*NOTCOT in nature - 06.01.08 -

Virginia Vacation

va1.jpgHave you noticed that when i go on “vacation” and attempt to take a break, it doesn’t exactly mean a complete break from posting (versus other sites)? Rather, it’s more like you get dragged along on the break with me ~ and get to see “vacation” content of sorts? Well i hope you don’t mind, but here’s one more to amuse you!

So i’ve been in Virginia the last few days ~ Earlysville/Charlottesville to be precise ~ and its been interesting, i never thought i’d find vermont so designy and inspiring ~ but Virginia, not so much. It has however been an incredible place to run into TONS of critters of all shapes and sizes ~ from gaggles and gaggles of canadian goslings/geese, deers - eating and running through the forest, a huge Northern Black Racer - Coluber constrictor (it was getting attacked by mocking birds in the driveway when we got back!), an awesome little toad, turtles (big and little! attacking a half fish), tons of fish, a heron, caught some frogs eggs, put some reservoir bryozoans in the fish tank, chipmunks, squirrels, bunnies, blue tailed skinks, beaver dams (but no beavers…), chickens, cows, and other livestock… and much more as we went on a canoe trip on the reservoir, little hikes and walks, and just finding things in the yard!

I think i’m also getting sick possibly, and/or ready to get back to socal (its been about 3 weeks away now i think)… so i wanted to do more posts for you tonight, but really just having a hard time staying awake and upright at the moment. So next best thing? I thought perhaps you’d like a little photo series on the next page to get a feel for what Virginia has been like for me, and how pretty and nature filled the trip has been! Enjoy! Theoretically i’ll be driving up to Washington DC and hopping a plane to LA on the 3rd…

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*NOTCOT in design - 05.29.08 -

Manac Flying Moose Mud Flap

manac.jpgAs if you don’t already think i’m strange enough ~ that NY trip for design week, which branched off into a roadtrip up to play in the woods in vermont… has been extended a few more days, and from vermont, we kind of decided to spontaneously drive down to Earlysville, Virginia… which is where i’m now posting from! If there’s one thing i’ve learned/realized during this little random adventure, it’s that for me, inspiring design details pop up nearly everywhere everyday in my life, and whether that’s at ICFF or while driving for 10+ hours straight down New England… design is omnipresent, and what really keeps me going.

On that note, my silly exciting find of the day yesterday was after about 8-9 hours of straight driving, stuck in INSANE traffic in NY that was moving at about 20 mph for over 2 hours, and i found myself staring at large semis and their various mud flaps and signage and the typography on them… and then i saw it. Mudflaps with FLYING MOOSE! Forget unicorns and pegasuses… flying moose! I forced dan to try and take a pic of it with his iphone (which i will have to bother him later to get it off)… the one we saw was like the one in the bottom left, it seemed friendlier than what appears to be the newer version on their site now.

So continuing on the Jackalope theme of north american mythological creatures… we sat in traffic discussing the idea of flying moose, and then reading up on the background of the Manac Trucking/Trailer Manufacturer which had this awesome creature as their logo. Turns out that this magnificent creature comes from a native american legend! Very cute tale, read it on the next page, and also see a picture i found of the statue of the Manac flying moose logo!

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*NOTCOT in home+decor -

Baja BBQ Firepack by Mike and Maaike

bbqfire.jpgCharcoal can be messy stuff… luckily for us dynamic design duo, Mike and Maaike, have tackled this process with their new Baja BBQ Firepack for Design Annex/Lazzari. The design of the packaging as a recycled, functional aspect of the process is just genius.

“The Baja BBQ Firepack is charcoal packaging that lights instantly and burns away in the grille, making the barbeque experience simple, clean and chemical free. Made from 100% recycled biodegradable paper pulp, the package contains 2 lbs of natural lump charcoal and features an integrated chimney that creates perfect hot coals in 15-20 minutes without the aid of chemicals or lighter fluid. Available at gourmet supermarkets. Manufactured by Lazzari/ Design Annex - patent pending” See the process in pics on the next page…

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*NOTCOT in design -

Matt Cipov’s “Bird Survey”

nestprint.jpgSuper cute prints just showed up in my inbox… and since we seem to be quite the bunch of animal lovers/biologists, i couldn’t resist sharing these Three Potato Four’s “Bird Survey” prints by Matt Cipov and “Gnatcatcher with Nest + Eggs” large print. See more images on the next page as usual…

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*NOTCOT in design -

More Bird Feeders/Houses

0528birdhouse.jpgNOTCOT Note: I finally got to meet up with Anna and Sean of Sub-Studio when i was in NY, and they are even more fun than i could have imagined! Definitely NOTCOT people, and i’m so excited to have her as a contributor! (I’m not so used to the meeting people on the internets, still a bit odd to me for some reason?)… anyhow! Here’s a fun new post from Anna!

Jean did a round-up recently of bird feeders and I wanted to add some great bird houses to the mix. I love the Nidusa birdhouse by Art. Lebedev - the faceted shape is beautiful! If I had some outdoor space, I would definitely hang one of those up to attract some little birdie friends. A few more feeders are after the jump!

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*NOTCOT in travel -

First Manhattan Polo Match in 70 Years!

polony.jpg The Veuve Clicquot Manhattan Polo Classic will take place on Governors Island (Sat 31 May) and can you believe that this will be the first time Polo will be played in NYC for over 70 years… bringing taste of Hamptons to NYC. Ralph Lauren’s team (Blackwatch) is playing Asprey’s team and Nacho Figueras (the face of Polo Black and best player in the world will be playing)

And guess what? The event is open to the public! So head over to Governor’s Island on Saturday if you are in NY, and let me know how the polo match turns out! Hopefully it will be a beautiful (non rainy) day! More images on the next page…

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*NOTCOT in design - 05.27.08 -

Dwell on Design LA!

dwellLA.jpg Dwell on Design finally comes to LA! (Remember i told you it was on its way when it was announced at the FordBrady party?) Personally i’m thrilled that more design events are coming to LA ~ and the folks at Dwell were even kind enough to reach out and give you guys some free passes and discounts on the conference passes:

Use the following codes to register here
Free Ticket To the Dwell on Design Exhibition: BDODEC
Discounted Conference Ticket ($50 Off): GRP22SP
… + check out a free issue of Dwell Digital on Zinio

“The Dwell on Design Event runs June 5-8 at the LA Convention Center, and includes an Exhibition of 200 exhibitors, a Speakers Conference of 50 speakers, and full size Sustainable Pre-Fab Neighborhood built on site, as well as 16 Home Tours of private green residences and evening parties at the Dwell Ford Brady and the Museum of Contemporary Art.”

I’ll be back in socal on June 3rd… so, see you there!

*NOTCOT in design -

Why Cheap Art?

cheapart.jpgPinned up in the bathroom of the log cabin… “the WHY CHEAP ART? manifesto” - from the Bread & Puppet Glover, Vermont in 1984… this nice little manifesto speaks for itself! I must say, parts of this remind me of the Target rants on design… and if this is the manifesto for cheap art, what would one for design look like? See a larger image on the next page…

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*NOTCOT in tech -

The Fall Of Steve Jobs

stevejobs1.jpgWe were cleaning out more of the log cabin, and when we started poking through desk drawers, dan and i both laughed when out popped Steve Jobs on the cover of the August 5, 1985 issue of Fortune Magazine - and the headline read “The Fall Of Steve Jobs”… funny article in retrospect too (see images on the next page)…filled with great pop cultural references of the time “John Sculley, 46, president and chief executive, ruefully remarked that Apple’s moves were attracting as much attention as an episode of Dynasty.” There were also statements like “No players in the drama have explained publicly why Jobs came to grief. But several of them, promised anonymity, have revealed the essential details to Fortune.” ~ can you imagine if any apple insiders were so bold today? Ah, how times have changed since 1985… Equally worthwhile, the ATT ad that runs next to the article… and the “Picture Phones: New Spin On An Old Idea” article that sits next to “Droids For Sale: Star Wars’ George Lucas if pushing new technology”… suffice to say, this is a quality issue of Fortune, and a nice way to get some perspective on exactly how far we’ve come in the last 23 years… See the details on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design -

Caplan’s Army Store Jackalope

jackalope.jpgJackalope spotting! I was wandering into town (St. Johnsbury, VT) on Memorial Day, and thanks to a local town parade, i detoured across the river, around the town, across the tracks, and back again - to get to the one open diner to get some breakfast… upon doing so, i ran across Caplan’s Army Store - where i couldn’t resist popping in to see what they had (and i picked up a black machete, work shirt, socks - i was packed with mostly heels and dresses for NYC city life on this trip…) And low and behold, i found the CUTEST jackalope i’ve yet to lay eyes on ~ while it does suck that these cute little creatures died to make this… at least the poor little guy is memorialized forever?

For those who don’t know about the legendary Jackalopes… crazy jack rabbits with antlers - rumors are that it is “a hybrid of the pygmy-deer and a species of “killer-rabbit”“… basically it is the american version of a chimera or griffin… and thanks to taxidermy, photo manipulation, and photoshop - MANY variations of this critter can be found across the country… (read up on your Jackalope lore) I’ve seen quite a few as a kid, but they tended to lean towards the large and ferocious style… THIS however was the CUTEST woodland creature infant version of a Jackalope! See more pictures of the street, store, and wall mount of this little guy on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in food+drink - 05.26.08 -

Vege: Frying + Blini Pans

vegeblini.jpgNOTCOT Note: Morning! Here’s one more before i head back to the cabin ~

At the Hardcore Exhibition in the Meatpacking District during ICFF that showcased New Finnish Design, i discovered VEGE by Design Mikko Laakkonen for Selki-Asema. These are frying pans and blini pans specially for vegetarians! And not only are they a nice way to help show your veg friends that you keep things separate ~ they even leave nice leafy patterns into your pancakes, etc. Cute idea. It’s cast iron and the frying pan has a birch handle. See more images of the full rack of the from the exhibition on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design - 05.25.08 -

Amuneal Manufacturing Booth

bentbirds.jpgNOTCOT Note: So, i’m still in the woods, still running up and down the mountain, exploring the woods, bonding with birds and deer and other critters, making bird feeders, learning about plumbing and working on getting hot water going (see? learning to be more handy!), raking leaves, playing in the stream, reflecting on life/the sites, and being ridiculously physically tired… BUT, for the sake of the sites, we grabbed a little room in nearby St. Johnsbury, VT for the internet so i can get a little somethin’ up for you guys - having no cell/internet is quite a trip! So here’s another post from ICFF!

I thought i was over the laser cut metals look, especially the cut and fold yourself shelving, coat racks, etc… then i saw the Amuneal Manufacturing Corp’s installation at their booth at ICFF and it was impressive to say the least. “Inspired from a scene from nature, our in-house graphic designer created a striking motif for the walls of the installation. We then “wrapped” it around a digital 3D model, which generated the laser cutting files required to connect over 3,000 square feet of aluminum. Once fabricated, each lightweight panel received a hand-patinaed finish to contrast the exacting accuracy of the cut pattern. The custom made teak architectural elements, including 14’ tall x 7’ wide entry portals and windows that featured over 30 scale models of recently completed projects, established the strength of the structure.” I got too curious and touched one of the bird cut outs on the main structure, and that stuff is quite sharp!

It was a beautiful space, and with the right lighting the shadows were gorgeous… equally fascinating were their business card holders where the birds were popped out and bent as you pleased to hold the cards between them. See images of the booth on the next page.

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*NOTCOT in me - 05.23.08 -

Into the Tech-Free Woods

peacham.jpgSo, the rumors are true. NOTCOT has gone where no tech addict chooses to go… there is NO CELL RECEPTION and NO INTERNET. *gasp*. After much mocking about how i “probably can’t remember the last time i’ve been off the grid” (and no, i can’t remember)… today we semi-spontaneously checked out early from NYC, grabbed a rental car (4WD black 2007 rav4), and cruised up to Peacham, Vermont… to a log cabin dan’s parents built back in the 70s, and no one has really lived there since (brief visits, but little more than that) - can you see it peeking out from between all the trees?

It’s adorable, the surroundings breath-taking - who wouldn’t be in love with that lush greenery and fast moving fish filled creek all around after the urban concrete/smells/sounds of NYC? The cabin is going to take a bit of work though, and after so much tech-tethered work, i guess a little manual labor and communing with nature can’t be all bad. So if i get a bit quiet this week, you’ll know where i disappeared to, and if i’m quiet longer than that… well, send a search party?

As for how i’m posting this? Well we’ve got to get the water running again, sort out some new furniture/matresses/etc, and hook up a phoneline (and yes, high speed dsl is on its way)… so, thanks to the kindness of friends, i’m getting a warm bed and my internet fix for the day. Few more sneak peeks on the next page - probably loads more to come as i wander and take more pics the next few days!

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*NOTCOT in home+decor -

Frandsen Projekt Bait Lamp

baitlamp.jpgWe came across this Bait Lamp designed by Henrik Pedersen for the Frandsen Projekt at ICFF, and i must admit, it didn’t look like much to me, until i lost Dan, only to find him with the booth guy playing with this lamp… and then it suddenly became really sweet. It has a carbon fiber rod, and on it is a movable brushed steel weight, and using the weight as a counter balance you can slide it along the lamp to adjust the height of the lighting, and the carbon fiber rod will naturally adjust its curve!

Really, you need to see it in action to make sense of it… so luckily we made a quick video clip you can check out to illustrate how it works. Unfortunately there is minimal information on the the Frandsen Projekt site, but we did find it in the catalog/pdf. Watch our little video on the next page!

p.s. we’re internally debating whether the lamp we saw is the same lamp in the press images, but the booth guy gave us the press kit saying it was in there, and this is the closest thing to it…….. it is a bit weird that the press image has the shade hanging so much lower, perhaps that’s adjustable?

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*NOTCOT in food+drink - 05.22.08 -

Tast.es Catering

tastes.jpgTast.es: Disposable Elements For Catering - firstly, awesome use of the .es domain - secondly, the Conran ROJO launch was incredible, and i have still yet to do a proper post on it, there was so much, it’s all coming out in pieces… strangely enough i actually indulged in some of the various catering finger foods coming around simply so i could poke at the beautifully designed mini dishes they were served in! How cute is this soup bowl/shot glass? It looked so strange and possibly uncomfortable to sip from, but honestly its curvature was perfect to put your lips up to and have the soup slide right in (no embarrassing dribbles or anything of that sort). I even had the url on the bottom of it emailed to me as soon as i finished drinking it so i wouldn’t forget to see what else they have… and low and behold, there is more awesome catering ware from Tast.es! So see larger images of the whole collection on the next page, and someday when we throw a party, i will definitely have to look these guys up.

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