Monthly Archives: August 2010

August 13, 2010

Kati and Kormos

On a quest for children’s stories from Hungary, Romania, and Croatia, I found myself at the San Francisco Public Library:

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The Main Branch downtown is massive, with 6 stories of books, and an amazing Children’s Section. To my surprise I found piles and piles of folk tales from these regions, and thanks to a kind librarian, was able to look at some books from the Historical Archives, which are not loaned out to the public. The one which resonated the most for me in both illustration and content was Kati and Kormos, written by Anico Surany and illustrated by Leonard Everett Fisher:

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Kati Viszla is a prize-winning hunting dog who lived in a grand kennel on a huge estate in Hungary. She was happy, but lonely, as her owner Count Toldy was away often, and she spent most of her days inside a cage, and bored.

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Luckily one day she met Kormos Puli, a shaggy little sheepdog, and his owner Old Imne:

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She learns to love a life of herding and not hunting, and abandons her life of lonely luxury for a life with good company.

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The illustrations are gorgeous in person. The tale is simple but the writing is wonderfully descriptive, and similar to Selma the Sheep, I find it conveys wisdom within its pages. The author Anico Surray is born of Hungarian ancestry, and owns a Viszla dog similar to Kati. Leonard Everett Fisher has an MFA from Yale, and has illustrated over 100 kids books, including 11 of his own.

Published by Holiday House Press in 1966, copies of this book are not very easy to find, but Amazon has a few for sale here.

This is part of an ongoing blog series exploring children’s literature and folk tales from the regions of Hungary, Romania, and Croatia. Do you have any recommendations? If so please feel free to leave a comment below.

August 11, 2010

Favorite Childhood Travel Stories from our Facebook Fans

Happy Wednesday!

Every week as part of Tote Tuesday, we ask a different question on Facebook. You can win our Little Citizens tote.

Just wanted to share some of our Fans’ Childhood travel stories and one of my own.

From Sarah (this week’s winner): Driving to Canada to see Niagra Falls and getting watermelon flavored French gum stuck in my hair when we were laying down in the back of our station wagon!

From Priscilla: My parents used to take my sister and I to Tijuana every summer. We stayed at the same hotel every year, ate at our favorite restaurants and visited neighborhing cities like Ensenada, Rosarito and Tecate. We looked forward to our summers.

From Winnie: My family didn’t go on vacations when we were young. Our first family vacation was when I was 18 years old, a trip back to China, Macau and Hong Kong to visit family. My grandmother passed away and the family was there to take care of service arrangements. Needless to say, we didn’t get to do too many things fun. But it was great to meet all the aunts, uncles and cousins I’ve never met before. It was fun getting to know them.

From Julie: When I was 11 and my brother was 8, my parents took us to Europe. In s stop in Germany a man introduced himself to us and bought us pastries in the Kondotetei. Turns out he was the Burgermeister. This thrilled us because we knew this term from the Christmas special with the Burgermeister Meisterbuger!

From Luciana: I used to live in Brazil… so on summer vacation, we would drive from Sao Paulo to Belo Horizonte and stop on little farms for snacks and rest along the way…. I remember playing in this little farm/restaurant’s playground and near the cows…. I remember the food was great and fresh milk… great memories.

From Kaarin: Almost 15 years ago, my Great Grandmother, Grandmother, and Mother took me on a tour of the world and we stopped by South Afrika for two months. While we were on safari one day a young Lioness jumped on our jeep and stared us down for what seemed like hours (probably no more than a minute!) , and my Great Grandmother finally stood up and told her to shoo away with her cane . . . I’ll never forget it ;) 4 generations of women traveling around the world!

From LisaC (that’s me): I remember going to Miami Beach for the first time from Connecticut to visit my aunt, cousins and Grandpa Abe. My brother kept saying its not Miami it’s your ami. We got to swim in more than one pool and the ocean, hang out with our older cousins and go for brunch at The Fountainebleau Hotel. Pretty cool all around.

Discover more memories on our Facebook page. What are some of your favorite childhood travel stories?

Count to Ten in Hungarian!

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(artwork by Binth)

1   Egy

2   Kettö (két before a noun)

3   Három

4   Négy

5   Öt

6   Hat

7   Hét

8   Nyolc

9   Kilenc

10   Tíz

Want to double-check your memorization? Take this little quiz here!

Interested in the phonetics of the Hungarian alphabet? Check out this handy chart here.

August 10, 2010

Nanaos Dragon Pullover

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We found the inspiration for our Nanaos Dragon Pullover in the streets of Budapest on this amazing manhole cover.

Check out some other cool manhole imagery from Budapest.

We found these on a blog called Manhole Miscellany.

Here at Tea, we’ve been wondering whether the image on the pullover is really a dragon. Or could it be an eagle?

To us, no matter what you call it, the Nanaos Dragon Pullover is one sweatshirt boys will love to wear back to school and all throughout the fall. It’s sure to be warm, comfortable conversation-starter.

What do you think? dragon or eagle?

What do you think? dragon or eagle?

August 9, 2010

Nesting Dolls

TeaNestingDollsMy Nonna had an amazing set of nesting dolls when I was little. They were my favorite things to play with when I visited her house (or at least, a close second to crushing potato chips in her vintage coffee grinder),  so I was pretty excited when Laura and Emily brought back these beautiful nesting doll sets from their Old world Hungary inspiration trip. They immediately made way to my desk so I could ‘be inspired’ by them, but really I just wanted to play. Every time I played with my grandmother’s dolls I was always amazed that when I thought I had made my way to the smallest doll, there was even a tinier one inside.   Turns out even now, I still get excited by this. “Oooh, there’s an EVEN smaller doll after this one!”  I’d announce to my coworkers, who were actually working and probably not that interested in my toys.

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This set’s tiniest doll even had a painted face!  Thrilling!

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Tea’s Nesting Doll Tee

August 6, 2010

Weekend Activity: Little Drifters

Recently art blog BOOOOOOOM! and the Vancouver Sun teamed up on the Little Drifters project.   While they are no longer taking submissions it’s still a fabulous fun activity for the whole family.   Build a little boat using nothing but natural materials, sail it on some water and enjoy!
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See all Little Drifter submissions here.
See full set of directions on BOOOOOOOM!

August 3, 2010

Announcing Tea’s July Little Citizen of the Month Winner

July’s contest was all about sharing photos of your little citizens enjoying summer vacation.

Quynh Vu is July’s winner:

Our daughters Sammie and Taylor at Noguchi Gardens in Costa Mesa. They were having a fun time exploring the water fountain and climbing the rocks and out of the blue decided to show a bit of sibling affection. We love Tea clothing because of it’s unique & beautiful design and the girls love comfortable dresses that allow them to explore their world.

Heres her entry: Our daughters Sammie and Taylor at Noguchi Gardens in Costa Mesa. They were having a fun time exploring the water fountain and climbing the rocks and out of the blue decided to show a bit of sibling affection. We love Tea clothing because of its unique & beautiful design and the girls love comfortable dresses that allow them to explore their world.

Take a look at July’s honorable mentions below and read more about them on Facebook.

July Contest: Summer vacation for us involved buying a year pass to our local zoo. Ryan loves to feed the giraffes. We especially love his Gaja Gaja shirt as it suits our busy toddler perfectly. Hes always on the Go!
Whiling away a rainy summer day in our driveway. Although my daughter has many dresses to wear, she always chooses this Tea dress. She even asks for it when its in the laundry! I love Tea because my daughter loves Tea!

My 2 year old, Henrys, idea of a great staycation day. A trip to the amusement park for rides and face painting, then off to the outdoor mall for more summertime adventures. He was truly inspired the entire day by the dragon on his tea collection pants.
I love Tea for many reasons, the main one being that for such pretty clothes, they are comfortable and easy to wash! I also love the attention to detail, from where the inspiration comes to the actual stitches in the garments.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Please continue sharing your photos and experiences with us on Facebook! August’s contest will be posted here soon.