Thursday, December 29, 2011

Howdy, Pardner!

It's time again for another Spoonflower Fabric of the Week contest! This week's theme is "Recipe", and the instructions were to create a repeating pattern featuring a recipe.

Many of the things I cook or bake are from recipes that were handed down to me by my grandma. Most of them are simple, comfort foods that always bring back many fond memories of child's play at my grandparents' house with my sister and my cousins. This recipe, for Cowboy Cookies, is one of my favorite, and so easy to make. So I decided to play with the cowboy theme and use some vintage imagery.



If you like the design, I would LOVE your vote! Voting is really easy! Here's how: click here to go to the Spoonflower contest page. Click on the Vote in This Week's Contest link on the right, then find my design and click on it (a green border will appear around the image). After making your way through the remaining pages, click the Review My Votes button on the bottom of the last page. When you have reviewed your votes, you can click Submit...and that's it! You can vote for multiple designs, too! Designs that make the Top Ten are automatically offered for sale on the Spoonflower site!

Sunday, December 25, 2011



A very, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all! Thank you so much for following and supporting Penny Candy this year! We're just getting started...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Treats!

I know this isn't a food blog, but nothing affects my mood and how and what I design more than food! (Well, maybe music, too, but that's a whole different post...or blog....) So from time to time I might post something I recently whipped up. Plus, it gives me a chance to try new photo techniques. In this case, I was practicing my macro skills. And I perked-up the photo using some adjustments I learned from Katrina's Pugly Pixel blog. (Thanks, Katrina!)

Here's a super-easy, yummy recipe that I made recently for a Christmas ornament exchange party. Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe, it would be great for New Year's Eve, too--the sanding sugar looks like little snow crystals. And, yes, I added a little bit more rum than the recipe calls for. ;-)



Rum Balls
Makes 4 dozen

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1/4 cups (1-1/2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
3 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark rum
Coarse sanding sugar, for rolling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 12 x 17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. In a heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate chips for 30 seconds in the microwave. Stir. Repeat if necessary until mixture is smooth.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the chocolate mixture, then fold in the flour. Pour batter into prepared baking sheet and spread evenly with rubber spatula. Bake until top is shiny and toothpick inserted into the center comes out with some crumbs attached, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

4. In another bowl, break up brownie into small pieces. With electric mixture on low, pour in the rum and mix until crumbs start to come together to form a ball.

5. Shape into 1-inch balls and roll in sanding sugar to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet; refrigerate, uncovered, until cold, about 2 hours. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Rum balls can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Forest for the Trees: This Week's Spoonflower Contest Entry

Today kicks off voting in the Spoonflower Fabric of the Week contest. This week's theme is "Evergreens", and we were only allowed to use four colors (with white being a color). Here is my entry in the contest, along with a closeup of the tree detail and background texture.





If you like the design, I would LOVE your vote! Voting is really easy! Here's how: click here to go to the Spoonflower contest page. Click on the Vote in This Week's Contest link on the right, then find my design and click on it (a green border will appear around the image). After making your way through the remaining pages, click the Review My Votes button on the bottom of the last page. When you have reviewed your votes, you can click Submit...and that's it! You can vote for multiple designs, too! Designs that make the Top Ten are automatically offered for sale on the Spoonflower site!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Freebie!

I'm starting a tradition here on the Penny Candy blog: Designing and sharing some holiday gift tags, which you can download and use on your gifts this season!

Please feel free to copy them. Here's how:

~ Click on the image. A larger version (300 dpi) will appear in a new window.
~ Copy the image to your desktop.
~ Print, cut, embellish, share...and enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Giveaway Winners!

The results are in! Below are the winners in the three Christmas giveaways posted last week. Thank you so much to everyone who participated--I love reading your comments and blog posts!

To pick the winners, I used the random number generators at random.org. For the first giveaway, because there were six posts, I used the Dice Roller (rolling one die). For the second and third giveaways, I used the True Number Generator. Each post was given the number corresponding to the order in which it was received.

Winners: to claim your prize, please comment on this blog post. In the meantime, I'll get the goodies packed and ready to go!



Thursday, December 8, 2011

This Week's Contest Will Be a Circus!

Today kicks off voting in the Spoonflower Fabric of the Week contest. This week's "assignment": design a pattern for a cloth book that fits on a fat quarter of quilting weight cotton fabric (21" x 18").

I've heard from several customers who have purchased fabric from my At the Circus! collection that they were going to use the fabric to decorate the nursery for their new baby. So I decided to do a cloth book that would coordinate with the collection and that babies and toddlers might enjoy. The book is called Things to Count at the Circus. It is 10 pages plus front and back cover. The fat quarter includes a short list of materials you will need (basic notions) and complete instructions. Because the fabric is currently being printed, I did a quick paper mockup, which you can view on the fabric's design page, or in my Flickr fabric album.



If you like the design, I would LOVE your vote! Voting is really easy! Here's how: click here to go to the Spoonflower contest page. Click on the Vote in This Week's Contest link on the right, then find my design and click on it (a green border will appear around the image). After making your way through the remaining pages, click the Review My Votes button on the bottom of the last page. When you have reviewed your votes, you can click Submit...and that's it! You can vote for multiple designs, too! Designs that make the Top Ten are automatically offered for sale on the Spoonflower site!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Paper Stash: Vintage '80s Stationery

Last night I went upstairs in the attic to find some old childhood artwork. I thought for sure I knew where it was, but I didn't have any luck. Instead I found a stash of some of the old stationery I had back in the 1980s. I have always rationed things I have multiples of, like Halloween candy, because I know once the last one is gone, it's all gone. So when it came to this stationery, I used all of it back then for writing notes to friends in class or keeping in touch with my Star Wars pen pal, but I always saved one piece so I wouldn't forget ever having it. I never imagined back then how much my childhood would influence the work I do now, so these are great for inspiration!

Almost like little museum pieces, they represent so many types of 1980s design: pastels and airbrush-like effects; retro imagery (mostly 1950s); rainbows; minis; bold, hand-drawn everyday objects (usually in pencil or marker); ice cream and other sweets; hard geometric shapes, stripes and polka dots in pink and green; pixelized, 8-bit video games... The pieces below were made by Hallmark, Current, Drawing Board Greetings, and Sangamon, among others.

Usually I'm frustrated when I can't find what I'm looking for in my old boxes and files, but this time I left the attic with a smile on my face. I'll just have to go back up and look again...

Enjoy!









Thursday, December 1, 2011


Looking for a unique, handmade hostess gift, or something fun and different to give to your mom or sister for the holidays? These three tea towels have been printed on linen-cotton canvas and were sewn by me on my old, probably-100-pound, avocado green Singer sewing machine, which I used to watch Mom sew on when I was a kid. Each towel is 16 x 25 inches and is available in my Etsy shop. I'm calling these limited editions, as I intend on printing and sewing no more than 20 of each, so grab one while you can!




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