Friday Fun Feature: Air Pens

Posted by Leila Warshaw on February 15, 2013 0 Comments

So, what do you give your son or daughter when they ask for something a bit more advanced than paint or crayons?

     

Check out the Air Pen by npw. By blowing through the tube, your child can create airbrush style pictures just on a plain piece of paper. There are stencils included, but she can get creative all on her own, too!

Look at this example below and just try NOT to say, "Oh, that's so cool!"


 


Don't worry, parents. It's not as messy as it may sound. Like at the beginning of any arts and crafts project, just lay down some newspaper on the work surface. Or, if you get lucky with a beautiful day, make it an outdoor project.

And who knows? You may be presented with something totally worth framing!

If you're curious to find out more about the arts and crafts we carry, visit us on Facebook, go to our website, or stop by our Fells Point or Quarry Lake location. Then, #GetYourCraftOn.

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New Toy Alert: The Great Wave & Sunflowers

Posted by aMuse Toys on March 15, 2012 0 Comments

We added Master Kitz to our repertoire of beautiful playthings last year and are thrilled to have received thier most recent kits this month: The Great Wave by Katsushika Hokusai and Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh.

We simply love the exposure to the art masters that these kits provide with easy-to-understand learning materials. Children (and adults) learn the story behind each masterpiece and why it has a special place in the history of art.

 

aMuse Toys team member Allison couldn't resist taking one of these kits home for a mom and daughter weekend art project. Check out their final masterpiece!

Have pictures of your Master Kitz creations? Tweet us, tag us on Pinterest, or post to our Facebook wall. We'd love to see them! 

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DIY with Alex Toys: Silk Screen Factory

Posted by aMuse Toys on February 03, 2012 0 Comments
The kits highlighted in our new series, DIY with Alex Toys, inspire creativity and personal expression while building lifelong skills with practical applications. 

This week's feature is one of our favorites at aMuse. Simple. Fun. Silk screening. The kit is slated for ages 7+ and even though there's lots of pink, both girls and boys will get a kick out of customizing their stuff. Works on t-shirts, bandanas, flags, etc.

Kids can also make cool designs on paper to hang in their rooms or make cards for special occasions. The possibilities are endless! 

 

The Silk Screen Factory kit includes 14 stencil designs, silk sheets, 4 bright colors of ink and easy to follow instructions. Kids can also use tape to create unique designs for their creations.

 
This really is the easiest way to silk screen. Just snap in the silk, slide in the stencil and print. Who knows, this may just inspire the next famous fashion designer!

 

Check out the step by step instructions in this video made by our friends at Alex Toys.

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New Toy Alert: Magnetic Comic Strip Kit

Posted by aMuse Toys on September 22, 2011 0 Comments

Magnetic Comic Strip Kit

The MU Microcosmic Universe LogoWe spoke with Janny Baek, one of the co-founders of Microcosmic Universe (The MU), the makers of Magnetic Comic Strip Kits.

Husband and wife team, Janny Baek and Thomas McMahon wanted to give the world to their children, so they created one. The Microcosmic Universe began as a space-themed mobile they hand crafted for their baby, and it took off from there. 

Magnetic Comic Strip Kit

We made a space-themed mobile for our daughter before she was born," stated Janny. "And that’s how the characters started. It evolved from there, and we just kept evolving it. We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if these characters were exploring our world but from a different perspective?”

After their baby girl was born, they were naturally drawn to making more things for her; they wanted toys for her universe. Janny’s art background from Rhode Island School of Design allowed her to create all of the unique drawings. And, Janny and Thomas met while studying at Harvard School of Architecture, so building is in their nature.

Magnetic Comic Strip Kit

“Wanted to make something based on storytelling because the whole universe is about discovery and building stuff. All of the characters are engineers and explorers,” explains Janny. “It just made sense that we make a comic strip kit because Tom is obsessed with comic books, and I used to be a sculptor at MTV Animation.” Both their interest and skills are perfectly matched to make this one-of-a-kind comic strip kit. 

Magnetic Comic Strip Kit

Each kit contains six magnetic write-on/wipe-off background panels to draw your own scenes, one magnetic dry erase marker, two magnetic write-on/wipe-off speech balloons and over twenty flexible action-packed magnetics with special effects, brave explorers and cool vehicles. It has everything you need to make your own epic tales of The Microcosmic Universe on your refrigerator.

The MU is bringing their Magnetic Comic Strip Kit's production to the USA just in time for the holidays. "All of the new stuff is made in NYC where we live. Having it made in the USA allows us to have more control over all steps in its production," says Janny. "We believe in making nice things for kids."

The MU's Magnetic Comic Strip Kit is now available at both aMuse Toys locations or at aMuse Toys Online for any ultra-creative person in your life. 

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New Toy Alert: Master Kitz

Posted by aMuse Toys on September 15, 2011 0 Comments

MasterKitz by Kidzaw

Kidzaw LogoWe spoke with Jane Chadesh one of the co-founders of Kidzaw, the makers of Master Kitz.

Master Kitz are a brilliant new art project to help you recreate beautiful works of art after master painters. Each kit includes special tools and high-quality art supplies to set you up for success.

MasterKitz by Kidzaw

Kidzaw was founded last November by Jane and her business partner Michelle Talbot. Michelle has loved art since she was a child, but she never had a formal art class until college. Her passion for creativity as a child was developed independently, and she was eventually accepted into one of the world’s most prestigious art schools, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). It was at RISD that she was really able to focus her natural talent and formally learned the trade of being a painter and illustrator.

MasterKitz by Kidzaw

Master Kitz began as a creative fundraising effort while volunteering on the board of her children’s preschool. Each year they would gather items to be included in gift baskets that would be auctioned off, and each year they would not get a good return on their investment.

MasterKitz by Kidzaw

Michelle brainstormed different fundraising tactics, and eventually developed the idea of an art auction. She designed special tools and stencils to help students make beautiful pieces of art while learning about the master painters who created them. The results were astounding and they raised over $18,000 by selling twelve kid-created paintings. It was an incredible success.

Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt

Since then, Michelle has perfected the tools and materials used in the recreation of masterworks. There are two kits to date, Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Gustav Klimt’s The Tree of Life.

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Each kit is developed with a specific art lesson in mind. Starry Night focuses on expressionism, brush stroke and texture, and The Tree of Life teaches ornamentation and Art Nouveau. A brief biography and art history lesson is included in each Master Kit.

With Master Kitz, the first step makes a big impression. "Michelle creates the initial step to be really gratifying. This engages younger artists so they see it through to completion. Her goal is to give kids enough room to explore freely with enough guidance to not get frustrated," explained Jane. "The end result is always really exciting."

Michelle and Jane will soon be releasing their newest products: Monet's Waterliles in October 2011, Van Gogh's Sunflowers in February 2012 and Hokusai's The Great Wave in February 2012.

Check out these great videos by Kidzaw that demonstrate how to recreate a master painting with a Master Kit. 

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