Monthly Archives: November 2011

November 30, 2011

Behind the Design: Alebrijes Graphic Tees

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.

Mexican artists continually represent the creatures of their imaginations in alebrijes, which are brightly-colored sculptures of fantastical creatures.  We saw alebrijes throughout our Mexico trip; some were small enough to fit in the size of our palm while others spanned the length of the street!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Modern Mexico children’s clothes line is filled with our interpretations of alebrijes.  Check out these ones hiding out in style on our graphic tees!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which alebrijes Tea creation is your favorite?  Check back tomorrow for a fun children’s alebrijes cultural activity printout.

Explore all of our graphic tee options for girls and boys.


November 29, 2011

Holiday Decorating Made Easy (And Fun!)

We’re excited to have Stephanie, a Marketing Manager for Children’s Books from Chronicle Books guest posting on our blog today. Chronicle Books publishes distinctive books, gifts and stationery for children and adults.

One of my favorite things about this time of year is getting the house decorated and ready for the holidays. Decorations come in all different shapes, sizes and styles from hand strung popcorn and cranberry garlands to glittering ornaments brought back from far away countries.  Although decorations vary from family to family, one thing’s for sure – it’s hard not to enjoy a decorated house.

An easy, but satisfying, decorating project is to make Shimmering Snowflakes from Holiday Crafting & Baking with Kids.  In just a few easy steps, you can create your own fun decorations to hang off the mantle or decorate the tree.  I made a few of these Shimmering Snowflakes this weekend and can’t wait to hang them up!

Shimmering Snowflakes Instructions

You can make these pretty snowflakes as simple or complex as you like.  To make them smaller or larger, simply adjust the length of your pipe cleaners to the size and design of your snowflake.  For a more traditional look, use white pipe cleaners, or add some pizzazz by using multicolored ones.  Hang them in the window, off the mantel, or on the tree!  The diagram will help you with the simple process, but once you begin, it becomes rudimentary.

MATERIALS (FOR ONE SNOWFLAKE)

6 silver or gold pipe cleaners (each 12 in) cut into the following lengths: 3 pieces –  6 inches, 6 pieces – 3 inches, 6 pieces – 2.5 inches, 6 pieces 2 inches

Needle-nose pliers

Shark scissors or wire cutters

Piece of silver or gold Christmas metallic elastic wrapping cord about 10 inches long

1. Join the three long pieces of pipe cleaner by twisting the

centers together and then stretching the spokes out. This

will create a six-pointed star. To be sure that the pipe

cleaners are securely attached, press the twisted area with

the needle-nose pliers.

2. Begin the spoke design by taking a 3-inch/7.5-cm piece of

pipe cleaner, placing it midway on one of the arms, and

wrapping it around the arm so that the pieces cross. Make

sure each spoke projects an equal distance on either side

of the arm; if necessary, trim the ends with scissors.

Secure with pliers. Repeat with the rest of the arms to

create all six spokes.

3. Repeat the process above with the next-longest pieces,

positioning them slightly above the first set of spokes.

4. Finally, repeat the process a third time with the remaining

pieces, adding them near the tips of the arms.

5. When you’re ready to hang the snowflakes, wrap a piece of

ribbon around one of the arms—tying it close to the middle

of the arm is best for balance—then gather the ribbon to

the back and tie the ends to make a loop.

Once the decorations and stories have put you and your little ones in the holiday mood, it’s time to celebrate!  And what would be better than a new holiday outfit to celebrate the Holiday Season?  Tea’s festive outfits and Chronicle’s seasonal books offer easy ways to prepare for the holidays.  How do you decorate for the holidays?   Share your answer in our comments section to be entered to win a Tea Collection holiday girls dress or a holiday boys outfit and Holiday Crafting & Baking with Kids, Follow the Star and Snow Baby.

Be sure to shop Chronicle Books wide selection of holiday stories this season.  Learn more by following their blog or by visiting their Facebook and Twitter.

________________________________________________________________________________

Congrats to Carmen Van Deursen, who will be winning the Tea holiday outfit of her choice and three great festive books from Chronicle Books. Chronicle Books wants to ensure that everyone has a chance to shop their great selection of holiday books so they are offering an exclusive promo for Studio T fans.  Use the promo code TEA11 to receive a 25% discount on your Chronicle Books purchase.  Hurry, this promo code expires 12/9/2011!

Thank you everyone for sharing your holiday decorating traditions!  Subscribe to our Studio T blog to learn about new contests, behind the design features, and all things Tea!



November 21, 2011

Vacationing in Barcelona & Discovering Tea

To help everyone at Tea “go there,” we make a yearly contribution to each employee for international travel and exploration. Upon their return, our Tea travelers write blog posts to share their adventures with all of us (and the world).

Margaret, who works in planning & operations, recently returned from a trip to Barcelona. Check out her adventures!

Usually when I go on vacation, it’s about relaxing and enjoying my time – and getting away from work for a bit! However, on my recent vacation to Spain, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Tea on a daily basis.  Everywhere I went,  I saw something that reminded me of our Catalonia Collection from last spring!

On my first morning in Barcelona, I stepped out the subway right next to La Sagrada Familia Basilica (pictured below). I recognized it immediately – cranes and all – from our Construccion Graphic Boys Tee.  I soon discovered that Gaudi’s idea of a church was much different from other cathedrals that I’ve visited in Europe. The inside reminded me of a colorful, whimsical forest, with trees holding up the roof, and light streaming in through a myriad of stained glass windows.

La Sagrada Familia BasilicaLa Sagrada Familia Basilica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was only the beginning of a series of Gaudi masterpieces that I discovered in Barcelona.  I visited La Pedrera – a residential building built by Gaudi for a wealthy client.  In La Pedrera,  I saw the hanging chain sculpture that Gaudi used, which was featured in a picture in our Spring catalog.

I also discovered the beautiful tile work by Luis Montaner at the Palau de la Musica and the Sant Pau hospital. This tile work inspired the Montaner Flora girls top, the super popular El Palau Tile shift girls dress, and several other of the mosaic-style tops from Spring.

Palua de la Musica

On my last day in Barcelona, it was unusually warm and sunny as I visited Park Guell.  I was immediately drawn to the giant mosaic lizard at the entrance.  Again- I thought of our graphic boys tees with the mosaic-inspired animals and bright colors.

Park Guell Mosaic Lizard

It was a fantastic trip, and wish it could have lasted longer…but I eventually had to return to Fall 2011 (Mexico) and go back to work.  Thanks to Tea for helping sponsor my trip abroad!

November 18, 2011

Jaguar & Butterfly Masks: Activity Download

Mexico is filled with wonderful creatures- such as the Jaguar which inspired our Jaguar Mask Boys Tee and the Monarch Butterfly which inspired our Butterfly Girls shirt.  At Tea, we want to bring our designs to life- literally!  Download the masks below and have fun watching your child color their character mask and then transform into either a fierce jaguar or a playful butterfly!

We want in on the fun.  Post a picture of your child wearing the finished mask in our comments section below.

November 17, 2011

Cultural Connections: Tigers

1st row: early Tea design, traditional Chinese paper cut tiger

2nd row: Tea’s design, Japan Fall 2009, “Tiger Mask” Japanese anime character

3rd row: Tea’s design, Korea Spring 2010, Korean tiger stamp

4th row: Tea’s design, Old World Hungary Fall 2010, lion from Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest

5th row: Tea’s Design, Barcelona Spring 2011, Barcelona street art

6th row: Tea’s design, Modern Mexico Fall 2011, Mexican jaguar

I can’t believe that I am designing my 8th season at Tea!  Time flies when you’re having fun! The more seasons I design, the more connections I see through the different cultures we’ve visited for inspiration. One obvious connection is the importance of tigers. Some cultures may not specifically celebrate tigers, but every country we have visited has some large cat that is important to their identity. I find it so interesting to see the differences and similarities in the ways foreign civilizations celebrate the same subjects.

Be sure to check out our tiger pinboard on pinterest, showing tigers interpreted by artists from all over the world.

learn more about Barcelona Tiger, Old World Hungary Lion, Modern Mexico Jaguar

November 16, 2011

Behind the Design: Jaguar Masks

colorful jaguar masks from Tea’s inspiration trip photos

jaguar masks from Tea’s inspiration trip photos

We loved these 2 color Jaguar masks we found in Chiapas. They inspired our Jaguar Mask Tee.

images from indigo arts & david sanger

The Tiger Masks (“Tiger” is often used to describe Jaguars in Mexico) are from Guerrero and worn by farmers who perform rain dances prior to their growing seasons. These masks inspired our Uno Dos Tres Romper.

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.

November 11, 2011

Give the Gift that Gives Back: Little Citizens Pajamas

The holiday rush is upon us.  This year, in the midst of all the gift-buying, wrapping, cooking, traveling, and relatives, Tea wants you to take a moment to focus on the core of the holiday:  giving and gratitude.

At Tea, we’re thankful for our continued success, our loyal fan base, and our dedicated, creative staff.  We’re also thankful that we all have food, shelter, and most importantly, our families.  We know that this isn’t the case for many people in the world and that’s why we believe in giving back by donating 50% of all proceeds from our Little Citizens line to the Global Fund for Children.

 

This holiday by purchasing our Little Citizen pajamas for all the little citizens on your shopping list, you will also be donating to the Global Fund for Children– an organization that works to advance the dignity of vulnerable children and youth by supporting and strengthening grass root groups and effectively utilizing media to highlight the disparities experienced by this demographic.

Give the greatest gift of all; partner with Tea as we work with the Global Fund for Children to ensure all the little citizens of the world have a voice.  Explore our Little Citizens girls pajamas and boys pajamas today. (View the inspiration and pajamas picture in behind the design.)

This year, how do you plan to give back?  Please share your stories of giving and gratitude below in our comments section.

November 10, 2011

Árbol del Tule Activity Pages

Árbol del Tule images from hereherehere

We  visited Árbol del Tule on our Mexico inspiration trip. This tree is so impressive you can’t capture it in just one photo, hence the photo collage. The trunk has a 38 foot diameter! That is larger than California’s famous giant sequoias.

Árbol del Tule is often referred to as the “tree of life,” because of all the many ‘creatures’ you can find hiding in its gnarled trunk. We decided to hide some of own creatures and objects in our Arbol Del Tule activity pages, can you find them all?

download full resolution activity pages here below:

Arbol Del Tule

Word Find

 

November 9, 2011

Behind the Design: Tree of Life

tree of life crafts mexico

images from Tea’s Inspiration Trip Photos

While traveling through Mexico we saw a variety of interpretations of the Tree of Life theme, which inspired some of our designs for this season.

The woven rugs pictured above feature the Zapotec Tree of Life and inspired our Árbol de la Vida Tee.

The top right image is a ceramic tile, a modern interpretation of the Tree of Life that inspired our Little Citizen PJs. We hid quite a few creatures in our tree design.  How many can you find?  Check back tomorrow for our “Tree of Life” activity page you can download and enjoy with your kids.

The remaining images are a style of Mexican clay sculpture known as Tree of Life.  These traditionally have biblical themes (middle right image), but modern interpretations can be pretty much anything, like the day of the dead tree on the bottom.

Tea’s Little Citizen PJs and Árbol de la Vida Tee, with accompanying inspiration.

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. For more Behind the Designs click here.

 

 

 

November 8, 2011

Ich Liebe Berlin! Isabelle’s Adventures in Berlin

To help everyone at Tea “go there,” we make a yearly contribution to each employee for international travel and exploration. Upon their return, our Tea travelers write blog posts to share their adventures with all of us (and the world).

Isabelle, who works in tech design, recently returned from a trip to Berlin. Check out her adventures!

Ich Liebe Berlin!
I knew that I would like Berlin when I got there but didn’t realize I would end up loving it so much. I had no idea that I could wind up feeling a tad jealous that my city wasn’t as cool. I didn’t know what to expect knowing its gloomy history but to my surprise it was incredibly colorful, inviting, hip, and full of tasty, not to mention inexpensive treats! It was only 22 years ago that the wall fell and the city has since then transformed itself into this Mecca for artists, designers, technology geeks  and of course Techno lovers! I felt welcome there and free to sit back, open up a container and enjoy the scenery.

Berlin Wall remnant at the East Side Gallery

So many inspiring quotes littered the city. I know I was on vacation but I couldn’t have felt more liberated there.

The walls were alive with art and graffiti everywhere I walked. Graffiti felt welcome as artistic expression more than a nuisance as it is viewed in other cities I’ve visited. From full on murals that were sky high to tiny scribbles on the wall, I don’t recall seeing much painted over.

Throngs of people show up every week at Mauer Park to get in on some Karaoke action. I wonder if anyone has ever sang a song by Berlin in Berlin?

Berlin style beer was as colorful as its people! Hanging out at a beer garden was a must while in Berlin. My favorite was the Biergarten at the Tiergarten. The pretzels were hot out of the oven and the mustard was the best I’ve ever had.

Flea Market fodder on Sundays at Mauer Park.

Photobooths were scattered everywhere in the city. The fact that I could capture a moment with my friends on a whim felt very exciting to me.

Art Gallery visit at Direktorenhaus to see a show by one of my favorite Swiss artist duos, Husmann/Tschaeni. I just happened to be there while they were in town for the weekend and met up with them for a drink on the canal. I couldn’t have been happier to meet the artists behind the art which so inspires me.

Sunset on the platform. The time has come to say Tschuss! (German for See ya!)  Don’t you worry Berlin, I plan on visiting you again.