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FOLK THE DESTINATION ISSUE

SHARING THE AMERICAN STORY

A FRESH-PICKED

SOUTHERN

SUMMER ON THE FARM WITH

JON CARLOFTIS FROM DIRT TO SHIRT WITH HIGH COTTON BUCKETS OF BURLAP

THROWS A PARTY A SOUTHERN GENTELMAN

BY SOUTHERN PROPER

SUMMER 2012 | $6.95

MAGAZINEBYFOLK.COM


WELCOME

THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT THE SOUTH. IT’S A PLACE THAT JUST FEELS LIKE HOME. WHETHER YOU’RE A LIFELONG RESIDENT, A TRANSPLANT, OR JUST A VISITOR, THE SOUTH IS A PLACE THAT WELCOMES YOU WITH OPEN ARMS AND SWEET TEA. For us at FOLK, the South a place that begins by wandering down a long dirt road. It’s a place where you can feel the sun and the heat on your cheeks, feel the wind in your hair, and taste the dust as the humidity rises and carries it towards the sky. The wildflowers and wild grasses that line the lane welcome you into their world as they arch over the road and curl through your fingers. The thin cotton of your clothes catches the low breeze that begins swirling the thick dust around your boot. The South’s air is full of the sounds of the fields, the wind, the birds, and of the American machine churning, steaming, and running in the distance. You can feel its heart beat as you pound shoe print after shoe print into the dirt road. In the South, you are young — be it in year or in wander— there are no iPhones, pagers, or cellular phones. There are only tin cans tied together with string, or phones hanging on kitchen walls with rotary dials and long curling cords hanging beneath. As you continue to sojourn, walk onto the grass of the yard. You can smell its fresh-cut scent. Bow to the grand oaks in the lawn and feel the old fraying ropes that hold the swing in its strong branches. This swing has hung from this tree for generations. Sit. Sit in the swing. Take off your boots and rub your toes in the grass. Squashing the grass as you become one with the cool earth below, you push off and swing. Back and forth, back and forth. Higher and higher. Watching yourself rise from the world below, you see the barnyard in the distance. Someone is tending to the garden. Rows of vegetables fill it. The orchard is full of apples and peaches, and cherries will soon be ready to pick. Seeing the city in the distance, you can hear and feel the American machine once again. You dream of the stories it can tell. Of lights, and big dreams, and of its stores lined with goods, treasures, and sweets. You begin to desire a life in that big city. Returning to your surroundings with open eyes, you realize the love you have for everything about the South’s simplicity. Your swinging begins to slow and you sink lower and lower, until the grass is once again beneath your feet. The air feels thicker under the setting sun, so you move into the shade. You sit in the front yard and continue to explore the world around you. A well-worn picket fence surrounds the house. The broken gate swings in the breeze. You walk to the fence to explore the latch. Swinging the gate, you step inside. The sidewalk leads to the front porch where there are more swings, one on either end. The porch is covered in pots filled with plants, and baskets filled with blooms of all kinds hang from the porch roof, complementing the wide bushes surrounding the porch. The floral aroma is everywhere. You take it all in, but you are hungry. You sit comfortably in another swing, still barefoot and holding a glass of lemonade. You drink your lemonade, following it with sweet tea. You have a slice of pie, a cookie, of something homemade. The front door opens, it is tall like the oaks in the yard, and your grandmother steps out onto the porch. She sits beside you and she takes a glass of tea. YOU ARE NOW IN THE SOUTH AND, IN

THE SOUTH, YOU ARE HOME.

—Ben

Editor-in-Chief FOLK | 2 | 2012


FEATURES

8 34

NATURAL INSPIRATION

Hillary visits with famed gardener Jon Carloftis to discuss inspiration and the story behind it all

SOUTHERN INGENUITY

Blogger Becky Cunningham of Buckets of Burlap prepares a summer party in fine southern fashion.

44

STEPPING OUT IN SEMINOLE COUNTY

Jen and the girls travel to Seminole County, FL to explore the area and all of the folk art the county has to offer.

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SUMMERTIME IN THE METROPOLITAN SOUTH

A tour of the fine points of Nashville.

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DIRT TO SHIRT The story of a shirt begins in the cotton fields of North Carolina. We follow the process from the fields to the shelves.

A PROPER GENTLEMAN

62

Reagan and Emmie of Southern Proper share the story that led them to co-creating one of the most popular southern fashion labels.

FOLK | 3 | 2012


CONTENTS

INSPIRE

16 JUST THAT SOUTHERN 17 BLOG LIFE 18 MUSIC 20 SHOPPING 22 SHARED STORY 23 SHOPPING 24 ARTISAN’S STORY 26 READER SUBMISSIONS

SHARE

6 SNAPSHOTS 86 FRESH EGGS 88 THE REMEMBRANCER 89 FOLKLORE 90 PONDERINGS 92 THE LITTLE THINGS 94 MAN FARMER 97 SHORT STORY 98 READER SUBMISSION

CREATE

29 INSPIRED BY... 31 JUNK FIX 40 SWEET RE-TREATS 43 PATTERN

GATHER

68 SOJOURNS IN THE SOUTH 71 CITY TOUR 73 COOKING CLASS 75 VIRGINIA’S ALLEY 76 SUMMER 2012 79 FROM AUNT JUNE’S KITCHEN 82 READER SUBMISSION 84 TABLESCAPE

FOLK | 4 | 2012


INSPIRE PRODUCTS, PLACES, & PEOPLE WE HAVE FALLEN FOR

I have learned in my years of being a Southerner that you aren’t a southerner unless you are well versed in a few things. Some may seem cliché, while others may seem standard — but to us, they are just the things that make this place feel like home! MOONPIES ... head to Bell Buckle, TN this summer for its annual Moonpie festival!

SWEET TEA ... with lemon and mint PECAN PIE ... is it pronounced “pea-can” or “puh-con”? FRIED CHICKEN ... just like your grandmother made it! WAGON WHEEL by Old Crow Medicine Show “rock me mamma any way you feel” FIREFLIES IN A MASON JAR ... don’t forget to let them breathe!

KNOWING YOUR FAMILY’S HISTORY ... and being darn proud of it!

TRIPS TO FLORIDA’S BEACHES

... Panama City is so much more than just Spring Break

PICKING PEACHES, ORANGES, OR LEMONS

... the South has quite a few fruit-filled states

STEEL MAGNOLIAS and GONE WITH THE WIND ... we are a land of strong-spirited women

LITTLE WHITE CHURCHES

... and their well-dressed women on the amen-pew

HEMMINGWAY, FAULKNER, and TWAIN TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD The South comes alive in the summer with music, festivals, food, and fun. Summer is one big celebration in the South filled with colorful clothing, barbecues, lemonade, and visits to the lake. One cannot explain the excitement and color of a Southern summer without detailing all those little things that make it summer there. Whether you are spending your days by the river sunning, cooling off your nights night-swimming, or going to local festivals to immerse yourself in the local heritage of the South, it is sure you will be spending your time outdoors. The South has a great array of landscapes, and each one boasts its own unique activities. Some Southerners spend their cooler evenings hiking through the foothills of the Appalachians, while others may spend them poolside with the family celebrating their time together. Summer stimulates all of your senses with the buzzing of crickets in your ears, the humid air blowing through the willow trees, and the smells of ripening fruit in the garden. The South has adapted lightning bugs into games of tag and food into competitions at the state fair. No matter where you go in the South, if you’re there in the summer, you’re sure to find a lot of surprises.

FOLK |15 | 2012


NATURAL INSPIRATION An Interview with Jon Carloftis of Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens

BY: HILLARY LEWIS


IMAGINE walking out your back door

into the Appalachian wilderness, trudging through the same forest that Daniel Boone passed through generations ago. Not much has

changed since those times. The oak and sycamore trees jut toward a cloudless sky as sunbeams trickle through the canopy above. Wildflowers are in abundance and crisp, fresh air fills your lungs. As you take a moment to stop and admire the shades of green displayed in the moss growing on nearby sandstone, you hear the faint call of a whippoorwill in the distance. This is my home, and the home of Jon Carloftis. Jon’s story begins in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, on the banks of the Rockcastle River. It is the nature of this land that he credits for the inspiration behind Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens. Gardening, a hobby from his childhood, and his love for gardening stems from his love for the Appalachian wilderness and nature. It is this love that Jon believes has made his work so unique. His work is his hobby. In the early years of Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens, Jon relocated to New York where he focused his designs on bringing nature indoors and onto rooftops. This simple idea shared the relaxation of the wilderness with clients who had never experienced the tranquility of an Appalachian landscape. Word quickly spread of his talent and 2011 has proven to be Jon’s most successful year thus far. With a raising coming from a small, rural community Jon’s advice for success is to “work like a dog.” He believes that there is truly nothing better than a good work ethic and that you must always stay open-minded concerning new ideas. You must dive into everything you believe in wholeheartedly, and realize that you will not always be successful. People expect new ideas and when you have successful years, at the end of the year you are “burnt out.” Jon admits that when stress reaches a breaking point, he enjoys taking a few days to go to the beach. By immersing yourself in something totally opposite, you open your mind to new thoughts. When something does not work, he goes back to his inspiration and reinvents the idea with a fresh view. The most important advice Jon has for gardening is to work with what you’ve got. By blending your design with nature and what surrounds, you can create an oasis of your own. His favorite plants depend on the project at hand. He loves to pull natural elements from the surrounding area — this is evident in his favorite project to date. Jon loves the work he has done at Mt. Brilliant Horse Farm in Lexington, KY. With its formality and classic look, Mt. Brilliant is open, airy and as Jon states “it just works.” For more information about Jon and his designs please visit: JonCarloftis.com


MUSIC

LIZA TURNER

GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV

Gregory Alan Isakov is a singer-songwriter who has performed with the likes of Brandi Carlile and Ani DiFranco and at both South by Southwest and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. His songs have been heard on numerous television and film productions and he is slated to tour this summer both domestically and abroad. He kindly took the time to give us a glimpse into his life and at a few upcoming projects. gregoryalanisakov.com

How many years did you spend in South Africa? How has growing up there influenced your music? Where do you consider “home”? I lived outside of Johannesburg with my family until I was seven. It was a beautiful and intense place to grow up, and I’ve gone back since then. I’m not sure how these things make it into songs, but I’m sure that they have. We moved around a lot when I was a kid…and it looks like I do now as well, haha. Colorado has been home for about 10 years. It’s an amazing place. I feel connected to the west in general… something about the space out here. I’ve lived in lots of places, but the idea of home has always felt sort of illusive to me. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a lease, and I do think more and more, that home is something you take with you. It seems that media and fans alike have a somewhat difficult time describing the genre of artists like you, Brandi Carlile, Iron and Wine, Bon Iver, the Avett Brothers, etc. Do you consider yourself to be in a “category” or do you prefer this fluid understanding? It’s funny, people ask me a lot what kind of music we play. I’m always a little stumped. I think I say “we play songs”. It seems like music genres are changing all the time. Just last night at a show I heard the term “country-emo”. I guess I don’t really think about it too much. I listen to all kinds of music and the one thing they have in common is they put me into an emotive sense of place and time and most of all, a feeling. It could be a Miles Davis song or Nick Drake. I think that’s what we are all after. How do you decide on the artistic direction of your website, videos, T-shirts, CD covers, etc.? How would you describe your personal artistic inclinations/tastes? I am quite involved with all aspects of the music we make, artwork being a big part of

that. I’ve been lucky to have amazingly talented friends that I have worked beside putting together our records and T-shirts. I have a small silk-screen set up in my basement. I make a lot of prints by myself that we will have on the road. What instruments do you play? Are there any you would like to learn? I play a little of everything; not one too brilliantly:) I have a slew of old guitars at home and a couple of banjos, a bass, and a piano that I traded my couch for. I just started playing the saw and a pedal steel for the record that I’m making these days. In those instances when you’re not touring or in the studio, what is a typical day like for you? Haha, a typical day…that sounds awesome. Lets see, an ideal typical day that I am not in a van, I would probably spend it being nerdy in my vegetable garden at home, half reading Steinbeck and wearing out Leonard Cohen’s, “Songs from a Room.” I bet there would be some pinball and watching BB.C’s, “Merlin” thrown in there somewhere, and yeah, too much coffee. (with a little sugar)

FOLK | 18 | 2012

What are a few of your favorite venues? I love the Fox Theater and Chautauqua here in Colorado, but we’ve been lucky to play a ton of beautiful venues. We recently played the 9:30 club in D.C and that was amazing as well. There’s an old wooden saloon in Pinos Altos, New Mexico called the Buckhorn Opera House; one of our favorites. What projects/collaborations do you have planned for this spring and summer? Upcoming tour and album information? I have been mostly working on a record that we have been recording at a studio in the mountains near where I live for the past year and a half. I have been loving making it, and that should be out sometime soon this year. We are also on the road a bit this summer and will be at Red Rocks Amphitheater with Brandi Carlile in July. After that, in Europe. What is one song you really wish you had written (from any genre)? Besides the Happy Birthday song or maybe the Alphabet song (those two are good), it would probably be “One of Us Cannot be Wrong” by L. Cohen. That has to be the most beautiful love song I have ever heard.


CREATE SUMMER 2012

FOUND

INSPIRED BY: OBJECTS MICHAEL WURM JR.

During the summers of my youth, I had a pretty active imagination. Houses were built from leaves, pools were oceans, forts were built from blankets, and fireflies were magic. Thankfully, as an adult, my imagination still runs wild. And, while I’m no longer sleeping under blanket forts, my imagination has been a powerful tool in creating unique and beautiful elements for my home. It’s a passion of mine to take found goods and vintage items that are no longer considered useful or beautiful and give them new life! Wood crates and old ladders hung on walls help to transform a house into home. These one-of-kind touches add life, and a bit of whimsy, to an otherwise lackluster space. I hope these four simple ideas using found objects inspire your imagination. Go grab a mason jar , fill it with fireflies and I’ll meet you in the house of leaves.

FOLK | 29 | 2012


S

outhern Ingenuity

If you’re searching for true Southern style, look no further than Becky Cunningham’s blog Buckets of Burlap. After encountering the wonderful world of blogging in summer of 2010, Becky decided to chronicle the transformation of her 2005 modular house into a home with a “vintage country farmhouse” style. The blog has documented the changes in Cunningham’s home as she has slowly made updates room by room. Buckets of Burlap allows Becky’s readers to achieve the same farmhouse style that she has developed in her home, by becoming an avenue for sharing how she creates this style using unique flea market finds. “I want my readers to see that even a newer home can have character by adding architectural elements and vintage items,” says Becky. A veritable treasure-trove of great design, Becky’s Louisiana home showcases a unique blend of country style and repurposed objects. Her passion for decorating is surpassed only by her love for the South, her homeland. She defines “Southern” as her way of life. “Around our farm, it’s all in the way you treat others … being generous, kindhearted, and well-mannered.” Living on a farm in northern Louisiana has given her a pioneer spirit. She reuses and repurposes abandoned and time-worn objects to create this signature farmhouse style. An old bucket becomes

a light fixture, and an old picket fence becomes a headboard. Her imagination stems from her upbringing, and she credits her family with instilling in her a good work ethic and a sense of creativity. She cites her biggest creative influence as being her mom. “She was such a ‘decorator,;” says Becky, now a mother to three of her own. “Everyone used to say ‘her house needs to be in a magazine.’” However, it wasn’t until her mother passed away in 2009 that Becky felt her decorating style come alive. “All those things she once loved — gardening, decorating, and entertaining — were sparked within me. So, I started my blog, Buckets of Burlap, so that I could tell my story-how we are turning our little home into a farmhouse one DIY project at a time, and how my mom influenced it all,” says Becky. She expresses how wonderful it is that her blog allows her to connect with other women, and mothers that are so inspired to design by their families. “My aesthetic was greatly shaped from my parents, who taught me the importance of working hard, entertaining with big meals, and hosting family holiday gatherings.” Family is something that continues to inspire her Southern identity. It is the most important thing in her life, and her design communicates that focus through

Text: Gina Young | Photo: Becky Cunningham FOLK | 34 | 2012


WEAR

SUMMER 2012

FOLK | 58 | 2012


Judy Hill began making ties, she was only using her extra and talent for sewing to outfit her sons but even she says she was surprised, “how blessed she was to find her niche in the market.” Starting in January of 2010, Judy Hill used her skills as a seamstress and her knowledge of true Southern fashion to start making washable 100% cotton ties for her sons. James, president of his fraternity, and Cameron, a student at UVA College of Medicine, were both avid wearers of bow ties and it was Judy’s idea to make them for her sons. She started making 100% cotton ties after her son was working in a hospital was encouraged not to wear ties after a recent study revealed the number of doctors who had spread illness by not washing their ties. Judy was raised around the textile industry in North Carolina and recognized the study as an opportunity to start a line of all-cotton ties that were not only suitable for any occasion but also washable. At the same time James was unknowingly wearing his mother’s creations after she had sent him a collection of them. James’ ties quickly gained popularity among his southern fraternity brothers at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill at which point his mother was forced to admit that she had been making them for him. The classic fabrics that Judy uses for her ties quickly gained popularity and with help from her sons and a great community of seamstresses, Judy began what is now known as High Cotton Ties.

Judy, James, and the Hill family take their motto to heart. While growing their business, they retained their goal of staying local and American-made, still producing their ties close to their home in North Carolina. With help from James, her spokesperson and marketing expert, Cameron, who is in charge of web and graphic design, and Patrick, a campus representative for the brand, Judy continues to produce classic bow ties in timeless patterns such as tattersall, gingham, and dyed linens. Recently Judy Hill was given a unique opportunity to produce a cotton T-shirt with the low-

FROM DIRT TO SHIRT

A TRUE SOUTHERN ACCENT — that is the motto of High Cotton Ties, a North Carolina based tie manufacturer that not only imbibes their own motto but has also become a great American success story. When

FOLK | 59 | 2012


TABLESCAPE SIBYLLE ROESSLER

Sibylle Roessler is a freelance designer and blogger. Living dangerously close to El Rastro, the biggest flea ­market in Europe, she happily combines work with play and is a flea-market addict. In less than a year the popularity of her blog ‘Funkytime’ grew quickly, acknowledged by Apartment Therapy & Design Sponge for her “funky style.” The blog was also recently featured in Artful Blogging and Women’s Day. BRIGITTE, Germany’s largest women’s magazine declared Funkytime to be one of the 12 most creative blogs on the internet. Sibylle’s work will also be featured in two books, “The Design Cookbook: Recipes for a Stylish Home” by Kelly Edwards and “Mod Podge Rocks! Decoupage your World” by Amy Anderson. She is also publishing Funkytime magazine, which is a seasonal home and lifestyle magazine featuring articles on food, design & DIY projects. {fun.kyti.me}

FOLK | 84 | 2012


FOLK | 85 | 2012


THE REMEMBRANCER

HEATH STILTNER

ONE OF THE MOST VIVID MEMORIES I HAVE OF MY CHILDHOOD IS ROOTED IN THE SOIL BETWEEN MY HOME AND MY NANA’S. I was lucky enough to grow up around my family, in very close proximity to everyone on my mother’s side and not far from my father’s. From my house I could see everything in my “holler”; from the head, the farthest point at the end, to the mouth, where my short gravel road met the larger gravel road to Dorton, where I went to school. Those days were the simplest of my life ... before US23 made extinct those well traveled gravel roads of my youth. I am reminded of those days every time I drive down a gravel road. I can remember chasing cars down the paths of my Papaw’s garden, and not caring that the low greens of the vegetable patches were smacking my legs viciously. The smells of those gardens are always around me. I can remember the musk of tomato plants and the sweet smell of berries ripening on the vines. It was simple childhood bliss growing up in that garden. The strong summer sun beamed down on the field day in and day out and the ripening vegetables and fruits made me more aware of my upcoming birthday. The most exciting part of this garden lay in the row nearest to my porch. Stretching from the porch to the gravel road lay a long row of sweet, red berries that fueled my youthful energy during those warm days of summer. The strawberries that grew there were not like the overgrown grocery variety. They were a special entity that I have never found anywhere else. The small rubies clung to their vines delicately and all of the neighborhood kids were allowed to pick what they could carry. The sweet taste of those berries was unlike any other. The rich flavor and smooth, soft flesh melted in your mouth, dripping down your face leaving crimson evidence that you were in Papaw’s strawberries again. Those strawberries were an important part of my childhood. Every year I got older, a different birthday theme was picked, and I had a different grade and teacher to look forward to in the fall. The only thing that remained the same each year was the aroma and taste of those berries. The garden has disappeared in the waning years of my youth, but the sight and memory are revived each time I see the space between my house and my Nana’s. — Heath Stiltner FOLK | 88 | 2012


FOLK | SUMMER 2012 A FRESH-PICKED SOUTHERN SUMMER

FOLK | 103 | 2012

FOLK | No. 5  

FOLK is back with another issue! It is time to celebrate the summer of 2012. For this issue we head down South for our annual Desitination I...

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