New Originals & Prints in Shop!

Hey there! Happy Wednesday! Anyone else done with Winter?! I am. Last week we had a break and temps were in the mid 50’s here in Kansas… this morning it was 4 degrees… 4! They are calling for potentially lots of snow this weekend too. I’m thankful we had a break last week, but it’s brought spring fever on big time! Winter is my least favorite season though, so I’m always eager for it to end. 😉

Today, I wanted to share some recently posted new goodies in my shop, both originals and prints with more on the way soon. Here’s a little sampling of what you’ll find, but you will definitely want to go visit my shop for yourself to check it all out. 🙂 ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Also, if you want to stay up-to-date with me and the happenings of my shop, I’m on Instagram and have been posting some sales and behind the scenes sneaks recently. Check it out and follow me… I’m @alterediris.

Hope you’re staying warm and cozy where you are… have a lovely day! 🙂

The Results Are In

altered iris craft show booth

 {Me in my booth, photo taken by Lindsey from the Artisan Market… more photos of the event can be found on their facebook page, vendor apron from Terrace Hill}the beginnings of the art show booth

Now… first things first… this entire event could not have happened if it weren’t for this wonderful man… my man… he has been so supportive, done so much work… hard work, he’s encouraged me, shared ideas with me, he’s been my sounding board and my right hand man in this. It was his original “yes” that started the whole process of me doing this show and it was his assistance the whole way through that made it actually happen in the end, so thank you sweetie. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you more than words can express and I’m so blessed to have you as my husband and partner for life.

And now for the rest of the juicy (bulleted) details:

art craft show booth

*The wind blew ferociously, but the sun was shining.

*Even high quality tents can rip if it’s windy enough… bummer. 😦

*I spent the first two hours of the show trying to keep my stuff from blowing down… Then I finally got smart called my hubby who came to the rescue and told me what I should do. 😉 After a bit of reorganization, things went much smoother and I actually got to sit down. And so did my mom… who by the way, was with me the entire day! (I failed to get a photo of us)! 😦

She is another person I couldn’t have done this without. She was there so I could take bathroom breaks, she was the gopher for our lunch, she gave me ideas as we discussed what might work better next time, she was my moral support and not only that but she slept at our house the night before and watched our kids so hubby and I could get everything set up without child-like interruptions and distractions. Thank you Mama!!! Love you!!! 🙂

art craft show booth

*I realized there is no such thing as being too organized for an event like this. I definitely could have been more organized. Mostly with supplies and such, my products themselves were pretty organized, but I could have spent more time organizing and planning out where I was going to keep supplies and other necessities.

*Next time… More tables. I need more workspace and space to keep things like packaging/bags/receipt book/postcards/business cards/etc. Maybe something with drawers would be good, something with a top that could possibly even be used to display products. I only had a couple of little inches here and there at the back of the table for stuff like that and the plastic totes I thought I’d use under the table were holding things like bags, business cards and the like, so I could really use them as a surface for other things.

*I learned that I can keep track of cash in the Square app! If only I’d figured it out sooner though! Whoops! 🙂

art craft show booth

*I realized I need to work harder at promoting my work, even when it’s right there in front of people… It will not sell itself. It’s not natural for me and certainly doesn’t come easily, but it’s necessary in order to build my business.

*Pretty decorations really do matter, many people noticed and commented. Maybe they don’t matter completely, maybe not even a lot, but it’s nice that people noticed, because it was definitely part of the fun! 🙂

art craft show booth display

A lot of people mistook my prints for cards, which tells me a couple of things…

1) There’s a market for cards… Which doesn’t surprise me, something I want to add and have been working on, but maybe something that needs to move a little higher up on the priority list.

2) I should package my prints to make it more obvious what they are. I think the easiest way to do this would be to add mattes to them. Another thing I’ve considered previously and that should move up on the list, at least before the next show (which is to be determined).art craft show booth display

*It was a lot of work, but it was a labor of love for sure. And while I didn’t quite get to the sales goal I had set (I of course had no idea what to expect though), it was well worth it. To get exposure, to get the “first time” under my belt, to figure out what worked and what didn’t, to experience windy conditions and improvising to make things work despite the weather, to stick it out and to be able to support a great cause at the same time.

Thank you to all those who stopped by to show their support and thank you to those who helped and encouraged before, during and after the event. I’d say… it was a success! 🙂

Creative Refueling

mixed media art background

Yay! I got made some time this last week to do some creating! It felt sooo good… well… once I got back into a groove… I had a couple of brain freezes because I’m so out of practice/routine. I haven’t done much creating in the last several months… I’ve been a little busy… right? That’s what I thought… and yes, I have been very busy packing, moving, unpacking, settling, getting snowed in and trying to keep kids busy and entertained, and on and on. BUT… I wasn’t making time to be creative… I didn’t think I had time and honestly I didn’t really have the desire. It’s been a hard few months… really hard, I’m not gonna lie… I’ve been exhausted and stressed… I’ve questioned things and wondered and worried and been anxious… even though I know we are where we’re supposed to be/meant to be and I am glad to be back, but it’s still been hard and creative time just hasn’t seemed like a priority and I’ve just been too emotionally wiped out to even want to try to be creative.

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However, I forced myself last weekend to get into my space and do… something… anything. Thankfully it was spurred on by a friend asking me to help her make some stuff for her daughter’s birthday party and a few days later my Mom asking me to help her make a canvas and so I decided to work on one with her… we didn’t get very far but it made me realize how I’d missed being creative and how much of a refreshment & happiness builder it can be for me. I’ve always felt that when I make time to be creative I’m refueled to take on the challenges of life… but in the busy-ness of life, I’d kinda forgotten and lost sight of my neediness of it.

mixed media scripture art journal I’m definitely going to start making more time for it, the benefits far outweigh the struggle of finding the time! And, as a reminder… I think I’m going to print out this free Create Every Day printable from Kim over at Everything Etsy, you should check it out too!

Have you made time for creativity lately? Is it something you find hard to make time for right now or is it coming easily? What kind of creative work makes you happiest and most fulfilled or refueled?

Tuesdays Are For Treasuring

It’s been a while since I’ve featured a treasury here on the blog and since my art has been featured in quite a few lately, I figured it was time to start sharing some again! So, here’s a favorite! Enjoy!

‘Believe in your Possible’ by Loustudio


Nothing Is Impossible Blank …

$3.75

Inspirational quote print Sh…

$18.00

Tree of Life Necklace Believ…

$26.95

4 Small Mini Cards CardStock…

$4.50

Typographic print, inspirati…

$15.00

Marilyn Monroe Quote “W…

$8.00

Original Mixed Media Art Pri…

$10.00

Throw off The Bowlines Custo…

$16.99

Queen of Possibilities / Fem…

$20.00

Live a Life of Love – Bible …

$4.25

Pendant Word Quote Tag &quo…

$21.00

0396- Digital Download Colla…

$4.50

Vintage Dream Flower Cabocho…

$10.00

0394- Digital Download Origi…

$4.50

She Turned Her Can’ts In…

$17.50

Treasury tool supported by the dog house

Etsy Shop Update

 Hello… TGIF! Just wanted to pop in quickly and let you know I’ve got tons of new stuff in my shop… mostly prints, but also a few new originals, including the set above. And some fun new accessories using these designs as well!

Also… Monday is the one year anniversary of my shop and so I’m celebrating with a sale… now through the end of November!

ALL prints are 30% off and select originals are… HALF off!!! So, I hope you’ll take a minute to check it out! Thanks for your support!

Have a wonderful, wonderful sunshiny weekend! 🙂

Answering Your Questions

Happy Wednesday! This is the perfect week for me to spend some time answering your questions as we’ve had a lazy few days… Hubby has been battling a pretty severe cold all week, I feel like I’ve been sitting on the brink of one all week, my 4 year old has had way more than his daily allowance of television and iPad games and despite the beautiful weather, we’ve been mostly holed up inside, lazing around the house. But, at least now I’m choosing to do something somewhat productive! 🙂

And, I’m forewarning you… this has the potential to be a bit of a lengthy post…

Q: How long have you been working in mixed media? 

A: Actually only about a year and a half. Although, I’ve always enjoyed creating things… as a kid I loved writing, I always enjoyed being creative with my clothes (oftentimes to my mother’s embarrassment), as I got older I was always rearranging and “re-decorating” my bedroom, I took dance classes from about age 5 or 6 all the way through college and loved choreographing my own dances from a young age, I also enjoyed making collages of favorite things cut out of magazines which eventually led me to scrap booking in my college years, a love that only increased as I got married and had kids. Over time my scrap booking evolved from the “traditional” to a messier “mixed media” style when I discovered and started incorporating paint & mists into my layouts.

 Then, in late 2010 I discovered Project Life and started documenting in this new style which freed me up to learn new ways of creating. I watched a mixed media tutorial by Christy Tomlinson and found a new love/passion in mixed media art. It was a natural progression as many of the materials I was using in my scrap booking are used in mixed media art. After making several art pieces as gifts for family members they encouraged me to sell my art and once I realized how much I loved creating these pieces, knowing I did not have the room in my own home to keep them I was determined to work diligently and start my own business selling my creations and finally opened my Etsy shop last November. It’s truly been a learn by trial and error, labor of love and one I look forward to continue growing and creating more as the Lord wills.

Q: Where do my ideas come from?

A: For as long as I can remember I’ve loved words… especially quotes, scripture verses and inspiring phrases. Most of the time my inspiration comes from those words. Other times it might be some other art that inspires me to create an object and I find the words to go with it. Unlike most artists I tend not to sketch my ideas out first. It kinda takes the fun out of it for me… I like to just jump in and see what happens… so sometimes my ideas come as I’m creating. I’ve also been known to have a bunch of scraps or bits and pieces of stuff on my desk and “clean up” by using them to create a piece which is how this one came to be.

Q: How long does it take to make a piece? 

A: It depends, I’m usually working on more than one piece at a time… letting the paint dry on one as I start on another… I also tend to work in chunks of time, not usually creating a piece start to finish in one sitting but over a period of sittings. I would estimate though that the average piece takes 2-3 hours total.

Q: What media/products do you like/dislike and why? 

A: Paper and paint are definitely my favorites. I use mostly scrap booking patterned paper, but have branched out to using dictionary paper, tissue paper and sheet music. As I’ve discovered the joy of thrifting and vintage shopping I’ve enjoyed hunting for old books and paper ephemera to use as well. As for paint, my favorite is the inexpensive craft acrylic paint, I like that it doesn’t dry as quickly as others that I’ve tried and the fact that it’s inexpensive allows me to have more color selection. Mod Podge has been my favorite sealer/gel medium although I’d like to try some others sometime to have something to compare it to and see if there’s another brand/type I’d like better. Another fun product I’ve had fun playing with is modeling paste. It creates some fun texture and raised elements to the art and it can be made any color I want by adding paint to it, although most of the time I like just using it white as it comes. In the future I’d like to incorporate fabric and other 3-D elements, I’ve also heard of some artists using cheesecloth in their backgrounds and I’m curious about that as well.

Thank you for sharing your questions… It’s been fun answering them and I hope you’ve learned a little bit more about me and my art and creating process. Feel free to ask other questions any time!

I hope to continue learning, growing and expanding in my knowledge of art so, if you know of any great resources I would love to hear about them, or share with me some of your favorite techniques or mediums and maybe we can teach each other! 🙂

New Custom Artwork

I hope you had a nice weekend! Hubby and I had a chance to get away on a little marriage retreat with our church this weekend… it was wonderful and a big thanks to my sweet cousin, Rachel for watching our kiddos!

Today, I wanted to share a new piece of art I’ve been working on! Several weeks ago a customer requested a custom large format print for her office. I was able to create this one of a kind canvas to turn into a custom print for her. I love doing custom pieces and am able to take a scripture or quote of your choice; use either your chosen color scheme, surprise you with one or use photos of the room you want a custom piece for and match the colors to create a one of a kind piece of art! It also makes a wonderful one of a kind gift. Did you know there are less than 100 days until Christmas!? 😉 The average custom order only takes 4-6 weeks*… so don’t panic, you still have time! 🙂

Now is a great time to start thinking about Christmas and contact me soon, I’d love to work with you to create just the right custom art for yourself or as a gift for someone special!

*Some orders do take longer depending on the size and details of the requested custom piece.