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!
Entries tagged with: nature
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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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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…
NOTCOT’s Favorite Places ~ here’s a new series of posts sharing some of my favorite places in (and around!) Los Angeles! This content series is brought to you by the All-New 2011 Kia Sportage. Welcome to the Next Level.
Have you heard? LA weather has been pretty heinous lately ~ gloomy grey raininess is upon us! So sad, since some of the favorite spots i wanted to show you are definitely more fun outside! So here’s one to mix it up a little ~ though an LA native, and having ended up back here ~ i spent quite a few years on and off living in San Diego! And being a mere 2 hours away, and loving a good drive to clear my head, one of my favorite things to do while in LA, is just pop down, sometimes for a few days, sometimes just for a day trip! And inevitably hit up a few nostalgic spots… this saturday, i popped down to get some much craved Carne Asada Fries (though apparently sometimes referred to as Mexican Poutine as i just found out ~ though they are far better!) from Cotixans… and checking out the harbor seals that haul out at Casa Beach in La Jolla. There is something so incredibly blissed out about the way the pups look when sleeping! So this favorites post is dedicated to some nostalgic comfort food and a dash of nature… it’s also just so calming to be on the edge of the sea as it crashes into the rocks and beach as tide comes in… See awesome pics of seals and fries that Tasteologie editor, Jackson, took on the next page!
Happy 10th Anniversary, Prius! As you saw in my “day in my life through pics” post of the 8 hour event yesterday Prius threw in Malibu’s Wright Organic Resource Center… the Outstanding In The Field dinner was an incredible site to behold ~ not to mention feast to enjoy! So as promised, here’s a closer look at the meal itself ~ from preparation to table design to the fun of the dinner itself! And of course… more looks at the dinner from afar as the sun set… it was just bubbling with everyone’s excited energy and conversation! Not to mention the wine that kept flowing courtesy of Whole Foods too! (Though half the group probably couldn’t drink, needing to navigate the way out of the twisty s-curves of the canyon!) So take a look at our Prius 10th Anniversary Outstanding In The Field dinner on the next page! Bon Appetit!
10.10.10 was the perfect day to celebrate 10 Years of Prius! Hosted by Toyota, along with Shift.com, WIRED Magazine, Outstanding In The Field, and Reverb ~ up on the Wright Organic Resource Center in the hills of Malibu, home of grandson of Frank Lloyd Wright, Eric Lloyd Wright - architect and founder of the center. Firstly, there couldn’t be a more stunning Los Angeles day ~ sun beaming, clear skies, and the s-curves up to the house were stunning… and at the center, being surrounded by mountains and the whole of Santa Monica bay to look down on… they set up a series of sustainability workshops, live music, talks, and the coup d’etat ~ a special Outstanding in the Field dinner (remember i wrote about them recently?) As you can imagine, with such a stunning celebration underway, i ended up with hundreds of pictures, all of which could easily become many a post… or one huge epic one… so here’s the plan. On the next page ~ check out the pictures for an overview ~ think of it as a day in the life… walking through 2-10pm with me! And i’ll have more to show you on the stunning Outstanding in the Field dinner HERE! Absolutely incredible day, so nice to have a beautiful day outside surrounded by the sea, the mountains, music, food, drink, tech, and great people ~ coming together to celebrate 10 years of the Prius! SO! If you’re ready… check it out on the next page!
Amazing Operation Window Seat pics from Justine and Charles just in! SO jealous i wasn’t there to see the view, it looks stunning! Honestly, this all makes me wonder if we have too much tech going on IN our planes sometime ~ there’s something about looking down at the teeny tiny world from this perspective that really makes you see life and existence in a whole new light… also the fractal nature of how incredible things look from afar and as you zoom in closer is just mind blowing ~ here’s what Justine has to say: “For the latest installment of Operation Window Seat, we bring you highlights of an incredible daytime flight from Singapore to London Heathrow. Here are a few shots from the journey which started by crossing the Bay of Bengal, offering views of stunning coastline and winding tributaries, and included passage over desert mountains in Afghanistan and Turkmenistan and incredible arrangements of fields across eastern Poland before finally bringing us home to London.” Really, really stunning landscapes, take a peek at the pictures on the next page!
Update! Hi. So here’s the deal ~ its 2:30am in scotland ~ i’m with The Macallan exploring their distillery and estate for a few days, and there’s SO much incredible stuff i took pics of and got super excited about today ~ but i’m supposed to be up in a few mere hours for another full day! SO, not being able to quite organize a proper post on any of that yet ~ you can keep up on some of the craziness via twitter and also see pics coming in from my phone over at Life.NOTCOT.com…
… and for tonight? I just wanted to leave you with one of my latest happy inspiration obsessions. Highland Cows! On the next page you can see some of my various run ins with them over the last week and a half. Brown ones, white ones, black ones, light brown ones… big ones and little ones, HUGE ones on bridges in the dark, and close ups with The Macallan herd as well… they just have the most adorably shaggy coats (which keeping them warm, means they have super lean meat)… the emo-est moppy hair that flops over their eyes… and apparently they are quite docile and are some of the smartest bovines! Anyhow, i’m off to sleep, but check out the pics on the next page!
Yes, lemon seeds sometimes sprout INSIDE the humongous lemons on my lemon tree back in LA. Just got these pics from Linhchi over there of the THIRD lemon we’ve found this happen in. (Remember the first one?) This time it is even sprouting some serious roots… so i had to share the pics as i stare in amazement. We’re debating whether to plant it in the ground, or try to stick it back in the lemon to see how much further it will go… see more pics on the next page!
Update - it’s incredible! She found 3 more in the next 5 she cut ~ and they have multiple sprouts going! She is the sproutmaster.
Took a little walk down to the British School of Falconry at Gleneagles today (ok, so, i crossed the maze of hedges - seriously, like a maze for kids to play in - and the tennis courts, and was at the falconry school!) ~ and it was absolutely mesmerizing watching the birds that were out in the viewing cages! So gorgeous… there’s something incredibly inspiring about these stunning birds of prey… also, i realized they almost always look sad/angry, but do make some impressively stern expressions… and i took a ton of pics. There are Steppe Eagles, Golden Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, and Harris Hawks. Go take a peek on the next page for some falconry fun!
With a house full of people working on photoshoots this week and still unpacking and organizing the new place… here’s another post of random inspiration… popped by fred segal’s one plus minus today and ran into one of the seed bomb machines by Common Studio’s Green Aid project i wrote about over at h2o visions! Now the real question is… do they work? Ran into a slight hiccup where inserting the two quarters and spinning, nothing came out… then the store clerk put in a few more, and 2.5 bombs popped out! But they do seem to fear the mess on the carpet, and ran over with a paper bag to catch the clay remnants before they hit the ground. So, here are a few pics of the seed bombs up close and watered… now to wait and see if they sprout!
What’s more adorable than gorgeous wood animals? Gorgeous wood animals that are also BOXES! New from Areaware ~ ‘Animal Boxes’ by NY based designer Karl Zahn as part of their Fall 2010 Collection! Love that the eyes double as hinges! See pics of the whole collection on the next page…
It was absolutely breathtaking to see the Lladró Parrot Party Collection in person (They launched in January at Maison et Objet). They are spectacular, and they truly capture those moments of curiosity, intrigue, and playfulness parrots are known for… and the pairing with such modern yet simple shapes and colors, mixtures of matte and glazed glossy porcelain goodness create such fascinating contrasts. This is apparently the first collection in the Lladró Atelier concept, “a world of new experiences in porcelain under the guidance of Jaime Hayon, conceived to showcase the creative potential of the brand’s designers.” As a contrast to the usual press photos, and while i still insist these are worth seeing in person if possible ~ take a peek on the next page of how incredible i found the details and lifelike character of the Parrots!
p.s. So far when asked what my favorite thing is at ICFF ~ this is what jumps to mind!
Sandy Vohr has been making the most adorable luscious little leather bean bag creatures for the last 30 years. In fact i think i even received one of her beautiful little leather frogs as a paperweight as a kid! The site even says, “The animals are made from cowhide and deerskin, and filled with various combinations of fiberfil and beadlike materials.” When i spotted the Bunny Bookends at Barneys, i got nostalgic and ended up looking up Sandy’s site… where i discovered so many new adorable leather creatures ~ from moose to dragons, robots to octopi! See some of my favorites on the next page! Looks like she’ll even do customs!
Just finished my last dive of the trip ~ and this whole trip has definitely reinvigorated my childhood love of nudibranchs and frogfish! Frogfish have the coolest elbows ~ and the way they walk… and eat (with their signature anglerfish family style lure!)… and the variations they come in! (So fascinating, saw about a half dozen color variations this week! And soooo many nudibranchs i haven’t seen before too. So in this last installment of fun creatures from the Lebeh Strait ~ check out frogfish, nudibranchs, and more (including a super tiny baby lion fish!) on the next page!