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A Creative Life

(56 entries)

Ever since I can remember, I am constantly drawn to design and create handmade products to serve my needs. I like to do things myself, and my mind is equally artistic and analytical, so my ideas usually involve multi-step processes that attempt to create beauty and function out of simple and raw materials. I like to use my own art in the products I make. I enjoy engineering and executing transformative and creative processes. I love using my hands to manifest the ideas I visualize in my mind. I live to create, and transform, and to make “gold”.

Shark Wave »

Joaquin’s latest film is shark drama at its highest. I helped animating characters or filming, but he took charge of direction, production, and the final story.

Creativity —my nature and healing »

Learning about “talents” and my nature as a creator to dissolve one more layer of the limiting thought that I need to do and be more than I already am.

Ode to Mint »

Weedy, expansive, and perfect in my garden and kitchen, I love my mint and all the sweet and savory treats I make with it. Here’s to many more years together!

Home Reorg: The Bathroom / Laundry Room »

A frugal makeover for our bath/laundry room repurposing two wooden baby gates to create a clothesline concealed behind closet doors.

Tis the season to be sewing »

This winter I went on a streak of sewn product making which Kiki joined. We created a nice collection of currently needed items and handmade repurposed goods.

The Food Garden v.2014 »

Snapshots of our 2014 home harvest; my return to gardening and the beginning of a beautiful and deeper friendship with my land and food.

“Leon”, a Filmmaking Project »

As the time for vocal exercises started to approach its end, and with an emerging motivation for animated Disney films, I noticed that Joaquin was using my computer to record his own movies. It was so exciting!… Completely spontaneously, he’d impersonate characters and record himself with PhotoBooth, and he’d even bring costume props to enhance […]

“Leon” Film Premiere »

Time to make the popcorn and get cozy… It’s finally time for the world premiere of “Leon”, a filmmaking project that kept Joaquin and I busy and very motivated all February and part of March. The movie is about a little lion and his friendship and adventures with two friends he meets along the way. […]

Steak Pimienta »

Joaquin and I have been working on a serious filmmaking project for several weeks, and we exported the final movie today!… 61 mins with credits as Joaquin set out to do. This is a short clip with one of my favorite scenes. It took me a long time to edit it because I wanted to […]

A Small Human Friend for Joaquin »

A few snapshots during the making of Rindin, a Waldorf doll I made for Kiki to serve and play as his first human friend.

Myself, realigned »

I’m slowly getting back to making… Two years after Joaquin’s diagnosis, the urgency to save my babe has come down, and the need to breathe for myself has come up. Old passions and hobbies felt wrong for a long time (I felt tons of guilt around them), but I’m slowly coming out of that one. […]

Of Child Models and Other Demons »

If I have ever been able to get nice photos of Joaquin wearing my handmade products for kids, those days are starting to fade surely, and not very slowly. These days, now that we walk, run, roll, play, and have an agenda of our own, every time I pull out the camera and aim it […]

Cool it down, Mafe Maria »

The last time I wrote (feels like a year ago), I happily reported that I had finished my kids’ size chart and was starting to create standardized patterns for my “line” of shirts… OH MY GOD!… How I underestimated the effort and scope creep ahead of me… What hit me since then was a wave […]

Getting Serious »

For all of those who may be sore (or wondering if I’m still alive) because I have not returned their emails or have replied with one–liners, because I have not checked their Facebook updates, and I’ve kept ignoring requests to chat… I have a very good excuse: I’m working. Well… not working–working. But at least […]

Shirt in Progress »

It’s that time of life again when the 24mth Naartjie hoodie that looked perfect last week, suddenly wraps Joaquin’s belly like a tight (and short) hug. Also recently, Don Joaquin has decided that there’s nothing more disgusting in life than a cotton button–up shirt. Knits only! — he seems to demand. Is this an indication […]

Dusting the Studio (Part 2) »

Or perhaps I should call this one… “The Recycled Paperboard Nazi”, given the huge stash of empty paperboard and cardboard boxes I have amassed, and the way I protest every time Joey fails to notify me when he throws away any box I could potentially use. One of the things I most enjoy about selling […]

Dusting the Studio (Part 1) »

With only a couple of slow days after the hectic month I’ve had, my brain is starting to play its typical games… Those where it tries to make me feel guilty for not being busy, for not being immersed on accomplishing something, for not tackling the items on my To–do–when–I’m–not–busy list… Only after TWO miserable […]

DIY chunky alphabet flash cards in Spanish »

My process making chunky alphabet flash cards in Spanish (or should I say “Tarjetas ilustradas del alfabeto / abecedario”) for my toddler.

D’onjoaquin Hated Halloween »

Remembering the satisfaction I got from making Joaquin’s pirate costume last year, it was kind of implied that this Halloween he would wear a mommy-made costume again. So after a short talk with Joey, we decided that the only requirement for this year’s character would be to include a mustache, just because we loved last […]

Back to my roots »

A Colombian vueltiao hat for babies, my own version of a traditional product from my heritage which seems to have become my most successful and original creation.

Turns out, I can actually make bags (YESSS!) »

So, for those of you who may read this site and may not have relationships with me on Flickr or Facebook… Anybody left?… … For you, I feel the need to complete the story of my recent outburst and finish it with a happy ending. But to get here, first I… Drowned my pain with […]

My Signature Style »

Oh dear… Anabel Sousa, creator behind the super chic “Crear es Creer”, has honored me throwing this challenge my way… She’s figured out hers, and now asks me to define which of my artisan works can be considered my “sello personal”. Meaning — as I understand it — which item (or collection of items) has […]

Much ado about… »

A future clutch! Remember this fabric I handprinted like seven centuries ago? Well, you may have forgotten. But I?… I have spent the last seven months since I printed it watching it laying on my craft table. Every day. Right there, staring at me like “you pussy, I bet you’re not going to make anything […]

Cat Sleep Sack The Third »

Is it ok for a 19-month-old toddler to still sleep on a wearable blanket?... I wondered when my baby recently outgrew his XL Sozo sleep sack. I didn't have to think too much about it, though. He asked for a handmade cat sleep sack, and so I delivered.

Recycling Project: Ripped jeans become capris »

Sewing tutorial on how to turn jeans ripped at the knees into capri pants.

Exploring New Avenues »

Here’s something I have come to know about myself over time… I need recognition. I hate to admit it to myself, but it’s the truth. On my first jobs out of college, and then, out of Business School, I got plenty of recognition from all of my bosses, and bosses’ bosses. Life was great and […]

First Easter Egg Hunt »

My playgroup friends had to explain it all to me… You see, where I come from, Easter is not called “Easter”. It’s “Semana Santa” (Holly Week), a time to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice and perhaps do some sacrifices of our own. Not a time to be running wild and crazy, looking for eggs filled with […]

Much ado about nothing »

Yesterday I used my day off to hand print some fabric in my kitchen. I only got four prints, which is a little disappointing considering all the time it took to prepare for the printing session, set up the work area, and then clean up everything.

What do you think, abuelita? »

As many of you may have noticed, production of playground entries on this site has slowed down considerably since Joaquin was born. While for several months the presence of a newborn was definitely a reason not to create artwork, I can’t blame it all on the poor bollito. Truth is, Joaquin’s birth brought my old […]

A virtual manicure for online selling »

A tutorial on using Photoshop to give my working hands a nice and clean manicure before posting an item for sale on Etsy.

As a gift to the public domain… »

After three years of doing this, our e-Christmas Card has become sort of a tradition many of our people have come to expect. I’ve always loved receiving people’s Holiday cards and letters telling us about their year. When we got married, Joey wanted us to join the tradition, but I’ve never thought I’m a very […]

Why am I not surprised? »

Sunday evening Joey finds me making a onesie for Joaquin. I tell him that I’m going to bed early with him. I’m a little bummed. Nobody will buy my stuff at Etsy. Just a couple of people show interest in my hats, and nobody seems to care for the mini wallet. I’m never going to […]

Sticking my patita in etsy »

YES! YES! YES! I finally opened my tiny etsy shop. As I say in my shop’s announcement, I probably should have waited to have more items to sell, but come on!… making two vueltiao hats with the little time I get away from my bollito is no small feat. As the perfectionist business–background person that […]

In Progress »

This is one of those projects I usually come up with, that sound like a great, relatively easy–to–do idea, and then end up taking a lot of time and work. But that’s why I love it. Probably doesn’t have any etsy potential because the price I’d have to set for it to be worth my […]

Make — for a living
(or at least for my own sanity!) »

Web design is cool and all, but after several years of doing it, just like with any other job, my passion for some aspects of it has diminished a bit. I’m not sure that I can pull this off, but if I could, I would love, LOVE!, to become an illustrator, and to get back […]

Painting Stripes Part 3: Taping »

I wanted to paint perfectly straight stripes in our baby’s nursery. This is what I did to tape them.

Painting Stripes Part 2: Layout »

With colors selected, now I needed to decide on the layout of the stripes. That is: How many stripes, how wide, how uniform?… How to keep them from boxing us in the small room.

Painting Stripes Part 1: Color »

Subtle color contrast was an important factor in the success of my stripes project. Here I share my experience selecting the right paint colors for our baby’s room.

Painting a Mural »

After my recent success painting a beautiful mural for our baby’s room, I thought I’d share my process and some tips and tricks.

Nest Planning »

Current plan and design for our baby's room

DIY Pregnancy Jeans »

Sewing maternity clothes: How to alter an existing pair of jeans for pregnancy

Happy Birthday To Me »

Reviewing my first year blogging

Illustrator Tennis with Marla Scott »

Playing an iterative illustration process with a good friend

DIY Reupholstering »

My first attempt at reupholstering furniture

Computer Drawing Tutorial »

Tutorial illustrating the creation of Sophie’s digital portrait drawing with vector graphics software.

Mafe Maria Realigns »

Discussing the goals and design process behind the recent redesign (or realignment) of Mafe Maria, my personal web site.

Real simple, I mean it! »

Looking for simplicity in the web design I create for myself.

Our Wedding Photos »

Teaser for our soon-to-come wedding photo gallery. Five years after the fact, but better late than never.

Wimberley Landscape »

Commentary on one of my watercolor landscapes. This piece was painted from life, outdoors.

So Amazed »

Amazed by the development of fruit on my tiny potted black bean plant.

Color for The Office »

Visualizing colorful paint colors for my web design studio with the help of Photoshop

Transferring Digital Images to Canvas »

Experiments testing different techniques to transfer digital images of abstract art to canvas or fabric

DIY Abstract Art »

Experiments creating abstract decorative art from crops of a bad watercolor painting.

A Growing Project »

An amateur's gardening experiment attempting to grow plants from seed and train them as bonsai

Must Conquer Vector Art »

First serious attempt at figure drawing in vector format.

Working with la Tierra »

Last weekend we spent both days planting a few rose bushes in our backyard. The work reminded me of one of my sweetest memories from college: Fundagro 1991