It was a gorgeous day in NY to take the VIP ferry out to Governor's Island for my first official polo match/picnic. Granted this was no ordinary day in the park ~ since there was much buzz with Prince Harry playing, Marc Jacobs and Madonna wandering around, and never ending Veuve Clicquot flowing at the second annual Veuve Clicquot Manhattan Polo Classic. The views were absolutely stunning ~ the manhattan skyline peeking out from behind the game, endless smatterings Pantone 137c between the lush green grass and perfectly clouded blue skies, and amusing people watching with lots of "daring hats" as requested. Take a peek at the experience on the next page...
Entries tagged with: nature
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I have to admit this up front because i felt so silly about it ~ when i was trying to start catching up on what ICFF goodness to share, i couldn't get this insane reflective jellyfish-like icelandic lamps out of my head, so i start photoshopping pictures, and then researching online, only to find that it had already been on NOTCOT.org #20302... So yes, even I can't keep up with absolutely everything anymore, and truthfully, it was even cooler in person!
Now for those who don't know, these lights are Illuminant by Kristin Birna Bjarnadottir out of Iceland ~ and there is no actual LIGHT in the light! It is like a jellyfish of reflective fabric ~ reflective strands hanging down and bundled above the more classically shaped lamp shade ~ and on the floor is a high powered LED light, simply shooting light up inside of it, and the result is this ethereal glowing free flowing creature... and to change colors, you simple put glass filters on the lights. (Literally just put a glass disc on the top of the light source) Now, imagine a forest of jellyfish in the ocean... can you imagine these installed in an array of sizes and heights hanging from trees in a garden party?
Take a look at the various pictures on the next page!
i could also totally see these installed in a rave/burning man type situation evolved into a visual/sound installation where the lights pulsate with the music and possibly even push bursts of air upwards to create perfectly timed motion in the tentacles of a forest of these... how fun would that be to watch?
I love the work of Sanna Annukka. I also grew up loving Marimekko before i even knew what it was (i have the very beat up kids stuff to prove it somewhere). And when Sanna Annukka designed an animal themed print for Marimekko... yes, i pretty much got super excited. And then today... while exploring the meatpacking districts design week happenings and wandering into the Playful New Finnish Design Shipping Container (regulars will already know my fascination with shipping containers for anything other than shipping)... and then getting to see the Sanna Annukka's Marimekko Kaneleen kutsu pattern in person... and being handed a press kit IN A BLACK AND WHITE TOTE OF THE FABRIC... yea. I was pretty much on cloud 9. I'm totally making that tote into a throw pillow. A throw pillow with handles. That can be hung on the wall when not in use?
BUT back to the point at hand ~ Sanna Annukka's Marimekko Kaneleen kutsu pattern is stunning ~ and i'm so thrilled to have access to the press photos to get to see all the products and patterns up close! And to share them with you! (as well as photos of the totes that the lady was kind enough to let me photograph and pick through in the shipping container) But also, the story behind this pattern is quite lovely as well...
So here's the story from the press release:
Sanna Annukka has created for Marimekko a series of expressive designs full of meaning, telling stories from the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala. The Kanteleen kutsu fabric depicts forest animals that have, enchanted, gathered to hear the joyful tunes played on the kantele, a plucked string instrument, by Väinämöinen, the main character of the Kalevala. Väinämöinen, a shamanistic hero, had made his instrument from the jawbone of a giant pike. Mugs, tea towels and other ready-made products feature individual animals ñ birds, squirrels, bears ñ picked from the Kanteleen kutsu fabric. The Sampo, a wealth grinding magic mill with a multi-coloured lid, is featured in the impressive Taikamylly fabric and matching cushion covers, plates and trays. The Ihmemaa art print, sold by the repeat, shows the landscape of Kaleva, the Land of Heroes, and Lake Alue. In the depths of the lake, a whitefish has swallowed fire fallen from the heavens. The series also includes the Onnen helmet duvet cover design, which tells of how Väinämöinen, moved as he played the kantele, cried big tears that flowed into the sea and there changed into pearls.
See all the many many pics on the next page!
Coming in June from IWG Sleepy Bear Series. WITH SPORK!!! "They love eating with a spork; its a very handy eating utensil. This new IWG Series includes a sleeping bear, spork, combat knife, and a human skull trophy. Price to TBA." See more pics of these new guys on the next page...
I love the fractal nature of succulents. And continuing from yesterday's post... while the plumber was working on the kitchen (Kohler goodies nearly installed), i ended up getting some cactus soil (and juice) and a few more succulents ~ and my mom donated some of her overgrown succulents that were spewing out of their pots to break up ~ soooooo, more fun pics of some inspiring patterns and colors! How crazy does that gummy one look? See more pics on the next page...
UPDATED!!!! Just add more at the bottom of this post since i just ran out to the japanese nurseries to see what i could find... (jump directly to the new pics here)
So many puns. Must resist the puns. Let's just say its been a sucky day and leave it at that? Soooooo anyhow, on friday inspirations/distractions/obsessions... finally made it over to Rolling Greens Nursery in culver city, and it is TRULY mind blowing. So much beautiful stuff ~ not to mention the layout of the 4 tiered huge sections set into this pretty steep hillside ~ and the big sale (50% 1000$ pots and such)... i was like a kid in a candy store, oooohing and ahhhhhing over all the incredible plants, and then gave in and bought a bunch of succulents that i couldn't take my eyes off of... and before i planted them (slowly working on the back yard now) took a bunch of pics. The details are just so fascinating!!! Also found a really cool flower you'll see at the end of the pics on the next page as well...
Singapore's landscape is this crazy juxtaposition of incredibly lush green rain forest with a fascinatingly modern/urban shopaholics dream mixed throughout... for some reason, this latest trip i've been completely drawn in by the beautiful color palettes - staring upwards out of the car windows into the trees on every drive... and while taking a breather between things, i started noticing the tiny details like the incredible textures and colors of the MANY types of moss found in just one part of the yard... so here are some close up looks at some of my favorite mossy details (and my grandmother's tiny orchids) 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!
Another fun noteworthy aspect of the Natural History Museum First Fridays is the graphic motifs of animal/instrument hybrids used on the flyers and stickers distributed around the museum... there are even silk screened prints available! So far only two, but the artist was saying how he is planning on completing the set throughout the course of the First Fridays! Take a peek at some of the stickers we found, as well as the gorgeous colorful prints! Since 2009 is the year of darwin's 200th bday (next week!) and the 150th anniversary of the Origin of Species, this year of First Fridays are dedicated to him... and the Darwin sticker even has his motto "e conchis omnia" which means "everything from shells"...
Wow. There is something so magical about having the Natural History Museum as the backdrop for a friday night filled with science, food/wine, live music and exploration... especially when in between all of that you add some wild lighting and simple glowing modern furniture... As part of the Los Angeles Natural History Museums First Fridays, tonight we got to see The Bird and The Bee with a bison diorama as the backdrop! Listened to DJs spin in front of elephants... learned about "Evolution: What the fossils say and why it matters" from Dr. Don Prothero in front of some moose. Got wine from in front of some apes... Saw projections on and around the skeletons of a t-rex and triceratops... All in all it was a hell of a night, and a fascinating multisensoral experience. Check out images of some of the very surreal situations encountered on the next page!
Happy 2009!!! I must say i'm extra giddy about this year starting ~ it feels like a good one! To kick it off we decided to do some of the things we're hoping to do more of this year! So Dan, Linhchi and i started it off by sleeping in... waaaaaay in... then cooking fluffy delicious waffles, eggs, and veggie sausages that we enjoyed out on the deck... and then off to an adventure wandering on a trail in Topanga for a few hours... with our cameras, random ideas, and not much else... So now as we relax (they are playing Little Big World + i'm posting this!) ~ i think we're ready to do 2009 right! Basically my resolution is to do more of what i love, and less of what i don't. What are yours?
And as for adventures ~ check out the massive number of pics to see what we found on our wander ~ amazing sunset and fun crazy darkness pictures playing with our led flashlights... as well as closeups of teeny tiny flowers and moss... and more!
Ok, so you've seen the warning signs, and here are the animals of the LA Zoo! We brought the 40D and the 5D Mark II ~ so these are a mix of pics that both dan and i took while wandering around... hilarious the expressions some of these guys make... and the eyes! And the crazy shenanigans some of them try to get up to... like the orangutan that threads the swing rope through the fence to whip more plants towards itself... and the giraffe with its tongue!!! Anyhow, check out a bunch (ok, 25!) pics on the next page!
Vacation time is finally setting in ~ at least in my head! Freshly back from spending the day at the LA Zoo with old friends, seriously haven't been there since i was a little kid, and from what i saw, doesn't look like its changed all that much... seems a bit dated, and perhaps because it was so cold (but luckily SUNNY! and not rainy!) was pretty quiet, but we did get to see quite a few animal feedings and packs of little kids...
First post from there ~ i was so amused by the old warning signage! So here's a look at signage at the LA Zoo! See the pics on the next page!
I think i've found the perfect stocking stuffer for kids!!! Or it's what i'll be resorting to when i need random little gifts, that are not only really fun and amusing but educational and awesomely packaged! Copernicus Toys is a wondrous playground of all the fun sciencey toys and gizmos and puzzles i loved as a kid, and they've recently launched this great line of Compact Curiosities! Adorable packaging ~ nice clean fonts/graphics/colored labels on the translucent 4x6" pouches... definite points for the shiny object factor...
And it gets better! Inside these packets are old favorites from Monster Balloons and Vortex devices (you know, the ones you put between two 1L soda bottles!) to dissectable Owl Pellets and Geodes to crack open! Also incredibly affordable ranging from 3$-12$ (most are 3$-6$)! See closeups of the whole line on the next page!
Ok, Marcia, you win. Best birthday surprise ever ~ mysterious creepy flower guy tapping on the glass door ~ card in handwriting i can't recognize with just a "Happy Birthday Jean. Here's to another year of fun!"... signed Marcia? But it looked strangely more like Maria? (Florists! You need better handwriting!) And then there's the flowers ~ awesomest mix of orchids, roses, moss, and.... WTF is that really awesome hairy ball? Do i have to feed it?
Sooooo that turns into an adventure calling the florist, who of course says they know nothing and got the order through the internet... but does say that those hairy green balls of awesome are... MONKEY BALLS! And then a few more back and forth emails, Marcia confirms it's her, but the florists calls her to confirm she can tell me her name, and then calls me back as Marcia emails me to say the florist called... in between all of that i shot a bunch of pictures of this incredible bundle on my desk to share with you.
I'm also currently googling Monkey Balls, which is not coming up with many things that look at all like this... anyone got a scientific name for these things for me? Enjoy the pics on the next page! And Marcia, thanks again!!! SO awesome, best way to get me to stop working and get totally giddy... hehe. THANKS!
UPDATE: Jump to pics of the opened up balls!
This guide is partially for pets, partially for green thumbs, partially for nature enthusiasts, and really just a scramble of nature inspired/related amusement floating around my lists! Click the products to browse the next page as usual!
TO WIN: Leave a comment here ~ tell me some animal/adventure story? ENTER BY 11/26. WINNER: Jeremy in Alexandria, VA!
Not to be biased or anything, but i am so giddy about this giveaway even more than any of the others so far! This was a late addition, cooked up over late night emails with Otter X (aka Patrick Ma, founder of Rocket World and T.A.D. Gear) ~ where upon ordering myself an early bday present in the form of the awesomest fleecy hoodie EVER, he offered to give one away to you guys too! And mine came on friday, and the temp dropped ridiculously at night, and its the coziest thing ever... so i'm even wearing it NOW!
So here's the Rocket World Shag Master Creature Hoodie (what a name, right?) - its the third in a line of exclusive fleeces from Rocketworld (pics of the first two on the next page!)... the biggest difference for me is that this one is versatile with its removable bear ears (which can also be switched for horns or anything you can make and velcro on!) - so less commitment to being an instant-furry with the full face and claws! These hoodies are the perfect combination for those of us who adore the Rocket World IWG well armed animal toys and the high quality tactical gear of TAD Gear. This is a variation of the original T.A.D. Gear Shag Master fleece. If there's one thing you can't miss about Patrick, his attention for detail is impeccable ~ combine that with his love of toys, nature, product design and a background in the army... is it really surprising that even this Creature Hoodie has had orders heading to soldiers in Iraq and A-stan as well as hollywood studios? His clientele on any given day ranges from die hard toy collectors to special forces, so you can only imagine. ANYHOW... you know i can rant on for eons about how incredible the company and products are, but lets move on to showing you all the details and fun photos of them skating at night with the hoodies on the next page, and to win one (he'll drop ship it in your size!) leave a comment with some adventure/animal tales!
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!
Ok, i need a teleportation device. Please! Today, National Geographic opens their first retail space and it is a 3 story 1,800 square metre world of its own on London's Regent Street. We were lucky enough to get an invite to the launch party, but i was unlucky enough not to be able to teleport over for this stunning event! However, my sister, Justine (Rugenius) and her boyfriend, were kind enough to take a break from her PhD thesis writing to pop over and give us her take of it... and i think her animal loving, scientifically minded side really came out and fell in love with the space! She even has me excited about the upcoming talks, as well as dying to go shop the store in person...
So here's the deal, she's done a very thorough, visual walkthrough of the store for you on the next page, and she sent me SO many pictures that i've pulled out a few for the post, but you can view them all in Gallery NOTCOT. A few standout things to take note of? The layouts! Incredibly fun use of crates, industrial feeling containers, gorgeous gallery spaces... no one will be able to resist going into the magical red chamber with the GIANT block of ice to try on cold weather gear, and see where their heat is escaping on the screen... it looks like whether you're planning a trip, looking for an adventure, or just escaping for a quick snack, this museum-esque store is going to be a hit. So, check out our first look on the next page!
NOTCOT Note: SO, jealous that linhchi (shade elaine) had a chance to get into the California Academy of Sciences! But luckily she took some gorgeous pics to share her experience with us!
I'd been waiting for the new California Academy of Sciences to open in Golden Gate Park for over a year, and when opening weekend finally rolled around late in September, I wasn't willing to combat the crowds. Luckily the company I work for was invited to a party there (hosted by AOL) this past Monday evening, and though we didn't get to check out the entire place, it was awesome being able to wander around the rain forest dome (I missed the planetarium show!) and get a glimpse of the other parts without enormous amounts of people, and to get a unique view of the place at night! My favorite pic (you'll see it after the jump) is from inside the rain forest dome looking up at the ceiling & lights. I'll definitely have to go back and check out the entire place for real. See a lot more pics after the jump!
VIDEO (on the next page)! So i woke up bright and early this sunday morning and decided to wander around Paris, quickly realizing that stores weren't really open today, i went hunting for outdoor markets once the rain stopped, and found myself wandering around St Germain for some time, crossing through Notre Dame... and as i turned, i heard tons of sqwaking, and followed the sounds... i ended up in the most bizarre and amazing little outdoor flower and bird market, which apparently also has ferrets, chipmunks, chinchillas, piles of hamsters, super fluffy bunnies, all kinds of beautiful little birds, and even a poor little yorkie decked out in more denim than most people...
See the video for the best feel of the craziness, and lots of pics on the next page!
[Above is my latest new toy - a mis-colored helmeted Astro-Krieg Rhino and my random capsule machine egg/rabbit at the fireplace in Park Chow] Next time you're in the SF area, you MUST stop by T.A.D. Gear at 660 22nd Street in SF - what they don't show you in their pics of the store is the Rocket World section, which is like the holy grail of Rocket World I.W.G toys and prints, and not only do they do all online fulfillment for both brands in this space but also have their design studio upstairs! So on the next page, i have a peek at the store, the gallery space, and the design studios... if you thought Shepard Fairey's studios were cool, you'll drool at how inspiring this space is!
So before the onslaught of images to walk you through our experience at the incredible converted warehouse space, here are a few quick points to note.
1) For anyone that like the great outdoors (or is a special op, or just likes being well shielded from the extremities), but has a NOTCOT type of aesthetic (love matte black? lack of logos? incredible attention to every detail?) - you have to check out T.A.D. Gear's jackets, pants, and backpacks before you reach for the next Patagonia catalog. Dan just ran off with his to Burning Man, so i'll try to get you some detail pics later.
2) If you don't need the hardcore gear, they have an amazingly well curated selection of quality outdoor accessories that had me giddy to shop even though i didn't really need more mini flashlights, otter boxes, knives, dental floss, and more...
3) Sure stores like A16 are all rugged and designy in their own right, but T.A.D. Gear feels museum-esque as you browse through the space - which leads to
4) Rocket World I.W.G creatures have their own dedicated section, and while at first it may sound odd to have some of the coolest vinyl toys showcased and designed by the same crew that makes some of the most impressive tactical gear i've seen... if you go, it will all make sense. Especially once you find out that Patrick Ma (aka "Otter X") has a background ranging from the army to a masters in art, a love of the animal kingdom to a calling towards fashion design... is it any wonder that all of his passions have perfectly fused into an incredibly well kept secret lair of custom designed tactical gear as well as some of the cutest most detailed badass animal toys out there?
Ok, sorry i'm rambling, but as you can tell, i was totally giddy there - blown away by the products and toys initially, and from a business/inspirational perspective, hearing Patrick's background and philosophies on business and how he's managed to keep focus on doing what he loves (as many varying things as that may be) for over 10 years now, without giving in to the many temptations to sell out along the way and still be extremely successful - especially when you're pursuing new and uncharted concepts/ideas!
Go see the pics on the next page!
Cleaning through Comic-con pics ~ as far as purchases go ~ these little guys were truly irresistible! the Rocket World Insurgent Wilderness Gruppo (aka I.W.G) crew in shrunken zipper pulls and airborne paratroopers! So here are some quick pics of the booth, the toys (i couldn't help myself and had to open them up at lunch, so yes, that's a fork in the pic - and a few so so pics from the hotel), and the packaging... adorably tiny boxes for all of these!
Nudibranchs ~ i've been obsessed with these gorgeous creatures since my first dives as a kid in south east asia. David Doubilet ~ i grew up on his breath taking photography. Combine them ~ and video ~ and National Geographic... and i've been swooning over this Nudibranch feature on the National Geographic website for days now. So looking beyond the subject matter for a moment, from a photographic/design perspective... what really struck me about this series of photos, was the process! Seldom do you see these beautiful (tiny) little slug like creatures pop off so vibrantly on a perfectly white background... they look more like supermodels in a photo studio... so watching the video blew my mind to see that David Doubilet and his team actually went diving with a portable studio that they brought TO the nudibranches, shooting them where they found them, and only moving them when they weren't doing any complicated nudibranch activities (mating, feeding, etc). See the full gallery here, and see some of my favorites as well as the set up they used on the next page!