Showing posts with label shopping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shopping. Show all posts

Friday, February 6, 2009

7 Strikingly Unconventional and Far-fetched Gifts for Valentine's Day 2009

Everyone wants to be loved. Perhaps that's one of the reasons why we had to come up with the idea of a special day in which we "show" how much we love someone by giving him or her a present. The need to give and receive Valentine's Day presents - preferably surprisingly original ones - is amazingly strong. Last year, for example, eight million Americans admitted they have sent themselves their own Valentine's Day gifts. So, be it yourself or someone else, here are 7 creative though unconventional Valentine's Day gifts for the one you love: from the most artistic to the sexiest.

Artistic: Light Art Prints

If you are a regular reader on CultCase you may have already met Ryan Warnberg and Michelle McSwain from M::R::I. ("Long exposures. Bright lights."). The regular stuff from the M::R::I couple usually includes fabulous kaleidoscopic slightly sexy portraits but for this year's Valentine's Day they came up with 3 special digital metallic prints. Size: 8x10 Inches.
Morbid: BitterSweets

If you feel Valentine's Days tends to get your morbid sides loose you may want to place an order with the folks from BitterSweets who have taken the "honest approach" quite far with their view of the holiday:
"For most, there is no crueler day of the calendar year than that of Valentine's Day. While a tiny fraction of the population can look forward to a holiday of wine and roses, poetry and song, the vast majority of us can anticipate a day of nausea and grimacing, trauma and grief. A day in which minutes seem like hours, and hours like days, as we reflect sorrowfully on yesteryear's romantic indignities, today's loneliness, and the unknowable but certain heartbreak that will be visited upon us repeatedly in the years to come."

The sweets you see here are available in three unique collections, namely; "Dejected" with sayings such as I MISS MY EX, PEAKED AT 17 and SETTLE 4LESS; "Dysfunctional" with sayings such as P.S. I LUV ME, I DO MY DISHES and AWFUL INLAWS and; "Dumped" with sayings including HE FIT U FAT, BACK 2 KENNEL and SHE IS 22!. For those of you who tend to over thinking things over, notice that "supplies are limited. But the pain that accompanies them may not be". BTW, the sweets are made in "a facility that processes nuts and peanuts". We we've certainly noticed about the nuts.
Animalistic: Heart Shaped Box of Chocolates Plush Dog Toy

If showing your dog how much you care sounds like a good idea for this coming Valentine's Day perhaps this 5"x5", polyester and cotton set, promised to "bring the sweet side out of any hound". Heart Shaped Box of Chocolates Plush Dog Toy includes three sumptuous and soft "truffles" nestled on top of the heart-shaped toy.
Limitless: I Love You From Top to Bottom Romantic toilet paper

Well, we can think of a few better expression of our kind of love but guessing for some this can be considered as a way to say I REALLY Love You. $14.95 (per roll) and you are on your way to heaven. Jeff Block of reports 50 rolls are already sold before the Valentine's Day rush even started and plans to sell 200 to 300 rolls before this Valentine's Day. Good luck Jeff!
Nasty: Voodoo Doll Candle

For those of us with unresolved issues with the ex this Voodoo doll candle may help. Designed to "relish every moment as you light the wicks and wish them the very worst" this perfect Valentine gift for the recently dumped may indeed be a damn good therapy.
Authoritative: The Control Your Spouse Set

Why waste precious time and energy trying to control the thoughts and actions of your significant other when you can automate the process? Just push a button and let our talking remote controller do it for you. The remotes deliver a riot of verbal one-offs and funny sound effects sure to keep your spouse on the right track. Features 18 saying including (men control) "Time to listen!", "What about my needs?", "What were you thinking?" (Women control) "Zip it!", "Clean up on aisle four!" and "All right, hand over the credit cards!". Get both for only $34.95.
Sexy: Edible Candy G-String

Indeed a true Valentine's night delight, the Candy G String is made of approximately 330 fruit-flavored candy pieces, and has just 60 calories so don't worry about it affecting the diet. We particularly liked the note to the women: "He treats for dinner, you treat for dessert. Show off your body and your equality."
For more ideas for Valentine's Day gifts try here

Monday, November 10, 2008

Handmade Craftivism: 3 Ways to More Precious and Less Ultra-Slick Stuff for Kids

Handmade Cfaftivism: 3 Ways to More Precious and Less Ultra-Slick Stuff for Kids

By nitsanbmg

Could handmade products be the new avant-garde of modern design? It may be the irrepressible inflation economy, or the fact people are fed up with their children playing with lead-tainted toys such as My Baby brand silicone pacifier, but it seems that handmade is a new trend. According to The Statement, with their often "loosely constructed and decidedly amateurish-looking look" handmade products find their way to shops like Urban Outfitters as well as to upscale firms such as furniture designer Donghia. In contrast to "ultra-slick, high-touch and high-performance" products, people look at handmade things as "infinitely more precious than all the ultra-slick stuff". They do so, because handmade reflects honesty and authenticity, or in The Statement's words: "speak of our humanity in a time when people are being replaced by machines".

Handmade is not just a fashion trend but also a form of Craftivism or a way to improve life and the world at large. Ask anyone of more than 29,000 people who already took the pledge to buy handmade this holiday season and ask others to do the same for them. Read Why Buy Handmade for more details or simply enjoy the following works of three creative mother artists who make spectacular handmade and personally customized products for children. A little less ultra-slick, maybe, but definitely more precious.

Jasmin Sasky: Personalized Canvas Portraits

Jasmin Sasky: Personalized Canvas Portraits

Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina and artistically educated in Israel, Jasmine Sasky is a fascinating Canadian illustrator, painter and clay sculptress. While some of her comissioned paintings are displayed at children hospitals, schools, private clinics and restaurants across North America, Sasky has recently ignitioned a new service she calls "Personalized Canvas Portraits".

Personalized Canvas Portraits: Maya's canvas

The Personalized Canvas Portrait process is simple: parents email Sasky a photo of their child and list special traits, hobbies and background preferences. She then replies with a sketch, receives approval and start painting. Sasky uses mixed media meterials including oil pastels, dry pastels, acrylics, glitter and embellishments. All paintings are then covered with a final clear coat for extra-ptotection.

Personalized Canvas Portraits: Maya in her room

Each of Sasky's kid portraits is a unique and special work of art with no duplicated copy anywhere in the world. Isn't that the most fantastic way for a parent to treat a child with a non-commercial non-mass-produced present that will last for lifetime? It is, if you ask Maya, shown above, with her beautiful blond curls and personal customized canvas. Always cheerful and happy as a bee...

Personalized Canvas Portraits: Yoel and Eitan

Another great example is the double portrait of Yoel and Eitan. They love the movie Toy Story but also are great fans of dressing up as pirates and cowboys.

Personalized Canvas Portraits: Kiara and Cienna

Kiara and Cienna love fairy tails and butterflies. Same as with Yoel and Eitan, dressing up (with skirts that can spin around them) is also part of their world. Their favorite colors are pink and purple.

Personalized Canvas Portraits: Camille

Camille as a "sweet" character taken from a children book: Being Camille the middle child of three, her parents asked for her character to be placed in the center of the painting, with her beloved brothers showing in the background. In her arms Camille holds the family pet.

Personalized Canvas Portraits: Katy

Katy's mom asked to match the painting colors with Katy's room color and decoration. So, the color palette here is of pink, magenta, light turquoise and polka dots in black and white. The result is in a perfect match with an interesting color scheme. For more:

Lizette Greco: Stuffed Dolls based on Kid Drawings

Lizette Greco creates custom hand-made dolls based on children's drawings with her young daughter and son. The dolls are made using only thrifted and recycled materials aiming to "create artwork that celebrates a child's perspective of the world and will hopefully be passed from generation to generation." Some of this perspective is, well, clearly shown in the above 'Bigfoot Inside and Out' made with recycled and thrifted fabrics to "consume less and recycle more" and Sixfoot Cyclops (below) - thrifted fabric, recycled polyfill stuffing based on original drawing by six-year-old boy.

Lizette Greco: Stuffed Dolls based on Kid Drawings

Greco accepts commissions for artwork using ("only") your children's drawings. You children don't draw so nicely? No problem. Greco's eight and nine-year-old artist team will get in the mood just for you.

Lizette Greco: Colorful Bunny

Colorful Bunny: thrifted fabrics, linen lint stuffing, original drawing by five-year-old boy.

Lizette Greco: Svea's doll

A little girl named Svea turned 5. As she happens to be a very good friend with the Greco's, Svea was lucky enough to receive the above super-personalized doll based on one of her drawings, of course. The doll comes in its own customized box and includes a few trading cards...

Lizette Greco: Bird

Bird, based on Lizette's son drawing, is covered with lines and wiggles. According to Lizette, translating this drawing into a "softie" was harder than the usual. "The lines needed to be seen and appreciated, so embroidering made sense." For more:

MyKangaroo: Handmade Shaped Crayons

MyKangaroo: Handmade Shaped Crayons

Crayons can be creative in many ways but this particular neat venture is clearly part of the new customization-personalization trend. With MyKangaroo you can personalize a gift using your child's name or even create a special message. Each personalized Your Name in Crayons set (above) can include up to 9 letters and is packaged in a cute tin with paper inside.

MyKangaroo: HAPPY BIRTHDAY spelled out in assorted colored crayons

Above: HAPPY BIRTHDAY spelled out in assorted colored crayons. Includes a 1 1/2 inch crayon shaped gift. Letters are 1/2 inch tall.

MyKangaroo: 5 spooky Halloween crayons

This set comes with 5 spooky Halloween crayons. Get one witch hat, cat, pumpkin, owl and haunted house in the price of one. Sizes vary in shape but are approximately 1.5 to 2 inches.

MyKangaroo: more crayon patterns

Nearly every pattern you can think of is an option here and possibilities are endless. Above are a few more interesting patterns.

MyKangaroo: How it's done

How it's done, in case you'd like to try for yourself.

MyKangaroo: The Jewel Crayon set

MyKangaroo: The Jewel Crayon set

It appears that not only we at CultCase think MyKangaroo are awesome. When The Jewel Crayon set was featured on Etsy Finds, a popular section on Etsy website, the orders, according to the official MyKangaroo blog, just "came pouring in". Above you can see what success looks like (in craftivism business...) Way to go MyKangaroos! For more:

Friday, January 18, 2008

From Fake Beer to Suicidal Bathtub Plug : 7 Products Your Kid Should Not Know About

Some trends can be considered as improvements and are easily likable. Others should better be left behind. Here are a few examples.

Fake alcoholic drinks for children

Take this new trend from the land of "no one can be freakier than us" for example: fake alcoholic drinks for children. You read correctly. We can't let them have the real thing, what can you do, but hey! why not get them used to it with an item of a product line recently released by Sangaria? An apple juice flavored fake beer designed to make children imitate a common adult practice!

This incredible drink creates the familiar foam when poured into a glass and is sold in all familiar beer container form factors including bottles, cans and six-packs. Branded as Kodomo no nomimono (Japanese for 'Children’s drink') Sangaria's product line also includes children’s versions of wine, champagne, and cocktails in case your kid is not of the beer type. As Agent Cooper used to say: Man-o-man. More about this on, a blog from CScout about trend and market research in Japan.

Owl Puke: Book and Owl Pellet

Did you know owls regurgitate football-shaped objects twice a day? Well, they do, and those objects contain the crashed skeletons of at least one owl meal, usually a mouse, vole, shrew, or small bird. Owl pellets are commonly used in elementary schools as food web teaching accessory. However, at least according to the publishers of Owl Puke: Book and Owl Pellet they were virtually unavailable at retail before "professionally collected, heat-sterilized owl pellet" items were - believe it or not - stuffed into the above two-color illustrated book by Jane Hammerslough.

Now don’t get us wrong here. We like all kind of birds, including owls. We know "kids love science especially when it's hands on". We also know they love "yucky stuff" but having this particular educational item in my home... we don't know about that. Price: $11.16.

Voodoo Toothpick Holder

Though the top side of the Ouch Voodoo Doll (& Toothpick Holder) was designed to hold your favorite oral fixation toy, this product is first of all a tension reliever. Yet this is not the kind of accessory your kid's teacher is likely to allow in class. According to, an online shop "crusading against the common gifts since 1998", this Voodoo Toothpick Holder is also; an excellent conversation piece; the next great party starter; slightly (?!!) creepy; and a whole lot of whole poking fun. Price: $6.95 at baronbob's. I am just not sure about the slightly.

Toilet Bowl Lip Gloss

The attractive artifact shown above is packaged as a keychain, so your kid can always have one of his toilets handy when feeling like freshen up a little bit. Your 12 years old likes her own flavor in everything? The Toilet Bowl Lip Gloss comes in Grape, Lemon, Apple, and Strawberry. They are chosen by the Toilet Bowl folks but there is a promise that if you buy more than one, they'll make sure you get different ones. How lovely. Price: $1.99 too much at

Vincent Van Gogh Action Figure

Everyone wants his kid to have artistic qualities. That is to some extent, not necessarily "all the way" as they say. It may indeed be that there were not many greater characters in the history of art than this fellow who chopped his ears off "in the name of love". We all know that but with the Vincent Van Gogh Action Figure, your kid can now enhance his artistic tendencies and identify with Vincent "before and after his self-conducted surgery; with 2 ears or with bandaged head". Explicitly suggested to be used as "an inspirational tool" this masterpiece is accompanied with a set of paintbrush, palette, an easel, a frame and some mini masterpieces to display. Spec: 5-1/4" inches tall vinyl figure, two interchangeable heads. Art never looked more frightening. Price: $9.95 also at baronbob's.

Remote Controlled Fart Machine

The above piece of high tech technology is claimed to be a "replacement for the Whoopee cushion" and being a remote controlled device it is promised that no one will ever know who's to be blamed. From parties and school class to elevators and your living room, your kid is promised to use the Remote Controlled Fart Machine anywhere as it works up to 100 feet and through walls. Sold, for those who are interested after all, on Price: $22.00. I guess some people would do anything for money.

Mr. Suicide Bathtub Plug

Lastly, meet Mr. Suicide Bathtub Plug, a universal bathtub plug designed for Alessi in 2000 by Italian designer Massimo Giacon. The item features a "dead" figure that floats to the surface when you take a bath. Pooky, a product reviewer on the Amazon shop, reports the chain can be separated from the plug, and attached to the included tiny suction cup a great feature for kids who "might play with the little guy, and pull out the plug by mistake". Sorry. Just a liiiiittle bit too spooky for me, Pooky. $29.95 on Amazon and your kid will be happier than ever.

Know any other products you rather your kid won't even know about? Leave a comment. I'll be happy to follow-up.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Amazon Kindle: read on the go with a wireless high-res e-paper display

Amazon made a big move today with the official release of Kindle - a new wireless portable reader that downloads books, blogs, magazines and newspapers to a high-resolution electronic paper display. Claiming to look and read like real paper even in bright sunlight, this new gadget from the largest book shop on earth is available starting today for $399.

Even though you couldn't get any Kindle shipped during last weekend's Black Friday or otherwise get an overnight shipment of your piece. Yet, Amazon still managed to generate a powerful buzz utilizing some journalists who got to play with the Kindle before the holiday. published this nice list of opinions regarding the new gadget.

To me the most amazing aspect of this major move is how the folks from Amazon appear to be well tuned to the growing public interest in Internet blogs. Apparently, more than 250 top blogs from the worlds of business, technology, sports, entertainment, and politics are constantly updated wirelessly on Kindle devices throughout the day. This is a very interesting feature in my opinion as it emphasizes what every print publisher knows by now - public attention is shifting as more people become familiar with digital life.

Amazon Kindle includes a 6" diagonal E-Ink® electronic paper display and offers 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 4-level gray scale.
More technical info about Kindle on this pres release

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Magicmirror: Enhanced consumer experience

As Internet begins to fulfill the expectations it failed to answer prior to the dot com crisis of 2000, brick-and-mortar retailers feel threatened, not say pushed to the wall. Thus, after long years of "easy life" retailers need to consider some new ideas such as this Magicmirror for example, from an RFID retail installations company in Italy named Thebigspace.

Expected to appear in a select group of retailers’ stores early next year, this hi-tec mirror provides "an enhanced consumer experience” by playing tunes and displaying "promotional graphics" for the particular item in try, product information and suggestions for matching items. Put your finger on the touch-sensitive glass and a salesperson will be right at your service with a different size or color.

I agree with that there might be some privacy issues and concerns here but also that people will get used to it. I remember when visiting Japan in 2004 it looked funny how things were talking to me everywhere I go... People will get used to it. Via

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Nanc-e: the nannybot

Some great laughs we had around the idea of a baby care robot when our daughter was a few months old and some pretty hard nights were passing by. We even had a few prototypes discussed and my younger brother was excited to jump in with a few of his own ideas. I am telling you all this just so you'd understand better how excited I was to click further when I stumbled this review about "a new name in technology" that is supposed to "offer the solution to all our domestic troubles". To my shocking surprise a (slightly processed) version of the above image was clearly showing a robotic machine ready and willing to take care of a human baby. "OK..." I thought. "I am listening. show me more." so I read on:

"...And those of us condemned to a life of gardening, baby-care and household chores cannot be blamed for igniting a tiny flame of hope when we peruse the buynlarge web site."

"Mmm. I already know one or two things about parenting a young human baby and there were a few things about this pictures that didn't make sense and this is one crazy idea. I wouldn't buy one. My wife won't have one if it was offered to her for free. Many babies will probably be afraid of those arms. Yet, if someone was crazy enough to put his (or shall I say her?) good money on this half Kubrick half Cameron sci-fi idea this is one link I had to click before reading on.

I was about to click the website link but then I saw this YouTube clip a few lines below. Fearing I might forget about it after going to the site I thought I'll just have a look before I move on. so I did:

Cool right? well, I'll leave the rest for a precise quote from Steve at as he said it very nicely: "It’s all fake. The company is fake. The robots are fake. That little ray of hope that came to life in your sole as you were reading this? It was fake!". Practically this is a great marketing gag, actually one of the coolest ones I have ever seen. I'll leave it to you to figure out marketing of what. You can go to the site and try figure out yourself or you can simply go to Steve's post and read on.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Painting with Number: price just went up

Painting with Number by Sala of is a 60 x 60 cm acrylic on canvas piece of art exploring the limits and essence of new media and digital art in the age of Internet. Showing the number of visitors to the domain Painting with Number will only be painted when it is sold.

Interested? Price, currently at $4,207, is also a dynamic issue here and just went up: Each visitor to Sala's painting increases not just the number on the final canvas but also the price by one US Dollar. I guess this also makes it a path-breaker in the business of commercializing art. I just wonder how many Dollars will this post earn for the artists by the time the painting will be at the hands of its purchaser. Shipping is included.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Mochimochi Land: knitting is art

I remember the first I realized how cool, as opposed to their image for some people, quilting and knitting can be. It was in early 2002 when I was helping Dave Green upgrading Conceptis' website from a brochure to a community driven sphere. As we were looking for good stories to show how our puzzles can be used for other than solving purposes, Dave came up with this amazing quilt based on a Vincent van Gogh picture, made by his mom. This was like finding a golden coin at the beach.

Sadly, knitting is another hyper-creative human craft which was almost destroyed completely by modern industrialism and mass-production living style. Yet, as there is always some good in every bad, our new media world seems to have a say on the subject supporting knitting and quilting as a form of semi-commercial hand made art.

Anna from Mochimochi Land has recently became my favorite knitting blogger. Living and knitting in Manhattan Anna says her blog is meant to "serve as a laboratory for my knitted toys, as well as a space to share inspiration via cute and not-so-cute things". I think it carries the word of knitting as a form of art. I even showed it to my wife, a high authority for every design aspect who seldom agrees with me about anything, and she agreed immediately. what do you know. I may be right this time.

The "mission" of Rainbow Busters shown above is "to rid the world of all its annoyingly clichéd color". The piece measures 10.5″ long by 9″ tall; each Buster is about 2.5″ tall. (Baby is 1″.). Check on the mochimochiland blog when you have a moment and in the mood for coolest beautiful knitting art items you have ever seen. There is also an online shop if you get really excited.

P.S. Anna says I was "close" when asking if mochimochi stands for the Japanese expression for hello as I at least had the right language :) If you are curious to know what it means (and what it means to her Mochimochi Land website) check here. The greeting word I was thinking of is "moshimoshi".

Monday, August 20, 2007

Jigsaw puzzles of vintage comics, sci-fi and horror magazine covers

Brady's wooden jigsaw puzzle blog is a way for you to get a glimpse onto his "eccentric world of puzzle cutting". The above pictures - covers of old popular magazines - are offered by Brady as custom wooden jigsaw puzzles, cut from their high quality reproductions. With two optional sizes the puzzles are offered in 50 or 100 pieces configurations.

Aren't they cool? check out or just order one here.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Sample Lab: Tryvertising space

Opened July 25 in Tokyo's Iceberg Building in Harajuku and spotted on Springwise - an innovative social network of 8,000 spotters who scan the globe for smart new business ideas - The Sample Lab is a new exclusive Tryvertising space inviting consumers to sample and test new and innovative products.

After paying a modest JPY 300 (approx. $2.5 US) registration fee plus JPY 1,000 annual membership fee and showing a dedicated QR code stored on their mobile phones members of The Sample Lab can gain their entrance, providing they are over 15 years of age.

Tryvertising is definitely getting hotter.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

NY Times: TimesSelect Drops Paid Subscription Model, Online Content Now Free

The New York Times is pulling the plug on its paid web service TimesSelect, which gives subscribers access to columnist and Op-Ed pieces. According to the New York Post, the decision came from top Times execs, which will make the content free for all readers. TimesSelect was originally free to access by subscribers of the print edition, while web-only subscribers paid $8 a month for it.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Will dynamic ad push free mobile gaming?

Can dynamic advertising and marketing push make mobile gaming free and by that reaching all of us? TheMarker, a leading financial Israeli newspaper, reports today that the Israeli start-up company innerActive has just completed a capital raise of $1.5M from "private investors". It was just two weeks ago, on July 12, 2007, that Israel's largest mobile operator Cellcom has announced the completion of its first ad-funded mobile games service powered by new technology from innerActive.

The new Cellcom service showed results of 44% Click-Through-Rate (CTR) and 19% Acquisition Rate for Mobile Advertising Campaigns, indicating a breakthrough in marketing via mobile phones. I guess this has pretty much done the job with those "private investors".

As I wasn't participating this pilot (even though I am a Cellcom user!) here is how it actually worked according to an official press release from innerActive:

As integrate to Cellcom’s system innerActive's solution "dynamically inserted ads and marketing content for product placement within the games". Yet, as opposed to traditional mas-media advertising models innerActive's mobile in-game ads were "targeted and segmented in real-time according to each user’s profile, behavior and responses". In addition, "mobile coupons and other incentives were offered for conversion and cross-over to other media channels like websites and point of sells".

In marketing terms the new model used in the trial has proved to be effective and feasible to all the players. On average, according to the results of this trial, a trend of 10 times higher game downloads per user was observed, comparing to the pre-pilot download results. Adi Cohen, VP Marketing of Cellcom said:

"We succeeded to promote thousands of new users, that are not heavy gamers, to consumed and enjoyed games. The advertising-marketing stimulus trial confirms its effectiveness to all parties that took part in this project. This mobile advertising is working and shows far-reaching consequences for the mobile industry.”

Monday, July 23, 2007

Are you a webutante?

According to, (" Charting the rise of mobile 2.0") there is a new "word of the day" going on in the UK nowadays: ‘webutante’. Dawn Bebe, ex MD at magazine publisher Emap Elan, who’s setting up a new Web 2.0 fashion site called due to launch this summer is quoted by saying:
“There’s a new breed of webutantes - and fashion brands - who just aren’t getting what they want - a 24/7 anytime, anywhere fashion forward shopping channel which is stylish and fun.”

With the catchy slogan of "Stare. Shop. Share." say they will offer a mixture of shopping and social networking, with advertising from high-end fashion and beauty brands. Osoyou users will also have their own "style files" to store favorite items. If you are a webutante, maybe you should check on them later on this summer.