we are secretly super excited that it is almost April so we could craft these gorgeous eggs. We were deciding between many different options for egg designs but it of course had to have some kind of gold foiling on it! This project requires more prep than anything, but once your colors are ready the rest is pretty simple and really fun. Follow along for a step by step tutorial below.

What you need:

  • A foam block
  • Toothpicks
  • Sponges
  • Paint brushes (that you aren't afraid to ruin)
  • Food coloring
  • Eggs
  • Vinegar
  • Gold foil 
  • Tacky glue 
  • Mason jars 

 Using your block and toothpicks, stab them approximately 1" apart to create a square.  It takes 4 toothpicks to hold up 1 egg so depending on how many you are coloring, create that many squares. Boil some water in a pot and using 1 mason jar for each color, pour in 2 tablespoons of vinegar and a few drops of color. Add 1 cup of boiling water to each mason jar to help dissolve the dye. 

Once you have done this, you are ready to begin coloring your eggs, which should be hard boiled. 

Using a spoon or ladle, dip your eggs into the mason jar. If you want the color to be extra saturated, leave it in for a few minutes. It is sometimes helpful to rotate the egg while it is sitting in the jar so the color goes on evenly. Once you are satisfied with the color, place your eggs on the handmade drying rack. 

Allow your eggs a good 15-20 minutes of drying before moving on. Once the eggs are fully dry, dab the bottom of your egg to make sure no excess water has dripped to the bottom. 

Using a paintbrush and tacky glue, begin painting the egg in random shapes and stokes.

Tear a small sheet of the gold leaf and apply directly over the glued area. Dab it gently with your finger or sponge so it attaches fully. 

Using your sponge, begin to scratch off parts of the gold to reveal the color of the egg. This part is all about letting the magic of messiness happen so don't try too hard to make it "perfect." It's pretty hard to make this look bad so have fun with it! 

 

DIY Painted Bottles

Jewelry storage is one of those things you absolutely need but sometimes can't figure out. You want it to be visually pleasing but it can turn messy and cluttered really fast! When we came across the Martha Stewart painted bottle aisle in the craft store it was an instant "aha" moment. After drinking countless iced coffees, teas, kambucha, and wine (duh!), we busted out the goo gone to remove the labels and got to the fun stuff. Follow along below for the instructions to achieve this fun and easy jewelry storage that doubles as home decor, too!

What you need:

  • Emptied, goo-goned bottles of any size 
  • Bottle paint (we like the Martha Stewart ones)
  • Stencils with netting 
  • Scissors
  • Paint sponges
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Acetone or nail polish remover

After you have removed the label using goo-gone, take the nail polish remover to erase any expiration dates or black "stamps" found on the bottle. You will want to wash your bottles well and then rub them down with rubbing alcohol. 

Cut the stencil you like most and place it carefully without any wrinkles over the bottle. 

Dab your stencil with the bottle paint and push into the bottle. You may want to go over it a second time but do so immediately after the first coat. Remove stencil immediately after the paint is dabbed on, as the stencil will remove the paint if it begins to dry.

 

10 Things That Happened in the Making of Palm Canyon

You never really know how much hard work, mistakes, laughter, and learning experiences you will run into when filming or shooting anything. There is always that unexpected twist that at the time seems like "the end of the world" but later is comical. Now that the making of Palm Canyon (our new Spring 2015 collection) is in the past, we can sit back, relax, and laugh at all the mishaps during the making of what was probably our most fun video / lookbook to date. Keep reading to find out 10 secret things that happened on that 2-day glorious shoot! 

        1. We changed hotel rooms 3 times until we were satisfied with the view of the pool and the color of the walls...(the hotel is super colorful and we didn't want the least fun color!). 
        2. It took over 25 takes to get the opening shot of the girls walking down the hall because everyone kept laughing and looking directly into the camera (a faux pas in film!).
        3. The entire wardrobe was pulled from Show Me Your Mumu's latest collection hitting stores this summer. We were also lucky to use some vintage Emilio Pucci, Missoni, & Tom Ford for some of the head scarves, turbans, and sunnies. 
        4. It took over 4 hours of footage to produce the 3-minute mini movie we released. 
        5. We got lost just about each time we headed to our room for an outfit change, and ended up on opposite ends of the hotel more times than we want to admit. 
        6. The videographer was really loving the colors all around the hotel and had us sneak onto the balconies of other people's rooms to shoot. Bonus points to anyone who can spot that scene in the video! 
        7. When it came time to shoot around the pool, the girls felt extremely embarrassed with a camera-man following them and all the hotel guests staring so they consumed the entire bottle of champagne in under 10 minutes. It's safe to say they were pretty drunk by the end of the film.
        8. When filming finally wrapped the crew ate dinner at 5:00PM and were in bed by 6:30PM. 
        9. The next day when we were set to shoot the lookbook images, our photographer had cancelled and our intern got extremely sick and was rushed to the hospital. Luckily the mini movie was filmed with a RED camera (Google it...it's pretty nuts!), so we were able to pull still shots from the film that were super high quality. 
        10. It was a very 1960's vibe that day and so the girls often stopped to pose in a Valley of the Dolls way (see photo above on the bed). They also took countless selfies of the beautiful make-up work of our glam queen (Smudge Beauty), and a picture of the day's theme song "Twilite Speedball" by Mos Def. Bing! 

Dream Catchers Part 2

Today's dream catchers have an edgier look to them using less supplies. You will need a ring, at least 30 yards of leather strips, a stick (we found ours in the park), and feathers. We dipped the white version of this in gold to give it a little bling bling but as you can see the tonal black on black version also works! 

This part may or may not be the worst part of the whole process, as letting go of your leather for one second can lead to the whole thing unravelling (trust us, this happened multiple times!). To avoid that you can wrap it using multiple pieces and tie them together. That will also give it a more rugged look, which works for this style of dream catcher. 

There is no right or wrong way to attach the stick. Using your leather, fasted the ends of your stick to the ring by wrapping the leather around the stick and tying it to the ring. This may take a few tries but once it is secured, hang the ring on the wall to give you optimal measuring capabilities. 

Start cutting longer strips of leather and knotting them onto the stick. Depending on your desired length(s) you may want to start with the longest piece first and gradually cut shorter pieces. You can always trim at the end, so if this sounds too tedious just cut, tie, and trim later. 

To add a little texture we glue-gunned some feathers to the ends of the leather strips. The white version has gold-dipped feathers, but these all black ones are pretty chic on their own. You can also wrap a piece of leather around the base of your feather if you want to hide the glue. The glue does not really show up on the black so we were able to get away without wrapping each feather. 

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