Melbourne artist, Valissa Butterworth, aka The Mod Collective’s porcelain pieces are such a beautiful splash of colors created by a thoughtful mix of 3D printing and hand moulded/cast colored porcelain. They remind me of Maria White Mebane’s pieces… the porcelain which creates such an unusual and lovely glow when illuminated. As Butterworth explains - “My porcelain tableware is a fusion of technology and traditional ceramic techniques. Each concept is developed using Design software then printed on 3D printers in various mediums. From here the pieces are moulded and cast by hand using coloured porcelain. The porcelain is coloured using raw pigment at the slip stage, should you chip a piece you will not see the telltale white body you would get with coloured glaze. This process allows me to achieve a rich bold colour range not attainable with glaze. Having said this I am now using coloured glaze on a small number of pieces to highlight the texture and pattern and add another contrasting element to the range. This process also appeals to those who prefer the feel of fully glazed pieces. Each piece is made by myself in the studio, the result is a collection of beautifully unique pieces that retain the small marks of the hand made process.” They look absolutely stunning in pictures - and i can only dream up the possible color/glaze/pattern combinations you could create with her custom options! Take a peek at more closeups on the next page!
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It’s that time of year already, where everyone’s designs for Milan Design Week are flooding the design world… and the latest from BD Barcelona and Jaime Hayon have made me far too giddy today! The Gardenias Garden Collection is just so playfully Hayon, and with the stunning LA weather and all the work i’ve been doing in my garden, i can’t help dreaming up where i’d put some of these! Take a peek on the next page at the outdoor furniture, watering can, pots, and more!
Today i found myself in sunny Venice Beach, tucked away in house twenty six and a half on a walk street… playing with snow ready winter sportswear and exploring the studios of the freshly launched Coldsmoke Apparel - as they say, “Coldsmoke collaborates with some of the most advanced performance fabric mills along with highly regarded finishing companies to create collections that offer the best of both worlds. Our fashion is functional, performing at the highest level whether you’re on or off the mountain.”
It was great to get to explore the collection in person, and hear about the inspiration behind their inaugural collection by CCO, Imani Lanier (who is quite the seasoned designer). What struck me most was definitely the inuit symbols, design details (love the zippers and the subtle mountains stitched into pocket flaps, etc!), and the quality of the materials… also that all of the products were surrounded by quite the curation of vintage goods! The hats are displayed on stacked vintage cots… there are old skis, fishing poles, gas masks, shovels, and more strewn about the studio and they will all be for sale someday in the Coldsmoke Vintage Collection. Take a peek inside their studio and at some of the fun details of the upcoming collection, inspiration sketches, and their playful lookbook on the next page!
Wow. Ferg is taking Project Squadt to the next level with Squadt Assembly, which he has been teasing us with on his instagram for some time now… This exhibition/pop-up-shop at Rotofugi in Chicago opens April 5th, and those who attend have the chance to build their own Squadt characters with lots of special creatures and accessories - from various eye colors, hoodies, tees, sniper rifles, knives, rocket launchers, packs, vests, and more… as well as exclusives that aren’t even available on the preview). Additionally there will be fun Squadt merch for humans like pint glasses, clothing, stickers, etc! Take a peek at some of the epic options and the promo video on the next page… and for those unavailable to make it to Chicago for the opening, there’s a lottery to build one online depending on what is left.
p.s. Yes, the top pic is totally what i’d build… only maybe with the skull parka instead if it’s one of the specials…
I love when design sites/magazines/writers venture from not only covering inspiring design to helping bring it into the real world! In this case, our friends at Stilsucht, have just launched the Cliffhanger by Thomas Schmitz! A brilliant little hook that slips in between two pipes/slats/etc and lets gravity lock it in place… it was designed with a German “Altbau” in mind (think high-ceilinged, warehouse/loft like pre-war apartments that often have pairs of water pipes running vertically!) “The first batch comes in five different colors and each is an ode to the heart of cities. Berlin is represented by an urban Kreuzberg gray, Munich is a friendly Schwabing blue, Cologne has a sunny Ehrenfeld yellow, Frankfurt hails with a cordial Bornheim red and Hamburg shows a maritime Schanze blue.” I love that beyond helping designs become a reality, these are made in Berlin (also home of Stilsucht!) in the Stephanus workshops Berlin, a non profit workshop for social and vocational integration and rehabilitation of disabled people.
I had the pleasure of getting a pre-release Cliffhanger from Stilsucht when i ran into him in France last weekend ~ and i must say it feels nice and solid, with a rubbery coating that keeps it from slipping through the cracks, so to speak. While i may not have the same vertical pipe set up, i have actually found it quite useful hanging from my puppy gates (yes, they are basically the same as baby gates) and even between the back of the emeco navy chair! Take a peek at the details on the next page.
Hangar 1 Vodka has always been deliciously, locally, hand-made in… a hangar in Alameda, CA! And to celebrate their stunning redesign (beautiful new scientific/graduated cylinder feeling bottle complete with rubber stopper by Stranger & Stranger!), they’ve sent over a Tasting Tour in a BOX! (designed by Dead As We Know It!) Inside the box is a peek into the world Hangar 1 vodka comes from via postcards and a fun booklet ~ of course, there’s one of the new vodka bottles and dropper bottles of the various flavors ~ and a pipette! The pipette is clearly marked for “cocktails” and not marked for “shots”, but naturally we had to try tasting from it… take a peek at the hand-made vodka deliciousness and the beautiful packaging details all on the next page!
There is no denying that the Nocs NS2 Air Monitors are stunning. Beautiful, elegant computer/small room active speakers with built in AirPlay tech, making it ridiculously easy to throw your music around the house… and with AirPlay’s multi-speaker set up being so easy, it’s been fun hooking up the speakers in every room - from laptop to kitchen to living room to bedroom to be in sync, so music follows us around the house and NOTlabs! But back to aesthetics, these are designed in Stockholm (assembled in China) and have hand-built soft touch rubber coated cabinets (feels SO good!), Kevlar reinforced woofers and silk dome tweeters. I’m smitten by the way the red pops - they also come in black, white, grey, orange, and yellow. The set up is relatively easy (but also easy to forget, lest you need to reset and do it again - but you can ping the website for that too) - you basically plug it in, press setup on the back, and connect to its personal wifi network, hitting the usual 192.168.1.1 to set it up to attach to your network. You can also use AirPlay Direct Mode, which allows you to play to the temp wifi network it will create, perfect for wifi-less scenarios (simply double click the setup button till it turns amber.) Ready to take a peek at the details and setup? See the full unboxing on the next page!
Hood from Form Us with Love for Ateljé Lyktan. Loving the modular lighting design they’ve created, and how easily it scales to fit just about any size/shaped space while providing ambient lighting for stores, workspaces, and more! Take a peek at the details on the next page.
Tonight’s graphic design lust object ~ Spencer Charles’ Map Of The Known Universe which he designed as an intern for the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. in Seattle, WA (part of the 826 National family) 30” wide x 20” tall map. Double-sided, four-color offset print on fine 85-lb. paper sealed with a matte fingerprint-resistant finish. Flat, for easy framing… check it out on the next page!
Learning to make room for the NOTpuppy, Bucky, in our world, i keep browsing dog bowls and wondering why so many are so painfully gaudy (it’s not like a dog can read “dog” or will drink/eat from it because it has pictures of dogs on it, right?) And also, what’s so different about using human bowls for dog dishes? (Quickly figured out the shape/weight distribution/spillage/etc problems with many those!) So our biggest priorities were quickly, heavy enough not to be pushed all over and shaped well enough to be less spillable…
We recently shared Waggo’s Dipper Bowls on NOTCOT.org, and they offered to send some over for Bucky to try out. A nice simple splash of color, dishwasher safe, and FDA approved - these hand-dipped ceramic bowls are a nice, minimalist solution to simple dog bowls that fit well in any environment! They are also subtle and not so dog-bowl like that they could easily fit into your home as a cereal bowl, fruit bowl, etc as your pup outgrows it… They also sent over one of their Bubble Placemats that are made of 100% Silicone - upside: no slipping, downside: static grabs all the dog hair. Take a peek at their fun packaging and product details on the next page!
It is always amazing to see some of my favorite things come together… in this case, The Macallan and Oakley have teamed up to created quite the limited edition: The Flask. And to be clear, the specialty of this set isn’t just the flask itself, but also the special elixir contained with it - The Macallan’s first-ever, single cask All American Oak Scotch Whisky, described as: “Its lemon citrus and spicy wood flavors make their bold introduction, then are tempered by rich, creamy notes, ultimately smoothing into a sophisticatedly balanced heady, sweet finish.” And only 550 limited editions of gift sets of The Flask with the accompanying 22yr single cask All American Sherry Oak Scotch Macallan will be available. (You can also buy the Flask alone here though!)
As for The Flask itself, Oakley did quite a job! The inner flask is laser welded, food grade steel wrapped in carbon fiber composite that is treated to an intensive passivation and electro-polishing procedure then clad in black anodized 5-axis machined aerospace grade aluminum. The bottom is rubberized for non-skip gripping. The cap is double sprung for ergo sipping. There’s even a small rectangular air vent on the side of the machined aluminum funnel for ventilation… and it screws precisely into the mouthpiece so you don’t lose a drop.
Take a peek at the stunning collaboration on the next page - as well as a video of them having fun testing the flask (drifting into it, yanking it, filling it from a hellicopter, dropping it, and generally having far too much fun with some stunning cars)!
Chrome Bags last just about forever. My oldest Chrome messenger is from around 2005, and it has been round and round the world with me, and i’m still using it… and it gets better every day as it keeps softening up. So, while i’ve loved following their evolution over the years, it has been hard to get ready to swap it for a new one! (Also they have a “365 to Life” warranty, where their footwear and apparel is covered 365 days, and the bags for life to be free of defects in materials and workmanship.) My favorite details have always been the seat belt buckles and straps, truck tarp liners, and of course, the secret pocket!
Well Chrome Bags have come a long way since their start in 1995… and it was a fun surprise when they sent over some of their latest goodies: Lieutenant Rolltop Messenger Bag, Niko Camera Pack, and Women’s Storm Pasha Jacket. The details are awesome, and the pictures on their website don’t do them justice, you have to feel them in real life! Lots of pics of details of each of them on the next page to hopefully give you a closer feel… the rolltop messenger is nice and sleek and simple, with an irresistible matte black seat belt buckle… the camera pack is - wow! quite the hardcore pack with waterproof zippers and velcro ready to hold skateboard/tripods/etc… and i love how minimalist and light their storm jacket is while still being “Bombproof. Waterproof. Built to work on the bike and in the bar”. See it all on the next page!
Let’s start this off with an important lesson i just learned - puppies can not be trusted… they really will sneak off with things even if you turn your back for just a moment… and then they will curl up somewhere and hide and destroy it… like these pretty awesome HD Spy Camera Glasses from Photojojo! Random upside? While i don’t have many videos to share, luckily i tried quite a few and got pics of it all for you before Bucky got to it… and now we have a “puppy teardown” to show you the guts of what is inside and how it works!
The officially named, HD You Vision Video Glasses from Photojojo, come whiteboxed with a very oakley-esque camera case, usb charger, and 4GB micro SD. As for the fit, they are a bit wide and super light plastic (no real lenses and all), and i had a bit of trouble not looking pretty silly in them, but that being said, the video and audio quality was better than i expected! Full HD, pretty fun, good camera angle (third eye spot)… not great in the dark, and not high quality audio, but it will do for fun adventures that need documenting. And when i tried them out on a walk with Bucky, he didn’t seem to pleased to see them on my face (perhaps that’s why they got sneakily targeted later?) They are surprisingly easy to use - plug in to charge, click the button on the side to start recording, hit it again to stop! Take a peek at the unboxing (and unfortunate puppy tear down) on the next page!
Our little NOTpuppy, Bucky, has been jumping like crazy learning to catch things in mid air. In that photoshoot, there’s an awesome little fox toy that has a squeaky ball for a body a knot to start its tail with a squeaker in it! And being a labrador retriever (they are quite the obsessive chewers!) with his adult teeth now, he’s obliterating stuffed toys in minutes already (even the so called “tough/chew guards” don’t stand a chance with their weak points), yet somehow this cheap (3$), adorably distressed looking little fox from Target’s fun Boots & Barkley dog product line keeps surviving the last few weeks! Impressed, i had to go find more! There’s the fox, beaver, and platypus in a few different colors… and they all have amusing distressed eyes that are too cute while being whipped about by Bucky. Take a peek at all the details on the next page!
Adventures with Bucky, the NOTpuppy! Currently he’s a mere 22 weeks and a whopping 47 pounds… which means, no more baby teeth, and he’s starting to lose that puppy coat… everywhere. Not to mention his digging and constantly bringing who knows what from the yard inside… from dirt to grass to twigs and more… so as you can imagine, while we cleaned the house and lab before, we’re cleaning more than ever now!
Well, Dyson just sent over some of their Animal specific products (aka even more super sucking power) to help: specifically the DC41 Animal Complete and the Groom Tool. Currently, i’ve been combating the dirtiness with the cordless Dyson DC35 Digital Slim, which is still fantastic for quick clean ups… We’ve been huge Dyson fans for years now (long before NOTCOT even existed), for their beautiful, innovative designs, attention to detail, and ability to truly innovative with their machines both inside and out, but until Bucky, i haven’t had the chance to really put the suctioning power to the test with their Animal line. The DC41 Animal Complete is not just a DC41 Ball Vacuum, but it also comes with the new Tangle Free Turbine Tool, Soft Dusting Brush, Multi-Angle Brush, Stiff Bristle Brush, Crevice/Brush Tool, Stair Tool, a bag of Zorb Carpet Maintenance Powder, and a tool bag (that looks like a giant toiletry kit that unfolds to hang from the back of a door)… basically it has enough to tackle just about anything that you could need it to do… except brush your dog. For that, they included the Groom Tool, which functions much like your self cleaning brush, where you can push a button to remove the hair from the bristles, only this one has the super suction power of Dyson to vacuum it all in as you brush!
So here are some things i’ve learned. The suction power of the DC41 Animal is AMAZING. Bucky seems to think it is his foe - or a plaything - and either runs away or tries to play with it. I’ve always had problems with my long black hair getting twisted up on tube of the turbine heads - the Tangle Free Turbine Tool really works! (And you can attach it to the handhelds as well.) Re-vacuuming what i thought was a pretty clean floor, couch, dog bed - proved the sucking power of the DC41, and with the right attachment even helped us vacuum the impossible to reach thin spaces between the washer and dryer! There is something satisfying about the way the stand on the giant ball kicks up (just tilt the vacuum back and up it pops). While they say the Groom Tool doesn’t work with the handhelds, it DOES work technically, but since the power is only on when you hold the trigger, it’s a bit hard to handle pulling the trigger, squeezing the tool, and managing the dog all at once. The Groom Tool also works as your normal brush. Bucky isn’t quite used to the brushing + the vacuum noise so close/on his body… but treats help ease him into it.
Take a peek at the unboxings and details on the next page!
p.s. Here’s an outtake on instagram…
On fun collaborations, tonight we ended up at the Vanity Fair Campaign Hollywood 2013 party at the Baxter Finley Barber & Shop, and for the event they had a special collaboration with Baxter of California and Topo Designs. This black Topo Dopp Kit with a very Baxter blue lining with has a special patch celebrating the collaboration, and is filled with tons of Baxter of California men’s skincare/shaving goodies - from travel sizes to some full size products, to lots of samples… and mini haribo gummi bears! (My favorite mini packs when i was little… such adorable packaging and deliciousness.)
It has been such an adventure watching our friends at Baggu grow and evolve from their colorful, reusable shopping bag roots to luxurious leathers, and now to more and more SURF inspired goodness! From their Surf Board Slings - now to the most adorable polka dotted Rack Pads… and a lustworthy, Wetsuit Bag, a black vinyl tote with welded seams and a water resistant zipper keep water contained! I suppose this evolution to surfing is no surprise with their San Diego roots (and their current NY surfing adventures!)… take a peek at the Surf goods on the next page, i can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
Last year we spent Valentine’s Day over at Wieden + Kennedy in NY, this year, an adorable Valentine’s surprise just showed up! A fun little red hanky showing a match and log reading “Let’s Cozy Up” seems like a playfully explosive duo - where no one survives! There’s also a chocolatey Cocoagraph version as well! Take a peek at the unboxing and details on the next page… Happy Valentine’s Day + Thanks, Wieden + Kennedy!
Packaging impulse buy… i had to poke at these Stacked Wines. Prepackaged in individual sealed plastic glasses that pop-lock into one another and have a plastic lid on the top one… all sealed up in colorful plastic. It’s a fun picnic idea, but definitely feels like a set of interlocking grown up juice boxes. Take a peek at all the details on the next page…
Impulse supermarket packaging buy… The Happy Egg Co. eggs definitely jump off the shelf at you with their adorable branding and packaging… the hard part was debating whether they are worth the price compared to the ones they are surrounded by. But i was intrigued enough to at least try them… and the chicken egg character is adorable ~ they really take the happy free range chicken thing all the way! And the packaging has great details, from the vibrant yellow, colorful imagery, and even the logo and chicken-egg molded into the carton itself, but the best part is the way the carton opens with such a satisfying feeling that sounds/feels like it reseals each time its closed. Excessive? Possibly. Necessary? Probably not. Noteworthy design details and branding for eggs? Definitely. They are also on just about every social media platform… fun website, twitter, facebook, youtube, pinterest, google+… and have an iphone app game! Check out all the details on the next page…
I had no idea that elastic laces were a thing - particularly in the running/triathlon world… We had lunch across from a triathlon store today and couldn’t help wandering through after… the variety of elastic laces intrigued me and i gave in to some reflective Yankz! (the packaging is a bit better than the website.) They all seem to boast varieties of benefits from never having to tie laces to being able to have a bit more give adding comfort and “personalization”. Some have plastic springy stopper locks (imagine the plastic stoppers on rain jackets, etc)… and the Yankz! have double plastic bits that allow you to adjust from both sides and easily. These particular ones are also reflective, which never hurts. Take a peek at the details on the next page…
Parabellum. Wow. I’ve been thinking about how to write this post and streamline the wealth of photos, since i showed you the breath logos on the Oliver Peoples for Parabellum collaboration end of last week… and i’ve finally realized, there’s too much good stuff. So get ready for a visual adventure through the amazing workshop of Parabellum on the next page!
Tucked away in a prefab super-workshop behind a house in Hollywood, you will find a buffalo head looking down upon piles of luscious colorful buffalo leather, ceramic buckles and buttons, ball and claw feet in the making, racks of bags, wallets, and belts, a beautifully fluffy chow, sewing machine with dexter on it, a peek into their adventures with buffalo out on the plains, inspiration walls, a belt unboxing (out of the stunning wooden box!), kevlar lined belt details (with window!), a peek at how the incredible leather wears over time, and so much more. PHEW It is incredible!
Ultimately, the more i went through it all, the more i realized that the only way you can fully understand the passion the Parabellum team has for the unique, beautiful, extremely intentional and particular products that they create is to take it all in much like I did. A truly inspirational, sensory overload - and to top it off, every time i see/touch Shawn’s Parabellum Card Wallet i find myself imaging where it was made (all here in LA), the buffalo it came from, the stories of how it all came to be, and the subtle, intentional details worked into every corner…
So if you’re ready, dive in with me on the next page!
It’s been a while since i’ve fallen for a new pen (my go to has been the G2 05 since high school) ~ but these new Parker 5th Technology pen refills are a fascinating evolution of the classic fountain pen nibs and modern technology pen refills feel incredible when put to paper!
Celebrating their 125th, Parker just sent over one of their Parker Ingenuity Pens with the new Parker 5th Technology. Coming in fine and medium with color options of Black, Blue, Peacock Blue, Olive Green, Burgundy, and Purple and quite a range pens they fit in to. So far i’ve only tried the black medium ink ~ and it flows so smoothly, it feels great. the most interesting aspect of the new design is the flexible tip, and the “design eliminates pressure, impact and temperature-induced ink leaks.” Can’t wait to try out the fine as well… take a peek at the details on the next page.
Breath Logos! Why have we not seen more of these? For those that are confused - yes, you breathe on the lens and the logo appears! Remember the clawfooted purse i fell in love with from Parabellum? Well, I went by today to see their amazing workshop in Hollywood and experience the goods in person (the internet does not do it justice), and first thing i have to share with you is the mysterious Breath Logo in their sunglasses! Truly a detail you wouldn’t know to look for without being told… and i dare you to try to get your sunglasses back once your friends discover the hidden feature to play with. Much like leaving messages in the bathroom to appear when things get steamy… playing with these sunglasses will have you breathing on glass everywhere in hopes of a secret message. And of course, you can see through them perfectly when wearing them normally. It’s this type of secretive, thought out detail that you always get from Parabellum - everything they do is so intentional and precise… functional and beautiful. Throughout their pieces are hints at Masonic motifs, from symbolic imagery and numbers to latin phrases and acronyms hidden all around.
The sunglasses are a collaboration with Oliver Peoples. It is a version of the Linford Sunglasses frame in two limited edition colors: matte black with midnight express polarized glass lenses and custom matte black acetate details, and gold with java polarized lenses and custom sahara tortoise acetate detailing. Each is packaged in their signature soft bison leather, lined with lambskin and included with a custom cleaning cloth in a wooden box.
Take a peek at all the details and a video of Shawn breathing on the lenses on the next page!
Commune - you just made my day! The surprise 2013 packages that arrived have put a smile on my face with the fun “The future ain’t what it used to be” bumper sticker and i cant stop grinning about how DELICIOUS the Good Mix with Valerie Confections is… almonds, pumpkin seeds, light brown sugar, bittersweet chocolate, honey, cocoa powder, vanilla paste, sea salt, canola oil, cocoa nibs = ridiculously deliciousness. It’s addicting. In fact it’s terribly difficult to put it down while writing this! Take a peek on the next page for all the details…
p.s. just found out you can buy the Good Mix at the Valerie Confections boutique on West 1st Street…