Retreat Crafts Revealed

My weekend of crafting in the Redwoods yielded several fun projects. So at the risk of having the longest post ever, I’m sharing some of the goodies I worked on while the other ladies crafted their fantastic family scrapbooks.

Scrapper Linda helped me sort bags of buttons into different colors and I made more book & button flowers. I brought along lots of apothecary bottles and jars and created little nature specimens. Using small bits of excelsior to make nests, I turned and turned strands until they formed nice little bowls and used glue on the bottom to hold them into shape.
I glued very tiny craft store plastic eggs (found in the section where those little mushroom & feather birds are,) into the nests, then pinched and squeezed them down the necks of the narrow bottles and dropped them onto a glob of glue that I’d dropped in moments before. (I prefer clear E6000 adhesive.) If the necks were too narrow, I squeezed in the nests empty, then dropped the eggs in with glue on them. Then using a skewer I poked and prodded the nests back into shape and moved the eggs into place if necessary. (Sort of like building a ship in a bottle.) I also poked in and glued twigs and moss found outside on the ground. For some, I added tiny leaves cut from book pages and ephemera-style labels.

The tiniest is a little salt shaker topped with a paper wrap punch-cut from another book page and Mod-Podge’d on.

Another project I attempted was to sew paper into something 3-dimentional. This tiny purse was my prototype for sewing, I learned a lot of things from this, such as Mod Podge-ing both sides of the paper before sewing would defintely work best. (I had only painted the “podge” on one side of each page the night before.) Also, what parts to assemble first so you’re bending the paper less.

I made more wire bird nests using different colored oval beads taken from bracelets. Those were added to 3 old bottles I labeled.

Finally, I put together 11 more bottles with vintage images, old stamps, miscellaneous ephemera, wire or string and finished with wax seals made from my stash of vintage wax.

The set of 3 wire nest bottles and the set of 11 bottles are now in my Etsy store.

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24 Responses to Retreat Crafts Revealed

  1. #1 - elizabethrosasjewelry says:

    I love the nest in a bottle…so cute. Looks like you had a lot of fun. I want a crafts weekend now too.

  2. #2 - My @ tha Hotness says:

    The bottles are super fantastic. I want them all. 🙂

  3. #3 - The Soladay Family says:

    What precious projects! I love the nests in the bottles and the use of vintage wax! You’ve once again inspired me! I want to try sewing paper, and the modge podge on both sides is an excellent tip!!!

  4. #4 - Melissa says:

    Those bottles are great!

  5. #5 - Splendid Little Stars says:

    Cathe, you are so creative. It’s fun to see what you come up with.

  6. #6 - Kaye at Kaye's Kreative Korner says:

    What fun! Very inspiring, I love the bottles with the tiny nests! I’m going to have to do that! I have some old bottles I haven’t know what to do with!!Thanks for sharing!!!!

  7. #7 - Jenn says:

    Love the details!

  8. #8 - Anonymous says:

    This post reminded me that back the first part of March you did some free labels for Button Bottles. I can get the rounds to come up, but the the one with the long sections to go around the bottle won’t open, what am I doing wrong?

    By the way, love your blog!

  9. #9 - SILVIA says:

    wow, thats really cute!, thank you ….

  10. #10 - La Table De Nana says:

    Beautiful windowscapes!

    How cute!! Each and every one!

  11. #11 - Storybook Woods says:

    Thank you for sharing, these look like a lot of fun. Clarice

  12. #12 - dtarca says:

    Cathe…I’m so glad you made it out last weekend. I so wish I’d have been there to ‘see you in action’! I bet you not only found but provided much inspiration. Glad you had a good time! The friendship those weekends provide is food for the soul…

  13. #13 - Little Lovables says:

    So lovely, I am loving decorating old bottles right now, they look great in windowsills.

    Love your wax seal as well!

  14. #14 - tidymom says:

    I LOVE these Cathe!! Looks like you had lots of FUN!!


  15. #15 - Wendy T. Gibson says:

    Wow! So sweet and clever! Loving the nests! Gave one to my vet on the weekend for taking such good care of our cat and she loves the nests now too! ‘Sweeping North America.’ lol

  16. #16 - Judy says:

    Just love all of your projects,what great fun!

  17. #17 - flatwoodsfolkart says:


    These are absolutely beautiful!!! I have a little collection of bottles and you have just filled my head with inspiration (as usual). *S*


  18. #18 - amyks says:

    the nest in the bottle is so sweet and, of course, who can resist button flowers, fantastic.

  19. #19 - shrin says:

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  20. #20 - jamie says:

    i’m obsessed with these!! i’ve made a bunch of “things in bottles” before too, some of them i posted on my blog. i definitely want to try this nest =)

  21. #21 - carmen mays says:

    I love the things you make. I really love the nests in the bottles.

  22. #22 - Rev Deb says:

    These are fantastic! I just found your blog this evening and clearly, I’ll be spending alot of time here. Thanks for the joyous inspiration!

  23. Very Spring like! I love this use for vintage bottles!

  24. #24 - Victoria Ciolek says:

    i love the idea, and think it’s pretty. However, I’m pretty patient when it comes to crafting, but doing this one, I think I would throw it against a tree before I’d get done. my hat is off to you ladies that can do this!!!