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10 Most Inspiring Women (I am included!)

The Arizona Republic rand a feature on women who overcame challenges in order to accomplish their dreams. I’m so honored to have been included! Here is the article. Or you can click below to read a portion of it.


Art, craft books keep a twinkle in her eye and life
“If you really try hard and stick with it and focus, you can make it happen.”
Kathy Cano-Murillo, aka the Crafty Chica, doesn’t look a bit stressed.
Never mind that she has only hours to finalize her 2011 crafts line and sketch an entire set of inspirational giftware.
At Copper Star Coffee in Phoenix, the city’s Mexican pop-art guru, author and crafting queen is radiant in a red blouse and lime-green earrings.
Last year, Cano-Murillo’s first novel, “Waking Up in the Land of Glitter” (Grand Central Publishing, $13.99), hit bookstores and is starting its second-print run. Her second novel will be out in March, and she has already finished an outline for the third.
It has been a whirlwind few years, complete, she says, with a little drama, a lot of laughs, plenty of glitter and even a few Bridget Jones moments.
One thing she hasn’t had is much sleep – most nights she’s up until 1 a.m.
“There have been tears and (time spent wondering), ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ ” she says.
At the start of the decade, Cano-Murillo, 46, was juggling a full-time job, an art business, a crafting column and a hobby she loved. She was also a wife and a mother of two taking night classes to finish her bachelor’s degree.
By 2003, she started to chronicle “the craziness of trying to live an artful life” in a crafting blog that found a lively niche. Unlike Martha Stewart’s crafting model of perfectionism and restrained elegance, Cano-Murillo was sharing the messy hazards of going to bed with resin stuck in her hair and crafting for the sheer joy of exuberant self-expression.
“I can’t do a white box with a pretty blue bow,” she explains. “I have to sew something on that bow or add glitter to the box or cover the box in buttons. I just go with what I love to do!”
In 2007, she made a tough decision to leave the job she loved as an entertainment reporter for The Arizona Republic when California-based I Love to Create (a Duncan Enterprises company) offered her her own line of Crafty Chica craft supplies and kits (now sold at Michaels stores nationwide).
“I come from a relatively conservative family where you don’t take huge risks,” she says. “I gave them a dream-wish list of what it would take for me to leave,” and they matched it.
Cano-Murillo has written several crafting books, but uncharacteristically, she kept procrastinating when she was twice approached about writing fiction.
“I was so chicken to write a novel,” she admits. “I remember Googling ‘how to write a novel’!”
Finally, in November 2004, she signed up for National Novel Writing Month and persevered. Her agent sent her back to the drawing board after he deemed her first draft too chaotic. It took being a guest speaker at a writing convention to make Cano-Murillo try again.
The Phoenix native, who graduated from Cortez High School, plans to keep tidbits about the Valley prominent in her novels, which explore friendships, crafting and conundrums.
Her upcoming second novel, “Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing” (Grand Central Publishing, March 2011, $13.99), is set in Glendale.
“I wanted to show the Valley I grew up in, which is happy and positive and artful,” Cano-Murillo says. “My vision is to inspire other people, whether it’s through books or through crafts.”
Through everything, Cano-Murillo has a few steadfast mantras that propel her.
“All they can say is no” is a big one.
The other says it all: “Peace, love and glitter!”
– Kara G. Morrison

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