Posts Tagged ‘eco-friendly art’

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!

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.

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?

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!

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.