Improvised Life If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:07:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Summer Fun Ideas for the Last Sweet Weeks Mon, 31 Aug 2015 09:02:19 +0000

Burt Glinn and Magnum Photos

While we’re off for this last sweet week of summer, we thought we’d leave you with a round-up of some of our best ideas for your own summer ramblings, even if those ramblings are just in your head. (more…)

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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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How to Discover Unique Flavor Pairings (with a Trove of Recipes) Fri, 28 Aug 2015 06:31:28 +0000

Maria Robledo

When a friend tasted the wild plum that had been fallen in pine needs, she "got" plum and pine and by association ROSEMARY. I've used the technique of tasting foods that sat side by side "just to see" for many years to discover new and often unlikely flavor pairings. Here are 10 favorites, including a Plum and Raspberry Crisp with Lavender.]]> 2
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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Inspiring Messy Workspaces of Famous Creatives Thu, 27 Aug 2015 06:25:02 +0000

(Video link here.) They Might Be Giant’s just released their new song I Made a Mess, which is a sort of  homage to something we strongly believe (#12 in our Manifesto): Making a mess is an essential part of improvising.

Here, then, is our visual ode to wondrous in-flux workspaces of some spectacular creatives to view while you listen.  (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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Reminder: Turn Everything OFF Once in a While Wed, 26 Aug 2015 06:25:28 +0000

Sally Schneider

Our friend Karrolyn Belkis, who went skydiving when she turned 80, clearly has a forward-thinking view of life. Still, she isn’t crazy about what technology and our always-on lifestyle is doing to us, making it difficult to just BE without always having our eye on a screen. Although she uses a cellphone and a laptop, she believes that sometimes they are best turned OFF, and dedicates at least one day each week to being technology-free. She repurposed an old cellphone to be a sign that said just that. (more…)

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Copper Pipe Room Divider, Towel Rack, Furniture Tue, 25 Aug 2015 18:03:11 +0000


Warsaw firm Mamastudio enlisted Polish architect Mateusz Baumiller to design the Autor Rooms in its new hotel to showcase furniture and artwork by Polish designers. The favorite big idea we got out of it: thick copper pipe to create rooms within rooms, like the sleep area at top. It’s a lovely way to define a big space, and even afford some privacy, using a readily available material: simple copper pipe.

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After We Pass, What Kind of Memorial, or Not? Tue, 25 Aug 2015 08:44:33 +0000

Patricia Cronin

Recently, we came across this extraordinary Memorial to a Marriage by artist Patricia Cronin. We don't know when we've seen such a tender "real" memorial of and for a couple. It made us think about just what form our own memorial might take.  We've discovered there are a lot of interesting options IF you shift your view .]]> 5
How to Fix Your Computer (Love Means Helping You Do-It-Yourself) Mon, 24 Aug 2015 17:00:12 +0000

Greg Keras

When my 5-year-old-laptop bailed on me, I reacted like any strong independent woman with a brain and an alarm clock; I handed it off to my husband and said “This is broken, please fix it”. Seriously.

Women have been fighting for equality for nearly a century, and yet it’s common to find the nearest guy when one of our electronics isn’t working*.  Like me, many women who use computers daily don’t feel comfortable taking apart and putting back together their devices .

Being the feminist my husband is, he said NO……. (more…)

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Louis Armstrong’s Secret to A More Wonderful World Mon, 24 Aug 2015 06:29:12 +0000

For us, this image of Louis Armstrong playing his trumpet for his wife Lucille at the Sphinx during their trip to Egypt in 1961 describes "sublime". It reminded us of that feeling when everything is rich with pleasure, without worries, fine. But what about those times when things turn in a moment and bad things happen? Armstrong had a powerful answer .]]> 0
Simple Sublime: Peaches with Crushed Raspberry Sauce Fri, 21 Aug 2015 16:17:56 +0000

For many years La Merenda, a tiny restaurant near the Cours Selaya market in Nice, was considered by many to be one of the city’s finest bistros, renown for the simple preparation of perfect ingredients. There long ago, I tasted as lovely a dessert as I have ever encountered: an ordinary sounding “compote” of raspberries and peaches, stunning in its simplicity. It had a surprising twist that utterly transformed summer’s two perfect ingredients, at their peak right now.


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A Cheap Chic Hardwood Floor Solution Thu, 20 Aug 2015 18:04:05 +0000

Stephane Chalmeau

When we saw this Parisian flat in Design Milk, we were intrigued more by the floors than by the slanted shelves built into each “space” of the sprawling apartment. Short lengths of hardwood flooring are almost always less expensive than longer lengths, but, when laid out in the traditional, end-to-end pattern often LOOK cheap and rather ordinary. We love H2o Architectes‘ clever rethinking of short lengths of hardwood. (more…)

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Skydiving at 80: ‘There is More + the More is Wonderful’ Thu, 20 Aug 2015 07:36:36 +0000

Karrolyn Belkis + SkyDiveMiami

When our friend Karrolyn Belkis turned 80, she said was so full of joy, she felt like LEAPING. “Wherever I was, I just wanted to jump around and say YESSSSS. Isn’t it beautiful????” She thought people might think she was crazy if she leaped for joy on the streets of New York City.

“I had to do something to be joyous…I had the feeling of needing to jump, leap, make a leap into nothing.” 

“Skydiving seemed like it would kind of pull all that together” (more…)

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