December 16, 2014

Em’s Go-To Souvenir

Emily Meyer

My love of collecting teapots started long before I founded Tea Collection. I believe it was China or Hong Kong where I first picked up my first international teapot. I also remember buying beautiful bowls in Japan that actually turned out to be teacups! My love for collecting these items started then. I have always loved the drink and cherished the moment and feeling of the warming experience. Teapots evoke just the right sense of elegance and wisdom that I admire about the whole pastime. And I love the exotic memories each one gives me when I look at it or use it.

I love all kinds of designs, but I’m discerning. I love unique shapes and silhouettes or interesting details, like a reed handle, exquisite artwork or painted motifs, and I stop in my tracks for an elegant curves! There is such a range in my collection – beautiful everyday versions made of simple material and contemporary ones from expensive material. I always look for them at local markets and vintage/antique shops on my trips — I definitely ask friends who live locally for good recommendations.

Is there one thing you usually pick up during your travels? I’d love to know! Looking for an international teapot? Here are a few ideas…

teapots

from top to bottom, left to right: Yasuko OzekiMakoto KoizumiAkio NukagaYumi Nakamura, Omura TsuyoshiMakoto Koizumi, art by Elena RayHisao Iwashimizu

December 9, 2014

Molasses Roll Out Cookies

Catherine McCord of Weelicious

I can imagine if you asked grown ups their favorite childhood holiday memory, most would say baking and decorating cookies. Every year my mother would make a big batch of gingerbread and sugar cookie dough for my brother, my cousin and I to roll out and decorate.

There would be bottle after bottle of red, white and green crystals, sanding sugars and little silver balls that looked just like holiday ornaments. The only time we were quiet was when we were all decorating our cookies with precision and care. My mom would then pop them into the oven to bake until just golden, while we sipped on hot cocoa before returning to the table to cover the cookies with icing and frosting in an array of colors.  continue reading

December 8, 2014

Meet Victoria Tsai of Tatcha + A Giveaway

“Indigo, or indigotin, is a dyestuff originally extracted from the varieties of the indigo and woad plants. Indigo was known throughout the ancient world for its ability to color fabrics a deep blue. Egyptian artifacts suggest that indigo was employed as early as 1600 b.c.”

To celebrate the launch of our Citizen Blue collection which is rooted in rich indigo hues, we’ve partnered with Tatcha, a skincare company that happens to have their very own Indigo collection, to bring you (three of you!) the chance to win a prize package worth $200! Learn more about Tatcha’s founder and CEO, Victoria Tsai, below…

Victoria Tatcha

I created Tatcha as a way to share the treasures I discovered on my journeys, a philosophy shared by the Tea Collection founders. My daughter, Alea, recently embarked on her first travels and is on her way to becoming a little citizen of the world. Wherever she roams, she loves wearing her kimono-inspired Tea Collection outfits. I’m honored to share our story – and the story of Tatcha – with you today.

We understand you created Tatcha as “a way to share the treasures and knowledge discovered on [your] journeys East.” What was one of the earliest lessons learned that pushed you to start this business in 2009?  continue reading

December 5, 2014

Introducing Citizen Blue

tea collection citizen blue

We’re excited to announce our first collection of Citizen Blue – a semi-annual collection that celebrates the magical spots we stop along the way to somewhere else. Rooted in rich indigo hues, Citizen Blue revisits heritage Tea styles and favorite prints from places we’ve already been and offers new designs inspired by places we’ve seen only glimpses of.

Citizen Blue is a voyager, a nomad. Not quite here or there, the collection draws inspiration from the journey and all of the magical spots we stop along the way to our final destination. It is truly global inspired, as pieces within a single collection range from Japan to Mexico.

Here, we share with you a look behind a few of this season’s designs…  continue reading

December 1, 2014

THEY DRAW AND THEY TRAVEL – Book Giveaway

This holiday season, we have been celebrating and sharing modern traditions. We had the pleasure of collaborating with Salli Swindell and Nate Padavick, a brother/sister design and illustration team known as Studio SSS. Sally and Nate shared a cranberry sauce recipe from their website, They Draw & Cook and we were hooked! Salli and Nate also have another amazing website, They Draw & Travel, home to the largest online collection of illustrated recipes and maps by artists from around the world. They kindly offered to share their two travel inspired books with Tea, Make Map Art by Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell and their first published book, MAAAPS by Aunyarat Watanbe.

THEY-DRAW-AND-COOK-Nate-and-Salli

Salli and Nate’s book, Make Map Art, came about after they attended a stationary show in New York where they met an editor at Chronicle Books. Their love for travel and storytelling mixed with their wonderful illustrations creates a great informative activity book for kids and adults alike.  “The book is designed as a project portfolio kit to help anyone who is interested in exploring mapmaking.” says Salli. “Included in the portfolio is a guide book with ideas, definitions, prompts and examples along with templates and pages of icons. There are all kinds of different maps to make, everything from mapping your favorite city to creating a map of your mind!” Make Map Art is a great interactive book. Let your little citizens explore and create their own maps — even share them on the They Draw & Travel site!  continue reading

November 26, 2014

The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project

At Tea, we believe in and wholeheartedly support the mission of The Global Fund for Children, and we began our tradition of Global Giving Thursdays in October. Every third Thursday of the month when you give to The Global Fund for Children on our site, we will match your donation. All proceeds go directly to our longtime charity partner.

For the month of December, we are matched up with The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project in Washington, D.C.. In the holiday spirit of giving, we are extending our Global Giving Thursdays to be everyday from December 2nd, 2014 until December 25th, 2014. During this time, when you buy one of Tea’s holiday styles, we’ll donate a similar style to the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project. primary-photo

Families with children find themselves homeless for a variety of reasons, including rising rent costs, job loss or a job that pays too little, domestic violence, and medical problems. Some families spend years in facilities that are intended to be short-term solutions. This vulnerable time in a child’s life presents unprecedented risks as families live and sleep in unsafe situations. Most family shelters have no programs or services for children.

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November 24, 2014

Meatballs + Lefse… A Family Tradition

My family is a blend of Scottish, Irish, German and Native American. Our Christmas Eve tradition? A Nordic feast featuring Swedish meatballs and lefse at my Aunt and Uncle’s house. While most meatballs are known to sit on top of spaghetti, these meatballs are piled high onto a hearty serving of mashed potatoes. Lefse is a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread made of potatoes and flour… best served with copious amounts of butter! For the past 20 years, the table has been set with Spode Christmas china, poinsettias, candles and these two staple dishes.

Jessie Bandy Christmas

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November 18, 2014

Wildlife Holiday Cards Giveaway

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

When I first started designing for merchandise, I realized how many products had cute animal designs but weren’t doing anything to spread awareness or give back. Around the same time, I was working with a handful of non-profits who wanted to raise funds by selling products, but they didn’t have the funds or knowledge to design them. (Usually they would just sell a t-shirt with their logo on it, which would only appeal to the audience they already had.) I wanted to bridge that gap by designing product that would appeal to popular markets, but would spread awareness and raise funds for these causes, too. So for the holidays I created four greeting cards for some of my favorite wildlife organizations.

red-panda

 In partnership with Red Panda Network continue reading

November 13, 2014

Street Library – The Global Fund for Children Grantee

At Tea, we believe in and wholeheartedly support the mission of The Global Fund for Children, and we’re excited to announce Global Giving Thursdays. For now on, every third Thursday of the month when you give to The Global Fund for Children on our site, we will match your donation. All proceeds go directly to our longtime charity partner. With each Global Giving Thursday, we’re spotlighting a different grantee. This month: Street Library in Duayaden, Ghana.

Global Fund for Children: Ghana A volunteer at Street Library Ghana.

© Rosie Hallam / Financial Times

Children living in the Eastern Region of Ghana typically have limited access to education, and no access to reading materials outside of school. Most of these children have delayed reading skills for their age, which prevents them from succeeding in school.

Reaching multiple villages with its mobile library program, Street Library Ghana brings books to children who don’t have access to reading materials. SLG also offers mentorship and leadership training, tutors children who are unable to read, and organizes events like debates, quizzes, and writing competitions.  SLG engages entire communities around the importance of reading. The library operates with the involvement of trained “community program officers” who are selected by village elders to run the program in each community.

Here at Tea, we are honored to partner with the Global Fund for Children and learn about how our donations have an affect on the grantees. The Street Library Ghana is a wonderful program that promotes literacy and engages communities to place a higher value on children’s education through reading.

 

November 6, 2014

Activities for Days Spent Indoors

With the holiday season in full swing, we know many of you might be looking forward to spending a day at home. No need to get out of your pajamas. Take a day to relax and reconnect with your family! Here are some fun indoor activities you can enjoy that don’t involve a TV!

Musical Instruments That Won’t Give You A Headache

Homemade Rice Shakers Image Courtesy of Minieco.co.uk.

Homemade Rice Shakers Image Courtesy of Minieco.co.uk.

Homemade instruments don’t have to involve pots and pans and a lot of noise! Make these easy and soothing shakers and let you kids put on a show! Have them help you make put them together and teach them how to shake to a song!

What You Need:

  • - Tin cans, cleaned and the labels taken off
  • -Balloons with the end cut off
  • -Rubber Bands
  •  -Rice or beans

Instructions: Find some empty tin cans in your recycling and clean them out thoroughly. Fill them 1/3 of the way with rice or beans. Cut a balloon so that you can fit it tightly over the tin can. Place it on the can and secure it tightly with a rubber band. Put on a song or sing a well known tune and let them take the stage!

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