likes, loves and lusts

summer scents

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This is my new perfume for this summer - isn't the packaging delectable?

red [LV] relief

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Iconic brand Louis Vuitton recently gave six well-known professionals the opportunity to design their ultimate carry-case in keeping with their professional needs, and the aesthetic of the world-reknowned brand.

Celebrity chef Ferran AdriĆ , photographer Annie Leibovitz, musician Gustavo Santaolalla, painter Damien Hirst, fashion designer and Louis Vuitton’s creative director Marc Jacobs and family heir Patrick-Louis Vuitton all designed leather trunks and bags to be created as once-off pieces to go on auction in aid of the Red Cross.

To commemorate the event, LV also designed a limited edition Red Cross medical kit (pictured). Just what every home needs in case of bumps and bruises.

stormtrooper 365

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What do Stormtroopers do on their day off?

You’re done sweeping the Death Star, conquering rebels and chaining up that annoying woman yet again. Now what?

With a picture a day for a year, Stefan is showing us what Stormtroopers get up to on their days off. Everything from sandcastles, to Tetris and disco. It’s Stormtrooper 365!

“Getting rid of Swine Flu”

hip parentals

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We’ve all met our parents far too late in life. Their youth has passed, their hip days are gone, their wardrobes aren’t what they used to be.

But once upon a time, your parents were cool. Or they were nerds. Or hippies. Either way, they were younger, dressed differently, spoke differently and listened to music that was of their time – not 20 years in to the dust. Your parents were awesome.

My Parents Were Awesome carries user-submitted photographs documenting this time before your parents had to become responsible and upstanding members of society – all because of you probably. It’s nice to be reminded they were young once with their whole lives ahead of them, and to get a peek in to generations and decades gone by. It’s nice to see their youth immortalised and remembered.

do you poken?

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You Google. You text. You chat. Do you Poken?

That what the guys at Poken want to know as they launch their new product to those addicted to their online social lives. Pokens offer a link between your “real world” life and your “cyber” life. Meet someone new, touch Pokens, and you have all the cyber data you need to be able to find them online – their MSN, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, whatever. The Poken caters for over 30 different networks, allowing users to customise the information that they give out when they “Poken”.

These “social cards” can by synced to your Outlook contacts or your Apple contacts, allowing other people to control the information you have about them – it’s always up to date, as they’re keeping it current for you.

Pokens can be bought in various shapes and designs to meet your tastes, and it’s likely the options will expand over time (think Mimobots). While it’s still a fairly new wave waiting to be caught, Pokens do offer an interesting look into what’s to come as people try to link up their two social lives – online and in reality.

View the welcome video here.

best bar none

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Japanese firm D-Barcode have taken a small everyday icon and turned it in to a work of art. The ubiquitous barcode gets a working over as they tailor each to its designated product. To paraphrase their website: some big ideas are really small.

See a collection of their products on their site and on The Dieline.

googly-eyed

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Aaaah, what I can only assume is the culmination of the 40 year Seasame Street anniversary on Google.com. Yay!

time honoured

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This is one of the most amazing clocks I've ever seen - and super stylish too. The Qlocktwo by Biegert & Funk tells the time in simple words rather than numerically, in 5-minute intervals - FIVE TO TWELVE, or TWENTY PAST THREE. It's comes in six striking colours, and they've even made allowance for language - you can order it in German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, even Russian.


And there's an iPhone app to match.

open sesame

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This might be my favourite Google logo ever! Happy 40th Anniversary Sesame Street!

i heart tokidoki

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I have a new tokidoki! His name is Coco Commando, and he sits on my desk at work.

rock around the clock

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The triple-story Brooklyn Clocktower is for sale. To live in. At a cool price of $25million.
It's a truly spectatcular residence and i envy the SOB who bags it - check out the beautiful clock-face shadows that are cast in the large, modern, fully equipped apartment:

More pics and full features of the apartment here.



signs of spring

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Last spring, on the spur of the moment, we planted a veggie garden. Not as simple as it sounds. And as with many projects with good intentions, I just didn't keep it up. The lettuce turned in to trees, the tomatoes took over, killed their neighbours, then died. And the green peppers were a non-starter.
But look! Come spring, and the herbs went NUTS! There are even some spring onions in there...

park in ny

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For one day a year, the streets of New York are not lined with cars, but with people come out to meet, socialise and have a little fun – in parking spaces.

“Park(ing) Day is an international event that reclaims parking spots and transforms them into engaging, people-friendly public spaces for one day a year.”

Started in 2005, Park(ing) Day has people pitching tents, setting up barbeques and starting yoga classes in the parking bays of cities across the world. It’s a fabulous affair and one I think worth employing wherever you are.

Watch the video and see the photos of Park(ing) Day NY.

Accompanying photo by Katie.

hello kitty's 35!

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First launched in 1974, Hello Kitty is an unbelievable 35 years old! The iconic white cat with the red bow has become one of the most licensed products in the world since her birth, and she’s not planning on stopping any time soon.

To commemorate the occasion, Sanrio have launched Three Apples – an exhibition and celebration of all things Hello Kitty.

“Hello Kitty has graced everything from coin purses, erasers, and gum, to toasters, couture, and diamond jewelry. She has long been a muse to artists & designers worldwide and has brought smiles to fans 35 years. Now, in honor of her 35th Anniversary celebration, Sanrio is proud to bring an event to the U.S. like nothing America has seen before!”

Alongside the event, designers across the world have been asked to contribute to the already astounding Hello Kitty collection. You can get Sigg waterbottles, Tokidoki wallets, bags and vinyl toys, and Asics sneakers – all adorned with the all-too-familar kitty.

And on the off-chance you’re a fan, there’s a Hello Kitty theme park too.

am i bare?

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Cape Town-based creative outfit Am I Collective have launched a brave and exciting new project – the limited edition Bares. Based on the already-popular model of Kid Robot’s munnies and dunnies, Am I Collective have come up with a cute yet generic-shaped little figure and given it to various artists and graphic designers to interpret as they wish. The result is a 47-strong (and looks aimed for 100) collection of unique 40cm “Bares” to go on auction this week – all proceeds going to child welfare.

Each Bare has his own name, and a description of the artist’s inspiration. See the full collection of Bares, and get your credit card ready for the auction on 24 September.

brush up

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The Brush Project! To raise money for Gigi's Playhouse (a down syndrome awareness center), the Rotofugi gallery in Chicago has started the Brush Project - a charity auction where the merchandise isn't art, but the tools used to make art. Well known underground artists have donated - and signed - their paint brushes for the cause. Artists include surrealists Mark Ryden, Dan May, Tara McPherson and many more.

Some artists have donated one brush, some a collection of brushes. Each has a tag with the artist's signature, a description of what the brush was used for and some even have an added personal design on the back of their tags by the donating artist. A collector's dream. Or as the Rotofugi gallery put it, "the best chance you'll probably ever get to own a Mark Ryden original".

save water - in style

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Bas van der Veer's "Drop of Water" allows the earth-conscious among us to continue watering our lovely gardens while saving precious tap water. The large, grey "Drop of Water" collects rainwater in a stylish water jug that you can simply take out and pour where you need. The big bulbous end of the drop stores the overflow of rain water that has been collected, which you can refill your jug with via the little green tap at the bottom. Simple, stylish, green.

error message

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A cat-lover clearly built this programme...

bring on summer!

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It's only spring, but you can feel it in the air - holidays are fast approaching! And I'm ready already dammit - bring it on! I have my new Letarte summer outfit (read: bikini), my new Kate Spade beach bag, and my handbag camera for all those hot holiday snaps. What more could a girl possibly need?

seriously? seriously.

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An ad from the 50s for a new style of coffee... Um. Yeah.


a legend

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video

I saw this for the first time last night, and it's truly amazing. One of the best pieces of video i've seen in a long time - how to tell a story in 30 seconds or less...

skin deep

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a legacy

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On 4 October 1989, one of the Pythons died. Graham Chapman was just 48 years old, and suffering from a rare form of spinal cancer. John Cleese was at his deathbed, and later delivered one of the most amazing eulogies i think has probably ever been delivered. Until the next Python passes.

Below is his speech. It's a long read, but it's a good one, and I can't believe i've never seen this before. They really were a troupe of geniuses.

"Graham Chapman, co-author of the "Parrot Sketch", is no more.

He has ceased to be. Bereft of life, he rests in peace. He's kicked the bucket, hopped the twig, bit the dust, snuffed it, breathed his last, and gone to meet the great Head of Light Entertainment in the sky. And I guess that we're all thinking how sad it is that a man of such talent, of such capability for kindness, of such unusual intelligence, should now so suddenly be spirited away at the age of only forty-eight, before he'd achieved many of the things of which he was capable, and before he'd had enough fun.

Well, I feel that I should say: nonsense. Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard, I hope he fries.
And the reason I feel I should say this is he would never forgive me if I didn't, if I threw — threw away this glorious opportunity to shock you all on his behalf. Anything for him but mindless good taste. I could hear him whispering in my ear last night as I was writing this:
"All right, Cleese," he was saying, "you're very proud of being the very first person ever to say 'shit' on British television; if this service is really for me, just for starters, I want you to become the first person ever, at a British memorial service, to say 'fuck'".
You see, the trouble is, I can't. If he were here with me now I would probably have the courage, because he always emboldened me. But the truth is, I lack his balls, his splendid defiance. And so I'll have to content myself instead with saying 'Betty Marsden...'

But bolder and less inhibited spirits than me follow today. Jones and Idle, Gilliam and Palin. Heaven knows what the next hour will bring in Graham's name. Trousers dropping, blasphemers on pogo sticks, spectacular displays of high-speed farting, synchronized incest. One of the four is planning to stuff a dead ocelot and a 1922 Remington typewriter up his own arse to the sound of the second movement of Elgar's cello concerto. And that's in the first half.

Because you see, Gray would have wanted it this way. Really. Anything for him but mindless good taste. And that's what I'll always remember about him — apart, of course, from his Olympian extravagance. He was the prince of bad taste. He loved to shock. In fact, Gray, more than anyone I knew, embodied and symbolized all that was most offensive and juvenile in Monty Python. And his delight in shocking people led him on to greater and greater feats. I like to think of him as the pioneering beacon that beat the path along which fainter spirits could follow.

Some memories. I remember writing the undertaker speech with him, and him suggesting the punch line, 'All right, we'll eat her, but if you feel bad about it afterwards, we'll dig a grave and you can throw up into it.' I remember discovering in 1969, when we wrote every day at the flat where Connie Booth and I lived, that he'd recently discovered the game of printing four-letter words on neat little squares of paper, and then quietly placing them at strategic points around our flat, forcing Connie and me into frantic last minute paper chases whenever we were expecting important guests.

I remember him at BBC parties crawling around on all fours, rubbing himself affectionately against the legs of gray-suited executives, and delicately nibbling the more appetizing female calves. Mrs Eric Morecambe remembers that too.
I remember his being invited to speak at the Oxford Union, and entering the chamber dressed as a carrot — a full length orange tapering costume with a large, bright green sprig as a hat — and then, when his turn came to speak, refusing to do so. He just stood there, literally speechless, for twenty minutes, smiling beatifically. The only time in world history that a totally silent man has succeeded in inciting a riot.

I remember Graham receiving a Sun newspaper TV award from Reggie Maudling. Who else! And taking the trophy falling to the ground and crawling all the way back to his table, screaming loudly, as loudly as he could. And if you remember Gray, that was very loud indeed.

It is magnificent, isn't it? You see, the thing about shock... is not that it upsets some people, I think; I think that it gives others a momentary joy of liberation, as we realized in that instant that the social rules that constrict our lives so terribly are not actually very important.

Well, Gray can't do that for us anymore. He's gone. He is an ex-Chapman. All we have of him now is our memories. But it will be some time before they fade."

The Pythons are getting together one last time and I'm pretty sure The Urn aka Graham will be there too.

today is...

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...the day Tim Burton's 9 is released - it's 09.09.09...

Also, 09.09.09 is significant around the world in many belief systems.
Some points about 9...

  • It is the product of 3X3 and three is the number of balance in mind, body and spirit. In science, there are nine planets in our solar system.
  • It takes nine months for a human baby to fully develop in the womb.
  • In history, number nine was a sacred number in both Egypt and Greece.
  • In religion, the hierarchy of angels has nine choruses. The Buddhists see the sky divided into nine celestial levels.
  • In Islam there are nine spheres in the universe.

These are from a local Bishop - can you think of any more?

Last year we had 08.08.08, next year we have 10.10.10, then 11.11.11, then 12.12.12, then it ends... just three more left

proteas

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library progress

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A while back we started the quest to build a library - and we're very nearly done! Below is an update on the space we've been filling, and how progress has - very slowly - been going.

the two opposite walls we're filling with shelves, floor to ceiling:




the shelves start arriving in pieces...




and the shelves are assembled and fitted:



Next is the process of book-packing and categorizing and colour-coding... but that's a whole separate blog post.

to be continued...

sweet heart

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*blip blip*

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Blind Melon! K's Choice! Bananarama! Coolio! Just some of the artists I've found I want to listen to, but definitely don't, and won't ever, own their album. I don't download them either. I blip them.

If you haven't used Blip.fm before, it can be a little confusing at first, but it's really quite simple - it's a database of just about every song in the world (even SA's own Zebra & Giraffe) at your fingertips to listen to at your whim. Great for those days at work when you suddenly think "how did that Female of the Species song go again?".

Blip.fm allows you to be your own "DJ", and for you to gather "listeners" as you build your playlist of weird and wonderful tunes and one-hit-wonders. If you've used Twitter before, it's like tweeting each song you listen to, and gathering "followers". Twitter with music. And it's fun. The only other time I'm likely to stumble across America's "Horse with No Name" is at a rugby braai at my parent's. Here though, the list of what you're listening to - if you're not actively searching yourself - it determined by what those DJs that you're following choose - and it could be *anything*.

While searching for Placebo this morning, I find myself listening to TV on the Radio thanks to AlyG, closely followed by Heisai Yasokawa's Empty Orchestra thanks to Matriax - something I'm never likely to have heard otherwise.

Blip.fm is great for finding those one-hit-wonders you remember jiving to at your school disco, as well as discovering new music from people with similar tastes to yourself, with very little effort.

Come find me on Blip!

a new room

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A little while ago we started the process of building a library. It's so exciting! A place to store books, sip good wine, relax, and, well... whatever. It has so far acquired a carpet (from a really random auction we stumbled across), and a couple of Zodiac chairs - love those!


And right now, I'm sitting here waiting for them to arrive and install the shelves - a crucial part to any library! Updates will follow...

fiddler on the roof

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A while back we bought kitty her very own house. Her very own ski lodge in fact. Yes, we're *those* people, but I've already blogged all about that horrible discovery.

For some time, kitty stopped using her house. It lost its novelty. It smelt funny. Whatever. Who knows what makes cats choose where they do or don't sleep. Now though, house is back in vogue. But not being used quite as it was intended...

kitty inna box

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"imma kitty inna box, imma kitty inna cardboard box..."

alice in wonderland

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I am sooooooo excited about this movie I can't begin to explain! I wanna see it on IMAX HD! Tim Burton has redone Lewis Carroll's classic tale Alice in Wonderland. If you've ever read the book, it really is quite a dark story, in the same way that the original Grimm fairytales were nothing like we know them today. This being Tim Burton, with his penchant for dark, the movie is *nothing* like Disney's original adaptation, and everything we've come to expect from Burton.

The usual faces are involved too: Johnny Depp and Helen Bonham Carter, with a little bit of Anne Hathaway, Matt Lucas (Little Britain), Stephen Fry and Alan Rickman thrown in for good measure. The last two are fabulous additions I think.
Depp plays the Mad Hatter (pictured), Bonham Carter the Queen of Hearts, Fry the Cheshire Cat, Rickman the Caterpillar and Lucas both Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Pictures have been released, and of course, the trailer. Enjoy!

camerabag kitty

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a guy's sherlock

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Here's a movie I'm excited about: Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes. Robert Downey Jr playing a cranky, yet brilliant, substance-addicted detective? I don't know *where* he's going to find the inspiration :)

The world's first-ever literary detective will be brought to the screen by a daring director, and the casting of RD Jr couldn't be better. Did I mention Jude Law would be Doctor Watson? No? Oh well, I don't like him much anyway...

noisy alphabet

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from nadja

meetinks meetinks

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Have I ever mentioned how much I love the iPhone app Camera Bag? It lets you take your iPhone snaps, and apply one of a series of effects to them, no photoshop needed! Fun for us non-photoshop-trained types. Styles include fish-eye, helga (above), magazine, lolo, 1962, 1974, infrared, mono and cinema.
To do now: use the effects on pics taken with a better camera than the sad little iPhone one.

hotel never everland

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A while back I blogged about the extraordinary Hotel Everland - a designer trailer perched on top of the Palais de Tokyo where patrons were able to spend one night in uber designer surroundings overlooking the Eiffel Tower. What bliss!
Well, I got to see the hotel while in Paris in May - colour me excited! You can't actually go in to the room (that much foot traffic would undoubtably ruin it), but it's a spectacular thing to see - and to imagine staying in.
It's supposed to be traveling the world from one exotic location to the next, so keep an eye out - you may just get lucky and find yourself in a trailer for two with a glass of bubbles! (oh I wish I may I wish I might)

The walkway leading to the trailer.


The bed, with bathroom just behind.


The lounge.


The view out of the main window.

too good to eat

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How divine are these cupcakes nadja sent? It doesn't get more fab than this, but I could never bring myself to eat them...

each day

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I have to remind myself to appreciate the astounding and out-of-the-ordinary things I come across on a daily basis.

dunny dunny dunny!

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I finally have a superb way of dispaying my dunnys in my newly redecorated study! Thanks to muji and their fabulous plastics, my dunnys have a home. Now to get my hands on more for the rest of the collection...