Monday, December 1, 2008

happy december!

I can't believe it's the 1st! Your wonderful wishes fed me the entire Thanksgiving weekend. I'd like to share a bunch of things with you this Monday morning. You may remember hearing me talk about my new organic line a few weeks back. I invested in some incredible organic cotton to make beautiful gifts and new items for my shop. I pre-washed one yard to gauge shrinkage and to experiment with some new ideas. That beautiful yard of fabric sat and sat in my studio. I just couldn't make the first cut. Has that ever happened to you? You have something new and lovely, and it's just so hard to open it up and use it. I came up with a plan. I decided that I had to turn every scrap of that yard into something: My One Yard Challenge! When I told my friend, Margie, what I was up to, she immediately thought of the beautiful book Something from Nothing, by Pheobe Gilman. I'm so glad that she reminded me, because this is one of my family's all-time favorite books, and I can't recommend it enough. It's the story of a little boy and his grandfather, a tailor. the grandfather makes him a beautiful blanket when he is born. As he grows and the blanket wears, the grandfather creates new life from what is left. He turns the blanket into a jacket, later a vest, a tie, and then a cloth covered button... it's a beautifully illustrated book with a very special message about resourcefulness and the fullness of life...

Everything in the above photo is made from my one yard of white organic cotton fabric. This is also a little introduction to some of the things I will be selling in my shop. I had so much fun figuring out ways to make tiny items out of my scraps.

So, come on in and take a closer look at the little stuff. These will be part of my gift giving this year:

- mini partridge and a pear tree ornaments stuffed with smaller scraps
-a little bird/dove zig-zagged with raw edges and a little quilting
- my first attempt at fabric covered buttons with hand stenciling... I'm addicted and wish I had time to make buttons all day!

More about the Elephant at the end of this post.

These three toddler totes were so fun to make and will be going in the shop next week.

Each one has French seams and the handles are reinforced. They are just right for a young child to pack up with toys and a snack... or to take it on a nature walk and fill it with treasures. My daughter has made it clear that she'd like each one... so they have the little person's seal of approval. I guess I'll be making more! The best part: they can be thrown in the washing machine.

Mark your calendars for December 8th! I've had so many requests for more burlap buckets. I've decided to do a big shop party a week from today. Well, not really a party... but I'll do a huge listing of all different kinds of burlap buckets, organic cotton buckets (that have the wonderful feature of being washable), some of what you've seen today and many holiday gifts! I'm really excited and would love you to come by. I'll be giving sneak peeks throughout this week.

And now, about that sweet baby elephant and the little bucket... if you fly over to The Crafty Crow right now, you can read all about them. You can also enter the give-away and WIN THEM! Yes, another Give-Away! Click here to find out more!

There are so many fun things happening today! if you have a chance, don't miss the grand opening of Margie's new Etsy shop, KNITALATTE at4pm EST!

Have a great start to your week... and to December! Pin It


  1. everything looks lovely! and the strange thing is.. perhaps not strange but small world.. I'm making some tiny square ornaments a bit like yours but with some various scraps of natural linen and some garden twine for the bit you hang... my brain has gone kaput today... though thats about it nothing more complicated or lovely as my sewing skills are very basic... I also have two little coffee fest burlap carrier bags I was thinking about doing something with.. though what I don't know..

  2. So much sweetness!! My daughter is going to flip when she sees that elephant, it is adorable.

  3. That would be such a cool challenge for all of us. What could we create from one yard of fabric we have been saving for a rainy day. Might be fun to do after Christmas!

  4. I love the totes!

    I'll keep checking your shop daughters would be so excited to get them for Christmas.

    Thanks for the contest and sharing your creativity!

    :) Laura

  5. What a productive weekend you had, and the entire line looks so clean and fresh and full of your exuberant spirit. You make it look so effortless, but for the life of me I can't figure out how to make things with such simple and elegant lines and shapes.

    I may have to push ahead of the kids in line, because I wouldn't mind carrying that mushroom tote around myself!

    I love your idea of the one yard challenge--this sounds like a great idea for a Flickr group. I've read and enjoyed the Something from Nothing book, and its lesson is so very fitting for our current economic climate and for our ecological crisis, too.

    So thank you, as usual, for making such useful and nature-friendly items with great designs and eco-friendly materials. You're a treasure!

  6. Hi Maya! I got your so warm virtual hug ~ what a sweet treat! And I've never heard of that book. Perfect timing, I think. These are adorable & what a great lesson & great idea. I can't believe I'm really using your ideas, but I am. We had Chilaquiles on our Thanksgiving Brunch menu! It came out great - next to a bunch of zucchini latkes, of all things. So exciting to see you stocking up the shop!

  7. love the new line! and i love french seams - no lining necessary :) can't wait to check out that book - and ditto on the one yard challenge flickr group. i wonder how many gifts we could all make from one yard. i'm thinking you're going to get a phone call this week.

  8. That elephant is wonderful. I've been sketching some elephants of my own, but nothing comes close to yours! I've got my fingers crossed for that giveaway. Again, everything is lovely!

  9. I think this post is the opposite of something from nothing . It is everything beautiful from something natural. I want to reach out and touch that fabric because it looks so silky soft like high quality organic cotton can be. When I look at your style of crafting I can't help but think you have some scandinavian in you. The clean natural shapes with touches of red really remind me of swedish christmas decorations.
    Here's hoping your update and my opening go smoothly with the helpful tips we have received.

  10. So much inspiration.

    And I loooove the elephant.

    I also love the way you use every inch of the material. I hate wasting, too.

    Someday, I will get me a sewing machine and learn how to deal with tangled bobbins.

  11. Oh, you're a clever girl, Maya! And that resourcefulness...!! I'm really big on saving scraps to be used on other projects, and all I have to show for it is a stash of scraps!

  12. I thought it was just me. Often I acquire art supplies that I just adore looking is.

  13. That is so impressive! All that came from 1 yard?! Amazing and such great work.

  14. Wow, that cotton must feel amazing after the texture of burlap. Great job! It is so hard right now not to post things as many may spoil surprises. I have cotton bird sketches for very similar basic holiday ornaments but may "steal" you partridge and pear tree idea to use as gift topper for a friend. I am off for this week and go back to work on Monday and would miss it if you listed them for sure.

    Buttons are very addicting, hand painted, or collaged or what have you. I upcycled some left over white blackout shade fabric that makes and incredible paintable canvas for fray either. I use them for hair do-dahs.

    Anyway, very cool to see you on crafty crow once again. I did not enter because someone out there may have a better use for those gifts than me keeping them to myself!

  15. I like the challenge you gave yourself and what great things you've come up with. Love the toddler totes with the sweetest stenciling. Oh my! I'm looking forward to your Shop Party and the previews.

    Jody (who is glad she found your blog)

  16. I keep meaning to tell you that the medium burlap bucket essentially works as a toddler tote...I haven't gotten to store anything in it because the kids keep putting various toys in it and carting it around the house! They are having a great time, and also think it works well as a hat. At some point I'll wrestle it away from them...maybe I'll have to get a toddler tote and trade with them so I can get my bucket back!

  17. Oh, wow! I am so excited for your shop update I can hardly sit still! Is it time yet? How bout now? Now? now....? :) YAY! Wow, someone could win that beautiful little elephant? This is all too good to be true! I am off to the crafty crow! You are amazing my dear!

  18. I am back just to say thank you sweet friend for your incredibly kind comments today, it made me smile and say outloud " What a sweetheart Maya is!"
    You made my week, again! :)

  19. These are all so wonderful! Those totes are so sweet and just right size for small hands with big imaginations.

    And yes, I too have trouble making the first cut sometimes. I have a large stack of Anna Maria Horner's gorgeous fabric that I keep looking at and touching, but I can't find just the right thing to use it for.

    Perhaps the trick is just to live with it for a while; a sort of "getting to know you" period, before you can let it go on to have a new life as something beautiful AND useful. :~)


  20. Your items are lovely.

    I know this is late to the party, but I think a Flickr group called "One Yard Challenge" where people have a photo like your first group photo showing all they made with a yard would be awesome!