Entries tagged with: nature

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*rugenius in nature - 0 Notes

MyFarm at Wimpole Home Farm

myfarmsheep.jpg Justine was sharing this incredibly intriguing project she found happening in the UK… supposedly its like Farmville, but in real life… while still online… anyhow, take a peek below at what she has to share about it!

Last month, the National Trust launched the MyFarm project, which creates and bridges digital communities with the daily realities of farming. Although the project was heralded by the BBC and others as “FarmVille meets reality”, those behind the project are clear to stress that this is not a game. Instead, the community of 10,000 online Farmers have a direct impact on the workings of the farm at National Trust’s Wimpole Estate and are effectively working with farm manager Richard Morris to decide how it should be run. The first MyFarm vote took place last month, with internet farmers voting to grow wheat and that decision is already being implemented!

The project is a fascinating mix of real and virtual worlds and demonstrates a great use of digital and social media to raise awareness about the National Trust and British farmers. It also provides unrivaled access to a working farm. No matter where you are, you can follow the estate on twitter (@WimpoleEstateNT) as well as farm manager, Richard Morris (@farmermorris) as he goes on his rounds to check on the farm and reports on the many new arrivals (the last few days have seen many new piglets and calves!). They team have also just set up a dedicated MyFarm twitter account (@MYFarmNT) and an account for Emma who looks after the Shire horses (@EmmaMyFarm). The Shires are one to watch at the moment, with a new streaming cam for MyFarmers to be able to watch the pregnant Queenie and hopefully witness the birth of a Shire foal live in the next week or so!

In addition to being a fascinating project, the Wimpole Estate is an incredible place to visit. Located just outside Cambridge, it is one of my favorite escapes, with a beautiful stately home and gardens as well as the farm. It is also home to many of my favorite rare breeds. The home farm is a Rare Breeds Survival Trust approved farm park, home to a number of rare breed livestock including horses, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry. The estate also runs a great events/courses series. I recently learned to hand shear some rare breed sheep and may be back soon to try my hand at hedgelaying, blacksmithing or ferretting. The next MyFarm vote is coming up soon and is about a subject near and dear to me, SHEEP! So let’s get voting to save native breeds!

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*notcot in wearable - 0 Notes

Helmut Lang Resort 2012: Birds

helmutbird0.jpg I love Helmut Lang. And i couldn’t help but share the ornithological aspect of their Resort 2012 collection when i was checking it out at Style.com. The imagery resembles X-Rays of the birds in flight ~ in a nice stark white on black… other pieces add a subtle touch of black feathers on their simple, architectural dresses. Visually mesmerizing, no idea how they’ll seem in person, but make for interesting pics. See close ups on the next page.

P.s. The model freaks me out a little, but when i tried to crop her head out it was even worse.

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BTTR Mushrooms Begin!

newshroom1.jpg It’s begun! My Mushroom Kit is growing! Last night there was nothing (visible to the naked eye) ~ this morning? Shroom cluster popped out… somewhere between fascinated and having a hard time imagining these as food… had to get up close with it and share the beginnings with you… there’s even a second lower cluster starting too… take a peek at day one of mushroom madness on the next page.

p.s. and if you need a reminder of how this coffee ground brick in a cardboard box began…

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*notcot in nature - 1 Notes

Baby Sea Turtles and Elephants

turtles1.jpg Baby turtles!!!! Our good friend and zoologist colleague Dr. Rob Holbrook sent me some amazing photos of his recent adventures in Sri Lanka. Despite traveling for pleasure rather than a zoological field trip, he managed to encounter some amazing animals! Of course he returned with awesome pictures ~ these are from the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project and the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. See all the pics on the next page!

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*notcot in nature - 0 Notes

I wish i were at... Giraffe Manor

giraffemain.jpg This post is sponsored by American Express Membership Rewards. Visit American Express on Facebook at facebook.com to view all the possibilities with Membership Rewards Points.

When American Express Membership Rewards approached us about sponsoring content around dream things we’ve been wanting to do ~ first thing to come to mind was GIRAFFE MANOR! Not sure why, but giraffes keep coming up lately (i blame the Petite Lap Giraffes) ~ and then the idea of hanging out in Nairobi… in a manor… where giraffes just pop their heads in? Fascinating, right?

When I first heard of Giraffe Manor, I wasn’t sure whether this giraffe lovers paradise could be real. The picturesque 1930’s manor house where you can get up close and personal with a herd of Rothschild Giraffe. The giraffes don’t just wander through the gardens, the may join you for breakfast or even visit your bedroom window like the opening scenes of the children’s cartoon 64 Zoo lane. Set within 12 acres of private land, Giraffe Manor is surprisingly easy to get to, only 20 km from the city of Nairobi. The hotel looks too amazing to describe in words, so check out more pictures on the next page (and the vintage archive pics are pretty amazing too!)

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*notcot in tech - 4 Notes

Microscopic Photography: Beyond the naked eye

micro1.jpg This post is sponsored by Best Buy, and is the brainchild of NOTCOT. These tips for great photos are brought to you by Best Buy.

This all started with capturing special moments ~ but ALL moments are special! (And if not, you’re doing it wrong.) And as i tried to figure out what special moment to share, i found myself sitting outside on the grass… macbook air in hand, various cameras next to me, and started exploring with the usb microscope plugged in… turning the macbook air into my microscope screen! And as i played, i found this tiny flower of flowers… and kind of got lost in that moment exploring every little bit of it ~ when suddenly something RAN BUY. Yes, horror movie style. At 200x zoom, the tiniest things seem pretty huge. And i started trying to find it again! They must be teeny tiny aphids or spiders or something… and as i came up out of this random adventure with a bunch of pics all over my desktop, it hit me, how amazing it is that just playing around its so easy for us to capture images like these now! So take a peek at my little microscopic adventure on the next page, and don’t forget ever moment is special for some reason, and even the most mundane of things can become an adventure to share in pics! Ok go see the mini beasts!

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*notcot in wearable - 1 Notes

Le Pégase d'Hermès Scarf

hermes0.jpg On fun surprises while in London ~ Le Pégase d’Hermès Silk Twill Scarf designed by Christian Renonciat! With an architectural/blueprint look and inspirations from Da Vinci (backwards handwriting and all) ~ Hermès gives us a design to build a pegasus and some wings for yourself. Pretty enough to treat like art, i’m currently researching framing options, but until then wanted to share some of the pretty details with you! Unbox/closeups on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 1 Notes

ZSO - Sara Blake - Octopus

octo1.jpg Just came across this absolutely stunning octopus print and skateboard design by ZSO (Sara Blake). Apparently it is a “charity piece for a skate deck art show happening in LA for Heal the Bay. I don’t know much about the other artists or even where it’s happening right now, but I was just happy to make a skateboard for something to help wildlife. Orginal drawing is pencil and ink. Board is a digital print on Moab Entrada rag bright with mixed media (acrylic, ink,pencil), and gel medium.” SO beautiful ~ see it fully and in sketch form on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Jacub Gagnon: Elements and Oddities

gagnon1.jpg Seriously, did you just think of the Petite Lap Giraffes? They are everywhere, right?

Well, kicking off this Saturday, April 30th, Thinkspace Gallery is showcasing ‘Elements and Oddities’ from Jacub Gagnon and Yosuke Ueno. And i’ve just fallen for these dark detailed animal meet objecty paintings of Jacub Gagnon. Beautiful! Can’t wait to see them in person ~ check out a preview of some of my favorites on the next page!

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

Creatures of Christmas Island

xmaslife0.jpg So you’ve seen how beautiful my dad’s window seat views flying in to Christmas Island were… well i just raided his SD card full of Christmas Island adventures, and there were so many inspiring nature pics, i had to share them with you! It’s amazing to see how crisp and clear the water is… Take a peek at everything from octopi and shrimp, to sharks and mantas, to frigates and puffers… and more on the next page!

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

Sun Stalking: Jetlagged Sunrise

sun1.jpg Hello, jetlag! Europe back to LA is always a rough one… this one had me up around 4am unable to sleep… so while cooking breakfast, reading magazines, catching up on the internet, and looking for other jetlagged/insomniacs on twitter… the idea of Sun Stalking came up to give purpose to this eerie morning hour… found a few others who were up on this time zone in the dark too, and took some pics of the sunrise!!! Take a peek at my sunrise (many from the view of my skateboard swing)… and also some fun silverlake shots from @meganwest, and i’ll add more if others come in too! See what we’ve got so far on the next page…

Oooh ~ just added, some amazing pics from @Tornadoliese at the Colorado Street Bridge…

p.s. if you’re into the idea ~ maybe we should start regular sunrise/sunset rituals! It’s just a nice way to force yourself to notice the passing of time, and the beauty of each revolution of the earth…

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*notcot in nature - 1 Notes

Petite Lap Giraffes

giraffe1.jpg Petite Lap Giraffes! They have their own website!!! If you follow my silliness on twitter / Life.NOTCOT, you’ve probably noticed my post way back when i couldn’t resist screenshotting the DirecTV ad with the creepy russian and his adorable teeny tiny giraffe! Well, DirecTV, has given them their own website, complete with “giraffe cam”! Petite Lap Giraffes!!! Take a peek at some screenshots and also the two DirecTV ads on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Jumping Brain Hues in the Wild

brainy0.jpg I’ve always wanted one of Emilio Garcia’s Jumping Brains by Lapolab… remember the peek at the making-of the new Brain Hues? When i popped by The Toy Art Gallery to pick up Squadt ~ it was the Brain Hues launch day, and a few still remained… so i picked two up! Their pearlized finishes make them perfect to photograph in the sun out in the yard… So take a peek at my random little backyard photoshoot and the packaging/limited edition details!

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*rugenius in nature - 0 Notes

The Grant Museum of Zoology, London

primateskeletons.jpgOn more zoological inspiration… Justine went to explore the newly reopened Grant Museum of Zoology, and here’s what she has to share!

The Grant Museum of Zoology has always been one of my favorites. Tucked away on Gower Street (near Euston Square tube), the Grant Museum is open to the public on weekday afternoons. The eclectic zoological museum is part of University College London’s teaching collections and one of only a handful of university zoology museums.

I’d visited the museum before and was amazed by the hidden gem, packed full of spirit collections and skeletons. When they closed 8 months ago for refurbishment, I have to admit I was worried about what changes it would bring. I have a soft spot for the quirky, cluttered, Wunderkammer style it had embodied. So when I re-entered the newly refurbished museum today, I wasn’t sure what to expect; but as you can see from the photos, they’ve done a fabulous job of creating a great space that plays to the strengths of their weird and wonderful collection. Take a little tour through the fascinating collection and space on the next page!

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*rugenius in nature - 2 Notes

Balcony Blue Tits

babiesasleepday2-2.jpg We’re so in love with and inspired by nature here at NOTCOT ~ Here’s another peek into the world of our resident zoologist and editor, Justine! So amazing and adorable to see how these little birds come to be! Oooh and you can follow her on twitter now ~ @NotCritters… say hi!

With spring on its way, it’s time to get ready for the bounty to come. Here are some photos of the adorable blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) family that made their home in a nestbox on my office balcony last summer. Take a peek at their growth from eggs to fluffy teenagers on the next page!

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*rugenius in nature - 1 Notes

Baby Smooth Newts

nowwith4legs.jpg Justine has more fascinating and adorable creatures to share with us! She and i grew up surrounded and obsessed with critters big and small ~ while i found inspiration from them but went down a design path, she pursued an animal behavior/zoology phd. So, naturally, the more involved she’s been getting with NOTCOT, we can’t help but share all our passions and inspiration here! Also, just started her up on Twitter ~ follow her @NotCritters.

They may not have fur or feathers, but these little newt larvae still manage to be incredibly cute (between the big fluffy gills and four tiny little fingers and five little tiny toes, I’m smitten). These babies are Smooth or Common newts (Lissotriton vulgaris) that we raised from tiny eggs a few summers ago. See our family album, from egg to eft on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 1 Notes

Mark Brooks for Santa Monica LW

posters.jpg Beautiful minimalist posters by Mark Brooks for Santa Monica Legitimate Wear in Barcelona. My favorite is definitely the Turbulence poster above, and the Deer, Gorilla, and Giraffe aren’t exactly what you’d expect too! Mies is more takes a splattery look at the Barcelona chair… check them out on the next page!

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*rugenius in nature - 0 Notes

Baby Tapir at Bristol Zoo

babytapir1.jpg Just in from the UK ~ Justine just showed me the most adorable pictures of a baby tapir she took, and i had to share! See what she has to say below…

The Bristol Zoo just had a beautiful new baby tapir and I couldn’t resist going to meet him. I had heard about the new arrival from Zooborns and just had to see the little watermelon striped baby for myself. The Brazilian or Lowland Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List. Find out more about them at ARKive and see some of my favorite pictures (including a tapir yawn!) on the next page.

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*notcot in travel - 1 Notes

Airplant Overload in Veracruz

airplant0.jpg I was the girl sitting in the back of the old shiny black pick up staring up into the trees as we drove through Veracruz up into the coffee sanctuary… AMAZED. And constantly taking pictures of the spiky clusters covering ancient trees from trunks to tips… and upon closer inspection they are air plants! Bromeliads! Tillandsia! So this post is a special one for my mom… who somehow manages to keep my TINY air plants alive and flowering while i’m out of town, and somehow has hers flourishing and growing new bits all the time in her courtyard! And the species covering these trees are just like the ones that you will find hanging in little glass orbs, sold in lots of succulent centerpieces, and every where from trendy gift shops to nurserys… and here they are covering huge trees!

So all through the little hike in the coffee sanctuary, i was enamored by the sheer number of plants and how well they thrived, it was amazing the larger trees even stayed alive seeing how covered they were at times! And close up the tiny baby ones were SO cute. I kept imagining how they climbed their way up there… picturing those super slow time lapsed plant nature documentaries… seriously, it is mind blowing how many spiky clusters there were. And it was like EVERY tree. I guess the locals are used to it. In the little town of Coatapec where we were staying (bummed i forgot to take a pic! it was dangerous while in the middle of the street though!) i kept seeing growing tiny clusters of air plants around the middle of TELEPHONE LINES! Right in the center! Like where you’d see sneakers hanging… Anyhow! Check out some pics of them on the next page and see why i was so mesmerized ~ also take a peek at the adorable retro truck we rode around in!

p.s. if you want some, or just to estimate the amount of airplant value on one of those trees ~ Airplants4U.

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*notcot in food+drink - 1 Notes

Kahlúa Bean to Bottle Part I

coffeebean000.jpg I must admit that i was rather lacking in knowledge about how coffee comes to be. I love a nice cup of espresso, and Kahlúa Especial has always been a coffee-licious favorite to have around the house… but before today, i couldn’t have told you what a coffee tree looked like… and definitely couldn’t have identified the cherry like fruits! So when Kahlúa invited me down to Mexico to learn about the 7 year Bean to Bottle process, i couldn’t resist a Mexican adventure into the rainforest to catch up! It’s been an absolutely surreal day wandering the rainforest, learning about the coffee making process, and even learning to make tortillas during lunch up in the coffee sanctuary while looking down on coffee plants and sugar cane fields on a perfectly sunny day. SO many pictures taken, but before i crash (and early flight to mexico city in the morning!) here’s a peek at where coffee comes from… starting at the plant to the roasting… check out all the pics on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Penhaligon's Surprise Hatbox

penhal00.jpg On fun surprises today, received a lovely Penhaligon’s London Hatbox filled with goodies. Love their holiday packaging that was covered fun woodland creature inspired designs… and to take it further, check out the Penhaligon’s Olfactory Owl they had running around London! A pretty dapper looking owl, no? Peek at the unhatboxing as well as more Owl pics on the next page!

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Maximo Riera Octopus Chair

octochair1.jpg WOW. Sometimes emails come in, sound too good to be true, then you click a link, and your jaw just drops. You can barely call Maximo Riera’s Octopus Chair, a chair. It’s more like an Octopus THRONE. This chair is first of a The Animal Chairs collection, consisting of more than 15 different pieces. A true art piece, it has evolved from sketches to 3D renders to CNC’d blocks which were assembled, glued, sanded, and painted by hand. A truly impressive artistic take on where the chair meets nature… one can only imagine what it must feel like to sit in such a throne! Or as Riera says “The Octopus Chair therefore becomes a powerful intersection of complex human design integrated with nature’s splendor.” Wow. You really must see more pictures of it (and the making of) on the next page.

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*notcot in nature - 0 Notes

The Macallan's Highland Cows

coo1.jpg Remember those Highland Cows i fell in love with in Scotland? The ones i spent the most time with were Craig, Ella, Archie, and a few others that lived at The Macallan Estate! Well after a few silly facebook messages about how the cows were doing in the snow these days ~ some fun pics showed up in my inbox! Aren’t they adorable? Check out snowy Scotland as the Highland Cows (pronounced coo ~ like moo!) hang out at The Macallan on the next page. Thanks, Annabel! Totally made my day!

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*notcot in nature - 0 Notes

Gap's Project Reindeer

gapreindeer0.jpg I can’t even begin to tell you how giddy i am tonight. One, its 2am. Two, REINDEER! And there is an inexplicable joy when ad campaigns that i adore and would write about anyhow, are supporting NOTCOT! Firstly, let’s look at Project Reindeer minus the Gap involvement. There’s a page where you can watch the Reindeer Webcam, see their GPS tracked movements, watch fun Reindeer videos, and get to know a bit about each of the 8 reindeer in the herd as well as Zoologist, Josh, who focuses on North American Caribou… all the way out in Lake Crystal, MN. That alone is pretty awesome. Now, add the rather bizarre but interesting layer Gap has added on this. Each deer is assigned a specific deal (i.e. Emma = 40% off your purchase). Each day there is a new goal (i.e. Shortest Distance Within 24 hrs). Whichever reindeer reaches that goal, you get that discount the next day. See? A bit bizarre, yet strangely fascinating when you mix it all together?

So, inspired by Project Reindeer, I can’t help but wonder… who is this Zoologist Josh? How did they find him? Are they sponsoring his research? Is there an interesting public way advertising and academic/zoological research can come together? How can we further evolve mutually beneficial relationships of academic research, design inspiration, brands, and more… we’ve often mused over here at NOTCOT about finding ways to get more involved in that side of things. Then again, Justine, our NOTCOT.org editor who is also a research zoologist with a doctorate in animal behavior, coupled with our never ending fascination with nature and creative inspiration at NOTCOT… hmmmm. Much to think about! And who would have thought this late night ramble would be sparked by Gap? And Project Reindeer? Ok but back to the topic at hand ~ check out some screenshots on the next page of their fun simple page… as well as some of the absurdly amusing video bios of the various reindeer!

p.s. For full disclosure, this isn’t a sponsored post. Just something that i discovered because they are supporting NOTCOT, and was such a fun concept, i would have written about it anyhow! I guess it’s a perfect fit!

UPDATE: Project Reindeer is a Gap/AKQA project by Deep Local, the awesome post-digital shop that helps brands create remarkable experiences that bridge the online and physical worlds, who also did the awesome Saatchi LA NogPong!

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*notcot in design - 6 Notes

Richard Wilkinson's Process Gifs

double2process2-600.gif Mesmerizing isn’t it? The most amazing things come through from the CIA - just discovered this in my email from their newsletter! The beauty and simplicity of these gifs are sucking me in tonight. So so beautiful, and Richard Wilkinson basically captures his work flow in photoshop - saving them into high res animated gifs you can view on his blog! It’s as if you’re watching the image paint itself… yes, it’s nearly 3am, and you’ll see why i’ve gone quiet the last few days as i’ve been obsessively working on the giveaways and gift guides launching this week… but for now… aren’t these incredible? These beautiful illustrations were for a 5 page spread for The Telegraph Magazine’s ‘Luxury’ supplement. See a few more of my favorites and a peek at the spread on the next page…

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