Polka Dot Cottage

A musical rabbit hole

Posted April 23rd, 2014 by

Ear buds

It seems that I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. The other day, when I added my April Showers playlist to 8tracks.com, I got pulled into a world of playlists and new music, and I have barely looked up since.

I’ve been a member there for several years, but I never really looked at it much until this week. And now I find myself looking up all kinds of tags to help me find music for all kinds of occasions: “mornings” “coffee break” “happy” “workout” “cooking supper” “sleepy” …

There are so many cool playlists put together by people who seem to need only the slightest provocation to compile a musical salute to a particular feeling, place, or action. And everyone adds snappy cover art to their playlists, too. These are people after my own heart! *happy dance*

So, anyway, all of this listening has put me in the mood to put the finishing touches on a couple of playlists I’ve been thinking about for years.

Skee Ball at the Shore

The first is going to be a collection of older tunes (I feel weird calling 70′s and 80′s songs “oldies” but I guess the term fits…). Jilly’s arcade on the Ocean City boardwalk usually has the South Jersey oldies station playing. Hearing those tunes always brings me back to the good times we spend at the shore every spring.

I should have no problem composing that mix on my own. I actually listened to the station online this afternoon to help jog my memory, and I now have a nice long list of possibilities.

Open Window Summer Kitchen

On the other hand, I could use your help with this one. I’ve got a very specific feeling in mind: Imagine a mild and breezy summer day. You’re in the kitchen with the window open, wearing an apron and baking something frivolous just for fun – cherry cupcakes, maybe? a strawberry crisp? blueberry pound cake?

Anyway, the music you are listening to is heavy on the Innocence Mission and Madeleine Peyroux. (I realize those two don’t really represent the same genre, but they are compatible in my mind.) Mellow but upbeat, old-fashioned or folkey, classic. The breeze comes in the window, and you sing along while you stir the batter…

I don’t know if I can explain it properly, and I’m feeling super picky about this mix, but maybe you have some suggestions for songs and/or artists that would fit the bill? I love the idea of including some more obscure acts, but I also want to see some very classic artists represented. I’ll probably throw a little Ella Fitzgerald in there, for example, followed by an Over the Rhine tune.

Does that help communicate the feeling I am after? What other tunes do I need to hear while I’m twirling around my breezy kitchen with a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon?

April Showers

Posted April 22nd, 2014 by

92/365 April 1

Spring 21/30 - A new mix for the car

I decided a few weeks ago that it was time for a new CD for the car. Ironically, since naming the mix “April Showers,” we have had relatively little rain. Go figure.

As is my custom with any new CD I make, I have been playing it ad nauseum in the car. Over, and over, and over. And over again for good measure. I like it when I start to learn the words, and can sing along properly (as opposed to the mumble-humming I do for the first few listens).

I’ve been finding a lot of great free-ish music on NoiseTrade lately. I say free-ish, because it is completely free to download, but you are encouraged to leave a tip when you like an album. It’s a very reasonable system.

april showers

Many of these tracks on this new playlist come from NoiseTrade, while the rest are pulled from my own collection: some newer songs, a couple of oldies, and a few remakes, too.

You can listen to the playlist below, if you like. Enjoy!

April Showers from Polka Dot Radio on 8tracks Radio.

P.S. I’ve finally gotten myself a way to let you listen to my playlists right here on the blog (yay! – how very 21st Century of me!) If you’re reading this post in email or through a feed and you don’t see a playlist widget directly above, click here.

P.P.S. You can still get the playlist through last.fm if that’s your thing.


Posted April 21st, 2014 by

Spring 18/30 - White

You know that thing where you run into an old friend that you haven’t seen in many years, and she says, “so what have you been up to?” and you say,”oh not much” even though in reality you have gotten married, had two babies, started a few businesses, learned some exciting skills, and otherwise been leading a wonderfully full life since you last saw her?

That’s kind of how I feel when I find myself emerging from an unintentional blog hiatus. It’s not that there is nothing to say, it’s just that it’s hard to know where to start. It’s so much easier to just share a picture of some pretty Spring flowers and promise to be back tomorrow, when I can begin to catch you up in earnest.

So how about we do that?

In the meantime, you can help me plan my next post. Anything in particular you’d like to hear about? Just ask!

Weekend Favorites

Posted April 18th, 2014 by

Hey there, remember me?
I’ve been so absent from this space (and the internet in general) for the last week. I’d love to tell you that I was doing super fun and creative stuff, but aside from a cool day trip to Ocean Grove on Monday, I have pretty much spent my days in a sea of tax preparation, bemoaning my finances. Oh, joy!

I’ve been so otherly-occupied, that I didn’t even get a chance to put together some Flickr favorites. I know, right?!

And as for the links, well, I dug them all up today. Usually I do it over the course of the week, but like I said: otherly-occupied.

Let’s hope this is an anomaly (kind of like the snow I found on my car yesterday morning – ugh, what is with this winter that won’t go away?).

I’ll resume Flickr Favorites next Friday.

Around the Web

I spend some time each day, Monday through Thursday, sharing my favorite crafty links through social media. And then I repeat them here on Fridays.




Other cool stuff

Have a lovely weekend!

Weekend Favorites

Posted April 11th, 2014 by

Good morning, peeps! I think it’s safe to say that spring is really here. Yay! Do you know how I know it’s really spring? Well, it’s supposed to hit 70 glorious degrees in the next few days, and I’ll be chained to my desk doing our taxes.

This is my lot every year. You’d think I’d learn. You’d think I’d work on them in dreary old February, wouldn’t you? Ah well. I think I just need to learn to embrace this aspect of my personality.

I’ll open a window next to the desk. It will be like being outside, but without all of the bugs. #positivespin

On Flickr

The mosaic below represents other people’s pictures that spoke to me this week. Be sure to click on the titles below the mosaic, if you want to know more about the image or the photographer!

(follow me on flickr)

Weekend Favorites at Polka Dot Cottage

1. Explored : 2014.04.09 八重桜 Cherry blossom, 2. Stripey Loving, 3. image, 4. raccoons – wasberen, 5. Hi! I’m 11!, 6. Fluro Ripple Blanket, 7. Garden flowers cont., 8. more granny bunting, 9. fly high

Around the Web

I spend some time each day, Monday through Thursday, sharing my favorite crafty links through social media. And then I repeat them here on Fridays.



Other cool stuff

Have a lovely weekend!

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