Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Love for Traveler's Notebook with Patrick Ng (5/19/16)

May 19th was a very memorable day for us at Baum-kuchen! We had an amazing honor to host Traveler's Notebook meet-up with Patrick Ng. I had to pinch myself few times the day because it was really a dream come true to have such a passionate Traveler's Notebook community in Los Angeles to gather and listen to Patrick's point of view in analogue lifestyle, his role as a stationery buyer in Hong Kong, as well as stories behind Traveler's Notebook.

I took some notes from the day... and here are some points that really resonated with me (with little bit of my interpretation).

  • Journaling is authentic. If your "journal" reflect your life, nobody can replicate what we are creating.
  • Don't put too many rules on your journaling process. Stay natural. Stay organic. Don't lose your creativity via your rules!
  • What is your "constant"? What pulls you together no matter where you are and what you are doing? Can your journal act as our constant? 
  • "The past you can pick up. The future you can write down." 
  • The beauty in analogue over digital. random, tactile... 
He was very generous to let all of us use his TN limited edition stamp collection as well as his Chronodex stamp and also gave his leather bookmarks to everyone who attended!!! Wow...  

I am so thankful for Eunice to coordinate this event with Patrick. So thankful for everyone who came out in the midweek!!! (and took a day off from work for this!!) So thankful for Patrick for spending the afternoon with us during his busy schedule. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Giddy about TN 10th Anniversary!

We have had so much fun stocking up TN Camel as well as TN 10th Anniversary items! We shipped all the PRE-ORDER and had small downtime on Friday afternoon so we had little TN 10th Anniversary party at our studio... making these tiny Traveler's Notebook:)

I mean... they are sooo cute!!!

You can pick which refill papers go into your MINI Traveler's Notebook and you will be stapling them together to create your unique refill! We even found a stapler that binds with tiny staples from Amazon thanks to all the great information on IG feed... So if you would like to put together your MINI Traveler's Notebook, you are very very welcome to work at our analogue table!

For now I have tried to attach the MINI TN on my Superior Labor bag as well as my shop apron from 1.61 Soft Goods and can't wait to start using the beautiful tin container to store little treasure!

Did you get your TN 10th Anniversary? How are you using them???


Friday, May 6, 2016

TN Camel and TN 10th Anniversary are now shipping!

We have been extra busy at Baum-kuchen studio this week because a big parcel from Japan arrived! Yes. Finally. TN Camel and TN 10th Anniversary is at the studio. This week we focused on shipping all the PRE-ORDER and I am happy to report that we have caught up with shipping and fulfillment. 

And look how pretty TN 10th Anniversary tin container with a mini TN is wrapped by our amazing BK team:) 

Seriously I can't wait to have a little break this weekend and open mine soon:) 

SAVE THE DATE // 1.61 Soft Goods Inspiration Lab // June 18th (Saturday)

We are thrilled to share that we are bringing new type of Inspiration Lab to our Baum-kuchen studio on June 18th (Saturday)! This gathering will be very special because we are featuring our favorite creative partners, Diana and Wes of 1.61 Soft Goods.

For the past 2.5 years Baum-kuchen and 1.61 Soft Goods have worked on so many creative projects together from Essential leather insert for Traveler's Notebook, Origami Leather Basket (which was initially designed as BK in-store shopping basket) to soon to launch Baum-kuchen charm 2.0! We love their design aesthetics, craftsmanship and maker's lifestyle.

On June 18th, Baum-kuchen community is invited to our BK studio/shop in Glassell Park to customize your Traveler's Notebook and refills (or any other notebooks of your choice:). You will be working with 1.61 Soft Goods using their beloved leather tools while browsing unique 1.61 Pop-up collection (some of which include artifacts that are exclusively sold through their website).

This gathering will be RSVP only and free to attend so please stay tuned for an update.

If you would like, please send us an email to karma@baum-kuchen.net so we can add your email address to our Inspiration Lab contact list!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Everything happens for a reason... and much deep love to our friend Marty Smith.

Everything happens for a reason... 

Does it really?
This was a question I have asked many many many times for last few weeks. 

We lost our good friend Marty Smith on April 7th. It was unexpected and tragic loss that could have been avoided . (here is the official announcement from Art Center.) He was our Department Chair when I went through Art Center... but over many years he has become more than the person who was in charge of the design department... and has become a true friend for Frido and our family. I loved his warm smile, his humor... and his gracefulness in life. 

I had been feeling stuck for a few weeks after incident happened. Loss is hard. It's undeniable that losing a friend really really sucks... 

And why?? Stickers Frido has been designing for last 4 months arrived the day after Marty passed away. It was a design I looked forward to seeing in person so we could add the message to our cover of Traveler's Notebook refill as a reminder and as an inspiration. But when I saw it in person... when the stickers finally arrived, I seriously asked myself "does it really??" 

In Japanese culture... (and probably many more Eastern cultures), we believe that the fact that our life begins and ends is one of the biggest factor of what makes our very life more beautiful. The impermanence... the imperfection, the fragility. But why are things that make our life beautiful is so painful at the same time??

It's easy to believe "everything happens for a reason" when things are going well, isn't it?

My friend I met at Art Center years ago reminded me yesterday how incredible Marty's lifelong ripple effect has been... how he has connected all of us together. And she and I have never met if not for Marty.

Today. I am still processing. And I am constantly reminding myself that I do not have to rush through the process. Healing takes time... And today I do believe that everything happens for a reason. I just know that not "everything" is pain free, sunshine lit, and rainbow colored in life... some part of "everything" is plain simple terrible. But I believe in believing that only truth in life is "everything happens for a reason".

Marty, we love you and miss you so much everyday... all the ripples you created will always be a part of our ripples in life. RIP. 

with all my heart,

Tinkerlab at Baum-kuchen home

Few things in life clearly rise to the priority for our family. One is travel (I am sure you guessed it!) and another one is creativity and "creative thinking". 

For Frido and I, design process and solving problems is so much of what is engrained in us... and it has become a natural part of how we approach and engage with our girls too. So when I stumble upon this book "Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors", I was immediately drawn to it. I loved seeing different art and making projects that were captured beautifully in the book. But maybe even more so... the writing that was a part of the book. Introducing the idea and concept of Tinkerlab at home and how to inspire little ones' creativity through process. After reading through the book, I announced to the girls that we will transform our breakfast nook next to the kitchen into our own version of Tinkerlab.

Our space is very humble (approximately 8'x6'). We are currently using two foldable tables with adjustable height. The tables are set to the lowest height so kids can easily access the workspace on the table and a few vintage kids' school chairs. We are using a part of one table for art supply and other table is often totally open as a project station. They are so lightweight and I like that I can switch up the space really easily. I tidy up pretty frequently after girls work in the space so tables have open enough space to feel inviting and less chaotic. But usually each clean up only last about 3-5 minutes.

Today girls use this space daily. One table is currently dedicated to watercoloring since they have been enjoying the process so much. Each evening I usually clean up any left over materials from the day (paper scraps, left over hardened play dough pieces, used brush), set out a new water for watercoloring and a clean sheet of paper!

It helps that it's next to the kitchen so it's very accessible to them. Coco often spends her time there in the morning when I clean up the kitchen. Sometimes I sit with them and do my own little art to gently share different ways of doing things. Satchi's friends all go straight to this space when they come to visit our house and I love seeing what comes out of each kid's creativity.

My hope is that our girls will feel very natural to just pick up a pen, brush, glue, whatever supplies they need and create when they want to and need to. "Making" is not something that they only do for one school project but just another everyday routine.

Now that summer is approaching, I am looking forward to going through the projects listed on the Tinkerlab book again and explore different ways of making and expressing!

The author Rachel Doorley also have a website dedicated to Tinkerlab and her studio in Palo Alto feels magical to visit and take kids' class at!

Thank you so much Rachel for inspiring parents everywhere!

p.s. below is a collection of girls' project photos I have taken in last 6 months or so... after we created our version of "Tinkerlab" in our house. I had fun browsing through my photos and looking at them. To remember how fun some of the project was for all of us! 


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