So I Bought This Clock

The enigmatic clock. I always thought it was pretty, but apparently I was the only one who liked it.

The enigmatic clock. I always thought it was pretty, but apparently I was the only one who liked it.

"How do you know what time it is?" asked my student Annie.

"I just look at the clock over there on the wall," I responded, clearly not understanding her problem.

"But it doesn't have any NUMBERS on it!"

Oh. I get it. When you're just learning how to tell time it's helpful to have a clock with numbers. 

Suddenly I was in the market for a clock for my studio. I looked online. I thought it would be fun to have a clock with a ladybug on it. I wanted something classy, with clear, unmistakeable numbers on it. I also thought it might be fun to find something with a Ladybug theme since I'm obsessed with the Ladybug Squeezie and like ladybugs in general.

If my goal was clear legibility, I wasn't sure this Pendulum Clock would help. I could imagine the pendulum making all kinds of noise as the adorable blue flower was swinging back-and-forth.

The Ladybug on Daisy Clock is pretty, but there aren't any numbers. "Two petals past three petals," wasn't an improvement on my numberless clock.

This Ladybug Polkadot Wall Clock was closer, but wasn't legible enough. The polkadots are cute (I hate to admit that I'm fond of polkadots) but I wasn't sold. I wanted absolute clarity and was unwilling to sacrifice it for adorability. I kept looking.

Frankly, this Ladybug Peekaboo Wall Clock scares me. Apparently the eyes are a pendulum and they move back and forth. I can't imagine this being anything but distracting for students, not to mention vaguely scary. But maybe that's just me.

If it's your thing, you'll be happy to know that this particular clock also comes in GoldfishRabbitFrog and Cow.

Now is the part where I'm supposed to tell you that I found this perfect clock and if you just buy this clock it will save your marriage and pay all your bills AND tell perfect time. Except it wasn't to be. I didn't find it. Instead, I bought a clock that fit the bill at TJMaxx. (If you don't have TJMaxx in your neck of the woods, you might want to give thanks. There's a lot of ugly stuff there. Mixed in with the hideousness are some lovely, useful items.) 

This is what the clock face looked like when I bought it. I can't tell if it's 11:05 or 12:24. Can you? (Full disclosure, this one belongs to my friend, Kara, who bought the same clock and is not confused by it. I didn't know there was going to be trouble so I didn't think to take a picture before I started.)

Which brings me to my clock. I bought it, brought it home (I almost omitted the buying it part, but it made it sound like I'd done a little holiday shoplifting which I did not) and put it up on my studio wall. Hooray. Beautiful.

Wrong. I couldn't tell the time. Though the numbers were clear and deliciously obvious, the non-pointing end of the minute hand had a big triangular shape that looked more like the hour hand than the hour hand. Now it was me feeling like Annie. I genuinely could not read the clock.

I whipped out my Phillips-head screwdriver and took the thing apart. All six tiny screws.

First I tried white-out. I literally tried to white-out the offending triangular shape. It looked dreadful. Kind of like a piano teacher had tried to use white-out on her clock. Not acceptable.

Continuing my misguided resourcefulness, I grabbed my scissors and cut off the offending triangle. Ah. Much better.

I put it all back together (six tiny screws with the Phillips) and put it up on the wall.

Not so quickly, dear. It turns out the the triangular offending portion was actually a counterweight for the long minute hand. At their first meeting, the minute hand got caught on the hour hand. It was 9:48 for several hours before my daughter pointed out that the clock wasn't doing so well at keeping time.

Never fear. I am resourceful. I took it apart . (Six tiny screws with the Phillips) and assessed the situation. I'd wanted a ladybug clock, so I was going to have one. I put a ladybug sticker on the now-too-short end of the minute hand. It worked! I put it back together. (Six tiny screws with the Phillips) and put it back up on the wall.

The ladybug sticker which I thought would be heavy enough (what was I thinking? Ladybug stickers are anything but heavy!) did not do the job.

I took it apart. (Six tiny screws with the Phillips) and took some stinky glue (the kind with the warnings not to use it in an enclosed space like a piano studio) and layered ladybug stickers with glue. This was much heavier and definitely going to solve the problem. I put it back together. (Six tiny screws with the Phillips) and put it back up on the wall.

Husband came in a few hours later.

"Di, uh, I don't think your clock works very well," he said, rather amused by my handiwork. The clock was stopped again.

"Well, what do YOU suggest?" I retorted. I was growing weary of the six tiny screws and the Phillips.

We decided that I would open the clock AGAIN and try to simply bend the offending hands in opposite directions. He coached me. At first I got the hour hand so far bent away from the minute hand that it was dragging on the face of the clock. Husband pointed out that this might result in poor time-keeping. I re-bent the hour hand slightly away from the face. I was sure I would break at least one of the hands in the process, but I did not. 

I am happy to report that at 10:17 a.m. both the computer I'm writing on AND my new Ladybug Wall Clock agree on the time.

You could try doing what I did. But if I could have, I'd just have bought this clock looking the way it does right now. Too bad it doesn't exist. Well it does, and you could make your own. Got a Phillips?

 

The final product.