Undergrowth Design “Wash Away All Sins” Soap Dispenser ~ designer Tina Tsang describes it as “Angled for a perfect scrub to cleanse away all your naughty secrets! Resembling a ‘foaming’ bar of soap sinking into the sink top, the ‘Wash Away All Sins’ Soap Dispenser is hand-made in England with ceramic earthenware. On the reverse side, a definition of ‘clean’ to remind user of new state of ‘cleanliness’, innocent of all their little sins.”
Joby Gorilla Mobile for iPhone 3G/S ~ perfect for those who want the versatility of both a simple black matte/rubbery case and the ability to mount their phone just about anywhere for any reason… whether that is on the steering wheel of your car (look! handsfree!), the handlebars of your bike, wrapped around a pole, or perched on the table as a tripod… or in my case, i wrapped it around the nearby bottle of scotch as a tripod. As you can see on the next page, the packaging for this one got far more apple styled with the matte white box ~ and i do love that the signature ball jointed gorillapod legs are ALL black this time! Take a peek at all the details on the next page…
Some packages just leave you speechless. You sit. You stare. You open it. You poke at it. You close it. You stare a bit more. This was one of those packages. Veuve Clicquot sent over one of their 1200 limited edition stingray skin Yellowboams (there are 3600 in the edition, 1200 each of ostrich, alligator, and stingray) ~ yes, a 3L (4 bottle equiv) bottle of Yellow Label Champagne… in a stunning handcrafted metallic lacquered wood box (with adorable little round hinges and magnetic closure) ~ with a stand for the monstrously large bottle… and the bottle itself has a yellow label made from ostrich, alligator, or galuchat, sealed with 22.4 ct gold and a 24 ct plated muzzle engraved with Mme. Clicquot’s signature. A little over the top, in a completely surreal, “how is this enormous bottle sitting on my counter right now, and how amazing is this paint job?” sort of way. Next question of course was, “How will we ever pour this? Or chill it? And who will have to come help drink it?”
So take a peek at more pictures on the next page ~ once you get past the extravagance, it’s really one of the sweetest most unexpected gifts to arrive, so, thank you, Veuve Clicquot. And don’t worry i will certainly document it when i open it… i’m terribly curious what is under that golden muzzle… and the adorable notebook that was included mentions that you can send in the leather label to have it turned into a card holder… intriguing…
This launched me into that hunt for the names of various bottle sizes, so for those curious: Magnum = 2 bottles, Jeroboam = 4 bottles, Rehoboam = 6 bottles, Methuselah = 8 bottles, Salmanazar = 12 bottles, Balthazar= 16 bottles, Nubchadnezzar = 20 bottles. And most are named after BC kings… and “A useful mnemonic for these big bottle sizes is: My Judy Really Makes Splendid Belching Noises” says Champagne Magic.
Inspiration comes in so many forms, and can feel so good in your hand… like these solid graphite pencils from the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. The weight is SO nice! And then combine it with great colors from your usual graphite options to gold, silver, and purple!!! And on top of that, add great quotes from some fun and inspiring artists… does it get more NOTCOT than this Warhol quote? “I never read, i just look at the pictures.” ~ Well that just about sums up how i feel about why i needed NOTCOT.org in my life, sometimes we just need pictures to float through us to interpret as we wish…
Max Ernst: All good ideas arrive by chance
Marc Chagall: Great art picks up where nature ends.
Robert Rauschenberg: “Now” is my competition.
Robert Rauschenberg: A canvas is never empty.
Pablo Picasso: Everything you can imagine is real.
Diane Arbus: Nothing is ever the same as they said it was..
Salvador Dali: I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.
Salvador Dalí: Have no fear of perfection - you’ll never reach it.
Luckily the Moderna Museet has a webshop too! See more pics on the next page as usual…
These Vacu Vin Party People Glass Markers were first as NOTCOT.org #20816 ~ and when i ran into them in Stockholm, they were even cuter in person! So i had to buy some to play with! They are so adorably tiny with their little suction cups and fun packaging! So next time, instead of sharpie markers to a solo cup, or wine tags, or stickers, here’s a new option! Let your guests pick which adorable little gummy looking character they want to channel… they all even have names! (see pics on the next page!)
And thus begins the posts from the all the Swedish shopping i couldn’t resist that led to an inevitable Rimowa purchase… It was really quite bizarre trying to explain to the US immigration fellow what i did and why i was declaring things like toys, a watering can, a bird feeder, a suitcase and more randomness on my customs form… somehow all of this leads to him telling me about how he’s retiring soon and looking to redecorate his house and chatting about products (with a huge line waiting behind me! Oh! The guilt!)
So firstly, the watering can i found at my favorite, Design Torget. I was smitten. So simple. So iconic. So multipurpose. (Come on, get creative… imagine serving drinks from it? crazy cocktail serving contraption for shots straight into your mouth?) Part of the Born in Sweden collection, this is the Watering Can designed by Pascal Charmolu. It was apparently a nominee for the Årets Sak Design Award 2008. A simple stainless steel cylinder with a rubber hose attached to the bottom… and a magnet holds the hose to the cylinder to stop the flow… and simply playing with gravity you can adjust the water flow and strength… It’s so fun! And can also make for a gorgeous vase as it sits on the shelf… Of course i bought the vibrant red. See more pics of the details and awesome packaging on the next page!
how awesome is the silhouette of the watering can?
Half awake in the airport lounge at Arlanda ~ going through pictures, and since i’m not over it yet… more chandeliers that grabbed my attention at the Grand Hotel, Stockholm (that became my home for the last 4 nights!). According to their website (and everyone i encountered in Stockholm), it is “Scandinavia’s leading hotel and much appreciated meeting place. The hotel opened in 1874 and has a long and fascinating history.” And it truly is quite the opposite in style of the Lydmar Hotel next door which i adored. Part of what made this trip so fun was the stark contrast between the two! I must admit they took incredibly good care of me, had lightning fast wifi, and all the rooms (peeked into a few others!) were quite unique ~ but all with a consistently luxurious historical atmosphere… so on my last night when i ran out in hope to get some pictures of the black cube, i also got distracted by some of the crazy abs on the men holding up the building, the amazing glow of the building itself, and the chandeliers i couldn’t believe i’d missed as we rushed between events! Can you believe it was dark out when these were all taken? That image above still blows my mind when i stare at it and realize the sun had fully gone down by then… see more on the next page!
Biggest tease was that the full spa and pool are opening in 10 days!
Absolut Icebar!!! I’ve always been curious, i’m still dying to visit the Ice Hotel some day ~ and ironically, this little excursion wasn’t even part of the official Absolut event/weekend. Apparently the Icebar changes its design twice a year, and it happened to be closed Oct 26 to Nov 1, so today was the first day it reopened, but, just barely! (Opening party is tomorrow night!) Luckily, i was able to stay an extra day, and they managed to get us in today. So here is a first look at the latest ~ “Factory” designed by Sofi Ruotsalainen and Nille Nilsson. Along with the completely new space, there is also a brand new menu! It’s quite amazing, you enter through the little store passageway where you see racks of ponchos with gloves clipped on… then into the airlock… and into the ice bar! Within the ice bar (which is literally wall to wall ice) there are ice sculptures, an ice display (looking like an upright arcade game), the bar and more… the giant red “Don’t Push” button - is totally ok to push. As long as you’re cool with the light flashing! (So fun!) Also playful are some of the Icebar goods ~ you can buy a replica glass (that won’t melt!), a puffy jacket of a laptop sleeve, matches, and other silliness… This is one of three Absolut Icebars ~ the first was in the Ice Hotel, this one is in the Nordic Sea Hotel and is open year round, as is the one in Below Zero London. See all the fun on the next page, as cold as my fingers got, i couldn’t help taking a bunch of pics, and they even let me take pics from behind the bar!
While i seldom do party pics, i’m fascinated by Absolut and the way they brand experiences so nicely… This was their big 30th Anniversary Party for the Art Collection… and the lighting in the giant black cube they constructed for the party next to the Lydmar Hotel was this ominous mysterious structure that popped up while we were staying there, and they wouldn’t let us peek in until the event itself… so once in there with such cool lighting and visualizations and bands/djs playing… the pictures of the bar, the bottles and glasses, the scene, and the straws even! I just had to share! The colors came out so beautifully!
Also ~ i ran out tonight (day after the party) but was a bit too late to get black cube pics, however did get some very cool mid-deconstruction pics! If you see the pics on the next page, just imagine that covered in black…
Sometimes you desperately run around the city all evening, desperately hunting for an open restaurant after having two drinks at the ice bar for “breakfast”, almost genuinely considering buying 7-11 food, tweet for help, call for suggestions, and almost everything that comes up is closed… then you stumble upon the adorable red cozy outdoor section of Grodan, and peek into a stunningly ornate dining room that smells delicious… and there it is. Froggies! Everywhere! On the menu… embroidered on the napkins, on the door - a simple red silhouette of a frog! (Yes, i now know Groda means Frog in swedish)… but the most intriguing instance of this little red frog i encountered was as i sipped my water… there it was on the bottom of my glass! And it looked so fun with its reflection and prismatic colors projected on the table… I had to share… and i’m so tempted to make mini vinyl stickers to apply to the bottom of my glasses to surprise people when i get home… see more of the pics on the next page!
As you’ve seen, i love the Lydmar Hotel ~ i’m so happy i had a chance to stay there before it got completely transformed into an Absolut Art Collection haven the day after, so i could appreciate the contrast to what the space was normally like. (Not too much changed, just some rearranging and art hanging… i suppose it was too easy for Absolut when the starting space was such a nice fit already!) While i’m sure you’re familiar with many of these collaborations between Absolut and Sylvie Fleury, Dan Wolgers, David Shrigley, Douglas Gordon, and Hung Tung-Lu… what is really worth seeing is how the Absolut installations really work with the space, particularly in the suite! (The shadows are stunning! and the four poster bed? with the deceptively provocative duvet? I desperately want one now… you’ll see what i mean…) So take a peek on the next page to take it all in… quick video to show you how the lenticular piece of Hung Tung-Lu felt in person as well…
You guys are AMAZING, today particularly @chakrapenny who shared the designers of the naughty bedspread within 15 minutes of my call for help! So if you’re interested, check out K-Lou’s Erotic “Toile de joui” Collection.
So much i want to share with you from the last week or so, and as usual having trouble catching up ~ sensory overload! Inspiration OD? So i’m just going through pictures and will share pieces with you as they get me all giddy again. Firstly, being invited out to Sweden for the Absolut Art Collection celebration is a dream come true on so many levels ~ Absolut Ads were one of my earliest obsessions of where advertising met art, the ads were on my walls, i had the books and museum/art collection cds (totally need to find that when i get home), postcards in my notebooks, i probably even discovered a few artists through them (imagine 10 year old me?)… and over the years i’ve definitely grown up following the art they’ve enabled in so many mediums as i’ve also progressed further into the tech/art/ux/online/new media worlds… It’s incredible that this weekend was celebrating 30 years of Absolut’s creative collaborations! And the talks with their global marketing heads about the history and philosophies of the brand as well as the panel discussion with artists who have worked with them in the past on “Commissioned Art - Career boost or selling out?” was inspiring and thought-provoking for sure… but before we even delve into all of that… you know i fixate on the visual… and i had to show you the brilliantly simple portable/modular panel set up they popped up inside the Lydmar Hotel Restaurant!
Basically it is a series of two layered panels ~ lots of hinges… striped, in the front, had openings to expose the pink layer behind and also served as a frame for the flat panel TV behind. The A shaped stools were close didn’t perfectly match the Absolut A, but the designer did say that it could be said it was inspired by the Absolut A (with a wink). Also adorable was that the stools also apparently make great little tables while the Absolut team had lunch perched on the audience set up of a rainbow of Starck’s Kartell Ghost chairs… Apologies for being too mesmerized and immersed in conversation to take pics while they were taking it down, but it was impressive how quickly they collapsed it all before dinner! Take a closer peek at the set up on the next page…
aren’t the A’s a little sesame street? I kept thinking, and today is sponsored by the letter A! (and A is for Absolut?)
Brio Network Collection ~ first time seeing it in person, i just noticed it in a tiny kids play cubby hole in Magasin 3 in Stockholm! Between the lovely space and works i totally got sucked into photographing these very well played with and possibly chewed on little woody guys reenacting how computers work… from emails to viruses and search and more! If you recall, i’ve written about Series 1 here and here in the past… but this is the first look at them up close, now i’m so tempted to try to track down the full set!
for americans, i found a few at Amazon: Brio Network Toys!
We could all use some “Mental Togetherness” ~ lovely sculpture by Truls Melin outside of Swedish art space Magasin 3 (A philanthropic activity by Swedish investors, Proventus - also investors of Brio, Artek, o2, Tom Dixon). Whether this sculpture is about chasing the pipe dream or creating that continuous flow between us or visualizing the paths we take… i leave that to your interpretation… all i know is that as tempting as it seems, you can not climb on it… but it is fascinating to wander into… see more pics of it on the next page!
Tattoo Socks! Tel Aviv designer, Gaby, makes tattoo socks which first turned up as NotCouture #5165 in its octopus incarnation (which i love!), but when i looked at the rest of her designs, the Twitter referencing “Follow Me” with birdie needed more sharing… taking twitter back out from digital to real world to really play with the idea of following… sure, people do tshirts and necklaces, but come on… its more likely a guy will literally follow you to ask you for your twitter handle as you saunter past in a short tight black dress and these sheer knee high tattoo socks… although i do wonder, would it be better to custom print your twitter handle on the other leg? Let people physically follow you and then start digitally following you without even really meeting in person face to face? Much food for thought, so many possibilities, definitely a cute idea… see more pics on the next page!