cool product :: canape carrier

Awww...my love for multi-tasking knows no limits! Even when it comes to balancing the shrimp toast with the Dom Perignon. With holiday parties coming up, this balancing act is no problem because there's a sweet little appetizer accessory called Fingerfood. A mini plate perched elegantly on a simple ring that fits right onto your finger. Fred sells it over at Fred and Friends and it was designed by that fingerfood guru genius, Ken Goldman. One size fits most all and you get ten reusable plates per handy peggable pack.

It's deliciously JUST COOL!

art :: artful home for the holidays

If you're starting your Holiday Shopping then you should check out Artful Home for all things unique and JUST COOL. Artful Home has partnered with North America’s finest artists, accomplished, celebrated, and rigorously selected by industry experts. Some of my favs are :

"Pop Art Mirror"

Recycled Metal Mirror

Created by: Mitch Levin and Susie Levin

"Blue Wave"

Leather Pillow

Created by: Anna Millea

"Transparent Miniature Form Study"

Glass Vases

Created by: Nicholas Kekic

pets :: a smarter fish bowl

One goldfish, fifteen ways. When industrial designer Roger Arquer exhibited his fish bowl art at the London Design Festival last year, it was deep. He used these goldfish digs as a metaphor to illustrate life and relationships. “Each piece examines a topic or suggests a solution to an issue,” says Arquer.


Above: Wishing Well, represents cultural traditions related to throwing coins on wells or fountains.


Above: Bottle Vase, shows how we use objects for another purpose, when they original function has ended. (love that multi-purposing!)


Above: XS or XL, illustrates relationships between a big fish and a small one living together.


Above: Above Water is about sharing the water between the fish bowl and the plant.

For those concerned, no fish were harmed in the exhibit. All were treated humanely, fed, water changed and because it was a temporary installation they went back to their homes when it was over.

Read and see more about this gold fish bowl exhibit at one of my fav blogs, Dezeen.com

cool products :: smart light switches

Necessity is the mother of invention and these JUST COOL inventions from Keep it Cartesian have turned necessities into some very nifty modern "must-haves" for your contemporary space!

keyholder /lightswitch
plug wrap
letter holder / light switch

I love multi-tasking devices. They're JUST COOL!

News :: know about Megan's Law

Back in the old days, when I was a child, my parents let me and my siblings walk the three miles downtown to Proctor's Theatre and all the big department stores that were nestled on lower State Street in in downtown Schenectady. The world was a safe place to live back then and thoughts of kidnappings, sexual assault, and child molestation rarely went through any ones mind. We would spend our whole Saturday afternoon downtown without a care in the world. But fast forward to 2008 and the crime rate is soaring. The streets are no longer safe. Thank goodness that in 1995, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act otherwise known as "Megan's Law". What this law does is prevent all types of sex related crimes. The exact location of any previous sex offender is now considered to be public record and by law all convicted sex offenders are required to register their address, and their information is made available to anyone who inquires about it.

The Sex Offender Registry is an excellent source that allows you to look up that information. and locate sex offenders in your area. Everyone has the right to know about these threats in their neighborhood, especially if they have children and teenagers. Of course Schenectady isn't as safe as it used to be but atleast we now have the technology to be more informed and aware, thanks to websites such as this.


Lighting :: It bugs me

Lighting and furnishings don't get much creepier than this. Site Specific Design (SSD) has a JUST COOL collection of insect inspired products for 2008. Pricey enough to make your skin crawl, the 12 inch Lycia Light below is $1200.

"Mimic" (price available upon request)

"nymph" $ 2,600

"mini formiga" $1,600

Check out their host of modern bug designs. Creepy Crawlies worthy of being called JUST COOL!

science :: bed bugs are the real deal

I never thought when I started writing this blog, I'd be writing a post about bed bugs! The only thing I ever heard about bed bugs was when my mother would tuck me in at night and sweetly wish me a " Goodnight, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!". In fact, I thought bed bugs were some medieval urban legend that only existed in the dark ages. Was I wrong! On my "PayPerPost" opportunities today I ran into a VERY interesting site about these little creepy crawly creatures that are actually alive and well - and may even be living in your bed! This informative site even shows a bed bug bites picture and tells you what to look for, how to identify them, remedies to rid yourself of them and more. I admit the photos were gross but I really learned alot about these pesky little vermin which thank goodness aren't shacking up in my bed. So check out the bed bugs guide website to see if you are co-habitating with the dreaded bed bugs! I hope not, because they are JUST not COOL!

Interior :: arts & crafts reborn

Of course I'm liking these beautiful matte Arts & Crafts vases ! The Arts & Crafts Movement (late 1800's to early 1900's) was a period and is a style that I have always been smitten with. These Teco vases were influenced by the Prairie Style and one of my all time fav architects, Frank Lloyd Wright. (I knew there had to be a reason why they appealed to me so much!) Their strong geometric lines, pure organic colors and sturdy utilitarian look have me sold.

photo LATimes

If you want the originals of this Teco line that was produced between 1899 and 1930 you'll have to pay a pretty penny. They commonly fetch four figures at auction. But was I surprised when I found a company called Prairie Arts that is reproducing them today for a reasonable $60 to $195! The company also produces Frank Lloyd Wright screens and stencils.

Check out the Teco Art Pottery Collection™. Pottery that is JUST COOL!

technology :: ban the calls!

Telemarketers are annoying! I sometimes think they call us just to annoy us ! I'll be making dinner and who calls? You guessed it - the dreaded telemarketer. Thats why I screen all my calls with caller ID. But even then it sometimes doesn't work. It comes up on the caller ID as " anonymous caller", "private caller" or "New York Call". Now there's a place on the web that you can register your phone number, and it will remove your number from any database telemarketers and best of all, it's free. It's called "National No Call Registry" . This nifty website also has a service that will identify the anonymous caller. So Now, People, You Can Find Out Who Called You. It does all the detective work for you, all you do is type in the annoying telephone number! JUST COOL, huh?
It's about time someone took care of those annoying callers!

architecture :: thinking inside the box

Even though they are coregated metal shipping containers, these cheery little homes just south of the border are JUST COOL! Responding to a need for affordable housing in an impoverished community of cardboard clad shacks in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, young architect Brian McCarthy took a detour from building houses in Albuquerque to turning shipping containers into clean efficient homes for deserving, hardworking people.

He was astounded by the living conditions that he witnessed, driving through the booming town. "It was amazing to me that in an area where there was such growth and economic prosperity, that these employees of Fortune 1000 companies were living in such poor conditions," he said.

These freshly painted 320 square feet spaces cost roughly $8,000 when completed and feature a modern galley-style kitchen with stove, sink, refrigerator and dinette, and a 48-square-foot bathroom, a bunk area for children a separate "master" bedroom for the owners.

What is the American dream here, is soon becoming a realized dream in Juarez. "With our design and with our price point, we think we'll at least be able to take the first step of getting more families into more homes" and formal property ownership," McCarthy said. Read more about these shipping container homes here. They're JUST COOL!

building :: finding the right contractor

I'm sure you've heard horror stories about home repair and people being taken by fly by night contractors. Be smart and do your research first before jumping into the big project and shelling out a big deposit! When hiring a potential contractor, always check at least three of their references and by all means take a look at work they have done. There are also ways of checking on your contractor's reputation and credibility right from the comfort of your own home. There are actual websites out there that will do a record search for you and show you any court judgments, liens or lawsuits filed against them . One such website is called Court Records Search. For instance if you live in Oklahoma, you can check out their Oklahoma Court Records. They have an in depth search base on all and any court records, so are an excellent resource. You might want to use them to check on your neighbor, your employer / employees or even your latest boyfriend, too. ;) But don't be afraid to get your feet wet and get all this information up front. You don't want to be stuck with an incomplete cob job and a drained bank account! Once you feel comfortable with the contractor you've hired, sit back and enjoy the home building / renovation experience! ;)



architecture :: on becoming a mini convert

how much space does it take to make us happy?

I've been thinking and writing alot about small houses lately. When it comes to architecture these days small is the new big. The trend is spreading all over - the once popular McMansions are losing favor to the Mini House. The fuel crisis, failing economy and eco- concious consumers are a big factor behind it, but for me, I think ridding myself of all the clutter and all the extraneous things and spaces I don't really need would be a totally freeing experience mentally and spiritually. It was when I saw this inspiring video about an Oregon woman named Dee Williams who did just that, built a tiny house on wheels and had a whole new world open up to her, that started me seriously, REALLY thinking about it. So lately I've been toying with the idea - I don't know whether it will ever become a reality but its a lovely dream. Watch Williams video and get a tiny bit inspired.


technology :: metro napping and the energy pod

It never fails. Everyday around 3PM your eyes start to droop and the urge to kick up your feet and get a little shut eye kicks in. Enter MetroNaps.com and the latest trend in power napping via their geeky looking pod chair that looks part beauty salon hairdryer and part space age cool. Workers around the world have been caught snoozing away in these Energy Pods that recline and enclose the snoozer in a privacy shield of comfort, then twenty minutes later gently wake them with a soft alarm and vibration. For a mere $8,000 + per chair, MetroNap promises to refresh and rejuvinate and will actually improve ones productivity. Australia has just okayed these Energy Pods for use in hospitals, not for the patients but for the doctors that need a reprieve from their long tiring work hours. A smart idea that will probably cut down on missing sponges and surgical instruments.


Hey, I want one of these. Their JUST COOL!

fun :: it's just your imagination

Oh how our brain likes to play tricks on us. If you stare straight at the black cross in the center a green dot that wasn't there before, will appear. And if you stare long enough at the center all the pink dots disappear and it is just the green dot blinking around in a circle.

Proof that what we see isn't always what's there. Meaning.....?? ;)

well I thought it was JUST COOL anyway!


architecture :: a hermit's dream

What's that saying - Good things come in small packages? Small indeed, is this utterly charming and cozy cabin designed by Swedish designer Mats Theselius together with Arvesund. The aptly named Hermit's Cabin is a teeny tiny dwelling equipped for all seasons .

Made of the wooden planks recycled from old wood barns in Sweden, Arvesund Tradesign has been building and shipping these little gems (the one person is 86 square feet, the two person model is a whopping 108 square feet) all over the World since 2001.

The Hermit Cabin can be fully customized to fulfill all of your hermit needs too, including an add on package consisting of a bed, chair, table, wardrobe and shelves. A handmade wood burning stove with separate water heater is also available. The two foot beard and holey overalls are optional.

The only thing it doesn't have is a bathroom - whoops! - so plan on buying two Hermit Cabins - one for the main house and one for the outhouse.

Its JUST COOL! I want one!


food :: a chocolate wolf in sheeps clothing

It seems that what was once real milk chocolate over at Hershey's has now become an ingredient called "mockolate" . Did you know ? And I was thinking that Hershey's kisses were all real chocolate. Whoa to me and all other diehard chocoholics out there!

"Because our consumers like fake chocolate better" is Hersheys defense for it's faux chocolate formulation that is going into many of its products now. From the Patriot News Hershey's is quoted as saying "Consumers love this, and people prefer the change,"

Cybil over at the Candyblog is outraged. To me it sounds fishy. And heck I thought they had a funny taste to them the last time I tried them!

Guess I'll stick to my La Maison du Chocolat - chocolates finest!

real estate :: phoenix for fun in the sun

Looking for a new home? It's a buyers market out there, so now is the time to buy! And searching the internet for homes couldn't be easier. I found a JUST COOL one stop website called Click Smart where all you do is plug in your zip code, city or state and it provides you with a list of real estate agents in the area you are interested in. For instance, my brother (Uncle Judso, who I've often spoken of) lives in Phoenix, I've been there and although I am a New Yorker at heart I could easily pull up roots and move there. Not only is Phoenix a beautiful area, it is also full of opportunities. The Shopping Malls, Schools, and Hospitals are all within minutes of local neighborhoods. The climate is always warm, (not like up here!) and the sun seems to never go down. If you like to golf, hike, or bike, Phoenix is perfect . With recreational parks and amenities, there's always something to do. Ok, so I've sold myself on Phoenix. So at the Click Smart's website I plugged in "Phoenix" in the location box and and it came up with a number of qualified Phoenix Realtors . I read the small print at the bottom of the realtors pages and it said that Click Smart prequalifies all of it's Realtors in Phoenix before adding them to their directory. Now that's smart! All Realtors must have successfully completed at least 10 transactions in the past year. They must be a member of a local Board of Realtors and be properly licensed by the state in which they do business to be a Clicksmart Certified Realtor. That being said, I would feel very confident dealing with them.

So the hunt is on. I wonder if Phoenix has any of those micro homes that I've been blogging about lately. I think I'll call one of these Click Smart Realtors and ask. I'll let you know what I find out. In another post !

video :: super hero yourself!

You know you're super so super hero yourself! Over at MakeMeSuper.com you can make a cool video of super you and your super abilities! Watch my supermom video here>>>

It's JUST COOL to be super!

cars :: daughter desperately seeking one

Last week my daughter, Bex, called to let me know her car was on it's last legs and she was in desperate need of a new one. I did some research and found a great spot that reviews cars in a unique way and you can actually do a poll to see what the "masses" think of the car you are considering. Cool huh? So check it out. It's called vlane.com and was created so that people don't have to go through the car buying process alone.It's got some JUST COOL features that let people learn from the research and decisions of previous shoppers, car owners, friends and family, which makes the process of shopping for a car so much easier and more reassuring. OK so here's the poll I made - Please VOTE PEOPLE - I need some input here!

Powered by vLane.com See more Create your own!


TECHNology :: multi-faceted sound

It looks peculiar. But that's because its inspired design enables the MONO SPEAKER to play surround sound as it is meant to be heard.

Simon Denzel, a UK-based designer, came up with this modern idea of how surround loudspeakers could look, behave and integrate in various settings. The result is the very special Mono speaker, a piece of audio tech made to be wall-mounted in the corners of your room and whose purpose is to rid the listening experience of undesirable interferences that usually plague traditional systems and get straight to that memorable JURASIC PARK sound that surround sound is supposed to be all about.

Sounds JUST COOL to me!


furniture :: midcentury cool

I love the sleek lines of midcentury modern furniture and Blackbird Modern has some cool pieces that look so ultra modern, you'd think they came right off the assembly line today. But nope, these wonderfully funky pieces are over 50 years old, manufactured in the 50's and 60's when design saavy was at the height of hip-ness!

Norman Cherner Chairs manufactured by Plycraft, 2 arm chairs and 2 side chairs. Paper label on 1 chair, stamped July 11, 1964

A Brass and Mosaic Coffee Table attributed to Paul McCobb

Very Cool Gerald Thurston Lightolier Floor Lamp

A Frederick Weinberg Clock

I have to say it, the 50's and 60's were JUST COOL!

Check out these cool pieces and more at Blackbird Modern

architecture :: cows in space

It's called KUHUUNST or Cow Art. Six brown cows grazing on the grassy side of Sprelacart Restaurant, a five story structure in Prenzlauerberg Germany. Vertically no less! Sergej Alexander installed his herd of life-size plaster cows on the building, making us wonder which way is up and which way is North. From all the scientific hooplah in August about cows having an inner compass and their innate ability to point themselves North, this herd seems to be breaking all the rules. But I guess anything goes these days - with global warming and all ;)

The Cow House
photo Alastair Seagroatt

Cows that are JUST COOL. An amazing artistic slight of hand - how the heck did they get those cows up there?!

Who do you want to be this Halloween?