Author Archives: Sara

About Sara

Sara works in the marketing and social media departments at Tea. She's an avid animal lover, proud (and slightly crazy) cat owner, and general enthusiast for adventure! A Midwestern born & raised gal turned New Yorker, then Bostonian, and now, finally, a California girl, Sara's loving the Cali sun, mountainous landscape, and taco trucks but hasn't yet traded in saying 'wicked' for 'hella.' She hopes to one day swim with sharks, visit Croatia, and complete a marathon.

March 11, 2012

How to Make Flower Headbands

Looking for that perfect addition for your girl’s holiday dress? At Tea, we love the flower head fashion.  In fact, we even created some flower headbands for our models to wear during our spring photoshoot.

Bali Inspired girls dressBali-Inspired Girls Dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We wanted to show you how fun and easy these headbands are to make. Below is a tutorial on how to make 3 different flower headbands. First you’ll need your supplies:

Bouquet for DIY Headbands

We took flowers from three different bouquets we had in the office.

Supplies for DIY Flower Headbands

Minimal supplies needed for such a cool project!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers, scissors, green florist wire, and florist tape. (For the daisy chain, all you need is flowers!)

The first step is to measure your model’s head to with the florist wire to ensure your flower headband is the right size. Once you’ve measured your model’s head, cut the wire at least one inch longer than the circumference of their head. This is your base wire.

DIY Flower Head Headband

Once their head is measured, you must decide which headband style you want to make. Below are three different styles that we paired with some of our Tea girls dresses.

DIY- How to make a Flower Head band

DIY Flower Headbands

The finished product- all three flower headbands.

Of course, our Tea staff members jumped at the opportunity to model these lovely headpieces.

Flower Headbands

From Left to Right: Rachel, Josh, and Amber

Will you be making flower headbands this spring? Share your creative head wear ideas and tips with us in the comments section below.

March 9, 2012

More than a Uniform

Elise Hofer Derstine is co-author of What We Wear: Dressing Up Around the World, a Global Fund for Children book. Part of the proceeds from each book sale supports The Global Fund for Children’s (GFC) grantmaking program, benefitting vulnerable children and youth worldwide. Total War Against AIDS Youth Foundation, featured in this post, is a GFC grantee partner.

Children in Uniform from Madaraka Community School

Just about anywhere in the world, you can find children wearing school uniforms.  Kids sitting in rows of desks, wearing pleated skirts or khaki pants, knee-socks or cotton dresses—wearing blue, purple, gray, or yellow.

You can easily spot the kids who attend the Madaraka Community School in Likoni, Kenya, because they wear a beautiful, vibrant pink. You’ll see them eating breakfast together before school starts, or at the end of the day playing in clusters of twos and threes.

For many of these children, and so many others throughout the world, a school uniform is a cherished and special outfit. Likoni is one of the poorest districts in the area surrounding Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city. Though Mombasa itself boasts a breathtaking coastline, with all the amenities and attractions of a top tourist destination, the aura of luxury quickly fades in Likoni.

In addition to the community’s daily struggle with poverty, HIV/AIDS is a significant issue. Despite Kenya’s national HIV prevalence rate of 6.3 percent, in Likoni the rate hovers around 16 percent. As a result, many children are orphaned or abandoned, left to live and work on the streets where they are at risk of exploitation and abuse.

But the children wearing pink are being cared for and protected. Total War Against AIDS Youth Foundation (TWAAYF), which runs the Madaraka Community School, is a youth-led community development organization that empowers orphaned children and youth through art and education.

At the school—one of three core programs at TWAAYF—children receive learning materials and a nutritious breakfast and lunch in addition to their lessons. Classes are taught by specially trained teachers with a curriculum that borrows from the Montessori model. Though the school asks parents and guardians to pay a small amount of money to support the program, no child is rejected because of an inability to pay.

And of course, each child gets a pink uniform. The children come from poor households, and many of them have lost loved ones to AIDS. But the uniforms show they have a place where they belong—a place where they can be nurtured and cared for, and where the future is bright.


March 2, 2012

Cultural Activity Printout: Sacred Monkey Forest

Looking to monkey-around this weekend? Our cultural activity printout will provide your little explorers with lots of fun!

Cultural Activity Printout

Download your sacred monkey forest cultural activity printout here: sacred monkey forest

Once you’re done, submit your creation to blog@teacollection.com for your chance to win a $100 Tea gift certificate! Every month, Tea staff will pick one artistic little citizen to win!  Honorable mentions will also be uploaded into their own featured blog post. Let your creative juices flow and show us your inner artist!

March 1, 2012

February’s Coloring Contest Winner!

We were overwhelmed with submissions to our first ever Activity Book Photo contest! Thank you everyone for sharing your creativity with us.

This month’s winner is Topher McCord! We loved the bright orange color he used on our Balinese Mermaid Goddess. Topher will receive a $100 Tea Gift Certificate.

Cultural Activity Printout

Our honorable mentions include Jorden’s Gamelan (on left) and Noah’s Stubborn Dragon (on right).

Cultural Activity PrintoutsCultural Activity Printout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Browse all entries on our Flickr page.

Interested in entering the contest for next month? 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.

Download all of our activity book pages by visiting our cultural activity printouts blog tag.

February 27, 2012

Celebrating What We Wear

Today we’re thrilled feature an interview with Maya Ajmera, the founder of The Global Fund for Children and co-author of What We Wear: Dressing Up Around the World , a children’s book that uncovers significance and connections through global clothing.  A portion of the proceeds from each book sale supports The Global Fund for Children’s grantmaking program.

children's book

What inspired you to write a book about children’s clothing?

As a child of South Asian descent growing up in the US, I loved when we had dress up day at school. I would dress up in a Salwar Kameez from India—a long tunic with pants underneath. It was very colorful and fun, but it was also very different from the really nice Easter dresses that the other girls were wearing. Growing up in the South at that time, I didn’t know a lot of children who were different culturally. This book hits home for me—it explores and celebrates those differences.

school house children in Cambodia

Kindergarten students at the Self Help Community Center in Cambodia show off their new school uniforms.

How does the book relate to your work with The Global Fund for Children?

Throughout the world we support children in various circumstances, and even if the children are poor, they always have something nice to wear set aside. It could be a good pair of shoes, or a nice top, a school uniform—but it’s something that a child or family holds onto very dearly, often for celebrations.

I think about our work with indigenous groups in Guatemala and their traditional woven clothing. Or the Self Help Community Centre in Cambodia; these children are extremely poor, but they have brightly colored uniforms that they love—those uniforms mean a lot, and those colors mean a lot. It’s about dignity and identity.

Guatemalan Girl

This young Guatemalan girl wears a dress traditional to the indigenous Ixil Maya. A beneficiary of GFC grantee partner Asociación para el Desarrollo Integral y Multidisciplinario APPEDIBIMI, she is also featured on the back cover of What We Wear: Dressing Up Around the World.

What do you hope children will get out of reading this book?

I hope children will recognize the many things they have in common in how they dress up. But I hope they also notice and enjoy the many differences in color and style. Everything from sports uniforms to beadwork to face paint—it’s all dressing up and it’s all fun.

What’s up next for Global Fund for Children Books?

We’re finishing up a book about global health called Healthy Kids. It explores the things all children need to be safe and healthy. And part of being healthy is the clothing you wear—clothing in many ways is about identity, but it also provides protection and helps you stay healthy!

Be sure to enter the “What We Wear” photo contest by submitting a photo of your child in their favorite outfit to globalfundforchildren@gmail.com for your chance to win a copy of the “What we Wear” book and a $100 Tea gift certificate. Find the official entry rules here: http://bit.ly/AAa1XB.

 

February 25, 2012

Souvenir Shopping in Mexico

Our third Foreign Correspondent has returned from her travels! Mary, her husband, and her two children traveled to Mexico this winter. We outfitted them with a suitcase full of Tea before they left, asking them to share their adventures with us upon their return. Below is part four of their adventure. To learn more about her family’s adventures, check out her The World is a Book blog.

Mexico Souvenir Shop

While souvenirs are mostly associated with trinkets, I’d rather like to think of its other Spanish meaning of “recuerdo” – a memory.  This is how we want to look at souvenirs – tangible memories of a wonderful family vacation. It was quite appropriate since our family visited predominantly Spanish speaking countries of Mexico, Belize and Honduras. My 9-year old daughter says a souvenir is special because “it helps me remember where I’ve been”.

Mexico was a treasure trove of souvenirs for all of us. We were a little bit more restrained in Belize and Honduras as our time was limited and shopping wasn’t as abundant compared to Mexico. Imagine the excitement with the variety of maracas they could play with and the number of sombreros they could try on.

Maracas in Mexico

So, what were the most popular souvenirs for kids when we visited Mexico? The typical maracas, small guitars, marionettes and sombreros were everywhere. But, the one with the most appeal to children, especially boys, were the Lucha Libre masks. These were the colorful masks of animals, heroes or pop culture items that Mexican wrestlers wore.

Luche Libre masks

Souvenirs are not only about the shopping experience but also the cultural association with a place. Over the years, we’ve bought dolls and beanie babies representing each country or city visited. We’ve probably collected enough to assemble our own United Nations parade. My daughter found more dolls from three new countries during this trip, each wearing their traditional native costumes to add to her collection.  I’m glad she’s still young enough to enjoy them. It’s a simple connection she has to a country and a culture.

Guitars in Mexico

Interacting with the vendors and practicing friendly phrases in the local language is among the joys of shopping in a foreign country for us. Our kids loved saying ‘Hola’, ‘Gracias’ and ‘Adios’.  They enjoyed saying the minimal Spanish they knew and the vendors were more than happy responding with big smiles on their faces for attempting to talk in the native tongue. We’ve found through the years that a simple hello and thank you to vendors in their local language goes a long way while traveling.

Talavera Shop

When the vacation is over and as they go on their daily lives, souvenirs can transport the kids back to that special time and place.  Souvenirs can represent the local people they met, the areas they explored and their experiences during the visit.


 

February 24, 2012

Animal Encounters in Central America

Our third Foreign Correspondent has returned from her travels! Mary, her husband, and her two children traveled to Central America this winter. We outfitted them with a suitcase full of Tea before they left, asking them to share their adventures with us upon their return. Below is part three of their adventure. To learn more about her family’s adventures, check out her The World is a Book blog.

Family Trip to Mexico

During our excursion, we visited the country’s only zoo despite our limited time in Belize.   The Belize Zoo was established in 1983 as a haven for animals used in a forest documentary.   In time, it became a refuge for animals that have been orphaned, rescued, or donated from private owners.

This is unlike any zoo we’ve ever visited.   It currently houses over 150 different animals all native to Belize. Animals lived in thick landscapes much like their natural habitat instead of concrete cages.  The enclosure fences were shorter.  We were able to see most of the animals up close. On some exhibits, we could have reached in and touched them.  Of course we were tempted, but didn’t.

Family trip to Mexico

The zoo was so large, we had to come back a second day to see the rest of the animals. There were no giraffes or elephants here – much to my kids’ disappointment at first.  Instead, we were instead treated to animals we have never heard of or seen before. Ever heard of a tapir (Belize’s national animal that looks like an anteater), a Jabiru stork, a quash (racoon relative) or a motmot (bird)?

Family Trip to Mexico

We also had the opportunity to visit a monkey exhibit in Roatan, Honduras during this trip. I was particularly nervous of letting my kids step inside but was assured the monkeys were safe.  Once inside, the monkeys instantly clamored to find the nearest arm or shoulder to climb on.

Family Trip to Mexico

These animal encounters were one of the trip highlights for our kids.  They were introduced to new animals and learned about the importance of their native habitat.  These were memorable experiences that certainly fostered their love and appreciation for animals.

Visit our Studio T blog tomorrow to learn about the family’s experience in Mexican markets.