{charmed earth}

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

31 August 2011

{something sweet dreams}: a bedroom makeover in parts

The dreamy bedroom makeover is pretty much complete, as complete as I get. I always find something to change. This is the display above our bed. Instead of a headboard, I went with a sheer tulle and garden lights, which is delightfully romantic. I picked up the gold frames thrifting when I was home visiting with my sister--and it was half price day! So the total was probably close to $5 for all four of them, maybe less.

On the insides of the frames, I initially cut out the letters L-O-V-E from a vintage map. But as I was organizing and decluttering, I discovered our maps from our Italy trip. I revised the maps to be the streets of Florence and Rome. I might revise again with the pages of an awesome atlas I found this summer, switching the letters to something else and having more places we've traveled.

The letters alone weren't cutting it for me, so I let my mind marinate like caramel sauce in a sticky toffee pudding until I dreamt up the perfect final touch: It all started with a karaoke night on a hill under the stars.

It reads so sweetly. And it's the perfect personal note to how JV and I began. Our close friends know that it started in August, on a hill, in Kirksville, Mo., on a karaoke night, during our freshman week of college, under the stars.

I decided to print the poetic phrase onto some vellum I've had in my stash since college. The font is lt chickenhawk {a freebie at dafont}. I might revise it to since I've acquired Lady Rene. But for now it's nothing but sweet, sweet dreams.

katie scarlett

29 August 2011

{something true}: writing prompt #2

Last week, I dreamt up a new writing prompt for my "Big 'T' Truth, little 't' truth" song and dance. It went over so well. And I wanted to share it with you. For those of you that don't know, the Truths are the hard and fast facts that you can't change when telling a true story; but the truths are the bits you can embellish--my favorite writing teacher {Dr. Priscilla Riggle} taught me that tip. And I live by it with my writers during our Creative Nonfiction unit.

Here's your prompt. Feel free to change it up as you go...

When I was five, I thought truth meant.... but now that I am older, I believe truth is....

Happy Writing!

Ms. Scarlett

// p.s. // The mug is handmade by me:) It's one of my new items at corner cottage in dexter. I'll be taking custom orders for Christmas starting the day after Thanksgiving! Yay!

24 August 2011

{something leather and glass} year three anniversary

JV's final anniversary gift arrived today. My gift, from him, is still in process. But the mail today reminded me that I owe you two more years of gift ideas.

The moment I dreamt up my idea for year three, I knew I was on to something special. Leather and glass are difficult to be creative with sometimes, especially leather. And it's expensive. But as I thought and thought about it, and searched and searched leather products online, I found an awesome leather bound journal {similar to this one // I can't find the company I used //}. The look is timeless. And I could have it embossed with any line, word, or quote I desired.

That's when the real creativity danced in my mind: our first dance wedding song was David Gray's "This Year's Love." It's so perfect. Every year becomes this year's love.

I decided to create a two page spread for every year of marriage up through year three, including a vellum envelope with memories on one side and a photo on the other side. Then I added a few blank envelopes for future years {there are enough spreads for 60 years}. Each vellum envelop contains memories from that year of love. And each facing page has a favorite photo from that year {the hardest part: choosing just one}.

It was really fun coming up with memories together to add for year four. And though we are a bit behind for year five {we'll fill it in when we exchange this year's loving gifts}, I have to say it's such a sweet keepsake.

JV surprised me with this paper cut he found on etsy, the frame is the glass. I find the design, by tinatarnoff, to be very sweet and romantic. It's currently part of our bedroom makeover.


22 August 2011

{something instamagnetic} instagram magnets

One of my weekly reads is I Go By Katie. I like her blog because she's a fellow Katie, and I know the phrase well. I've met many new teachers with the line, "I go by Katie."

One of her most recent posts spoke right to me. I've started Instagramming almost every day, and I am addicted to the beauty of an Instagram print {Hipstamatics, too}. And I am pretty sure I need to start documenting my project 365. Let's say I'm going September to September.

Well. Katie {like me} also discovered all of the very wonderful online sites that will print your Instagram pictures {as well as make photo books, sticker books, posters, you name it}. Then she remembered her stash of magnet sheets and photo paper. Then I remembered my printable magnet sheets, circa 2006 wedding supplies.

Such a sweet idea. I am in LOVE.

This DIY is so simple. Just arrange your pix on a document page, print them, and display them to make your fridge super beautiful.

katie scarlett

p.s. There are tons of new items in the shop at etsy. Please check them out!

18 August 2011

{something featured} roots

One of my favorite spots to shop is right in my neighborhood. It's called Roots. It's full of all sorts of vintage signage, baskets, and paper ephemera. And I love coming across a good find there on a Tuesday afternoon.

A few weeks ago, Roots made a call for customers to send in photos of Roots finds in our homes. And they featured some of mine on their blog! Yay! It's so wonderful to read that someone likes my restyle of their finds. If you are near Manchester and Sutton, you should check them out, Tuesday-Saturday.

This also reminds me that I owe you photos of my home makeover, especially the bedroom.


*the Roots finds: the "xo" above my underwood typewriter, the "xo" by my Aunt Agnes's boy and girl salt and pepper shakers, and the "you and me" cards and ampersand sign. The cute owl on my mantle is one of two vintage Shawnee owl salt and pepper shakers that I found between home and my in-laws. A buy I will never regret. Notice: he looks just like the anthropologie cookie jar I adored last month.

17 August 2011

{something found} vintage vocabulary for stories

I'm searching for a bookshelf. Something old, something mid-century modern, something about three-feet-tall and four-feet-wide. Yesterday, I tried to find it, after school. My three stops were swift, none rewarding a bookshelf.

But my swift eyes captured this boring, narrow, gray box stuffed on the top shelf behind a broken vase at the Value Village. I don't even know what moved me to reach for it. But I did. I even opened it. Then I think I did a little dance {or a least let out a sigh of awesome amazment}.

Inside this boring, narrow, gray box stuffed on the top shelf behind a broken vase at the Value Village: a stack of nearly 100 vintage story cards. It's like one of those finds that I thought I'd never find. And I did. But the awesomeness doesn't even begin to end there. The red wax crayon price: $1.51. Awesome. Just awesome. {If you didn't notice, I'm bent on awesome today. Something about wanting a new book, The Book of Awesome}. The awesome Website is here.

Look forward to a writing prompt inspired by these awesome cards. And I wish you the best in finding what you thought you'd never find. {My chances of finding this set of Catherineholm bowls seems less like a dream already.}


16 August 2011

{something inspiring} a muse for writers

School. School has started. Students arrive tomorrow. To keep this blog moving, I'm going to have to keep this sweet, simple, and short.

Here's your first writing prompt, your muse for the week.

Image via The Atlantic.

09 August 2011

{something noted} scrap paper note list D.I.Y.

One day at school, I saw my friend Steffy toss a pile of sheet music {blank on one side} into the recycle bin. She's very Earth friendly. But I stopped her.

I asked her: do you recycle those all the time?
She replied: yes.
I asked her: do you think I could have it for scrap paper. The music notes are beautiful.
She replied: yes, I can even put more in your mailbox as I go through it.
I replied: That sounds wonderful.

Ok, maybe that's not the exact conversation. But it was something like that. And since that day she's given me thousands of sheets of paper destined for the recycle bin too early. I make copies on the blank side for time to time for my students, but the most useful way to use this paper is for quick notes, lists, and passes to admit students to class late.

I know I posted something similar last year, involving staples and magnets, but this one it just cuter.

Supplies: scrap paper, beautiful brads, 1/4" hole punch.

1. Stack your paper in increments of five. Punch them five at a time. I use one stack as a guide.
2. Create a stack of 30-40 sheets.
3. Fix paper together with a beautiful brad, I found these cute clouds at Michael's for 99-cents.
4. Give them to your friends.

katie scarlett

{p.s.} I'm getting ready for 30 days of lists, even though it doesn't start until September. Be on the lookout for my own list prompts that month.

07 August 2011

{something literary} weekend quote, wuthering heights

I have to admit, I really loved this crazy story when I was in high school. Catherine and Heathcliff just kept me reading. I even made a Cruel Intentions journal as a creative response project--I still have it.

So this week a classic inspired the quote. It's sweet, isn't it.

Ms. Scarlett

05 August 2011

{something story time}: tips for writers

I am a teacher. By day, every day, mid-August to early-June, that's what I do. One of my favorite parts about teaching is turning teenagers into poets and storytellers. My hope during the school year: post a weekly writing prompt for you, dear readers.

If you take the prompt to publishing status on your blogs, let me know in the comments section. For now, I thought I'd share some of my favorite resources for writers and teachers to get started. But don't forget: the best way to be a writer is to read more great books. My current read: Winter's Bone.

The Storymatic. I finally purchased this baby. It's a bit pricey, but it's perfect for getting started. You draw gold colored cards and rust colored cards to develop characters and conflict. And there are hundreds of cards in the box. Plus it comes with a booklet of instructions for ways to bring it into your writing studios and classrooms. I plan to have it out during weekly writer's workshop dates this year.

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. This title is almost older than I am, but I adore it. Each page is simple, concise, and perfect for any starting writer. It's got all the basics right at hand--even the small but very important parts like choosing your notebook and finding the places to write. On a side note, I bought my Playbook {writer's notebook} for this autumn: Glee. I always choose a very fun cover. That way I remember: oh, I wrote the poem about the blackbirds in the art room in the "Wonder Woman Notebook" or I think I wrote the poem about Chinese Take-Out in the "Collage Notebook from Claire." Pick a good notebook:) Then sit down for a few minutes every day with Natalie Goldberg.

The Writer's Toolbox. I have to admit that the only part of this kit I've used are the starter sticks. My students love them because they are able to have the start of the story. Then when they get stuck they just choose another stick, usually a non sequitur. This year, I hope to have the box out during writer's workshops again.

No Write! Fiction Essays... This collection of prompts and essays by various published writers is broken down by the elements of fiction. It's perfect for getting started with a story, but it's also perfect for developing your craft by element. You can focus on characterization for a day, and there is a whole section devoted to building characterization. It's fabulous. I especially love the section for dialogue since it's usually the part my students need the most help with when revising their short stories.

Writing Alone and With Others, Authors Peter Elbow and Pat Schneider. This baby is full of prompt after prompt after prompt. I can't get enough of it. Before I can even begin to think I will read the entire book, I realize I've found the perfect prompt. Once I started flagging my favorite prompts with post its. Then I realized nearly every page was full. So I stopped.

The Practice of Poetry, Robin Behn and Chase Twichell. I am a poet at heart. I wanted to add a few line breaks here for good measure {or meter} but I decided to keep these paragraphs in good flow. In this collection, some of the best teachers and poets share their best poetry writing prompts. Like Writing Alone and With Others, the prompts seem endless. It's a must for always keeping it fresh.

The practice of the Exquisite Corpse. Try this at least once in your life. It's fun, honest, and really does get the creative minds working. You'll need a group to work with, but I wonder if there's a way to get it going in a chain e-mail of sorts, keeping one person in the loop with all the lines...

For those of you off to school or simply off to stock up on very cute back-to-school pens and journals, here's to writing your story.

Ms. Scarlett.