There’s no denying that Kindle Living has some of the nicest heat lamps around. In fact, its surprising that there aren’t more designs that make better use of people’s natural tendencies to cluster under heat lamps… love that these are beautiful designs (though a bit alice in wonderland with the HUGE scaled traditional looking lamp look), more functional than purely heating - with the ability to provide lighting, cocktail tables, and even customized shades and more. But what’s most fascinating that i just discovered, is HOW they are actually assembled. When researching heat lamps for my friend’s patio, we started reading up on all the details, and discovered the assembly guide filled with pics! Surprisingly easy, i’m tempted now… even though it doesn’t get THAT chilly here! Take a peek on the next page!
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On surprises and coincidences ~ the awesomest present just arrived at my doorstep! And can i just say that Dead As We Know It is not only an incredible creative agency ~ i’ve long been a fan of just about everything they’ve ever done ~ are incredibly fun to brainstorm with over breakfast in snowstorms ~ and they even helped design the NotVentures logo and banner! So when this surprise stamp arrived today ~ i was touched, excited, and am now stamping just about everything in sight (yes, including my hand). See more pics of it on the next page!
p.s. Oh. and as for the coincidence part ~ they also designed the awesome Thor/Acura S.H.I.E.L.D. Assessment Test i just wrote about in the last post!
It has definitely been a car themed month? But what more can i expect when i put a one month travel ban on myself? Inspiration comes through finding other toys to keep me running around a bit… more locally! I played with the Acura MDX recently, and after that i couldn’t help noticing EVERY time an Acura came through a shot while watching Thor! Perfectly timed with all of this fun ~ the Acura/Thor press kit designed by Dead As We Know It (also behind Kraken, NotVentures and more!) arrived! Beautiful, playful designs for everything from branded Pulse Smartpen to sugar cube and scorpion in jars, keys, switches, Rorschach test, and more… all disguised as a playful S.H.I.E.L.D. Assessment Kit. The Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement Logistics Division - you know, that marvel government agency that deals with superheroes?) Being a perfect excuse for yet another Car Unboxing, take a peek at the kit, the components, and Acura MDX details on the next page!
I’ve never grown mushrooms before, but having been hearing about mushroom kits for some time now ~ though often they look like they are growing out of a less than appealing pile of goo in a bag! The Back To The Roots Mushroom Kit just arrived, and i love their box design! So simple and pretty and ready to sit on your kitchen window sill! Back To The Roots is the brainchild of two UC Berkeley students, Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora back in 2009 during their final semester ~ they went from investment banking to full time urban mushroom farmers! Most unique about their kits: their oyster mushrooms grow in 100% recycled coffee grounds! So, while i have no mushrooms yet, having just popped the box open today ~ consider this an unboxing look at the details on how it all starts!
Gorgeous! And so simple, minimal… just found this Schwenkgrill Rohstahl (Raw steel pivot grill) and Feuerschale Rohstahl (Crude steel fire bowl) over at the awesome German, Manufactum! While the fire bowl is beautifully tempting on its own already ~ when you add the grill pendulum/pulley set up above it ~ with controllable height, much like work out equipment… it becomes EVEN more interesting and functional! Take a peek at closeups on the next page!
These bikes are adorable, hyperfunctional and i can’t stop staring! Found these and more over at Rolling Orange. Bakfietsen (Bakfiets is singular!) are like the SUVs of bikes ~ super cargo bikes ready to haul whatever you can fit in them ~ kids, pets, picnics, farmer’s marketing, rapid prototyping machine, just about anything! Ready to see more? Take a peek on the next page… so tempting!
Amazing. Justine has has me laughing so hard with this latest London discovery of hers at Selfridges! Check out part one of her adventures below!
A WHALE RODEO! and a black light lit aquarium of confiscated coral! It’s hard not to love the new campaign, Project Ocean at Selfridges a huge collaboration between the renowned department store, the Zoological Society of London and more than 20 environmental and conservation groups “to celebrate the beauty of the ocean, highlight the issue of over-fishing, help us all understand the threats to the ocean and make positive choices about the right fish to buy and eat.” This is one of a series of posts on the exhibition, which runs from 11 May - 12 June 2011.
Both the Whale Rodeo and Ultralounge are located downstairs in the home section of the store. The Ultralounge houses a large quiet, cinema room with a large screen showing video footage of the ocean. It’s dark walls are filled with small aquaria containing beautiful corals on loan from the aquarium at ZSL and are specimens which have been confiscated from traffickers at Heathrow airport. So pretty! It is also home to a cute shop selling goods whose proceeds support ocean conservation.
The Whale Rodeo is located just opposite the Ultralounge and yes you can give it a ride. More pics and a video of its operators who very obliging demonstrated for you on the next page! Seriously, you have to see this robotic beast in action…
I have always loved this idea of a mini wearable vase necklace ~ remember the Rockettoro Blossom Pendants from way back in 2006, with the glass vial, perfect for one flower? Well flipping through Lucky, i just saw this Tiffany & Co ad for the new Elsa Peretti Bottle Pendants that play on the same concept! “Once i was in Portofino and i met all those beautiful women that were wearing Pucci’s dresses and had a gardenia in their hand. That was the flash that made me think to realize something to keep the flower fresh and alive, therefore the little bottle came to the light…” says Elsa Peretti. So pretty and delicate, it really is a shame they don’t have more images of the pendants with flowers on their site! And i could never see wearing an orchid with praying mantis as i go about my day… but there are so many pretty options! And for those averse to cutting flowers, imaging putting some of that magical hydrogel stuff inside and nursing a seedling around your neck until ready for planting, etc? Take a peek at the other designs and more images on the next page!
p.s. I know, Tiffany & Co and Kiel Mead situation is terrible, but these bottle pendants are just interesting objects!
The color of the day has inadvertently become: RED! This morning Mercedes dropped off a Mars Red 2011 Mercedes-Benz C63 for me to play with ~ and i happened to need to take a little drive down to South Coast Plaza to go see some Louboutins… (which, as you can see, i clearly gave in to). And as i excitedly unboxed them in the car, i realized the signature Louboutin red sole matches Mercedes Mars Red far too well. And… i could not resist, but had to shoot the unboxing IN and ON the car! (I’m liking this unboxing on cars thing… remember the Bentley/Toy shoot?) So if you’re ready for some red… take a peek at the unboxing of the Louboutin Elisa 100 Metal Patent in Rouge and the Mars Red C63 on the next page!
This post is part of a NOTCOT series on inspiring, independent design thinking, brought to you by Saab. At Saab, we believe in independent thinking. It’s in everything we do. Learn more here.
On amazing combinations, there’s something awesomely multisensory about the realm of Food Design ~ particularly when it involves not only the food and experience but specially design products to help present them as well! Enter Pinch Food Design from New York - “a bold new brand of catering powered by a state-of-the-art kitchen and design workshop devoted solely to the creation of one-of-a-kind “food furniture.” Led by the groundbreaking chef/designer duo of Bob Spiegel and TJ Girard, the Pinch team is driven by an uncompromising commitment to incite surprise, anticipation and delight with every bite while wowing our clients - and their guests - with imaginative presentation combinations that redefine the art of celebration.” Fun, right? I love the idea of seeing everything from plates and serving ware as “food furniture”! Above is the Apple Cider Donut selection on Spoke tray ~ with each one perfectly presented! Take a peek at more of their creations on the next page…
I never knew the history of Nudie cards till this post. Did you know - “The birth of modern-day nudie cards can be traced to 16th century cards from India depicting the positions of the Kama Sutra. By the turn of the 20th century, during the Art Nouveau movement, erotic card decks appeared celebrating a renewed appreciation of the female form. These decks evolved to include illustrations or photographs of nude models, flappers, burlesque singers, and pin-up girls. Because these cards were not legal at the time, they were often sold under the guise of art studies.” They started as “art” not “porn”? Fascinating, right? Also, apparently for these new Ryan McGinness Blacklight Nudie Cards for the Standard, each abstracted drawing was from actual figure studies of models… even the three boobed ones! (Ok, so a few have multiple bodies, but they still are near indecipherable, as creative as you get!) Printed with fluorescent inks, these cards are optimal for glowing goodness under blacklights. I showed you a peek at McGinness’ show that started this series as well as the vinyls at the The Standard New York and limited edition prints of the cards, now, take a peek at the unboxing and close ups of the cards on the next page!
Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! This time Leo researched SO many devices that could make coffee we didn’t even know where to start narrowing them down. Well, we’ve decided to roundup some of the prettiest, cordless, coffee/espresso makers ~ from stove top to vacuum to portable… these are all intriguingly beautiful enough to leave out with pride. Ready to take a look at what we found? Check it out on the next page!
WE LOVE CALIFORNIA! OMG it smells like socal ~ i can’t explain it. It’s like there’s some fresh beachy goodness baked into this new “We Love California” Candle (in “Cruel Summer” scent) from LA based, Baxter of California, in collaboration with Parisian, Colette… their description? “Cruel Summer opens with a very powerful green, leafy top note accented with a citrus lemon undertone. The body of this complex blend is a floral, green bouquet starring brilliant hyacinth, tempered with notes of cyclamen, and accented with a fresh marine accord. These rest on an alluring white musk base, embellished with cedar wood.” As usual, the design is by Marc Atlan ~ and gorgeously minimal! This limited edition of 400 candles will be available at Colette in Paris and online, at the Baxter LA Barbershop and online.
When they reached out to offer us a giveaway, i simply had to smell it before agreeing. When it arrived today, i was won over (first by their awesome custom packing tape!) by the scent and design ~ and what could be more appropriate than to share a little california love with you guys? As a born and raised LA girl, and seeing as i just canceled all my May travel to hide out and enjoy at least a month of this lovely LA summer… this seems like the perfect giveaway! But before you enter ~ take a peek at the unbox and close ups of packaging and candle on the next page…
TO WIN: Leave a comment by midnight in cali time, Friday, May 6th, with what you love about California ~ and i’ll pick and email a winner over the weekend! Oh! And you most definitely do not have to be IN California to win!
SO CUTE. Who doesn’t need two mini herds of 15 brontos and stegos for their wall? Posted this signed pair of prints from The Bird Machine recently on NOTCOT.org, then gave in and bought them. They just arrived and are so adorable, had to share close ups! Check them out on the next page
Though almost TOO hot and sunny with santa anas and a heatwave passing through, it did look like quite the glorious LA weekend. And the perfect time to joy ride with the flaming orange 2012 Bentley Continental GT up the coast. So far i showed you some of my favorite little design details, and as promised, here’s a look at the exterior. The glowing orange in the bright sun definitely highlights the crisp lines beautifully… and something about that orange with the endless blue of the sky and ocean coupled with the green of Malibu Canyon made for the perfect backdrop for an impromptu photo shoot… between the glowing car and the serene view, it took the roar of the engine to snap me out of how gorgeously mesmerizing it was! But as soon as i heard that roar, i remembered instantly why i love driving… more to come on the mini roadtrip around LA, but first, take a peek at the 2012 Bentley Continental GT exterior shots on the next page!
An “Orange Flame” 2012 Bentley Contintental GT was dropped off for the weekend ~ and it is one seriously bright car. It is especially gorgeous in the stunning sunshine this weekend! If you recall, the Continental GT even inspired the shape of the case of the 007 Carte Blanche Limited Edition. Having peeked into the Bentley Factory via Ultimate Factories, it’s been fun to leisurely poke at all the tiny details… with Imperial Blue Leather and orange contrast stitching, logos hidden just about everywhere you may not have even imagined, fun knobs and compartments, there’s much to explore, and so many beautiful details as you dive deeper. SO! I thought i’d share my favorites with you ~ take a peek at the little design details tucked all around this new 2012 Bentley Contintental GT on the next page!
p.s. The image above ~ i adore the way the windows create such a sleek opening when down…
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…
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!