Tag Archives: diy

We Got Into the Leaf Festival

We got into the Leaf Festival. I was unaware of how much I was pulling away from faith, mysticism and the Truth until I watched this video. I have been worrying about bills, money, and bullshit and forgetting about miracles, beauty and truth. Logistics are a lie. I am blessed and amazing and God is good. I’ve got nothing to worry about.

Everything is better than okay. I got into the Leaf Festival and have nothing to fear but fear itself.



Mushpa y Mensa Super Summer Update

Hello Mushpa y Mensa Super Fans!

Yes, you see right, it’s Mushpa y Mensa’s Super Summer update, after a few months of silence. We are happy to say that in the last three months, Mushpa y Mensa have begun their “Gypsy Market Life”. Already, on this journey, we have met quite a few amazing people, like the folks at Seaglass Salvage Market, Brooklyn Arts Center, Beacon House Inn, and Satellite Lounge to name a few. We have also danced and tasted many sweet wines at the Duplin Winery’s Main Squeeze Music and Wine Festival, as well as met dozens of new, fun people at the annual Azalea and Strawberry Festivals in North Carolina. ;] We even partnered up with Wilmington’s Earth Day Alliance and enjoyed a wonderful Earth Day Celebration at Hugh MaCrae Park.

It’s been surreal so far.

It’s amazing what faith, love, encouragement, and a little help from our friends can do. In terms of our little cottage industry, we are, as you say, busting a hump. We are constantly checking ourselves on how we can make things better from our art, to our business, to our life.

We have actually just updated the “Photos of Our Peeps” page on Mushpa y Mensa’s site. We added a photo uploading tool, so you can upload pictures of you in our organic tees, wearing our amazing jewelry, hugging our lavender filled plush pets, or even just keeping your hands cool with one of our coffee cozies. :]

And in terms of our Art? Well we keep on bringing to life tons of ideas in our head. For example, we recently created 3.5 new shirt designs. A cool Octopus Olivia with an Anchor Tattoo on her forehead,as well as R6: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Replenish, Reflect, Reimagine inspired by Earth Day.

We also have new organic Pima cotton relaxed fit tops that are flying out of the truck. Here is an example of the Pima tops with one of our new designs, Argema Mittrei, a female moth. Lastly, we spruced up Robot Girl and added a cute heart. All these designs we print for the ladies, the gents, and of course the smallest people around.

Mushpa y Mensa have also been focusing on custom shirts that have been selling off Maya so fast we don’t even have time to list them on our Etsy shop!

Spread the art, spread the love.

A few questions answered…

Where can I find the Art Truck?

Follow us on Twitter @mushpamensa. We are constantly posting when and where we will be. There is also an events page on our site, www.mushpaymensa.com/events we keep updated, but Twitter is best for the most up to date information.

We are doing some art shows, markets and fleas, but are hunting to find good spots to park around town. We are partnering up with cool people like the folks at the Beacon House Inn on Carolina Beach and Satellite Bar and Lounge in Wilmington.

And for all the natives and people in the know, since we are new in town, feel free to hit us up at info@mushpamensa.com or our contact page with any ideas where to park, festivals to do or whether you’d like us to rock a party or event with you!

Are you going on the road anytime soon?

We want to explore the grounds of NC and the surrounding area, so we will keep the max to weekend trips. But worry not, we will definitely be making it into the mid-west and west-coast! Maybe even an occasional trip to NYC sooner than you think!

If you have any questions about anything, make sure to ask! We love to hear from you all.

Until the next super exciting Mushpa y Mensa’s and Maya, Magical Mobile Art Machine update we say good day!

With lots of love,

               Cara and Maria Emilia


Maya’s Magical Zine

Mushpa y Mensa
Hello Super Mushpa y Mensa Fans! We know it has been killing you waiting for our next post. Well here it is Maya’s Makeover Zine!!! We will not go on and on about our amazing zine as it is pretty self explanatory, but here is what Maya’s zine includes:


  • Our truck’s full makeover archive with before & after pictures of the project.
  • Mushpa y Mensa DIY tips a.k.a. our gained knowledge we give unto you!
  • How-to everyday eco-tips
  • Delicious food recipes
  • Plus Mushpa y Mensa’s greatest hits and inspirational thoughts from our blog, “La Casa“!

All this in a fantastical and printable PDF.

Want some more Mushpa y Mensa?  Check out www.mushpamensa.com

With much love,

Mushpa y Mensa
(a.k.a. Cara Elaine and Maria Emilia)

Mushpa y Mensa’s Fall Update

Hello To All of Our People!

We here at Mushpa y Mensa wanted to send out a Fall 2014 update about what’s going on with Mushpa y Mensa’s Magical Motor Machine Makeover! We wanted to let you all know where your gracious support has taken us thus far.

Solar It
Solar It

With the help of Alberto Borja, Mensa’s magician electrician father, we set up the amazing solar powered system to power all the electrical things Maya, our mobile art truck, will need. We installed a 150 watt solar panel on the roof of the truck, hooked it up in a series to two 6 volt golf cart batteries, and did some serious wiring. We did this so we could set up track lights, LED lights, a fan, plus working outlets to charge our laptops and basically work off the grid with the help of the sun! It’s pretty amazing.

Workin' It
Workin’ It

We have become best friends with our jigsaw, circular saw, wire cuter and drill. We cut plywood not only for the electrical set up, but also to put up new walls, and to create different types of storage boxes! We have screwed in, nailed, spackled, siliconed, sanded, painted, painted again, wallpapered and distressed many a thing inside our truck. Our old dashboard got a fresh coat of robotic silver paint, and we built a curvy, new, purple dashboard panel with cup holders!

Making It Happen
Making It Happen

Soon to come:

– installation of floor

– birch poles to hang our shirts from!

– a million little touches

We're Getting It Done We're Getting It Done
We’re Getting It Done We’re Getting It Done

We will be done on November 25th when we get our marmoleum flooring installed. We can’t wait! Just in time to hit up all the Holiday Markets!!! :]

Stay tuned!

Much love,

Mushpa y Mensa aka Cara and Maria Emilia


The 100th Post of La Mushpa y La Mensa

Jefe Helping
Jefe Helping…

Mensa and I are always talking about consuming less, needing less, getting rid of excess. Things that anchor us to one place be it literally, monetarily or mentally.

We do little things like take our worn out old clothes, wash them and then cut them into a million little pieces to stuff our Plush Pets…

Plush Rabbit
Pierre, the Lavender, Recycled Fabric, Eco-Felt Plush Pet

…or make some deeelicious seitan from scratch, while whipping up some organic, coconut oil based mayo… I personally am extremely gifted in mixing alcohol with almost any “leftover” liquids (frozen or flowing) and it tasting like nothing you’ve ever had before (in a very good way).

Drinks on Me
Cocktails Anyone?

Some bigger things are Mensa creating an amazing backpack out of an old bag, after her million year old bag disintegrated right before our very eyes. The very backpack we packed with soy milk (something we have talked about learning how to make since we consume so much of it…stay tuned) and such this weekend after working in the co-op (don’t ask). We biked over 8 miles and this revitalized beauty made it through like a champion!

The Bag
The Bag That Rocks

We also made our fantastical Mushpa y Mensa cloth sign out of old pillow cases and fabric pieces. See below…

Mushpa y Mensa Sign
Mushpa y Mensa – Arts Not Crafts!

We are making it happen more and more every day, but we need a challenge….something to keep our momentum soaring towards our destiny. What we came up with is…well let’s start slow, why don’t you get to know us first…see what we mean when we say “from scratch”.

From the Inside
La Mensa’s Robot Girl With a Twist

We are here for a reason, all of us. Let’s make some stuff together, see what we think, then figure something out. Let’s connect as they say, in a good way.

This is our 100th blog post and the start of something gargantuous! :] Life, as La Mensa would say is, “pretty bad-ass.”

– La Mushpa

Out with the Old…In with the Re-vamped!

So my backpack was on its last strides… I have had it for seven years and it has served me well. It had been to many places around the world, including little towns in Italy, many Christmases in Ecuador, and it carried everything from heavy college books, community organizing flyers and papers as well as our regular weekly groceries. She was definitely a trooper.

So now I need a new backpack…. And what better way to keep it real than to bust one out yourself! So instead of buying a bag, I’ve decided that I will make it! Not from scratch, BUT I will re-vamp a small bag I had,. I’ll add  a couple of pockets, new heavy duty straps, a new flap with velcro….all done with my little hands!

So far it’s been a challenge. I didn’t think it would take so long….but it is not as complicated as it seems.

I had the foundation….

DIY Backpack

It’s a backpack with “ugly grandma fabric” but I think it is still very cute. I exchanged it with my sister in a clothes swap. It had a funny zipper an the straps were broken down from so much use.

DIY Backpack

I measured everything and sketched out a drawing of what it would look like with approximate measures.

The seam-ripper was my best friend for a couple of hours….while I un-did the previous straps, the zippers and the lining in order to have full access and revamp all the necessary details.

DIY Backpack

Since I had the foundation, I cut out patterns for the POCKETS, the FLAP, and the STRAPS. I didn’t use an offical pattern for the pocket or flaps, and I instead free handed the drawing making little updates as I moved along! I did use a pattern online for the straps through, and drew with the measurements given the two straps using newspaper.

DIY Backpack

I cut out all the main pieces and placed them with pins to see what it would look like…. it’s resembling something fancy now!

DIY Backpack

Using some bias tape, and an old pillow case for the lining, I finished the main flap, and the small pockets…. and so far its looking good.

This is the first update, but I will post the finished product once I am done this week.

Mushpa and myself have been having conversations about a bigger and better project in relation to this backpack. We have been asking ourselves…. Why not make it?

If I need a backpack….and we have the capable hands and tools to make it ourselves, then why not make it!?

It makes sense, right?

Now on to the finishing this beauty….

Until next time!




Get your Pollock on! (Easy to Make Business Cards)

Need a quick and cheap idea to make your own business cards?

1. Gather some card stock paper, a paintbrush and some water colors and prepare to make a little mess….and now make a mess!!! Splatter some water colors all over the place! Get you Pollock on : )

DIY home made business card ideas

2. Let it dry and cut into small rectangles. If you have a custom stamp (which we will be having soon) put it on the back, or just hand write your information down.


Easy Peasy!!!


Roses are for Framing

So we recently acquired a small mirror that needed some up-dating. And what else to paint on it but pretty flowers!

DIY Rose Hand painted Frame

I forgot to take before pictures, but it was regular medium brown wood.

Here are some pictures of how it turned out!


I used acrylic paint. For the background I mixed a little black, some orange and white paint.

DIY Rose Hand painted Frame

I also used a palette knife to give texture to the flowers and the leafs.

I finalized with a paint marker for small details and highlights….y listo!

New frame for the studio!

DIY Rose Hand painted Frame

Happy Sunday painting until late hours of the night is always fun!!!

DIY Rose Hand painted Frame



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?


Re-Vamp your Ikea Lamp!

So yes, I admit it. I have been sucked in by the Ikea vortex plenty of times.

 I have bought several items at Ikea which I have been pretty happy with. Sheets, place mats, cups and a recycling bin, as well as other random things that we needed for the house.

orgel lamp ikea diy

It is affordable and they have a pretty decent mission and vision about how such a profitable and huge corporation should go about in doing decent business practices. I am sure that they are making their good $$$ with Ikea stores all over the world, and with such hype that comes with it. Unlike nasty Wal-Mart and other super stores though, they do try to promote a sustainable life at home, they are pretty conscious about their energy & resources, and they try to partner with organizations in order to help communities and people with their ongoing success. If all businesses had their same practices, we would be in a better place today. It doesn’t mean they are doing it perfectly, but it is a start.

BUUUUUUTTTT….. there’s an issue with buying from Ikea….many people shop there too. I even saw my sheets in a movie set once! Ah! Not MY sheets!!!

So what to do?

Last night I was waiting for Mushpa to get home, and I felt like I needed to work on something light and fun. And that’s when I remembered the Ikea lamp in our bedroom….

So generic, so cost effective, and so…….plain? So I decided to do a little Ikea DIY and update our lamp. Since the lamp shade is made of thick paper, I decided that I could use some water colors to give it a nicer look.

Some mustard-ish orange and a pretty pink. Ta-da! Not so generic anymore right?!

orgel lamp ikea diy

Now it looks like a tequila sunrise in our Mediterranean blue bedroom!

Fun times! : )