How to Make Watercolor Paper Earrings

Kathy Cano-Murillo
This month Kathy dishes on cost-effective crafting.
Every month Kathy Cano-Murillo, a.k.a. The Crafty Chica, dishes crafty tips and tricks in La Vida Crafty on Jackalope Ranch.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Phoenix Fridas, a local Latina art collective I started as a fun way to get together and craft. Our group has grown into so much more! Part of what we do is celebrate the life and art of Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo. Our annual exhibit is up and running -- it's called "Expressively Frida" and you can see it all this month at the Burton Barr Central Library.

To kick off the event, we held a huge birthday party last Sunday. I wanted to make goodies to giveaway in honor of Frida's 107th birthday, but I didn't have a huge stack of cash to spend. No problem. That's the best part about creativity. It's free and plentiful! I relied on one of my favorite crafty methods of squeezing a dollar out of a dime:

Watercolor paper earrings.

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How to Buy a Home in France

Categories: How To, Travel

Robrt Pela
Owning a home in France is more doable than you might think.
New Times' Summer Guide is out and full of ways to escape this season -- from spending a weekend at Chateau Marmont to your best bets for Phoenix staycations. Today Robrt Pela shares his guide to buying a home in the south of France.

Start out an ugly American who thinks France is a "once in a lifetime" destination and not a place where a freelance writer and a music teacher can afford to buy property. Smile and nod when your spouse returns from a trip abroad and announces, "We must own a house in the south of France!" even if you think he's nuts -- and mistaken. Stand gape-mouthed and thrilled when he finagles a way to bankroll the purchase with a stateside loan, in order to avoid attempts at financing property in another country. Cheer. Begin packing.

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How to Make a Tie-Dye Heart Shirt

Kathy Cano-Murillo, The Crafty Chica
How to make a tie-dye heart shirt, by Kathy Cano-Murillo, The Crafty Chica.
Every month Kathy Cano-Murillo, a.k.a. The Crafty Chica, dishes crafty tips and tricks in La Vida Crafty on Jackalope Ranch.

'Tis the season for red, white, and blue.

If you're looking to have some patriotic fun with your crafts in time for the fireworks, here is a cool folding technique using tie-dye, chalk, and rubber bands.

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How to Craft with Gold Leaf

Kathy Cano-Murillo
My first try at gold leaf. Practice makes progress!

Every month Kathy Cano-Murillo, a.k.a. The Crafty Chica, dishes crafty tips and tricks in La Vida Crafty on Jackalope Ranch.

Just because I make crafts for a living, doesn't make me an expert on all things crafty. At least not at first. Sometimes it takes several tries to nail a technique. I am resilient. I will not stop until I conquer!

Case in point: gold leaf. I've see it everywhere in DIY projects and thought I could knock it out in my sleep. Glue, apply the gold, seal. . . What is so difficult? Well, it's a teeny more complicated than I thought, but definitely worth the effort. Let me walk you though my experience.

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How to Transfer a Photo to Wood

By Kathy Cano-Murillo
How to transfer a color photo to wood or any other hard surface.
Every month Kathy Cano-Murillo, a.k.a. The Crafty Chica, dishes crafty tips and tricks in La Vida Crafty on Jackalope Ranch.

Image transfers are one of those timeless crafts that are always fun to revisit. While recently shopping in downtown Tucson, I came across a few stores that had walls of image transfers on wood. Inspiration hit. I came home and used my illustrations (and my husband's) to give it a try. This is my trial run, and I love how they turned out! I definitely plan to make more and spruce them up a bit.

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How to Build a Terrarium with Phoenix's Ian Christiansen of TerrarIAN

Categories: Events, How To

Janessa Hilliard
Ian Christiansen's terrarian workspace in his downtown Phoenix home.

The workshop is tucked away in a tiny corner of a kitchen in a downtown Phoenix apartment. An array of glass containers has been arranged neatly on top of the refrigerator, some tall and skinny while others are fat and bulbous. Where most would entertain a window-side breakfast nook, a table is full of lush, green moss that looks fluffy to the touch. Beside them: six fully naked women and six male photographers.

The apartment, the workspace and the dozen (miniature figurine) people all belong to Ian Christiansen who will, in an hour or a few weeks or a month, bring each of them together to create a small, seemingly self-sustaining ecosystem: a terrarium.

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How to Make Crushed Pepper Resin Charms

Photo by Kathy Cano-Murillo.
Use crushed peppers and resin to make a necklace.
Every month Kathy Cano-Murillo, a.k.a. The Crafty Chica, dishes crafty tips and tricks in La Vida Crafty on Jackalope Ranch.

You know you are an obsessive crafter when it hurts to throw things away. Straws, chopsticks, gum ball toys, old purses -- anything. One of my favorite crafts is working with two-part resin. I'm always looking for fun things to embed in it.

So when I came across crushed pepper packets while cleaning the kitchen recently, I knew what my next project would be! Crushed pepper resin charms!

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13 Tips for Faking Your Way Through a Super Bowl Party

Categories: Events, How To

Courtesy Flicker user Joe Parks.
Seahawks fans celebrate their team's NFC conference championship.

Excited for the Super Bowl parties but nervous because you don't follow football closely enough to keep up with the conversation? Don't worry. We've got your back with this handy guide that will help you talk all about the Sunday, February 2, game featuring the guy with the giant forehead from the Papa John's commercials and that likable kid from those gag-worthy State Farm Insurance commercials. Or as you'll soon know them, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, respectively.

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How to Refurbish a Vintage Volkswagen with Randy Slack

Categories: How To

Becky Bartkowski
Randy Slack's studio space is often mistaken for an auto shop.

"Let's play VWs," Randy Slack says.

It's a phrase the Phoenix artist and his fellow local Volkswagen lovers use when they want to meet up at Kevin Stramandinoli's Phoenix auto shop, Crown Restoration. The shop's a clubhouse of sorts, where Slack geeks out over obscure parts and hard-to-find models.

He's obsessed, he readily admits.

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How to Make a Wedding Dress with Monique Sandoval

Categories: Fashion, How To

Andrew Pielage
Designer Monique Sandoval puts finishing touches on a wedding dress.

Monique Sandoval made her wedding dress the night before her big day.

She sewed up the gown, which she describes as Mexican bohemian, with her step-grandmother, who taught her to use a needle and thread. She remembers the late night fondly. With antique crocheted fabric Sandoval found on Etsy and silk tulle, she completed the one-shoulder frock just hours before her Halloween ceremony at The Icehouse.

That was about three years ago. The marital bliss has endured -- and so has the dressmaking.

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