Monthly Archives: July 2012

July 31, 2012

Discovering Ireland

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 Ireland. Check out her adventures!

Kylemore Abbey, in the Connemara region near Galway.

Kylemore Abbey, in the Connemara region near Galway.

Earlier this month,  I traveled with my friends to Ireland for a wedding.  The wedding took place near Drogheda, a small town about an hour north of Dublin.  I had never been to an Irish wedding before, and it was quite the experience! The wedding itself was fairly short – but then the festivities continued all day.  Later in the evening, the “afters” arrived (additional guests who were not invited to the ceremony and dinner, but show up later in the evening ). Finally, at 2am the party broke up – but then there was a wedding brunch the next day as well!  The Irish certainly know how to celebrate!

Racing Boats in Galway

Racing boats in Galway. We just happened to be in Galway for the dramatic finish of the Volvo Ocean Race – an around-the-world regatta that had begun in October 2011 in Alicante, Spain.

After the wedding, we took some time to drive around the countryside. The first challenge was driving on the right-hand side of the road, with the steering wheel on the right-hand side, as well as shifting with the left hand. We managed not to crash, but we did have a tire blow out in the windy narrow roads of Connemara.  We were amazed at how many people stopped to help and make sure we were okay, and we were able to get the tire fixed and get back to our hotel in Galway.

Burial Mount at Newgrange (Brú na Bóinne).

Brú na Bóinne, a 5000-year-old burial mound in County Meath. The inner chamber aligns with the sunrise on Winter Solstice.

My favorite site in Ireland was the burial mound at Newgrange (Brú na Bóinne).  It’s one of a series of ancient burial mounds that were recently discovered in Ireland, and is over 5000 years old. Although the Neolithic people are not considered especially advanced, they were able to build this mound in such a way that the sun shines directly into the chamber on the Winter Solstice.

Cliffs of Moher

With my friend Sue at the Cliffs of Moher

Ireland was beautiful (I’ve included photos of my favorite places below!), but it was rather cold and rainy. It was actually quite reminiscent of summer in San Francisco, in fact! So after Ireland, we did hop over to Munich for a few days to enjoy the sun for a few days.

Rathaus in the Marienplatz, Munich.

In front of the Rathaus in the Marienplatz, Munich.

July 25, 2012

Tea’s Activity Book Contest

 

free coloring book page

Above is Nico, one of the Tea kids, who is coloring the snow monster graphics from our Nordic Design Activity Book.

Have you entered our Activity Book Contest for the month of July? Take a picture of your child’s completed activity book picture and send it to us at blog@teacollection.com with “Activity Book Entry” in the subject line. We pick one winner each month to receive a $100 Tea gift certificate. We’ll also post all honorable mentions on our blog page and all submissions will be posted on our Flickr page.

Two pages from our New Nordic Design Activity Book artistically colored by Nico.

We can’t wait to start seeing entries from our new Nordic Inspired Activity Book. If you haven’t received it yet,  you can download activity pages on our Inspiration page online at teacollection.com. You can also download activity pages from our past collections here: http://blog.teacollection.com/activity-printouts

Good Luck! We can’t wait to see what you create.

July 24, 2012

Activities: Make a Dragon Mask

free coloring book page

Tea staff member Marjorie has her two children create dragon masks inspired by Korea.

Supplies:
a. Dragon printout
b. Markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.
c. String
d. Hole punch
e. printer

Directions:

Free Coloring book page

1. Download our Dragon outline from our Activity Book.
2. Using a projector, resize the image until the dragon head will fit your child’s head as a mask.

coloring book contest
3. Print the mask and use markers, colored pencils, or paint to fill in the design.
4. Cut out the mask. Use a hole punch to put holes on each side of the mask.
5. Have your child hold the mask in front of the eyes. Tie the string on one hole and wrap it around the back of their head, resting the string on their ears and tie the other side of the string to the opposite hole.

free coloring book mask

As your children are wearing their masks, snap a few pics and enter them in our “Around the World Activity Contest” for your chance to win one of our 10 weekly prizes and be entered into a sweepstakes to win a $500 Tea gift certificate. Contest ends 7/31/2012. Visit www.facebook.com/teacollection to enter.

This activity was inspired by the Sejong Dragon Pant which first debuted in Destination: Korea in Spring 2010.

Sejong Dragon Boys Pants

Named for the king who invented the Korean written alphabet, these pants feature an embroidered dragon graphic on a cargo pant style.

July 23, 2012

Activity: Make a Spirit Stick

How to make your own spirit stick

Looking to add a little spirit to a gloomy day? Look no further! You can make your own spirit stick. This activity is perfect for all ages and easy to create.  Oh, and did we mention just how fun it is too?

DIY Make your Own Spirit Stick

Supplies:

a. Tree Stick
b. Tissue paper/ Ribbon/ Scarf/ or any other textile to give it “spirit.”

Directions:
This activity is quite simple, perfect for the littlest of citizens. Simply decorate your stick with “Spirit.” Paint, glitter, markers, textiles or anything else you can find around the house looks great fastened to this stick.

As your children are shaking their spirit sticks, snap a few pics and enter them in our “Around the World Activity Contest” for your chance to win one of our 10 weekly prizes and be entered into a sweepstakes to win a $500 Tea gift certificate. Contest ends 7/31/2012. Visit www.facebook.com/teacollection to enter.

This activity was inspired by the Sanga Dress, which first debuted in Destination: West Africa in Spring 2008.

The Sanga Girls DressThe dotted swirl print is inspired by Mali motifs and hand dyed textiles.

How the (yarn) ball got rolling…

 

First Tea Collection Pima Cotton Sweaters

First Tea Collection Pima Cotton Sweaters

Who knew three Pima Cotton baby sweaters could launch a company?  Emily and Leigh knew that this no fuss style would keep babies warm and stylish.  For ten years, we’ve been traveling the world but still remain true to our roots with our Chinese Baby Sweater.  Get your little one bundled up in style and see where the world takes this little citizen.

July 20, 2012

Activity: Make an Authentic Japanese Fan

How to Make a Japanese Fan from Paper

Tea staff member Marjorie has her little citizen create a Japanese fan.

Supplies:

a. Fan outline (link provided below)
b. Colored pencils
c. Scissors
d. Watercolors and paintbrush
e. 1-3 Popsicle sticks
f. Glue or tape

Directions:

How to make a Japanese Fan out of paper

1. Download the Japanese fan outline online here: http://bit.ly/japanesefan
2. Pint the fan on thick cardstock paper.
3. Once printed, color in the graphic using colored pencils.
4. Use watercolors to paint in the background.
5. Once colored and painted, cut out the fan shape with your scissors.
6. Flip fan over and add a Popsicle stick to the backside using tape or glue. For added strength, use three Popsicle sticks and make a  “Y” shape.

While they’re crafting their fan, snap a few pics of your little citizen and enter them in our “Around the World Activity Contest” for your chance to win one of our 10 weekly prizes and be entered into a sweepstakes to win a $500 Tea gift certificate. Contest ends 7/31/2012. Visit www.facebook.com/teacollection to enter.

This activity was inspired by the  Butterfly Dot Dress, which first debuted in Destination: Japan in Fall 2009.

Butterfly Dot Girls Dress

The Japanese inspired print featuring a flurry of red butterflies on a field of blue dots has come back in a classic flutter sleeve silhouette.

July 12, 2012

Activity: Make Your Own Paper


How to Make Your Own Paper

Evan, Tea's copywriter, has his daughter make her own paper.

With just a few supplies and minimal direction, your little citizen can have fun crafting their own paper! Read on below for the easy step-by-step guide on creating paper.

Supplies:

a. White or brown paper
b. Watercolor paints
c. Paintbrush
d. White crayon

Directions:

1. Use your white crayon to draw whatever you would like on your paper.
2. Once you’re done drawing, paint over the crayon with watercolors to see your image appear.

How to Make Your Own Paper

The finished product- pretty cool, huh?

While they’re painting their paper, snap a few pics of your little citizen and enter them in our “Around the World Activity Contest” for your chance to win one of our 10 weekly prizes and be entered into a sweepstakes to win a $500 Tea gift certificate. Contest ends 7/31/2012. Visit www.facebook.com/teacollection to enter.

This activity was inspired by the Hanji Floral dress which first debuted in Destination: Korea in Spring 2010.

HANJI FLORAL WRAP Girls DRESSInspired by handmade decorative Korean paper. We brought it back in its original printed poplin wrap style dress with side tie closure. Be an original!

July 9, 2012

Activity: Make Candy Sushi

How to Make Candy Sushi

Esther, who works in Tea's marketing department, has her daughter demonstrate how to make candy sushi while modeling the Butterfly Dots Dress from Tea's anniversary collection.

Is your little citizen a sushi addict? If so, they’ll love our sugary take on the hand rolls. This Japan-inspired activity isn’t only fun, it’s also delicious too!

how to make candy sushi

Ingredients:

a. 1/4 cup butter
b. 4 cups mini marshmallows
c. 6 cups crisped rice cereal
d. 20-25 gummy worms
e. 1-2 boxes of fruit leather
f. 12×17 inch baking sheet
g. 2-quart saucepan

Directions:

1. Grease the 12×17 inch baking sheet.
2. Melt butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat.
3. Add marshmallows to the 2-quart saucepan and stir into butter until smooth.
4. Remove mixture from heat and stir in the rice cereal until it’s evenly coated.
5. Turn the baking sheet so that the shorter ends are at the top and bottom. Then press the marshmallow mixture on the sheet, distributing it evenly.

how to make candy sushi

6.  Starting at one side and one inch up from the lower edge of the mixture, place gummy worms atop the mixture end to end in a horizontal line.
7.  Gently  roll the lower edge of the marshmallow mixture over the gummy worms.
8.  Then stop and cut the log away from the rest of the mixture. Use the same method for 4 more logs.
9.  Slice each log in 1-inch-thick “sushi” rolls and wrap them individually with a strip of fruit leather.

While making the candy sushi, snap a few pics of your little citizen baking and enter them in our “Around the World Activity Contest” for your chance to win one of our 10 weekly prizes and be entered into a sweepstakes to win a $500 Tea gift certificate. Contest ends 7/31/2012. Visit www.facebook.com/teacollection to enter.

This activity was inspired by the Butterfly Dot Girls Dress which first debuted in Destination: Japan in Fall 2009.

How to Make Candy SushiThe Japanese inspired print featuring aflurry of red butterflies on a field of blue dots has come back in a classic flutter sleeve silhouette.

July 6, 2012

Embarking on an African Safari

Pam Geller, a freelance marketing consultant, traveled to Nairobi, Kenya with her three kids, Kayla | 7 yrs, Drew | 6 yrs, and Jenna | 3 yrs, who just happened to be wearing Tea on their trip.

When we were planning our trip to Nairobi, Kenya, to visit by brother and sister in-law, everyone wanted to “do” an African Safari in the Masai Mara.  I was thinking, okay…I guess I am okay with sleeping in a tent in the Savannah with guards who carry guns, with somewhat “pampered” kids who have never gone camping.   But, where would we shower and clean up?  Do we have to mark our territory?  I had also heard various scary stories – for example, a friend of mine said that an elephant, who was “protecting” her baby elephant, charged their vehicle.  Hmmmm…I am okay with this…right?  You see my sister-in-law who is a very intelligent, had been putting together this amazing 2-week tour of Nairobi.  So when my sister-in-law suggested an African Safari in the Masai Mara, I said “okay, that sounds good.”

But as it turned out, what I imagined an African Safari would entail was a WHOLE LOT different than what I thought.

African Safari with Children

It took less than 60 minutes from the Nairobi Wilson Airport. The “jumper plane” made a handful of stops along the way to drop off other passengers at other landing stripes in the Savannah.

 

African Safari with Kids

The landing stripe at the Maasai Mara, meeting up with our guide having a tasty drink of tomato tree juice. Not like our tomato juice! This was more like punch.

African Safari with Kids

Accommodations – my expectation were far exceeded! The safari was more like a five star resort!

Savannah – The “prime time” to visit the African Savannah is during Migration season (July and September).  Apparently the Savannah is packed with thousands, even millions of herbivores: “some 1,300,000 wildebeest, 360,000 Thomson’s gazelle, and 191,000 zebra.”  We did not visit during the Migration, but we were still able to see a lot of wild animals!

African Safari with KidsAfrica’s “Big 5” – The “Big 5″ includes the African: lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo. Why not the hippo or giraffe? Are they not large as well?  Apparently, game hunters came up with the term “Big 5″ (not safari tour operators). The African lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo are labeled as the “Big 5” not because of how large or dangerous they are; but for how difficult it is for hunters to bag them up, mostly due to their ferocity when cornered and shot at. Who knew??!!

Lions sleep 20 hours a day. That means a lion is only awake for about 3 years. Isn’t that crazy?
This was my favorite animal! They are so graceful and beautiful. “Leopards are strong tree climbers—they can even climb a tree while carrying a prey their own weight. Leopards often carry their prey up trees to prevent other animals, such as hyenas, from sharing their kill. They also store their food in trees (though sometimes they store their food on ground under leaves or brush)”. They are solitary animals (not like lions that are pack animals).
African elephants are the largest land mammals on the planet, and the females of this species undergo the longest pregnancy—22 months.
Buffalo are reported to kill more hunters in Africa than any other animal.

Personally, I find a running Giraffe much more interesting that a Cape buffalo. A giraffe is one of the few animals that use mostly its front legs when it runs.   They only sleep for a few minutes at a time (in comparison to Lions who sleep all day!). Of course, the giraffes’ biggest enemy is the lion.  Giraffe have 4 stomachs just like cows (their cud needs to travel all the way up their neck!). Watch the video below to see the giraffe we spotted during the safari.