Improvised Life If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Fri, 29 May 2015 17:56:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Into the Unknown, Back in a Week Tue, 26 May 2015 17:07:23 +0000

LIbrary of Congress

When we heard the news that a dear one had entered hospice, we booked a flight, packed our bags, and started on the long journey to her, not knowing what the path ahead might bring.


]]> 2
Spring Delight: Parsnip Fries Fri, 22 May 2015 06:55:02 +0000

Maria Robledo

Spring is parsnip season, the spicy-sweet root vegetable that looks like a plump pale yellow carrot. My favorite way to cook them is to cut them into sticks, slick them with olive oil or melted butter and roasted them to make Parsnip Fries. I learned the dead-simple technique from Anne Disrude, one of the best cooks I know. She serves her fries with cocktails before dinner. They are also great as a French fry-ish side-dish with roasts and grilled beef or duck steak. The are perfect to make in late spring, early summer when it’s still cool enough to have the oven on. (more…)

]]> 0
Expand Your Emoji + Emoticon Vocabulary …and make ART Thu, 21 May 2015 17:00:52 +0000

Cindy Sherman

Emoticons (short for “emotion icon” formed out of keyboard symbols), and emojis (pictograms) are being so widely used that we’ve been hearing news reports that they might possible become a new language: a sort of modern day hieroglyphics. You can track hundreds being used on Twitter using Emoji TrackerFred Benenson published Emoji Dick, an emoji translation of the Herman Melville’s massive classic Moby Dick. His Emoji Transation Kickstarter proposes to create an emoji translation engine and phrase book. Best of all, artist Cindy Sherman has devised her own set of emojis which she’s offering as a free download.

Although we love possibilities in the realm of emojis (see more below), we like the constraints of making emoticons using just keyboard symbols, and are playing around with Wikipedia’s essential list of FORTY (click to embiggen).  (more…)

]]> 0
The Reinvention of Normal (Dominic Wilcox) Thu, 21 May 2015 07:46:06 +0000

Reinvention of Normal

(Video link here.) Over the years, we’ve published quite a few of artist/inventor/designer Domnic Wilcox‘s brilliant rethinking of ordinary objects, documented on his site Variations on Normal. We love that Wilcox constantly challenges “normal” because “normal” is often so terribly limiting. And as Wilcox shows, its FUN and illuminating to think outside the normal box.

Reinvention of Normal is 7 minutes of pure joy AND inspiration as we get to see Wilcox’s process. The best: his dad’s insight into his son’s work and LIFE: (more…)

]]> 0
Look At the ‘Do’ a Field of Sunflowers Inspired Wed, 20 May 2015 20:15:20 +0000

]]> 0
Annals of Misleading Design: Chilewich Dahlia Coasters Wed, 20 May 2015 17:27:17 +0000

Chilewich, maker of now-iconic, minimalist woven polypropylene floor mats we’ve admired, recently introduced their Dahlia Coasters. Their website shows icy drinks resting on the coaster (one with an ice bucket in the background), calls them “coasters” and claims “these functional designs will enhance and elevate your dining experience“. But at the end of the enticing copy is a curious disclaimer: “Please note that due to the cutouts in the Dahlia Table Accent design they will not protect your surface from condensation or liquid.”

HELLO! Our concerns exactly. (more…)

]]> 1
Community Starts with One, Saying YES Wed, 20 May 2015 06:54:52 +0000

These three surprising examples of communities reminds us that community starts with one person reaching out, taking action...and then another, and another.... ]]> 0
A Tree’s Energy of Strength, Beauty and Balance Tue, 19 May 2015 20:47:08 +0000


Need some? Here you go!


via One Big Photo with thanks to Christopher Eldredge?

]]> 0
A Hidden Pocket Door Surprises with Color Tue, 19 May 2015 17:14:27 +0000

ARCH angels Architects

Pocket doors largely lay hidden UNTIL they are pulled closed. We love the surprise of this yellow-painted door: an instant volume of color to shift a space. Pink perhaps or dark dark gray?  The effect works best with a simple flat panel door. And then, of course, there are many possibilities for patterns and signs… (more…)

]]> 0
Chris Burden: “”Limits’ is a Relative Term” Tue, 19 May 2015 06:42:29 +0000

(Video link here. We recommend watching with the sound OFF.) We were stunned to hear that artist Chris Burden died last week at the age of 69. Known for pushing limits, Burden used his own body as art material in extraordinarily violent and shocking ways, until he moved into other forms of sculpture. Just two months ago, when we ran a video of his powerful Beam Drop, we somehow thought he’d live forever.

Then, we heard NPR’s 3-minute piece, below, about the artist’s last, wondrous work: a self-propelled zeppelin, and wondered about Burden’s path from having himself shot in front of an audience, to making such magical, meditative last work.  (more…)

]]> 0
Holly Soloman’s Kitchen: “A Painting I Can Walk Into” Mon, 18 May 2015 17:00:11 +0000


In the annals of kitchen design, art collector/dealer Holly Soloman‘s has to be one of the most out-there. The dazzling, mind-boggling riot of colored mosaic was created artist Dorren Gallo as an on-site installation in the eighties.  Solomon said to the New York Times in 1984“I don’t know how to find an egg in it. But for me it’s a painting I can walk into.” 

The Times’ description of Gallo’s process is both illuminating and inspiring.

Miss Gallo used the whole kitchen, including the refrigerator, as a canvas (more…)

]]> 0
Emerge into a New Week Mon, 18 May 2015 07:49:19 +0000

Miriam Sweeney/


]]> 0
Spring Quickie: Asparagus with a Fried Egg + Parmigiano-Reggiano Fri, 15 May 2015 06:44:58 +0000

Sally Schneider

On nights alone, one of my favorite meals is pan-steamed asparagus, tossed with Parmigiano Reggiano and a soft-yolk fried egg, a dish I first had in Italy. When broken, the runny egg and cheese combine to make a creamy sauce for the asparagus. The dish is fast, healthful and supremely satisfying; it exemplifies  the ingenious simplicity of so much of Italian cooking.

Since it is asparagus season now it seemed like perfect timing to share the recipe which is, in essence, a formula for throwing together a delicious meal when the larder is almost bare. (more…)

]]> 0
Wondrous Spinning Gif + Anne Herbert’s Inimitable Wisdom Thu, 14 May 2015 20:06:16 +0000

We love this beauty of a gif from the great intepid gif-artist DVDP. It reminds us of the very wise words of the mysterious Anne Herbert: (more…)

]]> 0