Thursday, December 17, 2015

Last commission of 2015

Very gratefully, 2015 has been the year I had a lot of online sales and many commissions and custom orders. My last order for the year is a plaster and wax piece for the lady I got my sweet dog Charlie from. She and I have become friends and this is for her daughter for Christmas. The saying is from a country song which she always sang to her daughter when she was little.

One last order to be shipped this month is my little bee girl pendants. They make me smile and are gifts for adult twin sisters from a loving aunt.

Next on my agenda is to concentrate on my goals and plans for 2016. Love my Brand new Heidi Swapp planner. 

I also have printed every single free resource worksheet from the Do What You Love for Life people. I highly recommend their site for quality content on business. Their worsheets are definitely helping me and are part of my 2016 business plan. 

Hope you have a great holiday! Time for me to get back to it! 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Never Broken

Always one of my favorite female singer songwriters. Jewels Autobiography, "Never Broken" is not disappointing. This morning I read a paragraph that resonates with where I am at right now in breaking away from social media for awhile. Here is the excerpt...

"Eventually I made it back to Alaska for the rest of the summer, and I got a small cabin at my aunt Mossy's. I wrote feverishly, spending two weeks in silence. I cannot overstate the importance of silence to young artists, or anyone seeking a creative voice. It takes great influences to find your way to unique self expression. You must stand on the shoulders of artists who have gone before you. Read great works. See great arts. Listen to great voices. This sets a bar for your spirit and psyche to work toward. Then you must dive inward into silence. Stand on the rippling edges of the expansive universe within your own being and create from there. Don't compare yourself with what's popular. Doing so is like one child comparing himself to another. Greatness is never achieved by trying to imitate the greatness of another. Greatness is chipping away at all that does not belong to you and then expressing yourself so truly that others cannot help but recognize it. It is in silence that we discover ourselves. The silence and the unknown can be frightening, but with time it stops feeling like there is nothing there. The darkness and silence will begin to feel like a void in a positive sense-the womb of creation. It is the magical nothing that something is birthed from. Feed yourself a diet of great work, no then go away by yourself and listen alone to your soul speak to you. Silence will be your greatest teacher." 

Such great words of advice. Especially with an online community that is so easily "inspired" by other people's work. So much so that the lines of originality are often blurred. 

I have an even greater appreciation of Jewel Kilcher. What an adventure ridden and often sad trying life. Great book so far and I'm only half done. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Social Media Diet

Several years ago, I took the month of August off of Facebook, deactivating my account. It was glorious.  What DID we actually all do before social media anyway?  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and all the other online social apps that the younger kids seem to use.  For months I have been wanting to do my own social media diet again.  But with my business, thought it maybe wasn't the best idea.

What is social media anyway?  A means to connect.  Share ideas. Thoughts. Pretty Pictures. Food. Recruit followers (even Terrorists use it). A virtual means to Sell...thoughts as well as things. Social media can be enlightening, fun and oh so very toxic.

For many artists, it's a means to get ones work out there and connect with your customer.  With the dawn of Facebook burying posts from a fan page (unless you pay $ to get your page into the very peoples feeds who LIKED your page in the first place) the fan page now seems useless.  So I accepted virtually every friend request I received. (unless it looks like a fake account, which is an entirely different topic-#click farms)  Using my personal page to advertise my work, sales, etc.   I have met some cool people in social media, new customers (thank you for your support of my work)  and developed some great friendships.  I have also unsubscribed  A LOT from people's feeds.  This platform that was suppose to connect friends has become a "Propaganda Playground".  The PR heads of political parties, lobby groups, and corporate advertisers  LOVE facebook. Create a Meme and put it out there, then the "Sheeple" repost it like it is Gospel truth, when in fact an enormous % of the time, the facts are wrong or misquoted to create a manipulated outcome, ultimately creating only MORE divisiveness.  My honey and I are avid truth seekers and have logged way too many hours since the dawn of facebook verifying and calling out the people spreading propaganda.  With the current US political environment, hot button topics such as guns, abortion, immigrants, refugees...Holy crap, the hate and intolerance flies like mud pies in a pig sty.  Actually, I think pigs are nicer to each other than humans are online.   Being the social activist and truth seeker that I am, it is SUPER hard for me to not get into theological and political debates with people.  So, I unsubscribed more...even from people whose thoughts and beliefs mirrored mine.  Because there is ALWAYS someone who posts a hateful comment and I find it hard to bite my tongue, or should I say stop my fingers from typing.

The voyeuristic way "friends" stalk other "friends". Reading their comments on other people's posts, then passing judgement.  Been to lunch with a group of women?  Ever hear the lines such as "did you see what so and so posted on facebook?"  "I had no idea she believed that...____(fill in the blank"  "oh, she is a hot mess"...etc, etc, etc. "we make fun of so and so behind her back because of her political beliefs"  I've heard this and more.  We all have.

There is so much sadness and turmoil in the world right now.  Facebook was supposed to be fun.  But when I read such hypocritical and hateful things, rampant lies, it raises my blood pressure...making both my heart and head hurt.

Not that there aren't some good times on FaKebook as well. 

I truly hurt for the world right now and every single being in it...even for the bad guys and their sour souls.  I hurt for some of the people I call "friends"  who are so full of venom themselves, that they don't even see the hypocrisy in it.  The intolerance.  Hate begets hate.  Judge not least ye be judged.  Only LOVE conquers all. 

To me, Social Media = Social Experimentation by the powers that be. All the pages, articles and stuff "suggested" to you by face books algorithms. The latest trending on the sidebar,  suggestions to buy the last item you looked at on whatever site you last visited.  "don't let it get away..." Who wants to be a puppet? I am cutting my strings and going back to the days of no social media for awhile.

Why am I putting this out there for you all to read?  So you all know a few of the reasons I am taking a break....just in case you miss my sunny disposition online ;-)

Secondly, I want to take time for some internal truth seeking of my own.  A sabbatical for my soul.  I need to reconnect with my deepest self.  Explore, play, discover and bring to life some of the ideas I have had buried for awhile because of self doubt.  To shut out the outside world as much as possible, except for my CNN updates, grocery shopping (yippee) and real time stuff. :-)  So I can return to social media with a more peaceful soul...a clearer vision...a new manifestation of my work and what I want it to say to the world. Because ultimately, more than anything.  I want to make the world a better place and bring only light and love to the "Table of Life".

May you each have a Wonderful Holiday Season, however you celebrate it. See you in a few months.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Birthday Giveaway

In honor of my daughter, Emily's 15th Birthday tomorrow, I am hosting a giveaway of two of my little paintings! 

She is the greatest young lady. Full of spirit, wit, intelligence, a free thinker and non conformist. She makes me proud daily with her open mind and heart. 

Many of you know our story. We lost her dad when she was only three. She was his only child and the absolute light of his life. He came home from work each day and the first thing he said when he walked in the door was, "where is my little girl?" And she came running. He would be proud of her. I am too. 

So here are the deets! Trying to not be overly complicated here...but here it goes. 

In order to be eligible, follow me on Instagram (lisa loria) AND leave a comment. Follow my Facebook
fan page, (lisa loria studios) AND leave a comment.

On Monday, at 4 pacific time. We will do a video taped drawing of the names. First draw gets the "life is a Party" framed painting.

Second name drawn gets the "you don't have to Pretend" framed painting. Shipping is on me. 

If you share it on social media, Instagram or Facebook & link it back to me, so I know, I will throw your name in a second and third time. 

So, hope they is not too wildly complicated! 

Happy Birthday to my sweet girl! 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

MerBaby Kewpies

Having an fond affection for both Mermaids and Kewpies, I've wanted to make them for quite some time...over a year to be exact. Finally got to them a few months ago  and made this one for an upcoming class...

The subsequent ones were to be for sale and have more sculpted features. 

The tiny Kewpie puss really killed me and were super tedious to make. Kinda one of those, "what was I thinking moments". But their cuteness propelled me along.

I also made necklaces.

And more learning to swim Merbabies as well...

I was so fortunate and happy to sell out quickly and scrambled to make an entire new batch for orders. 

Lastly I made only one of another style kewpie. Lots of sculpting and mounted to wood. This little darling with her octopus friend is 18 inches alone, top of octopus to tip of tail.  

I simply adore her and her octopus and seahorse friends...she is staying with me and now graces my studio wall. 

I plan on making more in a few months after I complete my Halloween work. She makes me smile each time I look at her.

I want to thank all of my wonderful customers who adopted my Merbabies.
Can't thank you all enough for supporting me in my work.

Have a great week! Halloween is in full swing here in my studio for my upcoming shows, Halloween and Vine and Glitterfest. Hope to see you there! 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tidying up

Last week this book popped up in my feed on Facebook. "The life-changing magic of tidying up" by Marie Kondo.

I clicked the link which directed me to a book review by a mom/author. I liked what I read and the pictures of origami like neatly folded and color graduated clothing in drawers totally hooked me. 

Like a baited fish, I quickly went to Amazon and ordered the book. On Saturday, the family was gone. Ah, solitude.  Deciding to skip my studio, I  ploppped on the couch with this book and a cup of tea. 4 hours later I was done with the book. Grabbing a pad and pen, I did what Marie recommended; writing what I envisioned my ideal home life to encompass and what I hoped to gain by putting my household in order. 

Now, I am and have always been a regular "cleaner outer" of drawers, closets, etc. having raised three boys in an 1100 sq ft, two bedroom condo for several years, helped me with organizing and cleaning things out regularly. But I still believed there was a better way. Like, who ever thought stacking clothes in a drawer was a good idea? I know I've questioned it over the years. How many times forgetting what articles of clothing were at the very bottom and back of a drawer. I swear this is what always lead to messy drawers as a teen, digging for something at the bottom. 

By 2:30, I dug into my room. Here are a few before and afters...(no pride here in showing my messy drawer!) ;-)

Before of tank top drawer above, which always ended up being my most disastrous drawer. Here is the after...

 I particularly love my organized vintage lace slips that I wear...

I really had to laugh, Marie says in her book that in many clients homes they find the most random stuff in a bedroom drawer and coins are always spread all over the house in odd places. When I started in my first drawer (the catch all drawer of my dresser) I had to laugh... 

In her book she says, how many of the "extra buttons" you save from new clothing, do you just collect. Then when you look at them, you often have zero idea of what they go to or if you even own the article of clothing any more. Wow, truth in this! 

Why oh, WHY is this stuff in a dresser  drawer? Little memorabilia from deceased family members. Sheesh, put it somewhere else where it makes with the other family memorabilia.  

When Rob came home, he dug my new way of folding so much that he cleaned out his drawers, pitched old stuff, added to my thrift store donation bags and re folded his clothes as I had. Even my daughter decided to read the book and wants to try to apply it to her messy teenage room. 

Hey, this might work after all. Wouldn't it be great to get all three of us on board the tidying train?

Sunday, it was time to tackle the bathrooms. Overall, I didn't have much to go through. But, along with popcorn ceilings, my second least favorite household thing is the UGLY metal medicine cabinets. Circa 1978. Ugh. How could I improve this eyesore and make me actually enjoy using it???

Pinterest to the rescue! All the cool medicine cabinets were either high end modern ones or cool old wood cabinets you see in vintage homes. With wood shelves and beveled glass wood trimmed doors. (Sigh) People often lined them with cute paper and did some decorative painting.  I did like the ones that used chalkboard paint on the inner door. So I about spray painting the metal, painting flowers and doing the chalkboard paint on mine? So I did...

It was really super fun to do. Really loose flower painting using Martha Stewart multi surface paint. Here it is filled...

Then I did Emily's bathroom...

The family approves and now I don't want to shut the medicine cabinets I use to despise looking inside!

Of course, Marie Kondo might scold me for getting off my tidying track, but a bit of home improvement mixed in was good. 

Next up is my kitchen and hall linen closet...goodness knows what trouble I will get into there...😊 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Kitten Volunteering

Recently while on the Rancho Cucamonga Animal Shelter website, I saw they were needing volunteers for a their Kitten Nursery. This is a brand new program. A huge effort is being made to save these little lives. They take in about 600 kittens a year, most of which need some type of care, many critical and bottle fed. Our shelter is not a "no kill" shelter, but it is a low kill one. It's clean, well run and I'm proud my city has such a place for abandoned animals. 

Emily was dying to get involved. To be honest, I thought it was something I could drop her off to volunteer for. I do after all, have a business to run. But...teens under 18 need to have an adult to volunteer with, so guess I was in in on it too. We also encouraged my mom to join us.  

Emily is considering a career with animals or environmental education and conservation, so let her get a taste of, not just the glamorous part, but all the work that goes into it. 

Here is a bit of what we did today. 

Folded 5 huge bags of towels, sheets and blankets, all donations and laundered regularly. 

We had kittens flirting with us from their pens while we folded. 

This location currently has about 150 kittens. That's a lot of cages to clean, litter to change, bowls,  bottles and litter boxes to wash.

I didn't snap pics of the dozens of teeny tiny baby bottles and nipples we washed and had to be boiled to sterilize. 

Two different colored eyes, what a love. 

I could have taken oodles of pictures, but we were working hard. 

Emily was thrilled to get to feed the younger ones. Each of the 150 kittens there needed to be weighed and their weight logged into their chart. You must sterilize things between cages and change gloves often. 

Bless the girls and vets that work there, often on their own non paid time, the volunteers they have and still desperately need. If you live in my area and can help by volunteering as little as 2 hours a week. 24 hours a day they need help. Check it out. Even if you can donate cat litter, which they ran out while there today, more had to brought to them. Or other supplies. There is a wish list for the kitten nursery on Amazon .

It was rewarding, we are pooped. But will do this each week until September, when kitten season slows down. 

"Be the Change" 

Love and hugs,
 Lisa and Emily!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Making Space

Been crazy busy around here...How about you?

My Man's Mom was very ill and he was off tending to her. She is on the mend, but far from out of the woods.  Prayers for her if you please.  My middle son flew the coop...again.  I gained a room...again.
We have some other, more personal things we are working through as well.  Life is full of mixed blessings, isn't it?

Last year, I taught a lot and did few shows, this year, doing the opposite.  I have signed up for 6 shows, with apps pending on 3 more. Teaching only 3 classes this summer. Plus custom orders are consistently coming in...THANK YOU!!!!

Since this means I have literally hundreds of pieces to make...AND store until each prospective show.  It was time to expand the studio space. I've created three specifically dedicated spaces for my work. (having a kid fly the coop has its upside) First, the studio you walk into as soon as out enter my house.  It is now dedicated to painting and computer and business paperwork. 

I dig my giant easels covered in old paint I scored at a Habitat for Humanity Restore.

My son and I moved furniture quite literally ALL day last Friday.  Big heavy pieces.  Pretty much shifted three rooms. Sheesh, was I worn out and irritated an old wrist injury.  My tenacity pushed through and I worked my butt off all weekend, getting things shifted from one place to the other. Offloaded things on Craigslist, thrift store donation pile, vintage treasure pile to sell to antique dealers...on and on.  Advil was my BEST friend on Saturday.

Happily transformed one bedroom...Now solely for sewing and doll assemblage.

This room is FILLED with loving memories as well.  Pulling it together brought out many memories of my childhood and I shed some tears in the process.  Much of my childhood, my Mom was single parent.  It was tough on her, but she did it.  My father was never around, I lost one grandfather when I was only 8 and my other grandfather was just never the warm fuzzy type.  I was however surrounded by the LOVE of the women in my family.  Despite my father's absence, my mom maintained that we should still have relationships with his parents.  My paternal grandmother I affectionately called Dolly.  Ironically, it was her two composition dolls that inspired my working with old dolls. The lamb quilt was mine from infancy.  Made my a family friend of my Dolly.   Being the only granddaughter for Dolly, she also left me her Wedding dress. I use to put it on as a young girl and prance around in it. I Lost my Dolly to Lung cancer when I was 17. I was devastated. For years, I have kept the quilt and wedding dress in the same storage bag, now they proudly grace my Doll room.

My late husband and I made the Moon cradle for our daughter before she was born. It's now doll storage! 

Scored this craft table with baskets for 20 bucks on craigslist. I love craigslist.

My Maternal grandmother I call Nana.  We are blessed to still have her with us. I spent a couple weeks each summer at each of my grandmother's homes.  Nana worked full time, but I got to go to work with her on Thursdays, as her office was open half day and she mostly did paperwork.  I LOVED going with her on those days.  It meant helping with the filing, helping my great aunt (who also worked there) count pills in the back office (it was a medical practice).  Then Nana always took me out to lunch at her regular coffee shop and we would go shopping.  Nana was always my greatest cheerleader, we sang songs together, did crafts and she always had special treats at her house for my brother and I. She decorated beautiful cakes and every birthday growing up, she made my cake!   Both my grandmothers, my Aunt Nancy and my Mom were highly creative women, literally doing everything from decorating cakes, bead/needlework, sewing, crocheting, gardening, ceramics, all kinds of arts and crafts.  I was always encouraged to dream and create, each of these women giving me lessons, tools and extra scraps & jewelry baubles of this and that to use.  None of them made their livings at art/craft. But SO much of what I do today,  can be attributed to each one of them encouraging my imagination growing up.  This room is dedicated to them. Though it was very painful to grow up without a Father, I cannot imagine life without the strong, independent women who influenced me and still do.

The Teddy Bear was my Mother's as a child.  As were all the little dollies in the basket. The yo-yo clown made by a patient, gifted to me by my Nana.

The Fairy was gifted to me by my Nana, I LOVE her!!!

The shoes were my eldest son, Brandon's. 

These were Dolly's Dolls, she called them Big Sister and Little Sister. I had them restored by a doll hospital.  Still in their original clothes from the 1930's. 

My garage is dedicated to storing art for upcoming shows, for soldering and doing wood/plaster work.  Life is GOOD and I am grateful.  Never underestimate the power you have at forming lives, encouraging your children, the young people that cross our paths and even our peers/friends.  NEVER lose sight of your dreams and always strive to be the BEST version of YOU that you can be.  Have a beautiful day!!!