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THINGS WE LOVE - FEBRUARY 2016

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Shoe Pot Medium Size - $50.00

Inspired by an urban totem, typically seen from hanging over power lines, Designer Wyatt Little created these ceramic planters to add a quirky touch to your small to medium size succulent collection. We love these potters because it brings the urban life of Philadelphia streets to our indoor urban garden. It reminds us of our childhood when we would ride our bikes down the street and we would see kids throwing their old shoes on the power lines.


ELA – Reversible Candle Holders - $49.00-$54.00

These candleholders, designed by, The Bronsen Company are reversible holders for tea light candles and when flipped, they are able to hold your taper candles as well. Made from concrete and gypsum, these holders are be elegant enough to stand without candles, as they are something that you will be proud to have decorating your home. We love these because of the materials that are used to make them. The concrete body gives this artwork an industrial and urban look, while the colored top gives it a radiant touch. This is an effective design to fit all your tea light and taper candleholder needs and a simple piece to spruce up your décor in your home. 


Small – Large Slab Wedge Cutting Boards - $60.00-$225.00

A unique way of mimicking nature, designer Noah Spencer turned a typically dull kitchen surface into something beautiful. Pebbles inspire one of the boards and this shape is available in five different forms. The other is a slate slab coming in nine different forms, which make each of these unique. We love these because it brings nature into our home and kitchen. When hung on the wall, it creates a wooden mosaic design, which adds a minimal element of decor to your kitchen while they are not in use.

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THINGS WE LOVE - October 2015

Wool Chair - $598

Inspired by the Eames Plastic Side Chair, this is made from Solidwool's proprietary composite, a unique material made from wool and bio-resin. The result is a hard shell similar to fiberglass that puts a decidedly organic touch on this classic design. Designed in manufactured in Buckfastleigh, an old wool town in southwestern England. With Ash legs and black powder-coated steel frame. See more designs and collaborations from Solidwool here.


Ripples Marble Tray - $210

Handcrafted from Carrara marble, this piece highlights the fragility of stone and celebrates the fluidity of water, while linking the two in the form of a beautiful and versatile object. Sculptor Hector Alvarado says that "freezing the moment of the ripples aims to bring the spectators to a contemplative state. It reminds the public to be aware of the present moment." Bring some of that awareness into your home with this minimal piece.


Leather Moon Coaster - $36

Each set of four leather coasters is hand painted to look like the moon's surface, in tribute to the Japanese art of ink marbling. Crafted in a range of pastel hues, each set arrives in a screen-printed muslin bag and is ready for drinkable lunar landings, or for toasting rare lunar ecliples and other nighttime festivities. Each coaster is individually painted, dyed, and sealed, and is by virtue of this fact, completely unique.

 

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THE WANDERLUST SERIES: TORONTO, CANADA

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Living in the city we often find ourselves stuck in the same routine day in and day out. Now and then we need to break free from the hustle and bustle of the city by reconnecting ourselves with nature.

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We hustle and bustle during the week, then use these man made machines to help take us away. The sounds of the city are slowly muted by a calming breeze as we drift further and further away.  As the sun sets over Toronto we are given a view that is picture perfect.

 

Step back from your daily routine and get in touch with nature. - Abe Montalbo


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HANDS ON, VOL. 10: KRYS DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING

While originally getting her degree in graphic design, Kristin Haskins Simms, slowly grew sick of the digital world and yearned to make something more tangible and hands-on. This led her to begin silk-screening her own graphic design T-shirts. While her shirts sold, she still had remaining inventory. Seeing an opportunity, she transformed the T’s into stylish tops and shortly after launched her first Women’s wear line in 2001.

Currently Kristin and her team, work out of the Lofts at Kendrick Mill in Germantown Philadelphia after moving spaces back in October. Much of her business is working on custom designs for clients and other designers. Not only does she work on her own fashion line Krysi, but is also a manufacturer helping rising entrepreneurs with small-batch runs and cost effective production techniques. She works directly with them to bring about their vision and give them a beautiful piece of design as an end result. 

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When we went to visit, sprawled out on a table were all the pieces to a motorcycle jacket for a client. Over 52 pieces made up the design! She stressed that she has learned a lot from simply experimenting and trying her hand at things she was unfamiliar with. When she first started trying to create jackets she admits to not knowing how to set sleeves, but her persistence and belief in non-experienced experts has carried her through into making Krys Designs and Manufacturing an official business with a dedicated team of sewers and pattern makers in 2011. Her journey has even taken her onto season 8 of Project Runway! 

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If you want to learn more about Krys Design and Manufacturing visit their website at http://www.krysmanufacturing.com/. Thank you again to Kristin Haskins Simms for letting us visit and the whole team at Krys Design. 

            Kristin Haskins Simms

            Kristin Haskins Simms

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THINGS WE LOVE - AUGUST 2015

Cover yourself with a pile of bricks, or at least make it appear that way. The Brick Blanket by Thing Industries features a deceptive pattern depicting rows of bricks and mortar, carefully stacked on top one another. This clever trompe l'oeil blanket is made from 100% wool with hand-stitched edging. It’s a perfect, light-weight throw blanket that only looks like it should weigh a ton. 


Most coasters always come off feeling a bit flat. However, these Topo Coasters by Tom Will Make, give a great topographic cutaway of different natural locations. Different layers of cut and etched cork are stacked up to create a relief of different geological valleys. This first series is of the Red River Gorge in Kentucky, but they hope to expand the line to include more locations across the country. Buy a set to see if any of your well-traveled guests can identify the location. 


Puzzles are great for rainy days and killing time, but they’re all pretty basic rectangles and clichéd farm scenes. If you’re looking for something a bit more unique or more modern, then check out Nervous systems jigsaw puzzle. Each puzzle is printed with a different cellular photograph (this one featuring stem cells of a White Rhino) and also features unique laser cut wooden pieces to make the assembly even more of a challenge. The cut-outs take the shapes of DNA strands, synapses, and other microscopic sights to create an eye-catching display whether fully assembled or scattered across a table. See how fast you can build one of these deceptively tricky puzzles. 

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THINGS WE LOVE - JULY 2015

While a traditional oil lamp may be a now outdated device, the soft, warm glow they emit is something that will never go out of style. Inspired by traditional ship rigging posts, the attractive form of the Bollard oil lamp features a teak wood base, ribbed glass walls, and an integrated stainless-steel handle. When lit the patterning on the glass projects a gorgeous, soft light effect in whatever environment you place it. The simple design also blends in with any environment and can be sat on a table or suspended for a unique hanging light. 


It comes as no surprise that we here at Analog love camping, but even we can start to miss the amenities of the indoors. Cooking while roughing it also poses a unique challenge. You either lug a cumbersome gas cook stove or try and create an even enough surface to cook on an open fire. However, after discovering the MITI log grill we’re sure this will be our new favorite way to cook out in nature. The grill is inspired by traditional European cooking where you split a log into four sections and light a fire in it’s center. Next you place the MITI on top of the flat wood for a perfect metal grill. It also comes with a travel bag and four posts to secure it to the log or ground. The flat object is perfect for minimal camping trips and won’t take up much space in your bag. 

 


Sixfold Beer Carrier - $85

 

If you like building your own six-pack, but want to be more sustainably minded, or just more fashionable, then consider picking up the Sixfold Beer Carrier by Sixfold. Created using walnut slats and a uniquely cut leather swatch, the case assembles in seconds and requires no sewing or hardware. Strong and durable, the Sixfold will safely hold six of your favorite brews. The company also sells smaller cases and even wine carries using the same folded leather technique if you’d rather have a glass of wine over the local craft brews. 

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THE WANDERLUST SERIES: GOLDEN EARS PROVINCIAL PARK, BC

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A drive through the mountains brings us to the silent hills of Golden Ears Provincial Park. Connecting with nature as we venture through the various trails finding new hangout spots. The water is sky blue and birds are chirping.

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Climbing rocks and watching the sun walk across the sky as we stop by Gold Creek for a refreshing view. Following the North Beach Trail we find ourselves at the sight of Alouette Lake.

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Skipping rocks and making memories we hope the sun never goes down.

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Taking some time to soak up the sun and going for a swim, a day full of adventure is done. Not wanting to leave we know we will be back to make more memories with friends. - Brad Yuen.

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THINGS WE LOVE - JUNE 2015

Being able to mix and match accessories is always a plus in the fashion world. Versatile items allow you to easily style whatever outfit you have, for whatever occasion you need. These bracelets by studio LUUR may be the most customizable piece of jewelry we’ve seen in a while. Made up of two halves of cut Corian, the North/South bracelet is meant to act as a modern friendship bracelet. There are 5 different shapes, and 12 different colors allowing for hundreds of possible combinations. Each half is held together with two strong magnets for easy switching out. Build your own collection or give some to a friend to swap with. 


By now we've all seen the latest trend of using small gray soapstones to keep our favorite drinks cool. But those blocks leave a lot to be desired visually. If you're looking to keep your prefered drink chilled this Summer with a unique and striking design, then get these Drink Rocks by Runa Klock. Made from soapstone and marble, these geometric stones are stored in the freezer and when needed dropped into your glass. Perfect for adding a sculptural detail to your glass while chilling your drink without diluting the flavor. 


Coasters aren't often thought about until they are needed. Half the time they are made from cheap paper stock that peels when water gets on them, or are permanently sitting out on the table without any type of storage. However, the Sheepad Coaster set gives you both high quality felt coasters and a cute wooden sheep to store them on when not in use. Designed by Aleksandra Michalowska, this whimsical design has already won awards for its playful and functional appearance. It will be sure to bring a smile to your face and be an instant conversation piece at your next get together.  

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ARTIST TO WATCH: Mischer'Traxler

An Analog interview with Mischer’Traxler

Founded in 2009, Mischer’Traxler is a design studio made up of Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler. Based out of Vienna, the duo has worked on a variety of beautiful and thought-provoking projects ranging from a rug that shows the number of days a worker took to make it, to a table that hides away decorative flora whenever someone comes too close. We here at Analog were fortunate enough to get an interview with the designers as they discussed their work, design process, and how they collaborate together.

Analog: A lot of your work deals with both nature and the passage of time. What about these ideas draws you to them?

Mischer'Traxler: Maybe we are drawn to them because both nature and time are things that constantly surround us, but are not so tangible at all. Of course in nature one can touch leaves and trees but not the wind, the weather, the sunshine or a rainbow. Being designers that love to touch, hold and grasp maybe this intangibility has this appeal to us. Probably we want to understand them as well way better than we do right now. Time is such an abstract phenomenon and nature is such an incredible thought through system. There is a lot to learn from both.

A: Being a design duo, how does working so closely next to someone influence your projects? Do you both approach these proposals differently or from a similar place?

MT: Hmmmm. We know each other already for more than 10 years and since then we exchange and discuss ideas and directions for projects. Consequently we so much got used to each other’s influences that it is very hard to distinguish each individual approach – it somehow slowly became one approach. We do normally start by discussing a project's direction together and then we discuss individual thoughts on that direction until it becomes clear what we want to do.

Art Ephemera has been designed for Perrier-Jouet

Art Ephemera has been designed for Perrier-Jouet

Art Ephemera has been designed for Perrier-Jouet

Art Ephemera has been designed for Perrier-Jouet

A: With your most recent project the Ephemera Table and mirrors designed for Perrier-Jouet , it involves outside interaction from the audience. Is this something you are interested in incorporating more into your work or just where it seems applicable?

MT: We do like interaction, but it really has to be put in an appropriate project, where it makes sense. We never start a piece of work saying it has to be interactive. Normally we analyze the context in which the project is going to exist, or who actually asks for it and why. Then we define which atmosphere we want to create or which discussion we want to trigger and then we see how the direction evolves.

A: Could you talk about your process a bit? What does a project look like from start to finish and how does it evolve?

MT: As said before first we try to define the scale and the scope of a project depending on a briefing, or a set topic or, in case of self initiated project, a particular interest. Most of the time this defines whether it is large scale, installative, kinetic, interactive, a simple object or a piece of furniture. Then we discuss if we want to communicate something with the project or if it should be very practical or if it has to solve something etc. Based on all that we define a rough framework for the project and start thinking, dreaming, discussing, testing, researching.... That's the most difficult part. This time before a concept is formulated. Once we have the concept and the idea, we start questioning if it is the best approach and how it could be even better. We start testing scales, materials, mechanics, discuss if things make sense, etc. and try to be open how these results have an influence on the “final” project. Of course now this sounds very linear but in fact it is not a very linear process, we often jump in the middle back to the start or a specific test changes the concept....We try to be flexible in order to find the best way for each project.

A: Is there ever a moment where you feel the piece is fully complete or do you keep trying to improve and change it up until the last minute?

MT: We have the feeling nothing is ever final or fully complete. We even improve and change details of projects years later. We continuously evolve and so do most of our projects.

A: Do you ever hit walls or roadblocks with projects and if so how do you work on overcoming those obstacles?

MT: Sure, we face problems within our work - like most people. We try to find ways to destroy the problem or we find a way around it. Sometimes we even manage to turn the problem into a benefit. Of course in the moment we encounter the problem we are as frustrated as others but then we work hard to solve the issue.

A: Who have been some of your greatest influences?

MT: We do not have one particular person in mind that had the greatest influence on us. Maybe we had the greatest influence on each other.

A: Is there a specific company or business that you would love to create for?

MTThere are so many things we have not tried out so the list is very long. We would love to challenge industrial processes within producing companies, we have never created stage design, and we are very interested in new technologies and materials …

A: What was one of the hardest things you encountered when starting out?

MT: As creative people, we enjoy creating projects way more than business. Sometimes we just want to make the best project and do not care much about how much money we spend. So we still struggle to find good balance between our drive to create and the business side of things.

A: What advice would you give your past-selves or to anyone who is starting their career as a designer?

MT: Stay honest to yourself and create projects the way you want them to be. Do not wait for the right occasion, or the right client or the right whatever, try always to make the best project in the given context.

Thank you again to Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler for taking the time to answer our questions! If you’d like to learn more about the studio check out their work and upcoming events at mischertraxler.com.

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THINGS WE LOVE - MAY 2015

Chelsea Miller Knives - $200+

Chelsea Miller Knives - $200+

At first glance, these knives by Brooklyn-designer Chelsea Miller look unusual, but their unique appearance serves a purpose. Crafted from old Farrier rasps, Miller grinds and sharpens the metal to make functional knives with built-in grating, perfect for shredding garlic or cheese. Miller picked up the craft from her father after he fell ill and she wished to continue on his blacksmithing art. The tools have grabbed more than just our attention and her knives are back-ordered for up to six to eight weeks. If you want to own one of these distinctive rustic knives you can place an order for one on her site, but be prepared to wait up to twelve weeks.  


Campfire Candle by Revolution Design House - $18

Campfire Candle by Revolution Design House - $18

Candles are a great way to bring a nice aesthetic touch into your house and freshen up your space with your favorite scents. But most candles leave a lot to be desired as actual statement pieces in a room. These Campfire Candles by Joe Gibson of Revolution Design House add a nice designed detail wherever you place them. As it burns down, the wax slowly begins to take on the look of a campfire which is heightened by the walnut ‘X’ base. You can order one or three of them to bring a touch of the outdoors inside.


New York City Water Tower Planter by TO+WN Design - $39+

New York City Water Tower Planter by TO+WN Design - $39+

You don’t need to live in a big city to get a great view of a water tower at your desk. Created by TO+WN design, the Water Tower Planter was inspired by the iconic towers speckled throughout New York’s’ rooftops. The pieces are made possible by 3D-printing each one from eco-sustainable bio-plastic derived from corn. As your plant grows, it bursts from the roof and up towards the sun. There are three sizes to choose from each with its own unique design or you can buy an entire set to display your own personal cityscape right in your home.

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THINGS WE LOVE - APRIL 2015

Bringing plants inside your home is a quick and easy way to add accents of color, brighten up your décor, and filter your air. However, not everyone is blessed with a green thumb and some struggle to keep even a cactus or succulent alive. If this sounds like you then check out the Pickaplant Jars by Pikaplant. By hermetically sealing specially chosen plants in glass jars a mini ecosystem is born. The plants recycle the air and water in a closed system and thus require no maintenance from you. Don’t worry about the plants dying anytime soon either. A prototype from the company has been going strong since being sealed nearly a year ago. Currently you’ll have to find a retailer that carries Pikaplant Jars through their store list, however a Kickstarter campaign is soon to be announced by the company as they debut a new no-maintenance plant product. Keep an eye out for more from Pikaplant soon.


Caruma by Eneida Tavares - $100

Caruma by Eneida Tavares - $100

Some of you may be familiar with traditional pine needle baskets back from your days at Summer Camp, but these vessels by designer Eneida Tavares, breathe new life into the long-established craft. Tavares binds handpicked pine needles from local forests and ties them up into long coils that she stacks on top of one another, building the form. She pairs the pine cylinders with stark white ceramic pieces that are woven together. The end result is a beautiful modern sculpture that combines two traditional crafts into one unified piece and is meant to serve as an “intercultural dialogue.” Each piece is a handmade, one-of-a-kind design and can only be purchased through the timed sales on Tavare’s website for roughly $100. 


Designs made from natural stone are always exciting, but the raw material is usually underutilized in many mass-produced products due to its weight and often-intensive manufacturing. However, this collection of Desk Accessories by South Korean designer Jeongwha Seo really grabbed our attention. Inspired by the volcanic landscape of the Jeju Island in South Korea, the collection consists of coasters, a business card stand, a paperweight, a penholder, and a pen tray, all carved from the local Basalt stone. Each piece is finished with a narrow coating of black acrylic paint to keep it from scratching desktop surfaces. Seo wanted to use the skills the islands traditional crafts people have developed to manufacture the series and while these aren’t in production yet, he hopes they will soon supply the local craftsmen with a consistent work flow to help offset the recent lack of jobs for these skilled artisans. 

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Hands On, Vol. 9: Plain Stitches Sewing Company

Hands On Volume 9 took us to Plain Stitches in Lancaster PA, 75 miles west of Philadelphia in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country. We met Javan Lapp and his family, the owners of a clothing company that specializes in not only traditional and modest clothing for Amish and Mennonite populations all across North America, but also small production runs for independent makers and designers in the USA.

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We first met Joseph, Javan's father-in-law, who is in charge of cutting fabric and patterns, as well as servicing the sewing machines. The two started the business in 2012 after hearing of an opportunity to buy some sewing equipment from an Amish man in the midwest who never got his business off the ground. So despite having little experience in the field, Javan's career in sales in marketing for various industries helped him to recognize this opportunity. It was a natural fit for Joseph's wife Faith, who had worked in clothing as a teenager, but given it up to raise her family. Now that the kids were grown, it was easy to pick it back up and develop her skills.

Plain Stitches is truly a family business. Javan and his wife live next door with their young daughter, and the sewing operations are located in a huge barn that was build by Javan's wife's grandparents in the late 1800s. They used to have a cut flower business, which has since become inactive, as the sewing business has picked up. Downstairs are the chicken coops and horse stables, which you'll find on just about every family farm in this community. 

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The business employs about 6 people, and in addition to serving conservative Christian populations across North America, Plain Stitches gladly takes on a diverse group of other clients. When we visited, Faith was sewing a fur hood onto a flashy men's jacket for a designer in Philadelphia.

"Maker's Row has really changed the game for us" Javan says that being listed on the site brings in 1-2 leads per day, which they are eager to take on. When asked whether expansion is on the horizon, he was reluctant to say. "An operation like this could grow fairly large, but consistency comes first."

Capabilities

Designers and clothing companies looking to work with Plain Stitches will be pleased to know that there is no official minimum order, which is often a major hurdle for startups. 50-100 units is common for small designers, but smaller runs can be negotiated.

Plain Stitches has a wide range of machines and capabilities, including, single-needle & double-needle straight stitches, flat-felled chain stitches, cover stitches, tack machines, serger machines, binder machines, and blind stitch machines.

Learn more what Plain Stitches has to offer here.

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THINGS WE LOVE - MARCH 2015

Stone may not seem like the ideal material to use when designing plates, but these attractive trays by Peca design are making me think twice. Carved from volcanic stone, each one features a rough textured side and a smoothed polished half to allow for a contrast within the same material. They are meant to evoke traditional roots while still remaining contemporary. A set of three will set you back $193 but is well worth it for this beautiful design that is sure to be a centerpiece at any table.


We thought we’ve seen every possible Iphone case and cover imaginable, but this is the first time we’ve encountered one made from concrete. Developed by Posh Projects, the Luna iphone skin is a semi-flexible concrete covering that will add an industrial look to your phone. You can choose between a smooth finish or opt for a unique crater pattern cover that’ll make it look as if you plucked your phone off the face of the moon. For only $30 these cases will be quite the durable and eye-catching accessory.


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Felt Storage Bins by Loop Design Studio - $26

Most storage bins feel a little sterile. Often made from clear or brightly colored plastics, these containers don’t always make for a great display pieces, and are then relegated to the back of a closet, basement, or under the bed. How about getting a bin you’d actually want to have lying out? These attractive felt bins by Loop Design Studio give a great aesthetic upgrade to an often-boring piece of storage. Made from soft industrial synthetic felt, each one is a flat-packed style design that simply needs folded up to be used. There are also a number of brightly colored wooden handles to choose from making for perfect accent colors to match whatever room you put these in. Then when you’re finished using them, they can be unfolded and tucked away, taking up less space than their plastic counterparts.

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THE WANDERLUST SERIES: FLAGSTAFF MOUNTAIN, COLORADO

When we finally made it to the look-out on Flagstaff Mountain, it still left us wondering. Beyond the snow and beyond the whiteness, there was an entire different world out there left undiscovered.

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It was up to us to imagine what came next and what more was waiting to be explored. That’s the beauty of the unknown. The sense of wonder and curiosity it leaves us with…it’s what keeps us going. 

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You may only see whiteness, but what I see is much more than that. - Molly Grunewald

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THE WANDERLUST SERIES: Buntzen Lake, B.C. Canada

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“Retreating further down the forest road, towering trees surround us blocking out the sunlight and the silence of nature clears our minds. Looking back every once in a while - nothing is stopping us now. "

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Beginning to see traces of water and mountains the trees are left behind to reveal Buntzen Lake. With our paddles in hand and cameras around our necks, we set off onto the still waters to reach further into serenity.

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Docking at a small beach we find the perfect place to share memories and admire the hills dressed with trees. The feeling of this beautiful place will never subside as each visit is a new adventure." - Brad Yuen

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