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BilletSpin Tops: Navigator by john cheng

I've always loved spinning tops from when I was very young. My first top was a wooden throw top that my dad taught me how to throw. It took a while to get the hang of it, but that memory has stayed with me ever since. Now that I'm older, I still love tops, but my tastes have also gotten older.

In comes the precision metal spinning tops. These suckers might be expensive, but are well worth it. They are tiny pieces of art that you can play with. Yes you could buy another knife to add to your collection of EDC with the amount that you spend, but you can't really play with a knife in the way you could with a top. Plus you can bring it anywhere unlike with a knife. 

That being said, you should check out the Navigator by BilletSpin on Indiegogo. This is the 25th top that they've made and its a beauty of a top. The machine work on this thing is gorgeous. Reminds me of what I imagined the Golden Compass should look like. 

Last bit of information, once this campaign is over, they wont be made again! 


Final Fantasy VII Remake by john cheng

I guess it's time to save up for a PS4...

Final Fantasy VII Remake -- Official Announce Trailer (HD 1080p Direct Feed) - Get The Cheapest Games & Credit here: - http://www.cdkeys.com/?mw_aref=pixelenemy PIXEL ENEMY PRESENTS Subscribe to Pixel Enemy: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=pixelenemy Like Pixel Enemy on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pixelenemy Follow Pixel Enemy on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pixelenemy Follow Pixel Enemy on Google+: https://plus.google.com/+pixelenemy/posts Visit Pixel Enemy on the web: http://www.pixelenemy.com/

3A Toys x Bravest Warriors by john cheng

I don't even know where to start. I've been following WO3A for quite some time and hope to own a toy of theirs in the near future. I haven't made a purchase yet mostly because I don't have the funds to buy one of their amazing toys.

It is definitely getting way more difficult especially with the new release of the Bravest Warriors toys. I mean, just look at them! Beautifully made! You can pre-order them at Bambalandstore May 21st, mark your calendars!

Kickstarter | Penxo by john cheng

Recently I've returned to using 2mm mechanical pencils to get a more organic feel in my sketches. I love the sharp point of a 0.5 mm pencil, but it was just too rigid for me.

But me being me, I search near and far for the writing utensil best suited for me. This also means that form and function must be on the same level. In the case of my everyday carry pen, I searched for about 2 years before landing happily on the Karas Kustoms Retrakt with a Parker Pen fine ball point tip refill. The aesthetics of the pen are beautiful and the function of the Parker refill suit my writing and sketching needs perfectly.

I'm undergoing the same process at the moment with my pencil. Currently I'm using a Staedtler 2mm pencil and functionality wise, it works fine. The aesthetics portion however, are just so so in my opinion. But as always, Kickstarter seems to save the day. I discovered the Penxo today and immediately backed the project! It is such a beautiful and simple writing utensil an the perfect mix of beauty and utility. I just hope that when I receive my very own Penxo, it will hold up to it's presumed glory.

Medium: Why You Turn Up by john cheng

This is what I need...

You turn up because of the people around you.

You know, the ones with common interests and sense of ambition.

The ones who want to invent new things and do old things better.

The ones whose distortion of reality present challenges that stretch you.

The ones who give you freedom to do things differently.

The ones you trust not to drop the ball (there are no ball droppers here).

You even turn up for the ones who grate on you (they’re also brilliant).

You turn up because the people around you value what you do.

They believe in you and give you what you need.

Together you create something more than a job.

Don’t settle for anything less.

DIY Mini BB-8 by john cheng

As many should know by now, BB-8 the spherical droid, is not cgi. The droid is an actual physical object that the actors were able to interact with. BB-8 has been developed with the aid of Sphero the company that developed the smartphone controlled RC ball.

Well Christian Poulsen has already hacked said RC ball into a mini BB-8! If you want to build your own little BB-8, Poulsen has a breakdown on how to make one at Make:

Playing catch with my home made BB-8 Droid. Check out more of my work here: http://www.cp3d.us/ And the building process here: http://makezine.com/projects/make-this-mini-star-wars-bb-8-ball-droid-with-a-hacked-sphero/

Tested: Felt Creatures with Woolbuddy by john cheng

Norm from Tested interviews Jackie Huang from "Woolbuddies" at WonderCon 2015. I saw this guy a few years back at Dcon and his kits are amazing. I'm thinking about buying a kit again!

If you're looking for a fun weekend project or a fun DIY gift for someone, this is definitely a fun project to pick up.

At WonderCon, we meet up with Jackie Huang, an artist who sculpts with felt to create fantastic creatures. Jackie's "Woolbuddies" take the form of everything from adorable owls to giant dragons and even an R2-D2 droid. We learn about the felting process and get a quick demo!

Do With Less by john cheng

I haven't been stressed about money per se, but I've been concerned over my spending habits and have wondering if I'm living beyond my means. The idea of living paycheck to paycheck frightens me, but luckily, I've been able to save up over the years so that my fear over spending money has no real solid ground. But still, I must keep myself in check.

The key to eternal happiness is low overhead and no debt.
— Lynda Barry

I read the above quote today on Austin Kleon's blog post "Keep your overhead low" and it piqued my interest. Especially the equation he provided:

Low overhead + “do what you love” = a good life.
“I deserve nice things” + “do what you love” = a time bomb.

Seeing the word 'overhead' automatically has an association with business plans, but really can be applied to our lives as well. Too often do I see people living beyond their means only to fall back and suddenly realize that they really shouldn't have spent that money. Then I turn that lens on myself and see the same thing. We live in a world that thrives on consumerism and shuns those around us that don't have the latest iPhone, but when it comes down to it, does owning high end 'status symbols' change who you really are? I would argue no, you are still who you are, just more in debt.

Live frugally so you can do the work you want to do. Save up some “screw you” money, so you can quit a job you hate to take a job you like better. Turn away venture capital money and bootstrap so you can keep control over your business.

Remember, you define you, not your stuff. Create more, spend less.

Kickstarter - Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production by john cheng

There are many tools and practices that we use now inside InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator that had practical purposes behind them when they were produced manually by hand rather than by the computer. Some of these reasons and best practices are starting to wane due to the very fact that we rely on the computer to do so much now. It is for this reason that we must understand the history behind graphic design and the old school processes that got us to where we are today.

With that, I say you check out this awesome kickstarter project that delves into the history of graphic design and how our graphic design predecessors worked day to day.

Imagine designing and printing a brochure—without a computer. How would you set the type—making sure it fit your layout? How would you crop the images? How would you place those images alongside your text? And what would you hand over to the offset printer when you were done?
Up until just 30 years ago when the desktop computer debuted, this whole process would have been primarily done by hand, and with the aide of fascinating machines that used a variety of ways to get type and image on to the printed page.
Mad Men gives us viewers small glimpses into this detail-oriented, time-consuming process—but working as a commercial/graphic artist in the pre-desktop computer era entailed a lot more than marker comps for client meetings. Graphic Means will explore these methods and the skilled people who used them.

Kawara Chair: Recycled Japanese Roof Tiles by john cheng

Designer Tsuyoshi Kawara has taken old Japanese Roof tiles and reused them to create the Kawara Chair. These beautiful tiles are fired and 1200 degrees Celsius, resulting in the ability to hold the weight of a person up to 250 lbs. The Tiles are set on a beautiful wooden frame and come in a variety of different glazes.

Pop Vinyl: Doctor Who by john cheng

Everyone go on high alert! Doctor Who PopVinyls are finally here! I want all of these right now!
They drop July 2015 but are currently available for pre-order on entertainmentearth.com To pre-order or not to pre-order...

Equil: Smartmarker by john cheng

A while back I posted on a cool whiteboard called Smart Kapp that would help you collaborate in real time with colleagues via whiteboard. Equil's Smartmarker is another similar solution that allows you to use a larger surface. I want one of these!

The new, digital marker that makes any whiteboarding surface smart. The Equil Smartmarker let's everyone stay on the same page, no matter where you happen to be. Save, share and stream whiteboard notes and drawings to anyone on any device, whether in the same room or half a world away.

The Atlantic: Creative Ideas Happen When You Stop Checking Your Phone by john cheng

I think we all have trouble with this whether we admit it or not. Let's just try and embrace a bit of boredom and see what may come of it.

Remember what it's like to be bored? A New York public radio show asked thousands of its listeners to stop checking their phones and see where their minds took them. New Tech City host Manoush Zomorodi takes James Hamblin to Science House in Manhattan to experience purposeful boredom-and see what creative breakthroughs came.

How To Make Kill Bill's 'F*ck U' Shoes by john cheng

If you are a fan of Kill Bill and noticed the detail of "the Bride's" shoes and reallllly want a pair for yourselves, I highly recommend watching this video. They'll give you all the info and files you need to work on this weekend project. Purty cool!

This video was brought to you by Premium memberships on Tested. Thanks to our members who've supported us. Learn more about memberships here: http://www.tested.com/membership In Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, one detail that appears on-screen for only a second are the soles of Uma Thurman's shoes.

S'well by john cheng

If you happen to be looking for a new well designed beverage bottle that keeps cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12 hours, then check out S'well. You can do custom logo bottles too for your organization!

S'well is the premier fashionable reusable water bottle made of the highest-grade stainless steel, keeping drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12.

Ghibliland by john cheng

Welcome to Ghibliland! A theme park inspired by the works of Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli! Well, one can dream right? That is what animator Takumi dreams of at least. Takumi has illustrated what would be a theme park map directing you to all the wondrous attractions at Ghibliland.

If you're getting more and more depressed that something such as this doesn't exist, do not fret, there is still Ghibli Museum! Although make sure you call a travel agent to make reservations in advance, Ghibli Museum tickets sell out pretty quickly. Last I heard, you need to make the reservation 3 months in advance.

5 Rules for a Creative Culture by john cheng

5 Rules for a Creative Culture by Ben Chestnut, CEO of MailChimp. What state of mind is your company in? Are you seeking solutions for problems that seem too difficult to resolve? Maybe it's time to rethink the old school "butts in seats" work culture and push for a more creative culture.

One day, MailChimp CEO Ben Chestnut discovered that his company had acquired a new tagline. Chestnut hadn’t approved, or even known about this rather significant new bit of corporate identity, but there it was—"Love What You Do"—on the footer of the company website. At most companies, changing a piece of punctuation in a line of ad copy takes three weeks of meetings between about 14 people across six departments. So typically this would be the kind of occasion that terms like "tearing a new one" and "terminated with extreme prejudice" were made for.
But there would be no new orifices created that day. Chestnut, the founder of email marketing and newsletter company MailChimp, does things a little differently. He stormed into the marketing and design departments and demanded they come up with a coloring book called Love What You Do, featuring baby Freddie Chimpenheimer (excerpt: "Hi I’m Freddie. It’s fun to be me! Is it fun to be you?"). Sure, the CEO was a little concerned that he hadn’t known about the tag, but, as he noted in a blog post on the incident, it was "pretty spot-on, so I got over it."

1. Avoid rules. Avoid order. Don’t just embrace chaos, but create a little bit of it. Constant change, from the top-down, keeps people nimble and flexible (and shows that you want constant change).

 

2. Give yourself and your team permission to be creative. Permission to try something new, permission to fail, permission to embarrass yourself, permission to have crazy ideas.

 

3. Hire weird people. Not just the tattoo’d and pierced-in-strange-places kind, but people from outside your industry who would approach problems in different ways than you and your normal competitors.

 

4. Meetings are a necessary evil, but you can avoid the conference room and meet people in the halls, the water cooler, or their desks. Make meetings less about delegation and task management and more about cross-pollination of ideas (especially the weird ideas). This is a lot harder than centralized, top-down meetings. But this is your job — deal with it.

 

5. Structure your company to be flexible. Creativity is often spontaneous, so the whole company needs to be able to pivot quickly and execute on them (see #1).