While at Selfridges early this week, we encountered these stunning limited edition Gordon’s Gin Ten Green Bottles designed by Conran ~ there will be 1 million bottles, available throughout the UK from October at the standard retail price and an additional 200 special edition bottles, presented in hand-stitched fabric wraps and presentation boxes along with an A3 print available exclusively at Selfridges. Then tonight, we found ourselves at the Conran Shop’s “village fête” of a celebration party for the collaboration - complete with a look behind the designs, fun silly games and activities set up throughout the store, and Gordon’s Gin cocktails of course! It’s fun to see that each of the 10 patterns (some more sneakily than others) incorporates it’s number into the design… take a peek on the next page at the event, the bottles, the inspiration… and more!
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Spotted at 100% Design today, here’s the Console O, an elegant side table from London-based JiB design studio. It integrates mushroomed ceramic pots (the tops have a greater diameter than the base) sit loosely into the tray of a table with oak lids that match the structure of the table. They look adorable with plants, and are great knick-knack holders and work as a tea table with all the lids on! And you can mix and match what you use them for, and/or what you hide in them. See more photos on the next page.
Brought to you by San Pellegrino. Enter now for a chance to be one of five winners of a FIAT 500. Plus, you could win great Italian-inspired prizes in S.Pellegrino’s Live In Italian On The Go Sweepstakes.
When San Pellegrino approached me about sponsoring a post capturing what to “Live in Italian” means to me~ I couldn’t help but reminisce about my amazing time in Milan for grad school… and how much I learned about passion, patience, living life to the fullest, and enjoying beautiful design, delicious food and drink, and stunning landscapes ~ from rolling lush mountains to lively seaside spots. And with the summer coming to a close around us, it seemed like the perfect time to indulge in some picnic getaways ~ no matter where you are! From the romantic bicycling picnic in the city ~ to the luxurious drive to a secluded picnic spot ~ to picnicking in the park with the kids ~ or even an evening camping picnic… take a peek on the next page at some of the perfect products to make it a special one!
The latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw.
We love seeing the use of antiquarian-inspired images that reference natural history engravings; and pairing these designs with packaging seems to be on the rise (e.g. recent release of Zubrowka’s beautiful illustrated packaging). So we were very excited to see the latest from Stranger & Stranger, the team behind the recently featured wine packaging as they created this stunning packaging for The Entertainer, a limited edition blended Scotch whisky from Compass Box.
Taking inspiration (and flavor combinations) from the turn of the 20th century, the beautiful packaging created in collaboration with London artist Peter Blake, takes a similarly beautiful and quirky antiquarian approach and includes so many details we love. It’s got London architecture, complex geometry, and all sorts of wild creatures from moths and butterflies to lionfish and octopi! The limited edition packaging and whisky are extremely limited, but currently still available at Selfridges (and online here). More photos of this gorgeous packaging on the next page!
One of my favorite italian indulgences is the Ferrero Pocket Coffee! Delicious chocolatiness filled with espresso! And apparently they are only produced/available November through April? They are surprisingly hard to find in LA, but sometimes they are at Monsiuer Marcel. Well running around Italy the last few weeks ~ and happening upon these Pocket Espresso To GO packs while stopping at a gas station outside of Florence with Josh Rubin, and when grabbing a drink we also grabbed these! (Thanks, Josh!)
They are like SUPER MINI juice boxes for adults. Only instead of juice they are filled with a chocolatey espresso. And it’s complete with a super mini straw and a Pierce Here/Forare Qui spot! Ms Adventures In Italy points out that these are the SUMMER variation of the Pocket Coffees ~ i suppose it makes sense that with the chocolate mixed in, you don’t have to worry about them melting in the heat? Too adorable and quite delicious - take a peek at Pocket Espresso To GO up close on the next page!
Just arriving in London pre-design week, the last thing i expected fresh off the plane was to end up on a boat in a London canal exploring IKEA color sorted floating displays with actors lounging and cooking in them… IKEA turning a section of Regent’s Canal in Islington into a floating night market to launch their colorful new collection. The floating night market was inspired by the vibrant night markets of Asia. Upon arrival, we found ourselves in a black and white pavilion making fantastic use of patterned textiles and put our names down for a boat ride to visit the floating showcases and enjoying cocktails while awaiting our ride.
Once our boat was ready, we were gondolier-ed along the canal in a black and white boat (all IKEA fabrics and pillows) to visit moored boats housing color-themed selections from the new IKEA ranges and even got a taste of a Swedish crayfish party on board! The IKEA floating market is open to the public tonight for one night only (Friday, September 14th)! We hear general admission has sold out, but you can find out more from the event facebook page. See our boat ride photos of the floating market on the next page!
Leave it to our friends at Stranger & Stranger to take wine to a whole new level of elegant playfulness ~ making us lust after the life the bottle teases at before we even figure out what type of wine it is. Remember last Christmas’s No. 13 they sent out? It seems that the idea for this line of Truett Hurst wines for Safeway packaged by Stranger & Stranger took its inspiration from No. 13! Kevin Shaw, the founder and Creative Director, says “ The added real estate that the over sleeve gives us has allowed us to engage with people in a way that a tiny back label never can. Everyone just wants to pick up and read these packs.” Apparently “Stranger identified 22 niches and buying occasions that might benefit from enhanced packaging and developed a patented bottle sleeve that contains everything from quotes to recipes.” I had no idea you could patent the bottle sleeve resembling the brown paper bag look of the prohibition era ~ but it will be intriguing to see how this wine packaging shift infiltrates other packaging designs as we wander the aisles at the market! See more bottles and lots of close ups on the next page!
This post is part of a content series presented by smartwater… smartwater, good taste travels well. Click here to learn more. The opinions and content in this post are 100% NOTCOT, smartwater is supporting us to share what we love with you!
On travels, one of the hardest things is always to find souvenirs that are memorable but not too kitchsy. Something that will fit back in with your world at home or those you are gifting it to ~ but still stand out enough to bring back fond memories of a place. So i was thrilled when i just found this new line of Los Angeles Souvenirs, essentially for locals by locals, that are the prefect gift/reminder to visitors of how awesome the REAL Los Angeles can be! These glasses are by Sisters of Los Angeles, “a unique, Los Angeles-inspired gift and modern memorabilia collection that reflects all the best that the City of Los Angeles has to offer. ” Who does it come from? “SoLA is designed by celebrated Architect and Author of Bohemian Modern: Living in Silver Lake, Barbara Bestor ; successful product development specialist and manufacturer’s rep Karen Alweil; and fashion/lifestyle publicist and marketing expert Sara Stein.” Now i’m just wishing they had Pacific Palisades glasses to go with their Hollywood, Beaches series, Canyon series, and freeway (10, 405, 110, 101) series! You can currently find some online at Ron Robinson… see more pictures of the tastefully fun travel souvenirs by Sisters of Los Angeles on the next page!
We have been smitten by the works of duo Francesco Rugi and Silvia Quintanilla, aka Carnovsky, for years now (you can see them on NOTCOT.org) ~ from the wallpapers to the art pieces to the scarves and now STICKERS with Blik! [Side note: I feel so ridiculous that even when reading/writing about them for so long ~ it wasn’t until i ran into this picture of Sylvia and Francesco at the show opening in Portland that i realized i went to Domus Academy with them a few years back! What a small world!]
Anyhow, we’ve been lusting after their wallpapers filled with various plants and animals for some time, but have yet to figure out a wall to commit to it, so when the Blik stickers launched (and were teased at their 10th bday party!) we had to try it! Since the designs for the Rosone series of 4 designs were all symmetrical circular patterns, they reminded me of ceiling moldings around chandeliers or other pendant lighting… so, why not a fun artwork for the ceiling to go around the light? This also allows for the possibility to have color changing lightbulbs you can easily use to see the various RGB views of the artwork! Take a peek at unboxing of the new Blik x Carnovsky Rosone wall stickers, peeks through the 3 colored glasses they come with, and our application of it on the ceiling all on the next page!
The Israeli Pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale was turned into a fully functioning capitalist “concept shop” filled with cheeky goods you can actually purchase. As they state in the catalog “In this exhibition, one enters a concept store, selling custom-made objects that relate to specific events in the relationship between the United States and Israel. The store embodies a retail experience that is in itself a product of American influences, prompting the public to participate in a live installation. Upon ascending to the upper level, one finds that the store’s objects become a field of historical, cultural, and economic background events in which four architectural phenomena are immersed.” You can find out more about their project through their twitter and tumblr. The products themselves are amusingly designed, packaged and presented in the store and upstairs presentation ~ take a peek at the products, displays and catalog on the next page.
MAMMUT!!! I can’t believe this swiss outdoor gear brand is already 150 years old! It’s adorable mammoth logo in black, red, and white has always pulled me in. I won’t deny that it played a big role in one of my pack purchases… that and their amazing detailing and quality! So when i wandered through the main square in Linz late that first night the Mammut store instantly caught my attention. Excitedly today, we finally had time to go in, and not only was it great to see all the products online in person, there was MORE ~ their adorable mammoth logo was in various plush sizes, on a mug, and even available as indoor rock climbing holds! Being another impulse post while running around the city, all the pics are from my HTC One S… take a peek at the fun mammoth details on the next page!
We bounce around a lot of phones here at NOTCOT ~ but my primary phone has been an HTC for some time now (from the G1 to the hero to legend to the sensation) and others at NOTCOT have been loyal iPhone users as soon as newest models launch. Something about the iPhone UI and design i’ve yet to completely give in to ~ and HTC has always created lustworthy hardware that feels inexplicably good in my hand… and their HTC Sense OS built on android is always so slick and intuitive and customizable, for a while i actually started to think i just liked android, but the last few weeks we’ve given up both an iPhone 4S and the HTC Sensation and Shawn and i have been side by side trying the Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One S, only to have me realize while i like Android, i really like Android the way HTC Sense handles it… the Samsung Galaxy S III doesn’t feel nearly as good physically, and the subtle differences between what’s possible in their UI/UX makes quite a difference. The color handling in the camera is great, and it’s definitely at a level where random cell phone shots are becoming good enough for blog posts when i don’t have a proper dlsr with me… Anyhow, take a peek at the unboxing of the HTC One S and a few of my favorite UI details on the next page! Their attention to detail on the design and packaging is impressive!
Nearly all of the recent NOTlabs instagram pics are from the One S!
First there was the Pictorial Webster’s: A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities By John M. Carrera that is 5-3/4 x 7-1/4 in; 512 pp. Now, there is a mini! The Pictorial Webster’s Pocket Dictionary just arrived in the mail and is a mere 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 in; 208 pp! You could fit nearly 4 of these in the original! It’s quite adorable, and playfully inspirational and pocket/purse/little-kid sized… also tempting to color in. Take a peek at it on the next page!
Been smitten by these MetroDeck upcycled NYC MTA Subway cards into playing cards ever since seeing them on Collacubed. They are so beautiful and detailed! They are hand silk screened with enamel ink - “Printed on found and repurposed New York City subway fare cards, Metro Deck attempts to visually capture the common thread between commuters, public transportation, and chance. Every card has been gathered at random, after having been purchased, used, and discarded by either a visitor or resident of New York City. Some have been signed or otherwise marked, making each card unique with its own narrative potential. Appropriating the language of playing cards, the work asks us to consider our intimate connection with the subway and the city. The face cards are inspired by landmarks across the five Boroughs, referencing the tremendous reach of the subway system.” I love the Ace of Spades man hole cover… and the city inspired details of the face cards so lovely! WOW - “Designing, collecting, and printing the cards has been my official after-hours pastime for almost two years. Each face card needed four colors to print—approximately 8 hours work.” Additionally, “The deck comes packaged in a custom 2-color, die-cut and letterpressed tuck box printed by Mama’s Sauce Print shop.” WOW - “A total 2,268 cards were printed, wih over 4,000 pulls.” That’s 43 decks?
Each deck will run you 750$, but you can also order just the 4 kings, etc.. It’s too bad that “Given the nature of the materials, these cards are not intended for play.” See the making of and full set of beautiful cards on the next page!
Current desk/fidget toy obsession - interlocked 3D printed CUBES! Particularly the dodecahedron one… they are mesmerizing, and just fragile enough they make you feel overly careful with them… yet its so tempting to try to bust your way into the structure just to prove there are more of the same shape within…
Anyhow, late one night i was wandering through all of shapeways and couldn’t resist impulse buying the Dod’net by Magic and the mini Interlocked Cubes Demo… it seemed like a good excuse to get a feel for their polished alumide! Also, it was a fun way to get a peek at their packaging ~ you certainly get a BIG fragile air bubble packed box for the two little pieces which are ziplocked inside… See the unboxing and details on the next page!
As you know, we have a thing for Geometric Lighting… so naturally, i was intrigued when Artecnica’s 2012-2013 releases landed in my inbox and i spotted this new Shayk Light by Amanda Betz! This pendant light is made of a high tech synthetic paper shade… take a peek at more info and the interview with her on the next page!
It’s no secret that Justine and I both grew up Montessori kids and it’s stuck with us. In fact, i’m sure the design aesthetic apparent in so many of the gorgeous, glossy woody learning tools was an early influence on us. I’ll never forget learning my letters and numbers on the sand paper tiles where you run your finger along the sand paper to learn the shapes and how to write them…
Well, Bobby and June George, founders of the Baan Dek Montessori School in Sioux Falls, SD have been actively taking Maria Montessori’s philosophies and principles into the next generation with their beautiful, intuitive Montessorium iPad apps! With Intro to Math, Intro to Letters, Intro to Geography, and Alpha Writer they have been off to an amazing start… and have just released two board books: Letter Work and Number Work. While mainstream tablets haven’t evolved to let you feel textures quite yet… these board books bring back the sand paper letters of my childhood into a new format. On the cover as well as inside the books you can trace the sand paper textured letters and numbers! You learn the sounds and shapes before learning what they are called… and beautiful illustrations by Alyssa Nassner accompany them. Beyond the nostalgia ~ these are definitely going on my go to list of presents for little ones! Take a peek inside the books on the next page!
NOTCOT SPECIAL from FLOS! Enter NOTCOT at checkout to receive 10% off of the D’E-Light Table Lamp by FLOS exclusively at Lumens.com. Limited to the first 10 NOTCOT readers.
Perhaps the ultimate iPhone/iPad charger accessory for your desk or bedside table… the Flos D’E-Light by Philippe Starck! In addition to its chrome finish, this minimalist, energy efficient LED desk light is now in an awesome matte black version exclusive to Lumens! Flos and Lumens were kind enough to send one over for us to check out, and it looks and feels even better in person! (Though somehow in my head, i imagined it larger than it is!) The matte finish feels like a soft touch rubber, and the simple touch sensor on the side of the light glows a subtle orange… there are three states it toggles through, 100% brightness, 50% brightness, and off. Within the box are even plug adapters for multiple countries (including US, Europe, UK). Take a peek on the next page at the full unboxing as well as a look at all of the details!
Today’s obsessive research has been on chocolate ~ chocolate BARS to be precise… and the beautiful packaging delicious artisanal goodness comes in. Ready to see what i’ve found? To the next page! Know of any i’ve missed and should try? Leave a comment!
The latest from London-based editor, Justine Aw.
Here’s a peek inside a gift pack we received from Zubrowka decorated with the beautiful illustrations of Kristjana S Williams. I was intrigued by the “Bison Grass Vodka”, a rye vodka with a herbaceous taste. The box contained not only a bottle of Zubrowka, but also an apple corer, three pink lady apples (lovingly wrapped in illustrated protective tissue paper) and a test tube of the aromatic grass that grows in the mysterious Bialowieza Forest in north-east Poland. It is this grass that gives the vodka a slightly organic smell and taste and the grasses in the test tube are aromatic cocktail decorations that have a hint of almond or vanilla as well as grass scent. While the traditional Polish way to drink the vodka is neat on ice, it was definitely complimented by apple juice! More photos on the next page.
In Istanbul all week, and while we’re here for one of my dearest friend’s wedding ~ amongst the festivities, it has been hard to figure out what to do and where to go to really get to know Istanbul! Surely there are the usual monuments, museums, bazaars and other must see spots that you find in the touristy guides… then there are the high end luxury shopping sections with brands you can probably find in any major city… and even the Wallpaper guide had a bunch of the same old stuff… but finding resources to share the fun, unexpected in betweens has been surprisingly tough! Even chatting with local friends of the bride, it’s not always easy for people to step back and help direct you to the uniquely different little shops, galleries and spots that they may take for granted…
Thanks to twitter and the internet in general making travel and exploration a smaller world than ever ~ i got the sweetest tweet from the folks at Jotun the other day, which lead to a magical little package arriving on the hotel room bed hours later! Artist, Emel Kurhan, has created a set of guide books (Emel Loves Istanbul and Emel Loves Paris!) that feel like a scrapbook of favorite spots (and why they are loved, which turn to take/door to open for secret spots, etc) leading you into a whole over side of Istanbul! “The 2 Guides are for sale together the price for 2 books is 40TL, the money will be donated to different animal shelters, they come with a ribbon(each has a different color), only 2000 books has been printed and has been numbered by myself!” she says on her site.
So while i still may not get a taste of all facets of Istanbul in this week ~ we’ve done a few cliche tourist things, attended a stunning wedding on the edge of the Bosphorus (and ended up on a boat on it till 4am) with our hand carried NOTlabs photobooth guestbook setup, hidden out at the House Hotel Galatasaray… regardless of what the remaining 3 days hold, this adorable little book is definitely helping fill in more of the blanks! Take a peek inside it as well as a cute video teaser for them on the next page!
The details of Project Squadt toys are just incredible. From the design to the fashions to the weapons and more… they are just stunning! Remember my first Squadt NKD Jack? Well thanks to a little mix up and an incredibly kind offer from designer, Ferg, when the shipments got mixed up for my fr0g s001 + K11 spot [swamp dwllr] and the fr0g s003 with K11 spot [frozn whole] were sent instead, 3 generous options were given: 1. Keep the frog s003/k11 2. Send the frog s003/k11 back and receive your fr0g s001/k11 as ordered. 3. Keep the fr0g s003/k11 and pay an additional $115 and receive your fr0g s001/k11 in addition. Naturally, i couldn’t resist keeping the s003 and paying the difference to get the s001! The scuba diver in me adores this series more than the others ~ having a soft spot for the velcro on scuba tank/helmet and those adorable fins ~ especially cute on the surveillance camera headed dog of a K11 spot… and the tiny zipper work, and the side pouches velcro off… even the speargun has the most unbelievably thin spear that fits inside it! Take a peek at all the details and a few other Playge/Squadt goodies on the page!
… and if you’re here at SDCC too, go get the gohst s003!
Impressive! Recently bought the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro before heading out to Bonnaroo ~ mostly to ensure that if i got separated from the rest or my phone battery was dying and i needed more power to play with the camera, etc i’d have an easy solution for iphone/htc sensation/anyone else with their usb charger… and not knowing what the weather would be like (since often it can become a rainy, muddy, mess) ~ “the IP65 rating means that this device is totally dust-proof (with the ports closed) and resistant to water being sprayed at it with a water-jet. Getting the powerstation PRO wet is no big deal (even in the shower*), but don’t try taking a bath with it.” Sounded perfect! It also has a 6,000 mAh capacity and up to 2.1amp, high-output charging which has been holding up wonderfully for traveling and having the ability to charge both my HTC Sensation and Shawn’s iPhone 4S from flashing red battery meters. Take a peek at unboxing and detail pics on the next page!
LASERS! NOTlabs is now outfitted with a Rabbit Laser 80-1290 laser cutter that has an 80 Watt laser tube and a 4’x3’ cutting area! This (in combination with our Makerbot) means we can create 2D+3D designs and start cutting, prototyping, and playing with them immediately. The machine works by bouncing a laser beam off of 3 mirrors to a focusing lens that directs the beam downwards into the material. Essentially it is an extremely precise and powerful upgrade from our hand held X-acto knifing that can cut through things such as 1/2” wood or acrylic. Since the beam is very thin we are able to make very precise cuts, as well as etch intricate details (like the etching you’ve seen on moleskines, MacBooks, etc.)
We explored whether to build our own (i.e. LASERSAUR), or go for a smaller Epilog or Universal laser cutter which Shawn has worked with extensively in the past… and the Rabbit Laser 1290 model with an 80 Watt laser tube was the best option. It’s been nice having the 10” Z-height as well as a pass through for when we want to send larger objects through the machine. It can reach up to 1000 dpi (which is plenty since we’re focusing on cutting versus engraving). On nice design details, the parts tray is a great catchall below the workbed which you can easily slide out to empty scraps or find valuables which may have fallen through.
The story behind Rabbit Laser USA distribution is a fascinating one: short story being that Ohio engineer, Raymond Scott, was looking for the best quality with greater affordability and when ordering his own, ended up taking over a full shipment of machines (which he then needed to sell), learning about importing/customs(re)crating/etc, and exploring the factories in China, and more… and a few years later, it has evolved into a family business, where he and his wife Carol (and even his young daughters help out!) have a warehouse in Ohio, carefully inspect and test each machine that comes in, they come out and personally install the machines and train you for a day with each purchase, and have a great feedback loop with King Rabbit in China to constantly improve the design details and software needs for the laser cutters. In the day that Ray came out, i learned more than i ever imagined about not only how a laser cutter works and how to take care of it, but so much about the business side and interaction with the King Rabbit manufacturing standards, facilities, and more as well. But back to the UNBOXING… or uncrating, rather… it was quite the adventure, so take a peek on the next page to see the uncrating and setup!