As a new mom, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of baby stuff out there. Skip Hop is a favorite of mine for their refreshingly playful and modern designs, and for their affordable prices. I got to go to their offices to check out their Fall 2011 preview, where there were lots of new additions to the Skip Hop collection. I also got a behind the scenes look at Skip Hop’s design space, and met their lead designer (who is seven months pregnant!). Check out some photos from my visit on the next page!
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Just in from the UK ~ Justine just checked out Clerkenwell Design Week!
I never knew i could do strawberries upside down! Justine’s pics of this display have me inspired to try it… they have some impressive yield even! And get so lovely and bushy looking! Love this display of Boskke Sky Planters in the House of Detention, an installation from Theo, the re-branded retail/online side of Thorsten van Elten at Clerkenwell Design Week. Take a peek at close ups… and views UP into the strawberries on the next page!
Scissor goodness from our friend David Gensler! Gorgeous new series of hand crafted, antique tailoring shear pendants by David Gensler of the KDU and Serum Versus Venum and Osamu Koyama from Complete techniques. The new shears collection reflect David Gensler’s extensive collection of tailoring shears, over 800 pairs that span 450 years! The new series includes three styles which are T. Wilkinson & Sons (English), R. Heinisch (American) and an unmarked Parisian pair, which come in Black Mirror finished over pure silver, silver with 24k Gold bolt, pure 18k gold, rough finished brass, hammered antiqued silver and other combinations to replicated actual traditional shears. They’ll be available next week on the svsv online store! In the meantime, check out more pics of the svsv page for the project here. Ready to see more pics of the final products as well as the making of? To the next page!
I might have some C63 lusting happening since spending the week with that Louboutin Mars Red 2011 Mercedes-AMG C63… and when i was going to show you pics of that one, i ended up getting sucked in to the design of the new 2012 model on the way… particularly the Coupe. Something about panoramic sunroofs fascinates me… imagine all the fun and unexpected photo angles you could have through that! Design wise, liking the simplified grill design and body updates, as well as the interior dashboard design that’s evolving nicely. From a tech perspective, this latest model finally gets the driver assistance systems from the S/CLS lines too - adaptive high beam assist, attention assist, parktronic, lane and blind spot assists ~ and even incorporates 3D virtual city views and eco routes built in to the nav. As far as driving tech… first with a new telematics generation, and with the development package you can get it up to 481 HP @ 6,500 RPM… fun, right? Anyhow, while diving into all the details and pictures ~ Mercedes was nice enough to send over some design sketches so we can see where the car evolved from! Take a peek at all the details on the next page!
This post is sponsored by American Express Membership Rewards. Visit American Express on Facebook at facebook.com to view all the possibilities with Membership Rewards Points.
Ok, so i just spent a week with a 2011 MercedesAMG C63 in my garage (yes, the BRIGHT mars red one)… and i forgot how much i LOVE driving. Sadly just had Mercedes come pick it up a few minutes ago… So, that combined with being asked to share some of my travel dreams for these Amex Membership Rewards posts… i had to show you the Mercedes AMG Driving Academy Winter Sporting classes… in Arjeplog, just 80km from the Arctic circle! The pictures are just stunning ~ definitely dreaming about doing these some day ~ though i can’t decide how i’d ever pick between driving and photographing! See it all on the next page!
Buying and owning is really only half the battle… responsibility… whatever you want to call it when you are talking about all the clothes and other accouterments we adorn ourselves with. For this post, Leo and Marcia delved into the world of laundering and objects that help us care for the clothes we love that are worth showing off like a gorgeous piece of furniture. From laundry baskets to ironing boards that look like works of art ~ to unusually dressing/hanging stations and convertible furniture! Take a peek at it all on the next page!
On random finds on my cell phone ~ Louis Vuitton had some memorable window designs down at South Coast Plaza. How can you not be drawn in by these dripping golden honey bursts ~ with golden bees and LV logo/icons all bursting out from it? Take a peek at more details on the next page ~ and if you have more pics or info, send it over!
Another ICFF discovery from Anna of Sub-Studio ~ we’re loving the Ply Project’s Flex Chair created by Kenichi Sato. It takes full advantage of plywood as a material, using its ability to be both rigid and supportive and take on a soft, bendable, almost woven texture. Being made of plywood, the chairs are lightweight and easily moved as they can be separated into a flexible plywood membrane which attaches to a metal frame with embedded magnets, making it so easy to remove/clean off/swap/etc! The Flex series comes in both a chair and chaise lounge. Take a peek at some of Anna’s pics from ICFF as well as product pics on the next page!
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!
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…