On a quick look at Stockholm shopping before Absolut madness kicks in… turned a corner, saw this brightly lit store of enticing colorfulness… realized it was Brio! And proceeded to let my inner 5 year old out ~ i don’t think i’ve ever had the chance to see all of their toys in one place (we certainly only get bits and pieces of the collections in the US lately) ~ and i had no idea they had so many amazing strollers and high chairs too! Unfortunately i didn’t have my proper camera (was in shopping mode!) but did snap a bunch of cell phone pics to share with you on the next page… the walrus is just adorable… the flying bunnies are hilarious… the fake cellphones cute too (but we all know kids know better and never stand for the imitation phones when they can grab at your fully functioning one!)… and yes that pez dispenser looking walrus is totally in a hoodie (and the hood can be pulled back!)… so take a peek at some cell phone pics from the Stockholm Brio store of the Brio “My Very First” collection…
I know. I go rather quiet for a few days as i travel far too much the last few months, still not sure what day or time zone i’m in most of the time, but one thing i’m sure of… it’s 5:30 am and i should be sleeping, but i’m staring at such an awesome bathroom here in the Lydmar Hotel, i just had to share it with you before i go sleep. The slate tiles floor to ceiling… the incredible lighting… the way the fixtures all seem to float… the contrast in textures… the hardcore thick grey blinds… I suppose the part that i’m smitten with most is the inset mirror that then doubles as a shelf, as well as a beautifully lit frame (only lit by two strips of light along the sides), and everything on the shelf looks so dramatic! So take a look at more details… including the packaging of their Byredo Parfums Tailor’s Cotton line of toiletries…
you also have to see the room key… it looks like a car key… and they all have different keychains!
So since that top picture is what i am literally lying in bed staring at as i write this post (yes, i went to paris/versailles for barely 24 hours, and am now in stockholm)… and since it’s already 4:30am, and i’m kind of on a chandelier high (they are kind of mesmerizingly stunning, and at the moment, i just feel drawn to standing directly under them and looking up)… figured i’d show you the crazy contrast between chandeliers from Versailles and the various more modern chandeliers here at the Lydmar Hotel in Stockholm. More to come on the Lydmar soon, but it has definitely jumped up on my list of favorites quickly ~ there’s something so nice about their eclectic mix of modern and woody and i’m completely smitten by the bathroom, particularly the lighting! But first… go see the rest of the modern chandelier mandala pics on the next page!
There’s something so magical about being able to wander around the Chateau de Versailles after dark in black tie garb with only a handful of people around… and free flowing Dom Perignon. Actually, there’s something so magical about Versailles at any time, but this was particularly surreal… and while there, i think i’ve discovered a new obsession. Chandeliers. From directly below! Particularly with mesmerizingly mind bending shadows and/or ridiculously opulent and stunning ceilings… and yes, there was a point where i became that girl who handed off her glass of Dom to lay on the floor in the middle of an empty room in my dress, louboutins, and clutching my massive camera to see just how much ceiling my wide angle could ingest from directly below the center of the chandelier. It’s a bit dizzying at times shooting straight up and getting lost in the concentric circles ~ but it’s such a fun perspective… Ami from Cool Hunting is calling them our ‘chandelier mandalas’ (and huge thanks for Ami for resisting iphone-pic-ing me while i was laying there on the floor!)… so take a peek at *some* of the chandeliers (and a few bonuses!) from perhaps (but hopefully not!) the most magical night i will ever spend in Versailles…
NOTCOT Exclusive!!! From our awesome friends at Hard Graft ~ they have been kind enough to share it with us first! Check out their latest bag, the 3Fold! It can play portfolio case, laptop case, AND overnighter… ready for the juicy details? (I’m loving this new one! So tempted by it!)
“3FOLD multi-use leather laptop bag - Three bags in one - the 3FOLD is a slim LAPTOP BAG, a sizable A2 PORTFOLIO BAG and a spacious OVERNIGHTER. Just switch to the configuration you need, this bag is as flexible as your lifestyle demands. The function of this bag speaks volumes. Clever hooks (traditionally used for heavy duty hiking boots) make varying between the different styles possible. The 3FOLD is handmade from a bespoke vegetable tanned Italian leather which is dyed through and hand finished in grey with a hint of teal. This is juxtaposed with a chestnut brown leather shoulder strap which can be used in all three configurations. The leathers are coloured with natural dyes which enhance the look over time and use. Each limited edition 3FOLD is individually numbered and carefully assembled by a family of leather artisans in the rolling hills of Tuscany, Italy.”
Take a peek at pics and specs on the next page!
Between Oxford and Stockholm, there was a last minute irresistible reason to change plans and detour through Paris to have dinner as a guest of Dom Perignon in Versailles! In the style and room that Louis XIV dined… ok, quite honestly, for something that “once in a lifetime” feeling, how could you turn down such an opportunity? So that meant hopping on a train to London in the morning, then Eurostarring it over to Paris, and then into the infamous Hotel de Crillon (according to wikipedia, it’s one of the oldest luxury hotels in the WORLD), where a matte black Dom Perignon bag filled with matte black goodness and lots of history and background information on the world of Dom awaited me on the desk to dive into in the few hours i had to prepared before for dinner. So before we get into Versailles… here’s a peek at design details of Hotel de Crillon and the lovely packaging of the Dom Perignon materials! (As you’ll see, they LOVE stacks of cards/imagery on gorgeous paper in various sizes… even with gilded edges…)
On unexpected inspiration and another random close up look at Oxford… how about some Moss and Spiders? And also praying mantis and silk worms… (And yes, moss fascinates me, remember the Singapore Moss?) So here are some fun little adorable moss clumps on the bridge… and then a huge spider that i found there too… then exploring into some of the zoology labs where i was whisked away to see some very cool (and insanely fly/web filled) space of pretty massive spiders and silk worms which are being researched to understand the magic of their silky webs… see the many pics on the next page!
On random Monday inspiration from Oxford (out here for Justine’s phd graduation!) we took a walk over to The Goldfish Bowl, and since my camera was with me, i couldn’t help shooting some of the adorable underwater creatures… you have got to check out the adorable turtles and rather pissed ray and much more!
On awesome design that they clearly had far too much (or just enough?) fun with… how cool is this Yelp Elite Metal Lunchbox and Thermos?!?!?! In fact, Michael Ernst, an ex-Yelp-team-er who worked on the design project and sent this awesome gift over even took that main picture up top ~ emailing, “I actually went to a gravel pit in my tiny hometown of Minocqua and asked if I could shoot this there. The guy who ran it was utterly confused at my request. I wanted it to look like another planet.” ~ how coudl i not use the pic after a story like that??? So take a peek at more close ups on the next page ~ its the details that will really get you chuckling at your screen…
The Kraken Rum: How can you NOT drink from a bottle that says “As seen through the eyes of imagination”… such a lovely description, also any bottle that has Bizarre & Fierce Sea Creatures on it is just hard to deny. You’ve seen the unboxing of the incredible packaging, design, and other goodies (like Kraken teeth in vials, ink in bottles, etc)… and now for close ups on the actual Kraken Rum bottle design from Kevin Shaw of Stranger and Stranger… The amazing thing i love to watch is putting it in unsuspecting hands, the bottle has presence! It’s hard not to pick it up, slip two fingers through the holes, and then suddenly while rotating and reading the label ~ the bottle jokingly raises up to your lips as if you are going to chug it… and many make sounds channeling their inner rum drinking Johnny Depp a la Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s happened more than once. I love how an object such as a mere bottle of rum through design and packaging can evoke such a delightful user experience! So take a peek at the packaging design and graphic details on the next page ~ The Kraken Rum is definitely a perfect gift if you need a sippable conversation starter to bring to a party (and loosen people up in more ways than one ~ it’s 94 proof!)…
Ok, Kraken. The rum. It’s amazing, beautiful branding and design all around, also delicious, but first things first, we aren’t going to even talk about the bottle yet… first i have to show you the most mind-blowingly cool package i received and actually shot over lunch on my whirlwind 36 hours in NY (now curled up in Oxford in a tiny B&B writing to you!)… So, just before hopping in a cab to hit the airport, popped over to Boqueria in flatiron for a lunch “meeting” ~ and am presented with a stunningly printed cardboard box sealed with the coolest kraken of a sea creature seal in a silver plastic and black satin ribbon. As i slowly pull it all apart… there’s a note addressed in calligraphy to “My Esteemed Colleague”, silhouettes of the objects of proof held within this magical box of goodies printed within the box, custom printed wrapping paper (that i want for gift wrapping! everything?), a brilliant little book, a limited edition (of 50!) poster, a black feather and a pot of Kraken Ink, a disc of films, a Kraken tooth in a corked glass vial, and a disc of films… OH, and a bottle of The Kraken black spiced rum, of course.
Leave it to Dead As We Know It and Proximo Spirits to take things so above and beyond that i’m embarrassingly sipping rum over lunch, picking at delectable tapas, shooting pictures, and having a complete giddy sensory overload at how cool every aspect of The Kraken branding is… while trying to hold a proper conversation with two of the most fascinating guys you’ll meet. This meal has pretty much set the bar rather high for future “meetings” and “photoshoots”… So, before i get even more distracted, go take a peek at the unboxing of the Kraken and some of the delicious Boqueria food!
Yes, i totally impulse bought myself a TAD Gear Titanium Rescue Ring last time i popped by the store. But it’s really for safety reasons! I mean, how do you know when you might need to bust a piece of glass to escape from who knows what? And its just so light and beautifully, simply designed with the little removable stainless steel glass breaker tip! And you can even swap on an optional compass! And so nicely thought out, there is even a little keychain loop to hold that tip when you’re just wearing it as your titanium ring… the real question is, who doesn’t need one? See more pics of mine up close on the next page ~ it has cute packaging too!
On exciting new launches, the lovely ladies of Delight.com have just announced the Gent Supply Co.! While i have always loved the selection of goods at Delight, i must admit that the Gent Supply Co definitely leans a lot more NOTCOT ~ not that we’re more boyish over here, but for some reason or other it definitely leans more towards the fun vices like scotch sipping, mad men loving (yes they totally have a Sterling Cooper style section), card playing, gadgets and tech set. Also, i hear that the gift wrap will be less pink tissue paper and more grey kraft paper with a black satin bow! (Delight has always had the loveliest UX when it comes to gorgeous gifts to send to people! So i’m super stoked about a more NOTCOT styled color palette!) So congrats to Tracey, Lynda, and team on their newest venture, Gent Supply Co.! I can’t wait to see what goodies pop up next!
Tracey has just offered us Free Shipping through the end of Oct with the code: GentSupplyCo22
Mixko! Love them so much! So delicately beautiful yet just enough edge to make you look twice and think a little harder…. So, i’m not sure why, but lately whenever i am about to leave home and hop a flight, i feel like i need to set a giveaway in motion (and pick a winner when i land) ~ interpret it as you will, maybe its the guilt of being away from the sites? But none the less, Nahoko was nice enough to send one Mixko Here Comes The Sun rainbow over for me, and one for you (you = future winner who follows @NOTCOT and sends me a tweet reply sharing what you think should be at the end of a rainbow… it doesn’t have to be a pot of gold! What would make your day? i’ll pick a winner when i get in to NY off the redeye on Weds the 21st of Oct.) ~ so we can match! I adore this necklace, there’s something radiantly happy about it ~ who can’t smile when they see a dove pulling a rainbow across your chest ~ especially when you walk away and they notice the final drop of rain hanging from the clasp? Check out the unboxing on the next page ~
And for those who want it spelled out more clearly - for a chance to win: follow @NOTCOT and sends me a tweet reply sharing what you think should be at the end of a rainbow… it doesn’t have to be a pot of gold! What would make your day? i’ll pick a winner randomly from the tweets when i get in to NY on Weds the 21st of Oct.
On tabs that stay open way too long on my laptop making me realize i am more drawn to the work than i first thought, i haven’t been able to close the website of Rachell Sumpter since i found her through Kitsune Noir ~ the colors are just stunning, and once you get over that you get sucked into the level of detail, and the possible stories that exist in the technicolor dreamworlds she creates. Will someone please animate her world and set it to a dreamily inspiring soundtrack to lose ourselves in? I wonder how large her originals are? They’d be stunning as large wall sized pieces to wander up to and stare at… See more of my favorites on the next page…