rockin out with this year’s snowflakes

December 8, 2010 |  Category:   craft life remembering

I’m not a particularly crafty person for someone who designs and has to be creative for a living. Who knows…maybe that’s why. I sort of admire those moms who totally get their craft on and embark on huge art projects with their kids, but I’m not that mom. It kind of sucks for my kids since they’re all about the craft, but one thing I do like to do is cut out paper snowflakes every year. This year we made them out of the paper scraps that we use for our deluxe gift boxes. I’ve been saving these strips of paper without knowing what to do with them, but it’s perfect for snowflakes and this year’s batch might be my favorite yet. Mia totally got the hang of it this year and had the best idea to cut hearts into them (can you see them in the second to last snowflake above?). Oh, and yeah, I do realize that snowflakes have 6 points and mine have 8. But whatever.

So you know how you come across a song that you haven’t heard in awhile and it brings you back in time? It’s been happening to me a lot lately. I found an old Old Dinosaur Jr. CD that fell behind the stereo the other day. I hadn’t thought about them in years, but I put Green Mind in the CD player and I was back in 1991. I was staying at the brother of a friend’s house in Amherst Massachusetts and it was on heavy rotation. I think it might have even been a tape (yes kids, tape, as in cassette player). It was Spring, maybe April, and the weather was nice. This is what I associate Green Mind with – blue skies in Amherst. Other than that, I don’t remember why or what I did in Amherst or how I got there. The only thing I really remember is hitchhiking back to New York with that friend, listening to that tape. We caught a ride with a guy who drove a red sports car and he dropped us off in the Bronx on the very last subway stop on the 2 line. We took the subway all the way down to Brooklyn.

A song that I had totally forgotten about came on Pandora the other day and I had to just stop what I was doing and listen. So “Muzzle” by the Smashing Pumpkins doesn’t illicit a specific memory, but something about that song just reminds me of being young in that youth anthem sort of way. The Pumpkins were HUGE in the 90s, do you remember? I was living in Portland when that album came out, but thinking about the band took me back to 1991 again when I wore down their first album, Gish, on my Walkman because I played the tape so much. I was staying in Ohio for a few months before I moved to Washington and it just reminds me of that time and specifically, for whatever reason, the maroon carpet in the University common lounge room in the town I was staying in. Funny how you associate random things to music. The Beastie Boys’ Hello Nasty will always remind me of soldering in the physical computing lab up on the 4th floor of the Tisch Building where I went to grad school at NYU.

And so…this is the music that’s been keeping me going these days. Lately it’s been all about 90s rock. It’s been comforting and familiar.

Speaking of the Smashing Pumpkins, do you know who’s still awesome? James Iha, that’s who. I think he was the first Asian American rock star to come on the mainstream radar. I mean there still aren’t a lot of them – a bunch of hapas out there (Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is half Korean) – but not back in the early 90s, no. And he’s back in A Perfect Circle who reunited, yay! Although I swear every band has reunited and is on tour. Sadly, it seems like the only way to make money as a musician these days. What are you guys listening to?

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  • Lani December 8, 2010 at 2:30 am

    You have to have to teach me how to do snowflakes. I loved doing them when I was a kid but can’t get the hang of it. Oh, and I’m listening to Claude Hay.

  • rebecca December 8, 2010 at 4:51 am

    December calls for my traditional winter/christmas playlist, that I add to.
    Mostly Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Django Reinhardt, The Ink Spots, Nina Simone…
    Other than that, this week was full of Arcade Fire and She&Him, and the amazing monthly playlists by Michael of….

    The snowflakes look beautiful !

  • Caddy December 8, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Jenna, your snowflakes are BEAUTIFUL! How do you create those circles (all my snowflakes are square) and many points (mine have only 4 from the 4 ends of a paper). Any chance of a DIY post? 😀

    Does anyone else remember Smashing Pumpkins reference in the film “Clueless” though, when Elton wants to leave debate class to get his Pumpkins album in the quad.

  • bronwyn December 8, 2010 at 9:50 am

    First, your snowflakes are amazing. I’m inspired to make some tonight. The Smashing Pumpkins remind me of 2 time periods. First, they remind me of the time I started dating my husband. We saw the Smashing Pumpkins at Lalapalooza about a month or two after we started dating and they were on heavy rotation for quite a while. Then, shortly after we got married 7 years later, we rediscovered them through a “best of” CD and brought it on a trip to Taiwan. It was my husband’s first trip back since he left at age 6. So they will always make me think of early days and beginnings. They also remind me of a Halloween party I went to in like 1994. I went with my husband and a friend of ours. None of us had a costume but when we got there someone looked at us and said “Oh, I get it! You’re the Smashing Pumpkins!” because each one of us (very very slightly) resembled someone in the band. Lately, I’ve been listening to a Cure station on Pandora while I’m at work. I always get nostalgic around this time of year. By the way, I love when you talk about the 90’s. It always makes me so happy. 🙂

  • Pancakes For Recess December 8, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Your snowflakes are just lovely. Mine never turn out and I’m a first grade teacher – that’s like breaking the law or something. Love the idea of using pretty paper. I had my class make carolers from scrapbook paper and the prints looks really cool as clothing. As for music – OBSESSED with Arcade Fire at the moment:)

  • jodi December 8, 2010 at 10:59 am

    first of all, the snowflakes are gorgeous!! totally love them.

    and what a blast from the past with dinosaur, jr. & the smashing pumpkins. james iha totally rocks. i remember having amazing 5th or 6th row seats when they played at my university. SO. GOOD.

    currently, when i’m not reliving the 90s on pandora, i am completely obsessed with ingrid michaelson.

  • SY December 8, 2010 at 11:03 am

    I think I win the most “un-crafty” person around. I was trying to make snowflakes with my 7 and 9.5 year old boys…they weren’t quite turning out the way we had anticipated. Thank goodness my husband got home and taught them how to make some awesome snowflakes for our front windows. What kind of mom can’t make a snowflake?

  • Mackenzi December 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Oh, yes! I just made an all 90’s Pandora station; it inspired me to drag out that old box of photos. Many bad hair choices, significantly more bad piercings.

    I remember following James Iha around the first Lollapalooza until he would autograph my Smashing Pumpkins t-shirt. He was the first ‘rock star’ I ever fell in love with.

  • Michele December 8, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Snowflakes are gorgeous (but then with your talent they would be)! Mine don’t look like that at all. Could you please give the snowflake impaired among us a little video lesson? And then……how do you display them so they look stunning? Ours seem to end up as table decorations that the cat likes to destroy.
    As for music…it’s December so it’s Christmas music and English choral music (you asked).

  • Paige Davidson December 8, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    My car (which I’ve been driving since H.S) has a tape player and in that tape player is my Dinosaur Jr tape. I have a collection of five other cassettes that I rotate…one of which is Hello Nasty. I finally broke down and got a new ride yesterday and it’s just not the same…

  • hallie December 9, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    ~ i loved Gish so much that i have it on vinyl and cd. and yesterday i was absolutely thrilled to find a very battered (but still playable) jane’s addiction ritual de lo habitual cd that i thought i had lost years ago…heaven i tell ya.

  • Jane December 9, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I love the way music can take you back in time! Even if you can’t understand why you even listened to it in the first place….! 🙂

  • Jennifer December 10, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Any chance you taught this to someone working in the lab area (microbiology, etc.) at Evergreen in the early to mid 90’s. Sorry add nerd connotations, but one of the girls did a “snowflake” style viral particle that was completely unforgettable for me, and it was the same school…

  • Sharron Clemons December 21, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I think I win the most “un-crafty” person around. I was trying to make snowflakes with my 7 and 9.5 year old boys…they weren’t quite turning out the way we had anticipated. Thank goodness my husband got home and taught them how to make some awesome snowflakes for our front windows. What kind of mom can’t make a snowflake?

  • Jenna December 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Jennifer: sorry for late reply, but no. We were definitely at evergreen those years, but we were mostly holed in the comm building, though i spent some time in the photo labs too.