It's been a strange and sleepless night ~ nurturing my budding jetlag, readers happen to catch me on facebook messaging, letting me know that Mark Hoppus reads NOTCOT... which led to the discovery of his octopus toy in the making ~ some twittering ~ much giddiness... and a sleepless morning of octopus obsessions and noticing how many octopi have appeared on NOTCOT.org and NotCouture! So, you know the drill ~ click those many octopi images to find out more!
Entries tagged with: animals
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Solar Birdhouse!!! Finally! Well, kind of. Here's the latest from Oooms ~ they describe their Solar BIrdhouse: "Why would only humans make use of eco-friendly technology? Studio OOOMS designed a birdhouse with a solar panel on it's roof. During the day sunlight feeds the solar panel, charging a small battery inside. At nighttime the transparent stick will light up and shed a tiny light on your garden. This light attracts an easy nighttime snack for the bird; all she has to do is stick her beak out of the hole and wait for the buzz."
As a slight side note ~ firstly, i'm super excited to hear this idea in production ~ i've been doodling and ranting with friends about the possibilities with solar power and bird feeders for some time now ~ my idea was more 24-hour-diner of feeders (less house like) ~ where in the day birds could get their usual munchies taken care of, and at night the light would attract bugs... but then most discussions got shot down by some of our resident biologists saying how it may turn into more of a bat feeder at night since they'd be the nocturnal residents most interested in the bugs... but that could also be pretty interesting! I also played with the ideas of bird feeders by day, lanterns at night... it would be so fun to have a playful project seeing what fun, functional, unexpected uses for solar energy in small scale products we could come up with!
I totally buy beer for packaging ~ ok, i buy a lot of things for packaging... but while at Whole Foods, i couldn't resist the Hitachino Nest Beer Owl, and the Red Rice Ale is SO red and delicious! I'd first spotted the brand on Liqurious a while back, but this was the first time seeing it in person!
On the next page you can see all the labels and standard sized bottles of their 10 variations ~ the graphic design is awesome, it has a trippy playful almost retro disney-esque feel to it ~ the fonts on the White Ale, Non Ale, and Red Rice in particular are my favorites! Check out close ups of the bottle and bottle cap ~ as well as glasses and schwag i found pics of online... Question to you is ~ have you seen a Hitachino Nest Beer KEG? I'm so curious now what the branding looks like on those! Discussing with a friend we were thinking about how fun an Owl shaped keg would be...
Another fun noteworthy aspect of the Natural History Museum First Fridays is the graphic motifs of animal/instrument hybrids used on the flyers and stickers distributed around the museum... there are even silk screened prints available! So far only two, but the artist was saying how he is planning on completing the set throughout the course of the First Fridays! Take a peek at some of the stickers we found, as well as the gorgeous colorful prints! Since 2009 is the year of darwin's 200th bday (next week!) and the 150th anniversary of the Origin of Species, this year of First Fridays are dedicated to him... and the Darwin sticker even has his motto "e conchis omnia" which means "everything from shells"...
Wow. There is something so magical about having the Natural History Museum as the backdrop for a friday night filled with science, food/wine, live music and exploration... especially when in between all of that you add some wild lighting and simple glowing modern furniture... As part of the Los Angeles Natural History Museums First Fridays, tonight we got to see The Bird and The Bee with a bison diorama as the backdrop! Listened to DJs spin in front of elephants... learned about "Evolution: What the fossils say and why it matters" from Dr. Don Prothero in front of some moose. Got wine from in front of some apes... Saw projections on and around the skeletons of a t-rex and triceratops... All in all it was a hell of a night, and a fascinating multisensoral experience. Check out images of some of the very surreal situations encountered on the next page!
On recent obsessions ~ Nathan Jurevicius' Peleda Owl Wind Up Blind Box Toys by Toy Tokyo!!!! You saw the original version as .org #17153... and alyssa mentioned that there was a special urban outfitters exclusive edition as well... so while the new Space 1520 in Hollywood, i finally saw them in person and was so taken by the packaging as well as the windups owls themselves! (Mean urbn guy wouldn't let me trade whatever was in my box for the demo black one that was just sitting out!!!) Sooooooo, as a result i started researching them all and rounded up all the pictures i found of them as well as close up photos of our glowing and magenta ones and they great packaging graphic design! See it all on the next page!
Nathan Jurevicius' may sound familiar because he's the aussie illustrator behind Scary Girl.
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!
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!
This guide is partially for pets, partially for green thumbs, partially for nature enthusiasts, and really just a scramble of nature inspired/related amusement floating around my lists! Click the products to browse the next page as usual!
TO WIN: Leave a comment here ~ tell me some animal/adventure story? ENTER BY 11/26. WINNER: Jeremy in Alexandria, VA!
Not to be biased or anything, but i am so giddy about this giveaway even more than any of the others so far! This was a late addition, cooked up over late night emails with Otter X (aka Patrick Ma, founder of Rocket World and T.A.D. Gear) ~ where upon ordering myself an early bday present in the form of the awesomest fleecy hoodie EVER, he offered to give one away to you guys too! And mine came on friday, and the temp dropped ridiculously at night, and its the coziest thing ever... so i'm even wearing it NOW!
So here's the Rocket World Shag Master Creature Hoodie (what a name, right?) - its the third in a line of exclusive fleeces from Rocketworld (pics of the first two on the next page!)... the biggest difference for me is that this one is versatile with its removable bear ears (which can also be switched for horns or anything you can make and velcro on!) - so less commitment to being an instant-furry with the full face and claws! These hoodies are the perfect combination for those of us who adore the Rocket World IWG well armed animal toys and the high quality tactical gear of TAD Gear. This is a variation of the original T.A.D. Gear Shag Master fleece. If there's one thing you can't miss about Patrick, his attention for detail is impeccable ~ combine that with his love of toys, nature, product design and a background in the army... is it really surprising that even this Creature Hoodie has had orders heading to soldiers in Iraq and A-stan as well as hollywood studios? His clientele on any given day ranges from die hard toy collectors to special forces, so you can only imagine. ANYHOW... you know i can rant on for eons about how incredible the company and products are, but lets move on to showing you all the details and fun photos of them skating at night with the hoodies on the next page, and to win one (he'll drop ship it in your size!) leave a comment with some adventure/animal tales!
I think i am obsessed with a large green glossy lacquered rocking chicken. Is that weird? Is it weirder that tonight i am obsessed with it because of Jamie Hayon's Lladro Fantasy Collection where he playfully mixes his designer goodness and attention to detail with the classic porcelain collectibles... But back to the chicken. It's giant. It's green. It's glossy. And i bet when you rock on it your mind fills with ideas and you get taken on a dreamy world of inspiration... or maybe thats the sleeping pill kicking in and i'm starting to fade and dream up ideas (how is it 3:30am?)? Regardless, between all the giveaways, thought you'd have fun taking a peek at the sketches and more images of the great green rocking chicken on the next page... see more at Jamie's site too!
Ok, 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!
First super pretty NOTCOT Video... in HD even! I'm sure you've heard about Banksy's Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill by now ~ we haven't been able to stop envying those who have seen it in person, and we have posted the best photosets we can find on .org... even been debating flying out just to go see it! For those catching up, Banksy (the subversive, cheeky, street artist known for stencil art, adding art to museums, pink elephants and more) branched out into animatronics with his Banksy's Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill
It has been so painful to see so many terrible youtube videos floating around, when i could only guess what the experience must be like in person. Since this is something that deserved to be well documented before it disappeared at the end of Oct, i commissioned filmmaker, Seth Brau, to capture the experience (especially the details!) for those of us too far to visit in the flesh... and when i got back from SF, seth had this incredible video (that i can't stop watching!) waiting for me! He even found music that closely matched that which is playing in the actual store! Huge thanks to our friend, Daniel Holter of the Burst Collective for helping with the music.
After this incredible piece, i think we may have to see more of Seth's work on NOTCOT soon... maybe we will have NOTCOT videos more regularly yet... and for comparison (and incase they disappear someday) on the next page you can see screenshots of the official Banksy's Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill, as well as the Banksy vids (shot in cages/rooms other than the actual petstore).
VIDEO (on the next page)! So i woke up bright and early this sunday morning and decided to wander around Paris, quickly realizing that stores weren't really open today, i went hunting for outdoor markets once the rain stopped, and found myself wandering around St Germain for some time, crossing through Notre Dame... and as i turned, i heard tons of sqwaking, and followed the sounds... i ended up in the most bizarre and amazing little outdoor flower and bird market, which apparently also has ferrets, chipmunks, chinchillas, piles of hamsters, super fluffy bunnies, all kinds of beautiful little birds, and even a poor little yorkie decked out in more denim than most people...
See the video for the best feel of the craziness, and lots of pics on the next page!
[Above is my latest new toy - a mis-colored helmeted Astro-Krieg Rhino and my random capsule machine egg/rabbit at the fireplace in Park Chow] Next time you're in the SF area, you MUST stop by T.A.D. Gear at 660 22nd Street in SF - what they don't show you in their pics of the store is the Rocket World section, which is like the holy grail of Rocket World I.W.G toys and prints, and not only do they do all online fulfillment for both brands in this space but also have their design studio upstairs! So on the next page, i have a peek at the store, the gallery space, and the design studios... if you thought Shepard Fairey's studios were cool, you'll drool at how inspiring this space is!
So before the onslaught of images to walk you through our experience at the incredible converted warehouse space, here are a few quick points to note.
1) For anyone that like the great outdoors (or is a special op, or just likes being well shielded from the extremities), but has a NOTCOT type of aesthetic (love matte black? lack of logos? incredible attention to every detail?) - you have to check out T.A.D. Gear's jackets, pants, and backpacks before you reach for the next Patagonia catalog. Dan just ran off with his to Burning Man, so i'll try to get you some detail pics later.
2) If you don't need the hardcore gear, they have an amazingly well curated selection of quality outdoor accessories that had me giddy to shop even though i didn't really need more mini flashlights, otter boxes, knives, dental floss, and more...
3) Sure stores like A16 are all rugged and designy in their own right, but T.A.D. Gear feels museum-esque as you browse through the space - which leads to
4) Rocket World I.W.G creatures have their own dedicated section, and while at first it may sound odd to have some of the coolest vinyl toys showcased and designed by the same crew that makes some of the most impressive tactical gear i've seen... if you go, it will all make sense. Especially once you find out that Patrick Ma (aka "Otter X") has a background ranging from the army to a masters in art, a love of the animal kingdom to a calling towards fashion design... is it any wonder that all of his passions have perfectly fused into an incredibly well kept secret lair of custom designed tactical gear as well as some of the cutest most detailed badass animal toys out there?
Ok, sorry i'm rambling, but as you can tell, i was totally giddy there - blown away by the products and toys initially, and from a business/inspirational perspective, hearing Patrick's background and philosophies on business and how he's managed to keep focus on doing what he loves (as many varying things as that may be) for over 10 years now, without giving in to the many temptations to sell out along the way and still be extremely successful - especially when you're pursuing new and uncharted concepts/ideas!
Go see the pics on the next page!
Cleaning through Comic-con pics ~ as far as purchases go ~ these little guys were truly irresistible! the Rocket World Insurgent Wilderness Gruppo (aka I.W.G) crew in shrunken zipper pulls and airborne paratroopers! So here are some quick pics of the booth, the toys (i couldn't help myself and had to open them up at lunch, so yes, that's a fork in the pic - and a few so so pics from the hotel), and the packaging... adorably tiny boxes for all of these!
Shit Happens. Dog Poo Bags by Junge Schactel, the design duo, Nina Dautzenberg and Andrea Gadesmann. How cute is their studio puppy, Cuno? And don't these bags just make you wish extremely talented packaging, branding, graphic, experience designers made everything in your world? See more pics below ~ and i'm also totally in love with the branding of Junge Schactel with their pull strip, packaging opening branding that is on their flash, portfolios, and even physically on their business cards!
Nudibranchs ~ i've been obsessed with these gorgeous creatures since my first dives as a kid in south east asia. David Doubilet ~ i grew up on his breath taking photography. Combine them ~ and video ~ and National Geographic... and i've been swooning over this Nudibranch feature on the National Geographic website for days now. So looking beyond the subject matter for a moment, from a photographic/design perspective... what really struck me about this series of photos, was the process! Seldom do you see these beautiful (tiny) little slug like creatures pop off so vibrantly on a perfectly white background... they look more like supermodels in a photo studio... so watching the video blew my mind to see that David Doubilet and his team actually went diving with a portable studio that they brought TO the nudibranches, shooting them where they found them, and only moving them when they weren't doing any complicated nudibranch activities (mating, feeding, etc). See the full gallery here, and see some of my favorites as well as the set up they used on the next page!
On the #1 thing i'm looking forward to at Comi-con (is it silly if i day trip to SD just for these?) ~ Rocket World's Insurgents Wilderness Gruppo ~ super armed yet oh so adorable creatures in the tiniest form yet! As blindbox zipper pulls and parachuters! The Zipper Pull Series will be about 1" tall, and including the original three I.W.G. members, there will also be human skulls, for a total of 17 colorways, two of which will be mystery chase figures! The Airborne Series of parachuters will be about 1.5" tall with high quality parachutes, and a total 15 colorways between the three characters, including TWO mystery chase figures! Anyhow, these are just a peek at what is to come at sdcc this year! More pictures on the next page, as well as pics of the making of...
I was just introduced to Prairie Vodka this morning via email, and although i have yet to try this supposed organic goodness, i'm absolutely smitten with the photography, website, and branding! It's gorgeous! So they really run with the Prairie meets the City theme ~ and have these breathtaking images of a woman on her NY patio with the city behind and the wolves at her side... and then the gentleman in his plush red chair at the fireplace with his bison... and then the subtle details and styling of the logo and site... *swoon*... and then you must see the actual bottle design as well, so sleek and simple. Even the transitions... to have the wolf walk up, and breathe on the screen till it gets foggy and fades into the next page... little silly, but an interesting approach! Is it any wonder that Prairie recently received a gold medal at the 2008 Los Angeles International Wine & Spirit Awards, as well as "Best Overall Design" and "Best Package of Show"? See more screenshots and imagery on the next page... and read more on Prairie Vodka at their site.
P.S. i'm so distracted by the prettiness of the visuals, that i'm saving discussing the organic and kosher aspects of it and the unique partnership between Phillips Distilling Company and a co-op of over 900 Minnesota farmers who are stakeholders in the brand - for a product review to come!
How beautiful are these "hand-foiled plant labels" that design*sponge received from The Modern Gardener? They are the most darling popsicle sticks i've ever seen! Handmade by London artist, Kim Jenkins, they come in 10 packs for 5 pounds a pack.
We can't go Whaleless! The Strychnin Gallery London will be opening the international group show, Whaleless, on July 11th! It contains a fun selection of pieces all reminding us how much we love whales, and that we need to help save them ~ a portion of the sales will be donated to Greenpeace. I've rounded up some of my favorites from the show on the next page for you to preview!
SPORE! SPORN [nsfw]! And all the madness that has flown around the internets over the launch of the Spore Creature Creator. Since the Spore folks asked us to make a creature for the Spore Vote site - no, i'm no Sporelebrity, just a mere More Spore if i ever get my creatures sorted out and sent in to them. On a side note, how funny are their Sporelebrities? You have the webby kids from Digg, Arrington, iJustine, Scoble, Veronica Belmont - and then tv actors like the OC guy, Alias guy, Sabrina the teenage witch, old saved by the bell guy... and stan lee and emeril... Yes yes, i know they have names, but just surveying the group made me laugh this lazy Saturday.
SO, back to the Spore Creatures ~ dan started challenging me to make "cute" ones that weren't what nightmares were made of... and then creatures with "fewest vertebrae possible" (turns out that is 2)... and other silly tasks, so in trying out the high res picture taking and video capturing... check out a few of my silly creatures (and vid!) on the next page... i've also added the video of the f*ck slug, which is a great example of Spore Typography!
Oooooh on things to look forward to, the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City will be showing Carlos Ramos' "Natural History Museum Part I" with the opening on June 28th! It's his first solo show! I've been looking forward to this show for a while, and Boing Boing posted a link to the preview ~ so i had to share after gushing over them for a bit...
For those who don't know - he's a Burbank native with a character animation degree from California Institute of the Arts, and has worked with Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Walt Disney Studios... he was even an art director for one of my favorite cartoons EVER - Dexter's Laboratory! Also worked on Chalkzone, Time Squad, and more... for the ultimate inspiration - check out his sketchbook on his site... on the next page are some of my favorites i'm looking forward to seeing at the show!