On more fun things i’m excited to finally see in person at CES tomorrow ~ Cubelets! The robotic building blocks from Modular Robotics, a spin-off from Carnegie Mellon University (they started as RoBlocks). I’ve been hearing so much about this venture while visiting the CMU Computational Design Lab the last few months of random adventures in Pittsburgh, it’ll be nice to finally get my hands on the Cubelets and make some fun robots! But first ~ had to share their hilarious new video introducing the cubes and how they work! Just try not to get distracted by the snake skins on the wall behind the wacky guy in the video… “We shot the video last Summer at Oli’s cabin in Conifer, Colorado. It was an epic day of fliming, Cubelets fiddling, and snacking on Edam.” OK ~ go see it and fun screencaps on the next page!
Entries tagged with: gifts
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On things to look forward to at CES… i’m currently lusting after this Samsung Series 9 Monitor. Looking sleek and thin (and matching my favorite super thin Samsung TVs) ~ it’s actually pretty comprable to the Apple 27” Studio display (though definitely need to play with it in person in a few days!) Both tout resolution of 2560x1440, contrast ratio of 1000:1, and viewing angles of 178/178. The Samsung however has a 300cd/m^2 whereas the apple has 375, and the Samsung is priced at $1199 while the apple is $999… though the Samsung has 2x 7W speakers built in as well as this interesting feature: “By linking their Android MHL-compatible smartphone, users can enjoy content from their mobile devices directly on the much larger screen and with the benefit of rich, built-in stereo audio. Users can also keep an eye on their smartphone, seamlessly browse to it and even charge the device for added convenience.” See a few more pics on the next page!
Les Merveilleuses De Ladurée is coming according to Fashion Press ~ yes. That Ladurée. The famous french macaron maker is branching out in to cosmetics. These will only be available in Japan, and are in collaboration with Albion Cosmetics ~ the collection will include blushes, foundations, and lip colors inspired by their sweets. Take a peek at the upcoming collection on the next page!
Theses beautiful Fulton’s Clip Joint Playing Cards designed by Brad Fulton arrived from Dan and Dave’s. Take a peek at this video to get into the mood and world they evoke… The details on the box are stunning ~ and the joker cats will mesmerize you.
“Fulton’s Clip Joint Playing Cards celebrate our fascination with cinema, history, and the art of the grift. Taking inspiration from vintage Los Angeles and Film Noir, Fulton’s captures a time and place where men were men, women were dames, and the next deal could be your last. These limited edition playing cards feature original artwork by Dan Phillips and are beautifully encased in a linen box with embossed ornaments and foil stamping.”
See close-ups on the next page! (As well as a peek at the uncut sheet!)
It’s as if my Moncler jacket got eaten by my Rimowa suitcase… and somehow fused into a strange luxurious chimera of sorts… It doesn’t look the most functional ~ yet i can’t stop staring. And wondering what else it would transform into if we fed it some other branded goodness… my Macbook Air perhaps? Or Louboutins?
Here’s how Moncler describes it on their site: Rimowa x Moncler Go On Holiday “Moncler is travelling - with the new Moncler Rimowa costumized suitcase. The German travel case producer completely reinterpreted its classic cabin trolley ‘Classic flight’. The result is a light and functional case, essential in its design, versatile in its usage possibilities. Ultraresistant, chrome-plated aircraft aluminium exterior including a brushed Moncler logo, padded handles and a special Moncler address tag.The Moncler trolley comes with typical padded black laqué interior including a unique set of soft accessories: shoe bag, laundry bag, utility bag and a small beauty case. Roomy, handy and compact. Perfect, in its dimensions, as air travel hand luggage and with two TSA combination locks. The world of Moncler in a trolley case.”
See more images of the new suitcase on the next page. The soft accessory bags are tempting…
On holiday cards too good not to share ~ here’s one that just came from Division of ~ “a multi-disciplinary creative agency based in NYC.” The card reads “The peace, love, and joy we wish you this holiday season is immeasurable. Here’s a ruler for everything else.” Love the laser cut acrylic ruler and the letterpressed card (pressed by Dolce Press) it aligns so perfectly with for stencil commentary! Take a peek at the fun on the next page!
I’m not sure which part is more fun right now ~ the idea of a Pancake Plate (where, of course, the syrup flows down the slope into its special syrup reservoir to avoid over soaked pancakes!) or the Pirate Chef logo by John Wye, who designed the pancake plates. I could have used these when tackling these pigs in a blanket at the Pancake Pantry last week ~ they ended up a delicious soggy mess when i was slow with consuming them! Love that these are an UncommonGoods exclusive ~ bummer that there aren’t any with the Pirate Chef logo on them ~ see more details (and other pirate chef goodness) on the next page!
Whispers, the new flocked wallpaper design collection from Marcel Wanders for Graham & Brown. The Whispers Flock wallpaper collection is comprised of four patterns: Key muses, Forest muses, Braile Chester and Rose beds. So fun ~ check out the four patterns larger on the next page!
Usually on my birthday, i have a fun wishlist gift guide of things i’m lusting after. Well, i’ve decided to mix it up a bit this year, and answer a frequently asked question of what i actually use, love, and bought that i’ve discovered lately… So here it is… in huge collage form… there’s more than what you see above on the next page! Click the images to jump over to read more about them… and while it’s 2am before i have a morning flight… there are also links below with some brief descriptions of why i love them at the bottom (though, i’m fading fast, so this might be added in, or fleshed out a bit, after i land!) Anyhow ~ go explore it all on the next page!!!
I’ve always had a fondness for the high gloss all in one audio boxes of Swiss Geneva Lab. They just look stunning! And the way the digital displays always illuminate from behind the speaker grill just makes me smile. So of course i couldn’t resist featuring the new tiny clamshell bluetooth, alarm clock, radio speaker ~ Geneva Sound System XS… and when they offered to send one over so i could check out the audio and packaging first hand ~ i couldn’t resist! So full unboxing on the next page… all the tiny design details in the packaging and design…
Bronze Bones! I don’t think dominoes have ever made me swoon… until now. Leave it to The World’s Best Ever’s Dave to dream up something so spectacularly lust worthy! “The first collaboration between The Principals and The World’s Best Ever looks to redefine the domino as a unique geometry, crafted from a more substantial material: bronze. The weight, shape and numbering have been refined, resulting in an original design that retains the spirit of the domino while capitalizing on its serial potential as an artistic object.” From the naming (Bronze Bones!) to the packaging (who doesn’t love anything hidden away in a BOOK?) to the material choice (bronze!) to the thoughtful inclusion of a pencil, sharpener, and paper to keep score (white pencil + black paper of course)… it’s all incredible. Take a look at the details on the next page!
HA! That’s the first impression i just had unboxing this surprise from Intel that just arrived. Second impression was… wow, someone got to have a lot of fun laser etching! In a big box is tucked a laser etched Intel plastic box… which had what looked like a HUGE laptop in it. I’ll admit it, i was half awake, opened it, and thought, “WTF? I thought this was about super lights!” Then i opened the giant battery-less laptop and literally laughed. They hid the Acer S3 13” Ultrabook INSIDE it. Cute, silly, unexpected, and totally proved their point. Oh, and quickly back to the laser etching fun ~ they etched the screen of the “fake” big laptop… and also the whole cover of the ultrabook!
Anyhow, the 11” macbook air changed the way i work and travel a few years back ~ and i’m seldom far from it. I have loved that i can even pop it in my purse on the go. I never thought i’d convert from 15” macbook pro’s to it! So i’ve been intrigued by the windows machines that started going down the same path ~ and there’s been a lot of buzz floating around the “ultrabooks”, especially the prices sliding down this holiday season (this one actually slides under the 1k mark!)… There’s something fun about grabbing a laptop that feels like a magazine in size practically ~ and having barely touched a windows machine in a while, but needing it for the randomest of tasks lately (including playing with/installing Logitech security systems to monitor the crazy backyard creatures of the night), this is perfect to complement my macbook air… just playing around with it, it feels silly that carrying both of them together still feels lighter than my old macbook pros!
Anyhow ~ while i experiment with the world of Windows ~ take a peek on the next page at the fun unboxing of this Intel package ~ and side by sides between the giant faux laptop case it came in, the ultrabook itself, and my 11” air on the next page!
Remember the Crumpled City Maps we first found at Selfridges? Now Palomar have created a new series of Crumpled City Junior Maps featuring illustration from Alvvino and designed by Emanuele Pizzolorusso! The soft, light, waterproof maps for young urban explorers currently come in 5 cities: Amsterdam, Berlin, London, New York and Paris… what does that mean? These maps have lots of fun young must see destinations from monuments and parks to circuses and more! See more photos of these great crumpled maps on the next page!
Beautiful packaging ~ and when it comes to the holiday season, one of my favorite things is to see all the fun gift set packaging skincare/cosmetics brands do! This year Aesop went with a Daring Cases in Favour of Science theme! Each set has the products are housed in a black case with a sturdy zip ~ easily reused for whatever your science lover deems fit. There is the Theory of Evolution, Accelerating Universe, States of Matter, Special Relativity, Laws of Motion, Centre of Gravity, and Celestial Mechanics. Of course the hardest part will be shopping by theme… versus shopping by contents! Take a peek at the fun packaging graphics on the next page!
Animals. Cars. Amazing illustrations. Ok i’m pretty much swooning already. Just in the inbox, Zoom Zoo from Mike Yamada, a designer/illustrator, artist at Dreamworks Animation, and an Art Center Graduate. These flashcards are his take on the classic Richard Scarry’s animals piloting retro 60’s type vehicles. (Anyone else picturing that worm driving an apple?) While sure these could be for kids to learn the alphabet, what adult wouldn’t have fun dreaming up the stories and worlds behind these creatures in their fantastic automobiles while teaching kids the alphabet? As adorable little works of art ~ they are playfully inspiring! I can’t wait to see the full alphabet… You can buy the Zoom Zoo Flashcards here. Take a peek at more details on the next page!
Fresh in from our London-based editor Justine Aw.
We were honored to receive bottle 1/100 of Saint beer, a British made craft lager from The Saint Brewing Co. The gorgeous green bottle came in a cozy box snuggled up against a wintry Nordic Knit Scarf from You Must Create (YMC). Once chilled to perfection, the lager was crisp and hoppy without being too bitter or too bubbly. If you too “…want to go down in history as one of the first 100 people in Britain to experience Saint, please enter your email address below.” ~ well, not quite below, but on their website… you can also see some of the bottling pics at Selectism. Take a peek at the beautiful design and handwritten note up close on the next page!
Just noticed these cute DWR exclusives, Moderne Wood Animals, designed by Linnea Gits and Peter Dunham. The description reads, “The founders of the Chicago design firm called Uusi, Linnea Gits and Peter Dunham are graphic artists who have produced work for Herman Miller®, Sharpie and Prismacolor. Their Moderne Wood Animals (2011) are crafted from American black walnut and white oak veneer that’s finished with nontoxic, odorless mineral oil. The designers selected these woods for their beautiful grain and because they are materials that have a rich history in the production of American-made objects. A lot of attention goes into how the direction of the wood grain falls across the form of each animal, making each sculpture a unique piece. The Bear, Bull and Horse were inspired by the Chauvet Cave paintings discovered in France and believed to be artwork from 30,000 to 33,000 years ago. Each animal is packed in a box featuring an illustration of what’s inside. Very simple assembly required; the animals are comprised of a few pieces that need to be slotted together. Made in U.S.A.” ~ I love the shapes! It’s like the simplified/modernized version of those old wood toy skeletons of dinosaurs and such that you’d pop apart and slot together! Take a peek at the details on the next page!
Of all things i’ve unboxed, the Jawbone UP (see the unboxing here) has lead to SO many questions over im, twitter, facebook, phone, in person lately… and i’ve been doing so much random research, compiling it and privately linking people to it ~ finally decided to just post it. As all the posts come out about people who love or hate their UPs ~ and after many discussions about how long it will take before someone (or everyone) makes the “croc charm” biz model happen accessorizing the UPs… even Brit wrapped her’s in brass wire… which i have to admit makes it feel far more tesla coil than fashion accessory… So what do i ACTUALLY think about the UP?
LOVE THE ALARM CLOCK. It vibrates to wake you (and just you ~ not your neighbors, whoever is in bed with you, etc.) ~ also meaning not jumping up to a jarring noise. It uses its approximation of your sleep cycles to wake you at the best time with in a half hour before your set alarm time. And in all honesty, i’d been sleeping terribly, and have been waking refreshed since i started trying it. Is it a coincidence? I’m not sure, but it’s been a noticeable enough difference that i’m intrigued enough to keep trying it.
I CUT THE RUBBER OFF WITHIN 24 HOURS. I tried to wear it around, but it just didn’t feel good… rubber on the skin 24/7? It was even more comfortable with just its minimal tech guts. Experimented a bit ~ and in the end decided to pull out the old little kid string from friendship bracelets ~ and friendship bracelet-ed it. It’s SO much more comfortable to sleep with now, and far thinner/more discreet than the original (and yes, no longer shower proof, but working great.)
I ONLY USE IT WHILE SLEEPING. The truth is ~ the food part, i’m not really going to take pics of everything i eat. The activity monitoring feels more like INactivity monitoring ~ great to let you know if you need to move more (you can have it buzz to remind you to be more active). And unlikely i’m really going to do the group thing and team up against friends to work out more.
BEST SLEEP TRACKING/ALARM I FOUND. Going through all the other options with my priorities being size/comfort, optimal wake up alarm based on sleep cycle, and vibration alarm ~ even throwing in price… the Jawbone UP is the best option i’ve found. Chart and links to all the others (devices, apps, etc) i looked into on the next page.
Anyhow, i think that answers the questions everyone’s been asking a lot… check out the next page if you want to see the actual guts of it, my experiments, and the comparison chart of other sleep monitoring options on the next page.
Leave it to Sam and Harry, the jellymongering duo Bompas & Parr, to help us celebrate this holiday season with an ‘Adventure Hamper’ unlike any other. Available from the 15th of December at Selfridges. The hamper is not your usual fare (no stodgy puddings here!), instead it’s an adventure ready pack that comes with a guide book and manual for your adventure and the hamper comes filled with “functional pickles and jams that will help with malaria, altitude sickness, insect bites and jellyfish stings to more exotic kit like the hand customised ice axe, and a Magnum of a Piper-Heidsieck Rare Vintage 1998 to celebrate the successful expedition.”
Find out more about the Adventure Hamper, including a full list of what’s inside on the next page! And we can’t wait to see what the boys get up to with their accompanying in store installation to be unveiled in December!
Regardless of your addiction of choice ~ be it Caffeine, Chocolate, MDMA, Nicotine, THC, or DMT ~ Aroha Silhouettes latest collection Molecular Addictions has you covered. Each of the necklaces are made of strong lightweight stainless steel that has been finished in a smooth matte black powder coating with gunmetal chain and findings. Take a peek at Tania’s new collection with photography by Kelly Jill on the next page!
While i’m not a huge camper or backpacker ~ i’ve always had a fascination for the wonderfully efficient products that come out of their needs! They pack down to nothing ~ make use of every pound and every inch… multipurpose mixes that normall wouldn’t happen ~ somehow work! Tables ~ Cookware ~ Lighting ~ you name it ~ its some of the most functional and uniquely designed stuff out there! And i was just fascinated with the latest from Snow Peak! They’ve even made the jump that all the impressively modular camp kitchen ware and let it work at HOME in a gorgeous wooden outdoor table set! And their latest for this year ~ the Tulip lamp works in every which way ~ stand alone, hanging in your tent, bedside, you can get creative with it. I also adore the little round bamboo tables that work as well at camp as they do for kids or as a coffee table, and it folds up to make space into a nylon carrying bag. And as for unexpected mixes ~ how about a spatula that can turn into a fork or…. well check it all out on the next page! I love how these new products allow you to seamlessly transition your camping/adventuring gear into usable goods at home ~ or vice versa!
Icebreaker ~ the New Zealand Merino wool wearable company that keeps us warm (and has that adorable Baacode system that lets you trace back and see what sheep your clothes came from) ~ has always had some awesome and crazy surreal ram/man photos… well today their new lookbook came through ~ and it brought out the little kid in me ~ i love the flash card set feeling of the book! And it definitely made it easy to flip through and make little piles ~ figuring out ones i was curious about/etc! As much as i shop online ~ i must admit i love catalogs and look books in print ~ it just FEELS great still! (And its a nice break from so much screen time in our lives!) Take a peek at some of Icebreaker’s imagery on the next page as well as their flashcard look book for SS12 ~ the bliss wrap in black is looking particularly cozy tonight…
It’s mail order season ~ new seasonal UPS/Fedex/USPS guys showing up daily ~ packages on every doorstep it seems ~ lines starting at the post office, and i can’t help but get curious about how people are packing things, how much waste we’re using to ensure our goods are protected to their destination. Well, the Kindle Fire just arrived ~ and i must say, i love how streamlined their packaging is ~ it just keeps getting cleaner and simpler, yet still creates a nice, satisfying unboxing experience ~ creating that perfect element of surprise even when you know what you’re getting as you pull the strip, and lift open the box ~ and the Fire is there presented to you! Take a peek at their nice, minimally designed box and reinforcements on the next page while i go check on whether the updates to it have downloaded so i can play with it.
p.s. Only criticism would be maybe it shouldn’t be SO obvious what’s inside on the outside of the box… the first Fire seems to have “disappeared” somewhere between delivery and ever making it here!
Magical tech filled bracelet that tracks my sleeping, eating, activeness? Who wouldn’t be curious? And with this trend of iOS app driven sleep trackers (see also Lark on your wrist and Zeo on your head) ~ with silent vibrating alarm clocks that dont wake neighbors/bedmates/etc (thinking of the Mute Watch?) ~ a sudden wealth of health data at your fingertips (think fitbit?) ~ this holiday season personal data overload/data visualizations are definitely the hot trend of the moment… and as always ~ when Jawbone jumps in to the game, you can count on gorgeously designed packaging, product design, and user experience…
The Jawbone UP made quite a splash ~ and tonight i couldn’t resist and had to give it a try ~ a week of terrible sleep seemed a good enough excuse to try out the new gizmo. And using MotionX sensor technology it tracks the slightest movements ~ and combined with some discipline on your part ~ you can switch between active, workout, and sleep modes… and the app will have you tracking meals (with pics!), calories, activities, setting vibration alarms and trying to meet various goals throughout the day… you can even compete/share/motivate your friends. Granted this isn’t an exact science by any means ~ it seems that just providing more data and creating more awareness of ones activities might help in ways you didn’t even imagine… or does it? I guess playing around with it for the next week or so will help me find out! For now though ~ take a peek at the initial unboxing and set up on the next page!
Spotted over at Bedlam of Beefy ~ the adorable packaging of Prospector Co. includes this super cute tester set of vials! They have K.C. Atwood Aftershave Splash, Peary & Henson Aftershave Splash, Burroughs Beard Oil, Miss Annie Jones Shaving Oil, and Wormwood Absinthium Cream. Love that they describe themselves as - “…a line for men who seek purpose and forethought in their skin and shave products. The line captures something for every man with formulas for pre-shaving, post-shaving, unshaven scruff to a beard gone wild. “
My favorite description is of their Burroughs Beard Oil (yes! BEARD OIL!) - “Burroughs writes in his Indoor Studies: We readily attribute some extra virtue to those persons who voluntarily embrace solitude, who live alone in the country or in the woods, or in the mountains, and find life sweet… The woodsy, earthy scent of this beard oil brings together the solitary notes of nature and craftsmanship. The smell of freshly chopped forest woods move into a dusty carpenter’s workshop, leaving behind the deep leathered richness of a cobbler’s apron. Its very hardy, masculine fragrance works well with the rugged scruff left behind after a lazy summer’s week of no shaving to the full-grown winter’s beard.” Take a peek at the packaging of their line on the next page!