Improvised Life » Material http://www.improvisedlife.com If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:00:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Annals of Hair Design: LaBelle’s Nightbird Platter-Do (with Music) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/22/annals-hair-design-patti-labelles-nightbird-platter/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/22/annals-hair-design-patti-labelles-nightbird-platter/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:00:10 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=46030

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The Hair Hats in our recent Annals of Hair Design reminded me of the great “platter” do, Patti LaBelle wore when performing her album Nightbirds in the 80’s. I loved watching her perform it and wondered how she got that hair to STAY.

Years later, she came to my old studio for a photo shoot and I asked her how she got her hair to make those fabulous platters. (more…)

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Tree Branch Book Shelf + Cut-Out http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/22/tree-branch-book-shelf/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/22/tree-branch-book-shelf/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:34:34 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45918

We discovered artisan/designer Olivier Dolle‘s lovely tree branch book shelf when reader Kevin Neff sent us an Instructable for a cardboard version inspired by it. We find the wooden one quite beautiful and appreciate its asymmetry, unusual in shelving.

The cardboard version has it’s own charm.  (more…)

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Optical Illusion Rug or Floor Stencil http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/22/optical-illusion-rug-floor-stencil/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/22/optical-illusion-rug-floor-stencil/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:49:39 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=46115

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When we looked closely at this 3D rug, we realized that it was really an assemblage of simple shapes that LOOKED way more complex that in is.

Very cool as a rug OR as a painted floor. (more…)

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Fallen Autumn Leaves are a Material for Making http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/22/fallen-autumn-leaves-material-making/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/22/fallen-autumn-leaves-material-making/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:05:02 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=46107

assembledhearts.blogspot.com

Walking in the park the other day, we saw a young woman lying in a huge pile of brightly-colored leaves…half buried really, resting; she looked relaxed and content.  Around her three little girls were all happily making things out of leaves. And we thought LEAVES. What a beautiful material-for-making things all around us.

That got us looking for Fallen Leaf Creations. (more…)

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Open Source Systems for Everyday Objects, Food + Living http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/21/open-source-system-everyday-objects/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/21/open-source-system-everyday-objects/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:05:56 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45911

(Video link HERE.) Bio 50 has applied open-source thinking to electronic appliances we use in our homes everyday. They’ve prototyped of a system built upon standard components that offers the user the ability to assemble, customize, repair, and repurpose existing products.

Check out their clever fan, hand mixer, and a balloon-encased lamp all configured from the same elements.  (more…)

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Adjustable Rolling Table for Matisse AND Us http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/21/teak-desk/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/21/teak-desk/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:04:33 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43959

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When we looked closely at images of the invalid Matisse sitting in bed or in a chair making his beautiful paper cutouts, we realized that he used an adjustable bed table similar to one we’ve had for years.

We came across ours while trolling Ebay for mid-century furniture nearly 20 years ago. Billed as a Danish Modern Teak Rolling Tray Table, it looked mighty useful so we bought it. Over the years, we’ve found it to be astonishingly versatile: (more…)

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BIG Leaning Mirrors Expand the View http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/20/big-leaning-mirrors/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/20/big-leaning-mirrors/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:00:34 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45945

myscandinavianhome.com

I’m crazy about how mirrors can animate a room and bring it to life. Particularly oversize, leaning mirrors. I thought these were beauties.

You don’t need to do anything — no hanging or rigging; just set them where the look best or reflect the best view.

An oversize picture frame can easily be fitted with a mirror. And a huge rectangle of unframed mirror gives an elemental look.

 

—Susan Dworski

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Hands as Tools: Ethiopian Version http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/17/hands-tools-ethiopian-version/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/17/hands-tools-ethiopian-version/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 08:08:19 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45641 (Video link HERE.) State-of-the art eating in Ethiopia.

Made by hand, eaten by hand.

When I was there, I don’t think I saw a cooking utensil that wasn’t either wood or clay, a rough panga for chopping beef, and a cheap plastic cup here and there for pouring. No need for Sur la Table, Williams-Sonoma or a fancy Wolf range to dine well there. (more…)

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Josef Albers Postage Stamp http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/17/josef-albers-postage-stamp/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/17/josef-albers-postage-stamp/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:44:29 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=46020

Wary Meyers

We’re crazy for this Josef Albers postage stamp, circa 1980. Great visuals, inspiring message.

Hmmm. Wonder if the postal service would be interested in making our inspiring SIGNS and REMINDERS into stamps…sending them around the world… (more…)

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Annals of Hair Design: the Hair Hat! http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/16/annals-hair-design-hair-hat/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/16/annals-hair-design-hair-hat/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 21:00:46 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45986

menshairstyleshaircuts.net

We are continually amazed at the mighty improvisational and creative brilliance-in-the-realm-of-hair-dos we see around town daily. But these hair hats may take the cake.

We don’t know HOW this Caucasian guy got his bone-straight hair to stay put (or why?… the mysteries of the artist’s impulse).

Dig this African American version. The bill can be worn in front…

(more…)

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Wood Scrap Room Partition Surprise http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/16/wood-scrap-room-partition/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/16/wood-scrap-room-partition/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:00:04 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45931

We recently stumbled on designer Olivier Dollé‘s very compelling room partition. Or that’s what we thought it was until we started wondering why he add the two horizontal pieces at the top and realized… they were LEGS!

It’s a table, turned on its side. Eureka! (more…)

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Second Graders Discover Haute Cuisine http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/15/second-graders-haute-cuisine/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/15/second-graders-haute-cuisine/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 22:28:13 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=46003


(Video link here.) Some brilliant soul at the New York Times had the inspired idea to see what second graders would make of a meal at Daniel, one of New York City’s fanciest, seriously haute-cuisine, restaurants. Six kids from P.S. 295 in Brooklyn were treated to a seven-course, $220 Tasting Menu.

Their reactions are captured in this beauty of a video by Oscar nominated filmmaker Jeffrey Blitz.  It is total charm and revelation to see
kids experience the elaborate creations with truly fresh eyes and unfiltered candor. (more…)

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Max Lamb’s Inspired Furniture http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/15/max-lambs-inspired-furniture/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/15/max-lambs-inspired-furniture/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 17:58:18 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45898

We’ve written quite a bit about Max Lamb in the past because of his unique ability to combine art and simple practical design. An integral component of his art is showing people HOW he made it. At MaxLamb.org you can see illuminating how-to’s on just about all his pieces.

His latest work is his Marmorial series of furniture. We had to look up “marmoreal”; it means “made of or likened to marble“. (more…)

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Painted Oriented Strand Board Floors http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/painted-oriented-strand-board-floors/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/painted-oriented-strand-board-floors/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:01:24 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45904

Lisa Van Damme

Remodelista recently featured the clever redesign of a 430-square foot-apartment in a century-old row house in Antwerp, the work of Belgian architecture firm Komaan! —translation, “Come on!”

It’s full of good ideas, including clever layout that creates a fluid space with lots of storage, and interesting use of plywood,  but our favorite is the floors: sheets of Oriented Strand Board, known as OSB, painted high-gloss white. (more…)

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