Cupcakes are wonderful. While they have perhaps become a little over exposed in the last few years, they are certainly still a tasty treat. There are so many different kinds, different cakes, different frostings… it seems like there is one for every mood. Sprinkles has upped the ante by providing cupcakes for when you are feeling anti-social, hungry at 3am, nostalgic for automats, or for when you just want dessert handed to you from a robot with its own twitter handle. Their new Cupcake ATM has certainly captured the imagination of the Internet, Los Angeles, and now me. I too have succumbed to the siren’s call of that winning combination of fat, sugar, and machine. The Sprinkles Cupcake ATM even has its own twitter - @CupcakeATM and facebook. Take a peek at our cupcake adventure on the next page!
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Sugar! Sugar! SUGAR! I’ve been on a bit of a sugar high since this mysterious packet of mini packets of sugar samples arrived from Chambre De Sucre and i tore them all open to shoot/taste it for this post. SO much sugar. And it’s all so delicately pretty. Oh, and we also brewed quite a few cups of espresso to try them with. We’ve been buzzing over here.
These sugars from Chambre De Sucre are not just gourmet sugars… “The sugars are handcrafted by one of the oldest family-owned businesses in Japan with the highest quality sugar possible. They are over 270 years old and have provided the Royal Family in Japan with their sugar since the time of the Shogun. Japanese artisans still use traditional methods to create this luxurious sugar for your cup of tea and coffee.” Their about page tells you a heart-warming story of Lisa’s past and what these sugars mean to her through her childhood experiences in Japan. They are the first to import these sugars to the US! The assortment of sugar options are mind blowing as you browse their site, and the packaging looks beautiful for gifting as well… on the next page you can see close ups of the many little samples sent over as we tried our way through them!
On 5$ impulse buys… i couldn’t resist. Toy Boarders!!! You get 24 little skateboarders! (No girls though, perhaps in their future packs… or snow or surf packs to come?) A fun twist on classic toy soldiers these little plastic guys are made in china but come from super local San Clemente, CA! Adorable… they are skating around our whole office and house now… take a peek at the silliness in a bag on the next page! (The video is pretty fun too!)
Little feels as good as a good hot, bubbly soak in a gorgeous tub with a magnificent view. The relaxing feeling as stress simply floats away… makes these basins heavenly… whether in porcelain or steel… indoors or out… woody or marble… freestanding or built in… hard to believe over the last 7 years of NOTCOT, hunting for dream tubs has been surprisingly difficult! We’ve rounded up 10 favorites… and a bonus IGLOO snowy hot tub set up i’m currently dreaming about… see it all on the next page!
What is it about artisan goods being beautifully packaged and displayed? On a quick run over to brentwood country mart to get green juice and amazing tacos… got drawn in by the adorable glow of awesomely labeled goodies at the Farmshop’s Artisan Market, and then went iPhone crazy (being camera-less at the time) while shopping through it for grilling meat, wine, TENNESSEE WHISKEY ICE CREAM, and fresh peanut butter cookie dough… it was all so pretty and filled with inspiring packaging/label design i had to share… shop with us on the next page!
Happy March! We’re kicking off this month with an awesome giveaway and unboxing of the gorgeous porcelain limited edition Potamus Red Anarchy by Frank Kozik & K.Olin Tribu. We first wrote about these beautiful pieces back in 2010… and having one in person in front of me, it’s even more beautiful than i imagined. The packaging is stunning as well… and the detail of a porcelain disk and ribbon sealing the box as well as a porcelain CARD with a special web password as the certificate of authenticity. The details are incredible… both the figurine and the presentation box are made in Limoges, France.
… and the folks at k.olin tribu are generously giving away one Potamus Red Anarchy by Frank Kozik & K.Olin Tribu to a lucky reader who leaves a message on their Facebook wall sharing where you would put this awesome Potamus if you win! He will pick the winner on March 5th! You must be a fan of K.Olin tribu page to be eligible.
And as for now ~ take a peek at the unboxing and details on the next page!
p.s. free shipping with code NOTCOT on the K.Olin Tribu website during the contest!
Ok, so i’m sure you’ve seen this camera floating around all the design/tech sites. The new Pentax K-01 been hard to avoid… after all, it’s a new hybrid of dslr-like cameras ~ mirrorless, yet uses most of the Pentax lens line up ~ it has a 100-25600 ISO range, shooting amazingly in the dark ~ it even does HDR IN CAMERA ~ shoots 1080p video ~ oh, and it’s designed by Marc Newson. He even designed the super crazy thin pancake 40mm lens that goes with it! Ready to take a peek at our first look? To the next page!
It’s not everyday that you wake up to a doorstep with a basket of cucumbers, roses, and gin. Hendrick’s Gin of course… they are calling it “a most unusual bouquet for a most unusual occasion” as “The World’s Most Peculiar Gin Makes Fitting Arrangements to Celebrate Leap Day”… to celebrate the rare 29th of February, they’ve sent a fun arrangement of roses and cucumbers and the recipe for a Scarlet Petticoat! Take a peek at it all on the next page…
I’ve been obsessed with the adorableness of these little waters all over the hotel here in Rio. Aguas Ouro Fino ~ adorable nearly spherical little water bottles… reminiscent of the Ora Ito OGOs… turns out even their 5L jugs are big spheres! And you can even customize the minis… my favorite is that the “com gas” (bubbly!) red one looks kind of like baby squid/octopi… take a peek at them on the next page!
While exploring the Toy Fair, we ran into our old friends from Mimoco! They’ve come a long way since we first started posting about them in 2005! From a variety of artist Mimobots series, licensed characters, hoodies, and more… they have now veered into Mimomicros! These are new characters that have a flip out USB plug and you can put in any sized microSD card to use them as usb keys… or just use them to transfer info from phones/cameras/etc that use microSDs. Take a peek at the fun Mimoco toy fair booth (How fun are the turntable/record like displays you can really spin? Sadly no music plays though!) as well as close ups of the new Mimomicros on the next page!
While i’ve seldom had the traditional “family vacation” as a kid ~ talking to NOTlabs director, Shawn, i found out that he knows HomeAway well! Apparently his mom’s been booking everything from houses in the Rockies, French Quarter in New Orleans, and Utah Ski trips on the site ~ and they often associate family vacations with insane jigsaw puzzles and toys… so when HomeAway asked us to share some awesomeness around family travel… adventures at the NY International Toy Fair seemed like a perfect fit! There were SO many random toys in every genre you can imagine, so to narrow it down, here’s a selection of our favorites that are perfect to keep kids (both actually young and young at heart) occupied in the car/plane en route or curled up by the fireplace/dining table when just hanging out! Ready to see some crazy puzzles, fun magnetic building toys, turtles, mazes, paper animals, electronic experiments and more? To the next page!
Just visited with CW&T (Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy) who amongst many awesome projects are responsible for one of the most funded Kickstarter design projects… Pen Type-A. Looking to raise $2,500, they ended up with over $280,000… and 4000+ backers (including us!)… and from making a smaller batch of pens, they were suddenly faced with the daunting task of making a few thousand! Beyond the beautiful design and craftsmanship of this solid steel housing for the plastic Hi-Tec-C pen cartridges… it has been incredible to follow the hardships and exciting moments over the last 6 months since they got funded, and even more exciting to finally get our hands on the actual pen! (Spoiler: it feels incredible!) So take a peek at the details and unboxing of one from the first batches of CW&T Pen Type-A on the next page!
p.s. If you find yourself with one in person, you must pull the pen from casing quickly. It’s a great sound.
Breathtaking. Year after year, Stockholm Design Week seems to get better and better ~ and there’s just something calmingly minimalist, playful, and beautiful about the new designs that emerge… the mix of black, whites, and woods with refreshing colors and clean lines makes me want to update my house and NOTlabs! So, while we weren’t able to make it there in person this year, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite designs from the event on the next page… take a peek at the lamps, chairs, tables and more on the next page!
The iconic Moo “business” cards which can easily feature your whole Flickr/photo library have taken it to the next level… now you can get Moo Luxe Business Cards! What makes them so luxe? Besides the awesome new packaging with the magnetic box? Mohawk Superfine paper with Moo Quadplex technology to make a card of triple thickness and weight (vs most ordinary cards) with a rich seam of color within the layers of paper… Take a look at the unboxing of the set they sent over (which i quickly made a variation of my old shorter cards…) on the next page!
IKEA has expanded their Solvinden spring/summer collection of solar lights (can you believe we’ve been writing about these since 2009?!?!) to now include not only solar but WIND powered lighting!!! It’s a fun idea ~ and designer, David Wahl, tells us more about them (and shows them in action) in the video on the next page! These were apparently “Inspired by the playfulness and movement of amusement park lamps” and “The designers and product developers worked closely with the supplier - even driving around holding a prototype out the window - to test the wind-power until everything worked.” Fun! Can’t wait to try these out in person… take a peek at the video and more pics on the next page!
Fun new Genevieve Gauckler Mugs for Publik ~ Live Joyfully, You are the master!, Throwing The Balls, and Path To Success. Fun new designs added to the collection by Genevieve Gauckler… see more pics on the next page.
Ok, for context, it’s 75 degrees and super sunny here in LA as we get ready for the superbowl to start… but i’m checking the weather for NY later this week ~ and it looks like it’s COLD. and also possibly WET! It definitely feels a bit silly to be daydreaming about rain coats in this weather, but these by Terra New York seem intriguing ~ they use heavy TPU/ Urethane to provide structure to the 100% waterproof outerwear pieces using heat sealed technic for the seams… I’d love to see what these feel/smell like in person, but so far the designs look clean and fashion forward, which is no surprise considering “The founders Yurika Nakazono and Marie Saeki began with one simple question: What can a fashion-conscious woman wear when it’s raining?” ~ the look makes me think of paper wrapped chicken and manila envelopes ~ the simplicity pulls me in. So far there are three designs of raincoats, each available in nude and smokey grey, and three pouches to keep you and your goods dry! Take a peek at the current designs and details on the next page, and soon there may even be hats, bags, and shoes!
I wish i had some of these now ~ just broke a nail swapping keys around on traditional key rings this weekend! These Free Key “Press-To-Open” flat keyrings by Eric von Schoultz made of sand blasted stainless steel are nail savers ~ just press/pinch and the leverage helps open the end! Nice and easy to slip the keys on and off when needed. Cute packaging as well ~ see lots of pics on the next page!
Black + Blum’s new Eau Good filter water bottle - the new water bottle was spotted at NYIGF by Core77 and at IDS by TreeHugger. The concept is interesting ~ the piece of Binchotan active charcoal snaps into place when the bottle is squeezed (and you do the same to release it)… made of BPA free tritan, the bottle is closed with a simple cork. See more pics on the next page…
This season Areaware is launching this series of adorable new beech wood animals by Karl Zahn (who was also behind Areaware’s animal boxes. The new selections include a set of dovetail animals as well as stackable crocodiles! Each of the dovetail animals is composed of three segments, so you can mix and match parts from the five styles: dog, llama, elephant, horse and crocodile. More photos and a video of the new wooden animals on the next page.
It started with a random idea of making use of the plastic milk crates in NOTlabs for shelving… to wondering about wooden ones… to searching craigslist… to THIS… which lead to a random little roadtrip out to Ontario… to meet with John Mihovetz, quite the collector of found objects, architectural salvage, and repurposed home furnishings… and see the remainder of the 4,000 vintage wooden soda crates he bought in the midwest 6 months ago and has been selling off since. It seems like it was quite the find/investment!
Anyhow ~ now we have 15 amazing vintage wooden soda crates ~ Pepsi, Squirt, Crush, Dr. Pepper, 7up and more ~ and after some clean up, perhaps some awesome shelving in NOTlabs… but for now, take a peek at some of the details on the next page!
These made my day. Corkers are a design collaboration between Oded Friedland and Reddish Studio for Monkey Business are push pins that you can prick into wine/champagne corks to turn them into little creatures! The options are Monkey, Deer, Buffalo, Bear, Bunny & Crow. The packaging turns it into a fun wine bottle hang tag/gift ~ perfect for the next bottle of wine… Take a peek at more details up close on the next page.
What is it about Japanese Kit Kats that are just THAT much more delicious ~ and beautifully packaged ~ and the dark chocolatiness is amazing too… Gave in to this at the Mitsuwa last night and it was too delicious and cute not to share. It looks like you can even add your own messages on the pack of the individually wrapped pairs that are nestled within the matte/gloss mixed outer box. One if particularly twitter looking… take a peek on the next page!
Super cute concept ~ Busy Beaver Buttons (maker of NOTCOT buttons!) sent over their playful new year’s card ~ love that they give you a fill-in-the-blank button and mini sharpie! Take a peek at the details and fun beaver graphic inside the card on the next page… as well as my resolution for 2012!
It’s no surprise that many of our favorite lighting designs are heavily inspired by nature and geometric patterns. With their modular structures, many of these designs are even compact flat packed lighting systems that can be assembled easily (without tools or glue even!) by the end consumer into gorgeous large chandelier/pendant lamps. On the next page take a look at a roundup of geometric lighting we love from design classics to modern designs to futuristic living concepts!