This year we’re doing gift guides as we feel inspired to round up products we either have or would be extremely tempted to buy or gift. Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping online this year ended up being all about the NOTpuppy, Bucky, and i’ve been learning a ton as we shop through the world and internet to catch up on what awesome dog goodies are out there. While the roundup of rugged toys/brands have been growing here, this Dog Gift Guide is all about fun products we’re loving and wanting for Bucky! And while he is only a 10 week old Lab pup, he’s already getting pretty strong - so for this gift guide, we’re really shopping for the rugged, fun, BIG dog toys that will last… not so much cutesiness, clothes, or things that accessorize your dog like they are an accessory. Ready to dive in to the goodness? Head to the next page!
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From kickstarter to my mail box! My Seed Money by Leafcutter Designs just showed up today, and they are even cuter than expected. Lovely attention to detail with the packaging and coin faces. Basically, they had custom pressed paper filled with seeds, then letterpressed and cut out as coins! So you can tip with them, share them with friends, pop them in pots and poof! Plants!
As they describe it, “Seed Money looks like the real thing - pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters - but is far more valuable. Use it to solicit surprise and smiles from friends and strangers alike, and then tuck these paper coins in soil to grow colorful flowers and delicious vegetables. It’s tender for tending! Seed Money is hand-illustrated and letterpress printed in Nebraska on thick custom papers embedded with seeds. Available in rolls for sharing and spreading the wealth, these lightweight, whimsical - and practical - coins will slide easily into a purse or pocket.”
As for what grows from them - Pennies: Mix of wildflowers including Black-Eyed Susan, Spurred Snapdragon, Shirley Poppy, White Tarrow, and Sweet Alyssum. Nickels: Herbs including oregano, dill, parsley, basil, chive, thyme, and sage Dimes: Root crops including carrot, parsnip, and turnip. Quarters: Salad greens including bibb, Black Simpson, Salad Bowl Red, radicchio, and endive. And the special Buffalo Nickels: Bee Balm (aka Lemon Mint).
See all the fun details (including some “special” pennies) on the next page!
The last thing i expected for Black Friday, was to be curled up on the couch sipping a “Southern Fried Cocktail” while Bucky, the NOTpuppy, lay at my feet chew/squeaking a chicken leg dog toy. But here we are - and it’s amusingly delicious and bizarre!
Backtracking a bit - if you remember April Fool’s earlier this year, Torani (i thought jokingly) said that if enough people wanted a Chicken ‘n Waffles flavored syrup, they would “make it real”… and they DID! A bottle of it just arrived today along with waffle mix, a dog toy chicken leg (clearly sending fried chicken would be too crazy), and recipes! I must say the smell is unique - the flavor is powerful - and it tastes better than expected mixed with bourbon and root beer… though i would suggest going a little lighter than suggested on the Torani Chicken ‘N Waffles Syrup. Take a peek at the fun bundle on the next page - as well as Bucky enjoying the chicken leg!
P.S. if you’re looking for other crazy flavors to spice things up, they also have Bacon, Pumpkin Pie, Caramel Apple, Butter Rum, Choc Chip Cookie Dough, Cupcake, Gingerbread, Red Velvet Cake, Kiwi, Toasted Marshmallow, and so much more.
Here’s the latest from our resident zoologist and London based editor, Justine Aw.
We spotted these gorgeous new Gap holiday window and store displays featuring elegant wooden animal silhouettes entirely by chance. They caught my eye as we passed and I immediately recognized them as giant versions of the figures I adore from the Kingom Animalia series by Brooklyn-based Enormous Champion and was thrilled when they confirmed our suspicions via twitter. I’ve always loved their work (particularly the Kingdom Animalia series) and the giant versions in store are stunning and continue throughout the children’s section, where they work perfectly (though I confess, I was mentally rearranging furniture to figure out where to fit a moose!).
The theme for Gap’s holiday windows this year is ‘Be bright’, highlighting the unexpected use of color and the Kingdom Animalia figures with their brightly colored edges helped inspire the campaign! Jason of Enormous Champion tells us: “The creative team at Gap is familiar with the wood animals from my Kingdom Animalia line and thought they’d be a perfect fit for their windows and in-store holiday presentation for babyGap and GapKids. I partnered with them to create life-size Kingdom Animalia, adding pops of neon color that relate back to the overall holiday design for Gap.”
The window displays include 4 woodland creatures (moose, deer, fox & squirrel) as well as trees and other designs. Though we spotted the windows in London, we hear they’ve since made it to stores in the US too, so keep your eyes out for these beautiful wooden woodland creatures! See more pictures of the details on the next page!
p.s. We haven’t spotted them in the US yet, have you? And what happens to these awesome creatures after the holidays end? We want to bring some home!!!
Oooooh - file this one on the “why haven’t we had more of these?” list! W+K Studio’s Goodness has a brilliant 2013 letterpressed calendar of COASTERS! With designs by Ben Guernsey, Chris Lael Larson, Curtis Pachunka, Dani Guralnick, Erik Blad, Jason Murray, Kristen Minarik, Mike Weihs, Nicole Blauw, Paul Levy, Peter Yue, Sarah Hollowood and Brad Simon. Printed by Chelsea Guidry… this limited run of 100 calendars contains 12 coasters each filled with art on one side and month info on the other, making it useful far beyond it’s month. I hope they make this one a new tradition - i never seem to have enough gorgeous letterpressed coasters around the house (and they age so nicely!) See more pictures on the next page of the art and details!
Remember when we showed you our first pack of AJ’s Original Toy Boarders? Think little green army men - only skaters? Well he’s back with Toy Boarders Series 2!!! And this time there’s even a girl cruising along… and a filmer with video camera… as well as a Bomber, Front Lipslide, Backside Boardslide, Switch, 50/50m and Tailgrab. For 5$ a pack of 24… these are perfect for stocking stuffers or even decorating cupcakes!Take a peek at everything in the new series on the next page up close!
p.s. This is also a sneak preview of one of the goodies you can win during the annual NOTCOT Holiday Giveaways starting black friday! Stellar line up this year!!!
Duncan Shotton has taken my breathe away - again. Remember the adorable little Revive: Denzel i shot on the bentley last year? Well a magical package just arrived from Tokyo! Duncan (while at the Fab Cafe - the tokyo cafe with a laser cutter we had on NOTCOT.org #46688) designed and laser cut the most incredible magnetic camera shaped gift box (a one of a kind) for NOTCOT containing his Cloud Key Holder… and even the details in the corrugated cardboard box exterior and the structure keeping the camera well protected are all laser cut. Stunning attention to detail housing a fun magnetic key holder! You have to see all the details on the next page!
Oakley does lots of customs - from sunglasses and googles, cases, watches, and even backpacks! One of the latest customizations are their classic frogskin sunglasses - I love how subtly you can customize them with a tiny etching on the lens (like where you normally see polarized or a brand name). Oakley offered me a pair to try out their customizer so here’s a peek at the NOTCOT Oakley Custom Frogskins - I went with a polished clear frame, black iridium polarized lens, and NOTCOT etched in the lens… so easy and pretty fast, take a peek at the details on the next page!
Phew* what a few days it has been! On Tuesday, we added a new addition to our NOTCOT family - Bucky (short for Buckminster, naturally) the 8 week old black labrador retriever puppy! (My first puppy!) This awesome little guy is a ball of non stop energy, and we’ve been lucky that he’s magically house broken, sleeping through the night, and great with other people, dogs, machines and more… but it also means he learns crazy fast, can get sneaky, and can’t get enough play time sprinting throughout the house and yard when not sleeping or eating! It has also become clear that this little guy is going to get HUGE! And since Shawn has a big, older, 120 pound lab back home in TN - i’ve been getting caught up on what toys will and will not stand up to the hardcore, persistent chewing of a lab in full force…
So we’re starting Bucky off right - and trying to find the most fun, chew-proof toys that will last (besides the usuals we already have at home that he’s loving - tennis balls, hockey sticks, etc) - and aren’t too hard on the eyes (it’s been mind numbing seeing how much terrible stuff there is out there - both in aesthetics and quality!)… On the next page you can see some of the things we’ve bought, as well as some i’m curious about…
P.S. Do you have a dog? What are his/her favorite toys that have been exciting and lasted well?
On fun discoveries over at Designercon today - there are some fun cards from The Birds & The Beasts. I love this Telekinesis Congrats card - and the adorable die cut I’m Sorry card on the next page. Apparently - “The Birds and the Beasts is a collaborative effort between illustrator/designer/toy collector Christopher Lee and writer /impulse baker/blog junkie Kristine Songco. When we’re not busy making cartoons (Kristine), drawing monsters (Chris), playing with our dog (both), or cleaning up Kristine’s messes (Chris [duh]), we make cards for all you lovely people!” Take a peek at my favorites on the next page!
Incase just launched their new EO Travel Collection of carry-ons and it’s gorgeously functional! They aren’t kidding when they say it was designed for the “evolving traveler who relies on personal technology for business, pleasure and inspiration. Each EO Travel bag combines smart organization and dependable protection to make the travel experience easier, safer and more efficient.” I’m forever on my quest to perfect my carry-on packing and optimaize getting through security with each technology upgrade in my usual arsenal… the thoughtfulness of the details in the bags is enticing. I’ve been dying for an international sized polycarb roller that allows an easy unzip section to go through the scanner without needing to take the laptop out! (Also love that the hard shell roller expands!) And the duffel has an easy access, outside padded pocket ready for your 15” mbp.
Not having seen them in person yet, my two picks are definitely the hard shell roller and duffel. The flat polycarb of the hard shell seems to scream out for customization (so if you end up in the situation where everyone has one too…) you can easily sticker bomb it… or perhaps laser engrave on it? So many possibilities. Also love that the duffel is simple enough on the outside, you don’t scream “There’s a laptop in here” while traveling… Take a peek at the details and videos on the next page!
Just in over at DWR is the Vitra Toolbox by Arik Levy! Too cute - wandering over to Vitra, i found even cuter pictures (and more colors) of the super simple, functional, injection molded plastic tool box/desk organizer… I think we need some of these in NOTlabs to get all the hacked apart electronics and knives and tools and more organized (and easy to move from desk to desk!) - see more pics on the next page!
They’re here!!! For those following on twitter/instagram, you’ve been seeing peeks of NOTlabs turning into a laser cutting puzzle factory… cutting 50 limited edition Chris Yates Studios’ Bafflers in the first CLEAR editions! The first 25 will be kept in “Total Clarity” and the second 25 will be hand painted on both sides for the “First Frost” versions… with his signature hand sprayed paint splatter (only in a translucent and opaque mix this time!) on both sides, each “First Frost” will be truly unique.
If you’re unfamiliar with Chris Yates’ puzzles, the name “Bafflers” makes complete sense as soon as you dump the pieces out and start to try to reassemble. Each and every insane (sometimes multilayer) puzzle is hand cut out of wood on a scroll saw, hand painted, and “made to last generations”… they are truly maddening works of art. (See his traditional creation process here.) Turning these into clear acrylic has in no way made his Bafflers any easier… having accidentally dumped out the clear puzzle while first working on the prototype, it certainly took a bit of time (but not TOO much) to get it back together… and perhaps the most mind twisting part of cutting the batch of 50 has been transferring the cut pieces from the laser bed to the stacks of finished puzzles, and every time they come apart slightly, if a piece flips over, etc., it takes a few to piece them all back together! We’ve cut and inspected each and every puzzle, and are so excited to help Chris bring these “Aperture” limited edition clear Bafflers into the world! Take a peek at more details and a peek at the making of on the next page!
We’ve been tracking shipping container architecture for years now, and it has become more prevalent than ever… you can even get doll house versions now! These Model Container Homes at Module R are such detailed examples of designer modern living down to the art, tvs, plants, furniture and more! See more details on the next page!
Going through pictures from London Design Week, concrete was definitely a stand out trend. There were the hungarian Ivanka Flaster Concrete Tiles, street art, Gray Concrete Duckies… and here are 22 Design Studio concrete goods ~ from rings and earrings to pens and clocks and even watches! Take a peek on the next page!
Adorable! Papafoxtrot Space Fleet! With gorgeous packaging too! Designed for Papafoxtrot by Postlerferguson - “We have selected the 5 most iconic unmanned spacecraft circling the earth and transformed them into Papafoxtrot`s iconic design language which we developed with our series of wooden cargo vessels a year ago. From an interplanetary garbage collection to a future commercial spacebus to Mars these amazing machines are making the world go round day and night. The satellites are made out of maple as well as laser etched stainless steel parts with polished natural wood, matte white and glossy red finish.” Take a peek at Spektr-R, GEOTAIL, Cygnus, Dragon, and ORS-1 on the next page…
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On fun and unexpected surprises, a Reebok FitList Box just arrived in the mail! For the launch of the Reebok FitList App on Spotify, the folks at DeepLocal created limited edition sneaker cases containing portable stereo speakers and sound reactive LED lights that glow in reaction to music, ambient sound, and even touch. (It’s oddly mesmerizing to tap the case and watch it light up and fade!) Most impressive is the fun video they created with athletes working out alongside a wall of these LED shoe boxes, and as they jump and run and work out. They’ve created 100 limited edition Reebok FitList boxes holding a pair of RealFlex Transition 2.0 shoes featuring an exclusive colorway (black with red soles!) just for the occasion. See the video, making of, and a peek inside the actual Reebok FitList Box and what powers it on the next page!
On amazing show previews that came through my inbox ~ i can’t stop staring at these animals stuck in boxes from Jeremy Fish’s latest mini show, Wild Kingdom at Rotofugi! They are amazing! And the totem pole like prints are also quite fun! Take a peek at my favorites on the next page!
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At NOTCOT, we often approach fashion no differently from anything else we write about ~ it’s all about great design and/or art/technology angles… we love beautifully intentional minimalism with incredible materials and added functionality that takes it over the top… So for this post, i had fun digging into our archives and beyond to round up some fun fashion that has a little extra something going on that you probably don’t expect at first glance! From the sleek jacket that will turn into a pouch (and pop up wrinkle-free in moments) to the tarp/blanket/jacket to the men’s dress jacket with secret reflective bits for biking in, to a sports bra that can monitor your heart rate and more! See it all on the next page…
You just have to try some things in person. I never thought the idea of a classic eames lounger molded in plastic would be as fun as it is in real life… There’s something about a certain type of molded plastic seating that will always remind me of little tikes. Rugged enough to take what a little kid can throw at it ~ easy enough to clean (aka pressure wash off) when left outdoors.
Here’s the Mal 1956 Lounger - “The 1956 is the first product of Mal, a young Eindhoven(NL) based label by Bob Copray and Niels Wildenberg. The Mal 1956 is a plastic (PE), rotational molded product, which is extremely suited for outdoor use. The chair has an ergonomic design. It is solid but it is very comfortable. It has been designed with a subtle drainage system to prevent stagnant water from collecting in the seat. The Mal 1956 can be cleaned using water along with common household cleaning products.” As described in the NYTimes - “Coyly called Mal 1956 — “mal” is the Dutch word for “mold,” and it also means “silly,” Mr. Wildenberg said — the chair and accompanying ottoman are made of polyethylene powder that has been heated and rotated in an aluminum mold.”
I must admit, i’m tempted. It could be far too fun to sit and spin around in it in the backyard! The pictures on the next page pretty much speak for themselves ~ see some fun press images and pics from Superbrands London!
It felt a bit silly when i experienced some de ja vu when i ran into the Ivanka Concrete Design booth at Tent London… drawn in by the colorful cement tiles with shapes and patterns that reminded me of a mix of french and morrocan tiles… the large, interactive, push button, converted TV of a display to play with patterns, and their adorable mini cement tile magnets they were giving out… All promoting their Flaster! “Flaster is a concrete floor and wall covering fostered from a traditional motive. Made from fiber reinforced high performance IVANKA concrete, these tiles are available both for exterior and interior usage. Flaster comes in three different thicknesses, therefore it can be applied for floors, walls or for heavy traffic.” Looking at the catalog ~ i realized i had just stumbled across their concrete tiles at Liberty of London the day before! Beautifully juxtaposed inlayed in the old wooden floors… take a peek at all the details on the next page!
The Danish designers of By Nord create stunning products “inspired by the diversity of the raw yet beautiful Nordic nature”. Their products are minimalist, yet capture the incredible detail of their subjects. By Nord’s new Autumn/Winter ‘12 line includes gorgeous new line of bedding, including king and queen sized duvet covers and a pretty line of bone china ornaments for Christmas including polar bears, reindeer and penguins!(yes, we know it’s only September, but they’re beautiful!). More photos of the new line (and a few old favorites) on the next page!
While exploring Tent London today ~ we were instantly smitten with Budapest designer, Molnár Réka’s Moringa line of fun nature inspired kitchen goods. First drawn in by the adorable Fox Tea Towel, which actually makes use of the way a tea towel naturally hangs… and then won over by the color changing mugs!!! The Mushrooms grow and the rain drops disappear when you add a hot drink! And the leaves and bushes disappear to reveal birds and bunnies and more!
Since we unfortunately couldn’t see these mugs in action while at the fair - we had to buy them and bring them home! And they are so amusingly magical in person, we made some videos (to go with the many other detail shots and booth shots!) for you to check out on the next page!
On fun an unexpected things to do with vintage golf clubs… i encountered the Rag and Bone Man at Tent London, turning them into hangers! Not much else to say here… but i was fascinated! Check out more pictures on the next page, including the “before” shot!
While at Selfridges early this week, we encountered these stunning limited edition Gordon’s Gin Ten Green Bottles designed by Conran ~ there will be 1 million bottles, available throughout the UK from October at the standard retail price and an additional 200 special edition bottles, presented in hand-stitched fabric wraps and presentation boxes along with an A3 print available exclusively at Selfridges. Then tonight, we found ourselves at the Conran Shop’s “village fête” of a celebration party for the collaboration - complete with a look behind the designs, fun silly games and activities set up throughout the store, and Gordon’s Gin cocktails of course! It’s fun to see that each of the 10 patterns (some more sneakily than others) incorporates it’s number into the design… take a peek on the next page at the event, the bottles, the inspiration… and more!