Archive for April, 2014

Family Artist Profile

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Family with art journal kits

This week, we interviewed a whole family of amazing artists.  Heidi, Adrian, Isaiah, Kimana and Declan are friends of Artterro and they also modeled in our recent photo shoot.  They are Madison-based homeschoolers with a cat named Topaz, and we chatted together about family art projects, kittens and creativity.

Art Journal

Declan’s Favorite Things

Color: red

Food: cheese

Animal: kittens

Thing to do: chemistry projects, like mixing things up  (His mom Heidi notes: “Declan once made barbecue sauce by accident. And it was good!)

What is your favorite kind of art project?

I like marble art.  And the image projector (Heidi explained: “This was a project where we drew an image and used a plastic film to create a reflection that seemed to float in the air.”

Kimana’s Favorite Things

Color: blue

Food: pizza

School Subject: math

Outside activity: soccer

Animal: kitten

What is your favorite kind of art project?

Drawing.

What supplies do you like to use?

Pencils and colored pencils.

How do you decide what to draw?

I’m not sure.  My imagination.  I like to draw abstract shapes and designs.

Have you always liked art?

Yes!

Has your style changed a lot over time?

When I was little I only drew circles and people.  I learned how to draw other things by looking at other people’s drawings.

What kind of art technique would you like to try in the future?

Painting.

What’s your favorite Artterro Kit?

Bookmaking.

Mailbox made from an Artterro box

Kimana's mailbox made from an Artterro box

Isaiah’s Interview

What is your favorite kind of art project to work on?

I like graffiti-style art.

What supplies do you like to use?

I have these paint markers that are pretty cool.

Have you always liked art?

Yes, pretty much.  (Heidi: “He’s been drawing since he was 2)  Yeah, I started scribbling when I was two.  I used to draw lots of whales and sharks.

What’s your favorite Artterro Kit?

The Art Journal Kit.

Heidi’s Interview

What kind of art do you enjoy?

Currently I’m really into mixed-media.  I use a mixture of pen, colored pencil, paper, beads, etc.  Artterro kits actually kind of helped me get into that, because I had all these extra materials from your kits, so I decided to put them together.

What do you like about mixed-media art?

I like that you can add layer after layer with whatever you want, and just keep working on it until you decide it’s done.

Are there any art techniques you’re interested in learning in the future?

We’ve been dabbling with needle felting, and I’d really like to learn more about it.

Art art material caddy made from an Artterro box

Art material caddy made by Heidi with an Artterro box

Thank you Heidi, Isaiah, Kimana and Declan!  You inspire all of us here at Artterro with your creativity and passion for art!

Roundup of Artterro Giveaways & Project Ideas

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

We’ve been on cloud nine all week!  On Monday we announced our relaunch and new packaging, on Tuesday we celebrated Earth Day with tons of giveaways, Wednesday we were busy filling orders, and Thursday we get a visit from some adorable 1-week-old orphaned kittens!  Here they are in action, making the most adorable little noises:



In case you missed some of the exciting giveaways, here’s a roundup of links to check out:

The Artful Parent

Madison Moms Blog

Pink and Green Mama

Rebecca’s Soap Deli

Suzy’s Artsy Craftsy Sitcom

And here’s some inspiration for your next craft project.  We are so impressed at what our wonderful blogging friends came up with.  Click on each image to see more!

suzy's suncatcher

A wire-wrapped tree suncatcher from Suzy's Sitcom.

Mama Smiles needle felted cat

A needle-felted cat on the Mama Smiles blog

canvas book dragon

A Canvas Book Kit decorated with a fierce dragon!

Birdhouse pink and green mama

A birdhouse made from our packaging! From Pink and Green Mama

We hope you have a wonderful weekend.  Don’t forget to make a little time for art, by yourself or as a family.  Let us know what you end up creating!

Inside Our New Bonus Projects

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Happy Earth Week!  As you may have noticed, we’re celebrating with a huge relaunch of our products, tons of giveaways on Facebook, free shipping on any order at our web store (see below), and much more.  Today on the blog, we wanted to highlight one of the most exciting new features of our line–now each kit comes with TWO bonus projects!

bonus projects!

The outer box can turn into a dollhouse, mailbox, special storage case for art supplies, or anything you can imagine!  In the example above, Forrest covered it with scraps of denim, including a pocket for the front, and our production assistant Sierra sewed on all sorts of felt and ribbon to jazz it up.  Now it’s a fancy place for extra felt pieces, beads, etc., plus tiny scraps can fit in the outside pocket.  Pretty creative, huh?

felted box

Here’s another special storage box adorned with needle felted trees and birds.  The possibilities are truly endless.

When you open up a kit, you’ll see a sturdy cardboard tray that slides out.  Once you’re done with the project, the empty tray can be transformed into a beautiful frame for your finished artwork.  Here’s one we painted and filled with Wire & Bead Art Kit samples for an upcoming trade show display:

wire and bead frame

We hope that everyone who buys or receives one of our kits will be inspired to create something special with the sturdy packaging, and maybe even looks at packaging in general in a new way.  Imagine all the fun stuff you can make when you see boxes as art supplies rather than garbage!

This week at our web store, enjoy free shipping on any order!  Use code FREESHIPNOW through May 1st.  We can’t wait for you to give the new kits a try!

Introducing Our New Deluxe Bubble Wand Kit

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Deluxe Bubble Wand Kit

We’re very excited to debut our new Deluxe Bubble Wand Kit along with the rest of our relaunch.  It is a great spring and summer activity, so keep it in mind for any upcoming birthday boys and girls!

You might be wondering how it’s different from our original Bubble Wands Kit.  Well, when we were planning the relaunch, we decided to combine the Garden Art Kit and the Bubble Wand Kit.  They’ve never been our best sellers, but they are way too much fun to discontinue.  One brainstorming session later, we thought, “Let’s turn them into one awesome kit called the Deluxe Bubble Wand and Garden Fun Kit!  Well that would be quite a mouthful.  So we decided to simplify the name, but still include all  the gorgeous materials and fun project ideas from both kits.

star wand

The kit includes enough sturdy copper wire (thin and thick gauges), glass, wood and shell beads, to create two beautifully intricate bubble wands plus several wire and bead sculptures for decorating your garden or potted plants.  One of our favorite bloggers even made a Wire-Wrapped Tree Suncatcher with her kit!

suzy's suncatcher

It’s a great kit for families to enjoy together, especially because you end up with two toys to play with all summer (and many summers to come)!

We hope you like it!

Family with bubble wands

Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Earth Day message

Happy Earth Day from all of us here at Artterro!  This is one of our favorite holidays.  We like to celebrate it everyday, of course, but it’s awesome to have one day when everyone celebrates together.

This year Earth Day is extra special for us, because we just debuted our new and improved line of eco art kits.  We chose this week for a reason.  We wanted to highlight the fact that our concern and respect for the environment informs everything we do, every choice we make, and every product we develop.

When we started to redesign our packaging, our goal was to create a more attractive presentation for our customers and add more value to the product itself.  It can be difficult to add to a product without making it less eco-friendly, but that’s exactly what we set out to do.  We worked closely with our box producer, Green Bay Packaging, to design a 100% recycled, sturdy box in a fun shape.  We also added a 100% recycled inner tray that would help protect our materials and keep them organized while you work. The tray also allowed us to ditch the plastic bag that had previously held our materials–so exciting!

New boxes

Both the box and the tray can be re-purposed as bonus projects.  Turn the box into a special storage box for your art materials, a dollhouse, mailbox, or anything else you can imagine.  The tray makes a perfect frame for finished artwork.  Paint it gold for the museum masterpiece look!

bonus projects!

We printed glossy, recycled paper bands at Green Solutions Printing.  They have been printing our inserts since we started Artterro!  We love that they use wind power, recycled paper and soy ink, without sacrificing image quality one bit.  That was essential, since our new bands show off a ton of artwork we hope will inspire you!

Wire & Bead_samples

We also added extra eco materials, including more wool felt shapes, beads and jewelry findings, and useful tools like needle threaders and soy-foam pads for felting.  And we replaced our bead bags with a biodegradable version, which was a longtime goal of ours.

Whew!  That’s a lot of changes for the better.  We’re excited to share them and to celebrate Earth Day with you!  Thanks for reading.

A New Artterro, Just in Time for Earth Week!

Monday, April 21st, 2014

new artterro line

That’s enough mysterious photos and tantalizing clues…It’s finally time for the big announcement!

We are excited and proud to re-launch our entire line of eco art kits, with bright new packaging, extra materials, new titles and more.  We hope you like it!  It’s been in the works for quite a while; it feels great to share it with the world.

new box team

So, here’s what to expect when you pick up a new & improved Artterro kit:

Super Eco, Vibrant New Packaging

  • A sturdier box you can reuse to store art materials (also a bonus project!)
  • No more petroleum-based plastic bags!
  • Biodegradable bead bags
  • A big glossy band with detailed images of all sorts of artwork
  • An inner tray to protect the beautiful materials
  • 100% PCW recycled paper packaging (Green Bay Packaging)
  • Recycled bands printed w/ soy ink & green energy (Green Solutions)

peek inside

Inside the box

  • Extra materials: glass and wood beads, jewelry findings, wool felt pieces, plus needle threaders for sewing kits, and a soy foam pad for needle felting

bonus project

Two Bonus Projects

  • You can use the box to make a personalized caddy for your art materials, a doll house, a mailbox, or whatever you dream up!
  • The tray makes a perfect frame for your finished artwork, or maybe it’s a boat, or a bed for a puppy or baby doll.  The possibilities are endless!
  • Kids will enjoy using their imaginations to transform the packaging, plus, they will learn to look at packaging as a material to use rather than garbage to throw away.

Needle Felting Kit

New titles

  • Needle Felting Kit: formerly Paint With Wool Portrait Kit, which now includes a soy-foam pad for easier felting
  • Deluxe Bubble Wand Kit: combines our Bubble Wands Kit and Garden Art Kit, so you can make two sturdy, intricate wands & lots of garden sculptures
  • Canvas Book Kit: formerly Canvas Storybook Kit

Check out all the new titles here on our website, and please tell us what you think!  We made all these changes with you, our customers and community, in mind.

Can you tell we’re excited?

A Look Back at Artterro’s Eco Packaging

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Did you know we have had over five different kind of packaging over the years?  Developing a product is a complicated process, and we’re always trying to improve and make our customers happy.

Packaging 2006 and 2007

Here are our first two packaging versions, back when our name was Arttogo (Art-to-go).  The one on the left is minimal in the extreme!  All the focus was on providing beautiful, quality materials, rather than a big fancy box.  At that point, Forrest was selling the kits mostly at community events and to friends and family.  The version on the right came about after she started working with Jennifer Conn.  Jen was then working as a freelance graphic designer, and now she is a co-owner and the Creative Director of Artterro.  The packaging was a big improvement, but still quite minimal and eco-friendly.

packaging 2008 and 2010

Here we have our redesigned inserts in 2008 (still in a reusable bag that hangs from a hook).  In 2010 we took a big step forward–we created a box that made our products look more like the special gifts they are, while still being eco-friendly and allowing customers to see exactly what they’re going to get.  Plus, it turned into a bonus project–a frame you can decorate to display your art!  Pretty fancy, huh?

You’ll have to stay tuned until Monday (aka Earth Day Eve) to see what our next big step forward looks like.  We couldn’t be more excited to share it with you.

Sneak Peek of the new Artterro line!

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

We can’t show you everything until the official debut next week, but here are a few sneak peeks of our new packaging.

Artterro: Where creativity comes naturally.

What do you think of our new tagline, Where creativity comes naturally?

made in madison

Now we can show off our hometown pride right on the box!  And we wanted to let people know that our packaging will be greener than ever.

new side panels

The goal is for our kits to jump off the shelf–how do you like the bright colors we chose?

sustainability

We wanted to make sure everyone knows what Artterro is all about: Creativity, Beauty, Joy and Sustainability.  And of course that it’s fun for all ages!

Stay tuned for the big announcement next week, which also happens to be the week of Earth Day – what a coincidence!

Eco Easter Projects

Friday, April 11th, 2014

easter flower egg

Easter is coming up, along with spring break and all the free time that comes with it!  We’ve been feeling inspired by warmer weather and sunshine lately, so we set aside some time for spring craft projects at the office.

wool felt easter eggs 4

Our production assistant Sierra made the intricate wool felt eggs, some of which are ornaments to hang, and Forrest put together some eco paper nests as a cozy home for the eggs.

paper nest

She also crafted an amazing paper flower bouquet, one of our favorite ways to display (aka show off!) our beautiful handmade recycled paper at events.

bouquet eggs and ornaments

We hope these ideas give you some inspiration for your own spring crafts and art projects!  Let us know what you’re planning to create in the comments.  Happy Spring!

Getting Excited About Earth Day: Eco Craft Ideas!

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

We are all about Earth Day here at Artterro.  It’s so much fun to celebrate the Earth and talk about how we can take better care of it everyday.  Of course we are especially excited to come up with creative artistic ways to be green and express our love for this beautiful planet.  We have some fun crafting posts planned for later in the month, but today I thought I’d share a couple of fun projects from our production manager and crafter-extraordinaire Shari!  She combined Artterro materials with other items to make some really neat eco art.

First, she decoupaged our wooden bangle and pendants with old maps.  What a fun way to remember a place you love.

Decoupage frame

She also used our beautiful decoupage paper to cover an old frame that needed refreshing. What’s your favorite project using recycled and upcycled materials?