Did you know that the Rubik’s cube was invented by a Hungarian? Erno Rubik, an architecture professor and sculptor, invented the game in 1974. Believed to be one of the bestselling games in the world, the Rubik’s cube has sold more than 350 million puzzles. If you think the Rubik’s cube is just for kids, consider this quote from its creator:
“Space always intrigued me, with its incredibly rich possibilities, space alteration by (architectural) objects, objects’ transformation in space (sculpture, design), movement in space and in time, their correlation, their repercussion on mankind, the relation between man and space, the object and time. I think the CUBE arose from this interest…”
Perhaps this is something to ponder while you’re trying to solve the puzzle? Regardless, with its bright colors and swiveling sides, the Rubik’s cube is a fun challenge for any age, and a great toy to throw in the carry on bag when traveling.
Did you know that Budapest is home to one of the largest animation studios in Europe? PannoniaFilm was started in 1951 and has been making successful animated TV shows and movies for decades. One of the more famous ones tells the store of Vuk the fox, made in 1981. Similar in storyline to Bambi, Vuk is raised by his uncle Karak after his family is killed by a human hunter. Growing up to be a cunning and clever fox, Vuk eventually seeks a humorous revenge on the hunter and his pack of hunting dogs. Vuk‘s popularity in Hungary eventually spread to the United States, where an English-dubbed version was released under the name The Little Fox in 1987.
If you’re a fan of foxes, check out this great new romper, as part of our Old World Hungary line!
Festive outfits that can be worn beyond the holiday season – Parents are seeking special occasion outfits for their children this holiday season; however they are looking for styles that are not the traditional red and green. Especially in the current economic climate, it is important the pieces could also work for a birthday party, a nice dinner, or any other special occasion that requires a dressier outfit. Tea’s holiday dresses are perfect – they offer extraordinary elegance and style that can be worn for special occasions any time of the year.
East Meets West
East Meets West – East meets West fusion styling has been essential to this fall’s fashions and is also showing up on runways in Spring/Summer 2010 collections. Inspired by the ancient Japanese practice, Shinto Traditions are fashions for children up to size 8 that incorporates kimono inspired styling and symbolic prints. The Shippo Woven Shirt is a modern printed shirt with contrast cuff with a pattern that represents the “seven treasure” in Buddhism.
Relaxed, yet refined holiday fashions- Children love to be comfortable, so it is important to find holiday outfits that are special yet practical for day parties or running around at grandma’s house. The Meiji Floral printed french terry dress will be well suited until spring with its sporty attitude and floral femininty, perfect for signature Tea
Here at Tea we love a good cause, and in the spirit of getting ready for back to school, we wanted to highlight an organization that is doing great things to foster little citizens. My New Red Shoes is a non-profit organization that works to provide brand new shoes and clothing to underprivileged kids in the Bay Area, and work with the local community to raise awareness and support for homeless children. Each child gets a new pair of shoes and a $50 gift certificate to go pick out an outfit of their choice from various major clothing retailers. Caron Tabb, the executive director at My New Red Shoes commented on the impact that their program has had on the 2,500 kids that they have helped since the beginning of the program in 2006, saying that the program can help alleviate a world of stress and anxiety that a child feels about going to school because of the clothes they are wearing. When kids feel good about themselves and the clothes and shoes they are wearing, they are free to worry about things like learning, recess, or joining a sports team.
Things are starting to get a little chaotic with the end of summer, the beginning of the school season, and that growing list of to-do’s to get everything taken care of. If you’re looking for a way to introduce your children to community service, looking for a way to stay involved yourself, or want to contribute, then we highly recommend checking out the ways to get involved at My New Red Shoes. They’ve made it really easy to help out, and you can even involve your kids! Gift bags are given to all of the children, and you can get crafty and help personalize them, or support the organization through monetary donations or by participating in one of the many programs that they host. They even have a Teen Advocacy Council where kids can work to help other kids in the community, and inspire change around them.
We love how inspired My New Red Shoes is, and of course support anyone working to foster and cultivate our little citizens. To borrow their own words, “My New Red Shoes has faith in the power of children to change the world; planting the seed of compassion is the first step toward creating community change. Providing the tools to advocate for and generate change is the second.”
In our travels, we fell in love with the subtle characteristics of Japanese culture. We discovered exquisite vintage textiles in a quaint Kyoto gallery. We met a modest artisan who is revered for his heritage, knowledge and talent. And we became infatuated with small, independent design houses featuring clothes for a relaxed lifestyle. This fall, we’ve created a collection of children’s clothes that expresses the grace and style of Japanese culture, especially the honored use of indigo dye.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved the raw beauty of indigo. I’ve watched it age, growing richer in its blue hues, softening to the touch, but retaining its strength. For me, indigo is an emotional inspiration because of its glorious, ancient origins, and how I’ve seen the Japanese render it today into a high quality, casual fashion.
In Kyoto, we visited the Aizenkobo Indigo Workshop where an artist revealed more to us about the dye than I ever knew. In its natural form, indigo doesn’t burn. It is rare to find such textural beauty and strength together. In the 18th century, Japanese firefighters wore indigo-dyed garments because of its protective ability. One of my favorite travel pictures is Laura Boes in the antique firefighter’s coat from the Edo period.
Shibori is another traditional craft that is much like tie dye. Cotton fabrics are soaked up to 20 times, or even 40 times for silk, to achieve the deep blue-violet color. Artists, then, painstakingly string-tie miniscule knots around pinches of the dyed fabric, creating a small-dotted circle shape. Thousands of these knots evolve into a sea of repeating geometric motifs that can cover the entire piece of cloth.
Because of the arduous and expensive process, most of the world uses synthetic indigo. However, a few Japanese artists and designers are keeping the craft alive in today’s culture. We wanted to pay homage to this honored tradition in our boys and girls clothes.
The Indigo Arts Collection includes great back-to-school and holiday essentials such as the Shibori Girl Dress and Top, Takayama Plaid Top and Dress for girls and the Edo Firefighter Pullover for boys . And we are bringing back our iconic Kimono Robe . When I see my son and other little citizens wearing it, I know that they have the softest, most quintessential piece of children’s outerwear for any time of year.
I wish a wonderful fall season to everyone. I look forward to your comments and hope that you will share the spirit of indigo with all who inspire you.
Remember all the gifts that flood in after your child is born? There are all the tiny little onesies and the soft Daily Tea.In the midst of the sea of pink we received the sweetest gift that we will keep forever.Olivia’s namesake came up with the ultimate gift for her.A book called My Very Own Name from www.iseeme.com.The title page on the inside cover is printed with a special note to Olivia from Uncle Drake and Auntie Brandi (she’s a fine girl).In the story, the animals are in search of a name for the baby in the bassinet.Each page has an animal that brings a letter to the other animals.For example the Antelope brings an A.One by one the animals choose a name for the baby.In the end it spells out the child’s name and the animals rejoice.The bonus is that the children learn to recognize the letters and spell their names.The bonus for the parents is seeing the pure happiness of your child when they read that the special book is about them.The illustrations are beautiful and now they offer other books which I have purchased for Olivia such as My Very Own Fairy Tale which was signed by the author.I recommend joining their website at www.iseeme.com and watching for specials such as book signings.