Saturday, March 28, 2009

Crafty Chica Brings Sewing to the People!

~I swear this is a review of Kathy Cano-Murillo latest book, Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing: Fabu-Low-Sew Projects for the Everyday Crafter


~I have been very lucky. I noticed at quite a young age that I was an artist (not that I wanted to be an artist) and my family,friends and teachers fostered and supported me full force. ....At some point while studying art in college I noticed that everyone is an artist, just some people did not have the support that I did and therefore the confidence to find their own artistic path. I guess around that same time I started veering off into the craft world. I went to a fancy art school my first year in college. Only one year. It was not my bag . Art school seemed to me, in 1992, in Atlanta, to be a place of exclusion. I was way to into my fellow man to be so elite. I was more about art as a means to heal and communicate(yes a Lil hippie at heart). OK so that is a tiny bit of back ground about what I think makes great art and artist.

~I will say a little about craft Vs art here. I think I joined the craft team because crafting is less high brow than the regular old art world, Crafters seemed to me to be into pooling resources and sharing information(most of the time). Now with that stated I must admit I am on the artsy side of Arts and craft . I tend to barrel my way through processes blindly relying on trial and error (lots of error) and necessity often dictates my aesthetics...( like it is necessary to make a patch work skirt because the material I already made the skirt out, of is a vintage table cloth and it has been bleached so much that all the green areas are fraying).
~This is all old news I know the feminist art and craft art movement in the '70s and 80's has come and gone and come again; but still it is on my mind alot .

"…While many artists, especially sculptors and installation artists, are steadfast members of a “slacker” generation, Kiki, 52, embraces craft, the dreaded C word of the art world. In myriad materials such as glass, fiber and beads (some associated more with amateurs and craft-show practitioners than with professional artists), she has embraced a dizzyingly diverse vocabulary of the demoted, debased and despised–and she makes you like it"
chuck close

~I have become so comfortable in the craft environment I sort of forget there is an art world and to them we are just a movement in their greater scheme of things.
So when I come an artist/crafter who is blurring the lines between art and craft I get super duper excited and inspired. The craftyChica was one of the first crafty superstars that I ever came across. I was quite drawn to he imagery

...but even more I was drawn to her biznass sassyness(?). I loved that she had made a job for herself out of helping others discover and develop their creative core.

*fast forward here is the book review finally

~Kathy Cano-Murillo is an inspired artist and someone you want to be around, She is an incredibly creative soul who wants to share with you all her creative secrets to help you find your creative path. And she is freakin' Hi-larious ~Her latest offering ventures into the world of sewing .
Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing: Fabu-Low-Sew Projects for the Everyday Crafter
I love this book it has so many creative and relevant projects. This is the perfect book for someone who has never touched a sewing machine( but has dreams of conquering one), however the projects are innovative enough to spark the interest of an accomplished seamstress. ~The chica is hilarious and heartwarming and seems to have a knack for luring out the hidden craft diva that lies slumbering in each of us. Her projects are so clever and they are things we all use and need. Many of the projects are reconstructions; She shows you how to use those pretty place mats and napkins that are too nice to eat off of, but you would love to showcase on your arm or couch. I came to sewing through reconstruction,( and bookmaking) and I feel it is less intimidating to turn something destined for the rummage sale into something cool and useful. There are also plenty of new material projects here. I found her instructions for very simple techniques to be quite impressive, sometimes it is the simplest things that tend to be over looked in guides. Also include in the book are other peoples inspiring tidbits... as well as some rituals to help you through the tough times.~ What is so great is that Kathy brings sewing down a peg or too. It is not some elite club that you have to go through a sewing circle hazing (although that is kinda a cool idea)in order to learn how to ease a sleeve perfectly (ease a sleeve?? ) You will find that the chica has overlooked nothing here and that through her simple ,clear instructions you to can uncover your creative sewing self.

~My crafty chica project.

I have been trying to decide on which project to try first I actually have a few going now but this one I finished first . Ribbon trimmed pencil skirt
I actually made my skirt but the project has you use one that is pre-made.(very cool and instant)... It was for a friend's daughters rodeo days at school. Isn't she tough as nails!!!
~The project is about using up your surplus ribbon supply (which surprisingly I really do not have much of ) Instead I made "ribbons" of fabric( because I have way way too much fabric ). The buttons here all vintage plastic . The fabrics were recycled and new. I also added a pocket with an appliqued chic because this little cowgirl loves my chics
~As you can sees the projects are quite adaptable and each one has several alternative ideas for the project to help get your creative juices flowing.

~As a final thought and an attempt to make this all seem like it makes a little bit of sense... Sewing is kinda like the Art world to me. I had to teach myself all I know( my mom was afraid~when I was a begging 8 year old ~to let me use her machine?!!!!)I still have a hard time reading patterns and I definitely only ease a sleeve by accident. A book like this ,Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing: Fabu-Low-Sew Projects for the Everyday Crafter
Is a breath of fresh air into those back room sewing classes.
The Crafty Chica is helping everyday girls find the courage to pull that machine out and start sewing . It is not some elite club anyone can do it all you need is confidence (and a borrowed brother)


Blue Mama said...

Great review, Mama! You were really speaking to me there, I totally agreed and related to the whole thing...not too surprisingly! And yes, I think the Devil DID introduce us! Remind me to send him a Christmas card this year! Or...something like that... ;)

ps: I better get to see you this week! :)

Angie said...

Well said! I've seen this book but had second doubts buying it. Looks like I need to add it to my list.

And your skirt is beautiful (as always!).

Unknown said...

THANK YOU!!! Gosh, you made me cry and blush, I am not worthy!! Love the skirt, and I love your blog, your spirit, so proud to be featured here, thank you!!!
Peace, love, and GLITTER!!
Kathy :-)