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"Some times, some days, I know exactly what I'm doing, exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. More often though, I live my life by the seat of my pants! Not that I take a lot of risks...just that I often have no clue what I'm doing or what will be next. I paint. Of this, I am certain."

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About Lori-Anne Crittenden

"I have been creating for as long as I can remember. Sometimes just a mess, but creating just the same."

In the fall of 1987, I opened my own store. Home decorating was my thing and owning my own business was a dream fulfilled.

Running a business (alone, those first years), and looking after a family didn't leave much down time. Oh right...I remember...that would be when I slept!

Although I loved my store and my family, I needed something "just for me".

So, in 1988, I took a painting class. "Beginner's Folkart". I keep my first project hanging in my workroom. It reminds me of how far I've come and humbles me when needed.

When the little shop where I took my first classes closed, there became a void in my town that needed to be filled. I first, brought in supplies, then, incorporated a classroom into my store. Hiring a teacher, "The Classroom in the Corner" began.

Eventually, folkart and decorative painting became a large part of my business. It was so popular; I too had to teach some of the classes, and then, the majority of them.

Long days finally took their toll. Besides working 12-16 hour days, I didn't have time to paint myself! Life wasn't simple. It was making me tired! The business wasn't "fun" anymore, and I had always said that when it wasn't fun anymore, I would close it. So, close it, I did.

Without a plan or any real way to make a living... I just knew I wanted to paint!

My very first Saturday off in fourteen years, I went with my friend to a big country craft show. As I was looking, I was thinking, "I can do this...Me. My painting. I can do this!" I had done country home shows to promote my store. I knew how much work they were, how much inventory was needed to have a good show. Could I do it with my own work? Not fill the space with product bought from regular suppliers?

That was the beginning of "A Simpler Time".

Now, I work from home and paint every day! I have a nice (but small) workspace, a showroom set up in my front room and many weekends, I do shows.

My back porch is one of my favourite places to be. Whether it is just for a coffee break or for an afternoon of gabbing with girlfriends, or to watch my grandkids play in the yard, its what I now have time to do and it IS a simpler time!

If I have learned nothing in this journey of life, it's that you need to take time to play. My work is my play. Everyday.

All content © Lori-Anne Crittenden 2003-2006 unless otherwise specified.