Monday, July 30, 2012

07:30:12 [171/365] - three again.

FB was out for 5 days traveling South of France... attending his friend's wedding. When we get used to living with someone, it's so strange not to have the person there, right? So yeah. It was a strange and handful 5 days for me and Roo at home.

Tonight Roo and I drove to LAX to pick him up and Roo patiently waited for one whole hour for him at the arrival gate with me. While we were waiting, we talked about how his airplane was landing and he had to go through all the gates to be out... and we were going to give a big hug to him when we saw him. How her face lit up when she saw him was priceless and I am just so happy that we are one happy complete family again.

In another two days, I am repacking the suitcase to head out to Japan for a week. I will surely miss my family. I just know it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

07:26:12 [170/365] - Dear future parents..

I often hear newly parents say..., "I don't remember how my life was like before the baby".

After having our baby for two years, I still feel exactly the same way... but I don't even think about the life before anymore (unless... of course someone asks then my head wonders...).

Few weeks ago, Roo's sleeping schedule become really difficult for us. She no longer went to bed by herself at 7pm... reading herself to sleep. (I know... we had it easy for a year or so...) Since she turned two, she has become to need our company much longer and much closer. It was hard for a while then we just got used to it. These days we have rearranged our schedule around so there is less expectations to get stuff done at night and instead we work little more during the day and FB and I try to spend our alone time by hiring a babysitter here and there. And honestly, I don't remember how my life was like when she went to bed at seven...

So yeah. Usually parents will tell soon-to-be parents "Life will never be the same... so do everything you need to accomplish before the baby" (which was exactly what FB said to our friends...) but then... the sentence should be followed..., "then don't worry because you won't remember how your life was before the baby anyways and it won't matter so much when you have this amazing person growing literally right in front of your eyes". 

p.s. I spent little bit of time with Roo at a preschool she will be attending from September... and I was quite surprised by how "busy" it felt in the classroom. Not because there were so many kids... but it felt like teachers were juggling the whole class from this activity to the next. Kids in the room never seemed to have enough time to really soak into something they felt interested as an individual. I know "structured play" is a part of the schooling and I am totally spoiled by how wonderful the school she is currently attending for the summer program is... 

But I am seriously wondering if this type of the environment would be right to nurture her creativity and curiosity... I don't know what to do about it yet but I know I need to listen closely to my mother instinct.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

07:24:12 [169/365] - Bright Note!

Still in a bit of pain but I am trying to get through the day with some help from pain killer.

On the bright note, I am playing a lot with new mt Masking Tapes we have stocked!!  I am in the process of taking all the photos... getting ready to upload all the singlets to our shop!

As I unwrapped some of these new tapes, I was so happy with the color and washi textures, I could feel the new creativity flushing through my head! As I started shooting, one thought that came to me was..., "what if I shoot the tape with the artifacts that could have inspired the color!!" It was like deconstructing the inspiration!! It gave so much life and personality to these tapes and it was a lot fun to work with. Isn't it funny that an idea/thought flows when we are in action? This was one of those ideas that would probably never have come to me if I sat behind the desk.

Here are some of my favorites from the shot!

Monday, July 23, 2012

07:23:12 [168/365] - Recalibration

Since I've been resting a lot in bed, I've had bit of time to think.

One question I have been toying around for a while in my head is, "where next??" I must ask myself this same question once a year... about where I want to take Baum-Kuchen next. I think it's so healthy to keep my soul in check... with what I do. This time the question was triggered by the thought of a physical retail space (am I ready ready??? are we ready???), an opportunity to consider an event styling (do I want to expand??? do we have time??) and the idea of developing more original products...

I knew I have been missing bit of creative juice here and there and the blog has been a bit of honest reflection. Do you feel that the content here has been dry since we came back from our big trip in April? I felt little bit so.

Anyways, I am starting to gather a concrete idea about where I stand now and where I want to be next. I have decided not to take a huge drastic change (so no retail space... "yet") but instead... focusing making what I have richer and more meaningful. Sometimes it's better to grow deeper than bigger, right?

I will share more details soon... please stay tuned!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

07:22:12 [167/365] - recovering...

My wisdom teeth surgery went well on Friday morning... It was really awkward to lose the conscious in the way they did with IV... It was like I knew what was going on in one second and was completely gone in the next second.

So last few days have been simply about recovering. Lots of resting, taking Vicodin and antibiotics, and more resting. First day was all about soup and smoothies... and now I can chew lightly, I ate homemade roasted chicken like I haven't eaten anything for a while.

My right cheek is quite swollen... and feels heavy. I am crossing my fingers that some of these uncomfortable feelings will leave me soon...

Hope everyone is having a restful weekend:)

p.s. photos from garden herbs I stuffed the roasted chicken with. they are delicious even for someone who can hardly taste anything:)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

07:19:12 [166/365] - happy packaging!

Few months ago, I decided to change things up on our packaging. I wanted little more fun using less materials... After trying few things out, I found a way to incorporate Japanese paper holding technique for a gift wrap with mt masking tape! Especially special with our custom embosser... "everything happens for a reason".

With new wrapping method, I had a great excuse to expand our mt collection. So we have new mt Suites (set of 5 tapes) and lots of singles with fun colors! I can't wait to share all the goodies I have sitting next to me... but for now, here is a neon pink mt masking tape I was able to photo shoot in my very squeezed schedule.


Monday, July 16, 2012

07:16:12 [165/365] - Learning the video!

I started my week off really well! I attended the Videoshop in LA downtown! (by Bri of DESIGNLOVEFEST and Angela Kohler). 

I don't have a whole a lot of photos from the class because I was soaking up the information as much as I can but it was a great informative and inspiring class and I can't wait to get my hands in the Photoshop video!!

Stay tuned:)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

07:15:12 [164/365] - weekend updates

It has been a super busy week/weekend for us... (thus bit of space between blog updates). Doing two markets/month has been very challenging for me so I have decided that I am taking a break from pop-up shop in August (it's way too hot to be out there all day in Southern California) and I will pick one market/month from September. Most likely I will be back to Rose Bowl Flea Market in on September 9th!

Yesterday I was at Keystone Row Street Fair in Echo Park. It was a pretty cool neighborhood. Very up and coming but still on the edgy side. It was a rather slow day... but it was fun to work with Jenn and Linda of Keystone Row shop and delighted to see my old customers... and of course meet new customers;)

Between helping customers, I managed to do some shopping for myself at my neighboring vendor, Tin Box of Curious Artifacts. I would call them a "treasure box on wheels" if I had a choice!! I just wondered in... not knowing what to expect and came out with two little goodies - one for Roo and one for myself. Wooden mama/baby elephants are for Roo's animal kingdom room... then I thought how fun would it be to have a wooden geometric necklace with funky birds on. Yeah... I know. This was a very strange and random purchase for me (which I usually NEVER do). Probably the effect of Tin Box. I figured I would have fun with this necklace and perhaps take the birds off someday to make it a very cool "just" geometric necklace. Love the black/white/natural color combo.

I spent the rest of weekend going to a yoga studio, enjoying our family Sunday lunch and lots of gardening. Tomorrow I am heading out to Videoshop (by Blogshop) in downtown LA. I am looking forward to learning some video editing skill on Photoshop!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

07:12:12 [163/365] - new officemate!

When I came home from the Rose Bowl Flea Market last Sunday, this beauty was waiting for me on my desk!

It's a vintage paper roll holder refurbished by FB! I have been using brown kraft paper for wrapping items ever since I opened the shop and it finally has a permanent spot on my desk! The original fixtures and hardware totally match the desk and the "vintage office" look I love!

Not bad for $35 purchase (including shipping) from eBay, right??

MINOTAKE - How it's made!

Since I have Industrial Design background, I am a huge fun of understanding how something is made. So I loved seeing some of the production photos of MINOTAKE Mr. Kosuga has sent me!

You can see how involved these steps are to produce the MINOTAKE collection... much by hand using traditional bamboo manufacturing process.

I hope you enjoy!

all photos from Kohchosai Kosuga

Monday, July 9, 2012

07:09:12 [162/365] - Happy SIX!

One of my best friends is celebrating a very special anniversary today! We celebrated their 5th anniversary in a big way last year and I am happy to witness another year of greatness:)

From my own experience of being married, I know that the relationship takes commitment, honesty and tender heart. It takes growing up everyday... together.

I am happy they are making it happen!


p.s. and check out how they are rocking the new shop addition, The Punch Card!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

07:08:12 [161/365] - it was a hot day...

It was one hot day in Southern California and I felt every bit of the sunshine at the Rose Bowl Flea Market where I set up our monthly pop-up shop!

It's always nice to meet new customers and reconnect with previous customers whom I met before...

Friday, July 6, 2012

07:06:12 [160/365] - new generation?

Roo's latest thing is... whenever I snap a photo with my iPhone for Instagram, she dashes out to get her iPhone (old papa's phone), find her camera app then starts snapping away... She loves taking photos of her food and things around her that is picture worthy... and pretend to send the pic to papa's phone.

It's really cute.

We only let her use apps on her phone when we brush her tooth or at restaurants but she somehow connected all the dots and gives me a big smile with a proud grin and says "I will send it to papa".

She is definitely a new generation... and even though I was quite surprised to witness this, I am proud of her observation and synthesis skill.

p.s. On the very different parental note, "sleep" has become a very difficult topic for us. Ever since she moved from a crib to a regular bed, putting her to bed has become a huge drama (twice a day... everyday...). Tonight I gave up on the task... and asked FB to take it over until things settle down. I just don't have the kind of patience to lay next to her for one whole hour until she falls in sleep... I hope we pass this phase soon.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Gastro pop-up by Alejandra!

On Saturday night, we ventured out to The Brewery Artists Complex in downtown. My girlfriend Alejandra Schrader who was one of the last 9 contestants on last year's MasterChef was hosting her very first pop-up restaurant.

The event was held at one of the work/live loft in the Artists Complex and there was this very intimate feeling you get attending the pop-up dinner... It's definitely less commercial and more personal to enjoy meal at someone's home. Each course was paired with special bottle of beer made by Firemans Brew in Los Angeles (which is brewed by REAL local fire fighters!!)

I think it's amazing to see a chef's personality come through the food...  Alejandra's food was very soulful... with the twist of healthy accent. The dishes were creative, beautiful and YUMMY! I am so happy that she is pursuing her career and going for it!! It's inspiring... to have a special friend like her:) We are looking forward to attending her next pop-up restaurant!

You can follow her on her facebook, twitter (@ale-shrader) or her website!


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