Wednesday, November 26, 2014

In mood for something merry to give? [For adventure seekers]

Is your friend constantly planning his future trip? Does he love traveling light but in style? Is his instagram feed always streaming from an airport (that we don't even know where??)?

We need to keep these adventure seekers traveling!


1. Inspirational Investment Map
Gift him a pinnable map where he can trace where he has traveled! You can get a printed map inspired by a vintage look and feel and simply take it to a local framing shop. Ask them to frame it with a foamcore backing so that the pin can easily pushed through the map. So he can continue to dream up his next trips!

2. The Superior Labor Shoulder Bag 
This bag brings so much inspiration to being an wonderer whether it's in his own city or a foreign destination! Durable and spacious shoulder bag can be used for everyday commute to an weekend retreat. For a bigger adventure, definitely check the Superior Labor Backpacker!

3. Stitching Postcard
You know someone who is dreaming to travel to some of the cities available on Stitching Postcard?  (Japan, France UK or New York) Why don't you let him know that you love the idea of an adventure in the new city!

4. 1.61 Dimensional Pouch
A great traveling companion to organize little things that can easily get lost in a big suitcase. A small electronic accessories, a notebook to jot down ideas, analogue tools that he can't live (travel) without?

5. 1.61 Origami wallet
If he loves traveling light! This gives a great framework to only carry the cards and ID he needs! Easily fits in a back pocket of his jeans!

6. Flowers KURUMA and HIKOKI
These wooden toys will be a great reminder to travel more while bringing smile:)

7. Writing Journal with Pockets
Your traveling brother can keep all the tickets, memorandum and little things he might collect from his adventure in no non-sense way using pockets that are placed throughout the notebook while jotting down notes, schedule and memo from the road.

In mood for something merry to give? [For home nesters!]

For friends and family who is in tune with their living space and home. Yes. The person who can effortlessly make a messy room to feel amazingly curated and you wonder how...

Or maybe these gift are for your inner Martha.

1. SIWA Square Bag
For a quick grocery shopping or a trip to coffee shop. This bag will look fabulous being placed on the corner of her room when not used... as well as on the street being worn with Black Crane.

2. MINOTAKE Bamboo plate (large and small
A great companion for a salad, appetizer or a cake that can use natural tone back drop. It can also placed in a living room as a drop off location for keys, phones and other little things that goes in and out of the pockets!

3. MINOTAKE spoons and spatula 
Individually wrapped bamboo spoons and spatulas that will bring life to the table-scape. Little spoon is great for enjoying ice cream and triangle spatula is especially designed to scoop the last bit of delicious jam from a glass jar.

4. 4th-market Risotto Pan / Black
It can be used in the oven or on stove. If your special someone enjoys coming up with a creative way of cooking, this will bring a new fuel for inspiration!

5. Come home! magazine
The Japanese lifestyle magazine is full of visual inspiration and ideas for home and garden. A lot of great stories about organization and storage (as you can imagine how creative Japanese people get to maximize their limited home space!)

6. Aika Felt Works slippers
An instant effect to make home more warm and cozy. Aika's felt slippers are made and designed to keep your special someone's feet warm while giving a good grip to walk around the hardwood floor surface (and of course... carpet too:)

7. Aika Felt Works Cottage Bag
This felt basket (or bag) can bring so many functions! A laundry basket, a catch-it-all toy or magazine basket, an overnight carrier for a road trip! It's durable and well designed and can fit in so many interior style of the house.

In mood for something merry to give? [For analogue tinkerer]

Someone special in your life who is amazing in creating beautiful artifacts on papers. They can tinker and play with anything everything tactile. You always ask her "how did you do this???" Yep. The person in your life!

We always hand select few mt masking tape each season... looking for colors and patterns that are well designed with little surprise. We also love how they are wrapped like a little candy! A great stocking stuffer (or you can get it for yourself to make your gift wrap extra merry:)

This will look great in her office or on an analogue table at home. It's a statement piece that says, "I love creating:)". 

A great collection of MIDORI spiral notebook that can bring creative fuel to your special someone. Bee notebook will be perfect gift for your friend who is looking for ways to capture her memories from the recent road trip she took. Your sister is planning a baby shower for her best friend? Kangaroo Notebook can collect all the inspiration! 

For a friend who has an amazing collection of stamps. Limited edition, a travel inspired illustration! 

She has a meticulous handwriting? Her dinner party always comes with name tags AND you pin the little name tag on your inspiration board immediately after coming back from the dinner party? 

6. Kraft Envelopes 
These kraft envelopes can be used inside of her notebook to collect memorandum, mailed as a thank you card and used as a gift card envelope! Available in 4 variations:) 
Kraft Envelope with String (Medium and Small)
Kraft Envelope with Window (Medium and Small)  

Does your friend takes her analogue materials and tools from one room to another in her house? This little tote can hold the project base tools/materials in one place so she can start working on what she loves as soon as she finds her next inspiring spot whether it's at a living room couch, on a dining table or on her bed! Need a slightly more spacious option? Check out Aika Knitting Bag

In mood for something merry to give? [For your designer friend/husband]

Frido was my source of inspiration when I was putting this category together. What would he use? What will bring him a smile? What would be unexpected but perfectly him? Timeless materials, function focus, and very straight forward designs. 

Of course many of the items I picked in the category are very unisex! So definitely appropriate for your female designer friends as well as your significant other who appreciates great design:) 

1 Roterfaden / Black
I like how this Roterfaden cover totally fits in designer's office as well as a boardroom with a kick of red. And we have a lot of refills to make it perfectly personalized so it can start to work very hard from the day he opens the package! (also available in dark brown and light brown leather cover

2. Michael Sans Berlin Shoulder Bag and Belt
These are items I see my customers purchase for themselves saying that they are the gift for them:) And the quality and craftsmanship of Michael Sans brand is definitely one of the kind and meant to last for a very long time. 

3. The Superior Labor iPad case
If you know that your friends/family needs an extra protection on their device, you can pick the perfect color match to his style!

4. The Superior Labor Pouch
Toiletry case, digital tool organizer (battery, external drive) or simply a pouch in the bag to keep things organized. It's a fantastic item that can really fit in many people's lives seamlessly. If you are just getting to know him but are looking forward to sharing something wonderful, this is a good one! 

5. The Superior Labor Brass Hanger
There is something about unpolished brass. A place for his favorite shirt or jacket? 

6. Mjolk book 
A great read for long holiday to inspire creative endeavors for 2015. 

7. A perfect paper twine color for gift wrap!
Who said that everything has to be red and green for Christmas? We have so many sophisticated paper twine color that will make your gift pop without it screaming so loudly by Christamas tree! 

In mood for something merry to give? [For Traveler's Notebook lovers!]

I sometimes get asked by our customers about what to pick as gifts. So I decided to create a series of gift suggestions based on feedback I have received from our previous customers as well as my own experience. First up is (of course) a gift for Traveler's notebook lovers. 



You know your friend/spouse LOVES her or his Traveler's Notebook. That's a great starting point in the quest of the special gifts at Baum-kuchen... because we have a lot of items small to big to make the Traveler's Notebook extra amazing. Here is a short list but you can browse the entire Traveler's Notebook collection for more inspiration. 

1. Traveler's Notebook: 
Regular size (Brown & Black)
Passport size (Brown & Black)
Yep. If you know that someone special pinned Traveler's Notebook on their wish list, it's definitely worth considering. They are packaged with a great presentation and definitely provide an amazing unwrapping experience. For someone who works in the office environment, black leather might fit better. For a person who loves to see leather age, definitely go with the brown one! 

2. Aika Felt Works Knitting Bag 
Don't be fooled by the name "Knitting Bag".  It is actually a perfect size for carrying a regular size Traveler's Notebook and a few essentials to run small errands. Osampo Bag is compatible for Passport Size Traveler's Notebook. The combination of felt with Traveler's Notebook leather is a match made in heaven (between Finland and Japan:) Probably more loved by women than men. 

3. 1.61 Dimensional Pouch. (Regular size & Passport size)
Also available in regular size and a passport size and are very unisex. It makes sure that your special someone's Traveler's Notebook does not separate from other life essentials like keys and your phone. 

4. Brass Book Darts
A great way to mark the important pages on Traveler's Notebook (and other notebooks/books like recipe or a guide book). On the lid, there is a choice of quote for "Get inspired" and "Begin your journey" so you can pick the one that feels most inspiring to the person you are giving. It is also a great stocking stuffer! 

5. Traveler's Notebook 2015 items
If you know the person is into organizing and planning the day, month and year, she or he might enjoy having dated calendars. Oh and Customized Stickers for 2015! A very universal gift for anyone who is in tune with their agenda!
Regular Size: Monthly, Weekly with memo and Weekly vertical.
Passport Size: Monthly, Weekly and Plastic Sheet

6. 1.61 leather inserts 
An instant upgrade to any Traveler's Notebook! They look great, feels great... and we have enough options so you can really pick what fits your special someone. 
Regular size:
[Essential]: For someone who uses Traveler's Notebook as a wallet
[Portfolio]: Need a little help for organizing loose notes, receipt, a sheet of stickers?
Passport Size:
[Essential]: A great insert to make the Passport Size Traveler's Notebook as a wallet.  Zipper portion can hold coins, extra credit cards and other loose items that don't fit in the card slots.
[Pocket]: For someone who uses Traveler's Notebook as a wallet but does not need the security of zipper pouch. It keeps Traveler's Notebook slim but functional.
[Portfolio]: Needs a place for keeping loose items organized?

Analogue system for little ones: keep it simple!

Frido and I have been trying to make a space for Satchi and Coco to explore art & craft..., drawing, story telling, and simply the process of making something (anything!). To be honest, we have not been very successful. We tried it in our dining room to display and store all their art supplies and had an easel up. But they ended up drawing anywhere unfocused and making a big color pencil party on the floor (and I ended up cleaning and picking them up every night with frustration)  

In last few weeks, we noticed more eagerness and motivation from Satchi to make things. It started as drawing rainbows, cats, writing few words she was seeing around the house... When she told us that she would like to sit down to make something so she could feel better, we knew it was time for us to try harder to create a space that actually worked for them. 

We cleaned up the kitchen corner that already had a foldable low table with kids' chairs. We were using the space to offer snacks for them while we cooked... but it was definitely under utilized. So I cherry picked a very few art supplies from overwhelming selection we had on the art shelf and put them up nicely in vintage enamel containers (which is a fantastic kid's friendly substitute to plastic!!) The selection included: ONE set of color pencils for Satchi and one small collection of European pencil crayons that are easy for Coco to grab. A few "working" markers with caps. Less than a handful of sketchbooks and note pads. A small stack of letter size papers (which tends to be used the most over other notebooks). An electronic pencil sharpener (Satchi learned how to operate it by herself!), a pair of scissors, a scotch tape and a simple masking tape and a Magna Doodle for each girl. That's about it! 

Everything is easy for them to see and much less confusing so they could actually focus on "doing" things instead of figuring out which pens/pencils to use. I also used a tiny vintage table to prop up few items that are only meant for Satchi like a pair of scissors and tapes. We also started taping some inspiring art works and cut outs of graphics on the wall so we could grow a collection of visual references. 

It was kind of insane to see how quickly we knew that the space was working.  Satchi and Coco spend quite bit of time in the corner without much guidance. When they are quietly working on their creation, I try not to interrupt them... secretly giving myself a big high five:) We will definitely be in the hunt for a real low table to substitute our foldable plastic version... and maybe one more kid's chair so Coco can be more comfortable sitting up since her camping chair pretty much swallows her entire body! It will be a work-in-progress corner. 

My friend mentioned about the idea of introducing Gratitude Journal. I really want to share the ritual with Satchi during the upcoming holidays and start doing it together.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Brunch at Lincoln / Altadena

There is a new restaurant that opened up on the very east side of LA called Lincoln. We are so excited because it's actually in our neighborhood in Altadena, a little sleepy part of town with a great up and coming energy! There was a little write up on LA weekly (link here) and I am so glad that we tried out over the weekend. The restaurant is super family and dog friendly and has a great interior space as well as an ample patio space. We ended up eating outside at the patio even though it was a rather chilly morning because Coco didn't want to sit still (Yep. We are still in the phase) and joked that we might run into our friends. Few minutes after I said that..., we of course run into our good friends;)

I am on a mission to eat little more volume (a perfect timing for Thanksgiving holiday, right?). Since I tend to get really cold when I don't have enough food in my system. I am sure that there is something to do with my metabolism and a really busy schedule... Or is it just another good excuse to go back to Lincoln over the weekend:)

Thrilled to know that there is a plan for them to open dinner in January!

Go Lincoln!

p.s. When are you coming, Susan??

Creating an Artifact Catalogue

Two years ago, Frido and I were fortunate to spend 6 weeks on the island of Yakushima where my grandfather had clean up what was left at the house after he passed away six months prior. My family hadn’t had a chance to go through the process of cleaning and organizing his things because this little island is quite far from major cities and it really took more than a weekend to organize a person’s belongings from his lifetime. During those six weeks Frido, Satchi and I spent at his house, we carefully went through each room. We got rid of perishable foods in the kitchen, recycled as much plastic containers and glass jars as possible (he kept everything!) and boxed personal items in a somewhat organized manner. It was a very memorable process that we had an opportunity to take a part of… because it felt like we got to know my grandfather little better through sorting through his belongings. My grandfather often left little notes on his artifacts. For example, an old ruler had a date of purchase written with a permanent marker with his very neat handwriting. I am sure that it was his way of remembering details. Some of those dates surprised us because they were so much older than they looked. Most importantly his hand written memo gave us a sense of who he was.

This unique experience allowed us to reflect about what we own ourselves at our home in Los Angeles. We are always conscious about what we place in our house: from a small vintage container to a piano that fills up quite a bit of space in our humble home. We try to avoid surrounding ourselves with stuff for the sake of buying and having more… instead pay close attention to everything that enters our house to make sure we love how it looks and feels as well as the story behind it. It is a constant work in progress (and it is never perfect) since we are a growing young family. We know some things are with us temporarily because we don’t have a good alternative. But we curate as much as we can.

In order to continue cultivating the culture of meaning in our family, we have come up with a simple way to catalogue the artifacts that we hold close to our hearts. It’s an analogue system that will continue to grow… and hopefully become a clue for Satchi and Coco to figure out what they might do with these artifacts when they grow older. 

As we were brainstorming on the system of archiving and cataloguing artifacts that we own, we went back and fourth between using a notebook vs. index cards. We settled with using index cards since we loved the flexibility of how we can organize a collection of cards and being able to take an artifact out of the archive if/when we decide to say farewell from it in our life. I ordered a few custom stamps to bring consistency to the way each card was documented. On the front of each card, I stamped a title frame and glued a picture of the artifact which often included little bit of context. I love that it gives intimacy to the image and brings out more visual memory. On the back, I wrote few facts about those artifacts and why they mean something special to us... then our hope for what might happen to each artifact. The last part of "Our hope is..." became little hard to write once I had few cards under my belt. It's such a big responsibility we are leaving to our girls when we say, "I would like one of you to hold onto this vintage globe your aunt and I grew up with..." so instead, I ended up writing phrase such as "Our hope is... that someone who is adventurous and loves traveling can continue to get inspired by this globe." That's not too much to ask for, right?

I will continue to document few artifacts each week to grow our catalogue and share the process with my family. The journey is the destination... 

Friday, November 21, 2014


Thanks goodness. Coco was better this morning!
We are also happy to go back to our daily smoothies and eating in-season vegetables from Farm Fresh to You.  I mean... look at these colors on potatoes! I love that holidays (and cold and flu) are definitely in-season by now... but also the timely harvest from the nature.

Happy Friday everyone:)


p.s. few things I am totally in love this week.
The Brass Keyhook from Joshuvela - because my key set is always an orphan
Hopewell Maker's Apron for a grown-up and kids! - because I love how my mom wears her apron at home. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A pick-me-up coffee break

We woke up this morning happy... only to find out shortly after breakfast that Coco was under the weather. She threw up twice in the morning and it felt like a bit of war zone in our house between cleaning up after her and making sure that we don't get what she had. (there is a pretty contagious stomach flu that is going around at Satchi's preschool).

Luckily after we got through the morning, Coco seemed better and happier. Even taking some food without throwing up again and playing on the couch with Satchi. (phew...) Frido came home little early to help out so I took myself and Satchi for a little coffee break at Lavender & Honey.

Sometimes that's what we need, right? A little pick-me-up-coffee break in mid-day.

crossing my fingers that we will come out of this without cleaning and sanitizing more floors...


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A little treasure box

On Saturday I had a pleasure of meeting Eunice (thedailyroe) at our studio. We have known each other via Instagram (my feed here) and it was lovely to finally meet in person! Her instagram feed is full of inspiring visuals. If you haven't stumble upon it, I definitely suggest you do (with a cup of coffee or tea!)

And she brought a treasure box full of little analogue trinkets from around the world. It was such a sweet gesture. She mentioned to me that the box came from Japan and little vintage labels from Europe. Aren't they adorable? It totally made my day, the next day... and pretty much the whole weekend.

Thank you Eunice!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Story behind "The Journey is the destination" sticker

If you have recently placed an order with Baum-kuchen, you have received this "the journey is the destination" sticker in the package! The making of this sticker started from the conversation Frido and I had about wanting to share our gratitude during the holiday seasons to our customers. Just like anything we do, process is an inspiration of why we do it so I thought I would share how it was designed and made!

First Frido started with creating some samples for initial ideas. I liked the ones with airplanes out of all the things he did but none of them quite felt right. 

Then he tinkled with compass design and the "north star". We wanted to keep the design simple without making it too boring. A hard place to balance, right? I doodled some ideas and obviously... Satchi and Coco chimed in during our brainstorm session.  

Then we stumbled on this design where "The Journey" is much bigger than the rest of the types which captured the essence of the quote and a north arrow that was created by "A"  as a part of the word "destination". The letter "A" is slightly offset and tilted few degrees... pointing the "N" above. We thought it was clever, subtle and unexpected... but something about digital types and how they were so perfect didn't feek right to us. Then we had an idea of creating a stencil out of the digital file and physically re-creating the design on a piece of canvas with spray paint. 

I know... it was totally backward in process but we wanted to make sure that stickers we were designing are one of the kind even though they were digitally printed. So Frido went off to make it happen. (I know... he is amazing...)

We were so excited when he came home with the design being painted on the canvas!!! From wrinkles that came from the way it was folded previously to smears that happened naturally from the process of stenciling... they were all the trace of an analogue process. I wished we could have kept it as a couch cover because it looked awesome draping on the couch. 

But I brought it to the studio next morning to do my part: a photo shoot. I hang the canvas on the white wall where it had a natural light in our studio space. Did a few shots and brought it back in the digital world to tweak the photo with Lightroom... Then sent the file to Stickermule to turn the design into actual stickers. 

We ordered enough so hopefully we can continue to include them in each package we send out during November and December... and they look great on the notebook cover as well as your bicycles. (They are durable and waterproof!)

I hope you enjoy!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Bike around the world!

Satchi and I have been taking a bike ride every weekend now. I am pretty proud of us. From nothing to 6 miles! We do make a bunch of foodie stops along the way. From a special coffee shop to a gourmet creamery. But six miles is still six miles!

Living in Los Angeles where cars dominate as a mode of transportation... there are so many things to learn from riding bikes. Going through different neighborhoods, sharing roads with other bicyclist and pedestrians and being smart about what feels safe and what doesn't. This past weekend we upgraded our bikes with special stickers (more to come about these stickers!) and a lock with key!

After riding our bicycles, Satchi told us that she would like to travel around the world on the bicycle someday. I love that. Definitely ambitious but why not dream big?

Next weekend we ride again!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

One thing that is 100% certain and absolute

One thing that is 100% certain and absolute.

To everything and everyone there is a beginning and there is an end. We tend to recognize these two milestones; although, what matters the most (and what tends to be taken for granted) is what happens in the middle.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pack my life in the Superior Labor Shoulder Bag!

As I was preparing to place a new order with The Superior Labor few nights ago (stayed way too late past midnight because I am totally obsessed about them), I couldn't contain myself about how much I love them. So here is the result of my love obsessed quick photo shoot from this morning in the studio. Seriously... they are so amazing and I can't get enough of them.

I also love some of the fall/winter appropriate colors like light khaki, navy and black paint. I carry mine few times a week when I head out to the studio. My entire life fits in this bag as I commute and I love how much conversations this bag triggers from simply carrying it over my shoulder. Male, female, young and elder... all seem to be intrigued by the bag.

Just thought I would share:)



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