One of the amazing and surprising responses to our going “dark” last week were Comments and emails the came in from ‘improvised life’ readers – whom we’ve never actually met – sending words of support, understanding and gratitude for what we’ve been doing over the past year or so. It knocked us out, reaffirming what we learn daily as we post, that there is a huge vein of generosity coursing through the world and the internet is a powerful conduit and connector. We are grateful for our virtual, curiously tangible, community.

We also got a shout-out from our new blog discovery Mike and Molly’s House, just as we were planning to feature their unbelievable Snaptastic Room Divider, an ingenious modular wall made up of an array of panels that are fit together with slotted connectors. Their way and spirit are totally after our own hearts, as we appear to be to them. They nailed ‘the improvised life’ in a post called “A Little Help from Our Friends“:

Sometimes you’re cruising along through life and you see someone else doing something so appropriate that it makes you pause and rethink things.  I’m not talking about suddenly changing religions or switching from a carnivore to a vegan but more like you just got a gentle nudge that may send you off in an unexpected direction.

A big part of what Molly and I have been focusing on in the past couple years is really trying to shed our preconceptions of how one is supposed to live.  Exploring crazy ideas rather than shooting them down because they don’t match the templates for success that we hold them up to.  Doing our various challenges are ways we can buck our trends and pop out of some ruts we were so used to that we didn’t even see them anymore.  Embracing the uncertain because that’s where our rudders are guiding us.

Not too long ago I came across my new favorite website.  I love their name- The Improvised Life.  It is so clever and appropriate that I’m jealous that I didn’t come up with it myself.  I saw it and thought “Yeah, exactly, we’re trying to lead an improvised life.”  The website is produced by a collective of people around the common theme of looking at and celebrating the ways that people wing it in their lives with wonderful results.  

Mike could have written our Mission Statement and he and Molly are living these ideals bigtime. In his post about the room divider he devised, he documents “the whole design process and some of the mess-ups on the way because it’s interesting” 

…starting with the inspiration for the idea:


…and going on to rough sketches where he dreamed and tried out ideas:


…to his cardboard prototype:


…and on through the whole the process…misfires-and-all, until he created something truly swell. We learned a mountain along the way and are filing the essence of the idea – slotted panels with connectors – as an essential one for making walls, shelves, who-knows-what?. It reminded us a bit of Donald Judd’s simple, monumental table made of slotted plywood.

room divider screen

It makes us glad to be back! (though depending on our still-wild project, we’ll see how many posts a day we can produce…THAT project to be revealed soon! It’s definitely NOT going in a straight line, but a really interesting one for sure…)

Related posts: d-i-y: cracking the code of a donald judd table
awesome building blocks for kids + grownups (to d-i-y?)
slab-and-pillar table inspiration from casa malaparte
7 principles of comedy/design/creating anything
d-i-y folding screen (thinking out loud in cardboard)
d-i-y corrugated cardboard room divider (after pistoletto)

If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

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3 replies on “improv heart + the snaptastic room divider

  1. “I’m not talking about suddenly changing religions or switching from a carnivore to a vegan but more like you just got a gentle nudge that may send you off in an unexpected direction.”

    This is such a brilliant sentence – speaks profoundly and perfectly of my connection to The Improvised Life – key word: gentle – but also firm, clear, lucid; moved from that deeper place that speaks of unlimited potential and joy – such a grand, yet humble invitation each day.

    I’m so grateful to be a part of this community!

  2. Dear Sally, regarding last week, I must say that I checked out every day to see if you were back, feeling a little bit of delusion when not yet!. If you are happily surprised about what all followers say they feel about this “place” called improvisedlife, I can tell you that in my case, here is where I do my first reading of the day in the morning, followed by the local newspaper. But I must also say that many times I decide not to read the news afterwords because I dont want to loose the hope given by some of the amazing stories of all kind you bring out. I found out that living in a complicated country like mine, asks from me to really do a lot of work trying to keep hope and enthusiasm alive, and I dayly founded here. Thank you!!!!!!!!
    Thank you!!!!!

  3. Wow, Virginia, I am blown away. Talk about a reading first thing in the morning. Thank you so much. I feel really blessed by the readers who are part of this, like you, finding it sets a tone for the day. It means a great deal to hear it; it really fuels the work. I guess part of the work of this website is to remind people of things so easily forgotten…

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