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!
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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!
Having just touched back down in LA after a week of NY time ~ i must say, i do love california! And there is something strangely awesome about the shape of our state for a desk of coffee table apparently! Just discovered this new line of California Desks and Tables by J. Rusten Furniture Studio in my inbox. Aren’t they lovely? You have to see more of the details on the next page… and i’m tempted by the coffee table! I imagine leaving a pocket knife on the table with an invitation to all my california friends and companies popping by to etch their names where they live… though the clusters around the big cities might be a bit dense, there must be a fun way to turn this wooden map of a table more interactive! Or imagine if you had other states as well that would interlock nicely to turn from desk to US conference table? Anyhow ~ detail peeks on the next page… will keep dreaming up more ideas.
Presented to you by Nivea for Men. Look like you give a damn!
When prompted with the challenge from Nivea for Men to let them sponsor a series of posts on “Men Who Look Like They Give A Damn” ~ i couldn’t resist. After all, who can resist a man who looks like they give a damn, right? Well, actually i think the perfect combo is more the man that can NOT look like they give a damn, while still looking better than those who try ~ it’s about effortless execution, no? SO anyhow ~ lets kick this off with some weekender bags that are perfect enough for men ~ and lustworthy enough for women too! Some of my favorites, that i’ve wanted for some time now, and recent updates… all gorgeous, simple, and highly functional… check out the picks on the next page!
On intriguing packages that have arrived lately ~ Poppin’s shipping packaging is hard to miss ~ as is their cheeky copy ~ and bright bright orange. From the clip board graphic on the box ready to perfectly fit the shipping label… to the silly speech bubbled air bags to protect your goods… to the plastic envelope marked “important documents”… the the branding on each and every product… and the copy. Oh the cheeky copy you’ll find everywhere… They claim to be “Office Supplies. Reinvented.” ~ perhaps… repackaged?Take a peek at it all on the next page!
On reasons print needs to live on ~ some books are worth owning, and i could flip through the gorgeous new Yuki 7 book by Kevin Dart and Elizabeth Ito for ages. I’ve been following them and falling in love with them one after the other for some time now… from the posters we gave away to their first book ~ and i’m even wearing one of their shirts as i head out for a hike now! So yes, i’m a fan… but then again, who wouldn’t want to live in the magical world of Yuki 7 and her Gadget Girls? It’s that perfect mix of retro-tastic illustration that brings you back to happier place full of mystery and espionage… gorgeous locales, and crazy new technology mixed in… not to mention fabulous outfits?
In her latest adventure and short film ~ Yuki 7: Looks That Kill, she and the gadget girls will take you on quite a ride ~ and the film is beautiful! I can’t wait till they take it further than a short film and go for a full length feature ~ she’s like the ultimate animated Bond Girl ~ only she’s Bond and i guess she has her Yuki-7 Boys… So take a sneak peek in to the new book on the next page… and if you’re in LA, check out the launch party July 16th at Q Pop.
Does it get more awesome than pulling two large volumes of old books off the shelf, only to find a bottle of moonshine hidden within? Well, actually it does when Stillhouse Moonshine customize and age the book such that all the details pull you in even further… from the 500 numbered editions, to the cover and first few pages having actual info about the story of Moonshine, nothing is out of place. In fact this beautiful packaging has me tempted to start an ACTUAL library bar… a gorgeous shelf of old books with wondrous libations tucked away in each volume. Of course each book would need to somehow be a hint at what is to be found within. Take a peek inside the two volume packaging of Stillhouse Moonshine on the next page!
Ever have one of those moments, where you’re dealing with something ~ and you see an image ~ and it perfectly encapsulates all you are feeling? A few weeks ago this was it. Annie Owens’ Screaming At Butterflies from her Terribly Happy show at Copro Nason. Now available as a print, i couldn’t resist having it on my office wall to remind me of the moments that came and went… There’s something so cathartic about that moment of just needing to let out a scream ~ even amidst those beautiful butterflies that still beautifully flutter about without even noticing, isn’t there? Take a peek at the print details of the “25” x 19” giclee on archival rag paper, hand painted enhanced by artist - signed and numbered edition of 35” ~ this is #20, and you can see the paint dots on the shirt enhanced as well as a butterfly abdomen in a glowing turquoise on her arm… love this one!
Lovely details on this new shirt… A modern twist on a timeless classic, the Urbaneering Workshirt from Serum Venom embodies the Street/Spec design the brand strives for, combining tactical functionality with everyday comfort. “Serum Venom set out to investigate how to push the limits of a modern workshirt, without compromising its classic appeal. We focused on combining the attention to detail and strength of military specification garments with the day to day functionality requirements of an urban existence. Our conclusion is a system of design we refer to as Street/Spec, which combines extreme tactical functionality with everyday comfort. The Urbaneering Shirt has multiple function pockets, reinforced cuffs, lower placket tab closures, heavy duty under arm vents, rear hidden hang strap, reinforced front placket strap loops, authentic vintage metal workwear button, side tension stash pocket and reinforced universal internal seams.” See more details on the next page!
Popped by Dwell on Design in LA today ~ highlight? CHICKENS! Particularly mod wooden chicken coops by 100xBTR and Chicken Co-op. Fun, playful, and perfect for your modern rooftops and yards ~ i love the seeing designs that enable more and more folks to expand their sustainable hyper-local/home grown possibilities… (without sacrificing their innovative design loving tendencies). Read to see the chickens and more of the fun little details (and full views) of these pre-fab chicken estates? To the next page!
Everything IS Wonderful! Isn’t it? And if not, they should be. Came across one of these “Everything Here Is Wonderful” Best Made Co limited edition map prints while wandering the other day, and it just made me smile. Grin. Giggle? I need one, but i wish there was an LA one. From the NY based axe makers, Best Made Co, they created a “Limited edition of 15 woodblock prints on topographic maps from the United States Geological Survey. Handmade at the Best Made Outpost in St. Paul, MN.” With three maps currently available, you can choose from Mt Hood, MN, Mt Mansfield, VT, and Marfa ~ see them all on the next page!
Taking what may be my first actual full on “break” in a few years this week… it should come as no surprise that my life became filled with silliness and toys… so let’s kick off this catch up post with: Xploderz and their H2GROW Ammo - after having them on NOTCOT.org, when i ran across these new age water guns in person, i HAD to get one. So, here’s an unboxing of the Xploderz Xranger 2000 and a peek at how the pellets become the ammo you see. On first impressions, LOVE the concept, but the execution does leave quite a bit to be desired. The balls are actually more Tapioca/Boba/Bubble tea like… think jello jiggler marbles that smoosh on contact. You won’t really be hurting each other with these, but they do shoot impressively far and straight. Be warned though, if you’re preparing for a full on war, prep early, it takes over 4 hours to have a fresh set of ammo soak up its full potential… experiments to try later: can these become jello shots? can you use other similarly sized pellets? Frozen pellets? And to mitigate the disappointment, these are all about the novelty of the ammo… the gun doesn’t let you actually pull the trigger and the plastic/design of the gun leaves something to be desired. To launch, you pull and release, essentially launching the pellet… you also have to reload between each shot. But ~ on to the details to give you a better feel of this Xploderz Xranger 2000 and it’s jello shot like pellets, check out the next page!