Gift Guide time! Here's one rounding up some picks for just about anyone... well honestly, i didn't know what to call it, so they are kind of in that hostess gift category, that person you want somethign nice for that looks kind of cool and unusual yet totally works for everyone from your lawyer to your significant other's mom? They also make for fun conversation pieces! So check it out on the next page, click the images to see more info on them, and happy holidays!
Entries tagged with: gifts
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TO WIN: Leave a comment! ENTER BY 11/22 - WINNER: Jori in Kansas!
Firstly ~ THANK YOU FOR ALL THE AMAZING COMMENTS ~ you guys really blow my mind, and i love how creative most of you get with them! I really wish there was a way i could give you all something! But for now, i think we'll have to stick to the ~30 giveaways! Thanks for being such amazing readers!
Secondly ~ i love Mimobots, and i think you do too! And lucky for us both, they love us all too! So third giveaway, here is number 118 of a limited 200 mimobot run of the special RayD8gig and he's 8GIGS BIG! As you can see, he's hanging out in this picture waiting for you with my old school RayD8 (who actually stores ALL things gift guide this year as i bounce between laptop and desktop) They have also thrown in a black Protohoodie to keep the little guy warm (and protected from your keys, etc!). So check out more pics on the next page, as well as the special NOTCOT Coupon, and more info on how they are giving 50 mimobots (one a day!) away on twitter, and a peek at the limited edition Yahoo bots!
TO WIN: Leave a comment! ENTER BY 11/21 - WINNER: Cynthia in Texas!
Giveaway #2 (of what looks like around 30 giveaways in the calendar right now! isn't that insane! and it's all stuff i love too! I'm so exciting to be able to help share this stuff with all of you!!! ok moving on...), so as i was saying, Giveaway #2 for this holiday season is Joey Roth's Sorapot. He and i will be keeping an eye on all your comments, and he will dropship a (possibly customized/signed?) Sorapot to one lucky reader! You have until the night of 11/21 to leave a comment and we'll pick + email a winner!
The Sorapot story is definitely a design saga that is near and dear to many design/trend/gadget blogs - we've been watching, waiting, and nurturing Joey's design from the concept and prototype days ~ through production ~ through packaging design ~ through unboxings ~ and finally to brewing that first cup of tea. As you can see, its as much a work of art as it is a tea pot, and the packaging is one of my favorite parts, especially how the scroll like instructions curl off the glass body... So as a refresher, take a peek at a look back at some of my pics on the next page, and leave a comment for your chance to win one!
First Gift Guide of the season, and while i promised friends and family i wouldn't do 31 days in a row like last year (it got crazy!), you can see Alyssa and i made up for it with quite the NOTCOT Holiday Coupon Book and a really exciting lineup of giveaways launching nearly everyday through xmas! (Funny thing is, as we get more excited and start posting up all these goodies as a huge THANK YOU to you, our readers, more stores we love keep contacting us wanting to share the love as well! So the list might grow... as do the coupons!)
So first guide, the REALLY fun stuff. Since gifts should be about the unexpected... those fun surprises that you never saw coming, or would never buy yourself yet secretly lusted for... So lets kick this off with Desk Toys and Stocking Stuffers! Below is a massive collage of some of my favorites, like last year, just click the products to be whisked off to find out more. I've also attached the relevant coupons below to help you out with any temptations you may come across! Enjoy!
TO WIN: Leave a comment! ENTER BY 11/20 - WINNER: Dominique in New Mexico!
1 BIG Baggu, 2 Baggus (in fun new patterns), 2 Baby Baggus, a set of the two new produce Baggus, and an adorable canvas Baggu penguin!
Since i had yet to see these new products in person either, mini photoshoot with the goods after the jump, as well as more info! To win this bundle - you have 3 days (until 11/20 night) to leave a comment, and we'll pick+email the winner! And while you're commenting, feel free to help suggest more gift guide products, amuse us, etc!
UPDATE! Check out the penguin (now named Pancho!) ~ with Dominique in NM!
The new VDC Mimobot series is too cute. So cute and incredibly detailed, it's creating quite a dilemma for me... while i have a few in my purse, on my desk, etc ~ there's usually been a standout one that love and need to have, this time there are a few! Argh! Hehe...
Ok anyhow, i'm a little delirious from massive gift guide planning, inhaling the smokey smell from fires all over socal (our wishes go out to everyone who is dealing with the fires first hand - be safe!), and shopping like crazy online right now... I've been meaning to post these, and only after getting far too distracted by them a few times, here we go! As the press release says, "Boston-based design studio Mimoco releases Vimobot Design Contest MIMOBOT Series, the company's first community-designed collection of MIMOBOT designer USB flash drives, preloaded with all-new mimoZine Digital Magazine Issue 4." And the new goodies are so tempting, i love the new wallpapers and icons! You have to check out the close up images of the new designs on the next page ~ details like the mushrooms, hidden spiders and skulls in the tiki, squid in the tattoos, cherry blossoms down the backs, so much to see in these little guys! I'm currently tortured picking between the Mimoshroom by Bananafromcanada, Golden Panda by Shandurrah, and Yakuza by Eetteekers... check out the MANY pics on the next page!
Show Me How ~ 500 Things You Should Know - Instructions for life from the everyday to the exotic While you might initially think that this long title is a huge exaggeration... it's totally true! I think i learned 500 things yesterday! In pictures! And it seems crazy to try and tell you how, when i can SHOW you how! Here are some of my favorites... images on the next page to give you a better peek inside Derek Fagerstorm, Lauren Smith, and the Show Me How Team's new book!
12 - stencil stealthily
14 - carve hollow book
15 - super slingshot
23 - pvc pipe digeridoo
25- chain mail bikini
111 - dazzle with sabrage
124 - prepare tibetan yak butter tea
126 - understand espresso drink ratios
135 - chug from a boot
138 - how to look dapper in a suit
180 - repair ripped jeans
191- get out of a car in a mini skirt
204 - tie the texas rope handcuff
224 - fix a dented baseboard
277 - make suet snack for birds
344- deliver a baby in a taxi
371 - fold his clothes for travel
383 - share authentic yerba matte
405 - open wine without a wine key
414 - run with the bulls in pamplona
426 - catch a fish bare handed
447 wrestle aligator
453 create water in the desert
485 - escape from straight jacket
493 - breathe fire
And those are just a few! This book is definitely on my no fail list for gifting for all occasions! Maybe best waiting room/coffee table book i've found yet? See scans of some on the next page! ... and at amazon, that's 500 new things for $16!
Now, back to the gift that Justine received at the National Geographic first ever retail store opening... Firstly, from a design perspective, i love that NatGeo takes their yellow so seriously, from the magazine, to the bags, to the wrapping paper... and i'm impressed that they pleated their wrapping paper! (See the pic on the next page!)...
As for what's inside, it might be one of the coolest gifts you could give someone this holiday season! The Genographic Project Public Participation Kit!
Quick description of The Genographic Project: "The Genographic Project is a global research partnership of National Geographic and IBM. With support for field research from the Waitt Family Foundation, Dr. Spencer Wells and a group of the world's leading scientists will attempt to collect and analyze more than 100,000 DNA samples from indigenous people all over the world. The goal of The Genographic Project is to learn about the migratory paths our ancestors took and how humankind populated the planet."
In this very CSI looking kit, you get a DVD about the project, a map of the migratory history of man, buccal swab kit, and a confidential ID# to access your results! See more pics of the kit on the next page, and i guess we'll see if Justine chooses to share her results with us!
Collaborations i'm giddy about? The W Hotels are launching another "Design Dreams" package with Jonathan Adler! Here's a sneak peek at the upcoming deal that launches Nov 24th! Consider this on the list for awesome gifts for overworked designers in need of some R&R and a little something to get their inspiration flowing...
The exclusive "Design Dreams Package" includes "a stylish room rate", two exclusive Adler pieces for W (Wonder/Lust Candle with wax in signature W purple and ceramic Key Keeper - see pic on next page!), 20% discount on Adler items at the W store, and two "Creative Cocktails"! For the NYC folks, there is even an expansion package - "For an additional $10,000, Jonathan Adler will join guests for lunch and a private shopping spree at one of his stores in New York City."
Really, i'm lusting after the Wonder/Lust candles, which apparently will become available in the W stores soon! And they are so perfect with the rest of Adler's Apothecary of Emotions.... see the exclusive key keeper and press release on the next page!
Wow. Super crazy monday, just slowed down by the arrival of a very unexpected gift from one of my favorite artists, Catalina Estrada! Sat down in the hallway, popped open the tube, and it just kind of took my breath away. Gorgeously packaged (she decorated the tube so nicely and simply with stamps even!) ~ fun little cards greet you upon opening, and a signed print from the recent show she did with Pancho Tolchinsky: Backyard, with her illustrations beautifully layered over his photographs.
So, this post is a huge "THANK YOU, Cati!!!" ~ and i had to share how cool it is with all of you as well! I guess i'll have to hit up the framers soon! So many posters and artworks i've had stashed in tubes over the last year or so... i think the living room of the new house next month may have to become a secret NOTCOT gallery! Check out more pics on the next page!
At 6pm tonight the Paper Magazine 24 Hour Department Store 2008 opened its doors with a marching band (that we strangely managed to end up walking behind as we strolled over from the car not knowing what was going on... and turns out it was the LA High band) playing out front ~ and literally stopping traffic as people pulled over on sunset to see what the raucous was about. This year it's in a larger space, and the set up is far more urban and grittty with Johnston Marklee designing this fenced cubicle extravaganza. Did you know there are going to be 24 bands in 24 hours playing? Follow the blow by blow reports at PaperMag.com!
We went by early (hence, catching the opening act) to get some fun pics before it got too crazed in there to show you and fun products... lots of pics - so you can see them all in the gallery ~ but for this post, i've given you my highlights and some my of favorites worth stopping by to shop for: Citizen:Citizen's Peace shirt is awesome (so so so soft too), StrangeCo's Bumble and Tweet Special Edition (the woody and green are adorableness - and magnetic birds and bees!!!), Royal-T's golden tea's that come with COCKTAIL RECIPES on the back! So take a look at the craziness on the next page!
We ducked out of there pretty fast (1hr?) since we were famished ~ and really i was just dying to go to the Audrey Kawasaki show which was even crazier! Pics to come after i get some sleep... can't believe its 3 already ~ LA insomniacs should go buy up those adorable Tweets! UPDATE: i accidentally got thirsty and drank some of the RUBYY forgetting it was an energy drink, so now its 4:30 - too tired to post, but did clean up and put pics from the Audrey Kawasaki show up in the Gallery - click to view full sized... enjoy! sweet dreams...
Hard not to be intrigued when you get an email saying "RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN PARTNERS WITH THE THREADLESS SELECT SERIES TO LAUNCH FIRST-EVER GUEST CURATED SERIES Collection Curated by RISD President John Maeda to Launch on November 6 Featuring Theme of Newness, with Exclusive Designs by Faculty Members"
Art school president and art world superstar team up with ugc t-shirt company.... that would sound pretty incredible already, but the idea of Threadless Select reaching out and working with John Maeda and RISD staff to create 4 t-shirts just blew my mind a little. So take a look at all 4 designs on the next page, as well as the press release!
StrangeCo really knows how to keep the action going under my monitors ~ i am currently typing this staring at a rather large and colorful band of gorillas that look like they are attacking the current residents (some rabbids, a crazed mimobot, an overly jolly wish come true, and the rocketworld rhino that looks like its trying to fight back!)...
These new King Ken creatures are the the latest upcoming toys from Amos Novelties, from the mind of James Jarvis, as you can see, they sent over every colorway including the secret yeti/albino guy! The Mini King Ken series debuts worldwide on November 22, 2008! Just in time for stuffing stockings... (Also, LA kids, you can get them early at the 24 Hour Paper Magazine Dept Store tomorrow!!!)
Also, the new Toki Doki Captain Coco, an adorable monkey with his pixelated camo and banana (with toki doki brand of course) in his coconut helmet... and his adorable sidekick pineapple grenade that i'm completely smitten by, showed up as well! I've already separated them, since the Captain is far too large for life under the monitors...
Check out pics of them all unboxed and in the wild on the next page! It's been a crazy day, so i took this welcome distraction to run around the house and take pics of the little guys all over!
Last week i showed you the packaging from Jurlique's Beauty from Beauty Tester Kit of minis that came in the egg carton like packaging with adorable little scaled down frosted glass bottles! Well Jurlique was kind of enough to contact me, and sent some samples from the new line, and the packaging and opening experience of the new Jurlique Biodynamic Beauty Serum is awesome! I got so giddy i opened and closed it a few times before photographing the whole process for you and then scanning the full piece. Why is it so amazing? I love that they used a single piece for the packaging, which utilizes origami folding genius and a single tab that goes into a slit to hold it all together, and as you open it, it feels as if it presents the bottle to you in a surprisingly colorful interior, as well as putting more information about the product around the bottle... basically as soon as you pull out the tab, the box unfolds like a flower, really creating a a beautiful unboxing experience. Awesome box design!
Beyond that excitement, you also have to take a look at the branding and packaging on the other products as well, they've managed to keep things looking natural and eco friendly, while still luxurious in their simplicity and use of recycled materials, clean fonts, and matte medicinal tubes (where you have to puncture it with the cap to open it), as well as my favorite slightly rounded - squarish - indented on the sides - frosted glass bottles which feel so great in your hand. They also scaled these glass bottles really nicely, so you can see a pic with the large Rosewater Balancing Mist, with the medium Biodynamic Beauty Serum, and then one of the minis from last time.
Ok, so i'm totally in a packaging gushing mood with Jurlique ~ and i've had a chance to try out the minis from the kit for a little while now, and i must say i'm impressed - it has all been extremely natural and effective, and awesomely calming in this stressful holiday season so far! (Favorites so far - Soothing Herbal Recovery Gel and my old favorite that i have in the not so fancy new packaging is their Rose Body Lotion) I'll keep you posted as i try out more of their products ~ but for now, check out how sweet the packaging is through the pics on the next page ~ and if you're feeling crafty, this box design could make for some gorgeous gift wrapping!
More Mobile! Portable Architecture for Today ~ Edited by Jennifer Siegal ~ this book showed up recently from the Princeton Architectural Press, and its so awesome, i think i'm finally figuring out how to share books with you guys... So i've scanned some of my favorite pages on the next page for you to check out!
This book is the follow up to her 2002 book, Mobile: the art of mobile architecture (which i will now have to go track down!) - for regular readers, you know i've got a thing for mobile architecture, especially shipping container architecture! So this book is just incredibly inspiring to flip through the many fascinating projects! Check out the next page to see some of the best pages!
While i was in Tuscon, i picked up this bottle ~ yes, it was a total impulse buy based on packaging, but it had to be documented! And it didn't taste tooooo bad, but not exactly stellar, but how cute is it?
So this post is really all about the packaging of this adorable Boarding Pass Shiraz 2005 from South Australia by R Wines and distributed by the very playful Grateful Palate Imports. Check out more pics on the next page for closeups of the fonts and diagrams!
With a title like, FreeDarko presents The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac: Styles, Stats, and Stars in Today's Game... how can you not look twice? And then when you see the incredible illustrations? And that this is described as "The indispensible, amazingly illustrated companion to today's NBA--a roundball Rosetta Stone that hilariously decodes the trends and tendencies of pro basketball." on Amazon... I think we may have just found the perfect gift for both basketball fans and designers without a clue about the current state of the NBA... Who knew it'd be possible? And only at 15$!
The illustrations are drop dead gorgeous, the Style Guides incredible, and FreeDarko even has limited edition prints and shirts! First spotted over at Bobby Sattler's Whole Lot of BS, then i got quickly distracted at the FreeDarko site (so gorgeous, and full of design details and digital goodies)... then got busy making pics for you to see my favorite excerpts from the book on the next page! So, go on, click to the next page and take a peek inside the book!
Ahhhh, i couldn't resist. Our friends at Hard Graft (previously known as Working Class Heroes) have done it again, this time launching new products themed around my favorite design feature... the brown leather pockets! Above are my two favorites i'm curious to get my hands on... the Key Too (keeps your car key and your scratchier keys separated) and the and the Pocket Wallet (literally a pocket! with a space for your cards and your cash!)... additionally there is a new laptop sleeve (ready with sizes for all our new macbooks too!) and a mouse pad/pouch ~ to appreciate all the details, see the pics on the next page!
Yay! Back in LA, after a quick drive to Tuscon via the 10 (ick) for the weekend, but came back along the 8 through the blisteringly hot, dry desert and into foggy, freezing La Jolla for incredibly delicious carne asada fries and meeting up with people before popping back up to LA. Nothing clears my head like a random road trip!
Anyhow, much catching up in the email realm, and some really goodies in there i've been dying to share... like these fascinating 4 Occhi ~ Aspesi 1910 glasses design by Giulio Iacchetti - "A pair of glasses with four lenses that could be customized according to one's desires. 4occhi can be both glasses and sun glasses, glasses for near-sighted and far-sighted people. All the possibilities your imagination suggests you are possible. 4occhi allows you to have two pairs of glasses always with without the need to remember them or search for them!" While they definitely look a bit silly, but for those who always lose their second pair of glasses, it's an interesting idea... and you can put any lenses in either one ~ so they don't even have to be sunglasses and bifocals, etc... Check out the many pics on the next page, the photographer clearly had a good time shooting these!
Android logo is so freaking cute! Ok that's my first half awake impression coming back from the T-Mobile store with the HTC G1 ~ And physically, its a really nice piece of hardware, clean sleek and understated (unlike *some* phones) ~ full pics on the next page of everything from the store displays and my #42 card to a proper unboxing, showing you all the bits.
Being a commitment-phobe, i opted to start my own t-mobile family plan of one ~ family of blackberry curve and G1. Screen looks a bit prettier than the iphone, the bounce up screen action feels great, and i'm totally smitten by the way its nice matte finish feels in myhands... also that slight curvature... ahh the details. Ok so beyond the unboxing and close looks at the hardware, i'm only just starting to poke at all the UI details, maps/email/phone/camera/etc, so far it looks great, only a few random bugs encountered when playing with things like street view, but will see how it goes - so more to come on that, but i just wanted to get some pics up before i ran out to a meeting! For the super thorough UI breakdown, check out Boy Genus Report ~ and see my pics on the next page!
Oooh, on things i'm slightly kicking myself for now... i was just in Sephora today and gave in to one of those packaging influenced spontaneous splurges... Jurlique's new Biodynamic line is GORGEOUS! The packaging is just beautiful ~ in that high quality bottles, beautiful curves, unique yet functional, frosted glass kind of way... and all of their inserts and boxes are 100% post-consumer recycled paper... the sampler kit of the new lines come in what appear to be egg cartons at first - which are also 100% recyclable.... not to mention their products are all natural, made from plants and flowers from their South Australian farms.
The part i'm kicking myself over? I knew it sounded familiar! A quick search through email reminded me that this is the exact line i missed a bbq launch event for in Hollywood at the infamous Hillhaven Lodge, which is the kind of place filled with hollywood legends - originally home to Ingrid Bergman - and currently home to Brett Ratner - who had the photography book Hilhaven Lodge: The Photo Booth Pictures showing pages of fun hollywood types in photo booth pics... (my excuse is that i got caught up in san diego!) Basically, i hate to admit that sometimes PR folks know exactly what types of products fit perfectly with my tastes before i do, because when i wandered through Sephora i couldn't resist playing with every product in the Jurlique Biodynamic line, and ended up picking the sampler with all the adorable scaled down minis and the fabulous egg carton-esque packaging to photograph and share with you.
Also... while i've only just started trying it out, the all natural line feels incredibly refreshing and light, and i guess i'll find out by morning how my skin responds to it! Take a look at the many pics on the next page, there's something so nice about the shape of the glass bottles they've designed.
Incase Nylon Messenger Bag may be THE perfect messenger bag, their designers have figured out every tiny detail! I've gone through so many messenger bags (from Chrome, Timbuk2, Ordning & Reda, Tumi, a leather old J.Crew, Jack Spade, and more...) ~ but i'm totally impressed with how sleek, lightweight, and detailed this new Incase Nylon Messenger Bag is. As a 5'4" girl, it actually holds my 15" mcp and a lot of other stuff without making me look like a turtle (which is the case with my huge chrome one!) ~ the shoulder strap is sooo nicely cushioned, and brilliant detail to have the padded handle on the bag double as a key ring (good spare key stash?) ~ lots of pockets of varying depths and openings all around ~ and the biggest mystery to me when i first read about this... "plush faux fur" ~ turns out its a velvety soft lush black material to keep your iphone and laptop from being scratched! Nice that the stabilizer strap is completely detachable as well, and its a nice touch to have the large velcro pocket on the front, and that the clips on the main flap are sewn flat (not sure why that matters, but just a detail i really liked - aesthetically sleeker?). Anyhow, enough rambling from me, i took a bunch of pictures of the details for you to get a feel for it yourself on the next page!
So in the post where we showed you all the new Swims City Slippers for heels ~ there was much talk about why they didn't have some that covered the shoe fully, protecting your feet from splashing instead of just giving you more traction... well when reading our friends at Frizzi Frizzi, i noticed a post from a milan fair showing just that! So poking and prodding their PR for more information i've found out that those are actually only prototypes ~ and unfortunately they are not manufactured or available! I must say these remind me of dive booties in heel form ~ Perhaps with enough positive feedback we can help convince Swims to actually produce these!
While wandering through IKEA today, i finally gave in and had to take pics and buy one of the adorable kids Spoka Lights. These little ghosty night lights come in three shapes/colors and are squishy silicon rubber ~ its cordless with a recharger ~ and you push its head to turn it on and off. Designed by Bodrul Khalique. What was unexpected when i saw them was the packaging, they come in cute graphic bags, and inside the bag there is even a small pocket stitched inside for the cord. Supposedly on a full charge it can last 4-6 hours and light diodes are not replaceable; diode life approx. 50,000 hours. See more pictures on the next page!
Swims gives us a first look at their latest innovation in the galoshes space to protect you (and your gorgeous shoes) from the rain and other messy, muddy places you wander through. Here's a peek at the new Swims City Slippers ~ the best detail is definitely the maps of NY, Paris, and Tokyo on the soles ~ although i do wonder if it means with every step in dirt, you can leave maps for the lost? It's flexible design is ready for heels of any thickness (but your wedges will have to wait for now), and its low cut so no bows or buckles get caught. The price is $95, they will be available on the site any day now and in stores within two weeks. They will be available in burgundy, black, pearl, red, purple and olive. I must say, i feel silly writing about rain products while i'm sitting in this LA heatwave, a nice cool rain and breeze would be quite nice right about now!
We're big fans of the classic mens and women's swims - as well as their push button open/close umbrellas after they saved both dan and i when running around NY for ICFF and into the woods of VT when only armed with dress shoes... so i can't wait to try these out! See our past reviews/posts about swims here - and see more images of the new Swims City Slippers on the next page!
UPDATE: check out Frizzi Frizzi's post with a hands on look at a few other new Swims designs!