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.


wildflower ♥

Another inspiring hike through Mammoth Cave National Park yesterday. When not focusing on the trail – I tried to snap the wildflowers I saw so I could study up on them later.  Good to know what your gazing at when your trekking through nature…and very interesting to learn about their Native American uses.

“May your life be like a wildflower…growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day.”           ~ Native American proverb

Spring Green by OliveLoaf Design
Spring arrives at Green River in Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky.
Fire Pink by OliveLoaf Design
Fire Pink, Silene Virginica. Pink Family.
Green River Sadie by OliveLoaf Design
Miss Sadie contemplates the Green River Valley.
Crested Dwarf Iris by OliveLoaf Design
Crested Dwarf Iris, Iris Cristata. Iris Family
Bluebells by OliveLoaf Design
Bluebells, Mertensia Viginica. Borage Family

“You belong among the wildflowers. You belong somewhere you feel free.” ~Tom Petty

forest unfurling

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ~John Muir

We took a shortcut to the lake through the woods behind le homestead looking for morels. We witnessed the forest unfurling, but found no mushrooms.

Budding Tree by OliveLoaf Design
Budding Tree.
Red Buds & Blue by OliveLoaf Design
Eastern Redbud, Cercis Canadensis.
Fiddlehead Fern by OliveLoaf Design
Fiddlehead Fern.
Forest Unfurling II by OliveLoaf Design
Yellow Trout Lily, Erythronium Americanum. Lily Family.
Butterweed by OliveLoaf Design
Butterweed, Senecio Glabellus. Composite Family.
Spring Beauty by OliveLoaf Design
Spring Beauty, Claytonia Virginica. Purslane Family.

“Solitude is the soil in which genius is planted, creativity grows, and legends bloom; faith in oneself is the rain that cultivates a hero to endure the storm, and bare the genesis of a new world, a new forest.” ~ Mike Norton, White Mountain

dream elephant

I’m excited to finally share this recent project with you. It was a labor of love designed for a baby’s room. It’s approximately 14″ x 17″ with canvas and frame. For the elephant, clouds, balloons & stars – paper mache clay creates a 3-D effect. Painted with acrylic paints.Dream Elephant by OliveLoaf Design

I first sketched out the concept so I had a clear vision to follow as I created the piece.

For fun I added semi-hidden words that were made from alphabet pasta! So cute. The elephant holds balloons attached to shiny paper string.

Contact me at stacy@oliveloafdesign.com if you are interested in a custom paper mache painting. I would love to work with you to create an origianl personal keepsake for you or your loved ones.