January 29, 2015

Styling Tips for Crazy Legs

Tea Collection Mandala

Our new printed leggings deserved a full spread in our first spring catalog. We decided to really play up the colorful chaos of India for this shot… the final result? A legging mandala! Metallic tattoos, tasseled bracelets, beaded ankles, pom-poms and chalk dusted feet all played a part in making this happen. Here’s how you can get the look…  continue reading

January 28, 2015

Painted Elephants

I have painted on many surfaces over the years: clay, canvas, wood, buildings, streets, sidewalks, fabric, faces. None of this prepared me for painting on elephants. This is definitely something I never even dreamed of doing. I had mixed feelings going into it. I always awed at the beauty of the photographs of painted elephants in magazines and online, but was worried about what all that meant for the elephants. Weren’t they meant to be in the wild? Would these elephants be treated well?

I read all about Elefun before we went. It had good reviews and people had good things to say about how they treated the elephants. Our amazing trip planner, Gouthami, checked in with some of her local connections who also had good things to say about Elefun. Elefun is an elephant village dedicated to creating a safe and natural environment in order to conserve elephants. In Indian culture, elephants are revered, loved, respected and protected.

My first impression was that the elephants were MASSIVE. Being an animal nerd I knew that Indian elephants are one of the smaller varieties, these were anything but small. They introduced us to the elephants, had us pet their trunks. Showed us how to feed them bananas. They ate entire bunches of bananas at once, in what seemed like one giant bite. continue reading

January 26, 2015

ARTIST COLLABORATION: Mahamaya Sikdar

National Award winning Kantha Artist Mahamaya Sikdar

Mahamaya in front of the piece she submitted for the National Award.

 

We had the honor of meeting with the very talented kantha artist Mahamaya Sikdar while we were in Kolkata.  Mahaymaya is a President’s Award Winner & National Award Winner in her craft. She was in the middle of a move when we visited and graciously took the time to bring all of her kanthas to us so we could see her work. We got to see the incredible detail, hear about her process and discuss how she is helping pass her craft to younger generations. continue reading

January 25, 2015

Naamkaran: A Naming Ceremony

BABY

Every culture has different traditions surrounding the birth of a little one, each celebration being unique but with a central theme of love and happiness. In the Hindu religion, many Indians practice the ceremony of Naamkaran, in which a new baby is named. In Sanskrit, “naam” means name and “karan” means to create. Traditionally, Naamkaran is held anywhere from the eleventh to twelfth day after the baby is born and before the baby’s first birthday. Family members and friends gather to celebrate the baby and the women are central figures in the ceremony and they carry many of the main rituals. A baby’s name is very important and parents usually take many things into consideration before settling on a name. Some parents look at the day and time of the baby’s birth, or look to astrology, numerology, music and mythology.  The purpose of the ceremony is to celebrate the birth of the new baby and to welcome and bless it with a prosperous life. We named many of the pieces in our new collection after traditional Indian names. Learn more about the names of some of our baby and newborn pieces below!  continue reading

January 24, 2015

Breakfast: Indori Poha Recipe

On our travels to India, our team fell in love with a rich meal called Indori Poha, a traditional breakfast dish made out of poha (or flattened rice). It is super tasty and easy to make, and the best part about it is, you can garnish it with nearly anything. On our trip, we enjoyed it with spices and pomegranate seeds!

Indori 2

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January 23, 2015

Preschooler DIY: Embroider A Tea Design

DIY embroider lion

Embroider: to ornament with needlework or to form with needlework. 

Inspired by the embroidered details found throughout India, many of our graphics this season have a touch of embroidery on them. Our Kingfisher and Rohira Appliqué Graphic Tees for her and Hathi Graphic Tee for him are just a few of the embroidered designs you’ll find in our first delivery. Now we’re asking your little citizens to join in on the fun!  continue reading

January 22, 2015

Trip to a Ginger Farm

Ginger 2

Ginger (or adrak in Hindi) is grown on farms throughout India. On our trip, we came upon a ginger farm and stopped to take a look. The landscape was very vibrant and green – the leafy green stalks of the ginger are reed-like and can reach up to three feet tall. We saw the farmers harvesting ginger rhizomes (the underground root part of the plant) and piling them up. It was amazing how much was harvested!

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January 20, 2015

Passport to Angelique Kids

Each month Studio T  features one of our retailers. This month we caught up with Jennifer, co-founder of Angelique Baby + Kids. Learn about the brand and the hot spots of New Orleans below!

Angelique Kids

Have you always lived in New Orleans?
I was born in Birmingham, Alabama. I have been in my wonderful New Orleans since 1996. My business partner, Angelique Palumbo is New Orleans born and raised.

How was your business born?
We opened in 2006, post Katrina. We are looking forward to our 10 year birthday!

Tell us a little about your family history.
I brought some of my deep traditional Alabama ideas of children’s wear to New Orleans. Like my electric city of New Orleans, the store has evolved to a more sophisticated and worldly scope. continue reading

January 19, 2015

India by Color

Everyone knows India is a colorful place, but you don’t quite understand just how colorful until you are there. There is a beauty in the chaos of all these colors flowing around you. There are no neutrals. You don’t realize how plain and muted everyone dresses in your home country until you step foot in India. Men and boys wear pinks and purple without a second thought. Young and old proudly sport bright & bold colors that reflect the bright and joyous spirit of the people wearing them. Because everyone and everything in India is colorful we kept running into these special moments where a person wearing bright yellow would walk into a banana stand and suddenly camouflages into the background. Or when our photographer disappeared into a field of marigolds with his Ikat shirt he bought in Kolkota. We made collages of our trip pictures to try to share with you a little taste of these special moments.

Tea Collection India Trip By Color continue reading