Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Christmas ornament

Each year, I get two ornaments for my Christmas tree. One is the Angel Tree Ornament, a reproduction from the Metropolitan Museum’s Annual Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche that showcases the collection of beautiful eighteenth-century Neapolitan crèche figures. This is one of my holdover traditions from my family, when we went to visit the tree at the Met each year. It's a reminder that some traditions are meant to endure.

The second ornament I select to represent the year itself and generally it serves as a reminder of either a significant event or person. This ornament reminds me that enduring traditions are balanced by growth and changes over time. This year, I wanted something to commemorate my renewed interest in music, since I feel that is the major theme of 2013. I looked for something in the Bryant Park holiday market, but I couldn't find anything I liked, so I decided to make my own ornament this year - only the second time I've made one for myself.

I started with one of the free sample 7-inch vinyl LPs I picked up when I visited Siren Records, a very cool record store I found in Doylestown, PA, when I went there over Labor Day weekend to get my Rega turntable fixed at ("News & updates" - Sept. 26, 2013). It didn't have music on it that I liked, so it's no loss to make it into an ornament.

Next I took images of the important music of the year and arranged them in a 3.5-inch circle that matches the size of the label of the record. The small spindle hole in the middle of the record matched up with center of the record in the Princeton Record Exchange graphic that I scanned and put in the center of the label. Here's what it looks like - see if you can recognize all the albums and bands (answers are at the bottom of the post):

I printed two copies out on large labels, cut them out and stuck them on each side of the record, then cut out the spindle hole with my Swiss Army knife. I picked up some silver thread to string through the spindle hole for hanging on the tree. It's a big ornament, but there's always one or two bald spots on my tree that can use a little extra coverage. So in the coming years, I'll look at this handmade ornament and remember 2013 as the year I got my groove back and started falling in love with music again ("How Mischa got her groove back" - April 25, 2013)

Did you guess all the albums/bands on the label? Here they are, clockwise from the top:

1.  Paramore by Paramore
2.  Sigur Ros (I saw them in concert but haven't really gotten into their new album Kveikur yet)
3.  Electric by Pet Shop Boys
4.  London Calling by The Clash
5.  Once: A New Musical (Original Cast Recording)
6.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
7.  Avalon by Roxy Music
8.  Remain in Light by Talking Heads
9.  The Raven That Refused to Sing: And Other Stories by Steven Wilson
10. Weather Systems by Anathema
11. Blue Bell Knoll by Cocteau Twins (right above the word "Princeton")