A work week in photos (and a giveaway)

This was an apron I decorated in our booth at CHA. Tar’Lese, our trade show manager found it and returned it to me!

When you work for a craft company, you never know what the day will entail! I spent the week in Fresno at iLoveToCreate and I snapped pictures of objects that came across my desk. It’s fun working in the creative arts industry! Click below to see all the images – there is a giveaway at the end!

This was one of my Enid Collins purses I had brought a long time ago and found in the storage room. When we were first developing the Crafty Chica line in 2007, one of my ideas was a program of blank bucket purses with solid images that you would then embellish with gems, glitter and 3D paint. In my MISS SCARLET book, I have a character who makes purses like these, so I’ll be doing a tutorial on a project like this soon!

We had a workshop on “Creativity and Innovation” and how to incorporate it into daily decision making. It was a really fun class! We each received a blank journal and art supplies and were encouraged to decorate it while we took notes. I love that my employer values the power of creativity in the workplace!

 The first page of my new journal from the class.


  Sketches for potential projects I want to make.


 This is a new project I’m working on for an assignment. Time ran out and I had to bring it home to finish.

I have a big storage cabinet at my desk and I cleaned it out, something I’ve been meaning to do for the new year. I found this painting!

 3D doodles on glass.





 Cupcake toppers for a packaging photo shoot!
I had to wrap a gift basket for a prize winner. Did I ever tell you that I used to be a gift basket designer in the early 90s? It is one of the odd jobs I had to make ends meet during our early art career days. I LOVE making gift baskets. I always have a roll of cello wrap on hand in my house! Someday I’ll do a tutorial!


Love & light,

49 Responses

  1. I’m a mom, I HAVE to be creative! LOL To save my small amount of sanity, I have to come up with things on the fly. I try to plan out fun, creative things for my kids to do, but I also have times when I have to make something up – fast! Thanks for the great giveaway, you are so inspiring!

  2. I Love to Create definitely seems like one of the best craft companies to work for in the industry. You deserve them and they deserve you! I work at a law firm, but I tend to load up on the colored markers to decorate my file folders. That’s about as creative as I’m allowed to be at my job! Thank you you for sharing such inspiring pictures!

  3. Creative jobs are the bomb! I have been in advertising, interior design and sales… all pretty creative, really. Right now, besides creating on a daily basis I’m teaching art in an under served urban community and I’m finding that I have to be creative in keeping the kids’ attention. Many of these children are just learning to use scissors even though they are 6 & 7 years old. So stopping to help 3 kids hold the scissors correctly while the other 24 kids watch isn’t really an option! LOL Sometimes you gotta get out the dancing shoes to entertain the audience!

  4. Worked for a national chain with a large craft department for almost two years and was constantly helping customers flesh out their ideas and also designing demos and classes. Don’t think I ever grossed more than I spent but the job was a constant source of inspiration and innovation.

  5. I cut out 13 quilt kits this week for a quilters retreat. We will be making them for the Red Cross to give to victims of disasters. I co-host a chair committee for Community Quilts @ Redwood Empire Quilters Guild.

  6. I created my own creative business. I’m loving the freedom and creativity it has allowed me to explore without inhibition! Thank you for inspiring all of us!

  7. When I worked at a smal nonprofit, we decided to have “decompression” days where two people on staff would lead a fun activity for the rest of the team. We had to get creative about what we did, since it had to be on a $10 budget, and we couldn’t leave the office.

    We came up with some imaginative, fun things! On my turn we planned a “Rock Band and Root Beer Floats” lunch break, and we even drew imaginary band members on the conference white board. Another group did a yoga stretch, and yet another brought in their mini-deep frier to make samosas. It definitely brought us together!

  8. Wow, these are all so beautiful and inspiring. What a good idea with the home-bejeweled purses (I LOVE Enid Collins)

    I taught college English classes until this last December, and we always had at least one project that was creative–I’d give them the guidelines, but they could choose the media, and they had to practice expressing interpretation through alternative forms of communication–music, dance, collage, video, you name it! They always acted like it was such a fun easy project, but I was always blown away by the quality of the work–and man, I loved helping them out with their different projects.

    Samantha 🙂

  9. When my children were in elementary school I was the go to person for creative ideas. I did posters, decorated for luncheons, sewed costumes for music programs and I headed the volunteer art teachers (parents) program at the school. I had so much fun! Now they are older we do creative things at home. I still help the group that volunteers to teach art in school and I’m still sewing too.

  10. i havent worked a real job in over a year (the joys of living in a small small town). but i am the one everyone comes to when they need that little extra spark! i always have at least 5-10 projects going (i have creative ADD) so i normally have the supplies, weather its glitter, or ribbon or just posterboard or paper, ive got it! thanks for offering this giveaway!! *fingers crossed* id love the painting!!

  11. As the Veteran’s Group Lead I had to come up with something to increase our membership so I designed what is called a Challenge Coin. It was a BIG hit and was the first one designed for our company! Woo Hoo!

  12. I’m a graphic designer & illustrator so every day something creative comes up! One project I did, I had to illustrate steps for crochet stitches for a crochet pattern book, some of which I had never done before. So I got out my hook and did them, sketching each step and each stitch, and what it looked like as I went thru the directions. I even found a mistake in the directions so the publisher was glad I caught that! 🙂

  13. that purse should be with my rooster collection…when you tire of it…think of me please!!!!

    well i do creative things every day in my job…recently having to punt last week during my live TV show (the first episode) when one of my guests could not connect to the show room!!!

    I had to come up with a quick save…not easy when yu are tied to a chair in a 6″creative space!!!


  14. I loved seeing the pictures of your projects from the week; they are very inspiring! I am a piano instructor, a jewelry maker, and a writer, so everything I do provides me with an opportunity to be creative. Lucky me!

  15. Being a stay at home mom to a 6 year old has creativity in the job description:) To help keep my daughter busy in the car while running errands, I keep a pack of pipe cleaners handy!! My daughter loves how you can make anything out of them!! Lately we have been driving around looking like Noah’s Ark out our rear window:)

  16. I have a greenhouse and at Christmas I paint the poinsettias in different colors. I don’t do them like other places, mine are all unique, so we sell alot more of them then the competitors.
    At home I do all kinds of crafts.

  17. I’m an artist, but even artists have to do administrative work. I thought it was a good idea to listen to an audio book while I was doing administrative work, but then I discovered that it takes twice as long! So my creative idea is to get the admin. work done FAST, then listen to my book and enjoy that.

  18. I am so lucky! I teach art….I am not so lucky because I don’t have that much time to do my own art…..but I’m working on that!

    I joined a collaborative journal group…and I schedule two week-ends a month for myself to create….and it’s great.

    Thanks Chica for all the wonderful inspiration that you send our way. I just made my first shrines and love them….if you want to see them go to: http://myluckydayartcafe.blogspot.com/

    I don’t have them properly labled or anything…I just wanted to get them up so I could share them with some friends. I had so much fun! Most things I make are just for me, and to give away – but I intend to grow a business this year.

    As I said – thank you for inspiring me daily!

  19. I work in a cube farm, and all we grow is paperwork. ^__^ After 3 years, I realize that I’ve made my desk space an extension of my Art studio. I have at least 8 different pieces which command my workspace, several in yellow because it brightens up the space -and it’s my favorite color . I’ve also brought in a full spectrum desk lamp which my coworkers call my “sunshine lamp” because it brightens up the space so much. And I’ve talked Art to several people at the office, so much so that I’m hosting a Shrinky Dink & wine party tomorrow, aka Shrink & Drink. ♥ Thanks for the fun question!

  20. I make handpainted signs on foamcore board for our office doors instead of ordering those resin ones, and I use velcro on the back so I can swap them out.

  21. Ooo….love the purse 😉 so sparkly!
    Sorry, my A.D.D kicked in when in saw the sparkle lol.. Well I’m a boring accountant by day and a body piercer at night. Since my jobs are like night and day, I like to bring as much creativity to my day job as much as possible…I took my boring, plain file folders (multi colored of course) and jazzed up the tabs with glitter, then I watercolor painted my sheets of labels and let them dry in the sun, when dry I ran the labels through the printer and printed all my pretty lil labels. I gotta say, it beats the boring file drawers that used to be there and my boss doesn’t mind 😉
    Almost every piece of office supply on my desk has some type of sparkle…and it makes it easy to see who stole your stapler! Lol

  22. I adore your crafts, books, ideas, advice….yeah, I could go on. =) when I lived in cubbies (cubicles) we had a cubbie decorating contest! We all decorated our areas with a theme, I went pink, covered areas with pink fabric and even changed my file folders to pink!

  23. I’m a HIgh School teacher – we make cells out of clay, and put clay on small plastic skeletons to serve as nerves, arteries, veins, and muscles! DRAW and label the heart, brain, kidneys, and others. It’s the next best thing to being the ART OR SEWING/FAHION DESIGN TEACHER. I love Health Science Technology!

  24. I have to do bulletin boards at work all the time. Ug. I actually dread it a bit, but it’s also a little fun. Everyone says, “You Do such a NICE job!” So….I’m stuck with it. 😉 joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot]net

  25. Wow, Kathy, I love all of your art work! I have designed bulletin boards….I pretend like they are just over-sized scrapbook pages. It really is a lot of fun! Thank you for the chance to win!

  26. I’m a corporate writer, so it’s easy to get stuck in a rut writing about financial reports and manufacturing processes. I’ve hit a creative streak this past year or so with an easy-to-use pocket video camera (there are several good brands out there – I use the Flip) to show my information as well as just tell it. People love the results and our employee web site has a whole new, inviting vibe.

  27. Humor and color! I head up operations in a University department. This includes trying to engage non-finance people in the joy of spreadsheets. I started an e-newsletter that uses humor and short interviews with administrative staff to keep ’em reading. Quick spreadsheet designs injected with some white space and color make budget forms easier to follow — and more fun to peruse.

  28. I work at a high school and there are always seasonal programs for events required and I love to create these, I mean that is the highlight of my job!! Thanks for your creative blog sharing.

  29. I run a community theatre, so I am always finding myself having to do creative things. Last month, I had to make a pheasant for a production of King Midas.

  30. I watch my grandkids 3 days a week. So I have to be creative with them. They want to make crafts everyday. So its a challenge to come up with something a 3-5-6 year old can all be happy with.

  31. The children I teach at H.S. preschool wanted to play dinosaurs, so, we are totally about child initiated play, we took out the dinos and listened, they needed a volcano…so, out came the boxes and newspaper and paints, the kids and I created a volcano to enhance their play….I have been a mom and teacher and ”the creative one” in my family since forever and love crafting and art of all sorts, have supplies that i use in my own way…self taught all the way. ;D

  32. At my last job, there weren’t many opportunities to be creative so I had to make my own fun any chance I could! My favorite was when we moved to a new, bigger space, I decided I would go a little nuts and paint the bathrooms so that every “trip to the can” would make people giggle. The girls room got a green base with a copper wash, and every color polka dot known man, and the boys room got a bit simpler dark red with gold squiggly stripes. It was great fun!

  33. Every job I have ever had from advertising to retail sales and display, and in volunteer work, I’ve always gotten the assignment to plan the creative functions. From fund-raisers to parades to neighborhood parties, and teaching classes. Yikes…I guess I still create every day. Thanks for the giveaway..your stuff is always awesome. Hey I had a purse with a rooster on it a long time ago. Wish it was still with me.

  34. something creative at work? oh my! everyday! I am a pre-k teacher and being creative is the only way I will ever get their attention! I could really use this apron at work too! lol!


  35. My jobs are very creative. For job one, I work for an art blog. I make skull art weekly, post skull art submissions and am working on a skull quilt collaboration with our readers. We are

    For job two, I make hair accessories to sell and help people unleash their creativity.

    I do this while raising a kid and being a wife. I <3 my life.

  36. I’m currently unemployed but I try to do something creative every day. I have expanded my cooking and baking skills. The biggest thing is that I have started to learn how to make quilt tops. It’s fun and keeps the mind working. I’m liking it.

  37. Thanks for your inspiring blog – look forward to each installment and the photos are great!
    I have used a creative approach to help the staff teams input their ideas for an annual business plan. At my last job in a professional body for teachers I wrapped the conference room walls in a continuous circle of magic whiteboard plastic, divided it into 12 months and got whiteboard markers in ALL the colours. Then each staff team was invited over the course of a week to ‘draw their year.’ Heavy encouragement was needed at fisrt but people found it so much more freeing than making a list of tasks per month. Eventually people spent their lunch hours and stayed late to create lovely representations of their work. Each team had more appreciation of the other teams’ work, activities and events, synchronicities were identified and mutual support created. The business plan was then a piece of cake to draw up and implement, as everyone knew what it looked like. Several months later we had a Learning at Work day and there were quite a few requests for a drawing lesson to be included (which it was!)PS We had a successful and creative – really brilliant – year using that plan!

  38. I worked for Anthropologie helping do the visuals for a little while, my favorite job there?

    Learning how to blow up balloons, them blowing up 200+ of them, and paper mache-ing them all. Then cutting them in half to make half rounds.

    Or my first job ever there! wrapping rope around random hardware polls to create a “hut”.

  39. I don’t get to be that creative in my daily life but when I can take the time to be creative I milk it for all it’s worth. Lately I have been into black and white photography as a creative outlet.

  40. I’m a teacher… a special education teacher.. enough said! haha.. i am so blessed to have a great job to release my creative side.. i have taught my kiddos how to crochet.. and there is a hands on craft project to go with every unit..

  41. In one of my jobs, creativity is not encouraged. In my other jobs, creating things is what I do. I’m constantly thinking and making. And fixing. That’s what I did last night. Required chocolate.

    I’d love to win one of your creations!

  42. As Children’s Librarian I plan 2x weekly storytimes w/ simple arts & crafts for under 4s, & monthly crafts projects recycling tossaway items like old calendars, magazines & boxes w/ adults. Lifelong learning thru reading and creative arts = happiness.

  43. wow! look at these comments!!

    Well, I know I’m way late, but I have to comment anyway.

    We recently moved from one office to a new location, and in organizing my boss’s room, the walls were a major challenge. I think she was way into hanging things up that were professional and ‘required’. However, I suggested she put more personal items on the walls, and theme them! So, on one wall are her licenses and awards. And on the other two walls (the fourth one is all windows), we made a wall of sports memorabilia and penants, reflecting one of her passions, and on the other is a large display of family events and photos, that we made into a kind of mosaic. It was so much fun. I loved it that she solicited my advice on the subject because, she said, I’m the arty one!

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

Let’s connect!

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!

Let’s work together! Check out my services page HERE.

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