Quiet Lion Creations by Allison Beth Cooling: August 2012


Baroque Gem Earrings

The look for fall is opulence; the trends of over-the-top embellishment, gold accents, and baroque-inspired patterns are here to stay. Ornamental frills and lots of gems characterize the look, as well as the chic combo of black and gold. 
The Fashion Police majority even said it's a trend to keep, and I agree. 
You just have to be careful not to go overboard with the look into ornamentation overload. This DIY below adds the perfect touch of this trend to any outfit.

It's all about richness; or, the illusion of it.
Yeah, I don't have the money (or intentions) of buying a totally real Balmain or Cavalli silk dress, but I will make a knock-off pair of earrings.
That's just what I do.
And so can you.

Let's use our crafty scraps and make a totally eye-catching pair of dangles; old felt, plastic gems, some glitter. They look like you spent the big bucks.
How envious will people be when they find out they're handmade?

Let's get started.

Step 1: Gather materials. Needed are felt scraps (black and yellow felt), glue, a paintbrush, fine gold loose glitter, scissors, plastic gems, fish hooks and jump rings, gold acrylic paint and clear lacquer.

Step 2: Cut out a teardrop shape of black felt (you can make it any size you want). Paint the edges with clear lacquer to stop fraying. Repeat for next earring. If there are any flyaway frizzies, cut them off with scissors to trim.
Now, cut a smaller teardrop of the yellow. Repeat for next earring.
Take your gold paint and paint the top of the yellow teardrops. Make sure to blot them with a tissue so that they are not totally soggy (they won't dry very fast if they are). 
Once the gold is dry, paint a coat of clear lacquer, and pour glitter on top. Give it a couple of minutes to dry, then fish out the teardrop and tap off any excess glitter. Repeat with other gold teardrop.

Step 3: Take a glittery teardrop, paint the back with glue, and press onto the center of a black teardrop.
Repeat with other teardrop sets.

Step 4: Embellish. Take your gems and glue them in whatever pattern/motif you want to your earrings.
When the glue has dried, poke a hole right at top of the gold teardrop with a needle; put your jump ring through this hole and affix the fishhook to the jump ring.
Repeat for other earring.

All photos and instructions copyright Allison Cooling for Quiet Lion Creations.
If you share/use/post this tutorial, please link back to me. It is much appreciated!


J'adore Dior! Nail Design

Do you adore Dior? I know I do. 
I came up with a manicure that captured the richness and elegance of Charlize's dress, but that's still easy for any budding nail artist to apply.
I used varying shades of golds and browns, and finished with a buildup of glitter at the top of the nail to mimic the bejeweled look of the dress.

Gone are the neon manicures of summer; fall brings in the the refinement of metallic tones and opulence of texture and sparkle. I don't mind.

This manicure features a deep gold base with added glitter tip- three types of glitter to be exact. 
You can't go wrong here.

Let's begin with the tutorial.

Step 1: Gather materials. Needed are clear nail polish, a taupe (I used Sinful Colors Nirvana), a shimmery beige (I used Sally Hansen #4453), a shimmery gold (I used LA Colors Seashell), a gold glitter (I used Sinful Colors All About You), fine gold loose glitter and chunky gold glitter.
You will also need a paint brush, and nail polish remover for cleanup.

Step 2: Paint one coat of the taupe. Let dry. 
Paint one coat of the shimmery beige. Let dry.
Paint two coats of the shimmery gold. Let dry.
You are building layers of colors which add to the richness of the paint.

Step 3: With the gold glitter nail polish, take a small glob and paint evenly only the top 2/3rds of your nail, leaving the bottom third the plain gold color.
Repeat with each nail. Let dry.

Step 4: Paint a coat of the clear nail polish. Working quickly, take your dry paint brush and dip in the fine loose glitter. Tap the end towards the top half of the nail so some glitter falls onto the nail. 
Now, take a pinch of chunky glitter and sprinkle on tip of nail; it's ok if it falls a little lower like seen in the picture. We are aiming for a glitter dusted tip look.
Repeat with each nail. Make sure to press down the glitter on the nail so it sticks.
When dry, apply top coat over everything. 

A close up of the glitter-dusted look!

All photos and instructions copyright Allison Cooling for Quiet Lion Creations.
If you share/use/post this tutorial, please link back to me. It is much appreciated!


Color Monday; Sailor's Delight Palette

What a calm sea. The muted oranges, pinks and blues of early morning sun upon the ocean.
Sail away!


Vanilla Pear Butter

Mmmmmm, pear harvest.
There are many things to do with pears: poach, slice, bake, dice...
but I prefer to make pear butter.
Since the end of summer is upon us, it is a great way to usher in fall and fall's flavors.
This recipe is for a simple, easy, and quick Vanilla Pear Butter that can be whipped up in an afternoon and doesn't have to be canned and all that mess.

Yes, this can be made gluten free (make sure you use certified gluten free ingredients if you need to).
I used a bushel of pears from a relative's backyard tree. 
Local, fresh, organic!
Much better than what's at the grocery store right now. 
And much cheaper.

Beautiful shades of green and yellow!
Make sure to use the ripest pears you can; if they are not ripe, your butter will be grainy and not as smooth. Not good.

This recipe makes 4 cups of Pear Butter. You can spread this on toast, fruit, cookies, 
or even eat it like applesauce. This pear butter also has a lot more flavor, and includes a SECRET ingredient to make it taste that much better!
Let's begin.

-Makes 4 Cups of Pear Butter-

Step 1: Gather pears. Needed are:
-20 pears (mine were small because they were organic)
Peel and core pears. Chop into small pieces.
Add pears to food processor (I had to add half, then the other half) and
process till totally smooth, like a puree. 


Step 2: Add pear puree to large pot. 
Add next ingredients:
-Juice of 1/2 a lemon (I used organic, it was smaller)
-About 1/2t. lemon zest
-About 1/4t. fresh grated ginger (omit if you don't like)
-1c. brown sugar (I didn't pack down tight) (sub. turbinado, vegan sugar or certified gf sugar for gluten free)
-1T honey (sub. agave or maple syrup if needed)

You can use a little more lemon zest if you want, if you like lemon.
I do, and I did.

Step 3: The SECRET ingredient.
What makes the vanilla the Vanilla.
Mexican Vanilla.
Spicier, more vanilla-y, more FLAVOR. Much better than regular vanilla extract.
If you haven't tried Mexican vanilla, you are missing out!
Of course, if you don't have it, feel free to sub. regular vanilla.
-1T of vanilla should be added to the pot now.

Step 4: Mix all ingredients well. Add pot to stove. Cook on 
the LOWEST heat setting you can, covered, for 1 hour.
This has a tendency to bubble and splatter if it's on too high of a heat. Not good.
You will have to stir intermittently to keep everything moving.
We are just cooking it to meld all the flavors together.
Take off heat after 1 hour, let cool, then add to an airtight container (I used a glass Pyrex with cover)
and refrigerate. 

For serving, I recommend heating- the flavors are better than when cold.
Of course, if you like it cold, don't heat.
Top with some fresh lemon zest - fancy!

Mine didn't last for more than a week. 
Make sure to eat it soon, because without preservatives it won't keep long.

All photos and instructions copyright Allison Cooling for Quiet Lion Creations.
If you share/use/post this tutorial, please link back to me. It is much appreciated!


Vanities-Tiny Skull Bracelet

This Vanities Skull Bracelet is a super-easy DIY that doesn't even take 10 minutes! 
Use up your cool colors of embroidery floss to make different looks. Not into skulls? 
Use different character beads for different themes! I found these skull beads at a local beadstore.

This DIY makes a bracelet that ties once around your wrist. The Vanities bracelet is a bit longer and wraps a couple of times. If you want yours longer, use longer lengths of thread.

Bright and fun! Use as many or as little colors as you want. My tutorial uses 3, but you can alter that amount.

Step 1: Gather materials. Needed are scissors, embroidery floss, and a skull bead. You will also need tape.

Step 2: Cut about 4 times the length you want your final bracelet to be; fold this piece in half. Repeat with 2 other colors. Tie overhand knots about 1" from the end. Tape these three flosses together on your table. Take the leftmost color; twist this thread towards the left, really tight (but not too tight that it bunches up). Repeat with the center color, and the right color. You may need to either hold the ends in your teeth or tape down to keep the twist tight while twisting the other threads!

Step 3: Now, take all of the threads together, and twist them to the right; a spiral should form and hold tight. You can stop twisting when the bracelet holds itself in the pattern.

Step 4: Add your skull bead to the middle and knot. Knot the ends as well and cut.
Tie these on like friendship bracelets!


Color Monday; Humble Palette

A rosy palette made of deep mauves, bordeaux, oranges and pinks.
Humble yet beautiful.