Friday, February 17, 2017

BK in Tokyo // Boutique stationery shops!

Now reflecting back..., the very last full day we had in Tokyo with Eunice and Nerine (back in October!!) was one of my favorite adventure day. It was a beautiful sunny October day. The air felt light and we were up for exploring!

The first two stops we made were Tegami-sha. We all fell in love with their concept of stationery meets lifestyle meets amazing food...  They have 2 locations with different cafe/stores which was about 15 minutes walk from each other. If you are analogue enthusiasts like us, I think you will enjoy visiting both locations.

We enjoyed our very slow lunch at Tegami-sha "Tsutsujiga-oka" after meeting the creative duo of Kata-kata (which happened to be next door!)

In a very Japanese fashion their lunch menu sells out often (!!!) so I recommend visiting there for early lunch. We totally took our time to indulge their delicious food and their sweets. The inspiring space really sparked some great conversations. I have a fond memory of chatting with Eunice and Nerine about the possible future of Baum-kuchen and where we might or could go next. In some way, stepping away from our everyday operation really helped us to breathe some big dreams and to me... that's what traveling is all about.

Our second stop was the Tegami-sha 2nd Story. We enjoyed their take on artistic display. Creating unexpected experience... encouraging us to feel more curious.

From there, we took a 30 minutes taxi ride to cross the town. (If we had more time, we would have taken trains... but we were quite pinched with time!) Next stop was Nakamura Bungu Ten. I had to smile when I looked them up online to check their opening hours. Their opening hours is like ours! (You know what I mean... if you have been to our shop in Glassell Park)

The 3rd generation owner of this stationery store curates mostly unused vintage stationery from Japan. When I walked into the store, I felt like I had time slipped to my grandparents house. In their living room where they kept old notebooks and binders... my grandfather's house on Yakushima island with his stationery...

Frido loves Vintage graphic and it inspires quite bit of our BK aesthetics so I was over the moon to be in the space picking every single vintage stationery I could find... and admiring them.

From there we took JR "Chuo-line" train to make our way back to the city and stopped by 36 Sublo store.  This boutique store was like stationery lover's dream. The space is small but a lot of little items to go through and discover... In some way, it felt like walking into an amazing flea market booth. I am glad we visited a big stationery store like LOFT on the previous day. We knew exactly which item(s) were hard to find anywhere else.

If you are visiting Tokyo and LOVE analogue items, I highly recommend visiting these little stores!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Something healthy and healing for our ears and our souls

Since the end of last year, we have turned off our radio while kids are in the car and have been listening to some wonderful podcasts. Especially when tension is so high in the world, I find myself also needing some downtime from "current news" and just tune into what they are listening.

I especially found the audio stories from Sparkle Stories positive, healing and also thought-provoking... so I thought I would share. I must admit, I am often in little tears listening to the stories they share. And girls usually tune in with their ears very closely. Right now we are downloading their podcast contents as they come out... but I might consider signing up for their monthly membership so we can support this beautiful endeavor and also offer more options for stories Satchi and Coco can listen.

I thought I would share this in case you are also needing an alternative to turning the radio on when you are in the car ride with the little ones. 

Also we love...

Capturing memories with "Not All Those Who Wander are Lost" Notebook

As the month approaches the end, I am nearing the last page of my first TN notebook of the year. I feel especially nostalgic with this notebook ending since half of the pages is filled with the vivid memory from our Hawaii trip.

The last few days in Hawaii, we ventured out to whale watching (we heard them and saw them up close!!! Just magical.), ate a lot of vegan food and let kids just "be" at the beaches.

Since we returned, the mood in the world has not been the same and I often find myself retracing the memory in Hawaii to ground myself... while flipping through past pages of my Wander notebook.

When Frido and I created this "Wander" notebook in December, we didn't know how we would actually use all these mixed-media pages... but somehow had the gut feeling that it would work out. Looking through the pages, I think the notebook found its unique way of capturing the day, week... month... and the stories it was meant to contain. Because it is mixed-media, it opens up many different new way of looking at the open spread. I so enjoyed playing with layers of meanings I tried to capsulate in each page... especially with some of the glassine pages.

I hope you write... today and tomorrow on a piece of paper you might have in front of you because writing is powerful no matter where and when.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

To March and To Be a Mother.

Today was a very special day.
Today we were a part of something much bigger than just one of us.

Today we were a part of the Women's March in LA downtown.

It wasn't on my radar to be there but in the very last minute, I made a conscious choice to walk. To walk with Satchi.

Yesterday I wrote a very personal note on Instagram why I decided to take a part.

I did think for a while whether to take Satchi or not. It was going to be an incredibly large crowd and her experience of the day to be positive was the most important objective for me.

Last night we finished up the sign and I packed all the little things which I thought might help Satchi to feel comfortable just in case. Enough snack, water, toilet paper... phone number written on our wrists, emergency contact info around her neck, coins in case we needed to make phone calls from a public phone booth. We talked ahead about how there might be crowdedness, how we might have to wait for a while, how bathroom might not be as available as we would like. Most importantly we talked about why we decided to be a part of the March. Her sign read "Treat people equally, please." Mine was with "Be the Light". When I asked her what will be the most important thing to remember while we March, she answered confidently "to have fun and to stay together."

Trains were crowded even though we left earlier than we thought. It was also full of positive energy. To experience the feeling of everyone coming together from different places and joining as one was powerful. It was also such a joy to be able to meet up with our friends at Union Station before we entered the really really crowded Metro Red Line platform. From there, everything was in snail pace. It took a while to get through Red Line and arrive Pershing Square and for us to get out of the underground train station... and for the March to start. My goal was to continue framing the experience for our little activists so they can process what's going on. People around us started chanting. I told Satchi and her friend that they could listen and raise their voices with everyone around us "if" the message felt right to them but they never have to chant if they didn't agree with the message. Our favorites were "This is What Democracy Looks Like", "My Body. My Choice." and "The People United Will Never Be Divided." We had fun being loud. When there was a band playing, I told them that they are cheering us. I picked them up few times so they could see the crowd from adult eye level... and see the March happening. Their faces lit up when they were really able to see how many people were actually around us. We marched slowly... and had fun walking. I think Satchi wasn't really reading protest signs that were up above her since she is still a young reader but instead... taking the experience as a whole.

We decided not to stay for the speeches because we could feel that we were reaching the girls' limit and it was probably the right time for us to leave. On our train ride home, I asked her how she felt and she told me that it was the happiest day for her with a big smile. When we came home after a long day in the city, Satchi immediately shared her experience with Coco. In a few minutes, Coco was a master of the chants. (and here:) So excited to be a part of the experience in her way... and that's what is all about for me. I know something shifted and moved inside of Satchi and Coco today... and in myself and my connection to my strong soul sisters who took a part of the day in their unique ways.

I am exhausted tonight but my heart is full of gratitude, love and hope for the future.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

BK on Big Islands // Gone fishing... (well sort of)

The idea of being present has been a pretty big topic for our family recently. So when we left our home last week, I told myself that I would be very mindful with the way I check-in with my emails and other virtual connections. Luckily we had such a low internet connectivity and were so isolated from much of modern world on first few days, it was really easy to focus on just being. During the day I didn't really do much on my phone aside from taking the pictures and caught up with BK related tasks/projects at night after girls went to sleep and uploaded few memorable moments from the day on Instagram. It has been a nice change of pace and there have been a lot to see, feel and experience in the most mundane moments of the day.

We are now at the 2nd location on Big Islands nearby Hapuna Beach State park and our way of connecting has been going pretty strong. Because kids have been so excited to play at the beach ever since we got to Hawaii, we are just doing that. Probably getting more than enough sunshine at this moment... but we are feeling good together. Satchi discovered how much she loves body boarding. Coco is so excited to be swimming in a big ocean. Frido is really digging into a book he is super interested in. We are journaling every night together. A lot of ideas are getting shared (and in between girls have come up with a new design idea for Hawaii flag) and we are mindful with each other and with our time.

We have a couple more days here before we head back to our home in Los Angeles. I am hoping that I will really get in the habit of creating a healthy relationship with all things analogue and digital by the time we leave here. Because it's important.

p.s. on the other note..., check out this fun video our customer created while she visited our studio/shop! She captured it so beautifully that I had to rub my eyes couple times and remind myself that it's our studio/shop space! 


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