Monday, April 20, 2015

Safely here in Yakushima

So thrilled to share that we have safely traveled half way around the world... taking 3 airplanes and after 24 hours of transit, we have arrived to where my grandfather used to live. We purposely took red eye flight so that girls would sleep through the big chunk of the 1st flight from LAX to Tokyo. It worked brilliantly. Even though the girls were both definitely ready to get their wiggles out after being in a small seat for hours, they managed to keep their manners in mind most of the time. 

Our flight to Yakushima arrived very early in the morning so we then had a whole day with slightly disoriented state of mind... getting the grocery done, grabbing our first lunch on Yakushima at our our favorite Nomad Cafe. Then Frido's mom joined us from Germany... and we are a complete company for a week or so until his dad arrives. 

We had exhausted ourselves quite bit enough to sleep through the night (mostly). I am working couple hours/day and will be posting updated pictures from from our adventure:) 

 midnight... before our 1st flight. totally zoned out.
 The girls LOVED in-flight entertainment since they usually have very limited access to any screen time.
waiting for our luggages to come out at Haneda Airport. LOVING our Superior Labor bags. Such a great travel companion.
 Totally awed by the airplane.
 these three...

 arriving to Yakushima airport. Yep. It's a tiny airplane we take.
 The airport is so local that we simply walk into the airport after getting off from the plane. I love this:)

Enjoying our 1st visit to Nomad cafe!

Saturday, April 18, 2015


It's always surprising to look back a month and realize that so much has happened... and so much of what happened was born out of the process instead of it being a destination. We celebrated our very first Inspiration Lab with Eunice Roe (@thedailyroe) on April 5th. The weeks leading up to the gathering required labor of love between Eunice and myself... I enjoyed every single step we took to craft a unique workshop we shared with amazing guests. I felt truly inspired by a community we were so honored to be a part of.  There are a lot of follow-up Inspiration Lab conversations that are happening right now... that are fueling what might be next to our Baum-kuchen adventure. 

I have never been the person who plans out everything in life. My process evolves around dreaming high and full with a gut instinct... and setting my mind to get there while figuring out how I actually could get there through the process... I believe in pouring all my soul and heart into the journey knowing that the outcome might be different from what I originally anticipated but something valuable always comes out from the process. To be honest it is exhausting and scary not to have a manual that plots my exact path in front of me. I sometimes come home drained and exhausted not because there is so much to do (and it is true that I never not have things I need to wrap up at the studio) but more from the hats I never anticipated to wear five years ago when I created Baum-kuchen. 

As a part of the Inspiration Lab Analogue Box, I asked Eunice if we could make a Baum-kuchen/@thedailyroe sticker with a quote written in her beautiful watercolor calligraphy. 

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."  - Albert Einstein

This quote keeps me going no matter how crazy and out-of-reach some of my ideas for Baum-kuchen feel like today. Because we never know where our imagination might take us until we actually try it out and take those scary steps. 

I hope your spring has been a season full of new seeds for what's next. In courtesy of Eunice, we will be including this sticker in our packages for a little while so we can share a piece of our Inspiration Lab with you. I hope it brings much inspiration to your everyday as it has for me.


p.s. see you soon from Japan:) 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Traveling to Yakushima (and shop schedule update for next 3 weeks)!

For next 3 weeks, we will be making our annual visit to the island of Yakushima in Japan. (You can browse our experience from past trips from this link:)  This is our 4th time going back to this very special place in our life and we can't be more thrilled. Okay... honestly I am very excited but also slightly freaked out at the same time... from the idea of getting ready for the trip, leaving the shop/studio for that long and from all the other things that come with travel. But Frido has been incredible in taking the lead in getting the family ready... and I am trying to focus on wrapping up few things here in the studio before we take off.

The great news is... that our amazing Nerine will be in the studio on Mon/Wed/Friday opening the shop (between 10am-1pm on most of the days) and fulfilling online orders in a timely manner. You can always check the updated shop calendar here. So just like everything else in life... Baum-kuchen will be okay without me being here for 24/7... 

On this trip, Frido's parents are flying in from Germany to meet us on the island. It will be such a treat to experience a place that is so close to my heart with them and for Satchi and Coco to spend quality time with all of us together. I have a few creative projects I want to work on while I am away... and Frido will be finishing up the Yakusugi projects (Yakusugi is 1000+ year old cedar unique to this island...) which he started last year. We will most likely have a descent internet connection even though it's a remote island so I am looking forward to sharing my travel experience here on our blog as it unfolds. 

Please know my email correspondence will be bit slower than usual since I will only be checking in with internet once/day or every other day (and who knows what might be our jet lag condition with kids for a few days...) so please expect slight delay in our correspondence starting this weekend. 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Analogue system as a reflection of our life...

The other day I was asked how my analogue system has evolved since I last shared about my hopes and dreams for archiving, planning and inspiring this year.

In some way... a lot have changed and I feel little bit wiser and more insightful about my system compared to 6 months ago when I was trying to figure out the overall dynamic of needs to archive vs. organize... the journaling vs. planning.  I have been using Roterfaden A5, Traveler's Notebook and extra A5 notebook to keep myself in line with my life and MIDORI MD Diary in A5 size to journal for my girls. Together they are closer to the reflection of who I am today..

Here is a big picture of how I am using each notebook!

Roterfaden (A5) with Hobonichi Cousin
Originally I thought I would use Hobonichi Cousin with Roterfaden as an overarching bucket for Baum-kuchen. Note taking, list, reminder, ideas, meeting notes...

After playing with this notebook for a while, I settled to think of this as a place to journal for Baum-kuchen and my personal growth along with it. The shift happened due to the size of the Roterfaden+Hobonichi combination. I still carry it back and fourth between home and studio but most of the time I don't open the notebook in the studio. Instead I sit down every night at home to capture thoughts, events and ideas for Baum-kuchen. Some words captured here is about my personal relationship with the shop/studio and how I would like to evolve and grow. Other things are more about logistics and operational like receiving new inventory. Some day I collage... another day I write. I really have no rule about how I put together the daily pages and that seems to be working for me. I use monthly page as an index to my daily page and weekly page to capture my work hours for Baum-kuchen.

Brass Index Clip keeps my current pages easy to find.

Traveler's Notebook in brown (my companion of 6+ years)
My Traveler's Notebook continues to be a true companion to my everyday journey. It's my wallet with 1.61 ESSENTIAL leather zipper case, my planner (monthly notebook like TN 017), my bullet journal (TN 005 Free Diary) and a place where I capture my inspiration (TN 014 Kraft). It's very functional and no frill which I feel is true to how I get through my day. I will have really difficult time navigating my life without my Traveler's Notebook!

A5 slim notebook (currently using Ogami quote notebook) 
This is a new addition to my system which came from the need to have a simple open spread to write down 3 important things to accomplish the day or at the moment. I have been tinkering to be more mindful with my relationship with work as well as digital devices. Prior to having this notebook I sometimes found myself getting lost in the world of email, Instagram, Facebook... and everything else that happens virtually. A part of it is research and is okay... but between Baum-kuchen and family.... I needed to be conscious with my time. I noticed if I had a clear idea of what I really wanted/needed to accomplish at the moment, the more efficient and meaningful my time was spent. So I keep all my mental notes with my Bullet Journal on Traveler's Notebook and this A5 notebook which is slim enough to be clipped under the Roterfaden elastic band is my productivity zen place. I love spending few minutes to comb through my Bullet Journal at the beginning of the day, organize my thoughts and write down 3 things I want to tackle with my DARUMA stamp. I think we are all very busy and nobody really has enough time to get "everything" on the list done. But we could feel empowered and in control of our time by having a clear priority in life. It takes an on-going practice just as our muscle needs training but it has been a good journey for me.

Below are detailed pictures and some captions along with them. I hope it will give some fuel of thoughts for your analogue system.

After having Inspiration Lab with Eunice, we kept the middle table clear of "shop" items. It's a space for playing with analogue tools and focusing on present moments. I have been loving this space to sit and think... and write down my "3 things" for the day.

Traveler's Notebook, Roterfaden and Ogami notebook along with assortments of pens and pencils I use throughout the day.
The open page of my Roterfaden. I like the gradual evolution of the Hobonichi cover with collection of stickers. I am hoping that the cover will be filled with the year worth of special stickers collected by the time we hit December.
The first page on Hobonichi where I keep quotes I resonated with.
Hobonichi Cousin monthly page where as an index page for my daily page... in case I need to re-visit some thoughts and ideas.

I use Brass Index Clip as a page marker. I clip multiple pages to make sure that the clip does not slide out.

Roterfaden Cousin weekly page to keep my Baum-kuchen hours documented.
This is one of my favorite Hobonichi page... for the day of our Inspiration Lab with Eunice. I collected bits and pieces of documents, memo and notes exchanged with Eunice for the day... Her writing really transform the page, doesn't it?

I have a very special stamp made by Frido with a meaning of "to learn" in Japanese. I love using it to highlight things I learned... or insights I want to share.
I use the last clip of Roterfaden to keep Roterfaden Protective Sheet. I have one of my favorite pic with the girls from last fall and little analogue materials and ingredients like scrap piece of papers, mt tapes loosely assorted... I often tape the plastic sheet with left over masking tape to reuse for later.

Roterfaden address book in case I send a snail mail to someone special
I am using 4 color ballpoint pen to color code my monthly planner page. The brass clip by HIGHTIDE to hold a pen is coming soon to the shop. Please stay tuned:)
 My first TN spread. Wallet with 1.61 Essential and the cover page for my monthly planner.
 My quick writing tends to be messy... so my monthly page... is "it is what it is".
 The first page of Diary refill notebook (TN 005) dedicated for my Bullet Journal.
I found out that index page on the TN Diary refill notebook is perfect to use for the Bullet Journal index page. I love how simple my bullet journal process became when I start using this refill notebook!

 My Bullet Journal to-do list with baby DARUMA stamp. (coming soon;)

My 3rd refill notebook for Traveler's Notebook is kraft (TN 014). This is a free space for me to capture and explore thoughts through process. I sometimes question myself if I need this extra refill notebook in Traveler's Notebook... but I always answer "yes" to myself. It works to have something that my right brain can go towards that is separate from my monthly calendar and bullet journal which is all about function and logical.

Here is my spread of the  Ogami notebook looks like. I told myself that it's not about filling every square inch of the page... and it's okay to have a lot of negative space. I will probably not archive this notebook after I finish using it... but maybe that's okay too.

Lastly I have been carrying all my notebooks using Origami Leather Basket. It is nice to have a place where I can just toss my notebooks in... and to know that I have everything I need when I pick up the basket.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bits and pieces from the Inspiration Lab with Eunice Roe (4/5/15)

I am so thrilled to share that we had wonderful time gathering at Baum-kuchen studio/shop to host the very very first Inspiration Lab with Eunice Roe (@thedailyroe on Instagram). 

I have admired her journaling style, her aesthetics and sensitivity to details for so long... so to be able to soak up the inspiration from Eunice, her story as well as journaling techniques along with other workshop guests who also loved journaling as much... was definitely beyond what I could have ever asked for. 

Eunice and I wanted to make sure that all the details in the Baum-kuchen studio space was well thought out and inspiring so we spent big chunk of the day before the workshop transforming the room. Our friend Angie and Eunice created the background wall filled with letters and correspondence from Eunice's penpals which provide lovely tone to an overall vibe in the room. We also put together multiple analogue tables especially curated by Euncie and Baum-kuchen so guests could "play" with their Traveler's Notebook and journals... making the Inspiration Lab truly a "lab environment" where everyone was experimenting with different analogue materials and tools to customize their notebooks. And of course... I had to make a Traveler's Notebook photo booth to celebrate the occasion. Yep. It's a photo booth especially made to take a picture of your TN. I am already dreaming more custom background and props for this photo booth;) 

We spent the Sunday afternoon learning from Eunice, eating tasty bites from Lemon Poppy Kitchen, playing at analogue tables and sharing our love for analogue.  I loved that many Instagram friends were able to meet in person through this intimate occasion and more new friendships were made to inspire each other's journaling adventure. And everyone went home with Analogue Box that was curated with so much love and care by Eunice. 

Thank you Eunice and everyone who joined this very special gathering! You made my dream of transforming Baum-kuchen to be more than a simple shop come true:) You can check out all the Instgram pictures from everyone involved with #bkinspirationlab (link here)

p.s the last picture of me pretty much sums up the way I felt on the day. (I was standing on a stool taking picture of Eunice's demo behind everyone) Thanks Angie for capturing the moment;)


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