29 August 2012

Shopping dates & mini breaks

Lots to tell you!

Well, we did it.
The stall being put together..

The posh cabinet.
We had out first public outing. No breakages. Didn't lose anything. Met lots of friendly faces. (And I was super restrained when some over excited children started pulling bits off of the dolls houses I'd pumped so much blood, sweat, tears (&££'s) into!) All in all, a success.

So, now the madness of getting ready for that is out the way...it's onto the next one! Well, two actually.

Four Little Walls will be having a little trip to Essex on October 7th, taking up a stall with Dolly's day dreams dollshouse and miniatures fair at their Basildon venue. VERY excited about this and hope to see some of you there.

Then it's back to our GO Shopping pitch on October 20th for more crafty goodness.

We're sad to be missing the September GO Shopping event but it unfortunately clashed with Miniatura so we'll be heading off to Birmingham for a day of shopping & general mini madness!

For now, since it is still just about August and technically summer I'm allowing my self a teeny tiny holiday.
A trip to the seaside and a weekend long beer festival will hopefully do the trick!
To really signal the end of lazy Summer days (and make way for some exciting Autumn pieces) prices on some of the 'Great British Summer' range have been reduced for anybody that fancies some last minute beach bits.

I've added a few new items to the shop already, though more to follow in September.
My favorite so far is probably this super cute set of Beatrix Potter books. They may yet find their way into my dolls house!

Also very excited to announce the opening of the Craft & Sewing department for all your mini sewing and crafty needs, more to come here too!


23 August 2012

Week 34: Bricking it!

This week has been a bit of a blur!
Got our first ever show tomorrow at GO Shoppings' pop-up event. Mostly excited but also slightly terrified!!

In preparation I've been working on Four Little Walls first ever house! (One that's for sale that is.)

Come in! Kitchen fitting in progress.

Still needs a bit of work but so far it's looking rather splendid if I do say so myself!

My favourite element by far is the brick work on the outside. I usually paint the outside of my houses but as this house was a terrace and our first mini property I wanted to go for it!

This was a super messy, very satisfying job, LOVED it!

What I used:
Bromley Crafts brick compound- red
Brick stencil - stretcher
Pallet knife
Cocktail sticks (for clean ups!)
Acrylic paints -red,brown,black,yellow
Clear, Matt varnish
Fine sandpaper

What I did:
I can not stress enough that if you do you use this stuff follow the manufacturers instructions! They're very clear and they've got YouTube tutorials too. This is more an account of how I used it than a tutorial but hope it's helpful none the less.

First of all I used a cement looking colour as a base all over the house, opted for 'Dusted Cappuccino', this is going to show between bricks so choose wisely!

Next I mixed up a pot of the brick compound, I worked it out roughly 3 parts mix to 2 parts water and got a really thick mixture but again follow the manufacturers instructions for assured accuracy!
Try on a test patch first!

Carefully line up the stencil where you'd like to begin the brickwork and start slapping on the mixture! Use a pallet knife to smooth the surface and remove excess before delicately lifting up the stencil. Ta da! You should be left with a perfect brick section! Any joined up bricks can be saved using a cocktail stick to define them.

Repeat this until the entire surface is covered. If you go wrong don't panic! You can just scrape it off and do it again! (even if it's dried you can just wet it)

Leave the brick work to dry completely before lightly sanding in rough areas and applying paint effects. You may decide not too which is fine too.

For a bit of a weathered look I used a mixture of acrylic paints and brushed on to bricks at random.

When paint is dry, you can seal the brick work with a Matt varnish.

Note: this will turn the bricks a much darker colour so test first so there's no surprises!

Your brick work is finished!

Don't worry about any un-used mixture, just cover it up and mix with water when you need it again.

Sigh. Did I mention I LOVE this, better than the usual lick of paint eh?!
Right, off to get the rest of the house finished, 24 hours left on the clock , eeek!

Hope to see some of you lovelies tomorrow! Have a fab weekend.

21 August 2012

Great British summer collection


I've taken a break from sweating working hard in the attic studio and thought I'd share some summer essentials! 
I know my own dolls houses tend to get neglected during the summer months so what better way to spruce them up than with a little shot of their own summery goodness?!  All the fun of the seaside + champagne, only for grown ups, obviously!


19 August 2012

Today looks like...


17 August 2012

Week 33: marvellous mouldings

For some reason I'd always dreaded fitting the mouldings in my houses.

Think it was the thought of all that measuring and accuracy. Maths is not my strong point, i wept silently through one of my GCSE papers as I realised after 4 years of struggle I still had no idea what I was doing, but at least it was coming to an end!

When I started redecorating little and big house I decided now was the time to conquer my fear of angles and just DO IT!!

After a few false starts I can now say with joy that not only do the houses have skirting boards and cornicing but I actually Enjoyed doing them!!

If like me you've been putting off those mouldings here's a few things I learnt!

1. Make sure you've enough lengths of everything before you start. There'll be rude words if you run out half way through!

2. Apply any paint and varnish finishes before you fit them!! For obvious reasons it's just quicker and easier.

3. Don't rush the cutting or measuring. All pieces need to be cut or sanded to a 45 degree angle for a neat, snug fitting corner.

4. Use a fast trying craft or wood glue. Take care to wipe away any excess ASAP.

5. Have a roll of washi / low tack masking tape handy when fitting cornicing. You can tape the moulding tight to the wall and ceiling while the glue dries without damaging your wallpaper of paint.

Right, back to the grindstone. Working feverishly getting ready for next weekends pop up shop! So much to dooo! I need some elves!!

I'll leave you with these two handsome devils we met at the Zoo yesterday. Have a lovely weekend!
He was a grump!
A very casual nellyphant.

12 August 2012

Save the date!

Sorry to disappoint but this is not a post to announce any impending nuptials.

Far more exciting than binding myself in holy matrimony to a smelly boy for all eternity, I would like to announce the date, well dates actually, for Four Little Walls pop up shop debut!

Ta da!

The lovely ladies over at Abbey Chic have set up monthly pop-up shopping event 'Genuine Originals' aka  'GO Shopping'  in Faversham, Kent.

It's a super-fab collection of handmade goodness, from cushions and textiles, home-wares jewellery (and, from the 25th August, dolls houses!) AND there's cake. I of course made it my priority to sample said cake at the first event last month and can confirm that it too, is fabulous. 

So, if you're around you should definitely come down to say hello. Craft + sugar fix =guaranteed

Excited? Me tooo!

Write these in your diary,  or maybe pop a reminder on your phone, scribble it on you hand...

25th August
22nd September (Four Little Walls will NOT be appearing)
20th October
17th November
8th December

Fellow dolls house weirdo's will note that the September event clashes with Miniatura at the NEC so we'll be there (shopping not exhibiting!) but GO Shopping and all it's other lovely makers will be there rain or shine.

10 August 2012

Week 32: Arm chair makeover


I loved doing this weeks mini.
I'd had the arm chair for years, loved the shape, loathed the fabric so it was always put in the darkest corners of the dolls house.

Then, last week, I spotted this gorgeous Moda fabric. Goes nicely with the grey wall paper in the dining room, no?

Before I knew it I'd coughed up the cash and was hot footing it back home to do something I didn't quite know what to that chair.....
So, this week is my make it up as you go along beginners guide to mini upholstery!

What I used:
Fabric (enough to recover your chosen chair)
Contrasting felt
Scissors (for cutting the fabric AND hacking the chair to pieces)
Strong craft glue
DVD (to play along in the back ground, this one took a while.)

What I did:

Step 1. Select your mini chair

Step 2. Rip it to pieces

Step 3. Try not to panic at the sorry state of your now destroyed chair.
(Also worth mentioning, when you're ripping it apart pay attention to what bit goes where, else putting it back together is going to be stressful!)

Step 4. If you're one of those well organised people you'll do the next bit properly. ie. lay the various pieces of chair out on your fabric, mark them out and cut neatly.
If you're like me you'll do a rough guess by eye and hack into the fabric willy nilly. Luckily it worked out ok this time, but if i was making for someone else i'd try to be a bit tidier!

Step 5. Start recovering. The fabric didn't have to trimmed perfectly as the way this chair went back together meant that all the mess would be perfectly hidden by the top panels. That said, still take your time, you don't want wrinkles or creases showing in the finished chair. It will get messy, you will get covered in glue but it'll be worth it to see your little chair in all it's re-upholstered glory.

Step 6. Use washi tape (or masking tape) to hold everything firmly in place while the glue dries.
Resist the urge to touch it for at least an hour so you don't move anything vital out of place. Kick back with a little G&T, watch the end of your DVD. Maybe clean up a little.

Step 7. Admire your splendid, 1:12 scale seating! Ta da!

Have a fab weekend!
Don't forget you lovelies can still get 20% off at the shop until Monday morning!!
Just enter the giveaway code. ThankyouFLW at the checkout! x

7 August 2012

What's cookin?!

I'll tell you what's cooking, the new kitchen accessories department , that's what!!

Ok, so I'm more excited about this than I probably should be, but ever since I got the delivery this morning I've been like a kid at Christmas. I've made EVERYBODY come look at the box of goodies and nobody really cares (at least not like I do. ha!) so thought I should share them with you all asap!

We got knives, fancy cake stands, even a real, metal wok.
Think my fav so far has to be the tiny, glass jug. So cute and perfectly formed. Sigh.

Anyway, go have a looksee, let me know what you think!!


Remember lovely blog readers still get 20% off every order until the end of the Olympics as a thank you for being super amazing!!

Right. Time to calm down. Nighty night!

5 August 2012

Win a room box


Some of you will already be aware that I'm currently running an online survey asking you all about your dolls houses and your hobby. I've tried not to be super nosey, promise!

As a thank you for your time I'm giving away a 1:12 scale room box to one lucky winner at the end of August. All you have to do is make sure you include your name and contact details at the end of the survey.

I would like reassure you that no contact details will be shared (or even seen!) by anybody other than me.
The questions were written by me and i'm the only person with access to the survey website account.
I know it can be a little worrying putting details out into the world wide web so hope that puts you at ease.

That aside, i thought it's about time I showed you your potential prize!!

Each roombox has been hand built and decorated by my Dad and I. All room boxes are made from birch plywood (no yucky MDF). The winner can choose whether their prize is decorated inside and out, simply painted or totally naked ready for your next project. Well, hope you like what you see!

To enter, follow the link to the survey! Click here

3 August 2012

Week 31: Chalk board desk

Well. I don't know about the rest of you, but all this Olympic stuff is wearing me out!

Ironically I've spent the last week glued to the sofa watching those ever so fit, active people do crazy things.
(I'm still recovering from Jessica Ennis sprint just now. Nearly missed it while making a coffee!)

Anyway, Olympics aside I HAVE just about had time to remember minis this week.

Today's little project involves chalk board paint, which I adore.

Some of you may have already spotted this in the new issue of The Dolls House magazine.
(If not go bag yourself a copy quick! It's a bed & bath special, + there's a super pretty, Stokesay ware, tea set to be won!)

What I used:

Spray paint
Masking tape
Chalkboard paint
Bare wood desk

What I did:
I used spray paint for this project. Not something I'd usually go for but I really the colour and it was done and dry in half the time brushing on acrylic would have taken me. It does STINK though.
If working with spray paint please, please , please make sure you work somewhere properly ventilated. Outside ideally! Oh, and also well away from the animals. Between the dog and the tortoise roaming free in the garden it's amazing neither ended up a dodgy shade of 'Manilla' and poisoned by paint fumes.
(I would like to stress that neither of those things actually happened and no animals were harmed in the making of this mini!)

Ensure the item you're spraying (it doesn't have to be a desk!) is dust and dirt free, when you're satisfied it's clean you're free to go crazy with the spray can.
Don't hold it too close else the paint will pool and run, you're aiming for a couple of thin, even coats.
This stuff is touch dry within a few minutes so it was easy to re-touch any patchy areas/ turn the piece around for even coverage.

It was a sunny day when I did this so I left the desk to dry/ air out the fumes for about an hour. Amazing how stinky the paint can still be when you bring it inside.

When the paint's totally dry, apply masking tape along the top edge of the desk (or where ever you DON'T want chalk board paint to appear.)
The paint I was using was really very old and smelly. It needed a good stir before using too. My advice, buy new if you can!
Amazingly, this only needed one coat but it did need a while to dry fully.
I would leave 2-3 hours before trying to write on the chalk paint. Remove the masking tape carefully before the paint has dried.

When completely dry your desk is ready to be graffitied/scribbled on / decorated as you see fit!

Sigh. Did I mention I LOVE chalk paint?!

Right, back to the Olympics!

Have a lovely weekend!

2 August 2012

Shopping: Etsy loving

Just lost a few hours on Etsy. (It's easily done!)

Have an oggle at these little beauties, I love, want and need them all! Sigh.

See the bottom of the post for links to makers and their items

1 August 2012

Today looks like...


Big, huge moves happening here which meant having to shift the massive, beasty house. Something I try to avoid at all costs as 1) it's flippin heavy 2) it makes a proper mess of my mini's. Sigh.

Don't know what I'm worrying about, you should see the state of the REAL house right now. Sort of hit that wall, where you've been sorting and cleaning and carrying all day, now you just want to kick back,but all comfy seats + bed are buried under STUFF.

If you don't hear from me in a few days send someone to search through the rubble.