Leap Year Shop Sale

I decided to have another sale in my shop! I have big plans in 2012 (and 2013). With a whole new inventory lined up, and steadily producing amazing things, I feel like it's time to have a fresh start with my shop. So, I'm hoping to send these lovely goods to some special people, before I start bringing in the new!

From the 25th of February until the 3rd of March, you can receive 29% off your order by using the code "LEAPYEAR29" upon checkout!

I hope you're having a beautiful February!

peace & love,

DIY Collection: #007

This month I've been feeling incredibly inspired and putting together this collection put me in an extremely crafty mood. So, I planned a little Craft Day in my studio. Where I can make myself some pretty things and listen to some groovy tunes. I added half of these projects to my list because they are so simple and fun! (I'm dying to make a Satsuma Candle with a grapefruit from my yard!) My favorites are the Stitched Suspenders, the Eternity Bracelet, and Triangle Love.

peace & love,

Studio Saturday: Bits and Pieces

(Studio Saturday is a weekly feature in which I share what I've been working on. Occasionally, I spend weeks working on one project and don't have much, if any, new progress to share. In those situations, I enjoy sharing lovely workspaces and what other artists have been doing lately.)

For the past few days I've woken up incredibly determined to complete another round of "Photo An Hour". (I did one last year.) I enjoy doing this because I get a lot of practice using my camera, and I'm able to capture the little details that create my day. Plus, it's far more enjoyable to see what my day was like in photographs, and not just written descriptions.

Despite my enthusiasm, I found myself constantly losing track of time, trying to keep up with photos I missed, and simply taking excessive photographs of everything I found beautiful. So these photos are not a true "Photo An Hour", but are just bits and pieces of my day. I hope you find it inspiring!

(making plans for the day, drafting posts, & taking photos)

(visiting my cactus on top of the hill)

(beautiful exposed brick wall)

(banana bushels)

(juicing limes, lemons, and oranges, and realizing how strange my pink countertops are.)

(relaxing in the living room)

(admiring the new quartz stone necklace Daniel made for me)

(working on a new painting of a lotus flower)

(adding to the pinecone collection)

(reading blogs & books in bed)

(samson in the grass)

(the view from the hill)

(an amazing blue sky, clouds, and pretty palm trees. this photo reminds me of my home.)

Not Pictured: Working on the Spring & Summer Collection, Lemon & Garlic Potatoes for dinner, Dreaming new ideas and plans for March, A few small crafts, A beautiful sunset, My three cups of coffee, Planning a big Craft/DIY Day in my studio, Enjoying the new opportunities in front of me, Sketching the final designs for a dress, Working on the Zodiacs, Repairing a blanket, Cuddles with the dogs, Fresh and clean laundry, A cool breeze and smoky incense.

A truly beautiful day.

peace & love,


How I Organize My Small Business

I'm a pretty nosy person. I can often be seen searching for peaks into artists' studios, journals, design processes, and how they organize. I love to get a little peak into the small details of how another artist manages to stay on top of all their projects. Well, upon the start of 2012, I seem to have stumbled onto an organizing system which really works for me, and I thought it would be nice to share. I hope you enjoy taking a peak into how I organize my small business!

My Planner
My Planner is the blood of my business and daily life. (It's the size of a postcard, with over 100 pages.) This little book holds my daily to-do lists, calendar, blog post plans, post ideas, my current "working on" projects, and more. (I love this little planner so much that I have a matching planner ready to go when this one is filled up.) I usually carry this around with me and dump ideas into it whenever the mood strikes.

Daily To-Do Lists
Each night, before I go to sleep, I write down all of the things I may want/need to do the next day. (I write it before bed because it helps me clear my head so I can sleep better.) The next day, I read my to-do list while drinking my coffee and decide what I should do first. I try to prioritize differently on certain days, so I don't fall into the boring habit of doing the same routine over and over again.
Also, if I don't complete important tasks on my list by the end of the day, then they get moved to tomorrow's list.

Calendar & Blog Post Plans
At the back of my planner, I have a yearlong calendar spread for 2012. This is where I write holidays, birthdays, other important dates. I also plan my blog posts by the month here. It helps me to color-code the categories I'm posting in, so I can have a clear view of the month and make sure I have a nice balance of posts.
Sometimes I don't get them written and posted, and I do my best to not stress over it. I like to use my blogging plans as a guideline, not a rule. (I typically only write a blog post into the calendar when I have it drafted or I already have photos for the post.)

Collecting Ideas & Brainstorms
I put little pockets into my planner, so that I can slip notecards inside of them. On my colored notecards, I write down a variety of ideas; DIY Projects, Blog Posts, and crafts I want to do in my spare time. I also keep notecards on my favorite blogs and websites to go to for DIY inspiration, and ideas for my "Inspired" Blog Posts. (Usually I only make notecards for blogging, photography related tasks and projects. If I have a large project that needs special attention, then I create a file folder for the project.)

My Files
I keep a stack of file folders to organize resources, goals, plans, finances, and big ideas. These folders are the backbone of my business and my personal life as well. While my daily planner gives me motivation on a daily basis, my files give me the long term direction and overall view of what I'm doing. Plus, the resources and notes I may need years from now.

(Right now, all of my folders are rather boring, as I haven't decorated them. But I've been getting a lot of great ideas on how to make my folders more attractive. I'll be sure to share the updated versions of my folders once I'm finished with them.)

Birch & Bees 2012 Folder
This folder is where I keep the annual papers. The budgets, marketing plans, estimates, shop purchases, supply costs, and projections for the current year, the next year, and 5 years from now. (By projections, I mean changes I will need to accomodate, goals I want to meet, future collections to create. This keeps me on track and working towards a future goal.

Project Management
I keep a folder for each large project I work on. Projects like a blog re-design, releasing a collection of clothing, or anything of that nature. These folders are very dynamic. Let's say I'm working on a new design for the blog, I make a folder for the project and add it to the pile. Now, whenever I come across colors I'm attracted to, website URL's which have inspiring designs, sketches, and anything else that feels somewhat related. These folders eventually look like a Pinterest Board might. Pictures, sketches, websites, colors, inspiring writing/poetry.

I keep a folder of resources for everything that I may need to look at again later. (After I lost my computer, I also lost all of the amazing websites/blogs which I spent hours tracking down. So, this time around, I'm making hard copies of this information!) In this folder, I keep the URL's of websites which I love to frequent for reading, inspiration, or the latest DIY's. I also keep all the notes I write on running a small handmade business. I take notes on a huge variety of topics and keep them there for future reference.

Design Notes
I also keep another folder which contains all the design notes I have for my blogs and other websites. Sketches of new designs, HTML codes, image sizes, RGB color codes. I'm very methodical when it comes to my designing. I try to always be consistent with my designs.

Besides my planner and folders, I keep dozens of journals and books.

(from top to bottom, left to right)
My vintage logbook for tracking inventory & listings, The 18 Projects Book
The Design Dump Book, My Business Inspiration Book

A Bit of Advice.
Ultimately, the single best thing I've learned about staying organized is creating your own system around what your natural tendencies are. Being such an organizational buff, I have tried and failed and many, many systems before realizing that I needed my own way of doing things that makes sense for me.

As an artist, I need to see things visually, it is neccessary for me to understand anything. I enjoy being able to open up a file folder, spread out all of the contents in front of me and see what's working/not working. It helps me to focus in on one project at a time, and notice themes or certain tones I am drawn to.

In addition, I like for things to look beautiful! So, when I'm creating my designs, my files, my goals, I always try to make it look as lovely as possible. I've found that I actually keep track of my goals if I enjoy looking at them. So, I'll spend an afternoon putting a lot of effort into making a small book to document my progress on a project or goal, the payback is that I am much more motivated to follow-through after spending so much time to make the books themselves!

(I spent a day making this little book to keep track of my yearly and monthly goals for 2012. I have a lot of fun going through the book opening up little flaps to see what goals I wrote in.)

Well, I hope you enjoyed taking this little peak into how I organize my small business. Running a shop and blog by yourself can be quite time-consuming and stressful at times. But, I've found that with a solid (and aesthetic) organizing system in place, it can make the experience so much more pleasant and simple.

How do you stay organized? I'd love to see how you manage everything all the great things you do!

peace & love,


Handmade Stone & Silver Rings

(Studio Saturday is a weekly feature where I share what I've been working on recently. Occasionally, I spend weeks working on one project and don't have much, if any, new progress to share. In those situations, I enjoy sharing lovely workspaces and what other artists have been doing lately.)

At the close of 2011, Daniel Icaza started a new style and series of beautiful stone rings. This collection of jewellery incorporates braided wire, silver granules, and beautiful stones. Each ring is fabricated individually and is entirely handmade by Daniel. The process begins with being inspired by a particular stone, from there he creates intricate designs to embellish the ring. (Afterwards, he gives each ring a Latin name, which I adore.) Personally, I love each and every one of these rings, but I would like to share a few of my favorites.

(Rosea Nigrum Ovalibus, By Daniel Icaza. 2012. Fine and Sterling Silver, Pink Agate Stone.)

(Flavo Ovalibus Arcus, By Daniel Icaza. 2012. Fine Silver, Yellow Dendritic Quartz.)

(left to right: Rosesus 2.0, Aura Mihi, Rutilus Lacrima)

(Callaina Ericius, By Daniel Icaza. 2012. Fine and Sterling Silver, Turquoise Stone.)

(Rultilus Lacrima, By Daniel Icaza. 2012. Fine and Sterling Silver, Pink Agate Stone.)

(left to right, top to bottom: Aura Mihi, Rosesus 2.0, Stone of Lazward, Rubro Saxo Solumque, Rutilus Lacrima, Purpureus, Altum Rubet, Quadratum Callaina)

I'm a sucker for anything that has a pretty stone, rock, or natural element. But, what I really love is the detail in the metalwork. The designs are quintessential "Daniel", particularly in regards to the circles and spirals which can be seen in his numerous other bodies of work.

The best part of Daniel's jewellery work is that each piece has such special character and no two look quite alike. The designs attract attention to the natural beauty of the stone, while complimenting the unique aesthetic of handmade goods.

After extrapilating the designs on these rings into brooches and necklaces, Daniel plans to continue creating jewellery in this style for an undetermined period. I'm quite excited to see how this collection develops in the future.
If you would like to know more about Daniel Icaza's work, you can visit his blog, where he shares his latest artworks, recent happenings, thoughts on art, and tutorials on metal-working. You can also follow Daniel Icaza on Facebook and Flickr.


(Disclaimer: I wrote this because I am truly smitten with this collection of rings. While I am in a relationship with Daniel, I sincerely love his artwork. I would share it regardless of the circumstances. I do own a few of these rings, which were gifted to me, that I wear nearly everyday.)

peace & love,


Collected: Antique Keys

Last year, I came across a goldmine of vintage house keys and other types of keys, which gave me the idea to start my own collection of old keys. I've enjoyed using them in jewelry designs and displaying them around my home. The keys are all aged, colored by the elements, full of little scratches and dents. I adore the unique beauty of each key.

When Daniel took his business trip to Italy in September, he returned with a few gifts for me. (One of them being the key on the right.) To my surprise, Daniel had another beautiful vintage key for me, which he gave to me on Valentine's Day. These two are definitely my favorite pieces, mostly because they are much bigger and shaped differently than the others.

(wearing my antique key as a pendant)

Since my collection has grown considerably, I'm trying to find nice ways of displaying my collection. The best ideas I've had are hanging them by individual strings on a mobile or wall hanging. But I haven't decided which would be best yet.

Do you have any collections? And if so, what are they?

peace & love, 



(from top to bottom, left to right)
looking at quartz crystals & reading about them, homemade pancakes for dinner
Daniel & I had a lovely V-Day, lace & shells
making paper crafts, reviewing designs & making edits
searching out good locations & backgrounds for some photography, the beautiful sky
vest, scarf & vintage key, my shop inventory book

Lately, I've been trying to focus on getting the Spring & Summer Collection for the shop ready. It's a long and tedious process. I was hoping to document how I create a collection, but I think I'll do it next year instead. Luckily, I'm almost ready to prepare my materials and get started! I'm preparing a pretty large inspiration dump, sharing all that has been motivating me to create the next collection, I can't wait to share!

This month I've been feeling so inspired and creative! So, I try to write, make, create as much as possible, and save as many ideas as I can for later. I planned a Craft Day for myself this weekend and I'm looking forward to making some fun projects and sharing them.

I have a lot of fun things to share in the next few weeks. A couple DIY's, some business talk, updates on a few of my collections, a ton of inspiration, and more! (I just got my computer back from the repair place, so I'm absolutely thrilled to be able to work on it once again!) I hope you're having a lovely February!

peace & love,

Inspired: Alive

peace & love, 

Valentine's Day 2012

Daniel and I are not big fans of Valentine's Day. As I've gotten older, I realized I'm pretty anti-corporation, so it really isn't that surprising. Mostly, I dislike the holiday because it doesn't seem right to reserve your affection for just one day of the year. Regardless, of all that, we enjoy using it as an excuse to take a day off, eat a ton of sugar, and make cute things for each other.

(from top to bottom, left to right)
coffee & doughnuts, handmade Valentine's Day presents
making paintings and art all day, cuddling & snuggling

This Valentine's Day was simple and sweet, which is a nice change of pace from my busy-bee attitude. Last minute, we cancelled all of our working plans and decided to just relax & paint. Of course, we had the traditional chocolates, sweets, and handmade gifts.

I adore any opportunity to make something for someone & have it be meaningful or special! (Often, I have a tough time coming up with really great ideas, but this year I've done quite well!)

(Yin-Yang Rainbow Dreamer, By Kaylee Hinrichs. February 2012. Hemp Threads, Tribal Beads, Wood Beads, Wooden Button, MicroBeads.) 

My gift to Daniel was this handmade Dream-Catcher Bracelet. It's the first one I've ever made, and it is extra special for two reasons. First, because it has the hand-dyed rainbow hemp thread which I made myself. And secondly, because it is reminiscent of a Yin-Yang.
Daniel and I have a few collaborative art series which we work on in our spare time. In one series we make, our main theme is duality, and the Yin-Yang is a perfect symbol of that. I had no idea if it would turn out well, so I just took a risk and started making it. Luckily, it turned out amazing!

(I also gave Daniel another gift, which I'm going to share more about later!)

(Rubro Saxo Solumque, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Red Volcanic Rock)

Daniel and I have another collaborative art series we make which involves collecting some found objects. So, when we visit new places, we always tend to take a couple things to use in our artwork. On one visit, we hiked a trail through the jungle to a beautiful waterfall and river. (I forgot my rainboots and umbrella, and it poured rain for hours! I was soaked to the bone!) So, we finally reach the waterfall, and we knelt by the riverbed collecting some lovely rocks and other interesting specimens. The rock in the ring above is one of them.

(In addition to this ring, I also received a second gift from Daniel! I'll be sharing more soon!)

I had such a nice, sweet day that I really disliked the fact that it had to end. But, I quickly realized that any day can be Valentine's Day, if you just make it special. So, I'm making plans for more celebrating later this week!
How was your day?

peace & love,


The Zodiac, Part One

When 2012 began, I took an interest in the zodiac symbols used in astrology. I read about the symbols of planets, elements, and all about the interesting history behind the costellations and symbols. I found it to be such an enchanting subject, which isn't very surprising, as I'm obsessed with symbology. After all my research, I started creating some drawings of my stylized zodiac symbols. 

So far, I've completed 6 of 12, with 2 others already in the works. It usually takes me a day or two to complete one of these drawings. I've been making these in a large sketchbook of mine, so the photographs aren't that great, but I hope you enjoy looking at them anyways!

("Capricorn" by Kaylee Hinrichs. January 2012. Black Ink, White Paper. 14" x 11")

The Sea-Goat. Planet: Saturn. Element: Earth.

("Leo" by Kaylee Hinrichs. January 2012. Black Ink, White Paper. 14" x 11")

The Lion. Planet: The Sun. Element: Fire.

("Cancer" by Kaylee Hinrichs. January 2012. Black Ink, White Paper. 14" x 11")

The Crab. Planet: The Moon. Element: Water.

("Sagittarius" by Kaylee Hinrichs. January 2012. Black Ink, White Paper. 14" x 11")

The Archer. Planet: Jupiter. Element: Fire.

("Scorpio" by Kaylee Hinrichs. January 2012. Black Ink, White Paper. 14" x 11")

The Scorpion. Planet: Mars/Pluto. Element: Water.

("Virgo" by Kaylee Hinrichs. January 2012. Black Ink, White Paper. 14" x 11")

The Virgin. Planet: Mercury. Element: Earth.

Virgo was the first symbol I illustrated in this collection. (As I'm a Virgo, I thought it was quite fitting.) Initially, I drew the pretty flower on Virgo to symbolize the earth element of the sign. But, I decided to use the flower as a way to create a coherent look in all the different symbols. The center of each flower shows the symbol which I used to create my stylized version.

I'm going to create two collections of zodiac symbols; in full color, and black & white. I will most likely sell prints of these artworks on paper in varied sizes. (So, if you're interested, the black & white edition will be available sometime in the next couple months!) I'll be sharing a lot more information on this soon!

Hopefully I can wrap up part two in the next few weeks!

peace & love,