29 June 2012

Week 26: Dolls house DIY: Part 2


Today is a bit of a mile stone! We're exactly half way through the 52 week challenge!!!
Only another 26 to go (doesn't this also mean it's a terrifying 24 weeks until...the 'C' word! ??)

Today is essentially about me showing off bits of my dolls houses, specifically bits that I've wallpapered.
Dolls house DIY part 1 was all about the preparation, today is all about making it pretty. Yess!

Flocked, metallic wallpaper in the Big house

What I used:
Wallpapers/ wrapping papers
Metal ruler
Wallpaper paste
Clean, dry cloth
Clean dry sponge

What I did:
I'm sure a lot of you will already know how to hang mini wallpaper so you can just marvel at the pictures (politely ignoring the clearly, unfinished bits!)
For those of you looking for a few pointers, here's mine.
First and foremost, measure up. Then check it. Then check again.
There would be nothing more tragic than running out of paper half way through or finding that you're just an infuriating few centimeters short of what you need!
That being said, if you know you're going to be adding cornice and skirting boards to a room don't fret too much if you can't cut a straight line to save your life. Those wibbly, wobbly edges can be beautifully disguised and no one will ever know.
Orla Keilly wrapping paper as wallpaper in Little house
You will need to be a little more accurate if you're matching patterned papers together. 
Lining up was easy with papers like the flocked gold one here, not so easy wit the Beatrix potter one as there was a huge mural scene running along the bottom. Cutting Tom kitten in half was unavoidable but luckily some strategically placed furniture hides his disfigurement!
Wallpapered study in Big house
When it comes to pasting I prefer to use specialist products, because I know they'll do the job.

I apply a layer of paste both to the wall and the paper as it makes it easier to re-position. 
Using the clean dry cloth I smooth the paper onto the wall making sure I get as many air bubbles out as possible. Make sure the paper has been pushed right into corners and around edges if necessary. Wipe away excess paste with clean tissue or sponge.
Word of warning: if you've used lots of paste or rub the surface of the paper excessively sometimes the colour will come off a little! Fine if you're going for a shabby chic look, not so great if you don't.
(I've found this happens more with dark coloured papers and the chance of it happening with wrapping papers is a slightly less. In my experience at least.)

Bodge job!  Beatrix Potter wallpaper
If you do make a mistake, don't panic! I did a terrible job with Beatrix potter, it was one of the first rooms I decorated but now there's so much stuff in their no body even notices!
Be patient, don't rush and make sure everything you're touching the surfaces of the paper with stays clean and dry. 
Geometric wrapping paper as wallpaper in the little house
Mix and match wallpaper with painted walls for a more contemporary feel to rooms. 
Hope somebody, somewhere found that useful?!

I got the very first Four Little Walls delivery this week so will be spending the weekend playing with my new toys working very hard on all things website related!

Hope you're all doing something lovely. If you get a moment, I'm still being nosey and asking dolls house collectors to tell me about their hobby. There's a chance to win a room, all you have to do is leave your contact details with your answers! :) Click here for the survey


25 June 2012

Win a room box! *NOW CLOSED*

As some of you already know, I'm currently running a little survey asking dolls house collectors all about their hobby.

A huge thank you to everybody that's taken the time to respond so far, I'm ever so grateful!!

As a thank you for your time, anyone that leaves their answers with name and contact details (which is optional) I will enter  into a draw to win a hand made room box. Size and finish will be discussed with the winner but it will be made from birch ply and to 1:12 scale.

If you've already responded, don't worry I will include you in the draw!


Click here to enter

I'll announce the winner early August. Good luck!

22 June 2012

Week 25: Bring me sunshine


In memory of the 27 Dahlias and 5 sunflowers I have lost to the snotty, evil force that is slugs, today I'm 'growing' some mini sunflowers.

I would like to start by saying I've not been put up to doing this post, the kit was a little present from Mum at last years KDF and I've taken ages to get round to making it!

The sunflowers are actually from a kit by Bonnie Lavish at Templewood miniatures.
Out of respect for her design I'm not going to give actual step by steps in how to make the flowers as it seems a bit cheeky?

This was quite a fiddly one but I love how the finished sunflower looks. (And the slugs wont get their mitts on this one!!)

What I used:
Bloomin easy sunflower kit from Templewood miniatures
Tacky glue
Flower pots from Week 12

What I did:
I rarely follow my own advice and today was no exception, read the instructions before you start!

Before you start assembling anything SEAL the ends of the wires with tacky glue and let it dry.
It DOES tell you to do this in the instructions.
This is really important, I failed to do this and tore a lot of the little leaves trying to slip them onto the stem. Sob.

If the wire's not coated, the green paper wrapped around it will unravel and make it impossible for you to assemble the flower. Just so you know.

There's enough included in the kit to make three sunflowers.

The petals and leaves are all pre-cut on thin sheets of paper and the wire is already coated in green to act as a stem.

Following the steps from the kit I built up the flower head and petals before adding leaves in any order I liked.
I can't lie to you, I've only finished one flower so far but it's taken pride of place on the door step of the newly decorated little house.
For some extra detail I glued some tea sprinkles to the flower centre.
I finished by planting up in the little flower pots from week 12


Now I just need to slug proof the real garden and see if I can get something to stay alive.

Before I go I want to say a big, big thank you for all the lovely comments and emails I've had since announcing four little walls.com! I'm genuinely very touched by how excited you've have been and the words of encouragement are VERY much appreciated! 

Have a fab weekend!

20 June 2012

Shopping: Midsummer solstice

It's the midsummer solstice tomorrow. This will mean different things to different people, hopefully it will mean it's a gorgeous sunny day here, though predictions are not looking promising!

Maybe you plan to frolic naked in fields of flowers, sip summer cocktails in the garden or tut at all those naughty pagans getting drunk at Stonehenge, either way I wish you a fabulous time!

Here's a few sweet, summer mini's with (just a sprinkle of fairy dust. )

All items sourced from Etsy

18 June 2012

Let's talk mini's!


Hope everybody had a lovely weekend?
A busy one here rounded off with an impromptu pub crawl with the parents. Well it WAS Fathers day.
They really are a terrible influence.
After getting home I thought that chasing the gin with a viewing of my sisters keeper would be great idea. Oh my. I won't go into it too much in case some of you haven't seen it either, but good lord, have a box of tissues handy! (Apparently the book's even more harrowing, don't think I'm brave enough to read it just yet!)

So, badly behaved parents and devastating films aside, this weekend was quite a productive one.

Now, as some of you will already know, there's been lots of happenings behind the scenes here recently. I'd promised I was going to reveal all this week so here goes.

Well, first and foremost, I'm very excited to announce the arrival of four little walls.com !

This will be (fingers and toes crossed) a fun and fabulous online, miniature boutique catering for the loves, needs and wants of...well, YOU actually. 

There's not a whole lot to see at the moment but the basics are sorted. Now I just need to fill it with mini's!
My aim is to provide an eclectic range of miniatures from all over over the world for you to love and adore (and hopefully buy from time to time too!) The blog is also linked in to the website so you can make double sure you don't miss any of the 52 week challenge projects. (Well, I can't very well stop now can I?!)

So, the next step...
Talk to me!

Tell me about your houses, your collections, what you make, what you're loathed to make, things you've been hunting for but just can't seem to find anywhere. I am super duper nosy and can't wait to here all about it.
Feel free to leave it all in a comment , you're also very welcome to email me at fourlittlewalls@hotmail.co.uk

One more thing, if it's not too much trouble, I'd love it if you could fill out this little survey?
It's 10 questions all about you and your mini's. 
(If you choose to leave your contact details please be assured they will NOT be passed on to anybody, though you can answer anonymously too if you don't want little emails from me later in the year. )

Take me to the survey!

So, the cat's out the bag!
Still feeling very excited about it all, just need to try and keep focused on ALL the jobs that need doing not just the fun ones like choosing suppliers and decorating room boxes. Being very restrained today, blogging is my treat!


16 June 2012

Stuff & things: ring bling

This post has absolutely nothing to do with dolls houses and everything to do with showing off my new finger critters.

Pack of 3 from Topshop.
Little present from the sister as a thank you for nursing her.
She's been recovering from a knee op and makes a terrible patient but is back to London tomorrow all recovered. Yay!

Love, love.
Thanks sissypoo.

15 June 2012

Week 24: Cuddly quilt and cushions


Don't know about the rest of you but I could use a hug today so I thought we'd have a bit of a cuddle with this quilt and cushion set.

What I used:
Fabric (cut to fit your bed/sofa)
Co-ordinating fabrics for the pillows
Needle and thread (sewing machine if you have one)
Light weight wading

What I did:

Measure your fabric to fit the bed you're going to use it on and cut two pieces, allow room for sewing.
( Now's a good time to iron it flat too.)
Take the wadding and cut to fit the fabric pieces, it should be just smaller than the fabric as it's going to fit inside the quilt.

Pin the wadding to the reverse side of one section of fabric then place both pieces of fabric, right sides facing each other.

Neatly stitch around three of the edges, leaving one end open.
Carefully turn the whole thing inside out. The wadding should now be inside the quilt and both sides have the right side of fabric showing.
Neaten corners by gently pushing a pencil into them. You could also give it another quick iron.

WARNING: Do not iron your quilt if you've used synthetic wadding! I had a brain lapse and did exactly that when the quilt was finished, it melts the wadding and fuses itself to the inside of the quilt . Best case scenario, you have a super flat quilt and lose the lovely, puffy, detail when it's finished. Worse case scenario, you burn yourself, quilt goes up in flames.)

Sew up the last open edge.

The next bit I cheated and used the sewing machine for speed, you may want to do it by hand, either way works.

Decide on the pattern you want to have on your quilt, I went for a simple criss-cross pattern.
Using a small, straight stitch I machined through the whole quilt to create the patterned panel in the middle.

If you need a few pointers to make the pillows have a little look here.
I added a contrasting strip of fabric to one side of the pillows, attach this before your stitch the pillow together. 

So, aside from the minor melting incident that went quite well!

If you spotted my post earlier in the week you'll know that there's some exciting developments happening here, so mostly I'll be buried under paper work this weekend. Oh , and observing Fathers Day, a trip to the pub I expect.

Have a lovely weekend!


14 June 2012

Spilling the beans

Today was a big day.

The last couple of hours have brought waves of being MASSIVELY excited and doing little, happy dances to myself before swinging through to, frankly, wanting to be a bit sick actually. What HAVE I done?!
Let me give you a short version...

Warning: There are no pictures and lots of waffling on in this post.

Back in December, for reasons various, I quit a perfectly appropriate job in publishing.
On paper it was a dream but sadly the reality was very different.
(Think Devils wears Prada but English, budget and s#*t!)

After talking it over with friends and family, with no next job to go to, I jumped ship just in time for Christmas, a marvellous time to be unemployed.
My fabulous friends were mostly very encouraging about my, arguably, rash decision (all bar one, who when I excitedly shared my news over dinner went very pale and bombarded me with all the sensible questions I probably should have been asking myself already, most poignantly  'what NOW?!' Ha.)


To be honest, the years since graduation have been a process of elimination of things I now know for sure I do NOT want to do.
Getting an arts degree slap bang at the beginning of a recession sort of scuppered post grad plans for a lot of people, options evaporating one by one due to funding cuts, closures etc. Bad.Bad.Bad.

Unpaid work experience turned out to be my way in for the publishing job. When I got the call to say I was hired I was in the street with my sister. We screamed, we chest bumped, and I never chest bump.
A huge wave of excitement/ relief washed over me as I finally settled into a job I not only loved but (I think) I was pretty good at, it was a great feeling even if it was beaten out of me pretty quick!

I left. I promptly got a virus, slept for about a fortnight. Re-watched all my Sex and the city DVD's.
When I came to I'd got a few dolls house related ideas rattling round. They'd always been there but I'd never found the moment to get stuck in.
A few hours later, on a very shaky Internet connection, Four Little Walls was born.

The 52 week challenge followed.
New year, new start and what looked increasingly like a lot of time on my hands, it seemed like an Ok way to keep busy so I started messing about with some ideas.
Obviously changes had to be made as a result of the lack of work, and the new year was definitely not an ideal time to be job hunting. So, after 6 amazing, super eventful, hard, gin fuelled, bloody brilliant years in Brighton I packed up and moved back to the parents. Oh my.

6 months on, no regrets, though I'm missing the seaside lots now Summer's here.

After weeks of just talking about it, finally knuckling down, one fab, intense course with The Prince's Trust Enterprise scheme and what will probably be the start of more sleepless nights than I care to think about, I have officially registered myself as a self employed body and Four Little Walls as a business.

I want to spill the beans on everything right now but I've prattled on for a bit already so will get into the nitty gritty in a few days.
Hope that wasn't too dull, thought it only fair to warn of the sleep deprived, mental woman blog posts that are sure to follow. So.excited scared EXCITED!


8 June 2012

Week 23: Short n' Sweet Memo board


I'd just got back into the swing of things following that 4 day weekend and suddenly it's Friday again. Yes!

Thought we'd take things easy this week following the 6 project extravaganza that was the Jubilee garden party.

If you're anything like me you'll have a notice board or two knocking about, the idea being that I pin all vital paperwork and things to remember to them. (The reality is I just pin EVERYTHING to them because I'm incapable of throwing bits of paper out. )

I've been very restrained as it seems the temptation to stick as much stuff on as possible exists as much in 1:12 scale as it does in real life.

What I used:
Picture frame
Thin card
Narrow ribbon
Nail art sequins
Assorted papers and cuttings
Tacky wax/PVA glue

What I did:
This board really doesn't take much sticking so you can go for tacky wax to fix everything in place for a glue free project. Go for PVA if you want it fixed more securely.

Cut the card to fit the back aperture of the frame. The frame I used had a recess in it so as long you cut a tight fit it should slot in with no need for fixing in place.

For a bit of decoration I cut strips of ribbon and fixed in place with a little tacky wax. Pull them tight and flat across the card so you can tuck little postcards and mementos behind them.

Choose your papers, pictures and cuttings and fix in place with your tacky wax. For a finishing touch I attached a couple of nail at sequins to look like pin heads.

All in all this took about 15 minutes start to finish, great for a quick mini fix, and ideal for disguising dodgy patches of wallpapering/ painting/ electrical wire points!

Right, I'm off for a HUGE coffee. Between a hula hooping injury and the neighbours very vocal chickens I'm feeling a little sleep deprived today!


7 June 2012

The Dolls house magazine : July 2012


Super excited as the July issue of Dolls house mag has just landed on the doormat!

It's bursting with all kinds if mini, summer treats, including ice creams and wetsuits!
It also just happens to have my little column in it.

This month I witter on about the joys of printables. Ooooh!

5 June 2012

Stuff & things: Brain block!

I was having quite a productive bank holiday, then I stopped for a minute to dust off this little house. Mistake.

I've had it for 4 years. My Aunty picked it up at a boot fair thinking I'd like a little project. It sat with a pile of fairy lights in it for a while, then I messed about with the paint a bit.
I papered the Walls for a Christmas scene for my old blog but now it just looks odd.


Strip it back and start again?

House, shop, bin?!

What would you do with it?!


3 June 2012

And the winner is....

Urgh, rain! This is NOT what Her Majesty ordered.

Yuck weather aside, today is shaping up to be quite lovely not least because I get to announce the winners of the Jubilee giveaway! Yay!

I've literally just drawn the names from a hat under the watchful eye of our independent adjudicator , Norman.

So, without further ado, the winner of the jubilee part box is...

Indy Poppy

The winners of the London tea towels are ...

Congratulations! Let me know who and where to send the prizes. Email :fourlittlewalls@hotmail.co.uk
Thank you so much to all of you that entered, wish I had enough goodies for all of you!

Ahh, well that was nice. On with the bank holiday shenanigans!

Kat x

1 June 2012

Week 22: Jubilee Garden Party - Part 2


It's been a lovely, sunny, busy, mind pickling week here, so looking forward to lots of strawberries and general gluttony in the garden this weekend.
Had hoped to down get to the seaside but alas, one must rock the jubilee on a budget. Sigh.

Before I get going on the projects I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everybody that has left such lovely comments on the blog this week! You've still got until Sunday for a chance to win the Jubilee party box, so go have a little snoop if you've not already.

So, last week we threw up a tiny tent and hung paper pom-poms. This week we add the final touches with bunting and cake. Well you can't very well have a Jubilee party without those can you?!


What I used:
Fabric scraps
Thick cotton or string
Craft glue
Cocktail stick

What I did:
This is essentially very simple but can take a while.
Take your fabrics and cut into even-ish triangles. I'm a fan of wonky looking bunting, patchwork etc, mainly because it covers up my inability to sew/ cut in a straight line!

Stretch out the cord laying it flat and begin to glue the triangles along the top edge. I used a cocktail stick for this to try and keep sticky mess to a minimum. Leave to dry.

You can go for any colour combination you fancy, and adjust the length to your needs, I went for one, super long string of bunting so I could drape it all over the place with out fiddling about with attachments.
( I used clear tacky wax to attach the bunting to the tent. )

Scones and Victoria Sponge

What I used:
Translucent yellow fimo
White fimo
Liquid fimo
Red oil paint
White deco gel
Cocktail stick
Burnt orange and white chalk
Tiny paint brush
Small, circular cutters (available from sugar craft suppliers)
Miniature plate or cake stand to display.

What I did:
I would like to begin by saying I'm not a polymer clay artisan by any stretch of the imagination!
Amelia put me to shame with her amazing sushi and step by step photo's the other week, so apologies if any of this is hard to follow!

So, to mix the clay take 4 parts translucent yellow to one part white and mix until the colour is fully blended. (I would have preferred to have used clear translucent clay with a tiny bit of yellow fimo for the cake but was working with what I'd got!)

Tear off a section and roll to 3-4 mm thick. Cut two equal circles, approx 1.5-2 cm diameter. (This can change depending on just how huge you want your cake to be!)
Take your cocktail stick and begin gently stabbing the edge of the circles, repeat until the entire side is textured. This is the start of making it look 'cakey'. Take a pin or needle, or even an earring if you're limited, and repeat the stabbing but try to be gentle and give more of a flicking motion, you aiming for cake crumb effect not lots of holes.

Put the cake sections to one side.

With the remaining clay roll flat, again to approx 3-4 mm and cut as many small circles as you can.
(About 5mm across.)
Repeat the same stabbing process around the edge of each scone.
This does take a while, it's a good idea to walk away from it every half hour or so else you might go a bit cuckoo.

Using the the length of the cocktail stick gently add indents around the top of of the scones to create a scalloped effect.

To give a 'browned in the oven' effect on the scones take a burnt orange or light brown piece of chalk and rub on some paper. Use a tiny (dry) brush to rub the chalk dust on to the surface of the scones.
You can do the same for the cake but don't go over board.

For the jam mix a tiny blog of red oil paint with some liquid fimo and apply to the bottom section of your cake.

If you want blobs of jam to serve with scones try making little mounds on a section of tin foil, when cooled after cooking they should peel off.

You're ready to put the lot in the oven. As I've said before, always test your oven temperature with some scraps of clay first and follow the manufacturers instructions with regards to clay cooking times.

When every thing's baked, allow to cool before setting on your mini plates.
I assembled the cake with white deco gel to look like whipped cream. It takes a few hours to dry. but looks delicious.

Your tiny treats are ready to go to the tent! Hurrah!

I went a bit over the top with laying the table but it would be terrible to run out of nibbles.

If you want to know how to make the ice creams click here.

I would like to stress that everything else pictured was made by others and has been collected over a number of years! I'm not sure of a lot of the makers names but can tell you that the champagne, ice cream box, crates and deck chair are by Shepherd miniatures.

The paper plates and doilies were from eBay, knives and forks I believe were dolls house emporium.
If you think you know the makers of the jellies, apples and cheese feel free to shout about it. :)

Well, I hope that's put you in the mood for some bank holiday silliness. I hope to be marinading in a bucket of Pimms for the duration, though I will of course surface to announce the giveaway winners on Sunday!

Have a lovely time!