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!
Entries tagged with: gifts
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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!
On upcoming things to look forward to at CES ~ Liquid Image ~ the ultimate underwater third eye cam? A new level of strap-on waterproof wearable tech? But this really would be pretty fun for everything from diving to playing in the pool, bathtub, hot tub, fish tank? And the images aren't bad with the camera coming in a 3 and 5 megapixel option for pictures and videos! See examples below!
Another option? How about they have strap on bluetooth camera/headset in my mask/regulator? and then my phone can just come with in a drysack? With voice activated "email image to..."? And while we're at it might as well add a heads up display in the mask? and google maps with gps and instead of traffic it could have current tracking? with a dot for where i am and where my boat is? Ok ok, so maybe getting a bit out of control here, since my favorite part of scuba diving was always that serene relatively tech/internet free peacefulness of the vast unknown under the surface.
Brains + Shiny + Puma Urban Mobility + instant gallery thanks to the Serpentine for $1,400? This new collaborative Reality Bag project looks great. "The Reality Bag is an exciting new product, adapted from the PUMA Urban Mobility Edition Bag, which launched last season. The Reality Bag is designed to reflect the world inside and out through a clever use of innovative materials and design detail. To develop the concept of this original accessory, the Serpentine Gallery invited artist John Armleder to create its look and feel. Armleder also created the concept of the content and invited young artists to create artworks to go inside each of the 1000 Reality Bags. This makes The Reality Bag an original, multiple artwork containing original pieces by the artist himself and by invitees including John Trembley and Philippe Decreuzat. Many other artists will contribute books, DVDs, or anthologies, as Armleder plays with the idea of the bag as a portable gallery. The result is a truly individual work of art."
I've been a big fan of diesel for years now ~ and honestly as much as i liked their clothes, i've always LOVED their branding, packaging, graphics/interaction design! But what really blew me away was how horrendous their Fuel For Life customization ended up being. I must admit i'm relieved to see that there are *some* decent packaging/product offerings in this space that aren't embarrassing... Before i get into this sweet new limited edition ~ i've updated the Fuel For Life Customization post with images of the finished product... its more expensive AND uglier than i ever imagined. I had assumed that the mediocre flash imagery would be made up for by the usual diesel packaging/product quality, but instead the result is something i would probably be accused of peddling a bad fake and slapped for if i tried to sell it on ebay or craigslist.
Anyhow, excited to see that they came out with some edgy fun limited editions this season! The limited edition black lacquered box is beautiful and the packaging/bracelet idea with refillable minis is adorable for a gift, but doesn't it seem redundant to have a clasp when it already opens where the bottle goes? And can't you think of many different things you could put in that? The main bottles are a bit overly bling'd out for me, but playful and giftworthy none the less.
The Pingmag holiday delights post had these crazy little Kaomoji characters from Yojin on them, and i had no idea what to expect when i clicked through... one thing's for sure though, i didn't see the super crazy animation coming! These Kaomoji are part ascii art, part emoticon, and part crazy japanese toy character... more images of them below!
Twilight Turtle is another baby/toddler toy i came across the other day. Made by Sleep Sheep and Friends or Cloud B ~ this turtle is cuddly under its shell, lights up in various colors, and projects the night sky on to the ceiling (or your tent, fort, etc). "Choose from three soothing color options – blue, green, and white – to create magical, tranquil environments that are ideal for helping children of all ages ease into a restful sleep." And it projects 8 constellations for kids to learn. Also interesting is their Sheep Sleep, which plays 4 sounds that comfort babies ~ Mother's Heartbeat, Spring Showers, Ocean Surf, and Whale Songs. You can actually control the volume and it auto times out after 23 minutes. This one even now has a stroller/to-go version. More images of all below!
Honestly, with both of these being priced in the 25-40$ range, they've totally made my list for new parent gifts!
PeekABoo Stuff makes these seemingly simple PeekABoo Bags which are pretty brilliant, especially when it comes to keeping kids quiet... assuming of course that the kids don't have sharp objects (or teeth... or razor sharp claws) such that they can tear it open and ingest the bits... But basically, its a clear bean bag pouch with plastic pellets and random objects that the kids can try and find, and each bag comes with a list of all the objects inside so you can challenge them to find them all. For the creative ones, there is certainly a DIY project here waiting to happen, just make sure you double/triple those seams to keep those beads in! Close up images below, and video with a super perky demonstrator.
For pen lovers, I just received this new alternative to space pens and INKA pens ~ that can write upside down, under water, in space, etc due to the pressurized ink cartridges! Tombow (whose markers and glues i've loved since childhood) have their own version, the Object XL that we found over at adorable Tortoise Life on Abbot Kinney last night. The although a little larger than my INKA Titanium that has been on my keychain for some time, i love that with one action you can extend the top which makes the pen tip appear, and makes it the perfect length to comfortably write with... no caps or little pieces to lose, or clickers to accidentally help a pen scribble in the innards of your purse/wallet. Apparently you can even put a Fischer PDA Stylus in. Full unboxing images below ~ it makes a gorgeous gift!
A box full of RayD8s just showed up ~ they are the stocking stuffer of choice for my NOTCOT team this year... and i can't stop playing with it... and watching the videos (great interviews with suckloard and poykpac right now!) in Mimozine 1 that comes loaded on him! Also really cool screensavers, icons packs, music, wallpapers... these little guys really are TOYS with some digital depth to them... and you can use them as the 4gig USB keys they are too. And more reasons why i'm obsessing on RayD8... he GLOWS in the dark and has a split personality... and he actually has FEET on the bottom! You can see all my favorite parts in his photoshoot below... the kids over at Mimobots even sent them over ready for this cold weather with their furry jump suits (different colors so we can keep track of who's who).
As you know, i've played with Mimobots before (remember my ramona?) ~ and they were one of our gift guide sponsors (had SO much fun making that guide) ~ but somehow i hadn't gotten the chance to fully explore the Mimozine till now... i wish all usb devices came with fun content/magazines to enjoy! It's been an honor to have them as such strong supporters of NOTCOT!
You're running out of time! For all the xmas shoppers out there ~ good luck with the crowds and madness in the real world. It seems like you only really have today left to be ordering online where you can still cross your fingers and hope for it to show up with
Santa Mr. UPS and/or Ms. FedEx by xmas day. SO here's an insane collage of all 30 gift guides to date... with over 350 items. *phew*. Last one drops tomorrow!
Gift Guide Day 2 ~ the second to last of our 31 Days of Gift Guides! So today's is all about Photography! Unexpected mounts, tripods, suction cups, lens distorters, look around corner adapters, sd-usb sd cards, rockstar guitar straps.... you know, the fun stuff your camera needs! Afterall, what fun are the holidays without lots of pictures to document it with?
Gift Guide Day 3 is all about some musical gadgetry that can accompany the mp3 players/ipods that we all have... as well as a fun mini guitar amp, portable mp3 dj device launching in feb, and more! As usual ~ you can view all the gift guides to date on one page!
On more affordable designer options on green friendly reusable shopping bag options... Beau Soleil has stepped in with their new Beau Bag. "A stylish grocery sack! Price is affordable to entice people to help the environment without shelling out a lot of cash." It is $44 at ShopBop, $40 at Beau Soleil, and $25 (shipping in Jan) at El Sueño Verde. The typography was nice and clean on this one, and its great that there are snap pockets on all sides (including inside!) for all those random magazines, packs of gum, keys, etc! ~ see below for closeups.
On random holiday gifts ~ my father and sister just got back from the Amazon ~ and brought me a pile of amazonian craftiness. It's pretty incredible what they can carve into a brazil nut! (the snake, octopus, and ant)... and although these certainly aren't the same as getting to have their incredible adventures living on a boat ~ fishing and exploring the Amazon ~ wrestling caymans ~ capsizing dingies ~ following monkeys ~ playing football barefoot on the beach ~ and watching a million and one species of insects smack into the boats lights nightly... these are still pretty fascinating! Also check out the spear below that you tie a string to, mount on a bamboo stick, and use to fish the old fashioned way...
For some reason, these new Tank Theory tee illustration graphics have really grabbed me tonight while i was browsing 80's Purple: I'm not a violent person, Revolution! (close up below of the black/gold going across the back as well), Survivor!... and there is also the Comrade tee below, with the gun behind her back... and on exciting Tank Theory news, i just noticed the really sweet Dungeons buckle that we've gushed about before is back in stock (images below to remind you which one)!
And we're into the final 5 gift guides... Gift Guide Day 5 is another set of favorites from Charles & Marie (huge thanks for supporting NOTCOT and being our primary sponsor!)... their store really does end up being a collection of products that are so very NOTCOT in every sense... so continuing from my picks on Day 31, here are the rest of my C&M faves. And for those who want to see everything until now on one single super right scrolling page... here is the entirety of the NOTCOT Holiday Gift Guide 007 minus the 4 remaining guides to come...
I'm sure by now you've noticed that casting the everyday into silver and making it some wearable form like jewelry is instant subversive luxe. From plastic vampire teeth for belt buckles and cocktail swords as necklaces, to forget me knot strings around the finger and peeled bark as cuffs... so part of me isn't at all surprised to see that someone has gone and cast zip ties in silver as rings. In fact, i can't help but wonder why it wasn't done sooner. Granted i'd probably have to turn down any man who dared propose we marry with a pair of these, the concept certainly has a lot of potential. Personally, i feel like zip ties are the new duct tape... from tying back cables, to tying plants to poles, looping through dishrags to have a loop to hang them from, tying bad guys up instead of handcuffs, locking your suitcases... (i'm sure you have more examples to insert here)... these rings are from Metalnat by Natalie Gomensoro at Supermarket.
Also in the Coudal Swap Meat ~ Four glow in the dark ghost prints by Billy Davis ~ "This set of four prints was hand-screened at Crosshair Press in Chicago, and each features a glowing ghost in various ill-advised endeavors." Adorable... yet just twisted enough.
I love that space where biology meets design meets infographics... i just found this awesome set of two Lucky White Squirrel Posters by Moi Moi at Coudal's Swap Meat Gifted! "The Lucky White Squirrels limited edition print set was originally produced as two 4’x 8’ panels for a squirrel themed art exhibition held at a Toronto gallery located across from a park where a resident population of albino squirrels live. Working with the punnet square and the network diagram this idiosyncratic info-graphic based artwork explains why seeing an albino squirrel is lucky. The first print, a network diagram, illustrates the mix of genes it would take to create albino progeny from a pair of squirrels each carrying the recessive gene for albinism. The second, in real numbers, illustrates squirrel for squirrel the 1:20,000 odds that this would occur." Purchaseable here for $60.
Gift Guide Day 6 ~ for this last sunday gift guide, i surprised myself and going through archives and shopping online a bit, i came up with my personal wishlist of items that didn't make it into my other guides (in all honesty, i either want or have every item on these guides!). And as always, if you want, you can also view all of the gift guides from day 31 to 6. Can you believe there are only 5 Gift Guides to go!
Gift Guide Day 7 is all about your SNOW DAYS! Being in socal, its currently *freezing* (for a socal girl anyhow) but no snow... i kind of feel like if its going to be this cold, we might as well have the pleasure of the excuse to use a snowball chuck... anyhow, for those lucky enough, here are some toys and gadgets to have some fun with that frosty weather.
p.s. and if you don't like it one page at a time ~ see my favorite view with all the guides so far on one page.
I Golfini Della Nonna, USA has branched out from their Terrorism finger puppets and Gay Marriage finger puppets and just in time for the holiday season they have Political Candidate Finger Puppets! As it says on Moss: "Have your own debates. Pit your right hand against your left. Who needs Iowa or YouTube? The set consists of political candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Fred Thompson, and Rudy Giuliani, surrounding current President George W. Bush in the dunce cap. Become part of the national discourse. And don't forget to vote. "
Guitar + Vox + OhMiBod = Vibrator responding to the sounds of the guitar. Ever have those days where it you're holding two objects and it suddenly *clicks* that they're meant to be put together? Well a box of toys showed up from OhMiBod and the VOX AmPlug came on the same day, and it suddenly dawned on me that together they could be the perfect combo gift and only ~$100! [There's a quick video if below if you don't know what i mean.]
Ok ok, hear me out. The VOX AmPlug is perfect for electric guitarists who want to hear that beautiful full bodied sound through headphones. The OhMiBod and the more attractive and enticing new Gspot vibrate to the music connected through a headphone cable... Connect the two together ~ and its an interesting way to seriously touch someone through the music you PLAY.
We all know girls can't resist a musician (yes, yes, protest if you must, but we all know its pretty hard?) ~ this would take that love of musician and his music to a whole new level. Also, if he is the worst guitar player ever maybe this would be a nice gift for his poor girlfriend. And for all those groupies you can even plug in more than one... Come to think of it... this *could* work out nicely for those gamer guys too, hook it up to the output of your XBOX/PC/etc and every shot you take (or when you get shot) in a shooter game will have a whole new effect?