Tag Archives: Destination: Modern Mexico

October 28, 2011

Inside Studio T: Skull Tree Trunk

In honor of Dia de los Muertos next week check out this awesome skull someone painted on a tree trunk. This is actually just outside of Studio T, I saw it around the corner on my way to our local art store.

Friday we share a weekly behind-the-scenes photo taken in our offices at Tea. This could be anything – great employee outfits, our sources of inspiration, shots from our parties, or photos of us hard at work. For more sneak peeks behind the scenes at Tea click here.

October 26, 2011

Behind the Design: Mas De 62 Tee

62 languages Mexico

I saw this shirt in a shop in Seattle with some friends last weekend. They were joking and asking what “62” had to do with Mexico, not actually expecting a response.  I told them that there were more than 62 languages spoken in Mexico and they were rather impressed I had an interesting answer. They wanted to know where they could go to learn that kind of information about our designs.  I told them to stop being bad friends and read my blog posts!

People often ask me how long it takes to design a graphic. There is no straight forward answer for this.  Some graphics take days.  This one is one of those serendipitous graphics that took about 5 minutes and just worked.  Our designers happened to take a picture of hand painted house number “26” during the Mexico inspiration trip.  We loved the numbers and the concrete created a perfect texture. All I had to do was swap the order of the numbers and done!

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. For more Behind the Designs click here.

October 12, 2011

Honor Día de los Muertos with A Fun Puzzle

Behind the Design Bonus: Día de los Muertos Downloadable Puzzle

A little while back, we wrote about how much we enjoyed our trip to Mexico City. We had a particularly fun day on a colorful boat made even more memorable by the mariachi band that played for us from their very own boat. We took that fabuloso experience and gave it a little Day of the Dead twist by turning our band into a trio of skeletons on the Mariachi en Barco Tee.

On November 2nd (not coincidentally close to Halloween), the Día de los Muertos holiday is celebrated throughout Mexico and in many Latino communities around the world (and here in San Francisco).

On the San Francisco site, I learned that “Dia de los Muertos is a traditional Meso-American holiday dedicated to our honoring our ancestors. In Mexico, neighbors gather in local cemeteries to share food, music, and fun with their extended community, both living and departed. The celebration acknowledges that we still have a relationship with our ancestors and loved ones that have passed away.

In San Francisco, Day of the Dead has been celebrated in the Mission district since the early 70s with art, music, performances and a walking procession.”

Help your kids learn about and honor their own ancestors with this Día de los Muertos puzzle from our Modern Mexico Activity Book. Just click on the image below and print it out at your favorite size.

I’ll be thinking about my loved ones too – especially my grandmother Mabel, who passed away 2 years ago at the age of 97 in Tucson, Arizona, very close to the time of the Day of the Dead.

September 21, 2011

Talavera Pottery Inspiration

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. For more Behind the Designs click here.

Talavera pottery was brought to Mexico by the Spanish during colonial times. The craft technique flourished in Mexico because of the wide availability of clay in some areas. The pottery we see today is a unique marriage of traditional Spanish techniques and indigenous ceramic techniques. The pictures above depict some of the pottery we saw on our Mexico trip. Make sure to check out all of our beautiful Talavera inspired pieces.


September 9, 2011

Inside Studio T: Activity Book Art

Every Friday we share a weekly behind-the-scenes photo taken in our offices at Tea. This could be anything – great employee outfits, our sources of inspiration, shots from our parties, or photos of us hard at work. For more sneak peeks behind the scenes at Tea click here.

Have you ordered from Tea recently? If so, you may have received an extra little something in your package – our first ever Tea Activity Book! Entitled “Let’s Go There” it is a visual journey into the world of Modern Mexico, with word searches, puzzles, and a bounty of images to color. Some of them you may even recognize from our collection of clothing, such as our Cool Coyote.

The book above was colored in by Avalon, age 5, who did a spectacular job. Great work Avalon! You are well on your way to becoming a little artista. We’ll do our best to bring you more Tea Activity Books every season.

September 7, 2011

Ándale Ándale!

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. For more Behind the Designs click here.

There are countless creative ways to get around Mexico – by truck, vespa, motorcycle, bus, tractor, and even donkey. At Tea we always love experiencing all of these different forms of transportation when we travel on our destination trips, and Mexico was no exception. Taxis come in many forms in Mexico, such as the two examples we found above. The most commonly seen taxis however, are the brightly-painted green Volkswagon beetles that zoom around the streets of Mexico City:

Our designers were so inspired by the bright green cheerful taxis that they incorporated them into our Andale Taxi Tee:

What’s your favorite way to travel in other countries?

September 1, 2011

Tortilla Soup

I am a soup addict. Every weekend I’ll make a huge pot and eat it for lunch throughout the week. My soup phases have become a way of marking time and seasons – last winter I made a lot of chicken noodle soup, butternut squash soup, and carrot ginger soup. Roasted red pepper soup reminds me of living in Berkeley two years ago, as the red peppers at the farmer’s market were too beautiful not to buy. This summer I’m all about zucchini green chile, cream of cauliflower, and cream of spinach soup.  Last night I made a new soup – roasted tomato and eggplant, with lots of garlic. It’s pretty good. I think I’ll add it into the regular rotation.

photo by Elise Bauer

One of my favorite soups fits perfectly into our Modern Mexico destination, and I thought I’d share my favorite version of the recipe. Tortilla Soup is one of those soups that is flexible – it has a list of ingredients, but you can add and remove things depending on what you have in the kitchen. I love the extra step of making my own tortilla chips.

This recipe is by the wonderful Elise Bauer, from her site Simply Recipes. Almost all of my soup recipes have originated from her website, though many I’ve changed slightly over time. All parentheses below are my notes.

Ingredients:

  • 6 6-inch corn tortillas, preferably a little old and dried out
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil, peanut oil, other high smoke-point oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I love garlic so usually quadruple this.)
  • 1 medium Anaheim, poblano or jalapeño chile, seeded, veins removed, chopped. (If you can find New Mexican green chiles these are my favorite. Roast them and remove the skin and seeds while wearing gloves).
  • 4 cups chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (I once tried fresh which was nice and made the soup lighter, but doesn’t haves as much flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (boil chicken until cooked, shred with fork)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (I love cilantro so I use a full cup)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

 

1 If you are starting with somewhat old, dried out tortillas, great. If not and you are starting with relatively fresh tortillas, put them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 200°F for 10-15 minutes to dry them out a bit. It is best to start with tortillas that don’t have a lot of moisture in them. Cut tortillas in half, and then cut the halves into 1/4-inch wide strips. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a 3-quart pot. Working in three batches, fry the tortilla strips in the oil, until lightly browned and crisp. Remove the tortilla strips from the pan and let drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.

2 Add the chopped onions to the pan, cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped chile and cook for 2-3 minutes more, until the onions and chiles have softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the broth, tomatoes, and salt. Increase the heat to high, heat until the soup begins to boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and cook until heated through.

3 To serve, pit, peel, and cut the avocado into 1-inch pieces. Divide half of tortilla strips among 4 individual serving bowls; ladle in soup. Top with avocado and cheese; garnish with remaining tortilla strips and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Yield: Serves 4.

August 31, 2011

Día de los Muertos Tee

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. For more Behind the Designs click here.

Here are some of our favorite festive sculls from our Mexico trip. It’s kind of funny because right before we decided on Destination Mexico I read a trend report saying how skulls were the huge t-shirt graphic trend for the year.  I thought “gross, we’ll never do skulls.” Well here you are!  I hope its a little more fun and festive than other skull tees.

Tea’s Día de los Muertos Tee