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!
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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…
I never knew the history of Nudie cards till this post. Did you know - “The birth of modern-day nudie cards can be traced to 16th century cards from India depicting the positions of the Kama Sutra. By the turn of the 20th century, during the Art Nouveau movement, erotic card decks appeared celebrating a renewed appreciation of the female form. These decks evolved to include illustrations or photographs of nude models, flappers, burlesque singers, and pin-up girls. Because these cards were not legal at the time, they were often sold under the guise of art studies.” They started as “art” not “porn”? Fascinating, right? Also, apparently for these new Ryan McGinness Blacklight Nudie Cards for the Standard, each abstracted drawing was from actual figure studies of models… even the three boobed ones! (Ok, so a few have multiple bodies, but they still are near indecipherable, as creative as you get!) Printed with fluorescent inks, these cards are optimal for glowing goodness under blacklights. I showed you a peek at McGinness’ show that started this series as well as the vinyls at the The Standard New York and limited edition prints of the cards, now, take a peek at the unboxing and close ups of the cards on the next page!
Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! This time Leo researched SO many devices that could make coffee we didn’t even know where to start narrowing them down. Well, we’ve decided to roundup some of the prettiest, cordless, coffee/espresso makers ~ from stove top to vacuum to portable… these are all intriguingly beautiful enough to leave out with pride. Ready to take a look at what we found? Check it out on the next page!
WE LOVE CALIFORNIA! OMG it smells like socal ~ i can’t explain it. It’s like there’s some fresh beachy goodness baked into this new “We Love California” Candle (in “Cruel Summer” scent) from LA based, Baxter of California, in collaboration with Parisian, Colette… their description? “Cruel Summer opens with a very powerful green, leafy top note accented with a citrus lemon undertone. The body of this complex blend is a floral, green bouquet starring brilliant hyacinth, tempered with notes of cyclamen, and accented with a fresh marine accord. These rest on an alluring white musk base, embellished with cedar wood.” As usual, the design is by Marc Atlan ~ and gorgeously minimal! This limited edition of 400 candles will be available at Colette in Paris and online, at the Baxter LA Barbershop and online.
When they reached out to offer us a giveaway, i simply had to smell it before agreeing. When it arrived today, i was won over (first by their awesome custom packing tape!) by the scent and design ~ and what could be more appropriate than to share a little california love with you guys? As a born and raised LA girl, and seeing as i just canceled all my May travel to hide out and enjoy at least a month of this lovely LA summer… this seems like the perfect giveaway! But before you enter ~ take a peek at the unbox and close ups of packaging and candle on the next page…
TO WIN: Leave a comment by midnight in cali time, Friday, May 6th, with what you love about California ~ and i’ll pick and email a winner over the weekend! Oh! And you most definitely do not have to be IN California to win!
SO CUTE. Who doesn’t need two mini herds of 15 brontos and stegos for their wall? Posted this signed pair of prints from The Bird Machine recently on NOTCOT.org, then gave in and bought them. They just arrived and are so adorable, had to share close ups! Check them out on the next page
Though almost TOO hot and sunny with santa anas and a heatwave passing through, it did look like quite the glorious LA weekend. And the perfect time to joy ride with the flaming orange 2012 Bentley Continental GT up the coast. So far i showed you some of my favorite little design details, and as promised, here’s a look at the exterior. The glowing orange in the bright sun definitely highlights the crisp lines beautifully… and something about that orange with the endless blue of the sky and ocean coupled with the green of Malibu Canyon made for the perfect backdrop for an impromptu photo shoot… between the glowing car and the serene view, it took the roar of the engine to snap me out of how gorgeously mesmerizing it was! But as soon as i heard that roar, i remembered instantly why i love driving… more to come on the mini roadtrip around LA, but first, take a peek at the 2012 Bentley Continental GT exterior shots on the next page!
An “Orange Flame” 2012 Bentley Contintental GT was dropped off for the weekend ~ and it is one seriously bright car. It is especially gorgeous in the stunning sunshine this weekend! If you recall, the Continental GT even inspired the shape of the case of the 007 Carte Blanche Limited Edition. Having peeked into the Bentley Factory via Ultimate Factories, it’s been fun to leisurely poke at all the tiny details… with Imperial Blue Leather and orange contrast stitching, logos hidden just about everywhere you may not have even imagined, fun knobs and compartments, there’s much to explore, and so many beautiful details as you dive deeper. SO! I thought i’d share my favorites with you ~ take a peek at the little design details tucked all around this new 2012 Bentley Contintental GT on the next page!
p.s. The image above ~ i adore the way the windows create such a sleek opening when down…
On fun toys that just arrived… i think i’m in love ~ some things just flood your brain with ideas and it’s the best high. So tiny. So simple. Yet does SO MUCH. With a massive dslr and decent mobile pics these days ~ it’s hard to figure out what else is a car/purse worthy photography gadget. Well, i can think of a million ideas of where to stick, hang, clasp, dunk, strap, swing, launch it… this teeny tiny GoPro HD Hero Camera has infinite mount options, waterproof housing is a default, windproof audio, wide angle views, 1080p HD, super low-light sensitivity, interval photo modes, an awesome sounding battery life ~ and so much more. AND - with the LCD BacPac, i can check the pics on the go… So before the fun begins ~ wanted to share the unbox, because on top of all the features packed into the stealthy little cam… it’s well packaged and designed too! Take a peek on the next page…
Spy novels + fun cars + limited edition books = gorgeous book design from 007 and Bentley for the latest James Bond book, Carte Blache. There is a die-cut bullet hole that pierces each book - inside each copy you find a single polished bullet with a distinct number. (I wonder if any other secret information is hidden in or on the bullet!)
As for the design - “The Special Edition is designed by Brett Boydell. In his ten years at Bentley, Brett has been involved in the interior design of the Bentley Azure, Brooklands and, most recently, the Continental Supersports. He also manages the Bentley Branded Goods studio, where all Bentley-associated products are created.” Additionally, the book is in a metal box shaped into outline of the new Continental GT. The look of this sleek abstracted sculpture reminds me a lot of the Infiniti Essence and Mercedes Rising Car sculptures. Take a peek at the sketches and renders of the 007 and Bentley Carte Blanche Special Edition on the next page.
Seed Pills! It seems like such a natural fit ~ everyone should be prescribed some seed pills to do their part and add a little more green to our world! Another project we encountered as part of the Selfridges’ GROW Concept Store and Guerilla Gardening Windows - Vanessa Harden’s seed pills. In addition to these clear pill capsules filled with seeds (which are purchasable in store), she has designed a series of “Subversive Gardener” concepts to do everything from launch the seeds from an umbrella’s top (as seen in her window display) or a bag to drill holes into the ground or a camera to launch seeds… as well as a “Horticulturalist Series” with seeds shooting out of a gun, or a walking stick… and more! Gel capsules with tiny seeds - melting down dispersed throughout the world, the idea of prescribing more green is just what some of us need! Take a peek on the next page…
Happy Earth Day! It’s been fun watching the evolution and growing trend of seedbombing - our latest find, Seedboms from Kabloom which are featured in the Selfridges’ Guerrilla Gardening display in their windows and Wonder Room. The little grenades are only available in the UK for now, as they feature four mixes of native species (Sunflower Incredible, Nasturtium Peach Melba, Cornfield Annual Mix and Native Wildflower Mix). However, other EU mixes are under development! Their design, display, and packaging were too irresistible to pass up, so we picked up a few while there… they are now in 4 packs and singles (and the 4 packs can even be split up, complete with to:/from: tag, for sharing!) Check them out close up on the next page!
Just bounced through Berlin, Milan, and London before landing home and being up and jetlagging in LA this morning ~ and it has been grilling weather EVERYWHERE! In parks, on balconies, in yards, it’s been fabulously sunny around the globe! Remember the customizable multifunctional Molenkitchen we discovered recently? Or all the research on
the Ultimate Grill we did a few years back? Well today, Marcia and Leo have found some of the awesomest grilling accessories you (or your favorite griller in need of some gifting love) just might need! So fun, designy, and creating some unusual grilled treats… check it all out on the next page!
Crumpled City Maps! While these appeared on NOTCOT.org about a year ago, they weren’t available yet. Well, i just ran into them at Selfridges in London, and they are so fun! (If only i wasn’t at the END Of my trip, it would have been great to have these balled up in my purse for Paris, Berlin, Milan, and London the last month!) Truth is, maps always get so wrinkled and abused in my purse and pockets when traveling, i usually grab a city center map from the concierge, and toss it by the end of the trip… these are printed on tyvek, so they should be able to withstand quite a bit of abuse, and hopefully still be readable. They also come with a cute pouch ~ and in fun simple flash card like packaging… and now you can even select your own set of 5 for a Crumpled City Collection Box! Love this 5 pack as an idea for someone embarking on a whirlwind trip… take a peek at more details and the available cities on the next page!
Thermochromatic goods seem to come and go and never quite disappear… remember when American Apparel brought it back and AZFN did their version too? Well latest to run into is Stone Island’s Heat Reactive Jacket “A hooded bomber jacket in cotton nylon canvas with thermosensitive liquid crystals, the garment changes colour according to the temperature. The fabric of the heat reactive jacket is treated with a thermo-sensitive coating that changes colour at high temperatures. Beginning at 27 degrees the molecules within the micro- capsules of the external strata undergo a rotation modifying the light course. The colour of the garment gradually begins to morph from the dark colour of the surface coating to a much lighter and brighter surface colour. When the garment returns to a normal temperature it recovers to its original dark coating colour.” It is available in black that turns Green or Blue. Check out the dramatic video and more pics of it in action on the next page…
London silliness - When browsing the produce section, spotted a strange item among the berries. Pineberries! They look like inverted strawberries and are known as pineberries (a hybrid of Fragaria chiloensis and Fragaria virginiana). The original pineberry was a South American species which went extinct in the wild, but which has since been hybridized and cultivated in the Netherlands.
Although they debuted at Waitrose last year, the berries still seem hard to get a hold of and have just come back into season and we had to try them. Though they are meant to taste a bit like pineapple, ours were a bit more watery, with a texture similar to a strawberry. But our bunch may not have been fully ripe (some of their seeds were still green rather than red). Not sure they’ll make it into our basket again, but they definitely have the novelty factor and look like no other fruit! For more about how they taste, see the Guardian’s review and for more pics (including inside them! and the fun packaging!), check out the next page!
On simple things that amuse and delight ~ De Vorm had a little plastic toy camera out ~ the single object on one of their tables they were displaying… of course we couldn’t resist picking it up… when a man emerged from behind a panel (while on the phone!) and said “Take it”… hesitating, he encouraged us further… then offered us another! How could we say no? And how could i not wear it? So in Milan Design Week seriousness… i totally wore this silly little toy camera alongside my real one… and inside it? Viewmaster catalog/press kit of sorts! Delightfully fun idea… so simple, so fun, definitely put a smile on my face. The camera is made by Plastiskop - “The Plastiskop models were patented from 1953 in Germany and turned out as the classic souvenir in the 50’s and 60’s, as with the upcoming mass tourism the Plastiscopes became the memory machine of a whole generation. As well in modern times our series for souvenir, animals, fairy tales keep up as a part of the german cultural landscape. Meanwhile the orignal models in their historical moulds are produced in third generation in north bavaria - hand made and almost in the same way as the first plastiscopes were done.” Amazing, right? See pictures of the camera, the press kit materials, and other Plasticopes on the next page!
Discovered over at 10 Corso Como, our favorite truck tarp upcyclers, Freitag, have a pop up shop! Featuring a “strictly limited FAKE SNAKE edition in green/grey” for the store, and an installation of Roadkill! Various animals, from rats to birds to foxes to kangaroos, cut in truck tarpaulins are given away for you to put on your bag in solidarity to all the poor creatures that are killed on the roads each day… see more of the description and set up (which include that machine to weld them on to your bag even!) on the next page… i couldn’t help picking up an adorable green kangaroo!
Moneral makes some of the most stunning wooden plates i’ve seen/felt. They really are like eating off of slices of wood… and curved just perfectly as a plate… you won’t be able to stop touching them in wonder. “They are made of coated aspen, which makes them durable even in frequent use and for dishwasher use. The Elicia range includes a dinner plate, a cocktail plate, a serving dish, a serving plate and plates’ stand.” and as for the raw materials, “Moneral buy the raw material in the close surroundings of the factory. To ensure a perfect raw material for the plates, each tree is chosen carefully and cut by hand to avoid any damage to the bark. The trees come from sustainably managed and certified Finnish forest, controlled by the Finnish Forest Management Associations.” Amazing, right? Also tempting, you can even customize them… The story is adorable too ~ “It all began with Eero Remes, a farm and the need to buy a specialist saw. As it turned out, making wooden disks with this saw provided hours of entertainment. It was Eero’s son, Panu, who experienced a “Eureka!” moment on seeing the disks lying about in the snow: it would be splendid to eat your dinner off plates like that!” Check out the details on the next page!
I couldn’t resist. I was totally that girl in the tiny supermarket in the huge line buying 4 jars of Nutella tonight. I mean, these limited edition Nutella Esperienza Italia 150 glasses were cute when they came up on NOTCOT.org, but renders are one thing. These are even more awesome in person! Fun glasses for just about anything… filled with nutella… celebrating Italian unity - specifically DESIGN, Arts, Landscapes & Architecture, and History! On fun design week souveniers, the design themed €1.79 glass of nutella is pretty sweet (even AFTER you eat the nutella)… The story? “Nutella wanted to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of italian Unity together with millions of Italian families and asked ARC’s. to interpretate the project in four themes: Arts, Design, Landscapes & Architecture, Historical topics. Through the “Esperienza Italia 150” limited edition collection, Nutella ideally embraces all italians, from the South to the North, as a sole big family.” Above is a render of the 4 glasses in the set from ARC’s… but on the next page, take a peek at close ups of them all!
p.s. Don’t mind the bizarre hotel/motel feel of the photos… it’s how it feels in here!