Two Old Crows Folk Art Tips

Sharing the tips and techniques we have learned over the years with other in the hope of sparking their imagination and inspiring them to create
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"What I know is, is that if you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come."
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Mirror Mirror
If you're interested in seeing your creations - graphic or otherwise - in an objective way, hold the item up in front of and facing a mirror from a distance of 3 to 5 feet.. You'll be better able to critique your item and tell where another detail may be added, or another color repeated, or an area needs to be broken up with an addition of something.I rely on this method with everything I make and it never fails to give me success!
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How to Make Grubby Tags
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Making Your Own Grubby Tags

Grubby tags are a great addition to any primitive or country project. They can be used as tags on baskets, packages or even as Christmas ornaments too. You can make them as elaborate or as simple as you wish with decorating. The directions below are for the simple basic grubby background to the tag.

3x5 index cards ( You can substitute boughten shipping tags but I like using index cards - they are less expensive and you can make them any shape or size you want.)
3 heaping tablespoons of instant coffee ( the more expensive brands will give you a darker color - if you use a cheaper brand you may want to add more)
1 cup of boiling water
Few drops of vanilla ( I like vanilla for a scent, but do use cinnamon oil at Christmas time...the choice of scents is yours)

Cut the index cards into the shape you want and punch a hole in the top ( I have used star shapes, Christmas trees, bells, snowflakes besides the standard tag shapes)
Mix the hot water, instant coffee and vanilla well then apply with a sponge brush to both sides of the tag place on a drying rack to dry ( I use an old window screen but a baking rack will work also)
Let the tags dry thoroughly turning them over a couple of times .
If they dry to light you can restain them.
To hurry up this process place them on a cookie sheet in a low temperature oven for a few minutes
If you would like the tags to have a motley effect spray them with a bit of water before completely dry.
Should the tags curl up ( I find this happens more often when I dry them in the oven) press them with a old iron on the cotton setting ( a pressing cloth may be used if you dont have an old iron)
You should also stain the string you use - embroidery thread may also be used as string as well as torn homespun or raffia

Once they are completely dry the fun begins. Writing should be done with a permanent sharpie marker. Embellishments such as mica flakes, buttons, rubber stamping, bottle caps, vintage copies of photos, vintage images can all be used. Also like to paint on the tags with acrylics. If I do more than just write on them I do modge podge them. If the items you add seem to light colored just add some of the staining mixture to them with a q-tip.

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posted by Debbie- Two Old Crows ( @ 3:25 PM  
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About Us: Two Old Crows was named for Debbie and Dean because we are old and grumpy. We enjoy scouring flea markets, antique shops and estate sales for vintage and antique items to mix with the folk art we create.
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