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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Clock For Kahlen

I was at Hobby Lobby one day last month, looking at all of the Easter and spring stuff. I was looking for decorations for the house. I found big colorful flowers and butterflies, I decided I needed those for my windows. I don't go to Hobby Lobby very often. It is about forty-five minutes away, so when I go I try to make it count. I try to make the trip to Champaign worth while by getting to Target and several other places as well to make it worth the gas money.

I kept looking around and thinking about Kahlen. I had already gotten her some clothes for Easter, but wanted to get her something else, but what? I wandered the isles, with nothing really in mind. I thought about running to Target to get her a toy or two, but she has so many toys they are taking over the apartment she and her mom and dad live in.

I thought some more. I could make her something to put on her wall. I found myself in the wood department. I looked at the different wooden bases. I thought, " I could paint this and make it pretty for Kahlen's room." I turned around and found some fun letters, I grabbed a K and an L.

I looked at the spray paints, and found glitter green and lavender. The base would be the lavender and the letters would be the green glitter. Now what?

I looked around some more, and found clock parts. I could make Kahlen a clock! I picked out a few more paint colors, And took my things up to the check out.

After the long drive home, I went to the basement and found some sand paper. I smoothed the rough edges and prepared the wood for painting. I looked for Willie's drill. I went upstairs and found it in the window room. (I call it that because, well it has a lot of windows. Most of the rooms in my house have some strange name or another.) I took the drill back down stairs and tried to figure out which bit to use. I looked at the clock parts and I looked at the bits. I decided it was better to make the hole too small than too big. It is a lot easier to make a small hole bigger than to make a big hole smaller, was my theory. I picked out a bit that looked like it should do, and looked at the drill. How the heck do I get the bit to stay in the drill? Willie had shown me this before. This meant relying on my memory, something that isn't very reliable lately. First,  I had to get the screw driver piece that was all ready in there out. After I about twisted my fingers off I succeeded in getting the screw driver piece out. There was this funky piece attached to it, did I need that to make the drill bit stay in the drill? I looked at the funky piece, and realized no matter what I did the bit was not going to fit in it. Ever so bravely, I put the bit directly in the drill. I held on to it and turned the drill on, and it seemed to grab it. I positioned the drill to drill the hole and the bit fell out. "Well, that's just not right," I said to myself. I tried again and this time the bit seemed much more secure. Again, I positioned the drill, the bit stayed in. I steadied and secured the base, turned on the drill and drilled the hole. Now I was a pro! I got the clock parts out of the package, and tried to put it in the hole. It didn't fit. I grabbed the drill, put the next size bit in and drilled again, still too small. I repeated this pattern about three more times until... the perfect fit! I sanded the rough spots left by the drill and prepared to paint.

I sprayed the base with the lavender paint, and went up stairs to let it dry. I found other things to do while upstairs. This was necessary, otherwise I would have impatiently gone back down stairs and put the second coat on too soon, and probably made a mess of it. After a while I went down and applied the second coat. I carefully moved the base and sprayed the letters. Again, I went back upstairs to remove the temptation to mess with (and probably mess up) the wet items. My patience paid off and the paint came out the way I wanted.

The next thing to do was make a decision. My original idea was to use Kahlen's name around the clock. The more I thought about it though, I didn't like the idea of her last name going up the clock backwards. I wanted the K and the L to be at the 12 and 6 positions, Her first name would have looked cute coming down the right side, but he last name going up backwards, not so much. So while I thought about it I decided to paint the edge of the base and the edge of the K and L with blue glitter paint. I had to use several coats again, but was very happy with how it turned out.

I left the pieces sitting for several days after that. Trying to decide what else I wanted to do. Finally I decided I wanted to put daisies on it. Daisies are my favorite flower. I thought that would make it a little more personal. I made the hour trek out to Hobby Lobby again and got more glitter paint this time white and green and some glitter in many colors,  as well. Then I drove the seventy-five miles home.

At first I thought I would put a daisy for each of the numbers. I started with the 3 and 9 positions. I made the daisies bigger and would make the rest of them small. I started painting the daisies with the white glitter paint. I liked how they were turning out, and planned to outline them with gray and black to give them some depth. Then the white glitter paint started drying, and disappearing. The white was drying clear instead of white. I was not happy. I started realizing that the paint was acting more like glitter glue then glitter paint. I put another coat on the daisies and poured white glitter on them. I poured a lot of white glitter on them. I let them sit for a while, got up and walked away, for the same reason as listed above. I didn't know if this would work. I went and did the dishes. I came back and started blowing the extra glitter off of the daisies. It worked!

At this point I decided against doing more daisies and decided to make stems and leaves. I used the white glitter paint and the blue glitter paint kind of like glue. I'd spread them and then apply different shades of green, yellow, white and some blue and violet glitter to shape and define the leaves. I was happy with how it was coming out. The extra glitter found its way all over the house. It was all over the dining room table, all over the floor, all over the kitchen. ( The next day when Willie was heading out to work he was grabbing the garbage, and well, ended up going to work with glitter all over him, oops!) The clock came out the way I wanted it though.

I let the clock dry for two days just to be sure it was completely dry before I decided to put the clock mechanism in it. The day came to finish it. I grabbed the clock pieces, I put the base through the wood. I tried to put the hands on the base. I tried again. I kept trying. I got mad, but that didn't help. I had bought the wrong size of clock mechanism. It was too short! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!

The next day I made the VERY LONG trip, it takes two hours to get there you know,  back to Hobby Lobby....... AGAIN! I went to the wood area and looked at the clock mechanisms. What do you know? There were different sizes. I bought another clock mechanism, and drove the hundreds and hundreds of miles back home.

This one fit perfect. I got the clock all put together and put the battery in. IT WORKED! The second hand was moving swiftly, it was a beautiful sight. I don't know how well it keeps time because I took the battery back out. But it worked while I was looking at it, that was good enough for me!

Willie took the clock to Kahlen this past weekend. He says she loved it. I hope so, cause I know Willie would never tell me if she hadn't.
Not the best picture, but you get the idea.


  1. What a great idea her very own "real" clock! Extra bonus, its super cute and very girly. Years ago I remember my girfriends son telling me that it was "three four two o'clock" when I asked him for the time. She didn't have a "real" clock in the house and we had a heck of a time finding one.

    1. I had so much fun making it too! There are so many digital clocks, sometimes I wonder if there are kids out there that can't tell time on a real clock. Who would ever know?