Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tears in a Bottle or What I Made on my Christmas Vacation

My sister-in-law's birthday was December 28.

Before Christmas she had shared with me that she was turning the spare bedroom in her house into a room just for herself to read, pray and journal.

There was no time before Christmas to make her something, but after Christmas I was inspired to create her a very special birthday gift.


The Bottle of Tears.

Inspired by a scripture in Psalms (56:8-9) that has a bottle reference as a receptical for collecting tears. I used the King James translation because it's the most poetic.

I lettered "tears" using a flat headed paintbrush, dipped in acrylic paint, and held the brush like a calligraphy pen.

I figure I can never go wrong with sheet music and this piece happened to have some rare bars without notes so allowed for some lettering.

I used watered down Elmer's (PVA?) glue to attach the "label" to the bottle.

I created a small booklet, from a folded manilla tag, containing scriptures about tears.

I used the original, humble, cotton string that came with the tag, to hang the booklet from the bottle's neck.

Additional embellishments were an old key on a ring with fibers

(because I believe you can never go wrong using a key and fibers as an embellishment.)

The Psalm is one King David wrote when he was in hiding from his enemies.

He was a man after God's own heart and just knew that God was so involved in his life and knew his grief and struggles so intimately, that each of David's tears were collected in a bottle; his sorrows in a book.

I want to believe that for myself and want my sister-in-law to know that kind of intimacy with God too.

The cork was a stroke of divine serendipity, like the label.

I had this metal ornamental thing and the lacy edging allowed me to push 3 straight pins through to attach it securely to the cork.

I just don't trust glue for all things.

I filled the bottle with old buttons, pearls, faux mica flakes, polyester lace, a couple of ostrich feathers and even dirty old string (which actually looks quite sublime!)

This is a great project for using lesser materials that don't hold up to close scrutiny in other projects.

It just wouldn't do to stick this kind of art piece in a commercially made gift bag, so I hand painted a heavy duty lunch sack with gesso.
It took less time than rummaging for an approprate gift bag and made a bigger hit.

My sister-in-law got teary when she saw the bottle and flipped through the booklet of scriptures.

Mission accomplished!

"Those who sow in tears will reap in joy."
Psalm 126:5


khess136 said...

How beautiful, Nathalie! I especially love the verse and how you've given it life! Happy New Year, friend, and thank you for sharing this treasure with us.

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

Nathalie you have created a heart memory. Mary Helen

Yvonne said...

So beautiful, story and all. Thanks for sharing.

Lorrie said...

What a beautiful and meaningful gift. The reaction of your SIL says it all.

Linda said...

How beautiful! I know she treasures you! That verse is a favorite of I know it also uses the word bottle in the New American Standard version.... what I have!!! (Ryrie Study Bible)

Margaret said...

Beautiful gift Nathalie, I can totally understand your SIL getting all teary, so special!

Ann said...

such a beautiful,personal gift!! your SIL must be one special woman...aren't you lucky!!
You put so much love into this gift. You must be very special to her also!

Limner said...

How lovely! I use the little stoppered bottles, but mine aren't decorated half as creatively. And I like the idea of the verse. You gave me an idea for a new tears verse! Your blog is always an inspiration. Thank you.

Jill said...

:) and I know from experience that God was working through your creative hands to bless your sister in law. And, you were blessed in the process. Praise God! Now, I think I will go underline that verse in my Bible.

~*~Patty S said...

such a special gift of the heART Nathalie...and leave it to you to elevate the brown paper bag too!

Anonymous said...

Such a 'heartfelt' gift, Nathalie! She is so blessed to have you in her life, as you seem to be having her in yours!
Thank you for sharing with us!