Monday, August 31, 2009

Faux Caramel Apples

Create and Decorate is a wonderful craft magazine full of painting, stitchery, dolls, rug hooking and paper crafting patterns of all kinds. I enjoy looking at it every month and always find something I want to make . So be sure to either subscribe or look for it at your local grocery store ( great way to sneak a magazine in on the grocery bill )

It wouldn't be fall without caramel apples and though you can't eat these they would be great to decorate the kitchen counter with a plateful ! Char of The Pickled Pepper had these featured in the October Issue of Create and Decorate but has also been kind enough to share how to make these with those of us who couldnt find the magazine on her blog with a download on the right hand side. I can't wait to try making these and wonder if Dean will be fooled and try to take a bite out of one

Stolloween Pumpkins

These pumpkins have got to be some of the most unique and different one I have ever seen and I want some- they are going to be a weekend project of mine the first one in October wish me luck

The Pumpkins are created from plastic trash bags, newspaper, cardboard and two different papier mache techniques. The Pumpkin was originally designed as an entry into a prop building contest then evolved into the subject of several papier mache workshops and finally has become a very popular DIY Halloween project among enthusiasts

You can find the complete pictorial tutorial at Stolloween Iwill let you know how they come out and if I survive all the paper mache

Halloween Lights

I love to put up lights at Halloween but find that they can become quite expensive. Carol Duval in the following video( show you how to make a set of light using a strand of expensive twinkle light and a rubber stamped image. I dont see why you could submit a clip art image for this and it work the same.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sweet Potato Garland

Sweet potato garland is a wonderful accent to primitive or country decor. Stringed sweet potato garland is perfect for hanging on a primitive tree or as garland on a fire place or doorway. I don’t suggest putting it outside unless you don’t mind the varmit and birds eating it.

Sweet potatoes ( you can use regular potatoes)
Instant coffee
Spices- nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon
Cotton string

First make your coffee staining mixture :
3 heaping tablespoons of instant coffee (I have found that the more expensive coffee gives a deeper stain)
1 cup of boiling water
Mix the two and let steep for a few minutes

Stain your piece of cotton string with this mixture by dipping it in and letting it dry ( I would not do a garland more than 6 feet long) dry this completely.
Do not peel the potatoes but just cut into 1 inch cubes
Mix equal amounts of your spices together in a pie pan
Soak the cubes of potatoes in the coffee mixture then roll them in the spices covering thoroughly ( I like to roll them all once and then roll again)
Tightly string the cubes together because they will shrink while drying

You can let these air dry or place in a 150 degree on a cookie sheet. Be sure to keep checking and scrunching them together as they dry to prevent gaps. ( Have found they are impossible to move on the string after drying)

These are a wonderful addition for fall decorating

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Witches Shoes

Isnt this just adorable...and cant you think of all kinds of ways to use this during and after the Halloween season. Ive never tried making a paper shoe before but this is one Im going to have to try- can just see them filled with treats for co-workers at an office or as a teachers gift. Cindy at Skip to My Lou as been kind enough to share the download for a template and the directions for making these.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tin Luminaries

These simple tin can luminaries look great hanging in the trees or placed upon your porch or along your sidewalk . By painting these orange and black and using halloween silhouettes you can create an entire group of them for very little cost 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. This year Ive bought those battery operated little lights eliminating the hazard of candles completely.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bingo Cards

Arent these wonderful and on Cheeky Magpies blog she also shares other great ones...I love the fall one that says ACORN and even a blank set up to make your own. I can find all kinds of uses for these in my crafting especially the altered art passion my dealing with right now -there are little snips of paper all over the house and glue stuck to everything !

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jack-o-Lantern Pails

I just had to share these with you. The picture is from Country Living Magazine...arent they wonderful. I now know what Im going to do with some of those old buckets I picked up at yard sales this summer that are stored out in the garage. You could easily do this with little buckets too....wouldnt they make great Trick or Treat buckets !

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Halloween Stash Giveaway

The Halloween Stash Giveaway grows larger and Dean is doing a happy dance about the stuff Im having to giveaway . All you have to do to enter the drawing is become a follower of this blog or my blog on facebook- you can do so by joining either in the right column. Some of the things included are as follows
10 yards of black crepe paper streamer
10 yards of orange crepe paper streamer
3 black chenille bump pipe cleaners
3 orange chenille bump pipe cleaners
4 tinsel pipe cleaners
some white and black buttons
1 vintage bingo card
5 scrabble times
2 black dominos
3 white dominos
3 mailing tags
3 round metal tags
vintage postcard images
a set of tags from Seneca pond
16 Halloween word cards
6 yards of black chenille yarn
2 old wooden spools
10 pages from a 1945 dictionary
5 blank orange ticket stubs
Everytime I get 15 new followers I will add something else to the stash until September 15 when I draw the winner.

Glttered Pedestal Platform

Sometimes you have a Halloween item that just needs a little more displaying . This video is from one of Martha Stewarts shows last year Glittered Pedestal . Its with the "Glitter Fairy " Laurie Davis. . The glittered pedestal display is made from a wooden candle stick and paper plates. They are really easy and simple to make and great for displaying Halloween decorations. I found it best to glue three or four plates together.. much stronger and firmer. Remember this one for different ideas because it looks lovely in any color of glitter. I need to find the directions for making glitter at home .......its really easy and cheap.....hows that for a teaser !

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pumpkin on a Rusty Pocket

Sue Allemand has been kind enough to share another one of her great patterns. Isnt. this cute ! I can just see it hanging on a door or out on the porch. You can find this pattern on her wonderful blog Free Paintin Patterns where she also shares other painting patterns from various artist. I just love that people are so sharing on the internet

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Printing on Fabric

Printing on fabric is very easy if you follow a few simple steps. It will allow you to place words and images on muslin and other lightweight fabrics to use while crafting.

Muslin or light fabric ( should be a light color to see the print)
Freezer paperPrinter( your printer must be a inkjet printer do not use a lazer printer it will melt the freezer paper and ruin your printer)

Choose you image and set it to the desired size using the photo editor you have on your computer.
Choose your fabric- if you are wanting your fabric tea or coffee stained you must do this before you print on it
Cut a piece of freeze paper and a piece of fabric to 8 ½ x 11inches- the same size as your printer paper
Lay the freezer paper shiny side down on to the fabric and iron with a hot iron but no steam
Trim off any stray threads so they wont get caught in your computer
Place the fabric/freezer sheet you just made fabric side down into your computer and choose the image you have saved onto your computer.
Now print using the cardstock setting.
Peel off the freezer paper and heat set the image with a hot dry iron

There are tons of ways you can use the printed fabrics in altered art, doll’s, Ornies, tags and pillows. The possibilities are endless ! I personally use it for printing words on to fabric,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Adding Glitter to Crepe Paper

I just love the way glitter give crepe paper some sparkle. My favorite glitter is by Martha Stewart and can be bought at Michaels. When I first started putting glitter on crepe paper I had a real mess, the glue was everywhere and the glitter was very uneven- it really looked crappy !
But then I found this great tutorial by Thrifty Goodness. Her directions and pictures make this so much simpler and easier to do. So grab so crepe paper and a little glitter and glue and get busy crafting.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Paper Medallion Tutorial

The Pink Persimmon has a wonderful tutorial on paper medallions. Her pictures and directions make it so easy to follow and I can find alot of ways to use these in my paper crafting. Trying making a few and please share what you do with them I would love to see it !

Halloween Stash Giveaway

These wonderful tag images are from Seneca Pond- I just love her things and hope you do to. This set of tags is being added to the Halloween Stash giveaway because I have 15 new followers.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rusting Items

I received an email about rusting items. I think the main problem that most people have at home when rusting pins, bells, etc. is that they lack patience. It is important that you give the items time enough to soak in the solution and time enough to dry. This recipe will nicely rust safety pins, jingle bells, or anything else you want to

1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup bleach1 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.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vintage Sheet Music

Sheet music at one time was a part of evening entertainment much like the television is today,it could be found in almost every home. These sheets of music placed upon the piano where more often than not decorated with the soft smiling faces of musicians, famous actors and actresses, wartime patroitism, elaborate and colorful illustrations.

Today stacks of sheet music can be found at flea markets, antique stores and estate sales. You might want to take few moments to look through them and will find their appeal as I have. They are usually only a few dollars and usually something can be found to fit in with any decor. Old Halloween sheet music is a great addition to your Halloween decor.

Most pieces of sheet music will fit in a standard 11x14 inch frame with a little bit of a board. They can also be matted and placed in a larger frame or in collaged into groups. So if you are looking for an inexpensive piece for your wall and to put a little music into life take the time to look through a pile of vintage sheet music- you might just find one that hits the right note !

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Free Fall Stitchery

Don't you just love both of these ! Sue Allemand has been kind enough to share all three of these patterns with all of us on her blog Free Stitchin Patterns. They are a great way to use up some of those wool felt scraps you have left over and would be wonderful for your own home or to give as a gift. Thanks again Sue for sharing.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Stash Give Away

I've decided to share some of my Halloween craft stash. All you have to do to enter the drawing is become a follower of this blog or my blog on facebook- you can do so by joining either in the right column. Some of the things included are as follows
10 yards of black crepe paper streamer
10 yards of orange crepe paper streamer
3 black chenille bump pipe cleaners
3 orange chenille bump pipe cleaners
4 tinsel pipe cleaners
some white and black buttons
1 vintage bingo card
5 scrabble times
2 black dominos
3 white dominos
3 mailing tags
3 round metal tags
vintage postcard images
Everytime I get 15 new followers I will add something else to the stash until September 15 when I draw the winner.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Paper Mache Pumpkins

I love the old vintage jack o lanterns from the 1930s but when pricing them in antique shops and ebay found them to be way out of my price range. But you can make them very simple at home with a few very inexpensive items many of them you probably already have. Just a warning once you start these become very addictive.

Old newspapers torn into 1" to 2" strips ( by tearing instead of cutting you will not get as many rough edges)

For the paste:
2 cups water
1 cup flour
½ cup white glue
A balloon for each one you want to make
Acrylic paint- color you wish you pumpkin to be
White tissue paper and markers for face
Sponge brush and other paint brushes for details
Exacto knife


Inflate your balloon to the desired size you wish your jack-o-lantern to be and tie a string at the mouth piece this is so you can hang it up to let it dry

Mix the water, flour and white glue to make a paste and then dip your newspaper scraps into it. Remove the excess paste by running the scrap through your fingers.

Cover the ballon entirely with these scraps for two to three layers.

When completely covered hang up by the string until completely dry

When the paper mache is completely dry pop the balloon. It will shrivel up and pull away from the paper mache. To make the jack o lantern stand up crush in the bottom

With and exacto knife cut a circle at the top for the opening

Draw and face on the jack o lantern and then cut with an exacto knife

Paint the jack-o-lantern with acrylic paint the traditional old ones are orange on the outside and yellow on the inside. If you wish it to look older after the paint dries antique with some brown shoe polish.

Caution do not use real candles in these they are highly inflammable

Friday, August 14, 2009

Halloween Stars

I can see so many places that I could hang these stars ! You can find the pattern and directions for making them at

Vintage Halloween Stars

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Halloween Garland

The Kansas City Etsy Street Team is a Kansas City based team of artists and artisans who work together to promote and support one another in their artistic endeavors. They are offering the directions to this wonderful Halloween garland on the blog Kansas City Etsy StreetTeam

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


~By Harry Behn

Tonight is the night

When dead leaves flyLike witches on switches

Across the sky,

When elf and sprite

Flit through the night

On a moony sheen.

Tonight is the night

When leaves make a sound

Like a gnome in his home

Under the ground,

When spooks and trolls

Creep out of holes

Mossy and green.

Tonight is the night

When pumpkins stare

Through sheaves and leaves

Everywhere,When ghouls and ghost

And goblin host

Dance round their queen.

It's Halloween.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Halloween Gourd

Today I have been busy painting away. This is just one of the gourds I will be offering in my "Vintage Halloween Collection 2009"

Have a great day
Two Old Crows

Monday, August 10, 2009


Today I took another plunge and signed up for a facebook fan page. As usual it was not the easiest for me the computer illiterate to get everything up and running- but final I think Ive got it right. I would love for you to become a fan so just click on the facebook page in the left column and join me. ( Oh yes that really is me- lol)

Two Old Crows

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Preserving Fall Leaves

Fall is a wonderful time for a walk and we all see leaves that we wish that we could keep forever, now we can by one of the methods below. Choose beautiful fall leaves for their shape and color and avoid leaves with imperfections. It is better to pick leaves or branches directly from the tree rather than from the ground-these are already dry. Each method has its merits and all are very simple- so take time for that fall walk and find some leaves to decorate with !

Pressing Leaves in a Book
This is probably the simplest method if you are just wanting to save a couple of leaves. Take an old thick book and place the leaves between the pages making sure they are completely flat- it will take a few days to dry but will last for many weeks and retain their wonderful color.

Pressing Leaves with Wax Paper
Place the leaves between two layers of wax paper and cover with a old towel or cloth rag. Press the fabric with a warm iron sealing the leaves between the two layers of wax paper. Let cool and cut out the leaves carefully.

Microwaving Leaves
Choose the freshest leaves with the brightest colors do not use fallen leaves. Place each leaf between two sheets of paper towel in the microwave and cover with another sheet of paper towel. Run the microwave for 30-180 seconds-check often and be careful you can start a fire. If the leaves curl up after removal they are not dry enough. If they are scorched you have left them for too long. Let the leaves dry flat for a couple of days and spray with a sealant

Preserving Leaves with Glycerin
This is my personal favorite method and I have found that it works the best. To preserve leaves on the branch set the branch stem in a bucket of water for about 1 1/2 hour. Mix 2 parts water and 1 part glycerin in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Cut the stems of the branches at an angle ans smash so that they can absorb more glycerin solution. Place the stems in the glycerin solution and store in a cool place. When you see beads of glycerin on the leaves remove and wipe each leaf with a clean paper towel. Hang go dry. To preserve individual leaves remove any debris from the laves. Bring the mixture of 1 part glycerin and 2 parts water to a boil in a saucepan. Pour the mixture into a heat proof container and submerge the leaves. Keep the leaves covered in a dark cool place until the leaves start to change color. Remove the leaves and dry with a paper towel.

All of the above methods work. The leaves I have preserved with glycerin have lasted many years and I often find a leaf pressed in an old book. If I just want to bring some branches in and place in a vase. I just add 1/2 teaspoon of glycerin to the water and change weekly. Glycerin can be found in any drug store.

Happy Fall Decorating !


Fall is probably my most favorite time of the year with the crispness in the air and the vibrant colors of the trees. I love Halloween and all the decorations full of bats, cats, ghost and witches and don't you just love the way black and orange look. There are so many great crafts and recipes for this time of the year so I decided to start this blog which will be filled with recipes, patterns and crafts for the fall season and Halloween holiday. If you have something you would like to share please email me