Improvised Life » Mindset http://www.improvisedlife.com If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 08:50:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 A Vacation Note to Our Friends with Benefits http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/12/vacation-gift-friends-benefits/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/12/vacation-gift-friends-benefits/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 08:50:11 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44941

R/ Susan Dworski

While we take much needed time off this August, we want to make sure our Friends with Benefits get full value for their subscriptions.

We’d planned to simply add an extra month to all subscriptions, but have encountered unexpected technical difficulties. We hope you’ll bear with us during our hiatus and know that we’re working on a solution.

For those monthly subscribers who’d like an immediate refund, please click Contact Us or email us at info@improvisedlife.com; we’ll be happy to do so. (Be sure to send us the email address you used to subscribe with Tinypass.)

With thanks and wishes for a wondrous last few weeks of summer,

The (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/12/vacation-gift-friends-benefits/feed/ 3 Time to Take a Break…We’ll Be Back in September http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/12/time-take-break/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/12/time-take-break/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 07:25:52 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44935

Ernst Haas

If we had to sum up the past few months with a single image, it would be this one. We’ve been roping a wild horse — life — and trying our best to go with it as we launched our Friends with Benefits subscription service and Improvised Life’s Store, saw a dear friend through a major health crisis, and navigated a recent, unexpected crisis with another. Many challenges to be sure.

We’re deeply tired and need to recharge and regroup. We’ll be back full of beans just after Labor Day as we put into practice an essential principle of an improvised life: (more…)

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Save Your Wishbones for the Wishbone Project http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/11/save-wishbones-wishbone-project/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/11/save-wishbones-wishbone-project/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 23:00:38 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44972

Sally Schneider

Recently, several readers wrote to say they’d saved a pile of wishbones to send to Holton Rower for his monumental art work made of thousands — maybe hundreds of thousands— wishbones. Since we first announced it, our crowd-sourced Wishbone Project has yielded Holton a lot of wishbones. In return, the errant wishbone collectors/donaters receive a thank you gift from Holton.

The last batch he received curiously had a button in it.

Here’s a reminder to SAVE  YOUR POULTRY WISHBONES and become part of a sure-to-be wondrous art work.

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Street Entrepeneur Crab Man Mike + Our Faux Aioli Recipe http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/11/mikes-seafood-boil/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/11/mikes-seafood-boil/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:00:27 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44886

Sally Schneider

While on our NYC stay cation, we'll get a hit of the Maryland shore by stopping by legendary Crab Man Mike's stand in Harlem, where he cooks up batches of crabs, shrimp and lobsters on his rigged propane cooker. We love Mike’s seafood room temperature, dunked in our Faux Aioli (garlic mayonnaise), for an American South/French fusion. Here’s more about the amazing Mike and our recipe.]]>
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Life Lesson from a Simple Kid’s Lanyard http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/11/life-lesson-simple-kids-lanyard/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/11/life-lesson-simple-kids-lanyard/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 08:58:12 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44957

Susan Dworski

Recently, I discovered a forgotten neon pink plastic lanyard at the bottom of a basket of cat toys. Made at summer camp two years ago, it was a gift from a small person, presented with a shy smile "I made it, just for you." When I read this poem by poet Billy Collins, I suddenly felt saddened that I had been so cavalier in discounting its importance. Finding it again felt huge––like a redemption.]]>
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Why Not Sleep on the Roof in a…Sky Parlour? http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/07/sleep-roof/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/07/sleep-roof/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 20:48:12 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44782

thomasjs.com/bivouac

We recently read that President Taft had a sleeping porch built (below) on the roof of the White House in the 20′s. On hot summer nights, the first family could sleep up there to cool off. It allowed the President retreat up there to chill and look out over Washington.  It was improved in 1927 when the third floor was expanded. Grace Coolidge called it the “Sky Parlor”.

We LOVE this for two reasons: that a man living in such straight-laced conditions as the Presidency would do something so personal and eccentric.

And that WE love sleeping outside as well, and often sleep out on our top-floor terrace, so we can look out at the giant trees in the park across the way and the stars, while listening to the lilt of Motown from the folks hanging out on the corner. (Nobody can see us as our ornamental grasses hide us.) We always preferred the tent guesroom our friends would erect when a crowd would emerge for several day reunions.

We’re always on the lookout for cool impermanent shacks (more…)

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Trees Growing Through Obstacles (Like Us) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/06/trees-growing-despite-obstacles-like-us/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/06/trees-growing-despite-obstacles-like-us/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 23:00:07 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44854

Fast Forward

Our friend Cara De Silva sent us a link to images of trees growing through concrete, with these words.

…I was startled and grateful when I looked at these beautiful and inspiring photographs.

But not only for the usual reasons. For months now I have been seeing such trees as a metaphor, (more…)

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To Be Able To Say Yes, You Need to Be Able To Say No http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/05/able-say-yes-need-able-say/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/05/able-say-yes-need-able-say/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 23:00:14 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44821

Dominic Wilcox

We’ve come to love the word YES, and post it often as a reminder to embrace the opportunities that come along, and go with them.

But we realize that there is a very important other side to YES, and that is being able to say NO. (more…)

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Annals of Bad Design: Swing Day Bed + Wilcox’s GREAT Swing Chair http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/05/d-y-arm-chair-beds-swings/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/05/d-y-arm-chair-beds-swings/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 20:00:41 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=10864

Emma's Design Blog

Years ago, we clipped this image from a design blog thinking: How lovely that looks, in its minimalist setting. Then we imagined lying on a swinging bed hung in a nook so near to a wall and could feel how jarring it would be if/when the suspended bed actually hit the wall.  Much better it be a hammock placed so its arc would miss the wall but you could use the wall to push off…

Then we stumbled on a“Another Use for Old Chairs: Turn Them Into Swings” in Unconsumption, featuring old chairs that people had  literally suspended, mostly from trees. And that reminded us of designer/inventor Dominic Wilcox’s Arm Chair Swing, (more…)

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Ornithology Wall Mural: Proseck’s Practice of Seeing http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/05/ornithology-wall-mural/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/05/ornithology-wall-mural/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 17:00:20 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44289

(Video link HERE.)  There is something enchantingly low-tech and intimate about artist James Proseck‘s painstaking process of making this wonderful, public wall mural: painting bird silhouettes a la Field Guide series of nature books. His technique is very interesting and could easily be applied to the walls of any interior or exterior space – bedroom, dining room, patio, pool house, you name it.

We’ve excerpted a saliant chunk of the rather long, slow video. It shows not only Proseck’s technique but delves into his view of what it means to “see” nature, a practice that can be cultivated. (more…)

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The Time is Now…Stefan Sagmeister on Happiness http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/time-now/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/time-now/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 22:43:10 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44777

Stefan Sagmeister

When uber-designer Stefan Sagmeister was asked “If you were to give advice on happiness—and I acknowledge that this is a tough question—is there one thing you’d suggest?”

Write down 3 things that worked for you each evening, things you might be thankful for. I started an ical calendar that contains this and I just spend 5 minutes each night doing it. This is an exercise from Marty Seligman, the founder of positive psychology. It works.

We notice he didn’t say “Write down three things that made you happy” but rather “Write down 3 things that worked for you“: a bit different. “What worked (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/time-now/feed/ 0 Intuitive Method for Organizing Stuff http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/organize-little-stuff-cool-plastic-boxes/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/organize-little-stuff-cool-plastic-boxes/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 17:19:49 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44784

(Video link HERE.) I LOVE this video! Filmmaker/designer Casey Neistat describes his great Intuitive Categorization Method for organizing his tools and little stuff. I’m loving it especially because it showed up right on time, in time, this morning. (more…)

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Music for Monday Morning (Jun Miyake) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/music-monday-morning-jun-miyake/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/music-monday-morning-jun-miyake/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 07:24:55 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44780

(Video link HERE.)  …perfect music for getting going on a Monday morning, as well as people dancing, leaping and gliding around in the most wonderful way (until the dark end). You can jump in anywhere to get a hit of LEAP energy.

Not content to just click one link, we can’t help but follow trails. The trails leading from this wonderful video turned us on to Japanese artist, composer, song writer Jun Miyake.

After buying Lillies of the Valley, we’ve been listening to his music on Spotify.

A groove.

//

via the great Hedviggen

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A Song for a Summer Weekend http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/01/song-summer-weekend/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/01/song-summer-weekend/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 08:34:04 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44769


(Video link here.) We know a number of people taking “stay-cations”, enjoying the city as though they were visiting it anew, filling themselves up with wonderful art, food, happenings,  and not dealing with traveling for one reason for another. We’re going to do the same in a week or so, just so we can WANDER, without a schedule for a while, which is the best way we know of recharging.

We think 500 pound Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to be just the perfect 3-minute escape for those in need of a instant vacation. It’s the perfect music for summer hanging out (in a hammock perhaps).  (more…)

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