Improvised Life » Mindset http://www.improvisedlife.com If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Fri, 17 Oct 2014 08:08:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 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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Friends with Benefits: How to Increase Your Support http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/16/friends-benefits-increase-support/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/16/friends-benefits-increase-support/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:07:27 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45996

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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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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So Many Pathways At Any Given Moment http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/16/many-pathways-given-moment/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/16/many-pathways-given-moment/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 07:59:48 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=46015

Ellie Davies

This morning we ready this haiku by Buson:

       Coming back—
so many pathways
       through the spring grass.

Only nine words, it has been resonating all day (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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Ultimate Aikido for Everyone http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/15/ultimate-aikido-everyone/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/15/ultimate-aikido-everyone/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 08:12:48 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45954

Not everyone’s a grandparent, or even a parent. But we’ve all been a child once upon a time, and have either been through the wringer or put them through it.

The invitation to a baby shower for a friend expecting her first child—a girl—asked guests to include a note in the RSVP divulging our most sage piece of advice for successful child wrangling. Without hesitation I wrote:

No doubt about it. The two most important words are: (more…)

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Unexpected Bird’s Eye View http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/unexpected-view/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/unexpected-view/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 21:03:08 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45570

In cities across America, pigeons are widely viewed as “garbage birds”. They feed on whatever is around, drink from sidewalk puddles, and seem to fly only a few feet at a time. We’ve heard them called “the rats of the bird world”.

Since we moved across the way from an expansive park, our view of the lowly pigeon has changed completely. We’ve come to admire their surprisingly-graceful flying and gliding abilities— when they have room!— sunlight often turning them silver.

This picture also expands our sense of the common birds we SO took for granted: Look at what they get to see!

The bigger lesson: to (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/unexpected-view/feed/ 0 Tom Ashcraft: Artist and Sprite Hunter http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/tom-ashcraft-artist-sprite-hunter/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/tom-ashcraft-artist-sprite-hunter/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 08:00:50 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45969

Tom Ashcraft

When we’re a little blue, or wondering where we’re heading, we find it helpful to look beyond our own small life and get a bigger picture. And the best way we know to do that is to look at either nature, or art, or both.

The person we know that combines these two transformative forces best is our friend Tom Ashcraft, recently profiled in the New York Times for his cutting edge work tracking sprites: wondrous, rather mysterious emanations of light that flash for an instant above thunderclouds. They can look like and are named for  jellyfish, carrots, angels, broccoli and mandrake root. (more…)

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Calling on Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth and YOU http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/09/money-energy-need/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/09/money-energy-need/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 23:00:18 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45874

?

We would happily give every Improvised Life article away for free —all 3000 of them— as we did for nearly five years with great pleasure…

…if we could. (more…)

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An Engineer’s Strategy for Getting Things Done http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/09/engineers-strategy-getting-things-done/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/09/engineers-strategy-getting-things-done/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 08:30:32 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45868

One of the great gifts of Improvised Life has been correspondence with readers, who are a mightily varied, creative and surprising group of people. Recently, Michigan-based engineer Kevin Neff, responding to the contest/challenge we published a few weeks ago,  has been advising me on how to rig my bed to stop it from transmitting the mysterious vibration that comes through the floor. In addition to the practical solutions — making or buying concrete bed legs of a certain, carefully-calculated weight, and sandwiching them with visco-elastic Sorbothane —he offered an excellent strategy for getting project done. (more…)

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An Unexpected View through a Peephole http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/08/unexpected-view-2/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/08/unexpected-view-2/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 23:00:09 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45567

A rough peephole carved out of a wall in what may just be an abandoned house… frames an unexpectedly lovely view…like a little painting.

(It’s a new iteration of the “holes in walls” we love so much.)

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Wise Words from May Sarton http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/08/wise-words-may-sarton/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/08/wise-words-may-sarton/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 08:43:41 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45805

Susan Dworski

Susan Dworski sent us this powerful quote from poet May Sarton after we mentioned how helpful reading Pema Chodrun is during times of upheavel, accompanied by this note:

Pema’s book is a standby at our house. Good call on that one.  It reminded me of a quote from poet May Sarton that has always been an inspiration for me when world’s yin and yang seems to be whirling a little too fast. We’re going to print Susan’s lovely design on our color printer and put it on our wall, an essential reminder.  The “world’s yin and yang” has definitely been whirling FAST.]]>
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Beaver Brook’s Mind-Expanding Deep Woods Retreat http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/07/deep-woods-skate-park-paradise/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/07/deep-woods-skate-park-paradise/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 21:32:39 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45082

snarkitecture.com

The folks of Beaver Brook, “a forest preserve shared by a community of friends in Sullivan County, NY,” have put a creative twist on the traditional woodsy escapes we so lust after. Check out the wooden hot tub overlooking everything…

…and the curvaceous little skate park flanked by acres and acres of trees…

Everything communal and everything D-I-Y, you can take a look at the newly-erected skeletons of ambitious new buildings and Andy Goldsworthy-esque art installations on their official website. It offers inspiring ideas for any country retreat.

We especially love the burnt path installation by Snarkatecture, above.

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