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Broken But Beautiful Products

In my January 11th blog post I talked about how/why I came up with my signature clock, Broken But Beautiful. I find that quote to be incredibly inspirational/empowering. Without projecting, I think I can safely assume that all of us feel “broken” at certain times in our lives. No matter what the cause is (illness, family emergency, job loss, etc.), I think it is important for us to remember who we are and that we still serve a purpose in life. I think it is important for us to remember that we are beautiful.

A couple weeks ago a friend of mine suggested that I expand my products beyond my art. At the time we were talking about different ways to expand my business / make more money, but beyond that, my goal in life and my goal for this business is to make a positive difference in people’s lives. How perfect would it be if we came up with an idea that achieved both goals?!?

My friend designed a Broken But Beautiful logo for me. Once that was done, it was time for me to decide what products I wanted to put it on. Clocks are home décor. My initial thought was to put the logo on other home décor items to match the clocks. I thought of vases, candles, picture frames, etc. I found candles/votives.

My go-to things to make me feel better are chocolate and writing. My next thought was to put the logo on items that would potentially make people feel better. I searched the internet and found coffee mugs, hot chocolate, and journals.

My last thought was inexpensive things that people buy for around the house or that I could potentially give away to promote the business. I found coozies, stickers, and Jelly Belly tins.

Eventually, when this business takes off, I would love to donate some of my profits from this line to charity. Bloggers, it’s time for you to weigh in!! What other products would you like to see this logo on? What charity would you like to see me support? If I use your idea, you will get a product for free. I look forward to reading your suggestions!!

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Art With Children

I’ve been babysitting since I was 12. I worked in a daycare for a couple years after high school. I volunteer as a Wish Coordinator with Make A Wish. Since I’ve been in the military, I babysit for people that I work with and just charge them gas money or dinner. Moving around is hard. Finding someone you trust and can afford in a new place is even harder. I try to make moving easier. I try to give parents a date night every once in awhile to alleviate stress from being in a new place or dealing with a spouse being gone 1/2 the time.

A couple months ago I was going to babysit three boys on base. Everyone I work with knows that I enjoy going to the beach and that I make clocks. When the kids asked my co-worker what I was like, my co-worker told them that I was the lady with the sand dollars. The kids were excited to ask me all sorts of questions about the beach, sand dollars, making clocks, etc. While my co-worker was telling me about this conversation with his kids, I had an idea. Instead of me telling the kids all about these things, why not let the kids make their own?

I came over with 3 pieces of 10×10 wood, some supplies, and a few sand dollars for each of the boys. It was right before Halloween, so I suggested the boys make Halloween signs. The boys loved it. They all put the base layer of paint on their wood. We ate dinner while it dried. After dinner I gave the boys paint pens. I thought they would write their names on the wood or write “Happy Halloween” Instead, they colored the sand dollars orange, making the sand dollars pumpkins! I both cringed and was inspired at the same time.

I plugged in the hot glue gun and helped each boy glue down their sand dollars / pumpkins exactly where they wanted them. I thought that would be the end of that and then we would watch a movie before stories and bed time. But the oldest boy wanted to hang his picture up. So we took a small picture off the wall and hung his up instead. Of course, the younger boys wanted to hang theirs up after that, as well.

Since that night went so well and we all had so much fun, I decided to do it again this past weekend. This time it was two girls and a boy. Adam did not want to paint at first. He was playing with the dog and kind of watching his sisters. The girls were having a lot of fun. Emily decided to mix paint colors and create some of her own. She made a blue/green color that I wish I could have saved and used on future clocks!! It was beautiful! After awhile Adam started to feel left out and asked if he could paint a plate. I’m not sure why a plate, but I, of course, let him.

After the base layer of paint was put down and some glitter was added, we went to an arcade for awhile. Unfortunately when we got back the glitter was not completely dried, so we had to wipe some off. Then the girls used the paint pens to add a few finishing touches.

Emily decided to give her uncle her board for his birthday, which was on Sunday. I took a short video on my phone of her holding her board and telling him that it was for him to “hang on his wall” and “happy birthday” Then I sent the video to her parents and uncle. It was the most heart warming thing I have witnessed in quite some time.

I would love to start hosting an art “class” for children 4 and up on the weekends. Or just include an art option when I babysit from now on. Children are so creative and inspiring. I love watching them decide what to paint and watching their reactions when their ideas come to life!

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Batman Mirror Clock

Geo and my former roommate (Mike) have been friends for 15+ years. Both of them are originally from Denver and Geo now lives and works in Las Vegas as a costume/prop designer/fabricator, stilt-walker, performing/visual arts, makeup arts, etc.   I met Geo a couple of times in passing and then really got to know him when he met Mike and I out in Pismo Beach in Oct of 2017. He has become one of my best friends and has helped me out a lot in this business adventure of mine. Amongst many other things, he made the stencil for my Patriotic Superman Clock.

My birthday is in January. Mike and Geo made their way back out to Pismo Beach to celebrate with me! (side note, I have the best friends in the world!! I’m a very lucky girl!) While we were there, we decided to combine business with play. I asked Geo and Mike to help me come up with a business logo (stay tuned!!) and Geo asked me to make a clock for him. At first this was an obvious yes. Of course I would love to make a clock for my friend. But then it quickly became intimidating. While I am talented and creative, Geo does it all!! Literally!! Check out his Instagram Pages (imstitches and mirrormanlv). How do you make a clock for someone like that?!? And what design do you do? I tried asking Geo what his favorite things were; no luck there. I asked Mike for ideas and Mike mentioned Mirror Man. Geo created the Mirror Man costume and performs in Las Vegas and around the country. It is a very intricate costume with several pieces of cut mirrors fitting together like a puzzle. Geo is extremely proud of this creation, as he should be. Mike’s suggestion was for me to include a mirror in the middle of a clock. I should have done that…

…But when you make a clock for someone as awesome and as talented as Geo, a plain one just. won’t. do. Geo also shares my love for Batman. And one night, in the middle of the night (of course), it hit me–make a Batman Logo out of Mirrors.

I have never cut glass before. My neighbor told me there was a tool for it and I went to the store. I carefully read the directions and googled instructions, too. Normally I would ask Geo for tips and advice, but I couldn’t ruin the surprise. I ordered different size mirrors and traced the logo on them from a stencil. I then very carefully applied a thin layer of gasoline to the mirrors and my tool. The design, of course, quickly rubbed off!!

Batman #1 turned out pretty good for my first time ever cutting glass. I put the clock together and texted Geo to surprise him and ensure he liked it. He said he loved it. Then we talked briefly about cutting glass.

Over the next few days I decided I could do better. While it was good for my first one, now I had some tips. I also knew what pressure it took to cut the glass and had an idea for how to get better curves. I ordered more mirrors and tore the original clock apart.

Batman #2 is awesome, minus the fact that Batman doesn’t have ears!! I seriously challenge any of you to get mirror ears!!! Glass cutting is NOT easy!! Geo loves the clock! He loved the first one, too, but I couldn’t put my name on it. Only the best for my best friends….and customers!!

I’m in Vegas right now visiting. The clock is hanging in his bedroom next to a giant circus poster and matches his Batman curtains perfectly!

Disclaimer: I am willing to do custom work for anyone IF it is something I am capable of doing. Batman Mirror Clock is for Geo only. I will not make this design again or sell it to anyone.

If you are interested in seeing Mirror Man live or if you want to see any of Geo’s other work, please visit his Instagram pages. He is very talented and also does custom work.




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Wine Cork Clocks

I fell in love with the beach and sand dollars in Southern California. However, I live in Northern California. Wine country. I’m not a heavy drinker, but I don’t know anyone, myself included, that doesn’t enjoy touring wineries. I prefer sweet white and dessert wines and don’t like reds. The menu selection is a little bit smaller and usually I volunteer to be the DD for my friends. I also enjoy going to different gift shops and seeing all the wine bottle toppers and charms. During Christmas I enjoyed seeing all the decorations. My roommate even made some Christmas tree ornaments out of wine corks. And then it hit me! Why not make wine clocks?

Using a cigar cutter, I cut the tops off of wine corks. I can use red or white ones pending the design/colors of the clock. Sometimes I like to use red for 12, 3, 6 & 9 and white for the rest. I love how the red wine stains the corks and think it gives the clock a little bit extra.

I started with a couple of basic designs and encouraged friends and family to come up with their own slogans. I had several Christmas orders for friends all over the country. You don’t have to live in Ca to enjoy a glass of wine!

Browse my website and choose a design. Or email me with a custom quote/saying and let me make you a one of a kind design!


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Just Breathe

I have been in therapy for a little over a year now. It is the best/worst thing I have ever done. And for every 2 steps forward I take, I feel like I take at least 10 backwards. Just when I gain insight on how to handle a certain situation, another, bigger one comes my way. Life is going smoothly…hmmmm…well let’s throw monkey wrenches all over that!!

My therapist has encouraged meditation. But you can’t exactly start meditating every time you may need to. In traffic? At work? In a crowd? In the middle of a fight? It doesn’t work.

Amongst all the chaos in our lives, it is incredibly important to Just Breathe. Worked up? Slow down your heart rate. Just Breathe. Anxious? Just Breathe. Mad? Just Breathe. You can breathe anywhere. It doesn’t require closing your eyes. It doesn’t require a lot of concentration. Just Breathe.

I wanted to create a chaotic clock with a calm center. The clock represents our lives and the center is our center. It is our inner peace. To create inner peace, Just Breathe.

This was my Christmas gift for my therapist, as well.

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Broken But Beautiful

I was ready to turn 30. I was ready to leave my insecurities behind. I was ready to stop trying to impress everyone. I was ready to be a “real adult.” My body, however, had something else in mind!

I will spare everyone (ok, mainly the men!) all the details, but after a year and a half of blood tests, MRIs, Cat scans, etc, I was finally diagnosed with hypothyroid, P.C.O.S., and borderline anxiety disorder. I was/am a hot mess!

I thought having a diagnoses would solve all of my problems. I was actually really excited when I found out I had cysts. Finally! I had an answer! I was sick. I wasn’t crazy…

But that excitement was quickly taken over by insecurities and a lot of  fear. What do I have to offer the world? Am I a good person? My friends are surely tired of hearing me cry/complain all the time. Will they care that there is a medical reason behind it? Will I over-come that? Will I find a man after gaining so much weight? Will he want to stay after hearing all my medical issues? I’m ugly. I’m fat. I’m worthless…..etc

Thankfully I started seeing a therapist. And, as you can imagine, the main focus was self love.

As I continued through therapy, my therapist and I started thinking of clever sayings to help me remember “rules” to live by. For example “moods don’t lead to food” I created a board to hang in my room with my rules. I looked at it when I got dressed in the morning to help me have a good day.

Slowly and slowly I started to feel better. I wanted to create a clock for myself. I wanted the clock to represent my journey. I wanted it to be inspirational.

I started looking at the sand dollars I had left over from Pismo Beach. I had collected a lot of broken sand dollars. Some were cracked. Some had holes in them. Some had barnacles I had to remove from them, but the circles were still there. That never stopped me from picking them up because they were still a sand dollar. And I still found them beautiful….

They were Broken but Beautiful!!! And that became my new “rule” I was (still am) very broken. But I was (still am) beautiful. I was determined to remember that every day. And what better way to remember, than to see it every time I look at the time?

I learned how to make paint crack. I brought stencils with a specific font that looked “broken” Unlike the original clock, I wanted this clock to be flawed. It wasn’t enough for just the shells to be broke. I needed something that really represented me and the way I felt. This clock needed to be powerful. It needed to be inspirational. It needed to be perfectly imperfect.

The clock is on my dresser next to my “rules” board. I smile every time I look at it. I see the sand dollars and remember my vacation. I remember how much fun I had on the beach. I remember the gifts I made. I’m an artist. I’m talented. I have something to offer this world. Despite my medical issues and being completely broken, I am beautiful!

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The Original Clock

In March 2017 my roommate (Mike) and I went to Pismo Beach for vacation. On the way down we were talking in the car and I said that while I had never been much into collecting seashells on the beach, I had always wanted to find a sand dollar. Mike, a certified diver, said “fun fact, did you know sand dollars are purple when they are alive?” We spent much of the drive down to Pismo discussing sand dollars and other sea creatures– having no idea that Pismo Beach is actually known for sand dollars!!

We were only in Pismo for a few days, but in that short amount of time I fell in love with combing the beach for sand dollars!! I left the live ones that were partially buried alone. If I saw a live one that was high on the beach, I would take it back down by the water, hoping to save it. I bent down to look at all circular objects–I even accidentally tried to pick up bird poop!! I collected broken sand dollars and perfect ones. Big ones and small ones. I was so excited every time I came back up to the room!

The last day of the trip I said I was going to put all the sand dollars back on the beach. Mike was stunned! He asked me why and my very practical answer was “We have enough things sitting on shelves collecting dust” And then he said “Well you really like to make things for your friends. Jessica is watching your dog. Sam is retiring. Why don’t you use the sand dollars and make them gifts?”

I kept the sand dollars. I researched how to take care of / preserve them. I searched for ideas of gifts to make. I bounced a lot of ideas off Mike. And then I came up with a shadow box. One sand dollar in a very simple frame. Not too big and very eloquent. A perfect gift for my friends.

But that wasn’t enough. I still had sand dollars left over and a new passion in my heart. And Mike also loved combing the beach with me and had a fun time on vacation. It was he who encouraged me to keep the sand dollars in the first place. It was he who inspired me to create art. I had to make him something.

I was back online searching for the perfect idea. It took me awhile, but it finally hit me! I wanted to make him a clock. I asked him what colors he liked and asked him to pick out his favorite sand dollars. I searched and searched Etsy for the perfect clock face. I researched what adhesive to use on sand dollars. I wanted every. single. detail to be perfect. I wanted a perfect memento for our vacation. Once I finally had everything I needed, I very nervously got to work.

The blue striped clock was born. I presented it to Mike and he loved it!! And the first seed for my business was planted…

Since our vacation, Mike has moved back home. The original clock is hanging in his kitchen in Denver, CO.