Improvised Life » inspiration If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Thu, 13 Nov 2014 09:20:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Gif of the Week: We See These As Ideas Wed, 12 Nov 2014 21:18:30 +0000

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via Patakk

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Scared? Great. Do It! Wed, 29 Oct 2014 08:53:32 +0000

Reading Holton Rower’s “Run Toward Your Fear” sign recently, I recalled a remark that Tom Robbins made to me years ago when I was fretting about whether to sign up to design a big, new project with a tight deadline that required a great many skills I did not have—skills I would have to learn on the job. A very scary prospect.

What if I dropped the ball and left the client hanging, (more…)

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Maria Robledo’s Uncropped In-the-Moment Instagram’s Mon, 27 Oct 2014 21:31:42 +0000

Maria Robledo

When we need a hit of in-the-moment, we-never-would-have-seen-THAT zen, we check out Maria Robledo’s Instagram feed. It’s always full of miracles and beauty, of ordinary things. (more…)

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Creativity: “A Constant, Continual Process” that Defies Age Mon, 27 Oct 2014 08:04:43 +0000

Erik Madigan Heck

Yesterday’s Sunday Times Health Magazine was thin…but PACKED with stunning insight and images. Themed “The Fountain of Youth”, it asked and partially answered the questions: What does it mean to age? and What are the secrets to doing it well?

The photo-essay Old Masters features luminaries 80 + years old who continue to be passionate about their work.  “They reign. ” Each one embraces the continual process of learning and growing, while ignoring usual notions of what aging looks like. (more…)

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Open Source Systems for Everyday Objects, Food + Living Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:05:56 +0000

(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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Gif of the Week: Brain Storm Coming In! Mon, 20 Oct 2014 23:00:03 +0000



via Hedviggen

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Playing for Change’s Glorious, Global “Stand by Me” Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:57:03 +0000

(Video link here.)  In 2005, Mark Johnson was walking in Santa Monica, California, when he heard Roger Ridley singing “Stand By Me” with stunning soul and conviction. Mark asked, “With a voice like yours, why are you singing on the streets?” 

Roger replied, “Man I’m in the Joy business, I come out to be with the people.” 

Mark returned with a recording equipment and cameras to record Roger for Playing for Change, (more…)

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An Engineer’s Strategy for Getting Things Done Thu, 09 Oct 2014 08:30:32 +0000

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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Wise Words from May Sarton Wed, 08 Oct 2014 08:43:41 +0000

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.]]> 3
Improvised Family Tue, 07 Oct 2014 08:02:14 +0000

Isabel Rower

Since posting the sudden announcement that I would be taking a break due to a confluence of big life events, I’ve received the most generous response from Improvised Life’s readers: notes of sympathy, gratitude, understanding, support. They came in many forms: from Isabel Rower’s artwork card to emails and Comments, to hand-written notes.  Some readers subscribed to Friends with Benefits despite there being no new content, sending a little affirmation to my Inbox.

When I mentioned them to Susan Dworski, a frequent contributor who has become a friend though I have never met in person, she wrote: (more…)

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How to Dance on the Side of a Building (Video) Mon, 06 Oct 2014 21:08:09 +0000

(Video link HERE.) Don’t know about you, but we could use some fantasy flying about now.

Although we find ourselves a bit over saturated with GoPri videos and curiously jaded to their magical effects, not so with this video of acrobats “dancing” on the side of a building.  We find it even more magical with the sound OFF.

via Susan Dworski via The Browser

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Leap on a Rainy Day (Elliott Erwitt) Wed, 24 Sep 2014 22:15:30 +0000

Elliott Erwitt, 1989

Even a rainy day — and difficult times — are an opportunity to leap!

Thanks to Chris Eldredge!

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What if Your Life Were a Painting? Tue, 16 Sep 2014 08:14:08 +0000


We —our lives — are really a kind of artist’s canvas.

When we take that view, we ask ourselves:

What are we painting?

Do we paint with kindness, generosity, anger, fear, bravado, hatred, curiosity… (more…)

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Wake Up: Weave Wonder Out of Failure Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:57:22 +0000

Recently, it feels like no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to erase the ominous “f” word, spelled out across my interior blackboard in capital letters: F A I L U R E.

My insomniac “fail”  rumination was interrupted at dawn when a photograph flew over my e-transom, jolting me out of my gloom, making me laugh out loud. (more…)

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