*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Matusalem Rum

matusaboat.jpgWith the retirement of Fidel Castro - here is a nicely timed campaign for Matusalem Rum that has launched, and there are some adorable print/tv ads worth taking a look at. While i have yet to taste this rum, these ads are working on me, because i’m definitely curious! The layered cutout, print/illustration look has totally made my day. Featured in the ads are a Fidel Castro cutout explaining why he expelled their best rum, since “The Caribbean has never seen a pirate like fidel. He stole an island and threw away the treasure away.” Check out the three video ads below as well as another print ad!

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*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Edible Martini

ediblemartini1.jpgThe Edible Martini ~ incredible video at the NY Times - “Chef/mad scientist Dave Arnold of the French Culinary Institute has figured out how to vacuum infuse a martini inside a cucumber.” Armed with a cucumber, a bottle of gin, vermouth, simple syrup, a paper clip, and a vacuum machine Dave Arnold does some impressive flash pickling ~ and this martini infused cucumber comes out as crunchy as when it started if not more. Essentially, the vacuum machine sucks all the air out, so when air comes back in, gin forced into the cucumber, and as the air returns it turns beautifully clear. See my screenshots of the process below, and watch the The Edible Martini video!

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*NOTCOT in playful - 02.27.08 -

Glossy Brio Toys

pinkbrio1.jpgBrio. Their logo always flashes me back to childhood and makes me imagine those woody tracks that interlock, and the adorable, simple, primary colored, magnetic train cars that you could link up… But it seems like they have headed more towards Playsam with these adorably bright, glossy, lacquered toys. Remember the shape sorting box was on NOTCOT.org a while back? Well, in addition to that, you can also find matching glossy building sets, rattles, and the coolest little race cars! Can you imagine a prettier kids gift for designer moms and dads? Even if you outgrow playing with them (is that even possible?), they’d look beautiful as part of the decor. Also see the pull toys and push cars after the jump.

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*NOTCOT in design - 02.26.08 -

Inflate

inflater1.jpgMy latest obsession discovered at IDS08… Inflate’s airy structures! I fell in love with the white Luna cave/igloo that was set up in the corner of the show floor. There was also a black one, but with a silver exterior (i guess less likely to melt down in the sun if outside?) it wasn’t nearly as appealing. But the white one you can see images of below, it’s the perfect size for a playful rooftop studio space, or even in a backyard… it would probably be incredibly fun to have projections on the interior when its dark out… Anyhow, this prompted me to do much reading on the Inflate site, and this UK design and production studio was established in 1995 when founder, Nick Crosbie, was fresh out of RCA creating smaller scale products like fruitbowls, egg cups, ashtrays, etc…. with the first collection launched at 100% Design London it snowballed, and now they have 2 production facilities in the UK and an HK office! Naturally with a need for booths at competitions, the inflatables scaled up, and now they have moved into semi-permanent and permanent architectural structures as well! See many images below of why i’m smitten, and toying with whether 7,000$ for a pop up Luna is a worthwhile expense…

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*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Sheridan’s Coffee Layered Liqueur

sheridans1.jpgSheridan’s Coffee Layered Liqueur has truly the most incredible bottle design i’ve yet to encounter. I loved the stuff (and the packaging had a large part to do with that) when i lived in milan, and was absolutely fascinated by the split glass bottle, half filled with white, the other with black, and joined by the cap that magically poured a layered drink every time. Unfortunately, i started NOTCOT after returning, and never found it in the states… i even posted about it back in march 2005 when the site first launched, and even tracked down the case study of the bottle design! (You can view it below)… at the Duty Free in Toronto they had some! So i grabbed a bottle to take some pictures (and video!) of it to share with you, check it out below. It’s absolutely mesmerizing! Oh, and as for the taste, well its like a yummier bailey’s for those of you who like the sugary sweetness.

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*NOTCOT in playful - 02.25.08 -

Inside Monster Factory

monstermain.jpgNOTCOT Note: I’m excited to introduce you to Jenny Lemieux and Leo Corrales, of HERO Design Lab! Old friends from my Milan grad school days, they were nice enough to show me Toronto, and we had so much fun all weekend, that they’ve even written some posts for you! Starting off check out this awesome behind the scenes look at Monster Factory (who has had much love across NOTCOT over the years)!

We dropped by the Monster Factory factory today, as I’m dying to get my hands on one of their super cute little kid-friendly guys, and of course, we wanted a sneak peak at how the monsters come into being…. We chatted with partners Bliss Man and Rhya Tamasauskas (Adam Dunn wasn’t in) and some of their team. The coolest, gentlest people, I have to say, which only makes sense. We got a behind the scenes glimpse of how they turn their concepts into patterns, then various prototypes, before stitching together the 65 kinds of monsters. We love that they do the whole thing in Toronto, and hire local fashion grads to lend a hand. See the many pictures after the jump!

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*NOTCOT in design -

Pop Ink’s Decor-a-Boards

decoraboard.jpg
Decor-a-Boards from Pop Ink caught my eye because of this Little Red Samurai! So cute on the wood, so sweet, so innocent, so definitely has blood dripping from her sword. What are these? “Pop Ink’s Decor-a-Boards are the real wood wall art you need. Printed directly onto unfinished birch veneer over MDF board, Décor-a-Boards are a natural fit for any green (or any other color) home. The 11.25”x14” ready-to-hang Pop Ink Decor-a-Boards are manufactured with recycled wood scraps and unused parts of lumbered trees.” See more images after the jump!

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*NOTCOT in tech -

Adobe Light-Field Camera

adobecam.jpg I think i nearly drooled on my keyboard reading about this Adobe Light-Field Camera. I am by no means a traditional (or even a good) photographer. I know i’d be no where without Photoshop, playful compositions, and a fancy camera. As a product of my technology, i am sitting here dreaming about what could be done if each image could contain 19 different depths of field… a magical adobe “focus brush” that would paint using the seemlessly morphing interstitial images the software already created from all the image data. Watch the video after the jump.

Seriously this fly-eye lens capturing multiple perspectives and instantly being able to process all the various pieces of data completely changes the possibilities of not only photo-editing, but HOW we perceive photography and imagery… ok, i’m giddy for the day. See more images and the video below!

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*NOTCOT in design - 02.24.08 -

Obay - WhyBecauseISaidSo

torontoad1.jpgI stopped suddenly while walking and HAD to photograph this ad… i kind of hoped it was a random subversive urban hack… but then i saw it in the buses, and throughout the city. This one still has the best (ok, by best i meant worst) stock photo image… and caption… “My son has ideas of his own. Obay put a stop to that… from the makers of WhyBecauseISaidSo.” And the packaging design of the bottle could certainly have been done up a bit more to make it more convincing! But thanks to a submission over to NOTCOT.org on that same night about how Torontoist discovered what it was really about, the mystery was solved! See more images, the culprit behind the viral, etc after the jump!

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*NOTCOT in wearable -

Anneke van Bommel

mosserings.jpgAs i sit here in Toronto airport waiting to pop back over to LA ~ i’m sorting through MANY pictures, and how much i *could* post while i wait… first to really grab me ~ the playfully Canadian oriented jewelry of Anneke van Bommel that i encountered at The Souvenir Shop, she manages to simplify national pride down to simple cheeky iconic jewelry pieces… from these various wood/silver antler rings, to stubby beer pins, crossed axes, and more… (see lots of pics below!) The Souvenir Shop is one of the best collections of exclusive limited edition Canada oriented design pieces i ran into, which was unfortunately at the Gladstone Hotel within the Come Up To My Room Exhibition where artists took over rooms on the 2nd floor, and honestly, you didn’t miss much, because there were some of the rudest, most obnoxious people manning the door and their store ~ so luckily you can shop the wares online!

Bio from the site: “Anneke van Bommel is an artist and educator living and working in Toronto. She shares a downtown studio with 5 other jewelery artists and teaches at the Ontario College of Art and Design and George Brown College.Her work focuses on contemporary jewelery design, and explores concepts of place, memory and the symbols and icons of Canadiana.”

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*NOTCOT in wearable -

Paraphernalia

0222paraphernalia4.jpgNOTCOT Note: Here’s another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!

I have long been a fan of Paraphernalia - a line of very graphic, acrylic jewelry by Vanda Noronha. I like the monotone of black and white in the collection, and appreciate the humor in the various pieces (an Inquisitive Vulture Brooch, anyone?). They are also super affordable - ranging between $13 and $30. Not at all bad for a very eye catching piece of jewelry!

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*NOTCOT in design - 02.23.08 -

&Larry

0221larry1.jpgNOTCOT Note: Here’s another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!

&Larry is a Singaporean designer whose work very much references the local culture. We’ve all heard about the more infamous rules and regulations (no chewing gum other than therapeutic kinds), and &Larry’s Anything but Red project is a direct response to what he calls “the stifling creative atmosphere that leads to the easy dismissal of potentially great ideas”. The lamp base is made of stacked rolls of tapes of all kind - with the exclusion of red tape.

Another great project after the jump!

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*NOTCOT in design - 02.21.08 -

IDS08 Opening Night Gala

ids081.jpg Freshly back from the IDS08 Opening Night Gala ~ and although i’m totally passing out, just wanted to give you guys a peek at some of the pics… there were singers, quartets, acrobats, women dressed up in crazy flowered dresses, the incredible Vertical Limit Veuve Clicquot/Porsche Design collab (1 of 15!), Dysons, Audis… and so much more… anyhow, see after the jump for a quick look!

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*NOTCOT in me -

I’m in Toronto!

IMG_1907.jpgI guess some people noticed it got a little quiet today… well, i kind of spontaneously hopped a flight to Toronto to see some old friends (awesome designers, i’m sure you’ll hear more about soon, especially since they inspire me with incredible design finds/inspiration and are quickly catching me up on the Toronto Design scene) for the weekend, and check out IDS08 and the city for the first time… and really, i just need a little breather, things have been a bit intense the last few months/year! And i’m sure i’ll have much to share soon, but for now i’m not sure what time it is to my body, and it seems to think i should sleep since there’s much snow on the ground and its quite dark!

P.S.
Please play nice over at .org, etc! I hear some of the reports weren’t so nice today! Dan is trying to help cover for me as a favor till sunday… please feel free to help by posting the great stuff inspiring you that i might be missing, being afk for longer than usual!

*NOTCOT in nature - 02.20.08 -

Aurora Australis’ New Species in Antarctica

underwater1.jpgInspiration comes not only in all shapes and sizes, but from literally anywhere… and all of us at NOTCOT have a particular fascination with the inspiration from nature (ok some more than others, since Justine picks nature over design with her phd studies!)… So when we heard about the new deep sea species found in Antarctica, and then found these high res images and video of them, we swooned. And realized we HAD to post them. Here’s what we found out from the Australian Antarctic Division: “The return of the last of three Antarctic marine science research vessels marks the culmination of one of Australia’s most ambitious International Polar Year projects, a census of life in the icy Southern Ocean known as the Collaborative East Antarctic Marine Census (CEAMARC). Australia’s Aurora Australis and collaborating vessels L’Astrolabe (France) and Umitaka Maru (Japan) have returned from the Southern Ocean, their decks overflowing with a vast array of ocean life including a number of previously unknown species collected from the cold waters near the East Antarctic land mass.” Some of the shapes and curves of these are just incredible… don’t those tunicates look like glassy hearts? Lots of imagery after the jump!

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