Dog clocks

Pug Clock

Pug clock

Folks that know me know that I am a Pug Person.  I’ve got two adorable pugs, Smooch & Buster.  They are my kids & I am just crazy for them.

So maybe that’s why I’m crazy about all the wonderful Pugs I meet on the road.  I love all dogs but Pugs just make me smile.  And, of course, having the opportunity to create a Pug Clock is just about the best thing going for me!

Enter Rita!  I met Rita & her wonderful Pug Mom, Meg, at a show this year & was just thrilled when I had the opportunity to take Rita’s photo for her clock.

BTW, if you are thinking you’d like to have a clock made of your dog, this is a wonderful pose & a pretty easy shot to get.  Just instruct your little furball to sit, then get down on the floor, make a few silly noises & start snapping.  Pugs are especially good at this kind of thing … those wonderful head tilts make such adorable photos!

Once Meg decided on her favorite photo from our shoot, I removed the background & replaced it with something with just a bit more interest.  I chose a watercolor version of the same blue that we took the photo against.  A bit of enhancement to the photo & then the design work.  I sent Meg five proofs so she could chose her favorite.  Then we printed the image on canvas, gallery wrapped it & applied a glossy coat that made the colors pop.  The finished clock is fabulous … so much so, Meg asked me to display it at a recent show … it was a huge hit!

To order one for yourself, simply visit my website (click on the button to the right) or email me directly … JoAnn@TheClockLady.net.

Copies of this clock are also available for purchase on Etsy.  Visit my store there www.Etsy.com/people/KeepsakeClocks.

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It’s been too long …

It has been way too long since my last post.  No excuses, but we did do a five show tour that took us all the way across the country … from Atlanta to Denver, then San Diego, Scottsdale, San Antonio & finally Louisville KY.  Between the shows & the driving & let’s not forget about designing in our MANY hotel rooms, it just didn’t leave much time for blogging.  Well, enough excuses …

I guess it would be good to get back in the swing with a design from a photo I took while on the road.  One of the services I provide at shows is to do a photo shoot at no extra charge.  It helps me out a lot since I generally can get an image that is just perfect for a clock, pendant or tabletop.  I set up lights & a backdrop, then do whatever it takes to get the dogs to give the camera their very best.  Funny noises, squeek toys, treats … 20, 30, 50 shots to get one good one … that’s all it takes.

I took the photo below in Scottsdale.  It was a little more complicated than many shoots because, well, it was THREE dogs for goodness sake … two Basset Hounds & a Mastiff.  The funny noises & squeek toys were all we needed for these three to give us their best.

Even though the photo was wonderful, it still needed some editing.  I moved one of the Bassets in closer to his pals & then brought in a more muted background for a finished look that really works.

The client loves her clock & I must say I’m pretty happy with the result, too.

3 Responses to It’s been too long …

  1. alison young says:

    OMG! thanks you so much i just love this clock!!! you did a great job!!!!

  2. Lisa Eddy says:

    Good morning. My client referred me to your site. I’m the breeder of Jinkies (CH Gothic’s Cherished Gift to Youngpaws), the Mastiff in the above clock. I must say your clocks are works of art! It makes my day to see such gorgeous workmanship combined with special memories of our furbabies. Just beautiful! Keep up the awesome and wonderful work! Lisa Eddy

  3. Valerie says:

    I love this clock!!!! My husband ordered a neclace for me as a gift last year and I LOVE it!!!! We have 3 dogs now and I’ve been considering making a clock for him. This is such a wonderful example of what our clock could look like… (we have a boston terrier, a boston-chihuahua mix, and a boxer).

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The old switcheroo

 Worried that you don’t have the perfect photo of your pet for a clock? Don’t be. Almost all of the clocks I’ve designed started out with photos that, how can I put this gently, needed a bit of work. Even the photos I take myself at the shows sometimes need some help.  Today’s blog post is all about what The Clock Lady can do to improve, enhance & change the background of less than perfect photos.

First, let’s remember what’s really important in for a clock photo of your pet.  The best photos feature your furry loved one facing the camera, from the front or turned slightly to the side in a 3/4 view.  It’s actually pretty simple … just about anything other than a view of your pet from the side.  That’s because four-legged animals, when viewed from the side, are quite wide … too wide to fit comfortably into one hour of a clock. 

The photo to the right is a wonderful example & one of my all-time favorites.  It’s perfect, actually!  The view is from the front, with a 3/4 turn of the body.  Notice how there seems to be a vertical line … the image of the boxer is taller than it is wide.  And, as an added bonus, the background is uncluttered & well suited to the color of the dog’s coat.  As you might have guessed, this photo was taken by a professional photographer.

So, what about photos taken by us mere mortals?  You know, the ones that have potential but aren’t perfect.  The ones where the pose is good but the background needs the old switcheroo. 

Here’s an ok photo that turned into a really lovely clock.  The view of this golden retriever puppy is from the front with a slight turn to the body … it’s really good.  The background is a little less than wonderful though.  The first thing that needed to be done was to get rid of all of those grout lines in the floor, then the date stamp & toy needed to be removed.  After that was done, the photo was perfect & made a really wonderful golden retriever clock.

What’s really fun to me about this clock was that my client was almost certain she didn’t have a good photo.  And that’s the point I’m trying to make with today’s post.  Just because your photo isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean it can’t become a great clock.  Send me what you’ve got so I can help you to find the gem in the rough.  Photo editing is part of the process in designing a clock … it’s what you are paying me to do.  So don’t worry about cluttered or messy or boring backgrounds. 

Ok, one more example.  I was thrilled when I saw this photo of a german shepherd.  I thought that this would be an easy one because the background of the photo is lovely … all that fabulous greenery.  And then my client told me she wanted a blue background.  Oh well, back to the drawing board.

This time, the task was a little more complicated.  I needed to completely change the background in order to do what my client requested.  This took a bit more time than the golden puppy clock, but it gave me lots of creative license.  I pulled the dog out of the photo & tried him against several different blue backgrounds till I came up with the right mix for my client.

The thing to remember from all of this is not to worry about the background of your photos.  I can fix a background 99% of the time.  What I can’t fix is a photo with the subject in a pose that is not suited for a clock … a side view.  So go grab your stash of photos of your pet & look for the ones that show him or her from the front.  Send me a few & I’ll help you pick the one that will work best for your clock.

Till next time …

2 Responses to The old switcheroo

  1. Cindy says:

    Joanne does fantastic work! Great for gifts or for yourself. My husband was absolutely thrilled with his puppy clock and proudly displays it in his office. Don’t think twice – you get an original work of art at a very affordable price. I will be a returning customer!

  2. Jim Ewing says:

    The “Ranger” clock (shown above with blue background) is hanging in my office. A Christmas gift from my daughter. I was really surprised when I opened this great gift. If you are a pet lover, you need a clock like this.

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Agility clocks & other stuff

I know I’ve got to get into the habit of posting to my blog. Why else would anyone even bother to have a blog if you never actually post anything on it? I guess my problem is that I can’t imagine anyone (other than me) would be all that interested in anything I might have to say. Heck, I bore myself sometimes!

Of course, I’m guessing that most folks who stumble upon my little blog will be more interested in what they see, than what they read.

That being said … how about a few clocks?  Today’s theme is AGILITY!

It always amazes me when I get a chance to watch dogs doing agility.  I think of my own two little Pugs & feel rather inadequate.  I just can’t imagine getting them to do what I see so many dogs doing so well.  The team work between dog & human is incredible. 

I feel lucky if I can get my two kids to actually sit when I tell them to.

Speaking of my kids, their names are Smooch & Buster.  They, as previously stated, do not do agility nor do they do much of anything other than keep us thoroughly amused & feeling loved.  It’s their job & they do it well.

Actually, I always tell folks that Pugs are a wonderful breed.  They will do anything in the world to make you happy … as long as it’s what they want to do.  I dare you to find a Pug-person who would disagree with that statement.

But here in today’s post, we have a Poodle, a Beagle & a Cocker Spaniel.  All three are obviously having the time of their lives.

Just look at the expression on these three faces … a combination of canine determination & utter exhilaration.  It just makes me want to go jump over something.  Of course, there’s no way I could do it like these three … Superman style with the front paws stretched out. 

Oh crud!  All this talk about jumping over things reminded me that, according to my most recent New Years resolution, I’m supposed to go exercise right about now.  Drat!

Till next time!

One Response to Agility clocks & other stuff

  1. Tom Kelly says:

    We met the Clock Lady at the Cleveland show 2 years ago and ordered a clock.We sent her a few pictures and mutually worked out a color scheme.The final result was astounding! The clock is in our kitchen,so a lot of people see it.The compliments are unbeleiveable.The clocks are so unique and custom made to your lioking.There are no two alike! We are considering another for our RV.

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Beach Clocks

The holiday rush is OVER … and I survived. I’m not even sure how many clocks, pendants & tabletops we shipped out these past few months, but the Fed Ex guy was starting to feel like a member of the family. I felt a bit like an overgrown elf, slaving away for Santa, working 16+ hour days fueled by high octane cappuccinos & an almost blinding fear that I wouldn’t make the Christmas deadline. Well, the rush is over & I survived … all the clocks, pendants & tabletops left my studio in time to make it to their spots under trees across the country!

And now the fun part … I can finally share some of the projects I created for clients over the past few months.  I’ve been dying to show off some of my work, but didn’t want to spoil any surprises.  Now that all the gifts have been lovingly wrapped & hastily unwrapped, I can actually show off some of my favorites.

Sometimes a photo just sings to me … like this one. 

There’s just something about a dog on the beach that makes me smile. 

This is Cookie … a real beauty!

Isn’t she adorable with the wind blowing through her hair?

The canine version of a romance novel covergirl.

I swear … this is the happiest dog I have ever seen!

Looking at him, I just want to pack it in & move to California.

I even miss the Jersey Shore!

This is one of my favorite dog clocks of all time!

HAIRY (that’s really his name) On The Beach.

I guess I’m tired of winter already … there seems to be a real beach theme going here.

Ok, I’m going to wrap this post up.  I haven’t quite gotten the hang of inserting photos yet.  This whole blogging thing is a little out of my realm … hopefully it will get easier.

One Response to Beach Clocks

  1. Connie Potter says:

    JoAnn – You did a wonderful job! Hairy’s clock is beloved by the recipient (my husband) and the kids just smile every time they pass the clock – hung prominently in our living room. Thank you, too, for the quick turn-around. I know I added to your elf-stress :-) , but know your effort was very much appreciated.

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The holiday rush is over!

It seems fitting that my first blog post should come right after the holiday rush. I have to admit, I am pretty pooped but I had so much fun working on all of my clients’ orders. We haven’t done the final count yet but I know I sent out many more clocks this year than last, so it seems my little idea is catching on.

So, now it’s on to the new year!  We’ve got lots of exciting plans.  The first thing I need to do is to figure out how this darned blogging thing works.  Oh my!

 

Actually, the big change for this coming year is that I will no longer be going to shows as a lone wolf.  Eric & the Pugs will be joining me.  We’ll have to figure out how to rework the booth so everything will fit into the SUV … two Pugs & all their gear take up a LOT of room.  And, of course, we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed that Smooch & Buster will behave themselves while at the shows.  They are just a wee bit “high strung” … actually, they are a LOT high strung & they both seem to thing that the sun & moon revolve around them.  Wish us luck!  It should be interesting …

As for the other changes coming up, you’ll just have to check out future blog posts. 

So, speaking of future blog posts, I guess I should give you some idea of what to expect to see here.  I will most certainly be showing off lots of my work & giving advice on taking & selecting  photos for clocks, tables & pendants.  I’ll also be posting photos taken along the road.  We’re going to be doing lots of traveling & I’m pretty sure we’ll see some amazing things.  Other than that, who knows what will show up here. 

So, you’ll just have to check in from time to time to see what’s going on with The Clock Lady.  For now, I want to wish everyone, especially all of my wonderful clients, a very Merry Christmas!

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