Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Story behind the BK Travel: OKINAWA Stickers/Postcards

By now, you probably know that travel inspires Baum-kuchen immensely. It always has and it continues to bring so much to life. I still vividly remember the time when Frido and I were brainstorming how to keep and share the lessons, insights and wonder we encounter while we are on the road. We thought it would be so neat if we could create tangible artifacts that can be incorporated into our BK community's analogue adventure. Frido has been so longing to spend more hands-on time making things so we thought that these artifacts can be like a glimpse into his sketchbook. And so the BK Travel Stickers & Postcards were born! We enjoyed sharing our thoughts about Hawaii via Hawaii stickers and postcards and now we are so glad to have our Okinawa stickers and postcards done!

The process Frido goes through each time to create these stickers and postcards is 90% analogue. He gets inspired by travel and captures the initial idea/sketch while he is still traveling. (We travel with portable watercolor kit and brush:) When he gets home from travel, he paints the main elements over and over until he finds the "one" that feels right to him. Then he scans the drawings and put all the elements together for production. It's labor intensive and I LOVE watching him get lost in this analogue process.

I especially enjoyed seeing how "OKAY" sticker came together for Okinawa. "OKA" is airport code for Naha airport in Okinawa and Frido thought it was neat that it was almost like "Okay". And "everything will be okay" is the kind of attitude we got from people and atmosphere in and around the Okinawa island. Frido wanted to get the effect of worn out rusted metal sign which we saw all over Okinawa. The beautiful wabi-sabi look and feel. It took him for a while to figure out how to actually get the effect in the most authentic way. I heard his happy dance when he figured out that he could paint "OKAY" graphics on an enamel container surface using gouache paint then gently sand off the paint to get the weathered look. Yep. Process.

I hope you enjoy these little gems as much as we do. And stay tuned for the update for the future destinations. Let's keep traveling:)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

TSL 2-way Backpacker in action!

We took the TSL 2-way Backpacker to the big adventure this summer. It's one thing to look pretty on the store display and curated product photoshoot but it's totally another thing for an artifact to live the real life... especially during the high demand travel with little ones. 

I carried the TSL 2-way Backpacker through the airport (carrying Coco who was totally jet lagged and heavy sleeping) and it was so great to have my hands free. It was my carry-on bag for the flight. It held all our important documents, my 13" laptop and travel sketchbooks for all of us. I loved that it opened wide on the top so I was able to access everything I needed in the tiny airplane seat without worrying all the contents spilling out. Frido and I took the bag to the day trip in Hamburg city... on my back while we fast walked through the beautiful city. Backpack held our precious stationery treasures we found in the city. We took the backpacker to the beach adventure in South of France. The inside of the backpack got totally sandy but I shook the bag off upside down and it was ready to go for another day. Then we dragged the backpack to the Italian beach so we can collect beautiful pebbles in the outside leather pocket.

Aside from how awesome the bag looks, my favorite thing about the bag is that it sits upright on the floor and I can access the contents really easily. And it feels sturdy and comfortable on my back when I carry it. (The felt on the shoulder straps help!)

The only downside is that if I carry the bag as a tote in my hand, the shoulder straps tend to drag on the floor. So I would have to lift it pretty high as a tote. It hasn't bothered me because I rarely grab them by the top handle and when I do use the top handle, it's when I need to quickly pick up the bag off the floor because kids are ready to move on to next place and I am picking myself up (and the bag to put it on my shoulder) or I am dragging the bag out of an overhead compartment on the airplane. 

I am excited that we will be carrying very curated color/material combination of the 2-way Backpacker. The Khaki canvas with navy paint fits in so many scenes and we are currently waiting for black canvas with nude leather combination to arrive!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Back on earth...

Every re-landing of the earth after we come back from travel is different. This one for sure feels unusually full. Especially because we are going into our very busy fall season at the shop. And we had some issues with AC unit in the studio which brought unexpected studio shut-down days and adjusted opening hours. I so appreciate all our regular and local customers who stopped by the shop in the morning hours instead of our usual afternoon hours while we weren't able to work in the space in the afternoon due to the heatwave. Thank you, our incredible BK community who is anticipating the 2018 analogue set up! And thank you Nerine and Eunice who held up the BK fort so gracefully while Frido and I were away.

Every morning I write one thing I am thankful for on my Jibun Techo monthly page. Today I am thankful for all that BK inspires in us and in our community and being able to paint one picture at a time in order to get a big mural done.

"Trust the Process"... always.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Time, space and fresh air for childhood: thoughts from Italy

On one of the days, while we were staying in France, we took an adventurous drive from France to the nearest Italian border. Not really for a specific reason but just because.

Okay. maybe I did want to eat fresh pasta and gelato ice cream in Italy. We had no idea how it was going to be and totally got lost in a crowded little Italian town... but eventually found ourselves at a nearly deserted Italian beach resort after their summer holiday.

We were so excited when we finally got to stretch our legs at the beach and girls went straight into rock hunting and swimming. Oh, the pebbles at this beach were amazing. We are frequently so inspired by nature at home and on the road and I am so thankful that I can pass the gratitude towards nature to our girls.

This is our 2nd year of our homeschooling adventure and I am definitely starting to see what it makes our family's learning richer. Preserving a lot of open time, space and fresh air around them definitely come to my mind as one of the few key ingredients wherever we are!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hello from Baum-kuchen! - interview by "Entrepreneurial Voice" with Jan McCarthy

Happy Sunday:)
I am so excited to share that our Baum-kuchen story/interview was featured at "Entrepreneurial Voice" with Jan McCarthy which aired about a month ago.

If you have a moment, I would LOVE you to check it out. I feel that our visual posts on IG, blog and website represent so much of who we are so I am thankful that we had an opportunity to share our story via audio interview.

Thank you for always supporting us and thank you Jan for creating such an inspiring platform where we can learn from like-minded entrepreneurs.

Monday, September 4, 2017

The power of travel... and our pics from Hamburg

It's almost surreal to be away from home for so long. This Thursday... when we finally get back to our home in Los Angeles will mark our 3 weeks time period since we left. Time is a strange thing. It feels like forever since we left. Then it feels like yesterday when we got on the airplane to head to Michigan.

Since our beautiful stay in Michigan with our friends, Susan & Kent, we have traveled to Hamburg, Germany to spend time with Frido's family for a week and now I am writing this in Theoule-sur-Mer in France.

One thing for sure is that travel tends to change our life perspective in the way we have never expected or planned. It has the power to open the flood gate for life. And that's why we believe in traveling... small and big. I know that without travel, Baum-kuchen will not be where we are at today and so as our family.

So we keep traveling.

For now..., here are some highlights from our Hamburg moments. I am glad that we spent a lot of time with our family and Frido and I got to do some product research on the ground while Satchi and Coco spent their special time with their Omi and Opi:)


Saturday, August 19, 2017

On the road again

I am so thankful that we are on the road again. Currently traveling solo with the girls to visit our friend Susan in Michigan... then we will head to Europe to join Frido to spend some time with his family and his friends.

Girls are so much older and I feel that we have been practicing this "life" things together for a quite while that we can put everything we have learned about our values and goals on the test while traveling. Being kind to each other, being polite and respectful to everyone around us (including their Mama!!), using our words to communicate, eating healthy as much as we can and being patient (especially me)... and much more.

It's not perfect and we are not perfect but I am thankful that we can travel together and experience the world in a new way.


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