Thursday, April 30, 2009

shop update

Just a little reminder that I will be putting some more small and large buckets into my shop tomorrow (Friday, May 1st) at 2 pm EST. There may be a few other items to put on the shelves, as well. Let's just see how productive an evening I have tonight! A new item I'm excited to offer is the custom pocket bucket. The idea grew out of a customer's request to stamp a bucket with my indigo bunting. The most successful way to do this was to add a pocket. How handy, too. I've just had my second request for one. I've decided to make this a regular option: a made-to-order large round bucket with your choice of any of my stamped images in a range of color options. So fun! Now I have to go carve some more stamps. I've been looking for an excuse to get back to carving... found it!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

barn stools

I had to show you the new vintage stools: all in a row at the barn counter. I'm head over heels in love with them! My mom thinks these stools are the best Mother's Day present I've ever given her! She especially loves that I found them on the side of the road for pennies. Yeah!
They were created for the mid-century scientist sitting in his/her lab all day... so comfort and back support were essential to the design. They are also fully adjustable, which means that they'll travel upstairs to the studio table for workshops.

Like I said, I'm in love! Pin It

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

all tied up

My daughter just figured out how to tie knots! It's so exciting when your child learns a new skill right before your eyes. She had been trying to tie a piece of string around her toy dog... a collar, of course. She was getting so frustrated that the tears were seconds away. I tried to give here a lesson on her dog- big mistake... too hard... tears did come. I spontaneously created a "tie board" out of a scrap of cardboard and a hole-puncher. It was an instant hit! I always create better under pressure. She not only practiced until she really got it, but the board travels in my purse. I like to bring it out when we're needing a little meditative hand work (think check out line at the grocery store, dentist's office, etc.). She's tying knots on everything these days! Love that. The cardboard is approximately 2 1/2 x 9 inches.

Have you recently learned something new? Isn't pride in freshly gained skills powerful? Pin It

Monday, April 27, 2009

glimpse of summer

I'm sure our spring will return, but this weekend we slipped into summer. 90 degrees on Saturday! 84 on Sunday! This meant more new flowers on display. The hyacinths have arrived!

It also meant we ate lots of organic mango nectar juice pops (you must make these!)...

saw a lot of bare feet and summer dresses...

went foraging for greens: chives, mint, and baby dandelions...

devoured a watermelon: definitely not local (yet), but "oh, so perfect" chilled on a scorching day...

and found amazing scores on the side of the road: like a set of three vintage university lab stools just like this. These are heading straight over to the barn studio!

My family and I love summer, so this weekend was a bit of bliss. Hope you had a good one, too... whatever season you're in! Pin It

Friday, April 24, 2009

shop update 4-24

shop update 4-24
Originally uploaded by mayalu
Here are some of the things that I added to my shop today... more buckets to come at the end of next week!

Have a fantastic weekend!
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shop update today

I'll be adding some more items to my shop later on today... sometime after 1 pm EST. I have a smattering of fun things to fill the shelves: from a couple of buckets and boards, to the lovely linen bird scarves above and more. Next week I'm planning on a BIG bucket sale! I know so many of you have been waiting. I'll set a date after the weekend.

I'm so ready for warmth, and tomorrow's weather report sounds phenomenal! Happy Friday!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

diy milk carton organizer

I don't enjoy clutter and piles... but I have them. Plenty of them. This leads me to search for containers... buckets... and baskets to corral all those bits. Milk cartons work perfectly, and they're just sitting in my recycling tub waiting for a new life. It's much more fun to reinvent them myself than to put them out on the curb.

Here's an easy tutorial for creating your own containers out of milk cartons. It's probably obvious, but I'll give you a quick walk through, just in case.

-clean and dry empty milk carton
-duct tape
- decorative paper
-Mod Podge
-paint brush


1. Open up the pour side of carton.
2. Pop out plastic spout if it has one.
3. Fold sides down and tape shut with duct tape.
4. Lay carton on side and carefully cut out top of container with a knife.

You're just about done! Trim off rough edges with a scissor and duct tape the inside of the side you sealed shut. It may look a little wonky with the tape, but the outside will be covered and the inside will be filled with your stuff.

Choose some fun paper or fabric and cover the sides with Mod Podge before applying them. I used an old atlas so I had to use pieces. If you used wrapping paper, you could cut out one long strip.

Because of their nice size and shape, these containers would be great organizers on shelves and desks. I can see them in coordinated groupings. Perfect in a child's art space (wipe out clean!). Just right for a sewing nook. How about decorated by your child to hold little toys? The possibilities go on and on! Please consider uploading pictures to the maya*made designs flickr pool if you create one/several. I'd love to see your interpretations. Pin It

earth day

Happy Earth Day! This has become my traditional glorious view for the 22nd of April. Here's the shot from last year. My grandmother planted a magnolia tree outside her kitchen window long, long ago. I've done the same, and each year my little tree grows... and blooms for Earth Day!

I have a fun Earth-friendly tutorial coming up later today... until then there are loads of fun things happening on the web. Here are two of my favorites:

The Crafty Crow
has a fantastic week of crafts inspired by what's in your recycling bin... be sure to check it out!
The Long Thread is having an eco/green extravaganza! Green crafting tutorials, eco-crafts with kids, green contests and give-aways... pretty exciting stuff.

There are two new blogs I'm very happy about~
Small Magazine now has a blog for a daily dose of their goodness: Smaller.
Stephani (Blue Yonder) and Erin (Vintage Chica) have teamed up to create The Magnifying Glass: an online nature journal. They are quite a dynamic duo, and I expect it to be a wonderful and inspiring place to visit. If you stop over today, you can enter their very first give-away!

Be back soon! Pin It

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

barn bathroom tour

A couple of weeks ago I promised a tour of my mother's bathroom at the barn. I was waiting for one more addition... grass! Now that it's sprouted, come on in...
through the repurposed pocket door and under the filigree transoms...

to a pristine powder room flooded with natural light.

My mother, the collector, enjoys having rooms or corners of simplicity and white.
Bathroom features:

-mismatched towel hooks and stacks of white linens with vintage toys above...

-antique frame (from a summer auction) that was retrofitted with a mirror
-vintage green metal medicine cabinet
-reclaimed porcelain sink
-glass towel rods from the 1930's
-galvanized trays of oat grass

-reclaimed radiator
-vintage lace curtain with stainless steel IKEA clips

-river rocks
-antique chenille bedspread turned curtain(with IKEA clips again)
-marmoleum floors
-vintage metal first aid kit (filled with first aid supplies, of course)

The old and new seamlessly blend to give a sense of peace and light... order and comfort.
Thanks for stopping by... my mom says "hello!". Pin It

Monday, April 20, 2009

return of the flowers!

I love to place fresh flowers in unexpected places.
This is a mason jar attached to a barn door knob with garden twine. I tied a strip of vintage lace around the neck... just because! It's such a happy way to greet everyone that walks in the room.

Spring is so insanely exciting to me! I didn't grow up with seasons in San Francisco, and I had no idea how glorious spring truly was until I moved to the northeast. The parade of flowers and blossoms makes me absolutely giddy!

It began with our crocuses and dwarf irises and has moved onto daffodils and magnolias.

What's blooming in your backyard? Pin It

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Wow! I feel like I've been gone for months not just a week or so. Lots has happened, yet so little got checked off my list. Well, I tend to have very lofty goals for myself, but mothering does teach you how to adjust your expectations of what really can happen in a week... a day... even a morning. The most important "to dos" did get crossed off:
playing with friends: check
playing barefoot outside: check
playing in the woods: check
playing down at the creeks: check
playing and creating at the barn: check
playing in new ten year old kinds of ways: check
playing in pajamas in the middle of the day: check

Are you noticing a common theme?

Yes, there has been a lot of playing goin' on around here!
This weekend I finally found some time to do my own special kind of playing. Getting my hands dirty! We planted pansies and violas (it's not really April until these cool climate flowers are in pots and buckets all around front and back porches of my house). We even began the process of readying the garden... we'll be planting peas in the next few days! Whoopeee!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

spring cleaning

Happy midweek! Although, I'm officially on break with my children, I couldn't resist a little spring blog cleaning after they went to sleep. The last two posts will help me with my next step of organization. I had fun checking out a year's worth of projects... hope you will too. Or at least be able to find what you're looking for with a little bit more ease. See you on Monday! Pin It

Tuesday, April 14, 2009



-branch brooches
-forsythia crowns
-buckets of grass
-no mow lawn
-best darn kite ever
-simple spring basket 
 -baby clothespin bunny 
-leather leaf cuff
-nature bracelets

-aqua scope
-ice necklaces: cool jewels
-summer dreams pillow case dress
-road trip gear for kids
-hula hoops
-newspaper party hats
-simple summer pavilion
-summer pods and bud prints
-picnic bowl cover strap
beat the heat: paddle fan # 1
beat the heat: paddle fan #2
-simplified paper bag toadstools
-fall bunting: with newspaper
-fall leaves
-gratitude reminders 
-simple nature wreath
-diy nature wreaths

-recycled advent/countdown calendar
-my snowflake tradition
-newspaper snowflake garland
-green wrapping & brown tagging
-simple gifts #1
-simple gifts #2
-simple gifts #3
-simple gifts #4
-elf slippers
-new year's confetti eggs: cascarones

-simple gifts: monogrammed napkin rings in burlap
-simple gifts: milk carton cookie houses
-simple gifts: diy gift card holders
-recycled advent countdown calendar 2009
-"snow covered" pine cones
-easy cranberry ornaments and wreaths
-edible centerpiece

balance beam
hoops and fire rings
juggling rag balls 
frosty nectars 
doily cones
circus resources


-heart flower bouquets
-button accessories: felt hearts
-newspaper heart bunting two ways
-woven hearts: modernizing a classic
-bucket of kisses
-miniature heart garland
-lavender heart on a string

-diy heart stamps for children


-an invitation to create
-newspaper party hats
-miniature bouquets
-stabile for your table
-blow paint monsters
-word rings: for beginning readers/writers
-simplified paper bag toadstools
-nature's paint brushes: an exploration
-stamping with children part 1
-stamping with children part 2: pattern design

-lavender sparkly fairy dough
-nature collections
-little weaver
-artful organization
-travel pillow
-flower peeps
embroidering with children
-simple summer pavilion
-nature crowns and cuffs
-button collecting and crafting
-simple shell activities 
-ribbon reminder pouch
-rainbow sticks
-newspaper chains #1
-newspaper chains#2
diy stamps for children
cat party! part one
cat party! part two
The PiƱata-the cat

-summer dreams pillow case dress
-easy baby blanket
-elf slippers
-simple spring basket
-quick head bands
-sleep masks for all ages
-lettuce edging
-envelope purse: first aid kit and more
-child's travel pillow
-turtleneck to ruffle neck

-apron blouse
-reinvention scarf # 1
-embroidering with children
-ribbon reminder pouch
-lavender love notes
lavender heart on a string

-security envelope napkin rings
-how to cut felt circles
-monogrammed napkin rings in burlap
-no mow lawn

-vintage/industrial coffee table in under an hour
-newspaper bunting
-newspaper party hats
-kids cardboard table and chair set
-industrial toilet paper holder: barn bathroom
-cloth labels
-paper bag mailers
-coffee sack covered cork board
-freezer paper stencil tips
-before and after chair
-ladder shelves
-artful organization
-chalk board eraser
-buckets of grass
-instant recycled paper flowers
-cheesecloth curtains
-edible centerpiece

-lavender love notes
-picnic bowl cover strap

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-blue egg custard
-one bowl waffles

-frozen Mayita
-hot fudge and butterscotch sauce
-ice-cream heart cake
-corn chowder
-lemon zucchini berry muffins
-strawberry ice cream
-cold miso soba noodles with asparagus

-southwestern quinoa salad 
-summer rolls 
-arugula pesto
-frosty nectars/respados 
-tea cooler
-chilled roasted tomato soup  
-zucchini ideas
-pesto potato salad

-chilequiles de Lita

-salsa verde
-mini fall galettes: apple and pear
-apple gingerbread
-my grandma's one bowl apple cake
-pumpkin chipotle flan

-pumpkin muffins
-spicy sister stew
-caramelized fall topping
-tapioca pudding

-currant biscuits
-sprouts: how to grow
-valentine pretzels
-gingerbread cookies- two ways

-golden lentil miso soup
-spicy chocolate bark
-weekend cheddar crackers
-rooted stew

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Friday, April 10, 2009

guest post: Grandma Bunny

Since I'm away, I asked Grandma Bunny to share a bit about my childhood Easter tradition.

Grandma Bunny: This tradition encompasses one of my favorite beliefs: less is more. Instead of filling up an Easter basket with lots and lots of candy and treats, Maya's basket was filled with a spring book and a few small toys. The night before Easter, she would line up all of her toy bunnies by the side of her bed. In the morning each bunny would have a tiny treat in its paws or right next to it. Each little jelly bean felt like a special gift. Magically ten jelly beans felt like so much more. She has continued this tradition with her own family and has discovered some wonderful alternatives to the typical candy of the season. My personal favorite is the yogurt covered almond. Each one looks like a perfect egg... and they're just my size!

Also available at many health food stores are organic Jolly Beans colored with vegetable juices. Maya hides chocolate Earth Balls around the house, as well as colored eggs for a fun twist on the usual hunt.

On behalf of bunnies everywhere, hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Pin It

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

we're all a bunch of lovely wips

Back by popular demand, I have several w.i.p .(works in progress) buckets that I'm putting in my shop right now. Assorted types of neutral burlap from several countries and one of a kind hand-stencils make each one as unique as we are. I won't be doing a really big shop update until some time after the 19th. I will be taking a blogging vacation until then, too. Spring break is just about here, and I'm looking forward to so many things that I've been neglecting...
playing, gardening, hiking, sewing for fun and lots of projects with my children. Thanks to Margie and Pat, the barn studio's workspace has been cleared. I've already scheduled some art play dates for my children and their friends! Have you been neglecting some of those important soul-satisfying things in your life also? What do you wish to be doing? Since we're all just "works in progress", it's never too late make different choices. Pin It

Monday, April 6, 2009


gorgeous snail created by Margie of Resurrection Fern (of course!)

Hope it was a wonderful weekend for you. Mine was so full and rich that I haven't finished digesting it yet. A little more than a year ago I met Pat in the wool sweater (think felting) aisle of our local Salvation Army, and she quickly became one of my dearest friends. Pat is the one who not only convinced me to start this blog, but sat down and taught me all of the basics. During the early months of our friendship we stayed up late e-mailing links back and forth and sharing all of our discoveries about this vast and inspiring on-line world. We came across Margie of Resurrection Fern. All of our connections grew very deep though e-mails and daily blog visits. Don't you sometimes wish you could really meet some of the wonderful friends you've made through this incredible community? Really laugh... not type "LOL". Pat and I were extremely fortunate this weekend. Margie journeyed all the way to our neck of the woods... to meet us! Margie is incredible virtually, as many of you know. In person: more phenomenal than words can say. Believe me... I've tried a dozen times in this post, and I'm speechless! She's that wonderful!!! Talking, laughing, sharing, hiking... seeing and hearing each other for the first time . It felt like I was awake in dream. The hard work and hooplah of the last few months has left me rather exhausted. There's nothing like having special time with two beautiful and wise women to provide some well needed perspective.
Knowing how tired I've been, Margie stumbled upon this little gift in an antique shop.

It made me laugh and just about cry all at once.

I think many of us could use a little Sure Cure, don't you think? I love it so much, I might see if I can figure out how to make it into a pendant. Then I can wear Margie's humor and wisdom around my neck... and close to my heart... where she already is!
Thank you Margie... for knowing me... for seeing me!
Thank you Pat... for knowing me... for seeing me and living so close!

Here's to deepening friendships and real time together! We all need them! For more photos and a much more eloquent post about the weekend head over here.

See you on Tuesday... with a little shop update. Pin It