Sunday, January 8, 2012

Making Time Matter

I'm not feeling very focused on house tasks today as I remember the anniversary of a heartbreaking day of violence so close to home. I can't believe that it has only been a year since my family huddled around the computer, anxiously awaiting news of the Tucson shooting victims as well as family members who live only blocks away from the event. But I do want to share a project I successfully completed, and it's one that is meaningful enough for today.

My sister/best friend's birthday is at the top of that long chain of Important January Dates, so this weekend I started a project I'd planned for awhile. I fell in love with these photo clocks as soon as I saw them on Pinterest, and the instructions from Rosy Red Buttons didn't seem too unattainable.

I already had MDF board on hand because (for once!) I'd planned ahead - the Home Depot Saw Man cut the board into 12x12 squares for me. So all that was left was to become completely addicted to have I not wasted more of my life on that amazing website? It's amazing - it took an already great photo and made it even better.

I didn't follow the instructions on the number placement, and I think I'm just lucky they weren't totally off-center. The project directions say to use an overlay of a clock but since I'm a Picnik novice I had no idea how to do that...I just guessed where they should go and hoped for the best.

Then came the Mod Podge. Of course I've heard of it since it is a regular guest on every DIYer's blog, but I've never used it myself. The first layer of Mod Podge was no problem - the edges of the board were painted black (because they matched the photo, not because that's a great song) and were thoroughly dry, and the photo was trimmed to almost-perfectly line up with the edges of the board. I used wax paper to protect the photo while I smothed out bubbles under the photo but it was much easier than I'd feared.

Painting over the photo, however, was terrifying. It's goopy and it's white and my brush strokes weren't very smooth. And then there's the issue with painting over one of the most beautiful pictures you've ever seen with GLUE.

In spite of my worries, it came out beautifully - I let it dry overnight just to be sure. I do need to get better about smooth brush strokes, but the Mod Podge did a nice job of filling in areas I thought would be too bumpy on the face of the photo.

Now if I thought the glue-over-the-photo step was bad, I was in for a shock when I realized I had to drill a hole through the middle of the picture. If I do this again, I'll drill from the back of the was mentally traumatic to drill into my nephew's photo! I used way too many drill bits because I wanted to use the smallest one possible...four (FOUR!) steps later I had drilled the right size hole for the clock parts.

The genius bloggers who originally shared this project found a great deal on clock parts at Hobby Lobby, but of course I don't have anything that convenient in downtown Phoenix. Michael's wanted $8 for them, and I didn't have a 40% off coupon (of course). So I found a clock at Target for $2.99 and took it apart to use the parts I needed. (I saved the rest of the clock to make cool circular photo frames for my future gallery wall.)

So in went the clock parts (the hardest part was remembering where I put the AA batteries when I organized) and voila! one of the most amazing projects I've ever completed.

Anna loved it, too, which made me happy. Xavier was enthralled both with his photograph and the clock this gift will stay in Anna's office to keep it safe.

How does this project tie into the anniversary of January 8, you ask? It reminds me that time matters, and that time with those we love should never be taken for granted even on the busiest of days.


  1. ah I love it! And you are hilarious. We should be friends. ;) Thanks for sharing the link!

  2. Even if that kid wasn't mine, I have to say that I'd be a huge fan of such an amazing photo being used as a clock. Gosh, he's cute :) Thanks for such an amazingly wonderful and personal birthday gift, it made an otherwise terrible day completely wonderful.

  3. I am not familiar with Mod Podge and saw different types online at Walmart. It comes in matte an glossy as well. Can you tell me which one you used? Thanks!

  4. Unfortunately, your comment came through as anonymous so I can't respond directly - hopefully you see this answer!

    I got the matte kind...I didn't know they had glossy, so am eager to look into that. My concern about glossy would be that it might show brush strokes more? I'd love to hear how your project goes, when you try out Mod Podge for yourself.