Archive for June, 2014

We Love Needle Felting (& New Staff Members)!

Friday, June 27th, 2014

We recently attended the ASTRA (American Specialty Toy Retailing Association) show in Phoenix, AZ, where we debuted our new and improved line to some of our favorite store buyers.  It was so fun seeing everyone’s reaction to our new packaging and kit improvements.  We got a lot of big thumbs up!  We were able to participate in a Kit Session, where buyers could sit down and try out our Needle Felting Kit.  It was a huge hit!  But because of the limited time of the session, we were left with many half-finished canvases.

needle felted canvasesRather than let them go to waste, we decided to finish them up and provide them to stores as samples, so that people can see what you make with the kit.

needle felted canvases

So on Monday we had a big needle felting party with most of our production staff, plus our brand new Admin & Sales Assistant, Anna Lee!

needle felting party at artterro

Anna Lee will be providing some much needed office management and sales assistance as we continue to grow in 2014.  We’re thrilled to welcome her to our team.  Here she is with one of our outstanding production assistants, Juliana:

Juliana and Anna Lee

Have you tried needle felting yet?  It’s such a fun, satisfying project to work on!  Let us know what craft projects you have planned for your weekend in the comments.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Art Is For Everyone (part 3): Art is Social

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Summer break is here!  It’s a great time to think about how you will incorporate art into your kids’ abundant free time.  For the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing some thoughts on why we create art (with kids and , and why art is such an important part of our lives.  We’re calling the series “Art Is For Everyone.”  Please share your thoughts with us in the comments!

When you think of an artist, what image pops into your head?  Perhaps a solitary figure painting on a canvas, deep in thought?  That’s certainly one example, but it’s not the only way to create art!  One of the things we encourage is art projects that involve the whole family, or a bunch of friends.  Whether you collaborate on a big project together, or each create something of your own while spending quality time in a group, you find that art can be wonderfully social.

Kids Making Art Together

Social art can take many forms: family art night, kids’ birthday party, ladies’ wine & crafting event, impromptu play dates, baby shower activities, and more.  Here’s the finished art that came out of a baby shower here at the Artterro office last summer:

Onesies Decorated with Fabric Markers

For some, art might feel like a private pursuit, and creativity might feel stronger in solitude, and there’s nothing wrong with that!  But we hope you will give social art a try, and encourage kids to enjoy art with others.  Especially for kids, art provides an opportunity to learn to collaborate with others, and to appreciate different styles and gifts that each person brings to a project.

Join us in the comments to share your favorite setting or project idea for social art!  And you can always check out our Pinterest boards for lots of inspiration!

New Paper Patterns!

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Handmade recycled paper - new patterns - Bookmaking Kit

It is always a thrill to get a big pallet full of new paper from our friends at Shizen Designs.  The luscious texture and quality is the same every time, but the patterns are exciting and new.  And impressively on trend!  Everything from mod geometric prints to offbeat chevron, plus some classic paisley and floral and always-vibrant solids.

Handmade Recycled Paper

Does it get your art imagination going?  It would be impossible to pick just one for a card-making or paper art project!  Luckily we put a big, beautiful, unique assortment in each Bookmaking Kit.  You’ll also find several pieces in the Creativity Kit, Art Journal Kit, and the Art Dolls Kit.

What’s your favorite kind of paper art project?  Share in the comments!

Art Is For Everyone (part 2): Art is Relaxing

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Summer break is coming up fast!  It’s a great time to think about how you will incorporate art into your kids’ summer break.  For the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing some thoughts on why we create art (with kids and , and why art is such an important part of our lives.  We’re calling the series “Art Is For Everyone.”  Please share your thoughts with us in the comments!

Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Matisse

“Art should be something like a good armchair,

in which to rest from physical fatigue.”

-Henri Matisse

Last week we talked about the healing powers of art.  This week, we want to highlight how relaxing it can be to create something with your own two hands.  It is so lovely to slow down and focus one one project, whether it’s a huge painting, a tiny doodle, a knitted scarf or anything that starts off as raw material and ends up something else.

Needle Felting Kit by Artterro

Here’s a great project idea from a licensed family therapist, to help kids and adults alike relax through art: Scribble Drawing.  From the blog’s author, :

“One of the benefits of this activity is that it helps to focus your mind on the here and now. By turning away from worries, planning, overanalyzing, negative thoughts, etc. and focusing on the drawing, you can take a break from stress and allow yourself to relax. Another benefit of the scribble, as opposed to another approach to drawing, is that it helps to remove anxiety or perfectionism in your creative process. A scribble cannot be good or bad, so you do not need to worry about the result.”

So take a few minutes to enjoy some calm and relaxation with art.  Whether you do it with your children, or alone before everyone else wakes up in the morning, it will have  a huge impact on your state of mind.

What kind of art or craft project relaxes you most?  Feel free to share in the comments!

Art Is For Everyone (Part 1): Art is Healing

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Summer break is coming up fast!  It’s a great time to think about how you will incorporate art into your kids’ summer break.  For the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing some thoughts on why we create art (with kids and , and why art is such an important part of our lives.  We’re calling the series “Art Is For Everyone.”  Please share your thoughts with us in the comments!

Art Journal Collage

We create art for so many reasons: to have fun, to relax, to learn, to socialize, to teach and to simply create.  But we also believe in the healing power of art.  Self-expression is a powerful thing.  Letting your emotions come out in your art can make you feel lighter, happier and more balanced.  Which is true for kids as well!  Art can be a great tool for helping kids deal with change and loss, along with just being a fun, unplugged activity.

Art Journal Face Collage

Art may also heal in a very literal, physical sense, lessening pain and speeding recovery for people with serious conditions.  According to The Greater Good Center at the University of California Berkeley, “the artistic processes restore a sense of identity and agency that hospitalization takes away. Barb Esrig, once attended by AIM artists after a car wreck broke 164 bones in her body, now interviews Shands patients for oral histories. She says AIM (the Arts in Medicine program) ‘reminds people they’re a whole lot more than just a disease process or a diagnosis. We find out who they are outside of the hospital gown.”

Art Collage Peace Love Joy

Art therapy is a powerful tool for recovery from emotional trauma as well, as explored by the National Institute for Health.  Megan Robb, a certified art therapist at NIH’s Clinical Center, says, “When traumatic memories are stored in the brain, they’re not stored as words but as images. Art therapy is uniquely suited to access these memories.”

We believe art journaling is a powerful tool for healing through art.  It combines drawing, painting, collage, poetry, journaling, sketching and more, for a one-of-a-kind creative project.

Have you ever experienced the healing power of art?  Please share in the comments!  You could inspire someone else to explore healing through art.