*NOTCOT in gratis - 11.17.08 -

NOTCOT Giveaway 1: BAGGU

giveaway1.jpg TO WIN: Leave a comment! ENTER BY 11/20 - WINNER: Dominique in New Mexico!

First giveaway of the season is from Baggu. Founder, Emily was kind enough to send over this bundle of new freshly launched Baggu goodies for one lucky reader… here’s what we’ve got:

1 BIG Baggu, 2 Baggus (in fun new patterns), 2 Baby Baggus, a set of the two new produce Baggus, and an adorable canvas Baggu penguin!

Since i had yet to see these new products in person either, mini photoshoot with the goods after the jump, as well as more info! To win this bundle - you have 3 days (until 11/20 night) to leave a comment, and we’ll pick+email the winner! And while you’re commenting, feel free to help suggest more gift guide products, amuse us, etc!

UPDATE! Check out the penguin (now named Pancho!) ~ with Dominique in NM!
pancho3.jpg

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*NOTCOT in playful - 11.15.08 -

All the NOTCOT 2008 Gift Guides

You found it! This is a secret post with all of the NOTCOT 2008 Gift Guides in one giant page! Sorry not so organized, but just scroll away to check them all out!

And don’t forget all the deals and discounts in the NOTCOT Holiday Coupon Book! And the ~30 giveaways!!!

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*NOTCOT in tech -

Mimobots VDC Series

newmimosMAIN.jpg The new VDC Mimobot series is too cute. So cute and incredibly detailed, it’s creating quite a dilemma for me… while i have a few in my purse, on my desk, etc ~ there’s usually been a standout one that love and need to have, this time there are a few! Argh! Hehe…

Ok anyhow, i’m a little delirious from massive gift guide planning, inhaling the smokey smell from fires all over socal (our wishes go out to everyone who is dealing with the fires first hand - be safe!), and shopping like crazy online right now… I’ve been meaning to post these, and only after getting far too distracted by them a few times, here we go! As the press release says, “Boston-based design studio Mimoco releases Vimobot Design Contest MIMOBOT Series, the company’s first community-designed collection of MIMOBOT designer USB flash drives, preloaded with all-new mimoZine Digital Magazine Issue 4.” And the new goodies are so tempting, i love the new wallpapers and icons! You have to check out the close up images of the new designs on the next page ~ details like the mushrooms, hidden spiders and skulls in the tiki, squid in the tattoos, cherry blossoms down the backs, so much to see in these little guys! I’m currently tortured picking between the Mimoshroom by Bananafromcanada, Golden Panda by Shandurrah, and Yakuza by Eetteekers… check out the MANY pics on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design - 11.14.08 -

Show Me How - 500 things you should know

showmehow1.jpgShow Me How ~ 500 Things You Should Know - Instructions for life from the everyday to the exotic While you might initially think that this long title is a huge exaggeration… it’s totally true! I think i learned 500 things yesterday! In pictures! And it seems crazy to try and tell you how, when i can SHOW you how! Here are some of my favorites… images on the next page to give you a better peek inside Derek Fagerstorm, Lauren Smith, and the Show Me How Team’s new book!

12 - stencil stealthily
14 - carve hollow book
15 - super slingshot
23 - pvc pipe digeridoo
25- chain mail bikini
111 - dazzle with sabrage
124 - prepare tibetan yak butter tea
126 - understand espresso drink ratios
135 - chug from a boot
138 - how to look dapper in a suit
180 - repair ripped jeans
191- get out of a car in a mini skirt
204 - tie the texas rope handcuff
224 - fix a dented baseboard
277 - make suet snack for birds
344- deliver a baby in a taxi
371 - fold his clothes for travel
383 - share authentic yerba matte
405 - open wine without a wine key
414 - run with the bulls in pamplona
426 - catch a fish bare handed
447 wrestle aligator
453 create water in the desert
485 - escape from straight jacket
493 - breathe fire

And those are just a few! This book is definitely on my no fail list for gifting for all occasions! Maybe best waiting room/coffee table book i’ve found yet? See scans of some on the next page! … and at amazon, that’s 500 new things for $16!

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*NOTCOT in tech -

Seagate FreeAgent - Gorgeous!

seagatemain.jpg From those pics my first thought would be some new modern ambient lighting… not the latest line of external hard drives. Always being on the go, and totally paranoid about losing photos/design files, i never travel without external hard drives… and i have some bigger boring ones from back in the day, and some sleeker new ones, but often the pretty ones worked terribly, the ugly simple ones were more reliable… and i’m so excited to see that brands like Seagate have really stepped up their design, realizing that its not even about accessorizing, so much as having more elegant solutions in the ext HD space. Especially with the prices dropping so much these days, aren’t external HDs like the new mix CD? Why bother with burning DVDs or filling tiny USB keys, when you can give someone a gift worthy ext HD filled with a lifetime of pictures and videos?

Anyhow, i’m ranting again - as you can tell, i’m pretty excited about the new era of external HD design… and i’m even MORE giddy to announce that Seagate has stepped up and sponsored this years NOTCOT Gift Guide 2008 (remember 2007’s?)! Which will be officially kicking off Monday! (Yes, yes, that’s why things have been a little quiet ~ my amazing winter intern, Alyssa, has been organizing some incredible discounts and giveaways for all of you ~ and i’m still madly scouring the net for fun products!) So you’ve been warned, gift guide madness starts Monday! (And while i’m trying not to do 31 days straight this year, it may get even crazier than last year!)

But for now… in our quiet before the gifting storm… How gorgeous are these new Seagate FreeAgent drives? So take a look at the details and unboxing on the next page ~ i had a lot of fun with this one!

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*NOTCOT in tech -

007: Quantum of Solace

bollinger1.jpgJust got back from the midnight showing of Quantum of Solace… and as a total bond junkie… i still stand by my opinion that the last one was one of the worst… and this one… well, it was off to a good start! Decent intro graphics ~ like the color palette and sandy look ~ awesome techy glass wall and table touch UIs (details like having him spell out “G R Double E N” over the phone, and as he says “double” a W shows up and changes to EE) ~ the aston martin DBS chase scene in the intro ~ tom ford did an incredible job dressing him… The prada dress she wears through the desert is awesome… but seriously, no gadgets? at all? Painfully annoying semi background integrated text telling us when we were in russia, etc? (wtf was up with some of those fonts?) Range Rover was one thing, but Ford? The fight scenes were so badly chopped up, you couldn’t follow what was going on… And could sony’s product placement have been more blatant? I think the sony phones and terrible microPC must have been his only “gadgets”… and the villains weren’t nearly amusingly villainous enough either! Ok ok, anyhow, i think i just needed to vent! BUT… seeing it was a nice excuse for me to post more of Justine’s pictures (she seriously sent me TONS from her National Geographic night out in London).

Here are some quick snap shots of the fun Harrod’s Brompton store windows as they closed up the Bollinger champagne bar… as well as the Aston Martin DBS, the Sunseeker speedboat, Tom Ford suit and black Prada dress worn by Daniel Craig and Olga Kurylenko and the latest Omega. Front and center of the bar you can also see the limited-edition Champagne cooler in the shape of a Walther PPK bullet that was featured on Liqurious. Perhaps better than the gadgetry in the film is the motion activated display at Harrods, where upon walking by you trigger clips from the film to play… Anyhow, check out more pics and info on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in tech -

Aston Martin One-77 part 2

car1.jpg Today’s the last chance to send me your info if you’re interested in visiting the Aston Martin Gaydon Factory for NOTCOT!

And i just got another semi-exclusive (well, they said 5 sites get access?) video about the design and history behind this handmade, gorgeous Aston Martin One-77… see the video and more stills on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in tech - 11.13.08 -

The Genographic Project

natgeogift0.jpgNow, back to the gift that Justine received at the National Geographic first ever retail store opening… Firstly, from a design perspective, i love that NatGeo takes their yellow so seriously, from the magazine, to the bags, to the wrapping paper… and i’m impressed that they pleated their wrapping paper! (See the pic on the next page!)…

As for what’s inside, it might be one of the coolest gifts you could give someone this holiday season! The Genographic Project Public Participation Kit!

Quick description of The Genographic Project: “The Genographic Project is a global research partnership of National Geographic and IBM. With support for field research from the Waitt Family Foundation, Dr. Spencer Wells and a group of the world’s leading scientists will attempt to collect and analyze more than 100,000 DNA samples from indigenous people all over the world. The goal of The Genographic Project is to learn about the migratory paths our ancestors took and how humankind populated the planet.”

In this very CSI looking kit, you get a DVD about the project, a map of the migratory history of man, buccal swab kit, and a confidential ID# to access your results! See more pics of the kit on the next page, and i guess we’ll see if Justine chooses to share her results with us!

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*NOTCOT in travel -

First National Geographic Retail Store

natgeomain.jpgOk, i need a teleportation device. Please! Today, National Geographic opens their first retail space and it is a 3 story 1,800 square metre world of its own on London’s Regent Street. We were lucky enough to get an invite to the launch party, but i was unlucky enough not to be able to teleport over for this stunning event! However, my sister, Justine (Rugenius) and her boyfriend, were kind enough to take a break from her PhD thesis writing to pop over and give us her take of it… and i think her animal loving, scientifically minded side really came out and fell in love with the space! She even has me excited about the upcoming talks, as well as dying to go shop the store in person…

So here’s the deal, she’s done a very thorough, visual walkthrough of the store for you on the next page, and she sent me SO many pictures that i’ve pulled out a few for the post, but you can view them all in Gallery NOTCOT. A few standout things to take note of? The layouts! Incredibly fun use of crates, industrial feeling containers, gorgeous gallery spaces… no one will be able to resist going into the magical red chamber with the GIANT block of ice to try on cold weather gear, and see where their heat is escaping on the screen… it looks like whether you’re planning a trip, looking for an adventure, or just escaping for a quick snack, this museum-esque store is going to be a hit. So, check out our first look on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design - 11.12.08 -

The W + Jonathan Adler = Design Dreams

w1.jpg Collaborations i’m giddy about? The W Hotels are launching another “Design Dreams” package with Jonathan Adler! Here’s a sneak peek at the upcoming deal that launches Nov 24th! Consider this on the list for awesome gifts for overworked designers in need of some R&R and a little something to get their inspiration flowing…

The exclusive “Design Dreams Package” includes “a stylish room rate”, two exclusive Adler pieces for W (Wonder/Lust Candle with wax in signature W purple and ceramic Key Keeper - see pic on next page!), 20% discount on Adler items at the W store, and two “Creative Cocktails”! For the NYC folks, there is even an expansion package - “For an additional $10,000, Jonathan Adler will join guests for lunch and a private shopping spree at one of his stores in New York City.”

Really, i’m lusting after the Wonder/Lust candles, which apparently will become available in the W stores soon! And they are so perfect with the rest of Adler’s Apothecary of Emotions…. see the exclusive key keeper and press release on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design - 11.10.08 -

Thank You, Catalina Estrada !

estrada1.jpgWow. Super crazy monday, just slowed down by the arrival of a very unexpected gift from one of my favorite artists, Catalina Estrada! Sat down in the hallway, popped open the tube, and it just kind of took my breath away. Gorgeously packaged (she decorated the tube so nicely and simply with stamps even!) ~ fun little cards greet you upon opening, and a signed print from the recent show she did with Pancho Tolchinsky: Backyard, with her illustrations beautifully layered over his photographs.

So, this post is a huge “THANK YOU, Cati!!!” ~ and i had to share how cool it is with all of you as well! I guess i’ll have to hit up the framers soon! So many posters and artworks i’ve had stashed in tubes over the last year or so… i think the living room of the new house next month may have to become a secret NOTCOT gallery! Check out more pics on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design - 11.09.08 -

Audrey Kawasaki - “The Drawing Room”

kawasaki1.jpgAs promised, here’s a look into the “THE DRAWING ROOM” curated by Audrey Kawasaki at Thinkspace that opened last night. As can be expected ~ extremely packed, people flowing onto the streets, drinking and clutching their limited edition prints like gold, inside people following audrey around in hopes of taking their picture with her… all her works sold out instantly… really, amazing show… and you can see all of my random pics in the notcot gallery ~ and all of the pieces at the thinkspace site, but what was really above and beyond any normal gallery showing was Audrey’s display in the front window space.

She basically recreated her studio in the window, like a dreamy lifesize diorama or creative goodness ~ filled with vintage finds and half finished sketches, it was like stepping into the world behind the works within the gallery, and it was beautiful! As she says on her blog, “i’ve been working on the front room installation for the past couple nights… it is suppose to represent an artist’s workspace/studio/nook, and it pretty much turned out to be a duplicate of my own. i can practically live there!” I wouldn’t be able to resist watching, pressed against the window, if she were to really “move in” and do some sketching in that adorable space!

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*NOTCOT in playful - 11.08.08 -

Paper Magazine 24 Hour Store

paper0.jpgAt 6pm tonight the Paper Magazine 24 Hour Department Store 2008 opened its doors with a marching band (that we strangely managed to end up walking behind as we strolled over from the car not knowing what was going on… and turns out it was the LA High band) playing out front ~ and literally stopping traffic as people pulled over on sunset to see what the raucous was about. This year it’s in a larger space, and the set up is far more urban and grittty with Johnston Marklee designing this fenced cubicle extravaganza. Did you know there are going to be 24 bands in 24 hours playing? Follow the blow by blow reports at PaperMag.com!

We went by early (hence, catching the opening act) to get some fun pics before it got too crazed in there to show you and fun products… lots of pics - so you can see them all in the gallery ~ but for this post, i’ve given you my highlights and some my of favorites worth stopping by to shop for: Citizen:Citizen’s Peace shirt is awesome (so so so soft too), StrangeCo’s Bumble and Tweet Special Edition (the woody and green are adorableness - and magnetic birds and bees!!!), Royal-T’s golden tea’s that come with COCKTAIL RECIPES on the back! So take a look at the craziness on the next page!

We ducked out of there pretty fast (1hr?) since we were famished ~ and really i was just dying to go to the Audrey Kawasaki show which was even crazier! Pics to come after i get some sleep… can’t believe its 3 already ~ LA insomniacs should go buy up those adorable Tweets! UPDATE: i accidentally got thirsty and drank some of the RUBYY forgetting it was an energy drink, so now its 4:30 - too tired to post, but did clean up and put pics from the Audrey Kawasaki show up in the Gallery - click to view full sized… enjoy! sweet dreams…

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*NOTCOT in tech - 11.07.08 -

Aston Martin One-77

aston0.jpgAston Martin has just launched its One-77 ~ only 77 in the production run… they are saying over 100 buyers had already signed up and put down a £200,000 deposit without even SEEING this £1.2m beauty… Everyone was teased with the appropriately referenced upskirt shots coming out of the Paris Auto Show, where they only revealed a portion of the car under a cover! Where are they ending up? Only six in the U.S. to be exact, with just five destined to stay in the UK out of the total production run of 77 (says autoblog). You must admit its mesmerizingly beautiful, the curves are absolutely stunning…

One-77 fuses advanced technology with stunning Aston Martin design to create possibly the world’s most desirable automotive art form. Based on a sophisticated carbon fibre chassis with a handcrafted aluminium body, this 7.3 litre V12 super car will deliver exhilarating performance for a strictly limited number of discerning customers.” Take a look at more sneak peeks of this luscious new design on the next page, and check out the video of what it’s all about.

So here’s where it gets really interesting ~ especially for our UK readers (or anyone who can be in the UK first week of Dec) ~ Aston Martin invited me to come out and tour their factory and see the car itself ~ unfortunately the timing is terrible and far too last minute as much as i’m dying to get out there! So, i thought i’d invite a reader to help cover it for me! SO, WHO WANTS TO VISIT ASTON MARTIN’S GAYDON FACTORY? Think you’re a perfect fit? Know a car lover with mad photography skills? More details on the next page after the pics and videos of this beautiful work of art. (I could stare at these for ages, i’m already jealous of whoever gets to go!)

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*NOTCOT in wearable -

Threadless Select + RISD

select.jpgHard not to be intrigued when you get an email saying “RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN PARTNERS WITH THE THREADLESS SELECT SERIES TO LAUNCH FIRST-EVER GUEST CURATED SERIES Collection Curated by RISD President John Maeda to Launch on November 6 Featuring Theme of Newness, with Exclusive Designs by Faculty Members”

Art school president and art world superstar team up with ugc t-shirt company…. that would sound pretty incredible already, but the idea of Threadless Select reaching out and working with John Maeda and RISD staff to create 4 t-shirts just blew my mind a little. So take a look at all 4 designs on the next page, as well as the press release!

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