You all know Kathy Cano-Murillo as the Crafty Chica – author of numerous Latino and glitter style craft books such as Crafty Chica’s Guide to Artful Sewing, The Crafty Chica Collection and Crafty Chica’s Art de la Soul: Glittery Ideas to Liven Up Your Life. But what you may not know and I didn’t realise until recently either is that Kathy also writes crafty fiction – Waking Up in the Land of Glitter received a lot of attention as a fun easy to read novel about women who come together through their love of craft.
This blog tour is about her latest crafty novel – Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing. About a girl with a dream and a love of sparkle, who loses sight of what is important on her journey to greatness, but finally redeems herself with the help of her crafty friends. A great rainy weekend read, it has it all – love and romance, friendship and family, blogging, craft and glitter, there is also a bad guy and naturally a fairy god mother.
Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing pays tribute to Carmen Miranda, and I loved finding out about this amazing women – a Portuguese-born Brazilian samba singer, actress and film star (1940s and 1950s), known for her extravagant costumes, hats and jewellery – particularly her fruit hats. Check out her gorgeous costume in Week-End In Havana”, 1941, from Fox Studios (youtube video) Don’t you just love it! Lots of crafty inspiration there.
Today Kathy joins us to have a chat about her craft philosophy and the writing of this book and gives us a practical writing exercise to work on too!
Kathy’s book/blog tour is huge and she is visiting a lot of writing and craft blogs to discuss her latest book – check out the whole blog tour here.
Craft and life philosophy: we vowed to live a life of art, music and writing
When my husband and I were married in 1990, we vowed to live a life of art, music and writing. Now, 21 years later, we’re still doing that! It takes a lot of “hustle” to keep that kind of lifestyle going, but it all comes down to doing what you love. It makes all the sweat and tears worthy! But between writing, painting, designing projects and blogging, it’s easy to get overloaded on being creative. That’s where writing steps in. I started writing long before I began to craft. It has always been a release for me. I’m able to step away from my busy life and build someone else’s. It’s much like creating a fantasy world. When I craft I often think about my storylines and characters, that way when I sit down to write, I have a wealth of images and ideas to draw from.
A practical exercise in writing: Find a weird item or art piece you made and think about what kind of person would buy it
I do think writing can be a great exercise for artists. Find a weird item or art piece you made and think about what kind of person would buy it, think about a back story of why they liked it. Write it out and embellish with action verbs, visual setting, colors, and mannerisms. Make it a theme for an art journal spread. See it with your mind and then sit back down at your art table and translate it. Not only is it a fun exercise, but it will be a cool story to share about your piece when it comes to selling it or showcasing it.
About this book: I believe all crafts we make are our way of processing emotions
When it came to writing Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing, I introduced my main character as a thirty-year-old who loves to sew and create. She teaches a freeform sewing class, but not all of her students are as skilled as she. I did my best to show a story arc where they began at zero and grew into their own degree of crafting, and then took it in their own personable direction. Of course, there is a lot of drama involved. I believe all crafts we make are our way of processing emotions, so in my novels, I want to show what happened in these characters’ live to push them to the point of not wanting to create – but needing to!