Improvised Life » signs + reminders If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:07:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Time Off…via George Booth and Yoko Ono Mon, 31 Aug 2015 06:48:11 +0000

George Booth/The New Yorker

Sometimes Improvised Life is like this George Booth cartoon. RELAX A LITTLE, yells Improvised Life, in its well-meaning, demanding way.

Then we saw Yoko Ono’s lovely sign (more…)

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DIY Rain-Activated Signs, Images, Graffiti Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:16:29 +0000

(Video link here.) Seattle artist Peregrine Church of Rainworks discovered a readily available spray that allowed him to stencil invisible signs and images on the sidewalk and walls, that would magically appear when it rained. It’s a beautiful effect that we’ve discovered we can do ourselves. (more…)

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Hidden Art + Reminders on a Medicine Cabinet Door Wed, 26 Aug 2015 18:34:18 +0000

Sally Schneider

When we installed a tall, narrow 13-inch-wide sliver medicine cabinet in our newly renovated and very minimalist bathroom, little did we know that it would do more than provide storage for essential toiletries. The mirror door is backed by white-glazed steel, a perfect “clean slate” to which we could affix signs, reminders and images that would stay out-of-site until the door was opened.

Our trick to easy posting and swapping-out of images: (more…)

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Guerilla Signage: Why Not? Tue, 18 Aug 2015 06:28:46 +0000

Gregory Keras

It’s curious how bright red stickers with the words why not? and Do. have been appearing around town, in the subway and on lamp posts.

They’re our new Improvised Life stickers. We wonder who the guerilla(s) is/are that are tagging things and spreading the word? (more…)

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In Defense of Monday Mon, 17 Aug 2015 06:33:00 +0000

Somewhere in our travels, we stumbled on this sign which echoes what many people feel about Monday, the start of the work week, including our own. For us, it means we’re back publishing two+ posts a day, social media, image-making and processing, writing, email correspondence, and working on “extra” projects. We have to seriously gear up after a couple of days off, and a Sunday when we totally STOP.

Monday being a bastard, we get it. But we’re thinking we’d rather change the sign, and view, to this:


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Kanaat: “Knowing that You Have” Tue, 11 Aug 2015 06:10:43 +0000

Franck André Jamme

Along with the wisdom of the MANY books we spent leisurely, thoughtful time with during our recent two week hiatus, THIS sign is among the most transformative things we read: (more…)

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Your Mind Has the Amazing Ability… (Ellen Silverman Wed, 05 Aug 2015 14:07:36 +0000

Ellen Silverman

We found this wondrous sign at Ellen Silverman’s Instagram. She stood at the chaotic corner of Broadway and 94th Street and made it into a cosmic little film. Check it out here (we couldn’t make the embed code work).

A perfect reminder as we ponder the many ideas we have and find and the very messy processes of living.

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The New Luxury (Who Ever Guessed It Would Come to This?) Sun, 19 Jul 2015 14:55:15 +0000

Offline IS the new luxury for sure and we need some of it. We’re going to take some for our annual two-week vacance: a one-week retreat AWAY from everything, and one -week of catching up with all the projects and people that get pushed aside by….LIFE and our commitment to Improvised Life.

In the meantime, we invite you to wander through our 3100+ articles, and see where, one-thing-leading-to-another, they take you…


…sign after the great Hedviggen tumblr

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Rubber Stamp Brilliance: Yoko Ono’s Peace Map Thu, 16 Jul 2015 01:41:02 +0000 A photo posted by Yoko Ono (@yokoonoofficial) on May 13, 2014 at 1:33pm PDT

Yes. We try.”

Wonderful words. Part of Ono’s Peace Maps, in which you

Stamping PEACE all over town would make lovely graffiti.


via Yoko Ono’s Instagram; peace stamp image via Mikihiko Hori’s Flickr

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Toolkit: Questions to Ask Before Giving Up Tue, 14 Jul 2015 06:46:28 +0000

We were stunned by Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up, published on Eponis last March. The sixteen questions are SPOT ON for the drawing awareness to the kinds of everyday log-jams we all get into. It is an instant, brilliant perspective-shifter that makes us wonder “Who is this wise woman?” (who filed the post under “reminders to myself”, “because obvious stuff is not always obvious”, “self-care”, “remember this”…

AWESOME! (more…)

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573 Essential Words about Gun Violence (Charlie Allenson + Yoko Ono) Wed, 08 Jul 2015 20:00:40 +0000

Yoko Ono

A few years ago, Yoko Ono tweeted a photo of John Lennon's bloodied glasses. The image, taken not long after his murder — an artist’s way of healing — would become part of a powerful control campaign. Charlie Allenson took his own step toward healing by writing about the murder of his beloved niece in Huffington Post. ‘The Car in the Lot’ is a potent 573 words worth of essential reading.]]> 4
A Sign from Mary Oliver Wed, 01 Jul 2015 06:25:54 +0000


This wonderful sign is a fragment from Mary Oliver’s longish 3-part poem Evidence.

As usual with her poems, there several passages that we could see on that sign board, which is, curiously, the kind used by churches.(Oh for a church where Mary Oliver is quoted and read.)

Here are some beauties, which together, make their own poem:


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Practice: Quiet Tue, 30 Jun 2015 06:12:25 +0000

A friend recently told us about her practice of taking an occasional day of silence; she shuts down intrusive electronics like her computer, tv, phone, and goes through the day without uttering a word. The neighbors in her smallish town know that when she wears a button saying “Honoring Silence”, they need to do just that.  It is an ancient practice that can do much to restore balance in modern times.  Franz Kafka described it perfectly over 100 years ago in his suprising poem, Learn To Be Quiet. (more…)

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Take Your Shoes Off ? (Signs, Opinions + Warhol) Tue, 23 Jun 2015 17:00:07 +0000

Andy Warhol/Christie's

We knew the Take-Your-Shoes-Off-In-the-House-thing had reached critical mass when we saw door mats for sale that say SHOES OFF in big ugly letters, and other iterations on the theme. It got me thinking about the homemade signs we’ve seen asking guests to remove their shoes, as well as the ones we’ve made ourselves over the years. Here’s a collection, a question and some ideas. (more…)

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