Sandy Vohr has been making the most adorable luscious little leather bean bag creatures for the last 30 years. In fact i think i even received one of her beautiful little leather frogs as a paperweight as a kid! The site even says, “The animals are made from cowhide and deerskin, and filled with various combinations of fiberfil and beadlike materials.” When i spotted the Bunny Bookends at Barneys, i got nostalgic and ended up looking up Sandy’s site… where i discovered so many new adorable leather creatures ~ from moose to dragons, robots to octopi! See some of my favorites on the next page! Looks like she’ll even do customs!
A selection of the latest posts over at notcouture include some gorgeous dresses and shoes, as well as stunning accessories. Click on the images to find out more.
Swinging us back towards man made design (vs the little nature sidetrack of posts!) ~ here’s a sneak peek at something i wish i had on this trip!!! While at Oakley HQ ~ i got a quick lesson on military gear ~ and really amazing to hear some of the design/user experience stories. I also had no idea quite how much military gear Oakley made (they’ve been in partnership with the US Armed Forces since the 80s)… also this is where many of their most innovative patents arise! (If you’re curious, apparently Shot Show is the place to go keep up on it all in person ~ and to browse online check out - US Standard Issue - Oakley’s Military & Gov’t Sales site.) Incredibly ergonomic, thoughtful design ~ and some smart fun details/research that luckily creep over into their retail lines as well!
My favorite discovery was the MultiCam pattern LSA (Land Sea Air) Boot ~ ridiculously lightweight, dries nearly instantly (drainage mesh in the soles), super grip soles, and even fits into fins… drop in from the air into the sea, swim up to shore, and you’re already dry and good to go. Well, your feet anyhow. Now adapt that to civilian design, and it becomes a stunning black/grey super water shoe with a design that is oh so oakley, and far more fun than other water shoes on the market! Bring the height up a bit, and i’d give up my dive booties for it! I’m wishing i had these right now for running around in the low tide over all the coral shrapnel! The LSA Boot wont be available for military until later 2010… and this civilian super water shoe is merely a prototype… but let’s keep our fingers crossed that it makes it in to production! See more shots of it all on the next page!
Just finished my last dive of the trip ~ and this whole trip has definitely reinvigorated my childhood love of nudibranchs and frogfish! Frogfish have the coolest elbows ~ and the way they walk… and eat (with their signature anglerfish family style lure!)… and the variations they come in! (So fascinating, saw about a half dozen color variations this week! And soooo many nudibranchs i haven’t seen before too. So in this last installment of fun creatures from the Lebeh Strait ~ check out frogfish, nudibranchs, and more (including a super tiny baby lion fish!) on the next page!
Octopus obsession is only growing more with each one i encounter! Two today so far! One good sized amazing Wonderpus octopus (Wunderpus photogenicus) on a dive (they are pretty rare and only found here in bali/sulawesi! Only recently named/officially discovered)… and then during lunch we spotted another octopus hiding a few feet from us in the low tide! So waded out to it with a camera and it was so tame and incredibly docile… i even pet it! So lots of fun pics of both the octopus and wonderpus on the next page!
UPDATE: We’re now pretty certain that the other octopus is a Mimic Octopus, Thaumoctopus mimicus ~ which was only officially discovered in 1998 in sulawesi. It is the one that the Wonderpus is commonly mistaken for… and it mimics everything from flounders and eels to lion fish and sea snakes… and ours impressively becomes one with the rock as well as the sand… see an amazing video i found about them on the next page!
On visual inspiration, there is something about the overwhelming sense of calm serenity with nothing but the sound of your own bubbles and the occasional boats overhead… as you just swim about watching the most incredible and mind blowing creatures going about their daily lives all around you… so, on “vacation pictures” ~ here are some of the many (there are hundreds of photos, here’s just a selection of fun ones!) creatures i’ve been encountering diving the Lembeh Strait of Indonesia this week (hiding out at Kungkungan Bay Resort)… and besides the diving creatures, you also get a peek at the large crab i ran into, and the impressive Tuna statue in the center of Bitung (tuna capital of indonesia?)… see it all on the next page!
p.s. and on design inspiration ~ it sounds silly, but i’ve totally been dreaming up redesigns, proposal ideas, and more while watching the creatures under the sea… also photo credits go to my dad who’s the photographer (i’ve been tasked more with helping find things in our team!)
A selection of this week’s posts over at NOTCOT.ORG, capturing a bit of the adorable, stylish, playful and bizarre. Click on the images to find out more.
I’m having one of those, sensory overload, exhausted yet giddy moments… sometimes we all need to step pretty far out of our daily lives to simultaneously reset, reflect, and find inspiration in the unexpected. For the next 5 days, i’m hiding out in the Lembeh Strait of Sulawesi, Indonesia… and they have awesome wifi, so when i’m not drop dead tired or diving exploring all the creatures around… the regularly scheduled content may be coming on vacation with me! So today was a morning flight to Manado from Singapore, followed by a 1.5 hour van ride through Bitung out to the dive spot, and now i’m curled up in my adorable cottage at Kungkungan Bay Resort. Certainly quite the contrast to the design overload i’m looking forward to in Milan in a few weeks! Although i thought about crashing after the day of travel, when i stared out at the possibly full moon with the intense clouds over the ocean… i couldn’t help taking a few pics, and i’m so in love with the view, i had to share them with you before i got some sleep! Isn’t it amazing how the palm trees and clouds look in the moonlight? See a few more pics of the night… some of the view on the flight in… and another random pic or too…
Also discovered hidden in the same glass cabinet with the illustrated cocktail glassware… this hand blown glass dutch bull filled with Fortune Teller Gold Liqueur, complete with a cigar band like label! Something about it’s face reminds me of Mumin… and at first it looked like it might be a pipe! Having fun this weekend finding creative inspiration from the curiosities picked up during my grandparents jetsetting back in the day… see more details on the next page!
Currently in Singapore, taking care of a few family matters ~ so i’m supposed to be semi-on-vacation, but that never works so well! Something or other always seems to get me too excited not to share with you! While taking a peek at some of my grandparents treasures, i came across these awesome sets of vintage glasses ~ two sets, each with 6 little glasses and 1 larger tumbler… and they have the cutest illustrations and classic cocktail recipes on them! With men in top hats wearing sandwich boards, you can see the recipes for Stingers, Manhattans, Sidecars, Whiskey Sours, Martinis, and Daquiris! Take a peek at the close ups of the illustrations and recipes on the next page!
The latest droolworthy drinks over at liqurious. Click on the images to find out more about each drink.
Let me just start by saying that I’m fully aware how ironic it is that I, with my amateur photo skills, was sent to cover this exhibition of absolutely gorgeous photography by National Geographic at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City. But when Jean couldn’t make it to the preview and asked if I’d be interested, I was happy to fill in for her. I hadn’t been to the Annenberg Space for Photography either, so it was a good opportunity to check it out.
I got a sneak peek of “Water: Our Thirsty World” which presents images from National Geographic photographers examining the importance of earth’s fresh water resources, and the dangers we face if we don’t work to preserve them. This exhibition coincides with the release of the magazine’s April 2010 “Water” issue. More pics and info on the next page!
Net-A-Porter “just for you” emails are dangerous in the morning… my mom’s old Burberry crepe trench has been a lightweight travel friendly MUST PACK for nearly every trip, after all you never know what type of weather the world will throw at you these days… And then here comes the Burberry Crepe biker-style trench to my inbox, and it’s so tempting (and sold out in my size!) ~ a lovely combination of sleek classic simple trench dressed up with a few fun silver zips and motorcycle jacket details. Love the collar! And it has black and white lining… See more details on the next page…
Heading off to Milan tomorrow… well… via a few weeks in asia and a quick stop in Stuttgart… but i’ll be in Milan April 8-19!!! And i can’t be giddier. It’s hard to believe the last time i was in Milan was when i was living there for a little over a year doing grad school… all pre-NOTCOT (the sites, the name was used on lots of random stuff for years before!)… so FINALLY, making it back for the salone, and to go see some of the old spots… but, that being said, its been 5 years!
SO! If you’re in Milan, or have some awesome recommendations, i’d love any ideas on what not to miss ~ people to meet up with ~ events at the Salone to check out ~ and more!
p.s. that image above? i found my old huge map of Italy… i totally forgot i used to highlight all the cities and towns i’d visited… so many left to see! Maybe if there’s time i ought to pop out and explore a bit more too!
On one of my latest shopping wanderings, i stumbled upon MOR Cosmetics out of australia, and am absolutely taken by their packaging (products seem fabulous too, but haven’t had a chance to play with them much). Awesome story of how a talented visual merchandiser and industrial/interior designer team up to create a stunningly beautiful line of soaps, scents, cosmetics, and more. The lip glosses are presented in fun pyramids, making for a beautiful stocking stuffer or gift add on… the lip balm tins are SO pretty in their ornate oval tins… and the gift tins even more so, and they are a great size to reuse around the house. Of them all, the Little Luxuries collection is definitely making my “perfect random gifts” list! See lots of pics of my favorites of their packaging on the next page…