Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Monthly calendar = visual index for the everyday

Some journals and planners start from December of the previous year. I think it's brilliant! Like getting a taste of the new year little ahead.

I have been documenting the girls' everyday in a little notebook for last 5 months and I have loved the process so much! It has really helped me to be present and not miss little things that makes everyday ... a life. Initially I thought I would stick with a small format but ended up choosing MD 2015 Daily Diary in A5 size from MIDORI. I love the simplicity of their layout. It feels so meditating to be looking at a blank pages in this notebook.

And since the monthly notebook starts from December and daily page is undated..., I decided to tap into the notebook yesterday as a little birthday present to myself:) I really adore it and I am sure that I will be sharing more about it in the near future...

So far... my favorite thing to do on this notebook is to use the monthly pages as a visual index to the daily page. Since I am not using this notebook to plan my day (I have my Traveler's Notebook Monthly Calendar (TN/017) to do this), I can really have a lot of fun doodling in the little box on the monthly page that highlights the day for the girls.  I have very little pressure to "make it perfect"... so it's all fun and really spontaneous.

I have a good feeling that I will write a lot with my pen in this coming year.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

to nurture.

We had a free day as a family today. It's rare to have an entire day unplanned. We thought of all the things we could do... checking out an inspiring holiday market, a treasure hunting at flea market, a bike ride... but ended up staying at home. Organizing, cleaning and tendering home. It felt so nice. Away from the noise in the world

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Filling my happiness cup

I had a little chat with my friend about how difficult it is for many of us to fill our own happiness cup before we devote our energy to our family and other things we dedicate our lives to. Especially this year I have felt that I pushed my personal priorities aside over many other things that are so important to my life... Baum-kuchen, kids, family... 

One thing I stopped doing around the mid-year was to eat real lunch. If you have little ones, you know how challenging it is to put food in our system. Kids eat... but we don't. On the days when I am with our girls, I often end up munching on some left over bits and pieces of food Satchi and Coco leave on their plates. On my work days, I never had enough time to take a lunch break because there were simply more to tackle for the hours I was at the studio. By the end of the day, I am totally exhausted and drained. If you know me personally, you know... that it's so not Wakako! 

So came December, I told myself that I seriously needed to start eating real food during the day to get through the busy month. I try to take time to make lunch for all of us when I am at home... and step out of the studio for 30 minutes to grab real food (often at Lemon Poppy Kitchen) when I am at work. I am still fairly exhausted by the end of the day (who knew that parenting can be like a work-out?) but I definitely feel the difference. It also gives me a chance to recalibrate the day by looking through my notebooks, to-do lists and ideas and dreams I wrote down before. I am really looking forward to taking care of myself little bit more next year... 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Plan, journal, archive and INSPIRE everyday in 2015

Many of you know that I have been OBSESSED with the idea of analogue system. I can't tell you how many evenings I spend just flipping through an empty notebook... thinking of a possibility of the blank pages. As we approach the end of 2014, I have an urgent desire to make sure that my analogue world really reflects where I am in my life to start 2015.

This is more than simply thinking of a journal, planner or a scrap book. I believe a new idea, a trigger to remember life events, a reflection of everyday can all happen in a real time as we put our thoughts on the paper. It's the process that inspires.

The researcher and the strategist in me (from my oh-not-long-ago past career) wanted to make sure that I thought of the "why", "how" and "what" separately to find a solution that felt authentic to my life because it was easy to get caught up in the "what" portion of the analogue system. (especially with all the amazing options available at Baum-kuchen!) My biggest goal was to create separate spaces for my family, Baum-kuchen and myself. For the longest time, I loved having them all in one place. All parts of my life inspired one another and keeping them together made sense. But after coming back from Germany in September, I noticed that life was getting more complex and parts of my life deserved their own space to grow and to be documented. Another inspiration was an email I received from my customer. He shared the story of how he has been journaling for his children for last 17 years and how incredible the process has been. Day, month... and year can go by so quickly without being noticed if we are not present... but opposite can also happen if we take time to care for each day as it unfolds.

So after much thinking, here is my thought of what I would be using to plan, journal, archive and most importantly INSPIRE my everyday in 2015. The below picture is my quick schematic of the idea. (and yes... I have been thinking about this since October 11th!) Since I believe in prototyping and experimenting any ideas before I roll out the final solutions (design rule 101, right?), I have been test driving the possible analogue system for last few months. I am certain fine tuning process will continue even into the new year.

1. On the road analogue / scheduling
Traveler's Notebook + Lamy Safari 

This is what goes with me EVERYWHERE. I love 1.61 [Essential] leather zipper case /card holder to transform my Traveler's Notebook into a beautiful wallet! Using Traveler's Notebook monthly calendar refill (TN 017) helps me stay in touch with my schedule anywhere I go. I also put my phone in the zipper pocket when I am heading out of the door just with Traveler's Notebook. It's a pretty good feeling to know that everything I need... is in this beauty. This Traveler's Notebook also works as a place to capture my notes and inspiration. I clip my Lamy Safari fountain pen on the leather cover. It has also worked great when Satchi needed some place to doodle when we are out for dinner or a place where she was asked to be little more still than she usually would. Overall I try to keep my Traveler's Notebook slim so that it can travel everywhere with me.

2. Dear Satchi + Coco
A6 notebook dated (either Hobonichi original or MIDORI MD 2015 Daily Notebook)

This notebook helps me to be present and mindful as a parent. I wasn't sure if I would be able to sit down and write one page/day... but my new ritual has turned out to be very meditating. I enjoy capturing things Satchi and Coco said or did, a memorable moments from the day, a little sentiment I would love to share when they are older. I let Satchi draw on some of the pages so that she can have an ownership to this journal. The other day Coco and I sat down on the couch and looked over some of the pages and she couldn't get enough of it. To me... this is a place where I have a conversation with our girls when I have a little moment in my busy day. Also it is a document I love taking my time to re-read often.

3. Baum-kuchen documentation / sketchbook
Roterfaden + Hobonichi Cousin  OR Roterfaden Weekly Calendar + A5 notebook (to be decided hopefully soon!)

This is where I hope to "document" and "dream" in one place for Baum-kuchen. I am on a mission to keep a thorough documentation of what Baum-kuchen is going through in day-to-day operation from creative projects to logistics. I am combining a modified bullet journal system to capture ongoing lists associated to the specific day and project related ideas. Since it is bigger than my Traveler's Notebook, it usually stays close to my laptop. I have the current page open when I am working in my studio so I can quickly jot down thoughts. This year I have been using separate notebooks in a Roterfaden to accomplish all the tasks but I am contemplating to consolidate everything in Hobonichi Cousin once we are in 2015 or keep using multiple notebooks. (You can read about Hobonichi x Roterfaden compatibility here.)  It feels ambitious to have everything from the entire year to be contained in one notebook... but I love the idea that documentation closely ties to the actual dates! I will try to make up my mind by the end of year and will share the update. I also use Roterfaden List to capture future blog posts ideas and product updates and use Roterfaden Address Book so I can always mail something special to our friends and families. It is a very hard working notebook for sure.

Here are some pics from the (modified) Bullet Journal portion of the notebook.

4. TEN year journal 
Manufactum: A day and his years

I have been writing in this 10 year journal since 2008. Whenever I read what I wrote back then... it reminds me that big things can happen over time. Things that felt so far away when I was in late 20's are actually happening today. It's a small space to write everyday and I don't really have any structure about what I write or how frequently I write (sometimes I don't write an entire month). It can be just about what happened on the day to some of the big feelings that were important. Time to time I go to the blank pages at the end to write what I envision in the future. The list is unedited and purely from my gut instead of my head. I am a huge believer that when we say things out loud, they would more likely happen.

5. Around my desk 

I like working on my analogue desk in our bedroom corner when time allows.  I always have a few tools handy. Scissors, a date stamp, glue mt masking tape, a MUJI corner round punch (which is an incredible tool to create an easy-to-find page), Polaroid portable printer, my two favorite fountain pens (Lamy Safari & Kaweco Liliput)... to name a few. I am really curious to see if carrying multiple notebooks would end up feeling overwhelming or empowering. Time will tell. I think key to consistency is not to be too hard on ourselves. If I miss a day or two of documentation, it's okay. Our life is organic and our analogue journey naturally reflects it.

In 2015, I am hoping to spend more time to connect and reflect to the world around me. To have quiet moments to sit down and just letting an unedited process to take its course with a pen and paper.

Let the everyday of 2015 inspire!

Monday, December 8, 2014

St Nicholas Day

Since we became parents, Frido and I had to really think about how we wanted to celebrate Christmas and holidays. Do we tell her that Santa comes on Christmas Eve and leave gifts for her only to reveal few years later that we were the one who actually brought gifts for her? Do we want to be a part of the commercial portion of the Christmas knowing that the image of what we know of Santa was originated by Coca Cola as a marketing campaign?

Christmas and gift exchanging culture overwhelm us every year anyways... so in order to keep things simple, we have never really told Satchi (or Coco) that Santa existed. We have not told her that he did not exist... but we never hyped up the part of the holiday.

This year we talked to them about St. Nicholas Day and it's a day to celebrate a special saint who helped children. We decided to go with a set of boots at the doorstep... and in the morning of St Nicholas Day two special gifts surprised the girls in Satchi's rain boot and under Coco's winter boot. For Satchi I got her a kid's apron from Hopewell that matched my apron. When she opened the gift and found what it was..., words "he knew." came out of her mouth.

We concluded the morning by letting Satchi know that receiving gifts make us happy so we should always give to others...


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