The holiday season… A season filled with twinkling lights, hot chocolate, cozy sweaters and music. Did you know that many of the popular Christmas carols you hear in english actually began as German songs? Silent Night was originally written in German and composed by Franz Xaver Gruber with lyrics by Joseph Franz Mohr, sung for the first time in 1818. We’ve rounded up several of our favorite German carols to celebrate the season. Which one is your favorite?
Did you know that Trick-or-Treating is a customary Halloween tradition that began in the late 1940s? The act of going door to door receiving food existed in Great Britain and Ireland where it was known as “souling”. Children (and often the poor) would sing and say prayers for the dead and in return receive cakes.
We thought we’d use this holiday as an opportunity to introduce to you a few sweet German treats. Perhaps you’ll be able to expand your selection of candy for the big day!
“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.
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’
left: artwork by Bauhaus artist Gunta Stölzl, right: artwork by Anna Niestroj / Blink Blink
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, …
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.
some shots of Anna Niestroj / Blink Blink’s inspiring workspace
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.
We want to make sure you get the most wear out of your tea pieces. That’s why we’ve created an entire shop dedicated to mixing and matching! Grouped by color palettes, you’ll be able to pick and choose your favorite pieces to create multiple outfits for many seasons to come. Here are a few of our favorite outfits…
Texture and color and layers of stripes designed especially for your creative adventurous explorer! Our stylists have put together fall outfits to help make shopping for your little citizen even easier.
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.
The Bavarian and Black Forests of Germany are famous for fairytales, quaint villages and cuckoo clocks. For folksy Old World paintings and charming cottages.As the Expressionist art movement took shape in the early 20th century, many German artists went into the woods to draw, to paint, to find inspiration.
This season Tea celebrates the creative spirit. We’ve taken both modernist art themes like those of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) as well as traditional Bavarian motifs and made them entirely Tea!
Most likely, your family has a potato salad recipe that’s been passed down from generation to generation. Take a second to recall your family’s favorite recipe… is it served cold or hot? Does it have a mayonnaise or vinegar base? The type of recipe you have probably depends on where your family hails from.
Can you name a traditional German musical instrument? Did you guess the bagpipe, zither, krummhorn, hackbrett or konzertina concertina?
German music has a long tradition that is incredibly diverse. Volksmusic and oompah music are two traditional genres that have become synonymous with Germany. What better way to get into the spirit of Germany than with a playlist?