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!
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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!
Latest from Form Us With Love: Boat Life, Seafood collection for Sagaform inspired by the Swedish archipelago summer life. Isn't it just so adorable and happy? I can just imagine building up a scene on the dining table with the set... big blue table runner or placemats for water, salad in the paper boat dishes... salt and pepper shakers bobbing along.... lighthouse carafe on the shore? Too cute ~ see the larger pics on the next page!
In addition to the new Artecnica Charming Collection by Studio Tord Boontje, Artechnica and Studio Tord Boontje also launched 4 other collections! The Future Flora is a series of 3 Silver Plated Pendant Lamps: Laure, Ruglada, and Nadine. Studio Tord Boontje has always been a master of shadows when it comes it lighting, and these are no exception ~ flat packed, and ready to transform a room! On a smaller scale, Bright Times, is a series of 4 pop-out votive candle holders made from colorful/silver/gold etched steel... Also on the candle holder front, they have launched Candle Clamp, made from laser cut steel, it uses an "ingenious interlocking system that requires neither steel nor glue"... and the latest addition to the tranSglass collection, a new gorgeous Champagne Dish designed by Tord Boontje and Emma Woffden ~ see all four new collections on the next page!
Ooooh, pity these weren't available for Valentine's Day ~ they would have been the perfect gift for SO many Artecnica/Tord Boontje lovers! Freshly launching from Artecnica is this beautiful line of charms, aptly named, Charming, designed by Studio Tord Boontje. They are available in 24K gold plated and silver plated finishes, and they are mini wearable versions of those iconic Boontje flora and fauna woodsy motifs ~ my favorites are package 1... and 2... and 3??? So hard to choose! See all the packages on the next page ~ the birds, bunnies, deers, flowers and more are too cute!
Oooooooh.... so while i do love my xacto knives ~ i'm extremely intrigued by the new Slice by Karim Rashid products... first found them over at Unica Home, and found more info at the Slice website. Slice is all about ceramic blades ~ "Compared to any metal (even high-carbon steel), ceramic is sharper, harder, and stays that way longer." ~ and the Precision Cutter is great for an xacto replacement apparently... and only 7$? So it looks like Slice originally had its letter opener and safety cutter ~ and in collab with Karim, they now have the Precision Cutter, Veggie Peeler, Y-peeler, and Grater ~ all so tempting! See some more pics i found at Unica on the next page!
The Droog Shadylace Parasol by Chris Kabel, 2004 ~ i've been lusting after this design since... at least 2006 (i even posted about it back then!) Well, on indulgences for the new house, and with some help from Greener Grass Design, i gave in, and finally have one! And yes, it's just as exciting as i'd hoped! The green is stunning, the adorable little gold birdy perched on top is adorable, and i LOVE the way it casts shadows! Finally having it in person, beyond the usual press photos we've all seen, here's an up close look at the details ~ nice thing i was hesitant about... the material for the parasol is green polyester, and not at all waxy feeling! So it has a really nice look to it. And really it just brightens up any space you put it in! So take a look at the unboxing, closeups and some pics of it set up yesterday (popped it up in the hot sun between these rainy days we keep getting!) ~ everything on the next page!
I totally buy beer for packaging ~ ok, i buy a lot of things for packaging... but while at Whole Foods, i couldn't resist the Hitachino Nest Beer Owl, and the Red Rice Ale is SO red and delicious! I'd first spotted the brand on Liqurious a while back, but this was the first time seeing it in person!
On the next page you can see all the labels and standard sized bottles of their 10 variations ~ the graphic design is awesome, it has a trippy playful almost retro disney-esque feel to it ~ the fonts on the White Ale, Non Ale, and Red Rice in particular are my favorites! Check out close ups of the bottle and bottle cap ~ as well as glasses and schwag i found pics of online... Question to you is ~ have you seen a Hitachino Nest Beer KEG? I'm so curious now what the branding looks like on those! Discussing with a friend we were thinking about how fun an Owl shaped keg would be...
I have a soft spot for Scotch ~ especially when the packaging grabs me... Although the packaging redesign for Highland Park Single Malt Sotch Whisky happened in 2006, i was still curious enough to poke at their PR to show me the old bottles for comparison ~ and there's just something about the cleanliness of the design of the 30 and 40 year bottles and their wood boxes i'm loving. Don't the slight curvatures of the 40 year bottle remind you of the Ri(1) bottle? Well, only shorter and stouter, and with a much cooler label and silver "H" emblem ~ which apparently dates back to the Orkney's 12th-century Viking ancestry. Even the 30 year bottle is so clean, i love the transparent look with only the small paper labels covering the gorgeous color of the scotch in the glass bottle... As you'll see below, the packaging of the 18 and 25 year bottles are similar but have much larger labels, although on a similarly shaped bottle ~ they are however packaged in fun gloss black on matte black boxes! And you can see how they compare to their predecessors... Also noteworthy, it's nice to see a brand site dedicate a section to the thought that went into the redesign of the packaging! See close ups and more on the next page!
Been doing a lot of moving lately, and one of my pet peeves is being stuck with piles of boxed up stuff that isn't unpacked, there's something so unsettling about living amongst a pile of boxes, as if ready to bolt again... but more often than not, those boxes during transitory times serve as places to sit, makeshift tables and more... so i couldn't help but smile when i ran across this new piece at PID ~ the Wannabe by Llotllov which is a powder coated steel table that comes with a box... so when you moving, or if you never want to unpack, that box becomes a functional piece of furniture, and the box nearly disappears! See more pics on the next page!
On things i didn't even know i needed, but now can't imagine not having... TAD Gear's Titanium Skeleton Key. But really, who doesn't want a piece of thick solid 6AL-4V titanium billet that is machined locally in SF in a machine shop that does parts for the F22 Raptor?!?!?! They've already sold out of three editions of 100... it features TAD Gear Terminator Skull graphic, and has a laser engraved TAD gear logo on reverse... What does it have? Flathead screw driver tip, pry tip with nail puller, bottle cap lifter, and a spanner wrench tip fit all regular sized Strider Folders. Is it bad this makes me want a Strider now? See more images of it on the next page... and perhaps if there's enough interest, they'll do another run!