First Gift Guide of the season, and while i promised friends and family i wouldn’t do 31 days in a row like last year (it got crazy!), you can see Alyssa and i made up for it with quite the NOTCOT Holiday Coupon Book and a really exciting lineup of giveaways launching nearly everyday through xmas! (Funny thing is, as we get more excited and start posting up all these goodies as a huge THANK YOU to you, our readers, more stores we love keep contacting us wanting to share the love as well! So the list might grow… as do the coupons!)
So first guide, the REALLY fun stuff. Since gifts should be about the unexpected… those fun surprises that you never saw coming, or would never buy yourself yet secretly lusted for… So lets kick this off with Desk Toys and Stocking Stuffers! Below is a massive collage of some of my favorites, like last year, just click the products to be whisked off to find out more. I’ve also attached the relevant coupons below to help you out with any temptations you may come across! Enjoy!
12 - stencil stealthily
14 - carve hollow book
15 - super slingshot
23 - pvc pipe digeridoo
25- chain mail bikini
111 - dazzle with sabrage
124 - prepare tibetan yak butter tea
126 - understand espresso drink ratios
135 - chug from a boot
138 - how to look dapper in a suit
180 - repair ripped jeans
191- get out of a car in a mini skirt
204 - tie the texas rope handcuff
224 - fix a dented baseboard
277 - make suet snack for birds
344- deliver a baby in a taxi
371 - fold his clothes for travel
383 - share authentic yerba matte
405 - open wine without a wine key
414 - run with the bulls in pamplona
426 - catch a fish bare handed
447 wrestle aligator
453 create water in the desert
485 - escape from straight jacket
493 - breathe fire
And those are just a few! This book is definitely on my no fail list for gifting for all occasions! Maybe best waiting room/coffee table book i’ve found yet? See scans of some on the next page! … and at amazon, that’s 500 new things for $16!
Collaborations i’m giddy about? The W Hotels are launching another “Design Dreams” package with Jonathan Adler! Here’s a sneak peek at the upcoming deal that launches Nov 24th! Consider this on the list for awesome gifts for overworked designers in need of some R&R and a little something to get their inspiration flowing…
The exclusive “Design Dreams Package” includes “a stylish room rate”, two exclusive Adler pieces for W (Wonder/Lust Candle with wax in signature W purple and ceramic Key Keeper - see pic on next page!), 20% discount on Adler items at the W store, and two “Creative Cocktails”! For the NYC folks, there is even an expansion package - “For an additional $10,000, Jonathan Adler will join guests for lunch and a private shopping spree at one of his stores in New York City.”
Really, i’m lusting after the Wonder/Lust candles, which apparently will become available in the W stores soon! And they are so perfect with the rest of Adler’s Apothecary of Emotions…. see the exclusive key keeper and press release on the next page!
Wow. Super crazy monday, just slowed down by the arrival of a very unexpected gift from one of my favorite artists, Catalina Estrada! Sat down in the hallway, popped open the tube, and it just kind of took my breath away. Gorgeously packaged (she decorated the tube so nicely and simply with stamps even!) ~ fun little cards greet you upon opening, and a signed print from the recent show she did with Pancho Tolchinsky: Backyard, with her illustrations beautifully layered over his photographs.
So, this post is a huge “THANK YOU, Cati!!!” ~ and i had to share how cool it is with all of you as well! I guess i’ll have to hit up the framers soon! So many posters and artworks i’ve had stashed in tubes over the last year or so… i think the living room of the new house next month may have to become a secret NOTCOT gallery! Check out more pics on the next page!
As promised, here’s a look into the “THE DRAWING ROOM” curated by Audrey Kawasaki at Thinkspace that opened last night. As can be expected ~ extremely packed, people flowing onto the streets, drinking and clutching their limited edition prints like gold, inside people following audrey around in hopes of taking their picture with her… all her works sold out instantly… really, amazing show… and you can see all of my random pics in the notcot gallery ~ and all of the pieces at the thinkspace site, but what was really above and beyond any normal gallery showing was Audrey’s display in the front window space.
She basically recreated her studio in the window, like a dreamy lifesize diorama or creative goodness ~ filled with vintage finds and half finished sketches, it was like stepping into the world behind the works within the gallery, and it was beautiful! As she says on her blog, “i’ve been working on the front room installation for the past couple nights… it is suppose to represent an artist’s workspace/studio/nook, and it pretty much turned out to be a duplicate of my own. i can practically live there!” I wouldn’t be able to resist watching, pressed against the window, if she were to really “move in” and do some sketching in that adorable space!
With a title like, FreeDarko presents The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac: Styles, Stats, and Stars in Today’s Game… how can you not look twice? And then when you see the incredible illustrations? And that this is described as “The indispensible, amazingly illustrated companion to today’s NBA—a roundball Rosetta Stone that hilariously decodes the trends and tendencies of pro basketball.” on Amazon… I think we may have just found the perfect gift for both basketball fans and designers without a clue about the current state of the NBA… Who knew it’d be possible? And only at 15$!
Being delirious, exhausted, and feverish through halloween and part of the weekend means much time curled up in bed napping and strangely wandering all over NOTCOT.org, revisiting random posts (i kind of love the random button when i have no clue what i want to look at)… feeling quite a bit better now (thanks to all of you who messaged me on twitter/facebook/etc!), but thought it’d be fun to have a quick roundup of some of the more recent posts that stuck out in my mind! So as usual, click away on the squares to find out more!
I’ve been doing a bit of catch up… as you saw, last week’s vacationing really became a bit busy again ~ hardest part of this “job” is its still so much fun, its hard to actually stop and take a breather, the business and pleasure sides are so inter-mingled! But i did basically take a break from the crazy amount of emails during that time! Anyhow, trying to roadtrip down to Arizona tomorrow, any suggestions of things that we must stop to see on the way back, or wander around to are always appreciated, we’ll probably be in tuscon most of the weekend, and see what happens next week ~ and as long as i have internet, you know i’ll be posting (actually, if you don’t hear from me for too long, get worried!).
Anyhow, its been a really fun week on .org ~ so here are some of the most popular the last few days! Also check out the NotCouture and Liqurious roundups on the next page too! You know the drill ~ click to find out more!
BACKYARD - Pancho Tolchinsky and Catalina Estrada is coming up on Oct 29th at Galeria Ras in Barcelona. Since i can’t make it out there ~ Cati was nice enough to send over a sneak preview of some of her collaborations for us to take a look at!
While her magical digital worlds have always mesmerized me, its incredible to see how well they layer on the backyard photographs of Pancho Tolchinsky. If you’re in Barcelona, please mark your calendar for the 29th, and don’t forget to grab your camera! See the works on the next page, with some close ups too!
The full description:
“Gardens, flowers and gnomes become small pieces of heaven constructed at human scale.
The photographer Pancho Tolchinsky takes us on a trip through his characteristic colors to visit small fragments of heaven in locations as disparate as Scotland, Venice Beach or Jerusalem. In line with his photography, Tolchinsky finds the way to connect reality with imagination, the material world of experience with the ideal world of our memories.
Backyard is the first exhibition in which Tolchinsky collaborates with hi wife, the excellent illustrator Catalina Estrada, known for creating magical worlds field with colors. This couple of artists propose a refine synergy between photography and illustration, creating an aesthetical trip that pulls the viewer from reality into wonderland”
First super pretty NOTCOT Video… in HD even! I’m sure you’ve heard about Banksy’s Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill by now ~ we haven’t been able to stop envying those who have seen it in person, and we have posted the best photosets we can find on .org… even been debating flying out just to go see it! For those catching up, Banksy (the subversive, cheeky, street artist known for stencil art, adding art to museums, pink elephants and more) branched out into animatronics with his Banksy’s Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill
It has been so painful to see so many terrible youtube videos floating around, when i could only guess what the experience must be like in person. Since this is something that deserved to be well documented before it disappeared at the end of Oct, i commissioned filmmaker, Seth Brau, to capture the experience (especially the details!) for those of us too far to visit in the flesh… and when i got back from SF, seth had this incredible video (that i can’t stop watching!) waiting for me! He even found music that closely matched that which is playing in the actual store! Huge thanks to our friend, Daniel Holter of the Burst Collective for helping with the music.
After this incredible piece, i think we may have to see more of Seth’s work on NOTCOT soon… maybe we will have NOTCOT videos more regularly yet… and for comparison (and incase they disappear someday) on the next page you can see screenshots of the official Banksy’s Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill, as well as the Banksy vids (shot in cages/rooms other than the actual petstore).
On random inspiration ~ i was unpacking my bags from freshly getting back to LA ~ and realized being at a conference and sitting in talks was much like being back in school… flowing out of my bags come notebooks, pens, conference packets, scraps of paper, and more covered in scribbles and notes and doodles of an abundance of ideas!
On an even sillier note ~ i realized i’m totally obsessed with the DWR Tools for Living Press Kit that doubles as a super functional notebook that has nice stark white pages and fun super thick cardboard covers! And the Federated Media pen from the CM Summit has been great as well - both visually and functionally (so much, that i even stole dan’s). Both have been ending up in my purse repeatedly enough that i thought they warranted a random sunday post! And while i was showing you that… my “speaker’s gift” from FM was a nice and subtly branded Moleskine! Which is awesome, except playing with it during the summit, made me realize - i find a blank white piece of paper amazingly inspiring… but RULED PAPER, kind of freaks me out. I think there’s something about lined paper that is just too rigid for me - definitely a big fan of the free form. Take a look at closeups of them all on the next page!
Up in SF ~ wedding this weekend, tried to take a little break, now presentation thing today, conference next two days ~ agh! Basically running around a little too crazed at the moment, so wanted to give you a roundup of the best of the last week and a half over at NOTCOT.org! You know the drill, click whatever interests you to find out more up there!
I have long been a fan of APAK, the husband and wife team of Aaron and Ayumi K. Piland. They create fantastic, colorful worlds in their work, filled with little forest creatures and quiet narratives. They live in Portland now and in Japan in the past and I imagine that their environments and cultural heritage very much influence their work. APAK’s artist statement: “They create artwork together as a way exploring the beauty, mystery, and magic of life as well as expressing their love for life and each other. They are known in particular for creating rich and colorful gouache/acrylic paintings on wood featuring the utopian lives and adventures of curious little beings living in lush fantastic environments surrounded by friendly little animals, the landscapes are familiar yet surreal, hinting at a fantastic narrative while suggesting truths about the real world at the same time.” Their work can be found here, and purchased here.
Here’s another one from the plethora of pics that have been waiting to become posts ~ while traveling with Veuve Clicquot in Reims, we had a special tour in the VCP Maison de Patrimoine (think: amazing archives of the history of Veuve since the 1800’s in one room) by Fabienne Huttaux, the Historical Resource Manager. And amongst the many things she showed us (like the originals of the first shipment ever made, which was to Venice, and the first invoice to the USA, including some as movie props…) ~ i was most fascinated by the evolution of the labels! With full white glove treatment, we were shown this little book that housed every label variation since the beginning, long before the signature yellow label was even yellow… personally my favorites are the oldest ones, with elephants from the trading company logos distributing them. In addition to label imagery, you can also get a peek at the shelves and shelves of resources, as well as closer looks at some of the documents i mentioned, the typography not only on the documents but the spines of the archives were stunning, and make me wish we were still trained as thoroughly to have perfect cursive handwriting.