Archive for February, 2014

Artterro Artist Profile: Sasha

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Meet Sasha, a friend of Artterro and one of our expert product testers. She came in for an artist profile interview, and also wrote a guest post for us, which will be up next week.  Sasha is nine years old, and although she’s very busy with many activities and interests, she loves to make time for art!

Sasha’s Favorite Things

Colors: Light pink and green

Foods: Ice cream and marshmallows

School subject: Problem-solving

Outside activity: Doing back flips

Animal: PUPPIES!

What are your favorite art projects to work on?

Drawing, painting, bracelet making, Art Dolls Kit and Creativity Kit.

Tell me about drawing.  How do you decide what to draw?

Well, usually I get inspired by something, then I want to draw it, and I think of my own way of drawing it.

What do you like about our Creativity Kit and Art Dolls Kit?

Creativity is cool because you get the most freedom.  Art Dolls remind me of friendship.

Have you always liked art?

Yes, but it can sometimes be frustrating, because sometimes I mess up.

What do you do when that happens?

I usually ask my mom for help or do something else for a while.

Describe your fantasy art party!

I would be in Paris with all my besties, eating jello, cake and candy, painting, drawing and doing Artterro kits.  Also we would make marshmallow art.

What’s that?

You use mini marshmallows and toothpicks to build sculptures and castles, and then you eat them!

Thank you, Sasha!  I can’t wait to read your guest post next week!

Behind the Scenes at Our Photoshoot

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

So much is happening at Artterro right now!  We are busy getting ready for spring trade shows and preparing for lots of exciting new developments.  Stay tuned!  Last weekend we had a 5-hour photo shoot so we’ll have some beautiful new images to work with.  The stylish models in the photo above are showing off some cheerful Wool Felt Jewelry pieces.

Here’s our wonderful photographer, Beth Skogen, showing one of our models how her shot turned out.

We shot in our building’s (currently empty) art gallery to take advantage of the lovely natural light.  Here’s a mother-daughter scene with our Creativity Kit.  We were very fortunate to have family, friends and neighbors helping us out.  There was lots of giggling, funny faces and actual crafting going on!

We’ll be sure to share plenty of the actual images that come out of this shoot.  We can’t wait to see them ourselves!

More Fabulous Ribbon!

Friday, February 21st, 2014

We just get so excited about ribbon!  What do these colors, textures and patterns inspire you to want to create?  I’m thinking fuzzy inchworms and delicate dragonflies…

We Love Ribbons!

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

We were inundated with a ton of gorgeous art ribbon last Friday.  It brightened up our day with vibrant colors, intricate textures, and fun patterns.

These will be tied into bundles and tucked into Canvas Storybook and Wool Felt Bug kits.

Kids especially love working with ribbon!  It’s easy for little hands to cut, tie and glue.

How do you incorporate ribbons into your arts and crafts projects?

Happy Valentine’s Day from Artterro

Friday, February 14th, 2014

We hope your Valentine’s Day is full of love, joy and creativity, and plenty of quality time with the ones you love!

Decoupage Valentine Gift Boxes

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

decoupage valentine gift box

No matter what you give your loved ones on Valentine’s Day, you can make it even more special by packaging it beautifully.  For this Valentine craft idea, we took empty cardboard jewelry boxes and candy tins, and decoupaged them with a mix of papers: some fancy Artterro tissue paper (leftover from the Collage Jewelry Kit) and pretty images cut out of old magazines.  We love to mix recycled materials with new ones!   You’re sure to end up with something totally unique.

Not familiar with decoupage?  It’s super easy!  Using white (school) glue slightly diluted with water, affix your paper (small pieces are easier to work with) to whatever clean object you’re decorating.  Layer as much as you want, allowing the object to dry between applications.  After the whole thing is dry, apply a decoupage glaze.

Fill with love notes, chocolate, flower petals, toys, or any combination of the above!  Whatever you put inside, the recipient will know that you put a lot of love into the gift.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Eco Valentine Crafts: Decorations for Kids

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Valentine Decorations for Kids

It’s awfully fun to to spread the love with heart-shaped decorations on Valentine’s Day.  You can go the traditional and elegant route with doilies and pink tissue paper, or try something a little more offbeat.  Here’s a perfect Valentine-themed project for a play date, classroom activity or family craft night.   It’s open-ended–pick out whatever papers, beads and other materials you want, and create Valentine ornaments to hang all over the house.

DIY Paper & Bead Valentine Ornament Project

What you’ll need: sturdy paper, thread, beads.

  1. Thread a needle (if you’re using small beads) and tie a big knot at one end.
  2. String some beads.
  3. Glue two hearts together with the thread in between.
  4. String more beads.
  5. Repeat as many times as you like, leaving enough room to tie a loop at the top.
  6. Hang your lovely ornament from your mantle or attach it to a special gift.  If you make several extra-long ones, you could even fill up an entire door frame–perfect if you’re hosting a Valentine party!
Creative, simple valentine decoration

For more Valentine craft ideas for kids (and adults!), check out last year’s Valentine blog posts.  We also made Valentine paper bouquets, a heart garland and heart cluster ornaments!

Eco Valentine Crafts: DIY Cards for Kids

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

DIY Valentine’s Day Cards for Kids

If you go to your local grocery or discount store, it seems as though Valentine’s Day is all about branded marketing.  While it can be fun and easy for kids to give commercial valentines featuring a favorite cartoon character, a little creativity and effort can be so much more satisfying, not to mention delightful for the recipient.  If you’re thinking about the huge amount of classmates that require cards, don’t worry!  We have a simple, homemade card idea just for you, totally doable for anyone from kindergarteners to seniors.

Collage Heart Valentine

What you’ll need: sturdy paper for the heart, scrap paper for backing, magazine paper to create collages

  1. Tear out pieces of magazine paper with interesting colors and patterns, and glue them, overlapping each other, onto a plain piece of printer paper (this helps reinforce the flimsy magazine paper).
  2. After the glue dries, trace out your shapes and cut them out.
  3. Layer it on top of a larger heart made of sturdy construction paper or some leftover Artterro paper, or keep them as they are.
  4. Write a sweet message on the back.
  5. Optional: Add stickers, glitter, or another embellishment of your choice, or attach a piece of foil-wrapped candy (preferably heart-shaped).

Enough valentines for a classroom of kids!

Next post: How to Make a Valentine’s Day Ornament!

Eco Art Birthday Party Inspiration! – part three

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

A selection of eco-friendly materials, plus glue, scissors, colored pencils and crayons

So many birthday activity ideas you see online are very specific about how to make a certain craft so it fits in with the theme of the party.  The great part about having an art-themed party is that you can make whatever you want!

Artterro’s open-ended, totally creative birthday art activity:

  1. Cover a big table with newspaper or kraft paper.
  2. Put plenty of art supplies in the middle.
  3. Watch naturally creative kids make amazing art!

Not sure what to provide?  You could always get a few art kits.  Our Wire & Bead Art KitCreativity Kit and Bookmaking Kit would provide a nice selection of materials and project ideas.

Covering the table with kraft paper not only protects your furniture, but it creates a great big canvas for art!

Kraft paper + colored pencils = happy kids!

Here’s a good checklist of supplies to consider:

  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Materials you have around the house (old magazines and wrapping paper for collage, cardboard containers, yarn and fabric scraps for 3D art, etc.
Tip: Keep beads in a jar to keep things relatively tidy.

Just in case you have some kids who are less confident about their artistic abilities, it’s a great idea to have a few sample pieces or art for them to check out, like a paper bookmark or card, a simple wire sculpture, or a felt ornament with beads sewn on.

Small works of art made from beads, wire, paper & felt.

But we can assure you, once you step back and let them get started, their imaginations will take over!

Favors

Art supplies make wonderful favors!  You could make little bundles of crayons or colored pencils, or little stacks of paper or felt.  The easiest idea would be to let each kid grab a handful of the leftover materials from your activity table (a great favor, plus there’s less to clean up!).

Goody bags found at a thrift store!

All you need for this favor is a cute bag.  Along with the supplies, they can take finished artwork home in style.  The birthday boy or girl can decorate paper lunch bags with each kid’s name and a drawing.  You can also pick out some cute recycled-paper bags online (like a recycled gingham bag from Layer Cake Shop), or browse a thrift store.

We hope these Eco Art Birthday Party ideas have been helpful and inspiring!  Feel free to share your own ideas in the comments!

Eco Art Birthday Party Inspiration! – part two

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

As we shared in last week’s post, decorations can be very easy and cheap, if not free, to make.  Here’s our favorite birthday decoration:

Artterro’s Eco Paper Bunting

Supplies

Some combination of:

Recycled paper (magazines covers, wrapping paper, greeting cards)

Fancy paper (preferably with glitter!)

Construction paper

Twine, string or ribbon

Stapler, glue, hot glue gun or strong tape

  1. Gather a collection of paper.
  2. Cut out big and little triangles (whatever sizes you want, but at least a few inches long so you have room to fold over the top).
  3. Cut a piece of sturdy twine, string or ribbon.
  4. Fold the top inch of a triangle over the string and use glue, staples or tape to secure.
  5. Hang on the wall.

fabric bunting and paper bunting
A small paper bunting underneath a big fabric Happy Birthday bunting!

Easy, fast, and kid-friendly!  For a bigger decoration with more impact, check out the fabric bunting above that spells out Happy Birthday.  It takes a bit more time and effort, but it’s easy enough for anyone to make!  Our you could make several big posters with birthday messages.  Kids love making signs!  And you probably have markers, crayons, paper and glue already on hand.  No directions necessary—just have fun!

Now for the Birthday Treats.  Again, we love to keep it simple.  Pick one or two things that are easy to make or pick up from the store.  We love to start with a search on Pinterest.  Try searching for easy sugar cookie and/or cupcake recipes.  Here’s a nice, simple recipe for Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies and a slightly more complicated (but gorgeous) Strawberry-Beet Cupcake recipe from the Minimalist Baker.  If you are up for a bit of a fun mess, decorating the cookies or cupcakes can be another party activity.  Just set out some frosting (perhaps a few bowls with different, naturally-colored frosting options) and sprinkles from Maggie’s Naturals, and let the kids have at it!

Once all the treats are decorated, out come the best party plates around, from Susty Party! How cute are these?  They have cups, bowls and straws, and special themed sets to choose from.

susty party

Be sure to come back tomorrow for Part Three!  We’ll show you exactly how to set up a birthday art activity table, and give you a handy supply checklist!