On fun toys that just arrived… i think i’m in love ~ some things just flood your brain with ideas and it’s the best high. So tiny. So simple. Yet does SO MUCH. With a massive dslr and decent mobile pics these days ~ it’s hard to figure out what else is a car/purse worthy photography gadget. Well, i can think of a million ideas of where to stick, hang, clasp, dunk, strap, swing, launch it… this teeny tiny GoPro HD Hero Camera has infinite mount options, waterproof housing is a default, windproof audio, wide angle views, 1080p HD, super low-light sensitivity, interval photo modes, an awesome sounding battery life ~ and so much more. AND - with the LCD BacPac, i can check the pics on the go… So before the fun begins ~ wanted to share the unbox, because on top of all the features packed into the stealthy little cam… it’s well packaged and designed too! Take a peek on the next page…
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Spy novels + fun cars + limited edition books = gorgeous book design from 007 and Bentley for the latest James Bond book, Carte Blache. There is a die-cut bullet hole that pierces each book - inside each copy you find a single polished bullet with a distinct number. (I wonder if any other secret information is hidden in or on the bullet!)
As for the design - “The Special Edition is designed by Brett Boydell. In his ten years at Bentley, Brett has been involved in the interior design of the Bentley Azure, Brooklands and, most recently, the Continental Supersports. He also manages the Bentley Branded Goods studio, where all Bentley-associated products are created.” Additionally, the book is in a metal box shaped into outline of the new Continental GT. The look of this sleek abstracted sculpture reminds me a lot of the Infiniti Essence and Mercedes Rising Car sculptures. Take a peek at the sketches and renders of the 007 and Bentley Carte Blanche Special Edition on the next page.
Seed Pills! It seems like such a natural fit ~ everyone should be prescribed some seed pills to do their part and add a little more green to our world! Another project we encountered as part of the Selfridges’ GROW Concept Store and Guerilla Gardening Windows - Vanessa Harden’s seed pills. In addition to these clear pill capsules filled with seeds (which are purchasable in store), she has designed a series of “Subversive Gardener” concepts to do everything from launch the seeds from an umbrella’s top (as seen in her window display) or a bag to drill holes into the ground or a camera to launch seeds… as well as a “Horticulturalist Series” with seeds shooting out of a gun, or a walking stick… and more! Gel capsules with tiny seeds - melting down dispersed throughout the world, the idea of prescribing more green is just what some of us need! Take a peek on the next page…
Happy Earth Day! It’s been fun watching the evolution and growing trend of seedbombing - our latest find, Seedboms from Kabloom which are featured in the Selfridges’ Guerrilla Gardening display in their windows and Wonder Room. The little grenades are only available in the UK for now, as they feature four mixes of native species (Sunflower Incredible, Nasturtium Peach Melba, Cornfield Annual Mix and Native Wildflower Mix). However, other EU mixes are under development! Their design, display, and packaging were too irresistible to pass up, so we picked up a few while there… they are now in 4 packs and singles (and the 4 packs can even be split up, complete with to:/from: tag, for sharing!) Check them out close up on the next page!
Just bounced through Berlin, Milan, and London before landing home and being up and jetlagging in LA this morning ~ and it has been grilling weather EVERYWHERE! In parks, on balconies, in yards, it’s been fabulously sunny around the globe! Remember the customizable multifunctional Molenkitchen we discovered recently? Or all the research on
the Ultimate Grill we did a few years back? Well today, Marcia and Leo have found some of the awesomest grilling accessories you (or your favorite griller in need of some gifting love) just might need! So fun, designy, and creating some unusual grilled treats… check it all out on the next page!
Crumpled City Maps! While these appeared on NOTCOT.org about a year ago, they weren’t available yet. Well, i just ran into them at Selfridges in London, and they are so fun! (If only i wasn’t at the END Of my trip, it would have been great to have these balled up in my purse for Paris, Berlin, Milan, and London the last month!) Truth is, maps always get so wrinkled and abused in my purse and pockets when traveling, i usually grab a city center map from the concierge, and toss it by the end of the trip… these are printed on tyvek, so they should be able to withstand quite a bit of abuse, and hopefully still be readable. They also come with a cute pouch ~ and in fun simple flash card like packaging… and now you can even select your own set of 5 for a Crumpled City Collection Box! Love this 5 pack as an idea for someone embarking on a whirlwind trip… take a peek at more details and the available cities on the next page!
Thermochromatic goods seem to come and go and never quite disappear… remember when American Apparel brought it back and AZFN did their version too? Well latest to run into is Stone Island’s Heat Reactive Jacket “A hooded bomber jacket in cotton nylon canvas with thermosensitive liquid crystals, the garment changes colour according to the temperature. The fabric of the heat reactive jacket is treated with a thermo-sensitive coating that changes colour at high temperatures. Beginning at 27 degrees the molecules within the micro- capsules of the external strata undergo a rotation modifying the light course. The colour of the garment gradually begins to morph from the dark colour of the surface coating to a much lighter and brighter surface colour. When the garment returns to a normal temperature it recovers to its original dark coating colour.” It is available in black that turns Green or Blue. Check out the dramatic video and more pics of it in action on the next page…
London silliness - When browsing the produce section, spotted a strange item among the berries. Pineberries! They look like inverted strawberries and are known as pineberries (a hybrid of Fragaria chiloensis and Fragaria virginiana). The original pineberry was a South American species which went extinct in the wild, but which has since been hybridized and cultivated in the Netherlands.
Although they debuted at Waitrose last year, the berries still seem hard to get a hold of and have just come back into season and we had to try them. Though they are meant to taste a bit like pineapple, ours were a bit more watery, with a texture similar to a strawberry. But our bunch may not have been fully ripe (some of their seeds were still green rather than red). Not sure they’ll make it into our basket again, but they definitely have the novelty factor and look like no other fruit! For more about how they taste, see the Guardian’s review and for more pics (including inside them! and the fun packaging!), check out the next page!
Fun london grocery store discoveries ~ Hendrick’s Gin has a gorgeous, silly tea cup! With packaging of course covered in their playful, cheeky graphics ~ and some tea cup gin recipes on the back! Take a peek at the packaging and tea cup in more detail on the next page!
Discovered over at 10 Corso Como, our favorite truck tarp upcyclers, Freitag, have a pop up shop! Featuring a “strictly limited FAKE SNAKE edition in green/grey” for the store, and an installation of Roadkill! Various animals, from rats to birds to foxes to kangaroos, cut in truck tarpaulins are given away for you to put on your bag in solidarity to all the poor creatures that are killed on the roads each day… see more of the description and set up (which include that machine to weld them on to your bag even!) on the next page… i couldn’t help picking up an adorable green kangaroo!
Moneral makes some of the most stunning wooden plates i’ve seen/felt. They really are like eating off of slices of wood… and curved just perfectly as a plate… you won’t be able to stop touching them in wonder. “They are made of coated aspen, which makes them durable even in frequent use and for dishwasher use. The Elicia range includes a dinner plate, a cocktail plate, a serving dish, a serving plate and plates’ stand.” and as for the raw materials, “Moneral buy the raw material in the close surroundings of the factory. To ensure a perfect raw material for the plates, each tree is chosen carefully and cut by hand to avoid any damage to the bark. The trees come from sustainably managed and certified Finnish forest, controlled by the Finnish Forest Management Associations.” Amazing, right? Also tempting, you can even customize them… The story is adorable too ~ “It all began with Eero Remes, a farm and the need to buy a specialist saw. As it turned out, making wooden disks with this saw provided hours of entertainment. It was Eero’s son, Panu, who experienced a “Eureka!” moment on seeing the disks lying about in the snow: it would be splendid to eat your dinner off plates like that!” Check out the details on the next page!
I couldn’t resist. I was totally that girl in the tiny supermarket in the huge line buying 4 jars of Nutella tonight. I mean, these limited edition Nutella Esperienza Italia 150 glasses were cute when they came up on NOTCOT.org, but renders are one thing. These are even more awesome in person! Fun glasses for just about anything… filled with nutella… celebrating Italian unity - specifically DESIGN, Arts, Landscapes & Architecture, and History! On fun design week souveniers, the design themed €1.79 glass of nutella is pretty sweet (even AFTER you eat the nutella)… The story? “Nutella wanted to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of italian Unity together with millions of Italian families and asked ARC’s. to interpretate the project in four themes: Arts, Design, Landscapes & Architecture, Historical topics. Through the “Esperienza Italia 150” limited edition collection, Nutella ideally embraces all italians, from the South to the North, as a sole big family.” Above is a render of the 4 glasses in the set from ARC’s… but on the next page, take a peek at close ups of them all!
p.s. Don’t mind the bizarre hotel/motel feel of the photos… it’s how it feels in here!
On fun design spotted in real life ~ just noticed the new Alfredo Haberli Carafe for Georg Jensen at La Rinascente in the design supermarket… and it seems to be half the price of what i’m seeing online (though i can’t find it for the life of me on the Georg Jensen site)! While we saw the preview on NOTCOT.org of the new collection from Alfredo Haberli, in person, it drew me in with the wooden spinning top of a stopper of course (remember these and these?) ~ AND, you can even buy just the top over at Unica. Take a peek at it up close on the next page!
I’ve been lusting after an Acronym jacket for so long now… ok, after Pieter from Today and Tomorrow’s specific Acronym jacket, in sleek simple black, awesome fabric/cut and detailing… and i was totally drawn in a few years ago by the Jacket Sling feature when he had it just casually slung across his back (nicer with the black interior than the picture of another model above)… well, running in to him again in Berlin, and poking at some of the current collection at Firmament, reminded me to share it here! So take a peek at the new ACR-SS-11 Set 1, with a jacket with removable sleeves that packs down into a perfect little bag… notice how even the ear buds have a magnetic little patch near the neck? So many incredible little details! Also awesome is the ACR-SS-11 3A-9TS which is a laptop “tote bag” that will stay upright, and has support straps to help manage the weight! Take a peek at them up close on the next page!
On fun Berlin discoveries, my favorite store of the moment is a teeny, tiny, beautifully minimalist little stationery shop that just turned 10(!) ~ R.S.V.P. Papier in Mitte! And on irresistible pens, i had to have some of these Kaweco Pens (German made, and around since 1883) from the 30s ~ so pocket sized, so simple in their black and white plastic with both rollerball and fountain pen tips, and so many fun ink colors ~ all of which are in awesome packaging! The pens also come in more traditional aluminum in silver, charcoal, and black. These are all totally fun, affordable giftiness. The store is a wonderland of notebooks, cards, stickers, pens/pencils and more SO carefully curated and displayed. And, luckily they have an online store that ships internationally too! So quick hotel room photoshoot of the goodies on my Soho House floor, as well as a peek into the store ~ check it all out on the next page!
The Minox Classic Digital Camera available at Photojojo… their email this morning got me lusting after this little digi-replica all over again… “The MINOX Classic Camera Collection are just like their timeless analog predecessors, except these beauties are digital and recreated at a scale of 1:3. The mini cameras are fully functional and take impressive photos too, with 5.1 megapixel hardware resolution, a 2-inch display and attachable viewfinder.They can even shoot video in AVI format and record onto external SD cards.” And the wooden box it comes in ~ gorgeous! And the accessories are even more fun! Swoon Take a peek at pics from Photojojo and Minox on the next page…
p.s. Just imagining how silly i’d look switching between 5DMKII and this at events…
Though we first had these on NOTCOT.org, some things are just more fun in person and up close! Like these Potting Shed Creations Grow Bottles! Cut wine bottles recycled into micro herb hydrogardens! From the felt tongue to soak up the nutrients from the reservoir base, to the clay marbles that sit in the main growing top ~ this doesn’t look quite like any of your other gardening set ups! It’s such a fun gift idea… next step is to see how it grows… but first! An unboxing of the beautifully simple packaging and fun graphics! (As well as a peek into the refill kits!) ~ check it all out on the nextpage!
Coava has a gorgeous coffee filter and glass coffee maker! (And the photos are gorgeous too!) The Coava Kone Coffee Filter is a “Stainless steel filter designed for use in Chemex® and other pour over style coffee makers (including Hario). Designed with the goal to produce a sustainable filter that also brewed excellent coffee. Locally designed and manufactured entirely in the USA.” The Chemex Glass Handle Coffee Maker is stunning as well! Check out more pics on the next page…
On the most indulgent of chocolate gifts i’ve yet to come across… Vosges’ “Travel The World Through Chocolate Steamer Trunk” is quite the spectacle. Amazingly, every “vintage steamer trunk filled with every truffle, caramel, bonbon and comfort food in the Vosges Haut-Chocolat line. This grande gift was inspired by Katrina’s creative process and the Travel the World through Chocolate theme. Each vintage steamer trunk was hand selected by Katrina and includes notes and musings about her creative process and a map to plot your “travels” with each chocolate bite.” Insane, no? But can you imagine one of these appearing at your office? House? Party? Wow… see more close ups as well as a full listing of products included on the next page!
On things that look like one thing but are really other things, these notebooks i found at Merci while in Paris are just that. From Japanese stationery line, D-Bros ~ these notebooks have images of tools on them… particularly tools that can hang! And then there is a hole so you can hang the notebooks as if hanging the tool… with hammers, scissors, paint brushes, shovels, and even ladles… they look great hanging in your office! While black and white on the covers, they are colorful within, with dotted pages in blue, yellow, pink. Check out the details of the hammer and scissor ones on the next page!
Since Lowe’s gave us an excuse to dive deeper and explore the world of home makeovers, remods, etc ~ we decided to kick it off by exploring the designer side of power tools! Thing we want, things to come, things i can’t imagine life without! And these certainly aren’t your usual power drills, sanders, saws and more… and to spice things up, have you ever thought of using your power tool as a regular instrument in your kitchen? Or in your bar? Or how about just to sharpen loads of pencils? Gorgeous, fun power tools await on the next page!
I’ve always wanted one of Emilio Garcia’s Jumping Brains by Lapolab… remember the peek at the making-of the new Brain Hues? When i popped by The Toy Art Gallery to pick up Squadt ~ it was the Brain Hues launch day, and a few still remained… so i picked two up! Their pearlized finishes make them perfect to photograph in the sun out in the yard… So take a peek at my random little backyard photoshoot and the packaging/limited edition details!
While minibars are often used to numb/relax the mind ~ and some have stimulating energy boosters and/or “toys” for your pleasure now ~ i love the idea of adding some intellectual stimulation as well. In addition the The School of Life Daily Aphorism cards that Morgans Hotels leave on your pillow each night, they have also come up with the Minibar for the Mind, and what better place to test this than at the gorgeous Redwood Room at The Clift in San Francisco? Inviting a few friends to truly explore the “Conversation Starters” over martinis… before they even sat down, the Daily Aphorism cards got us talking ~ “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” - Douglas Adams & my personal favorite “Between two evils, I always pick the one I haven’t tried before.” - Mae West. Words to live by, no? Inside each set, you’ll find: CONVERSATION STARTERS: A box set of 250 cards featuring questions, quotations and provocations to start tongues wagging. COLLECTED THOUGHTS: A volume of the best columns written by The School of Life’s faculty and friends. READING PRESCRIPTIONS: Two tailor-made reading prescriptions housed in corked test tubes, designed to evoke moods of relaxation or seduction. DREAMS & FEARS NOTEBOOK with WRITER’S BLOCK PENCIL SET: A notebook to write down your dreams and fears, and inspirational pencils to get you going. I think The School of Life and Morgans are on to something here… the universal nature of forcing us to think differently, reassess our surroundings, push boundaries… while not always easy, are fun and freeing and make for passionate discussions, be it with friends or strangers!
So, while i have gone through all 250 cards, and the STACK of daily aphorisms, i tried to pick out my favorite thought provokers to get you going, and even then, i ended up with FAR too many to share in one post. So, on the next page… see pics of some of my favorites, as shot in the candle lit inspiration of the Redwood Room, while sipping a Mandarin Lemongrass Martini (deliciousness!)…
Oh, Project Squadt (A collaborative effort between Ferg and ThreeZero, brought to you by Jamungo). Amazing creatures ~ beings? ~ with masks, and faces, and interchangeable eyes, and some bad ass weaponry. I’ve always wanted one… never quite made the lightning fast online limited edition sales… so when i stumbled upon some in the Toy Art Gallery Store, i couldn’t resist. And upon realizing they were right here in LA ~ popped over to the store to pick it up! While i still wish i could find one of the gas mask guys ~ for now i’m playing with Squadt NKD Jack + QPMNT PAC 1! Complete with bathrobe, various arms, tactical knife, tactical chest rig, sUMP, sMK23 with holster, and long sleeve shirt. They really are so photogenic too… see him in various set ups and unboxing on the next page!
p.s. how awesome are the dogs?
Exploring Lowe’s the other day to pick up epoxy, rope, and do some power tool “research”… i came across this pack of pencils… with a DRILL BIT PENCIL SHARPENER! The C.H. Hanson Pro-Sharp™ Finishing Pencil Carpenter is apparently the “world’s first chuckable drill powered pencil sharpener” and “produces a fast, consistent pencil point every time”. And so far it has lived up to its name. Honestly, it’s falling quickly into the, “how have i not had this my whole life?” category… it’s so FUN. It makes me want to sharpen through the whole box… totally understand how that reviewer on Amazon went through 144 pencils in less than 15 minutes. Anyhow, it’s fascinating, so stupidly simple, and has given my drill a whole new usage… pencils don’t stand a chance. See more on the next page, as well as a video of it in action!