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!
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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!
Technology is AWESOME. I love that moment where it becomes SO easy for just about anyone to capture things we couldn’t even fathom/experience fully without it… like all these tiny everything-proofed action cams that are becoming more and more easily available and create incredible imagery/video ultimately reminding us how amazing humans are… or mounted to things like RC flying magines to create incredible aerial flyover vids of Venice Beach. Why tradeoff between living the action and capturing it on camera? With these Mini HD action cams, you can capture and even stream your activities live and in HD. There’s something for surfers, divers, cyclists, drivers, and just about any other use if you get creative! Whatever your activity, they make a mount for it and a housing tough enough to withstand it. So grab a cam, a mount and get out there! See some of our most enticing finds on the next page!
Le Creuset Two-in-One Pan ~ lusting after these in almost every color… while they have always been gorgeous, the multipurpose nature of the Two-In-One set has won me over. See more pics on the next page!
It’s not often you see Letterpress mixed with Skateboard art… mixed with exotic hardwoods… mixed with ABCs… especially the ABC’s of offensive rap lyrics. Amazingly Scumco & Sons seems to have managed to merged all of that… and more. Crafted in their Pittsburgh studios, Scumco & Sons have launched this one of a kind 26 piece art series of decks. Nick Teodori grabbed my attention with them in person last weekend, and i must say they are even more stunning in person! His attention to detail is hard to miss. Layer upon layer of graphics, colors, woods, and meaning for you to decipher and interpret as you wish. Can you name all of the rap songs that inspired them? Can you name the beautiful exotic woods used? Can you imagine teaching kids the alphabets off of these? Which letter would you pick to adorn your wall? The Process: Standard 7 layer maple deck with an 8th layer of 0.06 mm furniture veneer, with prints made on a Vandercook Universal III then heat transferred. The lovely photos are courtesy of Demian Aspinwall, and making of coming soon… but first, check out all of the ABC’s on the next page as well as some close ups!
p.s. While some have been sold ~ a few letters are still available from the collection… so hard trying to decide which one/s my wall needs.
I love Helmut Lang. And i couldn’t help but share the ornithological aspect of their Resort 2012 collection when i was checking it out at Style.com. The imagery resembles X-Rays of the birds in flight ~ in a nice stark white on black… other pieces add a subtle touch of black feathers on their simple, architectural dresses. Visually mesmerizing, no idea how they’ll seem in person, but make for interesting pics. See close ups on the next page.
P.s. The model freaks me out a little, but when i tried to crop her head out it was even worse.
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.
A perfect example of “inspiring, independent design thinking” ~ i love the work of Vienna based, Hard Graft ~ and the latest to join the collection is a black version of the now classic 2Unfold. It’s amazing to see how things have grown and evolved since i first posted about their Unfold bag in 2008, back when they were still Working Class Heroes. There’s actually something magically efficient about how much this sleek and manly/neutral bag can handle - ” This multi-use laptop bag has the perfect proportions to be as versatile as possible - you can easily carry your 17” MacBook in the bag as a briefcase, shoulder bag, backpack or fold it into a courier bag and clutch whilst keeping your 13” MacBook safe inside. The 2UNFOLD doesn’t only look good on the outside - every handle, rivet etc. is reinforced and supported on the inside, to ensure this bag carries your busy life with ease and style. The back zipper pocket easily fits your iPad and hard graft case. In the main compartment you’ll find a pocket for your phone and wallet and as well as your MacBook there’s space inside for more, such as your camera, magazines, sweater etc.” Amazing right? Take a peek at the details close up on the next page!
Beautiful. I couldn’t put the canister and bottle down when i first laid eyes on it ~ the Bruichladdich Organic 2003 Anns An T-Seann Doigh (Gaelic for “In the traditional way”) is a limited edition of 15,000 bottles. Apparently they were the first in the world to have an Organic Islay single malt… and this edition was so delicious, they’ve even created The Organic for full scale release. They have always had such tempting and stunning packaging and typography, but the thin gold illustration (feeling very art deco meets tech styling) on the matte army green bottle is incredible. Coloring free, the whisky itself has a light glow to it ~ and the flavor is definitely on the lighter/fresher side of the spectrum… but even when emptied, this bottle isn’t going anywhere… and that canister would make for an awesome kid’s piggy bank! Ready to take a peek at the packaging details up close? To the next page!
I’ve always been terrible at sitting normally in chairs ~ i end up cross legged, legs hanging off the sides sideways, sitting backwards… and sure, i’ve probably flipped a few chairs in my time. Haven’t we all? Well… given that, when presented the opportunity to try the Knoll Generation ~ that claimed to support ANY way of sitting with its tagline “The first chair that lets you sit how you want.” Challenge, accepted! They are even collecting up pics of HOW people are sitting in them at MyGeneration! So in true NOTCOT fashion ~ here’s a big unboxing on the next page ~ and a peek at my favorite details… from the mesh, to the wheels, to the bendable back that screams office-slingshot…
So many choices! And only two hands… not that we are often using them all at once, but it really is SO easy to have special glasses for just about everything… i have cabinets full of glasses in the kitchen, yet somehow always manage to acquire more! Two of our favorite categories that are pretty versatile (yet still have SO many gorgeously, unique options) are definitely for Beers and Scotches. So if you’re ready for the roundup of fun ones (and a few favorites that are in my cabinet at home even!) head over to the next page!