*NOTCOT in home+decor - 03.21.09 -

Target goes Green with MIO

mio0.jpg I first met the adorable brothers Salm (Isaac, the numbers guy and Jaime, the design guy) of MIO on my press trip to Philadelphia a few years back ~ and their passion for sustainability, the history of philly as a manufacturing resource, and their love of design (as well as the way the PR girls swooned over them) were hard to miss. It’s thrilling to see that they are one of the latest to be tapped by Target. It’s a playful eco-friendly collection to help make “going green” even easier, claim the press release…

In the collection are: A set of gardening tools, solar garden lights, portable hammock, watering can, herbs, and a composter. Of them all, i’m most intrigued in the composter! After much hunting, there doesn’t seem to be much in the realm of attractive composting hardware out there ~ this bright green piece is so playful and refreshing! Check out the full collection larger and the full press release on the next page! The collection will be available starting April 12th.

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*NOTCOT in food+drink - 03.20.09 -

Tonix Packaging

Tonix.jpg OMG. Packaging based shopping fail! I grabbed this bottle of Tonix: Coconut Water Kefir at Whole Foods the other day when i got the Fox Barrel Cider that was so cute (and delicious!)… and i just opened it… and for starters, don’t shake it… there should be a warning… i didn’t expect it to be carbonated… and it kind of spewed all over… I thought it would be more coconut watery? Which i love!!! But the smell… ugh… kinda foul… and the taste… not so nice and refreshing…

ANYHOW! The packaging was nicely done ~ though it was a little weird that it reminded me of Philosophy bath/skin products… the nice simple glass bottle with plastic screw cap, and nice hand written text and illustrations kept it so clean! So take a peek at the packaging close up on the next page…

p.s.
i am currently educating myself on Kefir ~ i admit i probably should have done that before experimenting and going in unexpected! In a nutshell: “Kefir (alternately kefīrs, keefir, kephir, kewra, talai, mudu kekiya, milkkefir, búlgaros) is a fermented milk drink that originated in the Caucasus region. It is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep’s milk with kefir grains. Traditional kefir was made in skin bags that were hung near a doorway; the bag would be knocked by anyone passing through the doorway to help keep the milk and kefir grains well mixed. Kefir grains are a combination of bacteria and yeasts in a matrix of proteins, lipids, and sugars. This symbiotic matrix forms grains that resemble cauliflower. Today, kefir is becoming increasingly popular due to new research into its health benefits. Many different bacteria and yeasts are found in the kefir grains, which are a complex and highly variable community of micro-organisms. While some drink kefir straight, many find it too sour on its own and prefer to add fruits, honey, maple syrup or other flavors or sweeteners. Frozen bananas, strawberries, blueberries or other fruits can be mixed with kefir in a blender to make a smoothie.” Maybe i should make it a smoothie?

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*NOTCOT in design -

MAKE THINGS!

make.jpg GET EXCITED AND MAKE THINGS!!! I can’t think of a better message for today… or any day! While there are far too many keep calm and carry on knock offs lately ~ this one just made my Friday. Love the Maker crown of wrenches and all! This is the latest of Howies T-Shirt of the Week ~ Made in Turkey, Designed by Matt ‘Black Belt’ Jones, and Printed in Westest Wales. Available in Mens and Womens!

*NOTCOT in travel - 03.19.09 -

President Obama Town Hall - Los Angeles

mainth.jpg SO freshly back and hundreds of pics and still kind of spinning trying to process the last few hours of my life… ~ on the next page you’ll find a visual walkthrough of the chaos that was the President Obama Town Hall meeting in Los Angeles ~ i was lucky enough to snag a ticket (#0010!!!)… Not going to go into the politics, but it was an incredible thing to experience in person ~ so here’s a look at how it felt to be there… and while i’m not the best at playing “spot/name the politician” many around me were remarking about how the event was a real who’s who of politics in California… the chairs around the stage were VIP, and us ticket holders were in the bleachers. Also, i’ve never been SO close to a president before… it was kind of trippy sitting so near the stage, and having him enter just a few feet away!

p.s.
for the full text of the meeting check out the LA Times

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*NOTCOT in travel - 03.17.09 -

Chrome Bags Giveaway!

chromeit.jpg
WINNER!!! Janeen in Gainesville, FL

Yes! Giveaway time! We’re giving away 2 Chrome Bags… Here are the two ways to win:

(1) Leave a comment on this post with (a) why you need the weatherproof goodness and (b)which size/color you love most!

(2) TWITTER! Follow @notcot and tweet your favorite size/color with #chromebags in the tweet!

I’ll pick a random winner for each one on Monday (so get those in by Sunday midnight PST)!!!

OK, so moving along, WHY are we giving away Chrome Bags? Well they have a lifetime warranty, seatbelt buckles and straps, and a SECRET POCKET and are totally weatherproof! And that’s just the classic messenger bag… that beat up one in the picture with the rabbid stashed away is my personal one that i’ve had for around 4 years now… that thing will survive about anything and has traveled the world with me… so when Chrome reached out saying they were into NOTCOT, i was absolutely giddy. And together we decided it would be fun to share the love with a giveaway to you!

Their company philosophies sum it up nicely: “Chrome was founded in Boulder, CO by a couple of guys who needed a bag that lasted forever. They began sewing in their garage using the toughest material they could find. A company came out of that with a philosophy of building stuff that would function well in tough conditions and would last a lifetime. There’s not a lot of nonsense in our gear, just materials and construction that serve a purpose and last a lifetime. We stand behind everything we make.” It’s great to see they’ve been expanding the line, working their way into performance apparel and more new bags for 09 in the works… so for now take a peek at the details options on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Fox Barrel Hard Cider

fox.jpg Ok, you already know i’m an impulsive packaging based shopper often… and really Whole Foods is one of the WORST places for that (particularly if you combine that affliction with being starving!)… so today’s Whole Food stop between traffic, i couldn’t resist the adorable Fox logo of the Fox Barrel Hard Cider! AND it’s delicious, pretty light ~ like champagne colored apple juice with a twist. But check out the packaging! Larger pics on the next page…

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*NOTCOT in design -

Saks and Fairey’s Studio Number One

thesaks.jpg I’m sure you’ve seen snippets here and there of Shepard Fairey’s Studio Number One artwork for the Saks Fifth Avenue Spring 2009 WANT IT! Campaign ~ featuring some very propaganda style imagery, but i’ve yet to see it all in one place, or up close… Luckily just got a hold of the high res images of all of the artwork, and freshly couriered over were a copy of the latest catalog as well as some of the bags to check out up close. As you can see, i got indecisive in picking the main image to show first, so you get two!

saks1.jpg It’s a fascinating juxtaposition to see the classy scripty Saks Fifth Avenue logo with the stark black, white, and red clean lines of the graphics… and personally, it doesn’t scream “buy me!” luxuriously to me… in fact it’s a slight turn off as far as my shopping brain is concerned? But from a design perspective, i love the imagery, and the playful integrations, and the possible subversive twist Shepard Fairey’s Studio Number One may have been aiming for… every season trends are constantly shoved down our throats, this merely emphasized it to a point where it’s nearly laughable ~ which then makes you step back and rethink Aggressive Shoes and Arming Yourself (with a slouchy bag) - and then perhaps still give in once you realize you still want them! Anyhow, check out all of the images on the next page, and i’d love to hear your thoughts…

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*NOTCOT in design -

Lost designs of Sprouse at Chateau Marmont

chat.jpg On stories that definitely fall under hollywood lore… here’s a great one that showed up in my inbox…

Stephen Sprouse moved into Chateau Marmont in 1991 for a month but had no money to pay his bill when he was checking out. So Andre Balazs agreed to let him off if he designed some apparel for Chateau Marmont in exchange…a couple of months ago they were going through the archives stored in attic of the hotel and found 6 original sketches by Stephen by accident - all signed and dated. These are never-seen before sketches. And Andre had not seen them for years - he was really excited to be re-united with them.

AND… NOTCOT has an exclusive to show you one of those 6 sketches (as to be expected, the other 5 will be popping up around the net as well)!!! Can you just imagine living the life in a hotel for a month? Only to magically work something out bartering your craft? And it certainly does seem timely that just as the new Sprouse book and LV’s Sprouse revisit pop up, that they *happened* to find these sketches… For those unfamiliar with the late Sprouse’s work, i’m sure you’ve seen it everywhere… he’s known for pioneering that classic 80’s graffiti/pop/punk melded with mainstream fashion with a love of the florescent ~ who went from 70’s band photographer to 80’s-90’s fashion designer/artist! See the full sketch on the next page!

p.s. i’ll add the other sketches when possible!

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*NOTCOT in tech - 03.15.09 -

Talking Shuffle

shuffle.jpg For scale… check out the size of that shuffle next to all the randomness under my monitors… its about the height of that veuve grand dame cork… So as you can see, i gave in and got one of the tiny gum stick looking new buttonless ipod shuffles. And it’s so tiny, and adorably simple, and comes with mini apple stickers! So take a peek at the unboxing and the cute instructional graphics too on the next page…

p.s.
Yes, it does suck that you can’t use other headphones i suppose, BUT it’s pretty fun to make it talk to you… my latest addiction is having RadioLover download streaming radio i miss (it even breaks it up into songs! I’ve been dling lots of Indie 103.1 lately)… so this is perfect! I can load up radio i missed, and when i dont know what song it is, it can tell me!

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*NOTCOT in design - 03.14.09 -

LeBasse Projects “Vous Avez ete Juste Servi”

lebasse0.jpg Huge congrats to Beau and Christine Basse on their new Culver City space for LeBasse Projects! I had the pleasure of checking out their first show there tonight, “Vous Avez ete Juste Servi”, and it is a stunning group show definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area! Take a look at the new space and some of my favorite pieces from the show on the next page…

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*NOTCOT in wearable -

Witches: Lauren Alexander and Gabby Applegate

witches18.jpg “I am reaching out to you because we have an amazing event coming up for which your presence is requested, WITCHES presentation by designers Lauren Alexander and Gabby Applegate. The most secretive of launches … Lauren Alexander started her fashion career with her namesake collection “Lauren Alexander” touted by LA’s own Kitten Magazine and GenArt, then created a lasting impression on fashion world with her well-established basics line, LnA.”

How can you resist something as vague and tempting as that? Promising… “WITCHES” the new shadowy, supernatural, and chic collection from Lauren Alexander and Gabby Applegate. An incredible editorial presentation in vignette style to showcase the occult collection. Friday, the Thirteenth of March, Seven to Ten in the evening. Chateau Marmont, Bungalow 4”… fascinating part, not even the Dietch PR folks had seen the line before this evening… the designer’s description? “”This line is a modern take on Goth, Grunge, and Victorian dressing. The entire line is comprised of black lace, velvet, silk, and spandex. The collection includes everything from floor length velvet cloaks to lace cocktail dresses with rope details. The goal has been to combine all of these style elements to create something that we feel has been missing in our closets. This collection truly embodies the idea of a “modern witch”.”

Intriguingly vague? Well the scene at Bungalow 4 was surreal… magic carpet vignettes with models wandering about and posing in their “avant-goth” outfits (credit for the term definitely goes to Whitney Pierce)… the truly amazing part beyond the gorgeously wearable (and affordable, $200-400) pieces… the details! Take a look at the glam/goth styling for the whole setup and pictures of the event and clothing on the next page…

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*NOTCOT in home+decor - 03.09.09 -

IKEA Solar Lighting Up Close

ikeasolar0.jpg Continuing the obsession with solar powered playfully designed lighting… Remember that post last week about the new ones from IKEA? Well, i couldn’t help myself and went and tracked them down, took a bunch of pics at the store, AND bought quite a few too! The real question really was, what is the quality like, how long do they last, etc… and bottom line, i’m LOVING the mini lanterns and the pod on a stick looking one the best! Also some pretty smart design choices on the lantern, but its not nearly as bright as i’d hoped… more pics of all the details on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design -

Puma + Foot Locker = Awesome Typography

pum1.jpg People are always asking me what ads i wish i had on NOTCOT ~ well… this latest campaign from Puma and Foot Locker: “Foot Locker Unlocked - Puma Archive” TOTALLY fits! I was so jealous of Gizmodo when i saw these! The typography is just so so awesome! See more screenshots on the next page ~ including the fun giz placements ~ and if you know who made these, leave a comment!

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*NOTCOT in design -

Borja Bonaque Cities

build1.jpg I love the way Spanish designer/illustrator, Borja Bonaque portrays urban landscapes ~ they have a certain retro futuristic glow to them ~ and feel so fun on skateboard decks as well! The water towers are adorable. I’ve had her images open in tabs all weekend, kept getting too distracted by them to actually get this post up until now! See more of my favorites on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in playful -

Oooms Solar Birdhouse

solarbird.jpg Solar Birdhouse!!! Finally! Well, kind of. Here’s the latest from Oooms ~ they describe their Solar BIrdhouse: “Why would only humans make use of eco-friendly technology? Studio OOOMS designed a birdhouse with a solar panel on it’s roof. During the day sunlight feeds the solar panel, charging a small battery inside. At nighttime the transparent stick will light up and shed a tiny light on your garden. This light attracts an easy nighttime snack for the bird; all she has to do is stick her beak out of the hole and wait for the buzz.”

As a slight side note ~ firstly, i’m super excited to hear this idea in production ~ i’ve been doodling and ranting with friends about the possibilities with solar power and bird feeders for some time now ~ my idea was more 24-hour-diner of feeders (less house like) ~ where in the day birds could get their usual munchies taken care of, and at night the light would attract bugs… but then most discussions got shot down by some of our resident biologists saying how it may turn into more of a bat feeder at night since they’d be the nocturnal residents most interested in the bugs… but that could also be pretty interesting! I also played with the ideas of bird feeders by day, lanterns at night… it would be so fun to have a playful project seeing what fun, functional, unexpected uses for solar energy in small scale products we could come up with!

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