Month: November 2010

What are you thankful for?

What are you thankful for?

We’re thankful for you! And each other. And this world.
Like you, we were born to explore it, to experience it with
every bit of our souls. And we take our kids along, holding their hands,
even when they’re too young to take it all in.

This Thanksgiving, whether you’re going across the street or
across the globe…

Just go there. Go to see. Go to be. Go to share.
Especially to share.
Be in it. Stay in it. Revel in it. Love it, every day.
And definitely bring your kids.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Tea.

Our Latest Manhole Cover Inspiration

At Tea we love coming across interesting manhole covers while on our travels. Many of our circular designs on our boy’s clothes originate from manhole covers we’ve discovered on our journeys, such as as our Nanaos Dragon Pullover, which we blogged about here.  Our latest inspiration from manhole covers came from the manhole image on the left, which we used on our Side Stripe Pants.


For more manhole covers in Budapest check out some photos here.


The Kassai School of Horseback Archery

Today’s Guest Post is by Sandra Tyan from Tea:

I’ve been shooting since I was about 10 years old and was super excited when I saw that Katy was developing an archery graphic.  I can’t help but smile whenever I see archery references pop up (except in Lord of the Rings because Legolas’ form is so awful it makes me cringe every time I watch him shoot).  One of my friends from college always joked that I could learn how to ride a horse and be a horseback archer, but I always laughed it off.  Little did I know that horseback archery is an art form and competitive sport in Hungary!

The Kassai School of Horseback Archery, founded by Kassai Lajos about 25 years ago in Hungary, is the inspiration behind the Archery Tee.  Lajos also founded the Horseback Archers World Association and developed modern horseback archery competitions.  In a short amount of time, his teaching style has spread to various countries throughout Europe and North America.  Lajos has extensive training grounds in Hungary called “The Valley” in the village of Kaposmero where people from all over the world travel to attend his training camps, history lessons including bow making, and martial arts seminars.

There are different skill degrees that horseback archers can test into, much like martial arts, and different colored kaftans and belts represent the skill level.  For example, a blue kaftan and black belt means someone is a beginner that has demonstrated competency in both shooting and riding.  Here are some horseback archers of varying skill degrees:



Competitions are about shooting as quickly and accurately as possible within a certain amount of time.  Each archer gets 9 passes or gallops along the 99m course.  The archer receives points for hitting the different rings on the target, and also for how quickly he/she can ride through the course.  Rides are timed; each person has 20 seconds to complete the course.  After all passes, the person with the highest point total wins.



In modern target archery competitions, archers shoot at different distances depending on their age/gender.   The official Olympic distance is 70m for both men and women.  While each end is timed, the archer has a set number of arrows to shoot so there’s no pressure to shoot as many arrows as possible.  I have a lot of respect for horseback archers.  It’s hard enough to shoot a target while standing still, I can’t imagine the amount of skill required to shoot a target from a moving horse while the distance to the target constantly changes, and especially without an aiming device!

Check out the results of our inspiration from the Kassai School of Horseback Archery:


Frederika the Superhero


Frederika was depressed. 91 years old and a native Hungarian from Budapest, she was forced to flee her country during World War II, and now lives in France. Knowing his grandmother had a fierce sense of humor, her grandson Sacha Goldberger had the idea of creating a photographic series portraying her as a superhero, to give her something to do.


The project cheered up Frederika enormously. Now she has a huge following, including her own Myspace Page, where she receives messages saying things like: “You’re the grandmother that I have dreamed of, would you adopt me?” and ” You made my day, I hope to be like you at your age.” You can find more photos here.


Who are the superheros (real or figurative) in your life?

Holiday Picture Tips- Part 2

Just in time for holiday photos (and holiday photo cards), we have a few tips from our professional photographer friends at Wardrobe Wednesday!

Today, we finish with tips from photographers Lindsay, Rebecca, and Kelly on lighting techniques and posing strategies.

1. Find Natural Light When Shooting Indoorsby Lindsay Horn


Is it too cold to shoot outdoors? Don’t worry, you can create beautiful images using the natural light available in your house. First, turn OFF your flash. Next you will need to find the best location inside your house. When shooting indoors, I usually look for North or South facing windows (to avoid any direct light) and large openings (i.e. patio doors, bay windows, or a series of windows close together). Don’t be afraid to move furniture if necessary! Once you’ve picked your spot, make sure to turn off any artificial lighting in the area.Now it’s time to set up your subjects. Place them either directly in front of and facing the window (front lighting) or at a 45 or 90 degree angle to the window (side lighting). When using front lighting, you will position yourself near the window with your back to it, but make sure that you aren’t blocking too much of the light. When using side lighting, position yourself next to the window, shooting across the opening towards your subjects. Are your kiddos extra-wriggly? Pull over your favorite armchair or a nice dining room chair for seating, it can add a nice touch! — Lindsay, Lindsay Horn Photography

2. No Natural Light? Taking Photos in Low Light Conditions- by Rebecca Keeling

Yep, we’re all guilty of it, especially during a favorite photo op like Christmas.  You want the ambiance of your beautiful glowing tree, whether it’s for a do-it-yourself family portrait by the lights, or your kids feverishly ripping the wrapping off their gifts…pop goes the flash of your camera and it looks more like a deer-in-the-headlights nightmare rather than the fabulous image you saw in your viewfinder.  Depending on what type of camera you have, there are several ways to get around this issue.  If you have a DSLR, meaning that you can change the lens on your camera, here are a few options for you:


1.  Your flash does not have to be your enemy in situations like this.  If you prefer to keep your camera in auto mode, let your flash go to town, just tone it down a bit.  There are lots of cool little light modifiers for pop-up flashes these days, such as The Puffer by Gary Fong, or The Lightscoop; both of which help to diffuse or bounce the light from your flash, giving it a much softer appearance.  You can also go into your menu and reduce the flash output.

2.  Turn off your flash!  I know, scary thought…but that’s the beauty of your DSLR camera.  You have total control, if you want it!  One of my favorite modes to shoot in is Aperture Priority…it’s the little “Av” on your mode dial.  The great thing about this mode is that the camera sets the shutter speed for you, and you get to set the aperture.  The smaller the aperture number, like f/2.8 (also known as a large aperture…I know, kind of confusing), the more light your lens is letting into your camera.  With a little extra ambient light, you just might be able to take your Christmas photos without any flash at all!  Just make sure your shutter speed stays fast enough so that you don’t get blurry pics of the unwrapping fury.  Play with it, see what works…there’s really no “right” or “wrong” way!

For point and shoot cameras, you’ll want to be sure to shoot in portrait mode.  If you have a menu option that has something to do with flash exposure compensation, you might try dialing your flash down a bit, so it looks a little more natural.  Depending on your camera, you also might be able to set your ISO higher, set your white balance to the little light bulb symbol (incandescent), or even set your aperture, as well.  The idea is, don’t just settle on the auto mode.  Have fun, try something different…you just might create the best Christmas photos your family has ever seen!  — Rebecca, Rebecca Keeling Studios

3. Don’t Just “Say Cheese!”- by Kelly V.

When it comes to taking great photos for the holidays, take a cue from your little ones and be on the move!


It can be incredibly frustrating for mom and tot when you’re trying to get a squirmer to sit still for posed photo after posed photo. You may have a vision of your kids sitting perfectly by the tree wearing their Christmas best and smiling sweetly, but in reality, you’re more likely to have one playing with an ornament and the other inspecting the inside of her dress. And after 20 minutes of pleading, bargaining and bribes, perhaps even tears.

Instead of forcing them to “sit still and smile,” try making a game of it. Have them stand next to each other and tell them you’re going to count to three. When you get to three, see who can jump the highest. When they land, they’ll be grinning and looking to you to pronounce the winner — which is exactly what you want! You’ll have the attention of all of your kids at the same time and those natural smiles you know and love. If they need more direction such as “get closer,” say it with excitement and urgency. Then do it again. When they tire out, try having them sit. You’ll likely have a few minutes of their attention and keep it by asking them how much fun they just had.

If you have older kids who understand posing for a few minutes, take advantage by trying a few different angles. Don’t just stand in front of them, get down to their level by squatting, kneeling or even sitting. It will produce a much more natural result.

And don’t be afraid to get close! I know you want to show off those coordinated dresses and sweater sets, but mix it up by taking a few close-up shots, too. They’re so intimate and personal that they may just end up being your favorites!  — Kelly, Kelly V Photography

The Lion on Széchenyi Chain Bridge


The Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest spans the Danube river, connecting the Western and Eastern  parts of the city. Opened in 1849, the bridge is named after Count István Széchenyi, who financially and politically supported its construction. Made of beautifully intricate wrought iron, the bridge was greatly damaged during the Siege of Budapest during World War II , and was partly rebuilt.

While exploring Budapest our designers came across a magnificent lion gracing the abutments at the end of the bridge.


He is a smaller stone replica of the famous bronze Trafalgar lions, guarding Nelson’s Column in London. and was installed on the bridge in 1852. Inspired by his noble features, our designers created this stylish shirt:


Know any little lions in your life? You can find this shirt here.