*NOTCOT in travel - 10.05.08 -

Veuve Clicquot Country House Inspirations

country1.jpgWhile recollecting my thoughts and trying to take a bit of a break ~ i’ve also found myself cleaning up my computer, and while doing so, discovered a lot of posts in the making… that never quite made it! So here’s some more catch up. I spent most of yesterday running around LA (and the outskirts) hunting and researching for the house i’m working on (under construction! i get to move in soon!) ~ and in doing so, finding myself thinking about so many details i hadn’t paid such careful attention to before, and things that reminded me about the Manoir de Verzy ~ the Country House of Madame Veuve Clicquot that we visited, and i’m ashamed that i hadn’t gotten these pictures up for you sooner!

There were so many fascinating details to this house and its gardens and being able to visit the actual vineyards ~ consider this a photo essay of sorts taking you through some of my most memorable images while there. This house is where we learned about vintages (even tasting our birth years! mine was a delicious vintage in ‘82) and Dégorgement à la volée in the Vieux Pressoir with Cyril Brun, the wine communications head and wine maker ~ followed by aperitif and specially crafted, perfectly paired lunch with Stéphane Gerschel - International Communications Director, Andrea Crippa - International Marketing Director, Cyril Brun, Felix Bocquet - Quality and Environment Director, followed by a walk through the vineyards with the Veuve Clicquot Vineyards director, Christian Renard. (All before taking off to our surprise helicopter ride!). It was at this lunch that Andrea gave us that sneak peek of the Ice Cube and i showed you some of the tile i loved. Anyhow, so on house shopping, and all the little details that make a house a home, take a peek at some of the quarters where VIPs stay with Veuve Clicquot, and the beautifully inspiring views across the vineyard on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in home+decor -

IKEA Spoka Ghost Light

spoka1.jpgWhile wandering through IKEA today, i finally gave in and had to take pics and buy one of the adorable kids Spoka Lights. These little ghosty night lights come in three shapes/colors and are squishy silicon rubber ~ its cordless with a recharger ~ and you push its head to turn it on and off. Designed by Bodrul Khalique. What was unexpected when i saw them was the packaging, they come in cute graphic bags, and inside the bag there is even a small pocket stitched inside for the cord. Supposedly on a full charge it can last 4-6 hours and light diodes are not replaceable; diode life approx. 50,000 hours. See more pictures on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in food+drink - 10.04.08 -

Crystal Head Vodka - It’s REAL!

crystalhead.jpgThe internet is a buzz with rumors on the latest “viral” video of Dan Aykroyd showing us his new Crystal Head Vodka in a gorgeous glass skull. Rumors include this being a video for the new Ghostbusters or some Indiana Jones… but i guess lesson to be learned here is ~ just because it’s going viral, doesn’t mean it’s not real!

I actually bought a few bottles today ~ lots of pics on the next page! Not the smooooothest thing i’ve tasted, but it’s not bad, and i’m totally in love with the glass skull bottle made by Bruni Glass in Milan, Italy. Apparently it is made by Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd, out of Newfoundland water triple crystal filtered through herkimer diamonds (aka double-terminated quartz crystals)! Really the story is just great though, and the video and bottle make the experience priceless ~ here are excerpts from the box: “In reverence of those enlightened after touching any of the thirteen crystal heads unearthed around our globe we offer this pure spirit”… “One of the most compelling archeological mysteries is the story of the 13 Crystal Heads. These heads are believed to be between 5,000 and 35,000 years old and were carved over a period of several hundred years but without any tool marks. In fact their very construction defies the laws of physics and common logic. They are believed to offer spiritual power to those who hold or possess them.”

See the pictures of the real thing and the video on the next page!

UPDATE: Dan did some crazy internet researching for us and here are some fun facts: Dan Aykroyd is not only an actor, but co-founder of the House of Blues, part owner of Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd (which distributes Patron in Canada), and is building his own winery, Dan Aykroyd Wines (which uses 100% snob free grapes!). There is a great interview with him on delish before the vodka release where he exposes how serious he is about wine, Crystal Skulls, UFOs, and “pure spirit from Newfoundland glacial pool water, and peaches and cream corn mash”!

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*NOTCOT in tech - 10.02.08 -

2009 Ferarri California

ferraricali.jpgStunning 2009 Ferarri California. Actually rather impressed with their site, and the videos and content provided ~ the “HEAR” section is my favorite so far. Few official pics on the next page, also check out the gallery at AutoBlog - they just saw it in Paris!

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*NOTCOT in me -

Vacation Time

newvaca.jpgHi! So, here’s the deal, i’ve been slightly overworking lately, and have been getting ready for gift guide ideas, holiday season, new features, playing with new projects, and keeping up with the high speed stream of goodies at NOTCOT.org, NotCouture, and Liqurious… also off to a wedding next week up in Sonoma… and the Federated Media Conversational Marketing Summit (i was asked whether i wanted to do ticket giveaways, any of you interested in meeting me at the summit and chatting conversational marketing?) on the 15th-16th.

While running around someone has been poking me about how i haven’t taken a “real” break in about 3 years - but that’s what doing what you love and having it turn into your job means right? Apparently, wrong. So i’m going to try and take a breather for the next week, and have a quick favor to ask you… Help me out with a few questions? 1) When i take a break, and in general, would you rather have me hire writers to just run around the net showing you things here on NOTCOT.com? Versus having this be more of my personal blog? (I’m slightly biased, as it’s pained me to watch some of my favorites hire a ton of people and the content gets old and not nearly as fun, but there’s probably a way to find a balance?) 2) What stores for designer and fashion goodies can you not live without that we should take a look at while researching for gift guide? Which includes everything from scouring their stores for products, seeing if they’d be interested in discounts for readers, etc etc (ideas?)…

OH, and you know me, “break” can sometimes = more posts. I get excited, i post. But since i’ve been slowing down the pace the last few days here anyhow, thought i’d make it official. So i may still be posting, but consider this the heads up for the next week and a bit if i miss a day or two… but just check into NOTCOT.org to get your creative juices flowing! Here’s a quick roundup of some of my current faves over there…

notcotorg #14514 notcotorg #14500 notcotorg #14491 notcotorg #14480 notcotorg #14283 notcotorg #14429 notcotorg #14432 notcotorg #14415 notcotorg #14396 notcotorg #14392 notcotorg #14371 notcotorg #14327 notcotorg #14365 notcotorg #14338 notcotorg #14290 Click the images to see more, as usual ~ and would you believe there’s something new going up there practically every few minutes?!?!?!

*NOTCOT in wearable -

Swims City Slippers

newswims0.jpgSwims gives us a first look at their latest innovation in the galoshes space to protect you (and your gorgeous shoes) from the rain and other messy, muddy places you wander through. Here’s a peek at the new Swims City Slippers ~ the best detail is definitely the maps of NY, Paris, and Tokyo on the soles ~ although i do wonder if it means with every step in dirt, you can leave maps for the lost? It’s flexible design is ready for heels of any thickness (but your wedges will have to wait for now), and its low cut so no bows or buckles get caught. The price is $95, they will be available on the site any day now and in stores within two weeks. They will be available in burgundy, black, pearl, red, purple and olive. I must say, i feel silly writing about rain products while i’m sitting in this LA heatwave, a nice cool rain and breeze would be quite nice right about now!

We’re big fans of the classic mens and women’s swims - as well as their push button open/close umbrellas after they saved both dan and i when running around NY for ICFF and into the woods of VT when only armed with dress shoes… so i can’t wait to try these out! See our past reviews/posts about swims here - and see more images of the new Swims City Slippers on the next page!

UPDATE: check out Frizzi Frizzi’s post with a hands on look at a few other new Swims designs!

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*NOTCOT in design - 10.01.08 -

DWR Tools For Living Santa Monica

dwrtflmain.jpgDWR’s second Tools For Living store launches tomorrow, and i just popped into the Santa Monica store for a quick press preview… it is GORGEOUS. And in this heat wave, you won’t want to leave the lovely, spacious, air conditioned store filled with designer goodies that are fully functional in your everyday life!

While i can’t even imagine picking all of my favorites and temptations from the store quite yet (perhaps we’ll save that for the gift guide!) ~ i couldn’t help myself when taking pics, and ended up with about 30 on the next page to give you a feel for the store in person. There really is something so great about being able to spin around a store ooohing and ahhhhing about products i’ve only seen online, or have been unable to find in the US that i saw at foreign trade shows. So especially for those who aren’t close enough to pop into the DWR Tools For Living Santa Monica or SoHo stores, take a browse at the gallery on the next page! With holiday shopping around the corner, i can already tell this will be one of my new last minute gift stops…

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*NOTCOT in design - 09.29.08 -

The Baek SeaTub Chair

seatub.jpgSeatub! 2008, A lounge chair made of Carbon fiber, High gloss lacquered, Chrome coated claw feet… by The Baek. This debuted at the Tent London show this month ~ and it looks gorgeous! Close up of the feet on the next page…

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*NOTCOT in tech -

HBO x Mimoco x Cornerstone

lbm1.jpgOn fun packages to kick off the week ~ i love that HBO and Cornerstone Promotion have teamed up with Mimoco to promote their new new shows. As we saw on .org, The Official Vanache Blog received a Life and Times of Tim Mimobot earlier ~ and i just received “Vicky Pollard” from the freshly launched Little Britain USA (the american version of the extremely successful BBC comedy) that just started last night. This little USB is filled with videos introducing a few of the characters!

On noteworthy things from a creative/marketing perspective, i love that Mimobots have managed to really up the standards in giveaway USB drives filled with content, and that companies like HBO and Cornerstone are thinking outside of the box, designing collectible limited edition characters. In the case of the Little Britain USA characters, only 4000 of each were made. See more images on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design - 09.28.08 -

Kimberly Wu - JOY

kimjoy.jpg New NOTCOT Gallery Tags!!! If you peek to the left and right you’ll see the work of Kimberly Wu ~ talented illustrator and art center transportation design grad, currently working for Honda Advanced Design studio in Pasadena, CA. I love how the internet works - I stumbled across Kimberly’s Blog and was intrigued enough by the images of the grad show projects to post it to NOTCOT.org (but too shy to email her for more info at the time!), and got an incredible response from NOTCOT readers! Then she posted about being on org, and i had to comment, at which point she emailed me back so many emails filled with high res pics ~ and i only fell further in love with her unique and gorgeous blend of illustration styles and car design renders! Many emails back and forth later, a simple post wouldn’t do her work with JOY justice, so here they are in the NOTCOT Gallery and Tags! View all of Kimberly Wu’s JOY in the NOTCOT Gallery.

In her own words, here’s what Kimberly had to say when i asked her about her background and the JOY Project: “To answer your questions, I was very interested in illustration, mainly doing a lot of figure and landscape painting, before deciding to go to Art Center for car design. It was a completely different route than I thought I would be taking, but I ended up using my illustration skills towards my style in designing cars. I think my goal was to try to separate myself from the typical way car designers sketch and design-I’m kind of obsessed with color and style in my work. What’s next is to start working! I was lucky to land a position at the Honda Advanced Design studio in old town, Pasadena.

The Joy project was something I decided to do in my free time. I didn’t have any constraints from school or instructors so I was free to do whatever I wanted. The project began in the Fall 2007, and it matured through each season until I finished in Summer 2008. The idea was to create a character vehicle, instead of just designing another car to be driven; I wanted the Joy to be like an animated toy almost. The colors all reflect the mood of each season, and are important in showing off Joy’s attitude.”

So, with that ~ click the tags to view all of Kimberly Wu’s JOY in the NOTCOT Gallery… and if we’re lucky we’ll be seeing more of her illustrations (and maybe even driving one of her designs!) in the near future!

*NOTCOT in home+decor - 09.25.08 -

Modern House Number Roundup

number0.jpgPet project today ~ researching house number options for a remodel… see 13 of the best resources/options i found on the next page! (including quite a feel where to can choose your fonts, materials, sizes, etc!)

p.s.
please feel free to comment more resources or numbers that you’ve found!

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*NOTCOT in playful - 09.24.08 -

Porsche Design for Kids

porschekids.jpgPorsche Design just launched quite a few new products for kids and the holidays, and they are adorable (and gorgeous)! Part of me is so glad i don’t have kids to buy these for, and the other part of me wishes i were a kid, so i could properly enjoy some of these! This is a selection of my favorites ~ from the baby boxster (SO cute) to the 911 Pedal Car to the Bobsleigh and Sledge to the 911 GT3 RSR racetrack set… it all looks so fun. See close ups and more details on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in tech - 09.22.08 -

Twitterview with S.A.R.A.H. of Eureka

sarahmain.jpgI interviewed a fictitious house! Ok, well that’s the one liner i’ve used for people who either don’t know Twitter, Sci-Fi’s Eureka, or both. For those who know ~ I twitterviewed a self actuated residential automated habitat! (aka S.A.R.A.H.)… and perhaps the most unexpected and exciting part of the whole experience was getting a sneak peek at the creative background for this television wonderhouse ~ while twitterviewing, S.A.R.A.H. shared some blueprints, set photos, and early sketches of what the house was planned to look like. Definitely some fun creative food for thought…

So first, here’s a little background ~ Eureka has been one of my tv indulgences for some time now… there’s something so playful and creatively inspiring about how they’ve managed to mix some very smart, sciencey ideas with some very pretty, glossy, innovative gadgetry in their magically hidden town of geniuses (you can watch full episodes on the Eureka site now if you want to see what i mean). Much of what shows up, often reminds me of crazy designer concepts and prototypes we dream up and read about constantly… So when i found out they decided to go all web 2.0 and have both a twitter (written by the house AI) and a tumblr (Eureka Unscripted - the behind the scenes blog), i couldn’t resist reaching out to see if they were willing to take it one step further and let me interview the AI over twitter! Afterall, we seldom do interviews here, and definitely focus more on design than people, so how perfect is it to interview the design versus the designer? So as you can see, the idea quickly blossomed, and last night turned into a fun hour long ramble between us over twitter, which even exposed some visually inspiring behind the scenes sneak peeks (including one of my messy desk)!

See the full transcript as well as some of the reactionary tweets on the next page ~ and if you need some catching up first - jump to the background of S.A.R.A.H. and a quick visual overview!

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*NOTCOT in design -

The Immaculate Threads by Dominic Wilcox

jobs4.jpgPerhaps one of the best parts INSIDE that Esquire 75th Anniversary E-ink covered magazine…. they commissioned a variety of artists to create the imagery to go with their 75 most important people pieces. And most eye catching… is certainly Dominic Wilcox’s “The Immaculate Threads” ~ which cheekily takes on Steve Jobs’ uniform of glasses, jeans, and black turtleneck… and places them in iPod like clear plastic containers, all perfectly lined up… It certainly reinforces the idea of Jobs as God (the god who gave us the jesus phone?). Can’t you just picture him getting his dry cleaning in these boxes, popping one open, and he’s ready to go for the day? See more images of the piece on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in tech - 09.21.08 -

Dissecting Esquire’s E-Ink Cover

eink1.jpgI’m sure by now you’ve heard about Esquire’s 75th Anniversary Cover ~ limited edition of 100,000 ~ with real E-Ink embedded in the cover. Over at Esquire, they’ve even opened up the discussion about whether you can hack it… and even show you where it all came from… So as a random Sunday amusement, couldn’t help picking it up from the newsstand, and as much as i resisted, i lasted a few minutes before i HAD to rip it apart and poke at the digital guts. So on the next page you can see video of it before and after, pictures of how it works, and scans as well!

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