Gift Guide time! In addition to the NOTCOT Holiday Coupons and the many Holiday Giveaways that will be unfolding daily… here’s my latest gift guide dedicated to beautiful BOOKS! As much as people claim print is dead ~ it’s so so not, and gorgeous glossy coffee table books, surprising analog interactive kids books, stunning magazines, design books, graphically awesome cookbooks and more are still launching constantly. On the next page, you’ll see a pick of some of my favorites for gifting this season!
Surprise holiday gift arrivals: Jimmyjane’s Little Afterglow Sampler - a beautiful box set of 6 playful minis (that are not so mini!) of their Afterglow massage oil candles. They smell absolutely divine, and come in the prettiest little porcelain containers with perfect pouring spouts. On a side note, does anyone else ever wonder how fun it would be if Jimmyjane went into dinnerware? or vases and votives? It really is so tempting to use these porcelain dishes for dressing on the side or sauces… honey perhaps? Their designs are so subtle yet edgy, and the porcelain is so delicately beautiful in the modern shapes! Ok but back to the unboxing at hand, “this collection provides six enticing scents that explore the essential elements of attraction - WIT, CHARM and KINK. Included Scents: Cucumber Water, Grapefruit, Pink Lotus, Dark Vanilla, Bourbon, Truffle + Gardenia.” And best of all ~ as a gift to encourage experimenting, it even comes with a Experience Guide to help lead you through some of their favorite scent combinations to get you started! Take a peek at all the little design details on the next page!
Black and white? Wood blocks? Golden Ratio? How could i not give in to it? Besides, a gorgeous desk toy to help distract and inspire while i work my way through the fun and craziness that is the upcoming Holiday Gift Guides and Giveaways… perfect! Swiss company, Naef, makes some of the nicest quality wood toys, and they appeal to the beautiful simplicity of geometric shapes to create unthinkably inspiring complexities. Their description of the Naef Tectus? “Impressive architecture This cube is divided several times in adherence to the golden ratio and surrounded by black shapes. During play, these become foundations, walls or roofs and a player the architect. Everything fits into each other harmoniously.”
Ok i keep getting far too distracted constructing buildings across my desk as i attempt to write this post. So go take a look at the unboxing of this gorgeous Naef Tectus on the next page…
The Tegu guy made me a castle! With a draw bridge! Out of magnetic wood blocks! LIVE! That was my silly excitement this morning as they let me put in the first request as Tegu LIVE! went… well, live. These playful magnetic wood building blocks made from sustainable tropical hardwoods in Honduras are inspired by the gorgeous european wood toys… with a magnetic twist. While kids of all ages can make anything they can dream up, to help inspire everyone, Tegu and Poke NY have teamed up to build a non stop live stream of a mysterious man in a tegu lab coat of sorts who will take your requests via Twitter, Facebook, and livestream for things to build. And poof just like that, he builds them for you! And then sadly deconstructs them as quickly as they came to be. Though, i’m told not to worry, since all designs will be archived for future viewing! If you’re curious what they are capable of, go make your request at Tegu LIVE!. They sent me a few cases to play with, and their packaging is awesomely fun as well… so take a peek on the next page for the products, packaging, AND my castle in action!
Lelo INSIGNIA ~ the Swedish brand’s latest line of luxurious pleasure objects launched this week, marked with the triple loop infinity symbol! Taking the pleasure out of the bedroom, they even include a beautiful INSIGNIA Brooch in each gift box, which can easily be worn in plain view, as if part of a secret society, where anyone who responds or reacts to it, you’ll know they too… love… pleasure… and beautiful objects? The symbol also houses the three buttons on each of the objects in the collection (Alia, Isla, and Soraya) and each has a void through the shiny metallic core that you can slip your fingers through to easily grasp them. All are waterproof, powerful, and discreetly quiet, and come in a gift box that looks topographically inspired when the object is removed. See a close up of the design details as i unbox the Soraya on the next page, as well as a peek at the Alia and Isla.
Oooh, more fun pictures just showed up in the inbox! Gabe Brosbe went by to visit my friends at the Mission Workshop in The Mission in San Francisco! (If they sound familiar ~ it may be because this is founded by the original founders of Chrome Bags!) And he’s been test driving one of their Rambler backpacks for a few weeks on his crazy daily 9 mile bike commute (even through the ridiculous rainy season we’re having in cali these days!)… check out his pics on the next page! I love the oil drums in the interiors! Also awesome? A peek at the adorable soles of their collab with DZR on bike clip in shoes…
Remember the Stacks Skateboard decks? And the random idea i fixated on to make a fun swing out of a skateboard? Well when popping by ikea, ran into the $14 Ecorre Swing and couldn’t resist using some of the parts with the skateboard… so on silly little experiments ~ here’s a look at trying it out in the tree!
PORTAL 2 is coming!!! I’m a little excited. The trailer is gorgeous (check it out on the next page), and looks incredibly fun! Valve’s Portal was not only stunning visually, but conceptually innovative (part FPS part puzzle game), gave us “the cake is a lie”, and Still Alive still gets stuck in my head… So, can they do it again? Take it further? We’ll find out soon… but how awesome is the trailer? See the trailer and more pics on the next page!
Retro designs keep coming back lately! And remember the fun fact that Oakley started in 1975 with BIKE GRIPS? Well, their initial product was made of a special material, Unobtainium ~ and this also crossed over into their eventual eyewear lines, but it started first with the B-1B ~ and they’ve brought the design back in an extremely limited edition run, with an updated newer, softer rubber compound - and a 2010 stamp is embossed on the ends of the grips ~ they will be available in 5 colors, here’s a peek at blue and white and the black and grey… and more to come! In fact they even used fun retro inspired packaging! They gifted me a few pairs when i popped by their HQ today ~ and it was such a gorgeous day out, and we were joking around that “B-1B Guidance System” sounded like it could be for missiles… so naturally, had to take some pics of them in front of their huge missile before i left! See closeups of the packaging, the grips, and a peek at vintage models on the next page!
p.s. UPDATE! Check out the super limited edition NOTCOT black and white grips here.
What’s more adorable than gorgeous wood animals? Gorgeous wood animals that are also BOXES! New from Areaware ~ ‘Animal Boxes’ by NY based designer Karl Zahn as part of their Fall 2010 Collection! Love that the eyes double as hinges! See pics of the whole collection on the next page…
Have you been as mesmerized with the Spinning Top Totem in Inception as i have? Separate the object from any meaning the movie may have added to it… and don’t think about the plot frustrations (though the movie was incredibly stunning!)… bottom line, its a gorgeous object! Incredibly iconic ~ and beautiful! (Ok, so in the recent year, i’ve also been a bit spinning top obsessed - see here and here) So in a little random research burst ~ i was surprised (though in retrospect it’s SO obvious) ~ to find so many replica tops popping up on the internet/ebay, that the cast and crew all received special ones, keychains, totem kits, shirts, animated gif icons, and more are all popping up all over… even guesses that future DVD releases may include one… And then of course, there’s also the college humor video mocking the top spinning finale… see it all on the next page!
p.s. So curious who actually designed this… any ideas?
p.p.s. looking at all the images together ~ it looks like the one in the film is the prettiest ~ with a nice sleek, slimmer top and better proportions? ~ all the replicas look… bloated?
Fascinated by this since i saw it on Gizmodo… The INTIMIDATOR PUZZLE PISTOL is is a single shot 45 caliber muzzle loading pistol. Hidden disassembled in a 125 piece puzzle which can be put together to form a 8”x4”x5” brick of a sculpture weighing in at 40 lbs… designed by GarE Maxton. It’s incredible and took him a year to build! See more pictures of the stunning puzzle on the next page, as well as a video of it being taken apart ~ and even seeing it SHOOT!
Some people have ABC Blocks for kids… not Fred. Fred of course has XYZ Blocks… wooden and covered with illustrations by Christian Northeast… with everything from waffles and graffiti to trailers and vinyl to corn dogs and heroes to quicksand and jackalopes… what kid (or creative desk space) doesn’t need these?!?!?! Peek at more pics on the next page…
A fun and original (hopefully inspiring) use of diverse materials and packaging. These playful designs by the talented Troika studio are perfect for gifting! Troika was invited by the Barbican Gallery to create an event to celebrate Ron Arad’s retrospective ‘Ron Arad: Restless’ at the Barbican Art Gallery. Building on Arad’s long standing association with table tennis, Troika created a ping pong tournament with a twist, for which they designed 5 sets of custom bats, more or less playable and inspired by Ron’s classic designs. Amazing pieces forcing you to shift perspectives on the game! See lots of pics of all the fun details on the next page!
Some toys just stop you in your tracks. Like this brand new VP-T Celsius Toy Reactor-88 made for the upcoming Rotobox Ganmettal Celsius Custom Show coming up at the Toy Art Gallery in LA on July 10th, 2010! When i saw the sneek peek over at Vinyl Pulse, couldn’t resist begging for more pictures of this adorable little guy ~ so, if you’re ready, take a look at more details, even a look at his jetpack (ok, it might just be a backpack or the contraption that holds his wings on, though a guy with wings might still be able to use an extra boost) and more on the next page!
p.s. Love seeing the native american art influences in Reactor-88’s work ~ such a fun combination with custom toys!