Tag Archives: #writeyourselfalive

southwest birdhouse

My creative handyman {CraftyMan?} Mr. D and I have been teaming up on crafting groovy birdhouses. I’ve mentioned his mad wood-working skills a few times {but after researching this statement, clearly I need to brag more…bad wife!}.  After becoming a gardener and spending most of the day outside, I realized we really needed to put up bird houses for the large population we have around le homestead. While it is fascinating to snap pictures of them as they go from egg to adolescence and fly away – hopefully this will encourage them to stop making nests in the ferns on the porch. Mr. D and I like to sing and play music there and this activity drives the birds nuts when they are trying to care for their offspring.

So, I requested a few simple houses, and Mr. D scavenged for discarded wood items, collected a couple old pallets and whipped up these gems…

Mr. D Birdhouses by OliveLoaf Design

Not simple – but they are fabulous! Only the smaller house has been painted and mounted so far. I hope to have the the larger one painted, put on a post and installed this spring.  Meanwhile, I asked once again for a simple house to paint for a birthday present for my mom. This is what I was presented with:

Nice! After contemplating on a concept and sketching out some ideas, I finally narrowed in on a Southwest design with an American Indian essence…


I think it turned out swell.  Mr. D and I are considering make a few more of these {with a much more simple painting detail} to sell at a market this summer.  In the meantime, wait until you see the next one he’s working on {I’m merely adding a little detail on that one} stay tuned. I think we make a great crafty team! ♥☺


positively natural

“There’s a growing advantage over time to being in nature. When you have an extended period of time surrounded by that softly fascinating environment, you start seeing all kinds of positive effects in how your mind works — to be creative, to be imaginative, to problem solve, to feel good and be in a positive mood — things that allow us to be better, happier people who engage in a more productive way with others.”~Ruth Ann Atchley, psychologist {read more from the article “Nature-Creative Study Links The Great Outdoors With Positive Psychological Effects” here}

We went looking for signs of spring on a few of the hiking trails of Mammoth Cave National Park, Ketucky.  This overlook on Turnhole Bend Trail looks like a promising location to keep an eye on Spring’s progress…

Mr. D and I were seeking inspiration and a quality interaction with the teenager {Miss M}, letting the dog {Miss Sadie} run free, exorcising and exercising the winter blahs away. Looking for signs that nature had not given up on us yet…

Not so ancient arborglyphs. I was annoyed at first when I saw the carvings in this tree – how little respect humans have for nature and our planet, by leaving their mark everywhere.  Miss M astutely commented oh how fascinating it was that the tree kept right on growing strong despite being abused…

A stairway to the bottom of Cedar Sink Trail.  A metaphoric and literal staircase. While it’s refreshing to have a break after an uphill battle or endless disappointments and set-backs – you’ve got to go back up again sometime, no?  A life lived either passively or intentionally is what I’m contemplating in these woods.

You may find wondrous sights at the bottom of the overgrown sink holes and karst topography of the Mammoth trails. I love the herbaceous mosses. Although relatively fragile, they have survived the untypically cold winter by harvesting what little sun they received at the bottom of the sunken earth.  Making-do and doing the best with what they are given.


Only a little inspiration needed to create something weird and magical.


Our little adventure seemed to be just what we all needed. Miss M and I emerged from the woods singing songs we remembered from junior high choir {an impressive feat on my part} and thrilled at the spotting of a baby bat that flew right towards us and then fluttered away into the forest. Mr. D was logging in our hike mileage {you have to know where you started to see how far you’ve come} and Miss Sadie naturally, didn’t want it to end.  We drove home exhausted but I believe, happier, refreshed and more inspired.