This year we’re doing gift guides as we feel inspired to round up products we either have or would be extremely tempted to buy or gift. Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping online this year ended up being all about the NOTpuppy, Bucky, and i’ve been learning a ton as we shop through the world and internet to catch up on what awesome dog goodies are out there. While the roundup of rugged toys/brands have been growing here, this Dog Gift Guide is all about fun products we’re loving and wanting for Bucky! And while he is only a 10 week old Lab pup, he’s already getting pretty strong - so for this gift guide, we’re really shopping for the rugged, fun, BIG dog toys that will last… not so much cutesiness, clothes, or things that accessorize your dog like they are an accessory. Ready to dive in to the goodness? Head to the next page!
From kickstarter to my mail box! My Seed Money by Leafcutter Designs just showed up today, and they are even cuter than expected. Lovely attention to detail with the packaging and coin faces. Basically, they had custom pressed paper filled with seeds, then letterpressed and cut out as coins! So you can tip with them, share them with friends, pop them in pots and poof! Plants!
As they describe it, “Seed Money looks like the real thing - pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters - but is far more valuable. Use it to solicit surprise and smiles from friends and strangers alike, and then tuck these paper coins in soil to grow colorful flowers and delicious vegetables. It’s tender for tending! Seed Money is hand-illustrated and letterpress printed in Nebraska on thick custom papers embedded with seeds. Available in rolls for sharing and spreading the wealth, these lightweight, whimsical - and practical - coins will slide easily into a purse or pocket.”
As for what grows from them - Pennies: Mix of wildflowers including Black-Eyed Susan, Spurred Snapdragon, Shirley Poppy, White Tarrow, and Sweet Alyssum. Nickels: Herbs including oregano, dill, parsley, basil, chive, thyme, and sage Dimes: Root crops including carrot, parsnip, and turnip. Quarters: Salad greens including bibb, Black Simpson, Salad Bowl Red, radicchio, and endive. And the special Buffalo Nickels: Bee Balm (aka Lemon Mint).
See all the fun details (including some “special” pennies) on the next page!
We’ve been following and loving the paper craft characters of Shin Tanaka for some time now… So, while at the LA Auto Show, i was delighted to find scattered around the Scion booth were Shin Tanaka DIY Collabos with Scion… fun Paper Shapers of Scion FR-S, iQ, xB, xC, and xD complete with little speaker sneakers, arms, and more. Too adorable to pass up - i just sat and made them all to share with you! Supposedly there is an app available where you can customize, print, and build your own - but i can’t find it in any app store yet (let me know if you have more luck?) See details as well as an animated teaser video on the next page!
Remember when we showed you our first pack of AJ’s Original Toy Boarders? Think little green army men - only skaters? Well he’s back with Toy Boarders Series 2!!! And this time there’s even a girl cruising along… and a filmer with video camera… as well as a Bomber, Front Lipslide, Backside Boardslide, Switch, 50/50m and Tailgrab. For 5$ a pack of 24… these are perfect for stocking stuffers or even decorating cupcakes!Take a peek at everything in the new series on the next page up close!
p.s. This is also a sneak preview of one of the goodies you can win during the annual NOTCOT Holiday Giveaways starting black friday! Stellar line up this year!!!
Phew* what a few days it has been! On Tuesday, we added a new addition to our NOTCOT family - Bucky (short for Buckminster, naturally) the 8 week old black labrador retriever puppy! (My first puppy!) This awesome little guy is a ball of non stop energy, and we’ve been lucky that he’s magically house broken, sleeping through the night, and great with other people, dogs, machines and more… but it also means he learns crazy fast, can get sneaky, and can’t get enough play time sprinting throughout the house and yard when not sleeping or eating! It has also become clear that this little guy is going to get HUGE! And since Shawn has a big, older, 120 pound lab back home in TN - i’ve been getting caught up on what toys will and will not stand up to the hardcore, persistent chewing of a lab in full force…
So we’re starting Bucky off right - and trying to find the most fun, chew-proof toys that will last (besides the usuals we already have at home that he’s loving - tennis balls, hockey sticks, etc) - and aren’t too hard on the eyes (it’s been mind numbing seeing how much terrible stuff there is out there - both in aesthetics and quality!)… On the next page you can see some of the things we’ve bought, as well as some i’m curious about…
P.S. Do you have a dog? What are his/her favorite toys that have been exciting and lasted well?
They’re here!!! For those following on twitter/instagram, you’ve been seeing peeks of NOTlabs turning into a laser cutting puzzle factory… cutting 50 limited edition Chris Yates Studios’ Bafflers in the first CLEAR editions! The first 25 will be kept in “Total Clarity” and the second 25 will be hand painted on both sides for the “First Frost” versions… with his signature hand sprayed paint splatter (only in a translucent and opaque mix this time!) on both sides, each “First Frost” will be truly unique.
If you’re unfamiliar with Chris Yates’ puzzles, the name “Bafflers” makes complete sense as soon as you dump the pieces out and start to try to reassemble. Each and every insane (sometimes multilayer) puzzle is hand cut out of wood on a scroll saw, hand painted, and “made to last generations”… they are truly maddening works of art. (See his traditional creation process here.) Turning these into clear acrylic has in no way made his Bafflers any easier… having accidentally dumped out the clear puzzle while first working on the prototype, it certainly took a bit of time (but not TOO much) to get it back together… and perhaps the most mind twisting part of cutting the batch of 50 has been transferring the cut pieces from the laser bed to the stacks of finished puzzles, and every time they come apart slightly, if a piece flips over, etc., it takes a few to piece them all back together! We’ve cut and inspected each and every puzzle, and are so excited to help Chris bring these “Aperture” limited edition clear Bafflers into the world! Take a peek at more details and a peek at the making of on the next page!
We’ve been tracking shipping container architecture for years now, and it has become more prevalent than ever… you can even get doll house versions now! These Model Container Homes at Module R are such detailed examples of designer modern living down to the art, tvs, plants, furniture and more! See more details on the next page!
On surprise packages that arrived while i was out of town… this amazing box came from Mark Hoppus ~ the play on his last name has created/enhanced his affinity for octopi, naturally having one as his personal logo. There’s not much to say here ~ the goodies pretty much speak for themselves… letterpressed. octopus. in a top hat! thats the coaster… and also some basic octopus logo stickers and a baseball cap. Check out the details on the next page! (Thanks, Mark!)
Adorable! Papafoxtrot Space Fleet! With gorgeous packaging too! Designed for Papafoxtrot by Postlerferguson - “We have selected the 5 most iconic unmanned spacecraft circling the earth and transformed them into Papafoxtrot`s iconic design language which we developed with our series of wooden cargo vessels a year ago. From an interplanetary garbage collection to a future commercial spacebus to Mars these amazing machines are making the world go round day and night. The satellites are made out of maple as well as laser etched stainless steel parts with polished natural wood, matte white and glossy red finish.” Take a peek at Spektr-R, GEOTAIL, Cygnus, Dragon, and ORS-1 on the next page…
Another whimsical find from 100% Design this year were these adorably little, concrete versions of rubber duckies from Gray Concrete. Where some brands might still have stress ball creature swag at their booth, Gray had these little ducklings decorating their stand in a wide range of colors- really bringing concrete to life. It has been interesting to see the trend in concrete coming to a smaller scale and more playful functions… from lots of DIY cement planter molds to jewelry and more. Check out more photos of the concrete duckies on the next page!
It has been amazing to witness the development of the Free Universal Construction Kit that NOTlabs’ own Shawn Sims and our friend Golan Levin created ~ and even more incredible to see the eye opening discussions it has sparked far beyond the interoperability of toy sets, but on patent/IP law, the future of 3D printing, open source physical forms, and much more around the globe… and now it has brought them (and me along with them!) to Linz, Austria for the Ars Electronica Festival, where the project has received the Award of Distinction in Hybrid Art from the Prix Ars Electronica. In addition to the award, Golan will be speaking tomorrow on the opening day of the festival, Shawn will be speaking on Sunday, and for the first time, the Free Universal Construction Kit can be seen in its entirety along with a selection of playful assemblages we created demonstrating various toys playing nicely together at the OK “Offenes Kulturhaus” CyberArts12 Exhibition! (Big thank you to the kind folks at Instructables for their support of the project! They produced the full set of pieces showing at CyberArts12!)
So, we’ve just spent the last day setting up the display for the exhibition ~ and i’m thrilled to give you an early sneak peek before tomorrow’s opening!
If you need a refresher on the project: Toys (specifically Lego, Lincoln Logs, Duplo, Fischertechnik, K’nex, Krinkles, Tinkerytoy, Zome, Zoob, Gears Gears Gears, etc) + 3D printer + Free Universal Construction Kit = MORE ways to play with your toys! And all of the pieces are available for download (open source!) on Thingiverse, which you can either print on your own 3D Printer, or send them to a 3D printing service (like Shapeways!)
First there was the Pictorial Webster’s: A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities By John M. Carrera that is 5-3/4 x 7-1/4 in; 512 pp. Now, there is a mini! The Pictorial Webster’s Pocket Dictionary just arrived in the mail and is a mere 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 in; 208 pp! You could fit nearly 4 of these in the original! It’s quite adorable, and playfully inspirational and pocket/purse/little-kid sized… also tempting to color in. Take a peek at it on the next page!
It’s no secret that Justine and I both grew up Montessori kids and it’s stuck with us. In fact, i’m sure the design aesthetic apparent in so many of the gorgeous, glossy woody learning tools was an early influence on us. I’ll never forget learning my letters and numbers on the sand paper tiles where you run your finger along the sand paper to learn the shapes and how to write them…
Well, Bobby and June George, founders of the Baan Dek Montessori School in Sioux Falls, SD have been actively taking Maria Montessori’s philosophies and principles into the next generation with their beautiful, intuitive Montessorium iPad apps! With Intro to Math, Intro to Letters, Intro to Geography, and Alpha Writer they have been off to an amazing start… and have just released two board books: Letter Work and Number Work. While mainstream tablets haven’t evolved to let you feel textures quite yet… these board books bring back the sand paper letters of my childhood into a new format. On the cover as well as inside the books you can trace the sand paper textured letters and numbers! You learn the sounds and shapes before learning what they are called… and beautiful illustrations by Alyssa Nassner accompany them. Beyond the nostalgia ~ these are definitely going on my go to list of presents for little ones! Take a peek inside the books on the next page!
Home and cleaning through things after the last month of nearly non-stop travel, found this Cartoon Network 20th anniversary poster from SD Comiccon ~ can you believe its been 20 years?!?!?! And even crazier ~ can you find all the characters in the poster? Larger view of the poster and the check list on the next page!