Quiet Lion Creations by Allison Beth Cooling

8.28.2016

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!

COPYRIGHT
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

8.09.2016

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.


COPYRIGHT
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

8.01.2016

BIRTHDAY BONANZA EXTRAVAGANZA



3......2........1...........IT'S AN EXTRAVAGANZA! 👑🎂
Black cupcakes (we've nicknamed them SoulCakes as they are yes, black like my soul), unicorns 🦄, party lights, sparkler candles and a quick DIY -- it's a cyber birthday bash celebrating Quiet Lion's fifth birthday, and Mhm That Girl's first year breakthrough into blogging!

If you're a reader, you already know my spiel. However, if you haven't, check out Bianca from Mhm That Girl's blog - an online Wonderland of fairytale friends, EDM and Rave - themed posts, and super cool DIYs. Follow her on FB and INSTA! Her stuff is definitely magical as fck.



As in any collaboration, especially a birthday one, it's a mix of two styles - we'd been planning this collab for a while, and wanted to make sure it perfectly captured the essence of our absolute favorite things. Bianca's love of bright colors and anything fairytale perfectly contrasted my affinity for yes, the color black, and anything slightly (or fully) witchy. 💀



These cupcakes look totally spellbound - complete with edible glitter and fit for any Unicorn Queen, they were the perfect birthday treat for us to make. We took cues from the stars to create micro galaxies on the cakes!



Look at these pretties!
           

Read below to follow our cupcake-making journey. PLUS -- I've included another DIY on how to make these shooting star pendants (seen on Mr. Unicorn above) which DOUBLE as cupcake toppers AND pendants!!!

Let's start ---



Step 1: Gather ingredients. Bianca is the baker in the bunch. I used to be better, but have gotten lazy about the cleaning, which deters me from honing the skill. We kept it somewhat easy peasy in this post, mixing some boxed items with a more DIY approach.

For the cake -we used boxed organic cake mix, vanilla, almond milk, vegan margarine, coconut milk yogurt and black food coloring (a lot of it-story coming soon). I can't say these are absolutely vegan (the yogurt, although dairy free, has live cultures which classify it as non-vegan) so if you do want to make these absolutely positively vegan, use your favorite egg substitute.

For the icing -- powdered sugar, vegan dark chocolate chunks, more margarine and vanilla. It made a chocolatey ganache-like coating, which we were surely not disappointed with.
   

Bianca took the reigns here............



And the Kitchenaid (which I haven't used in years) was resurrected for some mixing action.



And then......the black food coloring. "Now, you just put a few drops of the food coloring into the mix" Bianca says to me, as the drops slowly fall into the mixer. One drop, two drop...PLOP. The ENTIRE container of black food coloring. Quickly blending into the rest of the mix, like dark storm clouds overtaking the blue skies.
I am pleased. She is shocked. "HOW DID I LITERALLY POUR THE ENTIRE FRICKING BOTTLE IN HERE" - she jumps to the laptop, "Can you die from food coloring overdose?!" she frantically Googles.
The batter is black as tar, and that works for me. "Just bake 'em", I say, "They'll look dope in photos". She spends the rest of the day in disbelief.
Rule of thumb: watch the black food coloring, it's sneaky.



Watercolor cupcake liners (we got these at Michaels) offset the monochromatic cupcakes, adding that quintessential "Birthday" vibe. These cakes were off to baking.
 


Bianca had the genius idea of getting BLACK edible glitter to decorate - we made sure to go slow here, so that the entire package of glitter didn't end up on the cupcakes.

This is where the icing came in -- we gently piped it on the surface of the cupcakes, like Magic Shell. All we did to make the icing was simply melt the ingredients on the stovetop, stirring carefully to prevent it from seizing. We piped it when it was still warm so that it hardened on the cupcakes.



To finish off the galaxy-inspired look,we sprinkled on edible star-shaped glitter as well. Bright silvery white, to contrast against the ganache icing.



Now, as promised -- the DIY for these cute cupcake toppers!



Step 1: Gather materials. I used 16g aluminum wire, 4mm bicone crystals, 6mm jump rings, 28g silver wire and roundnose pliers / wire cutters.



Simply draw any shape on tracing paper. I kept it simple for the tutorial, but try fancier things like unicorns (see here) or other magical creatures!



Cut a 6" piece of 16g wire. Trace on top of your drawing, bending gently with the roundnose pliers.



Finish the shape by looping the end, then wrapping the other end around this loop. Cut a 12" piece of 28g wire. Wrap the wire around one side of the star, catching beads in the wraps and pulling tight.



Attach a 6mm jumpring to the top loop - now, it becomes a cool pendant!

Stick in the cupcake - gently - and allow the crystal side to stick out. These edible toppers double as decorations and cool jewelry pieces! Great for any fashionista. Like us.



Take the piece out before snarfing down that cupcake -- and add it to a dainty necklace chain for instant sparkle!!

 
P.S. -- the Emoji confetti I made quickly by simply printing emojis on cardstock. Ok, maybe the cutting part wasn't quick- but now 'imma sprinkle that stuff everywhere. Pink aliens, black hears and moons? I say YAS.





NOW, since you've been a good little reader and stuck with us all the way to the end, PREPARE TO BE REWARDED!!!


We have TWO GIVEAWAYS for our birthdays!!!

Shown below, Bianca's crazy cool crystallized sneakers -- these are amazeballs. All our ravers, EDM lovers, supa kool kids and more -- head over to Bianca's Facebook Page here to LIKE her page, and be entered for a chance to WIN these badboys!

To see what I'm giving away -- head to my FACEBOOK PAGE here !! It's a surprise!!




COPYRIGHT
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