9 Lessons Learned at Phoenix Design Week's Letterpress Workshop at Hazel & Violet Ink

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Heather Hoch
Jeryl Jones of Pumpkin Patch Press and Cindy and Gary Iverson of Letterpress Central lead the workshop.
Phoenix Design Week filled the downtown area with folks looking to beautify the city last weekend. The event featured workshops, seminars, and more, and we couldn't help but join in for a letterpress workshop at Hazel & Violet. Being newbies ourselves, we had a lot to learn at the small, 20-person class. Here are nine things that stuck with us long after the ink dried on our handmade posters.


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How to Make Origami Envelopes

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

I never tire of scrapbook paper. In fact, the crafty OCD in me won't let me part ways with a single sheet. I have a list of ways I use my scrapbook paper in daily life and here is one of my favorites. It's simple, does not use any glue, and is great for giving cards or gifts to friends. Who can resist a pretty, hand-folded envelope?


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How to Bleach Custom T-Shirt Designs

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Kathy Cano-Murillo
This month's craft is a wearable art project.

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

In my world, anything that adds or removes color is game for a DIY project.

In this case, I'm using old-school bleach to make a cool design on a boring black T-shirt. What I like about using bleach as an art medium is that you never quite know what you're going to get. It's one of my favorite "big reveal" crafts. The makeup of the fabric, the thickness, and the color all interplay, and then there's the whole bleach factor. After I bleach my fabric, I like to add a contrasting color on top to give it more personality -- because sometimes the bleached look results in an icky hue.

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How to Make Watercolor Paper Earrings

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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