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Celebrate Chocolate Day on Etsy With Willy Wonka Inspired Crafts

What better way to celebrate July 7th, Chocolate Day than a look at some of the sweet confections the Etsy marketplace has to offer?

Though chocolate itself is available in abundance on the site, we thought we’d shine a spotlight on the creations inspired by the number one Candy Man himself: Mr. Willy Wonka.

Posted by Megan Christopher

Wearable Books: A Treat for Your Inner English Major

Charms by Melissa Oesch

One of my favorite things about wearable mini-books is that I get to use leather journals as jewelry without being a pretentious twit about it.

That was the habit when I was 18 and a freshman English major: using such things as self-adornment, as an insecure suburban teen trying desperately to look intellectual and literary is wont to do. I leaned toward unadorned leather journals in which I earnestly wrote bad prose and worse poetry in a very public manner. Why, yes, I believe there were kreteks involved.

Even though I’ve given up the poetry (you’re welcome) and have switched to writing bad prose on a laptop, I still have a soft spot for the accoutrements of the newly minted English major which is indulged by these Etsy shops. Check them out.

These mini-book necklaces by Philadelphia’s Margaux and Walter Kent at Peg and Awl are a callback to those more fanciful days.

The Kents hand make each piece using reclaimed leathers from sources such as vintage sofas and antique doctors’ bags.

Posted by Lisa Fary

Life @ Quirk: March’s Pink Piggy Party

Here at Quirk we know how to work hard and play hard. Our monthly office parties give us an excuse to celebrate. Katie Hatz, our resident party designer, picks fun and quirky themes for us to play with. We went for a Pink Piggy Party in March. We celebrated with pig ear headbands, ate pork-inspired treats, and played pink pig balloon volleyball.

Check out some photos, our music list, and great recipes below. Oink, oink!

Posted by Jennifer Adams

Unloved Books FInd New Life As iPod Docks

Rich and Brenna Neeley, two clever book-loving crafters from Southern California, rescue discarded books and turn them into absolutely beautiful docks for your iPod, iPhone, and/or iPad.

But how can anyone chop up such gorgeous books? A lot of the books featured in their Etsy shop are really quite stunning. Well, according to their profile page, Brenna only recycles “books that haven’t been appreciated elsewhere” with “more than a few [sneaking] their way into [their] personal collection.” So you can be quite sure that the book being used “was not being loved as it should be.”

Visit their Etsy page for more. I’m definitely ordering one soon.

Posted by Eric Smith

Hey, We Know That Waffle: Mei Pak’s Jewelry Featured in Parks & Recreation

We’re pretty huge fans of Parks and Recreation here at the Quirk HQ. Seldom does a week go by that Margaret doesn’t bring up chickie-chickie-parm-parm or reference the Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. So when our crafty friend Mei Pak emailed us about her necklace appearing in an episode, we flipped out.

Mei, who was featured in our recent craft book Microcrafts, creates adorable food-inspired jewelry under the name Tiny Hands. Her scented waffle necklace was featured in the Valentine’s Day episode Operation Ann (here’s a link to it on Hulu).

According to Mei, she’d been in contact “with the show’s wardrobe stylist, sent her some pieces of jewelry, and then all of a sudden… there it was on TV.”

You can read the entire story about how it happened over on Mei’s blog. Congrats, dear! We’re proud of you.

Posted by Eric Smith

DIY Valentines: Send A Love Letter From Your Valentine’s Favorite Author

There is nothing more uninspiring than the drugstore Valentine aisle. Forget Hallmark this year and impress your Valentine with a love letter from their favorite author tucked inside a paper mailbox — complete with a hinged door and quaint red mailbox flag.

For this DIY-Valentine you’ll need the following materials:

– 3 sheets of card stock
– double-sided tape
– single hole punch
– paper fasteners
– craft knife
– pen
– mini envelope and card
– craft scissors

Feel free to use this lovely template from her Craftacular Highness, Martha Stewart, if you’re artistically challenged like me or create your own version of the 3-D paper mailbox.

Once you’ve assembled your mailbox, inscribe a note with a short quote or passage from your Valentine’s favorite author, slip it inside a mini envelop and deliver it to your “mailbox.”

Hopefully, your beau’s favorite writer is someone romantic like poet, Pablo Neruda. You’ll have an easy time finding lovey-dovey quotes encapsulating your true feelings. But perhaps your Valentine is more into stark Russian prose. Not incredibly romantic but — fear not! Your letter will just be that much more unique.

I’ve chosen to use a quote from one of my guy’s favorite authors, Fyodor Dostoevsky, but you can borrow from any author that has meaning to you or your Valentine.

On the small note tucked inside the mailbox, I wrote:

We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at
first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.

Works every time. You're welcome.


Short. Sweet. And completely unique. Your beau will appreciate your creativity and hey, you remembered their favorite author! Bonus points.


Posted by Cristina Perachio