Would you believe that pile up there contains 4 different Target Gift Cards? After seeing a magazine ad for some of the new gift cards this season, Linhchi and i took a little field trip to 2 targets tonight to see what there was... i'm absolutely in love with the beautifully illustrated Winter Fishing Hole Board Game of a gift card as well as the adorable wind up dog that pulls a woody sleigh gift card ~ both of which are new for this year! Unfortunately between those two targets we weren't able to find the remote controlled mouse in a shopping cart, but you can still see pics of that on the next page. We're also now very familiar with exactly where around the whole layout of their stores you can find gift cards (different ones in different sections, often at the ends of aisles)... also found were a really fun coloring birthday card with a box of crayons as a gift card ~ and a relaxing car with a bathtub on a box filled with bath salts! I'm impressed with what playful and thoughtful ways target has come up with to enhance the often boring gift card giving experience. While this isn't a new phenomenon (remember the light up Target Wii gift card we dissected?) ~ this year's did seem particularly noteworthy for fun design! See closeups and others on the next page...
Entries tagged with: gifts
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Some packaging just makes you smile. Almost doesn't matter what's inside... this line of adorably illustrated bears on the Life NK line of bath and body products are too cute not to share. See them all on the next page!
Click for Art has branched into Cups & Saucers ~ and i'm totally smitten by the Nanami Cowdroy Suspended Animation black and white goldfish one as well as the Si Scott Lovebirds. Can you imagine cuter cups to serve espresso in? Staring at these just makes me dream up the most adorable little cafe ~ with an outdoor patio of course. And we haven't even started to look at the packaging! Such a lovely gift idea ~ and they are each a limited edition of 250 - shipped with a sequentially numbered mini art print signed by the artist and a Certificate of Authenticity! See more pics of my favorite two on the next page...
I love products to play with during breakfast. Perfect way to start the day? I had a chance to poke at Ultimate Ears (recently added to the Logitech family, and locally based in Irvine!) over breakfast at King's Highway with a guy who works for Logitechin Palm Springs at the Ace and he let me keep them to play with (especially after they'd been in my ears!) and just to be super clear, no, i'm not writing about them because of that! As for why i'm including them in the netbooks section ~ every netbook totally needs a good pair of headphones to go with them ~ since often when netbooking, you can be somewhere pretty public (be it at the cafe or in an airplane)!
On top of the nice sound quality ~ it's the design details of this particular set that grabbed me. I love how subtle, tiny and pill like these Ultimate Ear 700s are ~ they totally reminded me of my chill pill necklace and capsule pills in general when i saw them. So tiny! Not the kind of headphones that basically end up looking like funky earrings... Also while the packaging leaves a bit to be desired (bit too much plastic and not all too interesting box graphic design) ~ the case is perfect to protect your buds in your netbook case or bag and at the very bottom in the inside has the cutest little infographic showing you to wrap the cord around your fingers. Silly, but someone clearly spent a bit of time on the details! Also extremely subtle, the right side earbud is red, the left is black! Take a peek at the unboxing and design details on the next page!
On breathtaking gallery openings ~ SHAG's "Autumn's Come Undone" show at the Corey Helford Gallery is incredible. I showed you a preview earlier, and now the full show preview is available here... the show consists of new paintings as well as huge 6-foot wide panoramic giclee panels on canvas ~ in singles, pairs, and triples ~ these larger than life panoramas have so many details going on at once you can literally stand and stare at them constantly discovering more and more! The way they are displayed in the gallery is beautiful in and of itself ~ take a look at the scene on the next page!
On late night art lusting ~ these 4"x 4.5" laser engraved wooden ovals with one of a kind drawings with colored pencil were Audrey Kawasaki's contribution to the give away gift bags at Baby Tattooville (which, yes, i'm very sad i wasn't at this year!)... see a few more of these mini's up close on the next page as well as a stunning medical curiosity themed complimentary limited edition giclee print...
Adorable! Brain Pattern Egg Qee ~ hand painted by Emilio Garcia. I've loved his brainy frogs ~ and this egg is too cute ~ its fun to see the creation process step by step ~ see pics on the next page!
Shu Uemura Art of Hair finally got their online store going ~ i've been obsessed with their moisture velvet conditioner and masque ~ they quickly made the list of products i actually end up buying again and again. I've also been anxiously waiting for the black glossy Shu Uemura paddle brush ~ which has finally arrived on the webstore! While this in and of itself wasn't all that extraordinary, what struck me was the packaging when it arrived. Black shipping box, sealed with black on white Shu Uemura Art of Hair tape sealing it ~ upon opening, black and white typographic logo pattern ~ and custom tissue paper as well... and each object individually wrapped and buffered in tissue paper padding. I can't even imagine what they would do for gift wrap! It was so beautiful, i had to photograph first and open after, as hard as that was! Also a few peeks at the paddle brush ~ while i usually use wood brushes with wood bristles, i'm loving this one! So see it all on the next page...
Dayna Decker Chandel Couture ~ the same way looking up at chandeliers has been mesmerizing recently, looking down at the wide woody crackling wicks of Dayna Decker Chandels. They smell divine, but i can't get over the lovely glass votive lined in black with the patented EcoWood Wick is "made from organic wood via a natural manufacturing process, and burns cleaner than an ordinary cotton wick. When lit, the EcoWood Wick displays an intriguing "teardrop" shaped flame and emits a soothing crackling sound." Quick video to share the crackling with you on the next page as well as unboxing and product shots of the chandel!
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."
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!