CRAZY Times with CRAZY Aaron!

We are incredibly thankful to Crazy Aaron for giving us the once in a life time opportunity this past Tuesday, when he took the time out of his crazy, busy life to visit us in our Chanhassen location!

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He brought along a 25 lb ball of Super Oil Slick Putty

It was fun watching him demo all the ways to squeeze, stretch, tear, and bounce!

He even got to meet his biggest fan! 90 tins, that’s AMAZING!

We are so THANKFUL to ALL who came out!

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Is that Steve or Mario?

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Cheapest Laminating in Town!

I absolutely love the look of posters after they have been laminated,

the color just pops and can make an old poster look new again!

Maybe you have art projects that your child created that you would like to save, let us laminate them!

Now would be the perfect time to get your Senior Posters laminated, and while you are at it, bring in the posters they want to hang in their dorm room!

At only 10 cents an inch for our 3 mil laminate, it can’t be beat!

**Aguarellum** Paint on the Watercolor and let the “Magic Canvas” do the rest!

   This is a SUPER fun, SUPER easy art project for all ages. Even the amateur adult painter will enjoy painting with the Aquarellum Paint Sets. A guide is included with each one, explaining exactly how to achieve the beautiful and vibrant colors! Don’t like being told how to paint your pictures with numbers? That’s fine! It’s completely up to your imagination how you want your picture to look. The wax on the paper makes it so the paint is resistant outside of the lines. They come in many different sizes and variety of pictures. Whether you are looking for cute cats and elephants that are simple enough for a 5 year to do, or a more intricate picture of under the sea or even a beautiful peacock. We have your selection at all four ABC & Toy Zone locations!

Watch how easy it is to paint with Aquarellum here:

It’s a Q-BA-Maze Kind of Day!

We are having a dreary day here in Burnsville. Apparently, October is trying to live up to its name. Well, we decided to combat the rainy day by building a new Q-BA-MAZE demo for our customers to try out!

As many Q-BA-MAZE fans know, you can actually go to
http://www.q-ba-maze.com and you actually print of building plans for a whole bunch of different mazes! We selected the Moose Maze Plan and, as you can tell from the picture below, it turned out pretty great.

My co-worker Winnie and the awesome Moose Maze she built!
My co-worker Winnie and the awesome Moose Maze she built!

If you happen to stop in to check our our Moose Maze, be sure to check out some of the new Q-BA-MAZE products. The line has expanded to include some great new colors in their Spectrum (120 piece) and the Big Box Bright Colors collection (72 piece).
Here is the awesome Spectrum Color box!
Here is the awesome Spectrum Color box!

Here is the Bright Color Big Box!
Here is the Bright Color Big Box!

Cool Craft Friday: Aquarellum!

Aquarellum Fish
Check out this beautiful Aquarellum fish! After reading the instructions, this fish took me about 20 minutes to paint. For my first try, I am pretty impressed with the results. The special Aquarellum water color paper comes with pre-printed designs so you get a really gorgeous piece without difficulty. I mean, look at that detail! Look at those super bright colors!
Aquarellum Shelf
Aquarellum makes Junior kits for artists ages 5+ and standard kits for artists 8+. With themes including owls, fairies, and dragons, these kits make great gifts for boys and girls alike. Not to mention, it was even fun for me as an adult. Between mixing colors and painting this beautiful picture, it was a very relaxing activity.

Thank You Thursday: A Tribute to Calico Critters Window Displays!

Although it is only September, we here at ABC & Toy Zone are already in full swing with our holiday preparations. After all, Moonlight Madness is less than a month away! This year, Moonlight Madness falls on Tuesday, October 7th. Mark your calendars today!

Calico Critter

As part of our preparation for the upcoming toy season, we are putting up an awesome Calico Critters display in Burnsville. It isn’t done yet, but I couldn’t resist sharing a tidbit with you all. As part of our window display we received two giant rabbits! The largest is 3 feet tall! As you can tell from the picture, our employees are rather excited by these amazing window props! So next time you visit our Burnsville location, check out this amazing window display! Also, be sure to say tuned, as we are going to have to change the rabbits into their awesome Christmas outfits at some point… we will have to share pictures of the final product!

Cool Craft Friday: The Craft Tastic Pom Pom Kit!

Was I skeptical when I brought this pom pom kit home? Absolutely. Was my mind completely blown by it? Absolutely.

As a casual knitter, I have made many pom poms (to varying degrees of success) over the years. I honestly didn’t know if a craft kit geared towards crafters age 8+ could really live up to the promise of the perfect pom poms featured on the box. Below is a step-by-step photo tour of my experience with the Pom Pom Kit. Spoilers- the results were AWESOME!

Box
Here is a picture of the box…

Open Box
And here is what it looks like open. This kit comes in a nice sturdy box and everything is packaged really nicely. For this reason, I think it would make a great gift. Here is what you get in the Pom Pom kit: 1 bamboo pom pom tool, 6 different colors of yarn (600 yards total), a paper ruler, and instructions.

Yarn package
open yarn
Here you can see the yarn as it comes packaged and unpacked. Before I set out to make my pom poms I rolled all of the yarn into balls. You do not have to do this, but I think it helped things move more quickly when I got to the actual pom pom making.

Assembled Pom Pom tool
Here is the pom pom tool assembled. It comes in 5 pieces (2 dowels, 3 flat pieces) and assembles really easily. The pom pom tool is also quite sturdy, I accidentally knocked it off the table at one point with no damage, and is fully adjustable. For this reason, you can make pom poms ranging in size from 1 inch to 15 inches! The included instruction book provides simple directions to get you started on making whatever size pom pom you want.

Wrapped yarn
Step 1: Tie your yarn on to the tool and get wrapping! I decided to make the 2 inch pom poms so I just followed the guide and wrapped 120 rounds of yarn onto the tool. As you can see from the picture, I used multiple colors of yarn all at once. For this reason, the wrapping to 120 went really quick.

Yarn in a bowl
I placed the pom pom tool on a table and then pulled my yarn from a bowl on the floor. If you want your pom poms to be a single color, you would just need to wrap that one color around you tool as many times as it says in the instructions. Super easy!

Tied Strings
Step 2: Using 18 inch pieces of yarn, tie you pom poms off. This kit comes with a paper ruler the exact size of the bamboo tool. For this reason, it is super easy to tuck your ruler under the tool and tie off your pompoms precisely. For me, this was the hardest part of the process. As is clearly explained in the instructions, the center knot is the key to a strong and usable pom pom. To make sure my knots were tied tightly, I followed the knot instructions from the kit and had someone else do the old “place your finger on the knot” trick so I could tie them super tight.

Tied Strings
Here is everything tied off.

Partially cut pom pom
Step 3: Cut apart your pom poms! Using a sharp pair of scissors (not included in the kit), I cut apart my pom poms. It is important to note that, at this stage, they will not be perfectly symmetrical. Don’t worry, the next step will take care of this. Also note, this step takes some time. It takes a couple of minutes to neatly cut through that much yarn.
Untrimmed Pom Poms
Here are my roughly cut apart pom poms. Even all jagged, they look pretty great!

Untrimmed Single Pom Pom
Perfect Final Pom Pom
Step 4: Trim your pom poms! Again, this step takes a little time. But once it is done, you have a bunch of really awesome pom poms! Look at my before and after pictures of one of my pom poms above.

Once you have made your pom poms, the possibilities are endless! The pom pom tool in this kit can be used over and over with any yarn you might have. This kit would be a great way for any crafty kid (boys too!) to get started making holiday gifts for their friends, family, and teachers. Pom pom ornaments, keychains, decorations… the projects are endless! Pom pom pumpkin, perhaps?