It's Five O'Clock in Germany...Prost!

   by Karen Webb for Somewhere in Time (2015)

I used the cardboard box as the frame work of my cuckoo clock. To the top part I added brown modeling clay and gave it a texture to look like stucco. The doors on top were made from the cardboard, also. The doorknobs were made from the clay. I made the hinges by flattening the wire and cutting it. I painted all modeling clay pieces with Mod Podge to give it a glossy look, and to help preserve it, since this clay doesn't harden. The German flag was made from the canvas bag, the wooden dowel, and the wooden "bead" pieces. The platform for the German Dancers was made from the round wooden disc (cut down in size) and a piece of the card stock from which the directions were printed. I put multiple layers of paint on it to help strengthen it. Underneath, I glued the plastic bobbin, and used the string from the canvas bag to help turn the carousel with the dancers on it. The German dancers were made with the modeling clay, as well as the German man holding a beer, the cuckoo bird, the beer barrels, the dog and water bowl, the pink roses in the window box, the German beer stein, the hot dog and pretzel, and the gazing ball stand. I formed the wire like a spring to use with the cuckoo bird. The Premo Sculpey clay was used to make the stones on the bottom of the house. It was baked in the oven to harden. I used one of the wooden bead pieces to make the base of the German stein sitting on the table. The top and handle of the stein was made with clay. The plate that holds the hot dog and pretzel was made from the foam piece, and painted to make it look like a Styrofoam plate. I made the clock from the blank paper, using markers. The clock was covered with the shrink plastic to make it look like glass. I also used this plastic in the dog's water bowl to make it look like water. The clock hands were made from the plastic metallic stick, which was soaked in hot water to better form them. The very center of the clock hands was made from a piece of the wire that was flattened and cut round. The window curtains were made with the canvas from the canvas bag, taking advantage of the red stitching on them. The heart shutters were made with popsicle sticks. The window was framed from above by a square wood dowel. The window boxes were formed with the balsa foam. The orange flowers were made from the canvas bag, and some thread to gather the bottoms together. The vines were made from a piece of the burlap, painted green, and the leaves were made from paper. The logs on the house were made from popsicle sticks which were cut with a Dremel tool. The cobblestone look on the sidewalk is made from bubble wrap. The fence was made from square dowel rods, cut with a Dremel tool and glued. The rope that the dog is tied up with came from the canvas bag. The table was made from the block of wood. The silver ball in the kit went atop of the cement-look holder and made to look like a gazing ball. I used several piece of the square dowels to add strength to the structure of the frame. I used the Aluminum bar underneath the top half for extra strength. The "Biergarten" sign was made from cardboard. The floor of the garden area was made with the canvas in the kit. In addition to the materials in the kit, I used paint, Mod Podge, markers, and E6000 glue.

A few years ago while vacationing in Germany we were lucky enough to attend an authentic German festival, The Garmischer Festwoche, in Garmin-Partenkirchen. They had traditional music, dancing, and lots of beer. When brainstorming my project this year, I was thinking about the word "time" and remembered the beautiful hand carved cuckoo clocks that they sold in the gifts shops in Germany. That, combined, with my experience of the festival, gave birth to this idea of cuckoo clock with a traditional German flair. Some observations that I made while in Germany was that everyone had beautiful flower boxes on their houses, and many people brought their dogs with them to shop and also to eat in restaurants. Also, beer was abundant everywhere in Germany! I incorporated those ideas into my cuckoo clock. I learned very little German while there, since most everyone spoke English, but one word that has stuck with me is "Prost", which means "Cheers" in English.

This was my second year participating in Mystery Build. Both times I absolutely had a ball making my creation. Having to use certain materials, and ONLY those materials adds a challenge, but more than that, it opens up your creative juices more than any project that I have worked on. I look forward to doing this every year.