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Crafty Chica's Art de la Soul: Glittery Ideas to Liven Up Your Life Paperback – February 7, 2006
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“Kathy Cano Murillo is a Crafty Chica who proves that crafting is not just your abuelita’s game to play, it’s yours and it’s now. Kathy manages to make crafting both cool and caliente!” (--Jackie Guerra, actress and host of DIY Jewelry Making)
“Who better than Kathy Cano Murillo to offer up ideas for becoming colorfully creative and nurturing a happy heart? Crafty Chica knows the balance between using the right glue and not coming unglued over your project.” (--Jenny Hart, owner of SublimeStitching, crafty TV host and member of the Austin Craft Mafia)
“There are not many craft books that make you weep with joy. Crafty Chica’s Art De La Soul is one of them. Inspiring, generous and loaded with fantastic projects, this is required reading for anyone aching to bring some funky craftiness into their world.” (--Jean Railla, author of Get Crafty)
About the Author
Kathy Cano-Murillo is a full-time features reporter at the Arizona Republic where she covers theatrical film and celebrity profiles, and her very successful column, "Crafty Ideas". She has published several top selling crafts books including La Casa Loca and The Crafty Diva's DIY Style Book (2004). She is the founder of CraftyChica.com, a wildly popular web site launched in 2001 to inspire women to brighten their lives with clever craft ideas. She is the creator of a line of Hispanic-themed wallpaper borders and accessories for girls in Lowe's Home Improvement stores.
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There are people who have a gift for things like this, and then there are the rest of us who must buy the books. This purchase is well worth it. This is a very personal, friendly book - you feel as if you are sitting together having coffee (while she is beading)(and showing you how). Among the spirited personal reflections braided through the book are some extremely unique ideas (and directions-thank you!!), and the combination of story-telling and art-creating gives a person hope that maybe, someday, at some point, that the intuition of that "inner artist" can be trusted. Right now, my inner artist is a hamfisted moron when it comes to anything other than stacking things and picking up dustbunnies, but I have at least taken this first step (just 11 more to go)!
Her ideas help stimulate the mind towards what might be possible. There are so many ideas - and they are beautiful. The thought that things can be done, little things of beauty, while you have a few spare moments - and the idea that time can be set aside for being creative.
A very encouraging, engaging book, and a family effort - tradition speaks volumes. Personal favorite: "Step Out of the Box." I need to photocopy it and staple it to my forehead. Okay, not staple, but you understand.
If you are a busy person, GET THIS BOOK. By hook or by crook. It is therapy.
On the upside, the book is bright and colorful and has a wide variety of different projects. However some projects, such as the tin box, were not well executed; others, such as the conversation canvases, were poorly designed. Most of what I would consider the higher-quality projects require many hours of labor in addition to the time and expense of obtaining appropriately themed materials to achieve the desired outcome. For instance the quilt - which was made of fabric and "18 unwanted, cool-looking t-shirts" - was truly fabulous, but there was no way I could have found or afforded that many latin t-shirts (which were, in fact, really awesome) to make the lovely, yet labor-intensive project.
I thought the Flamin' Fire Pot idea was genius - a patio fire pot made from a washing machine tub. As was the idea of using shot glasses as feet on the bottom of the oilcloth chest.
On the downside, the book was text-heavy. I would have preferred an edited version of the Crafty Chica Diary entries to shorten them to 1/2 to 1 page introductions to each chapter rather than the average 4 pages per chapter they take up now. The book also contains many illustrations which are not about the projects. I think it would have been more helpful to use the space to show other views of the projects, detailed views of the work-in-progress...
...or better yet, clip art pages containing latino lettering, images and artwork that could be copied and utilized on the projects. In fact, that one change alone would have made the book worth the price to me. My feeling is that beginning crafters may find this book of interest, more experienced crafters may find it leaves them wanting.
The narrative, interspersed with the how-tos, is dryly hilarious. She confesses to so many wacky moments of inspiration gone awry that I know we must be soul sisters. Thanks Kathy, I actually HAD seriously been considering spray painting my shoes.
The illustrations by Kathy's husband are a fun addition.