Stuff

The Hats Knitted for the TOM BIHN Crew

Hats knitted by the TOM BIHN Ravelry group for the TOM BIHN Crew

Every year, the TOM BIHN Ravelry group knits wearable gifts for our crew. Some years the wearables have been scarves or gloves, and this year it was hats. We know a thing or two about materials and quality craftsmanship, and we’re in awe of what the group makes for us.

From all of us here at TOM BIHN to the TB Ravelry Group: thank you! The wearables you make for us are a big part of our annual holiday party, and everyone looks forward to choosing an item. Special thanks goes to Annie, a knitter and Ravelry member local to Seattle who coordinates the whole effort and delivers the knitted items. (Annie is also the person who knitted G.I. Joe’s hat — see below.)

Below are just a few of the photos; click through to read the whole post and see all 40-or-so (we lost count) photos of the hats and our crew.

Hand-knitted hats for the TOM BIHN crew made by the TOM BIHN Ravelry Group
(Yes, there’s a story behind this.)

Tom’s Simplified and (nearly) Painless 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Tom Bihn Listening to Audibooks While Designing

Much has been said and written about giving gifts that are not things, and about how experiences ultimately mean more to us than stuff. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve observed that more than ever before, I cherish time spent with family and friends, travel to new and old places, fresh air, wildlife, and nature more than a garage full of objects. With that in mind, I’ve in years past given movie, concert or opera tickets as gifts, or even a gift certificate for a massage or kayak rental. So far, so good.

As we set out to create a 2017 version of our Bags and Beyond Gift Guide, we realized we couldn’t improve much on the list of things already in it, and that some of us were giving other types of gifts this year – food, drink, experiences, and…. books.

I am very fond of books and I’ve begun to give them as gifts. The thing of a book is often more the experience of reading it than the possession of it. Coffee table books of art, wildlife, and photography, as well as illustrated works like Eric Sloan’s A Reverence for Wood or Roger Jean Segalat’s How Things Work series, (and yes of course graphic novels, my dear friend Erin the librarian) are exceptions.

My advice this year is: if you feel compelled to give a gift that is a thing, find your way to your local bookstore and buy books. If you see nothing there that seems appropriate to the person on your list, or if you’re like me and everything looks wondrous and beguiling, gift certificates are there for you. Shopping remotely for an out-of-towner? Go to Indie Bookstore Finder and then call the bookstore closest to your friend and buy a gift certificate. Seriously consider the local bookstore rather than the easy way out of online shopping — remember, if you don’t support your local bookstore, it may not be there the next time you look.

Now, back to where I was headed with this…

These past few years I’ve become rather addicted to audio books. I listen when I drive, while I do housework, and even in my studio as I’m working on a new design. I listened to 57 hours of Sherlock Holmes while designing The Hero’s Journey (though I guess I really ought to have been listening to Joseph Campbell); Anna Karenina and The Boys in the Boat while designing the Luminary; News of the World and A Brief History of Time while designing the Pop Tote; Far from the Madding Crowd and The Heart of Everything That Is while working on The Moveable Feast. When a story has really grabbed me, I’ve even been known to listen, unbelievable as this may sound, as I hike. (One must exercise some reasonable caution: as I listened to Sissy Spacek read To Kill a Mockingbird, I had to pull the car over and wipe the tears from my eyes.) I’ve always a few books in queue loaded on to my smartphone, along with some language lessons to break things up (Cantonese and Swahili: I just want to be able to say “hello” and “thank you”.)

I love my audio books.

So with that in mind, and in the spirt of giving things that are not things, this year I am offering up what is perhaps the simplest gift guide ever: after you’ve pillaged the local book store, give Audible.com subscriptions. Yes, I know they are part of Amazon.com, and are therefore somehow cahooting with Darth Vader, but it’s an amazing service: there are not enough hours in the day to ever make a dent in their selection. [Editor’s note: when we sent this post out to our email newsletter list yesterday morning, reader H.C. wrote back to offer an independent bookstore equivalent of Audible — Libro.fm.]

Best wishes to all of you for a grand holiday weekend with friends, family, dogs, cats, and anyone else who is dear.

Cookbooks
Six Seasons: A New Way With Vegetables by Joshua McFadden
The How Not To Die Cookbook by Michael Greger
The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page
Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman

Coffee Table Books
Where The Animals Go: Tracking Wildlife with Technology in 50 Maps and Graphics by by James Cheshire, Oliver Uberti
Sohan Qadri: The Seer by by Various (Editor)

Books For Kids
Big Red Barn and Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Matilda by Roald Dahl

Magazines (print or digital) 
Astronomy 
Nautilus 
The New Yorker

The Not Very Successful Holiday Photo Shoot

We thought it’d be fun to get a photo of Ichiro and Fiona (two of the dogs on staff here at TOM BIHN) wearing festive holiday antlers while lounging on a Camp Mat, but they had a different idea…

We’ve been busy! Many bags are back and ready to ship

Thanks to our awesome production and shipping crews, backorders for the following bags have been shipped and they’re officially in stock and ready to ship within one business day: Shop Bag, Small, in Ultraviolet, Solar, Steel, and Iberian, and the Shop Bag, Large, in Wasabi and Iberian Western Flyer, Backpack Straps, in Navy/Solar and Black/Steel…

In stock: Travel Stuff Sacks, Nordic + Black Dyneema

Thanks to our awesome production crew (they made the bags) and shipping crew (they shipped out the backorders) the following bags are in stock and ship within one business day: Aeronaut, Black/Steel Ristretto for iPad, Black/Iberian Travel Stuff Sacks, all sizes and colors Shop Bag, Large in Black, Steel, Solar, Nordic, Wasabi, Iberian Shop Bag,…

The Beauty of Objects

Watercolor by Dan Bransfield.

In stock: Brain Bag, Snake Charmer, Ego, more…

Thanks to our amazing production and shipping crews, the following bags are back in stock and ready to ship: Ego Brain Bag Snake Charmer Zephyr Empire Builder in Black/Black/Steel Medium Cafe Bag Large Cafe Bag Small Cafe Bag (most colors: Kelly/Navy and Linen/Navy have already sold out and are, once again, on backorder) Medium Cafe…

Aeronaut Update (in stock + reviews + photos)

The Aeronaut maximum carry-on bag is now back in stock and ready to ship in the following colors: Black/Solar, Black/Steel, Steel/Steel, Steel/Ultraviolet, Navy/Solar, Forest/Steel, Aubergine/Steel, Black Dyneema/Wasabi, Steel Dyneema/Steel and Nordic Dyneema/Solar. (Note: when Steel Dyneema/Steel and Nordic Dyneema/Solar sell out, they’re gone for good.) But probably not for long: we expect these to sell…

In stock: Pilot, Cadet, Tri-Star, more…

Another team effort — our production crew made the bags (many ahead of schedule) and our shipping crew sent out backorders ASAP. The following bags are now back in stock and ready to ship within one business day: Field Journal Notebook, all colors Clear Quarter Packing Cube, all colors Pilot, all colors but Black/Steel Western…

The Guide’s Pack Watercolor

Dan Bransfield’s watercolor sketch of his new Guide’s Pack.

News Briefs

We’ve decided to retire the Sprout and Small Shop Bag to make way for new designs. This is the last chance to order them.

Another handy new website feature: once you’ve viewed a bag on our website you’ll see a Recently Viewed Bags drop-down menu appear under the search box. As always, let us know what you think: feedback@tombihn.com

New website functionality! Click the Compare checkbox on most bags on category pages to compare them to other bags. As always, let us know what you think: feedback@tombihn.com

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