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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Rusting Items
Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rusting Items

This recipe will nicely rust safety pins, jingle bells, or anything else you want to 'age' for your primitive creations.The most important thing to remember about rusting, is that you will want to buy the cheap brand of pins, safety pins, bells..ect that you can find. The more expensive brands have a shellac coating on them that you will have to sand off before rusting. Makes sure they are NOT brass either -brass will not rust.Do this outside away from children and pets.....the fumes are terrible !

1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup bleach
1 teaspoon salt

Directions :Combine the ingredients in an old quart jar.Add items you want to rust and cover loosely - place in a safe spot and let set for at least 2 days.Line a tray with a couple of layers of paper towel and remove the items with an old fork from the mixture. place in the sunshine .......the items will begin to rust as they dry. Move them around so that they dry on all sides.Perfectly rusted bells, pins, and any other item you wish to rust.

Caution: do not throw the mixture down the sink- dispose of properly where no animal or child could come in contact with.

Written and submitted by Debbie-
Two Old Crows

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posted by Debbie- Two Old Crows ( @ 1:25 PM   0 comments
Painting Pavers and Bricks
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Porch pals and critters are easy to paint and are alot of fun. Paving stones and bricks can be found at your local garden/ landscaping center such as Lowe's or Home Depot. They are very inexpensive usually around 59 cents each. I love the ones painted in the book Porch Pals and Yard Critters by Maureen Hart. For my porch this summer I am painting the lady bugs found in this book but there are about 16 other critters to paint and she even has another book full of them.

Tracing paper
Graphite paper
Acrylic and/or latex paint in the colors desired
Stiff brush ( preferably an old brush since painting the pavers is very hard on brushes so be sure not to use your good brushes. I also do not use sponge brushes since the surface tends to tear them up)
All purpose sealer
Exterior varnish

1. If you are using an old brick or paver wash with soapy water and let dry thoroughly
2. Apply a coat of the all purpose sealer and let dry thoroughly
3. Basecoat your brick or paver with the desired color. I have found that if you load your brush heavily and dab like when stenciling you will get much better coverage. You may need 2-3 coats for complete coverage
4. Transfer any details to the paver using your traced pattern and graphite paper or just draw the details on free hand lightly with a pencil
5. Paint all details and let the piece dry thoroughly
6. Remove all pencil marks and then varnish with an exterior varnish 2-3 coats before placing outside

You will find that these are fun and easy to make and very addictive. Just let your imagination
creativity run wild !

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posted by Debbie- Two Old Crows ( @ 8:29 AM   0 comments
Claiming my blog
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Im claiming my blog at Technorati Profile Your might want to claim yours too !
posted by Debbie- Two Old Crows ( @ 10:21 AM   0 comments
Two Old Crows Flea Market Finds
Have you had a chance to visit my blog Two Old Crows Flea Market Finds.
Its a blog I started to tell you about all how to shop flea markets, auctions and estate sales. It also tells how to care for the items you find and how you can decorate with them. I also include information about collectibles. This blog is growing all the time so take a minute and take a peek !

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posted by Debbie- Two Old Crows ( @ 8:42 AM   0 comments
Tin Can Luminaries
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
These simple tin can luminaries look great hanging in the trees or placed upon your porch and patio on summer nights. You can create an entire group of them for very little cost and by using citronella candles they will serve a double feature of keeping the bugs away. This is a fun project and can be done with the entire family.
I will also be sharing with you how to rust the can or paint a rust faux finish on them.

Materials for Tin Can Luminaries:

Several heavy tin cans of various sizes
Awl and nails of various sizes – this will give you different sizes of holes in your tin cans
Heavy wire like mechanical wire if you wish to hang them
Flathead screwdriver
Needle nose pliers
Permanent marker
Design you wish ….I used stars of various sizes cut out of paper and then taped them on the can.
Old Towel

1.Soak and scrub the labels off the tin cans. Soak the cans in a solution of diluted bleach this will remove any odor. Check the interior lip of the can for rough edges left by the can opener and use the flathead screwdriver to press down any you find
2. Draw the design you wish on to the can with a permanent marker remembering you want a very simple design .I placed different sized stars randomly all over the tin can. Shapes can be found on the internet by googling the shape you wish.
3. Fill the tin cans with water leaving about 1 inch at the top. Place them in the freezer and freeze completely. By freezing water in the can it will help the can to keep its shape when pounding the awl or nail into it.
4. When the water is completely frozen place the can on an old towel to keep it from slipping and for padding. Now with the awl and hammer begin to pierce through your design. By using the awl and different sizes of nails you will get different sized holes.
5. If you wish to hang your luminary make a couple of holes at the top. These holes will be for stringing the mechanical wire through if you wish to hang

To Rust Your Luminaries

Fine grade sandpaper
Household bleach
Cider vinegar
Plastic mixing container- a gallon milk jug works great just cut the top of
Pair of tongs

1. Sand the tin can with a fine grit sandpaper to remove the shininess.
1.Mix two parts bleach to one part vinegar in the plastic container. Mix enough to completely cover the can
2.Drop the tin can carefully into the solution and wait at least 30 minutes
3. Using the tongs carefully remove the can from the solution the item will not look rusty and let dry the rust will appear as it is drying.
4. Seal with a matte spray finish

To Paint a Rust Faux Finish

Sand paper
Spray paint- black
Acrylic paint- terra cotta, red iron oxide, burnt umber, raw sienna
Sea Sponge
Krylon matte varnish spray


1.Make sure your cans are completely clean and dry.
2.Rough the surface up a bit with sandpaper and spray with flat black paint or a rust colored spray paint.
3.Make puddles of terra cotta, red iron oxide, burnt umber, pewter gray and raw sienna acrylic paint on a paper plate.
4.With a sponge dab into a color then onto a paper towel and then onto the can. Just keep dabbing with a light touch mixing the different colors together on the can till you get the desired look of rust.
5.Now sprinkle some cinnamon onto a paper plate and dab a clean sponge into. Dab this on to the can while the paint is still wet. This will give it that textured rust look.
6.You may have to clean out your holes a bit with a toothpick from the paint and cinnamon
7.Let the can completely dry then spray with Krylon matte finish varnish.

Now add about an inch of sand into the can and place your votive candle down into it. You can substitute a piece of clay about an inch thick and secure the votive candle
into it.

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posted by Debbie- Two Old Crows ( @ 10:31 AM   0 comments
Little Wagon
Sunday, June 03, 2007

Ive been doing a lot of outside gardening this spring and just wanted to share this old child's wagon that I cleaned up and then painted. I just love the way it turned out for my front yard filled with geraniums, marigold and what that other little plant is I have no idea.....found it at the mark down part of the nursery with no label.....if anyone knows let me know.


posted by Debbie- Two Old Crows ( @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
Building a Terranium

Today while at my local nursery I wandered inside into the greenhouse where they keep all the indoor plants and found the neatest little rabbit foot's fern that I just couldn't resist . Wondering what I could do I remember a large clear bowl I had at home and decided to make a simple terranium to place on one of my bookcase shelves in the living room. I love terraniums because they take so little care and are so easy and simple to do. Here are the simple directions for what I did to make it.

1. Clean and dry the bowl completely
2. Place some clean rocks in the bottom, then add charcoal ( the charcoal stops mold from growing in this damp environment you create inside the bowl) then just enough potting soil for the plant.
3. Remove the fern from its plastic container and place into the soil.
4. Give just a bit of water and wipe the smudges off the bowl.

Thats all I did - most terraniums have a lid but this one wont so I will have to water more often- just be sure you dont over water !

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posted by Debbie- Two Old Crows ( @ 6:48 AM   0 comments
About Us

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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