Tuesday, December 27, 2016

BK in Tokyo // A surprise find "Kata Kata"

If you have been with us, you know that the way we "find" our shop items is not always predictable. I usually avoid visiting trade shows to find "the next things" for Baum-kuchen as I want serendipity and karma to lead the studio/shop to the next phase. Both Traveler's Notebook and The Superior Labor were the surprise finds along the busy street of Tokyo during our previous trips to Japan. So when we were in Tokyo with Nerine and Eunice, we were thrilled not to know exactly what we were looking for.

Stumbling upon a boutique studio/shop Kata Kata on the outskirt of Tokyo was just another one of those stories. On our last day in Tokyo, we took an hour long train to reach stationery stores that were recommended to us. 10-15 minutes walk from the local train station... strolling through apartments that felt so far from the tourism.

We had little time to kill... so we randomly entered to Kata Kata's studio space because it looked too charming to pass by. The moment I entered the space, I quickly realized that they were the artists who have created adorable mini bear and whale plates co-produced by Classiky. (coming soon to BK!) I think I made a squeaky sound of joy. The artists Takeshi-san and Chie-san were so kind to show us how their illustrations are made through detailed work of their stencil arts (which are designed, cut and inked by hands...). I remember wanted to inhale the whole space because the bright lit space that was restored from an old neighborhood storefront was filled with so much inspiration.

Afterward Nerine and Eunice told me that I looked like a kid in a candy store... and seriously... that's how we continue to find and share the artifacts we believe in at Baum-kuchen:)

Monday, December 26, 2016

BK in Tokyo // A modern house in Naka-Meguro

While we were traveling Tokyo back in October, the picture of the house where we were staying received a lot of comment! So here is an inside scoop.

We rented a house for 4 nights through airbnb and it really was a perfect house for three of us. Lisa, a host of this amazing house, is my old friend from high school and she and her husband keep the house impeccable.

I think my favorite feature of the house (aside from the really modern look and feel...) is how the space is divided between two floors. The common living space on the upper floor and bath and sleeping area on the lower floor. Having some space to stretch out when we needed some downtime from the busy city of Tokyo was seriously priceless. We spent a lot of time journaling and talking about life in the dining room and really really loved the slow morning with our breakfast.

The location was more than perfect too. The house was about 10 minutes walk to Naka-Meguro train station which was 2 stations away from Shibuya (but much much quieter than Shibuya). This meant we were also 10 minutes walk to Traveler's Factory Flagship Store in Naka-Meguro!! We were able to pick up light grocery from the nearby market and convenient store and had plenty of options for dinner!

I know I will be definitely staying at this airbnb when our family travels to Tokyo next time!

Thank you Lisa:) xoxo

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Time is what life is made up of...

"If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of." 
- Bruce Lee 

My analogue system seems to morph and shift no matter what time of the year we are at. I think it comes from my background as a designer. I am on the endless quest to design and redesign the system. Not to "perfect the system" because there is no such a thing... but to find the true reflection of my life in my analogue world.

As we have settled on our new schedule as a homeschooling family, the idea of managing our "time" has become really important to me. To create and dedicate meaningful time to things that matter to us deeply and letting many other things go. Because at the end of the day... we all have a set of 24 hours that comes and goes. So I think my current layout carries through the theme.

My Traveler's Notebook continues to be a big component. It is my super functional walletmonthly calendar as a planner as well as a place for organizing my day-to-day operation and keeping my personal memory close to me. 

In order to make Traveler's Notebook system work for my current needs, I asked Frido if he could design a loose leaf weekly dashboard I could incorporate. So I can have a singular location where my to-do list goes to as well as a place to sort out my week when I get to each Sunday. Detailed reminders and notes that are too much to be captured on my monthly planner fall on this dashboard page. This is helping my productivity tremendously and giving me peace of mind. Added bonus: I don't have to carry my previous to-do lists and other "reminder" kind of notes inside of my Traveler's Notebook once tasks are done. I love keeping my Traveler's Notebook lightweight and compact. (Crossing my fingers I can share this BK Dashboard with you soon. Frido is working with our local printer right now:) 

And since this is definitely one notebook system that goes literally everywhere with me, I decided to include a refill notebook that is dedicated to my personal memory keeping. A collage of bits and pieces from everyday. Letters I write to Satchi and Coco. Pictures I print from my iPhone. It is probably one notebook that I flip through the most whenever I have a few minutes of downtime between our everyday chaos. Either to add few more words... or just to remember and appreciate the little memory that was captured before. This one notebook makes my Traveler's Notebook so much closer to my soul.

Brain Dump
Recently I realized how important it is to just braindump my thoughts each night without editing. Nothing visually pretty about the page and it doesn't need to be and I will most likely not read back these pages. The process of writing is truly everything. I'm using the MD leather cover with Hobonichi Avec right now. But really... any notebook compatible with fountain pen writing will totally work for me.

Visualizing Time
In order to get the most out of my time, I need to be able to see it first. 
I came across Jibun Techo while we were in Tokyo in October and their weekly system with dedicated space to track 24 hours everyday really intrigued me. So I decided to give it a go... to sit down every night and quickly jot down how I used the time on the day. The notebook is in my Roterfaden and I am using the monthly page of the same Jibun Techo 2017 notebook for documenting what is happening at Baum-kuchen. 

Catching ideas
In the Roterfaden leather cover where I keep my Jibun Techo, I decided to also clip the Idea Notebook to jot down thoughts and ideas for Baum-kuchen. The Tomoe-river pages are simple in layout and quite functional for idea generation. I think Frido and I came up with so many more new ideas once I started using this notebook so I think it is really serving the purpose! 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

BK in Tokyo // Indulging Japanese tea and sweets at Higashi-ya

Higashi-ya was a very special stop recommended by our friend Maybelle. Since we didn't do anything really touristy in Tokyo, this really helped us get closer to traditional Japanese culture. It was one rainy day we had in Tokyo and even with Google Map, it took us for a while to figure out where this place was. But once we found it.., it was truly magical. From entering the space through the curtain, marveling all the beautifully wrapped sweets to sitting down to enjoy an incredibly indulging cup of perfectly brewed tea and carefully crafted sweet that felt more like a treasure than edible food.

I think we all soaked up a lot of inspiration for Baum-kuchen while we spent our late afternoon... sipping on our tea and enjoying a moment of slow travel.

If you are in the area of "Ito-ya" stationery store, this is a great little spot to rest your traveling feet and enjoy stillness!


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