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Sewing Around the House: A few easy projects!

I’ve been friends with my sewing machine for a bit now, and we have grown closer over the past year. I have kept her near me and loved her very much, but one thing is that I have not been very good about covering her. One reason is because I have the old  (ugly) plastic cover that it came with.

mushpa mensa sewing

I got inspired and decided to make her a little outfit using refurbished material and gifted fabric! Now my sewing machine is not so cold, wont get so much dust, and actually looks pretty!

sewing machine mushpa y mensa

Tip: I used the old plastic cover to draft and cut out the pattern pieces to make the sewing machine cover. You don’t need a pattern as long as you have the old cover. If you  are not afraid to go for it, you can just measure the height and width of your machine and make five rectangles to sew together!

For this project, I  also used  as a guide this sewing book that I like very much, the Sew Everything Workshop: The Complete Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide. It is written by Diana Rupp, and it is fabulous for people getting into the sewing world. It comes with patterns, instructions and lots of practical information about different fabrics and tips as well as historical facts and fun sewing projects.

sew everything workshop diana rupp

This book was part of a gift from Mushpa, who not only included the book, but a class to sew a “Naughty Secretary Skirt” with Ms. Diana Rupp herself! If you live in NYC and want to practice some guided sewing, check out the Make Workshop for amazing classes of  all types!

Tip: Get a sewing book. There are TONS out there. I have a couple that I use as reference all the time. I think it’s helpful for little details, how-to and random information. Any time I get stuck in a project, or need inspiration, I look at them. Also, if you can, take a sewing class. It really helps with understanding the process as a whole, and you get to hang with other sewing aficionados!

make everything workshop diana ruppI also got inspired and made some new yoga pants as well using this book! With some risky adjustments to the pattern, I had just enough scrap fabric to make some  new pants by refurbishing old curtains! Sound of Music anyone?

Fortunately the adjustments that I made to the pattern were fine, and I was able to cut the pieces just right!I thought the fabric would be OK to wear these pants out in public, but they ended up looking too pajama-ish! That’s OK though, because now I have some super fancy pajama pants!

Tip of the Universe: If you have almost enough fabric, but not quite enough, try hoping for the best when doing pattern adjustments! I literally visualized and prayed to the universe that the adjustments I made to the pattern would work… With a little faith, anything is possible!

Finally, the last project for the house I sewed was our darling ironing board. The old cover was gross and old… This was a very easy project though. I pretty much traced a pattern around the ironing board and left a good 4 inches or so of seam allowance.

sew an easy ironing board cover

Then I folded the seam about an inch and sewed it down in order to leave a space for a cord to run through the seam, and left an inch wide opening to be able to pass the cord through. After attaching safety pins to the cord, I pushed the cord  through the seam and covered the ironing board. Pull tight and knot it at the end! Not so bad huh?!

sew an easy ironing board cover

Updating our home, one sewing project at a time!

Much love,


Mushpa y Mensa’s Project Clean House 2014


mushpa y mensas clean hosue project 2014

I begin this year starting fresh with my posts, as I know that in December I was not keeping up with my partner in crime Mushpa’s amazing word press posting skills and motivation.

Here I will start by telling you that it was necessary for us to start the new year with an amazingly clean and organized home. For the past few days Mushpa y Mensa have re-energized our apartment, thrown out unnecessary trash, given away unused items, and said good bye to old memories, to make space for the journeys of the new year!


My favorite project so far has been re-organizing the kitchen cabinets. We used old jars of pasta sauces and pickles, and  we cleaned them and re-labeled them in order to super organize everything from baking soda and stevia, to oats and chia seeds.  We also bought spices sold in bulk so we refilled empty spice jars, and re-labeled others for new spices! You don’t need anything fancy to make the labels…only card-stock, pen and tape…and voila!


Here are some good tips on what a good New Year Cleaning might be deserving of.

1. Kitchen: Clean all the cabinets inside and out, above and below…. and give away any unused cooking items. Our street-found iron pan, an old recipe book, a coffee grinder and random containers were among the items we left in a brown bag for people to pick and choose from at the entrance of our building.  Some people’s “trash”, other people’s treasures! Reduce, and someone else will most definitely reuse!

2. Bedroom and Studio: We cleaned and are almost finished reorganizing our studio and bedroom, yet one really important aspect of the process was to get rid of (and RECYCLE of course) all old paperwork that only took up space. Sometimes little mementos are nice to keep, and we do so in a small box in our bedroom where later on in they year they will probably be compiled into a scrapbook. Other papers/old pictures/brochures/receipts and such are in the “out” pile. It might seem crazy, but the house feels lighter without these items cluttering everywhere.

environmentally friendly cleaning product

3. Clean clean clean: And I mean clean….everything. I even vacuumed inside the stove stop where my hand and sponge couldn’t work. The best part of this is that you DO NOT NEED any harsh chemical products to have a clean home. We used our trusted Vinegar + Water + Peppermint Oil concoction for every surface. Works like a charm, and it smells nice too.  For the very touch stains, grease grime and soap scum, we use our trusted Bon Ami cleaner. It only has 5 ingredients including limestone, feldspar and baking soda derived from sustainable resources that won’t harm our earth!

Now our home feels lighter with better energy to start a new year. A few good prayers with incense and candles burning will add the perfect touch to the amazing energy that circles our home….

From our clean home, we wish you all a very Happy New Year!

Happy into the New Year!


Much love,

Mushpa y Mensa


Officially Mushpa, Officially Mensa

We are delighted to let you and the world know that we are official!

On November 3, 2013 Mushpa y Mensa went on a small field trip to the Kings County Clerk Office. Here we registered our name, paid a fee, and got a nice stamp of approval to become a real business in Brooklyn, NY!

Here are some pictures of the process and some tips….

1. We bought a “Business Certificate for Partnership” at a Stationary that provides legal documents. For a partnership you have to get form X74. They cost about $3. Fill it out with BLACK ink! (Thank you Mushpa for double checking on the small details!).

Business Certificate Brooklyn

After that you have to sign it in front of a public notary and boom! You are ready to move on. We found a notary close to the County Clerk’s Office.  He sold candy and snacks too!

Business Certificate Brooklyn

2. We went to 360 Adams St. (room 189) were the King’s County Clerk office is located and went through 3 separate windows to get this processed. It was very quick! You give them your signed certificate, the name of your business, Mushpa y Mensa for us, and jump to the next window to pay a fee.  In their website they have the following information on fees:

“Fee for filing $100.00
Fee for certification $10.00 for certified copy
Fee for image copies $ 0.25 per page


Business Certificate Brooklyn

3. With the receipt of your paid fees you approach the last window and patiently await your stamped certificate! Below is Mushpa being so patient and very excited!

Business Certificate Brooklyn

4. You did it! and by you, I mean WE DID IT! Finally we are an officially registered business in Kings County aka Brooklyn, New York! Here is some more information that we found on becoming a business, what type of business, and further registering at local and state level. It is a bit confusing at first, but doing LOTS of reading is very helpful. Make sure you also register for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) which works as a Social Security Number for your business when you have to file taxes with the IRS. You can file form SS-4 online! And if you will be engaging in selling and charging sales tax you also have to get a Certificate of Authority.

Business Certificate Brooklyn

5. Then you CELEBRATE! With our new official Business Certificate, we went to get delicious milkshakes : ) Now we can conduct business officially as Mushpa y Mensa!

Business Certificate Brooklyn

Moving forward! Yep yep!


The Healthiest Dessert: Tofu Chocolate Pudding!

The yummiest, and healthiest dessert you will ever eat….

And you can make it in less than 5 minutes.

chocolate pudding tofu

-1 package of Silken Tofu

-1 tablespoon of sweetener (We like Stevia/Truvia. Adjust if you want more or less. I started sprinkling and kept adding until I reached about 1tbsp.)

-2 tablespoons of powdered cocoa (adjust as well…I started sprinkling and mixing until chocolatey goodness was reached)

-1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Mix all ingredients in a food processor or blender….and boom! That’s it.
It was so good, that I realized that I should probably take a picture after I had finished it all!


Blood on His Hands

Obama Blood on His Hands

American “Citizens” being killed overseas?

By our own government. No trail. Just Boom. It’s a dirty war.

This Big Bro is watching you, me, and us. 

Sometimes I really just don’t know.

And that is what scares me.

We don’t know.

Today in the news, 10% of elementary schools

(the Separate but Equal Blacks and Browns)

in Chicago are closed down. No funds.

Mo’ Money for the Duurty wars.

Money for a little Gitmo, in a little island will keep them shut.

No law, no man’s lives. And 100 days of hunger? Force fed like foie-gras.

Mr. President Hussein, may I call you by your Middle Name?

You have a dark stain in you slacks. 

That law. That pen. Just Exploded in your pants.

Why do you use red ink? Phew! No worries Administrators!

It blends in.

And the stain in your hands?

It’s permanent ink.


This is how I feel.


Seeds: A Handmade Terracotta Necklace (For Sale Now!)

Original and one of a kind terra-cotta necklace.

Each bead is hand rolled, hand made, and polished using the simplest of tools

(hands, a needle and a spoon!)

Mushpa y Mensa Terracotta Clay Necklace

If you are looking for original one of a kind jewelry that no one else will have, and you want to support our small business, and want to support two crafty ladies then this is the piece for you!

Mushpa y Mensa Terracotta Clay Necklace

The main bead is imbedded with a white nacre sea shell. Beautifully strong, resilient and iridescent.

Mushpa y Mensa Terracotta Clay Necklace

You can find it, ponder it, and maybe even purchase it at our Etsy store!


Art Session at Dare Devil Tattoo



So remember how Mushpa is getting a tattoo? Well here is the first session!

We went to Dare Devil Tattoo, where Michelle Myles took the original design and adapted it to make it fit around the already tattooed fairy.

The frame was made smaller, and it fits perfectly in her arm!

tattoo rococo frame with fairy

Ouch! Two hours of a needle piercing through your skin, all while having a casual conversation about old movies and what not.

And there she is all happy and bandaged up!

tattoo rococo frame with fairy

After cleaning it up, the close ups look nice! So far the outline is done, and it is so exciting to finally see this actually on skin rather than paper!

tattoo rococo frame with fairy

It is still a little red, so she has to give it some time to heal up enough to begin the shading…

tattoo rococo frame with fairytattoo rococo frame with fairy

I cant wait to see it finished! In a couple of weeks she will have the final piece all done!


: )


New Bracelet for Sale!

Check it out.

New on Etsy!

homemade polymer clay bracelet

Home-made corn starch based polymer clay.

homemade polymer clay bracelet

Hand-made beads with turquoise accents.

homemade polymer clay bracelet

Orange color made with 100% natural and organic dyes (turmeric based).

homemade polymer clay bracelet

Designed and Made with Love by Mushpa y Mensa.



Homemade Clay: An Inconvenient Truth…

So you try to be conscious and it ends up you didn’t do much better than you originally thought you would.

I looked, and searched for home-made clay recipes all over the internet. I was looking for a clay that would be malleable yet durable enough to make beautiful things, cheap enough to produce and make over and over again, and a recipe that didn’t use nasty or toxic ingredients.

homemade polymer clay

And I found one! It was perfect….or so I thought.

The ingredients?

-1 cup of Non-Toxic Elmer’s glue

-3/4 to 1 cup of Corn Starch

-2 tbsp of mineral oil  Olive Oil

-1 tbsp of lemon juice

homemade polymer clay

Not so toxic, right?…. Well, I looked into what mineral oil really is, and essentially it is the “by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline and other petroleum-based products from crude-oil”. That same oil in the clear bottle and the pink cap that you put on a baby’s bum bum, that stuff (plus some fragrance), comes from an incredible unsustainable source. On top of that fun fact, the World Health Organization  “classifies untreated or mildly treated mineral oils as Group 1 carcinogens to humans.” (Source) Group 1 carcinogens = DEFINITELY CARCINOGENIC TO HUMANS. What?!?!

So since I am being all aware and into this, I decided to replace mineral oil with OLIVE OIL!

homemade polymer clay

Cool… That’s great. So I am happy I’ve done my research and I feel better about myself.
I go about following this recipe, which at first I was hating, because it did not come out like it said. After reading the comments from other people though, I cooked the dough longer and realized that the most crucial thing is to KNEAD the clay when it’s REALLY HOT. Then all the parts will blend.

ps. I also added turmeric to the recipe to give it some natural color.

homemade polymer clay

But then something else happened…another question that should’ve been obvious to ask, but I did not. Where the heck does Elmer’s glue come from???

Oh here we go again….. Elmer’s glue is made of polyvinyl acetate which, you guessed it, comes from petrochemical sources. Come on world!!! Really? Which really makes me think about all the “non-toxic” things we buy, that are actually quite toxic to our environment, our bodies, and our world! Of course elmer’s glue is toxic if it’s source and main ingredient when extracted from the ground  pollutes and kills everything around it!

Agrrr… I’m not so happy about this at all. I want to be able to make my own clay/dough at home, with decent ingredients that won’t harm you and me.

homemade polymer clay

I haven’t experimented again, but I will once I find the perfect ingredients.

In the mean time, I will try to use up all my “non-toxic” glue, and try some more natural glue recipes. And lesson learned. Check ALL ingredients and where they come from regardless of now “natural” and non-toxic they are.



Corks! What To Do With Them?…

This is an idea I came up with last night after making a couple of pieces, which by the way will soon bee buzzin’ at our Etsy store!!!)…

cork DIY home made idea

These little corks have been sitting in this little chinese take out food box for months, and nothing has really inspired me to use them. Yes there are a couple of cute ideas out there, but nothing really moved me, sabes?

Until I went into an o.d. organizing frenzy of the jewelry-making boxes…

Got some messy string?

messy string? use corks and organize!

Wrap them around some champagne corks! (We got some at a wine shop. They collect them sometimes,  and we asked if we could take some and they said sure!)

Make sure to make a slit on the side and on the top so you can catch the string and it doesn’t become lose. I used an x-acto knife.

And now they are organized, they look nice, AND I found something to do with these corks! Fiu!

corks DIY


Shall we celebrate and open a nice bottle of wine now?