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.
Every year in the town of El-Kelaa M’Gouna, Moroccans celebrate the rose harvest with The Festival of Roses. The souqs are packed with rose-scented gifts that fill the air with their floral fragrances. Children hand out lei garlands, traditional Berber music plays through the streets and a Miss Rose is crowned for her beauty and talents.
Inspired by this tradition we threw our own mini-festival, complete with rose flavored snacks and handmade paper leis!
Tissue paper flower garlands hung from the ceiling and real roses filled the room. Photos were snapped in front of our mosaic rose backdrop and a good time was had by all! Soon, you’ll have your chance to celebrate this Moroccan tradition at a store near you. On May 10th, over 50 Tea retailers across the nation will each host their own Rose Festival and we can’t wait to see your #TeaRoseFestival photos! Stay tuned for details.
Inspired by Studio Deseo‘s designs seen in our spring and summer, we came up with this DIY to help you create your very own tassel necklaces.
Gather materials. We’ve got your pom pom and tassel tutorials here and here.
Step 1: Pull a 50 inch piece of thread through one of your needles. When your thread is halfway through the eye, knot the double strand at the head of the needle. Thread and knot the 2nd needle with the two loose ends. You should now have one double stranded piece of thread roughly 25 inches long with a needle at each end.
Step 2: Take six 8 inch pieces of yarn. Knot the yarn into the thread about 8 or 9 inches up from the needle. Braid the yarn and thread together until you’ve come to the end of the yarn, knot together again. It’s okay if the sides are uneven!
Step 3: Thread a pom-pom through each needle, pull pom-pom all the way up, touching each side of the braided yarn.
Step 4: Thread glass beads through both sides. After roughly 2 inches of beads, attach a tassel. (Do so by pushing your needle through the top of the tassel)
Step 5: Continue stringing beads, then string another tassel.
Step 6: String more beads, then attach a pom-pom. (Do so by pushing your needle through the center of a pom-pom)
Step 7: Cut the double strand at the head of the needle to divide your thread into two separate pieces on each side.
Step 8: String beads through each piece of thread (4 strands total) ending each with a different colored bead, leaving about an inch and a half of thread.
Step 9: Thread a needle and attach a tassel to each string to finish off your necklace. Knot each string to make sure each end is secure.
Step 10: Enjoy!
We styled this necklace by leaving it open and layering it with multiple Peppercorn necklaces. You can also gently tie the two sides together (just after the first two pom-poms) for a more traditional necklace look.