Wednesday, February 10, 2016

book reading and craft night

Just a quick local announcement! I'll be reading, crafting, selling and signing at the end of the month, and I'd love you to come if you're somewhere close by. Below are the details:

Join local author, Maya Pagán Donenfeld, for a book reading
and craft night! There will be opportunities to share and talk about meaningful making and coping with loss and then create items directly from or inspired by Hope, Make, Heal.

When: Thursday, February 25th
Time: 6:30-8:30pm
Where: Dolce Delight
1080 Danby Road Ithaca

This event is free and open to the public. A small donation is suggested to cover costs of the materials provided.

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Monday, February 8, 2016

aurora shoe co

On the other side of my beautiful lake (Cayuga Lake of the Fingerlakes) is a pretty little village built directly on the shore called Aurora. Right before you arrive, a sign for The Aurora Shoe Company can be seen from the road.
I'm so excited to finally be wearing a pair of Aurora Shoes. How lucky we are to have THIS handmade shoe company in our area. I've been in Ithaca for 15 years, and it seems like everyone has a pair. And if you look on instagram at the #aurorashoes you'll see they're popular all over the globe! They are so well constructed that they last for years and, as I'm experiencing first-hand, get sweeter with every step. They're so comfortable it's all some folks will wear! 

Aurora Shoe Company was one of maya*made's first sponsors back in the day when this blog used to have sponsorship... but I'm embarrassed to say it's taken me years to finally go check out their brick and mortar workshop. What a treat for someone who appreciates the creative process. David, the owner, gave me a tour of each step that goes into building a shoe. From stretching the leather to cutting the straps, He and his sister, Alyssa (who is does all the marketing and photography), grew up down the road from the shoe company. David bought his first pair when he was 13. Years later, when he was working as an industrial engineer, and wishing to relocate his family back to his childhood town, there was word that the Aurora Shoe Co was for sale. It was an exciting opportunity, and he took it. I love stories of small business bravery! Under this new ownership, the shoes are still lovingly crafted by hand by most of the very same folks that have been making these tried and true shoes for 30 years. David brought in a few new modes of efficiency(engineers are so good at that!) and Alyssa has worked to create an internet presence with lovely photos... but so much of the what has made these artisan shoes such a staple remains the same. 

In today's fast-paced world of consumerism, it's always inspiring to see a business model based on slow, intentional and quality craftsmanship. Here are some pics from the tour and several courtesy of Alyssa.
After observing the fascinating process of leather stretching and examining the vintage shoe making tools, I was invited to try on a few different pairs and go on a photo shoot with Alyssa. Dreamy!
It was windy with flurries, so we only lasted a few minutes out by the lake before we ran into the Aurora Inn to warm up by the fire.  Here is a link to more pics of the photo shoot  and you must see their new boots!  And if you love to enjoy farm to table food when you wear your handmade shoes do check out the link to the menu at the inn. It's a favorite special occasion spot for me, for sure.
Thank you David and Alyssa for keeping alive such a lovely handmade business. Thank you Aurora Shoe Company for such a fun morning!

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Mindful Making

Ellen Abrams and I have been friends for many years... raising our children in the same small community and always wishing for more time together.  As a marriage and family therapist, with an established meditation practice, Ellen began offering weekly groups for people working through grief a few years back. In her lovely words- she began running "trauma informed mindfulness groups as a place to explore oneself through the lens of kindness and to develop, with support and connection, practices that cultivate a positive sense of self, equanimity, and nourishment". 

 I was writing Hope, Make, Heal and deep in the process of examining my own loss and how it impacted daily living. I signed up. Right away!  It was a game-changer. With her guidance, I discovered new ways of finding peace within, even during the most turbulent times. What a useful tool... for everyone. I invited Ellen to contribute meditations to the book I was writing. And she did! They begin each section. 

Collaborating with someone you love and respect is always exciting... so we're not stopping!  We're joining forces to merge mindfulness and creativity into a live workshop. It's going to be so good!

Sunday March 20th 1-4 pm 

Vernal Equinox
Trumansburg, NY

What a wonderful way to celebrate the first day of spring! We will make Open-hearted Journals, Lights for the End of the Tunnel  and/or Inner Altars. These projects from the pages of  Hope, Make, Heal will beautifully support a new (or renewed) meditation practice. All supplies will be provided. Additional personal items will be suggested in an optional materials list.

Fee: $75

(Scholarships available)

For more info and to register email:
mayaluna(at)yahoo(dot)com or
ellenabrams1(at) gmail(dot)com

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Be strong- eat for power!

"The act of healing will look different for each of us. There is no need to rush—nor a clear timetable for traveling through the unique terrain of each loss. Death of a loved one, a traumatic life event, or deep heartbreak are all wounds that have the potential never to leave us. The scars remain to remind us of what we’ve felt, whom we’ve loved, and how we’ve grown. They become part of the fabric of our lives.
I sew. A lot. The metaphors that surround needle and thread seep into my thoughts often. The British proverb “A stitch in time saves nine” is a favorite. The meaning is simple: sew up a little hole with one stitch now so that it doesn’t expand and turn into something greater that may need nine or more stitches. It’s a saying that refers to doing things well the first time and not putting something off until later. Healing well from the start is an unhurried and deliberate mending. The frayed and broken fibers of our stories can almost always be woven back together, but how we choose to repair and patch ourselves up determines quite a bit. A quick fix is sure to leave you weak for unraveling. This is true in the literal sense, such as stitching up a hole in a seam. Why wouldn’t it also be true for our souls?
I believe that taking supremely good care of yourself will strengthen every muscle— including your heart. You’ll be ready for that moment..."
This is an excerpt from Hope, Make Heal currently featured in Spirituality & Health.  Click here to read the entire article and how green smoothies were a life-saver, plus get the recipe for this favorite of mine.
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Monday, February 1, 2016


Ahh! You know how much I love when a new month is on Monday- so fresh and good!
The above picture is from February 1st- three years ago. I remember just how fragile I felt as I carried those stitched paper map hearts into ithacamade for a February window installation. Giant heart maps- I was holding every metaphor with a death grip in those days. My internal GPS seemed to have worked- and I found my way. Happy February- I'm blowing a kiss to all of your tender hearts.

I announced the winner of the feather banner and Hope, Make, Heal on instagram just now. Congratulations @artytarsh! There will be more instagram giveaways coming soon. But for those of you not on instagram- I heard your messages and will find a way to include you, too in the future! 

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