It’s all the fun little details that make design week fun… at so many parties, people were grumbling that designers were too conservative this year, too many old products, not enough crazy innovation, such a disappointment, etc etc… well maybe they just weren’t looking in the right places. I for one, found much amusement at the Housewarming party on friday night in the 10 Cane Rum Monkey Stirrers, the incredible view, and the fact that they rented out the 34th floor of an unfinished condominium in the making! (it was under construction - so much scaffolding i couldn’t even find it at first!) As lovely as the works of Tom Dixon, Thorsten van Elten, and Established & Sons are… it was the nearly bare apartments with gorgeous kitchens and to die for balconies, and those stirrers that really stayed with me. Aren’t they adorable? More images on the next page of stirrers, party, views, and more…
More designer pieces to fall in love with… Tina Tsang of Undergrowth Design’s Blaue Blume Tea Set, they certainly make you look twice… in a good way! Handmade in England, these earthenware pieces are beautiful and extremely detailed, and you can’t help but giggle when you see the gold shoes on the legs coming off of the tea cup, milk, and sugar bowl, especially when you have to grab the legs to pick them up! They are available in pure white or pure flesh tones, as well as with gold/silver/red shoes. In fact, if you order at least 10 of a particular piece, she will even paint the shoes the color of your choice… can’t you imagine a Louboutin set with black shoes, and red soles? Perfectly dainty, with just enough edginess, if i had to throw a tea party, you know it would have to be in these.
Also, on a slight sidetrack, i ended up at The Back Room in the Lower East Side last night… you know the type… hidden back entrance, after you get past the bouncer at the gate, wander through a dark alley/staircase, and pop into an unmarked door… you’re thrown into the 20’s when you step into a dark space with flocked wallpaper, padded walls, chandeliers and ornate ceilings… and in speakeasy style, everyone is drinking cocktails out of teacups (with saucers or course) and beer in paper bags… Is it bad i found myself wishing i had my scotch in a Blaue Blume tea cup? See more pictures of the collection and from the designboom mart on the next page!
Finally! At the Designboom Mart, i had the pleasure of meeting Reiko Kaneko of the Egg Soldiers i had posted back as .org #7028! Fun thing was to finally get to poke at these in person, and check out the playful packaging!
“Egg Soldier Eggcup - Battle on the breakfast table: It’s early in the morning….. Having been for a dip, the EGG quietly prepares for another day. Suddenly, from the end of the table, an army of BREAD SOLDIERS starts to approach. The MODEL SOLDIERS, fearing for the safety of their EGG, close in. They work hard to protect the EGG but one after another, the BREAD SOLDIERS just keep coming….” Images from the designboom mart at icff on the next page!
Activate Drinks… the packaging grabbed me when i heard about this a few weeks back, and i couldn’t resist giving them a spin in person… a 4 pack of these Activate Drinks showed up today, and while it feels gimmicky, the graphic design on the bottle/site/case are nice and clean… and the cap was fun to play with!
Basically, they claim that vitamins lose their potency in water over time - so to keep things fresh, the vitamins are stored in the cap. When ready, you twist the blue part of the cap, releasing what looks like Tang/Crystal Light into the water, give it a bit of a shake, and *poof* you’ve made your own Vitamin Water. So far i only tasted the Orange one, and yes it was a bit like tang… I even made a quick little video for you on the next page to take a look at how it works, and pics of the cap before and after breaking, so you can see exactly how it holds/releases the powder.
On a continued giddy morning, after a crazy long day running up and down norcal… while i avoided all things Web 2.0, i couldn’t say no to playing with our Federated Media family at their party at the Web 2.0 Expo South Park Crawl… like all crazy parties, the open bar kept flowing, the people came and went, but we and the FMers pretty much stayed till the end, and then began the wander to hunt for food through SOMA… one place after another the kitchens were all closed so we ended up at Mel’s Drive In. And not being famished, but in a silly mood, i couldn’t resist ordering the Apple Pie with Cheese A La Mode… and as you can see from the menu screenshot below, it’s really on there! And although i seldom post on a dare, well, i did promise that i’d document and share this bizarre combination with NOTCOT/TasteSpotters…
Keep reading to see the closeups, etc… and the bizarre fork sculpture the kids next to us were building…
Happy Early Earth Day (it’s tomorrow) - we have a sneak peek from the girls at Delight who are touting this new bag line as the next big thing in the reusable bag market. They were even nice enough to send over a set for me to play with early to share my thoughts… (so my pics of it in comparison to others, on the next page!). These new RuMe bags are larger than any of the others i’ve come across, which can be good and bad… good: they hold more in less bags! bad: they make me look like a midget when carrying them full… while they are also lightweight - their material is a bit on the crunchier side (mom of the NotEmpire, and our official reusable bag tester explained the difference as… the envirosax felt more like an umbrella material, whereas the RuMes were a bit more like a raincoat)… but i do like the velcro strap that ties these together, and that it hangs INSIDE, unlike the envirosax which leave the button dangling as you carry the bag. Anyhow…. there are two sets of colors, the “Sillicon Valley” greys and blacks, and the “Spring in New York” set of colorful brights. See below for more pics of these in context!
Mmmm matte black box, tied up in leather cord, sealed with a big glossy wax seal… along with an enticing black envelope sealed with a matching wax seal, containing silver sheets of paper… it was far too fun to bust open this latest press release to land on my doorstep this morning and discover this beautiful bottle of the freshly launched “100 proof, 100 percent agave, super-premium tequila”, 1800 Silver Select Tequila. This comes from the 1800 Tequila folks (who just started the crazy billboard artist collab campaign i told you about earlier this week)… Really, the unboxing experience was too fun not to share, see the pictures below.
My favorite quotes from the press release… “If James Bond had to give up his martini, shaken, not stirred, he’d switch to 1800 Select Silver”… “For a male-oriented, status-conscious market, driven by luxury and opulence, in which authenticity and perception is all, ordering the best is what counts”… “This is a premium drink for the bon vivant who requests his single malt scotch by name, and who will now be equally fastidious about his favorite brand of tequila.” I love the marketing speak - these made me giggle a bit, and hey marketers, we ladies like our premium drinks and single malt scotches too!
So seeing as i just woke up, and tequila isn’t quite how i start my mornings… i haven’t taken a shot yet, but will update later with how this “raises smooth to new heights”… but for now, be intrigued, and see the pics after the jump of how much fun this gorgeous packaging is!
UPDATED: now i know how to use the stopper as a shot glass… see the video… and my conclusion on the taste…
Impulse buy while at the Monterey Bay Aquarium… a little aquatic indulgence for my kitchen… not that i NEEDED a baster, although i dont have one that amuses me quite like this one. Boston Warehouse AnimalHouse Octopus Baster - over at amazon they have the purple one, but they call it a squid… Check out pics of the store’s insanity, close ups of my new adorable baster with and without its silicon head on… and it even comes with a cleaning brush! And has measurements along the side!
On random buying based on pretty graphic design/typography/packaging… i couldn’t resist snagging two packs of the Kopali SUPERGOOD SUPERFOOD (no, seriously, that’s what it’s called). And also how intriguing do these dried mulberries look? (they were new to me… and once i grabbed those i also HAD to try the Dark Chocolate Covered ones too.) They also have dried Mango, Pineapple, Goldenberries… and in the choc covered range - Cacao Nibs, Espresso Beans, Goji Berries, Mulberries and Bananas (i think i need to try the bananas next time). The site says “They’re “Supergood” because they’re so delicious, nutritous and righteous. They’re “Superfood” because they’re packed with energy and essential phytonutrients. ” Also interesting is their “three bottom line” business plan, focusing on reaching not only financial goals, but also eco/sustainable goals and personal goals to support the people involved. Check out the video below with their company’s fascinating business story, bus tour, and how Whole Foods have really helped get the ex-programmer and horticulturist working out of the beaches of costa rica on the map…. and a few more fun close up pics of these crazy mulberries.
NOTCOT Note: Here’s another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!
Sub-Studio reader Kariann sent me a link to Edible’s Aphrodisiac Pearl Chocolate Paste as a submission for February’s chocolate themed Idea’s column. Being that we were just switching over to a conceptual shoe column, I didn’t get a chance to include the link, but I fell in love with Edible while browsing their site. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m partially charmed by the exotic snacks that they carry, but beyond interesting items (chocolate covered scorpions, anyone?), their products are beautifully crafted and packaged. The Antlix Lollipop (below) is gorgeous - it looks like little black seeds frozen in ice. Check out more potentially tasty, pretty things after the jump. Oh - and if you aren’t from America, Edible’s wares aren’t ridiculously expensive.
NOTCOT Note: I sent Justine (aka Rugenius) on a mission since she’s living in the UK, to go buy some of these delicious Fru Puds and Gu Puds and take some pics and let me live vicariously through her… Here’s what she’s reported back, with pics!
Fru Puds and Gu Puds certainly know how to do packaging. It’s hard not to pick them up at the market. In fact, I picked some within my first few weeks in the UK! It’s hard to deny the sensuous chocolatey goodness advertised on that packaging….and I’m alway a sucker for a nice black matte. I think we started with chocolate mousse, the traditional. So when the order came in from NOTCOT to check out some more of their range, I was all too happy to oblige. I thought we should go for something a bit different though. So we went for the Gu chocolate pots and the Fru carrot cake bites. See all my pics of packaging, unboxing, and indulging below!
Click the pics to find out more! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Figured you might need some food to go with the drinking that tends to go with this holiday… and also some green, to keep from being pinched! Here is a roundup of some of the St. Patrick’s Day deliciousness that has surfaced over at TasteSpotting.
A+R is the closest thing out there to a NOTCOT store… and the novelty has yet to wear off, since Andy keeps the place stocked with far too much that makes me feel like a kid in a designer candy store. Aside from the Theosauruses that i showed you earlier… i fell for this Puzzle Dinner Tray from Royal VKB designed by Wendy Boudewijns. In a nice unbreakable melamine, this tray helps kids get used to what goes where… and having loved puzzles of all sorts growing up, i just know my mom would have gotten me one of these had it been around when i was a wee one. Although i’m sure i’ve seen this around the web, playing with it in person won me over to post about it… see some hands on pics below!
Papabubble. I was just watching the CoolHunting video (embedded below for easy viewing!) interviewing the candy makers at the new NY store, and it was incredible. I feel like those kids in the candy store, face pressed against my monitor drooling over the incredible candy making process ~ turning a simple mixture of sugar, water, and glucose combined with flasks of coloring and flavoring ~ into what looks like delicious candies, and perhaps just as fun, the perfect medium for sculpting random dioramas out of (as well as classics like Gehry’s cardboard wiggle chair)! Truly impressive is watching how all of the candy is made by hand, down to the mixing in of coloring and stretching to aerate until its more translucent. With stores in Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Tokyo, the NY store is the first in the US.