Loving the painted tree and birdhouses. So fun!
found on look out sunshine.
Loving the painted tree and birdhouses. So fun!
found on look out sunshine.
Check out these fun aminal dolls inspired by children’s drawings. Not only are they stinkin’ cute, they’re also entirely organic and 100% compostable! Amazing!
Make sure you check out the meet the aminals section to learn more about each of the aminals.
One of my favorite ways to explore a new country is through taste. Whenever I travel I try my best to eat locally, from street vendors, small restaurants, or whenever possible, local people’s kitchens. I’ve eaten fresh feta salads in Greece, baked fish in Morocco, foufou in the Congo, and tamales here in San Francisco. Having not visited any of the modern countries that formerly made up Old World Hungary, I thought I’d do some research into traditional cuisine and see what I could make here in the States. Kolacky will appeal to the most stubborn sweet tooth, and are easy and fun to make with your kids.
When searching for Kolacky cookie recipes I found references to Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. Perhaps due to their tastiness they seem to be common across much of Central Europe. Also known as Kolachi, Kolacki, Kolaczki, or Kolachky, these sweet fluffy cookies are a breeze to make, and with a little bit of fruit in there you can even pretend they’re healthy. I recommend making and refrigerating the dough in advance, and including kids for the rolling, cookie-cutting, and final construction steps.
1. Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add flour slowly until well blended. Shape into a ball and chill in the fridge until firm.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out 1/8 inch thick on a well-floured counter. Cut into squares approximately 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches, and place about 1/2 tsp of jam or preserves in the middle. Overlap opposite corners and pinch together. The dough puffs up in the oven, so make sure they’re sealed well so that they don’t open up when cooking (a little water warm water helps create a smooth seal). Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.
Share your results and suggestions below. Have a favorite kolacky recipe? Please let us know!
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!
When Laura and Emily brought back the below postcards from their inspiration trip to Old World Hungary, they could barely keep them away from me. I was ready to start designing graphics immediately.
postcards of Károly’s Reich linocuts from Tea’s inspiration trip
I saw on the back of the cards that they were by Károly Reich, a Hungarian artist and children’s book illustrator. I couldn’t wait to see more of his work. Most of his work is in watercolor or gouache, which I found even more charming than his linocut pieces. The more I found, the more obsessed I became. I searched the internet for days trying to find every last piece of his artwork. I was image searching google.hu. I found myself on a random assortment of Japanese book sites that collected his work.
just a few of Károly Reich’s watercolor/gouache children’s book illustrations
I managed to get my hands on two of his books. I got lucky with an Amazon used book search. Matt the Gooseherd a Hungarian story told in English. I love the idea of sharing a Hungarian tale for an English audience, I think its a great way for children to learn about new cultures. Let’s See the Animals teaches children about a variety of woodland creatures, most of which live both in Hungary and North America. AND! It’s illustrated in crayon! Crayon!? A real, respected artist who uses crayon! I was smitten. I was ready to design our entire line as a tribute to this man. While the rest of the team didn’t really go for that idea, there are a few pieces that are inspired by his work (see below).
Let’s See The Animals and Matt the Gooseherd covers
And if anyone out there knows how to get their hands on this Reich Károly collective book, let me know – I’m still searching for it!
fun fact: I was having a hard time determining if his name was Károly Reich or Reich Károly. It seemed to be listed differently on different books. I asked my aunt, a librarian, which she thought was correct. Turns out that in Hungarian names are written backwards according to the Western way of writing names. They are apparently the only country that does this.
While looking through the travel photos from Korea, I noticed over and over again that all the dragons looked like they had antlers. Now, I have seen dragons with horns, but these were definitely antlers – like Bambi’s father had. At first I thought it was a little odd, but since I kept seeing it over and over again, I decided to do some research.
Dragons with antlers from Tea’s travels:
(images from: Tea’s travel photos)
The first creature I came across was actually not a dragon, but the Kirin. A Kirin has a dragon’s face, deer antlers, a lion-like body and hooves. Since many of the pictures our team took were from Korean temples that only featured the face of the ‘dragon’ I figured I could have been looking at a Kirin and not a dragon at all. The more I read about the Kirin the more intrigued I was. The Kirin is a gentle, nature-loving creature. It is said that the Kirin would never hurt anything in the natural world; in fact it is so gentle that it can walk across the grass without crushing a single blade. The Kirin also has the power to walk on water.
Pictures of the Kirin:
I thought I solved the ‘mystery’ of the dragon with antlers but I was still curious about the actual dragons of Korea, so I decided to keep researching. Like the Kirin, the Korean dragon is also benevolent and peaceful with a strong connection to nature. There are three types of Korean dragons: Yong, the most powerful, protects the skies, Yo is a hornless dragon who lives in the ocean, and Dwell is a dragon that lives in the mountains. The Korean dragon is also a symbol of protection; it is believed the Korean dragon protects humans and wards off evil spirits. For this reason dragon masks are a common feature in Korean homes, especially on doors to protect the household.
Tea’s dragon mask shirts and our travel images that inspired them:
It turns out the Korean dragon is also a mix of many different creatures. Like the Kirin, the Korean dragon also has horns of a deer and scales like a fish. Some sources say the Korean dragon also has the head of camel, eyes of a rabbit, claws of a hawk, feet of a tiger, and the belly of a frog. Unlike most other dragons, Korean dragons do not have wings, but they can still fly.
Examples of Korea’s wingless flying dragons and Tea’s flying dragon tees:
While the exact make up of the Kirin and Korean dragon is hard to determine, since different sources say different things. It is clear that these wonderful peaceful creatures come from the imaginations of people who have great respect for wildlife. By combining some of the most unique features of different animals, they create a powerful, God-like creature that embodies the love and respect the Korean people have for the natural world.
These Tea tees celebrate dragons with features from many different animals: