Undergrowth Design "Wash Away All Sins" Soap Dispenser ~ designer Tina Tsang describes it as "Angled for a perfect scrub to cleanse away all your naughty secrets! Resembling a 'foaming' bar of soap sinking into the sink top, the 'Wash Away All Sins' Soap Dispenser is hand-made in England with ceramic earthenware. On the reverse side, a definition of 'clean' to remind user of new state of 'cleanliness', innocent of all their little sins."
Entries tagged with: gifts
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Joby Gorilla Mobile for iPhone 3G/S ~ perfect for those who want the versatility of both a simple black matte/rubbery case and the ability to mount their phone just about anywhere for any reason... whether that is on the steering wheel of your car (look! handsfree!), the handlebars of your bike, wrapped around a pole, or perched on the table as a tripod... or in my case, i wrapped it around the nearby bottle of scotch as a tripod. As you can see on the next page, the packaging for this one got far more apple styled with the matte white box ~ and i do love that the signature ball jointed gorillapod legs are ALL black this time! Take a peek at all the details on the next page...
Some packages just leave you speechless. You sit. You stare. You open it. You poke at it. You close it. You stare a bit more. This was one of those packages. Veuve Clicquot sent over one of their 1200 limited edition stingray skin Yellowboams (there are 3600 in the edition, 1200 each of ostrich, alligator, and stingray) ~ yes, a 3L (4 bottle equiv) bottle of Yellow Label Champagne... in a stunning handcrafted metallic lacquered wood box (with adorable little round hinges and magnetic closure) ~ with a stand for the monstrously large bottle... and the bottle itself has a yellow label made from ostrich, alligator, or galuchat, sealed with 22.4 ct gold and a 24 ct plated muzzle engraved with Mme. Clicquot's signature. A little over the top, in a completely surreal, "how is this enormous bottle sitting on my counter right now, and how amazing is this paint job?" sort of way. Next question of course was, "How will we ever pour this? Or chill it? And who will have to come help drink it?"
So take a peek at more pictures on the next page ~ once you get past the extravagance, it's really one of the sweetest most unexpected gifts to arrive, so, thank you, Veuve Clicquot. And don't worry i will certainly document it when i open it... i'm terribly curious what is under that golden muzzle... and the adorable notebook that was included mentions that you can send in the leather label to have it turned into a card holder... intriguing...
This launched me into that hunt for the names of various bottle sizes, so for those curious: Magnum = 2 bottles, Jeroboam = 4 bottles, Rehoboam = 6 bottles, Methuselah = 8 bottles, Salmanazar = 12 bottles, Balthazar= 16 bottles, Nubchadnezzar = 20 bottles. And most are named after BC kings... and "A useful mnemonic for these big bottle sizes is: My Judy Really Makes Splendid Belching Noises" says Champagne Magic.
Inspiration comes in so many forms, and can feel so good in your hand... like these solid graphite pencils from the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. The weight is SO nice! And then combine it with great colors from your usual graphite options to gold, silver, and purple!!! And on top of that, add great quotes from some fun and inspiring artists... does it get more NOTCOT than this Warhol quote? "I never read, i just look at the pictures." ~ Well that just about sums up how i feel about why i needed NOTCOT.org in my life, sometimes we just need pictures to float through us to interpret as we wish...
Max Ernst: All good ideas arrive by chance
Marc Chagall: Great art picks up where nature ends.
Robert Rauschenberg: "Now" is my competition.
Robert Rauschenberg: A canvas is never empty.
Pablo Picasso: Everything you can imagine is real.
Diane Arbus: Nothing is ever the same as they said it was..
Salvador Dali: I don't do drugs. I am drugs.
Salvador Dalí: Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.
Luckily the Moderna Museet has a webshop too! See more pics on the next page as usual...
These Vacu Vin Party People Glass Markers were first as NOTCOT.org #20816 ~ and when i ran into them in Stockholm, they were even cuter in person! So i had to buy some to play with! They are so adorably tiny with their little suction cups and fun packaging! So next time, instead of sharpie markers to a solo cup, or wine tags, or stickers, here's a new option! Let your guests pick which adorable little gummy looking character they want to channel... they all even have names! (see pics on the next page!)
And thus begins the posts from the all the Swedish shopping i couldn't resist that led to an inevitable Rimowa purchase... It was really quite bizarre trying to explain to the US immigration fellow what i did and why i was declaring things like toys, a watering can, a bird feeder, a suitcase and more randomness on my customs form... somehow all of this leads to him telling me about how he's retiring soon and looking to redecorate his house and chatting about products (with a huge line waiting behind me! Oh! The guilt!)
So firstly, the watering can i found at my favorite, Design Torget. I was smitten. So simple. So iconic. So multipurpose. (Come on, get creative... imagine serving drinks from it? crazy cocktail serving contraption for shots straight into your mouth?) Part of the Born in Sweden collection, this is the Watering Can designed by Pascal Charmolu. It was apparently a nominee for the Årets Sak Design Award 2008. A simple stainless steel cylinder with a rubber hose attached to the bottom... and a magnet holds the hose to the cylinder to stop the flow... and simply playing with gravity you can adjust the water flow and strength... It's so fun! And can also make for a gorgeous vase as it sits on the shelf... Of course i bought the vibrant red. See more pics of the details and awesome packaging on the next page!
how awesome is the silhouette of the watering can?
Absolut Icebar!!! I've always been curious, i'm still dying to visit the Ice Hotel some day ~ and ironically, this little excursion wasn't even part of the official Absolut event/weekend. Apparently the Icebar changes its design twice a year, and it happened to be closed Oct 26 to Nov 1, so today was the first day it reopened, but, just barely! (Opening party is tomorrow night!) Luckily, i was able to stay an extra day, and they managed to get us in today. So here is a first look at the latest ~ "Factory" designed by Sofi Ruotsalainen and Nille Nilsson. Along with the completely new space, there is also a brand new menu! It's quite amazing, you enter through the little store passageway where you see racks of ponchos with gloves clipped on... then into the airlock... and into the ice bar! Within the ice bar (which is literally wall to wall ice) there are ice sculptures, an ice display (looking like an upright arcade game), the bar and more... the giant red "Don't Push" button - is totally ok to push. As long as you're cool with the light flashing! (So fun!) Also playful are some of the Icebar goods ~ you can buy a replica glass (that won't melt!), a puffy jacket of a laptop sleeve, matches, and other silliness... This is one of three Absolut Icebars ~ the first was in the Ice Hotel, this one is in the Nordic Sea Hotel and is open year round, as is the one in Below Zero London. See all the fun on the next page, as cold as my fingers got, i couldn't help taking a bunch of pics, and they even let me take pics from behind the bar!
Sometimes you desperately run around the city all evening, desperately hunting for an open restaurant after having two drinks at the ice bar for "breakfast", almost genuinely considering buying 7-11 food, tweet for help, call for suggestions, and almost everything that comes up is closed... then you stumble upon the adorable red cozy outdoor section of Grodan, and peek into a stunningly ornate dining room that smells delicious... and there it is. Froggies! Everywhere! On the menu... embroidered on the napkins, on the door - a simple red silhouette of a frog! (Yes, i now know Groda means Frog in swedish)... but the most intriguing instance of this little red frog i encountered was as i sipped my water... there it was on the bottom of my glass! And it looked so fun with its reflection and prismatic colors projected on the table... I had to share... and i'm so tempted to make mini vinyl stickers to apply to the bottom of my glasses to surprise people when i get home... see more of the pics on the next page!
Brio Network Collection ~ first time seeing it in person, i just noticed it in a tiny kids play cubby hole in Magasin 3 in Stockholm! Between the lovely space and works i totally got sucked into photographing these very well played with and possibly chewed on little woody guys reenacting how computers work... from emails to viruses and search and more! If you recall, i've written about Series 1 here and here in the past... but this is the first look at them up close, now i'm so tempted to try to track down the full set!
for americans, i found a few at Amazon: Brio Network Toys!
Tattoo Socks! Tel Aviv designer, Gaby, makes tattoo socks which first turned up as NotCouture #5165 in its octopus incarnation (which i love!), but when i looked at the rest of her designs, the Twitter referencing "Follow Me" with birdie needed more sharing... taking twitter back out from digital to real world to really play with the idea of following... sure, people do tshirts and necklaces, but come on... its more likely a guy will literally follow you to ask you for your twitter handle as you saunter past in a short tight black dress and these sheer knee high tattoo socks... although i do wonder, would it be better to custom print your twitter handle on the other leg? Let people physically follow you and then start digitally following you without even really meeting in person face to face? Much food for thought, so many possibilities, definitely a cute idea... see more pics on the next page!
On a quick look at Stockholm shopping before Absolut madness kicks in... turned a corner, saw this brightly lit store of enticing colorfulness... realized it was Brio! And proceeded to let my inner 5 year old out ~ i don't think i've ever had the chance to see all of their toys in one place (we certainly only get bits and pieces of the collections in the US lately) ~ and i had no idea they had so many amazing strollers and high chairs too! Unfortunately i didn't have my proper camera (was in shopping mode!) but did snap a bunch of cell phone pics to share with you on the next page... the walrus is just adorable... the flying bunnies are hilarious... the fake cellphones cute too (but we all know kids know better and never stand for the imitation phones when they can grab at your fully functioning one!)... and yes that pez dispenser looking walrus is totally in a hoodie (and the hood can be pulled back!)... so take a peek at some cell phone pics from the Stockholm Brio store of the Brio "My Very First" collection...
NOTCOT Exclusive!!! From our awesome friends at Hard Graft ~ they have been kind enough to share it with us first! Check out their latest bag, the 3Fold! It can play portfolio case, laptop case, AND overnighter... ready for the juicy details? (I'm loving this new one! So tempted by it!)
"3FOLD multi-use leather laptop bag - Three bags in one - the 3FOLD is a slim LAPTOP BAG, a sizable A2 PORTFOLIO BAG and a spacious OVERNIGHTER. Just switch to the configuration you need, this bag is as flexible as your lifestyle demands. The function of this bag speaks volumes. Clever hooks (traditionally used for heavy duty hiking boots) make varying between the different styles possible. The 3FOLD is handmade from a bespoke vegetable tanned Italian leather which is dyed through and hand finished in grey with a hint of teal. This is juxtaposed with a chestnut brown leather shoulder strap which can be used in all three configurations. The leathers are coloured with natural dyes which enhance the look over time and use. Each limited edition 3FOLD is individually numbered and carefully assembled by a family of leather artisans in the rolling hills of Tuscany, Italy."
Take a peek at pics and specs on the next page!
On awesome design that they clearly had far too much (or just enough?) fun with... how cool is this Yelp Elite Metal Lunchbox and Thermos?!?!?! In fact, Michael Ernst, an ex-Yelp-team-er who worked on the design project and sent this awesome gift over even took that main picture up top ~ emailing, "I actually went to a gravel pit in my tiny hometown of Minocqua and asked if I could shoot this there. The guy who ran it was utterly confused at my request. I wanted it to look like another planet." ~ how coudl i not use the pic after a story like that??? So take a peek at more close ups on the next page ~ its the details that will really get you chuckling at your screen...
Yes, i totally impulse bought myself a TAD Gear Titanium Rescue Ring last time i popped by the store. But it's really for safety reasons! I mean, how do you know when you might need to bust a piece of glass to escape from who knows what? And its just so light and beautifully, simply designed with the little removable stainless steel glass breaker tip! And you can even swap on an optional compass! And so nicely thought out, there is even a little keychain loop to hold that tip when you're just wearing it as your titanium ring... the real question is, who doesn't need one? See more pics of mine up close on the next page ~ it has cute packaging too!
On exciting new launches, the lovely ladies of Delight.com have just announced the Gent Supply Co.! While i have always loved the selection of goods at Delight, i must admit that the Gent Supply Co definitely leans a lot more NOTCOT ~ not that we're more boyish over here, but for some reason or other it definitely leans more towards the fun vices like scotch sipping, mad men loving (yes they totally have a Sterling Cooper style section), card playing, gadgets and tech set. Also, i hear that the gift wrap will be less pink tissue paper and more grey kraft paper with a black satin bow! (Delight has always had the loveliest UX when it comes to gorgeous gifts to send to people! So i'm super stoked about a more NOTCOT styled color palette!) So congrats to Tracey, Lynda, and team on their newest venture, Gent Supply Co.! I can't wait to see what goodies pop up next!
Tracey has just offered us Free Shipping through the end of Oct with the code: GentSupplyCo22
The Dyson Air Multiplier Fan is inescapable since its launch two days ago ~ and to be honest, i'm a huge dyson fan (honestly, smart innovative tech/science for everyday products with gorgeous design and sleek packaging, what's not to love?)... so instead of showing you the usual press photos, how about a peek into the really fun launch! You know Dyson, they don't overlook any design details, so as expected, everything from the custom tees on the all black tee/pants dressed fan plug-in-ers to the adorable mini BLT branded mini toasts to the bottom lit displays with cable captures (think half cable turtles) for perfect length cords when displayed... also, when it comes to a product like this, while the object itself and the technology are fascinating, there is something truly awesome about being able to watch a crowd of people respond and react to it for the first time (or perhaps that is just my voyeuristic inner user experience junkie!)... So take a peek at everything from the stunning sunset river views to launch reactions to the munchies to the beautiful displays and Dyson Air Multiplier Fans on the next page!
I was heading to Petaluma from the Broad Summit ~ and just as i was getting out of Sebastapol i did a double take, pulled the car over, made a u-turn, and popped into California Carnivores in hopes it was open (it was late afternoon on a sunday) ~ and it WAS! And it is AMAZING. Apparently it is the "largest carnivorous plant shop in the united states"!!! AND omg. wow. you HAVE to see how stunning (and huge) this place and their plants and their kiddie pools filled with more plants in the process are... Good news is that they are carnivorous plant obsessed, extremely informative, super nice, and you can order online and they will ship anywhere in the US (he was even describing their intense packing process for shipping, and after hearing about it i'm confident to order more soon!) ~ but for now, i couldn't resist and currently have a box of 4 in my car... SO beautiful. They are so incredibly inspiring, take a peek at the pics of many species i have never seen up close before!
On unexpected discoveries, next time you're up in wine country california style ~ California Carnivores is a definite stop not to be missed!
Sometimes there are moments where it feels like the universe is against you and you're torn between too many awesome opportunities ~ those are definitely the moments where you just have to step back and find less obvious solutions? In this case, i double booked myself. Months ago i agreed to be a media sponsor for Beyond Eden (AMAZING collection of my favorite LA galleries coming together for a HUGE show in the gorgeous Barnsdall Park LA Municipal Art Gallery) which has the VIP opening tonight, and runs through the weekend... i also got committed to join the lovely ladies of the Broad Summit up in wine country (hence my currently being up in SF!).
None the less, i think somehow this has worked out perfectly thanks to the quick thinking of Andrew (of the fabulous Thinkspace Gallery and co-founder of the event) ~ because he let me go sneak in early before i drove up to SF, and get some exclusive sneak peek pics to tease you with! And it was SUCH a fun challenge! I promised not to show you and full pictures... so i got a chance to shoot some amazing close ups and details as well as a few overview shots to give you a feel for the massssssssive space! I dare you to figure out where all the details came from... and there are so many pieces i'm dying to share with you fully soon too! But Angelenos, you HAVE to go check this out ~ especially if you love art, gorgeous parks, and stunning views of LA (you can see downtown skylines, hollywood sign, and griffith park observatory to name a few from the grassy goodness right outside the gallery perched upon the hill!). So first things first ~ go peek at what you'll find at the show.
And no joke. AMAZING show lined up over at Beyond Eden this weekend! Go check it out!!!
Last night popped over to the Beverly Hills Anthropologie down the street to celebrate the launch of the new Sundance Channel Show Man Shops Globe ~ and some late night shopping, some Stella Artois and Ferrero Rocher too of course... While normally not so much a reality TV person, this one is pretty fun! I love Anthropologie, and global shopping, and in this show you get to explore the world with Keith Johnson, buyer-at-large for Anthropologie, as he scopes out everything from St. Ouen Flea Market in Paris, the Kapalicarsi Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and Piet Botha's Craft Shop in Cape Town... it's a shopaholics dream. Did you know they actually shop for all the one offs strewn across the stores... and absolutely anything you see in a store (furniture, displays, etc) are ALL for sale?!?!?! I had no idea... on that note, take a peek at a preview vid as well as some pics of the very cute (and huge!) beverly hills store ~ the succulent and bromeliad displays were my favorite of course...
On products that i've put through the paces a bit more than usual before sharing with you, when i was up in SF the guys over at Rocket World gave me one of their new Ronin softshell jackets ~ it was hot that day. Super sunny out. But i was curious, it felt incredible, lightweight, thin, warm, and i was about to embark on one of my whirlwind trips (remember i just did LA-Paris-Reims-Paris-London-NY-LA?) ~ and those are all cities you never know quite what to expect in when it come to weather! Luckily it was primarily gorgeous out the whole trip ~ but on those days when it got iffy (which was at least one or two on each leg of the journey!) ~ the Ronin definitely came through. Like when they say to be ready for "all weather" for the Veuve Clicquot harvesting... oh yea, basically any time i didn't need to be in heels and looking a bit more polished? You'd find me in the Ronin, tank top, and jeans. This unisex jacket fit beautifully (my sister and i both love the XS ~ that's her modeling it in the pic in the Hazlitt's room so i could get images of the patches to share with you) ~ and while i always loved that you could put any velcro patches you wanted on ~ with this latest jacket i almost don't want to because the detail of the sewn in skull and paw print are so subtle and awesome. As with all Rocket World gear, the Ronin is of the highest quality, the subtlest branding, and really the details will blow your mind in person ~ every zipper, every pocket, every little headphone jack hole, every angle of the hood... is meticulously thought out. If you're looking for something sleek to get you from running around the city ready for anything to exploring the great outdoors with some understated styling... i'm definitely smitten with the Ronin and its versatility, definitely making it on my "must pack" list for unexpected adventures! ... take a peek at more pics on the next page!
OH! and i nearly forgot, while supplies last, they come with the SUPER adorable IWG Black Bear Mini Figure!
I love libraries, books, bookshelves, and since i was a little girl i've always wanted one of those massive libraries with a rolling ladder to climb and slide around on... maybe that's part of the inevitable draw i have to leaning bookshelves. Combine that with a sleek, slim, modular swedish design in stunning blacks and whites and you've got me. When i came across the Swedese Libri shelving unit at Tom Dixon's The Dock. Favorite aspects, they are slim, yet wide enough to stack my favorite bigger design books every which way interspersed with objects, and simple enough to fill a wall with half a dozen units and still have it look beautiful... or even attach them to each other for non-wall-leaning freestanding units. It's always bad news when you see, fall for, and already envision exactly how something would fit into your space. Take a peek at more pics of it in context, in real life at The Dock, and product shots ~ on the next page!
On fun brands and packaging, after visiting the Mr. & Mrs. Smith HQ in Chiswick ~ grabbed a lovely brunch with my sister and couldn't help popping into the ever adorable and enticing Cowshed. I won't lie, the mix of black and white vector prints with just a splash of single color, combined with cheeky names like "horny cow" and "knackered cow", lovely scents, and even custom lined hunter boots... of course i loved it. But beyond that, it was fun to read up on the background of the company which launched in 1998 originally for use in the Cowshed spa in Babington House, Somserset, is actually part of the Soho House Group, and is used in all of their venues (including NY!)... and i was delighted (amidst the fever boiling up within me) to happen across the one airport location you can find them last night as well... Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Lounges!
So take a peek ~ while the shop girl panicked slightly a the idea of letting me take pics in the store to share with you, you can see the few i picked up to try (and they were SO fun and awesome as tested out in NY) ~ and an overview of the packaging style on the next page!
While its fascinating (and exciting!) that Evisu is evolving once again ~ and this time with newly appointed CEO/Creative Director, Scott Morrison, at the helm. As a former Paper Denim & Cloth junkie ~ it's hard not to be excited to see what Morrison is doing to reinvent Evisu while looking back to their heritage... For those who forgot, Morrison was also behind Paper Denim & Cloth as well as Earnest Sewn. While initially those Evisu Seagulls on the back pockets make me envision a denim lifestyle that never quite fit my own... when they sent over a few, i fell in love. They denim feels incredible as ever, just softly broken in enough, yet hugging you in all the right places... and the subtlety of the back pocket designs was just enough to grab your attention, but not enough to slap you in the face like so many can lately... (yes, i'm a little over the over embellished pockets, but also like pockets to have a bit of character!). Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Evisu when i started looking into their heritage, was the evolution of the Seagull... and how the line came to be. It's fun to see Morrison looking back at the heritage of the japanese line even with the separation from Evisu Japan.
The full story can be read on the next page, as well as lots of pics of the signature pocket designs... but for the short version: Hidehiko Yamane, a love of fine denim, founded the company in 1991 in Osaka. Having a hard time finding the finest quality pre-WWII selvege denim, he found a 50's american shuttle loom and started the "replica movement" ~ his originals mimicking the Levi's Original Red Tab 501XX... and my favorite part? He personally hand painted his Seagull logos on each pair! What i love about what Morrison has done with this, is he's taken that hand painted logo and distressed it to a perfectly worn in subtlety, so noticeable, yet so understated. Take a peek at them on the next page!
On adorable discoveries in London Design Week, Matt Pugh's wooden owls are adorably irresistible! Available in oak or walnut and a variety of colors, they certainly demonstrate the power of simplicity done right. Definitely worth adding to the potential gift list, although the hardest part really is how to pick the perfect color... or group of colors? (They are quite nice in little flocks!) See a few more gorgeous wood pieces from Matt Pugh on the next page as well!
Last year when i was in Paris, i fell in love with Penhaligon's Artemesia ~ and while in London this year i had to make a pit stop to check out their stores... always exquisite with their packaging, and perfume being a bit of a pain to travel with, i fell for the Penhaligon's Artemesia solid fragrance in the silver plated compact ~ perfect for my purse, and such a nice weight to it too... so on pretty packaging details, and a beautiful gift to keep in mind next time i'm stumped on gifting... take a look at the details on the next page. And it smells divine, and the solid fragrance has an ever so subtle shimmer to it as well...