Every time I’ve been at World Market (not nearly often enough!), I’ve noticed these unique cat-shaped bottles of wine – Moselland Cat Riesling, to be precise.
Now I’m not a drinker (unfortunately an autoimmune disease prevents my imbibing), but I’ve always liked these shapely bottles. While planning an unrelated Day of the Dead project, I searched Etsy for suitable fabric and discovered that someone had painted one of the bottles to look like a sugar skull cat! It was very cool and she did a beautiful job. I showed it to a friend at work who loves cats and Day of the Dead images, and she was enthusiastic. We wondered how difficult it would be to make. What kind of paint would stick to the glass? Would it need a special finish? I decided to find out!
The timing was perfect, as my friend’s birthday was coming up soon and we often give each other handmade gifts (she is an amazing jewelry and clay artist). Now I’ve seen this bottle in many colors over the years, including black, but the only choices at the time were gold, silver or lime green. I went with silver, as I thought it would be the easiest to cover. Dude helped me get the cork out by ingenious use of a power drill (we don’t actually own a corkscrew!), at which time I discovered it is covered in cute cat faces!
I decided to try black spray paint to cover the silver base, ’cause that stuff sticks to just about anything. It worked! From there, I used a Sharpie oil paint pen to draw outlines of bones, flowers, hearts, dots and swirls, then filled them all in with white acrylic paint. It took four coats of white to make a nice opaque surface, after which I went back and added bright colors on top.
The bottle on Etsy has an elegant little mouse that is shaped like a catnip toy between the cat’s legs. I liked the idea but didn’t want to straight-up copy hers, so I made my mouse a little more “cartoony.” The back of the skull on hers has a flaming heart, which is awesome, but since I’d already used a lot of hearts on the front, I went with a butterfly.
The total painting time was about five hours. Every so often I’d take a break; when I came back, it would tell me what else it needed. The original painted bottle looks shiny, but I decided to use a matte finish spray on mine. It helped boost the colors a little while minimizing a reflective surface.
Happy birthday, Leslie! (I hope she likes it.)