Friday, April 18, 2014

watercolor paper eggs

What a relief to come up with an easy last minute alternative to egg dyeing.  Don't get me wrong, decorating eggs is one of my favorite traditions this time of year. I'm just feeling a bit protective of the few precious eggs our two sweet hens have just begun sharing again.  I often feel wasteful because after all of the handling and hiding and hunting that those pretty painted eggs endure- not much eating happens to these dyed varieties. Over the years, I've limited it to boiling or blowing a dozen eggs. That's 4 a piece for the three of us. Not nearly enough for family of makers. We always long for more. I love offering a sense of abundance wherever I can.
So, this morning I started cutting out eggs from stiff water color paper. Lots of them. With promises of more if we ran out. We brought out the crayons and watercolors and this is what happened...
Simple. Satisfying. Holes were punched. String was looped. Onto branches they went. No fear of cracks or breaks. And we keep making them.
 Of course,  there is still the plan to dye a dozen, but I have a feeling we'll be satiated this year...

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

horse break

It's spring break at our place, but as there's snow on the ground... again... I hesitate to call it that. Besides around here it's essentially Horselandia- so we're officially on "horse break". What that means is that my daughter has hours and days to play with her growing collection of horses and invite all of her equally horse crazy friends over for an equestrian fest. Making stuff is the best part. Wire, leather, felt, ribbons...  and lots of duct tape are all out as bridles and saddles are constructed morning, noon and night.
As a mom, I couldn't be happier! I'm still finding my way around all of this horse business, but what I've discovered is that it's wholesome, powerful and imaginative play that promotes cooperation and community with her friends. It's the perfect extension to my daughter's favorite part of the week- riding lessons.
 When they are not inside crafting and playing... they're out back trotting and galloping. Go girls!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Thea's Spirit of Mastery

Have you been wanting to make better friends with your camera? Now is a wonderful time to commit to learning how to turn off auto and shoot pictures like never before. One of my favorite photographers and dear friends is here to help! I'm so excited to share Thea Coughlin's new e-course: Spirit of Mastery. It's a 4 week online mentoring course from May 5-30th.

All of the juicy details can be found right here. I rarely do affiliate programs... but this is my girl, Thea. I've worked with her as a photographer of both me and my projects, taught along side her at Squam, and spent enough time watching her in action to know just how incredible this class will be. If you sign up through me... I will get a little boost, just so you know. Also- Thea is offering you (my friends) a discount. It's $169 instead of the full price $179 if you use the coupon code: MAYA MADE

So if expanding your photography skills has been on your list... THIS is the perfect opportunity!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

stampin' cork- simple gifts

 Do you know how beautifully cork takes to stamps and ink? Well, I didn't... what a nice surprise! They make great personal coasters and trivets. Whether you carve your own or purchase stamps- find ones that speak to you or the recipient. 
I had two broken cork place mats from Ikea. The bigger the piece,the easier it is to break it with a simple fold or bend. Both kids discovered that during the course of one meal. Whoops! That's why smaller pieced projects, like coasters, are perfect and so much sturdier for cork. I used a ruler and rotary cutter and made as many 4" squares as I could from the best part of the place mats. Then stamped away! StāzOn ink pads are recommended so that they can handle spills and be wiped clean. Teacher appreciation week is coming up, a set of these might be perfect with some other goodies...

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Monday, April 7, 2014


 Everything feels fresh and alive. The sky is filled with swooping song birds and the earth is bursting with the first green shoots of spring bulbs. I've been begun the initial bed clearing in my garden, started drinking raw juice again and am feeling the vitality that comes from living within the seasons. I complained a lot about winter this year. I missed my sweet warm California home. But now that we've turned the corner, I'm remembering how exhilarating it is to live where the calendar leads the way with such distinction.

 Every one of my senses feels heightened, and I'm walking around with a constant smile on my face (and my iphone in hand snapping here and there!).  I'm not alone with a bounce in my step. I see it in  the energy levels of my children and our friends... and my favorite illustration of the coming of new life occurred earlier this morn!
The return of the egg! I heard the familiar satisfied squawk of a laying hen when I walked down to the coop this morning. I picked up my pace... could it be? 
We lost so many of our lovely girls last year. One hungry mama coyote was the main culprit. Between the snow and the fear of the coyote's return, we kept them in their coop all winter. It's spacious and has a southern exposure window, but the fact that they hadn't resumed laying eggs in February (chickens often stop or slow down egg production when the days are short and cold) made me feel guilty for not letting them roam. I guess all they needed was some fresh greens and grubs! 
Our first egg of the year! What a perfect way to start the week!

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Friday, April 4, 2014

This Book Was a Tree

I'm so happy to introduce a brand new book that's sure to inspire you to unplug and step outside. It's wonderful for nature needing folks of all ages. Hey- that's everyone! It would be a super useful companion to anyone working with children who's looking for sure fire ways to connect with nature, while educating with the science behind each project. Here's author, Marcie Chamber Cuff's, description:
“A guidebook for becoming a modern pioneer – a strong-minded, clever, crafty, spontaneous mud pie-making, fort-building individual committed to slowing down and giving the world your complete attention, questioning everyday things, and reconnecting with the wildness around you.”

Good stuff! Wouldn't you agree? Here's a sneak peek inside...

 Now that we've had 2 or 3 actual spring days, I can envision getting muddy and inspired with this book in hand. First up- we'll be making that nesting ball with all of the wild grapevines that ramble along our hedgerow. It's a perfect welcome back gift to all of our feathered friends that have returned to perform their all day orchestras once again. 

Congratulations, Marcie! This Book Was a Tree is a true gem and will be put to good use this season and beyond! This is stop #4 on a wonderful blog tour line-up. Follow along and catch other insights and peeks.

Week One:
Week Two:
4/10 Tinkerlab
Week Three:

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

finally here!

April has arrived! Feels miraculous after the winter we've had. There was snow up until the last moment and then- poof! 60 degrees and a beautiful sunny day began the new month. I even threw on my running shoes and took off down my road for the first time of the year! You can see here on instagram that there was still some snow on the road... but not today! Hasta la vista! Hello spring flowers and warm weather! Time to go clip some branches and force some early blossoms.

And here are some of my favorite projects of the season from springs gone by...

baby clothespin bunny

fabric bendy strips

Happy April!!
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Monday, March 31, 2014

the simple things

The Simple Things is a beautiful UK based magazine, and I'm so happy to have one of my projects featured in its latest issue. Soon it will be time to hang the clothes on the line, and nothing is handier than one of these burlap peg bags.  And for those of you non-sewers, I'm putting them on my list for my next shop update... along with stamped pouches, since it seems like those are clear necessities for many of you!
Here's how The Simple Things describes itself:
It’s about slowing down, enjoying what you have, making the most of where you live, enjoying the company of of friends and family, and making simple food for friendly gatherings. We like to grow some of our own vegetables, visit local markets, rummage in thrift shops, and decorate our home with the plunder.
And we like to think that the small things we do will make a difference in the long run – whether that’s making, upcycling, growing, cooking, entertaining, escaping or relaxing.

Perfect, right!? You can view some of this issue right here.
Have a fabulous start to your week, my friends!

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bucket winner!

The blogiversary giveaway was a delight for me in so many ways. Thanks for your wonderful sharing- LOVED hearing all of the projects that you've enjoyed throughout the years and was fascinated by the favorite stamps people chose.

Congratulations goes out to:

Love your ethereal feathers, but your scissors get me every time. A good pair of scissors can change the world!

Congratulations on your blogiversary. I've been a fan for years.

Thanks for a chance at this generous giveaway, Maya!

I'll contact you for your address Karen! Yay- scissors it is! Pin It

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

blogiversary bucket giveaway!

This week marks 6 years of maya*made! It has offered so many tremendous gifts along with an unexpected career... True confidence in my creativity, dozens of publishing opportunities, a new lens to view my world, inspiring collaborations, loving friendships, and a connection to all of you amazing folks that stop by regularly to see what's new. I think we need a little celebration, don't you?

Every party needs a treat... these congo bars have been a huge success. Three batches in 4 days (ok one was for my son's bake sale, but still!) means they meet my standard baking criteria: they must be quick and easy... and of course make my kids ask for "just one more, pleeeeeease". I used this recipe but tossed all ingredients into one bowl, beginning with wet and ending with dry. I omitted the nuts and made my own brown sugar. It seems like good base recipe for fun adaptions.

How about a present... what's a birthday (blogiversary) without a gift? I would be delighted to make a sweet custom bucket for all of you, but we'll just have keep it to one lucky winner. Maybe it will be you!
If you'd like to win small linen bucket printed with a choice of any of my stamps- please leave a comment below by Sunday at 5pm. I'd love to hear one of your favorite maya*made projects from over the years or maybe what stamp you'd choose. The winner will be announced Monday morning.

Good luck and thank you for an amazing 6 years!
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Monday, March 24, 2014

shop update!

In honor of this new season and all the inspiration it brings to get organized, I bring you...

The Spring Bucket Sale!
(and more)

All of those feathers must have made me light-headed, because I couldn't stop sewing. I went a bit wild in my studio. This is the biggest shop update I've had in years! Everything was made lovingly and infused with happiness just for you.
Come visit me in my Etsy store and see what I've been up to... 
  designs maya made

p.s. I'll happy ship internationally, just convo me on Etsy and will set up a listing for you.

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wise craft winner!

And the winner of a copy of Blair Stocker's newly published WISE CRAFT goes to:

Ooooh, lovely! I've read her blog forever it all she puts her hands to.
Congratulations Laura! We will be touch for all of your mailing info, etc. Happy Monday!

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Friday, March 21, 2014

sewing fever

Spring officially began yesterday afternoon... and with it came some snow. I know, don't even. 

But today... the first full day of this highly anticipated season... it's filled with sunshine. Perfect time for me to do a photo shoot at my mom's barn. I had thought that maybe I'd update my shop with a couple of buckets, but guess what happened? I got spring sewing fever! What's that? It's when you can't stop... you just want to keep on stitching because it feels so good to feel the smooth linen sailing between your fingers and watching the patterns you print dance under the needle. So I went with it and am super delighted with what came of it all.

 I finally made myself stop sewing so that I can load the virtual shelves. If you follow me on instagram (in the sidebar to the right) and FB you've seen some fine sneak peeks. There will be more this weekend. Come Monday morning... bright and early...the shop will be full! And let me tell you, each and every item was made with joy and lots of care. Happy Friday to you!

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

wise craft- a review and giveaway!

I have exceptionally high standards when it comes to craft books. I was particular before I authored my own, and now even more so. There are a lot to choose from, and rarely do I get excited. But I am today, as I share Blair Stocker's newly published WISE CRAFT, named after her equally wonderful blog. It's the first book in so long that has me bookmarking page after page of things that I can't wait to try. She offers 60 cross-crafting projects organized by seasons. That's a lot of inspiration packed into one beautifully designed manual of how-to's. Did I mention that the materials are all thrifted or natural objects? Yes, this book totally speaks to me... 

And therefore- I'm fairly certain it will speak to you!
 I always enjoy finding uses for all of the little leather scraps I save. This pan (above) handle cover caught my eye immediately, and so off I went to my sewing machine. It took only 15 minutes and I'm kind of in love with its beautiful simplicity. It can also be made with wool. I want to dress up all of my pan handles now. (See mine below.)
 Here's the other leather project I'm itching to try...
 As I said, 60 projects all designed with Blair's talented eye and edgy, modern/retro, classic aesthetic. You can see lots more pics and read about the behind the scenes right here...
And she's offering an extra copy to one of you! Please leave your name and link/email in the comment section before Sunday at 5pm. I'll announce the randomly selected winner on Monday morning! Good luck! Congratulations Blair, it's phenomenal!
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