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!
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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!)
I never thought sanrio would end up on NOTCOT ~ but when i saw the latest designs in the Sanrio x Mimobot collaborations for Sanrio’s 50th Anniversary, i LOL’d and couldn’t resist. Badtz-Maru make me think of… yea… a long time ago, and he was always my favorite, who can resist a disgruntled black bird?!?! And Hangyodon is just crazy… So check out these final characters in the 6 Sanrio x Mimobot collection on the next page!
This post is a sponsored series that takes a fun peek at the gorgeous details of modern life. The irresistible design details that enhance our lives… Gillette is the sponsor… but, as always, the post and ideas are 100% NOTCOT.
Dyson Pedestal Fan (Air Multiplier) ~ Freshly arrived from the land of Dyson ~ my first impression ~ AMAZING. While the first of the line was the desk fan (remember how awesome the launch was?), the pedestal is my favorite right now! Far quieter than the desk fan on low modes, but it feels like quite a bit more air circulating. But the best part? The design details you have to play with in person! The curved remote ~ that magnetically attaches to the top of the fan! The robotic feeling hinge to til the fan ring…. and to adjust the height? Simply lift! Or push down! And of course it swivels too… (Side note: Ok, don’t laugh, but i’ve named mine Watson. Every time see it, it makes me think of a magnifying glass, which makes me think of Sherlock Holmes, and somehow that lead me to Watson. It’s just what pops into my head when i see it!) Also, it’s so sculptural yet minimalist, it blends into a room, while still being a bizarrely intriguing object to everyone that has come by! Also, with both fans, anytime someone comes over and either is on… they still stand in front of it mesmerized and stick their hand inside it… have you tried it? You only feel the air coming out from the edges of the ring! Anyhow, go check out pics of the fun details up close on the next page!
PORTAL 2 is coming!!! I’m a little excited. The trailer is gorgeous (check it out on the next page), and looks incredibly fun! Valve’s Portal was not only stunning visually, but conceptually innovative (part FPS part puzzle game), gave us “the cake is a lie”, and Still Alive still gets stuck in my head… So, can they do it again? Take it further? We’ll find out soon… but how awesome is the trailer? See the trailer and more pics on the next page!
So excited for our friends over at Hulger and their launch of Plumen! Back in the winter of 2007 they initially launched the concept of Plumen ~ designer energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs… and 3 years later, they are now in production! And ready for order! Sadly, they only work in the UK at the moment… “It’s strange that the bulb, an object so synonymous with ideas, is almost entirely absent of imagination.” ~ and for a few fun facts: “The name Plumen comes from ‘plume’ - a bird’s decorative feather, designed to attract attention to its’ prowess and beauty. We believe our designs do the same for the neglected low energy light bulb. The first Plumen concept design joined the very prestigious permanent collection at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York, while the second was featured at the Victoria and Albert museum in London. The Plumen 001 design was developed in collaboration with designer Sam Wilkinson.”
Best part of it becoming a real product? They’ve shared lots of pics of them in USE! … as photographed by Tom Mannion ~ so take a peek at the pics on the next page!
Ok, in addition to my so called “packaging fetish” ~ i have a fascination with marker renderings. Yes, digital is fun and all ~ but there’s something so gorgeous and amazing about marker rendering too… and then when you mix the analog and digital for even cooler outcomes (more on that later!) Well another fun discovery while down at Oakley HQ ~ i got to check out the sketches behind the box and new shoe design they just launched with Chip Foose! Foose is known for his amazing hot rod designs (Youngest to be inducted into the Hot Rod Hall of Fame). In fact this weekend, Oakley has just released the Oakley Three Palms shoe at the National Hot Rod Association’s US Nationals where Foose is the grand marshal. So take a peek at the design behind the packaging and shoes on the next page!
On fun new toys this long weekend ~ playing with the Pentax Optio W90 as a life-proofed backup camera to my big dslr. It’s cold proof to 14 degrees, showckproof to 4 ft, mud+sand+dustproof, waterproof to 20 ft, and heat tolerant to 104 degrees! Basically meaning it’s hopefully kidproof, adventureproof, cookingproof, poolproof, petproof, and more! And it even has a “microscope mode” which is basically a super close macro mode… so you can shoot from 1cm away from the lens. It can also shoot 720p HD video! (But no zooming while shooting, thought you can zoom before you start shooting) Hard to believe this is Pentax’s 11th generation of these everything-proofed cameras ~ i had one of the 2nd gen models back in the day ~ perfect for fishing/shallow water adventures! Honestly, i can’t wait to try this one out as my primary kitchen camera i dont have to worry about when getting messy! Perfect for my latest food project (Eep! Shhhh, more to come on that SOON!) Take a peek at closeups on the next page ~ as well as a few test photos of the super macro microscope mode, experiments in the shower, and some video tests at LAX while i was waiting to pick someone up…
p.s. It’s pretty cheap on Amazon relative to list price! I impulse bought it friday, and had it show up saturday!
p.p.s. i wish the design could be sleeker ~ and that i could peel off all the text on the front ~ but the rugged grippiness is awesome.
Dominic Jones Jewellery always pushes the boundaries between the natural, the elegantly fashionable… and that crazy edgy look that will scare off a few folks. The latest collection has beautiful rhinoceros beetle rings i’m lusting after… an incredible shark’s jaw envelope clutch… and some intense gator jaw cuffs… see some of the most intriguing designs on the next page!