Author Archives: Tea Collection

About Tea Collection

Katy designs graphics and textiles for Tea and is a self-proclaimed wildlife conservationist. She loves discovering beautiful things and finding inspiration in unexpected places. When she is not working on one of her too many creative projects she enjoys rollerblading to musicals, pretending she can surf and watching Disney movies. Katy has traveled around the globe to work with creatures that have lost their homes to rainforest destruction. Her most memorable trip was to Malaysian Borneo working with orphaned orangutans, next up is sloths in Costa Rica, and hopefully one day Mountain Gorillas in Uganda.

August 21, 2014

Gunta Stölzl

Our visit to the Bauhaus museum and library left us in awe. We were so inspired by Gunta Stölzl’s weaving and beautiful use of color. The watercolor sketches she used to plan out her weaving were especially inspiring. We used them as inspiration for our Berlin cityscape for girl and as print inspiration for our women’s blouse.  Gunta-Stolzl-6 Gunta Stölzl’s watercolors and Tea Collection’s Berlin Cityscape Graphic Tee.  Gunta-Stolzl-5 Gunta Stölzl’s watercolors and Tea Collection’s Berlin Cityscape Artwork. Gunta Stolzl inspired Women's Tunic Gunta Stölzl’s weaving, photo of Gunta Stölzl’s weaving fabric, photo of Gunta Stölzl, Gunta Stölzl’s watercolor and Tea Collection’s Norderney Silk Blouse

 

September 5, 2013

DIY: Pretty Panda Teddy

What are you going to do when your little girl grows out of her adorable Pretty Panda Tee?

I thought it’d be fun to turn it into a pretty little teddy bear!

1. Gather your supplies: Tea’s Pretty Panda Tee, old baby socks/stockings, filling, needle, thread, scissors, pins, iron, sewing machine (optional)

2. Iron wrinkles out of shirt.

 

3. Cut back and front panel out of shirt. Line up graphic on back and front with good sides facing each other. Trim shirt leaving about 1″ around design. Sew around panda keeping about 3/4″ away from edge of graphic. Make sure to not make any of the curves too narrow or she will look funny when you stuff her. Also make sure you don’t accidentally sew into her little flower.

4. Turn her right side in & stuff her to make sure everything looks ok. If not, adjust appropriately. Once she looks like you would like you can trim some of the excess fabric from the inside. Lay your socks or stockings underneath the panda and judge how long you would like them to be. Trim down socks/stockings if there is excess.

5. Stuff the foot of both stockings. Leave of the top of socks without stuffing. Pin feet to bottom of panda. Sew across bottom of panda and feet.

7. I worked with a baby shirt so I did not have much excess fabric near her flower. This left me with an awkward bit of the shirt’s collar sticking out of the top of her head. I hand stitched that part to make it look better. I also took in the bottom edges to make the curve where her body met her feet more gentle.

8. I wanted her feet to feel heavy and for her to have floppy legs so I shoved all the stuffing towards the bottom of the foot and stitched around the top of the stuffing.

9. All done! Now you have a cute little panda with hanging feet.

 

Here she is with her new friends – Vintage Minnie, Blue Ostrich and Black Bear. They are all envious of Pretty Panda’s stylin’ argyle feet.

 

January 29, 2013

Black Mambas and the Elephant Whisperer

Discover the inspiration behind one of our favorite boys tops, the Black Mamba Tee.

Black Mamba Tee

Hiss-Hiss make this Black Mamba tee ‘hiss’ own.

African Elephant at Thula Thula.

Elephants at Thula Thula.

On a Thula Thula Safari jeep.

Me on my safari jeep with the Thula Thula staff.

At the end of our South Africa adventures I went to visit Thula Thula – the game reserve owned by Lawrence Anthony, author of the Elephant Whisperer – a book I decided to reread on our trip. The first night I was there – I was literally the only guest. I went to dinner and on the nightly safari drive with the staff and as it turns out, a few of the people from the book I was reading. It was a little scary sleeping in your own little house by yourself with no one else around. I heard a few creatures around my room throughout the night – but just kept telling myself they were only geckos so it was no big deal.

Rhinoceros roaming at Thula Thula.

Rhinos at Thula Thula.

Giraffe at Thula Thula.

Hello, way up there!

The next day in between a morning bush walk and lunch, I went back to my room/cottage to read. I’ve never been especially squeamish around snakes – I watched a lot of crocodile hunter and “knew” how to deal with the poisonous ones. Then I get to the section in the book where one of the staff at Thula Thula gets bit by a black mamba, because he tried to grab it – crocodile hunter style. So then they talk about how you have 30 minutes to get anti venom but they can’t keep it on site because it goes bad too quickly. They have to rush this staff member to the nearest hospital – 45 minutes away. The math is not adding up to me and things aren’t sounding good for this poor guy. It was now time for lunch so I put my book away and glance up at the top of my mosquito net – and what do I see? A smiling black snake looking down at me. Well crap, now I am scared of snakes, or at least this snake. So while still in the safety of my mosquito net I try to get as close as possible to the door of my room. But every move I make the snake follows. I finally get the courage to brave it and leap for the door.

I went and found a ranger. He and the manager came back to my room to identify what kind of snake it was. Obviously, he was no longer in the same spot when they got there. But I wouldn’t let them leave till we found him because logically, I assumed the snake was going to hide in my luggage and wait to make surprise attack back in San Francisco. So we are all looking around my room and finally we spot the snake. But we are all pointing in different directions, because apparently it was a entire family of snakes that was lodging with me.

Well it turned out they were just a friendly black house snakes, so I was safe. But the experience inspired me to design our Black Mamba Tee. Black mambas actually do look quite friendly, so I made him a little scarier so his look better matched his reputation as the “deadliest snake in Africa.”  Like what you see here?  Check out all our new boys outfits.

House snake compared to a Black Mamba.

A common house snake on your left and a deadly Black Mamba on the right.

Who do you think looks more friendly? The house snake is on the left and the Black Mamba is on the right.

image credits: house snake, black mamba

December 10, 2012

Cultural Connections: Holiday Horses

Horses have played a major role in the development of all cultures, maybe because they proved reliable creatures and friends. For the past three holiday seasons, we have featured horses on our girls’ tees. Take a trip down memory lane with us.

1. Old World Hungary Pony inspired by Hungarian reverse appliqué Christmas ornaments for tea’s Fall 2010 collection

2. Modern Mexico Flying pony inspired by Mexican alebrijes Fall 2011 collection.

3. Motif from Swedish Dala horse for tea’s current Nordic Design Collection. (image credit: ebay) Check out the Folk Sparkle girls’ tee.

We made a printable coloring page so you can create your own holiday horse ornaments!

October 26, 2012

Fall Fashion Report: Triangles

tea collection finds triangle trend

Above: SassandBide, Style, Tea Collection, Pinterest, itscamillecom, Crushable,

Triangle prints hit the runway for fall style. We couldn’t be more thrilled as we saw tons of geometric pieces to inspire our fall collection while on our inspiration trip for Nordic Design.

tea collection finds triangles on inspiration trip to Scandinavia

Above: From Tea Collection’s trip pics

Will you be following this fall trend? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

October 3, 2012

Behind the Design: Creating with Leaves and Flowers

lisa-larson-swedish-ceramic-artist

One of the many inspiring artists we discovered in Scandinavia was Swedish ceramicist, Lisa Larson. We loved how Larson, played with flower and leaf shapes to create creatures (pictured above). We wanted to use the same idea of creating a Scandinavian creature out of plant elements. I collected a variety of internet images and actual plant pieces that I scanned into the computer. Then came the fun part, arranging the elements to create an animal. The pieces I had worked nicely to make an owl. I then traced the owl I created with sharpies to make our Blomma Owl Girl’s Graphic Tee.

creating animals with plants activity

We thought it’d be a fun idea to collect leaves and flowers with your children and see what kind of creatures you can create. I found these amazing leaf creations (below) by kokokoKids over on My Barn Owl.

animals made of leaves

Just the other day I found these awesome leaf cut cars on The Art Room Plant.

cars made of leaves

We want to see what you create with your kids? Post them on our facebook page!

 

 

April 22, 2012

Earth Day with the Red Panda Network at Oakland Zoo

Last Saturday the Oakland Zoo celebrated Earth Day with their “Take Action for Animals” event.  Conservation organizations from all over came out to teach little citizens about animal awareness and protection. I’ve been working with the Red Panda Network for nearly five years now. While Red Pandas have been gaining popularity in the last few years, most people still don’t know about them. So I was pleasantly surprised to see how popular our booth was.

top left picture: Pinju, one of the red pandas available for adoption via the Red Panda Network

middle right picture: Master Shifu via ShareTV

all other pictures from the day of the event

Most children were shocked and excited to learn that Master Shifu from Kung Fu Panda was actually a red panda. The children, as well as many parents, were curious and enthusiastic to be learning about an animal they had just heard about for the first time. We had over 200 future conservationists come to our table to create a Red Panda mask. To learn about Red Pandas visit:  The Red Panda Network. They also have a great program Red Panda Ranger program for children who want to learn more about Red Pandas.


April 18, 2012

Behind the Design: Sanur Floral Print

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.

Ever wonder how the Tea textile designers get that hand-printed look for dresses like our Sanur Floral Sporty dress?

Yes, we actually take the time to carve out linoleum blocks to achieve the perfect look. Pictured above are photos of our talented textile designer Amber and her work as she developed the graphic for our Sanur Floral Sporty dress.  Pretty cool, huh?

April 9, 2012

Summer Fashion Report: Rompers

Summer is all about fun, and what’s more fun than easy, breezy rompers!

(From left to right, top to bottom: 1) Hair Envy 2) Adriano Goldschmied 3) Rory Beca 4) ASOS 5) Dolce & Gabbana 6) Betsy Johnson 7) Marc by Marc)

To see more, visit our fashion romper Pinterest board.

From a beach cover-up to an evening dinner jumpsuit, these rompers surely fit the spirit of summer. Easy to wear and accessorize, these one-pieces make looking on trend simple.  Check out Tea’s twist on rompers for girls.

With heels, piles of jewelry or over a bathing suit- how would you fashion your romper? Tell us in the comments section below.

March 19, 2012

Spring Fashion Report: Pastels

There’s something about spring fashion that softly whispers: pastels. This ultra feminine trend feels oh-so-pretty and can make a (soft) statement when paired with the right accessories, like a flower headband.

1) thesphinxandthemilkyway.com 2) thestylerookie.com 3) Bjork in Dazed 4) Hikari Shimoda 5) Vogue 6) Unknown 7) Sally King Benedict 8) cocilaelle.com 9) Juliak Ostreva 10) Jennifer Davis 11) Basso & Brooke and Fred Butler 12) insidetheloop.tumblr.com 13) Louis Vuitton

Will you indulge your feminine side and wear a touch of pale pink or soft yellow?