Author Archives: katy

About katy

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.

December 3, 2010

We [heart] Old World Hungary Holiday Traditions

I can’t believe it’s December already. Really starting to feel like the holidays around here. Wanted to share some beautiful crafts and traditions from our current destination, Old World Hungary (which includes Croatia and Romania too).

From Croatia

images from:  Rina Travel (2nd row left), eLanguages (3rd row left), Licitar (all other images)

Licitar is a beautifully decorated, edible ornament that most commonly comes in a heart shape. The heart shape is a traditional symbol of the city of Zagreb – it represents the warmth of the city and its people. They are given as a symbol of love for Christmas, birthdays, weddings, Valentines Day and other holidays.  Making the ornaments is highly involved and extremely time consuming (it can can take over a month). The tradition dates all the way back to the 14th century.

From Hungary


images from:  Crossroads Trade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Sandor Collection

Traditionally, Hungarian women used reverse felt applique to decorate clothing. Eventually they adapted the technique to make beautiful applique ornaments. Ornaments have a variety of motifs which can represent different regions. Learn to make your own appliqued heart ornament here.

From Hungary

images from:  Hungarian Folk Art (top left),  Lmntl Crafts (bottom left), diffuse Flickr (top right), Hungarian Folk Art (bottom right)

Heart ornaments are a traditional Hungarian ornament around the holidays. Matyó Ornaments use originated in the Matyó region in Northern Hungary and use their embroidery techniques.

sources and further reading:

Croatian Tourism, Zagreb, Croatia
Great site about licitar, Licitar
more info on licitar, Wikipedia
more info on licitar Hearts,
Croatian Souvenier, Rina Travel
Info on Matyó Embroidery:  Hungarian Embroidery and Folk Arts
About Reverse Felt Applique:  National Geographic

November 6, 2010

Great Week for Conservation

Today is the first day of Orangutan Awareness week and next Saturday is it the first ever International Red Panda Day!  These two animals are very dear to me.  I spent 2 months volunteering with orphaned orangutans in Malaysian Borneo and since moving to the Bay Area I often volunteer with the Red Panda Network.  And seriously, have you ever seen an animal cuter than these two little orange beauties?


The top photo is of Walter, the first red panda I ever saw.  He lives at the Bronx Zoo. (Photo by my lovely sister Laura).  That little guy on the bottom is Sen, he was only a five months old when I first went to Borneo, I fed him his first banana.  He is very special.  I miss that little sucker. (Photo by Beddy Tiun, a Ranger at Sabah Wildlife Department).

It’s a great opportunity to teach your children about wildlife and what we can do to protect them.

Here’s a list of some things you can do:

1.  Download the Red Panda Activity pack and help your child become a Red Panda Ranger:  Download here

2.  Visit your local zoo. Follow these links to find a zoo near you with Red Pandas.

3.  Have your family wear orange on Wednesday November 10th, 2010 for ORANGE FOR ORANGUTANS.  If you don’t have any orange Tea can help with that:  Motoring Graphic Tee, Bicycle Tee, Bandana Lace Print Dress, Autumn Leaves Banded Dress.

4.  I put together some “Orangutan Facts for Kids” after doing a presentation for my sisters second grade class. There’s lots of good information about what candy to avoid and FAQ’s from then 2nd graders.

5.  Adopt a Red Panda or an Orangutan.  Its a great way to support a good cause and fun to get letters and updates on the animal you are helping.   The orangutan link I included is to adopt Sen (pictured above).

Let us know what activities you decide to do with your kids!