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  • When I show people my miniature creations I often hear, “You must have a lot of patience!" I have no more natural ability to be patient than anyone else. Patience is a learned skill and we are all capable of learning. I don‘t have any special capacity for patience, but I do practice it quite often. As most of us already know - you get good at what you practice.

    I would like to share some of my own tips for cultivating patience while working on miniature craft projects. Three strategies that have been helpful to me in my crafting include letting go of expectations, being open to learning, and walking away. I hope that these suggestions will help to get you through the inevitable frustrating moments of crafting on a miniature scale.

    1. My first tip for practicing patience is to let go of expectations that your project will turn out perfectly. There’s nothing wrong with having high standards, but it’s also important to remember that crafting is about learning and having fun. When I let go of my ideas about what my finished project should look like, I am able to enjoy the process of creating without the fear of imperfection hanging over my head. Art projects tend to have a life of their own. Trying to force creativity into a fixed and rigid end product not only takes away the fun of creating it also sets up the perfect storm for frustration, disappointment and impatience. So, my first tip is to just have fun with your Microcrafting, and not worry too much about what your project will look like in the end.

    2. The second tip I have for practicing patience in creative endeavors is to remember that you are learning. No matter how many years I have been creating miniature projects I am still always open to learning. Every time I sit down to create something I know that I might learn something new in the process. Remaining open to learning helps keep my attitude enthusiastic. Patience comes most naturally to me when I am open to whatever might happen during the process of crafting. If I make a mistakes while in that open enthusiastic mode, I am able to view fixing them as opportunities to learn something new. Not only does being open to learning help you to experience patience, it also helps you to grow as an artist and crafter.

    3. One last tip I would like to share is that sometimes it’s best to just walk away. When I feel myself becoming frustrated or impatient with my project often the best course of action is to take a deep breath and set my creation aside for a bit. I seem to make most of my mistakes when I work on projects while feeling impatient or frustrated. When I start feeling like I should chuck my project into the trash bin it is usually a good idea to take a deep breath and do something else for awhile. When I return to my project after taking such a break I find a renewed happiness for the work and a fresh perspective on whatever was tripping me up. A break can go a long way toward keeping you from giving in to impatience and throwing in the proverbial towel.

    I hope that you all have a wonderful time creating your own versions of the projects from the Microcrafts book. I’m sure that practicing patience will help you get through any rough spots you might encounter and allow you to fully experience the joy of creating. Have fun Microcrafters!

  • In most parts of the world, apples are abundant and sweet this time of year. You know what's also probably still abundant and sweet? All that leftover Halloween candy you've got piled up, that you keep eating for breakfast on your way out the door. Don't deny it, I'm onto you.

    If you're growing tired of all that unnatural, corn-syrup filled sweetness, maybe its time to go with something a little more homemade, fairly healthy and just as sweet.

    Behold, apple pancakes. With apple slices, plump raisins and crunchy walnuts, this apple-licious recipe (adapted from Recipes Every Man Should Know by Susan Russo & Brett Cohen) is sure to please. Just whisk, mix, pour and watch the griddle transform the batter into a delicious breakfast treat.

  • It just so happens that we have six, yes you read correctly, six production prints from the Gig Posters: Volume 1 calendar to give away.

    These are huge high quality production prints on heavy weight poster paper. That way the poster won’t get too damaged when you drool all over it while admiring the awesome artwork. Featured artists include Feist (pictured!), Beck, James Brown, Juliett & the Licks, Queens of the Stone Age and Danzig

    How does one win such a sweet poster you might ask? It’s so easy that a pre-rehab rock star could do it. All you have to do is post a comment about your favorite band. Be sure to include your email address, so we can contact you! We will chose six of you at random and send you one of the posters.

    It’s that simple. Then you can gloat to all your friends about how you have some backstage production materials from Quirk.

  • Ever wonder what is actually going on behind the scenes in the Quirk Books office? I’ll bet you imagine it’s all zombie pizza parties in the conference room and Nerf gun fights in the basement. I’m not saying if these things are true or not, but 10 lucky AIGA student members will have that chance to see what really goes on in the Quirk offices and enjoy some pizza and drinks.

    See, I wasn’t completely lying about pizza parties.

    The tour is from 8 p.m. to 10p.m. on November 15th. Quirk Books is one of 8 companies around Philly that are opening their doors to design students so they have a chance to see what really goes on behind the books, ads, and graphic designs.

  • Have you eaten a sandwich today? Odds are you have. Hundreds of millions of people across the globe do every single day. And today that number will rise. Why? Because, sandwich lovers, it’s National Sandwich Day. That’s right. An entire day designated to celebrating the humble sandwich, a simple combination of bread and filling that is satisfying, fast, comforting, and portable.

    Everyone loves sandwiches, but Americans are besotted. We love to make them, talk about them, and gaze upon them. Entire books (mine included), televisions shows, and websites have been devoted to them. Why are we so passionate? Because sandwiches typically have deep cultural, ethnic, and geographies roots. Think of the Vietnamese Bahn Mi, the Mexican Torta, and the American ham sandwich. Some sandwiches have become icons of the city from which they emanated. Can you imagine Philadelphia without its cheese steak or New Orleans without its Po ‘Boy?

    So on this most glorious of days, make yourself or someone you love a sandwich. It doesn’t matter if it’s an old-fashioned BLT or an upscale Nutella sandwich. If it’s got bread and filling and makes you happy, then it has done its job.

    I’ll be having a Sloppy Joe today. Easy to make, economical, and satisfying, Sloppy Joes were the ideal belly-filler during the Great Depression and World War II. And seeing as our current economy isn’t soaring yet, it seems apropos.

    This all-American sandwich is fabulously gloppy, so assemble sandwiches only when you’re ready to eat them – wait 10 minutes and you’ll be eating a Soggy Joe instead. Skip the silverware – just a plop a stack of napkins in the center of the table, or better yet, a roll of paper towels. You’ll need them.

  • Wow! The entire Quirk HQ is sending a big thank you out to the folks at Goodreads and their fabulous, passionate user base. Earlier this week, the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards launched, and three of our books are nominated!

    Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is nominated for Favorite Book of 2011, and is in seriously good company. George R. R. Martin's A Dance with Dragons and Tina Fey's Bossypants are both in the same category. Miss Peregrine is also nominated in the Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction category, alongside Veronica Roth's Divergent and Beth Revis' Across the Universe.

    Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After is nominated in the Horror category. Broet Laureate Brian McGackin's stellar debut, Broetry, is nominated in the Poetry category, and is currently fistpumping with Horrorscopes for the Dead, written by former Poet Laureate of the United States Billy Collins.

    The opening round of voting has already started, and runs through November 13th. Semifinals launches on November 14th through the 20th, with finals kicking off November 21st through the 30th.

    So go vote! For us, of course. And thank you again, Goodreads! We're psyched.

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