Saturday, October 6, 2012

Devil Firefish Eyeballs

Not only are they potent in brews, but you can pop them in your mouth like grapes for a late night snack when you’re working past the witching hour. 

The bottle is another craft store purchase filled with sticky eyeballs.  As eyeballs go they are not very realistic looking, but I think calling them fisheyes gives them a little more credibility.
The label started with some fish clipart and I just layered them with other stuff that I thought looked cool. Then I had to find a name that would tie all that mess together.  Behold the Devil Firefish, which are not only beautiful, but poisonous, so they should fit right in with the rest of the bottles.  I went a little silly with some fronts I downloaded from  I used Eyesis by Shrine of Isis, Red or dedd and Flame by Fontomen and JI Starfish by Jeri Ingalls.

For the label I used a cereal box as the base.  I glued on one side of the label, lining the middle of the label with a side crease on the box.  It’s just easier to use the nice clean folds that are already there, than making your own.  I cut out the glued label and the remaining label and glued them together. Running a Sharpie along the edge to blacken the exposed cardboard gives it a nice finish.  The label was then attached with raffia threaded through a hole punched in the top corner. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Snake Oil and Spider Venom

Following the first rule of potion labels, I’ve embellished a little.  Snake oil has become Enhydris Chinensis Oil and spider venom has become Phoneutria Arachnid Venom. 

Enhydris Chinensis is the scientific name for Chinese Water Snake and in case I forget that, the fine print says “extracted from Chinese Water Snakes”.  I thought all snake oil was phony, but apparently the real stuff comes from Chinese Water snakes and might actually help with pain and inflammation.  Interesting, but not worth killing snakes over. 
Phoneutria Arachnid is a fancy way of saying Brazilian Wandering Spider, again I can look to the fine print for help translating.  I felt if I was going to have spider venom I might as well go all out and get it from the most venomous spiders.  Don’t look too closely at my bottle, it’s spelled wrong and I haven’t gotten around to redoing it yet. It has been corrected on the printable label. Hey I did get 8 out of 10 letters, that’s passing isn’t it?

A little information about the company, Bloodstone Inc. was established in 1401.  The bloodstone is thought to have healing powers and you might notice they’ve incorporated the ankh into their logo which is the Egyptian symbol for life.  It all ties in with their line of medicinal products.  Alright, that’s a load of rubbish. I like the way the ankh looked with the rose, and the rose is blood red, so I thought blood rose…bloody nose…blood rock…Bloodstone!

The bottles were a craft store purchase. I painted the cork and raffia blood red to match the logo.  This was my first attempt at coloring floral gel water.  I used gel food coloring which didn’t fully mix. There are a few droplets sitting at the bottom, but I just tell myself that’s naturally occurring sediment.   


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Montauk Monster Skull

This is a Montauk Monster Skull from Harrie Skarie’s Rare & Exotic Animals

I’ve had this skull for years, since high school.  One day a boy said, “Hey I’ve got this skull I don’t want anymore, you want it?”, because I guess I’m the kind of girl one naturally thinks of when they have surplus skulls laying around.  Which I must be, because where some girls might have been put off, I was delighted. I displayed it for a while as is, but there was already some damage and missing teeth, so it has spent most of its time safely in storage.  Once I started making potion bottles, displaying it in a jar became a no-brainer. 
The Montauk monster was a hoax, or maybe it wasn’t, but I thought the name fit the skull nicely. I don’t know who Harrie Skarie is, but I’m sure that’s not his real name and I can’t wait to see what other things he has in store for me.

The bottle was a craft store purchase.  The label is plain, I imagine Mr Skarie is a pretty simple guy.  Since I have an ink jet and can’t age my labels with a tea or coffee wash, I used an antiqued background.  The cork was painted black and sponged with metallic green, because I like sparkly.  I added a little raffia around the top and some moss inside to cushion the skull. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mongolian Death Worm

Here we have Mongolian Death Worms, free range for the witch who likes to know that her worms led happy natural lives before their premature demise.  They are bottle by the Triquerta Corporation. 
The Mongolian Death Worm is a real thing, in the same way that the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot are real things.  They live in the Gobi Desert and squirt acid that will dissolve you in a heartbeat.  They tend to be much larger than the ones I have, maybe mine are some sort of designer miniature hybrid for Hollywood hags.
Triquerta is the name of the symbol that appears on the logo, and has different meanings depending on the cultural context, but here it stands for the Triple Goddess:  maiden, mother and crone. 

This is probably a good time to mention Dead Spider.  When I first started thinking about making my own potion bottles, I looked to see what other people were doing and found her site.  She has a fantastic tutorial, which has had a huge influence on me.  I took to heart her advice for embellishing label descriptions.  That is why I have “Mongolian Death Worms” instead of just plain “Worms”.

The bottle is recycled salad dressing.  The worms were an after Halloween clearance find and I decided to use floral water gel to make them “float”. 
Just like the Dragon Blood, it has to be warmed up in a pan of hot water until it liquefies, and then when it cools it becomes solid again.  If you mess up or change your mind as I’m apt to do, you can just reheat and start over. This is the most expensive component that I use, but that’s where those 40% store coupons come in handy and you don’t have to fill your bottles to the top, I think they have a little more character when they look half used.

There was an odd effect created by adding the worms to the gel.  I poured it into the bottle and then waited until it had cooled a bit so the worms wouldn’t sink all the way to the bottom.  After a few hours the water had turned a murky brown and the worms were translucent and puffy looking.  I’m not sure if the color just leached out and the worms swelled with the gel or if they also partially dissolved .  Where part of the worms stick up over the water they are coated just enough to give them a wet, slimy look, all the worm ring definition is still visible, and they’ve been suspended like that for a couple of years now.  This is the same reaction I get with any sticky, stretchy rubber items, but I like the way it looks, so I’ll keep doing it.
For the label I just used my standard technique.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pure Dragon Blood Extract

I thought October 1st would be a fitting day to start a blog about potion bottles.
This was one of my first bottles.  It’s Pure Dragon Blood Extract made by a company called Dark Brew. 
It's an inexpensive glass bottle from Michaels craft store. I swirled some watered down acrylic black paint around the inside to “age” it.  The twine wrapped around the top got the black water treatment and the cork received a coat of straight black. 

The label was designed in PowerPoint, with clip art and fonts from the same.  Maybe someday I’ll get serious and look into something better, but for now it suits my needs. 
I have an ink jet printer, to keep the colors from running I first spray all my labels with a clear acrylic.  After that dries I paint on a layer of acrylic varnish to further protect them and give them a glossy look.
To get the two sides of the label to match up evenly, I roughly cut out around one side and glued it to a cereal box to give it some thickness.  Once it dried I cut out both sides exactly and then glued them together.  The cut edge of the cardboard really stood out so I colored it with a black Sharpie.                                                                                    
The blood is Living Nightmare Gel Blood. I had some leftover from a costume, it makes really nice blood drips. When heated it liquefies and then cools rather quickly back to a solid gel. It’s very red, but it picked up some of the black wash from the bottle which gave it a deeper color.