With an increase in "essential" kitchen gadgets fighting for limited storage space and the anything that can be silicone, will be silicone mantra of designers, consumers are benefitting from an overwhelming variety of new products. These handy measuring cups collapse down to a fraction of their height and can handle boiling liquids. Likewise, the colander and funnel, with their camera-inspired designs, are a huge improvement from their metal cousins at the outdoor store, and prove that sometimes you can (and should) reinvent the wheel. Set of four measuring cups, $19.95 from Solutions. Funnel and colander, designed by Boje Estermann and inhouse designers at Normann Copenhagen.
More than 10 billion pb+j sandwiches are eaten in the U.S. each yearâ€”most with tired, processed, additive-laced peanut butter and sickly sweet jam on processed additive-laced white bread. Now you can spice up your pantry (and that pb+j sandwich) with one of the concoctions from P.B.Loco, makers of peanut butter with a twistâ€”of curry (our favorite), cinammon and raisins, bananas, and dark chocolate among others. While kids may enjoy some of the flavors, they are geared a bit more to the adult palette. There are added ingredients (sugar, molasses, vegetable oils) but there aren't many, and all are natural and easily pronounced. P.B.Loco's peanut butters further solidify the trend of marrying spices and other fusion ingredients to established products (chocolates come to mind). Many of these would also be good as a quick sauce or ice cream topping. P.B.Loco has several cafÃ©s in the midwest and a recently opened New Jersey location. Available online or at a store/cafÃ© near you, for $5.95-$6.95. Also on CH, (still) the best conserves we know of.
Orikaso Products of Sheffield, England makes this practical (and affordable at Â£10) folding picnic set. It's made of thin, foldable plastic pieces that weigh virtually nothing. When it's time to get the dishes assembled, you unfold them and voila! a liquid-tight bowl, cup suitable for hot liquids, a small platter, even a cutting board. Perfect for a trip to the neighborhood park or 10 days backpacking in the woods.
Veuve Clicquot's new Tw'ice bucket twists 180Âº to either sit on top of a table or attach to the table top's side. This clever design is made from polycarbonate, aluminum and rubber and was designed in-house. Though created for its restaurant customers, you can buy one online for $100 at Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin or in the U.K. for Â£39 at Malmaison.
At the risk of getting flak for yet another skull-related item, these little stick-on mirrors are a ingenious example of a device that's as elegant as it is useful. Plus, there's the inherent irony of a skull- or heart-shaped reflection. (Other options like lightning bolts, four-leaf clovers, and stars, have all had their day as trends too, but aren't quite as subtly clever.) $12 from Mobile Beauty and $1 from every purchase goes to the Step Up Women's Network.
The latest from the Los-Angeles-based label I Heart Guts (covered over in Spear-land earlier this month) is "Don't Lose Your Lunch" (baby style pictured). Like the rest of the I Heart Guts line (the brainchild of a designer/former teacher with a penchant for Japanese pop art), this tee anthropomorphizes organs and pairs them with puns in both English and Japanese. The upshot is a collection of bizarre, giggle-inducing designs. Available in gray for adults, the stomach themed shirts (as well as all I Heart Guts tees) are printed exclusively on American Apparel, and start at $18.
Rothco has been hooking up military and civilian customers with their camouflage gear since the 1950s. We're fans of their classic sneakers, and find their camo flask appropriately discreet for outdoor sippin'. The camo socks are another favorite. A camo flask and a pair of hi-tops (men's size 8 only) will be given to the first CH reader who sends us the correct answer to this question: Andy Warhol painted many camouflage portraits, all of which were commissioned except for self-portraits and those of which person? Send your guesses to us here, and mention camo flask or camo sneakers in the subject. Update: Thanks to all of the CH readers who wrote in. The correct answer according to DPM, our trustworthy guide to all things camo, is Warhol's friend and fellow artist Joseph Beuys. Rothko products are available from these online retailers.
The ladies at sajedesign have designed this great pendant necklace that features a custom etching from your favorite photo. It's available in gold or silver and in round or rectangular styles. Prices start at $150. Available exclusively at Liz Lange. Download an order form here.
New York-based tee-shirt maker I-Manifest has a new line out for spring, including "create sound," with a neo-19th Century design, a collaboration with the Santa Cruz, CA electronica group Sound Tribe Sector 9. (Pictured.) Other designs include "wood type" that uses a font based on woodgrain and available in nine different colorways, as well as "day after," which features trees-and-castle vector art. All of the limited-run tees are printed on coveted softer-than-soft tees. Starting at $28 from I-Manifest.
To surrealists, wood grain symbolized sexuality, so there’s some logic to giving something from Nixon’s new Wood Collection for Valentine’s Day. “Inspired by mid-century furniture, post-modern architecture, and the good old-fashioned grains of mother nature,” the wood inlay design behind the coveted Rotolog watch has been expanded into an entire Wood Collection. The real walnut and bamboo inlays are now featured on the Chalet (the women's version of the Rotolog), and the popular Player and Ticket watches. A line of accessories features leather, laser-etched with wood grain patterns. Laser etching leather, a relatively new process, is something I first saw on a super-limited Nike release. Since the pattern or design is actually etched into the leather, it gives 3-D texture and won't rub off like a print might. Also on Cool Hunting: The Rotolog Watch. by Andrew Potash Update: Some items pictured won't be available until May. Check Nixon's site for details.
Take me to your leader. Monday night I heard the most esteemed and funny neurologist Oliver Sacks speak at Columbia (he is a super naturalist: into ferns, squids, cuttlefish and stereopsis). It was a fascinating lecture, but his Welcome Squid Overlords shirt transfixed me. It was so strange, I had to find its meaning. Was it from an episode of Star Wars that I had missed? I need to sport one at all times. With a little help from the internet, I found Mike Monteiro, the Creative Director of Mule Design and the creator of the overlord shirt. He is just trying to make squids a little more user-friendly. He said that he and his son Henry were watching a Discovery Channel program about what animals might look like in the future and it theorized that cephalopods are best poised to be the next dominant species on the planet. Wow! Move over Cockroaches! Then he read that the squid biomass had surpassed the human biomass on Earth. That means that there are more squids than people. We have to make them feel comfortable. The only way to do that is to stop eating calamari and by wearing â€œWelcome Squid Overlordsâ€ clothing. Get it for $20 from Mule Design.
These clever little chocolates are filled with a vodka infused ganache center. They've been out in the U.K. for about a year, but are pretty new stateside. The tube comes with 4 packs of "shots," each pack contains individually wrapped chocolates with a different flavor vodka center: neat, orange, vanilla and raspberry. Elizabeth Shaw, a well-known English confectioner, created the treats, which are also available in Tequila and Schnapps flavors. A can of Vodka Shots costs around $10. They are widely available in the U.K. Vodka Shots and Tequila and Schnapps Shots are available in the U.S. online. In New York City at Balducci's. Click here for additional retailers worldwide.
While wandering through Macworld (and after viewing a zillion iPod accessories later), I stumbled upon these little fellas, known as TETRAN, in the back corner of the exhibit hall. There's something vaguely satisfying about seeing that cute spikey thing all wrapped up in those white iPod headphone wires with the earbuds shoved in its mouth. Although the website claims that they're for storing your earbud headphones and as a by product of design, serve as a tool for stress relief, they're really just iPod consumerist criticism all wrapped up in yummy cute goodness. Perfect! They're about $13 each and come in Pink, Green, Yellow, and Orange. However, I did see a prototype for a glow in the dark one at the booth, so check their website for those in the future.
Wine-loving "cork dorks" need not worry about this cuff from Donna Piacenza of Chicago-based Studio 1a.m; made from recycled stoppers, they're no threat to the preferred method of plugging wine bottles. Using a single block of ground-up corks that have been formed using environmentally-friendly adhesives, Piacenza cuts the recylable, flexible, and water-repellant bracelet from the slab, which can be used to store the unconventional accessory. Or, with the cuff removed, the elegant C-shaped negative space makes a fetching display piece (pic after the jump). Available for $48 from Studio 1a.m. via Inhabitat
Low Tee makes men's bathing suits from vintage t-shirts (props for recycling). The suits are fully lined in Lycra, and have elastic around the legs and waist, which also has a drawstring. Because the suits are made from vintage t-shirts they are all one-of-a-kind (which we also like). And if you ask nicely you could probably send in one of your own shirts to be converted into a suit. Suits are well-priced at $45 and available online. Thanks, Rob.
One of the things that's struck our eye here at CES in Las Vegas are these fun and inexpensive television sets from Hanspree. They come in dozens of shapes and styles for kids, sports fans and design freaks and are well priced. While the occasional character or sports team set is not new, we like that Hanspree is producing a whole range of televisions that let consumers express themselves. Available in many styles and sizes online from $299+.