Year of the Monkey


“The monkey is known for being very intelligent and clever,” explains Laura Lau, author of The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, calling it “one of the most innovative personalities within the zodiac.” These are common personality traits of people born under this sign, but they’re also thematic to the Year of the Monkey overall. As the monkey imbues the year with its quick wit, curiosity, and, as Lau stresses, its resourcefulness, it becomes a “year of reinvention in a lot of ways…a very energetic year and an auspicious one.” ~Refinery29

OliveLoaf Design

Here’s a recently completed project – ’twas enjoyable & challenging. It has at long last been delivered to it’s recipient ~ so I can finally show it off! This Monkey Mobilewas made with all paper mache {from up-cycled newspaper & cardboard}; jute twine; a found driftwood stick & painted with acrylic…

with bananas!

Monkey Mobile by OliveLoaf Design

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“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter.  Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”   ~Andrew Wyeth

Scenes from a desolate lake beach. Winter approaches…

Beach Patterns.

Beach Patterns by OliveLoaf Design


Ripples by OliveLoaf Design


Sand Paw.

Sand Paw by OliveLoaf Design


Acquiesce by OliveLoaf Design

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” ~Stanley Horowitz


Barren by OliveLoaf Design

“Gray drip-wet dawn
Leafless tree in solitude –
Remembers the robin.” ~
Don Sax

Morning Quarry.

Morning Quarry by OliveLoaf Design


“A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made.  The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air.” ~Eric Sloane


Rising by OliveLoaf Design


Boardwalk by OliveLoaf Design

“Here is the dark tree
Denuded now
Of leafage…
But a million stars” ~


Lid Ornaments

I had every good intention of having a big ornament & decoration challenge through out November & December this year. Sigh…but life happens, {thankfully} a gob of orders rolled in and add to that a pinch of procrastination and it’s not looking too good. “Shoulda, woulda, coulda, shut-upa!” and old friend used to say. I have so many crafty & upcycle-y ideas though, I may just leave the tree up {crap, haven’t put up a tree yet} and work throughout the coming new year for a big challenge in 2016. Anyhoo….here’s a super neat ornament from last year…#TBTCraft

OliveLoaf Design

Jar Lid Sparkle

If you’re into canning, you know eventually, you’re gonna have a ton of used lids. Up-cycle them into swanky and sparkly holiday ornaments!

There are a myriad of way to decorate these domestic leftovers – but I also happen to be cleaning out le studio {Christmas Miracle!} and found a bag of sequin-y shiny doodads and some glitters I’ve never used and thought they’d jazz the lids right up!


(Note: Don’t stare at a pile of glittery doo-dads too long.) Grab some white crafting glue and squeeze some into your lid, then spread it around and up the sides of the lid. Don’t be stingy!

Lids and Glue

Next, fill the lids up with whatever you have: sequins, buttons, doo-dads, sparkly things, beads, little animal figurines, paper punched shapes, glitter, Glitter, GLITTER!, what-have-you.  Fill in all the white glue spots and then set them aside to dry.  Super duper easy.

Glitter Up!

When they are…

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Perfect Now

“The universe is, instant by instant, recreated anew. There is in truth no past, only a memory of the past. Blink your eyes, and the world you see next did not exist when you closed them. Therefore, the only appropriate state of the mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of the heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before. The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it.” ~Terry PratchettCloudy Water Leaf by OliveLoaf Design

{Photo: OliveLoaf Design}

Adjusting Sails

Here is a completed paper mache sailing ship with fabric sails. Up-cycled cereal box, paper bags, newspaper & denim; string, dowels, glue, embroidery & acrylic paint. I will be making more of these. So inspiring to try new techniques as this is based on a pattern/design by my idol, artist Ann Wood. Having one of those weeks…wish it was life size so I could sail away.

Paper Mache Ship by OliveLoaf Design

“She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.” ~Elizabeth Edwards

Paper Mache Sailing Ship by OliveLoaf Design

{Art & Photos: OliveLoaf Design}