What a great description of where you live.. sounds awesome. I doubt I can remember all of the fantasy stories I've read in which one of the characters lives at the edge of a forest.. but you actually do..lol.
I tried to check out your website and blog, but kept timing out. Maybe it's just my connection.. I'll try again later.
I'm not sure from your post whether you're just looking for tips and ideas on what makes a good map, or if you're actually wanting to try and make a map yourself. I believe you'd be doing yourself a great disservice if you don't at least attempt one though. The best suggestion I could offer is to head over to the tutorial section of the forum, pick out a map that is appealing to you, then dive in and try it. If (or in my case, when) you get stuck, just post what you're having trouble with and you'll find folks here are pretty good about helping.
Welcome to the Guild,