Category Archives: Discovery and Exploration

December 28, 2012

Vi Ses Senare Scandinavia!

Highlights from Nordic 2012

It’s that time of year again to say goodbye to our cozy home we have found in destination Nordic.  Thank you for all the wonderful memories, bright colors, and lessons on biking.  We’ve learned a lot from our trip and hope you have too! Finland, Sweden, and Denmark have taught us to notice the beauty in everything from nature, furniture, to the stars shining in the night sky.

December 20, 2012

Discover the World Tree of Hope

The World Tree of Hope decorates San Francisco’s City Hall.  Since 2006, the Rainbow World Fund (RWF) has encouraged individuals to inscribe wishes of peace and hope on 7,000 paper cranes that adorn a 25 foot tree.  Over the years, the tree has come to symbolize hope for the future.  It has evolved into a global symbol that has come to represent different cultures, sexual orientations, spiritual beliefs, and points of view.  If you could wish for something, what would you wish for?  Share with us on Tea’s Facebook.

San Francisco's World Tree of Hope

What’s your wish this year?

Cranes inscribed with wishes for a brighter future.

Closeup of the cranes.

Images courtesy of My Modern Met.

 

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!

December 6, 2012

diy: How to glitter acorns

Here is a fresh new center piece that you and your kids can make together!  We think there can never be too much enthusiasm for glitter especially during the holidays.

Elmer's glue, paint brush, loose glitter, and eucalyptus acorns.

All you need to create a festive holiday centerpiece!

When taking a walk one day, I realized how pretty these little eucalyptus acorns can be.  I thought to myself, there must be some craft that I could do.  Lo and behold there was! Glittered acorns.  Take a walk and gather some acorns with your kids, don’t forget to bundle up in your favorite Tea sweater first.  After you get home, shake out all the loose dirt, nobody wants dirt in their Christmas centerpiece.

Step 1: In many craft sessions, I have learned that it’s best to squeeze liquid glue into a paper plate or bowl so it’s easy for you to dip your paint brush into. Next, cover your entire acorn in glue. The more the better!

Step 1: cover your acorn in glue.

Step 1: Cover the entire acorn in glue.

Step 2: Next, sprinkle your choice of colored glitter all over the acorn.  Tap the acorn to rid of excess glitter.  It’s best to glitter over a newspapered surface for easy clean-up and recycling of glitter.  Shake and repeat the steps for as many acorns as you have.

Step 3: We let our acorn sticks dry standing upright in potted plants.  The dirt keeps the sticks and acorns from touching any clean surfaces.  Let it dry overnight and you’ll have centerpieces by the morning.  Santa did really come to town!

Glittered eucalyptus acorns.

Add some sparkle to your holiday party!

December 4, 2012

Studio T + Made by Joel diy Paper Slotted Animals

Recently, Studio T teamed up with Made by Joel who has been featured on the Martha Stewart Living Show and various print publications for his ingenious craft ideas and ability to make art accessible.

Learn how to make paper slotted animals with Joel:
We’ve been enjoying a lot of indoor paper crafts lately, and a few days ago we made some little slotted animals based on a wooden set that I made awhile back. I was lucky enough to get to work on this craft with Tea, so the color pallet for our animals is based on their very fun Nordic collection. I love the idea of celebrating winter with red, cool blue, and yellow green.
Paper slotted animals

Nordic inspired paper slotted animals.

Kids in Tea Collection making paper slotted animals.

Cutting out the slotted animals.

Cutting the animal shapes out and putting them together was just the right amount of challenge for the kids. They were quite focused, and really enjoyed seeing them stand up when they finished. After getting the hang of it, my son started making his own creations, including a Jabba the Hut and Luke Skywalker. Cool! (See photo below)
Slotted figures.

A little crafter’s original creation of Luke Skywalker and Jabba the Hut.

Children playing with their paper slotted animals.

The kids enjoying their slotted animals.

Making them is easy. Just cut out a body shape and two legs. Then cut slots so you can stand them up. Click here for a Made by Joel for Tea Paper Slot Animals Printable or you can make your own designs! If you use a thicker paper, then you might need to cut your slots slightly wider so the feet stay straight.

After you finish, you can take them apart and put them in a little box or envelope. Then you can take them on the go to restaurants, etc.

November 29, 2012

A taste of Thailand: Bangkok

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).

Kelly and Cristy, part of our power house sales team, traveled to Thailand for the first time together. Read more about their adventures here.

First stop: Bangkok.

The song is right. One night in Bangkok WILL make a tough man humble! What a modern and bustling city. I think it must rival NYC as the city that never sleeps. What stuck out to us here was the contrast of how very modern the city was but with so much history and culture sprinkled through it. Looking out over the city from our hotel room were tall hotel buildings surrounded by small bazaars and restaurants…and every few miles you would see the amazing tips of a golden temple reaching up through the craze as if to say “Don’t forget me!”  Riding down the street in our Tuk Tuk we would pass busy merchants, 7 Elevens, and school children in uniform making their way home…..and then right in the middle of it all, a Spirit House cloaked in fresh flowers and a glowing candle no doubt recently lit by a very thankful Thai. Even walking through the markets crammed with vendors selling all types of food and wears you would be passed by monks in their vibrant orange robes making their way on some errand. Such an amazing contrast and a constant reminder of where the Thai people came from and what they hold sacred.

We were able to get in a visit to one our favorite manufacturers while in Thailand (think girls knit dresses and boys French Terry bottoms!). Mahin and Samsuk were kind enough to take us to dinner on our first night in Bangkok to ‘debrief’ us and make suggestions on things we shouldn’t miss while in Thailand. Their best suggestion, in our opinion, was the Weekend Market. Wow! This was a shopper’s paradise. This HUGE shopping market was filled with stalls of vendors selling anything from antiques to traditional Thai spices. This market had it all! My favorite was the contrast between vendors…one stall was selling ornate textiles made by hand and loom in the same fashion Thai’s have been making textiles for centuries and next to him was a very hip young woman selling these amazing clutches that she had made herself. Beautiful handmade leather clutches and wallets that had then been spray painted with designs or embellished with studs and embroidery. I’m bummed I didn’t buy one for myself. Kelly was excited about the stations for quick foot and back massages as we spent quite some time wandering this vast marketplace!

The food was amazing everywhere we went. I must admit that both Kelly and I brought granola bars from home on this trip just in case there wasn’t much for us to eat…neither of us eats very spicy foods
(although Kelly is MUCH more adventurous than I!). I’m very glad to report that any spicy-phobic’s out there need not worry. You are able to order everything ‘mild’. We ate very well and both brought most of our granola bars back home. I gained 5 lbs eating as much ‘Drunken Noodles’ as I could get my hands on….not a pretty dish but Holy-Heck was it flavorful!


November 13, 2012

London, Paris, Prague

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).

Priscilla,  a customer account manager and blogger, recently returned from a whirlwind trip to London, Paris, and Prague.

Tips from a first time European traveler:

1)      Be able to carry your luggage without assistance
2)      Bring the best walking shoes you have
3)      Eat everything over there!  Stuff your face because you will definitely walk off all those calories.

After you’ve got those down, here are the highlights of my trip and things that I think you should see and do.

London: If you’re in London, you must have tea at Fortnum& Mason.  This was a definite highlight of my trip.  Their duo of scones served with Somerset clotted cream and strawberry preserve is mouth-wateringly delicious.  My picture does not do it justice.  Fortnum&Mason has been around since the 1700s and their carousel theme runs throughout the entire store.  After a duo of scones and a Jubilee blend pot of tea, stroll over to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guards.  Rumor has it that the guards do not leave their post until they are relieved from their duties.

Duo of Scones at Fortnum & Mason

Changing of the guards

Paris: If you find yourself in Paris, purchase a Paris Museum Pass and have a picnic under the Eiffel Tower at night.  We grabbed quiche and sandwiches from Rue Cler, a bustling street lined with markets and cafes that locals frequent which is just a stone’s throw away from the Eiffel Tower.  We lugged our delicious treats and situated ourselves with a picturesque view of the tower as the sun set.  The Eiffel Tower lights up every hour on the hour once it gets dark.  Sit back and watch it twinkle and shine in the Parisian sky.  The best part about this is that there are no lines, tickets, or security guards.

Twinkling Eiffel Tower

Prague: If you are in Prague in the fall, bring a warm jacket and hike Petrin Hill.  Since I am a born and bred San Franciscan, I haven’t really experienced different seasons and the leaves changing.  On two separate occasions, we hiked up Petrin Hill once to visit Strahov Monastery/ Brewery and the second time to visit the Hunger Wall.  This was a tiring ascent to the top but the views here were breathtaking.  I loved the juxtaposition of amber colored leaves to the colorful buildings that decorate Prague’s skyline.  Make sure to enjoy their dezerty there (no really, that’s how they spell it).

View from Petrin Hill.

October 23, 2012

Beijing to Shanghai: Part II

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).

Cindy Young, the manager of technical design at Tea, recently traveled to China. Read on about her adventures!

In addition to all the Mid Autumn festival excitement, there were other highlights of my China trip that I am eager to share.  Since it was a short trip, I did not plan any big excursions to the Great Wall or Forbidden City (for I’ve also had the fortune to have toured those places back in 2006), instead I decided to eng