Friday, May 6, 2011

the Woodland Clock

It's. finally. done.

Woodland Clock {finally finished}

This was the project that never ends.  Began early 2010 from Meg McElwee's book Sew Liberated, rescued early this year and finally, finally completed with help from husband and friends. Why so difficult?  Creating the embroidery scene was a joy, but finishing it as a clock - not so much.  In case some brave soul is interested in making a project like this, here are some things I wish I'd known.

Start with buying a shadow box frame.  If you want to hang your clock on the wall, you need a frame that stands away from the wall a good bit to allow the clock hardware enough room.  A shadow box works perfectly (thanks, Brandon!).  You mount the finished embroidery where the glass would normally sit at the front of the shadow box.  Meg used a normal frame and simply propped her clock leaning against the wall for the book photoshoot.

Woodland Clock from Sew Liberated

* Design your embroidery with the shadow box dimensions in mind.  I couldn't find a shadow box to fit Meg's 8 x 10 design.  Thank goodness I had cut a large enough piece of linen background that I could fill in the scene to one side to accommodate this square frame.  There could have been tears.

Best holepunch ever.

* Use a scrapbooking punch to create the hole for the clock hands.  After finishing the embroidery, Meg instructs you to mount it on adhesive mounting board (great idea!) and then to buy a "long arm hole punch" for punching the hole at center.  My craft store had one for $18.  And it had a loooong arm, but it wouldn't work with the thickness of the embroidery board.  A friend who is an avid scrapbooker had this fancy screw punch.  Works like a dream!

*Be super careful not to bend the clock hands.  The craft store only had brass clock hardware, so I spray painted my clock hands black as per Meg's suggestion.  Unfortunately, I bent them slightly in the process.  And though I've tried to bend them back to perfectly straight, they still aren't.  Know how I can tell?  My clock doesn't keep time.  The hands occasionally get stuck on each other or rub slightly, messing with the clock mechanism. I know - that's completely sad.

Woodland Clock

So I may have a clock that doesn't quite work, but it's darn cute.  I fully intend to fix it (ie, get my husband to fix it) or buy a new clock mechanism someday, but for now I'm more than ready to be "done." 

It can be such a challenge to finish those things that don't want to finish!

41 comments:

  1. Your clock is adorable! Working or not it will look beautiful wherever you may hang it!!

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  2. So lovely!!! Thank you for sharing. I've been rolling clock ideas around in my head for quite some time, and yours is fabulous!

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  3. the clock is cute, worth the finish but I know just how hard those finishes are too! it seems every fifth project just lays there taunting me....but to push through and finish is to become a better artist with each one. thanks for sharing the hard parts too!

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  4. Functional or not, it's still super cute!!

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  5. Oh it's gorgeous! What a project to take on! Sorry about the mishap... but thanks for the tip!

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  6. oh how frustrating that the hands got bent! Just when you are ready to be finished...funny how life hits you like that sometimes. Good for you for persevering through the project! I'm trying to decide if I should let go of some projects before I move.

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  7. The clock is fantastic. I have a project that would be perfect as a clock and now with the shadowbox suggestion I feel inspired to finish it up! Thanks

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  8. I love it! I loved seeing glimpses of the project along the way, but it's even better than I though it was going to be as a finished project. Adorable!

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  9. It looks very beautiful, and you've done a wonderful job with the embroidery! I have that book too, and did kinda think about making it but somehow never did it yet... so I am grateful for the tips in case I do make one! Yours looks brilliant!

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  10. wow, this is amazing. seriously. i love it. I wish I enjoyed embroidery, because I might make one. But I might be willing to try it on this project. it's perfect.

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  11. It's so beautiful. As I said on flickr, the little birdie and footprints are too adorable for words. I'm sorry it doesn't function properly, but it sounds like you learned a lot from the process.

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  12. I did this and kept it on the hoop ::
    http://maureencracknellhandmade.blogspot.com/2010/02/hoop-love.html

    And after rerading this, boy am I glad I did! The embroidery project was fun and is still one of my most favorite projects.

    As always, it looks wonderful Rachel!

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  13. Simply gorgeous. I think I'll need one eventually.

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  14. Oh do sort the mechanism, as it would be such a shame for it not to take pride of functional place somewhere! It's beautiful x

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  15. so cute! i absolutely love how it turned out. :)

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  16. This is super cute! Lovely stitching.

    I haven't looked through that book yet, but thank you for including your tips -- I'm bookmarking them for future reference.

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  17. Bravo on the finish Rachel! It looks great!

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  18. Congratulations! I really wish that all projects had a "what you should know to have a project finished the way you intend on using it" section.

    I have many projects that I name LC (for learning curve) The next one I do (if I am brave enough) has all of the kinks worked out.

    I love your clock, it is so cute!

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  19. Well at least it is done, and it looks fabulous! Congrats!

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  20. It's such a gorgeous clock! I'm almost inspired to make a clock for my sewing room now.... maybe I'll add it to that 'sometime in the future' to-do list

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  21. It is AMAZING!! I love it so much! I say it was worth every minute of the work! Great job!

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  22. Your embroidery is beautiful! I really love the tiny owl in the tree and the sweet mushrooms on the ground!

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  23. Cette horloge est tout simplement magnifique, j'adorerais en avoir une comme ça,

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  24. Gorgeous!! AND thanks for the tips... if i ever get around to make one, one day..xx Bec

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  25. It's great! It's also great that you shared your hints. I know reading about your adventures was much more fun than experiencing them! ;)

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  26. Oh this is so lovely, I want to make one! I think I've got a clock pattern in another book... might have to dig it out

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  27. Oh, no, now I'm responsible for more clock-making victims (kidding)! Hope you have better luck than I did, friends. =) Thanks for the encouragement.

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  28. That clock is so adorable!! I really like the birds and the mushrooms!

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  29. well, hallalujeh for being done! bet that feels great. and it looks dang cute, too, even if it doesn't function perfectly.

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  30. super cute! too bad it caused so much frustration. i hate it when that happens! at least it turned out beautifully in the end!

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  31. Adorable! I am always guaranteed gorgeous color and amazing projects actually be completed here. I love love love this clock. So whimsical. :) I hope you and you're family are well. Happy Mother's Day!

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  32. You can buy just new clock hands without buying the whole clock mechanism. My grown daughter and I made a clock for her boyfriend with an old clock mechanism and the face is made of used bicycle gears. Turned out great BUT like yours was quite a project. Anyway, I think we found the hands were available in different sizes and finishes at Hobby Lobby, or Michaels Craft store.

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  33. It's such a cute design, isn't it? Your clock turned out wonderful. This is a project I've had in the pile for a while. I will definitely be bookmarking your tips to use.

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  34. The clock's incredibly adorable. I understand about things that won't finish. I've been working on the same tote bag for over 2 months!

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  35. I love all kind of clocks and watches - this is my favorite!!!

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  36. thank you for reminding me of this project. i love crafting books, but the projects that i want to make don't magically show up in my web bookmarks :)
    and thank you, thank you for the tips and tricks. the shadowbox tip alone will save so much hassle.

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  37. Hi Rachel,

    I know this post is kind of on the old side, but I'm looking for a solution to my wall clock problems. My husband doesn't hear most of the noises that bother me, but for some reason a ticking clock drives him to desperate acts of battery-stealing, leaving my clocks suspiciously frozen in time...He says he can't sleep with the ticking (though we've had clocks for 5 years since being married...but I digress).

    I was wondering if you see a way to combine your stretched fabric artwork (over stretched canvas) approach with this clock tutorial, or if there wouldn't be enough room behind for the clock motor. I envision some piecing, stretching, then embroidery, but I worry it might be a fool's endeavor!

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    1. I think mounting it over a canvas would actually work very well. At DickBlick.com you can order canvases in all sorts of thicknesses, so you could find one that is thick enough to be able to accommodate the clock motor. I would embroider it before stretching, though, so that you don't have to stitch through the canvas.

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