Why, oh why, can’t I be like this?

Today I finally hit the art room and cleaned it up for the next round of projects – like my upcoming craft columns, some magazine projects, one sewing book project re-do, and later this week, sample projects for the package covers of my soon-to-be released craft kits.

Let me explain this art room. It was beyond Jack Black messy because the last 30 days have been crazy. Between orders, CHA, the cruise, and then a week in Fresno – I had no time to tidy up there. Imagine what it looked like! OK, now times that by 100. And add the stench of spilled varnish, masked with “clean linen” air freshener. After a couple hours of sorting, dusting, vacuuming, and filing this afternoon, I let out a proud sigh of accomplishment. One minute later, I was already working on the next assignment.

Does it look spiffy to you? It does to me, thank you very much!

After all that, I yawned, streched my arms over my head and took a break this evening after dinner to go online. I visited some sites, including my friend Jaimee’s blog. She is to the Martha scene what Jennifer is to the indie scene: A highly respected, professional trendspotter. When she writes about something, it’s a HUGE deal.

Today Jaimee posted about the adorable Heather Bailey. I was instantly delighted!! Heather is a Phoenician like me, a mom like me, likes bright colors like me, designs products like me…I felt so proud for all her accomplishments, she is even on the COVER of Mary Engelbreit Magazine this month! Lookie!!

See what I mean? She is so cute! I felt connected to her, we have so much in common! Within seconds I imagined us being lifelong friends, having coffee, and laughing heartily about our favorite clothes we ruined with accidental paint splatters. Or the last time we lost our favorite pinking shears, only to find them at the bottom of the laundry basket because our daughter decided to alter her jeans and then changed her mind and left everything there for Mom to fix. Yup! I was excited to learn more about Heather!

I cheerfully cruised to her web site (just as sumptuous as Heather!) and found she has a whole page dedicated to her studio. Still high off my Project Art Room Clean Up from earlier, I couldn’t wait to see what her workspace looked like. With all the designs she cranks outs – way more than me – I was pre-relieved, thinking that it would look as kamikaze as mine. Probably more because she has twice the amount of things going on as me!

*Needle scratches across the record*

My jaw dropped. Um, Heather’s room is a leeetle different than mine. Make that a lot different.

Tears welled up in my eyes. OK, I’m being way overdramatic here! But still – how embarrassing of me to think we were alike! All of a sudden I felt like the chubby girl in 8th grade P.E. class. You know, the clueless one with the shirt that is too small, the frizzy hair, and braces? The Ugly Betty of the bunch?

Dang! Heather’s studio is an art gallery! I would buy a ticket to tour that space. She even describes all the delicate details she put into every corner (which are followed by oodles of blog comments from people who are just as blown away as me):

“The pink walls are subtley mottled with bit of cream and a splash of funky metallic gold here and there. The large frame resting on the ribbon shelf is decorated with Isaac’s grandmother’s old sewing notions, and it’s covered — a fun piece to study.”

How does she do it? Where can I take a class on it? And with kids? I seriously need to stop the hamster wheel that is my life, board up my current art room, and start ALL over. I’m going to print out this picture of Heather’s studio and tape it on my inspiration board so I’ll be motivated to makeover my room. I bet having all that clear, organized space helps with the creative process. I’m awestruck. It just goes to show that no matter much you think you have things under control, there is always, always, always room for improvement…

An art studio is a serious thing. It should be treated with dignity, and not like a sweatshop, which is what mine sometimes feels like. I’m already pondering what color to paint it…it’s nothing I can do anytime soon, but hopefully by the end of the year! Then again, if I redo it picture perfect, I’ll be stressed when I’m working, worried that I’ll mess it up. Oh, this is too much for me to think about tonight..

Enough about that. Congrats to Heather, a fellow mom, following her dreams and making them happen!!! And for being so neat about it 🙂

Heather’s fabrics. Check out her site, read her interviews. Trust me you will be inspired!


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* All content/photos copyright, © Kathy Cano-Murillo, 2008.

Love & light,


13 Responses

  1. Yes Kathy, Heather’s art room is beautiful. I’m sure it suits her and her style of working. That’s the important part.

    If your room isn’t working for you, then do a makeover by all means. But your room needs to suit you and your style. So redesign it for yourself. Don’t try to be a clone of someone else. It won’t work and you’ll be unhappy working there.

    All that being said, I look forward to seeing a bright, happy, organized Crafty Chica space–bright colors, glitter and all!!

  2. This cracks me up! I feel like you do when I see people’s craft areas. Did you see the Craft Space features over at Joyful Abode: http://www.joyfulabode.com/category/creative-spaces/

    My Grandma always said that creative people are messy. When I’m immersed in my projects, I absolutely don’t see my mess and it doesn’t bother me at all.

    Also, Is Martha Stewart insane? Look at the way she stores her fabric:
    http://blogs1.marthastewart.com/martha/2008/03/place-hold-plac.html
    Why would anyone store fabric so that they can’t even see it?

  3. Whoa! Hang on now.

    OK, I am an avid reader/fan of Heather’s, and – like you and everyone else on the planet – am stunned and in awe of her studio and just about anything she does.

    BUT!

    That is *her* – not *you*. I totally understand the lure of wishing to be just like someone (especially Heather, ’cause – dang! – she’s amazing) but don’t let that lure you away from being your own amazing self.

    Do you know how many people (raising my hand) sit here and think, “Wow, how does Kathy do it!? And with kids!?” and the biggest thing to me is that you do it all while still being *you*.

    One thing about the blogsphere that bothers me is what a tiny tiny tiny piece of people’s lives we see on their blogs. My friend and I were just talking about that this morning. It’s insanely intimidating to see someone – anyone – who appears to have their life so perfectly together. To be able to create and decorate and parent and invent and make a living at it all – it’s hard, and it’s not perfect. And it makes a lot of us – primarily women – become way too critical of ourselves and way way way too hard on ourselves when we start to compare our whole big, messy reality to the clean, perfect slice of life people choose to show on their blogs.

    Hello!? You ROCK SO HARD! You’ve got amazing spunk and personality, you’re gorgeous, you’ve created a line of sassy, sparkl-y, fantastic craft products that bring a vision to the craft world that was sorely lacking, you’re a writer, a mom, a wife, and amazing artist …. HONEY! There may “always be room for improvement” but don’t forget that there’s also always room to relax, take a breath and just *really* enjoy the moment you are in … right now. You – and all of us – deserve that.

    You rock.

  4. I bet her studio looks a lot like yours when she isn’t getting it ready for a photographer! How could anyone “create” in such an orderly place? Personally, I prefer your workspace to hers. I would be afraid to touch anything in her studio!! Yours looks like you actually create in it. Hers looks like it’s a showplace. Just keep doing what works for you.

  5. Last night when I took my last breath before konking out, I thought of this blog post and mumbled “Oh man, that was a silly blog post!” What a goofy thing to whine about! I guess we are all different have our own way of operating, and i’m thankful for what I’m doing, even if I do knock over my cup of paint water with my elbowe at least once a week, or step on a straight pin once in a while (every other day?)…but I really am motivated by Heather to give my art space a makeover someday soon!! And when I do, I will hurry and take pictures of it and post them before I mess it up!
    THANK YOU For all the happy comments!!!
    Love, love, love, me 🙂

  6. mujer. don’t you know by now this is how we roll? accept it. but we could use some craft room intervention. we’ll get there, relax, ok? te amo…

  7. I read Ms. Rose’s blog too. She has a fantastic eye for what is hot before it is hot. Between all of you we have some HOT talent in town!

  8. Hello new friend! Oh my, oh my, Janet has got it right. My studio is only rarely as orderly and tidy as the photos show. Sometimes when there’s a ton of computer work to do, I can keep it somewhat clean, but whenever it’s time to sew or craft or put away papers from a weekend out of town, my space is just as post-tornado Atlanta as anyone else’s.

    I do recommend carving out your own space & making it special though. You’re own kind of special.

    Thanks for your kind words! I’d love to meet you sometime.

  9. OMG!!! It’s Heather!! Big-up hug!!! I love that: “post-Tornado Atlanta”!! It’s nice to know you are so candid about it and took the time to stop by and say hi!! You rock, girlfriend! Thanks again for the inspiration!!

  10. Kathy! Few of us are brave enough to show photos of our work spaces post-creative-tornado!

    I bow at your feet for having the huevos to share the “real” Kathy (who we all love, just the way she is)!

  11. what a great post and comments.

    I love seeing real life photos of real everyday creative mess.
    I also love looking at all the ‘perfect life’ blogs around but I now know that it’s all staged and it is so easy to take a photo of what look likes a show home just by [pointing your camera](http://theknittedblog.blogspot.com/2007/10/knitted-dishcloth-debate.html) a bit to the left of the mess.

    ps. Yoli sent me your ‘Art de la Soul’ book and I love it!

  12. you are so lucky to have a room just for crafting – i have to share my crafting space with a piece of work out equipment, a server, a large TV, and 2 bikes. I love heather’s style and creativity, but I could never have a crafting space that looks like that either. I’m just not that tidy, and yes as someone else mentioned – I’m sure that room was styled for the photos. You’re craft space is more my speed. 🙂

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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