Since being up in SF this weekend has been a bit silly vacationy feeling ~ we did something we haven’t done much of since college ~ ended up wandering around the Daiso (like a japanese 99 cent store) and found some really weird stuff… amongst that stuff were these bizarre squeeze and inflate stick on boob balloons and a swan phallus? So for the $1.50, i couldn’t resist seeing how they worked, and getting some shots of the ridiculous graphic instructions… we are assuming they are a vinegar and baking soda type of thing (but are unsure!) ~ you basically burst a liquid packet and it has a reaction with the powder, and creates a cold burst of gas that expands the balloon, etc. We even made a video to show you how it worked, and images of them dissected as well… so click on to the next page to see the fun!
Random discoveries at Outside Lands include the City Bag Trade ~ Kendra Stanley takes old rain jackets and refashions them into grocery bags… while i’m a bit mixed on the pattern design (which is also downloadable) and the visible edge stitching ~ i do love the material and concept… best part of using rain jackets, other than the lightweight and crazy vintage/recycled logos? Functional Pockets! I gave in and got a NASA one with two button pockets AND a zip pocket! It’s a bit large on me though, might have to do some hacking to taking the handles up an inch or so… See more pics on the next page!
Super Soaker “the original high performance blaster” Bottle Shot!!! Finally a fabulous upcycling use for all those empty water bottles you have, but are not supposed to have anymore. I am now up in SF (just drove up yesterday, hence the digital silence), and on the way up stopped by a target in the middle of nearly no where when i got tired… and couldn’t resist this 5$ Super Soaker Bottle Shot! You can attach any bottle to it up to 2 liters (i’m dying to go find a gorgeous 2 liter bottle to try). Awesome thing, great water pressure (just used it to wash linhchi’s windows while hanging out of them, and some hipsters totally stopped and watched which was awkward once i noticed) - shoots up to 20 ft, but we have yet to measure that… and unfortunately it doesn’t pressure up like the old super soakers, so when you pump, it shoots! The only downfall is it is a little leaky around the pump - i tried to take it apart, but its 5$, plastic, and seems to be glued together… so we might hack it up.
On random ideas… why are there no designer water guns? We should have a competition, or just a friendly water gun design themed week/month/etc ~ i bet even modding some super soakers, we could make some incredible things… that lead to a designer water fight? Anyhow, i digress, see the pics of the awesome little water gun that can be expanded to have so much ammo on the next page!
First off, i just want to apologize to Wright, they’ve been kind enough to send me some of their incredible catalogs, but the timing was when i was caught running around between trips this spring ~ and i’ve only just gotten to cleaning house and organizing and catching up on everything (yes, perhaps i do need an assistant?)…
Anyhow, i’ve been reorganizing like crazy, and i have notes and lists and scribbles everywhere, finally deciding and prioritizing the future of NOTCOT and where i want to take this ever evolving company we’ve grown ~ and inbetween it all, finally finding more time to have fun and catch up on all these books that have stacked up. For those who may not know, Wright is pretty much one of the most impressive auction houses of modern design pieces, and their catalogs are completely mind blowingly inspirational for any designer. Based in Chicago, i have been kicking myself that its just to far to make last minute invites to openings, but for today i’m catching up and drooling over their catalogs, and while doing so i just stumbled on these Enzo Mari Animali and Pesci Puzzles from 1974. They even come in their original boxes. Can you name all the species? See images of both and the catalog page on the next page!
I’m thinking maybe my new way to deal with sharing books on NOTCOT will scan in favorite pages that are extra visually inspiring… thoughts? ideas? I’ve been having a hard time trying to figure out how to “review” books - and i certainly want to avoid the grade school summary styled book reports!
While at Comic-con i finally got to take a peek at the FULL set of Friends With You’s Wish Come True blindbox toys by StrangeCo… and i’ve been secretly wishing for the adorable red mushroom looking guy that was one of the mystery colorways! Anyhow, i was at Royal T in culver city today, and noticed the red guy as one of the open samples and had to have him… there is something so mesmerizing about rocking it in your hand as it refuses to fall over and emits this subtle chime like sound… (see the video on the next page to know what i mean)… i also decided to take a new approach on the unboxing of these guys… ripped the box open and scanned in the details so you can see all the graphic design that’s so fun both on the exterior and interior of it! So go see the pics and vid on the next page!
Adorably evil ~ with its perfectly balanced archnemesis… Love this new little -Minus from Lab81, with his devious eyes, tiny side slanted horns, and batwings… and his positive counterpart is +Plus, who has that innocent wide-eyed look, tiny halo, and angelic wings. See more images of these adorable toys, their gold versions, and the incredibly lit window display on the next page!
Cleaning through Comic-con pics ~ as far as purchases go ~ these little guys were truly irresistible! the Rocket World Insurgent Wilderness Gruppo (aka I.W.G) crew in shrunken zipper pulls and airborne paratroopers! So here are some quick pics of the booth, the toys (i couldn’t help myself and had to open them up at lunch, so yes, that’s a fork in the pic - and a few so so pics from the hotel), and the packaging… adorably tiny boxes for all of these!
Shit Happens. Dog Poo Bags by Junge Schactel, the design duo, Nina Dautzenberg and Andrea Gadesmann. How cute is their studio puppy, Cuno? And don’t these bags just make you wish extremely talented packaging, branding, graphic, experience designers made everything in your world? See more pics below ~ and i’m also totally in love with the branding of Junge Schactel with their pull strip, packaging opening branding that is on their flash, portfolios, and even physically on their business cards!
So, for those of you who follow my twitter or facebook ~ you already know i ran away to San Diego. It’s been far too long since i’ve been back in these parts, and i’d forgotten how much i missed it! So, spent yesterday popping by all my old houses/apartments/neighborhoods/etc, getting a burrito, and hiding out in little italy. Anyhow, we just popped by comic-con today for a few hours, and it’s absolute insanity, massive crowds, yet everyone is so nice, and they keep things flowing so well. Also - SO giddy to see the toys i’ve been lusting after… in person! And super nice to meet up with a bunch of the comics and toy guys in person as well, of course. So here’s a mad roundup to show you some of my favorites, click the pic to see the full gallery of my images running around the convention floor… and now i think i’m off to the zoo.
On sex toys and massage tools that you can leave out, and people can easily assume they are sculptural play things - Jimmyjane has done it again with their new line of CONTOUR Ceramic Massage Stones. “Jimmyjane introduces CONTOUR Ceramic Massage Stones, offering a modern take on traditional hot stone massage. With smooth, polished surfaces, they glide over the skin, relieving tension as they go. CONTOUR Ceramic Massage Stones retain heat, and can be used at different temperatures for extra stimulation - warm them up to soothe or cool them down to refresh. Made from double-fired porcelain, they’re ergonomic, bio- compatible, durable and easy to clean. With every surface designed for massage, each CONTOUR offers limitless possibilities.” The designs are designed in house, and certainly have that distinctively minimalist style that is so Jimmyjane. For a mere $25 each, i’m extremely curious to get a pair to experiment with! See more close ups, and more information about the CONTOUR line (including some massage techniques) on the next page!
NOTCOT Note: Love these awesome necklaces that Anna from Sub-Studio found!
Bernadette Deddens is a London-based accessories designer who views accessories as props that can add small-scale drama to daily life. Her work is playful and often has multiple narratives, requiring interaction by the user. For instance, a necklace that begins by mimicking a checkered linoleum floor but that can be transformed by the wearer into hundreds of configurations, or a bracelet that is both sculpture and bracelet. Check out her shoe accessories after the jump - it’s a great collection of add-ons that dress up the shoes that you already have.
Karma Balls! I am in love with the packaging for these Nike Karma Golf Balls ~ apparently, for the golfers, these are more forgiving on slower swings - they are ” Nike’s softest compression ball designed for added feel and distance.” You can read a review on the balls from 07 over at The Sand Trap… i discovered this fun grassy/cardboardy/vectory packaging over on BeSportier. Larger image on next page!
Ok, so i’ve obsessed about Emil Kozak’s work back in dec 2006 ~ as well as his wallpaper in the last post… but as i continued browsing his site, i remembered what brought me there in the first place ~ i was sent the link to check out his incredible Whale Surfboard collab with Kelly Slater ~ and there is also the amazing tree filled with action that i’d love to see up close someday! Kozak says on the site “Artwork for Kelly Slaters Pro models. Kelly and I came up with the tree-idea. I made the illustrations and Al Merrick at Channel Islands shaped them. Cross your fingers, that he will get his 9â€²th world title this year!”
The Fabulist never leads you wrong… and today she led me to the work of Dan Hiller, who manages to merge the style of old style engravings of tentacles and humans… to create the most mysterious imagery of couples, mother, father, and what looks like alice! These incredible “altered engravings” are available not only in prints and wood… but also engraved on moleskines at Modofly! You can see images of these and more on the next page…
Londoners can pick up his works at The Sunday Upmarket at the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane…
Remember when “toy stores” used to be for kids, then there was that shift of “toy stores” like kidrobot and giant robot… toys for grownups and saved in boxes as collectibles and untouchable toys when that vinyl toy trend kicked in hard? Well, due to some combination that i’m getting old and more of my friends are having babies, or its that time of year, i’m suddenly finding myself shopping for baby gifts more and more lately… and what’s been really fun, is watching these vinyl toys transform back into stuffed toys for our little ones!
We all know that gifts for kids under 3 are really more gifts for their parents, seeing as the kids will barely remember them as they grow up anyhow. So for all the playful parents with a love for vinyl toys, various cheeky, slightly twisted characters, and designs from incredible artists… here’s a little roundup of stuffed toy options which i am considering toys that have come full circle, and are perfect for the babies of parents who loved the originals that inspired them… break down of the toys above on the next page!