INSPIRATION FRIDAY: La Casa Murillo closes today.

La Casa Murillo sign
I can’t believe it is time for our exhibit to close! Today at 4 p.m. on the dot, the doors will close for the last time on our fantasy house. I am choking back tears right now. What a year it has been. This time last year, we were hustling like crazy. Our (real) house turned into a huge workshop. One project after another. The crew from the Heard sent staffers over in vans to pick up pieces and help us paint, glue, glitter and pack. In the end, we made more than 500 pieces ranging from a reconstructed couch to a mixed media headboard and glittered lucha libre banks.
Mixed media collage headboard
My favorite memory was opening night. My dad came out to see the show. It was before he was sick – no walker, both his legs, no worries. He was so proud and happy. He went through each room and looked at each item in detail. Honestly, I think he was overwhelmed! At one point, he looked at all the crazy colors of the exhibit, laughed and said, “This is really the kind of house you want, Kathy?”

Another favorite memory is the Dia de los Muertos altar in the center of the gallery space.

We made it look like a huge cake with tiers. We set out index cards for people to write blessings to their loved ones who passed away. Within a month there were hundreds and hundreds of sentiments. The Heard staff had to buy albums to place them inside to make room for more cards. and those filled up too, so we bought more albums! To date there are thousands of cards. I’m not sure what to do with them at the end of the show. There is a lot of energy in those cards. It would be weird to bring them home, they are so personal from the people who wrote them. I want to do something happy and uplifting. Maybe make them into a paper pulp and make an angel sculpture. Maybe shred them and use them in some kind of art project.

Any ideas out there?
La Casa Murillo exhibit
This is what will happen tonight. The show closes at 4 p.m. We’ve chosen 15 items to be auctioned off to the public. We will prep everything and at 6:45 we’ll have dancers come out to kick off the event. I have a little thank you speech about what La Casa Murillo means for all of us, and then at 7, the auction starts. I have no idea what to expect. My last experience with a live auction was BRUTAL.

One time I gave a super cool altered crown to a live auction – the auctioneer put the crown on like a baseball hat – in front of a room of 2,000 people in black tie and glittery gowns and he said “Starting bid $250!”

I hollered, “You are wearing it wrong!”

He took it off and put it on like a backwards baseball cap. I sunk in my chair. No one bid. To make matters worse, he goes “Do I have $100?” *Pause* “How about $75?” *Pause* “$50?”

I wanted to crawl under the skirted table and go into the fetal position. Instead I sipped on my water. The people at my table (my newspaper co-workers) pretended to read the fine print on their event programs.

He finally goes “$25! – OK, we have a bid for $25!”

“Whew!” I thought.

I watched the auction assistant carry the crown down the center aisle in search of the mystery bidder.

There wasn’t one. The auctioneer just made it up to get the thing off the stage.

Can you say crunch?

OK, I really need to steer myself back to happy right about now. It’s all going to go good tonight. No backwards bidding! No upside down hats!

Anyhoo – if you live in Phoenix, hopefully you can come out and celebrate with us!

Opening night last October: Part of my craft group, The Phoenix Fridas. Emily, Carmen, me and Anita. Lucia, April and Leticia didn’t make it that night.
The 1,000 bead chandelier!

One of the chairs I embellished of the Frida dinette set. That is a big applique I stitched on black glittered vinyl. I sewed lime green sequin trim, an applique in the center, flower and added rhinestones around the edges.

Product display at Heard
Display case outside the gallery.

Love & light,

6 Responses

  1. hehe; things that don’t kill us make us stronger,right? and make great stories to tell later! I can see that happening to me!

  2. that exhibit really brightened up my life. i got so inspired to go home and do things to my house. because of you i bought my first glue gun and havent unplugged it since. i wish you would get your own tv show or magazine because crafty chica you really change peoples lives. you make me feel like i can do anything i set my mind to!
    – lucy

  3. Congratulations, Kathy! I remember your posts from last year as you and your family prepared for the Heard Exhibit. I loved what I could see through the photos, I can only imagine how beautiful and colorful everything was in person.

    As for all of the memory cards…how about compiling all of them into one book. Maybe you could write what the year of the Heard Exhibit was like for you- professionally and personally. Talk about your Dad and then wrap up with all of the cards. I think it would be a book that many people could relate to and find inspiring. Just a thought. I’m sure whatever you do will be magical as always!

    All the best,
    ~Anna “the sol within anna”

  4. what a story! I am sure the tiara was amazing too! Well, if you give me one to auction off I promise to wear it right!! your “house” is awesome! wish I lived close so I could come…

  5. This brought tears to my eyes just reading it. Especially the part about your dad. I also recently lost my dad and I know how bittersweet memories like that can be.
    As far as the auction fiasco, it’s simple. He messed up the all important “first impression” by wearing it wrong.
    The cards? Hmmm. I love the idea about turning them into paper pulp (with glitter mixed in) and doing some sort of sculpture. Maybe a mini Casa Murillo? I have no doubt you’ll come up with something amazing to do with them…after all, you are THE Crafty Chica!
    I no longer live in Phoenix so I’m disappointed that I can’t come down. But thanks for taking us there with all the beautiful photos and updates.
    Wishing you all the best,

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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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