Artterro.com Sneak Peek

October 30th, 2014

If you subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook, you might have seen some hints about an exciting development here at Artterro…we’re about to launch a new and improved website!  Not only that, but our online store is expanding to include crafting tools, extra Artterro supplies and new gift sets.

We think you’re going to love it!  Stay tuned for the big reveal on Monday.  For now, here are some sneak peeks of the homepage, blog and resources page.

Our beautiful new homepage slideshow

The new home of Artterro's Spark blog

Check out those categories! A one-stop shop for all your crafting and gifting needs!

Don’t forget, visit us on Monday for the actual launch–we’ll be sharing some very exciting coupon codes to celebrate!

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Decoupage Mason Jar Pumpkin

October 29th, 2014

With just a few days until Halloween, we want to share some very simple, kid-friendly crafts you can create with materials you might just already have around the house.  This candle holder (made by Production Assistant and Craft Expert Sierra) is a fun project and makes a beautiful seasonal decorations.  It’s also a great way to use any leftover materials you might have from the Collage Jewelry Kit.  We hope you have fun celebrating Halloween with your family and friends!

Decoupage Mason Jar Pumpkin

Decoupage Mason Jar Pumpkin

DIY Tutorial by Sierra Powell

Materials

  • Smooth-sided glass jar
  • 1 Collage Jewelry Kit OR tissue paper, school glue, paint brush
  • Beads, sequins, ribbons, any other decorations (optional)
  • Tea light candle

*As always, these are just guidelines to get you started–feel free to experiment!

  1. Choose the colors/patterns of tissue paper you want to use.
  2. Cut out or rip up pieces of tissue paper into small (1-2″) pieces.
  3. Apply a thin and even layer of Artterro glaze to your jars using your foam brush.
  4. Start laying down pieces of paper on your containers, gently smoothing any bumps or creases with your fingers. *Try layering different sizes of tissue paper, and overlap the paper in order to thoroughly cover the containers.

  1. Cut out a face or other design in a darker contrasting color and decoupage that on.
  2. Once you are finished laying down paper pieces, and are satisfied with the look of your pumpkin, apply an even layer of Artterro glaze over the entire piece. Make sure you cover the entire surface with glaze to seal it. Don’t worry, it dries clear!
  3. Decorate the jar however you want by gluing on beads, sequins, ribbon, or anything else on hand.
  4. Put a tea light candle inside and enjoy the festive glow!

If you end up making this, we would just love to see how yours turns out!  Please feel free to share on our Facebook page or email us at info@artterro.com.  Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween

October 29th, 2014

A very Happy Halloween from all of us here at Artterro.  We hope you have a festive, creative and safe time celebrating!

Card by Assitant Shipping Manager & Craft Consultant Sarina Hills-Blacks

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More Wire & Bead Spider Crafts for Halloween

October 27th, 2014

The theme of this week’s Halloween DIY craft projects is SPIDERS!  We think spiders are fascinating, fun and a little freaky :)  Extra project idea: before trying out this simple tutorial by our crafty friend Janna, get inspired with facts and photos of spiders online.  Be sure to check back next week for a set of pumpkin-themed projects!

Wire & Bead Spider Sculpture for Halloween

Giant Halloween Spider Sculpture

Tutorials by Janna Doney

Supplies:

1 Wire & Bead Art Kit

OR

1 Deluxe Bubble Wand Kit

OR

A selection of copper wire and large beads

AND

Long-Nose Pliers

*Important Note: These directions are meant to offer a helpful jumpstart to your project, but not all kids need them.  You can try a more open-ended approach and just see what your kids come up with after checking out the materials and the examples.  Have fun!

Wire & Bead Mini Spider

1. Use a big ring bead and one wire to create the body and legs for this spider. Wrap the wire around the ring with just over an inch of wire. Twist at the ring to tighten, and trim long side of wire to same length as other side. Repeat once next to first wrap, and two more times on the other side to create the legs.

2. Place the small ring toward the front in between the two sides of legs, overlapping some. Wrap with wire to secure.

3. Glue two flat beads to the front of the small ring for the eyes.

4. Glue a large marble bead into the body ring, and decorate with small beads.

Giant Halloween Spider Sculpture:

1. Choose 4 different colors of wire. Do not cut.

2. Choose the bead with the largest center (that all 4 wires will fit through). This bead will be the spider’s body.

3. Put all 4 wires through the bead and place the bead in the center.

4. On each side of the bead, twist one wire around the other to hold the bead in the center.

5. Form each wire into a spider leg.

6. Once legs are formed, trim ends if uneven.

7. Decorate the legs with small beads using craft glue if necessary.

8. Choose 2 beads for eyes and cut a small piece of wire to shape into the mouth. Glue them to the bead-body.

Together with the Friendly Purple Spider and Red & Black Baby Spider from our last post, you should now have a complete Artterro Spider Family for Halloween!  Now, you can work on making yarn spider webs or just find a cozy spot for your spiders–maybe on top of your jack-o’-lantern!  Happy Halloween!

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Wire & Bead Spider Crafts for Halloween

October 20th, 2014

The theme of this week’s Halloween DIY craft projects is SPIDERS!  We think spiders are fascinating, fun and a little freaky :)  Extra project idea: before trying out this simple tutorial by our crafty friend Janna, get inspired with facts and photos of spiders online.  Be sure to check back later this week for another set of spooky spider projects: Giant Rainbow Spiders and Spider Rings!

Spider Sculptures for Halloween - DIY Halloween Crafts

Tutorials by Janna Doney

Supplies:

1 Wire & Bead Art Kit

OR

1 Deluxe Bubble Wand Kit

OR

A selection of copper wire and large beads

AND

Long-Nose Pliers

*Important Note: These directions are meant to offer a helpful jumpstart to your project, but not all kids need them.  You can try a more open-ended approach and just see what your kids come up with after checking out the materials and the examples.  Have fun!

Red and Black Baby Spider

1. Choose a medium sized bead with a large hole for the body, one wire, one small bead for the head, and two of the tiniest beads you can find for the eyes.

2. Fold wire in half two times (fourths). Snip ends to make four small wires. With wire cutters, straighten bent ends.

3. Twist bundle of 4 wires in the middle using pliers. String through body bead.

4. With pliers, bend each side of the wires straight up. Pinch together tightly to body-bead. Holding each wire against the body bead with the pliers, bend straight down the other way. Spread legs apart evening.

5. Glue head onto body, and glue eyes onto head. Let dry thoroughly.

Mini Wire & Bead Spider for Halloween

Friendly Purple Artterro Spider:

1. Gather two purple wires, cut each in half.

2. Gather several purple beads, one large for the body.

3. Choose two small beads, other than purple, for the eyes.

4. Shape each wire into an ‘M’ shape with the middle curved.

5. Choose a bead with a large hole, string all 4 legs through at the same time, gently (and not all the way) unbend the corner of the ‘M’ to string through the bead. When bead is in the middle, re-bend the ‘M’ where it was originally. This bead will be the base for the purple body, and will be covered so it does not need to be purple.

6. String a wire through the large purple bead so about ¾ inch is sticking through one end. Bend the long side so the bead can’t move. Trim excess wire.

7. Curve short end of wire in an oval loop so the tip is at the base of the bead hold. Use small pliers to twist it to the other wire at the base. When twist is secure, snip the oval in the middle. These will be the ‘bugging’ eyes.

8. With the wire cutters, gently bend the tips of the eye wires so the eyes stay at the front of the wire. Then place each small bead on the end of the eye wire. Reinforce with craft glue.

9. Glue purple body bead to base bead in the middle.

10. Decorate legs with other purple beads. Let glue dry thoroughly.

Purple Spider Sculpture DIY for Halloween

Don’t forget to check back later this week for more SPIDER crafts!  And check out the other posts in our Halloween DIY series: tutorials for a Pumpkin Necklace and a Halloween Cat Barrette.  Happy crafting!

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Halloween Cat Barrette

October 16th, 2014

Are you getting into the Halloween spirit yet?  Here’s a friendly purple cat barrette to complement the Orange & Black Pumpkin Necklace we shared earlier this week.  Another perfect pre-Halloween play date project–enjoy!

DIY Halloween Cat Jewelry - Barrette

Purple Cat Barrette

Tutorial by Janna Doney

Supplies:

1 Wool Felt Jewelry Kit

OR

Sewing Needle

Craft Thread

Beads and sequins

Instructions:

1. Use a big felt circle for the cat face, and cut out cat ears from another piece of felt.

2. With the purple thread, thread the needle and stitch on the cat’s mouth.

3. Cut a purple sequin into a triangle for the nose. Cut two green sequins into football-like shapes and choose two small green beads for the eyes. Sew the nose to the top of the mouth (point down) so you can see where to stitch on the whiskers.

4. Thread the needle with purple string again, this time using a thinner piece of thread, and stitch on the whiskers.

5. Sew or glue on the eyes on top of the sequins.

6. Stitch or glue ears to the top.

7. Sew or glue cat head to barrette. Let dry thoroughly before wearing.

Let us know if you make this yourself!  Happy Crafting!

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Braided Pumpkin Necklace for Halloween

October 14th, 2014

We are kicking off our series of Halloween DIY craft projects with a fun and simple jewelry tutorial from our crafty friend Janna.  This project would be great for a play date, craft night, sleepover or really anytime leading up to Halloween.  Be sure to check back later this week for another spooky jewelry project: Halloween Cat Barrettes!

DIY Braided Pumpkin Necklace

Orange & Black Braided Pumpkin Necklace

Tutorial by Janna Doney

Supplies:

1 Wool Felt Jewelry Kit

OR

Craft thread

Sewing needle

1 Wool Felt Sphere

Sequins & Beads

Instructions:

1. Tie the white, orange and gray pieces of string together (a few strands of each color). Braid the 3 colors together. Don’t tie the other end until later.

2. String the braid with 3 beads, alternating orange and black.

3. Fold braid in half with about a half-inch space in the middle to prepare for the next step and set aside.

3. Take out one strand of yellow craft thread, and thread a needle with it.

4. Put the needle through the biggest orange felt ball at an angle.

5. On one end of the half-inch loop in the middle of the braid, attach the felt ball with the needle and thread. Let the ball hang about 1 ¼ inches. Pull needle back through very close to the same way through. This will ensure the yellow thread doesn’t hang over the middle of the necklace.

6. Repeat step #5, close to the same spot.

7. Repeat on the other side of the middle-half-inch. Hold in the air to balance the ball before tying off. Tie off and trim knots as closely as possible.

8. String more beads on the other side of the ball, continuing alternating colors from before.

9. Trim a black sequin into little black triangles for the pumpkin eyes. Cut notches out of the remaining piece of the sequins for the pumpkin mouth.  Sew to orange felt ball.

10. Sew a green bead onto the top of the felt ball for the pumpkin stem.

11. Tie a knot in the loose end of the braid and attach a necklace clasp to each end. Use two strands of the yellow string as an extension if necessary.

Let us know if you try out this Halloween craft!

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The Big Artterro Move!

October 7th, 2014

Last month Artterro moved from our wonderful office in the Madison Enterprise Center.  We had outgrown the space (and then some!) and also were nearing the end of our allotted time there (it’s a small business incubator space, so you can only stay so long).  We loved it there!  The building manager, Sarah, has been a great Artterro ally, and the building is full of great businesses and people.  Thanks, MEC!

Over the past four years, we brainstormed, crafted, assembled, shipped, relaunched and worked harder than we thought possible to build the Artterro brand and company we have today.  All in this awesome little space!

We spent many hours here at the crafting/meeting/lunch table and break area.

It was hard to say goodbye, but we couldn’t be more thrilled with our new space.  Which is actually two spaces in the MEC’s sister building just two blocks away: an office and a separate warehouse for production, shipping and storage.  Here’s a behind-the-scenes tour!

The color theme for the new space is “Happy.”

Here’s the office; thankfully our beloved “swiss cheese” plant survived the move!

The new production area has a comfy kitchen and break area:

We have room to keep a lot of inventory boxed up and ready to ship, along with stacks of thousands of our 100%-recycled boxes from Green Bay Packaging!

Our production assistants now have a nice roomy box assembly area:

The shipping area won’t look quite so calm come November and December!

We wouldn’t be settled into our new space without the help of our amazing team members!  Shari and Anna Lee did an amazing job organizing and packing everything up, and everyone pitched in to paint the two big spaces.

We hope you have enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at Artterro!  Now you know where our art kits for kids are born!  Let us know in the comments if you have any questions about our business, space or production process.

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A Paper Collage Book Project

October 2nd, 2014

We have made dozens of little books with our Bookmaking Kit, but it’s always fun to see what other people come up with using our materials. Today, we’re happy to share a Paper Collage Book Project created by our good friend and Spark Blog contributor, Heidi.  This project is the perfect way to take a little time for yourself or to get creative with your kids.  Finished books make excellent gifts, travel journals and scrapbooks.

DIY Tutorial by Spark blog contributor Heidi Crabb

Paper Collage Book Bookmaking Kit

Paper Collage Book Project

Materials:

1 Bookmaking Kit, which includes handmade recycled paper, Artterro bead mix, craft thread and sewing needle

OR

Sturdy paper of your choice

Needle & Thread

Embellishments of your choice

  • Gather your materials and set aside the paper, beads and embroidery floss of your choice.
  • Choose the paper for the front and back cover of your book.
  • Cut out the shapes for your cover collage.
  • Use liquid glue and paint brush to apply the glue on the back of the cut out. Adhere to the front cover of the book.
  • Gather your inside pages and arrange them evenly in preparation of binding the book.
  • Begin binding by threading the needle with the floss and pierce through the top third portion of the book from the inside, making sure the needle is headed to the outside of the book. This way, you can use the needle to string the beads.
  • String the beads onto the spine of your book and fasten with a small knot.

  • Use the embroidery floss to stitch along the edging of the cut out. Start and finish on the underside of the front cover so your knots don’t show on the cover.
  • Cut out another piece of paper in the style of your choice so you can cover the knots on the underside of the front cover. Adhere with glue.

  • Add any extra flair like sequins, words, or more paper collage on the back or inner pages.
  • Fill up your book with words or images, whatever pops in your head.  Keep as a journal, or give as a gift.

Enjoy!

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Back To School: 3 Easy Ways to Encourage Creativity Everyday

September 29th, 2014

Our mission here at Artterro is to help people tap into their natural creativity.  We believe every child is born creative, and it’s never too late to rediscover your innate artistic ability.

That mission is especially important these days; it’s a serious challenge to maintain your creativity when life gets busy, school is more demanding than ever, and kids’ schedules are so packed.  Another barrier is our own self-doubt.  We hear parents say all the time, “I’d love to help my kids do more art at home, but I’m not artistic, so I don’t know how to help them.”   Even worries about household tidiness and safety get in the way sometimes–art materials can seem like a dangerous mess in the eyes of some adults.

Some are calling the current state of affairs a crisis in creativity: “In a 2010 study of about 300,000 creativity tests going back to the 1970s, Kyung Hee Kim, a creativity researcher at the College of William and Mary, found creativity has decreased among American children in recent years. Since 1990, children have become less able to produce unique and unusual ideas.”

Of course, as parents we don’t always control how much art our kids are exposed to at school (although we can certainly do our best to support our local arts programs!), and after-school homework and extracurricular activities can dominate the family schedule.  But we also know that art is absolutely essential to kids’ healthy development and future success.  So what can we do to improve the situation?  A lot!  And it’s not even that hard.

1. Set aside a small space for art

We’ve blogged about this before, but the basic idea is that if you keep your art supplies in an accessible place, kids will be much more likely to pick them up and start their own projects.

More details here: Make Art Happen! Setting Up A Family Art Station

And another option: Mobile Art Station

2. Set aside a little time for art

  • Encourage your kids to draw or doodle while dinner prep is happening
  • Keep art journals or sketchbooks in the car or in backpacks when you’re running errands

3. Model creativity for your kids.

  • If you take a little time to be creative and relax with a fun project, your kids will notice.  Give yourself time, even if it’s just a few minutes a day, to express yourself in your chosen medium.

Would you add anything to this list?  Please share the methods that have worked for you in the comments!

This isn’t the first time we’ve felt inspired to write about this topic.  Check out Jen’s thoughts on arts in the schools from a few years ago: Nurturing Creative Thinkers With Art Education.

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