On things i didn’t even know i needed, but now can’t imagine not having… TAD Gear’s Titanium Skeleton Key. But really, who doesn’t want a piece of thick solid 6AL-4V titanium billet that is machined locally in SF in a machine shop that does parts for the F22 Raptor?!?!?! They’ve already sold out of three editions of 100… it features TAD Gear Terminator Skull graphic, and has a laser engraved TAD gear logo on reverse… What does it have? Flathead screw driver tip, pry tip with nail puller, bottle cap lifter, and a spanner wrench tip fit all regular sized Strider Folders. Is it bad this makes me want a Strider now? See more images of it on the next page… and perhaps if there’s enough interest, they’ll do another run!
It’s just not possible to get mail with retro/official booklets from the Dept. of Cultural Engineering with the Technical Specifications for Ace Hotel Properties… pop them open and see pages with figures that remind me of grade school readers… and not post about it! Two booklets just showed up showing off and explaining the latest additions to the Ace Hotel line up ~ first was Seattle, then Portland, Palm Springs opens this weekend, and New York City in March! While i’ve yet to see any of them in person STILL ~ i’ve been wanting to get to Seattle and Portland and stay at them since… 2006? SO, on exciting news ~ we will be staying at the Ace Hotel NYC in May for ICFF and Design Week!!! (Also, if you’re doing the ICFF thing and don’t have a place to stay yet, check them out ~ they are doing promotional $99+ promotional rates)
Anyhow, i digress, the booklet! It’s so cute, you have to take a peek at the cover and insides on the next page! And ok, i’ll admit ~ the Smeg fridges, customized Gibson guitars, record players, and free wifi are huge draws to me… all of their hotels are so different down to every room, yet seemingly homey for design/detail junkies ~ they support passionate incredible independent businesses like Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Ken and April of The Spotted Pig which will both be in the NYC hotel! And they have one of the most adorable/tempting looking minibars and Smeg fridges filled with everything from vitamin water to mini kegs to coke in classic bottles… not to over-gush, but i love the concept ~ and these quotes seem to sum it up so nicely… so before i send you off to the pics on the next page: Re:Up Magazine said “… a highly developed sense of how culture functions best when left unmolested by over-production”, and Best Designed Hotels in North and South America said “… the Ace clientele - hip urbanites in for a visit who like a lick of luxury, but don’t necessarily need all the indulgences of a typical high-class hotels”… basically these feel chock full of character, but with a designer’s eye, without sacrificing functionality…
But, back to the booklets! So cute! Check out the details and cover on the next page… and maybe we’ll see you in NY!
Another fun noteworthy aspect of the Natural History Museum First Fridays is the graphic motifs of animal/instrument hybrids used on the flyers and stickers distributed around the museum… there are even silk screened prints available! So far only two, but the artist was saying how he is planning on completing the set throughout the course of the First Fridays! Take a peek at some of the stickers we found, as well as the gorgeous colorful prints! Since 2009 is the year of darwin’s 200th bday (next week!) and the 150th anniversary of the Origin of Species, this year of First Fridays are dedicated to him… and the Darwin sticker even has his motto “e conchis omnia” which means “everything from shells”…
Wow. There is something so magical about having the Natural History Museum as the backdrop for a friday night filled with science, food/wine, live music and exploration… especially when in between all of that you add some wild lighting and simple glowing modern furniture… As part of the Los Angeles Natural History Museums First Fridays, tonight we got to see The Bird and The Bee with a bison diorama as the backdrop! Listened to DJs spin in front of elephants… learned about “Evolution: What the fossils say and why it matters” from Dr. Don Prothero in front of some moose. Got wine from in front of some apes… Saw projections on and around the skeletons of a t-rex and triceratops… All in all it was a hell of a night, and a fascinating multisensoral experience. Check out images of some of the very surreal situations encountered on the next page!
On shows i wish i could go see in person ~ the SF Gallery 1988 has Some Kind Of Wonderful opening tonight, and i was just checking out the pieces online. This group show looks incredible! And in particular i’m loving the work of Cherri Wood (aka Fy Simone) is a 19 year old illustrator based in Minnesota, USA. ~ with her girls viewed from the back floating on paper… her style of watercolour, acrylic, and graphite on paper is just mesmerizing, and they really stand out both on their own and in the set… See them all on the next page, and if you’re in SF, definitely go check out the show!
i love the way she signs with what looks like a thumbprint…
On adventures in the snowy NYC this week, Proximo Spirits has out done themselves once again… they were kind enough to invite us out to NYC to experience the launch of their latest: Gran Centenario’s Rosangel hibiscus-infused tequila! I already knew the bottle was a beauty, and the branding… *swoon* i LOVE the graphics they’ve used everywhere from backgrounds to bags to glass etchings… how beautiful does that look? But they really carried that rose colored (or should i say hibiscus colored?) world into the full day of bartender immersion and launch party… unfortunately, i wasn’t able to make it out myself, but luckily our favorite Liqurious expert, Anita Crotty, was able to rearrange her life ever so slightly and pop out to NY for a few days to check things out! It also doesn’t hurt that she took so many breath taking pictures so we don’t feel left out! So on the next page you can check out her adventures ~ from the gorgeous gift bag on the bed at the new Thompson LES ~ to the camera crews filming them at the Clover Club ~ to the launch party with live music from Vanessa Trouble at the exquisite Ella Lounge… You’ve got to see the pictures to take it all in!
Not to name drop, but Anita’s link laden story on the next page reads like a who’s who of must see bars across the country… makes me want to roadtrip to experience all the places linked! Enjoy!
Ooooooh on fun rainy day packages that just arrived ~ a surprise box from the lovely ladies of Villainess Soaps just arrived ~ remember i gushed about their Pirate + Lush like products with amazing packaging before? Things that jump out even MORE up close? Their amazing skulls! Teeny tiny little skulls that are so perfectly adorable! See that little one that is on the beautiful perfume bottle? And its on the labels too! See more pictures of the unboxing of the lovely gift on the next page!
On fun design contests ~ just saw the final picks from the New Yorker’s 2009 Eustace Tilley design contest, and i love what their picks say about the state of things in 2008 ~ everything from iPhones and Banksy to Watchmen and Mondrian… Can you believe Eustace has been on nearly every cover in the magazine launched in 1925? The original was created by Rea Irvin. Check out a few more of my favorites on the next page, and the full gallery here.
On unusual jewelry gift “packaging” ~ how beautifully intriguing is new Abandoned Comb Amulet by Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons? There are only a limited edition of 30 pieces made!
From their description: “The Abandoned Comb Amulet consists of a hexagonal sugar-glass pyramid filled with Brooklyn rooftop honey. Free floating in the candied bubble is a solid 18k gold honeycomb necklace sculpted by bees. It is protected by a glass dome with a rubber stopper. The usefulness of the Abandoned Comb Amulet is defined by the resulting choice of a Solomonic dilemma. One must either forcefully exhume the honey drenched gold by violently shattering and eating the casing, or find value in the object’s current form and care for it as it deteriorates on its own.
Regarding the process: “First, abandoned honeycomb from Brooklyn rooftop hives is gathered. Next, in the ancient ‘lost wax’ tradition, the honeycomb is burned away and replaced by molten gold. Resulting is a perfect hold replica of the wax comb.”
It’s a fascinating story/process/concept for what may finally result as simply an 18k honeycomb necklace, but the delicious “unboxing” process really adds a new dimension even more delectable and beautiful to display than most. See more images on the next page!
Sorry for the lull here ~ been sick in bed with a fever the last few days, still a little fuzzy/delirious feeling at the moment… but with Obama’s $819 Billion Stimulus package passed, i couldn’t resist posting the latest silliness i got in the mail… yes, that is Economic Stimulus Spray and NOTHING. It’s all about the packaging and the concept though, isn’t it? These playfully thought provoking direct mailers came from Winstanley Associates - Ad Agency of the Berkshires… there is even an Elf Trap that was included… see closeups of them all on the next page!
And for our newest site ~ Liqurious that was launched in 2008 ~ it’s had quite a fruitful year of delicious and beautiful drinks! While an idea that launched out of a less than fun learning experience over the late TasteSpotting (yes yes, for those who missed those few months, TasteSpotting died in 2008 just 1.5 years old ~ and we sold the domain name) ~ but happily, from that launched Liqurious!!! With which i think we’ve all learned a lot very quickly about the mysterious world of mixology! Where science, design, and liquid poisons come together perfectly ~ here are the top 100 posts from Liqurious in 2008 ~ click to explore!
… and here’s a look at the top 100 posts of 2008 from NotCouture!
Not usually one to reminisce much, but got curious this morning about what surfaced when i magically had our algorithms tell me what it thought was big on NOTCOT.org over all of 2008! Remember all of these? Click on the little images to find out more about them!
Spy schwag!!! Ok, well not quite schwag, and i’ve been holding off on this post until these gifts are opened by the birthday boy… (wouldn’t want the post to ruin the fun!)
So one of the highly recommended (via Twitter and Facebook) must sees in DC was the International Spy Museum ~ and it was so fun! Unfortunately no pictures allowed, and while the beginning was questionable (pretending to make you memorize things and move from room to room on their schedule) ~ it opens up quickly and had some great displays and interactive stations throughout! SO much imagery wish i could have taken pictures of to share! But what i CAN share is some of the fun goodies i found in their impressively stocked store! (You can shop online too, but not nearly as much stuff) My favorites that i couldn’t resist… their DENY EVERYTHING one way mirror like shot glass and the magnetic bottle opener logo guy ~ so stealthy, so classic! Also, how nice is the graphic design of their tickets? See more closeups on the next page… and their James Bond Credit Card Lock Picks i just found in their store too!!!
As spotted first at Today and Tomorrow ~ the Greece is for Lovers “Hooker’s Delight” is an interestingly misleading name (if your mind naturally leans that way) ~ for a fun martini glass design perfect for the fishermen in your life! Talking about living dangerously ~ you may hook yourself at any moment… or on the flip side, your olive can’t go far when its attached to the stem! See more images of this pretty, playful design on the next page!