home: an american familial haven (blue eye diy)

Things I love and my husband hates!Guys, please welcome Letisha and her lovely and oh-so-comforting American home to Hello, Scarlett Blog. Letisha’s blog, Blue Eye DIY, is self-described as “where lipstick meets sawdust.” It is there where you can find the most amazing creative projects to beautify your home. I hope that you enjoy touring her home and reading her thoughtful answers as much as I did! I think that her domicile sounds like nothing more than a little slice of heaven.

Emory

Life in Every Space and Color!!1. Where is your home located?

Home?  Boy that a good question!  I have moved quite a bit so the idea of “home” has evolved for me.  If you would have asked me this question 5 years ago I would have said “anywhere my kids and are.”  Now my kids are starting their own lives and making their own homes.  So I have had to reevaluate.  I think about the moments that I am most happy, when I am most at peace.  Those moments are when I have finished a good day of work, I am relaxed with my husband and dogs and eating food I don’t let myself feel guilty about.  That is home!

Memories2. What are your thoughts on the idea of ‘home’?

I wish I had a unique perspective to offer, but I really think home is about love and laughter not necessarily the location.  My son is leaving for his first “home,” it will be a tent in Nepal as he helps individuals rebuild after the earthquake.  I imagine him laughing, crying, sleeping, eating, working, playing music or cards … in his little tent.  Meanwhile back here in the states I will hang pictures on my walls, cook meals, watch tv, play cards, complain about slow internet … in my house.  Both are filled with love, both are a beautiful home.

My Personal Junk Yard3. What kinds of things influence your design style?

When I am designing my own home, I say my style is if Marilyn Monroe married Davey Crockett.  By that I mean, I love a bit of femininity and glam blended with rustic and distressed items.  I also LOVE to reuse or repurpose any item that I possibly can.  I believe everything should be purposeful if it takes a place in our home.  Even if its purpose is just to bring us joy!

Mirror and Brush 4. What do you consider to be one of your favourite items in your home? What could you never live without?

My favorite item is an antique mirror and brush set my husband gave me for my first birthday with him.  I told him a story of watching an old movie where the handsome man marries the town ugly duckling.  He told her she was the most beautiful woman in the world to him.  For their wedding gift he gave her a mirror so she could see the beauty in herself. 

My Memory DrawerTwo things [that I could never live without],  first, my memory drawer.  I have saved mementos and collectibles over the years from my children and courtship.  These items make me laugh and remind me of when my kids thought I was cool!  

The second thing is my personal junk yard.  I just love my junk!  I have an addiction with all things old, dingy and discarded!

The Hubby's Guitar5. Please share any ideas/stories/pictures that best highlight your home.

When I decided to become and interior designer it was originally because I loved color and making spaces attractive.  As I have grown and had more experience in the field I have learned that what I love more than that is making people feel alive, comfortable and finally excited about their homes.  In my home I try to keep that same attitude.  I love to see my husbands guitar around, doggy’s toys, even the painting in my living room that my husband hates!  Because all these things mean that “WE” live here.

Daughter and DoggiesLetisha

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kinfolk recipe : simple tortilla española

Kinfolk_Vol15_LunchBoxTortilla-1Simple Tortilla Española (Kinfolk Magazine)

Also known as a spanish omelet, this tasty dish can be prepared the night before and will provide all the carbohydrates and protein you need to make it through the rest of your workday.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small Yukon Gold potato (about 1/4 pound/115 grams), peeled, quartered and cut into 1/8-inch (3-millimeter) slices
1/2 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 large eggs
Pinch of nutmeg

Method:

In a 10-inch (25-centimeter) nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the potato and onion and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and onions are translucent and very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the potatoes and onions to a bowl and wipe the skillet clean.

In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Beat the eggs with the nutmeg and pour them into the pan. Cook undisturbed for 1 minute, then spread the potato and onion mixture over half of the eggs in an even layer. Continue cooking until the edges are set and the top is almost set but still moist, 5 to 7 minutes.

Using a spatula, fold the omelet in half to cover the filling, and then fold in half again. Remove the torta from the skillet and let it cool, then cut it in half and pack for lunch.

Tortilla Recipe - Kinfolk 1Recipe & Food Styling by Diana Yen. Top Photograph by Alice Gao. Prop Styling by Glen Proebstel. Bottom Photograph by Emory Ann Kurysh.

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pink gin cocktail with grilled watermelon : independence day recipe

Gin Watermelon Cocktail - Kinfolk 1This recipe is perfect for any Canada Day or Independence Day celebration. The combination of gin and grilled watermelon make it such a fun and summery drink. The best part is, this recipe serves four people (or one thirsty individual)!

Have a great Independence Day weekend!

<3

Emory

Items pictured above are available in the Potomac Trading Post store.

Kinfolk_Vol16_TickledPink-4Pink Gin Cocktail With Grilled Watermelon (Kinfolk Magazine)

This refreshing cocktail will start off your warm summer evening right with a kick of gin, honey, lime and verbena.

Ingredients:

1/2 medium seedless watermelon (about 2 1/4 pounds or 1 kilogram)
4 fluid ounces (120 milliliters) gin
1 tablespoon honey, preferably acacia 3 limes
1/4 cup (5 grams) fresh lemon verbena, lemon balm or mint leaves, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup sugar
Ice cubes, for serving

Method:

1. Peel the watermelon and cut half of it into small cubes and the other half into larger wedges. Put the cubes into a blender along with the gin and honey. Add the finely grated zest and juice of the first lime, plus the juice of a second lime. Blend until the mixture is smooth and frothy. Let the cocktail stand for 5 minutes to infuse the flavors.

2. Pulse the lemon verbena and sugar in a food processor until the herb is very finely minced and blended with the sugar. Transfer the mixture to a small plate and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over high heat until smoking hot. Grill the watermelon wedges until marks appear, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Arrange the grilled melon on a platter and sprinkle with the finely grated zest and the juice of the third lime and a little coarsely chopped lemon verbena.

4. Rub the rim of 4 cocktail glasses with one of the squeezed limes to lightly moisten, then dip it in the sugar mixture to get an even coating. Fill the glasses with ice and pour in the cocktail through a fine strainer. Serve immediately with the warm grilled watermelon.

Recipe by Mikkel Karstad. Top Photograph by Emory Ann Kurysh. Bottom Photograph by Anders Schønnemann.

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home: a modern cape cod homestead (nine apple trees)

c4u3is18vS2CJvyT6K0M6F_WfQV7Z9O1QKLyKl33x7cThere are only a handful of blogs and bloggers that I have been following, or who have followed me, since almost the outset of HSB. One such person who has been a constant is Chris from the blog Nine Apple TreesHis Ohio home, in which he shares with his beautiful family, is one that I admire greatly. He is not shy in posting about the hardships in regards to acreage life, while also celebrating his achievements with the same candour. His blog is a realistic look on rural life, and not an edited or glorified one that most bloggers become a casualty of (myself included). From his beekeeping adventures, to renovating their sustainable home, and more, Chris is a great storyteller and photographer. I couldn’t imagine doing this series without him.

Emory

wGvFthMvdd4I_mQGHhBZnjD6lKCZggohIQYtQsTWn-A1. Where is your home located?

Our home is located between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio in the heart of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. While we’ve only been in our home for three years, my wife and I have lived within a few miles of the area basically our whole lives. The village has a rural feel but we are within twenty minutes of two major city centers. Living in a national park is a dream come true for us.

Wdbq5QusejaY-ONWlcAGsFx_dWhGzCSqHgqzHs4-gl4,6pzdcly1GjGSMHrelAf6YD4kO0A7tH4ybyKKNBX7JlwbmiWghEl3FJN9Yq0pqvK1uEhE9toAsRsy4jWXDDlVs42. What are your thoughts on the idea of ‘home’? 

This is our third house we’ve had together, all of which we built new. I think the idea of turning a house into a “home” takes time. Home is really about the experiences and memories that become tied to a place. It was difficult leaving our last home because that’s where the boys were born, and we lived there for over seven years. It felt comfortable. Of all the things to worry about, or be challenged by in life, home has been a constant. I think people find comfort in the constants in their lives. For us, comfort is found in the place we live.

ToqTx_1qYmePCMNvFNbPn5j6CDCUgPTvg3VWElRO_6g,3HN4DHB5tttqTLRa4vYQ3Sq9mqyxV2Q3olKTRd5meMcLD_BF5lWtsXCPYoogM4TUDNAygv85alsGjpJ9IzQuDI3. What kinds of things influence your design style?

We have been fortunate that our design tastes are totally in sync. We like a laid back, eclectic, contemporary feel. We hired an architect to design our house. The modern cape cod style home he created is uniquely ours, and fits into the rural landscape. I like to think it evokes the industrial architecture of the area’s historic paper mills and train stations in the proportions of the building – the house is very long and tall.

bIOiuWy0itKpKQwQz9HRx7FZmvpPfQjH3XRC61PPeVcWe tried to infuse a little of that industrial vibe with faux steel beams in the kitchen and repurposed welding-tank light fixtures in the dining room. My favorite trick is we used a cohesive paint palette with rich, yet subtle, earthy colors. We weren’t afraid to paint different colors on different walls. We even painted the kitchen ceiling. There’s no reason all four walls need to be the same color.

TsHhrHzqLNIYS0QHYZpEQY8efV12erB1SM1eWaiOTjgI’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that nature inspires our design decisions as well. We try to balance the man made with natural: framed dried leaves the boys collected for example. The only wallpaper in the house, in the half bath, has a floral pattern. And the fireplace mantel is made from a cherry tree we had to cut down during construction.

ADloUGBzaCsfYyoEMChSPqqCM2brwoMO6j348pkAa28,_CpJ6OdmpV16fqyNj2oUKc5UBppax3-ShN_DoCLLaYg4. What do you consider to be one of your favourite items in your home? What could you never live without?

Honestly, for me it’d actually have to be the yard outside. We have six acres and we’ve left most of it natural. I know that’s not an item, but I’ve come to know all the plants and trees, as strange as that sounds. We get attached to the living things on our land; we’ve been known to move shrubs from one residence to the next with mixed results.

E42UnjjqVZhNrcRaiUSrEafdWIku6_dXvogBHDkCxb4,Na32arBojFzpVzFJUBXkdbGErJ8qxczJmZojbkwMD_YAs for items, we have a lot of junk that we’ve moved from house to house. The more we accumulate, the less meaning it has, to me at least.

SO5dNkK95eYXH9UXWhQgEr_wN-cw4XU9wm2lKzXTUJ0,AzyU44RdwUZQwB2LsX10BWlvqjHjEzPWDEGQVhkiSaEI will say though when we designed the house we purposefully did not make a formal dining room. Our “fancy” dining room table gets used every day for every meal, and that’s by design. It will wear over the years and gain a character all its own. We bought it new, years ago, and I’d say that it has been a good constant to have. Whether it’s just a family dinner, business meeting or catching up with old friends, you can usually find it happening around the dining table.

3QNSXA3Eot634Y2oJJAZcTahLt1QlTdU_1I0wFakH9Egm7DuDUb_tXOt7MVUnIXSdBdnj-J1zgs2lFTNx6dC8M,WxGfMfdAPbAcx7At79iM0UfHVPEORvVhEyfh2xELezA5. Please share any ideas/stories/pictures that best highlight your home.

A major influence on our house and home life is environmental sustainability. The house is Energy Star certified, and we factor in the environment in every house related decision. My favorite example is our water supply is one hundred percent rainwater. It was amazing to take that first shower knowing that the water had fallen from the sky just a few hours ago. The house has been designed and built in a way that eventually we could live completely off the grid if we wanted to.

aNVZo8x1sIBr0cNdS3nmqK_iBkSvH0LJqNaw5kin6m8,tUcc6ouvgIYPBxkPvogZ43sKYgCLR6vDTX83aj0ks9QWe actually both work from home, and we built the house with an art studio for each of us. Beyond that we just wanted a place where our children could grow up around nature. We were worried about leaving suburbia with its sidewalks and kids everywhere, but we think it’s one of the best decisions we ever made.

Our home is the place where we live, work and play.

SltJNwjCgvgX28SCudieoU8UYNWkB_38Ha3cwOxAsdY,1Vg0zlICgmZ3d-jDcl-AsBP7rTulroftOKcd3Ip0xwUChris

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If you would like to take part in this series, entitled Home, please email me at helloscarlettblog@outlook.com.

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i’m making a list, and checking it twice

List Making - Kinfolk 1I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a nutter. I strongly feel that most creative people are, if not every individual in general. There are so many disorders in existence, that there’s a good chance every person would have at least one of them. For example, these are a few of the issues that I feel I have traces of:

Perfectionism
Anxiety
Over-thinking
OCD
(and because I am afraid of the number 4) Lack of self-esteem

List Making - Kinfolk 3-1Yet, these are all self-diagnosed and quite manageable, for the most part. One of my biggest issues is that I cannot have free time, even if it’s for an hour. I have to constantly be doing something, otherwise I begin to dwell on things and soon fall into a depressive state. This is not because I am unhappy with my life, but rather, because I feel as if I should be doing more. Maybe that is why I had five jobs at the beginning of the year. 

In order to keep the events of my day straight, I keep a detailed list in my phone. These lists are down to the hour, and usually stretch into the next week. Every minute is accounted for, and the only time that I’m allowed to rest is when I’m sleeping, or in bed watching Netflix with my husband. I touched on this incessant planning a bit last year when I blogged about scheduling posts. I mentioned that I plan well in advance, and asked you guys if you do the same. Your answers surprised me, and I loved learning about your varying schedules. Now that I am attempting to once again publish posts five days a week, I have each weekday accounted for, up until the end of July. This of course will change a bit, but for the most part, I know what I will be writing about up to the end of next month.

Geoffrey and I spent Saturday running errands in town with our dogs. Every time we did a task, I would look at my phone to consult my list for the day. He said to me, “you and your damn lists.” I can’t help it. If I don’t write down what I’ll be doing that day, or next week, I feel lost and anxious. However, seeing it in front of me brings a huge relief, and makes me more productive as opposed to just ambling through my day. 

I was beginning to think that this was a serious issue, until I came across an article in the March 2015 edition of Kinfolk magazine. This particular article put my mind at ease, and taught me more about list-making than I knew before. I swear that this publication has brought nothing but good into my life. Here it is.

<3

Emory

List Making - Kinfolk 4The Psychology of List Making

Why do we feel the need to make a list for every occasion, from grocery items to plans for world domination?

Lists keep our daily affairs in order, but they can also be distilleries of our deeper intentions. Regardless of their contents, they say a lot more about us than simply what we need to get done: They portray our expectations, self-criticisms and anxieties. In pursuit of moral perfection, Benjamin Franklin once drafted a list of what he deemed the necessary virtues in life. But not all innovative people have been as lofty as Ben when it comes to list making: The Finnish architect Eero Saarinen’s to-do list included changing the lightbulb; elsewhere he listed the characteristics of his wife that he found most favorable. Eccentric and banal lists alike testify to our desire to cultivate order out of the messy shards of the everyday, and there is much to be gained from transmuting our goals into brief notes on a piece of paper.

Psychologists have found that we’re hard-wired to function better when we have a plan. In 1927, Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik found that people recall unfinished tasks more accurately than finished ones. Psychologists R.F. Baumeister and E.J. Masicampo have since updated the so-called Zeigarnik effect when they discovered that people also perform better at one task once they’ve created a concrete plan for completing their other uncompleted tasks. Using this logic, it means you’ll more keenly tackle writing your staff newsletter if you’ve already created a plan to categorize last week’s emails afterward. By allotting yourself time to complete each task on your list, you’ll engage more presently with what’s at hand because you know the next activity will be given its own time in due course.

But sometimes even the most articulate and carefully crafted to-do lists can’t save us from procrastination or from the temptation to whip up a batch of scones instead of paying our gas bill. On some days, you just want to accept defeat from your overwhelming list of unaccomplished chores, responsibilities and life goals.

Fortunately, you can dispel anxiety over the unfinished entries of today’s list by condensing your unfinished list for tomorrow. To-do lists often work best when they value quality over quantity – Henry David Thoreau advised us to keep our accounts on our thumbnail, the shorter the better. The visceral act of checking a box can provide an addictive sense of satisfaction, but the best to-do lists should only contain essential tasks rather than fodder that makes us feel accomplished and ultimately distracted from our goals.

For everything else, we can forgive ourselves for allowing the dynamism of life to take us off course. Besides, if accomplishing everything requires us to sacrifice a meaningful engagement with our activities, perhaps it would be better to drop what we’re doing and make those scones after all.

by Sammi Massey

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (one on earth, one in heaven, and growing another). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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