Posts Tagged ‘going green’

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!

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!”


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!

5 Ways to Go (Creatively) Green with Art on Earth Day

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

There are hundreds of websites devoted to going green in your everyday life, and many of them write special Earth Day posts, inspiring their readers to take new steps towards sustainability.  Treehugger has a great primer if you’ve never come across this type of post.

This particular list is a little different.  Since our specialty is art of the eco-friendly variety, we decided to share some of creative ways to go green as you make beautiful works of art.  All of these ideas are designed to keep materials out of the waste stream in a useful, aesthetically-pleasing way—in other words, upcycling!

Garden Art

Garden Art for Earth Day!

1.       Mix the old with the new: Turning recycled junk into fabulous art is a great idea in theory, but it’s important to make sure you don’t end up with something that looks like recycled junk.  Try mixing some recycled supplies with some high-quality art materials.  You can transform an old plastic food container into a stylish pencil holder or vase if you cover it with beautiful, handmade paper or bright, eco-friendly paint.  Bottle caps, old wrapping paper, postcards and photographs can also be paired with new art supplies to make something unique.

2.       Nature makes life more beautiful—return the favor! Whether you have acres of land or a little studio apartment with a tiny potted plant on the window sill, your life is enriched by the beauty of the natural world.  Have you ever thought of bringing your artistic abilities into nature?  You can collect stones to make garden paths in unique designs (try Craigslist or Freecycle for free sources) or use fallen branches and tree trunks to make rustic fences and benches.  If your garden is limited to potted plants, try making your own decorative plant labels—cut up sturdy plastic containers or lids, then paint them (including the plant type if you choose).

3.       Clothes that keep on giving: When a beloved item of clothing gets a little holey, it’s easy to turn the pattern, color and material you love into something new.  Like to knit?  Cut a long piece of clothing (like pajama pants) into one thin, continuous strip of fabric “yarn,” and give your next scarf or hat a totally unique texture.  Almost any shirt or skirt can be turned into a pillowcase or tote bag with some scissors and simple sewing skills.

4.       Jewelry with a (re)purpose: You don’t have to throw out jewelry that’s gone out of style.  Lay out all the pieces you no longer wear, and pretend you’re at a bead store.  Poach individual beads and clasps from your collection, and use them to make new jewelry.  You can also transform them into ornaments, mixed-media art materials or hip clothing embellishments (think J.Crew, but much cheaper).

5.       Don’t forget your friends: If you have any artistic or crafty friends, host an art party or craft supply swap.  Chances are you have supplies that you’re just not interested in using anymore.  Maybe you have a friend who’s dying to try them!  Either ask people to simply swap items at the event, or make it into a hands-on art party, with everyone sharing their materials, know-how and inspiration.