Crate and Barrel Taka Trunk - when i saw this over at Uncrate - all i could think was Pirate. Bar. Coffee Table! It has those great woody hinges, hides your loot, and even when open provides table space on the sides... Talk about the last place your guests would expect to find your bar... See more pics on the next page!
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Change The Thought posters ~ aren't they beautiful? Beautifully inspiring? I couldn't decide which ones of these 4 to show as the main image, so decided to post them all - close ups on the next page... although as i stare at these more and more, i think i'm most smitten by the "Sunshine" and the "One day we'll show them why the world made us."!
Skip Hop's new Baby Log comes with an "Illminated Time Capsule" ~ and with a name like that, what tech loving new dad wouldn't want one to play with? With 4 leds, the time capsule creates a gentle glow, helps parents keep track of the time for every entry no matter how little sleep they are on, and even has a timer for monitoring nap/feeding times... and its tucked away in a canvas covered binder... so as techy as it seems on the inside, it still fits in and looks traditional on the outside. It is a 6-month book to track everything from feedings, changings, doctors visits, gifts and more... and at $39, this one is definitely going on my gifts for new parents lists! And as your child gets older, i'm sure the time capsule will prove useful in new situations as well! See more close up 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!
"RVL7 - "REVEL SEVEN". Revel means "to celebrate" - the 7 comes from "24/7". RVL7 has been created to celebrate living a sustainable lifestyle 24/7."
Discovered RVL7 in the Eco-Lands of Outsde Lands - amongst the standard white tents, it was refreshing to see this pre-fab woody oasis of a t-shirt bar filled with stickers, buttons, and gorgeous graphic organic tees... see the pictures on the next page to see some of my favorite designs, and the experience within!
Unfortunately the RVL7 site doesn't have a store, gallery, etc etc etc up yet, but hopefully coming soon!
Super Soaker "the original high performance blaster" Bottle Shot!!! Finally a fabulous upcycling use for all those empty water bottles you have, but are not supposed to have anymore. I am now up in SF (just drove up yesterday, hence the digital silence), and on the way up stopped by a target in the middle of nearly no where when i got tired... and couldn't resist this 5$ Super Soaker Bottle Shot! You can attach any bottle to it up to 2 liters (i'm dying to go find a gorgeous 2 liter bottle to try). Awesome thing, great water pressure (just used it to wash linhchi's windows while hanging out of them, and some hipsters totally stopped and watched which was awkward once i noticed) - shoots up to 20 ft, but we have yet to measure that... and unfortunately it doesn't pressure up like the old super soakers, so when you pump, it shoots! The only downfall is it is a little leaky around the pump - i tried to take it apart, but its 5$, plastic, and seems to be glued together... so we might hack it up.
On random ideas... why are there no designer water guns? We should have a competition, or just a friendly water gun design themed week/month/etc ~ i bet even modding some super soakers, we could make some incredible things... that lead to a designer water fight? Anyhow, i digress, see the pics of the awesome little water gun that can be expanded to have so much ammo on the next page!
Preprinted mini color booklets of 20 cards by Shinebox ~ filled with monsters saying all the grumbly things you wish you could, or know you shouldnt... Unmentionables! Spotted over at Swiss Miss, these little guys are quite adorably grumpy, and i couldn't decide my favorite, so see them all on the next page!
SETCAST is a new gorgeous bone china collection from London architects, voonwong&bensonsaw. "The SETCAST collection is the result of a close collaboration between voonwong&bensonsaw and one of China's most distinguished manufacturers of bone china, Asianera, based in Tangshan, the porcelain capital of northern China. Together, the companies have developed a collection that makes the best use of bone china's excellent light-reflective properties and also moves away from traditional decorative tableware to focus on striking new typologies that make a bold statement."
My favorite part of the collection is definitely these Molecule Dishes ~ in Large ($90), Medium ($75), and Small ($65) available at Merchant4~ they are extremely affordable, and the simple clean packaging would make them great gifts for almost any occasion! See more images of the full collection as well as a peek at the factory (which is going GREEN in 2009!) on the next page...
I was just floored when I saw WASARA over on Swissmiss' blog. WASARA is a line of the prettiest disposable paper tableware that you've ever seen - I would throw a party just so I could use these. It's not just paper plates either, it's bowls, mugs, sushi plates, serving platters...With the desire to be as sustainable as possible, WASARA is made from reed pulp and bagasse (sugarcane waste).
From WASARA's website: "Underlying the concept of WASARA is the legacy of Japanese aesthetic and value sense. Japan has a tradition of good manufacturing backed by excellent skills and techniques, one of the most refined food cultures in the world, and a spirit of hospitality and courtesy. These are essential for days of spiritual fulfillment. While a WASARA is a paper dish good for one-time use, we would like it to represent those quintessences of our tradition."
WASARA will be available for purchase at the end of August 2008.
NOTCOT Note: This is the seventh in my series of Ultimate Accessories posts which have been sponsored by the new Infiniti G Sedan! As with any sponsored content ~ these posts are done - my way - my product choices, my content, and they help me keep doing what i love!
The summer is still going strong, and the weather has been absolutely amazing, i love the warm summer night sitting outside listening to nature all around you, watching the stars, as a bat buzzes by your head... so anyhow, writing a series of ultimate accessories wouldn't be complete without a perfect bikini and coverup ~ so my latest lust object is this refreshingly green Missoni Columbia Halter Bikini and the Missoni Corinto Silk Kaftan. Now if only someone would gift me the set with a big floppy beach hat, some fun sunglasses - and i'd grab my kindle and be off to lay outside and get some good afk time!
"Garden's dwarfs are back, but with a brand new role: "guard dwarfs". With an attitude that could hardly be defined as friendly, they shine thanks to the luminescent resin with which they are produced. Absorbing the light for a few moments they release it along the night, becoming small presences in the dark."
See more pics on the next page!
While at Comic-con i finally got to take a peek at the FULL set of Friends With You's Wish Come True blindbox toys by StrangeCo... and i've been secretly wishing for the adorable red mushroom looking guy that was one of the mystery colorways! Anyhow, i was at Royal T in culver city today, and noticed the red guy as one of the open samples and had to have him... there is something so mesmerizing about rocking it in your hand as it refuses to fall over and emits this subtle chime like sound... (see the video on the next page to know what i mean)... i also decided to take a new approach on the unboxing of these guys... ripped the box open and scanned in the details so you can see all the graphic design that's so fun both on the exterior and interior of it! So go see the pics and vid on the next page!
Candela was acquired by Oxo, and seeing these new Flare lights as rechargeable ambient lighting to replace/accompany candles, i couldn't resist. While i've always loved Candela's playful kids slug looking lights and the taller lights, i never knew what i'd really do with them. But in the new products since Candela met Oxo, you can immediately see the more mature, versatile, hyperfunctional designs which have emerged around the same technology. The Flare, DemiGlow, and Luau (how fun would it be to run around in the woods with that lantern?) are a gorgeous addition to their family of products, and the Flare look so perfect for everywhere from dinner on the patio to lining around your pool... i finally ordered some... so on the next page see a full unboxing, including an upclose look at what's in the box, how the lights are put together, and how they light a hallway.
One thing that blew me away on the user experience of the design... these lights run on rechargeable Ni-Cd batteries (which are replaceable), and they are charged by simply playing them on their base, which also doubles as a carrying tray. The lights also have adorable on and off buttons on the base. What i love is that - regardless of whether the light is on, when you place it on the base it goes off... as soon as you lift it from the base it lights up. And silly as it sounds, there is something magical about that interaction. Likewise, if there is a power outage, or you unplug the base to carry the tray, they will all light up. View the unboxing on the next page, and view the full selection of Oxo Candela Lights!
Adorably evil ~ with its perfectly balanced archnemesis... Love this new little -Minus from Lab81, with his devious eyes, tiny side slanted horns, and batwings... and his positive counterpart is +Plus, who has that innocent wide-eyed look, tiny halo, and angelic wings. See more images of these adorable toys, their gold versions, and the incredibly lit window display on the next page!
Babies everywhere! Or i'm apparently reaching that age where i have found myself constantly baby shopping for friends suddenly... So is it any surprise that Jill Fehrenbacher, of Inhabitat, in the midst of her pregnancy has launched Inhabitots, the latest addition to the Inhabitat family? Also, the new logo for the calm blue site is an adorable Owl with child! While many of the products there are right up our alley (and have shown up on NOTCOT previously) ~ they are eco-friendly, clean and modern... and my latest discovery on Inhabitots to add to the backup list for new-parent shopping is what is a bit scarily called "Teething Bling" by Smart Mom Jewelry. If you pick the subtler hues, its not a bad necklace/bangle, and the nice thing is, it's completely safe for your child to teeth on, and saves your usual jewelry from the nibble marks. My only worry is... will this help condition your baby to think its ok to chew on jewelry in the long run?
NOTCOT Note: This is the sixth in my series of Ultimate Accessories posts which have been sponsored by the new Infiniti G Sedan! As with any sponsored content ~ these posts are done - my way - my product choices, my content, and they help me keep doing what i love!
I was impressed to see Globe-Trotter partner with J. Crew for an exclusive line of vintage inspired luggage, the Centenary Collection... and the black collection had me swooning... and now they even have a Centenary Ivory color option that is nice and fresh and expected to ship Aug 20th!
Our favorite felt/leather technology carriers, Working Class Heroes, has evolved and is now known as Hard Graft. And honestly, nothing has changed, other than their moniker, and the quality and designs are, if anything, better than ever! So i've got an exclusive sneak peak for you of the latest line (and quite possibly my favorite yet)... here's
The Dapper Collection!
I've always loved their leather pockets on felt, which my original laptop sleeve from them had, and now they've brought the motif back as the signature feature in
The Dapper Collection. Also, they've mastered the Kindle case (see pics of a prototype i've been playing with on the next page), and it has a pocket which perfectly fits the iPhone. Honestly, its the perfect little bundle to grab when you're off to read in the park or at the beach. They've also got an adorable iPhone case, which has a pocket for some cash/cards... and a revival of the laptop wallet with top buttons and a new larger pocket also perfect for iPhones! So check out more pics on the next page, and see the full collection for purchase at Hard Graft!
Leatherman is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the Argentum Collection ~ an incredible (and pricey) line of limited edition hand-crafted leathermans by world-renowned artist and silversmith Adrian Pallarols. There are 7 pieces in the collection, and The Charge Dorado is $40,000, the Charge Acanto $12,000... and they work their way down to a mere $240 for a little Squirt Lagrima de Luna. See more close ups on the next page, as well as pics of sketches, more info on the artist, and you've got to see the video at the Argentum Collection page.
chats with a few friends and fellow leatherman loyals... and we all agree so far, we're not completely sure what the appeal is, but i'm rather fascinated by the juxtaposition of the perfectly engineered with the artisan, 7th generation, craftsman combination... and i do kind of want the Acanto, if only it was a Wave?
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!
Shit Happens. Dog Poo Bags by Junge Schactel, the design duo, Nina Dautzenberg and Andrea Gadesmann. How cute is their studio puppy, Cuno? And don't these bags just make you wish extremely talented packaging, branding, graphic, experience designers made everything in your world? See more pics below ~ and i'm also totally in love with the branding of Junge Schactel with their pull strip, packaging opening branding that is on their flash, portfolios, and even physically on their business cards!
NOTCOT Note: This is the fifth in my series of Ultimate Accessories posts which have been sponsored by the new Infiniti G Sedan! As with any sponsored content ~ these posts are done - my way - my product choices, my content, and they help me keep doing what i love!
On ultimate accessories, one of the more interesting ways to bring some green into your home is definitely in the form of terrariums (especially over cut flowers!). And your terrariums can be filled with anything from cacti or venus fly traps to flowers or bonsai... one of my favorite designs which manage to be both minimal and somewhat traditional, yet so organic and fluid feeling is definitely the blown glass terrariums of Esque at A+R. As described on the site - "Esque Design in Portland: Justin Parker and Andi Kovel blow recycled glass into purposeful sculptures that are as elegant as they are otherworldly. Case in point: These crystal-clear balloon terrariums, which frame your favorite succulents, flowers or other life into a world of their own."
So, for those of you who follow my twitter or facebook ~ you already know i ran away to San Diego. It's been far too long since i've been back in these parts, and i'd forgotten how much i missed it! So, spent yesterday popping by all my old houses/apartments/neighborhoods/etc, getting a burrito, and hiding out in little italy. Anyhow, we just popped by comic-con today for a few hours, and it's absolute insanity, massive crowds, yet everyone is so nice, and they keep things flowing so well. Also - SO giddy to see the toys i've been lusting after... in person! And super nice to meet up with a bunch of the comics and toy guys in person as well, of course. So here's a mad roundup to show you some of my favorites, click the pic to see the full gallery of my images running around the convention floor... and now i think i'm off to the zoo.
While dropping something off for Andy at A+R in venice, i popped next door to Vert, the "high end luxury retail store specializing in all natural, eco-friendly products" primarily focused on health and beauty. While there, i was drawn to the packaging of the Ayurvedic line, Pratima.
As they showed me each and every product, and explained the process of the products, i was as much intrigued by the experience of each product (from smells to textures) as the packaging and background. Completely natural, ingredients from india, the only spa/clinic in Soho, and Vert is the only one carrying the line outside of the Pratima Spa. The line is also surprisingly affordable. The facial cleansers start out in a sandy, powder which you mix with water. For moisture, you mix a few drops of the liposomes with a few drops of the essential oils and massage it into your skin. Additionally they also have masks, oils for various treatments, body oils, creams, and more. The Anti-Stress Aroma Oil is already doing wonders for my workaholic day! Take a look at the next page for more pics of the packaging and display, as well as some background on Dr. Pratima Raichur, and a peek at Vert!
NOTCOT Note: This is the fourth in my series of Ultimate Accessories posts which have been sponsored by the new Infiniti G Sedan! As with any sponsored content ~ these posts are done - my way - my product choices, my content, and they help me keep doing what i love!
When picking some of the "Ultimate Accessories" for these posts, Geneva Sound systems always pop to mind, maybe it's because i've been so tempted, but between moving and traveling quite a bit, i've had trouble committing to the pricetag for these gorgeous (and awesome sound quality!) audio systems! Ok, let's be honest, that glossy lacquered finish in the red, white, or black are far too appealing ~ and when on the floor stand, just perched so perfectly, who can ignore it in a room? Details not to miss: the cd slot, is just that - a slot in the top of the system. The hidden red LED display that shows your settings, etc from behind the speaker.... when you're ipod isn't docked, everything is hidden under a panel on the top. I've toyed with buying one of these for YEARS now... and now, to further tempt me, they debuted a prototype of the perfect black glossy tv stand/shelf with built in sound system... its gorgeous, more pics on the next page.