Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Here... now... is where inspiraiton comes from

The other day... Roo and I were writing letters at home. We were having lovely time talking about what her friend would like to see on her letter and her drawing it out. She was finishing up her letter and I reached out for my iPhone to look up her friend's address. Then of course... I got trapped on my iPhone checking orders that came in my email inbox. Just then... Roo said, "You are distracting me, Mama."

It saddened me.

First... I had no idea that she even knew the word "distracting". It felt like such a big word for a 3 year old.

More importantly... I was saddened to be taught by my daughter that it was not okay for me to let the device take over the special moment from us.

Like many small businesses, Baum-kuchen is woven into our family's daily lives. We often wake up thinking about new projects and go to bed talking about how we can do things better. I love our Baum-kuchen and I can't really think of doing it in any other way... but that does not mean that I should always be immersed into the virtual world...

Also Frido has been away from his laptop a lot more recently. He doesn't carry iPhone... and maybe he just doesn't have a chance to open his laptop at home because it can be handful with two girls right now... but I have noticed that him not being online has made a big difference in the way the entire family has been feeling. It just feels he is more with us.

So I started to turn off my connectivity during the weekend. Laptop closed from Saturday morning till Monday morning, my email notification, Facebook updates turned off on my iPhone... I did post Instagram photos but avoided the urge to scroll down the feed to see what everyone else was doing. All through the weekend, I replaced my online routine with reading books, baking a cake, sketching ideas, indulging a lazy chat over breakfast and just being with people I adore.

It's amazing how much time moves slower and calmer and we can create more space for ourselves when we're here not out there. After the weekend I never turned on the email notification on my iPhone and have been trying to dedicate certain time of the day for email, Instagram, Facebook, etc...

Yes... it does mean that it sometimes takes me extra time to reply back emails and my presence online might not be as real-time as it used to be but maybe that is also okay... because true original inspiration comes from within not the other way around.

Monday, July 29, 2013

making as we can...

I feel like there is a lot of "making" going on in our shop right now.
I enjoy these quiet and focused moments working with hands... putting my computer aside and  producing an artifact... one at a time.

Sometimes I wish there was more time to bury myself into this process... and I have to remind myself that what we do here at Baum-kuchen should always be proportional to what we are able... that what we want is not a huge manufacturing process nor machined process... but more of a labor of love... in a very human scale.

We keep going:)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Packaging love:)

I love mixing things up here and there with our packaging process (which is one of my favorite tasks for the shop). So when I got these Star Edition tapes from Traveler's Notebook in the shop, I found a great excuse to use them! 

I will be packing Traveler's Notebook orders with these tapes while supply lasts:)

If you are interested..., you can find Boat Tape and Vintage Ticket Tape at our shop!

Roo's Baum-kuchen internship

Look who has been working hard next to me these days.

I once had to do some light work while Roo was at home... so I let her sit next to me by my office desk... Ever since then I ask Roo what game she wants to play... and she replies to me saying, "I want to work!". She intensely watches me doing things for our shop and mimic me gesture by gesture.

Product photo shoot and order fulfillment is under her belt so far. I suppose she is task oriented just as much as we are... and she wants to do what we do.

Another reason to lead by examples consciously...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Our three dimensional inspiration

Because I spend quite bit of time starring at our walls (it is what I do while soothing Coco to sleep...), I couldn't help to play with a few objects. Our shelf is turning into a curated display of things that are inspiring us right now at Baum-kuchen.

What is currently displayed includes:
  • found objects from our travel
  • 4 ceramic cups representing our family (xoxo Angie!)
  • Kinfolk magazine featuring Japanese cultures... (love this issue!)
  • books on Japanese paper holding
  • tiger and snake illustrations by our friend Jessie matched with Birth Year Blocks (thank you Christine!)
  • vintage wooden letterpress letters in a (also) vintage drawer recently brought from Germany. 
  • ... and a lot of white space on the wall.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Last week...

We were all little bit under the weather last week... peaking on early Sunday morning when Roo woke up crying that her ear was hurting... at 4am. Thankfully, most of the symptoms seems to have passed us after having a family movie Sunday.

Aside from being sick..., we are having a lot of fun prototyping a new original item for Baum-kuchen. It is starting to prove that having to stay at home more is making us generate more ideas than ever before. Isn't it funny how it works? Someone told me that a child needs 20 minutes of boredom before she starts to create something. Same rule probably applies to adults too.

Speaking of little ones..., a week makes a huge difference to a baby. Coco now makes sounds like she is cooing (the cutest thing ever), smiles more and filling up every inch of her body in a very healthy way. Even though time seems to pass by so quickly, I try to take notice of small and big changes that are happening to her. We adore her...

I hope your week is going well!


Beebee's Traveler's Notebook [A travel companion]

Tell us what you do for life (both work and fun!)
Well, to start, I am currently a student in high school, and am trying to steer my career towards the arts.
I run a blog; that focuses on design, crafts, and just everyday life in general, and it has helped me make so many new connections and meet the most incredible people. I love travelling, crafts, cooking, and going on spontaneous adventures.  
How does your Traveler's Notebook fit your life

I use my Travelers Notebook to jot down ideas, recipes, and to do lists, but I always make sure to bring it with me on my travels. It’s so easy to bring with me wherever I go, and I can just pop it into my tote if I’m in a rush.
If I ever find something inspiring- be it a cute shop, a piece of nature, a certain design- I always whip out my Travelers Notebook and take a note. You never know when it might come in handy!

How do you customize your Traveler's Notebook so that it works for you? 
I’m always adding new accessories to my notebook, and sometimes I make my own.
What I find the most useful is tearing strips of mt tape of different colors and taping them to the clear, plastic Zipper Case that comes as an accessory so that I can always come prepared if I need to journal.
And since I always lug everything around with me, my notebook is almost always stuffed to the brim with accessories, the most useful at the moment is the Zipper Case, because I’m always keeping little ticket stubs/stickers/labels/cute packaging wherever I go, and sometimes I don’t have time to journal at that exact moment.

What are you currently obsessed about? 
Right now, I’m obsessed with yoga, my garden, and journaling.
I started yoga a couple of months ago, and I’m hooked! I practice new poses/stretches everyday if I can, and it just makes me feel so incredible! I have become a lot more flexible, and I just love it!
As for my garden, I have had one ever since I could remember, but as of recently (the past year or so), we have started planting new fruits and vegetables (strawberries, watermelon, bell peppers… mmm!) and I find it’s just so unbelievable to watch every little tendril grow each day. Nature at its finest.
Oh, and journaling; well, I currently have two journals- my Travelers Notebook for going out and about (I use it to jot down ideas, places to go, keep cards and cute designs/labels…etc) and my Hobonichi that I use as a daily journal/diary. I think I’ve become so obsessed with keeping all my thoughts on paper because I love looking through all of my past entries and remembering exactly how I felt in that moment, or what I did that day. I guess I hate forgetting! Even my bad days…
Can you share something that recently inspired you? 
Recently, since it’s summertime, the colors of fresh, summer fruits inspire me when I’m crafting and illustrating. I can’t believe that something so beautiful and perfect can be created from the earth. I have been using a lot more vibrant colors in everything I make, and even try to incorporate these colors into my daily life- cooking, my clothing, and even trying to have a more vibrant state of mind!
Any tips for fellow Traveler's Notebook users? 
I try not to think about it when it comes to filling my pages up, or in other words- don’t worry about being messy! I find that by adding whatever I want to my notebook, I make the pages much more interesting and memorable. The best ideas come from spontaneous creativity, and mistakes too!
--> To customize your Traveler's Notebook like Beebee:

Monday, July 22, 2013

Takuro's Traveler's Notebook [A place to ponder and remember]

Tell us what you do for life (both work and fun!)  
I work as a project manager at Studio William Hefner, and have been designing and managing high end houses for the last twelve years.  My wife and I raise three little boys.
How does your Traveler's Notebook fit your life?  
I carry it around all the time to help me manage my ideas, write lists, write notes, hold receipts and cards.  I have two notebooks in my TN, one for "pondering" and one for "remembering".  Most of the remembering refill notebook gets thrown away since most of contents is useless once I'm done. 
How do you customize your Traveler's Notebook so that it works for you?  

The only real customization I've done is to Laser cut with a CAD hatch pattern and a 1/8" architectural scale.  
The notebook system

One Passport Size Traveler's Notebook (black) and one Regular Size Traveler's Notebook (brown) with:
- One notebook for scribbling - this gets thrown in the trash once its full
- One notebook for pondering - this one get thrown in a box with the newer books on top. Good ideas get transferred to Moleskine notebooks.

- Stack of blank index cards
- Zipper Case for pens, clips, and business cards
- Receipts and index cards get clipped to the notebooks
- Brass Index Clip make good permanent markers for Moleskine notebooks.
What are you currently obsessed about? 
  • Vinegaroon finish
  • South2West8 
  • Bleached walnut/honed absolute black granite/brushed stainless steel.  (I am remodeling my kitchen)
  • Timelines (I'm designing a study board for my sons.) 
Can you share something that recently inspired you?
Any tips for fellow Traveler's Notebook users? 
I finish mine every other week with mink oil to keep it clean looking.  I've finished the inside with gum tragacanth to make it smoother (less knappy)

Post-its make good bookmarks for lists (Shopping, To-Do, etc.) that need to be accessed often.
To customize your Traveler's Notebook like Takuro:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Witnessing the sisterhood

Last seven weeks has been a very special one for our family.

How tender it is to watch our girls grow together and closer... Roo tells me that Coco is her best friend... Coco is so fascinated by Roo and tries so hard to watch her move.

The beginning of a very long sisterhood to come...
always + forever

a book about sisters... Roo's current absolute favorite. Thank you Jessie:)
illustrations by Jessie and Birth Year Blocks courtesy of Christine.

Big bunny and little bunny... thank you Jessie for a little bunny:)

We go back and fourth... sometimes they are Roo and Coco and sometimes they are Mama and Coco... Thank you auntie Susan and uncle Kent! xoxo

Jane's Traveler's Notebook [A catch it all for my life]

Tell us what you do for life (both work and fun!)  
My 3 year old twins are my life. I spend as much of my time with them during these first few fleeting years.
For fun, I design for our typographic twin clothing line, Snug Attack. I also love finding hidden gems around the city that inspire and stimulate my creativity.

How does your Traveler's Notebook fit your life?  

My favorite aspect of the Travelers Notebook is that my whole life is documented in one beautiful package. I sketch ideas, keep reminders and schedule activities. I also love how I can collect small artifacts that are meaningful to me.  
How do you customize your Traveler's Notebook so that it works for you?  

Aside from the weekly, monthly planners and a sketch book, I also use the Travelers Notebook as my secondary wallet. It holds all of my gift cards and business card contacts (using Card Holder and Kraft File). To personalize it, I beaded my bookmark string with brass beads and doubled up on the elastic band that I found at a local fabric store. I keep my special keepsakes in a brown Kraft Envelope with String (Small) on the inside pocket which are easily accessible and protected.
 What are you currently obsessed about? 
I am currently obsessed about my white Delfonics wooden ballpoint pen. Its a great companion to my Travelers Notebook. I've never written with anything more gentle and smooth before.
Can you share something that recently inspired you? 
I was recently inspired by a collection of earrings that I found by a Los Angeles based designer, Kathleen Whitaker. I was drawn to her minimalistic and elegant style that was made in a non traditional type of way. I always aspire to create things that are simple and powerful. Now her earrings are a constant reminder of that to me.
Any tips for fellow Traveler's Notebook users?  
Don't be afraid to use the Travelers Notebook as frequently as you want – it builds character with every use. As a stationery collector, I use everything sparingly but I learned that I enjoy the Travelers Notebook more every time I use it.

To customize your Traveler's Notebook like Jane:

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Vinh's Traveler's Notebook [24/7 back pocket notebook]

Tell us what you do for life (both work and fun!) 
I had never intended for my studies in design to become such an impactful and large portion of my life, until the day came when everything in my life revolved around it.
I guess if you love what you do, it’ll never be “work”. By day I work for a design consultancy in the Bay Area, after that I have series of projects with a few clients and “pet” projects with friends in hopes that they becomes realities.
How does your Traveler's Notebook fit your life?  
The Traveler's Notebook fits my life in so many different aspects.
Always on the go between different projects, clients, and random experiences I never know when pen and paper become a quintessential part of the everyday. Before having a passport sized Traveler's Notebook, I was one to never have a sketch/note book on hand because they were too cumbersome and infringed with my enjoyment not having to carry a bag around.
How do you customize your Traveler's Notebook so that it works for you?   

I currently use the brown Passport Size Traveler's Notebook with refills of Muji passport notebooks. The Muji passport notebooks have a smoother paper surface. When I take the Muji notebooks around without the Traveler's Notebook leather cover, the notebook can be bit flimsy.
As a guy I can not be burdened by carrying anything but the utmost minimum. The Passport Size Traveler's Notebook is perfect for a back pocket accessory that feels nothing more than a wallet.
Can you share something that recently inspired you? 
Living in the SF area and working in the city brings new inspirations on a daily bases. I am obsessed and inspired by the visual notion of how people's lives have been overrun by smart devices. Watching the lack of human connections that happen on the journeys of people in their everyday lives.
That isn’t the most inspirational turn of events, but is interesting to watch and learn the unfolding of the old social society into a new digital one.
To customize your Traveler's Notebook like Vinh:
  • Brown Passport Size Traveler's Notebook

Friday, July 19, 2013

Magdalena's Traveler's Notebook [The best friend]

Tell us what you do for life (both work and fun!) 
I’m a Futurist at Toyota. I explore global and regional trends to anticipate and understand the forces that will shape consumer values, attitudes and behaviors in the decade to come and translate them into future concepts.
I devote my free time to material exploration and experimentation with wearable technology. I’m a co-curator of SEEDS, space for the cultural and creative exchange of ideas and knowledge about relevant emerging topics influencing the future of design.
How does your Traveler's Notebook fit your life? 

Traveler's Notebook is my best friend, always with me.  It lets me record all of my thoughts, ideas, and observations.  I shop for bags with Traveler's Notebook in mind.  I have two Traveler's Notebooks; one is used for my work at Toyota and one is for all my personal projects.

How do you customize your Traveler's Notebook so that it works for you?
I use the Brass Number Clips to connect multiple refills; I usually have at least 2 or 3 refills per Traveler's Notebook. Since I go through them fast, I like to have my recent thoughts with me for reference, I also like to have a combination of Blank Refill and Kraft Note Refill for sketching.

My personal (camel) Traveler's Notebook is kept pretty minimal; the only customized part is a leather tag with my initials over the rubber band. My work (brown) Traveler's Notebook has a Zipper Case, where I usually keep loose notes, business cards, and posted notes.  It also has a Pen Holder (M), to prevent me from loosing my pen through many meetings during the week.
What are you currently obsessed about? 
The quantified self-movement and the past, present and future artisans
Can you share something that recently inspired you? 
Single mother gracefully balancing her carrier and motherhood. 

To customize your Traveler's Notebook like Magdalena:


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