The super sweet folks of Ultimate Ears (an irvine based Logitech company) ~ reached out and invited me to visit them at NAMM ~ and little did i know that when i arrived at their booth, i’d be sat down in an ominous white leather chair, while Dr. Noy in white lab coat and all would make me bite down on a piece of foam while he filled my ears with mysterious blue quick drying goo. Ok, so to be fair, that’s the creepier way of wording it, basically they took impressions of the inner workings of my ears for some custom fit earphones by Ultimate Ears - while i’ve never been much of a headphone connoisseur, they’re catching me up quickly… i’ve been using their 700s since the unboxing and the sound quality has been awesome… but people can’t seem to stop raving about the customs… not to mention i’m fascinated by the idea that they can be customized to your heart’s content (color, graphics, etc) and they fill fit perfectly into your ears (and only your ears! unless you find an ear twin?)… more to come once i actually figure out how i want to customize my customs (any suggestions?) ~ but for now, take a peek at the fun Ultimate Ears NAMM booth! It had quite the crowd, but i tried to sneak a few fun pics of the ear molding process and some of the examples that were out!
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Popped by NAMM (think CES of Music Making) on Saturday ~ it was so fun to explore and discover some great visual (and auditory!) inspiration. Besides, how often do you get to check out a structure made of orange amps… Check out this great unmissable booth setup. And i’m loving the iconic Orange Amps look and crest design…
With all of this Ice Ball talk on my mind from the Macallan, when i saw the Muji Silicon Ice Ball Maker at the Muji To Go store in JFK’s Jet Blue terminal, i couldn’t resist grabbing two to play with. Been rushing around a bit non stop, but as tired as i was when i got in, first thing i had to do was fill one of these up with water and stick it in the freezer! Was too tired to wait for water to boil before filling it ~ so it does lack some of the potential clarity due to the cold tap water that went in. Overall it worked pretty well though! And the novelty of spherical ice is pretty fun! Though not nearly as exciting as making it with the Macallan ice machine… see more pics of the instructions and muji device on the next page… been starting to think about what else you can do to get creative with spherical ice…
Tonight, Macallan brought me out to Soho House in NY for quite the surreal experience: Flights of the Decades. Beyond the amazing ice balls (which i’ve been dying to see in action for some time now) ~ tonight i had the opportunity to talk so the inspirational visionary @MacallanKen (aka Ken Grier, Director - Malts) about everything from photography to life adventures to how baking cakes is a lot like scotch… but most importantly, about doing/enabling extraordinary things and people. Also finally got to meet @LivingTheDram (aka Graeme Russell - Macallan Ambassador) ~ with whom i’ve long tweeted about scotch from afar. And everyone at this lovely event was tweeting up a storm ~ all of which were showing on the screen (in fact, if you were using the #macallan hashtag during dinner, you too were up on screen!) To take it even further, we had the opportunity to taste not only the New Make Spirit straight from the source before reaching casks… Macallan cask strength 18 year sherry oak… Macallan 50 year… and even Macallan 52 year. It was. WOW. And seeing the Lalique decanters and the carbon fiber (looking?) box it’s packaged in… as well as one of the 1000 unique Rankin bottles up close… all in all it was a beautiful experience, with fun people, delicious food, great conversations… now go see the many random photos on the next page for a peek at the experience!
On bizarre and fascinating design found at AVN this weekend… i found these Tenga Eggs in person, and i couldn’t help laughing when i saw them (yes, i tried to hold it in, but it was just so fascinating!). If they seem familiar, they were on NOTCOT.org as #18467 a while ago. And when they were first submitted, we couldn’t make sense of what they were for a bit… well now that they are being distributed by Liberator (they specialize in “bedroom adventure gear”)… so they were part of a big booth at AVN filled with beautifully designed toys. We even had a chance to meet the designer himself. Now as for how they work… these are bizarre eggs that are male pleasure toys, but they come in the most adorable plastic eggs (like kids easter eggs, or toys from machines you pop a quarter in to)… and inside you find an “egg shaped masturbation sleeve” ~ and they come in 6 different internal textures. “Although intended for a single session, the cup could be used a couple of times if handled and cleaned carefully.” Anyhow, take a peek at the pics of the packaging, products, and funny video on the next page!
It’s always hard after a full day of racing around the show floor at CES to decide what to share first - as my body wants to dive in a bubble bath and my brain is getting ready for drinks, dinner, etc. SO, don’t laugh, but the first thing i have been craving since i saw the adorable minimalist mod booth… Mint: Automatic Floor Cleaner… think swiffer meets roomba, but with a design treatment by Yves Behar’s Fuseproject… and hyperintelligent guts by Evolution Robotics, Inc. This feels like my Method oMop’s futuristic robotic relative. So yes, stunning, wicked smart, cleans with popular we/dry cleaning cloths (think swiffer/pledge/etc), AND charges upright!
Also fun? Besides the booth design and beautifully designed product? They throw coffee on the floor… let it dry a little… then demo the machines. And i love how versatile the concept is, you can use any cloth ~ and the panel that they attach to is MAGNETIC! More pictures of the details and a video on the next page from my CES discovery of Mint! (It officially launched at midnight!)
As delicious as certain liquors are… you all know that spontaneous packaging based impulse buys are how the weird stuff often ends up here. Well recently at Mitsuwa, the adorable little sakes were calling out to me and i couldn’t resist. I also couldn’t resist shaking up the nigori ones… which of course meant i then had to let them sit for a day or so in my fridge so they’d fully settle (all that unfiltered sediment sinking to the bottom) so i could show you the difference when i took pics! But how amazingly cute are these Aladdin Sake bottles? They’d make the prettiest little vases for your desk… And the way the top opens is fascinating as well. So take a peek at them all on the next page! (And no, i haven’t tasted any of them yet ~ too tired tonight, but wanted to show you the packaging first!)
Black and White. Angel and Devil. Fun illustrations. Hilarious how to on the back, showing how this egg topper (with the three little blades inside) can even double as a napkin ring (won’t it slice up your napkin possibly? if used right?)… and brain sperm logo. And it’s both the egg decapitator AND the holder. Genius. So of course you understand that i couldn’t resist this adorable german pair of Brain Stream Cregg & Cregg while in Stockholm… and i only just got around to testing them out ~ pictures of the experience and details on the next page!
Love of wine + packaging + test tubes? When i spotted these wine tasters over at Springwise. This example of Tryvertising (i must admit that word pains me quite a bit)… comes from Brixr in San Francisco. These 50mL vials are adorable ~ though some people seem to be debating whether 2ozs are enough to know which one you like best… see a few more packaging pics on the next page!
Ready to take off for the holidays? Well wejetset wants to hook you up.
What can you win? + 1 Hideo Bean 19 (Green) Luggage + 6 Wallpaper City Guides + 1 Arkitip x Incase Curated Laptop Sleeve for (15” Macbook Pro) Steven Harrington + 1 WeSC Bongo Blue Headphones + 1 pair of Sunglasses by Super See pics of it all in the feature as well as details on what to do for your chance to win!
Sometimes i get so excited i think in pictures. Too giddy for words? So many stunning details to show you? SO, after showing you the awesome ads that came together in McSweeney’s San Francisco Panorama ~ as promised, here is a look inside the newspaper itself. Basically i sat down outside with newspaper and camera in hand, and as i got excited reading through it, snapped pics of the visual details that grabbed me… and omg there are a LOT, so here is the curated down visual inspiration from the Panorama to give you a taste. As for the intellectual literary goodness, you’re really going to have to grab a copy and catch up on that yourself, but for the visual overview and some of the hilariously inspiring details this should whet your appetite for the moment. Hope you enjoy it as much as i do!
We need more of this in our lives. I feel like such a slacker right now. Suddenly i want NOTCOT in print. Anyhow… go see the pics of what newspapers SHOULD be like!
p.s. … also, blogs and websites will never be as fun to take outside and shoot… with a camera.
I love print. I love magazines first and foremost, and newspapers right behind that. They just FEEL so good! All these lists of things that became obsolete in the last decade keep including magazines and newspapers and honestly it just makes me want to cry a little. And you know what else i absolutely adore in those mediums? ADVERTISING! When its good… which so often it can be amazing. Also collectively, taking a look advertising in a magazine or paper says a lot about the publication itself. Picking the right ads is critical ~ as much as people seem to want to squeeze anything on sites some days (yes, you advertisers know who you are) ~ choose wisely. Also if EVERYTHING moves digital, what am i supposed to read when the power’s out and its a gorgeous sunny day? Hmmm?
Ok that’s my little print/ad rant for the moment… mildly triggered by my overwhelming inspiration rush from sitting out in the sun reading, flipping through, and shooting McSweeney’s San Francisco Panorama… which is AMAZING. But since i ended up with so many parts i wanted to show you… lets start with the advertising that grabbed me. Literally with every page flip it was “oooooh amazing picture…. wow what a fascinating read… wait, that pic is actually an AD?” Both the graphics and advertisers that made it in are quite stunning, and together say so so much about the world they’ve created in the newspaper. So before i get to the rest, take a peek at some of the stunning design and fun ads that grabbed me.
On Los Angeles field trips, i took a little trip over to the Baxter of California HQ last week and met up with president, Jean-Pierre Mastey, a fellow mini haribo gummi bear and packaging design junkie ~ he’s also passionate about boxing, cars, men’s skincare… and japanese, Head Porter bags! I am so excited to share a peek into their world… so fun to get to see the products waiting to go out, some of the R&D in progress, and even some amazing retro barbershop accoutrements and playful art and design… it was also awesome to get a peek into his packaging design library! Take a look at JP’s desk up there, that juxtaposition of objects sums up his well rounded background quite nicely!
Beyond the peek into the world of Baxter of California on the next page ~ JP has also been generous enough to give one of you lucky readers the new Porter collaboration Baxter Dopp Bag filled with Baxter travel sized goods - Face Wash, Oil Free Moisturizer, Super Close Shave Formula, After Shave Balm, Daily Protein Shampoo, and a special edition Baxter anodized aluminum travel shave brush produced just for this kit in Black. I was jealous enough of this being a men’s product, i bought one for myself… it’s a fabulous dopp kit! With three removable velcro’d sections! With stunning details you’d expect from Porter, it is the ultimate flexible travel kit! See more images and details on the giveaway here!
This morning i woke up and fell for Keith Noordzy’s “Man Made Disaster Studies” which he has in the latest Gallery 1988 show Paper Pushers. So clean, so thoughtful, so dangerous (both the enormous sea creatures and the weapons of mass destruction) ~ love them! See them all on the next page!
Noferin has launched their latest set of woody toys, this time a blind box set: Jibibuts! And for this Holiday feature, they give us a peek into how they are made, the full set, and even a teaser as to what those 2 super special mystery characters are… ready to take a peek? See the full story on the next page!
Also… they have sent over one full case to give to one of you! For a chance to win, leave a comment on the feature with your favorite childhood toy!
On more exciting holiday features ~ a first time i’m trying out having our friends at some of NOTCOT’s favorite companies share some stories and behind the scenes look into their worlds ~ here’s a look at the Unearthen Watches at Forward Forward, the luxurious high end sister store of Revolve Clothing… I love hearing about how these watches were discovered, and what it was about them that pulled them in! See the full feature on the next page!
On unexpected popups i wish i could teleport over to, this news was too fun not to share when it just showed up in my email! Photos by Hiroyasu Masaki (punkfloyd).
Ace Hotel and Japanese retailer Isetan Shinjuku are curating a pop-up shop for the holidays. Ace Hotel is in Seattle, Portland, Palm Springs, and New York. Culture, collaborations, and a design aesthetic that mixes uncluttered comfort with a bohemian vibe are Ace’s trademark—informed by each city’s sense of place. It’s a gathering place for neighbors and guests alike. We at Ace love Japan, and we’re excited to be able to come to Tokyo and bring all of our recent product collaborations to the heart of Shinjuku.
Isetan will be showcasing gifts from Ace that give you a sense of the hotels and their cities. Products include collaborations with Pendleton Woolen Mills, artist Evan Hecox, Generic Man, Dean Markley, Fjallraven of Sweden, Mackintosh, Coto, Le Labo, Wings & Horns, Project No. 8, Pearl Plus, and many others. Products from Rudy’s Barbershops will also be available for the first time in Japan. Come find something Wednesday Dec 2-Friday Dec 25.
Let me level with you. It was my birthday and i totally tried to take the day off a little. Got some extra sleep. Went for a walk and caught up with a friend on the beach ~ a beach walk complete with ice cream and taco truck tacos (in that order of course!) ~ did super chill dinner and… met up with Linhchi for the most ridiculous microwave experimenting we’ve done in a while… People claim i’m hard to shop for, but really you just have to keep in mind that i’m pretty easy to amuse? Besides, this little as seen on TV number even has CORE FUSION TECHNOLOGY!!! (Ok, so to me, it feels more like magical gravity weighing down on my poor explosive marshmallow) AND she brought adorable marshmallows that are products of israel covered with adorably anthropomorphized illustrated mallows that would make the sanrio crowd squeal. The cuteness does make it easier or harder to consume them (depending on how you react to the cuteness!) Impressive? Their mallow jumping and squishing the barcode. LOVE IT. But i digress… we microwaved up a few of these babies, watched them mushroom up, and then the MICROSMORES machine (read: plastic container with weighted platform on a stick that you don’t even get to PUSH) did its thing, making magical smores. Now if only there was some liquid smoke or fire involved in the process, you’d truly recreate the campfire smore experience…. ok even then, a bit is still missing, but that didn’t hold us back from sticking whatever else we could find in there!
I know i have SO many things i want to post and show you that i’m behind on this week (that life balance thing kicked in ~ you understand, right? this week life won a bit more than usual ~ but don’t work, workaholic me will be back, and might need some assistance, but more to come on that soon perhaps)… but figured we should start with the fun crazy stuff first… anyhow! Check out these awesome marshmallows and the MICROSMORES magic on the next page… good times!
PLEASURE TO THE PEOPLE! Who can deny pleasure? Jimmyjane recently teamed up with Yves Béhar to create the new FORM 2. Great design + pleasure? That’s pretty irresistible. Jimmyjane has just released FORM 2, the first launch of PLEASURE TO THE PEOPLE, a groundbreaking new series of waterproof, rechargeable vibrators designed by Yves Béhar and Ethan Imboden. So for this latest holiday feature Jimmyjane founder (and designer!), Ethan Imboden, has decided to take us behind the scenes, sharing some amazing pics and confidential sketches, of how this pleasure object came to be.
GIVEAWAY! They really aren’t kidding around when it comes to spreading Pleasure To The People ~ they have generously given us a FORM 2 for you as well! So for a chance to win, leave us a pleasurable limerick (if you are limerick challenged, be creative and pleasurably poetic?), in the comments of the feature, and i’ll pick a winner on December 16, 2009.
So Thomasville is a NOTCOT advertiser, and when they approached me, i got curious. Particularly about this Metamorphic Candelabra from their Darryl Carter for Thomasville Collection. So they were kind enough to send the photo sample over for me to play with. I've been a bit fixated on chandeliers and candelabras recently ~ i blame that dinner at Versailles where the fake candle light at dinner drove me absolutely nuts (pictures in that hazy orange glow looked atrocious!) ~ and suddenly i find myself noticing real candles anywhere i go! SO, i brought this brassy candelabra out to palm springs a few weeks ago to play with ~ and dragged the others out exploring palm springs to find candles with me... and we tried it out at the Ace.
Honestly, the concept is what i found most interesting ~ the Metamorphic Candelabra allows you to move the two pieces vertically ~ and then all arms also swing. Whether this is a good or bad idea when you have flames going was unknown, since unlike most candelabras, there are definitely moving parts ~ so running around with the candelabra was a bit drippy... but overall ~ its a fun concept! And we had fun playing with it out in the desert! Have any good candelabra recommendations that are interesting? Would love to see more!
Ready for another giveaway??? Well, our good friends at Fred have put together quite the bundle of fun for you! For a chance to win the following: Stone Cold, Hopside Down, M-Cups, Saltside Out, Ice Invaders, Twist & Spout, Birthday Candelabra, Sword’oevres, Mix Stix, Bubble Scrubber, Food Face, and Cookeys!
FLEXICORDS!!! My tech packing isn’t complete without these. I’m addicted to how fun and bendy they are ~ and thus, tangle free too! I first found these at CES 2008 (so about a year ago!), and they are now shipping and totally ready to stuff stockings with. Fun simple packaging, although to keep it so green and “clamshell free” it’s not easy to clip the two teeny little zipties that hold each cable to the cardboard. But it has fun design and copy ~ complete with “Cable Origami” ideas on the back! And you’d be surprised how nice it is as part fidget toy, part useful cable, and part cell phone holder… check out more pics of them up close on the next page!
My iPhone has been clothed in the new Incase Perforated Snap Case the last few days, and i’m loving how incredibly light it is, yet nice matte black feel… and the perforations actually give it a little bit more grippiness! Well, for this feature and giveaway they’ve given us a little more insight into their inspiration as well as how much goes into the tools and manufacturing of these super thin simple solutions to iPhone cases!
Oh, and you get a chance to win the whole trio of Incase Perforated Snap Cases too! There is gloss white, matte black, and matte pink… details and feature all on the next page!
Shawnimals never ceases to bring a smile to my face. I mean, little plushie ninjas. Who can resist that?!?!?! It’s a Ninja Empire for sure… from the early days of the Wee Ninja ~ to Pocket Ninja ~ to a whole town of ninjas… and a Nintendo DS game even… i’m so delighted and honored to announce his latest amazing ninja announcement just before NINJA DAY (yes, Dec 5th, this saturday. prepare yourself!), NINJA OF THE MONTH!!! Seriously. I kid you not. You can magically have ninjas appear in your mailbox monthly. Perhaps the awesomest yearlong gift yet? So YES, you get a chance to win a year long subscription of ninjas… AND Shawn was nice enough to let us peek behind the curtain to see where ninjas come from… ready to see inside the studio? Peek at potential ninjas in the making? See the next page….
On completely unexpected pieces of mail ~ Anthropologie really knows how to add those special little touches to the customer experience. While i was mixed on joining and getting an Anthro Card when i was at the Man Shops Globe event (and couldn’t help buying something) i gave in and signed up. The benefits weren’t quite clear… but i just recieved a pretty little bubble wrap envelop from them containing the cutest birdthday wishes with a cupcake made from piercings (a fun change from the letterpress trend) and a candle necklace… as well as an in store discount. But presentation matters! And it was such a surprising and adorable card. So thanks, Anthropologie, that was a pretty cute move. Check out close ups on the next page… even the copy is playful.