Hard Graft’s Phone Fold Wallet in Grey is so lustworthy… for those moments when you can’t grab a full purse/wallet, and only need to run out the door with your phone, cash, and a few cards (key’s will have to be figured out separately!) ~ how cute is this nice grey version of the Hard Graft fold wallet (originally in brown). So tempting. I love the attention to detail: Metal snap keeps wallet closed (snap is not exposed to phone) and the headphone jack even has access! And it can fit your iPhone 4 with bumpers, albeit a bit more snugly… perfect to grab and toss into a clutch for a night out… see more pics on the next page!
Entries tagged with: gifts
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On fun surprises ~ just received a retrotastic Mr. Bartender easy pourer… and the packaging is amazing! You have to check out the unboxing pics on the next page. And not to waste any of the good stuff, we hooked it up to an empty bottle of Kraken (which makes it even more fun with the finger holes to grab on to) ~ it’s addictive, we kept pouring shot after shot ~ of water… while playing with it. Super simple, it just fills up with one ounce of liquor before pouring that perfectly measured amount into the glass. What’s fascinating is really how pretty it is and the amazing Mr. Bartender branding! Take a peek at it on the next page!
I have Hookmakers all over my house ~ someday, maybe i’ll even have a wall of them like the Design Glut ladies… or a living wall of them filled with succulents and air plants? But i digress, how exciting is it that the Hookmakers have now been joined by Jar Tiles!!! So take a peek at their latest on the next page…
p.s. also worth taking a look at ~ their new jewelry line that needs some kickstarting!
Oooh, more fun pictures just showed up in the inbox! Gabe Brosbe went by to visit my friends at the Mission Workshop in The Mission in San Francisco! (If they sound familiar ~ it may be because this is founded by the original founders of Chrome Bags!) And he’s been test driving one of their Rambler backpacks for a few weeks on his crazy daily 9 mile bike commute (even through the ridiculous rainy season we’re having in cali these days!)… check out his pics on the next page! I love the oil drums in the interiors! Also awesome? A peek at the adorable soles of their collab with DZR on bike clip in shoes…
Today Jackson, our Tasteologie editor, popped by Artisanal LA and discovered the delicious world of I Heart Pies! And i’m currently smitten by their adorable octopus logo and their Gang of Gentleman Utensils (which you can see on the next page). He reported back that the Pecan Pie was awesome and not too sweet ~ and sadly the peanut butter s’mores pie sold out too quickly for him to try! Take a peek at the pics of the branding and booth… and PIE that he brought back on the next page!
First in my series of posts about my adventures with smart TVs ~ sponsored by the fun folks at Intel’s smart TVs! As usual ~ content and pics and all that fun is all me and they are supporting me to do it!
Google TV unboxing time! …with the Logitech Revue that literally disappears into my media center! As you saw earlier, amazon managed to get the Logitech TV Cam to me before the box itself, so you’ve already seen that unboxed. The Logitech Revue showed up the day after, so here’s the unbox/setup and first impressions… in usual Logitech fashion, the hardware is sleek, simple and feels great. So check out the unbox on the next page ~ as well as a peek at KidRobot’s new Simpson’s Mini Series 2…
Art inspiration ~ loving these pieces by young self-taught Russian artist Lora Zombie! Beautiful inky watercolors ~ my favorites are the animal related ones ~ see my picks on the next page! And check out her DeviantArt and prints at Eyes On Walls.
First impression. Wow. I mean, i’ve heard ABOUT the Ultimate Ears Customs for some time now, but being custom, no one elses will ever really fit you perfectly… so you can’t know how incredible they can sound, until you try your own. And wow. They sound and feel amazing! Freshly arrived today are a set of Ultimate Ears 18 Pro Custom In-Ear Monitors, which i got molded for back at NAMM (but was bad and had trouble deciding colors/prints/etc ~ as you can see, i went with the smoke!) From the goo they stuck in my ears, out came these perfect fitting molds hand made right here in socal! I’ve never loved the feel of ear plugs or headphones very much, but i barely notice these after wearing them for a while… and they sound incredible. While i can’t exactly SHOW you how they sound, i can show you the thoughtful packaging and what you receive when your customs arrive… take a peek at the unbox on the next page!
On design details to lust after, Logitech always manages to deliver ~ while mildly frustrating that my Logitech TV Cam arrived today ~ but my Logitech Revue/GoogleTV isn’t coming until tomorrow… it’s still such a pretty object, i’ll share the unbox first! It beautifully mounts even on the thinnest of TVs and sturdy enough, no need to worry about it leaping off in an earthquake. Armed with a Carl Zeiss wide angle lens with 5x digital zoom and two digital, directional microphones, it promises to take “HD video calls” to a whole new level. Since there’s no Revue to play with today, tried it out with ichat ~ and it works! Nice auto focus, wide angle, and
p.s. on silly design details ~ i love that the blue stripes seen in the website pics aren’t lit up when its off! It’s sleek and black and disappears right into tv…
Remember when I first wrote about Dan Akroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka almost exactly 2 years ago and people actually thought we were part of the joke propagating across the internet? But it was REAL? And awesomely pretty? Well wandering the supermarket last night i ran into the Crystal Head Vodka Gift Set ~ gorgeous skull bottle paired with two rather large mini skull shot glasses (missing skull caps!) and i couldn’t resist. While they seem EVEN bigger, after testing it out, each skull shot holds about 2.5oz… and that their need for a skull cap… i just couldn’t resist planting some succulents in there! So cute! Succulents in the skull = Skulculents? or Succuskulls? See more pics on the next page! They are way too fun!
I always swoon over the Litill Ltd. terrariums when i’m at A+R ~ and i’ve been giddy staring at these pictures that amazing photographer, Lauren Coleman, from Litill Ltd. sent over which she shot of their latest installation in collaboration with Annie Larson’s knit work at E.R Butler & Co. in NYC which are absolutely fabulous window displays! There’s something magical about both the succulent/air plant/mossy mini worlds, as well as the amorphous and organic bulbous glass structures they live within. Absolutely stunning ~ you have to see the way these are installed in the windows… mind blowing pics on the next page! (Thank you, Lauren!)
p.s. the little brick wall in the picture above is amazing.
On silly trends that seem to be popping up… have you noticed the Magnetic Clothing trend? Sure, a lot of people switch their jewelry clasps to magnets to make things easier, and its definitely helpful for arthritic hands and such… but magnetic babies clothes are available from Magnificent Baby and magnetic lingerie from french Lingerie Dement… and if you’re ambitious enough, you could even wear, what one could barely call a bathing suit, a swim suit of magnets from Klik Klik Jewelry. Perhaps it’s just me, but i can just imagine being THAT magnetic ~ as if the horror of toilet paper sticking to your shoe isn’t bad enough, what if a fork leaps up from the table and stuck to your cleavage… or sticks to your CHILD? This could get dangerous! Are these rare earth magnets? How strong is this stuff? Then again, if its TOO weak, that could also pose a lot of problems! So i’m curious ~ would you go magnetic? On the upside, maybe the magnetic wallet could be an attachment that just snaps on to your… clothes? Could it be set up so this is even more effective than those magnetic therapy bracelets? Or could it be detrimental? I totally understand the appeal of not dealing with all those buttons on your baby’s clothes ~ and wanting to preserve your gorgeously lacy lingerie while still letting him literally rip them right off of you in no time at all… but would you wear it? And how does it react when you go through airport security! Clearly i have a million and one questions running through my head on this theme tonight ~ i blame Cool Hunting for kicking off this train of thought, and finding the adorable illustrations over at My Little Paris… now go see all the pics on the next page!
When right in the center of downtown Los Angeles, and up on a tiny balcony of the 35th floor penthouse Logitech Loft ~ the city really sparkles at night! During the day ~ there was some secret TV show being filmed, with people repelling right past our windows down from the roof to the pool on the 7th floor… and helicopters buzzing the building from the half dozen helipads on nearby rooftops. Even got a chance to play around with the GoogleTV Logitech Revue early ~ as well as the Logitech peripherals - from the keyboard, mini clamshell keyboard, and video camera. But the occasion of the night? Logitech’s Ultimate Ears sponsored an intimate concert with Anberlin, as hosted by the winner of the Logitech Loft LA Contest - Rob Blasko (@roblahblah). Really the views blew my mind ~ and looking straight down was not for the vertigo afflicted… see more on the next page!
I love the way porcelain and wood come together… this is Pour Celain by gregorysung for CRISTINA GRAJALES GALLERIES, new york, at london’s MOET HENNESSY pavilion of art and design in berkley square in london. The seats are produced by Korean ceramic masters ~ and the legs by Italian artisans… fused together they are this beautiful stool! See more images on the next page! The underside is just stunning!
On such a dreary rainy LA day ~ a surprise package of cozy throw pillows and tea cups came from the kind folks at ClickforArt! Perfect to curl up with on the couch while sipping a cup of tea. Mmmm… curled up and posting, their new pillows and tea cups from Kozyndan are beautifully made ~ the pillows are printed on luscious super soft faux suede, and the tea cups somehow make a cup of tea even more uplifting (especially with the little bunny splash inside the bottom of the cup!) ~ both are even more impressive in person than in pictures ~ but here are a few close ups on the next page none the less!
Amber Liqueur ~ one of the unexpected discoveries that prompted immediate and unanimous ~ “How did we never know about this before? How does this not exist in the US? What? You’ve stopped making it? But it’s so good!” reactions from all of us upon finding it at the Macallan Visitors Center. If you like single malt and maple syrup ~ and maybe even pecans. You will LOVE this. It is incredibly delicious, and i even had carried a few bottles back… they won’t ship! So yummy ~ a nice addition to mix in for baking/cooking ~ sweetening up cocktails with something a little different than pure maple syrup… and the bottle is so fun, like a glassy bean inspired shape topped with a woody cork… Imagine if Sally Draper had found this in Don’s kitchen for that french toast? Really it is a super maple syrup ~ more than a whisky ~ A nice description of its flavor: “The color is a dark deep amber and apparently no artificial coloring is at play. Amber smells like the best maple syrup you’ve ever had. You have to really get your nose in to detect the Macallan. The taste is sweet without being cloying at all; the maple flavor and nuttiness dominate, but it is incredibly well balanced. Do I detect a little citrus? The finish is where you’ll find the Macallan spice - it’s long and tasty.” found on the Scotch Blog from 2006…
Anyhow, take a peek at this on the next page ~ fun packaging, and totally tapped into my love of dark grade B vermont maple syrup as well as my love of the Macallan!
p.s. not to scotch you guys out ~ but really, so much fun and inspiration discovered while running around scotland!
Remember the Stacks Skateboard decks? And the random idea i fixated on to make a fun swing out of a skateboard? Well when popping by ikea, ran into the $14 Ecorre Swing and couldn’t resist using some of the parts with the skateboard… so on silly little experiments ~ here’s a look at trying it out in the tree!
Mmmmmm… on sunday fun, while working my way through the backlog of stuff that awaited me here in LA when i got home, Linhchi and i decided to try out Vosges ULTIMATE Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix ~ when a delicious chocolatier decides to go cookie mix, how could we not try? And if you follow their instructions exactly, they are HUGE! We’ve also enlisted some of the Kidrobot 2Tone Dunny characters to help us out for a sense of scale! On the next page, take a peek at their awesome packaging, cheeky copy, our experience baking them, and of course, the final product!
Remember the Frietag Reference Collection i obsessed about when they pre launched in silver with 10 Corso Como and gold with Colette? (I gave in to the 10 corso como laptop sleeve) Well the full collection has now launched ~ and it’s stunning! Freitag Reference collection - microsite they even explain - “Since 1993 FREITAG has been manufacturing bags inspired by messengers riding on wheels. Now we turn to those messengers writing on paper. Messenger comes from message; and today, the media are the horse that carries him.” Luckily, in addition to the paper these messengers are writing on, lots of the bags have great laptop sleeves built in too! BUT - beyond this series of 14 stunning bags (a combination of their classic truck tarp bags taken further with sleeker designs and linen lining), there is the daily paper and pop up shop! ” REFERENCE is also a newspaper. Printed at the REFERENCE editoral space on a lead press from 1840, inspired by cut-outs from other newspapers commented on by the Bros., guests and you. Currently, all THE DAILY REFERENCES are reunited and will be published as THE REFERENCE soon. The REFERENCE editorial space is a shop and reading room at Grüngasse 21 in Zurich, where coffee and the new product line are compiled for your enjoyment.” Check out more on the line, as well as close ups of the one i lust for the most… on the next page!
Paul Budnitz’s I Am Plastic, Too is like a who’s who of toys. Everyone’s in there And the photographs are so beautiful, for all the collectibles/art pieces you may have missed, or didn’t have room on the shelf for, you can admire them for eternity in his second book. It’s no surprise that the founder of Kidrobot has issued what looks like the ultimate glossy toy yearbook… so many NOTCOT friends and favorites are included from the Rocketworld guys to Andy Bell to Amanda Visell to Joe Ledbetter to…. really there are too many to name, and too many gorgeous pages in the book… so i tried to take pics of things that excited me as i flipped through it! In addition to rounding up some of the best toys of the year, there are also interviews scattered throughout the book with various artists. And as such a lovely coffee table book, definitely adding this one to the gift list for any toy art lover! Take a browse through the book with me on the next page!
Beautiful! What cup of coffee or tea wouldn’t transcend being a mere drink (as delicious as it may be) when served in this cup and saucer? Especially when you reach the sad end of the cup, only to find that last little splash of the bunny whirlpool? Previously, came the Click for Art espresso cups & saucers, which i adore at home! And this second series, they are going for larger tea/coffee cups & saucers! First releases in series 2 are Kozyndan “Sea Hares”, Ron English “Abraham Obama”, and Jon Burgerman “In the Park” ~ each being made in a limited edition run of 250 by ClickForArt. Like the previous set, they come beautifully boxed and with a little limited edition signed print… see more pictures on the next page!
The Geometry of Pasta ~ The Perfect Shape. The Perfect Sauce. I’m in love with this book. Geometric shapes ~ flat black and white graphics ~ its even perfect for babies! And you get the history of various pasta shapes as well as sauce recipes that pair perfectly with its exquisite shape. “The Geometry of Pasta pairs over 100 authentic recipes from critically acclaimed chef, Jacob Kenedy, with award-winning designer Caz Hildebrand’s stunning black-and-white designs to reveal the science, history and philosophy behind spectacular pasta dishes from all over Italy. A stunning fusion of design and food, The Geometry of Pasta tells you everything you need to know about cooking and eating pasta like an Italian.”
It’s really such a beautifully designed book, and everyone from college kids who may just be toying with feeding themselves to chefs, would have a great time with this one, it’s definitely going on my list for fun designer gifts. I’ve never unwrapped a book and been so tempted to frame up the dust jacket, but this one is just stunning!
Awesome teaser? “Plans are underway to launch a series of products inspired by The Geometry of Pasta featuring the distinctive graphic style used in the book, from an iphone app to kitchenwares and a range of pastas and sauces.”
So take a look at some of my favorite pages in the book on the next page! As well as a giant chart of pasta shapes!
The more you travel, the more precise your packing strategies become. I have mine down nearly to a science ~ there’s a formula for tech, for toiletries, for shoes, for clothes… and which bags come with, and what expansion options are when unexpected shopping occurs… with all that precision ~ even taking in to account the order of packing based on getting through airport security with more ease, or having dslr handy during window seat flights… is all accounted for. So i’m incredibly excited that photographer, Ari Marcopoulos, got to make his DREAM photography bag with Incase, and they are nice enough to let the rest of us in on it too… especially since his demands include things like not only carrying a dslr and 2 lenses, but also a little digicam, iphone, ipad, moleskine, chargers and batteries… and how do all photography bags not have some secret panel of white balancing swatches printed on the outside? Genius! And i must admit, i love the idea of the rain fly, but the graphic freaks me out a little… however, the heavy-duty canvas already has a water repellent coating, so maybe that will keep you covered for most situations. Honestly, i’m totally dreaming about my perfect carryon and camera bag/purse right now, versatile enough to go from a safari to a cocktail party… and itcould have super fun little customized zipper details… but for now, lets lust after the Incase Ari Marcopoulos Camera Bag ~ lots of details, including the gorgeous box, on the next page!
Veuve Clicquot always goes all out when it comes to playful designs from collaborations to gift packaging. The latest two are no exception, and the POS displays are just adorable! First there is Le Fridge ~ literally a mini Smeg like retro fridge like cooler box… even cuter of course are the actual mini fridge (what dorm room doesn’t need one?) and the little yellow super market carts and life size cardboard fridge! And on the other end of the spectrum, there is the Shopping Bag ~ with the cutest scaled down bellhop luggage carts, in their signature yellow of course. This tote has a cute print with a luggage tag and contrast stitching… with a magnetic clasp with the comet/logo on it, and glossy paper boxes that resemble retro suitcases! Both lines are so fun, and are available internationally for the holiday season (looks like both have been popping up in stores already!) ~ see more pics of the fun displays and close ups on the next page!
The nice folks at Stacks sent over some skateboards and shirts from their new Summer 2010 collection that’s graphically influenced by knights and old school Monte Carlo racing imagery… beautiful graphics by Michael Leon and Paul Hutchinson. Had a lot of fun shooting pics of these on the grass at dusk while getting literally attacked by the fog that i watched roll in across the back yard and engulf me ( and ruin my light!) ~ only to disappear as quickly as it rolled through. Eerie and awesome all at once! Also, now one of two things really needs to happen… i need to learn to skate… and/or it’s definitely time to take the idea of turning a skateboard into a swing for the tree in the front yard further! My not having a skateboard handy was my excuse for procrastination, then Stacks has this magical package sent over… it’s like they KNEW! Anyhow, take a peek at the closeups on the next page! (As well as the sketchstorming Leo did on this skateboard/swing idea!)