Improvised Life » blogs + sites (mindset) If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Sat, 04 Jul 2015 15:45:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Check Out Our Instagram @whynot_improvise Tue, 30 Jun 2015 20:00:42 +0000

Sally Schneider

We discover SO many TINY improvisations as we wander through our days that we decided to start tracking them on Instagram. You can see the latest in Improvised Life’s sidebar, though you won’t necessarily know what it is. You’ll find the bigger view of our Improvised Life, with commentary, at…Like the 50-cent Lil Debbie Cake, above, (more…)

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Mail’s here! Thu, 25 Jun 2015 19:13:24 +0000

Original Porteur, Paris news paper delivery

Our newsletters are a love letter to our readers: A collection of what’s happening and what we’re up to. Subscribing sends us right into your your inbox so you’ll have our quirky, thoughtfully-crafted content to read with your morning coffee.

We know what it’s like to be bombarded by the words “please subscribe”. We hear we are worth it. (more…)

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Practice: A Do Nothing Day (via Grant Snyder + Neruda) Thu, 11 Jun 2015 06:59:45 +0000

Grant Snider

At Grant Snider’s very wise Incidental Comics, we found THIS brilliant idea: take a day to do nothing. Only we’d change one word in the last panel of Snider’s comic about the worthy “pursuit of aimlessness”(more…)

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Join Our Tribe! Wed, 10 Jun 2015 20:00:26 +0000

Deanne Fitzmaurice

Improvised Life is a space that celebrates creative living to the fullest degree. We work hard to collect great ideas from artists; inspiring thoughts from poets; stylish, useful home upgrades; and yummy recipes…and present them with thoughtful commentary and unexpected leaps and associations.

A tribe is a community with a similar mindset for living, and we want you in ours. (more…)

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Stick your Head in the Clouds!! Mon, 08 Jun 2015 06:05:37 +0000


One of the most wondrous website’s we’ve seen lately is Cloudreporter, a site of cloud images that readers have submitted, with an unobtrusive sliding note that tells who took it, the location and date. Some of them have titles like Clouds Hanging Low or Summer in SF, or a poetic notation like “evening sky over the Baltic sea: water, ship, air plane and a vast sky canvas” taken from the Darrs Peninsula in the Baltic sea (above). All you have to do is swipe to see a wondrous new cloud… (more…)

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Peace Practice: Viewing the Glass as ‘Already Broken’ Mon, 27 Apr 2015 06:29:29 +0000

Sally Schneider

At Zen Habits recently, Leo Babauta shows ways to apply a compelling daily practice from Achaan Chah, the Thai meditation master, described by Mark Epstein in Thoughts Without A Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective: (more…)

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What if We Stopped? Thu, 23 Apr 2015 06:42:50 +0000

Stefan Sagmeister

Yesterday, we stumbled on Seth Godin’s question “What if you stopped?“, and….

…we did stop for a minute to think about it.

What if we stopped publishing Improvised Life?  (more…)

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A Powerful Spring Poem with Robledo’s Wondrous Images Mon, 20 Apr 2015 07:20:36 +0000

Maria Robledo

When we stumbled on this powerful little haiku, we thought right away of Maria Robledo’s wondrous flower assemblages…where we found another surprising haiku hidden amidst her Instagrams. (more…)

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5+ Happiness Generating Questions Wed, 25 Mar 2015 06:50:00 +0000

As ever, Neil Gaiman nails it. But there’s a question in his wonderful words, one that many people we know have been asking themselves: What Do You Have that Nobody Else Has? What is the particular flavor/quality/aspect/talent/vision unique to you? And even more importantly, what are ways it can thrive in the world?

Ko Im over at Thought Catalog (via 99U) poses additional questions about ones SELF that he says will prompt you to discover patterns that point you toward greater happiness: (more…)

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Found Objects Music + Attitude for Monday Mon, 23 Mar 2015 07:29:20 +0000

Click to embiggen

At Under the Sun we stumbled on this reminder of the many objects around us that can be used to make music.

Type in Found Objects Music into YouTube’s Search and you’ll find A LOT of interesting improvisations. Here’s a favorite, with a great beat for Monday morning, and a long list of found objects used. (Video link here.) (more…)

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Bohemium Homes: An Alt Kind of Eye Candy Wed, 04 Feb 2015 18:55:03 +0000

We browse A LOT of websites in our search for illuminating content for Improvised Life that will inspire new ways of viewing every aspect of the everyday. We have a special fondness for interiors as we hunt for ideas we can apply to our own space, if only in our imagination. But we have grown tired of the ubiquitous, sterile, faux mid-century spaces and want to yell “HELLO, does anybody live there???!!!!”

We are always curiously relieved and delighted when we come across images from Bohemium Homes, an ALT-interiors site whose mandate is “Chilled out, lazy, Eclectic and Bohemian Homes”.

In these chilled out, lazy, often messy rooms we find both rest, an affirmation of real life, and many ideas.  Here are some favorites: (more…)

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Must Read: ‘The Lives They Lived’ (On Kawara) Tue, 06 Jan 2015 07:05:30 +0000

Anatoly Stepanko via David Zwirner

On the this best year-end/New Year’s reflections is, as always, the New York Times’ Magazine’s The Lives They Lived, brief stories of incredibly original lives of famous and unknown that passed away in 2014.  If you don’t have subscription access to the Times, use your free monthly read (whatever it is) to go here and scroll down the bargain page of 30 extraordinary —often inspiring — lives.

For us one of the most startling: artist On Kawara —whose Date Paintings we have featured —, the very private and elusive conceptual artist who, over the course of three decades, sent out over 900 telegrams with the message:

I am still alive.

As Dean Robinson writes: (more…)

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An Intro to ‘Bird by Bird”s Brilliant Instructions on Life Tue, 16 Dec 2014 23:05:57 +0000

A while ago, Brain Pickings posted on Anne LaMott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, for our money one of all time BEST books about the creative process. Although we’ve written about the book ourselves — including our crazy-favorite quote about being “flanged” — Brain Pickings offers a trove of excerpts that make a fine introduction if you’re not familiar with the book. Here’s just one: (more…)

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Your History of Distruptive Ideas Thu, 11 Dec 2014 09:14:53 +0000


One of the best end-of-the-year “lists” we’ve come across is Businessweek’s The 85 Most Disruptive Ideas in Our History. We’ve loaded it onto our phone to read in spare moments about the influence of the Polaroid, whiteboards, contact lenses, smartphones, the sharing economy, bottled water, Power Point, Parkinson’s Law, Open Source, and Motown, to name a few. (Listen to Motown founder Barry Gordy’s personal playlist.)

It’s made us wonder about the word disruptive. (more…)

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