Rotring 800+ Mechanical Pencil and Stylus Hybrid

Rotring 800+ Mechanical Pencil and Stylus Hybrid

The Rotring 800+ is a combination of stylus and retractable 0.7mm mechanical pencil. Give the cap a small twist to extend or retract the mechanical pencil—while retracted the 800+ acts like any other stylus, perfect for use on an iPad.

The hexagonal metal barrel adds a certain heftiness and quality that feels great in the hand, and thanks to its knurled grip, it’s not likely to slip out of your fingers.

The Rotring 800+ 0.7mm is available for $65 on Amazon in black or silver. For a few more bucks, you can get a 0.5mm black or a 0.5mm silver.

Ugmonk Black Series

Ugmonk Black Series

This morning, Ugmonk unveiled the Black Series, a collection of eight of their most popular items that have been given the monochrome treatment. This is some of the slickest stuff Ugmonk has ever put out.

If you can’t decide what to pick and have $250 to spare, you can buy the entire set at once. If you just want the four t-shirts, that’s $95. Be sure to check out the Black Series Lookbook to see each item in action.

Brooks “Challenge” — Leather Tool Bag for Cyclists

Brooks “Challenge” — Leather Tool Bag for Cyclists

The Brooks Challenge is a beautiful leather bag that attaches to your bike saddle, keeping your cyclists’ tools handy at all times. The buckles of the attachment straps are located inside the bag, as well as the enclosure strap, which wraps around your tools and keeps them from rattling about during your ride.

The Challenge is available on Amazon in a variety of colors. Most range from $82-$90, with the exception of the $67 royal blue model.

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Cameron Moll’s Letterpress Posters

Cameron Moll’s Letterpress Posters

You may or may not already be familiar with Cameron Moll’s work over at Authentic Jobs, but did you know he also painstakingly recreates pieces of architecture in letterpress form and sells prints of them?

If not, now is a good time to look at his store because he’s having a buy-one-get-one-free sale until July 31, 2014. My personal favorite is the Brooklyn Bridge poster (pictured above, $120) but you can also get posters of the Coliseum ($100) or Salt Lake Temple ($100). They’re not cheap posters, but they weren’t easy to design either. Cameron also uses hi-quality materials in these posters, such as Crane’s Lettra Pearl 100%-cotton paper.

To take advantage of the BOGO sale, use the discount code TWOFER during checkout.

Takahiro Gooseneck Kettle

Takahiro Gooseneck Kettle

When it comes to kettles, you’ll have to pry the Bonavita variable temp gooseneck out of my cold, dead hands—but I must admit, this Japanese-imported Takahiro kettle has a certain classic appeal to it. While the Bonavita is the more convenient option to be sure, the Takahiro’s simpler design aesthetic is far more pleasing to the eye.

The Takahiro kettle is $92 on Amazon.

General Purpose / Desk Scissors by Ernest Wright and Son Ltd

General Purpose / Desk Scissors by Ernest Wright and Son Ltd

I know it seems a bit silly to be writing about a pair of scissors, especially ones that cost £22 (~$38 USD) but watch this video and you’ll see just how much care goes into every set.

They’re made from professional-grade, hand-tempered carbon steel blades, and each pair is guaranteed for life. The company will even re-sharpen the blades for you decades after the fact, if need be. Compare that to the cheapy scissors from the dollar store.

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Camelbak Eddy Bottle

Camelbak Eddy Bottle

I’m trying to get into the habit of drinking more water throughout the day. The Camelbak Eddy Bottle is a great way to do it, because:

  1. It doesn’t spill when knocked over (you have to bite the valve a little for water to flow).
  2. It has a straw so I can idly sip without having to tip the bottle.
  3. The loop-cap makes it easy to carry around.
  4. It doesn’t impart a metallic taste the way a Contigo tumbler sometimes does (which is why I reserve the Contigo for drinking coffee on-the-go instead).
  5. The whole thing is dishwasher safe.

$15 on Amazon. Available in seven colors.

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Jabra REVO Wireless Headphones

Jabra REVO Wireless Headphones

I don’t know why, but our household is apparently cursed when it comes to headphones.

In the last couple months, my Apple EarPods and two (!) pairs of on-ear headphones have lost audio on one side due to issues within their cables. Honestly though, I get sick of dealing with headphone cables anyway—especially on walks or when I’m cleaning around the house while listening to podcasts—so my next set will likely be wireless.

As always, I consulted The Wirecutter while doing research, and they recommend the Jabra REVO Wireless Headphones. They’re not the only ones who like these headphones either; the Amazon reviews clock in at 4.5 stars with 222 ratings!

From everything I’m reading, they are apparently quite comfortable and sound surprisingly good for what they are. The volume controls are pretty neat too. From The Wirecutter‘s review:

“The sides of the headphones are touch sensitive (rather than using push buttons) and look like little rubber records. To increase/decrease volume, you glide your finger in a circular motion forward or back. To change tracks, you tap the front or back of the circle. The volume adjusts the volume level within the phone, not just boosting dB in the headphones. This means that you don’t have to dig in your bag to mess with your your device if its volume is set too low.”

If you’re in need of nice Bluetooth headphones, check out the Jabra REVOs. They’re $190-$197 on Amazon depending on the color you choose—black, grey, or white.

CHECK IT OUT Find more: Audio, Travel

Big Update to Shawn’s eBook, ‘Delight is in the Details’

Big Update to Shawn’s eBook, ‘Delight is in the Details’

Our own editor Shawn Blanc has released a huge update to his awesome ebook about creativity, Delight is in the Details. Everything you loved about the original version is still in there, along with a ton of new content and refinements:

  • The ebook has been upped from 75 pages to 88 thanks to the addition of two new chapters
  • Two new audio interviews (Matt Alexander and Jared Sinclair), bringing the total to 10
  • All of the audiobook and audio interview tracks have been remastered
  • There are now transcripts of all the interviews, in case you’d rather read than listen
  • A new Makers Q&A section
  • References to iOS and OS X have been updated
  • Three short videos about creativity and design, all with high production value. You can watch one of them right now: “The Creative Life”

If you already bought the first edition of Delight is in the Details, you get this update (and all future updates) for free. A Gumroad link to the new files will be emailed to you, so keep an eye out.

For the rest of you who have yet to make the plunge, the book is 25% off ($29, down from $39) today only. Now’s your chance to get in on a fantastic book that will spur your creative work and show you why sweating the little details is so important.

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Skottie Young’s ‘Daily Grind’ Sketchbook

Skottie Young’s ‘Daily Grind’ Sketchbook

You comic book aficionados out there are probably already familiar with Skottie Young’s illustration work. If not, a good starting point is the charming Fortunately, the Milk, a book he worked on with Neil Gaiman.

This morning, Skottie released his new sketchbook, Daily Grind, which collects about 100 of his black-and-white daily sketches that he hand-picked from his archive. It’s a limited-print run, with only 1,000 copies available (and surely less than that since this morning’s announcement).

It’s $30 at the Skottie Young Store.

CHECK IT OUT Find more: Books, Kids

Tar Field Notes

Tar Field Notes

Take three Pitch Black Field Notes notebooks, bind them together with a rubberized, tar-like substance, add a double-wrapped cord closure and a small tarred-cord bookmark, and you’ve got Tar Field Notes.

The stats:

  • 144 pages total
  • 50-lb Finch Opaque Smooth text paper
  • Light-gray dot grid
  • Hand-bound

Pick up a set for $28 at Blackbird.

CHECK IT OUT Find more: Books, Writing

City Prints Spaceflight Maps

City Prints Spaceflight Maps

These Spaceflight maps are perfect for anyone who’s ever dreamed of going to space.

From Apollo 11 and Apollo 13 mission routes to lunar landings and even to a Kennedy Space Center launchpad, these prints are sure to make your inner astronaut happy. They’re printed on heavy pearlescent paper stock, giving them a beautiful and subtle metallic shimmer.

City Prints carries the Space series prints in a few of their standard sizes—which range from $49 to $189 depending on the package you choose—but they’ve told me they can also print to any size on virtually any material (wood, metal, etc) on a custom basis.

Synology DiskStation DS213j

Synology DiskStation DS213j

The Synology Diskstation DS213j NAS—recently reviewed by our own editor Shawn Blanc—is an excellent way of storing all the stuff on your home network.

With two drive bays that can handle up to 10 TB of HDD storage, a gigabit internet connection, and a boat-load of add-on apps, there are so many ways to use the DS213j. Just a few examples:

  • Family photo storage
  • Media center for home or small office
  • WordPress installation
  • Mail server
  • Webcam surveillance station

There are also tools that allow the DS213j to automatically back up to services like Amazon Glacier, Dropbox, Google Drive, and more.

If you’d prefer to install your own pair of HDDs, pick up the diskless DS213j for $193. For the rest of you, a 6 TB loadout (3 TB x 2) is available for $717.

MacSparky’s ‘Presentations’ Field Guide is Now Available

MacSparky’s ‘Presentations’ Field Guide is Now Available

In case you missed the news back when David Sparks’ new Field Guide on presentations was available for pre-order, here’s a friendly reminder that the book is now live on the iBookstore. You can watch the trailer here.

What I wrote about the book last time still applies, so here it is again:

With a primary focus on Apple’s Keynote software—and filled with more than 30 screencasts, audio interviews, and other rich media assets—David shows you how to plan an exceptional presentation that will connect with and delight your audience. He stresses the importance of telling a story rather than reading off bullet points out loud, how to make stunning presentation slides, and more.

He also shares some of his hard-earned presentation day tips, such as:

  • Putting together a “presentation toolbox”, a kit with all the adapters and other miscellany a presenter might need at the last minute
  • Advice on posture and stance
  • Presentation delivery techniques

Get Presentations on the iBookstore for $10.

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Day One T-Shirts

Day One T-Shirts

It’s no secret that Day One is the best journaling app around. And now you can show your love for the developers yet again by wearing one of their t-shirts, currently available until August 1st, 2014.

They’re made from CVC Cotton Poly (60% Cotton / 40% Polyester) and they’re “fitted” so sizes run a bit on the smaller side. They’re $20 each and you get a choice of charcoal or turquoise. Personally, I hope they add a charcoal shirt with turquoise lettering at some point, but until then, the current options are both quite nice.

CHECK IT OUT Find more: Apps, Attire

MAKR Canvas Zip Slim Wallet

MAKR Canvas Zip Slim Wallet

The MAKR Canvas Zip Slim is a sweet-looking wallet comprised of heavy cotton duck canvas and lined with brushed twill. The interior has two partitions to keep your cards and whatnot separated, and the YKK corner zip sports a classy Horween leather pull.

$65 at MAKR.

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‘Exceptionally Great Espresso — Art & Science’ Print

‘Exceptionally Great Espresso — Art & Science’ Print

As this print’s store page says, “Great espresso is both an art form and a science” Crafted with custom inks on beautiful Italian paper, this 20″ x 27.5″ print celebrates espresso by describing its theory and preparation in great detail, accompanied by illustrations.

Get one from stellavie design for an introductory price of 59,95 EUR (~$81 USD) + 10,55 EUR shipping (~$14).

1888 Mills Luxury Cotton Made in Africa Bath Towel

1888 Mills Luxury Cotton Made in Africa Bath Towel

You know how they say you shouldn’t skimp on getting a nice bed because you spend a third of your life sleeping? I think a similar rule should apply to towels—at least if you’re like me and shower every day. That’s not to say you need the most top-of-the-line towel in the world, but having a really nice one makes all the difference.

This 1888 Mills luxurious cotton towel is a recommendation I got from The Sweethome, and it truly is worth the $20 price tag. Not only is it quite soft and absorbent (and durable!), it was made as part of the Cotton Made in Africa project, meaning that the cotton is sustainably sourced from African farmers who are paid market rates for their crops unlike many of their peers.

It’s available from Amazon only in white as far as I can tell, which is not a problem for me but something you might consider before buying. They also offer a two-piece set of hand towels for $26.

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Overcast for iPhone

Overcast for iPhone

Marco Arment’s long-awaited podcast app for iPhone, Overcast, is now available on the iOS App Store. While it won’t be luring me away from my precious Pocket Casts anytime soon, it does have some very cool features, namely Smart Speed (which dynamically shortens silences in podcast episodes) and Voice Boost (which normalizes the audio for all shows).

The app itself is free, but a $5 in-app purchase unlocks a bevy of features:

  • Cellular downloads
  • Variable playback speed
  • Smart Speed
  • Voice Boost
  • Per-podcast effects settings
  • One-by-one playback option
  • Sleep timer
  • Unlimited number of playlists
  • Unlimited episodes shown in playlists
CHECK IT OUT Find more: Apps, Audio, iPhone

Studio Ghibli’s Movie Soundtracks Are Now On The iTunes Store

Studio Ghibli’s Movie Soundtracks Are Now On The iTunes Store

Studio Ghibli fans rejoice: nearly all of their films’ original soundtracks are now available on the iTunes Store. We’re talking movies like My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Ponyo, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and so many more.

I’ve always loved the music from these films, and can’t tell you how stoked I am about this news. If you’re even remotely interested in the world of Studio Ghibli, you’ve gotta get in on the action.

CHECK IT OUT Find more: Music
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