Improvised Life 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 Hands as Tools: Ethiopian Version http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/17/hands-tools-ethiopian-version/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/17/hands-tools-ethiopian-version/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 08:08:19 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45641 (Video link HERE.) State-of-the art eating in Ethiopia.

Made by hand, eaten by hand.

When I was there, I don’t think I saw a cooking utensil that wasn’t either wood or clay, a rough panga for chopping beef, and a cheap plastic cup here and there for pouring. No need for Sur la Table, Williams-Sonoma or a fancy Wolf range to dine well there. (more…)

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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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Wood Scrap Room Partition Surprise http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/16/wood-scrap-room-partition/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/16/wood-scrap-room-partition/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:00:04 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45931

We recently stumbled on designer Olivier Dollé‘s very compelling room partition. Or that’s what we thought it was until we started wondering why he add the two horizontal pieces at the top and realized… they were LEGS!

It’s a table, turned on its side. Eureka! (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 Painted Oriented Strand Board Floors http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/painted-oriented-strand-board-floors/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/painted-oriented-strand-board-floors/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:01:24 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45904

Lisa Van Damme

Remodelista recently featured the clever redesign of a 430-square foot-apartment in a century-old row house in Antwerp, the work of Belgian architecture firm Komaan! —translation, “Come on!”

It’s full of good ideas, including clever layout that creates a fluid space with lots of storage, and interesting use of plywood,  but our favorite is the floors: sheets of Oriented Strand Board, known as OSB, painted high-gloss white. (more…)

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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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Weekend Eats: Shakshouka (Spicy Tomatoes with Eggs) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/10/weekend-eats-shakshouka-spicy-tomatoes-eggs/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/10/weekend-eats-shakshouka-spicy-tomatoes-eggs/#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 08:11:48 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45914

greenkitchenstories.com

Susan Dworski sent us an email recently with images of a dish from Green Kitchen Stories: Shakshuuka with Hummus and Sweet Potato Chips,  and this note:

We eat Shakashuka for Sunday night supper at leasst twice a month. Or more.
My recipe is very similar to this one, but their hummus sounds great. And the chips.

TELL US ABOUT IT, we wrote back. WHAT’S SHAKSHUKA??!!! How do you like to eat it?

Here’s what she wrote:
(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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