Being a sucker for seemingly useful multipurpose designs... i'm strangely drawn to these leather wrap bracelets from A.P.C.'s spring 08 collection. This "doubled centimitre bracelet" is 100% leather with a small metal buckle and a centimitre scale embossed on the outside and 'A.P.C / WONDERWALL' on the inside. (NotCouture #1372)Now if only they'd do one in inches as well?
Entries tagged with: gifts
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On more designer lust-worthy tech from La Cie ~ the latest is this La Cie Little Disk tiny glossy 30/40GB disk designed by Sam Hecht that has an integrated USB and protective cap. Coming in at a mere 3 oz. and 2.64 x 1.69 x .67 in... it's just a smidge larger than the size of your classic Zippo lighters which are about 2 x 1 x .5 in... only thing missing? If only they'd stick an SD card slot next to that USB space! Unfortunately there are no pictures of the "carrying case" that is included in the box, i'm curious to see what they think you should be toting this tiny disk around in. More close ups after the jump... (also, how creepy is their hand model?)
On simple toys often being the best ~ To Be Us' A Matter Of Toys (what a company/product line name) cars are adorable. AND handmade... (pictures of the making of after the jump!)
From the To Be Us site:
"Handmade in Italy - To be Us is craftsmanlike product, entirely handmade. A one size block of wood, a single cut that shapes the sports car, the romantic one, the pick-up, the saloon , the security van. To be Us products are made of cedar of Lebanon: a dense, spicy and long-lasting wood. Its peculiar scent has a natural anti-moths effect. Wheels are made of mahogany: a hard, dense and yet easy to work wood showing also a very fine and precious grain. No paints are used on To be Us toys. To be Us products are designed by Matteo Ragni, Giulio Iacchetti and Odoardo Fioravanti. and handmade by Master Giovanni."
On adorable twists to the usual measuring cups, i was looking for the black and white giraffe measuring cups on black.white.bliss and they don't seem to be on the Anthropologie site anymore... perhaps you can get lucky in a store (picture after the jump of the adorableness!)... but while looking i did find this nestable gaggle of geese measuring cups!
Handpresso... i've been intrigued by this french contraption since i first laid eyes on it over at Acquire a few days ago (i haven't a clue why i've taken so long writing/editing this post bit by bit). And their ads crack me up ~ particularly the one with the french couple in a movie theater trying to be all suggestive while pumping up the espresso, getting the cups ready, etc. It's a beautiful contraption that looks like a nicely design mini bike pump you feed a packet of espresso (the premade type - pics below) and some hot water into for a perfectly brewed cup of espresso? I'm skeptical, but curious... see pics and videos after the jump as well as some of the accessories you can buy to go with.
We all want it. We have to. Right? And i do have a soft spot for manilla envelopes... Does anyone else think of air jordans when they hear macbook air though? The naming on this stuff kills me. Also the user experience of their whole keynote/macworld expo is apparently quite possibly the worst user experience ever... But for now. It looks pretty cute, and the music video for the song in the ad is quite possibly the cutest thing i've been woken up with... see it below! I would love to have her box on the water... and as far as packaging goes, i'm going to be sad if i open the box for this and it's not in a manilla envelope... oh and apparently it's completely sealed, has no ram slots, no battery replacement, its just like a ginormous ipod... i mean small laptop. same diff - only 2 gigs ram... no ethernet port...
UPDATED 1.15.8 at 12:50: We have hands on pics of the MacBook Air ~ detail shots added after the jump!
Is it time for a cheesy ~ Squeezebox Duet "it's more than meets the eye"? Ok i couldn't help myself, but there seems to be a lot more potential to this duo than most have been writing about, and i have pics below if you don't believe me. I was a bit skeptical when i first heard Logitech acquired Slim Devices, but its nice to see that the combination is producing some gorgeous technologically lust-worthy results. While at first glance, this is just a new variation of the open source SqueezeNetwork family ~ with a main displayless receiver and a remote that looks like the harmony meets ipod (and the duet can be split up and integrated any which way with your existing slim devices)... upon closer inspection and some forum browsing, it turns out that that remote has far more than expected.
There is an SD slot by the battery... a headphone jack and ir transmitter at the top (in addition to the wifi connection it uses)... there is an adorable little speaker on the back... the demo units had the ability to browse flickr on the mini displays... in screensaver mode it is a clock (and i am 80% sure the guy told me it can be your alarm clock as well, but it was a crazy few days so i'm not positive)... and according to the forums this little remote even has a 3-axis accelerometer and an expansion port on the bottom. Being completely open source, you can only imagine some of the crazy applets and software that have been created in the beta program... and can you imagine what else this can be used for? (it already streams your internet music/sirius radio/etc!) See close ups and links to the forums, etc below!
The King Of The Deadbeats - aka Rex beta vulgaris mortem by Joe Ledbetter is too awesome. That's the blue walrus guy with a head on a stick. This is just one of the new 8 figure blind box series dropping from StrangeCo, and it's their new multi-artist mini figure series, The Vivisect Playset, featuring Anthony Ausgang, Luke Chueh, Peter Gronquist, Thomas Han, Joe Ledbetter, Greg Simkins and Amanda Visell! Quite the lineup ~ Luke Chueh's is perfection as well... that classic near tears look that lives beneath the glossy made up facade we parade around in - Mugs Bunny - aka Lepus polypersonas. For those in LA ~ the big Toy Release party (really its like a fun gallery opening where we can all afford to buy the goods) will be at Gallery 1988 on Jan 26th! See more pics of the full set packaging after the jump.
Sub-Studio just featured these incredible Lima 7192 glass jewelry pieces, and i'm smitten by the Lush Ring VI-2. Something about the precious glass in such playfully organic shapes ~ so clear it's practically invisible, yet you can't take your eyes off it. See more enticing close-ups after the jump!
366cm is the swiss design duo Sergio Streun and Vincent Schertenleib. Square is their beautifully subtle trivet that looks like a simple glossy black tile with laser engraved electronic cooker elements, but
as soon as you put a hot pot upon it, it quickly transforms to an orangy red glow that not only conveys the heat but looks beautiful as well.
Ooops. Nevermind, it would have been cooler if it changed!
I think this is one of my favorite pictures from CES. Just something so fun about that glow. This was actually a backlit display on a concrete little table on their big grassy courtyard with little concrete stools all around it (you'll see more of the Belkin booth soon). But i just love how this picture blacks out the insanity surrounding it. Anyhow, the Belkin Rockstar is a super splitter of sorts ~ only it doesn't split, it actually has a chip inside to make sure the sound quality isn't dropping with each added connection. And most interesting thing is you can have TWO INPUTS... so yes, you can put two ipods together and live dj! While also having a few other people listening in, or hooking up some speakers... targeted at the 12-17 set, but world of opportunities here... imagine daisy chaining a few together? More images after the jump!
That is a giant hand held switch. They call it a remote, but i think giant powerstrip switch works a bit better... especially since it even comes with a wall plate where you can magnetically dock it like a light switch. As mentioned in my Top 10 CES Cravings ~ this is the Belkin Conserve Surge Protector. As we've all been hearing,even when off, plugged in electronics are still slowly sucking energy... so here's one way to actually cut off power to the tv, laptop/phone/mps chargers, etc when not in use. The interesting thing here (besides the awesome switch and magnetic mount) is that there are two plugs on the power strip which will stay on regardless (perfect for alarm clocks, tivos, etc), and the others are controlled with the switch. And if you have multiple ones of these? Well they wont interfere with each other since you can set the channel on the back, but if you have more than 6, be careful. Also, i worry about wandering over to a neighbors and turning their lights on and off... or vice versa... but Belkin seems to think that would be a luxury problem... although after watching the TV-B-GONE in action at CES, i'm not sure. I'd hate to have a desktop lose power because of an incident like this. How about some more secure pairing technology? See more images of it in action and close up after the jump!
Joey Roth's Sorapot has come a long way, and after years of waiting we can finally all get our hands on one in 2008! In fact, Joey Roth is officially the *first* reader from NOTCOT i ever met in person ~ we met about 2.5 years ago when i was in NY doing our NOTed photoshoot, and he's been a great friend and supporter to NOTCOT since! Well, you should be caught up on all your Sorapot news by now, and if not check out the video of it in action after the jump, but what this post is really about is the gorgeous new teacup design to match it! So why this design? Joey says "I designed this teacup to emphasize the the beauty of tea on glass while insulating your hand and tabletop from heat." I must admit my favorite part was the base... at first it looked like a mercedes logo ~ perhaps a cute idea for a future mug is a peace sign base that leaves peace sign water marks when left on paper... See more close ups of his new Teacup below!
"Mottainai Furoshiki" has been created by Yuriko Koike, Japan's Minister of the Environment, as a symbol of Japanese culture to reduce waste. Furoshiki is a Japanese traditional wrapping cloth which is used repeatedly in a stylish way. "The utilization of this "Mottainai Furoshiki" will contribute to reducing household waste from plastic bags. The Minister presented the "Mottainai Furoshiki" at the Senior Officials Meeting on the 3R Initiative held in Tokyo, Japan on March 6-8, 2006."
In the words of Minister Koike herself: "I've created what you might call a "mottainai furoshiki". The Japanese word mottainai means it's a shame for something to go to waste without having made use of its potential in full. The furoshiki is made of a fiber manufactured from recycled PET bottles, and has a birds-and-flowers motif drawn by Itoh Jakuchu, a painter of the mid-Edo era. The Japanese wrapping cloth known as the furoshiki is said to have been first used in the Muromachi Period(1392-1573), when people spread it out in place of a bath mat or wrapped one's clothes with it. The furoshiki is so handy that you can wrap almost anything in it regardless of size or shape with a little ingenuity by simply folding it in a right way. It's much better than Plastic bags you receive at supermarkets or wrapping paper, since it's highly resistant, reusable and multipurpose. In fact, it's one of the symbols of traditional Japanese culture, and puts an accent on taking care of things and avoiding wastes."
Perhaps what i need isn't a reusable bag... well i'm not sure how well i could do this for a BAG of groceries anyhow, but certain for gift wrap it opens up my options! Time to stock up on everything from Hermes scarves to fabric store scraps? See the chart of how to fold the designs after the jump. (Thanks, Craig!)
This is not your usual list of Top 10 CES picks ~ here are 10 products that are actually relatively attainable (either out now, or soon, and aren't concepts), that made my wishlist far too quickly - and don't fall under the cliche mobile, tv, pc launches you've probably been reading about and seeing everywhere.
Freshly back from CES, and i can barely feel my feet. As can be expected - it was one insane 36 hour vegas trip filled with more gadgetry than you can imagine, taxi lines longer than those at amusement parks, bright lights, tacky hotel rooms, the drone of slot machines pinging away, camera crews/bloggers/businessmen everywhere, booth babes galore, 150" tvs, robots, giant dancing/singing frogs with waterfall projections at the wynn, etc... But before i get into all of that, i need some sleep! ~ So, see below for the full list, and rest assured i'll have some up close and personal pics/posts to show you some design details of these products and more probably in the next few days!
I've always found the most intriguing puzzles to be those that look beautiful as objects and cause people to over think the solution. And this Bubble Trouble glass puzzle fits that perfectly. The goal is to move the single air bubble into the center chamber of this glass vial. It's elegant in design and solution, and i love the typography on the packaging as well. Tempted to purchase this one to leave on my desk and watch people tilt it up and down and all around in hopes of achieving their goal. Ok, and if you simply can't stand not knowing, solution is below.
Although this post trilogy on Cup Noodles started out in good fun, and we found ourselves giggling and amused by the 20 ads as well as the custom Cup Noodles... we became inspired by the innovative thinking behind this brand when stumbling across a pdf from Nissin Foods about how "Cup Noodle Looks Ahead", where President Komori sat down with Koki Ando, president of Nissin... For the most noteworthy excerpt first:
Making the impossible possible. One of my plans for our company is to double the number of 'eccentrics' in Nissin Foods. As a manufacturer, we must continue to make new breakthroughs. We must 'make the impossible possible,' and common-sense individuals often can't accomplish this. Breakthroughs can only be achieved by those who are a bit eccentric. organizations, however, necessarily aim at efficiency, and eccentrics, who may only work one week out of a year tend, to vanish from the organization. When the chips are down, though, these people are capable of great feats. Corporate leadership must find and keep these valuable human resources. By 'encouraging eccentrics' we can achieve our impossible dreams.
Isn't that an inspiring thing to hear someone in a corporation say? That passage has given me a whole new level of respect for Cup Noodle - don't get me wrong, i'm also slightly horrified to find that the noodles are deep fried for efficiency, and are really mostly fat and salt... so luckily we don't indulge in the college staple often! As for the sweet Eco Style Cup Noodle Refill pack? Read more below...
On bizarre 4am spontaneous research projects... we just got inspired to learn far too much about Cup Noodle (or Cup O' Noodles). Best thing we found? Ok well there's a tie, but we'll show you the other part in the next post... there is a Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum! And in that museum that is in the factory in Osaka ~ you can make CUSTOM Cup Noodles, where you draw on the cup, fill it with your noodles, choose your toppings and flavors (including cheese, curry, corn, the usuals), seal it up, plastic wrap it... and then even put it in a crazy inflatable bag! Anyhow, watch the videos below to see the custom Cup Noodle Bar, as well as how those noodles came to be as kids work with the factory workers (think crazy happy ikea meets wonka factory look) to make the noodles from scratch!
Koren Shadmi is the most inspiring thing i've seen today. Particularly his live journal, which gives us all a peek into the madness that comes before the final illustrations, and a chance to see how things evolve from rough sketch to pencil to brush to photoshop and beyond. My exploration through his work today started with his great illustration in the NYTimes today for the article "Putting Your Best Cyberface Forward" about who we are, and the bizarre behavioral adaptations to show our better sides and alter egos on the internet, be it dating sites, facebook, or just emailing. See some of my favorite pieces of inspiration from his work below... and for the Koren Shadmi's portfolio here.
Browsing Oh Joy, i noticed Wickle and their simple, pretty line of perfumes... while i have no idea what their scents are like, the packaging is sweet, in that old fashioned girly feeling way. Fig & Mace sure sounds like a strange one though... their usual come in scents like Muskmallow, Periwinkle, and Scented Tea Leaf with various limited edition packaging - The limited edition line with Katie Brinsley features a delicate chain with porcelain objects hanging from them and Takako Copeland editions come with pure silver silhouette pendants.
I gave in the day after xmas and finally went over to the Red Monkey store/workshop in West Hollywood, played with all their beautiful leather goods, and ordered one of their camera straps (i wrote about them before and featured them in the photography gift guide!)... what i didn't know was how sweet the packaging was, with the strap in bubble pack, with sticker and warranty, in a black matte plastic chinese take out container with the logo pressed into it! Also the store itself is pretty sweet as well, if you're anxious, jump ahead to the store pics here, with guitars hanging from the walls, chandeliers, mirrors, motorcycles and more. The quality of their workmanship is really high, and their service and really fast turnaround for custom jobs was quite impressive (they got this one ready for me in half the expected time)... Anyhow, browse the many pics below!
Negativity Refuse Bags would have been the *perfect* New Years gifts! Although merely a Positive* Branding/Campaign Concept... still would be a pretty fun gift, particularly for placing all that baggage emotional and otherwise into before burning at a bonfire? The bag states "Here at Positive, we believe that a physical action can reflect your emotional state. We encourage you to dispose of your pessimism and mental demons in a physical manifestation, to help purge your mind. So throw away that photo of the ex, or that poor performance report, and forget about it."
Instructions for use:
Place items within bag
Dispose of bag in nearest trash receptacle
Take a deep breath
Think Positive thoughts.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT RE-OPEN ONCE SEALED. HIGH RISK OF EMOTIONAL RELAPSE. Contains items of personal significance.
Wow. Yay for emails with new products that blow my mind as i wake up. Just im-ed these images over to Shade Elaine (aka Linhchi our NotCouture/scissor loving editor) and the response is a definite "OMG I WANT IT". Gogo of Toy-Me just gave me a sneak peek at one of the latest pieces from their upcoming collection, and knowing our thing for scissors (remember our sticker collection?)... is taunting us with this incredible silver scissor cuff bracelet, that can be worn two ways! Incredible that it actually opens, now the real question is: can it actually cut? I think we need two each, one for each wrist! More close ups below! And the full collections will be presented at Pitti Uomo next week.
Here's the teaser: "Paris designer Thomas Jaillot together with Marco De Michelis will introduce a Silver Scissor that wraps around your wrist and mixes with paper art transformations into silver, Origami earings and a Paper Windmill charm and earing."
Q-BA-MAZE - you may have noticed this new designer twist on the old school 3d wooden marble mazes on the gift guide. Well i played with it a bit before then, but only had enough free time on my hands tonight to build more silliness with it and take a few quick pics... I must say there is something calmingly mesmerizing about playing with all the ball bearings ~ and the quality of the pieces are far nicer than i expected just looking at images ~ my only complaint would be that sometimes they dont hold together as well as i'd hope, and in building my silly nearly 5ft tall twisty single helix/staircase tower some of the core center pieces weren't clicking together and it came tumbling down once... Also, some of the best packaging ever, i love that they managed to put the packaging together so that you can actually flip the box over to reset the balls to roll down the maze in the box! It's fully functional to play with before it even gets opened! Anyhow, take a look at the huge images below, and to find out more, go watch the videos at Q-BA-MAZE!
So we've been through quite a few reusable shopping bags here on NOTCOT, and now when i find new unique ones, i just can't seem to help myself. Latest interesting simplistic luxury variations come from Porter that was featured on HighSnobiety. Their replacement for the standard plastic bag-The Porter x Club King Shopping Bag in nylon (and it seems to have nylon lining layer as well, looks much like a baggu with flaps to secure things) and there is The Porter Grocery Tote replacing your paper bags, only this one is decked out in leather and cotton! And its as brown as your paper, but with a sky blue interior. Honestly i can't believe this is the 14th reusable shopping bag post... thanks dan implementing tagging and forcing me to start tagging things i can actually know that now... although of the nearly 2000 notcot.com posts, i've only tagged everything from 2007 so far, so 2 years to go when i have free time!