Taking what may be my first actual full on “break” in a few years this week… it should come as no surprise that my life became filled with silliness and toys… so let’s kick off this catch up post with: Xploderz and their H2GROW Ammo - after having them on NOTCOT.org, when i ran across these new age water guns in person, i HAD to get one. So, here’s an unboxing of the Xploderz Xranger 2000 and a peek at how the pellets become the ammo you see. On first impressions, LOVE the concept, but the execution does leave quite a bit to be desired. The balls are actually more Tapioca/Boba/Bubble tea like… think jello jiggler marbles that smoosh on contact. You won’t really be hurting each other with these, but they do shoot impressively far and straight. Be warned though, if you’re preparing for a full on war, prep early, it takes over 4 hours to have a fresh set of ammo soak up its full potential… experiments to try later: can these become jello shots? can you use other similarly sized pellets? Frozen pellets? And to mitigate the disappointment, these are all about the novelty of the ammo… the gun doesn’t let you actually pull the trigger and the plastic/design of the gun leaves something to be desired. To launch, you pull and release, essentially launching the pellet… you also have to reload between each shot. But ~ on to the details to give you a better feel of this Xploderz Xranger 2000 and it’s jello shot like pellets, check out the next page!
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Technology is AWESOME. I love that moment where it becomes SO easy for just about anyone to capture things we couldn’t even fathom/experience fully without it… like all these tiny everything-proofed action cams that are becoming more and more easily available and create incredible imagery/video ultimately reminding us how amazing humans are… or mounted to things like RC flying magines to create incredible aerial flyover vids of Venice Beach. Why tradeoff between living the action and capturing it on camera? With these Mini HD action cams, you can capture and even stream your activities live and in HD. There’s something for surfers, divers, cyclists, drivers, and just about any other use if you get creative! Whatever your activity, they make a mount for it and a housing tough enough to withstand it. So grab a cam, a mount and get out there! See some of our most enticing finds on the next page!
Le Creuset Two-in-One Pan ~ lusting after these in almost every color… while they have always been gorgeous, the multipurpose nature of the Two-In-One set has won me over. See more pics on the next page!
It’s not often you see Letterpress mixed with Skateboard art… mixed with exotic hardwoods… mixed with ABCs… especially the ABC’s of offensive rap lyrics. Amazingly Scumco & Sons seems to have managed to merged all of that… and more. Crafted in their Pittsburgh studios, Scumco & Sons have launched this one of a kind 26 piece art series of decks. Nick Teodori grabbed my attention with them in person last weekend, and i must say they are even more stunning in person! His attention to detail is hard to miss. Layer upon layer of graphics, colors, woods, and meaning for you to decipher and interpret as you wish. Can you name all of the rap songs that inspired them? Can you name the beautiful exotic woods used? Can you imagine teaching kids the alphabets off of these? Which letter would you pick to adorn your wall? The Process: Standard 7 layer maple deck with an 8th layer of 0.06 mm furniture veneer, with prints made on a Vandercook Universal III then heat transferred. The lovely photos are courtesy of Demian Aspinwall, and making of coming soon… but first, check out all of the ABC’s on the next page as well as some close ups!
p.s. While some have been sold ~ a few letters are still available from the collection… so hard trying to decide which one/s my wall needs.
I love Helmut Lang. And i couldn’t help but share the ornithological aspect of their Resort 2012 collection when i was checking it out at Style.com. The imagery resembles X-Rays of the birds in flight ~ in a nice stark white on black… other pieces add a subtle touch of black feathers on their simple, architectural dresses. Visually mesmerizing, no idea how they’ll seem in person, but make for interesting pics. See close ups on the next page.
P.s. The model freaks me out a little, but when i tried to crop her head out it was even worse.
This post is part of a NOTCOT series on inspiring, independent design thinking, brought to you by Saab. At Saab, we believe in independent thinking. It’s in everything we do. Learn more here.
A perfect example of “inspiring, independent design thinking” ~ i love the work of Vienna based, Hard Graft ~ and the latest to join the collection is a black version of the now classic 2Unfold. It’s amazing to see how things have grown and evolved since i first posted about their Unfold bag in 2008, back when they were still Working Class Heroes. There’s actually something magically efficient about how much this sleek and manly/neutral bag can handle - ” This multi-use laptop bag has the perfect proportions to be as versatile as possible - you can easily carry your 17” MacBook in the bag as a briefcase, shoulder bag, backpack or fold it into a courier bag and clutch whilst keeping your 13” MacBook safe inside. The 2UNFOLD doesn’t only look good on the outside - every handle, rivet etc. is reinforced and supported on the inside, to ensure this bag carries your busy life with ease and style. The back zipper pocket easily fits your iPad and hard graft case. In the main compartment you’ll find a pocket for your phone and wallet and as well as your MacBook there’s space inside for more, such as your camera, magazines, sweater etc.” Amazing right? Take a peek at the details close up on the next page!
Beautiful. I couldn’t put the canister and bottle down when i first laid eyes on it ~ the Bruichladdich Organic 2003 Anns An T-Seann Doigh (Gaelic for “In the traditional way”) is a limited edition of 15,000 bottles. Apparently they were the first in the world to have an Organic Islay single malt… and this edition was so delicious, they’ve even created The Organic for full scale release. They have always had such tempting and stunning packaging and typography, but the thin gold illustration (feeling very art deco meets tech styling) on the matte army green bottle is incredible. Coloring free, the whisky itself has a light glow to it ~ and the flavor is definitely on the lighter/fresher side of the spectrum… but even when emptied, this bottle isn’t going anywhere… and that canister would make for an awesome kid’s piggy bank! Ready to take a peek at the packaging details up close? To the next page!
I’ve always been terrible at sitting normally in chairs ~ i end up cross legged, legs hanging off the sides sideways, sitting backwards… and sure, i’ve probably flipped a few chairs in my time. Haven’t we all? Well… given that, when presented the opportunity to try the Knoll Generation ~ that claimed to support ANY way of sitting with its tagline “The first chair that lets you sit how you want.” Challenge, accepted! They are even collecting up pics of HOW people are sitting in them at MyGeneration! So in true NOTCOT fashion ~ here’s a big unboxing on the next page ~ and a peek at my favorite details… from the mesh, to the wheels, to the bendable back that screams office-slingshot…
So many choices! And only two hands… not that we are often using them all at once, but it really is SO easy to have special glasses for just about everything… i have cabinets full of glasses in the kitchen, yet somehow always manage to acquire more! Two of our favorite categories that are pretty versatile (yet still have SO many gorgeously, unique options) are definitely for Beers and Scotches. So if you’re ready for the roundup of fun ones (and a few favorites that are in my cabinet at home even!) head over to the next page!
As a new mom, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of baby stuff out there. Skip Hop is a favorite of mine for their refreshingly playful and modern designs, and for their affordable prices. I got to go to their offices to check out their Fall 2011 preview, where there were lots of new additions to the Skip Hop collection. I also got a behind the scenes look at Skip Hop’s design space, and met their lead designer (who is seven months pregnant!). Check out some photos from my visit on the next page!
Just in from the UK ~ Justine just checked out Clerkenwell Design Week!
I never knew i could do strawberries upside down! Justine’s pics of this display have me inspired to try it… they have some impressive yield even! And get so lovely and bushy looking! Love this display of Boskke Sky Planters in the House of Detention, an installation from Theo, the re-branded retail/online side of Thorsten van Elten at Clerkenwell Design Week. Take a peek at close ups… and views UP into the strawberries on the next page!
Scissor goodness from our friend David Gensler! Gorgeous new series of hand crafted, antique tailoring shear pendants by David Gensler of the KDU and Serum Versus Venum and Osamu Koyama from Complete techniques. The new shears collection reflect David Gensler’s extensive collection of tailoring shears, over 800 pairs that span 450 years! The new series includes three styles which are T. Wilkinson & Sons (English), R. Heinisch (American) and an unmarked Parisian pair, which come in Black Mirror finished over pure silver, silver with 24k Gold bolt, pure 18k gold, rough finished brass, hammered antiqued silver and other combinations to replicated actual traditional shears. They’ll be available next week on the svsv online store! In the meantime, check out more pics of the svsv page for the project here. Ready to see more pics of the final products as well as the making of? To the next page!
I might have some C63 lusting happening since spending the week with that Louboutin Mars Red 2011 Mercedes-AMG C63… and when i was going to show you pics of that one, i ended up getting sucked in to the design of the new 2012 model on the way… particularly the Coupe. Something about panoramic sunroofs fascinates me… imagine all the fun and unexpected photo angles you could have through that! Design wise, liking the simplified grill design and body updates, as well as the interior dashboard design that’s evolving nicely. From a tech perspective, this latest model finally gets the driver assistance systems from the S/CLS lines too - adaptive high beam assist, attention assist, parktronic, lane and blind spot assists ~ and even incorporates 3D virtual city views and eco routes built in to the nav. As far as driving tech… first with a new telematics generation, and with the development package you can get it up to 481 HP @ 6,500 RPM… fun, right? Anyhow, while diving into all the details and pictures ~ Mercedes was nice enough to send over some design sketches so we can see where the car evolved from! Take a peek at all the details on the next page!
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Ok, so i just spent a week with a 2011 MercedesAMG C63 in my garage (yes, the BRIGHT mars red one)… and i forgot how much i LOVE driving. Sadly just had Mercedes come pick it up a few minutes ago… So, that combined with being asked to share some of my travel dreams for these Amex Membership Rewards posts… i had to show you the Mercedes AMG Driving Academy Winter Sporting classes… in Arjeplog, just 80km from the Arctic circle! The pictures are just stunning ~ definitely dreaming about doing these some day ~ though i can’t decide how i’d ever pick between driving and photographing! See it all on the next page!
Buying and owning is really only half the battle… responsibility… whatever you want to call it when you are talking about all the clothes and other accouterments we adorn ourselves with. For this post, Leo and Marcia delved into the world of laundering and objects that help us care for the clothes we love that are worth showing off like a gorgeous piece of furniture. From laundry baskets to ironing boards that look like works of art ~ to unusually dressing/hanging stations and convertible furniture! Take a peek at it all on the next page!
Another ICFF discovery from Anna of Sub-Studio ~ we’re loving the Ply Project’s Flex Chair created by Kenichi Sato. It takes full advantage of plywood as a material, using its ability to be both rigid and supportive and take on a soft, bendable, almost woven texture. Being made of plywood, the chairs are lightweight and easily moved as they can be separated into a flexible plywood membrane which attaches to a metal frame with embedded magnets, making it so easy to remove/clean off/swap/etc! The Flex series comes in both a chair and chaise lounge. Take a peek at some of Anna’s pics from ICFF as well as product pics on the next page!
There’s no denying that Kindle Living has some of the nicest heat lamps around. In fact, its surprising that there aren’t more designs that make better use of people’s natural tendencies to cluster under heat lamps… love that these are beautiful designs (though a bit alice in wonderland with the HUGE scaled traditional looking lamp look), more functional than purely heating - with the ability to provide lighting, cocktail tables, and even customized shades and more. But what’s most fascinating that i just discovered, is HOW they are actually assembled. When researching heat lamps for my friend’s patio, we started reading up on all the details, and discovered the assembly guide filled with pics! Surprisingly easy, i’m tempted now… even though it doesn’t get THAT chilly here! Take a peek on the next page!
On surprises and coincidences ~ the awesomest present just arrived at my doorstep! And can i just say that Dead As We Know It is not only an incredible creative agency ~ i’ve long been a fan of just about everything they’ve ever done ~ are incredibly fun to brainstorm with over breakfast in snowstorms ~ and they even helped design the NotVentures logo and banner! So when this surprise stamp arrived today ~ i was touched, excited, and am now stamping just about everything in sight (yes, including my hand). See more pics of it on the next page!
p.s. Oh. and as for the coincidence part ~ they also designed the awesome Thor/Acura S.H.I.E.L.D. Assessment Test i just wrote about in the last post!
It has definitely been a car themed month? But what more can i expect when i put a one month travel ban on myself? Inspiration comes through finding other toys to keep me running around a bit… more locally! I played with the Acura MDX recently, and after that i couldn’t help noticing EVERY time an Acura came through a shot while watching Thor! Perfectly timed with all of this fun ~ the Acura/Thor press kit designed by Dead As We Know It (also behind Kraken, NotVentures and more!) arrived! Beautiful, playful designs for everything from branded Pulse Smartpen to sugar cube and scorpion in jars, keys, switches, Rorschach test, and more… all disguised as a playful S.H.I.E.L.D. Assessment Kit. The Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement Logistics Division - you know, that marvel government agency that deals with superheroes?) Being a perfect excuse for yet another Car Unboxing, take a peek at the kit, the components, and Acura MDX details on the next page!
I’ve never grown mushrooms before, but having been hearing about mushroom kits for some time now ~ though often they look like they are growing out of a less than appealing pile of goo in a bag! The Back To The Roots Mushroom Kit just arrived, and i love their box design! So simple and pretty and ready to sit on your kitchen window sill! Back To The Roots is the brainchild of two UC Berkeley students, Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora back in 2009 during their final semester ~ they went from investment banking to full time urban mushroom farmers! Most unique about their kits: their oyster mushrooms grow in 100% recycled coffee grounds! So, while i have no mushrooms yet, having just popped the box open today ~ consider this an unboxing look at the details on how it all starts!
Gorgeous! And so simple, minimal… just found this Schwenkgrill Rohstahl (Raw steel pivot grill) and Feuerschale Rohstahl (Crude steel fire bowl) over at the awesome German, Manufactum! While the fire bowl is beautifully tempting on its own already ~ when you add the grill pendulum/pulley set up above it ~ with controllable height, much like work out equipment… it becomes EVEN more interesting and functional! Take a peek at closeups on the next page!
These bikes are adorable, hyperfunctional and i can’t stop staring! Found these and more over at Rolling Orange. Bakfietsen (Bakfiets is singular!) are like the SUVs of bikes ~ super cargo bikes ready to haul whatever you can fit in them ~ kids, pets, picnics, farmer’s marketing, rapid prototyping machine, just about anything! Ready to see more? Take a peek on the next page… so tempting!
I have always loved this idea of a mini wearable vase necklace ~ remember the Rockettoro Blossom Pendants from way back in 2006, with the glass vial, perfect for one flower? Well flipping through Lucky, i just saw this Tiffany & Co ad for the new Elsa Peretti Bottle Pendants that play on the same concept! “Once i was in Portofino and i met all those beautiful women that were wearing Pucci’s dresses and had a gardenia in their hand. That was the flash that made me think to realize something to keep the flower fresh and alive, therefore the little bottle came to the light…” says Elsa Peretti. So pretty and delicate, it really is a shame they don’t have more images of the pendants with flowers on their site! And i could never see wearing an orchid with praying mantis as i go about my day… but there are so many pretty options! And for those averse to cutting flowers, imaging putting some of that magical hydrogel stuff inside and nursing a seedling around your neck until ready for planting, etc? Take a peek at the other designs and more images on the next page!
p.s. I know, Tiffany & Co and Kiel Mead situation is terrible, but these bottle pendants are just interesting objects!
The color of the day has inadvertently become: RED! This morning Mercedes dropped off a Mars Red 2011 Mercedes-Benz C63 for me to play with ~ and i happened to need to take a little drive down to South Coast Plaza to go see some Louboutins… (which, as you can see, i clearly gave in to). And as i excitedly unboxed them in the car, i realized the signature Louboutin red sole matches Mercedes Mars Red far too well. And… i could not resist, but had to shoot the unboxing IN and ON the car! (I’m liking this unboxing on cars thing… remember the Bentley/Toy shoot?) So if you’re ready for some red… take a peek at the unboxing of the Louboutin Elisa 100 Metal Patent in Rouge and the Mars Red C63 on the next page!
This post is part of a NOTCOT series on inspiring, independent design thinking, brought to you by Saab. At Saab, we believe in independent thinking. It’s in everything we do. Learn more here.
On amazing combinations, there’s something awesomely multisensory about the realm of Food Design ~ particularly when it involves not only the food and experience but specially design products to help present them as well! Enter Pinch Food Design from New York - “a bold new brand of catering powered by a state-of-the-art kitchen and design workshop devoted solely to the creation of one-of-a-kind “food furniture.” Led by the groundbreaking chef/designer duo of Bob Spiegel and TJ Girard, the Pinch team is driven by an uncompromising commitment to incite surprise, anticipation and delight with every bite while wowing our clients - and their guests - with imaginative presentation combinations that redefine the art of celebration.” Fun, right? I love the idea of seeing everything from plates and serving ware as “food furniture”! Above is the Apple Cider Donut selection on Spoke tray ~ with each one perfectly presented! Take a peek at more of their creations on the next page…