Behind the Scenes – Prepping and Handling Imperfect Situations.

In my quest to grow my craft business, I’ve made an effort to be more productively active on social media over the past several months. My favorite way to connect is, honestly, through Instagram (find me HERE). I find Instagram to be quick and easy – the hashtags really bring people with common interests together. It’s algorithms make more sense to me than Facebook’s. My Facebook page feels like an abandoned house I visit to shout “HELLO!!!!” into, only getting a response here and there.

I think Facebook can deter people, too. I can’t tell you how many people have mentioned to me that they are making efforts NOT to be on the site because they find that they lose a lot of time mindlessly scrolling. Or that their feed depresses them, make them feel anxious or upset. I feel we are coming to the realization that there can be some severe consequences with an over-exposure to social media sites – Facebook being the behemoth that can be hard to avoid.

Because Instagram just feels so natural to me, I like posting a variety of things and interacting with people and businesses I follow. I forget though that I don’t always need to post projects that are “in progress” or finished ~ I can also post about the “behind the scenes” stuff that people may not realize needs to happen in order for a project to even begin.

Sourcing bottles: 99% of my glassware is donated. The 1% is purchased by me at the Salvation Army because they were just too cool to not pass up. Having a steady stream of new stuff is super important. I am not shy about asking local restaurants (Johnny’s in Schenectady is one of my connections) for empties. I snagged these two at the Greek Festival in Schenectady this past weekend:

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The bartender gave me a quizzical look but handed them right on over. These bottles were all cleaned up by me; don’t think they were given to me that way!

A bit of elbow grease has to happen before I can even work with them.

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This part isn’t glorious work – it’s not particularly fun or exciting. It takes planning. I like to soak my glassware 24 hours ahead of my needing to use them (after they’ve been sanitized through my dishwasher). I then take a knife and scrape off the labels, which should come off relatively easily. Some brands of wine have labels that easily slide off in one piece…if they were all like that, that’d be fantastic.  For the most part they aren’t so I scrape with a knife, run the bottles under hot water, and then I take a cheapie steel wool soap pad and scrub the bottles until they are 100% free of all labels and glue.

It’s so important to have that clean start.

Sometimes, however, a clean start isn’t possible. Depending on the label, it may not come off. Liquor bottles like the square ones in the bucket above do. not. seem. to. want. to. budge. I don’t let that deter me – I mean, so what if my original game plan can’t work out? I can figure something else out.

I also re-use bottles from sets that haven’t sold. One of the bottles used to create this set…

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…is actually from a set of fall bottles I made years ago that didn’t seem to connect with anyone. I had pulled off leaves and other materials I had glued on to an already spray-painted bottle. While I was able to remove the majority of the texture, the bottle was not a clean slate to work with. Like I said earlier, I don’t let this shit deter me. I change my tactic and make it work because I don’t like to waste things.

In the case of the pumpkins, sponging on color the way I did adds texture to bottles and easily hides imperfections. You cannot tell which bottle out of the 3 had a previous life.

(Note: These bottles are up for sale HERE)

So, I think I may spend some more time on my Instagram showing the “behind the scenes” bits of what I do. The untalked about stuff. Like, what am I going to do with the square liquor bottles that have stubborn-ass labels on them still? (I do have some ideas.) If anything, it’s a reminder that shit happens and you have to be able to dance through it, even if you don’t know the choreography.

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