Some one -- I have no idea whom -- occasionally discards a few items of trash in the extreme end corner of my yard, near the side walk. This doesn't happen all that often. But it's invariably the same collection of stuff, namely a few empty 4.5 oz. bottles of Sutter Home white zinfandel, and an empty Newport cigarette pack. Perhaps some young person in my neighborhood simply finds this a convenient place to jettison the spoils of a pleasant evening stroll before returning home. But in any event, this has been an infrequent, but consistent, phenomenon over the course of the past few years.
Sutter Home white zinfandel and Absolut Apeach bottles reposing in the shade of one of my pine trees about two days ago.
In the past, I'd simply curse a little, pick the bottles up, and drop them in my recycling bin. However, during my last clean-up of the yard, it struck me that these bottles are precisely the same kind I'd pay money for in an antique shop, as small decorative window bottles for floral clippings.
I had just collected a total of four Sutter Home bottles, as well as the small Absolut bottle shown in the photo above, when this revelation struck. I peeled their labels off, soaked them in a bucket of hot, soapy water for a while, and then used a Scotchbright pad to remove the sticky residue left behind by the labels.
The cleansed, de-labeled bottles in my dining room. One has water and a few herbal cuttings. The others look strangely deformed, but it's just the light refracting on their surfaces. The Absolut Apeach bottle has an interesting orange-peach color to it, though it's clearly sprayed on, and some of it came off with the label.
The result was just as I had hoped; they worked perfectly well in their new role as window bottles. They're just the right size, and look great in the sun. And since they're clear glass, having a little color is simply a matter of adding some food coloring to the water.
The Sutter Home bottles nicely fit in this tin bottle base, which I had purchased a while back from a place called The Country House.
Placing the wine bottle between two of the broad-necked bottles that originally came with the base also makes a nice arrangement.
So, whomever you are, public drinker & litterer, who occasionally deposits your refuse in my yard, I'd like to thank you for contributing in a small, but meaningful way, to the beautification of my home. And on the odd chance that you happen to be reading this blog, I'd like you to know that it's okay to continue leaving small wine bottles under my pine tree, as long as you don't break anything or cause any mischief (and I actually don't think you ever will). But I could, however, do without the Newports.
Just a random shot of a corner of my dining room.