HAPPY THANKSGIVING! To kick off the holiday shopping season, before we even launch into Gift Guides, and just as Giveaways have started to kick in… today seems like the perfect day to share some generous coupons from our friends to help with your shopping! Afterall, between all the family and thanksgiving madness, it seems like the perfect time to figure out some of the perfect gifts for each every loved one. So, shall we? Go see all the deals on the next page from lots of NOTCOT favorites!
Blackbox Case has just launched! Beautiful wooden Macbook Pro cases hand made in Colorado and just sent over an awesome email with some great pics! Weighing in at a mere 1.5 pounds, its pretty light, AND apparently hard to crush… but most intriguing of all are the stunning details you have to see up close on the next page! Each is hand numbered, comes with a typographically stunning card welcoming you to their family by their Chief Dreamer! Each case is hand oiled with high end Tung oil finish that takes four days to complete. “It just feels velvety smooth.” Each case is precision cut, hand sanded, hand rubbed, and personally inspected throughout the crafting process. “Your case starts as two pieces of hardwood that are milled on our CNC machine. This means that your computer will fit in your case perfectly. Not tight. Not loose. Just right every time.” Stunning, right? Sadly only available for macbook pros right now, i could really use one for my air!
Here’s an excerpt from the email i received:
Why the name Blackbox?
~Because I am a flight instructor in my spare time and it will keep your computer safe like the infamous blackbox in an airplane.
Who the heck are you? Do you really make these?
~Yep. We’re serious. We have engineers, woodworkers, and artists handcrafting these full-time. We’re making these with love in Golden, Colorado.
What’s with the branding-iron-logo?
~I’m from a small cow town in Eastern Colorado, so I thought it was fitting. That and it just looks sexy.
Can it really survive being dropped from an airplane 20,000 ft. in the air?
~I’m pretty sure it couldn’t but I can’t wait to try.
What computers does it fit?
~It is designed to fit a 15 in. and 13 in. MacBook Pro. You could try shaving the sides off that old PC laptop, but I don’t think that’s gonna work.
Take a peek at more details of the new Blackbox Case on the next page!
P.S. Use code “givethanks” will get $20 off at Blackbox Case.
UPDATE: Congrats to Benji in Chicago, IL and Larry in Rockville, MD
So for our first NOTCOT Holiday Giveaway of 2010 ~ i’m excited to announce that we’re the first to share this new Jungle themed Tegu set to the world! It’s the latest to join their Natural, Mahogany, and Tints sets… a mix of the greens in the Tints as well as both woods! Our friends from Tegu are giving two lucky readers: A bundle of the new Jungle 52 Piece Set, the Mahogany 26 piece set, and two Mini Felt Travel Totes!
For a chance to win leave a comment by midnight on Nov 28th (PST) ~ sharing what the first thing you’d build would be to make use of these awesome magnetic woody blocks!
And don’t forget ~ there is always Tegu Live! If you can’t think of ideas, or need some inspiration, you can hop online and tweet/message their master builder who will build whatever you wish LIVE! (Psssst, they did something super special to announce the jungle set - dedicated to us! with music! See the video!) … and take a peek at some of their Jungle colored creations on the next page!
Mesmerizing isn’t it? The most amazing things come through from the CIA - just discovered this in my email from their newsletter! The beauty and simplicity of these gifs are sucking me in tonight. So so beautiful, and Richard Wilkinson basically captures his work flow in photoshop - saving them into high res animated gifs you can view on his blog! It’s as if you’re watching the image paint itself… yes, it’s nearly 3am, and you’ll see why i’ve gone quiet the last few days as i’ve been obsessively working on the giveaways and gift guides launching this week… but for now… aren’t these incredible? These beautiful illustrations were for a 5 page spread for The Telegraph Magazine’s ‘Luxury’ supplement. See a few more of my favorites and a peek at the spread on the next page…
This post is sponsored by American Express - content is mine, they are enabling me to ramble on small biz today!
Happy almost small business day!!! It’s coming - this saturday! November 27th! Loving the idea of this new “holiday” to celebrate the small business in our lives, especially around the holidays! On small businesses, isn’t it amazing how nearly anyone can be (or is!) a small business? With a dash of internet mixed with amazing platforms and services, from blogs to etsy to kickstarter to kiva to ebay, it has never been easier to pop up a new business… Small Business day is an amazing idea to help nurture those who are starting up businesses, and for the big ones to look back and remember where they came from… after all, you certainly can’t become a BIG business without first starting small…
So, how will we be celebrating? Well, it’s time for our annual NOTCOT Gift Guides and Giveaways to launch! Holidays have always been one of my favorite times to help support the amazing designers and small businesses we celebrate year round on NOTCOT ~ as well a chance to give back to all of you amazing readers! This is the time we invite some of our favorite small businesses/brands to donate giveaways/discounts for readers ~ giving them an extra chance to show off their awesomeness, and provide a mind blowing collection of gifts for you! This year we have 30 amazing giveaways starting later today and unfolding daily throughout the season. Coupled with our gift guides and our page of exclusive coupons ~ we hope you’ll have no problem supporting small businesses for Small Business Saturday with us along with American Express!
American Express is presenting Small Business Saturday, November 27. They’re offering statement credits to people who shop at small businesses, advertising for small-business owners, and donations to Girls Inc. for “Likes” of the Facebook page. Join the celebration by clicking the “Like” button below and visiting the Small Business Saturday page to learn more about the program and read the terms and conditions that apply.
So are you ready? Personally, as a fellow small business, i can’t wait!
Virtual museums, grand spiraling staircases and paper weaponry are only a few highlights of this week’s NOTCOT.org roundup. To find out more about each post, click on its image.
This is a sponsored post from our friends at Currency℠ a service from American Express! A new site focused on helping you make smart decisions when it comes to money ~ and NOTCOT even has a column there showcasing some of our favorite products that are worth every penny!
Finances as a Work of Art? Sort of… Thanks to Unique American Express Site
Navigating your finances these days can be like trying to understand a piece of contemporary art. Although it’s hard to make sense of it at first, it’s really not all that complex once you break it down. The Currency℠ site from American Express helps do just that with resources dedicated to helping young adults simplify their money matters, plan for the future, and take control of their financial lives.
To get a good sense of all the site has to offer, start with the Currency 101 blog that provides an overview of the site’s offerings. The “Spending” section is all about making your money work for you. “Planning & Savings” helps prepare you for your future—managing your finances a year from now, or starting to put money away for retirement. “Big Decisions” helps prepare you financially for life’s milestones. Surf around and score financial strategies on all parts of your life: saving up to get a pet, cheap ideas for going out, how to negotiate your lease, how to handle student loan payments.
Beyond reading the Currency℠ site’s articles and blog posts, users can take advantage of some cool interactive content as well. There’s Currency Coursework, which brings the classroom to you, educating users about personal finance topics with guidance from Knowledge@Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Log in and learn—and there won’t be any midterms.
And for iPhone users, the Social Currency app, powered by Foursquare, lets you check in and share your purchasing experiences and deals with your friends, while racking up points and earning badges.
Head to GetCurrency.com, and get socially and sensibly savvy with your money.
Justine just flew over to LA from London ~ and sadly the upside to terrible turbulence turned out to be amazing clouds! The type that look like a world of their own hovering above ours, as i cleaned up the pics, i couldn’t help looking for care bears in cloud cars. Then again, in the last pic, you will see the bizarre object she looked up to see flying by… turns out it was another plane! But the most fascinating part about this flight was seeing all the ice! And the fractal like patterns and twists and turns of the roads jumping out so crisply… not to mention watching the layers of clouds making incredible shadows on the ice! Take a peek at it all on the next page!
Who doesn’t love a perfectly glimmering glass bottle? Somewhere between a studded crystal bottle and a discoball lies this Absolut Glimmer limited edition bottle ~ this comes following the Absolut Disco, Absolut Masquerade and Absolut Rock Edition of the previous holiday seasons. i must say, it feels even better in person than you’d expect ~ and i love that this design is the actual glass forming the texture, not something overlayed on their classic bottle! They threw a launch dinner for the bottle in NYC, which the lovely Sean and Anna of Sub-Studio attended for us! And of course the event was all sparkles as well ~ from the chandeliers and candles lighting the bottles to the glittering skyline views across the Hudson River from the Chelsea Art Towers. Beautifully ornate plexiglass tree-like chandelier of Absolut Glimmer bottles constructed behind the bar ~ Simon Ford mixing deliciously complex cocktails! With edible flower garnishes, 8-10 ingredients and more… and to end the night, Cee-Lo performed… on a sparkly floor! So take a peek at their adventures, as well as some of my close up pics playing with the bottle that was waiting for me when i got home from the round the world adventures!
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…
Satisfy your wanderlust with a peek at NOTCOT’s latest addition, NotVentures. To find out more about your next escape, click on the individual images.
Leave it to a Louis Vuitton case, a beautifully sleek sculpture… and a retro modern manta ray meets metropolis feeling beauty of a concept i couldn’t stop staring at during the LA Auto Show. Though it debuted in Geneva in 09, there is something so striking about it in person i couldn’t resist. The Infiniti Essence Concept! “Celebrating 20 years as a creator of performance luxury vehicles, Infiniti introduces a vision crafted to embody our core values and inspire future design: the Infiniti Essence. This dramatic styling, technology and performance statement is a 592-hp gasoline/electric hybrid coupe defined by exterior lines sculpted to express fluidity and speed. Destined to influence production models of the future, the Infiniti Essence vividly captures the balance between grace and power, and the unrestrained possibility of Inspired Performance.” What IS new however is this 300 piece, limited-edition, solid resin, Infiniti Essence model which costs $300, and it can be ordered with a Louis Vuitton carrying case, available at Infiniti Lifestyle. For now see more pics of the case, sculpture, and concept car on the next page.
It’s inevitably become car week here at NOTCOT, between global adventures with Mercedes-Benz ~ spending today at the LA Auto Show Press Events… and more! So while i was watching the unveiling of CLS 63 AMG and the Diavel, Linhchi hopped over to Volkswagen at the Audi design center right by the Santa Monica Airport. In addition to celebrating their 20th anniversary in California, there was a sneak peak of the new 2012 Volkswagen Eos.
The president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Jonathan Browning, emphasized that VW is all about a balance of style/fun and function, a perfect fit for California. The new convertible Eos that was unveiled is currently the only hardtop convertible with a built-in sunroof. I guess it’s perfect for those moments when it’s too cold out to have the top down, but you still want to enjoy the SoCal sun? Check out pics from the event on the next page, from a VW car on the wall to dogs being carried to Gossip Girl cameos…