27 May 2012

Giveaway: Diamond Jubilee


It's been a busy one here today, despite being a Sunday every body's been up since about 6.30. Yuck.
The parents are heading off on holiday leaving the lives and general well being of the dog, tortoise and invalid sister in my hands for a week. Ha! This can only end well...

Anyway, before I head off to bask in the sun with the reptile lets get to the goodies!

As some of you will have seen on Friday we're half way through a 2 part Jubilee project. We've got the party tent up, hung some decorations, now we just need to fill with copious amounts of cake and bubbly. (Coming next week!)

To help prepare your own small scale celebration I've got x 1 Jubilee party box to give away.

The little crate contains:
x2 Union jack flags
x2 lacy doilies
x2 Vintage stamp cut outs
x1 Bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne

I'm also giving away x 2 London tea towels to two runners up, because you can never have too many tea towels.

The crate, flags, champagne and tea towels are made by Shepherd Miniatures
Doilies were found on ebay
Vintage stamp cutouts as featured on the blog a few weeks ago.

So, for a chance to win some tiny goodies all you need to do is leave a little comment on this post saying hello, please feel free to share links to your own blogs, etsy stores etc. I like a good nosey!!

The first name drawn from the hat will win the box of party goodness, the second and third names will each win a 'London' tea towel.


I'll draw the winners next Sunday.
Good luck!!

25 May 2012

Week 21: Jubilee Garden Party - Part 1


So, it's nearly Jubilee time. I'm aware some people may not be that into the Royal family so maybe just re-interpret it as a summer/garden theme if you're not celebrating Liz's 60th?!

I am very much a fan of the Royals so in celebration I've prepared a 2 part, Jubilee extravaganza for you. There will also be a little giveaway coming up this Sunday so keep your eyes peeled for some teeny tiny goodies!

Jubilee Garden Party
Part 1:
Paper pom pom decorations

Part 2:
'Home Made' Victoria sponge

This was really intended as a test run for a project later in the year but I was pretty pleased with it so thought we'd give it a whirl. My Dad was the one that actually built the structure so if the instructions are missing any vital, technical information give me a shout and we'll pick his brains!

What I used:
Rectangular section of wood for the base
Packet of wooden BBQ skewers
Dowel rod
Wood glue
Small hand saw
Grass effect sheet
White paint
White, light weight fabric

What I/ Dad did!:
The beauty of the BBQ skewers is that you can make as many cock ups as you like while experimenting with your building technique as they're super cheap and there's hundreds in a pack.
If you want something a little sturdier you could use a thin dowel.

First decide on the shape and size of your gazebo. We went for a rectangular one, though you could try a square.
Mark out the four corner posts on the base, mark the same for a post either side of the front entrance and two more evenly spaced support posts along the back edge of the tent.
Using a small drill bit, drill a hole onto each post point on the base.
Now would be the moment to lay the grass sheet over the base, just make sure you pierce the sheet over each hole you've drilled! Alternatively lay the grass once the structure is in place, it's fiddly but not impossible. (Yes, I learnt the hard way!)

Next, take your dowel rod and measure the length of the gazebo, end to end. Cut the length x3.

Taking care to match up the measurements between the holes drilled into the base, space out the skewers against one section of the dowel. Mark and either glue the skewers in place or, if you're super confident, using a small drill bit to create pilot holes for the skewers in the dowel.

Repeat this for the front panel of the gazebo, ensuring the skewers are positioned evenly and allowing for the front entrance!

Wait for both sections to dry before gluing them in place on the base.

Decide what pitch you want the roof of the gazebo to be before measuring and marking on the final piece of dowel, this will be the middle 'beam' that runs along the top.
If I'm being totally honest Dad did this part by eye so apologies if it's not very comprehensive!
Starting with the back sections take the skewers (cut them down to length according to what pitch you wish the roof to be) and begin gluing in place. We used five skewers sections along each side of the roof.
It's fiddly but worth it, you will need to be quite patient and leave the glue to dry before adding the top dowel beam.Tidy up any rough edges with sand paper and give the whole thing a coat of white paint. I reccomend a Pimms to pass the drying time!

When your structure is finished and dry your ready to start covering it. I actually chopped up an old blouse of my Mum's. It was lovely and white and floaty and had lacy panels across the front which you can now see either side of the gazebo door way!

I only needed to cut three panels for the whole structure, one for each side of the front entrance, the third was cut to cover the entire length, roof and back section of the structure.

It doesn't matter of there's any wonky bits lurking in the structure as they will mostly now be covered up! I glued the fabric directly onto the dowel and supporting skewers, trimming any uneven edges as a I went. If needed you can seal any rough fabric edges with some tacky glue or fray check if you have it.

I attached the the final, large fabric panel at the front, covering up the raw edges of the front entrance fabric panels, this ensures the appearance of the front of the gazebo will be neat and tidy, I waited to fix the rest of the fabric in place until after adding the decorations.
So, that's it as far as building the gazebo goes! Hope it wasn't too vague!
You've now got the venue for your garden party, next it's onto decorations.

Paper pom-poms

I love the look of these full size, be it for birthdays, weddings whatever. I also love that the process of making them in miniature is exactly the same as the real thing. The key is to find the thinnest paper possible. I used tissue paper, but if there's anything even thinner, maybe origami papers (or even cigarette papers?!) use them! Your pom poms will turn out much 'fluffier' looking.

What I used:
Tissue paper in co-ordinating colours
Cotton or thin ribbon

What I did:
Cut 4-6 squares of tissue to equal size and layer them on top of each other.
Begin folding the the layers into a concertina, the same as if you were making a paper fan.
When you've folded the entire square, tie the cotton/ ribbon and secure firmly around the middle of the paper but not so tight that it cuts through the paper!

Fan out each and and now carefully begin separating the layers of tissue from each other.
When you've finished separating all the layers they should have created a lovely, full globe of tissue papery goodness!
Repeat as many times as you wish and secure in place with some tacky wax.

Ta da! Your gazebo is ready, the decorations are up, next week we'll add some party treats and of course bunting. You can't have a Jubilee party without bunting!

Well, I'm very excited, the sun is out I've a day of sorting, organising and some other top secret stuff that I hope very much to be shouting abut this time next week! eeeeeh!
In the meantime, have a lovely weekend, and if you can tear your self away from the sunshine this Sunday pop back to hear all about the giveaway goodies!!

21 May 2012

Shopping: God save the Queen!

The Jubilee (and all those lovely bank holiday's) are just around the corner so thought we'd get a red, white and blue mini fix.
My keys to a successful shindig, miniature or otherwise, involve copious amounts of cake, bubbly and bling, feast your eyes on these little treats.

To start, how about a three tier cake display by True 2scale?

Naturally, where there is cake there must be tea and seeing as it's the Queens birthday the best china is a must. Stokesay Ware have created this gorgeous,  'Jubilee gold' pattern, made in fine bone china, available in both a tea set and dinner service. Gilded in 22k gold this really is a tea set fit for a Queen. Sigh.

Hold the tea, I spy champers. Please pass one a straw!
Bottle of Moet in crate by Cinen

 Cake and diamonds. Need I say more? 
By Blue Kitty Miniatures

 And the crowning glory (excuse the pun!) to the big day...well, your very own crown jewels, obviously. Dolls house emporium have created the ultimate in miniature bling with these teeny replicas. There are three sets to choose from, I of course went for the biggest.
Available in 22k gold or silver and embellished with Swarovski elements. Fabulous.

18 May 2012

Week 20: Super sushi by Frippery Factory

Happy Friday!

After what felt like the slowest week ever I'm very excited to bring you our very first guest blogger, Amelia Schmelzer. Today, the brains (and hands!) behind the Frippery Factory is treating us to a spot of sushi !

As well as sharing some of her mini making secrets Amelia is also offering you lovely readers 10% off any purchases from fripperyfactory.com until July 20th 2012.
Use the code FOURWALLS at checkout. In addition, any order over $25 (not including shipping) will receive a free set of
 rolled sushi (the same design as featured at the Walker Art Centre gift shop, one of the "top 5" US modern art museums) to accompany whatever nigiri sushi you craft. 

She adds "Both of these offers are good for custom work too, so if readers have something in particular they'd like, they can drop me a line here. All of my custom item quotes are free and non-obligatory--absolutely no guilty feelings, guaranteed! :) "

How fab is that?! 

So, without further ado I shall hand you over to Amelia for our trans-Atlantic lunch date, *does a happy dance*

What I used:
Polymer clay in white, translucent, and orange
A point-ended toothpick
A scalpel or craft knife
Clear-drying craft glue, such as Elmer's
A clean, soft paintbrush

What I did:

1. Measure your colors,
  2 parts translucent to one part orange = tuna orange
  4 parts translucent to one part white = tuna white
 1 part translucent to 1 part white = rice white

2. Mix your colors together until they form one homogeneous shade. At this point, it's better to mix too much of any particular color rather than not enough. You can always use leftover clay in another project, but matching a second batch of a color to the first is a tedious process. Roll each color to a sphere once it's mixed.

3. Set aside your rice color
Press the spheres of tuna orange and tuna white into little, flat pancakes

4. Try to square the edges off a little, using your fingernail to press the sides in, and the pad of your finger to flatten everything to an even thickness

5. Stack the orange on top of the white. Press the pancakes together so they form a solid, sturdy seal. If there are air bubbles in your tuna “cane,” you'll be fighting them all the way through your project, so be thorough!

6. Trim off the edges of the stack with your knife, forming a roughly square shape. Set the ends aside for another project.

7.Cut the square in half

8. Stack one half on top of the other, and squish out any air bubbles. Be sure that the colors alternate every other: orange, white, orange, white. Don't worry about smearing colors right now. When we cut slices of tuna, you won't notice them.
Squish the stack until it's half as thick as it was before. Remember: don't worry about smearing colors. Cut the stack in half the long way again. Place one half on top of the other (making sure the colors still alternate) and press out any air bubbles.

9. Press your tuna cane against your workspace on all four long sides so flat edges form. We'll be cutting off the short ends before slicing our actual tuna, so don't worry about them. Place your tuna cane in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. This allows the clay to cool down, meaning the colors won't smear when we go to slice pieces for our sushi.


10. While the tuna chills, cut your rice color into three equal pieces, and roll them into spheres.
Form each sphere into a cylinder, and then flatten all the sides so the cylinder becomes a chubby rectangular shape. You want six defined sides, but they don't need to have sharp corners.

11. Take your toothpick and give it a hard jab against your work surface so the point crumples. We'll use this for creating our textured rice.


12. Using the toothpick, poke texture into the white clay until it resembles sticky rice. Repeat for each of the four exposed sides of the clay. Once you have a texture on all the sides, go back and redefine your corners a little bit. Press some of the rice to the corners so that we know it's a rectangle, not a squished sphere.

13. Repeat for the other two pieces of rice. Retrieve your tuna from the freezer and chop off the smeared, short ends of the cane.

14. Take a moment to marvel at your ingenuity, and make sure you like the way your cane looks. If you don't, keep slicing pieces off until you find a spot you do like.

15. Cut off three slices of tuna. It's ok if the slices get squished a little flat, since we'll be smoothing them out again anyway.


16. Press each slice of tuna into a round-cornered rectangle just as wide as and a little longer than your rice.
Set the tuna on top of the rice, and press down a little to make sure it sticks.
Repeat for the other two sushi. Bake at the suggested temperature for your brand of clay for 15 minutes, or the time recommended for the thickness of your sushi.

17. When cooled, squeeze some craft glue out. Paint the tuna part of each sushi with the glue. Once it's dried, you've got some scrumptious sushi ready for your dollhouse lunch!

Please note: The content and images for this tutorial are the intellectual property of Amelia Schmelzer and should not be used or reproduced in any way without permission. 

15 May 2012

Give a doll a home!

This is one of the few times you will clap eyes on dolls on the blog, as regular readers will know I have mixed feelings about them!

This wasn't always the case,when I first started collecting I did get my mitts on some lovely little ladies to reside in the house and even had a go at dressing/ wigging one or two of them with varied results!

Anyway, I'm having to be ruthless and have a big de-clutter of dolls house supplies as they seem to be taking over the whole house.(Plus I'm desperately trying to raise funds!)Thought i'd start with the poor, evicted dollies. They've been sat in a box for a while now and I know somebody out there can offer them a much better life, and perhaps a new outfit or two?!

So, here are the girls. Click on the picture to be taken to the listing.

I've listed them on ebay for the world to see, however if anybody reading this wishes to buy them, drop me an email and let me know you've come via the blog and postage will be free.

14 May 2012

Stuff & things: Kensington Dolls house festival 2012

As suspected, the KDF was super fab!

Within 10 minutes of arriving my Mum had decided she was going home with a Sid Cooke corner shop. (Confirmation that I have, FINALLY, turned one of my family!!) and I was struggling to muffle very high pitched noises at the sight of some teeny tiny treasures!

We did eventually get a hold of ourselves and enjoyed a lovely few hours admiring all the fantastic pieces on show and caught up with The Dolls house magazine team at their stand. (Hi Team Dolly!) If I listed everything I squealed at we'd run out of time ( and blog space!) but here's a few highlights.

Please note that all photo's were taken with kind permission of the stall holders, if you pinch them I will find you!!
Credits & links at the bottom of this page

P.S After calming down, Mum decided against getting the dolls house until she retires, but at least I know I've worn her down!!


From top left across: Toadstools, pig heads and Frog princes by Georgia Marfels

Plush toy whales, mice, crocodile and lion by Elles miniaturen 

Retro Robot by Truly Scrumptious

Angle Poise lamps by David Provan
Email: david.provan@btinternet.com

Flower-eze kit from Templewood miniatures

Coffee & tea canisters by Stokesay ware

Cabinet by Apollo miniatures
Phone: Roy & Adelee Crouch 020 8647 2091

11 May 2012

Week 19: Vintage stamp transfers

Ooh it's an exciting one today!

This weekend is stuffed full of Birthdays, which = cake, always a reason to be cheerful.
Also, as I mentioned yesterday, its Kensington Dolls House festival this weekend = mega mini fix. Yess!
I've also got some news about next weeks project, but first, on with Week 19...

Both my Granddad's had stamp collections, sadly neither Granddad is with us anymore but the stamp collections have been united and now live happily in Dad's cellar.
The colours and designs of some of these are so pretty, I've been racking my brain for ideas to use them with out destroying them, and so today I bring you vintage stamp transfers!

You will need some basic technology for this one, but I figured as you're already reading this on a computer we should be Ok!

What I used:
Assorted stamps (you could also use photos, magazine cuttings etc)
Scanner/ photocopier + printer
Plain white paper
White fabric
Sharp scissors
Dylon Image maker (available form most craft shops)
Small paint brush
Damp sponge/ cloth

What I did:
First I chose the stamps I wanted to use, went a bit mad as there were so many cool ones but I'm sure I'll use them all eventually!

Next I laid all the stamps face down on the glass of the scanner/ copier (just a bog standard home use one.) and scanned the stamps and saved them to the computer. You can just colour photocopy but scanning means you've got the file saved for future use.

NOTE: If you are using designs with text or numbers on, use a basic image editor on your computer or online to flip the image over. It should now read back to front on your screen. This means that the text will be the correct way round once you've transferred the image to fabric. You will notice that I failed to do this and was kicking myself afterwards!!

When you're ready print the images and cut to size.

Lay your fabric pieces on some grease proof paper and using a small brush apply a generous layer of the image maker all over the printed area of the design you wish to transfer. It should be enough so that the image is clouded but not completely blocked out.

Lay the paper sticky side down onto the fabric, press flat and leave to dry completely.
(I also sandwiched the fabric between grease proof paper and laid a book on top to keep it flat.)

Drying time = One viewing of War horse, (sob-fest!) a trip to do the food shopping and have a bit of a tidy up. All in all, about 4 hours.

When you're ready take a damp sponge and soak the the paper all over. Starting from the center start to gently peel the paper off to reveal the transferred image underneath. Dab any excess moisture off, if there's still residue from the paper use a dry cloth to gently brush any remaining layers away. Don't over do it else you might start to rub off the image!

Seal the image with a thin layer of the image maker and leave to dry.
When the fabric is dry it's ready to be transformed into the mini master piece of your choosing! I went for cushions (here's one I blogged earlier!) and wall canvases but also thinking of little tote bags and upholstery.

So that's that.

Now then, exciting news about next weeks project!!
In a Four Little Walls first I'm very excited to tell you that the lovely Amelia of The Frippery Factory will be guest blogging with a fab, food tutorial for Week 20!!
I'm sure many of you will already be familiar with Amelia's delicious designs, if not, quick! Pop over to her website immediately, if not sooner, and feast your eyes on the many, marvelous, polymer-clay creations.
So looking forward to this!

Phew, well that's enough for one day, have a fab weekend!