Sunday, July 7, 2013

Music & Memories: my life soundtrack.

My friend Tim is a maker of music lists.  He's been doing this for about 25 years; I think it started that fateful New Year's Eve he spent at home being grounded.  And even now that he's a famous actor, he still makes his lists.  Which inspired me to make one of my own.  It's not a list of the 10 best rock songs or vocalists or guitarists, but rather, the songs that have stayed with me, because I love them.  Because I associate them with a memory, perhaps.  Or because they were on the radio incessantly and therefore I couldn't forget them if I tried.  As I celebrated my thirty-ninth birthday the other day, I was thinking that my tastes in music haven't changed too much over the years.  So here goes, in totally random order:

You Give Love a Bad Name, Bon Jovi: When I was in seventh grade, I discovered Bon Jovi because of this song.  Oh man, did I love this song.  I used to listen to it on my headphones when I went to bed at night; a local radio station did a "Top 10 at 10" countdown.  Bon Jovi was the first concert I ever attended, on April 11, 1989.  And I just saw them again this past April.  They're still pretty awesome.  Jon is aging well.

What it Takes, Aerosmith: I love Aerosmith.  I've seen them four times.  They are awesome.  This song is not necessarily my all-time favorite of theirs, but it is the one I listened to over and over and over during what I imagined to be my first real romantic heartbreak many, many years ago, back in the era of cassette tapes, which meant I was forever rewinding to play this again and again.  And again. 

Sweet Child O' Mine, Guns & Roses.   Needs no explanation, really.  You can't get tired of that classic intro.  Over 25 years later, it's still awesome and it always will be. 

The Devil Went Down to Georgia, Charlie Daniels Band.  I was just listening to this today.  Obviously, another classic that never goes out of style.  Personally, it always makes me think of the movie  Urban Cowboy, since it's featured in the movie and of course the soundtrack (which is a pretty good soundtrack).  And who doesn't love John Travolta movies?  Come on!

Gold Dust Woman, Fleetwood Mac. One of my favorite songs to sing at karaoke.  And it was pretty awesome hearing it live last week. 

Don't Come Home A'Drinkin,  Loretta Lynn.  Another karaoke favorite.  Yes, I'm a karaoke nerd.

Sin Wagon, Dixie Chicks.   My dear friend Katie and I used to get requests for this every Thursday and Saturday night at karaoke at the Gondola Lounge, circa 2000.  Those were the days!

Blame it on Your Heart,  Patty Loveless.  Again, a Daph & Katie karaoke duet.  This song takes a lot of wind but it sure is fun to sing. 

Like A Virgin,  Madonna.     I grew up in the 80s and I was a serious Madonna fan at age 11.  Thank goodness there aren't too many photos of me dressed up in what I thought were really neat Madonna-inspired getups.  My mother was embarrassed to take me out in public. 

Friends in Low Places,  Garth Brooks.  Twenty years ago, my friends and I liked to drink a lot of beer and sing country songs together in Dale's basement.  We spent many nights doing this. 

Linger, The Cranberries.  This song is beautiful and full of angst, great for post-breakup listening.  I did a lot of that back in the 90s. 

Crazy, Patsy Cline.  The perfect companion for crying over lost love.  And just one of the most beautiful songs ever. 

Love is Strong,  Rolling Stones.  In the summer of 1994, I lived on my own for the very first time, in a summer sublet in Iowa City (with 2 roommates that I rarely ever saw, the best kind of roommates, I think!) and worked 3 part-time jobs, took 2 summer classes, and rocked out to the awesome car stereo I had installed in my 1983 Chevy Celebrity (such a grandma car).  I played the hell out of the Voodoo Lounge CD in anticipation of seeing the Stones in concert that fall at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, which was one of the best concerts I've ever seen (no surprise there!).  In general, I like the Stones' older stuff (60s & 70s), but this song is pretty darn good. 

My Sharona,  The Knack.   This song was released in 1979 (I think), but it came into my life via the movie Reality Bites.  My friend Kate and I used to play the movie soundtrack and sing this at the top of our lungs in our dorm rooms and in the car and her mom's minivan on our roadtrip across Iowa in 1994. 

And last but not least....Johnny Cash.  I can't single out just one song.  Anyone who knows me knows I love Cash.  It is a deep regret of mine that I never had the chance to see him in concert.  His voice reminds me of my grandfather's.  Nobody compares to Cash. 

So there you have it. 

Friday, July 5, 2013


As I mentioned in my last post, I had so much fun making my Nancy Drew quilt that of course I had to play with the leftover fabric.  I had just as much fun experimenting with the leftovers as I did making the quilt and I like the results.  Here's what I came up with.
Both of these pieces are 11 x 14, fabric on canvas.  The "Secret of Shadow Ranch" piece has mostly all fabric from the Get a Clue with Nancy Drew line by Moda Fabrics, such as I used in my quilt.  "Ghost of Blackwood Hall" features the book cover panel by Moda, and then various other random fabrics that I had on hand.  I also made one smaller panel using mostly the Moda fabrics:
This book cover art featured on this piece is actually a post card from a collection by Chronicle Books that I've had for a few years.  Sometimes I like something so much that I almost hate to use it,  but then I remind myself that there's absolutely no point in that.  So I adhered that "Secret in the Old Attic" postcard and framed it with a laser-cut wooden frame (from Michael's) that I painted.  This piece is 12 x 12 on canvas. 

I haven't been limiting myself to fabric, as much as I love it.  I also picked up two old windows at a sale last week.  I bought them for no real reason other than I thought they were neat and they were cheap.  Here's what I did with the first one:
"Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry."  --Jack Kerouac. 
I love this quote and it worked with the window: one word per pane.  Easy peasy.  The messy part of this project was cleaning up the window: the glass was covered in white paint but I managed to remove it without too much trouble.  Someone has also apparently tried to paint the wood purple on one side but I got the awful purple paint off too, to reveal layers of pretty pale seafoam green and white paint.  I like the shabby chic look of the window and I didn't want it to look all shiny and new, but rather to show some of the layers that had been added through the years.  I don't know how old the window is, but my guess is: pretty old. 

So, that's what I've been up to lately, in addition to making books, of course.  I've got a bunch of new journals that I'll be bringing with me to the Downtown Farmers' Market next Saturday (July 13).  Des Moines' has one of the best farmers' markets anywhere around, and if you're in the area, you should check it out.  7 a.m. to noon in the Historic Court District, downtown.  My booth is on 4th Street, north of Court Avenue.