Category Archives: Behind the Design

September 29, 2014

Collaboration with Blink Blink

Anna Niestroj - blink blink

“My way of working represents an artistic creative process: irrational, intuitive, inquiring and interwoven. As a designer, however, I reserve the right to always keep the goal in mind and seek for solutions to existing problems. I test, scour, question and reject methods and in the best case new is discovered this way – always challenging the innovation in consideration of the real customers needs.”

Anna Niestroj founded BLINKBLINK in 2012 as an open interactive design studio.

blink blink fabric dressBlink-Blink-Tea-Collection-Dress

We collaborated with the talented pattern designer Anna Neistroj for our Germany Collection. Here is a little interview with our favorite guest artist.

Where do you live now?  In Berlin!

Favorite destination in Germany?  Berlin… and surroundings. And any old town in the country.

Favorite destination worldwide?  Seasides, Riversides, Lakesides! I wouldn’t prefer a specific place.

Did you always want to be an artist? As a child what career did you want?  As a 5 year old: violinist. Soon I wanted to be an entrepreneur: doing things and selling it to people. As my father was an artist I considered myself even so ;)

Favorite Color?  Turquoise

Where do you get your inspiration?  From materials, printed matter, the internet, travels and the city I live in (+ people that live here.).

We were thrilled to discover your work while we were researching for our Germany collection. Your collages feel like a contemporary evolution of the Bauhaus artists. Is Bauhaus a strong influence on your work?  It makes me happy to read this! I actually didn’t think of bauhaus while I created the collages but I think it still came to me via ‘zeitgeist’ ;)Blink-Blink-Gunta-Stolzl-1

left: artwork by Bauhaus artist Gunta Stölzl, right: artwork by Anna Niestroj / Blink Blink

Blink-Blink-Kandinksy

left: artwork by Bauhaus artist Wassily Kandinsky, right: artwork by Anna Niestroj / Blink Blink

Who are some of your favorite contemporary German artists?  David Schnell, Katharina Grosse, …David-Schnell--Katharina-Grosse

left: artwork by David Schnell, right: artwork by Katharina Grosse

Will you send us a picture of your studio and tell us a little about your typical work day?  There is no typical work day, except for being in the studio a lot (experimenting, printing, etc.), using the computer a lot (designing, communications, etc.) and welcoming all sorts of people. I have a fiew clients that I work for repeatingly. But the most jobs I do are on project-base and singular.

anna neistroj blink blink studio workspace

some shots of Anna Niestroj / Blink Blink’s inspiring workspace

Emily Meyer visiting Blink Blink's Berlin Studio

Emily and Anna in Anna’s Studio/ Anna standing in the doorway to her studio space.

Do you have a cause or charity that is important to you?  I think that the place I choose for my studio is a special form of charity. I’m ‘donating’ some color and joy to a pretty rough area / neighborhood. Also I think that ‘Think global, act local.’ is a good leitmotif.

Tea will be making a donation in honor of Anna to himmelbeet, an intercultural community garden in Berlin that focus on organic farming. Here people of all ages come together to garden, build with recycled materials, cook and participate in environmental education workshops.

August 28, 2014

Inspiring Artists

Tea Collection inspired by Gabriele Munter Gabriele Münter was a German painter who was one of the founding members of the artists’ group, Der Blaue Reiter (“The Blue Rider”). This organization of artists based in Germany, contributed greatly to the development of abstract art.

Münter was born to an upper middle class family in Berlin. From a very young age, Gabriele knew she wanted to become an artist. In 1898 at age 21, she decided to take a trip to America with her sister to visit family and explore other parts of the world. They traveled around America for over two years, spending the most time in Texas, Arkansas and Missouri. Her childhood and early adulthood greatly impacted her future artistic career.

She led a free and unrestricted life that was not limited by convention, allowing her to experience the world in a way most women were unable to at this time. She began talking classes at the Phalanx School in Munich, where she studied woodcut techniques, sculpture, painting and printmaking. It is here were she met Russian painter, Wassily Kandinsky, who happened to be the school’s director at the time. The two became very close both professionally and personally and ended up traveling widely together before settling again in Germany where they divided their time between Munich and the village of Murnau in the Bavarian Alps.

Our trip to the Die Brücke museum was a very inspiring one. We fell in love with the contrast color palette and knew it was going to be an important story to tell within our own collection.

Erich Heckel inspired Tea Collection

photo courtesy of paintingstar.com

Make our ‘Gabriele’s Garden’ print your very own by downloading a black and white version and creating you own color scheme! click here for the coloring page

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

 

June 26, 2014

Moroccan Gallery Wall

Emily Meyer

When we moved into our house 4 years ago, there was a cozy, sun-filled room adjacent to the kitchen that I felt would be a great mini-play space. I envisioned the kids creating artwork in this space and proudly displaying their creations on a large wall inside the room – it would be their very own art gallery! We covered the wall with magnetic paint and then added a few layers of chalkboard paint. (The kids still don’t know that the wall is actually one large chalkboard… too messy and dusty near the kitchen!) At first, we tried to mount the kids’ paintings with magnets, but they didn’t stick well (most likely because we have chalkboard paint over it), so the artwork is now mounted with colorful tape.

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June 25, 2014

Cat Club

A deep dive into five of our favorite big cat graphic’s from past destinations…

Tiger Mask Tee

Tiger Mask

Destination: Japan
Fall/Winter 2009

Tiger Mask is a Japanese manga (comic) series written by Ikki Kajiwara and illustrated by Naoki Tsuji. First released in print in 1968, Tiger Mask was later adapted into an anime series in 1969. After 105 episodes, the series ended in 1971. In both the manga and anime, Tiger Mask was a feared wrestler in America who was ruthless in the ring. However, he became a face (“good guy”) after returning to Japan when a young boy told him he wanted to be a villain like Tiger Mask when he grew up. The little boy lived in an orphanage… the same one that Tiger Mask grew up in during his childhood. Frightened that the boy would idolize a villain, Tiger was inspired to be a heroic wrestler.

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April 15, 2014

DIY Tassel Necklace

DIY Tassel Necklace via Tea Collection

Inspired by Studio Deseo‘s designs seen in our spring and summer, we came up with this DIY to help you create your very own tassel necklaces.

Tea Collection Tassel Necklace

Gather materials. We’ve got your pom pom and tassel tutorials here and here.

Tea Collection Tassel Necklace

Step 1: Pull a 50 inch piece of thread through one of your needles. When your thread is halfway through the eye, knot the double strand at the head of the needle. Thread and knot the 2nd needle with the two loose ends. You should now have one double stranded piece of thread roughly 25 inches long with a needle at each end.

Step 2: Take six 8 inch pieces of yarn. Knot the yarn into the thread about 8 or 9 inches up from the needle. Braid the yarn and thread together until you’ve come to the end of the yarn, knot together again. It’s okay if the sides are uneven!

Tea Collection Tassel Necklace

Step 3: Thread a pom-pom through each needle, pull pom-pom all the way up, touching each side of the braided yarn.

Tea Collection Tassel Necklace

Step 4: Thread glass beads through both sides. After roughly 2 inches of beads, attach a tassel. (Do so by pushing your needle through the top of the tassel)

Step 5: Continue stringing beads, then string another tassel.

Tea Collection Tassel Necklace

Step 6: String more beads, then attach a pom-pom. (Do so by pushing your needle through the center of a pom-pom)

Tea Collection Tassel Necklace

Step 7: Cut the double strand at the head of the needle to divide your thread into two separate pieces on each side.

Step 8: String beads through each piece of thread (4 strands total) ending each with a different colored bead, leaving about an inch and a half of thread.

Step 9: Thread a needle and attach a tassel to each string to finish off your necklace. Knot each string to make sure each end is secure.

Step 10: Enjoy!

We styled this necklace by leaving it open and layering it with multiple Peppercorn necklaces. You can also gently tie the two sides together (just after the first two pom-poms) for a more traditional necklace look.

April 3, 2014

Dress Your Little One In Red Carpet Style

Aubrey Anderson-Emmons SAG Awards 2014

Not too long ago, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons (Lily from Modern Family) was walking the Emmy red carpet in custom Tea. While the exact dress will not be available for purchase, the dress that was the inspiration behind Aubrey’s custom creation can now be yours!

Swiss Dot Ruffle Dress Tea Collection

Not only does it come in Aubrey size – it comes in baby size too! This beautiful deep orchid color was found all through out the Majorelle Garden in Marrakech. It’s one of our favorites this spring and it’s perfect for all occasions!

March 20, 2014

It’s Officially Spring And We’re Celebrating With New Arrivals

New arrivals are here just in time for the first official day of spring! In the heart of the Marrakech medina (the old city) sits La Mamounia, a palatial hotel that dazzles with hand-cut tiles, ornately carved columns and handmade lanterns.

When we saw La Mamounia, we knew it was the perfect inspiration for our special occasion styles. Bring a little Moroccan magic home with you – the lighthearted prints, intricate embroidery and fresh colors are perfect for all your springtime celebrations.

Shop our new arrivals today!