Thursday, March 08, 2007


British V8 Newsletter features performance tips and mods for classic sports cars!

The British V8 Newsletter is a free online publication. The website includes the internet's only authoritative library of information on V8 engine swaps and other performance modifications of classic British sports cars such as MGA, MGB, MGC, Triumph Spitfire, Sunbeam Alpine and Tiger, and Austin-Healeys. The newsletter is especially valuable as a source of primary information on Buick and Oldsmobile 215cid aluminum V8 engines and also the Rover V8 engines derived from them.

British V8 Newsletter home page: performance modified classic sports cars!

British V8's searchable archive: engine building, engine swaps, parts interchanges, modding and tuning.

British V8's huge photo gallery of modified MG cars: MGA, MGB, MGC, and Midget

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Reading? Literature Circles? Use ArtHouse, and this new book review template!

We hear often from educators that ArtHouse provides a great way for kids to present book reports... lately we're hearing something just a little different: ArtHouse is great for book reviews too!

Have you heard of "Literature Circles"? A literature circle is a small group of students that meet in class to discuss what they've been reading. Their discussions are structured. They're typically driven by suggested questions or activities. Inevitably, the students' enthusiasm for reading grows from sharing. One of the reasons literature circles work so well is that the emphasis is on reviewing books - not "reporting" on them.

Enter ArtHouse! Using a "library template", as shown here, the students have a nifty new way to present their book reviews. They're fun to read and to compare.

Book Review Template for Literature Circles

Book Review Template (pdf 36KB)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


New: Jackson Pollock Lesson Plan

We've just added a great new lesson plan to the Storyboard Toys website. It's an introduction to abstract expressionism, with background information on painter Jackson Pollock. Fun, easy-to-use, and adaptable for a very wide range of uses and student skill levels. Check it out: Jackson Pollock Lesson Plan (American Abstract Expressionism)!

See what kids in an afterschool program in Boulder CO did with it:

Jackson Pollock Inspired Kids Art

Jackson Pollock Inspired Kids Art

Jackson Pollock Inspired Kids Art

Jackson Pollock Inspired Kids Art

Jackson Pollock Inspired Kids Art

Note: we’ve recently uploaded free "museum scene templates" that can be downloaded, printed, and cut out. They complement all sorts of art projects, and provide a convenient place for kids to sign, title, and comment on their art. We like the way they play with perception-of-scale. Suddenly original artwork that’s letter-size or smaller looks big enough to dominate a whole wall of a museum!

Museum Scene with Artist (pdf 25KB)
Museum Scene with Curator (pdf 120KB)
Museum Scene with Security Guard (pdf 27KB)

Sunday, April 09, 2006


A Photo and Note from "The Thomas Team"

One of the greatest pleasures a toymaker can have is seeing his creations make a child happy. We love receiving notes and photos from customers.

Christi Thomas

Read more here: (the Support-for-Christi-Thomas weblog)

ArtHouse is becoming more and more popular for all sorts of play and art therapy. Per customer request, the ArtHouse you see in the photo above has been specially labeled with a bright and rugged roof sign for use in this capacity. Look for our new ad in the upcoming issue of "Play Therapy" - the quarterly magazine of The Association for Play Therapy.

Do you like the hand-stained wood finish on Christi's ArtHouse? You can purchase a similar ArtHouse for just $120 (while supplies last):
ArtHouses in Discontinued Colors

(Let us know if we can make special modifications for you. We're very flexible, and we'll work hard to support your needs.)

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Another Storyboard Toys Exclusive:
Civil War Leaders Historical Dolls

Civil War Leader Historical Play Figures

Civil War Leader Historical Play Figures are the latest addition to our growing line of historical dolls. The set includes an authentic looking President Abraham Lincoln doll, a General Robert E. Lee doll, and a General Ulysses S. Grant doll.

Each play figure stands about four inches tall. They're clothed in authentic costumes and come with fun-to-read biographical cards. (The biographies are about as detailed as you'd find on baseball trading cards...) These realistic, economical play figures are a great accessories for ArtHouse. They'll inspire imaginative role-playing and wildly creative ArtHouse decoration projects.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


New and Exclusively From Storyboard Toys:
Fire Fighter and Rescue Heroes Action Figure Set

Fire Fighter Action Figures

Inspired by the 911 heroes, these Fire Fighter and Rescue Worker Action Figures are the latest in our line of historical dolls. This set of five includes a black fire chief and a woman firefighter too.

Each play figure stands about four inches tall. They're clothed in very colorful and authentic costumes. They come with fun-to-read little bio cards. (The biographies are about as detailed as you'd find on baseball trading cards...) These realistic, economical action figures are a great accessories for ArtHouse. They'll inspire imaginative role-playing and wildly creative ArtHouse decoration projects.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Lyra Skin Tones Pencils

Enhance your celebration of student diversity with "Multicultural Pencils"!

Okay, we agree with you that it's stupid to call pencils "multicultural"... but on the other hand it's always been difficult for young artists to color-in human skin tones.

Lyra Skin Tones Pencils make it much easier and more fun for artists to shade characters in convincing natural color and to capture the subtleties of human complexions. These pencils blend and shade nicely, and they're generously sized to last a long time even when subjected to daily classroom use. We hope Lyra Skin Tones Pencils will help teachers promote an inclusive attitude toward students of all heritages and racial backgrounds.

Please note that these earth-tone pencils are also excellent for architectural rendering and for drawing naturalistic scenery. Their versatility makes them a great tool for ArtHouse storyboarding!

Friday, November 18, 2005


Now Available: Exciting Historical Play Figures

Check out our newest product offering: Exciting Historic Play Figures!

We'd call them "dolls", but too many people are too closed-minded about buying "dolls" for boys. These little poseable "action figures" provide quality non-electronic educational fun for both girls and boys!

Founding Fathers Play Figures: Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson action figures that are ready for imaginative play in the context of historically inspired ArtHouse decorations.

American Patriot Play Figures: Three soldiers in Revolutionary War costume, including a continental soldier, a drummer boy, and a British "redcoat".

Medieval Knight Play Figures: A White Knight, King Richard the Lion Hearted, and a Dark Knight suited-up in colorful armor!
(Note: these will look great displayed with your child's interpretation of our free Coat of Arms Lesson Plan!)

Pirates of the Caribbean Play Figures: Blackbeard, Lieutenant Maynard, and a pirate from Blackbeard's crew will inspire really creative storyboarding.

Each play figure stands about four inches tall. They're clothed in very colorful and fairly authentic period costumes. Every one of these play figures comes with fun historical and biographical information! (The biographies are about as detailed as you'd find on baseball trading cards...)

These realistic, economical historic play figures are great accessories for ArtHouse. They'll inspire wildly creative ArtHouse decorations on historical themes, and imaginative role-playing on historic topics. They help make learning fun!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


ArtHouse Featured In SchoolArts Magazine's "Multicultural Showcase"

Storyboard Toys is featured prominantly in the November issue of SchoolArts Magazine!

School Arts Magazine, Multicultural Showcase, November 2005


Storyboard Toys

For superior dioramas,
exciting group projects,
and wonderful miniature
galleries - discover the
beauty of ArtHouse!

These versatile, durable,
easy-to-use buildings
display student art inside
letter-sized transparent
walls. Share Art History
& Multicultural project
ideas for all frades on
our website.
(866) 668-8697

Circle No. 132 on Reader's Service card.

Photo captions:
(1) Day of the dead altar (Papel Picado)
(2) Haiku Hut (Straw Blown Ink Trees)
(3) Stained Glass Windows (Markers on Transparencies)

Monday, October 17, 2005


Great New Lesson Plan Posted:
Telling New Stories with Medieval-Style Tapestries

Students learn the history of tapestries, and apply their knowledge by designing medieval-style tapestries of their own. In the process, they learn a little about classical allegory and the role of art in our culture.

To get the process off to a quick start, we provide a free reproducible tapestry template:

free reproducible tapestry template (pdf 23KB)

Of course, when studying and creating art, it can help to have access to inspirational examples. The Telling New Stories with Medieval-Style Tapestries lesson plan describes and explains the significance of the following actual medieval tapestries:

The Hunt of the Unicorn

The Hunt of the Unicorn "The Unicorn at Bay" ca: 1495-1505

The Hunt of the Unicorn

The Hunt of the Unicorn "The Unicorn in Captivity" ca: 1495-1505

The Lady and the Unicorn

The Lady and the Unicorn "To My One Desire" ca: ~1510

The Bayeux Tapestry

The Bayeux Tapestry "Coronation of Harold" ca: ~1070

The Acts of the Apostles

The Acts of the Apostles "The Miraculous Draft of Fishes" ca: 1516-1519

Friday, September 30, 2005


See ArtHouse in Arts & Activities Magazine

Storyboard Toys is pleased to announce our newest advertisement!

This ad gives Arts & Activities magazine readers a quick overview of ArtHouse. (September 2005 issue)

Arts and Activities Magazine, September 2005


ArtHouse, Make it Your Own!

For superior dioramas, exciting group
projects, and miniature museums of
student artwork. This durable wooden
toy building displays student art inside
letter-sized transparent walls.

"Exceptional quality and educational value."
-Teachers' Choice Award

"What an amazing self-esteem booster!"
-Cynthia Palmer

Online gallery - Free lesson plans
Free Brochure: 866-668-8697

(Circle No. 256 on Arts & Activities Reader Service Card)

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Announcing New Website Content

We want to take a moment to invite everyone to check out our newest website changes!

First, we've created a website section specifically for Lesson Plans!

A related newly-revised gallery entry contains great ideas for a Henri Matisse inspired lesson plan. A collage activity provides the basis for cross-curricular learning in language arts, social studies and art. Information is provided in case a teacher would like to enrich the lesson with: (a) the story of Daedalus and Icarus escaping from Crete, (b) the history of Nazi occupation of France and the French resistance flyers, or (c) the biography of painter Henri Matisse, and what he contributed to the art world even after he was too sick to paint. They synthesize some selection of this information as they make their own storyboards and tell their own stories, which builds pre-literacy and writing/composition skills.

Second, we've packed up and moved our store out of the mall and into its own building... figuratively at least. Our store now has its own domain name:!

Remember, Storyboard Toys is the best place on the web to buy:
ArtHouse and ArtHouse accessories
Pretend Professionals Career Dolls
Diverse Abilities Vinyl Dolls
An Asian-American Doll Family
A Black Doll Family
A Latino Doll Family
A White Doll Family
Lyra Beeswax Crayons (16 crayon set in a wooden box)
Lyra Beeswax Crayons (12 crayon set)
Lyra Aquacolor Crayons (24 watercolor crayons)
Lyra Aquacolor Crayons (12 watercolor crayons)

Have a look around... we hope you enjoy your shopping experience!

Friday, September 02, 2005


Entrepreneur Magazine Names ArtHouse a "Smart Idea"

(September 2005, as featured in the magazine's "Smart Ideas" column)
by Lori Kozlowski

Finishing Touches - A former engineer inspires kids to use their imaginations by letting them build and customize dollhouses.

What: Customized dollhouses kids can assemble and design themselves
Who: Curtis Jacobson of Storyboard Toys
Where: Longmont, Colorado
When: Started in 2002

A former engineer for Volvo, Curtis Jacobson, 38, made toys as a hobby in his spare time - frequently using his eight neices and nephews to test-market his innovations. But he knew he was onto something when he got the idea for ArtHouses. "You could have the kids designing their own wallpaper or siding, and that got me to the idea of building a dollhouse with walls that display 8.5-by-11 [inch] paper artwork," says Jacobson, who launched the business with personal savings. Made of furniture-grade plywood and plastic, the dollhouses are collapsible and can be assembled by a child in just two minutes.

Though Jacobson originally believed toy stores and museum gift shops would be the top market for his product, he's seen the most interest from elementary school teachers, who use ArtHouses as creative teaching tools. Conducive to group projects and the imagination, ArtHouses have been used to teach poetry, explain color theory, and more. Currently, primary schools in Brevard County, Florida, have incorporated ArtHouses into after-school programs and the summer school curriculum.

The product is also sold on Jacobson's website ( and in some independent toy stores nationwide. In 2004, the company grossed five figures, but Jacobson expects to earn six figures this year, since the education community keeps asking for more. Says Jacobson, "It's all about what kids do with it. It's a very creativity-inspiring device."

Learning by design - Curtis Jacobson's dollhouses are a hit with kids and teachers.
Storyboard Toys founder Curtis Jacobson in Entrepreneur Magazine

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Our newest ad - for SchoolArts magazine! (October 2005 Issue)

Storyboard Toys is pleased to announce our newest advertisement!

Designed for SchoolArts magazine's special "website showcase" section, this ad
gives readers a quick overview of resources available on our site. The ad space
is 1/4 of a page, on a colored background. The following screenshot will be the
focal point of the ad:

Ad for School Arts Magazine, October 2005

ArtHouse, the building with storyboard walls:
* makes it easy to integrate art across-the-curriculum
* engages all ages, genders & interests
We sell top-quality art supplies too!

Immediately below the screenshot, readers will see "" followed by this text:

Wonderful miniature museums. Superior dioramas. Easily
shared group projects. Discover the beauty of ArtHouse!
This exceptionally versatile, durable, easy-to-use wooden
building displays student art inside letter-size transparent
walls. Our website offers creative and relevant free lesson
plans and exciting hands-on project ideas for every grade
level. For fast, friendly, personal service call 866.668.8697.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


K.B. Thomas's new novel: "The Fabric of Desire"

K.B. Thomas, one of our favorite writers of short stories, has a new full-length novel and a new website to promote it!

The Fabric of Desire: Tapestries are like fine paintings in that they are catalogued, studied, and tracked through the world as if they were the last members of a dying species. They have pedigrees, histories, bloodlines. Once the prizes of kings, the glories of cathedrals, today they can be found in the textile collections of the most famous museums in the world. After the death of her mentor and lover, Alissandra Morgan finds herself the sole custodian of three priceless and hitherto lost fragments from the famous tapestry series "The Hunt of the Unicorn". She must battle with her own private vision of professional success, her past relationship with her brilliant mentor, his newly widowed wife, and the art 'dealer' whose fortunes are now irrevocably woven with her own before she can understand what it means to be a world class art conservator. This novel will appeal to readers who enjoyed Robert Hellenga's "The Sixteen Pleasures", A.S. Byatt's "Possession", and Donna Tartt's "The Secret History". 84,000 words

At you can read an excerpt of the novel, or download fabulous K.B. Thomas short fiction.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


A New Addition to our Children's Art Gallery

Storyboard Toys is pleased to announce a new addition to our Children's Art Gallery!

Sarah Chesnutt's Red Room

Sarah Chesnutt, graphic designer, enjoyed taking a break from the computer
to create this simple crayon and cut paper exploration. Her room has the
essentials: a chair, a window, and life.

Thank you Sarah!

Visit Sarah at

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

Storyboard Toys will present ArtHouse at the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) annual conference, November 10-12 in Louisville KY. Visit us at Booth 451, adjacent to Exhibitor Workshop Area #1.

The National Association for Gifted Children is a member-supported organization of nearly 8000 educators, university personnel, parents, and interested members of the community. Educator members include district Gifted & Talented Program coordinators, administrators, classroom teachers, and gifted education researchers.

At this conference we'll demonstrate the usefulness and versatility of ArtHouse for project-based learning in Gifted/Talented Programs. GT Program teachers recommend ArtHouse for social studies, reading, language arts, foreign language, character education, fine art, and other subjects. ArtHouse appeals to all students from grade levels from K through Sixth. We'll show a variety of example student design projects and give away fun and innovative free-sample lesson plans.

Monday, June 27, 2005


Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT)

Storyboard Toys will exhibit ArtHouse at the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT) annual conference, November 2-5 in San Antonio.

"The Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a non-profit association of educators, parents and friends of the gifted. For more than 28 years, TAGT has been the driving organization and principal advocate for Texas gifted youth and is the nation's largest state advocacy group. The TAGT mission is to promote awareness of the unique social, emotional, and intellectual needs of gifted and talented students and to impact educational services to meet these needs." (Reference:

Come visit us at Booth 635 (located along the first aisle, between entrances to the General Session.) Our exhibit will demonstrate that ArtHouse is a wonderful new teaching aid for project-based learning "across curriculum". Exceptionally versatile, ArtHouse engages gifted and talented students from grades from K through Sixth. We'll present sample lesson plans and show a diverse variety of actual student projects.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Successful projects build student self-esteem!

Successful projects build student self-esteem.
(social studies students creating a "Traditional Japanese Home")

ArtHouse: "What an amazing self-esteem booster!"
- Cynthia Palmer, Kings Community Action Organization

Thursday, May 19, 2005


3rd Grade Student Project on African Wildlife Preservation

Last week we received this little note from classroom teacher Abby Kass in New York City's South Bronx:
"I wanted to let you know that I've been using ArtHouse with my third graders to create an African Game Reserve. Well, we don't really use the roof, except to place a sign with information about the game reserve. But I let the kids use all sorts of fun materials to create the landform onto heavy cardboard, and we placed it onto the base. Then they drew the sky and extended the land onto the "walls." On the outside we are placing "save our animals" posters with information about the animals and the importance of game reserves and protecting our wildlife. One of my groups of students was really into drawing so I got them a book about drawing the African animals and I supplied animal print paper, so we will have animals roaming around the reserve. We should finish up early next week, so I'll email photos to you. The kids are absolutely ecstatic about it!"

African Game Reserve

African Wildlife Preservation.African Wildlife Conservation

Click here to see additional photos and an expanded description of the African Game Reserve diorama project.

Click here to download a printer-optimized (PDF) version of the write-up.

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Storyboard Toys! llc    429 Martin Street,    Longmont, CO 80501    866.668.8697

text and images: copyright 2007 - all rights reserved
"ArtHouse" is a trademark of Storyboard Toys! llc