Friday, March 27, 2015


 For three months we've been immersed in all things hedgehog. For my daughter's annual research paper she chose the pet of her dreams (in hopes I might give in, perhaps!). She spent months writing up and organizing several hundred notecards, which were used to create an extremely informative and very well written paper. I love her Montessori school and how they celebrate the completion of this huge body of work. Each child creates a board on their research topic and memorizes a thorough presentation. 
All of the parents are then invited to a research fair where these brilliant young experts are ready and waiting to give one-on-one lectures about their topic. 
 Of course, a hedgehog accessory was necessary! We made a hedgie rubber stamp (see first pic) and printed it onto linen for a headband just right for the occasion.
 If you have any hedgehog related questions (besides if I will be granting her wish for one!), this lovely girl most likely has a very articulate answer!

Have a great weekend!

Pin It

Thursday, March 26, 2015

yoga, bags and blogiversaries

The significant adults in my daughter's world all do yoga. She was inspired by our many conversations about how transformative it has been for us- and decided to join in.
Of course, yoga is  a wonderful tool for any age and gender, but I believe that tween girls in our culture can especially gain so much from learning how to tune into their bodies and minds in a non judgmental way. After several months, she's hooked. And will even get up in the morning and do a few poses if there's a mat open and waiting for her. 
And so I've assisted in making three yoga mat bags for my new little yogi and her two friends who all take a weekly yoga class for 9-12 year olds.

The key to making a bag that works for this age (or anyone not wanting struggle!) is to make it roomy enough for a loosely rolled mat. Who needs the challenge of stuffing a mat into a tiny package at the end of an expansive hour? These bags also have a drawstring that cinches into the handles to eliminate tying and fussing.
The girls each selected fabric from a stash of batiks my mother had brought back from a trip to Bali many years ago. These fabrics have been tucked into a back corner of my studio for so long, it's been fun to see them being put to use again.

One of the first times those batiks made an appearance on this blog was 7 years ago in my first month of posting (right here). Look at that little 3 year old munchkin! Oh my!

 In fact, it's  been seven full years this week since I began maya*made! Can't believe how fast it's flown. Life keeps evolving. Children keep growing. Time does not stop. But this online home records frozen moments of beauty and discovery that I find so sweet to revisit. It's also been a steady landing spot for me during this journey, and I'm super grateful for all of you who have joined me along the way! Thank you!!!

Pin It

Friday, March 20, 2015

how to make simple earrings

Happy first day of Spring!! It's snowing again, but I believe the cold days are numbered (please!). I have some hopeful girls making more spring earrings as I type. Trading beads and designing their jewelry is the latest obsession around here. My daughter is happy to show you in pictures just how easy they are to make. 

You will need these supplies:
  • needle nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • beads or charms
  • headpins
  • earring hooks


Thread beads onto headpin.

Snip off excess wire if your head pin is long(they come in various sizes) and save the discarded wire for other jewelry projects. You'll need enough wire to twist a loop at the top.
Using pliers bend top into a loop.
It will look like this.
Make a pair.
Open the loop on the earring hook.
Connect beads to hook. Slide them on to hook from the opposite side that you just opened.
Pinch the hook opening closed.

There is no limit to the design possibilities with this simple technique. My ten year old daughter and her friends could make these by the thousands… the only limit is their allowance! Find supplies at your local bead stores, Michael's and Jo-ann's. 
Pin It

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

creativity camp summer 2015

 There may still be snow on the ground, but the birds woke me up this morning… the vernal equinox is upon us, and summer dreams are not far behind. Time for planning some adventures! I am so happy to announce that Creativity Camp is returning this summer in full force! I will be directing three fun filled weeks for local girls 9-12 years old.
Each session will have a specific theme, but the focus throughout everyday will be building self-confidence and awareness through self-expression and the learning of new skills. My passion for art will merge with my background in education and psychology to inspire and encourage this magical time in our young girls' development of self and their creativity. 

 Camp will be held in an 1850's country farmhouse, nestled on 5 acres of meadow, creeks, and woods. Visualize improvised studio-space under a canopy of 200-year-old walnut trees with plenty of opportunities for running in the field, dancing in the back meadow or gathering blackcaps by the hedgerow.

 July 13-17
rock*paper*scissors will be a week long immersion of inside/outside crafting following the rhythm of each day’s weather forecast. We will use our beautiful meadow to work with natural dyes and paints, "Goldsworthy" art installations, nature costumes, found materials transformed into jewelry and sculptures, miniature shelters for woodland creatures and maybe a fairy or two! When the temperature soars or a summer storm rolls in, we’ll turn to working with the abundance of paper in need of rescuing in everyone's house. Painting, printing, stamping, stitching, gluing, cutting, bookbinding… all will be explored!  We’ll even add some creative writing into the mix. The last day will feature a showcase of everyone's work for parents to enjoy.

July 27-31
stitch*craft will focus on basic hand sewing techniques and an intro to sewing machine skills. Projects that have immediate use for the maker are very exciting and inspiring. We will learn how to repurpose favorite clothing and fabric into new items that celebrate each girl’s unique design sense… from bling to au naturel and everything in between. Weaving, embroidery and fabric printing will be incorporated into our week together- culminating in a showcase on the last day for parents.

August 3-7
stitch*craft 2 is for girls with sewing machine experience, who want to take their skills to the next level. Everyone will choose several projects to complete throughout the week from our extensive craft/sewing library. They will get familiar with reading patterns/instructions while increasing their sewing techniques repertoire. These new skills boost confidence and strengthen passion for their craft. Embroidery, applique and fabric printing will be incorporated into our week together- culminating in a showcase on the last day for parents.

If this sounds like a good fit for your daughter, please let me know soon so that I can reserve a spot for her and send you more details. mayaluna(at)yahoo(dot)com
 Can't wait for summer to get here!

Pin It

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

calling in spring

The steady drip of snow melting off rooftops has joined the chorus of birds singing their return. While  still buried, we are aching for color and I think my daughter has come up with a solution. She and her friends have discovered how much fun it is to create earrings with beads and headpins- and have been on a making frenzy. I believe all of the bright and sparkly supplies are extra enticing while the world is still white. 
A display space for all of her creations was needed, so out came another embroidery hoop. She picked out happy spring fabric and got to work organizing.
 This hoop of baubles sings "happy spring!" doesn't it?
The sun is returning to us for sure!

Pin It

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Artful Year- a review

I'm so excited to share one of my new favorite books with you! Today we are part of the blog tour for Jean Van't Hul new book. She has written another "soon to be" classic with The Artful Year, published by Roost Books (my favorite publisher!). It celebrates each season and holidays with crafts and recipes for the whole family. The essence is on creating memories and traditions together by following the rhythm of the seasons, which Jean feels are "ideal for introducing children to visual arts and natural science, both of which begin with observation".

Jean and I have been online friends since the early blogging days, and I was honored to contribute to her first book, The Artful Parent. Her blog, of the same name, is a wonderful source of inspiration for how to bring creativity into your children's lives. I love that Jean focuses on projects with an open-ended process. Nature is surely woven in, as well. The Artful Year is a wonderful reflection of that emphasis,  even though there are plenty of crafts that end in a wonderful gift, a celebratory decoration or a wonderful new holiday dish.

The Artful Year is brimming over with activities (175!) for all ages, lending itself well to families with mixed age siblings. It's organized by season, including a chapter on things to do anytime of year. There are reading lists for kids and parents… and there are recipes! I've always believed that cooking with children is just another creative outlet for families, and I love how many fun and festive recipes have been included.
As we push forward the clocks today, I am aware that spring might come after all. I've poured through the Spring chapter with gusto and there are over 10 different kinds of ways to decorate eggs- ten!
You'll  also find nests to make for your eggs and nests to bake and eat! Instructions are simple and straightforward… photographs are inspiring because they're great guides and not too glossy. I've noticed that many craft books for children often have an unattainable quality to their perfect end products. Jean's photographs are real and beautiful.
This book is truly a must have for anyone raising or working with children. If I could only keep a couple of books on creativity with children, The Artful Year would be at the top of my list. It's really that good.
 Here's a little peek:
And if you'd like to see more, check out the blog tour right here and hop on over to some of the other stops. 
Congratulations, Jean! 
Pin It

Friday, March 6, 2015

wise words

Filling the corners and ledges in my house with wise and uplifting words helps me to remember. I thought I'd share some of them with you… in case you need some pearls, too.
Most of them are from my dearest friend, Christine Mason Miller, who is the world's most amazing snail mail goddess… and who's incredible e-course is about to begin! Every word lover must check out her The Conscious Booksmith.

And these words from Maya Stein are above my sink and never let me forget how to ride a wave.
Right now- I'm wearing my words. #coyoteloon's brand new line of sweatshirts has me feeling good! Because "I love this life now!" 
 You can find out more here. No matter what is happening in your life… a few choice words make all the difference. And learning to love NOW is wonderful place to be.

Have an inspired weekend!

Pin It

Monday, March 2, 2015

collaged paint chips

Hello March! What lovely words to say… to shout even! I'm not sure where February went to… seems to have disappeared under a pile of snow. Spare time for my own creativity was buried under the white blanket too. I kept chasing the calendar for a date for Bliss Art and finally realized that an hour or two in the last days of the month were all that I'd catch. Collage and color were what I've been craving, so I picked up a large paint chip card and went to town with cut outs from maps and books and plenty of washi and fabric tape. There's something so satisfying about just using scissors and paste.
 Paint cards or chips are such a great foundation for collage. I plan on making these with "my" tween girls, who often look at a blank canvas with trepidation.They provide a perfect sturdy base to build upon, come in an assortment of hues, and are filled with intriguing words.  Grab a few the next time you're in the paint section… and reach for your scissors and gluesticks!

Pin It

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


During last week I had so many wonderful kids hanging out with me.  One of them was a tremendous organizer, who couldn't begin sewing until she had put some order to my various pins, scattered in different bowls and assorted pin cushions. She found satisfaction in sorting by color and type. Order, pattern and details… she has an eye for the macro world. Her focus inspired me to think about perspective. And to reach for my new macro "toy" for my iPhone from photojo*.
It's a little lens attached to an elastic band that slips over any phone camera lens. Super simple and portable. And fun!
Trying to zoom in on the details of this feather with just my phone gave me this blurred mess:
With my new lens- there was this:
And even a soft dreamy close up:
 The quality doesn't compare to my Canon… but it's pretty impressive for a "rubber band". It's been fascinating looking up close and personal at the details around me, so I've been wearing it on my wrist for just those moments. It's fun and user-friendly for kids too, as you can imagine.

*I'm not affiliated with photojojo- just like sharing when I enjoy something!

Pin It


Related Posts with Thumbnails