I have always been a crafty sort of person. I wouldn’t say I am an artist, since art by definition has no function and everything I make has a function. I would say I am crafty. I have been upcycling since before it was a word. I am also really into sustainability, gardening, canning, dehydrating and cooking. I have been on my own since I was a child, chatting with folks whom I found to have similar interests, reading books here and there… The internet made things easier, but I still had to go looking for things. The net result is that by and large, I have been experimenting on my own. Then came………
craft crack PINTEREST!!!
One of my students hipped me to Pinterest last year. Pinterest to me is like the promised land of craft, upcycling… anything and everything I have an interest in is THERE or I can PUT IT THERE. No longer do I need to have 5000+ bookmarks in Firefox… I can have virtual pinboards to keep track of all my stuff. Pinterest also has stuff I never dreamed of. It is like a giant swap meet of ideas.
One of the great things I found was several websites that tell you how to upcycle glass bottles into drinking glasses. I used to have an amazing vase made from a wine bottle and I was truly sad when the cat’s behind introduced it to the floor at a high rate of speed. The first time I saw those pins about upcycling bottles I was instantly reminded of that vase and got all excited at the concept of replacing it. I also saw really neat drinking glasses that were made from soda and beer bottles. I started collecting bottles (to the point of ransacking neighbor’s recycling bins when they were on the curb) with the plans of making a set of drinking glasses, a vase, and a carafe with glass for next to my bed. Anything else could be turned into candles since I also recycle the heck out of those.
A few weeks went by (I am a college instructor; it is not unusual for entire seasons to pass before I know it) before I finally got everything the site said I needed. Acetone, cotton yarn, and a bottle. I read the instructions several times (which is actually pretty unheard of for me… instructions? Where the hell is the fun in THAT?!?!) gathered everything I needed and decided to DO IT. It was Spring Break, I had the house to myself… why not?
The instructions tell you to soak the yarn in the acetone, wind it around the bottle, light it on fire, put it out after 30 seconds, and run cold water over it. Easy peasy. I started to work in the dining room table, but for the sake of the sink I decided to move into the kitchen. I arranged the bottles on the counter, made sure all the labels were off and then got started. I opened the acetone and pulled about half a meter (I’m an archaeologist; everything I do is in metric.. sorry) and wrapped it around the bottle. I am also extremely literal so I did exactly what the directions said and wrapped it around the bottle. Then I lit it. You might want to stop drinking or eating about now unless you want to choke or spray it.
Flaming yarn unwraps itself (there was not one freaking word about tying a damn knot) onto the counter where it catches the tail of the yarn in the acetone…. running up the acetone into the bottle…. so now the bottle in my hand is on fire… .the bottle of acetone is on fire….I am trying to put both out and the flames just started spreading because the yarn is falling off and catching on fire…. this was about the time I discovered that I spilled acetone on the counter at some point… because it burst into flames…. every time I blew on it it got worse…. the flames on the acetone were actually licking the underside of the cabinet.
I was standing there with a flaming bottle in one hand dropping flaming bits all over the place trying to put the counter and acetone out with the other making all sorts of panicky noises. Even if someone had been here they wouldn’t have been able to help because they would have been too busy laughing at me. I would have laughed at me. Finally I grabbed the sprayer and started spraying everything. After what seemed like hours but was probably seconds, I got everything put out. I was leaning on the counter with relief when I hear….. CRACK!!! Oh, yeah. The bottle.
REALLY?!?!? REALLY!?!?! All that trouble and it looked like I broke the neck off in a bar fight or something!! I got better results with my glass cutter without nearly burning the house down. Lesson learned. Pinterest is like the friend in High School that acts like they are your best friend but really talks about you behind your back. I still interact with it.. I am just really skeptical of what I learn on it!