Category Archives: YOU do it!

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!

Sparkle!

(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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paint chip garland

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I had a bunch of paint chip samples {from an honest-to-goodness painting project} and thought I’d use them to make an up-cycled garland {and to clean out the studio}.  It’s a win-win, cheap and easy decoration idea.

Use a paper punch shape and size of your choice. Grab your paint chips in the color(s) of your choice and punch out a bunch!

Punch Your Paint Chip

Now to the sewing machine! Pick a string, yarn, twine, whathaveyou {I used a sparkle baker’s twine} and put your stitch on a zig-zag. Place a punched paint chip on the string and zig-zag it!

Zig Zag It

Continue until the garland is your preferred length.

Lots of Dots

Hang it up. That’s it!

Paint Chip Garland

Cheers!

Lid Ornaments

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!

Sparkle!

(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 dry, make a hook with some type of craft-wire and then make it spiffy with a pretty ribbon. Or you can just hot-glue ribbon around the lid and tie a loop at the top.

Lid Ornaments by OliveLoaf Design

Or you can make some holes at the top of your lid and simply use some baker’s twine or string. Use what you’ve got handy. If you’re feeling REALLY fancy – you could paint the lids before crafting these ornaments – but it’s T-minus 15 til the big day, so who has time for that!? 😉

Jar Lid Sparkle Ornaments

Cheers!

crafty sprouts

Craft Your Own Sprouts:

Homemade sprouts is a MUCH healthier alternative to buying from a conventional store {you don’t know what those things have been grown in} and they super-duper healthy. Sprouts have enzymes {special types of proteins that act as catalysts for all your body’s functions}, the protein in the beans, nuts, seeds or grains improves when sprouted,  vitamin content increases {this is especially true of vitamins A, B-complex, C, and E} and sprouts are alkalizing to your body {many illnesses including cancer have been linked to excess acidity in the body}. 

Sprouting is very easy and fancy contraptions and thing-a-ma-jigs are not needed. Large wide-mouth jars are best – but you can use any mason or re-purposed jar {just adjust the amount of seeds/beans you use as the sprouts expand, a lot}.

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The jar left has clover, arugula, china rose radish, and fenugreek certified organic sprouting seeds and the jar right is organic mung beans.

Place a small amount of seeds in the jar and cover with purified/filtered water. Cover mouth of jar with cheesecloth {make sure it’s food grade and unbleached is best} and secure with rubber band {re-purposed from store-bought veggies}. Cover seeds with purified/filtered water. Soak overnight in a warm spot.

The next day, dump out water through the cheesecloth. Place jars in warm and indirect sunlight. Rinse with water one or two times each day – the mung beans may need to be rinsed more often. Sprouting will begin in a few days. Smaller seeds sprout faster, mung a little bit longer. When sprouts are ready rinse and dry on towels. Make sure they are very dry before storing.

Home Crafted Sprouts!

Enjoy immediately or store in fridge for a week or so.

 

crafty homesteady

I received a lovely note from a fan:

“I just wanted to tell you that I really like your blog and your crafts. I especially love it when you post things about your homestead and “homesteady” how-to things. I wanted to encourage you to keep at it and give us more, more, more! You are an inspiration!”  -Marni N. from Harrisburg, PA

Wow! That was awesome. Thank you Marni!  I try to branch out and post more lifestyle things just to round out the OliveLoaf Design concept. So with that encouragement, let’s give it a shot. We’ll call it: Crafty Homesteady. I thought I’d focus on things that interest me the most: Re-Purposing, Re-Cycling, Up-Cycling, Organic, Non-GMO, Natural, Homemade, Plant-Based/Vegan, Healthy and Whole. {Is that enough?!} Here’s the first installment…

Craft Homemade Vegetable Broth:

I don’t know about where you live, but around here organic, low sodium/no salt added vegetable broth is pretty pricey.  Do it yourself. Save ALL of your veggie, citrus and herb scraps in the freezer until you have several bags. We have tons around le homestead as we are plant-based. Cram them into a big ole pot or slow cooker {you may have to do a few batches}. Add bay leaf, whole peppercorns, smashed garlic cloves and/or bouquet garni with fresh herbs from your summer garden. Cover all this with water & cook it down until you have a delightful vegetable broth. Salt if you must and strain. Save in re-purposed/mason jars {better with glass} in the fridge or freeze. Compost remaining veg waste. 

Veggie Broth Brew

Not only will you now have homemade vegetable broth at the ready for all of your soup and sauce needs – but you can replace oil for sauteing too.

Glass Gem

UPDATE: 10/21/15 We do not have seeds this year. You can find Glass Gem corn seeds at Native Seeds. Cheers!

Now available in our Barren River Emporium shop:

Glass Gem Corn Seeds, 60 Seed Pack. Shipping Included for USA orders. Organic, Non-GMO, Heirloom.

This beautiful, multi-colored heirloom flint corn is used for making flour or as a popping corn. Unlike sweet corn, it is not typically eaten right off the cob. However, it was likely bred as an ornamental variety.

After wait-listing our seeds for a year, we grew the seeds available here last Summer 2013. Grown without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers; Organic. Each ear was like opening a surprise gift – each more colorful and unique than the last.

We wanted to spread the Non-GMO corn love to you. They make beautiful seasonal decorations and delicious & super-white popcorn.

Glass Gem Popcorn by OliveLoaf Design

Grown in South Central Kentucky, USA.

Glass Gem Growing by OliveLoaf Design

Via NativeSeeds.org"Its origin traces back to Carl Barnes, a part-Cherokee farmer living in Oklahoma. Barnes had an uncanny knack for corn breeding. More specifically, he excelled at selecting and saving seed from those cobs that exhibited vivid, translucent colors. Exactly how long Barnes worked on Glass Gem—how many successive seasons he carefully chose, saved, and replanted these special seeds—is unknown. But after many years, his painstaking efforts created a wondrous corn cultivar that has now captivated thousands of people around the world." 

"Approaching old age, Barnes bestowed his precious seed collection to Greg Schoen, his corn-breeding protégé. The weighty responsibility of protecting these seeds was not lost on Schoen. While in the process of moving in 2010, he sought out a place to store a sampling of the collection to ensure its safekeeping. Schoen passed on several unique corn varieties to fellow seedsman Bill McDorman, who was owner at the time of Seeds Trust, a small family seed company then located in central Arizona. (Today, Bill McDorman is Executive Director of Native Seeds/SEARCH.Curious about the oddly named Glass Gems, he planted a handful of seeds in his garden. The spectacular plants that emerged took him by surprise. 'I was blown away,' McDorman recalls. 'No one had ever seen corn like this before.' "

Rainbow Corn by OliveLoaf Design

Click here to order!

Driftwood Tree

I’ve wanted to make one of these ever since I’ve had access to an endless supply of driftwood. A Driftwood Holiday Tree

So, yesterday was the day! I thought I’d use up the stash I’ve had for a while so I can go hunting for a fresh supply! ☺Firstly, Mr. D chain-sawed for me, a nice slab off of a hunk of log that was sitting around. Depending on how big or small you want your tree to be – you need a good base.

First, I drilled a 3/8″ hole a few inches into the middle of the base and inserted a 3/8″ dowel. I gathered all my driftwood pieces and arranged them smallest to largest; measured for the middle of each – and drilled holes in all. Arrange them, as you wish, on the dowel {you can use a little wood glue to hold each in place}. Make a little star {or even use a starfish} and attach to the top…

Peace, Love & Christmas.

Musical Garland

This project is so easy ~ I just whipped it up this morning! Up-cycled Musical Ornaments & Garland

I used a vintage music book that I often use for collage but you can use an old book, comic books, vintage papers or any other papers you wish.

 Stack the papers {I’d say at least 15-20 pages} use a something to trace a circle and cut through the stack with an Exacto knife.

Fold the circle stack in the middle & staple down the fold. Spread the pages out. Attach a ribbon, cord, yarn, what-have-you with glue for hanging. You can leave plain, but I brushed on some Mod Podge and sprinkled glitter on to jazz them up {spray adhesive would work best, but I was out, so I made do}. Now, you can simply hang on your tree or make several & make a garland.

Light Bulb Snow People

How do you know you’re an obsessed up-cycling crafter? You have PUH-lenty of burned-out light bulbs to make an entire tree-full of

Light Bulb Snow People or Snow Bulb Light People!

But I only made three. So cute. So easy. Grab an old light bulb & spray paint {I used Krylon white & then Krylon Silver Glitter spray}

For scarves – use fabric scraps, ribbon, sweater pieces, t-shirt strips, etc., and hot glue it to the bulb…

Go outside – find a nice stick, cut arms, glue them on. Paint on a face with acrylics or puffy paint. Attach a ribbon or wire to hang.

Christmas Stick Bouquet

Say it with me, “Thrifty, Crafty, Green & Easy!” Go outside, get some sticks {I culled from my driftwood collection} paint, glitter, what-have-you…make them festive. Arrange them in a vase {you can even put a small set of twinkle lights in the bottom} Viola! Christmas Stick Bouquet. So easy it’s stupid!