Category Archives: Our Destinations

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

October 14, 2012

Chic Cycling in Copenhagen

Biking in Copenhagen

Image courtesy of thecityfix.com

What can you see on every street in Copenhagen?  A bike!  That’s right everywhere our designers looked – right, left, up, down- they spotted bikes.  That’s why our Nordic collection was dotted with bikes on girls tees and boys hoodies.  Cycling is an integral part of Danish life and even has its own blog capturing cycle style, Cycle Chic. For many, it may be their only mode of transportation.   Did you know more people bike to work in the greater Copenhagen area than in the entire United States?  Urban planners in Copenhagen wanted to make cycling easy not an uphill battle for their residents.  Many factors contribute to Copenhagen’s biking success, one being that they have a relatively flat terrain and specialized cycle tracks that criss-cross the city.  Slowly but surely, progressive American cities are becoming more bike friendly like San Francisco where bikes lanes are being widened and free bike valet is offered at major events.

Cycle Chic Tee

Be a fashionista in our Cycle Chic Tee!

September 6, 2012

Win a Nordic getaway with Tea Collection + Jetsetter

Sweepstakes with Tea Collection + Jetsetter

Has our Nordic Collection tickled your interest?  Did you want to see our inspiration for the Copenhagen tee in person?  Or did you just need a vacation?  Now is your chance to win our grand prize of a $500 Tea gift certificate to pack your bags and $1000 in Jetsetter credit.

Entering is as easy 1, 2, 3 and will only take a moment from your busy day.  Submissions must be received by September 24, 2012.

Click here to win!