As we end one year and make our way into another, we’re taking this chance to look back and explore the places our collections have taken us. Tea has made it to over many different countries, met hundreds of caring people, learned how to sing and dance and say hello in countless languages. Most importantly, we’ve gathered all the inspiration along our way to share with you. Here’s a look at some places we’ve gone over the past few years.
When we moved into our house 4 years ago, there was a cozy, sun-filled room adjacent to the kitchen that I felt would be a great mini-play space. I envisioned the kids creating artwork in this space and proudly displaying their creations on a large wall inside the room – it would be their very own art gallery! We covered the wall with magnetic paint and then added a few layers of chalkboard paint. (The kids still don’t know that the wall is actually one large chalkboard… too messy and dusty near the kitchen!) At first, we tried to mount the kids’ paintings with magnets, but they didn’t stick well (most likely because we have chalkboard paint over it), so the artwork is now mounted with colorful tape.
Moroccan style. It’s warm and welcoming. It’s often hand made and always timeless. With the increased popularity of Moroccan style here in the United States, it’s important to remember that while the modernized versions are beautiful, it’s the hand loomed blankets and intricate embroidery that started it all. The fusion of Arab, Spanish, French art deco and Berber style sets Moroccan style apart from the rest.
Have you ever wondered how Tea Collection became Tea Collection? The name Tea Collection originated from the idea that tea is shared in nearly every culture around the world. Tea (our company) is about sharing our discoveries and encouraging adventure. We thought this was a pretty great fit. In Morocco, mint tea is one of the most popular drinks and is served at least once a day. When guests visit a Moroccan home, it is considered good etiquette to offer them mint tea. At one time, the tradition was to ceremoniously prepare the tea in front of the guests. This tradition still takes place as a custom in certain regions and at some formal occasions, however, today it is more common to prepare the tea in the kitchen, then presenting it to the guests. We enjoyed our fair share of mint tea during our travels and we’ve tried many times to recreate the sweet drink for our friends here in San Francisco.
Below is a recipe that tasted very similar to tea we had abroad and we’d like to share it with you!
1 tablespoon loose-leaf green tea leaves
1 handful fresh spearmint leaves, washed
½ liter of boiling water (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons sugar
1. Boil a little more than a liter of water.
2. Rinse a small tea pot with a ¼ cup of water.
3. Add the loose-leaf green tea leaves and another ¼ cup of boiling water to the pot.
4. Swirl the water and leaves in the pot to rinse the leaves, then pour out the water.
5. Add the mint leaves, sugar, and ½ liter of boiling water to the pot and leave to steep for at least 5 minutes.
6. Stir the tea and pour into small tea cups to serve.
This recipe can also be chilled and served over ice as a cool refreshment. We think an iced Moroccan mint tea stand would be a fun alternative to a lemonade stand this summer!
Guest post by Emma Randall; current student at Santa Clara University studying Finance and Retail Studies.
Want to create a beautiful headband that will dress up any outfit? Learn how to make a beaded headband with the following step-by-step instructions.
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.
Take a picture of your child’s completed Tea Collection activity book picture and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Activity Book Entry” in the subject line. We pick one winner each month to receive a $100 Tea gift certificate.