At Tea, we live by a mantra: “We Go There.” And although we love traveling across the globe, we don’t think you have to cross an ocean to find adventure. You could explore a whole new world that’s just across the street. This fall, we’re celebrating local explorations and sending your little citizen on a quest for adventure!
We invite you to explore your world and enter for a chance to win $1,000 to shop Tea! So… where do you begin?
Bolivia is a country filled with deeply-rooted people from many different backgrounds and beliefs. There are over 36 different indigenous tribes that make up the population of Bolivia, indigenous meaning they are native to Bolivia, making it the highest percentage of indigenous peoples in all of South America. Most of these tribes have lived in South America for thousands of years.
While most of our personal photos are snapped on iPhones these days, we never travel abroad without our “big” cameras (a name fondly created by our own children). They help us capture the special details we find along our travels that inspire entire collections. With each SLR camera comes a unique camera strap. Ask our travelers about their camera straps and you’ll hear all types of stories… some were passed down through family members, some were bought during college travels and others were made by hand.
While on our trip through Argentina and Bolivia, we were quick to take note of the embroidery that were carefully stitched through many of the textiles. We came across these embroidered belts knew we had to bring them back to share with the team for inspiration. How do you give life to an old embroidered belt? You give it a new use and turn it into a camera strap!
Follow the instructions below for an easy 4-step DIY camera strap, inspired by the belts we found in Bolivia!
Our Atlantic Plaid Shirtdress from our Citizen Blue collection features an indigo dip dye that is inspired by the blues of the Atlantic Ocean. Along with many other dying techniques, dip dye has been around for many centuries. Dip dying is a relatively simple technique and creates a unique design that can be layered on top of prints and on a variety of silhouettes. It is a great way to give a stained dress or shirt a new life. Read on to learn how you can do it at home!
At Tea, we’re print obsessed. When traveling to a new destination, our designers spend days pouring over print techniques that are native to the country we are in. We love finding new and interesting designs to share with you! For this summer’s Citizen Blue collection, we designed our Sunprint Garden V-neck Dress with a design of a dandelion. Learn how to make a sun print, in your own backyard!
Inspiration can stem from anything; an inanimate object, a person, a taste, smell or a sound. When inspiration stems from art, it has many layers. An artist is inspired and creates a beautiful piece, which a viewer in turn can be inspired by. This was the case when our team traveled to India. Our designers saw the works of a Madhubani artist and fell in love with the technique and design. Madhubani painting is a style of Indian painting, practiced in the Mithila region in Bihar, India. The painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, or matchsticks!
In the Bengali region of India, it is a tradition for a grandmother to make each of their grandchildren a kantha quilt. The quilt is made out of three layers of fabric most commonly, strips of worn sari’s because the material is super soft against the babies’ skin and perfect for nap time or cuddling. The tradition of the kantha quilt is a way of connecting with family, even after the grandparents are gone. It is such an important tradition that the grandmother’s will make extra kantha quilts so that if she passes away before all of her grandchildren are born, they will still have a quilt.
Over our travels, we have been inspired by dragon folklore and symbolism that is revered in many Asian cultures. Though their physical appearance may differ from country to country, the dragons legend is consistent throughout. They are the symbol of power, strength and good luck. Chinese dragons are also closely associated with water. They are said to reside in rivers, lakes and oceans. Ancient Korean folklore suggests that dragons are capable of speaking and understanding emotions such as kindness, devotion and gratitude. Japanese dragons are much like Chinese in appearance and are connected to Buddhism and thought to live in the ponds and lakes near temples.
During the celebrations for the Chinese New Year, which begins on February 19th, 2015, you will see many dragons, especially in parades where people dance with large dragon figures. Here is a craft activity to recreate a dragon, like the one shown in our Daring Dragon Double Decker Tee, that you can share with little citizens to help them explore the ancient Asian mythology.
What You’ll Need to Draw a Dragon:
-1 sheet of white paper
-colored pencils or crayons
We love learning different ways of designing textiles. We feel deeply connected to the ancient Japanese dye technique called Shibori. Shibori comes from the Japanese verb root shiboru, “to wring, squeeze, press.” Dyeing cloth with a Shibori technique requires folding, crumpling, stitching and twisting the cloth to create the design pattern you hope to achieve. What we all love about the Shibori technique (besides the lovely Tea favorite indigo hue!) is the mystery around the process – you never know what type of design you have made until it is done. Learn how to make your own shibori dyed fabrics below!
What You’ll Need:
– An indigo dyeing kit like this one or indigo dye, wood blocks, rubber bands and rubber gloves
– T-shirts, cloth napkins, towels or any other fabric you wish to dye. Cotton responds best to dye.
– Two large containers, one for the dye, one for water.
– Newspaper or plastic to protect the surfaces around you
Either free hand or using a paper pattern, cut your felt into the shape you’d like your beaded headband it be in.
1. Using super glue, attach the flat beads to the felt. We used 4 metal flat beads we bought in Morocco, however, sequins or large rhinestones could be a great alternative. For this particular version of a beaded headband, we spaced the flat beads about an inch apart so that each bead sat in the center of the rounded section above and below it.
2. Again, using super glue, we attached small flat-backed rhinestones onto either side of the flat bead. Helpful hint: Use tweezers or needle-nose pliers to attach the rhinestones once the super glue has been applied.
3. Thread your needle and insert it into the felt from the back, right next to the outermost rhinestone. String the beads through, then pull the string of beads around the top of the rhinestone + flat bead, cluster ending at the opposite end’s rhinestone. Push your needle through the felt and tie a knot to secure. Repeat this step both above and below each cluster twice. If your strand seems loose, secure it with a simple stitch in the center of the strand.
4. For the third and final row of beads, begin at the far left side of your felt piece and insert your threaded needle into the felt from the back once more. String your beads, bringing the strand around the cluster, stitching between each one to secure the long strand.
5. Your beaded felt piece is finished! Your patience paid off! We chose to attach our piece of felt to a piece of satin ribbon, however, this is where you could use your knitted elastic to create a more traditional headband.
We understand this DIY beaded headband takes time and lots of patience. So incase this isn’t the type of project for you, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite beaded headbands that we think would have fit into any one of our summer catalogs quite nicely.