Posts Tagged ‘Creativity’

Artwork by You!

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

One of the best parts about selling a creative product is seeing what people make with it!  We always welcome submissions from customers and friends.  Here are two recent submissions.

Beautiful earrings and pendant from the Collage Jewelry Kit

A gorgeous art book made with our Bookmaking Kit

Feel free to email info@artterro.com or share it on our Facebook page whenever you have a new project to share.  It can be very exciting for kids especially, to take pride in their art by sharing it with the world.  Happy crafting!

Frida the Cat Loves our Fancy Handmade Felt!

Friday, January 24th, 2014

It seems even cats appreciate good quality art materials!  Forrest recently discovered that our natural wool felt was a big hit with Frida the cat.  Have you ever made your own pet toys?  Keep an eye out for a DIY cat toy post coming up in February!

cat playing with handmade wool felt toy

Make Art Happen! Setting Up a Family Art Station

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

One of our goals for this blog is to help you incorporate arts and crafts into your family’s daily rhythm, no matter how short on time, space and experience you may be.  It really can be easy!  You don’t need a gorgeous family art studio right out of Dwell Magazine, or a walk-in closet full of high-end materials.  Just a couple of shelves or drawers, a place to sit, and a few essential, affordable supplies.  Here are some simple steps to get started:

1. Stocking Up on Art Supplies for Kids

Kids really don’t need fancy art materials when they are first learning to draw, color, and create, but they do need sturdy, quality tools that work well.  Here’s a shopping list to use as a guide.

  • plain paper
  • construction paper
  • plain journals or mixed media paper pads
  • glue sticks or white paper glue
  • coloring tools (crayons for younger kids, colored pencils and markers for older kids)
  • kids scissors (with rounded edge) for younger kids and quality scissors for older kids (make sure they are the right size)
  • storage container for paper and tools
  • recycled materials from around the house (magazines, newspaper, empty plastic containers, ribbons, wrapping paper, etc.)

2. Family Art Supply Storage

Set up a small family art station at or near a large table or in the kitchen (we find that most kids like to be near adults or other family members when they create).  This could be a freestanding cabinet, some shelves in your pantry, or a desk or end table with a drawer or two.  Here’s Forrest’s art cabinet, which is fairly large because it includes homeschooling materials as well.  Note the baskets, magazine holders and cups– feel free to be creative when you look for containers.  And don’t worry too much about being perfectly organized.  They’re art supplies, not library books!

Art supply cabinet organization

3. Make Art Happen!

Have the station where your child can easily reach it, and teach him or her how to get materials and how to put stuff away. Young kids love being independent, and it’s great to build on that skill at an early age. Drawing can be a fun and relaxing thing for kids to do in the evening when they are waiting for dinner. It’s also a great time to spend together at the end of a long day. And any time you can sit down and do a family art project with an older child or tween, it’s such a great opportunity to talk.

Let us know if you have questions about what to buy or how to organize your family art station!

More resources:

Check out all the recycled containers utilized in this organized art cabinet, from The Art of Simple blog.

Last year on the blog we talked about the convenience of having a mobile art station (for kids or adults).

A fun selection of supplies to jazz up your stock of basic essentials, on the Design Mom blog.

Easy Ways to Fill Your Summer With Creativity!

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Are you kids home from school and in need of engaging activities?  Or maybe you home school and want to add a little extra creativity to your summer days?  Art projects are the perfect way to fill up long, sunny days on the deck, rainy days indoors, or vacations on the road.

Projects that can go from indoors to outdoors are ideal.   One fabulous summer project for little ones is to make fairy houses and bug habitats out of natural materials.  You can start inside by sketching a design and making a list of materials, or just improvise while you look around the backyard or a nearby park.  Then pick a location where you can imagine fairies nesting or bugs working, and make them a house with natural found items.  Here’s a paper version of a bug habitat we made with our Wool Felt Bug Kit and some other supplies (imagine what you could make with branches, stones and leaves!):

Inspiration for your bug habitat!

Our Bubble Wands Kit is another great example.  You can design and make the bubble wands inside or out, and then play with them outside for hours.

Bubble Wand Kits

Image via Magic Cabin

Art journaling is a great way to keep the creativity flowing all summer.  You can set a goal of one page a day, and throw it in a purse or tote bag to bring it along on vacations and long car rides.

The Perfectly Portable Art Journal Kit

Art journaling is great for all ages, and doesn’t require a big investment in materials.  The Artterro Art Journal Kit makes it especially easy to get started, with helpful tips and inspiring examples included.

Exploring Their Art Journal Kits

We love to decorate our gardens in the summer!  Whether you have a small patio garden or a flourishing urban farm, your already-delightful garden will be even more beautiful with some garden art.  We put copper wire and glass beads in our Garden Art Kit, which are perfect for reflecting light and adding visual interest to a potted plant.  You can also make decorative plant labels out of recycled materials and collect stones to make small garden paths.

Add some art to a potted plant!

What are some of your favorite creative summer activities?

Top 5 Reasons to Go to the Green Festival!

Friday, May 11th, 2012

1. The Green Kids Zone!

This photo of the Chicago Green Festival can’t even capture all the fun being had:

- Artterro bookmaking project       – Story Time Yoga

- Hula hoops & balance boards     – Delicious snacks from Cliffbar

- Two very different petting zoos (one with fuzzy bunnies and one with less fuzzy millipedes, roaches, worms and tarantulas!)

2. Scary Styrofoam Monster!

It’s huge, right?  Actually, this big, unfriendly giant is made up of only a fraction of the Styrofoam containers that the New York city school system uses Every Single Day.  Now that is scary.  But it also seems like something that would be easy to fix, if enough people speak out about it.  The Green Festival is a great place to learn about problems while simultaneously brainstorming solutions and making connections with others who want to help.

3. Delicious Organic/ Fairtrade/ Handmade/ Heirloom/ Raw/ Nutritious FOOD!

There was something for everyone in Chicago, from raw lemon bars to vegan lasagna.  I think we sampled every brand of fair trade chocolate known to man.  Yum.

4. The message of “Less Consumerism and Better Consumerism.”

So many of us buy more than we need, wasting money, resources and space.  Events like the Green Festival remind us of the cost of excessive consumerism, and also give us great alternatives to consider.  Some of our favorites from the festival are Mata Traders for gorgeous fair trade dresses and accessories handcrafted by a women’s cooperative in India, Malia Designs for beautiful bags and wallets that support organizations dedicated to ending human trafficking, and Cliffbar, one of the event’s sponsors and a great green business role model.

5. Meeting future leaders of the Green Movement:Seeing so many kids running around the Green Festival, learning about their world and what they can do to protect it from harm, is so inspiring and hopeful!  These kids will grow up very aware of the challenges we face and they’ll have the tools they need to think of CREATIVE solutions!

Thanks to everyone at Green Festivals for organizing a wonderful event and inviting us to be a part of it.  You inspire us!

NY Gift Fair: Finding Our Niche

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

One of the coolest things about the New York International Gift Fair is how it promotes sustainable ideals and innovative products.  We were thrilled to have our Art Journal Kit and Wool Felt Bug Kit selected for the SustainAbility: Design for a Better World display, which meant being eligible for one of the exclusive Eco-Choice Awards.

SustainAbility Display

Only about half of the applicants were chosen for the display, so we felt incredibly honored to be included!

Here’s the bug habitat we made to show off our Wool Felt Bug Kit.

Art Bug Habitat

We also tried for the Best New Product with our Art Journal Kits.  Here they are in the Baby & Child display:

Although we didn’t take home any awards this time, it felt great to be recognized for our values along with our product design, and we left the gift fair feeling like we had connected with just the like-minded retailers we’ve been looking for.

We wrote orders for eco-boutiques on the hunt for sustainable, sophisticated gifts, museum stores looking for the next generation of arts and crafts for their art-loving customers and eclectic gift shops that are responding positively to consumer demand for US-made products.

Our Eco Art Kits were just what these buyers were looking for!  People told us over and over that they were grateful we were there.  We are proud to partner with so many stores that share our values.  Here are just a few of our newest retail partners:

The Guggenheim Museum

Fair Indigo

Contemporary Jewish Museum

greendesign

Green Ink

Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture

We can’t wait to reach a whole new audience through these great accounts.

As always, if you have a favorite local store that you think should stock our kits, please tell the manager!  Or tell us and we’ll contact them for you.  Word-of-mouth is the best advertising for a small, sustainable business like ours!

NY Gift Fair: Booth Transformation!

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

We had an absolutely amazing time at the New York International Gift Fair!  Our shipping department is bustling, and will be for months, thanks to our wonderful new accounts.  We were blown away by the glowing reviews and delighted responses we got from store owners and buyers everyday.  Thank you NYC!

Happy Artterro Owners, Forrest & Jen.

Designing our booth is always an especially fun trade show challenge–how do you catch the eye of busy, overwhelmed buyers and press people on the hunt for the hottest new products and trends of 2012?  We decided to highlight our beautiful materials with some handmade art of our own.  Our booth went from this:

The empty booth

To this:

Halfway there…

To (finally!) this:

Finished Booth!

Here are some close-ups on the homemade flag banner, paper crane mobile and various shadow boxes full of Artterro art:

A book in our gallery.

Paper Crane Mobile

Paper Flag Banner

Owls, flowers, spiders and more…

Bright & Cheerful

Stay tuned!  More New York excitement to come, including our debut in the SustainAbility showcase and the Best New Product competition!

Bringing Art into the Community

Friday, August 5th, 2011

We’ve been having lots of fun on the road this summer, offering a free art project at all sorts of community events like the Chicago Green Festival and the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair.  It’s a great opportunity to connect with our customers and see how people of all ages and backgrounds respond to our products.  Kids light up when they see all the colorful papers and beads, and dig in without needing any instructions.  Their parents often sit down and join them, with assurance from us that it’s “not just for kids!”

Bookmarks

Bookmark Art

Our fans prove time and again that when you start with beautiful materials, like our handmade papers…

Handmade Paper

Showing off our 100% recycled, handmade paper!

…you’ll end up with something lovely!  Here’s a colorful collage bookmark complete with threaded border:

Flower Collage Bookmark

Flower Collage Bookmark

This is definitely the most beautiful, sparkly chicken we’ve ever seen on one of our bookmarks.  Look how the artist used our textured paper to make different kinds of feathers:

Artterro Chicken Bookmark

Pretty Chicken

These young ladies spent the better part of a day at our table, proving that our kits appeal to a wide range of ages:

Artterro Fans

Artterro Fans at the Energy Fair.

Check out the detailing on this artist’s tree and river collage bookmark:

Tree & River Collage Bookmark

Tree & River Collage Bookmark

Just beautiful.  Every time we pack up to leave another fun festival or fair, we leave with renewed purpose, excited to bring creativity and open-ended art to as many people as we can!

I hope you can make it to one of our frequent community events to make something beautiful yourself!  Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to find out where we’ll be next!  Our growing company relies on word of mouth to reach new customers, so your support truly helps us bring more art and creativity to the world.  Thanks for being a part of our success!

Artterro’s Eileen Fisher Adventure

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

We’re back from our whirlwind New York City trip!  We couldn’t wait to share some of our favorite moments with the Eileen Fisher company and our fellow grant winners, so here’s a sneak peak of what we were up to last week–making great new friends and learning from inspiring, sustainable business role models.

From the left–our three fellow grantees Holli Harris, Esmerelda Kent and Kari Erickson-Valenzuela, Eileen Fisher herself, Forrest and Jen.

They hosted 2 mini trade shows for current and past grant winners at both the downtown design center/showroom and at corporate headquarters. Here’s Jen at the Artterro table.

Here’s Forrest telling the Artterro story at the mini trade show in the yoga room of the Manhattan design offices.

Out for lunch near the headquarters in Irvington.

Fellow grantee, Holli Harris of HadleyStilwell (maker of stylish and practical nursing clothes for working moms).

The beautiful Eileen Fisher headquarters in Irvington, NY. We've never seen so many people happy to be at work!

All in all, it was an amazing trip, and in our next post we’ll let you in on some of the insights we gained and how our Artterro momentum will build as a result.

Eco-Supplier Spotlight: Shizen Design Handmade Papers

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

If you’ve tried our Creativity, Bookmaking and/or Art Dolls Kits, you’ve probably been struck by the beautifully-designed, vibrant paper they feature.

Shizen Design Handmade Papers

Wondering where we found such unique, high-quality paper (and what exactly makes it eco-friendly)?  Here’s the secret:

Shizen Design Handmade Papers

Shizen (which means “nature” in Japanese) imports all the paper in our kits.  But this is no ordinary paper!

Shizen Design Artisan

Shizen’s paper is handmade by artisans in India and Thailand.

Paper Making

It’s entirely composed of scraps from the Indian Garment Industry, making it 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper.

Pouring Paint

The paper-making process is completely pollution-free.

Paper Making

A fantastic husband-and-wife team owns the company.  Neil and Shelly do an amazing job working with their contacts abroad to bring this paper to the US, and Shelly designs all the glorious patterns herself.

Shizen Paper

Thanks for helping to make our kits so beautiful, Shizen Design!

Bookmaking Kit