PERSONAL

Pocket Piano

If you’re on the go and don’t want to put up with an iPhone-based synthesizer, or perhaps you’re an ultralight musician, the Pocket Piano from Critter & Guitari just might be your fix. A handmade pocket synthesizer that packs a vibrato synth, harmonic sweeper, two-octave arpeggiator, octave cascade, mono FM synth, and FM arpeggiator is housed in a sturdy aluminum and hardwood case with built in speaker and a 1/4” output jack. Round wooden keys give it a unique and tactile playing experience. Describing it in words isn’t exactly doing it justice, so I highly advise watching this accompanying video to see and hear some of crazy noise making abilities of this miniature machine.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $175.00
Available from: critterandguitari.com

The Bike Valet

Another bike storage option? Yep, and this one is (dare I say it) a more refined option than the Cycloc. Angles, steel, leather… it’s nice, isn’t it? Designed by Stephen Tiller of Reclamation Art + Furniture, the Bike Valet currently has a Kickstarter campaign going to increase the level of production and manufacturing. For a pledge of $87 or more, you’ll receive a signed and numbered valet of your very own.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $87.00
Available from: Kickstarter

RydeSafe Reflective Bike Decals

Do you ride a bike at night? Slap on some of these reflective stickers and increase your chances of staying alive (i.e. not being plowed down by drivers). Made from engineering-grade “conspicuity film” (the stuff on emergency vehicles) the stickers reflect light back to its source and allow easy customization of your frame, helmet, rims, etc. Pledge $15 or more on Kickstarter for a Full DIY Kit (51 pieces) of RydeSafe Reflective Bike Decals.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $15.00 and up.
Available from: Kickstarter

Wipe T-Shirt

With its three broad stripes, the Wipe T-Shirt has an eye-catching appeal to begin with, but there’s also a secret to the design. One of the stripes is actually a strip of microfiber cloth, the go-to remedy for wiping down dirty, finger-printed glasses and gadgets. You may get some strange looks wiping your phone on your chest, but the convenience makes it all worth it.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $89.00
Available from: gnr8

Two Sided Sleep Mask

For long haul flights, this mask is a must. Display your meal preference with no room for error (exception: you sleep on your face) and make the best out of the generally unpleasant experience that is flying for hours on end.
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Purchase Information:

No longer available.

Full Windsor Quickfix Bicycle Mudguards

These origami-inspired rain fenders keeps your backside dry and are easily removable as the weather drifts between sunny and clear, to dreary and wet, perfect for you fixies and single speeders who want the minimal stream-lined look. For a clearer illustration of how they work, check out their accompanying video.
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Purchase Information:

Price: £14.99
Available from: cyclesurgery.com

I Love What You Hate Tote bag

For those days when you’re proud of loving what others might hate… by none other than paper-cutter extraordinaire Rob Ryan. Also, be sure to check out the packaging tapes (see below), as they would nicely spruce up your cardboard boxes for shipping.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $35.00
Available from: Rob Ryan's Etsy shop

Crumpled City Maps

What? You’re still doing your holiday shopping? Check your local bookstores for these maps, because they are genius. Instead of endlessly folding/refolding, you just crumple up this map and throw it in your bag or pocket. Plus, it’s 100% waterproof and includes streets, monuments, museums, art galleries and much more (as in, 10 “SoulSights” to excite you).
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Purchase Information:

Price: €12.00
Available from: Palomar

Source: Dwell

Spy Coin

A hollow coin is a low tech tool for transferring sensitive messages or perhaps also a perfect place for a tiny transmitter (not that I know anything about those sorts of things). Sort of fun, no?

$40.00, Buy it here.

Originally posted Aug 5, 2009.

Purchase Information:

Price: $40.00
Available from: Cooper Hewitt Shop

Space Pen

We’ve posted this pen before (Space Pen), but the black and gold options are eyecatchers. Also, if anyone cites the Russian Space Pen (a pencil) as an alternative, just be sure to note it’s not safe in outer space. See original post for details.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $35.00
Available from: Moss

Filson Hip Flask

Hip flasks seem to go hand in hand with the holidays, just like mistletoe, family visits and frantic shopping. If you’re still not finished crossing off your gift list (get a move on!), consider this flask, or, if it’s a bit pricey, just plug in ‘flask’ into Amazon or your local search engine and you’ll find all manner of flasks that can be shipped overnight to wherever you desire- maybe even your own home.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $67.00
Available from: Blackbird

Titanium Multi-Tool Collar Stays

These collar stays are the sort of thing a modern day MacGyver would have as it incorporates a half-phillips screwdriver, slotted screwdriver, thread cutter, and a bottle opener (no paperclip, though, sorry). Now, how often you’d need all of those functions, who knows, but some of them are bound to come in handy sooner or later. Like when you discover an errant thread on your way to an important meeting, or when you’re stuck in an elevator… with a few bottles of beer.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $30.00
Available from: Uncommon Goods

Donna Wilson Scarves

If you’re still looking for a special gift for a quirky friend, you could do a heck of a lot worse than one of these scarves from Donna Wilson. Seriously, they’ll keep necks warm and get all sorts of smiles on the sidewalks- it’s a win/win all around.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $83.00 - 90.00
Available from: The Future Perfect

Zip Pouches by Pamela Barsky

Whether you’re traveling around the world or just around town, these pouches by Pamela Barsky will keep your stuff organized… with a little bit of commentary thrown in. More below.

Main image: How much I have seen Pouch, 7.75in X 6.25in, $15.00
“No matter how much I have seen there is always so much more I have not”.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $15.00 - 28.00
Available from: FLIGHT 001

Magnifire Reader or Firestarter

This small flat lens (called a Fresnel Lens) magnifies up to 2.5, making it ideal for tiny print. Now, you might not need a magnifier every day, but perhaps you’d like to stop smoking? Or know someone who would? You could take a page from the designer’s book by using the magnifier to light a smoke, which would cut down on the habit significantly if you live in a cloudy climate… or if you are just an impatient sort of person.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $7.00
Available from: Kikkerland