Monday, May 13, 2013

mix tape's a masterpiece

I hang on to the best of the mixed tapes I've received over the years. The very, very best came from a friend I had in Belfast; I still keep it with me in my van though I'm afraid to listen to it now. It is 18 years old, after all, and a treasure. 

I remember cuing up all the cassettes I was using to make a mixed tape, calculating how many minutes each song would take so as not to go over the 45 minute-per-side rule (I hated when the tape ended in the middle of the song). 

As I recorded each song, I'd write notes about why I'd included it on the tape. I'd decorate the liner to personalise the gift. The endeavour of making a mixed tape was always a labor of love, a task that required creativity and time. Whole rainy afternoons and every feeling in my teenaged self would go into their creation.

Well, 20 years later, and the mixed tape is a thing of the past. I click and drag to create playlists, and burn them on to CDs. It takes minutes, really.

When I reconnected with Nic, I wanted to reignite our shared love of music. I created a playlist for him, and was inspired to recapture the nostalgic charm of the old mixed tape. 

Here's what I made! It's a B-side, of course, with blue thread reminiscent of my high school blue ballpoint pens. This CD case is three layers of felt to contain the two CDs it holds. It will be on its way to Wales this week!


  1. HA! I remember when I would record from the radio. You just prayed that the DJ didn't talk over the song too much in the beginning or the end. Flashback!

  2. I would totally do calculations to keep my sides equal and with no clipped ends of songs!
    Would you share your playlist?

  3. What a great idea!! In my younger days I made mix tapes of songs from the radio, the DJ's voices always cut into the beginning and endings of songs :(

  4. You are so clever! I love the things you render in embroidery, and here you have given charm to a CD that CDs alone cannot hold. You totally recaptured the magic of mixed tapes. Awesome!

    To this day I cannot hear Cyndi Lauper's "Time after Time" without hearing the DJ's voice cutting in, singing the station's call letters. I even used that version of the song at our school dance, which the class collectively DJed with our mixed tapes. Fond memories.

  5. LOVE THIS!! I specifically sought out a 'ghetto blaster' with a cassette player specifically to play my large collection of mixed tapes. My husband was certain they no longer existed but Sears sells one for $50 :-) Now when I am working in my studio, that is all I listen to. many,many memories contained on the long strips of brown tape. Nic will be thrilled!!!


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