Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Wall Art

It’s been said before how crafts like this Wibbly Wobbly wall art are good distractions for people with mental illnesses (or other stress). Although this post is a bit late for Christmas (it was originally intended to be a Christmas present, and I didn’t want the recipient to see it early) it can still be a birthday present – or a present to yourself …

This idea was based on a picture I saw online that said, “whatever, I’m late anyways”. The idea was great, and I wanted to do something with it for a present. When my husband and I were discussing presents one day and I showed him the picture, he (jokingly) suggested “wibbly wobbly timey wimey” (from Doctor Who, if you aren’t familiar). Since my sister loves Doctor Who, and both her birthday and Christmas were coming up, it was settled.

Birthdays are always coming up and fans of The Doctor are everywhere! This is a piece of wall art I made for an upcoming family birthday. It was fun and easy to make, so here's how it's done.

Materials:
    • 22 in x 28 in canvas (or larger if you want to do the whole clock) – I got mine at Michael’s. Look for sales, I got mine in a 2 day sale for 70% off.

22"x28" canvas

    • 250 ml tube of paint (choose a lighter color so the letters and numbers stand out) – I used bright aqua green acrylic paint from Michael’s. The size I purchased does not appear to be available online, but it was $11. I recommend looking for a sale.

250 ml bright aqua green acrylic paint

    • 2 – 12 ml tubes of paint (choose a dark color, I used black and violet. You could also just use one color.) I already had mine from other projects. I only added the size to let you know that it doesn’t take much – the size I used was more than enough. It also appears the size I used is only available in sets of several tubes. In-store, Michael’s has a large selection paints similar to the one I linked to for .50 – $1.00.
    • letters and numbers (I used a wooden 250 piece set from Michael’s, which has plenty of letters to spell “wibbly wobbly timey wimey” as well as all of the necessary numbers for the clock). You can also use stickers, or paint yours on.

250 piece wooden number and letter set

    • clock hands (I got mine from Wish – if you go that route be warned that shipping usually takes about a month. They are very cheap, though, and I couldn’t find them anywhere else, so plan ahead. You could also paint these on if you wanted).

3 piece clock hands from Wish

Other Materials (You Probably Already Have):
  • 2 paint brushes (you’ll want one that’s at least an inch wide, and a small one for painting the letters.)
  • paper plate or paint tray
  • protection for whatever surface you’ll be working on (I use a large piece of paper that came as stuffing in a package I got in the mail.)
  • wax paper (optional) – this is good for setting the letters on while they dry. They come off really easily after drying.
  • hot glue gun
  • hot gun glue sticks
How To:

Using the 250 ml paint, coat the entire front and sides of the canvas. After it dries, paint another coat, even if you don’t think it needs it – you’ll be happy about this later when your project looks great! It’s important to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the second coat so you can get proper coverage.

If you bought wooden letters and numbers, or pieces that need to be painted – with the two 12 ml tubes of paint, cover the front and sides of each of your letters and numbers. Do not paint the back – it is unnecessary since the pieces will be glued to a canvas. I used black on the numbers and violet on the letters. Only one coat was necessary. Lay the pieces on wax paper to dry.

Painting the wooden numbers.

Numbers to Paint:
  • (1) – #0
  • (5) – #1
  • (2) – #2
  • (1 EACH) – #’s 3 through 9
Letters to Paint (spells “Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey”):
  • (4) – B
  • (2) – E
  • (3) – I
  • (2) – L
  • (2) – M
  • (1) – O
  • (1) – T
  • (3) – W
  • (4) – Y

Of course, check my figures to make sure you have the correct amount of each letter and number. I’m only human, and do make mistakes. 

Once your canvas and pieces are dry, arrange the pieces on the canvas. Make sure you lay out the clock pieces too, so you can put the numbers the proper distance away. You want to get an idea of the look you are going for before you attach them. I arranged mine like this:

Unfinished canvas

This is the unfinished canvas. After this photo was taken, I decided to put a number 1 on the top left, as if part of the 11 was still in place on the clock. You can arrange yours however you want. If you wanted, you could even do the full clock (you would need a larger canvas) and have various pieces missing from the clock and either falling or lying beneath the clock (as seen on this canvas).

After you find the look you want, it’s time to break out your hot glue gun and hot glue sticks.

Hot Glue Time:

I recommend leaving the pieces in place, and picking them up one at a time to apply the hot glue. After applying the glue, put the piece back in place firmly, and then move on to the next piece. That way, you don’t have to mark the canvas for positions and you can still have a good idea of where the piece goes. It won’t be in exactly the same place as before (unless you have a really good memory and can place a piece precisely on the first try) but it will still look great. It might even look better than how you had it arranged before!

Don’t glue the clock hands yet – work on the numbers before that. It is a good idea to glue certain clock numbers first – for instance, on my clock I glued the numbers 12, 3, and 6 first. These numbers determine the positions of the other numbers. Even in cases where the numbers are falling, it is good to have these base numbers down as a marker. Always keep in mind the length of your clock hands (you can probably trim them if absolutely necessary, but be careful not to leave any sharp edges).

Don’t Glue the Clock Hands Yet:

After you have glued all of your numbers, bend the NOT YET GLUED clock hands (GENTLY!) so that they come out from the canvas. If you have already glued the hands, you can either leave them unbent, or attempt to very carefully bend them. Bending them after they are glued is simply a little more difficult – but bending adds to the unbalanced (wibbly wobbly) look of the clock.

If your clock hands are from Wish, then they will fit together with the hour hand on the bottom, the minute hand in the middle, and the second hand on the top. After placing them together, glue the underside of the hour hand where the all join. The hands from Wish have a small metal piece here, and if you apply plenty of glue it will help hold all three pieces together. You can also glue the places near the metal where the hands overlap. The glue that overflows from that section will be used to fasten the hands to the canvas, so after you glue them together, carefully place them in position on the clock.

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey – Finished Product:

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Wall Art

It took me 3 days to finish this entire piece. Most of that time was waiting for the paint on the various pieces to dry. It’s not hard at all, and was enjoyable to work on.

Have fun!

The Witch Of Lime Street by David Jaher

The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World
By: David Jaher

In a captivating narration of a face-off between the accomplished escape-artist Houdini and the charming hostess of 10 Lime Street, Jaher draws us into the unknown. Houdini has stunned audiences everywhere with his daring feats, but he desperately wants to communicate with someone he loved and lost – his mother. With a slow build, Jaher sets the scenario and introduces the cast. In an unfulfilling search to contact his mother, Houdini exposes flimflam artists everywhere – he has a very definite view on what is acceptable or not, and taking advantage of those grieving loved ones falls into the “unacceptable” category. When Houdini befriends a huge proponent of the Spiritualist movement but remains unconvinced of the mediumship displayed being genuine, it isn’t long before a scientific contest to prove authentic mediums exist is established.

In this captivating narration, Jaher brings to life the show down between the witch, Margery, and Houdini - the escape artist.

Not a Typical Historical Read

Despite personal opinions on mediumship and séances, there were events in The Witch of Lime Street that had me as a reader baffled. As Jaher’s novel is depicting actual historical events, it would have been easy for the novel to come across as dry and boring, however that was not the case. Once the stage was set the novel drew me in and I was eager to discover what happened next. Houdini was a very complex, realistic character. Despite his pride and arrogance, he also came across as deeply layered – passionate about his cause and desperately determined to prevent “mediums” with nothing more than street tricks (something Houdini himself was very familiar with) from fooling the bereaved.

The “witch” known as Margery was also a very complex, well-written character. Despite her background, Margery is described by all who meet her as cultured and of a far better stock than a typical run-of-the-mill medium. Despite the rigorous testing Margery is put through (and tolerates with good humor) in order to determine whether or not her mediumship is genuine, Margery offers very little resistance and continues to go above and beyond as an excellent hostess. As Jaher introduces more information about Margery, as a reader you start to realize the difficult position Margery is in. She is a character that induces a sympathetic response the more you understand her.

More Information Would Be Nice

It would have been nice to hear more about involvement from Bess, Houdini’s wife (she is mostly present at the beginning and end of the novel, and not in any major way) however, with the sources Jaher worked with for this novel it is understandable that she may not have been mentioned much (and this story does not revolve around her). I also would have very much liked to have read whether any verdict on the Crandon’s involvement with the “lost boys” was determined – and if not the Crandon’s, where were those children? Jaher briefly introduces the mystery in the chapter entitled “Lost Boys” (pg. 345), but doesn’t tell us of any solution.

Typically, historical novels are not in my zone of interest, but The Witch of Lime Street was a fascinating read and I’m glad to have read it. Jaher primarily came across as pro-Spiritualist, but he still presented the story with countless sources as evidence to back him and without noticeably skewing the facts either way. For those who wish to review Jaher’s sources, he lists them in the back of the novel.

 

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Why I’m Saying “No” to Seeing the Doctor

Before we go too far, let me reassure you – the doctor in this case is a medical doctor, not a psychiatrist. Feeling reassured? Good!

After years of appointments that never find a diagnosis or a solution, I'm done agreeing to be poked and prodded for various tests. I'm saying "no" to seeing the doctor.

Issues That Don’t Leave

For as long as I can remember, I have had a few issues that have never gone away – despite countless doctor visits and more medicine than I care to remember. One of these issues is earaches. My ears hurt almost constantly, and the pain only alternates between ‘ignorable’, ‘tolerable’ and ‘unbearable’. It is worse at night, since I sleep on my side. My pillows are arranged oddly for this purpose – layered with one overlapping the other so there is less pressure on my ear when I sleep. I can’t stand to put things in my ears, but I have over the counter ear drops for pain when it is unbearable.

Migraines are also an issue for me (when I don’t have a migraine I almost always have a headache), and stomach problems (meaning throwing up a lot and not being able to help it). Both of these come and go and sometimes seem to be connected. (If I have a migraine I often start to throw up. Earaches can also make me throw up if the pain is bad enough.) Unfortunately, the throwing up happens much more often than the migraines do. Growing up, getting sick constantly was a problem for several years – and no, I did not have any eating disorder. The older I’ve gotten, the longer the breaks are between ‘episodes’ – I might go months without throwing up, but then throw up almost daily for weeks.

Doctors and Tests

My concerned parents took me to doctor after doctor. These doctors would recommend specialists, who would order all kinds of tests – with no noteworthy result (other than costing lots of money). They had all kinds of ‘answers’ – acid reflux, my stomach empties slowly, blah blah blah – but no answers to the migraines, headaches, or earaches. Well, no answers other than, “these aren’t physical problems” (it’s all in your head).

Even for the intense earaches, I have only been diagnosed with an ear infection once. Two years ago, a doctor looked into my ears (years after the only ear infection diagnosis) and mentioned I had a lot of scarring on my eardrums. Doesn’t that indicate that this IS a physical problem? Isn’t that some kind of proof that this is not all in my head?! This has always been a losing battle, though, and I have given up.

Chronic Illness

I have family (not blood related, marriage related) with chronic illnesses. 90% of the time, anything I hear about them is that they are in the hospital, seeing a doctor, or having some kind of test run. They have an official diagnosis for their problem, (which took years to get) and they still don’t have a solution! (Unless you count enough prescriptions that they could open their own pharmacy). In their case, going to the doctor and receiving treatment is life or death. They still have more problems than they started with, though, due to all of the medications they are on. Obese? Check. Nerve damage? Check. I could go on, but I’ll spare you. My point is, I have a choice.

Not Life or Death

Earaches, migraines, headaches, vomiting – they are miserable – but they are not life or death. I can decide whether or not to be a human guinea pig for a doctor that has no idea why I’m sick (and probably won’t figure it out for a long time, if ever). Doctors had their chance to help me. YEARS of chances. From everything I have seen about chronic problems, though, they do not go away. The reason doctors can’t figure out what is wrong, is because they don’t have a solution. Sure, they can prescribe something for the pain, but I have over the counter pain killers for that. After years of doctors visits and testing, I would rather rely on pain killers that don’t entirely kill the pain than doctors with their bundle of prescriptions and all of the tests they want to run.

With over the counter pain medicine, I don’t need a doctor, or insurance, or to wait in a waiting room for an hour. An appointment isn’t necessary, and I don’t have to keep hearing that since the doctor can’t figure out what is wrong (and doesn’t want to admit it) that it’s all in my head. I don’t have to suffer the side effects from the prescription medicines, and I’m saving a crap ton of money. Yes, the pain is miserable – but so are doctors that don’t know what the problem is.

I HAVE A CHOICE.

My situation is not life or death. I will not be a guinea pig for doctors to poke and prod until they think they know the problem.

Goodbye, doctors.

 

Sincerely,

A Frustrated Ex-Patient

After You – Jojo Moyes

Recently, I picked up ‘Me Before You’ (also by Jojo Moyes – here’s my review) at the recommendation of my sister-in-law. It was extremely sad (I cried afterwards) but a very well written piece of work. After experiencing ‘Me Before You’, I was hesitant to read ‘After You’ (it’s the 2nd book to ‘Me Before You’) – I didn’t want my heart broken by a book again! However, Moyes talent drew me in again, and I read ‘After You’.

In a beautifully written piece of work, Moyes draws us into Lou's world yet again. Although 'After You' is at times heartbreaking, it was definitely worth the read.

‘After You’, a Review:

‘After You’ did not break my heart in the same intense way as ‘Me Before You’. That’s not to say that this was not a sad book in any way – it was sad at times – but the overall tone of the book was not particularly sad.

An extremely unexpected character shows up in Louisa’s (Lou’s) life (with disastrous results) and Lou experiences life in a whole new way. Through plenty of time and the help of friends and family, Lou learns how to move on – and that it’s okay to live life to it’s fullest.

The characters in ‘After You’ are at times raw and painful, but real and relatable as well. Moyes crafts a story where all of the characters come to life. There were times when I was unable to put the book down because I had to know what happened next – there were also times when I was too horrified to continue reading.

‘After You’ didn’t leave me in a puddle of tears like the previous novel did, but the ending was so bittersweet and tender that I promptly described the entire storyline to my husband. It’s the kind of story that leaves you with the barest ache when it’s over, in part wishing it had continued (because it was real, and you were there) – but also in part glad it is over (because the intensity can get to you).

Please read ‘Me Before You’ before delving into ‘After You’, but I think you will thoroughly enjoy them both (and maybe not cry quite as much with the second novel). I will eagerly await any future writings from Jojo Moyes.

 

 

Exercising Memory: Calzones

Calzones aren’t difficult at all – but they do exercise your memory. With these calzones, we will make our own sauce and dough – so you definitely need to remember which step you’re on! It is beneficial to exercise our memories whether we have a mental illness or not, but especially if we do have a mental illness. Oftentimes, people with mental illnesses don’t have the best memories (which drives my husband crazy).

After hearing my sister talking about how she was making pizza for lunch, I started thinking about pizza-ish foods. I didn’t want a pizza, at least, not exactly … so a calzone sounded perfect.

We talk about food frequently – discussing a different recipe, she mentioned making her own pesto. I still had calzones on the brain – calzones with pesto instead of pizza sauce? Yes, please!

Made with homemade, yeast-free pizza dough and homemade pesto, this warm, cheesy calzone is sure to make your mouth water. It's time consuming, but well worth the wait.

**I highly recommend breaking this recipe into at least two days. You can make the dough and pesto the first day, and maybe prep the toppings (slicing bell pepper and mushrooms, grating cheese). The second day, you can put it all together.**

Starting with homemade dough:

If you have a favorite pizza dough recipe, that will work just fine. I used my favorite recipe, but didn’t have any yeast … so I made a few alterations.

This is a bread machine recipe.

  • 1 3/8 c water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp yogurt (I used vanilla greek yogurt)
  • 4 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Pour the water into the pan, along with the olive oil and yogurt. There is no need to mix anything. Put the flour on top of the liquid, try to keep it somewhat level. Add the baking soda on top of the flour. Set your machine to it’s dough setting. Mine took about 30 min.

Recipe yields 2lbs.

It did change the dough – the dough didn’t rise. Instead of a typical pizza dough, I ended up with a calzone with a crust similar to pita bread. It was delicious. If you want the usual pizza crust, feel free to stick to your recipe and use yeast.

*Note* If you would rather use yeast, this recipe originally used 2 tsp yeast rather than the baking soda and yogurt. Make a well in the center of the flour, and add your yeast in the well. Do not add any baking soda or yogurt. Set to dough setting.

Meanwhile, making pesto:
  • 2 c spinach (I used frozen but fresh will work better)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, more as necessary
  • 1 tbsp garlic, or to taste
  • Italian seasoning, to taste
  • basil, to taste

Combine all ingredients in Ninja or food processor. Add more olive oil as necessary until pesto is the desired consistency. Feel free to play around with different spices according to your tastes.

Made with homemade, yeast-free pizza dough and homemade pesto, this warm, cheesy calzone is sure to make your mouth water. It's time consuming, but well worth the wait.

Putting it all together:
  • pizza dough (recipe above)
  • pesto (recipe above)
  • desired toppings (I used) :
    • pepperoni
    • mushrooms, sliced
    • bell pepper, sliced
    • mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 300.

Roll out pizza dough to about 1/4 – 1/2 an inch thick. You want it thin, but not thin enough to tear. My dough was very elastic, so it was more difficult to roll out.

Spread a large portion of pesto on the dough. It may seem like overkill, but with all of the toppings it isn’t a very strong flavor. Add your toppings to half of the dough, avoiding getting too close to the edges. Make sure to use a lot of toppings, so that you get plenty in each bite. You don’t want to do all of this work and only get crust in your calzone! Fold over the side of the dough with no toppings, and crimp the edges.

Spray or brush with olive oil and season the crust as desired. We sprinkled ours with garlic powder and Italian seasoning.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hr 30 min. If you made yours small, they won’t take as long. I made ours very large. Check on them after 30 min. I flipped ours over using a metal spatula after 1 hr, then baked them for the last 30 min.

Enjoy!