The Music of My Life

Earlier this week my blogging pal Char over on Lesie’s World put up a post titled Friday’s Five Favourite … Albums, which I meant to go back to and comment on [as is my want!]  But I never got round to it due to the fact that I had far too much to say about what I was listening to, and why ………. I am so thinking of re-titling my blog ‘The Opinionated Woman’!

Any way, in the end, I decided to write this post – and I do hope you will follow the link and see what Char is listening to as well [when you’ve finished reading this]   🙂 

When I am at ‘work’ in my craft room there is always something playing either music or audio books or inspirational talks – but it’s mostly music.

The soundtrack of my life is a complex, wide ranging, genre hopping trip going far back in time and then racing up to today’s chart toppers – at a brief glance you will see my CD and itunes collection includes Robin Thicke, Pavarotti,  Faith Hill, Boyzone, Emeli Sande, Nick Cave, Van Morrison, Adele, Leonard Cohen, Kiri Te Kanawa, kd Lang, Matchbox Twenty, Placido Domingo, Bob Marley, Sting,  Johnny Cash, Dire Straits, Bee Gees [pre and post disco only], Rolling Stones, Bruce, Eric,  Elvis, Kris, various opera collections, some jazz, some folk music, country rock, country blues, all kinds of blues, and a bit of Mozart, Bach and Brahms, songs from shows, Irish music, Celtic music, Reggae music, Gospel music ……  I’ve got New Zealand musicians and Australian musicians, music from years ago and the latest releases from the latest new comers………..  and that is a brief scratch of the surface, it just goes on and on and on. 

About the only genre that I cannot give ear time to is that thing called gangster rap – 

In short there is music for every occasion and every mood and sometimes there is the random play option [especially on itunes] which delivers an astounding variation of musical sounds……. one minute I’m rocking out to the sound of the late, great Clarence’s sax on ‘Thunder Road’ and the next I’ve got tears in my eyes listening to Cecilia’s version of ‘Amazing Grace’

Orlando has a preferred play list too – certain singers come on and I get hassled to dance with him – well I dance and he is carried about in my arms, purring and looking particularly pleased with himself and harrumphing in a happy kind of manner from time to time.  For some reason he really likes Faith Hill and if I’m super busy I try to get to the computer and skip over her before he clambers up my leg …..

A couple or so years back, to celebrate my mumbly-mumble birthday we all had to make a play list of our top ten songs of all time.  Then we had to make a presentation of said play list complete with reasons why each song had been chosen.

I tell you, we all worked at this task for weeks if not months!  Me especially – after all it was my birthday and I had all those mumbley-mumble years of magical musical moments to sift through!   [ooooh, alliteration!]  And of course, I was over thinking it!

But in order to stay with the theme and keep this post under some sort of time control I will only give you the top five  from my latest amended list, so here we go:

Eric Clapton at the Tsunami Relief concert in ...

No 1:  Eric Clapton – Layla

The weeping guitar solo in the original version has to be among the greatest riffs ever!  I was still very young and romantic when I first heard this and it absolutely broke my heart. In the right space it can still do so.

For a live, but different version this is a good watch :

English: Leonard Cohen, during the Geneva conc...

No 2:  Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah

I love this song and collect versions of it.  In my humble opinion it’s pure poetry and one of the greatest songs ever written.  My ED took us to see him live in 2011 [on the occasion of yet another birthday] and I cried all the way through…..

There are so many great versions of this song – but kd’s is one of the greatest greats – do yourself a favour and have a listen to this:

andrea bocelli

The Boss

Delta Goodrem

The Paper Bag Book

Bag & Book

I decided to make the little book for several reasons –

1) it was originally meant to be included in the ‘Box to Book’ project, but just wanted to be too big for its intended slot – so it became a stand alone piece.

2)  I wanted to experiment with more aged and tattered looks, I wanted to make a little book that looked as if it had been well loved for a long time.

3) I’d been reading about the importance of leaving behind examples of your own writing for your loved ones – and remembering how touched I had been when I discovered words handwritten by beloved old relatives, now gone.   I thought I should make something that was written in my own hand.   I started it in the ‘Box to Book’ project, and continued it here.

4) My recycling bug needed to make use of some cardboard and paper bags and used dryer sheets that were lying about on the desk getting in my way…

So, here we go.  The first pic depicts some of the items used in the process of turning a bit of cardboard and a brown paper bag into a faux leather book cover, assembled around the almost finished book:

Booklet 1

I cut the cardboard into two pieces.  The brown paper was cut to size, crumpled up and generally mistreated.  Then it was hit with swipes of ink straight from the ink pad in two colours – my favourites at the moment, Aged Mahogany and Old Paper.  The two pieces of card were then joined with binding tape, leaving a small gap so that the signatures could be sewn in

Booklet 2

The inside of the cover recycled a used dryer sheet, which has a really nice texture, like old hand made paper –  liberally sprayed with a glimmer mist concoction of colours:

Booklet 3

The almost finished cover – before the tweaking process:


The pages were made from ordinary white paper, cut to size, tattered along the edges to look like the hand cut paper you used to see in old books and generally mistreated to achieve that well worn look……. I wanted to get something of the look of a palimpsest* to the thing [don’t ask me why, it was just another crazy idea….] so I stamped every page with an illegible handwritten stamp from La Blanche in Old Paper, coloured over it with a coat of Aged Mahogany and then  splattered drops of Old Paper in liquid form about, made a coffee cup sized stain on some pages and dog-eared others.  I then hand copied a poem or a quote on every page.Booklet 5

The pages looked too plain for my taste, so now the flower stamp you saw in the first photo was utilised on every page and I spent a couple of happy hours colouring in and producing ‘water colours’ .  Still not satisfied I hit every page with a good spray of gold glimmer mist for a bit of sparkle.

Cover Inside 1

Page 2

Page 1



Byron & Yeats

The little book looks suitably well worn, with coffee stains, age spots and the glimmer of worn gold still visible on some pages.  It’s tatty and dog eared pages contain a wide variety of quotes and poems – from Winnie the Pooh to Khalil Gibran; Rumi to Leonard Cohen and includes Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Shakespeare, Yeats, Byron and more.  It’s all about LOVE!

With the book all but finished [tweaking!] I turned my mind to the bag.  I opened up another brown paper bag and cut it into two, then stuck it back together again.  I crumpled it up and mistreated it in a similar fashion to the paper that made the cover of the book.  I glued down the medallion and gave it a good coat of multi medium gel for shine and strength and [hopefully] durability

Bag w gel

At this point I realised I’d stuck the medallion on the wrong side of the bag and would have to disguise the rather prominent hem, which you can see at the top of the picture ….. so out came the lace and the ribbon and pearls and hot glue gun…… and we ended up with this.

Bag 4 finished

And did you spot the button?  It is one from the set that was made a few weeks back which I posted about as ‘Antique Buttons’.

I had fun making this and learned a lot in the process!

Thanks for dropping by, hope you enjoyed it – do say Hi – it’s nice to meet the visitors!  🙂

*Palimpsest literally means ‘scraped clean and used again’ 

Back in ye olde dayes when few knew how to write and paper/parchment was hard to come by it was common practise to scrape away previous script and use the paper again.  It was still common practise in the early medieval period for monks [who did most of the beautiful script work that survives today] to re-use even older manuscripts considered of no importance to produce their work on.  A recent discovery is the Archimedes Palimpsest.  It has caused great interest when it was found that the original writing was a 10th Century copy of a previously unknown treatise  by the renown philosopher.  Scientists and scholars are still working together to try and decode it.