Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Vegetarian protein bars

In an effort to support my daughter wanting to be a full vegetarian and myself a casual one...and trying to find healthier (more affordable) homemade alternatives to store bought nutrition bars. I found this recipe online and naturally tweaked it. It did not take the time to do the math and calculate nutrition facts, but will with my next batch since they Turned out amazing! So here is what I used. 

1/2 cup gluten free oats
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup Cooke tri-color quinoa (cooked)
1/2 cup q'ia superfood blend of hemp, chia, buckwheat with cranberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla 

First, I soaked the oats in the yogurt in a bowl covered in plastic wrap in the counter overnight. Cooked the quinoa. Mixed it all together and formed bars on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pressed a few almonds into the top of bars. Baked for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Nice evenly golden color. So initially I made 9 bars, but now that I see how they rose and spread, next time I will strech them to 12 bars. Next time also, I will calculate nutrition info. 

Easy recipe to alter too, if you want different dry ingredients or vegan. 



Enjoy! 


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Belated Happy New Year

I hope this finds each of you into 2015 happy, healthy and rested. After the wild month December is, January's arrival is always welcome to me.

Have any of you come up with a word for your year? If you have, please share it, would love to hear how others are focusing on 2015.   Speaking of focusing...after MUCH internal debate....FOCUS is my word for this year.   Let year, I don't even remember if I chose a word and I certainly didn't stick to it if I did.

But so far, I am. Hey now, yes it is only 20 days or so into the new year and all of my resolutions are still sticking! Yay me! 

Any who, been listening and reading some fantastic creative business advice from many sources to aid me in this newfound or rediscovered? "Focus". I am so thankful for the free resources that come in the email from sites such as Lila Rogers, Tara Gentile, Thriving Artists, Corey Huff, Lesley Riley, Meg Auman, Handmadeology, etc. taking what I can use and applying it big time to my business. 

Getting ready for Glitterfest on February 28th and I cannot wait to share with you my class of Art is You, in Petaluma end of April. So honored and excited to teach with such esteemed artists at that venue. February 1st I can share. Can't wait! Hope some of you can make it to the best art retreat around. 

Here is a bit of what I did today for my workspace. streamlined = more focus. I'm not a huge messy artist. It freaks me out when things get in too much disarray.


Brought in a light from the garage so when it is dark outside and I lose natural light, I'm not straining because the other light source is behind me. This is my main workable. Just the corner of my studio. 


Rearranged the paint in my carts for easier access.


Picked up this fabulous wood garden carrier yesterday and thought, "hey, supply caddy, yes!"


My "bright idea" baby is happy here to helping me light my way. 


Made at least a hundred of these tray display pieces over the years and kept none...so, made this one today for my studio and I love it! 


Painted this parasol this week. Having a parasol painting class in my studio next Saturday and can't wait.  The theme for this parasol stems from a lot of my introspection I've been doing business wise. In focusing, I've had to try to harness my creative schizophrenia. In doing so, it's made me think of what I love more than anything...COLOR.  Rich, vibrant, happy, glorious color...(and flowers, and dolls, and painting, and sculpting). See what I mean? Maybe my word of the year should be harness...or rein.  Lol. 

happy new year and do share what you have been up to and what your word of the year is, if you have one and want to! 

Xoxo,
Lisa



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Parasol painting class

First class of the year, ladies!
Let's paint a parasol!

Last year I did several parasols for customers and Art is You retreats. Sooo many requests have come in from my local students to offer this as a class!

No painting experience required. I will guide you!   Class will be Saturday, January 24th from 10-3. Class is $75. Light lunch included. Minimal supply list.
Location, My studio.  Email me to sign up! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Homeless Man

Homeless man on my street
digs through recycle bins

peering from my window
he puts a magazine gently in his pocket

perhaps his only entertainment

He moves onto the next bin

I scurry to find a recyclable to offer
only one water bottle
half empty
or 
half full?

pour part on two plants
and the rest in my mouth

run outside

Approach him

a rugged
weathered
bearded
tired
face
pretty brown eyes
peer at me.

Pensive.

Surprised.

Handing him my one little bottle,
I apologize for not having more to offer

we rarely have cans or bottles

He graciously thanks me,
nodding his head.

I return to my home
He
to the next recycle bin.

- Lisa Loria
12/10/14


After I ate breakfast I threw some food in a bag and some bottled water. 
Hopped in my car and tried to find him. no luck.

Wish I had thought of packing him food before he left my street.


Monday, October 27, 2014

HALLOWEEN Giveaway!!!

Time for a HALLOWEEN giveaway!!!

WHY???

Well, recently I just about gave up on making art to sell.
Last few months have really felt like a GIANT struggle to make anything.
Getting ready for shows was hard...I just felt lost,
then my favorite dog died.

And I felt even sadder.

But, after over 500 reads to my 
"Reality Check"
blog post...LOTS of emails from friends,
some savvy advice from a few other friends.
AND
a very long and hard look at myself and my business structure...
I've been re-inspired.

(More like I bitch slapped myself and have put my big girl Business panties on)

I don't recant anything I wrote in that blog post and several women in
this business have concurred regarding what I wrote.

SOOOO....look or some major changes around here and I have 
a SUPER fun Surprise I will share in the next couple of months.

Other reason for the GIVEAWAY???

I LOOOOOVE Halloween!!!



So, here are the Deets.

Leave a comment on this blog, subscribe to my newsletter
(upper right corner of blog) and 
go to my new facebook Fan page,
like it and leave a comment there too.

Tell me which character above you would like to win!

"She's a Little Batty"
or
"Limey the Monster"

On Halloween, this Friday...I will choose
two winners!  

Look for a video of my drawing the winners this Friday!

Good Luck and THANK YOU for being such great friends
and followers!

XOXO



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Last Classes of 2014

When I started the "little Miss" series of classes earlier this year,  based on a doll I have been making and selling for the past few years..I had no idea how my students would inspire me.  It has been both a pleasure and an adventure holding classes here in my home studio. Getting to know these women, help them grow and be fearless with painting eyes and eyebrows!!!  ;-)  Several ladies came regularly and my gratitude to them is immense.  I am only doing two more classes of this style of doll, not just for the year...but for good.  There are many reasons for this, most of which is purchasing these vintage dolls ONE AT A TIME online and paying sometimes $15 for one, just to be sure I had enough to cover the class or the multiple kit orders from loyal customers located out of state.  But mainly because I am changing my business significantly and these dollies are not part of the new "business Model" I am creating for myself.

Both of the following dolls are inspired by two students in particular...

"Miss Mary's Circus Girl"
Class is Saturday, November 22nd.
9am to 3pm
cost is $110 and includes lunch and all supplies.



The second class will is
"Little Miss Jeanine LOVES Pink"
Class is Saturday, December 6th
10 am-3 pm
Cost is $90 and includes lunch and all supplies


What you should know about my classes...we have FUN.  I am lighthearted and ENCOURAGE you to personalize your doll.  I help my students as much or as little as they need me to.  I have often painted eyes and eyebrows for much of the class.  Tiny painting can be intimidating and I am here to help you! Having the class here in my studio allows us access to LOTS of paint options.  You do NOT have to make your dolls the colors I have.  Have fun with it and make her your own!

I do have a limited number of kits available for both of these dolls, with written instructions.
Circus Kit is $70, Retro Kit is $60...plus shipping.

Email me for to sign up...daydreampainter@aol.com

Also, THANK you for all of the emails, comments, calls and texts from my friends/students/fellow artists regarding my post from a few days ago.

MUCH love to you all!!!

xoxo

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Reality Check

The business of making art/craft for a living is not an easy one.  Far from what some might perceive. To many, it might seem glamourous..."how lucky you are to get to do what you love"  "how lucky you are to get to work in your studio making art".  If you are a realist, you probably see it for what it is.

Here is the reality of it (my reality that is):

Many like me, run our businesses from home.  So looming piles of laundry, housework, dishes, weeds, homework, running kids to/from school, ortho/medical appts, etc, etc...people stopping by to visit, etc.  All of these things very easily creep into your work time.  When you work away from home, these things don't happen, save the emergency call.  Imagine telling your boss, "hey wait a minute while I go change my laundry from the washer to the dryer...or wash the dishes".  There is all too often an assumption that when you work from home, that you have all of the time in the world.  More often having to say "no" to social events because you have a show looming or orders to fill.

Here is more of MY reality for you:

I have been creating "stuff/art/craft" for over 25 years. This is a short list of the things I have mastered over those years...sculpted polymer clay jewelry in the pre-SCULPEY days of using only rock hard FIMO (was my own sales rep and sold to about a dozen stores) also made silk/dried florals, sewed and painted kids clothes/accessories.  These things I sold at two weekly craft fairs, every friday night and every saturday.  I did that a couple of years running until taking care of three small boys (and babysitting other kids/caring for relatives)  took precedence over that. (I bet you can pin the decade to some of the creating I did)  I then created a line of hand painted terra cotta pots...called "Poetic Pots"  as well as painted step stools to display said pots.  These were sold with the aid of a sales rep to many stores.  After one full year of painting over 500 pots and 50 step stools, gears were shifted again, because along came vintage furniture.  Sanded and painted more furniture than I could come close to counting. (why today the thought of painting one piece of furniture makes me shudder)  Painted roses, scenes, greenery, Shabby Chic BEFORE it was a coined phrase. Crackle finishes, sponge, faux marble,  gold leaf...you name it.  LONG before fancy chalk paints.   These pieces were sold to and through several antique stores.  While doing all of this pot/furniture painting, I said to myself..."self, why not try this on a wall".  To the reluctance of my first husband, I did.  So started my mural painting business.  Mural painting really set me free...on many levels.  It is where I made the most money in all of my creative years and allowed me to move on in my personal life.  When I married my second husband, mural painting came only on weekends so I could take care of my three sons and our infant daughter on the weekdays.  Also painted furniture and sewed clothing and handbags with vintage textiles on the weekdays, while juggling the kids. Opened a small shop called "Daydreams" which lasted only 6 months.  Having an infant and three boys under 15 proved too much in running a shop (plus I made EVERYTHING that was sold in the shop). When my second husband died...now Four kids ages 3-17 yrs old...I felt lost.  Took a bit of time off from creating anything. Had some fun. Did some more mural & furniture work, then the economy started tanking...so entered the world of repurposing,  jewelry making and mixed media assemblage. (let's not forget a few Antique store booths  and Power Seller status on EBAY as well)  I will NEVER forget my excitement at being accepted into my first mixed media show called Glitterfest.  It truly felt like I had "arrived".  From there I hit the so Cal show circuit.  There were MANY months of doing 3-4 shows per month.  Often making under $500 dollars per show.  But I kept trudging along.  As the Mixed media years have progressed, I have built a following and changed which shows I do and how many.  Tried the wholesale gig too, doing a few gift shows. Money is better, but is it really "enough"?

Some really GOOD Reality:

During this time I have forged many many lifelong friendships, one the longest being my dear friend Kathy.  We met in a thrift store in Covina what seems a lifetime ago, 15 years to be exact. When she was here last week for a studio day, we still laugh about that random day.   My pals Rita and Tara are women I truly love, cherish and trust.  MANY more wonderful customers, friends and students whose lives you begin to know and follow and watch their kids grow, lives change and battles fought.  These are the things that have been the biggest blessing of all, besides being here to raise my kids.

My growth artistically has been immense too, over the years. Looking back at where I started creatively...it's amazing how we can progress and grow, not just as individuals, but artistically as well.

The Not-So-good Reality:

Despite the Good stuff,  REALITY is....we still have to make money and support ourselves.  There is no "boss"...you are the boss.  There is no company paid/assisted health plan, no 401K, no paid sick days or paid vacations(most of the time there are no vacations at all) Although I do consider spending time with my grandson,  gardening in my back yard & playing with my dogs a kind of vacation. ;-)

I could go ON and ON with stories of how my work has been blatantly, as well as subtly, copied over the years to the point of not wanting to even share anything online.  There seems to be no sense of honor or decorum in this area AT ALL.  Big box companies do it...in house designers as well as people troll Pinterest, Etsy and the internet for "ideas" all of the time.  It has become accepted to be "inspired" rather freely these days.  Not that I have not been inspired by others, but to be honest...I work excruciatingly hard at being original.  If I make something I think is original...I google the hell out of it to see if it really is...and if it isn't...it gets shelved or greatly edited because I NEVER want my work to look like someone elses.  This has become increasingly exhausting and deflating.

Oh, the quotes, "you should be honored, emulating is the biggest form of flattery"..."oh my gosh, you are so clever"..."you have the greatest ideas"...(here is one of my FAVES at a craft/art show) "I just LOOOOVE coming to these shows for ideas"(often accompanied by the stealth or not so stealth picture being taken of your work) This is when you smile kindly while standing in your booth, as you wonder how you will cover your mortgage that month.  The people who ask you how you make it, where do you get your supplies from? (sheesh, I could go on)

While show earnings have greatly improved over the years as business and followers have been built, the "reality" is...after crunching numbers, is it really enough? This year has been heavy with teaching(which I have truly, truly enjoyed), but teaching isn't a huge money maker either, not when you really calculate all of your time accumulating supplies, creating samples/kits.  Maybe if you have Large class sizes, you can get a good profit going.  For the stupid people who say, "you never get paid for your time".  Well, if you are not getting paid for your time, it is NOT a business.  Would a doctor treat patients if she/he did not get paid for their time?  or any other profession for that matter?  That comment makes me want to bitch slap the person who says it. (but instead they just get tuned out)  Move along please.

Now PLEASE don't get me wrong, most people are very sweet, well intentioned and supportive.  This post is NOT meant to offend anyone, maybe enlighten.

So, why did I pour all of this out today?  (other than sitting in the dark snuggling with a needy new puppy thinking about my life)  Truth is, this honestly has been brewing for a very, very long time.  But often the inertia of what one does takes over and it is kind of scary both physically and emotionally to jump from the train onto an unknown track. Overall, this business has served mine/my families basic needs, but I question the long term viability of it all, like never being able to truly retire or take a fancy vacation, (insert visions of dying with a paintbrush in my hand, probably not a bad way to go as long as the painting is done and it is quick and painless) ;-)

Without naming names, many artist friends I know go without healthcare and struggle OH SOOO much more than what people think.

I guess this is also a warning to those of you who like to "make things" and want to jump head first into this often shallow pond, as well as a reality check for myself.  If you are pondering this business, my Rx is, get a degree in business first and call me in the morning. There seem to be some great business courses available to makers too. (a few I have looked into, but dang they are expensive) Though, the cynic in me also wonders why so many people get away from making art to sell and switch to teaching their art/craft full time or create a business model teaching people "how to create a creative business".   Is it that they really want to share their wealth of knowledge or that making and selling one's work is truly harder and less viable than is perceived...save for a lucky few.  Plus we have become very much a DIY community with Pinterest.

So, where does this leave me?  Currently I am really not sure.  Do I want to...continue this line of work? get out of it entirely? Restructure?  Start a new career?  Go back to school? I am down to raising the last kid, getting her through high school and into college. Though this business has kept me afloat and allowed me to be with my kids before and after school, not sure about wanting to continue doing it on this level or as I have been...for hopefully what will be the second half of my life.    My values have changed over the years as well and I'd like to be more philanthropic and do work that has more of an impact on a social change level...not just making pretty things.

If you've read this entire post, thank you so much.  It has not been intended to offend anyone, so please don't take it that way if you have...just see it as a glimpse into my life's journal...the dialog that runs through my mind.

Thank you my friends, customers, students and fellow artists for your contributions to my life and our world.  Let's see what the next step will be...

XOXO ,
Lisa