Improvised Life If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:03:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Crochet Anywhere, Even (Especially) On a Fence Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:03:20 +0000

Maria Robledo

We love this face of crochet bits that is peaking through the fence, that we think were done by Isabel Rower, who tends to embellish whatever is at hand. And as soon as we posted it, we found THIS image of a crochet-bombed benches at the San Francisco ferry building. Spring is here and it’s time to crochet bomb (more…)

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Kottke on Busting the Mattress Racket + Affordable Mattress Reviews Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:00:07 +0000

Recently, a friend asked if we would advise him on his bedroom dilemma. He had a bed that was only a few years old, yet found it unbearably uncomfortable. The deluxe $1300 mattress slumped in the middle, causing him to wake up with backaches.  Our poor friend had fallen victim of the incredible mattress scam, where bigger is better, and baffling high-tech names like Posturepedic and Microtek are de rigeur. “Give it away to someone who will be happy to have it” we said. “Get yourself a mattress that will work for you.”

Only we couldn’t advise our friend exactly WHICH mattress to buy, except for (more…)

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Taking Rugs Outdoors to Make Comfortable, Colorful “Rooms” Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:59 +0000

Spring is finally here and we’re turning our attention to getting our patio ready for hanging out. We’re inspired by this charming image we found on From Moon to Moon of a Moroccan-style garden ladened with brightly colored rugs. The rugs define and soften the space, and create an outdoor “room”, perfect for hanging out with friends. The idea of an outdoor room is not new. Constantino Nivola created lovely outdoor rooms by building seating and a fireplace, below. But simple use of rugs is an even easier way to go. (more…)

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Shin Yahiro’s Tsunami Images Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:24:11 +0000

Japanese-born photographer Shin Yahiro superimposes images of the 2011 tsunami disaster over photos of the subsequent recovery and rebuild in the Tōhoku region. The images have a curious effect in our view of disasters.]]> 0
Piano Tree and Technical Difficulties: Please Bear With Us Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:00:49 +0000

Fast Forward

Despite recent technical difficulties, we're still posting away. Dig this big fat miracle of improvisation (or magic) from our friend Fast Forward.]]> 0
Wondrous Sculptural Pottery from an Analog 3D Printer Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:00:44 +0000

Great Things to People is a studio involved in explorations in architecture, art and design, located Santiago, Chile. “We are in a continuous process of research and experimentation in digital crafting, promoting new encounters between the technologies for projecting and the richness of the local expressed in traditional materials and techniques.”

Their 3D pottery printer is not directly digital at all, but a fabulous rig that allows them to “work in the translation of computational logics and automations process in the material world through an analog machine.” Showing how they make their beautifully organic, assymetrical work is much easier than trying to explain it: (more…)

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Asymetrically Cut Mirrors Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:00:40 +0000

Designer Michael Anastassiades assymetrical copper mirror gave us two ideas: First, making a mirror of highly-polished copper.

But even better: cutting mirrors in odd, assymetrical shapes to shake up a room with the unexpected. All it would involve is taking a template to an open-minded  mirror company to have them cut your shape.

The farther reaches of this idea are Carlo Mollino’s nudie mirror, which we originally mistook for a cut-out wall… (more…)

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Role Model: 13-year-old Girl Eagle Huntress Tue, 22 Apr 2014 08:04:09 +0000

Asher Svidensky via

Twenty four-year-old photographer Asher Svidensky traveled to west Mongolia with the intention of documenting the lives of traditional Kazakh eagle hunters, people who tame eagles for the purpose of hunting smaller animals. In Ulgii (or ölgii), the capital of the far west, he photographed the young 13-year-old boys as they trained with their fathers, a tradition from which girls were usually excluded. He was surprised to meet a young eagle huntress, 13-year-old Ashol Pan, the daughter of an experienced eagle hunter. (more…)

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Binder Clips for Cuff Links + Other Last MInute Fashion Fixes Mon, 21 Apr 2014 23:00:02 +0000

Anthony Giglio

Anthony Giglio tweeted this image of ad hoc cuff links someone at Crunch Gym helped him make out of binder clips as he was getting ready to head to a lunch. They are forthright and strangely chic…because they are so….off-the-cuff. THAT’S what that expression means: “ not prepared in advance : done without planning or preparation”

We’ve long relied on binder/presentation clips (more…)

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Design Love: Origami Toothpaste Tube Mon, 21 Apr 2014 20:13:20 +0000

Design student Nicole Pannuzzo created this clever origami-inspired toothpaste packaging concept that collapses, accordion-like, as the toothpaste is used. We’d LOVE to walk into the bathroom and see that practical little sculpture. But what we love best was Pannuzzo’s window into the design process, with the many attempts it took to get it right: (more…)
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Geometric Fireplaces and Stove Hoods Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:29:47 +0000


This image of a beautiful, VERY geometric, sculptural fireplace by Peter Harnden got us wondering WHY fireplaces and stove hoods are almost invariably rectangular boxes. We’re thinking it’s most likely due to the trickiness of getting a chimney to draw the smoke up into the chimney properly, rather then having some fly into the room. Our experience with fireplaces AND stove hoods is that it takes an experienced tradesman to be able to figure it out, whether you’re installing ready-made or special design. (more…)

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Make a Map of Your Daily Life Mon, 21 Apr 2014 08:14:19 +0000

Becky Cooper of the tumblr Map Your Memories printed blank maps of Manhattan, gave them to New Yorkers and asked them to fill them out however they saw fit. What she got in return was some completely unexpected maps of New York (and of the lives lived here). It made us open our eyes wider to the many levels on which we can travel around a place. She’s compiled 75 of the maps in her book Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers.//

Each map presents a completely original view of the city, and a life. Here are some of our favorites from Cooper’s tumbler: (more…)

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Happy Easter, Passover, Spring 2014!!! Sun, 20 Apr 2014 08:53:37 +0000

Yoshi Egg/ Furnace Trail

A SWELL Easter egg in the realm of graffiti…with Spring wishes from Improvised Life!

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Ramp Season: Odes, Festivals and Recipes Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:31:38 +0000

Every April, I start thinking about ramps, the first wild food to peek through the cold ground in early Spring, and the focus of equally wild festivals throughout the Appalachian mountains. For decades, I’d travel down to West Virginia to the Helvetia Ramp Supper to get a transformative blast of ramps, both raw and cooked. Here is one of the best descriptions I’ve heard of that first bite, by David Voodoon Noble, also known as The Ramp Moses: (more…)

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