Quiet Lion Creations by Allison Beth Cooling


sticks n stones





Sticks n stones and South Side Chi silos, Nik really hooked us up with this killer shoot location. I always love me some good graffiti; the more colorful, the better. There's probably hidden obscenities lurking in the drippy backdrops, but that's what makes these types of shoots all the more, ahem, unique!

 A busted-out wall made for easy entrance into the abandoned silo, but the adventure could quickly have gotten out of hand. (Nik, in Greek accent) "C'mon Al, let's climb to the top I do it all the time, just grab this rope and climb up to those stairs."

I look up. Said rope is outside the building, above water, and the steel wallside stairs creak and shuffle in the September breeze. The building is probably 20 stories high, lowballing. "Um NO. Absolutely NOT."

"Ok, let's go to the basement then."

We walk around the main building to a small Hobbit-sized hole. Cue Greek accent -- "Yes, let's climb down here, there is a cool hallway at the back with metal bars-"

I poke my head in the hole. I cannot see the floor. Something dark and large is in the corner. Oh hell naw.
"Nik, let's take it easy for today. Outside only."

That girl would do great on Survivor.


In usual QLC style, more is BETTER! Graffiti! Sequins! Statement jewelry! But, you've gotta always mix that high and low, here in the form of copper sparkles on top and ripped jeans, sporty sneaks on bottom. Homage to Kanye here, he'd probably stare at himself in the reflection of those sequins,,,, no doubt.

My Dreamweaver necklace was made with 100% Cousin Corporation supplies (grab at most craft stores!), while the simple chain choker was created from small sterling connectors. Those wrap bracelets are great everyday pieces - wear with just about anything. The neutral tones play off all colors, case and point.

Copper sequin crop, distressed jeans from Generation Bliss.  Sneakers Yeezy Boost 350.



I have been legit LOOKING for a great view of the skyline, and this location provided it perfectly. The wind was working for us (it is the Windy City, of course) and making this monarch-chic Generation Bliss pleated skirt float and sway.

This outfit is fiercely feminine (you're used to at least a little grunge with me, correct?) but surely offset by that chainmaille vest for some added edge. Made from a bunch of oval jewelry connectors and jump rings, its almost-scaly surface acts as a delicate armor. 

Body chain / bracelets by me, Black bodysuit and Butterfly skirt from Generation Bliss.  Shoes, Aldo.



Niks like, "I want to take a picture by the Shut Up, it's funny". And so there we go, trekking through what looked like multiple 7-Eleven dumpsters that had been attacked by the Zombie Apocalypse, to make it to this quirkily saucy wall. Mind you, she's in heels, and I'm struggling to hold nine fully-filled clothing hangers, a menagerie of already tangled jewelry, two backpacks, a new laptop and Nik's dad's extremely expensive Canon. But, you do what you must.

It's kinda 90's here with that silky cami top and chunky choker. Layer said choker with a longer tassel necklace for some dimension. Black on black is even better, we're all about that chic darkness, even in satin shine. We found the pièce de résistance outside in that awesome skull graffiti, so much yas.

Three looks were enough for us that day, it was getting time for some Starbucks. I'd for sure go back to this location, though. There were great areas we didn't have the energy to shoot at. All other Chicago photogs or creatives, be sure to check it out!

Necklace and choker by me, top and skirt from Generation Bliss.  Shoes, Aldo. Purse, Gucci.

Because I take all photos for my blog, the images within this post are all copyright Allison Beth Cooling for Quiet Lion Creations.
If you'd like permission to use a photo, email me at allison@quietlioncreations.com


lotus potions

Lotus flowers, henna potions and golden glows mix with a recurring theme of bohemian glitz for this mini-motif post. The fresh buzzed undercut clearly steals the show, if you ask me - if you haven't tried an undercut yet, what you waitin' for?

And while it's officially / not officially the end of summer, get ready for autumnal themes.  PUMPKIN SPICE , PUMPKIN SPICE , PUMPKIN SPICE , PUMPKIN SPICE!!! Cue the wheat and distressed wood, but offset that with cinnamon-red blooms of early fall. The henna I used here on my hand was from Joann Fabrics actually (the Jacquard Henna Kit) and it worked great- super dark, and the applicator was nice and thin. It's been lasting for a week now and is just a little faded.

And as my favorite time of the year, Halloween, creeps around the corner, be on the lookout for spooky chic tutorials and photo posts.

Because I take all photos for my blog, the images within this post are all copyright Allison Beth Cooling for Quiet Lion Creations.
If you'd like permission to use a photo, email me at allison@quietlioncreations.com


once upon a cupcake.....

Sugar, spice and everything nice; commence the cupcakes.

This sweet tooth found its match at the Morean Arts Center Second Annual Cupcake Contest in St. Petersburg, Florida. Saccharine in the very best way, I was inundated with cakes of all sizes. Minis, colossal confections and everything in between, I merely moseyed up and down the aisles, capturing snapshots for this post. No, I didn't unveil any top secret recipes from the participants and no, I don't have any tips to share with you (I'm too impatient to bake), so this post serves as eye candy, almost literally. I followed around a crew whom were more involved in the actual "tasting" aspect of the event, serving as a photojournalist of sorts.

See below for some of my favorites from the contest. There were categories involving novice bakers, professionals, and fan favorites, but I'll share with you the ones I thought simply looked like winners.
Above, cinnamon cakes topped with dainty dollops of buttercream and pumpkin orange sprinkles sparked a fall-like mood.

However, I might have found my match with these chocolate-covered cherry cakes - sadly, not in the vegan category so I couldn't partake in any tasting, I donated my prop to hungry bystanders who were more than glad to take it off my hands. Maybe I was a little overdressed for the occasion, clad in my *new* golden chain tank (photo post coming!), plenty of champagne-colored sparkles and a dainty metallic tattoo, but I certainly never dress for any occasion, really.

The contest winner was decided by how many votes she or he ended up with at the end of the night- raffle tickets were sold and counted as said votes. By simply plopping tickets in small bags at every station (all my tickets went to fellow vegans), the winner was selected. More on that below...

You could almost hear the sound of sugarplum fairies dancing about at some of the stations -- I loved the unique displays some of the bakers came up with. Cupcakes, glitter and roses? A surefire match, and a surefire way to get me to vote for 'ya.

Bright pops of raspberry red and citrus greens were offset by the neutral dark roast browns and creamy whites. Dreamsicle oranges and limoncello yellows were complimented by azure blues and a hint of lavender - surely a palette for the tastebuds and eyes.

I was surely impressed by baker creativity here; maybe the most creative came in the form of Jalapeño Stout cakes, merging sweet and spicy for what I was told was a tasty bite. Retro-inspired recipes included rootbeer float frosting, while hipster favs involved bacon (of course) and cheddar. Slightly strange if you ask me, but why not go all out? Maybe the most common theme (paying homage to Florida) was tropical-inspired cakes: many piña colada flavors involving coconut, lemon and pineapple lined the baking sheets. Cue the ukulele!

The winners were decided at the end of the night - Jen of Wandering Whisk, took the second annual People's Choice vote. Her Chai Latte cupcakes, pictured above in the post, swooned the tasters. You can view the other winners here!

Hope you enjoyed the festive bits here, a sweet escape minus the cals. Go wipe off the drool that's been building on your computer -- gross!

Because I take all photos for my blog, the images within this post are all copyright Allison Beth Cooling for Quiet Lion Creations.
If you'd like permission to use a photo, email me at allison@quietlioncreations.com


lillie necklaces

With the lightness of lace and the sheer sparkle of Swarovski flatbacks, these pendant necklaces, although small in size, truly pack a punch!
This is actually a perfect tutorial for anyone who is new to jewelry making. If you are always intimidated by DIY projects, don't fear. This jewelry tutorial is the perfect step into working with higher end materials (sterling silver / precious metal and Swarovski) and I encourage you to try it!

With some glue, filigree components and chain you can have a super sophisticated piece, perfect for both casual outfits and dressy occasions.


Use any color crystal flatbacks here to suit your mood. Go for light and like colors, shown here, to wear them layered. Or, choose one focal piece and make it a ravishing rainbow of hues!

I'll show you exactly how I made these three pieces, and don't worry, it doesn't take long. Just give some time for the glue to dry, and you'll be on your way. Feel free to use these pendants as earrings as well!

Step 1: Gather materials. Needed are filigree pendants (silver styles here and gold styles here), rhinestone flatbacks in multiple colors and sizes (some clear stones here and silver stones here), a toothpick and Gem-Tac, necklace chain, 6mm jump rings and flatnose pliers.

I used sterling silver bases here for an upscale look. You can grab sterling chain at any local craft store. Cousin Elegance Metals has many different chains that are pre-made for ease!

Step 2: Crystallize. Use your toothpick to pick up small dabs of glue and place on the filigree pendant. Do not use too much glue here, or it will ooze out the bottom of the pendant - not good!
You can embellish as much or as little as you want! Let the glue dry fully.

The back of the pendant should be clean, without glue webs. It helps to place the crystals fully on metal parts, instead of cutouts.
Simply attach your pendant to a premade necklace chain with your jumpring. Use flatnose pliers to help you open and close the jump rings.

Super simple, yet so sophisticated. I love how these our lightweight, and can be layered for a mix ' n match vibe! Filigree pendants come in so many sizes and shapes-- try using multiple pendants per piece for a super-shiny statement accessory.

Because I take all photos for my blog, the images within this post are all copyright Allison Beth Cooling for Quiet Lion Creations.
If you'd like permission to use a photo, email me at allison@quietlioncreations.com