Teaser from the Keystone Design Union just came through with these awesome designs featuring iconic creatures of the pacific northwest for K2 Snowboards’ 25 Year Anniversary Collection. I’m already lusting after all of the stickers and shirts ~ everything from owls and beavers ~ bears and deer ~ to bigfoot! Nice black and white, fun “Don’t Mess With The North West” slogan, and illustrations that just scream ROAR. Take a look at more graphics on the next page!
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I’ve never had an ice bucket in my laptop bag traveling before… though after quite the hectic weekend running around Monterey/Pebble Beach/Carmel with all of the auto madness, it is pretty amazing to pop up to santa cruz, out to the patio, pop open the Veuve Clicquot Clicq’up, grab some ice, and pop open a bottle of Yellow Label on the balcony staring down at the beach and bay as you hear the waves crashing, seagulls squawking, and seals honking. I wrote about the Clicq’up Origami Ice Bucket by Mathias van de Walle earlier this year when it launched in Milan, here’s a peek at it in person ~ popped up on the balcony!
We ended up at an unexpected oasis amongst the madness of Monterey Auto Week when we drove up into Monterra Woods to join friends at the Aston Martin Estate. They took over a beautiful house and filled it with a brilliant mix of lifestyle brands from Far Niente Wines and Louis Roederer Champagne, to Emanuel Andren’s Chocolates from Sweden… Vizio 3D tvs and CxC Driving Simulators, to Flexjet by Bombardier and Worth magazine… There was even a tailor, diamonds, non-alcoholic cocktails (test drives happening!), and of course Aston Martins ~ from the V12 Zagato and One-77 to Virage Coupés, Vantage S Roadster, and Rapide. They created a beautiful space with relaxing indoor and outdoor areas, and endless things to do. Favorite? While waiting for test drives, the garage had two 3-large-screen simulators with racing seats that throw you around almost as hard as a real F1 car. (Of course, had we planned a bit better ~ i’m sure test driving the Astons would have been the favorite!) All in all, there was so much to see and do, and it was the perfect way to get a feel for the lifestyle they imagine around the marque. There were even herds of deer and flocks of turkeys roaming nearby! Take a peek and explore the estate and details on the next page!
Spotted at The Quail, this Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 is a beast of a car ~ and not just visually… one of the most fascinating things at the Quail was seeing the car stripped down to its carbon fiber chassis and all that is inside it. It’s their fastest production car Lamborghini has ever made ~ and drew quite the crowd of enthusiasts and buyers. On a sillier note, their uniforms were polo shirts with the Lamborghini signature bull looking much like the Big Polo Ponies ~ even with the orange matching the Aventador popping off their blue. Check it out on the next page…
This post is part of a series presented to you by Nivea for Men. Look like you give a damn! (As usual, post content is all NOTCOT ~ they are enabling this excuse to round up some of our favorite men’s stores!)
So much SHOPPING! Well, when exploring to make a starter list of some of our favorite men’s stores (relevant whether you’re a man shopping for yourself ~ or a woman shopping for a man) ~ the list just kept growing as i worked on it and people kept reminding me over im and twitter of awesome online stores around the globe. (Thank you for all who helped!) So if you’re ready to fall into a blackhole of awesome men’s shops… head to the next page! I’d love to add to the list as well, so feel free to comment some of your other favorites as well!
If you recall, i’ve been a bit research obsessed with mini-HD-action cams ~ and while i have a GoPro, the Contour+ was the one i was waiting for… First impression, i’m impressed with the Contour+ ~ nice packaging, solid chunk of hardware, and the 1080p video quality with GPS and bluetooth connection to both iphone and android devices as monitors are great (though a bit finicky to get connected at times) ~ while this and a few other toys just got acquired for some more playful projects coming up this week, wanted to take a moment to share the unboxing with you to get a first look at what’s included (and you know i’m a sucker for simple matte black boxes with crisp graphics) ~ so check it out on the next page, and more soon as i start playing with it more and comparing it to my GoPro… so far it already has me wishing my GoPro was more aerodynamic and had apps to let my phones be the preview monitor… anyhow, to the unbox on the next page!
p.s. Unboxing occurred while famished at lunch at Father’s Office.
When i wake up to an email that is like “Charging Glass? USB? I kind of want it.” and the link goes to a TOOTHBRUSH. I pop up in bed to pay attention. Sonicare’s new DiamondClean USB 5 mode rechargeable sonic toothbrush… beyond on the minor tweaks here and there that improve on my brushing… let’s talk accessories. How will any normal CUP compare to this magical charging GLASS? That yes, you can also use like a glass to rinse with. But more importantly, it looks nicer on your sink than having that charger for it to dock in to! More natural. What a nice user experience shift… also while on the go (or at your desk, or in your car, or when you forget your charger and just let it share with your ipad, etc) USB charging travel case! So its the accessories, and the laughable product shots with models that have me half awake and curious about this new toothbrush… or dreaming about how to convert my charger into a glass… see more pics on the next page!
On fun packaging ~ this one deserved its own post. A peek at the new retail packaging of PACT’s underthings that also came in the box of goodies launching their new tees and tanks. A thought(ful) bubble cut out of the front ~ PUT ON SOMETHING GOOD ~ on the sides, and i’m just a sucker for beautiful printing on cardboard… and when you pop it open, the panties are wrapped around a cardboard insert that exclaims, “Change starts with your underwear.” Take a look at the packaging details on the next page!
Nothing quite like a big box showing up covered in “Change starts with your underwear” stickers. In 2009, we first wrote about PACT’s undies for a cause, well two years later, PACT, founded by entrepreneurs, Jason Kibbey & Jeff Denby, and designed by Yves Behar’s Fuseproject, has expanded their line of cause driven thongs and briefs to now include tees and tanks! Their twitter describes them as “Beautifully designed and responsibly made men’s and women’s underwear supporting powerful social and environmental causes.” They were kind enough to send over a big box of their latest goodies. From their fun, colorful line of designer undies, they have added V-neck Tees and Tank tops for women and V-neck tees and Crew-neck tees for men in slight variation of their smooth cotton/elastane blend. The design and packaging details are as much a part of the PACT experience as the goods ~ for web orders, the bookmark like labels give you the story and info on the related cause that is supported, and they are each individually wrapped in biodegradable plastic bags. Also, have to love their playful photography of the ideal loungey life ~ home office attire perhaps? Take a peek at the new collection freshly unboxed on the next page!
Composting offers a great way to turn your kitchen waste into something useful. Depending on your setup it can even be easier than doing the dishes. There are a number of strategies for working it into your life even for those without a lot of time or space. Today we decided to round up some of the interesting composting techniques and options we have today ~ from giant rollers, to worms doing the job for you, to magical Bokashi cultures, and the gorgeous little incognito kitchen counter contraptions you can use… see it all on the next page!
Just launched today ~ Bluelounge MiniDock! This magical little contraption means you can now charge your Apple gadgets directly from the wall socket, saving counter/floor space and cables. Perfect for hotels, sitting in airport lounges, bedside charging… you name it! As usual with Bluelounge the product feels great in your hands, the details are perfectly simple ~ as the press kit cover says “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler,” quoting Albert Einstein. Take a peek at the unboxing as well as examples of it in use (and video!) on the next page!
On delayed San Diego Comic Con adventures ~ one of the last things i imaged writing about was Disney’s Phineas and Ferb booth. But it was massive. Had impressive branding… and a converted trailer that was turned into a HUGE Platy-BUS. Seriously, how impressive and eye catching is that thing? Making of video of it on the next page is surreal. While i must admit i’ve caught a few of the cartoon episodes, enough to at least make sense of what was going on… visually, the booth was like entering a crazy cartoon world, and they definitely took it above and beyond. Inflatable tree… with karaoke, guitar, and little platypus stools beneath it… large purple “evil incorporated” blimp flying above… and food truck like trailer serving up limited edition blind box toys of Perry the platypus pet that turns super spy… Then there’s the bizarre branding overload, with nice display cases showing off everything from the Kraft Mac & Cheese version of the characters and fruit snacks to band aids and toothbrushes… as well as other toys. It looked less like they were pitching those to kids and parents, but like a brand display to show off how far they can reach. Anyhow, it was quite a world they created… So things design worthy to note? The Platy-BUS and making of, the platypus stools, and the packaging details… check it all out on the next page!
My first reaction was “omg. super hipster plush toys?” ~ then when i couldn’t seem to close the tab and kept flipping through the pics, the adorably illustrated and reversible Patrice and Beatrice grew on me. And i secretly want them both… with their hipster glasses wearing serious fronts, and their beach ready, summer loving backs (or vice versa, on which is front and which is the back) This pair of plush toys over at Smallable are an exclusive collaboration with My Name Is Simone, aka French designer, Caroline Castagna-Suarez. “Caroline Castagna-Suarez, aka Simone, finds that Sometimes, growing up stinks. Therefore, she spends her free time battling against Seriousness, in every way she can.” See close ups of these two… as well as Super zéro, Suzanne, Simon, Daisy, and Jean-Louis on the next page!
On surprising Comic-con discoveries, i had a great chat with the LA based, PenGo. Their latest tablet apps for painting/drawing and their new Brush Pen with three swappable tips (thick, thin, and brush!) were available to demo before launch, and they are more impressive than any others i’ve played with! As you can see in the pic above, they’ve managed to create Wacom-like pressure based sensitivity in their latest version of their app which hasn’t been released yet. It was such a tease to get to play with their app and brush without being able to buy it yet! The ability to draw and doodle was incredibly fun! Take a peek at their newest product the Brush Pen on the next page… and keep an eye on their site for the official product launch!
On fun collaborations - Geneviéve Gauckler and Parisian store, Colette, have teamed up to change up the usual touristy postcards with a twist! GENEVIÈVE GAUCKLER x COLETTE - Postcards ~ with a mix of parisian love, parisian monuments, and creatures! Take a peek at the full series and close ups on the next page!
Gorgeous day spent lounging in Malibu ~ having lunch, shopping, and beaching ~ and running into the new mobile truck of my favorite Pressed Juicery with Tasteologie editor, Jackson… the result? An awesome fun feature i just wrote up for you at Tasteologie!
You know you want it when you walk past and it catches your eye. You walk past again and pop in and slip it on. You say you’ll wait. Then you stalk it online. Then the next day they put it on hold and you wander back out to try them AGAIN. And it’s done. You’re a goner. And i gave in to BOTH colors. Brick Red and Pale Peacock - you got stuck in my head and i had to have you. There’s also something so clean and classic about a nice simple round toe pump ~ just gave in to these J.Crew Mona Leather Pumps and the colors mesmerize me too much not to share. While i have a few patent louboutins that are my usual travel/go-to pumps that go with just about anything ~ the colors on these are far too playful not to love! And they are comfy! (Well as comfy as a pump will get! and lower than my usuals too!) Take a peek at more pics on the next page…
Having just shown you the awesome Toy King Trophy won by Andrew Bell and his Androids ~ seems like a good time to share some of the Android fun at SDCC too! Launching at SDCC are Android Mini Collectible Summer special editions! 2 Heroes and 2 Villains ~ one available each day… we even took one to lunch with us (see? Tortilla chip in hand and all up there!) New Sashimi color ways ~ Worrible plushes ~ Android blind box series 2 ~ and so many more goodies available at the Dumbrella booth where i was hanging out most days (booth #1337 if you want to go visit!) Also awesome, Andrew is drawing on the blanks for people if you’re not creative enough to do your own thing… and super special, you can get a peek at the wedding cake toppers he decorated on the next page… as well as a peek at the awesome packaging details of the new Summer collectibles!
Somedays you just wander into things you’ve always thought about buying… and can’t resist. I’ve always been curious about these Marshalls ~ marshmallow characters from 64 Colors ~ since posting them on NOTCOT.org ages ago ~ and the toasted ones are all different! Hand “toasting” creates unique colorations for each one ~ and i couldn’t help but go through a few before picking this guy. And while at the Rotofugi booth, the new limited edition glow in the adorable sidekick of a puppy, Gumdrop, was too cute to resist as well. Take a peek at their booth and close ups of the two on the next page!
Toys! Toys! Toys! I forgot what chaos the world of comicon is ~ but there are so many fun art toys to be stared at in one place. While i desperately need to crash before more madness tomorrow (and i’ll be helping out at the Dumbrella booth #1337 around 1-3ish if you want to come visit) ~ had to show you some of the random toy goodness that ended up in my camera… explore it all on the next page! And more posts to come on goodies i couldn’t resist, etc… soon? Perhaps.
p.s. HUGE thank you to The Vinyl Frontier for helping get me a last minute pass to SDCC to check out all the toys ~ i was a bit slow on the press reg and missed it… but he saved the day! Check out The Vinyl Frontier on DVD ~ good stuff if you’re into the world of vinyl toys!
This post is sponsored by Nordstrom. Shop the Anniversary Sale: Next Season on Sale Now. Prices go up August 1.
The universe works in mysterious ways ~ like when i was drawn in while walking home across the gaslamp district ~ i was pulled in by the glow of these windows and the merchandising as well as the labels and the way they were attached… only to realize they were for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale ~ which i needed to write about tonight! So snapped a few pics of the displays to share with you here ~ there’s something so fun about how much more large window displays pop and come alive in the night… additionally check out some fun picks from the sale we’re liking!
Sneak peek in to Alessi’s Fall/Winter 2011 product line ~ two grabbed my attention in particular. Eero Aarnio’s Diva watering can, is both elegantly simple and sassy all at once ~ in black, green, and a creamy white. And the Anna Gong is a nod at Mendini’s famous “Anna G” corkscrew and legendary folding cake stand “art.898”. Take a peek at closeups and more details on the next page.
More fun surprises that arrived while i was in NY! Gorgeous pack for The 2011 Hangar One Vodka Blimp Tour… it’s fun to see that SF/Alameda’s Hangar One is now taking the country by… BLIMP! This very minute, the Hangar One blimp is adrift in the skies somewhere between Long Island and Boston. There’s nothing quite like a crazy continental blimp tour! The 120 foot aircraft with a vintage Hangar One airstream is on an epic 6 month tour which kicked off from Miami last month. Over the next 6 months, the blimp will be visiting over 20 cities across the US, before finally docking in Hangar One’s home of Alameda, CA at the end of November. Check out the blimp schedule to find when the team will be docking in your town. Because when the blimp comes to town, it’s more than a pit stop. Each stop is also a competition between 15 bartenders with winners for every stop.
Beautiful branding, illustration and packaging that goes along with the tour by Dead As We Know It! The gorgeous drawings have a homely feel that captures the handmade, small scale production of the spirits. The illustration runs throughout the press kit and the company’s website. Check out the gorgeous intro at the Hangar One Vodka site as well as The Ballad of Hangar One and documentaries about Hangar One’s Story, Farm and Process, created by Dead As We Know It… Now as for the goodies in the cardboard case that arrived ~ take a peek at the unboxing of the poster, BLIMPSPOTTING stickers, hat, t-shirt, and more on the next page!
There’s something so incredibly enticing about a mysterious wooden box arriving. Especially when there is a screw driver taped to it and the instructions read: 1. Locate screws and initiate unscrewing. 2. Relieve box of lid begin discovery. 3. Attempt to contain oneself. I think i made it through steps one and two and totally failed at three.
Inside the mysterious box are some of the awesomest Sir Kensington of NY’s “Gourmet Scooping Ketchups” from i’ve yet to encounter ~ tantalizing deliciousness wrapped in wonderfully detailed and playful branding/packaging. From the full sized bottles of their Spiced (YUM!) ketchup to the adorable new minis (Heinz babies are cute, but i can totally see these on hotel room service trays!) ~ as well as a white top hat serving dish, ornate little spoon to scoop with, and a mustache embroidered handkerchief/napkin to dab ever so delicately with… nestled in straw. So how step three seemed possible, is beyond me. Additionally there’s an amazing little book included as well ~ but that’s worth a post of it’s own, so more to come on that… for now, go take a peek at the incredible packaging of this wooden box of goodies that just arrived from the magical world of Sir Kensington’s on the next page!
Just in from our friends at Ghostly International appealing directly to our geometric love of tessellations… “We are proud to unveil our second art edition from the Ann Arbor-based paper artist and engineer Matthew Shlian. Conceived over a flurry of emails in the spring of this year, The Tessellation Series is an expression of intuitive design evolving from a fixed starting point. To illustrate the process by which the pattern has emerged, the series is presented as five distinct moments, or formations, in its evolution. In each formation, three-dimensional structures spread, in seemingly random order, toward the edge of the page. Closer inspection reveals the fine pencil drawn lines of the geometric shapes from which they rise, a blueprint for a pattern that is at once unfinished and complete.” Aren’t they mesmerizingly beautiful? Especially in animated gif form above? It’s hard to pick which of the various paper sculpture/prints i love best… they seem best when in a full set evolving from one step to the next! “Each tessellation formation is produced in an edition of ten, and comes signed and numbered for a series total of fifty (e.g. the first edition of Tessellation Formation 3 is numbered 31/50).” See details on the next page ~ they are stunning!