david lynch’s virtual road trip

(Video link here.) Feel like a road trip but don’t have the wherewithal right now? Check out David Lynch’s collaboration with Lykke Li.  That Transcendental guy has made a meditation… Related posts: jack kerouac’s crazy-wise advice + that improv scroll 2 minute vacation: a virtual trip to paris weekend road trip: ‘address is approximate’

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deconstructed slipcovers like paola navone’s fab ghost chair

Recently at Style-Files, Danielle de Lange was mulling whether to buy the pricey ($1,000), chic Ghost armchair designed by Paola Navone for Gervasoni or a Ikea’s cheap, rather clunky and traditional alternative, the Ektorp chair ($199), below. She inadvertently pointed out a great lesson in slip-cover assumptions: the usual, standard approach with piping or neat seams is NOT the only…

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life lessons from an exploding egg + roz chast

This morning while engrossed in redesigning ‘improvised life’, I forgot about the eggs I was boiling on the stove. Suddenly, I heard what sounded like a gunshot in the kitchen. When I explored, I discovered firm little pellets of egg yolk scatter-shot across the kitchen. Once the water had boiled away in the little copper…

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books as stunning reclaimed building material

Recently we celebrated a friend’s birthday at the rarified 12-seat sushi bar at Brushstroke, chef David Bouley’s collaborative Japanese restaurant in Tribeca, NYC. Designed by the Japanese firm Super Potato, the interiors are serene and graceful, evocative of a Japanese temple melded with modernist architectural elements: stone, reclaimed timber, salvaged, weathered steel. The most stunning detail were…

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the power of failure, doubt and stumbling

We recently ran a New Yorker cartoon showing Noah’s Ark filled with only giraffes. The suggested caption was “Mistakes were made.” Now The New Yorker has compounded its mistakes with Malcolm Gladwell’s latest piece The Gift of Doubt. It totally convinces us that in order to find the right path, you often have to take the…

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diy window boxes and planters: modern to rustic

Julie Houston, whose home reno we posted last week, sent us this image of the clever window box she made using some of Hurricane Sandy’s twig debris, glued onto plywood frames (made to order by her husband). It came just as we’ve been collecting images of the various diy planters we’ve spotted around town.  …

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the first apple computer: great ideas start rough!

Dig this picture of the original apple computer, now known as the apple-1, designed and hand-built in 1976 by Steve Wozniak in Steve Job‘s garage. It’s one of a number of “primitive” early computers that Christie’s will auction in ‘First Bytes: Iconic Technology From the Twentieth Century’. It represents the very first step in Apple’s quite amazing history of…

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mistakes and broken things can yield unexpected beauty

We know this was Maria Robledo‘s favorite cup. Broken in an instant, another kind of beauty came through (which the inimitable Maria ‘got’ and showed us). The handle looks like a perfect little sculpture of an ear. Related posts: maria robledo’s stunning instagrams will change your view a blue passionflower’s crazy inspiration freehand, no-rule flower…

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the sf bubbleman shows how-to diy giant bubbles + why

San Francisco Bubbleman 1 by Susan Dworski @improvisedlife.com from Sally Schneider on Vimeo. (Video link here.) Some time ago, Susan Dworski emailed us about the mysterious Bubbleman she passes on Highway 101, and sent two little videos. At sunset today alongside bustling Highway 101 in Tiburon, CA, an unknown man with a boom box coaxes soap…

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solar-powered moon lanterns for summer nights

Installing hardwired, outdoor lighting can be a big, expensive, all-too-often unaesthetic hassle, forcing you to put lights where you really don’t want them, and use commercially produced fixtures that are less than enchanting. One elegant, inexpensive solution is solar lanterns. My favorites are Allsop‘s faux Japanese shoji solar lanterns available in a rainbow of lightweight polyester that mimics silk.…

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surrounded by love

Found recently, a powerful reminder: We are surrounded by so MUCH: possibility. We just have to look. Related posts: sister corita kent’s enduring rules for making + her art the collected wisdom of louis c.k. ‘proceed from gratitude’: personal lists and principles chuck close’s ‘note to self’ (eight perfect rules for living) steve jobs: one simple…

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il reader julie houston’s brooklyn renovation

We are always thrilled to hear (and see) how ‘improvised life’ resonates in our readers lives. Sometimes it’s a “shift” of mindset, sometimes it’s a daring diy. In Julie Houston’s case, it was a major renonovation of the back parlor of her Brooklyn brownstone,  transformed into kitchen/dining area. When children and pets leave — as…

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the question to ask when you make a mistake

This cartoon was the subject of the New Yorker’s great cartoon caption contest, where readers are invited to submit their caption for the cartoonists drawing. Our favorite caption (that didn’t win) was: Mistakes were made. We make so many mistakes daily that it was heartening to see this image of Noah’s miscalculation. Although we don’t…

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richard woods’ fab colorful wood-pattern floors

When we stumbled on images of artist/designer Richard Woods‘ show D.I.Y at the Alan Cristea Gallery  in London, we literally gasped. LOOK at those floors!. They turn out to be Woods’ trademark vibrantly-coloured and exaggerated wood-grain motif. …deceptively simple in form, these bold images are produced using traditional block-printing techniques and installed as parquetry (inlaying wood in geometric patterns)……

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