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Emotional crafting to the extreme

Muertos Couple by Kathy Cano-Murillo

This is where I bombard you with all the crazy stuff going on. Emotions are high, so I waited a while to put this post together. First off – the only way I know how to decompress is to make stuff. That’s why that picture is up there, I made that painting last night as a way to center myself for the upcoming busy Dia de Los Muertos season.  I’m really happy with how it turned out. I’m always working to improve my skills! The digital print is available here, it’s my first try selling digital images on Etsy!

Ever since July, it has been all systems GO! Maya moved out to Los Angeles for a job at Buzzfeed Latino/Pero Like. It was weird how it happened. Early summer, she first was offered a job in marketing at Arizona State University, which would have allowed her to finish her degree on the cheap. But along the way, a few things didn’t quite connect, she freaked. Being the experienced parent I am, I told her to calm down because that meant something better was on the way. Well, then an editor at Buzzfeed called her and asked to interview her for a three-month residency in Los Angeles. It just happened out of the blue. They saw her videos and were looking for new talent for their channel. Maya’s mission has always been, “Move to Los Angeles and work at Buzzfeed.” She must have strong energy because it really happened.

Next thing I knew, I pushed my Bic pen along a contract to co-sign for a car for her. A friend helped her find housing and she drove out there and made it happen. It’s been almost three months and she is waiting to hear if she will be extended or even hired. Cross your fingers!

You all know she was my homegirl. We did everything together. But I’m a parent first, friend second. Just like DeAngelo, who moved out last year, it’s our job to make sure the kids use the skills we taught them. And it’s our way to learn if we missed anything, lol!

While at first I fell to the floor and sobbed because of the empty house, I’m happy she is rocking it! Seriously, check out one of her videos, they’ve been among the highest on the channel so far!

These days I’ve gotten in a good groove. Both the kids are moved out and going after their passion and careers and I’m so proud of them! Life at home with Patrick has been peaceful and artful. I never realized how much kids save the mama for their mama – you know? We go out for lunch, we have deep conversations, we take trips. It feels like we are dating all over again.

I asked Patrick, “Can I still be your ruca?” (Girlfriend) He laughed and said, “Of course!”

We now have the “Mantastic Artist” wing of the house and the “Crafty Chica wing.” We each have our own art studio and bathroom. He decorated his like a tropical island and even installed rainbow lights INSIDE THE TOILET. This is living, people. As for me, my wing is classic Mexi-Boho!

We rearranged all the furniture in the family room, cleaned out the garage and even hired a housekeeper, which is the most epic decision I ever made (aside from you know, having kids and stuff like that). We plan to paint all the walls in the house.

I plan to turn Maya’s room into a staging photo studio. Or maybe my writing room, we’ll see.


OK, but really. I feel like I have room to breathe and work 100% on the projects I choose. Yes, being an entrepreneur is a lot of work but it has pushed me to seek and attract bigger projects that pay more to free up time so I can do the things I love. It’s been nice to go hang out at a coffeehouse to work on my book or sketch in my journal.

Aside from traveling and teaching, I’m doing a lot of local events in Phoenix. I started a monthly art workshop series at Changing Hands Bookstore called La Crafty Noche, and I’m also teaching monthly business classes too! I do so much around the country, I decided I wanted to do events in my own community! We’ll see how it goes!

Last week I spent two days at The Hispanic Women’s Conference and loved it! I hadn’t been at that event in years, so this year I had a booth in addition to speaking on a panel. I also upped my game and ordered a huge banner. My booth looked a little extravagant, but YOLO, right?


Ohhh! I am so proud because I came up with a flippin awesome way to price my items. I’m always making new signs for every show, because prices kinda different from event to event and crowd to crowd, etc. This time I used acrylic frames from the dollar store and a dry erase marker to write the price. I also stored other signs in the frames so I can switch them around as needed, depending on what I have to sell.


Pretty cool, right?

When it came to making merchandise, I ditched my usual line up of goods and made every item about female empowerment and business. They were a hit! Here are some exclusive mugs I made, they sold out by lunchtime on the first day, so I’m going to make more for my Etsy store asap!

crafty-chica-mugs-latina3 crafty-chica-mugs-latina5 crafty-chica-mugs-latina6 crafty-chica-mugs-latina8 crafty-chica-mugs-latina15 crafty-chica-mugs-latina16

I also sold a lot of jewelry, TACOS were the most popular theme!


And I had the pleasure of meeting Candy Ramirez of Queen Bee Baker! If you haven’t heard of her, she is from Tucson and has a vibrant platform that is all about baking cakes AND mentoring other female bakers. Her story will give you chills, so spirited and empowering. We really connected, we both have Nely Galan as our mentor. You can expect to see some collabs coming soon from us!


After the crazy, successful show, I had to go pick up Maya from the airport, because she was finally able to come home for a visit. I can tell living on her own in a new city is stressful because as soon as she climbed in the car and shut the door, she grabbed myhand and started to sob. She came home and the dogs tackled her with puppy licks for a good hour, then she slept like a log well into the next day. Her job is pretty fantastic, but very demanding. She has to brainstorm, pitch, storyboard, set up sets, find actors, shoot, edit and promote one video a week. Talk about pressure! But she’s doing it! I hope the weekend served as a way to relax and reset her energy.

After Maya left, I didn’t feel like chilling, or going out. So I painted a canvas (at the top of the post). I have so many other things to share, but I don’t want to overwhelm you anymore, lol! I’ll have more to come later.

OK, one more – this season we had some magazine release their awards issue and I won for Best Craft Blog by Phoenix Magazine!


and The Phoenix Fridas won for best Art Collective! so yeah, it’s been a few months of very high emotions!


Alrighty, I’m getting back to work! Have a happy monday, everyone!

Check out these wonderful Phoenix Latino-inspired Coffeehouses

TACO LOVE: 22 Things to Make or Buy


6 thoughts on “Emotional crafting to the extreme”

  1. OMG same wavelength, you inspire me!!! I am working on a Dia de los Muertos gift for my hubby, that is the day we got married and wanted to do something for our 10 year anniversary and it is similar to the painting above.
    I joke that we never have photos and started painting and making my own art work for the house. This is the latest addition. It’s still in the early parts, just a sketch, but your photo was like starting at what I envisioned come to life.
    Thank you and keep the craft-spirations coming!


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