[Metamorphosis] Dimensional Pouch // new vs. + 2 months June 20 2014

Few months ago, we started sharing our documentation of products we carry at our shop not only in a brand new scratch free condition... but also after and during being used and loved everyday...with a story that can only be shared by earning a medal of scratches. A side by side comparison of new and aged. It has now become our obsession to see how each product morphs over time. After the first feature of Superior Labor Shoulder Bag, I am happy to share a new post about the metamorphosis of Passport Size Dimensional Pouch designed and made by 1.61 Soft Goods in downtown LA.

Frido has been using his Passport Size Dimensional Pouch in charcoal color for a few months and here is an aging process of as is today. 

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What's new at Baum-kuchen! June 18 2014


We have a few new items lined up at the shop! Whenever we stock a brand new items, there is a whole set of process that I go through... writing a product description, a photo shoot, website updating... telling a story (aka my favorite part of the shop operation:)

Visual Bullet Journal on the road... documenting one step at a time. June 13 2014

While we were traveling Japan, I wanted to make sure that I could capture all the details that inspired our journey. Each page... documenting a step we take as a part of the adventure.

At home... I have been implementing Bullet Journal systemThe system is simple and allows a lot of freedom to how/what goes in. And I have been pretty effective keeping track of everything that needed to be captured, remembered and acted upon. So when I thought of the travel journal for our big adventure, I thought... "why not use the same system and see how it goes?"

While we were on the road, we were using my Traveler's Notebook (usually a go to notebook for travel journal for me!) as a family wallet... so I used MIDORI's Writing Journal with pockets to collect our memory. The notebook was lightweight and had newsprint like grey coarse pages. I liked how the pages didn't feel too precious... It made me feel very relaxed to write, draw, collage what came to my mind without self criticizing how perfect pages looked. Also because my fountain pen ran out of its ink in our mid-travel and I found a pen with a brush tip at my grandfather's house... my writing was little more organic than usual. Bits and pieces of these serendipity... determined the way this journal ended up looking as an artifact.


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[Culture of Making] studio visit with 1.61 Soft Goods June 12 2014

We had an awesome studio visit of 1.61 Soft Goods this past weekend. We have been working with Diana and Wes of 1.61 Soft Goods on utilitarian yet beautiful leather artifacts for Baum-kuchen (including a really popular leather zipper case for Traveler's Notebook!) so we were thrilled to see where these items are hand crafted one by one.
Their workspace located right outside of the up-and-coming Arts District in downtown LA was filled with inspiring vibe. The lofty space, specialized tools, leather scraps... Frido and I both inhaled a healthy dose of creative energy the morning. Coco and Satchi kept themselves pretty busy with their cats (scroll down to see Coco vs. kitty on the floor shot) while we chatted more about our future collaboration over a utilitarian make-shift table. I also loved that there were a lot of beautiful vignettes and traces of lived-in feel. You can tell that they spend a lot of time there pouring their passion into their crafts. 
We are looking forward to our on-going collaboration with them in the future! 
Thank you Diana and Wes for inviting us into your awesome studio! 

A space is a reflection of our heart... (it's for us at our shop:) June 04 2014

I have been itching to change things up in the studio for a while... so I was thrilled to have a chance to just tackle the task on Friday!

The biggest change I made was to de-clutter the middle table. I was getting cluster-phobic when I approached the table before... Now it feels like a place of calmness. I love to use this tabletop space as a place to share some of our favorite artifacts in life thoughtfully mixed with a very few items that are actually for sale instead of just displaying merchandise. I know it's odd to use the biggest real estate of the shop for non-commercial purpose but it feels right to me. I am excited that I can use this space to reflect what we feel passionate about... like treasure from travel, our favorite publications, color palette, etc... Currently our table top exhibit is all about treasure from our Yakushima adventure mixing Japanese vintage stationery with found objects from the island's sea and land.

In search of meaning May 30 2014

In my Creative Strategies class that I teach at Art Center College of Design I talk about a concept that we refer to as “Inspirational Investment”. The idea is that we need to step out of our familiar comfort zone and experience new and challenging environments and situations. And not just virtually over the internet but rather physically and personally. So when we embarked on our Yakushima adventure we wanted to take this opportunity to test our theory once again by challenging ourselves with a design project while traveling. 

Travel to challenge the everyday status quo May 29 2014

The beauty of traveling - it forces us to step away from what we know as a "norm" and adjust to a new way of looking, doing and thinking. Since our recent trip to Yakushima was a relatively long stay (3 weeks away!), we really had a chance to create a life away from home... challenging our everyday status quo in our life that we lead in Los Angeles. 

This was true for family and our Baum-kuchen shop.

New VERY functional items for Traveler's Notebook! May 26 2014

Each year... MIDORI Traveler's Notebook seems to out-do themselves. Bringing more to the table. I love the newest update to their collection for their eagerness to listen closely to the community's wishes and needs and making it happen.

Adventure to Traveler's Factory in Tokyo! May 11 2014

On the last day of our Japan trip, we traveled from Kagoshima to Haneda airport and had about 6 hours to spend in Tokyo while we waited for our midnight flight back to LA... so we hopped on the train and headed out to Traveler's Factory!

Archiving the treasure from 2013... April 15 2014

Right around the same time... every year... I gather all the treasure from the past year and create a collage of memory... things I want to remember. I used to make a jar for each year but since last year... I switched a gear and have decided to archive them in a more accessible format using MIDORI Bee Notebook.


**click the title to read more! 

To make your Traveler's Notebook adventure extra special! April 12 2014

Over the course of 3 years of carrying Traveler's Notebook collection at our shop, we have heard different insights and feedback from our lovely community. One thing our customers wished often... was accessories for the notebook that brought more tactile experience. Something that would feel as nice as Traveler's Notebook leather cover itself and can tolerate the everyday heavy usage.

So we have been collaborating with the team of 1.61 Soft Goods (we also carry some of their products at our shop:) to make it happen! I combed through all the past correspondence I had with our Traveler's Notebook customers to gather insights in order to create artifacts that are beautiful but also useful! We are happy to launch two brand new items today at our shop - [Essential] and [Portfolio]!
**click the title to read more! 

[Metamorphosis] The Superior Labor Shoulder Bag / new vs. + 2yrs April 12 2014



One of the motto we have at Baum-kuchen is... "everything we carry must become more beautiful after it's used and loved for a long time". So I was thrilled to have a brand new Superior Labor Shoulder Bag next to my personal one - exactly the same bag... only 2 years more loved:)

**click the title to read more! 

Borrowing a little from our wild garden... April 07 2014

Our garden is going pretty wild right now with wildflower seeds we spread last spring finally blooming. I love watching the garden transform... It's a great excuse to wonder around the backyard and get lost in time... especially on a lazy Sunday morning.

We picked a few flowers from the garden and brought them closer to us on the patio. Love how instantly the colors can change the mood of the space. I couldn't help to borrow a little and press it on the page of Traveler's Notebook. Just a little bit:)

I hope you had a lovely weekend and a great start of the week!



Napkin Sketchbook in making March 09 2014


Few weeks ago, Our Napkin Sketchbook got an honor of being featured on Since then we quickly sold out of what was had left in our inventory and have been busy making a new batch. Making things takes time for us... between day-to-day order fulfillment, accounting, shop upkeep.... (and of course... the family).

Tracking... with Bullet Journal February 15 2014



Have you heard of the analogue journal system called Bullet Journal developed by a designer Ryder Carroll? One of my customer shared the system with me (thank you so much, Maggie!!) last year and I have been bit obsessed over it lately.


**click the title to read more! 

Let's start today. January 30 2014

Ever since Frido and I have been together, we have made an unspoken promise that we would not overplay the big Valentine's Day. Instead we should make everyday special...

Our wedding ring has an engraving that reads, "always+forever" to (always) remind us that it is everyday that counts not once a year. So we are excited to share the quote that is so close to our heart with you.

Let's not wait until another Valentine's Day to give more to our loved one, to say "I love you" and to smile more to each other. Let's start today... because It takes everyday to make the forever come true. 



taking what I believe... everywhere. January 27 2014

We love the series of "because I believe...", a collection of Baum-kuchen original charms. It's our small way of sharing something we believe in life. They have been great for customizing Traveler's Notebook... but they are also very very versatile.

read more by clicking the title!

A Polaroid picture a day... documenting Avi's first year by Erin de Jauregui November 01 2013

Lately... we have been in LOVE with documenting bits and pieces of life with our Polaroid camera. There is something very special about "not so instant" (and not so convenient) instant picture that comes from this relatively bulky machine (in the era of compact and digital!).
When our friend Erin de Jauregui (also a partner in crime of Erin Hearts Court) was taking a Polaroid picture a day of his daughter Avi, we were passionately following his project via their blog. The investment and commitment to complete this project that lasted over a year (and is still going) has been so incredible to witness. 
I mean... what could be more analogue than Polaroid, right? 
So I asked Erin few questions about his project as well as his projection of where Polaroid is going as a media. I have placed Avi's photographs taken by Erin in a chronological order... so as you scroll down this article to read the interview... you will witness Avi grow from day 1.... to day 364. 
Thank you Erin for sharing your thoughts and beautiful photos you have taken of your equally beautiful daughter Avi. 
(it was REALLY hard to pick which photos to share here... they are all so timeless in their own way)

**Click the title to read more!!

Welcoming back someone special... with a personal tag in the mail. November 01 2013

A little while ago, one of my Baum-kuchen customer asked me which stamping pad is good to use to get the most out of Traveler's Notebook Star Ferry Company stamp. Even though I love working with analogue tools, I was not very familiar with the world of stamp... so I asked our friend Susan Kennedy who is amazingly immersed in the creative stamping culture to share one of her project as well as some useful stamping techniques. She is also at this very exciting point in her career life to start something creative, thoughtful and yummy using her special talents. You can follow her adventure through her blog The (other) Kennedy Compound.So here is Susan!


I like the process of sitting in my studio and creating “just a little something” to send to someone.  It’s probably not their birthday, or a holiday, or any specific time that they might expect to receive something. It’s usually just when I’m thinking about them and I want to let them know. Email, Facebook or a texts don’t send the same message.

My sister Ann is a traveler. Her latest adventure took her to Israel, where she had the opportunity to experience some amazing things. I thought it would be nice if she had a little something in her mailbox, other than bills and junk, to welcome her home. I wanted to share something that wouldn't get lost in her over flowing email inbox. Having something to physically open and touch has so much more appeal. I made a small, personalized note card that captured the spirit of her travels. I'm hoping it brightens her return to the "real world". 


**Click the title to read more!!

Writing a letter and learning ABCs October 26 2013

Writing a letter has been one of our favorite family activities with Roo lately! I love how it combines both critical and creative thinking... while giving her a great opportunity to get familiar with letters and words.

When she is in the letter writing mode, we talk about the person whom she is sending her letter to... What would the person like to see? What picture should Roo draw that makes the person smile? Can we make it colorful? Can we make it special by adding layers of other materials? Where should a shipping stamp and returning address go? All these are great fun (and educational) conversation points. 
Usually one side ends up being pretty "colorful" and I write what Roo wants to say to the person on the other side as a message.

My parents once told me that whenever we think of someone..., the special someone is also thinking of you even over the distance. I think writing a letter has the same effect... with a beautiful delayed gratification. 
**Click the title to read more!!

Spoiling 5+ senses through analogue experience / DAIKANYAMA TSUTAYA BOOKS in Tokyo November 01 2013

Dear wakako and Baum-kuchen friends,
Hi again this is Lisa from Tokyo and it is always my pleasure to be able to share Baum-kuchen inspired stories from across the ocean :)  

"Love for Analogue" – I have to tell you the theme of this issue once again reminded me of how the Baum-kuchen concepts are always very personal to myself. Without knowing... we've become used to spending most of our personal and work life in the digital sphere. 

While it’s true that we benefit so much from available technologies (i.e. like being able to share this very article with you!), I believe that the beauty of intimate analogue experiences still speaks to a unique spot of our system. Perhaps we know how it feel much better now… since we have lived with “digital” more than a decade-plus. 

I still remember how excited I was when a new bookstore, DAIKANYAMA TSUTAYA BOOKS opened in 2011 in my neighborhood. Being a book worm…how can I be so lucky to live 3 minute away by foot from a bookstore which is open until 2am! And, it was nothing like an ordinary bookstore that you might be familiar with.  Since the opening, TSUTAYA BOOKS has become a place where I refill creative juice for myself. It is where I can feel the little sparks that come from the luxury of “real” time “physically” spent in analogue inspired environment. I would like to share little bit about this special place with you.
**Click the title to read more!!

The Jolly Oyster / Ventura October 02 2013

Since Ojai was unexpectedly hot during our visit, we took a 30 minutes drive in the afternoon to Ventura to enjoy the cool ocean breeze.

One of the fun places we visited was The Jolly Oyster. It is located inside of the San Buenaventura State Park (inside of their parking lot!!!) and they serve fresh oysters that come from their oyster farm. They have two trucks standing by. One is selling unprepared oysters and clams by the pound and the other one is offering prepared food including panko fried oysters and scallop ceviche! (my favorite)

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Breakfast at Knead Baking Company / Ojai October 02 2013

If there is one meal during the day that could lead to a successful dine-out time as a family: It's our breakfast! So I was not going to miss out on the opportunity when I heard about Knead Baking Company in Ojai.  I love their backgrounds... the combination of art, architecture, French, Italian, business, geography and culinary arts and their mission to perfect the texture in the foods they create. My kind of bakery:)

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Inspired by Bart's Books - a captivating outdoor book store! / Ojai October 02 2013

Since we were getting ready to open our Baum-kuchen studio/shop while we were in Ojai, I was definitely on the lookout for inspiration. Then we stumbled upon Bart's Books, an independent owned outdoor bookstore... in the shell of a house!

**click the title to read more!

Ojai Rancho Inn - a pool to die for... for families! October 02 2013

This was the first family getaway with our two girls... so we were looking for a place that was laid back... and most importantly very VERY family friendly. Throughout the summer, I heard good things about a little town called Ojai and its lovely neighborhood so we decided to give a shot! It's about 1.5 hour drive from Los Angeles which is a very comfortable distance for a weekend trip. 

I was most intrigued by an outdoor pool surrounded by trees and grassy patch at Ojai Rancho Inn.When I first saw pictures of the Inn I read little more about Shelter Social Club, which is the owners' ventures. I was instantly drawn by the idea of transforming old accommodation into a place that is modern, accessible and easy going.

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Travel through appetite August 25 2013

Certain food evokes the nostalgia of places far in distance. Shabu-shabu is one of these foods that instantly bring us the memory of comfort in Japanese homes... and it happens to be the easiest family style dinner to prepare!

Travel through treasures August 25 2013

When we are traveling, we love collecting unusual artifacts from destinations. Some for the fun of novelty... and others as pure inspiration. Often times we don't know how these artifacts are going to fit in our house or influence us in the future... but we have a gut feeling in our stomach that WE. MUST. TAKE. THEM. HOME. WITH. US.

These little treasure often come in odd sizes and shapes but we found a few clever ways to incorporate into our life at home so that they continue to remind us insights and lessons we have taken home from our journey and fuel our next trip as inspiration!

Travel without travel - in Tokyo! August 28 2013

Hello! I hope this love letter finds you all enjoying the end of August! Yes, it’s the month of vacation in many places of the world and today I’m sharing a little story from where I live: Tokyo, Japan. I am excited to be a part of this month’s inspiring Baum-kuchen theme… "Travel without travel”. 

Where will your adventure take you? July 11 2013

Summer is officially here and I am thrilled to share a travel inspired video and articles here at Baum-kuchen!

A while ago... one of our lovely customers requested that we would do a special articles to feature some of the inspiring Traveler's Notebook users... so here it is!

We have interviewed five amazing Baum-kuchen friends who have shared their Traveler's Notebook stories as well as some inspiring ideas on how to customize the notebooks to maximize its potential. They also offered thoughts on what is currently inspiring them.

I hope you enjoy getting to know these very special people:)

A very sincere thank you to Magdalena, Vinh, Jane, Takuro and Beebee!


Takuro's Traveler's Notebook [A place to ponder and remember] July 11 2013

I carry my Traveler's Notebook 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". 

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Beebee's Traveler's Notebook [A travel companion] July 11 2013

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!


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Vinh's Traveler's Notebook [24/7 back pocket notebook] July 11 2013

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.
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Jane's Traveler's Notebook [A catch it all for my life] July 11 2013

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.  


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Magdalena's Traveler's Notebook [The best friend] July 11 2013

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.


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Simple way to send a flower to a mom in distance... May 03 2013

Frido's family lives in Germany... including his mother Heide. As a result we receive multiple parcels from Germany each month... filled with motherly goodies. (Most parcels are special something for our little Roo:) So when Frido was thinking of ways to share a mother's day gesture with Heide, he knew right away... that he wanted to send her something via snail mail.

Let the flowers stand out! May 03 2013

If you only have a few cut flowers from the garden (or neighborhood) to share with the special someone..., here is an idea to let them stand out!

Frame them with colorful mt masking tapes using a little corner in your house!

Sending the virtual love! April 24 2013

Happy Mother's Day! from Baum-Kuchen on Vimeo.

Some of our moms live in distance...
Of course... sending a card via old school snail mail will be a lovely gesture... but why not make it engaging and personal by shooting a small video?  You don't need a fancy video recorder...  You can use an iPhone, Flip Video, a point-and-shoot digital camera with a video capability... or any other equipments that are available to you!

Let's bring some happy surprises to Mother's Day! April 23 2013

When we think of giving flowers to mothers, does it always have to be a big bouquet from a formal flower shop? Definitely not! Instead of being grand..., a mother's day gesture can be a little something that brings extra happiness to her day.

A gift of fresh green May 02 2013

Boxed arrangement can be approachable even though you are new to flowers since you have a box as frame and a a floral foam as foundation. Using shades of green takes away the color scare! (I know some men can fall into this category... I am not naming whom:) Greens are also appropriate since May is definitely the season for fresh new sprouts! What can be more "shun" (means "in season"... in Japanese) when we consider Japanese aesthetics.

Give a small (and portable!) garden to a mom from the entire family! May 02 2013

"Japanese word "Yoseue" implies to "group planting". Expanding from this concept... a family can get together and create a casual “garden” made of 3 - 5 pots. Idea is easy as each member of your family select one favorite pot of flowers or plants... and put them together into one! Each pot can be as small as it sits in a palm. A family can put these planters in an iron basket, wooden box or any other container available to them so together it becomes one gift and looks like a little garden. A mother (or a grandmother) can enjoy the portable garden as is in the basket, take out each pot and place each one as she wants, or plant them in her yard if she has one!"

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