September 30, 2011 • Crafting
“Specializing in sweets and snacks, Mei Park has been crafting customizable food jewelry since 2006.” So reads Mei Pak's bio in the back of Microcrafts, which features tutorials on how to make her famous mini cupcakes, tiny lollipops, and itty-bitty chocolates, each of which are made using multicolored polymer clay.
If you swing by her store, Tiny Hands Online, you can browse through a number of her bestselling charms, rings, earrings and necklaces, many of which actually smell like the food they are inspired by. That maple syrup drizzled waffle necklace, pumpkin pie ring, and donut charm bracelet actually smell just as good as they look.
Tiny Hands Online
PS: Oh, and scope out this fabulous video of Mei via RAW: Natural Born Artists. I've pasted it after the break.
September 28, 2011 • Cookbook: Baking
With back to school days now in full swing, you may need A+ snacks to put in your little one's lunch pail, or for a quick nibble after school. Here’s one that will definitely win top honors… easy-to-bake Bacon Cheese Muffins.
The crisp bacon bits, mixed into the wholesome muffin goodness with melted cheese inside is sure to make this a winning treat!
September 28, 2011 • Cookbook: Drinks, Handbooks: Literary Figures
With its psychedelic gigantic mushrooms and tempting “Drink Me” tag, how could anyone, never mind just Alice, resist taking a sip from this fantastic flask? That’s right. They couldn’t. And neither could you. So drink up.
Lori, the creative mind behind the Etsy shop Kitschville, crafts a number of unique flasks, from Powerpuff Girls to these pulp-esque best friend designs. All of her bottles, packed with literary references or not, feature graphics printed on treated, water resident, heavy-duty vinyl.
Alice in Wonderland Flasks @ Etsy
September 27, 2011 • Fiction
Life is a game of chess. Somethingsomething Queen takes King. I don’t know.
Chess, that master game of strategy, has always been a popular motif in literature and popular culture, especially in the realms of genre fiction, and the Chessmaster himself is often one of the most popular characters in the story. You know what I’m talking about – he’s smug, clever, full of secrets hid behind a smarmy little smirk. He knows the endgame well before the first pawn is placed, and he spends the entire story manipulating his opponent(s) to reach that one desired outcome, whatever it might be.
Sometimes he’s the most evil guy on the board, playing tricks and screwing over everyone to serve his mysterious purpose. Sometimes, he’s the greatest hero, who just knows what has to happen to ensure that the good guys win. Either way, we’re fascinated by him. Try as the reader or audience might, the Chessmaster always remains 3 to 4,000 steps ahead of them – he always keeps us guessing. And even when we think we’ve got him figured out, suddenly the Pawn becomes a Queen and the game is just beginning.
Here are (in no particular order) 10 of the more notable Chessmasters in the realm of pop culture/fiction. Granted, not all of them won in the end, but certainly all knew how to play the game. Some spoilers to follow, but I’ll try to avoid giving away too many details and ruining the fun.
September 26, 2011 • Cookbook: Baking
From a young age, I have dedicated my life to one creation-- the homemade cookie. From the combination of my mother, a brilliant cook with zero interest in baking anything other than meat or dumplings (which makes her an even more amazing woman) and my dad's addiction to chocolate chips and his extreme measures of not sharing them with his three beautiful children (read: put them on the highest shelf), the homemade cookie was rarely in our house. Frankly, store bought cookies don't cut it for this cookie monster. In fact, cookies can't even be in the same aisle as baking supplies, that's how far they are from satisfying the real craving for cookies.
The first batch of homemade cookies I remember were by the hands of my older sister with help from me. She was finally tall enough to get the chair and reach over the refrigerator to grab my father's stash of chocolate chips. The elusive treasure had a map on how to achieve twenty four delicious discs of butter, sugar, flour and chocolate. We carefully put them together to make the round glops spotted with chocolate. After their perfectly timed rest in the oven, we pulled out the hot cookie sheet of golden discs holding rich semi-sweet gooeyness. I found bliss.
Cookies will never go out of style. As long as the basic elements have come together, even the most hideous of cookies get eaten. So after flipping through the wonderful book, The Cookiepedia, I knew I found a kindred spirit in Stacy. She gets it. I made these animal cookies with a little frosting and some non-pareils sprinkled on that. The cinnamon will make people ask you what your secret ingredient is. It's a great cookie for kids' parties or adults who are trying to make up for the lost sweets from their childhood.
Recipe Notes: Don't be alarmed if your cookies come out a little crispy. They will soften up if they sit out over night especially with frosting. Store these in an air tight container for about a week-- if you can keep them in your house that long.
September 20, 2011 • Fiction
This Saturday, Quirk Books is participating in Word On The Street, a book festival going down in Toronto. It's an annual event chock full of great publishers and booksellers, author meet & greets, and of course, plenty of books to purchase. While we won't actually be there in person (I wish!), our books sure will.
At the festival, you'll be able to pick up copies of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Night of the Living Trekkies, the Meowmorphosis, Bedbugs and all three novels in the Pride & Prejudice & Zombies trilogy. You can spot us at Booth #201 & #202.
In addition to the publishers and authors showcasing their works and the epic marketplace of books, there are a number of fabulous events going on at the festival. A scavenger hunt, cooking demonstrations by some of Canada's top chefs, a cartooning workshop for kids, and our good friends at Random House CA are showcasing some new authors in their Remarkable Reads tent. And that's just to name a few! For the full list, visit their official website.
This bookish celebration runs from 11am to 6pm and is rain or shine. Cross your fingers for a sunny day!
Word On The Street
Sunday, September 25th, 11am to 6pm