25 February 2012

And the winner is...

In all the moving chaos I nearly forgot it was that time of year again, yes, its the Oscars!

I'm not a massive film buff, my highlights are the red carpet dresses and cringey acceptance speeches, love the glamour of it all.

You too can get a little piece of the action with this teeny tiny Oscar statuette from Swan Miniatures.
Get practising your speech while it's in the post.

24 February 2012

Week 8: Scatter cushions


Everything's a bit upside down here, still lots to unpack after the move but I did, eventually, dig out the cushions for this weeks project. Phew!

I dedicate todays post to Laura K, a fabulous lady who truly appreciates the comfort of a good, squishy pile.

What I used:
5x5cm fabric squares
Needle and thread / sewing machine if you're feeling lazy

What I did:
Now I'm not going to insult your intelligence too much. These cushions are literally just two squares sewn together and take about 20 minutes from start to finish. Even quicker if you don't have the telly on while you're doing it, but here's the basics.

Cut your fabric to the desired size, remembering to give sewing allowance.
Ensuring the squares are right sides facing each other, stitch as straight as you can around all four edges, leaving a small gap at the last corner.
Turn the square inside out (actually the right side out!), use the end of a pencil to gently push the corners out.
Use the pencil again to help push the stuffing into the cushion evenly.
Close the gap with a couple of tiny stitches.
I gave 5x5cm as a guide for an average sized cushion but obviously you can go whatever size and shape you like, from teeny tiny pillows to giant (1:12 scale!) floor cushions.


Have a fab weekend, I'm off to unpack a few more boxes and seek out some cake!

16 February 2012

Week 7: wibbly wobbly patchwork

Before we proceed with this weeks mini I have a confession to make...
It went wrong.

I was aiming for a rustic, handmade effect but hadn't intended it to turn out quite as wonky as it did. That said, I'm still quite pleased with it!

So, without further ado, here's how to make a beginners miniature patchwork throw. (might have another go at this later on in the year for a tidier result!)

What I used:
Scraps of fabric
Needle and thread
Iron ( for pressing)

What I did:
This is good for using up any scraps of fabric you've got sitting around so in theory shouldn't cost you anything to make.
It does take a while though, aim for a weekend rather than one sitting.

Firstly, cut your fabrics into small squares of equal size, I aimed for 2cm allowing for seams.
When you feel you have enough lay them out in the order you want them to appear.

Now, I hand stitched this as the fabric pieces are so tiny they'd just get chewed up in a sewing machine. It's fine once you get going but take breaks to avoid a claw hand!

For simplicity I stitched one row at a time, then when all squares are in rows you can start joining these together lengthways.
Keep the stitches small and tight to avoid any little gaps appearing.

When you've joined all the sections give the whole throw a press with a hot iron to keep it nice and flat.

I didn't finish the edges this time around ( mainly because they were so crooked!) but if your's turns out straighter than this you may want to trim it with some thin ribbon or fabric strip.

For a cosy look I laid the throw on a little day bed with mis-matched scatter cushions. Not too shabby.

Next weeks post will be coming from our new HQ as I say Ta Ta to Brighton for a little while.
Looking forward to a taste of things country bumpkin and introducing you to Four Little Walls new mascot!


13 February 2012

Just in case...

Well, Valentines day is very nearly here.
While my plans for the day so far consist of a bottle of wine, packing boxes and weeping at tragi-rom coms (carefully selected for their brutal endings) I still hold out a little hope that Bradley Cooper will come knocking at the door, present me with a dolls house to die for while declaring to the world his unfaltering love for both me and 1:12 scale miniatures...
Alas, given my track record the man that comes knocking is more likely to be clinically insane, pissed, maybe a little bit of a closet gay but hey, a girl can dream.

So Bradley, if you're reading, a proposition much like this one would do just fine. (but please don't actually decorate it, I'd hate for you to get it wrong and me have to re-do all your hard work. )

10 February 2012

Week 6: Valentine Cake

I usually feel all full of the joys of Spring this time of year, however it's currently proving tricky in sub zero temperatures.
One thing sure to always perk me up is massive slab of cake and so this week we combine the sickly sweetness of impending Valentines day with baked goods. In miniature. Obviously.

What I used:
2-3 cubes of white polymer clay (I used Sculpey in 'Whipped cream')
Small chunk of red polymer clay
Fimo gold powder
Cocktail stick

What I did:
If you've not used polymer clay before I recommend messing around with a few bits first to get a feel for it and most importantly do a few test runs with baking before you get to work on your mini master piece. Most manufactures instructions should be viewed as a guide only, you'll need to gauge what works with your oven and brand of clay, this helps avoid cremating hours of hard work!

Firstly, work the white clay until soft. (Make sure you have really clean hands when working with white as it will pick up every spec of dust going.) and divide into three pieces, graduating in size.
Using a scalpel, or cutter if you happen to have some, cut and shape the pieces into three squares, each smaller than the last. When you are happy with the size and shape of your three layers, stack them on top of each other, pressing gently so that they stick together. This will form the cake.
I went with a square because I felt it looked more contemporary but you can try it with circles or anything else that takes your fancy.

Next, work the red clay until soft and roll to 2-3 mm thick. (Note: I find the red does stain surfaces and skin a little so be careful where you put it.)
Carefully slice the rolled red clay into thin strips , then gently roll the strip up. Using a cocktail stick to roll the clay strip is useful and also great for adding finishing touches to the flower. When you've rolled enough, trim the excess with the scalpel.

For a bit of bling, I brushed a tiny amount of gold fimo powder onto the red flowers, this is messy but fun!
Use a cocktail stick to position the flowers around the cake. Add as many as you like, or try using lots of different coloured flowers for some variety.

Follow the manufacturers instructions and bake. Make sure you leave the cake to cool before handling as it might still be soft when it first comes out.

All done!

Well, that's pretty much it as far as Valentines day is concerned. Have I successfully romanced you?!
Next week I'm going to crack on with the not so small matter of keeping warm and snuggly with teeny, tiny textiles. Needle and thread at the ready!


3 February 2012

Week 5: Love letters

It's finally February! Hooray!

We're taking a little break from interiors for the next fortnight, instead I'll be romancing you with some 1:12 scale treats.

Now, flirty Tweets and Facebook comments are all well and good, perhaps you even get the occasional 'poke'? Although, between you and me , I've not been 'poked' for months.
Is it not the done thing anymore?

I digress.

The point is, no amount of clicking and hitting 'like' can replace that little flutter of excitement from getting good, old fashioned post.

Whether from your BFF, your Aunty or your tall, dark mysterious lover it's just lovely to know that someone thought of you long enough to sit down and put pen to paper.

(Significantly longer than it takes to 'LOL' on your latest status before continuing to scroll down the screen.)

Plus, it's refreshing to get something through the letterbox that isn't bills or an Indian takeaway menu.

So, today's little project.
Teeny, tiny love letters.

What I used:
Photo mount corners
Assorted threads and string
Small paper flowers

What I did:
This is really a very simple one and great as a finishing touch to mini cabinets and dressing tables.

The corners were from the Kraft collection at paperchase, paper flowers can be found in most craft shops.

Simply take the photo mount corner and fold the triangular edge over onto itself...done!

Well not quite, obviously you'll want to add little details such as hand written addresses or stamps.
Try binding a bundle of folded corners together with thin bakers twine or pretty thread.

For a romantic touch, I slipped a single paper Rose under the string. Ahhh.

If you're not quite inspired enough to pick up a pen let me leave with this little gem of letter writing propaganda...

This handsome chap here is my lovely Grandad, in Italy, sometime towards the end of WWII.

He and Nan married in June 1938, the day before he went away to fight.
They spent the next four years almost constantly apart, aside from Grandad's leave breaks.

No email. No skype. No texting.

What they did have were letters, and our Granddad had a wonderful way with words.

After a safe reunion and 68 years of marriage, they passed away just 10 weeks apart.
It was then that we found the little stacks of letters and diaries Grandad had written during the war, and that Nan had stored carefully ( ish) in her dressing table alongside photos, discarded sainsburys receipts, and half eaten packets of mint imperials.

Lovely stuff.

So, maybe this Valentines day, don't settle for digital declarations of love. No lady was ever wooed inside 140 characters.
Do it the old fashioned way, spell it out and don't forget to S.W.A.K


1 February 2012

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Ok, I know you've seen this already but it was such a lovely ( flipping freeezing) day.

Also, feeling slightly sentimental as I currently live 2 minutes from this very spot but alas, soon to be uprooted and sent back to the motherland of Kent. Sigh.