Author Archives: Lisa Clapper

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.

October 12, 2011

Honor Día de los Muertos with A Fun Puzzle

Behind the Design Bonus: Día de los Muertos Downloadable Puzzle

A little while back, we wrote about how much we enjoyed our trip to Mexico City. We had a particularly fun day on a colorful boat made even more memorable by the mariachi band that played for us from their very own boat. We took that fabuloso experience and gave it a little Day of the Dead twist by turning our band into a trio of skeletons on the Mariachi en Barco Tee.

On November 2nd (not coincidentally close to Halloween), the Día de los Muertos holiday is celebrated throughout Mexico and in many Latino communities around the world (and here in San Francisco).

On the San Francisco site, I learned that “Dia de los Muertos is a traditional Meso-American holiday dedicated to our honoring our ancestors. In Mexico, neighbors gather in local cemeteries to share food, music, and fun with their extended community, both living and departed. The celebration acknowledges that we still have a relationship with our ancestors and loved ones that have passed away.

In San Francisco, Day of the Dead has been celebrated in the Mission district since the early 70s with art, music, performances and a walking procession.”

Help your kids learn about and honor their own ancestors with this Día de los Muertos puzzle from our Modern Mexico Activity Book. Just click on the image below and print it out at your favorite size.

I’ll be thinking about my loved ones too – especially my grandmother Mabel, who passed away 2 years ago at the age of 97 in Tucson, Arizona, very close to the time of the Day of the Dead.

October 5, 2011

SF Rain (in early October!)

Typically in SF, we have very dry springs and summers and then the rain comes in November (and stays). Well, it rained Monday (and again a little bit yesterday). The sun is out right now but the rain is due back unpredictably. It even snowed in Tahoe and they had a chain alert for the mountains — oh my!

Lots of us at Tea are bike-to-work riders and when it rains, we get wet (or stop riding). I’ve been searching for something fashionable and long enough to keep more of me dry. Keely (one of our newest bike commuters and team members) sent me a Daily Candy about 2011 Start Small, Go Big Winner Iva Jean founded by Ann DeOtte. I’m kind of obsessed with her Rain Cape.

Should I get it? I need to hurry before it rains again. Tell me what you think!

May 6, 2011

Foodie Friday – Catalonia Style

In the spirit of our current destination Catalonia, and spurred on by one of my favorite food(ie) newsletters and sites, Tasting Table, my husband Tom and I went on an excursion to the Noe Valley restaurant Contigo for Calçots, a special variety of spring onion from Catalonia, Spain.

We had first seen them picked, grilled and devoured “live” on the PBS Series, Spain…On the Road Again with Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, Gwynneth Paltrow and Claudia Bassols. Needless to say, when I got my Tasting Table email, I was salivating.

At Contigo, they came two ways – roasted on the grill and in a light tempura coating. The accompanying sauce, salvitxada, was amazing, kind of like a romesco, but a bit different (roasted red peppers, garlic, nuts and red wine vinegar).

I forgot to snap a photo, but here’s a pic to give you a sense of what calçots are all about:


We tried some other dishes, including the Catalan style chard and the flatbread. And we enjoyed our tour of Spanish wines. It was a transporting and tasty experience just a couple miles from our home. Proof that you can go there across the street.

Here’s a salvitxada recipe if you’d like to try the sauce on for yourself. I think I’ll grill some veggies this weekend and give it a go. Happy tasting and Happy Mother’s Day and love to my mom and all the moms out there!

March 17, 2011

Speaking of a closely-related Tea Family…

Here’s a picture of Emily, our co-founder and chief creative officer with her daughter Georgia James. Georgia came into the office for a visit not long ago and we just had to capture the moment. We think Em and Georgia look resplendent and warm in their Tea clothes! By the way, Emily’s wearing the Mila Sweater and the Modernista Tee in Medium Heather Grey.

Emily and Georgia James

We’ll be sure and post more pics of Tea people (and their kids) in Tea. And as always please feel free share your own pics here or on Facebook. Happy Tuesday!

March 11, 2011

Our Rambles on Las Ramblas

It’s been almost a year since our design team went on the Inspiration Trip to Catalonia, Spain. We spent much of our time in Barcelona taking in the food, architecture, art and people. Like many visitors, we found our way to Las Ramblas, which winds its way from Plaça de Catalunya (Barcelona’s unofficial city center) to Port Vell on the waterfront. It’s filled with trees and beautiful modernisme and Baroque architecture like Palau Moja and La Boqueria (Barcelona’s colorful food market). We wanted to share just a few photos from our trip:

 

Street View

The winding path of Las Ramblas reminds me a little of Lombard St. here in SF

 

Miro art in the plaza

 

 

Miro art in the plaza

Crazy Serpent Sculputure/Light fixture

Crazy serpent sculpture doubles as light fixture

Inspiration for our Modern Graphic Tee

Inspiration for our Modern Tee

Our head designer, Laura Boes is on her way back from her Inspiration Trip for Fall 2012 (if you can believe it). I’m hoping she’ll share a little bit more about her Las Ramblas rambles when she returns. And don’t forget to spring forward and turn your clocks ahead one hour. We’ll see you next week out and about enjoying the extra hour of daylight. Cheers!

March 1, 2011

Our Fashionable & Tasty Neighborhood – Dogpatch

Tea is headquartered in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of SF. Our nearby neighborhood, Dogpatch is fast becoming full of creativity, food, wine and fashion! We can’t wait to check out this new multi-purpose collaborative destination featuring MAC, Blue Bottle Coffee, Piccino Restaurant and DIG wine bar at 1003 Minnesota Street. It opens March 14. I read about it here: 7×7.com: The Dogpatch: Your Next Shopping Destination?

Speaking of Dogpatch and food, it’s been a while since I posted about neighborhood food trucks. Kitchenette is like a food truck without a truck, operating out of a loading dock on Illinois Street. It’s tasty and the menu changes every day. Here are pics of our last visit. What are your favorite neighborhoods for food, fashion or fun?

JeffJenKitchenette

Jeff & Jen outside Kitchenette

Even their sign has personality!

Even their sign has personality!

December 2, 2010

Stomp for Joy (and wrap your gifts with love).

Perhaps you received our email today? We’re stomping with joy and excitement as the holidays draw closer. In fact, Hanukkah just started last night. So for everyone who’s in the shopping or gifting mood, it’s time to think outside the (paper) box for wrapping ideas.

Have you ever thought about wrapping gifts in something other than paper? From The Green Spot, we learned that during the winter holidays, 4 million tons of wrapping paper and shopping bags are thrown away. The Daily Green also has lots of great green wrapping tips too.

At Tea, we created our signature Furoshiki Gift Wrap not only to be beautiful, but to be reusable. We were inspired by the artful Japanese tradition of wrapping gifts in beautiful swaths of cloth.

Furoshiki Gift Wrap

Other fun ideas:

– Turn your paper shopping bags inside out and inside out and add a bit of artistry with holiday-themed sketches or rubber stamps

– Use pages from old magazines – Katy likes to do a different color scheme for each person on her list: in shades of green for one person, shades of pink for another. They usually look really pretty and have a nice cohesive feeling.

– We like to use our own graphics and prints and print them out as wrapping paper. You could even use some of the Old World Hungary inspired coloring pages we’ve been publishing on the blog throughout the fall and holiday seasons. Or simply take any of your kids’ artistic creations and turn them into wrapping paper. Wouldn’t it be fun to get a present wrapped in your own artwork? Pretty cool.

Happy wrapping! We’d love to hear about some of your creative or eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas.

November 25, 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.

November 2, 2010

SF Giants World Series Champs – Tea fans exhilarated!

Many of us here at Tea have been following the SF Giants (#SFGiants) all season and long before. The Giants play a kind of baseball that’s been branded “torture” by Kruk and Kuip our awesome Giants announcers. It’s been a lovely torture. We’re awash in the aftermath and planning our dash to Wednesday’s celebratory parade.

BaseballCap_Sunglasses_Glove

One of the Giants’ biggest fans is Ana Ramos, graphic designer and photographer extraordinaire. About a week ago she joyfully shared this post with me. Today seemed like the perfect day to share it with the world!

I’ve been lucky enough to have attended a World Series game, it was October of 2003 and the Yankees were facing the Marlins in Florida. It was supposed to be Roger Clemens last start, he had just announced his retirement, and the standing ovation he received before the first pitch was thrown was electrifying. But he and Bret Favre are probably really good friends so you know how that story went. I can’t remember who won that game, I know the Marlins won the World Series in 6 games. What I remember most is that I missed some classes because my dad took me on another one of our baseball trips to Florida (I’m originally from Caracas, Venezuela – if you follow the Giants, Panda and I share a nationality…), up to that time I had missed school one previous time for a NLCS between the Marlins and my then beloved Chipper Jones and Braves. In a sea of Marlins fans, we were one of the few Braves’ fans around the bullpen and after Greg Maddux finished his bullpen session I was the lucky winner of a baseball, which is now signed by Bobby Cox. I’m guessing my mom wasn’t too happy about those missed classes, but traveling to be in a World Series game was on another level: take in a huge baseball game, the atmosphere and just spending time with my dad, a dream really if you love baseball.

Fast forward to 2010, I’m still a huge baseball fan but no longer root for the Braves. Since moving to San Francisco I adopted the Giants as my team. The history the team has, the way the city embraces the team is night and day compared to my experience with summer baseball and the Marlins. And I love it! This year it all started with a slogan I thought was crazy “there’s magic inside” and a roster that promised more of what we had experienced in previous years. But somehow since game 1, an extra inning win against the Braves, the team showed a special spark turned into torture and a season full of ups and downs with amazing baseball.

This year I’ve learned so much more about the game and the characters that make our “band of misfits” so special. It’s part of my daily routine to listen to Murph & Mac in the morning interviewing Kruk or Kuip, and I usually don’t go to bed without listening to the post game wrap with Amy G, Mychael Urban, FP and the rest of the team. And then there’s the g-men. “25 guys, one common goal = win”. That’s what the players see when they head to the field every day they are at home, and that common goal has been carried this year by a group of guys that on paper shouldn’t have the run they’ve had so far. It took all 162 games of the season to win the Division and go to the post season. Remember we have an unofficial slogan: “giants baseball: torture”.

And then, for the first round of playoffs we had to face the Braves in the NLDS, my team during my teenage years… I have to admit it was a bit hard rooting against the team that brought me the love for baseball but I now bleed black and orange. And baseball being a superstitious sport, I watched those games with my Bobby Cox signed baseball to jinx my old team and have an outlet to relief the stress of the 1-run games. In fact, playing with a baseball during a game is something I learned from Krukow, one of the Giants announcers. If you ever get the chance to go to AT&T park take a moment to look at the press area and you will spot a baseball being flipped up and down, that’s Kruk and now when I go to the games that’s one of my little rituals – look for the ball and take a deep breath it’s time for baseball…

Today is October 23rd and the Giants are still playing baseball. And every morning at the office we do a small, and sometimes not so small, touch base on how our boys are doing. I keep calling them our boys like I know them! But that’s how this team has made us feel, like we are part of the Giants family. The October road for the Giants brought a lot more torture and exciting baseball: getting past the Braves by winning game 3 on the road to win the NLDS; the Giants as huge underdogs defeated the defending NL Champs Phillies in a classic Giants game: on the road, in a torture game and everyone pitching in (literally) to win the game.

I was watching the game at the tennis club, after missing the first part of the game while playing a tournament we all headed to the bar to watch the game. To the final out, we were on our toes counting down outs, strikes, everything…. And when the umpire rung up Ryan Howard we had our own little champagne celebration! Being so close to AT&T park we decided to take in the scene, cars honking, unknown people hugging and high-fives all over the place. The Giants, the unlikely group of misfit guys had won the National League for the first time since 2002 and are headed to the World Series.

During all the celebration, I kept texting with my parents back home in Venezuela. They updated me at the beginning of the game while I was playing tennis and then I updated them while they were at a wedding. And when they finally got home we were able to talk and celebrate that our Giants had won the pennant! Now my parents are planning a trip to visit and take in game 6 of the series. If everything works out my dad and I will get to experience a World Series game once again and my mom will experience her first. This time of course it will be different because is not just a World Series game, it’s a game that involves a team we truly know and feel part of… As fans we are that 10th man on the field cheering them on every out until the last out. No matter if we are able or not to go to a game, you can bet that we will be watching together in different time zones and places, but enjoying the torture and rooting for the Giants to get 4 more wins and take it all…

Note from Lisa: And they did it! I guess the only downside of winning in 5 is that Ana and her dad didn’t get to relive the World Series in person, here in SF. We’re all thrilled they won and not sure we could have stood much more torture. Go Giants!!!