Category Archives: Our Destinations

January 17, 2013

Behind the Design: Vilakazi Henley

Vilakazi Street sign in Soweto.

Vilakazi Street- where Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu lived.

Here’s a history lesson that not only is short and sweet but fun to say.  We bet you didn’t know that our Vilakazi Henley was named after the only street to once have housed two Nobel Prize winners.  Nelson Mandela, one of  the most famous anti-apartheid activists and President of South Africa, lived at 8115 Vilakazi.  Mandela’s former home is now the Mandela House- a museum that preserves his story as he fought for equality.  Just down the street, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu still lives with his wife.  Desmond as he is fondly known aided to bring an end to apartheid in South Africa.    During his quest to bring the fall of apartheid, he coined the term ‘Rainbow Nation,’ when speaking about his beloved South Africa and its ethnic diversity.  It is said that Desmond can still be seen strolling down Vilakazi.

Our designers were so inspired by their trip to Vilakazi Street that they wanted to share it with you.  Bring a piece of our experience home with you, shop from our boys’ tees.

Boy in Vilakazi inspired henley

Get your little citizen suited up in stripes.

Image courtesy of SouthAfrica.net.

January 7, 2013

Meet Chester Williams

Boy in boys hoodie

Jump into our comfy boys’ hoodie today!

Our cozy boys’ hoodie was named after Chester Williams who was famously dubbed ‘The Black Pearl.’  During the 1995 Rugby World Cup games, Chester was the only black player on the Springbok Team from South Africa.  He became the poster boy (literally) of the end of apartheid in South Africa; his face was plastered on the sides of planes and on billboards.  Many South African children idolized him which eventually helped bring an end to the racial injustice in South Africa.  If you are curious about Chester and the rest of the Springboks, watch Invictus.

January 5, 2013

What is the Nceka cloth?

Close-up of Nceka cloth.

Nceka cloth from our South Africa inspiration trip.

On our trip to the Limpopo Region, our designers were struck by the beautiful beading and embroidery on Nceka cloths.  The Nceka cloth is a traditional cloth worn over the upper body by Tsonga and Shangaan women.  Oftentimes it is an indigo dyed fabric embellished with beads and safety pins by the wearer herself.  Intricately embroidered Nceka cloths are saved for special occasions like weddings.

We loved the colorful and unique detail of Nceka cloths so much that we created the Mtititi Floral Tunic.  You can bring home a piece of South Africa too from our girls’ tops!  The over-dyed floral indigo fabric is embellished to look like the beads from traditional Nceka cloths.

Girl wearing floral tunic

Our Mtititi Floral Tunic inspired by the Nceka cloth.

Watch the Mtititi Magic video to see beading in action and learn about how Mtititi has changed the lives of women in the Limpopo Region. Video courtesy of WatchKubasa via Youtube.

January 3, 2013

Activity Book Page: Intro to South Africa

Let us take you along for the trip with us as we explore destination South Africa with crayons! The map below shows some of our favorite areas in South Africa as well as gives a hint of what the future activity book pages will look like.  Explore the map & then explore your creativity and color in your favorite South Africa regions.
Once you’re done coloring, 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!

January 2, 2013

Welcome Destination South Africa!

welcome south africaThe photos above are from our children’s clothes designers’ cameras. Whenever they travel abroad for inspiration, they take many, many photos which they later use to reflect upon when developing patterns and graphics for each collection. The two outfits are available for sale now. Check out girls new arrivals and boys new arrivals at www.teacollection.com.

Springtime finds us in the land where 11 official languages mingle and where the spirit of ubuntu thrives. Ubuntu means “I am what I am because of who we all are.” For us, it’s about respect, compassion and community- and also about prints, patterns, beans and embroidery.

Share with us below, have you ever traveled to South Africa? What’s your favorite part about our new destination?

December 11, 2012

Baking Swedish Apple Pie

Guest blogger, Alyson, shares a kid- friendly Swedish Apple Pie recipe with us.

The kids and I whipped up this quick, easy, fun dessert.  Apple pie is a popular dessert in Sweden.  We loved making this crust-less apple pie because the kids could pitch in. Who doesn’t love practicing your counting and getting rewarded with a sweet treat at the end? You can bet they enjoyed each bite of this dessert.  Things always do taste better when you bake it yourself.  Here’s how you and your kids can whip up this recipe in a pinch.

Ingredients:

4 – 5 medium apples
1 and ¼ cups sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
¾ cup butter
1 cup flour
1 egg

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Peel the apples and slice them. Put them into a pie pan.

Girl peeling apples.

Peeling apples is a kid-friendly task.

Eric (five-and-a-half) was able to do it by himself, and Abigail (almost four) needed a little assistance. The kids loved this! (Peeling carrots is another favorite activity.)

3. Mix ¼ cup sugar and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon.
4. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples.
5. In a pan, melt the butter and then remove from the heat.
6. Add the remaining ingredients to the butter and mix.
7. Pour evenly over the apples.
8. Bake 45 minutes.

Swedish apple pie.

The finished product. Time to dig in.

Image courtesy of Food.com.
See the full recipe.

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 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.

December 2, 2012

Activity Post: Spot the Gnome

Time to put you glasses on boys and girls! Find this gnome’s twin.

Find the gnome activity pageOnce 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!

Download your own copy of spot the gnome.

 

 

 

November 7, 2012

Activity Page: Seppo, the Snow Monster

 

Faceless snowy mosnterWhat face does Seppo have today?  Draw new facial expressions for Seppo.  Maybe somebody ate all his Halloween candy or maybe he found a secret stash of bananas buried in the snow.

Download your copy of Seppo, the SnowyMonster.

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!

Bundle your little guy up in Seppo today before he becomes extinct!

Seppo Tshirt

Seppo the Snow Monster Outfit