*NOTCOT in home+decor -

Steelcase Leap Chair

leapMAIN.jpgThe Steelcase Leap has been literally supporting me through this holiday season. Amongst the chaos and overworking it’s been looking out for my back and posture, and its comfy! I also love that it comes in a stool version, perfect for those architectural sketching desks… and then a lounge version too with a leather ottoman to match! Check out the whole Steelcase Leap collection.

So here’s the deal, while my back can’t talk and tell you quite how comfy and supported it’s felt ~ and although the holidays are coming to a close and most are getting back to the office soon… here’s the perfect post holiday gift to help yourself (or your hard workers) have a little more fun at work (Steelcase claims that increased ergonomics increases productivity…. and in between there i assume everyone just feels better and happier too!). So here’s my review/closer look through lots of pictures on the next page ~ including the inspiring GIANT cardboard box! And pictures that can’t be missed on the next page… besides the closeups… pictures of their test models! They look like fantastic crazy contraptions from medieval times meet today’s office chairs! Check it all out on the next page ~

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*NOTCOT in food+drink - 12.27.08 -

NOTGLÖGG

notglogg1.jpg On silly holiday experiments, and with so much wine around combined with freezing (ok well not literally freezing, but cold for LA) weather… and seeing Mulled Wine, Spiced Wine, and Glögg recipes on Liqurious… when it came time for dan’s birthday Xmas eve we couldn’t help but read up on all the different recipes, and there are SO many variations, and ended up making out own variation that we’ve tweaked a bit over the last few days as well! So, here is ours:

NOTGLÖGG ~ a simple NOTCOT take on Glögg
1 Bottle Red Wine
1- 2oz Creme de Casis
1-2oz Creme de Mures
4-5 oz Brandy
1/2 cup Sugar (adjust to taste)

in cheese cloth:
2 Cinnamon sticks
6 Cloves
6-8 Cardamon pods
2 All Spice
pinch and a half Nutmeg

Put 1 bottle of red wine in a pot ~ add sugar and the cheese cloth bindle (we just tied it all up in there… yes, it looked like a bloody bandage) ~ keep it just under boiling for about half hour ~ add creme de casis and mures and brandy ~ simmer a bit longer ~ serve HOT [Notes: make sure its not TOO sweet ~ makes about 4 mugs… ~ also, i kind of wing all the measurements ~ so fiddle to taste… other optional ingredients we saw in researching - honey, sugar cubes, vanilla, almonds, raisins, corriander, orange/lemon peel (twist peels to release oils before dropping in)]

For more info, here’s wikipedia on Mulled Wine and Glögg… See more pictures of the process, and some fun new glasses on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design -

Busy Beaver Button Co. 2009!

buttoncard.jpgFavorite holiday card that has come this year is definitely this adorable one from our friends at Busy Beaver Button Co.! I’ve been discussing ideas with them for ages now, but between the holiday chaos haven’t had time to execute on some of our ideas… so perhaps 2009 will finally see new button designs and perhaps even some fun glow in the dark button contests on NOTCOT? Although after seeing this card, now i want buttons that all fit together on some crazy background… hrmmmmm, so many ideas! See a close up of their new 2” square buttons on the next page…

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*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Holiday Libations from Liqurious

liqurious #2323 liqurious #2326 liqurious #2318 liqurious #2330 liqurious #2316 liqurious #2287 liqurious #2329 liqurious #2328 liqurious #2281 liqurious #2332 liqurious #2284 liqurious #2271 liqurious #2272 liqurious #2267 liqurious #2282 liqurious #2266 liqurious #2333 liqurious #2308 liqurious #2289 liqurious #2297 liqurious #2331 liqurious #2312 liqurious #2262 liqurious #2324 liqurious #2335Mmmmmmm…. it’s definitely feeling chilly and holidayish here this weekend ~ so here’s a roundup of delicious drinks ~ from mulled wines and punches to ciders and molecular mixology concoctions and more! All via Liqurious!

*NOTCOT in tech -

Wordlock Review!

wordlock1.jpg Wordlocks! “Use words, not numbers” is their slogan ~ and honestly when i was first playing with them and chatting with their PR, it really brought out the inner child in me… they said you shouldn’t be able to make bad words with them, so of course for days they became my desk fidget toy as i’d work on things and try to find some… i did find quite a few strange ones even! (anyone on my facebook probably saw pics of these) BUT, that’s not the point… I’m not sure about you, but i’ve always been TERRIBLE with combination locks, not just remembering the numbers but trying to open them even! These pad locks, luggage locks, bike locks, and more make it a bit easier if you come up with a word that works… or better yet, an acronym? I can just imagine coming back to your gym locker watching people playing games trying to guess the word on your lock!

But to geek out for a moment, what i found most interesting is the background behind the Wordlocks… “After 20 years in the technology business as an engineer, most recently at Apple, Todd Basche and his wife Rahn (a Clinical Social Worker) quit their jobs and started Wordlock Inc. They expanded the family of products and created bike locks, TSA-approved luggage locks and recently launched the industry’s first Spanish-language padlock. Not only is the design of the lock patented, the algorithm that Wordlock created that allows for 100,000 word and letter combos on the padlock is as well. Wordlock has patented a number of software algorithms that maximize the number of words the lock can spell on its five dials (note each dial has 10 letters or 9 letters and a blank space on it).” Apparently the apple engineer and his wife have spent ridiculous amounts of time on algorithms to figure out the best letters to put on those wheels for the optimal number of possible “real” words in both english and spanish! The locks remind me of old physical word puzzles i had as a kid where you’d spin the rings to make the words… now if only i could rearrange the rings on these Wordlocks and invent MORE word options! But lets be honest, its not like we don’t have enough passwords to remember from everything online to root passwords to voicemail passwords to…. well maybe having words for bike locks and gym lockers and mysterious storage containers would help? See more pics of them all on the next page, as well as scanned in pages of possible combinations they recommend.

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*NOTCOT in home+decor - 12.26.08 -

Fusion Tables ~ The Set Up!

fusiontable0a.jpg*Phew* Merry Boxing Day ~ what a season it’s been!!! Apologies for the slow down in posts, just been trying to catch up with my life a little after the gift guides, giveaways, and more the last month or so! As a result you’ll be seeing a few more playful posts from my everyday life (like the ZOO posts!) I just spent most of today hanging out at the new house/NOTCOT HQ which is nearly ready, and luckily ready enough for me to move my first conference/dining/pool table into!!! I somehow ended up hanging out there from about 10am till 9pm… delivery didn’t happen until closer to 3pm, but luckily Dan was there to keep me company! And then we naturally had to play a few games both before and after grabbing dinner with a friend! And now i couldn’t resist sharing some pics with you! But first, these are overview/snapshots of the building of the table, because once i got home i realized that in the excitement of PLAYING, we forgot to take more pics… so more pictures of the awesome design details to come.

So, remember Fusion Tables by Aramith? Wayyyy back as .org post #8996 that Laura Sweet posted? Basically its one of the first unique designs for pool tables that leans super sleek minimalist modern, and quickly hides in plain site as a dining table or conference table. To achieve this, Aramith (Belgian maker of incredible pool balls… “Without being familiar with the industry, very few would guess that nearly 80% of the billiard balls used worldwide come from a small village in the countryside of Belgium. For over half a century, the company SALUC SA has produced in the secrecy of its premises in Callenelle the unique and well-known Aramith phenolic balls, making this miniscule village the world’s capital of billiard ball production.” from their history), has designed the Fusion Tables, with a special lift system to adjust the table from dining height to pool table height easily, spandex pockets solve the problem of needing pockets that show when viewing the table from the side, and it still has a single slate, and incredibly high quality felting! Really with the table top on, you’d never guess there was a pool table hidden within! Anyhow, with the new house/office nearly ready, and the need for a dining/conference table ~ i couldn’t resist once i saw one in person! So take a peek at the set up of the table on the next page… and more pics to come!

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*NOTCOT in nature - 12.23.08 -

L.A. Zoo ~ The Animals!

mainZOO.jpg Ok, so you’ve seen the warning signs, and here are the animals of the LA Zoo! We brought the 40D and the 5D Mark II ~ so these are a mix of pics that both dan and i took while wandering around… hilarious the expressions some of these guys make… and the eyes! And the crazy shenanigans some of them try to get up to… like the orangutan that threads the swing rope through the fence to whip more plants towards itself… and the giraffe with its tongue!!! Anyhow, check out a bunch (ok, 25!) pics on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design -

Warning Signs at the L.A. Zoo

zoosign1.jpg Vacation time is finally setting in ~ at least in my head! Freshly back from spending the day at the LA Zoo with old friends, seriously haven’t been there since i was a little kid, and from what i saw, doesn’t look like its changed all that much… seems a bit dated, and perhaps because it was so cold (but luckily SUNNY! and not rainy!) was pretty quiet, but we did get to see quite a few animal feedings and packs of little kids…

First post from there ~ i was so amused by the old warning signage! So here’s a look at signage at the LA Zoo! See the pics on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in wearable - 12.20.08 -

Villainess Soaps Packaging

villainess.jpgVillainess Soaps just popped up on NotCouture ~ and while at first i simply crossposted it to .org… i quickly realized there was too much awesomeness to show in one 250x250 image… so here’s a proper post on their incredible packaging! Granted i have no idea how their products are… but they’ve won me over with their vintage pirate like feel… its like the Lush i’d imagine pirates/wenches would use! With hilarious naming, great graphic design, and an incredible clawfoot bathtub display at the Den of Antiquities… you have to take a peek!

From Villainess Soaps: “Our catchphrase is “redefining bad.” We’re also taking significant steps to redefine the way skincare is formulated, manufactured and marketed. We love gentle, environmentally conscious, and animal-friendly components as much as anyone. But we’re not interested in helping perpetuate false dichotomies or marketing ploys.” Who can’t avoid gifting bars of Ennui, Grundy Swamp Mud, Gloop, etc… See lots more images on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design -

NOTCOT.org Shopping Roundup

notcotorg #17459 notcotorg #17323 notcotorg #17361 notcotorg #17318 notcotorg #17440 notcotorg #17305 notcotorg #17294 notcotorg #17442 notcotorg #17387 notcotorg #17264 notcotorg #17317 notcotorg #17449 notcotorg #17315 notcotorg #17357 notcotorg #17422 notcotorg #17401 notcotorg #17256 notcotorg #17266 notcotorg #17290 notcotorg #17394 notcotorg #17345 notcotorg #17322 notcotorg #17390 notcotorg #17434 Best Buy SponsorshipHere’s the last of the Best Buy sponsored holiday roundups! This one brings together some of the buyable goods shown on NOTCOT.org! Click the images to find out more!

*NOTCOT in playful - 12.19.08 -

Kiki de Montparnasse Gift Love

kikidm.jpg Kiki de Montparnasse reached out to us, and being quite taken by their incredible user experiences ~ both in store and online ~ and being in the holiday spirit ~ i couldn’t resist sharing their generous holiday offer with you. They take pleasure to a new level, and each and every piece they offer is carefully curated and impeccably designed ~ so even if you’re done holiday shopping, i’m sure your lover(s) could always use a few more surprises…

Here is your exclusive NotCouture holiday offer from Kiki de Montparnasse. “Notcouture and Kiki lovers will have a 40% discount off any online purchase from now until the new year when they enter the promo code NCLOVE at checkout. You will also enjoy free shipping on all domestic orders. We are also offering an exclusive gift just for Notcouture readers: Receive a complimentary bottle of Kiki Body Oil with any purchase of $75 or more until the new year. This holiday season, give the gift that really counts: love.”

Take a peek on the next page of a few of my favorites from their holiday collection ~ i’m still lusting after those silk ties covered with the delicate handcuff prints (remember i wrote about them here a while back?)… and that candle (so tord boontje)… and those goblets… *swoon*… enjoy!

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*NOTCOT in gratis -

NVIDIA State of the Art Contest

speakvisual1.jpg New contest! This is all pretty new to me, and the whole NOTCOT world, but as you’ve seen the last month, we’re learning to give stuff away more and more! Latest is a collaboration with NVIDIA and their fun Speak Visual campaign (you know, the green one where we get to SPIN the ads), that brings us, Core77 (so excited to be officially on this with them!!!) and Behance together is this 3-part State of the Art Contest ~ (clicking through there you see my header… they made us all make different ones).

So here’s the gist of it ~ you have a chance to win a kick ass NVIDIA Quadro CX Graphics Card, which is THE graphics accelerator for CS4 (i want! who doesn’t want more monitors?) as well as Adobe CS4 Master Suite (granted this license is good until CS5 arrives, that’s still some pretty good time with the full bundle!)!!! To win it? Make some art ~ pictures and video are fair game, just blow our minds! (Accepted formats are: .avi, .mov, .mp4, .jpg, .png and .gif ) And if you’re super busy, but have previous work that fits, submit that in too! There will be 3 mini contests ~ and the first prompt is from Core77 ~ SO… “Visualize the Screens of the Future” - How do screens help us communicate, experience and create? Are there 3-D e-books or LED skyscrapers? Show us your design for the screen of the future.

I have this funky feeling its going to be super tough to figure out which of the entries are from you ~ so if you want me to pay special attention to checking yours out, leave a link/name/etc to the entry in the comments here, and maybe work NOTCOT into your description or if you’re feeling extra sneaky, slip the logo into your creative somewhere! My prompt starts Dec 29th… so watch out for that one! Go check out the contest here!

*NOTCOT in wearable -

NotCouture Cold Roundup

notcouture #3547 notcouture #3518 notcouture #3514 notcouture #3532 notcouture #3476 notcouture #3474 notcouture #3472 notcouture #3457 notcouture #3475 notcouture #3544 notcouture #3448 notcouture #3452 notcouture #3528 notcouture #3512 notcouture #3449 notcouture #3438 notcouture #3546 notcouture #3402 notcouture #3473 notcouture #3517 notcouture #3458 notcouture #3406 notcouture #3470 notcouture #3540 Best Buy SponsorshipHoliday roundup~ as you know Best Buy is sponsoring our roundups the last few weeks ~ and since its been so COLD (yes, even here in usually sunny socal) ~ here’s a NotCouture roundup of things to keep you warm (and stylish) through this chilling season! Click the images to find out more!

*NOTCOT in wearable -

Zirkeltraining ~ Recycled Gymnastics

gymnastics1.jpg I have a thing for messenger bags and a fascination with bags made of out unexpected recycled materials (i think it started with Freitag in high school) ~ and throughout the life of NOTCOT, we’ve looked at so many… from truck tarps to sea sails to parachutes to jackets and more… but when i spotted this at Springwise, i did a double, triple, quadruple take…

Zirkeltraining ~ is a german line of bags, wallets, laptop sleeves, etc made from recycled vintage 1950’s gymnastics equipment… from pummel horses to floor mats to rescue nets… with some truck tarps thrown in as well… Their photography is also eery but captivating… and the whole thing fascinated me until someone mentioned how many crotches have been on 1950’s pummel horse leather… but still… i had to share it with you… so see more pictures on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in gratis - 12.18.08 -

NOTCOT Giveaway 33: Skip Hop

osskiphop.jpg TO WIN: Leave a comment ~ with something space related! ENTER BY 12/21. WINNER: Kathryn in Indianapolis, IN!

This is quite possibly the coolest baby playmat EVER ~ well, if i for some strange reason popped out a kid today, this is the one i’d buy. Doesn’t matter if its for a boy or a girl, it is gorgeously colorful, intriguing, and has ufos and rocketships! Part of an exclusive collection by Skip Hop for Babies’r’us ~ this is the Skip Hop Outer Space Activity Playmat. So this 33rd giveaway goes out to the babies (do we have any playmat sized readers out there?) and their parents or expecting parents or expecting aunts/uncles/etc! You can read more at Skip Hop as well ~ and more pics of these goodies, as well as my other favorites from the collection (i swear alien rattle looks like a flying spaghetti monster) on the next page!!!

For a chance to win ~ leave a comment with something space related!

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