Chikuno Cubes ~ gorgeous, tiny (see next page for a pic of it in the fridge!), and apparently it sucks up odors! With its fascinatingly delicate structure ~ these ultra fine bamboo powder/charcoal cubes absorb moisture, odor, gas, ethylene, ammonia, formaldehyde, and more... apparently its made from water soluable powder so you're supposed to keep it away from water. Every month it says to place it in direct sunlight for 6 hours to release all that it has trapped ~ does it work? I'm not sure yet, it just arrived yesterday! BUT, it is pretty cool looking, and had some adorable very japanese, gift boxed packaging. (Got mine at Delight!)
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I really wanted to name this post "Look, mom! NO GLUE! or INK!" ~ but that seemed too silly ~ but this is definitely a packaging post ~ and much like that super fun Jurlique box a while ago ~ it's all nicely cut efficiently folded box design! NO GLUE! and in this case, also, no ink ~ but just cardboard and foil application! On both the main box and the minis! As for the packaging designs with no glue and no ink ~ it's the brain child of Marc Atlan, art director extraordinaire with a flair for fragrance packaging (he did Comme des Garcons, Helmut Lang, and Yves Saint Laurent).
So, what is it? Well freshly dropped off are these new Baxter of California Bravado Eau de Colognes ~ Bravado 2 and Bravado 3. The original Bravado was launched back in the early 1970's, but its been retired for over 7 years! So here are its latest reincarnations... But really, you have to check out the packaging on the next page!
These will be available any day now in Barneys, and aren't even on the Baxter of California site yet!
Ooooooh car lust. Was giddily surprised when i was picked up by one of the 2010 Prius Prototypes tonight to go check out the Scion/GR Papershapers show tonight ~ more on that later ~ but the car... in person... SO cute. SO quiet. And so many little details to gush over ~ but really, maybe part of me just really wants a car with a solar roof?!?!?! The displays and iconography are beautifully mesmerizing... The shifter is strangely small and toy like... almost like a travel mouse? (really thin and easily to wrap your fingers right over) It's also tauntingly placed where even as a passenger i was so tempted to shift it (but i didn't!). The toyota logo has a blue outline to it (it was a coincidence that this car was blue, the logo colors do not always match the paint colors) ~ apparently these will be on all of the upcoming hybrids (and the Lexus ones in red). And the angularity of the rear and sharper lines on the sides made me far more drawn to this latest design... so tempting! For more real info on the new Prius, take a peek at their site and for more real world pics, see the next page!
Ok i'm a bit deliriously tired at the moment ~ but wanted to get something up to show you! And for a sneak peek at the truly epic Scion/GR Papershapers show, see the images here ~ i'll make more logical posts out of those tomorrow!
Mmmmm chocolate. Beautifully packaged chocolate. Dare i say the packaging is even nicer than the contents? SO, pictures of some of the Singapore Chocolat Factory stores have been circulating the web quite a bit ~ and when i ran into the one at Changi Airport, how could i not grab some for the 18 hour flight? Ok, well the chocolate rain (cocoa powder with the watering can spout) isn't easy for immediate consumption, its packaging was too fun not to show you... and of course they got all uppity and wouldn't let me take any pics in the store, so i guess it worked, i had to BUY the stuff instead!
Tiny bit of background? Read up more about this Spanish Chocalatier, Chocolat Factory on their site. But for the REALLY fun stuff? Check out the poster, packaging close ups, looks at the chocolate and more on the next page!
Mmmmmm carbon fiber. But have you ever seen it COMPRESSED? into a block... and them formed into a watch body? Sure the Monocle products were fun, but when introduced to Robert of Bell & Ross, and this beautiful BR 01-92 Carbon Fiber watch (available Nov 2009) ~ i was mesmerized. And ironically he claimed that there isn't enough interest from the female demo for carbon fiber (so, no smaller sized carbon fiber beauties for us)!!! Yet Julie of LAist and i couldn't take our eyes (and fingers) off this watch! The details are gorgeous, perhaps even more so in person than in these pictures... but i blame the flowing champagne and my attempt to shoot pictures while carrying on a conversation... It was also cute that amongst the impromptu pitches he gave me, he started showing me pictures of watched and displays on his iphone too... see more images on the next page!
Another adventure in packaging based shopping... Colgate Wisps! Keep in mind i knew nothing about these when i wandered into CVS to pick up some last minute travel sized basics for this sudden Singapore trip, and they were intriguingly packaged and designed... tiny, silly, and not sure that i'd buy them for normal usage... but someone clearly spent quite a bit of time on the packaging/product details! So take a peek at some pics of them up close on the next page ~ and a look at the silly marketing angle they've taken as well (aimed at club kids?)...
And in all honesty ~ its a lot of plastic to basically get a tiny melt in your mouth bead of mouthwash into your mouth as you scrub with some harsh plasticiness...
This week long Singapore trip came up last minute (booked the night before leaving!) ~ so things might be a little quiet this week as i put in some family time!
UPDATE!!! Congrats to our winner, Philip in Seattle!!!!
It's been a while since i asked YOU what you're up to, who you are, etc etc ~ and advertisers are curious to know more (as am i!). So 2009 NOTCOT Survey time! I know how not fun these can be, so i consider it a huge favor and really appreciate it if you can help out and take the survey here! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
ALSO! To make it more fun, i'll pick one winner from the surveys to send one of my latest obsessions! The Logitech Squeezebox Boom! (Just make sure you fill in your email at the end of the survey if you want to be entered!) I will pick a winner on Monday, so get that survey in by Sunday night!
This also seemed like a fun chance to show you the Logitech Squeezebox Boom up close too! When i moved into the new NOTCOT HQ ~ it was far too quiet and too many rooms! So this Boom has been perfect! It is nice, simple, sleek and portable ~ i can use it room to room and outdoors even ~ just needs wall power (not sure why no battery option!) ~ and it can tap into my wifi or ethernet (or plug in ipod, etc) ~ play any of the music on my computer/network, internet radio (which apparently includes every local station these days too!), Last.FM, Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius, and more! I was skeptical about the sound quality at first, but its been incredible for its size, and great for rooms/kitchen/etc. Bonus? It runs on the SqueezeCenter which is a breeze to setup, and it's all open source so you can even program games and weather and other random features to be displayed... also works great as an alarm clock! ... and it networks with all of the other Squeezebox networked players as well! [Retails at $263 at Amazon]
Take a look at more pics on the next page ~ i love the little design details like the rubberized wheel and the thumb indentation on the remote... and don't forget to take the 2009 NOTCOT Survey!
Mmmm Porsche Design Editions ~ I've had a soft spot for these since the first Design Edition 1 Cayman in 2007 ~ those matte black stripes on black, those elegant details...
"The special edition „Cayenne Porsche Design Edition 3" is based on the Cayenne GTS with 4.8-litre V8 engine. The exterior eye-catcher of the special edition is a metallic lava gray lacquering, design stripes on the sides and on the engine hood and even the standard 21-inch Sport Plus have an elegant metallic grey finish. For the interior design the designers choose an elegant as well as sportive combination of black leather and red contrast stitching, which continue on the dashboard and on the doorbrushes. Each model has a badge on the glove compartment."
Gorgeous! Check out more details on the next page ~ as well as a peek at the matching watch and luggage collection... and the previous two design editions!
I first met the adorable brothers Salm (Isaac, the numbers guy and Jaime, the design guy) of MIO on my press trip to Philadelphia a few years back ~ and their passion for sustainability, the history of philly as a manufacturing resource, and their love of design (as well as the way the PR girls swooned over them) were hard to miss. It's thrilling to see that they are one of the latest to be tapped by Target. It's a playful eco-friendly collection to help make "going green" even easier, claim the press release...
In the collection are: A set of gardening tools, solar garden lights, portable hammock, watering can, herbs, and a composter. Of them all, i'm most intrigued in the composter! After much hunting, there doesn't seem to be much in the realm of attractive composting hardware out there ~ this bright green piece is so playful and refreshing! Check out the full collection larger and the full press release on the next page! The collection will be available starting April 12th.
GET EXCITED AND MAKE THINGS!!! I can't think of a better message for today... or any day! While there are far too many keep calm and carry on knock offs lately ~ this one just made my Friday. Love the Maker crown of wrenches and all! This is the latest of Howies T-Shirt of the Week ~ Made in Turkey, Designed by Matt 'Black Belt' Jones, and Printed in Westest Wales. Available in Mens and Womens!
WINNER!!! Janeen in Gainesville, FL
Yes! Giveaway time! We're giving away 2 Chrome Bags... Here are the two ways to win:
(1) Leave a comment on this post with (a) why you need the weatherproof goodness and (b)which size/color you love most!
(2) TWITTER! Follow @notcot and tweet your favorite size/color with #chromebags in the tweet!
I'll pick a random winner for each one on Monday (so get those in by Sunday midnight PST)!!!
OK, so moving along, WHY are we giving away Chrome Bags? Well they have a lifetime warranty, seatbelt buckles and straps, and a SECRET POCKET and are totally weatherproof! And that's just the classic messenger bag... that beat up one in the picture with the rabbid stashed away is my personal one that i've had for around 4 years now... that thing will survive about anything and has traveled the world with me... so when Chrome reached out saying they were into NOTCOT, i was absolutely giddy. And together we decided it would be fun to share the love with a giveaway to you!
Their company philosophies sum it up nicely: "Chrome was founded in Boulder, CO by a couple of guys who needed a bag that lasted forever. They began sewing in their garage using the toughest material they could find. A company came out of that with a philosophy of building stuff that would function well in tough conditions and would last a lifetime. There's not a lot of nonsense in our gear, just materials and construction that serve a purpose and last a lifetime. We stand behind everything we make." It's great to see they've been expanding the line, working their way into performance apparel and more new bags for 09 in the works... so for now take a peek at the details options on the next page!
For scale... check out the size of that shuffle next to all the randomness under my monitors... its about the height of that veuve grand dame cork... So as you can see, i gave in and got one of the tiny gum stick looking new buttonless ipod shuffles. And it's so tiny, and adorably simple, and comes with mini apple stickers! So take a peek at the unboxing and the cute instructional graphics too on the next page...
Yes, it does suck that you can't use other headphones i suppose, BUT it's pretty fun to make it talk to you... my latest addiction is having RadioLover download streaming radio i miss (it even breaks it up into songs! I've been dling lots of Indie 103.1 lately)... so this is perfect! I can load up radio i missed, and when i dont know what song it is, it can tell me!
Continuing the obsession with solar powered playfully designed lighting... Remember that post last week about the new ones from IKEA? Well, i couldn't help myself and went and tracked them down, took a bunch of pics at the store, AND bought quite a few too! The real question really was, what is the quality like, how long do they last, etc... and bottom line, i'm LOVING the mini lanterns and the pod on a stick looking one the best! Also some pretty smart design choices on the lantern, but its not nearly as bright as i'd hoped... more pics of all the details on the next page!
Solar Birdhouse!!! Finally! Well, kind of. Here's the latest from Oooms ~ they describe their Solar BIrdhouse: "Why would only humans make use of eco-friendly technology? Studio OOOMS designed a birdhouse with a solar panel on it's roof. During the day sunlight feeds the solar panel, charging a small battery inside. At nighttime the transparent stick will light up and shed a tiny light on your garden. This light attracts an easy nighttime snack for the bird; all she has to do is stick her beak out of the hole and wait for the buzz."
As a slight side note ~ firstly, i'm super excited to hear this idea in production ~ i've been doodling and ranting with friends about the possibilities with solar power and bird feeders for some time now ~ my idea was more 24-hour-diner of feeders (less house like) ~ where in the day birds could get their usual munchies taken care of, and at night the light would attract bugs... but then most discussions got shot down by some of our resident biologists saying how it may turn into more of a bat feeder at night since they'd be the nocturnal residents most interested in the bugs... but that could also be pretty interesting! I also played with the ideas of bird feeders by day, lanterns at night... it would be so fun to have a playful project seeing what fun, functional, unexpected uses for solar energy in small scale products we could come up with!
I have an impulsive need to indulge my inner child... especially when shopping... like when wandering through IKEA, i got terribly distracted by the kids toys, particularly how fun these new Sandig beach toy sets are! And the 99 cent shovel/super scooper claw thing... great quality, and adorable ideas ~ i picked up three of the four 2.99$ sets with the justification that i needed to take pics of them to show you. Granted, i don't think kids should be encouraged to eat sand/dirt, i think these are quite fun for those who know better. First kit ~ Ice Cream! A little bucket with an ice cream scoop, 4 cones, and 4 cups... Second kit ~ Baking! Three pans that would be so fun to incorporate into sand castles... like a bundt cake castle? Compete with cake knife, etc... Third set ~ Bricklayer! The mold to make bricks, smooth out the cementy wet sand, etc... can you imaging the possibilities? And the Fourth set i passed on was the gardening one... usual bucket, rake, shovel... not too exciting, but still cute. Anyhow, take a peek at the pics of these sets close up on the next page ~ i was impressed with the quality and design details ~ and for the price was tempted to buy up a bunch and run around the beach giving them away to kids...
Oliver Peoples collaborated with Zooey Deschanel on her "Zooey" sunglasses ~ while i'd been hearing this around the fashion blogs ~ i missed that they also created a special napkin looking cleaning cloth!!! I'm a sucker for the details, but i totally want one of those ~ and love the playful nature of it! More pics on the next page!
Been obsessively shopping for solar lighting far too much the last few months ~ first as xmas gifts, and now for my patio space... so many look the same, and i was surprised how few clean modern options there were out there ~ also pricing was all over. Just noticed at MoCoLoCo that the new IKEA Summer 09 collection is on its way~ and after some IKEA site searching found all the new summer pieces here and all of the solar lights here! One nice thing about the IKEA selections, they all run on replaceable rechargeable batteries and use LEDs! Take a look at all of the fun designs on the next page ~ i can't wait to play with some when they get into the stores!
UPDATE! This just in... the designs of the awesome patterns are by Charmaine Choi for Dead As We Know It in Brooklyn, NY ~ Luckily the good folks over there are NOTCOT readers and Mikal Reich reached out!
Mmmmmm, Rosangel. I think it's definitely my new favorite tequila (boys, get over the pinkness. really.) ~ It's delicious, and the aftertaste is floral versus that usual tequila flavor... thanks to the Hibiscus infusion? Although i missed out on the NY launch that Anita covered for us, a bottle showed up mid-move, and i've been trying it out, and it really is so yummy... and while my fridge as been pretty empty, I did try some with OJ, and its SOO good.
Anyhow, the other thing i really wanted to focus on was how inspiring and captivating is the illustration/pattern they use on the hang tag... and as a downloadable wallpaper ~ found myself staring at them to see all the little details designed into it! See that close up as well as bottle closeups on the next page!
So, after posting the Slice Precision Cutter, we couldn't resist finding out more, and Slice was nice enough to send a few over to play with when Alyssa reached out to them! So what is it like up close? And how does it compare to our trusty Xactos? Well, xacto has nothing to worry about, but the Slice Precision Cutter is still pretty awesome for certain uses!
The thing corners amazingly! Can get some really great curves out of it ~ where it will never take over my xacto (this one is my favorite still, but unfortunately i haven't found it yet while unpacking the office - work in progress! so up there is another bigger one i've been using on boxes and stuff) ~ the blade is only good to cut through a few pieces of paper ~ so for scrapbooking, vinyl cutting, etc its perfect, but not so much for heftier projects. Physically, it feels great in your hand, nicely weighted ~ super sleek with its matte green coating, and nice cap on it. You an definitely cut with it as if you're painting a brushstroke or scribbling with a pen which is really fun. So all in all, for 7$ its definitely worth adding to your arsenal. Check out more close ups on the next page... and pics of the Y-Peeler they sent over too!
Hard to ignore that Barbie's turning the big 50 this year ~ it's being marketed like crazy EVERYWHERE! (I must wonder though, as a little girl being introduced to Barbie for the first time this year, do they think of it as a vintage/super old toy? and then reach for a bratz?)
Well of the many parties and celebrations, i must say Colette's looks pretty awesome ~ "In the gallery, enjoy the "Barbie and Ken" exhibition by Karl Lagerfeld. In swimsuit, cocktail dress or a pair of jeans, Barbie strikes a pose with model Baptiste Giabiconi as Ken." They look hilarious ~ and then the special products?!?!?! You can get Barbie in a Goyard Trunk! Pink of course! Even Uslu Airlines 219c pink nailpolish! Even a Colette/Barbie Pink Jawbone.... a little on the creepy side is definitely the Bless Hairbrush... with barbie hair for bristles... (see it on the next page!) Also noteworthy? High security exhibition of the very first Barbie and Ken dolls, only on March 12th.
Oooooh Dan just got his new Amazon Kindle 2 today! While i haven't seen it in person yet, he sent me some closeups of those details and all that glossy on matte black he knows i love... take a peek at how fun it looks on the next page! Love the packaging once again!
A bit quiet here, been pretty distracted moving/settling into the new house ~ finally got functional internet (Time Warner was terrible, Verizon is doing pretty well *fingers crossed*) ~ so during the lulls, hang out at NOTCOT.org for tons of goodness constantly going up, and if you find more that i'm missing, feel free to submit your finds too! And been poking at Twitter more lately, feel free to follow NOTCOT randomness there as well!
Oooh don't forget your green this St Paddy's Day ~ just saw these refreshing on Tcritic from Haha Press. From Haha's founder, Ian Law, there is the 4 Leaf Clover Patch ~ where there may or may not be a 4 leaf clover mixed in there! From Soko, there is a gorgeous Kiss Me Clover tee that applies "a typographic treatment to class-up the classic St. Pat's saying "Kiss Me I'm Irish." See close ups on the next page! And if you want one, shop quick! Both are in limited runs of 50!
I was just looking for step stools, and got nostalgic thinking about those rolling ones from the libraries... and as i browsed the many colors of the classic Cramer Inc. Kik-Step Rolling Stools ~ i discovered that Kik-Step Stools had their turned 50 in 2007 (Cramer Inc. was founded in the 30's) and there's a special 50th Anniversary Library Edition Kik-Step Stool with quotes from classic literature molded into the non-skid tread!
The backstory behind this icon?
In 1940, Cramer sold its safe business, and in the 1950's, expanded their product line to include rolling ladders and step stools. With Cramer's capabilities in bending and stamping aluminum and steel, manufacturing ladders and stools was a natural extension of their existing products.
Cramer engineers invented the concept of the "ladder bell", the retractable caster with a circular housing, that they placed on a ladder to protect the casters and ladder legs. A few years later, an engineer had the idea to make a life-size version of the ladder bell itself for use as a step stool. That idea eventually bore the Kik-Step®, the original rolling-step stool.
See more images of the Kik-Stools on the next page!
Quickly, move past the fugliness, i'm really hoping that's just how it feels in the product shots, and that in your hand its smaller and less bloated seeming (4.08 x 2.63 x 1.92 in./103.6 x 66.9 x 48.8mm) .... ANYHOW, moving along, firstly, it's about time Canon has an everything-proof camera ~ the new Canon D10 waterproof to 33ft, freezeproof, and shockproof! We've had those little pentax optio waterproofs of various generations around for random adventures for some time now, but i've always preferred Canon... And thank goodness you can "customize" the casing and swap off that turquoisey faceplate... perhaps that's their brilliant way to convince most to buy the accessory kit? BUT, the real feature i wanted to show you... did you see the way the various strap options attach to the body? I'm really curious to see how that feels in person and how it works exactly... glad to see Canon branching out with the design details, with the crazy weather we seem to be having all over the world these days this sounds like the perfect "have on you at all times" camera. See the detail shots on the next page!
Canon, why no HD video?
Stingray by Thomas Pedersen for Federica Furniture... no it's not new, and yes i've been obsessing over the black one since last night so needed to collect up pics and post it to see if that gets it out of my system. It reminds me of a sci-fi evolved version of the Eames Rocker... This was actually designed back in 2002 ~ as his graduation project from the Aarhus School of Architecture... fun fact: "The name of the chair derives from the stingray. The Danish word for stingray is "rokke" which sounds like the first part of the word "rock" in "rocking chair" and the shell does resemble a giant stingray moving across the seabed. But it was the functionality that came first, not the design." and apparently even 6 years after its design it's still winning awards? Interior Innovation Award Cologne, Germany, 2008 - Red Dot Design Award, 2008
I also love the images of this chair ~ while it is still interesting covered in fabrics or in bent wood or bent wood and leather... my favorite is definitely the black shell ~ pairing that rigid gloss surface with the texture of the sheepskin just looks so cozy! See more pics on the next page!