• Tandose Sambo

Effortless Living: The Rum Bottle Vase

Welcome back to the blog,

A great sage once said..."We are all creators". As someone who's well aware of the brain dominance theory...and who realizes that if you only utilize one half of your brain's hemispheres you'll miss out on the power of the other half of your brain...I started crafting again a year ago...influenced by the quietude of the pandemic. The educational system is designed to favor the left hemisphere or the logic center of your being, which means that if you're not intentional about exercising the right half of your will stifle your creativity and downplay your intuition.

Admittedly, there's been two times in my life when my left brain dominated my being...and these are : a) When I was doing my MSc in ChemE b) When I started working as a ChemE. I'm sure that I'm not the only person who ended up putting hobbies aside when we felt that our jobs were the be all and the be all of our beings. only a third of our lives. After I settled into my work flow...I resumed my exercise habits, and started creating once again. The lessons learned from this exercise include creating time for art regardless of my stage of life. Art connects you to your higher self and you have a greater appreciation of life.

My Quarantine the art of decorating rum bottles. I'm sure in time my artistic focus will shift...but as long as I'm in my current environment...per unit time...another unit will be produced...and I'll be compelled to design it with any supplies that I have in the house. This week, we are focusing on my Worthy Park Estate Rum Bottle acquired during our New Year's Party. This bottle was finished during our domino game and I gratefully received it! You have to be receptive in life!!

As a start...the bottle was soaked overnight...and with the label removed...the initial bottle actually made a really nice clear vase. As someone born under the sign of Leo...there's an extra sprinkle of extra-ness embedded in our beings. Bearing in mind that my favorite word at 15 was pizzazz...I couldn't just keep the vase as it was. I kept my initial arrangement (shown above) for a week. As a crafter who watches craft videos on intuition was leaning towards actually decoupaging my bottle. As any crafter will tell you...the initial thought for a not the actual outcome of the project. I'd wanted to decoupage the bottle with some really fancy paper...that I'd have to travel to the other side of Kingston to get. Every time I thought about going...I felt internal resistance. After much pondering...while I was out shopping, I realized that right down the hallway...were some decor magazines, and I figured that if I searched them, I'd be able to find some designs that will work best for my vase. The idea actually worked...

From the magazine, I was able to find the baseline hues that worked for the bottle. I want more Earth toned elements, so I took the time to search for colours that were brown, blue and yellow in hue. The colours are actually complimentary, so I grouped them together. To add some dimension, I took the time to actually incorporate a mosaic design. If you'd like to do a craft project like this you'll need:

1) A bottle or a vase. If you don't have a bottle on can always pick one up from the craft shop, or wait till you open your next wine bottle and save it for your project. Affordable vases are in places like Woolworth's and Liguanea Drug and Garden if you are in the Kingston area. The Dollar Tree also has glass vases for days.

2) Decorative paper. You don't need wrapping paper for this project. If you look through magazines, you'll be able to find a design that works best for you. You are making a mosaic, and you want to have different textures and tones of your paper. If you have coloured paper, that will work great as well. Find the design that will work best for your decor. Since I have wooden furniture, the Earth tones will actually work for me. You don't even need scissors. Just tear the paper into small pieces, and soak in some water.

3) Glue solution. I use water based glue because I want to be able to change my design from time to time. To change the design, you will just soak your bottle over night, and the water will remove the initial design and give you a blank slate to create for the new season. Create a glue solution with about a 3 parts water to 1 part glue solution. It should be cloudy.

4) Protective paper for your table, a container for mixing your glue solution, one glass of water.


1) Organize all your craft items in one space. I usually have my items at one table, so that I'll be able to do everything in one sitting. As the productivity queen, it's always best to have all your tools in one place, so that you don't have to be getting up to find items in the middle of your project. Just have everything organized and you'll have a smooth project. I like to craft in an open space, so I sit on my verandah.

2) If you don't have a design, don't worry...just open a magazine, and you'll find inspiration. Find a base colour, and the rest of the vision will unfold. Tear your papers into small pieces once you've found them. This part of the process is actually a therapeutic one. It took me about half an hour to have all the pieces ready. Creation should be an effortless thing. You don't have to be perfect.

3) Soak your papers in some water to soften them. This takes about five minutes.

4) Transfer the papers to your glue solution.

5) Arrange the papers in your mosaic pattern as you desire.

6) Let the bottle dry. I did this in the morning...and just let the bottle dry while I worked during the day. At 5pm, I returned to my project and put it all together.


And here it is. The reveal of the finished product. The original vase requires fresh flowers, but with the new design, I've incorporated some pine sprigs. Pine makes good potpourri, so I'm not having to worry about changing the flowers every week.


How do you intend to tap into your less dominant brain hemisphere? If you're left brained, how will you tap into your right brain and be creative? If you're right brained, what logic based activity such as coding can you do? There's a reason that you have the two centers of your brain. You grow what you use.

I love you for reading!!


**Dr T**

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