Bottle cutting, and stuff…

Bottle cutting 1

Well I didn’t draw blood – which is a miracle, considering my lack of muscle control, and it’s still in one (technically “half”) piece, so I guess you could call my first attempt at cutting bottles a success…!

This is what my lack of muscle control got me the other day when I was using my glue gun – I got hot glue on several fingers and both thumbs, but this – my right index finger – came off worst.  I had to dunk it in cold aloe juice for an hour and a half to take the stinging out, but thanks to that it’s now gone down, and has been pain free ever since.

Blister from hot glue from a glue gun

I was checking whether my compress had fully dried out, and this beastie popped out from behind the radiator.  Poor thing appeared to be shivering – that’s why some of it’s out of focus.

I cupped my hands around him and gently breathed warm air in to help him warm up, then he walked onto my hand, so I held it towards the door, and off out he flew!

Quivering butterfly

So, on with the bottle cutting!

All you need is:

  • A bottle that would otherwise go into the recycling.  I’m using a brandy bottle as it’s nice and wide at the bottom.
  • A glass cutter.  (The pen shaped tool with a little wheel on the end that you roll along glass or tiles),
  • Some hot water,
  • And some cold water.

I taped some straight strips of cereal box around the glass bottle, taping it all around the lower edge, leaving the upper “cut line” without tape.  This was enough of a guide to keep the cutter straight.

Then all you do is scrape the wheel around the bottle, hard enough to make a mark.  You can tell you’re doing it right from the noise.  It makes an awful noise as it cuts into the glass, like nails down a blackboard.  (Blackboard?  Ask your mum coz you’re making me feel old already)

And then once you’ve gone all the way around, you take it to the sink, and pour hot water over the line.  Then cold, then hot, then, well, until you hear a “clink” and the top and bottom part company.

This is the top edge during grinding.  I used wet n dry “sand”paper for a bit (the black stuff), and the dremmel-alike a bit, and both seemed to work equally well, though the dremmel-alike of course does a lot more for a lot less effort.  Though I think there’s probably a better attachment for glass than I used.

And thanks to the wonders of refraction, my dog has an extra long neck…he’s not like that in real life, honest….

top edge of cut bottle

In this close up you can see where the dremmel-alike skittered (great word, don’t get to use it often enough!) across the surface, leaving marks:

Skittered marks from the dremmel-alike

But as you can see here, they’re not *that* noticable really:

Finished cut and ground bottle

And especially not noticable when there are things in it!  I am only really doing this because I want my glass back – and you can just see the tip of the glass cutter I used to cut the bottle, hiding behind my snips:

Cut bottle with new contents replacing glass, behind.

So there you have it.  One cut bottle, no drama.  Next one I do I will be more careful grinding the line so that it’s a smoother finish and less grinding is needed.

Bottle cutting 1

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Home made, chemical-free “reed diffuser”

I was quickly browsing Pinterest the other day – for a couple of hours, like you do – when I remembered I needed to look up how to make a reed diffuser that has no nasties in it – these days I have reactions to a lot of chemicals, even just catching a whiff of something can make me react badly (okay, to be completely blunt, walking past someone in the supermarket who appears to have bathed in their chosen perfume will actually cause my stomach to involuntarily propel some of its contents up into the back of my mouth. It’s not fun, and yes, I would like to slap people who inflict their perfumes on within a 3 mile radius.)

But that said, it is always nice to live in a place that smells nice, it’s just that when you have a sensitivity to chemicals, you have to go about things in a different way.

So that in mind, I threw some search terms into the box, and went hunting. I found this page: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/homemade-reed-diffusers-147411 and decided that someone who says “wanted to avoid petroleum-based products” is thinking along the same lines as me, and I would use this as a starting point.

This is what mine looks like:

I used:

An old coconut oil bottle that I had cleaned out and removed the screw band that the metal tops leave behind
Glass paints and a stippling brush, because I wanted something a little more fancy than a clear glass bottle.
Some skewers with the points cut off,
Some essential oils (I’ll list them below)
Carrier oil – sweet almond
Gin – okay, I know it’s supposed to be vodka, but I don’t get out to the shops often, and it’s what I had on hand.

I had asked whether gin would be okay on the blog entry I found, but patience is not a virtue of mine when I am itching to get on with a new craft, especially one that has an immediate use, and so I just leapt in and tried it.

Once the paint was dry (Plaid glass paints, a little green, denim blue, gold and clear mixed together, three layers thereof to get the opacity I wanted), I got to mixing the smelly part.

Now here’s another thing about not getting out much – you have to make do with what you have – I had a rather strange assortment of oils. I found I had Cedarwood, Orange, Clove (yes, for toothache), Eucalyptus and Tea tree (yes, for bad skin, even at my age, so you won’t see me doing a how to on YouTube any time soon).

I noticed that after a while the clove oil left a nice almost flowery smell in the bathroom where the bottle lives, so I figure it can’t hurt to add some of that. And I know that when you mix two scents together, you can often get another where you can’t place either, because it’s a whole new smell altogether. Well that was the aim.

So I mixed:

24 drops Cedarwood
36 Orange
24 Clove
18 Eucalyptus
18 Tea Tree

I then topped it up with roughly 50ml of almond oil, and 80ml of the gin. My thinking is that the layer of oil will prevent the alcohol from evaporating too quickly.

Now I am not known for my luck, so wouldn’t you know it, today the local farmers have decided to muck spread all the fields around here, and the smell of dung is permeating the house, even with all the windows closed. So it may be a day or three before I can tell whether this is working as it should or not, or actually “pleasant” or not.

Nevertheless, I left the “reeds” (most likely bamboo, but it doesn’t say on the pack) in the one way up for a good hour, and then flipped them upside down. I did read that bamboo isn’t the most absorbent and won’t diffuse anywhere near as well as actual reed, but going down to the riverside to gather my own is something that will have to happen another day. Or another life – I would probably fall in. Or gather the “wrong type”.

So anyways, that’s my non-chemical reed diffuser made with stuff I had around the house. It doesn’t look terrible, it doesn’t smell incredibly bad, and I haven’t drawn blood making it, which is all too common an occurrence, so all in all, I would say a fairly successful craft experience. 🙂