27 July 2012

Week 30: Sugar rush


It's Friday, it's Olympic opening ceremony day, it's Mexican food night, it's an evening fueled by mojito's as my littlest sister flys the nest AND it's week 30, THIRTY?! of the 52 week challenge. Phew.

I'm going to be honest with you, I'd planned something a little more involved for this week, but for many reasons (some listed above, some not!) that little gem is not ready for you yet.
So, here is my back up project!

Sweets, candy what ever you like to call them, all ways seem to go down a treat so today we're making little bags of licorice all sorts. Yum!

What I used:
Polymer clay in -Black, orange, pink, yellow and pale blue
Brown paper
PVA glue
Paper clip/ mini peg

What I did:
First you need to prepare several canes of polymer clay.
If you're not familiar with the caning technique I would recommend hitting up a few youtube videos to help get your head around it.
It's amazing what some makers have the patience to achieve with this, I am not quite so skilled so only stretch to these all sorts but they're a good starting point.

For the pink and blue with black licorice centres I rolled a very thin sausage of black clay and then cloaked it in large layer of of pink/blue clay. Then roll the whole thing so all creases and joins have smoothed out.

To create the square varieties, layer black, orange and black clay then press the sides evenly until you're left with a long, rectangular strip.

Repeat with which ever colour varieties you like, if you're not a fan of licorice you could try using candy coloured clay's to create dolly mixtures with the same technique.

Bake in the oven following the manufacturers instructions (and as usual, bake a test batch first to ensure you don't cremate your work!) then, when cooled, slice thinly with a scalpel to create individual sweets.

To create the paper bags cut a strip of brown paper (you could even re-use a real sweet bag for this one?!)
I usually cut mine just below a cm high and 1.5 cm long.

Fold the strip in half and glue the inside and bottom edges carefully. Fold over as tiny and neatly as you can to  close the bag.
Make sure the open end of the bag has not become glued shut. Attach a paper clip or small peg to the edges of the paper to hold flat while the glue's drying, This will ensure a nice, neat seal.
When the bags have dried use a cocktail stick to apply glue to the inside of the bag, while the glue's still wet fill the bag with your sweet slices and put to one side to dry.

You should now have a sweet selection ready to pop in your mini  kitchen or shop. Try filling glass canisters or dishes if you don't like the look of the bags.

Well, that's our sugar fix for today!

I'm off to make chilli ready for the hungry, Olympic watching folks due around here in a bit.
If you are tuning in for the opening ceremony, enjoy! We'll be watching out for a project I helped my Dad with,( it's not a dolls house!) won't reveal what until next time, don't want to spoil any surprises for the show!

Hope you have a fab weekend!

25 July 2012

A little thank you


I'm excited. It's been creeping up on me all week. With lots of changes and developments occurring behind the scenes here at HQ, the Olympics about to burst onto our screens and bucket loads of sunshine it's taken all my restraint not to down tools and seek out a glass of Pimms. Instead I've been inside (give or take the odd sunbathing break) and squirrelling away on lots of mini related things.

Some of you may have already spotted that I've been messing about with the website a little?

I'm not going to lie, it's all a bit clumsy looking (besides the splendid logo!) and I'm still figuring it all out, but...the shop is, for all intents and purposes OPEN!

The range really is tiny at the moment as we're starting from very humble beginnings but I hope you'll spot something that takes your fancy!The debut collection includes some Summer essentials by Shepherd Miniatures, bake ware and of course, that naughty little book!

As a thank you to all you lovelies that have been so encouraging and just generally awesome I've set up my first ever discount code, offering 20% off all items from now until the end of the Olympic games on 13th August.

Simply enter ThankyouFLW at the checkout


23 July 2012

Four little walls gets tarted up!


Today is a very exciting day. Partly because we now, finally, have actual Summer but mostly because I get to reveal the amazing new logo for Four Little walls! Yaaaaaay!

Before I get on with the big reveal I would like us to have a great big round of applause for the super talented and very wonderful Kendra Grey who's marvelous brain I have to thank for creating such fantabulous designs. *clapclapclapclapclap*

After laying eye's on Kendra's dolls house illustrations I knew she was the designer lady for me and made it my mission to harass and cajole her into working on something splendid for Four little walls. She gave in and I'm incredibly grateful! You should all please visit her website immediately and have a look see.

So, with out further ado I present to you our logo!

Drum roll please..........

Ta da!!

It's like when you get a new pair of shoes, can't stop looking at it! *peels face from computer screen*
Well,hope you like it as much Kendra and I do!

I'm off for a little lay down in the sun, need to calm down a bit before I tackle scary, spread sheet related jobs. Sigh.

Have a lovely day!


20 July 2012

Week 29: Trash to treasure

There is not enough coffee in the world today!

Between lots of top secret mini workings, a few shifts at the pub and all the excitement of the Olympic torch nipping past us yesterday today may be a bit of a duvet day/ doing the laundry/ admin/ emailing I've ignored all week.

But before I get stuck into all that, let's talk recycling.

This little habit of ours can get a tad expensive so it's nice if we can get a mini fix on the cheap from time to time!
The three mini's coming up cost me a grand total of 30p, here's some ideas for budget busting accessories.

First up, you know I love a good stamp. You can imagine my reaction when this little beaut cam through the door attached to somebodies birthday card. I did restrain myself long enough for the recipient to open the envelope before tearing the stamp off and squirrelling it away. It now has pride of place propped up on the mini mantle piece. Decided against framing it, like the edges too much.

Next, the zoo animals were the only thing here today that I paid cold, hard cash for. At 30p for the three in a pocket money department I could have gone over board here but (luckily) that would have meant paying by card! They now live happily among my other not so economical purchases.

Last but not least, the fancy umbrella stand, in its former life it had been a perfume atomiser.
Nan gave it to me years ago when she was doing her usual, trying to give us bits and bobs she didn't want but didn't want to throw away either. (In later life this also included Christmas and birthday presents being returned to us because she didn't remember we were the ones that gave them to her! Of course she thought that was hilarious.)

It sat in a box for a few years before I found it when having a rummage. Whipped out the pump and immediately it went from unused nik-nak to vintage umbrella stand. Lovely. Nice to have a little something in the house from Nan too. Aww.

So, I hope this has prompted a few people into raiding the junk drawers this weekend?!
Allegedly Summer will finally happen in the next few days so am off to dust off the BBQ. Yay!

Will leave you with a few pics from torch day. Over in a flash but was a fab day, not long until the games!

It's on it's way!

Torch kiss!

13 July 2012

Week 28: Lazy lampshades


I know it's really dull to talk about the weather but seriously, WHERE is summer??
I'm gonna have webbed feet by August. Boo hoo.

On the plus side, all the rain and grey-ness means I've been forced to stay in and work very hard on shop launch things, so that's quite exciting!

So this week I made some modern style lampshades.
Mainly because I had some new washi and lace taps that I was desperate to try out but also because both my dolls houses are severely lacking when it comes to lighting. As usual,the lights I've set my heart on are bank breakers so while I save the pennies some stunt lights will do the job. They're super quick, free (if you already have scraps of paper or fabric to use up)
Much in the same vein as the stunt kitchen from last week, today is all about faking it!

What I used:
Paper or thin card
Paper clips
Washi tape (optional)
Glue stick
Tacky wax

What I did:
If you're using washi tape firstly lay it flat across your paper, taking care to keep it in a straight line.
I also used lace tape. (My new favourite thing in the world! Sticky backed lace, you will struggle not to plaster EVERYTHING with it, so pretty!)
I wanted a wider shade for the lace so a lay to strips parallel to each other. 

Using a ruler and a steady hand slice the paper strips to your desired width and length. This really can be any you like though I suggest larger shades for ceilings and large floor lamps and smaller sizes for table lights.

I also cut a strip from a paper Topshop bag I'd been hoarding saving as I loved the big, geometric print.

When you're happy with your strips bend them round into a circle and fix in place with some glue.

Leave the glue to dry for a few minutes. Whilst that's happening you can start bending some paper clips to slot inside the shades.

You'll want them to go across the middle of the shade like a real one. Fix in place with tacky wax, take care that the wire is a good fit, too long and you'll bend the shade out of shape.
If your shade is likely to a be a permanent fixture try a little super glue to keep the wire in place.

Now you just need to decide which shade's going where!
Mine don't have permanent homes just yet but I've found a blob of tacky wax and a plain ceiling rose do the job for ceiling shades whilst spare stair banisters and dowel make great lamp bases, plus they can be painted any way you want.

NOTE: I've not used these with electric lights so they may well be flammable, who knows. If anybody happens to burn down their house, miniature or other wise, as a result of pairing these shades with working lights I accept no responsibility! :p

Wishing you a lovely, sunny (fingers crossed!) weekend!

11 July 2012

50 shades of shameless, self promotion!

At last! I get to combine my two great loves, miniatures and smut!
I've neglected my Etsy store massively as I've only really been making for the blog this year but am very excited to start filling it again over the Summer.

First up, a well thumbed copy of 50 shades of grey. A cheeky treat for your mini collection!
Was quite pleased at how well the image printed, usually they go a bit fuzzy when I try to shrink them right down.

Fancy something a little more wholesome? I've also added a tiny collection of Summer miniatures over at four little walls.com

The summer collection is British made (not by me!) and will also be added to over the coming weeks.
Right, enough plugging the shops, normal service to resume tomorrow! 

7 July 2012

Shopping: Wimbledon

For any body else out there that's lost a few too many hours to the tennis this weekend!
Click on the pictures to be taken to the makers site.

Strawberries and Wimbledon pretty much go hand in hand don't they?
These beautiful little berries are made by artisan Alison Shibata of Bliss Miniatures

How gorgeous are these rackets?! By Truly Scrumptious

And of course a tube of tennis balls, they're fuzzy to touch just like the real thing. LOVE! Also by Truly Scrumptious

Well, think that's game, set, match for today. (Sorry, couldn't resist!) . :p

6 July 2012

Week 27: stunt kitchen units


Apologies for the later than usual hour.
Went to work with Dad today and got stuck into a larger than normal project!
It's not dolls house related but it will be appearing in the Olympic games opening ceremony. Exciting!

So, my Olympic journey over let's get back to mini things!

This week I built a fitted kitchen unit. Oooh!
Of course the Elf one I dream of is currently out of my price range but this one turned out pretty good!

What I used:
Balsa wood
Strip of hard, fine grain wood
Spray paint
Silver paint
Tacky wax

What I did:
First, measure the length of the wall you want the units to run along and cut both the balsa and hard wood to fit.

Smooth the surface of the balsa and spray in colour of our choice. ( somewhere really ventilated!!)
Allow to dry then decide how many cupboards and drawers you'd Like.
Score the balsa wood with a scalpel.
You should be left with panels posing as cupboard/ drawer fronts!
If you're feeling super lazy/ on a tight budget paint handles on using metallic paint.
If you want to go the extra mile you could buy some little handles.

Using tacky wax fix the panel in place. Make sure it's a snug fit to the Walls and there's space for the hard wood work top to fit on top. I left
Mine natural but you may decide other wise.
Using a little more tacky wax fit the work top in place.

Ta da!
Stunt kitchen!
Dress with all your fave kitchen mini's and admire.

Have a lovely weekend!

4 July 2012

Shopping: 4th of July

Happy 4th of July to our American friends!

While it's just a bog standard Wednesday here I thought we'd join in the fun with a few teeny, tiny treats.
Sending these and super happy vibes from across the pond. 

These red,white and blue beauties are Etsy finds, enjoy! 

Cupcakes and hot dogs by Cute in Miniature

Visit Cute in Miniature's store

Celebration cookies and cake by Sarah Maloney

Visit Sarah's store

1 July 2012

The Dolls House Magazine: August 2012

Yes, it's that time again!

Issue 171 of The Dolls House magazine hits the shops next week. This month there's a fun theme of Art Noveau and a look at art for the miniature home.

My little column also happens to make an appearance. This month I'm celebrating finally finishing the little house after a year of re-decorating and making a right old mess. Yay!