Wednesday, August 24, 2016

BK Open Studio // Michigan

We had a blast at our very first BK Open Studio in Michigan. 
I adore the idea of Open Studio so much. There is something so magical about gathering around a big table and getting lost in the space between our own journal pages and the conversation that is lively happening at the table. 

This gathering was very organic. We didn't have any set agenda except munching on delicious sandwich Susan made for us, sitting around the table with some of our favorite analogue ingredients... and seeing where time and space would take us. I think we all ended up something to fuel our soul. Joyce was documenting her recent trip to Michigan Upper Penninsula while sharing some of her favorites from her travel. Kay was practicing her watercolor lettering. Sylvia was stamping away on her notebook! Susan was prepping a journal page with background color and textures for writing components to happen later. I had a blank spread of my journal page open with not much direction. But over few sandwiches, cookies and a glass of ice tea, my page was filled with the spontaneous splash of color, printed pictures, and more watercolor lettering to capture the spirit of the day. 

3 hours went by very quickly and it was time for us to say good-bye so Satchi, Coco and I can hop on our return flight to Los Angeles. 

Probably the best part of the Open Studio was the updates I received from our guests later. Their stories about how they spent the rest of their Saturday evening... staying up late to continue playing at their home analogue table, waking up next day to practice watercolor lettering... I myself landed at LAX at midnight, slept few hours and woke up to set up my own analogue table in our house. (finally... after not having dedicated table space for a few years) The excitement and love for analogue are so contagious and I LOVE that energy multiplies when we get together with like-minded enthusiasts. 

Thank you so much, Susan and Kent! Your house is incredible. We couldn't have a better space to host this fun afternoon... and thank you... Joyce, Kay and Sylvia for making a big drive across the States to join us in Canton. 

I hope this little community in Michigan continues to grow. I already can't wait to get back to Michigan!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Do less... be more. Our slow-travel to Michigan.

We are now fully back in Los Angeles after we came back from our trip to Michigan last weekend. We had a really busy week since our return... and I am finally finding some quiet time and space to reflect on the amazing time we had in Michigan with Susan, Kent, Lynn, Ann and lovely ladies who gathered for BK Open Studio in Michigan.

The idea of "slow travel" as a part of the slow movement has been around for a while. I remember talking about it while I was still a design/trend researcher working on projects in a design consultancy world. I remember that I liked the concept back then... The idea really resonated with me.

Fast-forward few years... now we have our humble boutique brand Baum-kuchen which believes in love for analogue and travel for life. "Love for analogue" lends itself to the process that is slower and more mindful than an alternative, more digital ways of doing things. Staying curious and being in a present moment during our travel always bring a lot of discussion about the meaning of life...

I think that this summer... between our trip to Oahu, Japan (The Superior Labor visit, Kurashiki and Naoshima) and Michigan, we have really come close to understand how it feels to experience "slow travel".

While we were in Michigan, we spent 90% of our time at a lovely lakeside Cottage which belongs to Susan's family. Between swimming in the lake multiple times a day and helping the girls nap in the afternoon, I really never left her Cottage. I am so used to be driving everyday in Los Angeles... it was so refreshing to understand how it feels to go nowhere and just enjoy being.

I watched Satchi and Coco swim and play in the lake water, doodled on my journal and tried watercolor lettering, ate Susan and her sister Ann's amazing meals, cooked a few Japanese recipe inspired meals for everyone, watched the sun move across the lake horizon, watched moon set and found so many shooting stars on the dock with our friends Corey and Liam, got a spontaneous career coaching from Ann, talked about life and more life... and did a very special blueberry picking outing.

I feel so lucky that I had a chance to connect with my girls and friends in a real meaningful way. Those moments will be cherished forever and I know that Michigan will always be very special for them in life.

Thank you Susan for sharing your special place with us.



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