I really just wanted an excuse to try different textures, so I made a couple of simple labels. Images are courtesy of the Graphics Fairy. Font is Carnivalee Freakshow by Livin Hell.
I was inspired by another Russian bottle. I love the way the bottle has it's own persona. I hope I've been able to create that with this lovely couple. I can't decide if they are dressed for a courting stroll among the tombstones, maybe fancy dress for a mourning party or perhaps the dirge of nuptial bells signals wedding attire.
Both are plastic bottles that I didn't even bother to remove the original labels from. I just Mod Podged a layer of tissue over them. Yet another thing to love about this style of bottle.
From top to bottom: Hiss is a wearing a cork & bottle cap hat inspired by a skeleton at this year's craft party. The bottle cap didn't make quite a wide enough brim, so I flattened it a bit with a hammer. Then the brim wasn't tall enough so I lengthened it with tinfoil. It's a beautiful thing all the flaws that can be concealed with a coat of paint. The brim is adorned with a little plastic bat that I bought on clearance years, and I mean years ago and I finally used it! A piece of elastic cut from a cheap plastic mask gave nice lines as a hatband. Have I mentioned you can use anything on these bottles? The middle of the bottle is textured with eggshells and there are a few smidges of cheesecloth to complete his ensemble.
Using eggshells is one of those techniques I've been dying to try. There are a lot of different ways to lay out the shells. You can break them into small pieces and individually place each piece. You can lay out large pieces and press them flat, creating many tiny cracks. This looks especially cool with alcohol inks which get into the fine cracks.
I went with the method were you place large pieces of eggshell on a layer of glue and then split them into smaller pieces with a toothpick. You can use your fingers but I think the toothpick gives you better control and it can also be used to space out the pieces as you go. It's kind of fussy, but it looks cool. I would not have the patience to do a large surface this way, but doing a section of this small bottle went quickly.
The hardest part was cleaning the shells, specifically the thin membrane attached to the shell. I used raw eggs so I don't know how hard-boiled might differ. I rinsed the shells with hot water. By grabbing a broken edge you can peel a fair amount of the membrane off. Anything that remains will easily rub off. I know it doesn't sound hard. The problem is without the membrane the shell becomes very fragile, so you have to very gently rub off the remaining bits if you want large pieces to work with. You can't skimp on this step. If the membrane is still on when you break the large pieces into place it will be impossible to space out the smaller pieces unless you cut that membrane. The good news is gets easier with practice to clean the shells.
Eggshells open up a whole other avenue of crafting using paints, dyes, alcohol inks, decoupage and I'm sure many more techniques that I haven't seen yet. I have a smattering of cool Halloween napkins that I picked up with decoupage in mind, so you'll probably see me do this sooner or later, but for this I just painted the whole bottle with acrylics.
On the subject of eggshells, while researching techniques I fell in love with two mosaics by Linda Biggers. One being this murder of crows and the other this gorgeous, yet spooky tree.
From top to bottom: Hearse has on an acrylic gem, which just happened to set nicely on a large eyelet. You can't see it, but a circle of braided cord covers the eyelet. She's wearing black netting that used to be a bag containing plastic bugs. Over that is a layer of lace. I think I would have preferred the look of a more delicate lace, but I'm not frilly or fancy so this is the only lace I had in my stash to work with. Now that I'm looking at her, I think maybe she needs some pearls.
That's two more bottles down and 53,716 more to go (give or take a few).