lost summer too

Wow! Where did August and September go? I was so busy with gardening and crafting and working on orders that I completely neglected le blog. {sigh}  Well, in hopes of catching up – here’s a photo collage of the missing months. Enjoy!

lost & found summer

Scenes {from my lost blogging month!} from Summer at Le Homestead and around Kentucky…



barn love

“Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art” ~Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

I just love the old barns found along the rolling hills of my present homeland of Kentucky. At first, it was just a barn wood obsession {oooooh! what I could make with that wood}. But I’ve grown to love their shapes and silhouettes. Each one has its own interesting characteristics and personality; like they have a vintage story to tell. Every once in a while I have the opportunity to get close enough to snap a good shot…

Barren County Barn by OliveLoaf Design
Barren County Barn by OliveLoaf Design
Garden Patch Barn by OliveLoaf Design
Garden Patch Barn by OliveLoaf Design

Please pull weeds

Wow, more than a month since my last post!? {Time flies when you’re busy in the garden.}

Please Pull Weeds by OliveLoaf Design
Please Pull Weeds by OliveLoaf Design

I had a rainy day=Craft Day last week and whipped up this little helpful sign. I snagged a piece of crappy scrap wood from Mr. D’s stash and sanded it shabby-smooth. I used a piece of found driftwood, floral wire, acrylic paint and colored pencils.

Now I’m going to pretend I’m not home. ☺

happy family

This was a special project for The Ledet Family.  Aren’t they cute?  I’ll be take my papier-mache art into more custom work – mainly families, kids & dogs. The family and dogs are crafted with  papier-mache clay on a vintage canvas and painted with acrylic paint.

The Ledet’s
The Family Details
Gavin the Cutie
The Pooches Up Close

A shot from the Ledet entry way.  It really ties the room together, I think. ☺

Please contact me at stacy@oliveloafdesign.com if you are interested in a custom family piece like the one featured here!

May Day 2014

Happy May Day! Ah, Spring is upon us here at Le Homestead. Nothing inspires me more that walking outside at sunrise and finding new flora and fauna blooming. ..

Cue the Dogwoods by OliveLoaf Design
Cue the Dogwoods

These lilacs have been a labor of love – the labor of moving them around several times to find the right spot to help them grow…for the love of the intoxicating fragrance {don’t you wish this was smell-o-vision?}.

Lilacs in Bloom by OliveLoaf Design
Lilacs in Bloom

The irises we have at Le Homestead were transplanted 6 years ago with nothing but green foliage year after year. Finally, after expert gardener tips and moving to a new spot – this year they are blooming. This particular specimen bloomed inside as pesky snails chomped its stem.

Yellow Iris by OliveLoaf Design
Long Awaited Iris in Yellow

Snow peas begin their climb. I’ve been crafting rustic garden markers from re-purposed wooden lattice, dowels, acrylic paint and paint markers.

Snow Peas by OliveLoaf Design
Grow Peas

craft your cleaner

Happy Earth Day! I meant to have a grand celebratory post but with gardening season in full swing, custom art orders to finish and rehearsals for a play – I missed the opportunity.  So instead, I thought I’d share with you a really cool and simple way to help save the planet and your household from the toxic chemicals found in cleaning products.

Craft Your Own Vinegar Orange Peel All-Purpose Cleaner.

This is a natural and super-cheap disinfectant that works on almost all surfaces and eliminates grease, grime, germs, mold and bacteria. Now, I know your thinking, “but won’t my house will smell like vinegar?” Yes, but the smell goes away pretty quickly – and at least your lungs won’t be burning from chemical fumes so basically, I’m saving your life.  You’re welcome.

Now, you can either peel a bunch of oranges {or lemons, grapefruits, what-have-you} in one sitting or you can save them up over a few days in the fridge {don’t wait too long, however or the natural oils in the peels will dry up}.  The oils in the peels do jack up the cleaning power and provide a more pleasant scent. Grab a big mason jar and cram it full of peels.  Cover the peels to the almost tipy-top with white distilled vinegar.  Stash them in a cupboard for a couple of weeks to a month. Strain the liquid and store in a jar – glass is best. It should store for many months up to a whole year.

Orange Peels & Vinegar.

Now, you can dilute the stuff for a more general multi-purpose cleaner or use more concentrated for a tougher cleaner. Use a clean, re-purposed spray bottle {or a new one if you must} and pour in about 2 cups of the solution into the bottle and fill with water. Shake before each use. I use this on counters, sinks, mirrors, toilets, appliances, floors, windows, wood, metal, laminate, tile & glass. It works great. I read however, that it’s not good to use vinegar on stone, granite or marble surfaces – so don’t do that.

Orange Peel Vinegar Cleaner.

Since I’ve been using this recipe for a while now and love it – I can’t wait to get creative with it and try some other scents and combinations.  Once my herb garden comes in, I thought I’d try fresh mint, rosemary, marjoram and thyme! You can also skip the citrus peel thing and add essential oils to a 1:1 vinegar/water solution.

Enjoy! You will feel so good saving money, your health and the planet. Plus, a clean house to boot!

Mother Earth thanks you.