Awesome Products: Make Japanese fish shaped pancakes with this taiyaki maker

Japanese sweets - Taiyaki maker // pancakes that look like little fish! Super kawai! #product_design

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When I first saw this picture of a Japanese taiyaki hot cakes, I was immediately captured by how detailed and delicious these traditional sweets looked. I have eaten something similar in Hong Kong, where the edge of the mini pancake is crispy and crunchy to bite into, but the batter in the middle is still soft, sweet and dewy. But the ones in Hong Kong are more like round like little balls, I have never seen the fish shaped pancakes until now. And of course, I’m hungry just looking at them… anyone else craving to have a bite of a fish shaped pancake, like I am now?

If you want try making your own at home, you can buy a Taiyaki maker here.*

*An affiliate link.

Jess - Find me on Pinterest

Awesome DIY inspiration: A light up fairy garden tulle maxi dress – DIY light up dress tutorial

Awesome DIY inspiration - a light up fairy garden dress tutorial! #product_design #design_inspiration

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Oh my goodness – would you feast your eyes on this amazing DIY project made by super talented teen Angela Clayton? It’s a light up fairy garden tulle maxi dress with real LED lights inside! Amazing! In fact, Angela has made an entire tutorial of her design and work so that you can also make your own DIY light up dress. Read about it on her blog here.

In part two of the DIY tutorial, Angela shows how she made a bodice to complete the dress.

Awesome DIY inspiration - a light up fairy garden dress tutorial! #product_design #design_inspiration

Images via

Don’t you agree that this project looks incredible? I want a light-up dress now, too!

Jess - Find me on Pinterest

Awesome Products: Copco Bag Cap keeps your packaged foods fresh

Copco Bag Cap - Seals in the freshness of bagged foods without removing the item from the original packaging. Genius! #product_design

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The Copco Bag Cap seals in the freshness of bagged foods without removing the item from the original packaging. Absolute genius! I could use a few of these in my pantry. It’s basically a lid that you affix to the top of chip or crisp packets, sugar bags, snack packets, or any kind of packaging to keep the contents fresh and easy to dispense without having to transfer your food to another container. I’m impressed by the smart design, and have even seen the variation of a coffee bag cap with scoop available on Amazon as well as the small and medium sized bag caps.

Have you discovered any awesome products lately?

Jess - Find me on Pinterest

Awesome Products: Incredible 2-in-1 fish tank dog house

Custom 2-in-1 fish tank / dog kennel - incredible! #product_design

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This custom 2-in-1 fish tank / dog kennel is simply insane! Apparently, the story goes that the photographer went to their local vet clinic to drop off their dog for surgery and was surprised to see this awesome fish tank dog house. This is a great example of the designer combining two unrelated products in an unexpected way to create something new and eye opening. Nailed it!

Have you seen any pet products lately that have blown your mind?

Jess - Find me on Pinterest

Awesome Products: A stair slide that converts your staircase into a slippery dip

Need this in my house! A stair slide that converts your staircase into a slippery dip! #product_design

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There are awesome products and there are AWESOME products. This stair slide is definitely the latter.

According to Quirky, the online community that helps get inventor ideas off the ground and into production, the SlideRider can turn almost any staircase into a slide! Simply unfold the padded base to cover your stairs, assemble the safety bumpers, and away you go! SlideRider features a weighted top and grippy bottom to keep everything securely in place and a cushioned bottom pad for a soft landing. When you’re done, fold it up with the included storage strap, and tuck it away for the next rainy day.

Features:
– Built-in handles make it easy to carry
– Safety bumpers fold out and velcro securely into place
– Weighted top acts as an anchor to keep slide in place
– Anti-slip rubber grip
– Soft foam pad for a safe and cushioned landing
– Slide folds up into base and is held in place with a storage strap

Materials:
– Foam
– Rubber
– Vinyl

You know that an idea has truly captured the public’s imagination when it has gotten viral coverage from the likes of the Daily Mail, Boing Boing, Cnet, Gizmodo, Incredible Things, The Awesomer, and BuzzFeed. I think what is most appealing about this idea is that it directly targets people’s sense of childhood nostalgia. Even though the expected customer might be children, the reality is that the people handing over the money would be adults wishing they were children again.

Sadly, this amazing invention is not in production yet. The SlideRider is still at the prototype stage. You can follow along with the product development process here.

In all seriousness, my guess is that this stair slide would be fairly expensive to produce since it is such a bulky item, and like any product aimed at children such as trampolines and swing sets, there are quite some safety issues to be raised. Snap – back to reality in the world of product design. Regardless, I want this stair slide at my house!

Jess - A Designer Life

Free Printable Gratitude Journal: Happy Thanksgiving

The Abundance Project - Free Printable Gratitude Journal - Happy Thanksgiving!

If there’s any foreign holiday I would like to kidnap and adopt as my own, it would be the American Thanksgiving holiday. I’m not one to be a history buff, so don’t ask me about that, but all I do know is that gratitude abounds online during this time of year and I think it’s a fabulous idea to set aside a WHOLE day of the year for the purpose of giving thanks. This is certainly a tradition that needs importing to Australia, which is rather condescendingly known as the Lucky Country, but where the majority of folks actually cultivate a culture of complaining. Yup – on the whole, Aussies can be bloody whingers, despite having one of the strongest economies in the Western world, beautiful beaches, sunny weather, a safe and comfortable political climate, and opportunities wherever you turn. After living in Indonesia and seeing how people can be happy living with less than one tenth of what most Australian’s have, it puts life into perspective and makes the whinging and whining rather tiresome.

Anyway, I’ve had this idea brewing since last Thanksgiving. I wanted to make y’all something special. Something that’s needed right now. And… (insert drumroll)… I’m finally so excited to present The Abundance Project, a free printable gratitude journal ebook – it’s a Thanksgiving gift from me to you. Complete with 65 pages full of the best collection of gratitude quotes, inspiration for creating abundance, and lots of space to write – its the only gratitude journal you need to get started with giving thanks! Simply click on the picture above to download the printable PDF file – or you can download it here:

The Abundance Project free printable ebook gratitude journal workbook via A Designer Life

So, to all my American friends – Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s a present I made just for you!

To everyone else in the world – Happy day! Have a free gift anyway, just because!

Jess - A Designer Life

Awesome DIY Inspiration: Sew a whale toy from denim jeans

Create this amazing DIY whale soft toy by sewing old denim jeans fabric!

Images by Mevrouw Walvis via

Yes – I have just fallen in love with a stuffed toy whale made from old denim jeans!

You can do amazing things with a creative mind and the ability to see potential in discarded materials – like this whale toy sewn from upcycled denim jeans material. So cute, and so clever! I love how he turned out. This would make a perfect gift just in time for Christmas, requiring little more than a sewing machine, some thread, some pins, an iron and an afternoon (or a few). I am also really impressed how using both the front and the back of the same denim material gives two tones to work with, creating the upper and the lower part of the whale’s body.

This picture has gone viral over the DIY internet sphere and across Pinterest so I think it’s really important to give credit where credit is due. The creative mama behind this wonderful idea is Mevrouw Walvis and she wrote a whole tutorial on how you can make you very own denim whale! The original tutorial is in Finnish here, but she has since made a tutorial in English here too, so make sure you check it out!

Jess - A Designer Life