Improvised Life » blogs + sites (mindset) If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 23:00:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Friends with Benefits: How to Increase Your Support Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:07:27 +0000

After our recent plea ‘er “invitation” to support Improvised Life by subscribing to Friends with Benefits, several subscribers wrote to ask:

How would I increase the amount of my Friends With Benefits contribution? Is there a place on the site I can log in to change the amount?

Hmmm. We hadn’t thought of that and consulted with Tinypass, our subscription service. We learned that Tinypass’ software doesn’t allow for increasing the amount of an already-existing subscription.

But we did figure out some workarounds:  (more…)

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An Easy Fix for a Common Subscription Glitch Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:00:33 +0000

Since we launched our Friends with Benefits subscription service, we’ve thankfully had few glitches. Occasionally, however, a subscriber writes to say that they get the KnockKnock curtain telling them they’ve used up their five free reads for the month and can’t access more unless they subscribe. But they ARE subscribed. What to do? (more…)

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Reminder: Most of the Stuff You Worry About… Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:00:13 +0000


…never happens.

But as we’ve experienced lately, some difficult stuff DOES happen. We couldn’t have predicted it, or prevented it. It’s LIFE. The best we could do is remember that there are answers and solutions in every moment, there to find.

We think of artist/scientist Thomas Ashcraft’s great sign: (more…)

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Improvised Life Love Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:00:32 +0000

With thanks for your many generous ways of supporting and collaborating with us!


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Kid’s Drawings Made Real Wed, 23 Jul 2014 23:00:21 +0000

Telmo Pieper

Dutch artist Telmo Pieper saved his drawings from childhood. Many years later, he used modern-day digital painting skills to make prototypes. The resulting works comprise his Kiddie Arts Series, an amazing example of a kid’s vision made REAL. (And what an idea THAT is!)

We TOTALLY covet the car and think his beetle is pretty awesome.  (more…)

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Grant Snider on Making the Leap Wed, 02 Jul 2014 08:50:57 +0000

Grant Snyder

Grant Snider nails it again.


What leaps are you afraid to make?       (Make a list, real or imaginary, of what they are and why you want to make them.) (more…)

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15 Seconds of Gorgeous from Tom Ashcraft Tue, 17 Jun 2014 23:00:31 +0000 Tom Ashcraft "Artisan, Naturalist, Electroreceptor and Scientific Instrument Builder" is a man who completely defies categorization. He's got all sorts of gear that constantly monitors and records wondrous things that are going on in the sky all around us. His lovely little film is like watching the night sky out in the country...]]> 0 Where do you find “clear profit?” Tue, 17 Jun 2014 08:47:19 +0000

Clear profit. We DO have that in the sky, friends and our daily interactions with our readers, who always surprise.Can that profit pay the bills and all that goes into making Improvised Life? The jury's out. It makes us wonder: What IS this stuff called money, really? Our friend Holton Rower makes art out of it!]]> 0
If We Never Tried, We’d Never Know… What’s Possible Thu, 29 May 2014 03:42:05 +0000

Sweaty Wisdom

Today has been a DAY. All morning long we watched as Tinypass alerts came into Improvised Life’s inbox, announcing subscribers to our new Friends with Benefits subscription service. One by one they landed like butterflies. We saw names we’ve never seen before, people who have been reading and following and enjoying Improvised Life enough to help it survive.

We deeply appreciate your very tangible support and good will as we follow a path we know to be true:  Never Try, Never Know. (more…)

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Help Improvised Life Leap…Tomorrow Tue, 27 May 2014 22:00:17 +0000

For the past 4+ years, Improvised Life has published 5 days a week, upwards of 2500 articles and 8000 images. It has been a labor of love, full of pleasures and rewards and, for the past while, serious challenges and demands. Our “reality sandwiches” include 60+ hours a week of Sally’s reporting, writing, and editing original stories, and curating and developing content from over 150 websites… finding, taking and processing photos …paying a part-time assistant, rent, a web programmer, rising server costs: a very long list that doesn’t even include all the ideas waiting to be developed.

Improvised Life is at a crossroads now. For us to continue, we need to pay the bills. We’ve come up with a plan


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12 More Commandments Culled from Commencement Speeches Tue, 27 May 2014 08:11:56 +0000

NPR’S searchable archive of the best commencement speeches has been making the rounds on the internet. When you take a look at the most popular themes or take-home messages in th speeches, you end up with a list that seem like great additions to the “commandments” we started compiling the other day. (more…)

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The Burning House: What are Your Most Essential Objects? Thu, 22 May 2014 08:05:36 +0000

Poppie Airill

We’ve written about Foster Huntington’s love of simplicity before, but we’ve recently discovered another project of his: The Burning House. This one, makes us think about our Life Essentials by asking the question, “What would you take with you if your house was on fire?” We love that Huntington has taken this familiar question a step further by asking people to photograph, list, and submit, their essentials. (more…)

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37 Signals on the Value of Constraints Tue, 20 May 2014 23:00:27 +0000

S. Gross for The New Yorker

This New Yorker cartoon celebrates the benefits of constraints and limitations (even ordinary ones): those things that define a problem, that you have to work with in order to find a solution. We learned to LOVE them because they’ve usually led to our most creative explorations, as well as ordinary but useful solutions. We found some fine advice about constraints at 37 Signals’ (more…)

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A Surprising Micro-world Inside Our Tears Tue, 20 May 2014 08:23:47 +0000

Rose-Lynn Fisher

Rose-Lynn Fisher has found a fascinating world of differences inside the tears we weep—be they from joy, frustration, grief, or cutting into a pungent onion.

In the tradition of Eadweard Muybridge‘s high-speed shots of everyday movements…

—which startled the public upon release…or Wilson Bentley‘s fabulous snowflake photography, prior to which scientists assumed most snowflakes were probably alike––

…Fisher uses the seemingly clinical eye of her microscope and camera to capture the surprising nuances of daily existence.

She’s found that among the 100 different tear samples collected and analyzed, the chemical makeup and appearance shift with every situation and reason…

…”Tears of grief”:

(more...)]]> 0