This season Areaware is launching this series of adorable new beech wood animals by Karl Zahn (who was also behind Areaware’s animal boxes. The new selections include a set of dovetail animals as well as stackable crocodiles! Each of the dovetail animals is composed of three segments, so you can mix and match parts from the five styles: dog, llama, elephant, horse and crocodile. More photos and a video of the new wooden animals on the next page.
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It started with a random idea of making use of the plastic milk crates in NOTlabs for shelving… to wondering about wooden ones… to searching craigslist… to THIS… which lead to a random little roadtrip out to Ontario… to meet with John Mihovetz, quite the collector of found objects, architectural salvage, and repurposed home furnishings… and see the remainder of the 4,000 vintage wooden soda crates he bought in the midwest 6 months ago and has been selling off since. It seems like it was quite the find/investment!
Anyhow ~ now we have 15 amazing vintage wooden soda crates ~ Pepsi, Squirt, Crush, Dr. Pepper, 7up and more ~ and after some clean up, perhaps some awesome shelving in NOTlabs… but for now, take a peek at some of the details on the next page!
These made my day. Corkers are a design collaboration between Oded Friedland and Reddish Studio for Monkey Business are push pins that you can prick into wine/champagne corks to turn them into little creatures! The options are Monkey, Deer, Buffalo, Bear, Bunny & Crow. The packaging turns it into a fun wine bottle hang tag/gift ~ perfect for the next bottle of wine… Take a peek at more details up close on the next page.
What is it about Japanese Kit Kats that are just THAT much more delicious ~ and beautifully packaged ~ and the dark chocolatiness is amazing too… Gave in to this at the Mitsuwa last night and it was too delicious and cute not to share. It looks like you can even add your own messages on the pack of the individually wrapped pairs that are nestled within the matte/gloss mixed outer box. One if particularly twitter looking… take a peek on the next page!
Super cute concept ~ Busy Beaver Buttons (maker of NOTCOT buttons!) sent over their playful new year’s card ~ love that they give you a fill-in-the-blank button and mini sharpie! Take a peek at the details and fun beaver graphic inside the card on the next page… as well as my resolution for 2012!
It’s no surprise that many of our favorite lighting designs are heavily inspired by nature and geometric patterns. With their modular structures, many of these designs are even compact flat packed lighting systems that can be assembled easily (without tools or glue even!) by the end consumer into gorgeous large chandelier/pendant lamps. On the next page take a look at a roundup of geometric lighting we love from design classics to modern designs to futuristic living concepts!
On silly random impulse buys, these quarter/euro sized button steak thermometers were too cute. They worked just as expected, needle moving once they started to get hot… and had a perfect medium rare deliciousness for lunch. They are just adorable ~ so see a few more silly pics of them on the next page! Tempting to make new images for them with fun icons…
Perfect timing ~ the NEST thermostat just arrived today ~ a chilly LA day in need of heating… that i can control from my phones, laptop, etc. (aka from bed when i wake up and before i get to the shower?) It really is a beautiful object, with an incredibly easy and intuitive interface (spin and push to click!)… and it has gorgeous packaging as well… and the coolest little screwdriver you didn’t even know you needed! While you can see tons more about the ins and outs of NEST on their site ~ the unboxing and installation was too fun not to share… so many details to see! So head to the next page and see the rest…
p.s. should be no surprise that the UI is by Mike Matas (who we’ve been following since icons/delicious library/apple/etc) and ID by Bould Design (of roku and a lot of the logitech squeezebox goodness)…
So, you’ve seen the AMAZING video of the dutchman in the woods introducing Cubelets (if not, you must). Well, i finally had a date with Modular Robotics Cubelets ~ and got to explore and create with them over beers and bruschetta while at CES. Fun part? Building autonomous robots that can drive themselves, run away from me, run to me, spin lights around, and beep away… all while navigating around the place settings and deliciousness. There’s something undeniably satisfying about the way the magnetic blocks snap together and just start DOING things! And their natural ability to pique the curiosity of people of any age to just get lost exploring the possibilities… truth is, you definitely need a table full to properly explore the overwhelming amount of options… and i love that it feels like true object oriented programming ~ in that you literally connect blocks that have various functions… like the light sensor block to the inverse block to the flashlight block and add a battery block and things just start happening!
Anyhow, these fun robotic cubes have been getting written up everywhere ~ but are you ready to take a peek INSIDE? When popping by the booth the next day, the Modular Robotics team broke out the leatherman and let us take a peek inside an inverse block ~ granted it’s one of the less filled cubes ~ but I love the design of how it opens (and is held together with two little screws!)… also if you ever want to hide things in your robotic cubes……… see more pics on the next page!
The first new Urbanears headphone design launched at CES this year was the Turncable which i just showed you. Second ~ Humlan! Interesting part of this design… there is a metal headband (love the detail of the urban ears tag actually being cloth sewn through a slit in the metal!) with MAGNETIC ear-speakers? pads? poofs? what would you call them? The simplicity and the satisfaction of feeling them snap into place and slide to adjust feels great ~ and i supposed when not using the headphones, you could even use it as a headband in their rainbow of colors… or even mix and match the usually monochromatic Urbanears. These are launching in fall of 2012! See more pics of the details on the next page!
Urbanears always has beautiful color palettes for their monochrome headphones and the most stunning photography/layouts for their lookbooks/displays. This year at CES they showed off two innovative new designs… the first: ZINKEN w/Turncable. These premium over ear DJ headphones have a cable with a 6.3mm adapter (perfect for your turntables/guitars/etc) on one end and a standard headphone 3.5mm plug on the other… and depending which you need, you plug the other into the headphone! Interesting alternative to simply using an adapter to go from 3.5mm to 6.3mm? Take a peek at more pics on the next page…
As a little girl, i always figured someday i’d grow up and have one of those awesome red metal cabinets with lots of drawers for all my tools in the garage. Well wandering into the Craftsman booth at CES ~ OMG. Matte black. With glossy black logo. It’s so beautiful! Now i want that. Apparently they are taking cues from the automotive paint world ~ and starting to play with the matte trend ~ rumors were flying that they are also testing matte metallics. Supposedly they will be available limited edition ~ but will have to find out more from them about that soon. Additionally they launched a new cabinet series that is POWERED. As in charging stations and speakers (bluetooth of course ~ afterall, bluetooth/airplay speakers are everywhere and in everything this CES) and a work table all built in!
Unexpectedly fun and addictive ~ the Fling and Fling Mini suction joysticks from Ten One Design for touch screens are great. There’s something unbelievably satsifying about the way the action of the joystick movement feels ~ also the design is ingeniously simple. “Fling is constructed from silky-smooth anodized aluminum, and an incredibly tough, perfectly clear, and unusually flexible engineering-grade resin. It’s nearly indestructible, and will give you years of precision gaming.” Take a peek at more pictures on the next page…
RAM-Mounts are my favorite mounts ever ~ they have the most incredible ball joints and you can piece them together for just about ANYTHING (seriously, check out their line up of modular pieces to pick from). They have the best suction mounts i’ve found ~ and while i’ve dreamed of making crazy sculptures, etc out of them ~ it was awesome to turn a corner at CES and run into a life size johnny5-esque RAM-Mount BOT! Made of HUGE RAM-Mount units! See more pics of him on the next page!
ZIK Parrot by Starck: the Bluetooth touch-activated headset. There are a LOT of headphones (often with celebrities attached to them now) at CES ~ but these actually surprised me! It feels amazing, and i was fascinated by the user experience of it… in a nutshell, you bluetooth pair or NFC tap your phone to connect it to the headset, you swipe the capacitative touch panel (left/right for song flipping or up/down for volume), it pauses the song if you take it off and instantly picks back up when you put it on, has 3 microphones and a bone conduction sensor for your calls and active noise cancelation, and even has an app to control it all. 4 years of work has gone into these ~ and the prototype was surprisingly fun to play with at CES ~ take a peek at lots of design detail pics on the next page!
On fun CES finds ~ love these Inova USB Rechargeable LED Flashlights from Nite-ize. The new Inova X3R and T3R are lithium ion high grade aluminum bodied LED flashlights that have a mini-USB charging port hidden in the neck. By simply spinning the cap to extend it, you expose the usb charging port… and with nearly everything charging via USB these days, it’s perfect for travel, the car, etc… The LED lights feel great ~ take a peek at the latest on the next page!
Did you know Griffin Technology is from Nashville? And turns 20 this year? Those were the unexpected fun facts we learned at their CES booth this year. Their booth has a fun reclaimed wood/found objects painted in uniform colors kind of look to it… and lots of new products to poke at… but i strangely fell in love with some Premium Flat Aux Cables! Pretty, clean, simple, nice colors, and feel great… the design details of the cables (they are flat! and have a really nice transition to the cable heads) as well as the packaging are beautiful! Take a look at it all on the next page!
On more fun things i’m excited to finally see in person at CES tomorrow ~ Cubelets! The robotic building blocks from Modular Robotics, a spin-off from Carnegie Mellon University (they started as RoBlocks). I’ve been hearing so much about this venture while visiting the CMU Computational Design Lab the last few months of random adventures in Pittsburgh, it’ll be nice to finally get my hands on the Cubelets and make some fun robots! But first ~ had to share their hilarious new video introducing the cubes and how they work! Just try not to get distracted by the snake skins on the wall behind the wacky guy in the video… “We shot the video last Summer at Oli’s cabin in Conifer, Colorado. It was an epic day of fliming, Cubelets fiddling, and snacking on Edam.” OK ~ go see it and fun screencaps on the next page!
On things to look forward to at CES… i’m currently lusting after this Samsung Series 9 Monitor. Looking sleek and thin (and matching my favorite super thin Samsung TVs) ~ it’s actually pretty comprable to the Apple 27” Studio display (though definitely need to play with it in person in a few days!) Both tout resolution of 2560x1440, contrast ratio of 1000:1, and viewing angles of 178/178. The Samsung however has a 300cd/m^2 whereas the apple has 375, and the Samsung is priced at $1199 while the apple is $999… though the Samsung has 2x 7W speakers built in as well as this interesting feature: “By linking their Android MHL-compatible smartphone, users can enjoy content from their mobile devices directly on the much larger screen and with the benefit of rich, built-in stereo audio. Users can also keep an eye on their smartphone, seamlessly browse to it and even charge the device for added convenience.” See a few more pics on the next page!
Les Merveilleuses De Ladurée is coming according to Fashion Press ~ yes. That Ladurée. The famous french macaron maker is branching out in to cosmetics. These will only be available in Japan, and are in collaboration with Albion Cosmetics ~ the collection will include blushes, foundations, and lip colors inspired by their sweets. Take a peek at the upcoming collection on the next page!
Theses beautiful Fulton’s Clip Joint Playing Cards designed by Brad Fulton arrived from Dan and Dave’s. Take a peek at this video to get into the mood and world they evoke… The details on the box are stunning ~ and the joker cats will mesmerize you.
“Fulton’s Clip Joint Playing Cards celebrate our fascination with cinema, history, and the art of the grift. Taking inspiration from vintage Los Angeles and Film Noir, Fulton’s captures a time and place where men were men, women were dames, and the next deal could be your last. These limited edition playing cards feature original artwork by Dan Phillips and are beautifully encased in a linen box with embossed ornaments and foil stamping.”
See close-ups on the next page! (As well as a peek at the uncut sheet!)
It’s as if my Moncler jacket got eaten by my Rimowa suitcase… and somehow fused into a strange luxurious chimera of sorts… It doesn’t look the most functional ~ yet i can’t stop staring. And wondering what else it would transform into if we fed it some other branded goodness… my Macbook Air perhaps? Or Louboutins?
Here’s how Moncler describes it on their site: Rimowa x Moncler Go On Holiday “Moncler is travelling - with the new Moncler Rimowa costumized suitcase. The German travel case producer completely reinterpreted its classic cabin trolley ‘Classic flight’. The result is a light and functional case, essential in its design, versatile in its usage possibilities. Ultraresistant, chrome-plated aircraft aluminium exterior including a brushed Moncler logo, padded handles and a special Moncler address tag.The Moncler trolley comes with typical padded black laqué interior including a unique set of soft accessories: shoe bag, laundry bag, utility bag and a small beauty case. Roomy, handy and compact. Perfect, in its dimensions, as air travel hand luggage and with two TSA combination locks. The world of Moncler in a trolley case.”
See more images of the new suitcase on the next page. The soft accessory bags are tempting…
I’m not sure which part is more fun right now ~ the idea of a Pancake Plate (where, of course, the syrup flows down the slope into its special syrup reservoir to avoid over soaked pancakes!) or the Pirate Chef logo by John Wye, who designed the pancake plates. I could have used these when tackling these pigs in a blanket at the Pancake Pantry last week ~ they ended up a delicious soggy mess when i was slow with consuming them! Love that these are an UncommonGoods exclusive ~ bummer that there aren’t any with the Pirate Chef logo on them ~ see more details (and other pirate chef goodness) on the next page!
Whispers, the new flocked wallpaper design collection from Marcel Wanders for Graham & Brown. The Whispers Flock wallpaper collection is comprised of four patterns: Key muses, Forest muses, Braile Chester and Rose beds. So fun ~ check out the four patterns larger on the next page!
Usually on my birthday, i have a fun wishlist gift guide of things i’m lusting after. Well, i’ve decided to mix it up a bit this year, and answer a frequently asked question of what i actually use, love, and bought that i’ve discovered lately… So here it is… in huge collage form… there’s more than what you see above on the next page! Click the images to jump over to read more about them… and while it’s 2am before i have a morning flight… there are also links below with some brief descriptions of why i love them at the bottom (though, i’m fading fast, so this might be added in, or fleshed out a bit, after i land!) Anyhow ~ go explore it all on the next page!!!