Found these adorable wooden kids pull toys the other day, and the simplicity of the design, and the appeal of the adorable glossy turtles. From Maya Organic Toys in India ~ made from a sustainable wood source and hand crafted with natural dyes, it even has nice simple eco-friendly recyclable packaging! My favorite part are the details like... it looks as if they lacquered the whole sphere, THEN cut the stripes into them... and they spin simply from the friction of the little sphere "legs" rolling along! Check out the video and more close ups on the next page!
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A while back i showed you the amazing bottles of Rubyy Blood Orange Energy ~ they even have that amazing matte black finish with blacklight loving illustration on it. Well, freshly launched is the DIET version, in an inverted angelic white with a black logo... and the same gorgeous silver graphic... three samples of these just arrived in a box sealed with that same print on paper tape! Find out more about Rubyy here and take a peek at the latest packaging, as well as a look at it next to the classic black bottle on the next page!
Excited to get a first look at Arta's gorgeous and playful set of bar tools that magically nest (tools into rack into ice bucket that sits on the cutting board) as well as a shaker with a built in jigger/strainer. Beautifully unique designs, and really fun packaging, first reaction was definitely - awesome house warming gift idea! (The tools in ice bucket particularly!) I love the packaging! Those silhouettes really grab you! Its such a fun portable set of - muddler, tongs, stirring spoon, bottle opener, knife, citrus reamer, citrus zester, drip-free ice bucket, and integrated cutting board. And since i played with it before lunch today, we actually used it while playing around with some lemons from the tree out back and made some lemonade. While the shaker is fun, and the integrated jigger and strainer are an unusual design, it is a bit impractical... its hard to get the top off, and unless you're pouring it when pretty level, using that for measurement while chatting with friends gets tricky! I think it's complicated instead of simplifying the drink making process? But the tool set is a fun one to have around the house, especially for a quick set you can bring outside with you for cocktails while bbq-ing! Take a peek at the details on the next page!
Just got home and ended up playing way too much Rock Band tonight ~ so as tired as my body might be, my mind was inspired to show you this awesome limited edition MWM Graphics Rock Band Guitar that i've been meaning to post! Before we get into looking at how sweet this guitar is... lets get all the complicated collaborations and brands out of the way ~ this Geometric Funk XBOX 360 Rock Band Guitar was created by MWM Graphics, which is Matt W. Moore, for Pepsi Rock Band 2009 to promote the Pepsi/Yahoo/Harmonix/MTV Drink Up, Rock Out promotion! Basically, gamers can submit their own Rock Band music videos for a chance to win a MTV Video Music Award Moonman, as well as other great Rock Band prizes under the caps of Pepsi bottles everywhere! I just got distracted midway through post writing while watching a bunch of the videos, some are pretty hilarious - here, check this one out.
ANYHOW, beyond the pretty fun campaign going on (i think you have till Sept to rock out and make a fun music video!) ~ stepping back and checking it out ~ i just love that this is art + video games + music + UGC + ad campaign. It's so fun to see the graphic stylings of favorites like MWM Graphics on a Rock Band fender guitar! I must say the number of brands you can tie into this whole endeavor is hurting my head slightly ~ but that aside ~ could the rock band guitar be the new tshirt/skateboard to customize for artists? Check out more pics of this gorgeous collaboration on the next page ~ as well as some screenshots of the campaign (i'm liking the site design!).
On awesome 4th of July presents from afar ~ my sister just bought me and then installed to photograph ~ this awesome Beasties Lamp Shade from Habitat! (It's waiting for me out in London, so the unbox will hold me over till i get there on my next trip!) If it looks familiar, i posted it as #22491... These Beasties are "Acid etched metal shade featuring animal-shaped silhouettes etched around the shade." Take a peek at more shots of it, the cool shadows it makes, and the packaging on the next page!
Happy 4th of July! While out at the Yuki 7 opening at Gallery Nucleus tonight ~ since i seldom venture out to Alhambra ~ we cruised around a bit, and there were 4+ of these fireworks trailers within a few block radius! So, naturally, it was hard to resist stopping at one to check out the frenzy, and couldn't resist indulging and picked up The Nite Thriller. The packaging is quite amusing... so many crazy fonts... the plastic bag has THE PREVENTOR on it... some even have the special "Glofuze"... and with names like Crackling Cactus and Golden Shower, it's hard not to giggle.
They were for a good cause! Apparently TNT Fireworks are great for fundraising, and the ones we saw were for the AYSO teams.
While i've never been a huge embroidery fan, Megan Whitmarsh's little yetis and lilliputian people rocking out have always been so adorably amusing. These were spotted over at Synchronicity at CAboom, and definitely made me giggle. Take a look at the rest of these silver and gold little guys with their crazy geometric/neon clothes and patterns popping off mini canvases on the next page!
If i had a pool, i'd love to have it surrounded by a few of these Inflatable Pool Lounger/Chairs by PAD Outdoor. Such a sleek simple idea ~ aluminum frame (see it exposed on the next page!) ~ and although its only a prototype, you can buy them over at Ford & Ching and they will even customize them in an array of colors...
I didn't know what to expect when i heard CA|Boom had moved from barker hanger (which i love!) to that abandoned feeling Robinsons May space in Beverly Hills... and from March to the same dates as the Dwell on Design Show... but i had to check it out none the less. It takes a few minutes to cover - but the thing worth seeing is the art! A few great local galleries are showing some fun work... like Thinkspace!!!
That piece above is one of a series by Brett Amory in his "Waiting" Series ~ and it's absolutely STUNNING. A must see in person. There's just an incredible way it pulls you in ~ beautiful color palette ~ and then as you get closer you notice the details and emotional distance between the 3 tightly seated communters who float like an island in the space... Love the hoodied guy too... There's something terribly fun about the shift to seeing more art works with the beautiful illustrations/characters woven into larger more complex and/or abstract pieces coming in... leave it to Thinkspace to lead the way. Take a look at a few of their other pieces showing at CA|Boom which also caught my eye on the next page!
LA kids - if you're not on the Sour Harvest list, you should be. It's far better than asking me what shows are happening each week!
The one thing that i couldn't get out of my head after leaving Dwell On Design - Woolly Pocket Gardening Company, and they adorably cool recycled plastic felty living walls/vertical gardens and planter pockets! It's a brilliant concept that really softens up a space, and such a fun subtle texture to add both indoors and out. These pockets are ready for planting, come in a variety of sizes... and can be both lined on the interior base (so they wont leak onto your walls/etc) or unlined for outdoor use. "Woolly Pockets are flexible, breathable, and modular gardening containers. They`come in two styles: those designed to be placed on horizontal surfaces, and those designed to be hung on walls for vertical gardening. You can use Woolly Pockets both indoors and out; they have built-in moisture barriers to help protect furniture, and they're equally at home outside in the elements"
Also - how adorable is that logo and tag??? Their website + blog have adorable photography as well ~ but for some first hand looks at them, check out more pics on the next page of the various setups and colors all over the Dwell show ~ not only at their booth, but also found at the VIP section and throughout the Outdoor section. I have so many ideas for movable gardens in my patio as well as covering some walls now! See the pics...
How perfect would the small table top ones be for fun succulent filled gifts???
Phone Lust! Crunching to get this post sorted out before i run to LAX to pick friends up... and because of that i wasn't able to make it out to London today for the HTC Hero and HTC Sense launch! Fortunately Dr. Justine (yes! my little sis is all done!!!) was able to spare a few hours, hop out of oxford, and out of the academic world to go see what all this mobile fuss was about. And get pics to show me what i was missing. As usual, you can get all the technical details on any site, but she got us those key moments and details i love seeing... like the expressions the C-level presenters have, and the presentation graphics they used... and quotes about things like Drunken Thumb and Teflon fingerprintlessness and how 'fun people make fun phones, nerdy people make nerdy phones' (yes, this is a "fun" phone). So on the next page you'll see a bunch of hands on pics of the new phone, as well as my favorite snippets of her press event experience.
As for the phone lusting ~ the new HTC Hero is like a super thin keyboardless version of the G1 (in shape!) ~ and it is running Android, with their new HTC Sense experience that takes it to a whole new level (keep in mind HTC are the guys who even skinned windows mobile to a point where i loved looking at it, and the UX, until you realize its still win mobile under there, too bad they couldn't hide everything?) ~ Its most appealing feature is that it is truly PEOPLE centered, in that instead of looking for your friends on twitter, facebook, flickr, address book, email (of various accounts)... it sorts the content by PEOPLE! So you can see all of a person's feeds/interactions with you in one place. And it sounds like it does it pretty easily too ~ get your account info in and the phone does the rest and updates it regularly and syncs people up. Now if that meant all those people i'm bad at officially putting in my address book can have their info sucked in from facebook/linkedin etc ~ that'd be awesome. (p.s. while it does apparently magically sync matching names on its own, you can decide which get paired or manually sync for people who like pseudonyms on various accounts.)
OK ~ go see the pics!
With so many lost souls out there "finding themselves" via quarter, third, and mid life crises these days... i loved the idea of reminding us all that "not all haystacks contain needles". It's not about looking hard enough to find what you want... if its not there! Usually. Really its about looking in the RIGHT places? Making smarter decisions as we "grow up"? I love this one as a reminder to look up to when you're faced with more opportunities than are feasible, as it alleviates some of the guilt in turning a few down.
Rant aside ~ these pieces by Damien Correll at the Faesthetic curated "This must be the place" show at the Scion Space in Culver City broke the black + white + teal color palette a little, but his illustration/graphic style is so playful its easy to forgive him and try to find meaning within his could be random juxtapositions. See the rest of his work on the next page!
On more favorites ~ it was such a pleasure to see Dan Funderburgh again ~ and then literally stand and lose myself in his latest wallpaper pattern. Everyone at the Faesthetic curated "This must be the place" show at the Scion Space in Culver City worked in black and white + one color (Faesthetic style!) ~ and this time the color was their choice of teal. Well, Dan Funderburgh loves the black and white (me too!) ~ but when presented with the teal paint options at Home Depot ~ he couldn't resist using a splash of Ariel's Song. Yes. The Disney paint colors for Behr... from the Princess collection. I think it's the color of her tail? So his black and white wallpaper, with laser-cut/burnt out black and white pieces in black frames... got their splash of color with the Ariel's Song painted side of the wallpapered coffin. He always did find the most intriguing ways to create serenely complex edgy compositions that make your head spin if you look long and hard enough. So take a look at things up close on the next page... it was particularly interesting to watch people pose for pictures with his Ariel tail colored coffin face.
On fun eco-friendly toys i stumbled upon while toy shopping recently (and then had to buy to share!) ~ Check out this E-Racer (the name is also hilarious) ~ made from cut bamboo tubes, it's cute to see how closely it keeps its form! It claims that it is "Naturally fun" and made with bamboo, water based colors, and renewable materials (i assume they mean the metal screws and the plasticy exhaust, and rubbery wheels)... the packaging was horrible, so if i ever end up gifting one of these to a kid, will definitely unwrap it first! See an unboxing and more close up pics of these adorable eco-race cars on the next page!
There is something undeniably amusing about dragons... and girl scouts? Especially when put together by Amanda Visell and her Switcheroo! Unfortunately i was still in NY when the big Dragon Scout vinyl toy release and party went down, but i was giddy to come home to a surprise package from her with one of the Green Dragon Scouts ~ with one girl scout freaking out, and one in its belly, and a little fire! Take a peek at these two taking over my pool table, the gorgeous packaging, and a peek at the customs made just for the show on the next page!
Is it possible to completely fall for the way someone sees the world? Because i want to live in the world that Kevin Dart has created for Yuki 7 - filled with non-stop jetsetting adventures through the 60's where "everyone should be SUPER cute" in adorable bikinis and gorgeous clothes and armed to the teeth while relaxing and calculating devious schemes and brilliantly daring escapes in mid-century modern furniture if not laying on the beach. If these feel familiar, we did an amazing giveaway of the series of 4 Yuki 7 posters over the holidays. (I'm still jealous of Jory for winning!)
Seductive Espionage: The World of Yuki 7 - This is the second book from Fleet Street Scandal ~ it is built around the fictitious world of Yuki 7 ~ and they brought together some incredible artist friends to help bring her story to life. From an awesome action packed trailer (you may have seen as .org # 22010 - but its also on the next page!) ~ to absolutely stunning interpretations of this silver screen siren. See a peek at the t-shirt and into the book on the next page!
Can someone please turn this into an animated series or movies? It's as if they pulled out my favorite parts of the old Bond films that the new ones lack... just add some mind blowing gadgets in perhaps?
I totally flipped out seeing a quote from myself on the back cover! Definitely a NOTCOT first, and i'm so honored to be there! The doodle and signature/note inside the book also made my heart skip a beat... See the pics on the next page already!
Latest in designer collabs for Target is Dror. While most of the new collection is more pillows, bedding, little stationery accessories ~ the one piece that really caught my eye are the Nesting/Stacking Bookcase/Shelves! I wonder if they could also be little stools as well? While i'm not sure that i love how they look stacked, i do love that they stack and nest! So multipurpose, and easy to move? Take a peek at some of the larger pics on the next page, and browse the full collection here.
So, as i'm sure you may have picked up by now, i've been back in NY at a not so designy conference and checking out some random events (like polo and Aston Martin) ~ and some guy wrote in criticizing my lack of "quirky posts about cleverly designed knick knacks" ~ while personally, i find the cut in half aston martin very quirky and cleverly designed... i also found some pics just before i left of my little Staples shopping spree with regards to their new OXO for Staples exclusive line of office products! You may have seen them over at NOTCOT.org #21648 earlier, but you've got to check them out up close too! I love the line, particularly the little magnets ~ all products have the signature OXO rubbery grippiness, and clean solid designs. The scissors i hadn't realized have a little switch where upon flipping it they can close till the tips CROSS - switching into BOXCUTTER mode! Genius really... also, watch out if you ever see someone running at you with closed scissors... So take a look on the next page to see close ups of the ones i purchased, as well as the POS displays... apparently pens and highlighters are even on the way!
Here's a $5 off $15 coupon too! expires 6/15/09.
A Rolls Royce engineer's wife mentions that she doesn't know where to put her purse when she's in the car. Solution? A purse pop out section of the back seat complete with wings to support the width of the purse, and as soon as it senses your purse, it automatically has a piece that slides up to give it a little squeeze and hold it in place. Yes! I'm serious. There's a video on the next page to show you. And in case you are wondering, their design team is a tiny 10 person team in the UK, and the only woman is their color & trim specialist.
Ok so to backtrack a bit ~ this morning i was invited to the Rolls Royce 200EX preview in Beverly Hills. This concept car launched in Geneva and is currently making its worldwide debut city by city ~ and will go into production in 2010. While i've never quite been a Rolls kind of girl, i was impressed with the details, and it was fascinating to see and hear the design stories. So for this post, we'll focus on the details, and work out to the car and event itself through pictures on the next page...
First spotted at the Areaware booth at ICFF, then again at the Designboom Local show ~ how adorable are these nesting "Step Stools" tables by Paul Loebach? The design is so perfectly cute, and the color palette really makes it pop! ... in a refreshingly green playful minimal sort of way. "Hard Maple, Birch Plywood - Inspired by the simple versatility of American Shaker furniture, these nesting stools pull out to make a set of steps." See more images of it from both shows on the next page!
I have had a thing for awesome classic-esque black wood chairs with a twist... i went through classics, was tempted, but wanted more. And then i walked into the Design House Stockholm event at NY Design week, and just gravitated to these 4 Family Chairs by Lina Nordqvist - and just FYI, i love almost all things DHS, so i knew i hadn't seen these before, and just kind of wandered past the door list and right over to them. They are such a fun twist on a classic! Here's their description:
"Not every chair is created equal. Especially not Family Chairs by Lina Nordqvist, a foursome of traditional Swedish stickback chairs. Separately they present themselves as individuals, unique chairs aspiring to be something more than just pieces of furniture. Together they form a boisterous family, with each one displaying a distinctive character. Even the horizontal spindles between the chair legs play their part in the game. "I'm fascinated by objects, and I like it when they have their own special individuality, something beyond mere technical function. That's why I decided on a graduation project at Beckmans College of Design in which I transformed something well-known and traditional into something unexpected." It's no surprise that Lina Nordqvist's Family Chairs seem to be made for the stage: she has already pursued a career as a professional set designer in the Swedish film industry for several years. Family Chairs will be available in natural wood and in a black-lacquered version."
See the many pictures on the next page! Which is your favorite? I also have a thing for playfully mismatched chairs...
IKEA PS Collection 2009 is stunning ~ those of you following NOTCOT.org may have seen a bit of this collection as it launched in sweden ~ and as the playful animations about the design stories behind the collection began to circulate. While the anticipation for this collection is not yet over (the collection wont be available in the US until August 2009) - but it's official US launch was at ICFF, so i finally got a chance to check it out in person! This year the theme is "Never Ending Design Stories" - the press release says: "The new collection is all about stories. Stories about our roots, of empowering people, of innovative ways of minimizing the use of resources and maximizing our responsibility for our world." And the products reflect this beautifully with so many playful, unique, pieces that manage to dance the line between mass produced and full of character. You can see some of my favorites above ~ and on the next page take a peek at pics from the IKEA booth at ICFF 09, as well as the full catalog of products, and a peek at the history of the PS collection.
It's always such a pleasure to go visit the DesignGlut booth at ICFF ~ i'm not sure how to describe it other than delightfully edgy ~ it is so playful, yet realistically dark ~ basically i always end up wanting everything ~ and as silly as Kegan Fisher and Liz Kinnmark may seem, they manage to pull it off this playfulness with more charisma and seriousness than you may expect from a design duo selling your eggs pants. Their photo shoots and booth design were stunning as always, and they're even launching a new product... the Candlestrip ~ just like what it sounds like ~ candles with plug bottoms, ready to stick into almost any outlet (i still think they were pretty risky to have outlet plates as well as candle prototypes in the same booth waiting to be plugged together!) ~ but basically the candles go into a power strip like holder!
Take a look at some closeups of the new goodies, and their fun booth on the next page!
i hate that every time i see them i feel like i need to buy a few dozen more hookmakers!
I've written about quite a bit of packaging design, and alcohol packaging in particular often has some beautiful designs, but i think this is a first where the detail that grabbed me most was the cork! Once we popped this cork, i couldn't help but spin it around and around, and as we drank the bottle the question really became, who's chasing whom?
This is the cork of the André Balazs Sunset Beach Rosé ~ which is a collaboration with his long time friend and local Long Island winemaker, Christian Wölffer. Apparently vines planted at his Sunset Beach hotel will also contribute to future réserves. The label is also a fresh, beautiful water color representing that French Riviera/Miami lifestyle ~ lounging on towels with toes dipped in the water, raising glasses of Rosé as the bartender wades into the sunset behind with tray over his head? Cute label ~ rumor has it the girls on it are his daughters? Anyhow, take a peek at more pics on the next page...
I have to admit this up front because i felt so silly about it ~ when i was trying to start catching up on what ICFF goodness to share, i couldn't get this insane reflective jellyfish-like icelandic lamps out of my head, so i start photoshopping pictures, and then researching online, only to find that it had already been on NOTCOT.org #20302... So yes, even I can't keep up with absolutely everything anymore, and truthfully, it was even cooler in person!
Now for those who don't know, these lights are Illuminant by Kristin Birna Bjarnadottir out of Iceland ~ and there is no actual LIGHT in the light! It is like a jellyfish of reflective fabric ~ reflective strands hanging down and bundled above the more classically shaped lamp shade ~ and on the floor is a high powered LED light, simply shooting light up inside of it, and the result is this ethereal glowing free flowing creature... and to change colors, you simple put glass filters on the lights. (Literally just put a glass disc on the top of the light source) Now, imagine a forest of jellyfish in the ocean... can you imagine these installed in an array of sizes and heights hanging from trees in a garden party?
Take a look at the various pictures on the next page!
i could also totally see these installed in a rave/burning man type situation evolved into a visual/sound installation where the lights pulsate with the music and possibly even push bursts of air upwards to create perfectly timed motion in the tentacles of a forest of these... how fun would that be to watch?