I first became cyber friends with Kathy Cano Murillo way back when “MySpace” was the happening place to be. We then also became “Facebook” friends when everyone was making the switch. What drew me to Kathy and her crafts were the brightness, the joy, and the love that seemed to emanate from her projects.
In 2010 I had the opportunity to meet Kathy and her daughter Maya when they were at a book signing for the novel “Waking up in the land of Glitter.” It’s always wonderful to meet someone who is positive, happy, humble and sweet.
Kathy and I have kept in touch over the years and I’m very excited to introduce our Red Heart readers to Kathy Cano Murillo.
1) How did you come up with the name Crafty Chica?
I had started my craft column for The Arizona Republic in 1999, and I joined an online craft community called Get Crafty. Everyone had a fun “handle”. I was at work one day, writing a movie review on deadline, and the name popped in my head! I immediately registered the url. That weekend, I built my web site around it.
2) How did you get your start?
I’ve always been creative one way or another and my creativity has always led me to really fun jobs. I already had my art and craft business when I started working for The Arizona Republic. One of my editors asked me to write a weekly craft column. It was good training because it taught me to design for a mainstream audience. I really learned the difference between being an artist and a craft designer! I started my blog as a way to share my craft columns with people who didn’t get the paper and my site grew and grew!
3) How did you develop your fan base?
I have always focused on quality, consistency and authenticity – just sharing inspiration and everything that goes with it. I never specifically set out to build a fan base, it all happened organically!
4) When were you finally able to quit your day job and follow your passion?
I’ve only quit my day job once – many years ago and I’ll never do it again! It stripped me of passion and love for my art because everything was based on making money to pay bills. The true key is to find a job that you love, so you can still work on your business. My dream job was to write for a newspaper so I worked my way up from the basement to being a columnist, then my dream was to launch my product line, so I followed through on that and work full-time for the manufacturer (iLoveToCreate). As long as you have a day job you love, it isn’t work! Just make sure everything fits with the big picture of your goals.
5) Why do you enjoy working with Red Heart Yarn?
I love the variety of yarns!
6) What are you favorite things to make?
As far as crochet, I really love to make my crazy scarves. I use 9-10 different yarns in each one, different stitches and hooks. I never know how each one will turn out until it is done!
7) Do you have a favorite type, color (s) of Red Heart yarn to use?
I love the Shimmer!
8) What other things do you like to do with RED HEART yarns or crochet thread?
I use it in many craft projects – yarn drawings, weaving, earrings and more!
If you read my first novel “Waking Up in the Land of Glitter” – there is a character named Ofie who discovers she is a speed crocheter. There is a competition and everything – even a yarn showdown in a parking lot! My novels are available in paperback, ebook and audiobook!
9) You are one of the founders of the Phoenix Fridas and the Arizona Craft Rave. Please tell our readers about these events.
The Phoenix Fridas is a Latina art collective. We want to show the world that Latina artists and crafters are diverse! We are friends who get together and craft, plus we have art shows and hang out. There are 10 of us!
The craft rave was an idea I had after getting tired of vending at shows and having people inspect my pieces to see how to make them. I thought, “Why not have a craft show where people shop for projects to make?” We now are in our fourth year and have 20+ teachers on board and are expecting a big crowd! visit http://azcraftrave.com for more info! Our latest one will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2013.
10) You and your husband Patrick have had exhibits at the Heart Museum in AZ, how did this come about?
They saw our art and asked us to create an exhibit, we themed it around our dream art house!
11) Recently you were invited to the United Nations. Please describe that experience and did you have the opportunity to speak to the dignitaries (or the people who comprise the UN?)
I was chosen by Latism as one of the Top 100 Blogueras and we were sent to the UN to discuss ideas, it was an amazing experience!
12) You are an inspiration and mentor to so many people, what’s in store for the future?
Thank you! We have the final Crafty Chica Art Cruise this March (our 8th year!), we leave from New Orleans and visit Jamaica, Mexico and Cayman Islands. I’m also working on writing new novels, more blogging, more crafting and crochet! Life es muy bueno!
Kathy Cano-Murillo, CraftyChica®
Author of the novels WAKING UP IN THE LAND OF GLITTER and MISS SCARLET’S SCHOOL OF PATTERNLESS SEWING (Grand Central Publishing)
Award-winning author, artist, freelance writer
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Yarn used in scarf on right:
- Red Heart Shimmer
- 1945 Peacock
- 1929 Red
- 1507 Plum
- 1503 Turquoise
- 1932 Zebra
- 1625 Lime
- Red Heart Boutique Swirl
- 9712 Floral
- 9253 Tangerine
- Red Heart Fiesta
- 6012 Black
- Red Heart Boutique Sashay Sparkle
- 1562 Rhubarb