About the Header Photo

Our Valentine Sweets header cookie bouquet was created with Sweet Stampen's food safe rubber stamps: Chocolates, a tiny heart cut from Circle of Love, The whole image of Circle of love was used with , Winner's Circle was used to frame Wedding Border, a mini heart stamp was used dry to emboss the surface around Cupid's Magic, last cookie features a stamp that is not online yet: Key to My Heart

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Why do we use shortbread cookies in our cookie pops??? Because they taste AWESOME! But that's not the only reason. If you are giving someone a cookie bouquet, you want a thick hearty cookie that won't break and will hold up to some handling. Shortbread is excellent for that!

Shortbread Cookie Recipe for Cookie Pops

  • 1 c. Butter       
  • 2/3 c. Powdered Sugar
  • ½ t. Vanilla    
  • ¼ t. Salt   
  •  2 c. Flour
Cream butter til smooth. Add powdered sugar & vanilla. Blend sugar thoroughly. Stir in flour mixed with salt. Knead quickly so the butter doesn’t melt. Refrigerate dough for half an hour.

Remove chilled dough. Spray cookie pan with Pam and press cookie dough into individual circles. With fingertips, pull cookie dough away from outer edge of circle toward center; this will help the cookie release. Gently hold the dough with the heel of your hand and slide the cookie stick into cookie about 2”. Pierce cookie with fork several times to aid steam release during baking.
Bake cookies in the upper third of 325◦ oven til they are a pale golden color and the edges are starting to brown. Remove and place on a cooling rack until completely cooled. Remove cookies by lifting edges with a tapered spatula or knife. Do not pick up by sticks; this will loosen cookie stick (if baking with a whole stick for final use in cookie bouquet. See Holly's Tips for details). 

Holly's Tips for Cookie Pop Baking

Sticks: I always thought the sticks looked a tad icky yellow after baking and never liked the look of them in a finished bouquet. Add in that a) I have a smallish over and b) I'm a clutz and I ended up rearranging the cookie dough every single time I baked! Then the idea hit me...if I could get rid of that long stick and still have a hole... hmmmm. So I came up with this technique. I've been doing it for years now!

Cut cookie sticks in half to avoid knocking them out of place during baking. Once the cookies are cool to touch, gently twist the stick out of the cookie. Dip a new, clean stick in corn syrup and place in cookie hole.

Now, I don't make a mess of my dough and I always have a nice, clean stick in my bouquets! 

Ingredients: We always get asked about family recipes for cookie pops. You can use almost any cookie recipe with a few simple rules.
  • Do not use any cookie recipe that contains baking powder or soda as the cookies my not shape correctly in pan during baking. These two ingredients also make a more fragile cookie that is more likely to break with handling... and cookie pops require handling. 
  • If using nuts or chips, chop them fine or use mini chips. Make sure to press them into the dough so that they are not protruding.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Other Creative Pursuits

I often forget that many of you don't realize I have a "day" job... Not that I do well financially at either profession but... both are creative and that suits me well.

I make food safe rubber stamps that allow people to create intricately decorated cookies, cakes and candy. Back to school through Valentine's is our really busy season followed by another pop around Easter. After that, no one wants to be in the kitchen! I also have a number of bakeries that use this technique... and this is their busy season as well...meaning they are ordering rubber and food coloring from me.

Black Widow Spider handstamped and painted cookie  - a demo from my last class.

Forgetful Holly sorta forgot that all of this was impending and has orders standing in the shop with no product. So today, I have to dash South to get our special food color, hitting my silk floral supplier as I pass downtown cause I have no flowers for my next cookie bouquet class. Then it's West for a piece of glass I need for fusing and back toward home for some acrylic stock for rubber stamp handles... OY... I don't like "car days!" But the shop will be ready to rock n roll once all that is here! So... I'll be working all weekend! That's a good thing! No complaints here!

So, before I dash out the door into LA's monstrous freeway system, I wanted to share a tidbit about creativity. One of the things I love about artists is... they see the world differently. I had a most talented lady in my last class. She had chosen a sea them for her cookie bouquet. But often students pick up a rubber stamp and they aren't really sure what it is...yet they never ask. They always just seem to make it work.

This lady had picked up our speckled Easter egg and then realized... that won't exactly be right with her sea themed bouquet.

This image doesn't exactly scream "sea shore" now does it??

But look what my student "saw" in that egg:

I love that she used that egg to envision a starfish! It looked lovely in her bouquet (which Ms. Forgetful didn't get a pic of!)

So, see your world a little differently today... Look closer... or further. Look for patterns or color or repetition... Who knows what you'll see! Or what it will inspire! Originally published on HollysFollyBeads

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Idiot Proofing!

NOTE: In an effort to pay more attention to my day job, I'm starting a new Friday Series called Inside the Rubber Room. The subject matter will be rubber stamping but, I'm hoping my crafty audience will follow along!

For more years than I can count, I have sold two sets of 12 stamps each geared toward artists making jewelry using rubber stamps. These 24 stamps are the very first I ever designed myself. I created them after becoming certified to teach PMC on a lark and hating the rubber stamps used in class! I knew I could do better!
Blacker images are darker and not as deeply etched as images with more white in them.

After having them tested by many of the professional stampers, polyclay and PMC artisans I know from my Carol Duvall days, I pursued the PMC Corporation as a customer. I could land the account BUT, the sheets had to be in one piece. This would make it easier to hang and display in stores! What I didn't learn about packaging and presentation in those early days!

And manufacturing! Cranking out thousands of dollars of rubber stamps from a 3 man factory! OY! What an education! And no, those sheets didn't always come off my vulcanizer in one pretty sheet. But my mom is a child of the Great Depression. I simply couldn't throw those slightly imperfect stamp sheets out! I started cutting out the damaged images and saving the rest. Before I knew it, I had several complete sets of the 12 images. I would sell these as 2nds... because the sheet was not whole. The images were just fine!
Darker images still stamp beautifully!

We went along like this for YEARS. Until some wiseacre bought a set of seconds off our site and then wanted a refund as if it were a perfect set. She claimed she cut them apart... like we couldn't tell from the discounted price! So as a result of that lovely customer, we moved all 2nds to Etsy. And all was well for YEARS.

 How the seconds arrive...

Until a few weeks ago when a glasser I know bought some of them.  She took one look at them and declared them inferior! And wanted a full refund including shipping. I gladly offer refunds on actual items but unless I made some grave error - like packing the wrong set - I rarely offer shipping refunds. As a business person, it's near impossible to offer a refund on money the post office has taken!

Samples of PMC using the stamps!

After a week of emails, I finally begged / pleaded / cajoled her to try them! She wrote to say I was right... they worked on clay but they didn't on paper. And she sent me a picture. I could tell from the heavily inked lines through her images that either her pad was getting dry or newly inked. It was the later. She ended up keeping the stamps but suggested " you offer a refund with postage to those of us who are unfamiliar ."

It left me banging my head against that rubber wall... My customer is an idiot who has no idea how black and white line drawings translate into rubber and I'm supposed to offer a refund with POSTAGE??? OY! It's days like these I want to chuck it all and get a real job...if only I could find one!

So last week, I sat down and wrote disclaimers for all my seconds on Etsy.

ABOUT THESE STAMPS: I manufacture and sell full uncut sheets to retail outlets. Sometimes the sheets do not come off the vulcanizer in ONE full sheet. Any damaged images are THROWN AWAY and the remaining GOOD IMAGES are kept and sold at a discount here. You will receive all 12 PERFECT images but most will be cut apart in the 2" squares. Because they are not a perfect 7 x 9 sheet, they are called "seconds" on your receipt reflecting the discounted price you have received. PHOTO 3 shows an uncut 1/2 sheet of rubber.

PHOTO 4: is most likely how your stamps will arrive. 12 PERFECT images, cut apart. Questions? Just ask!
Hopefully this will hold for a few years until I run across another idiot! 

Originally posted on HollysFollyBeads

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Now that I've added Fashion Fridays, I thought I would try to talk about rubber stamping on the weekends... Hoping to keep it on Saturday. You know I love alliteration!

I thought I would show off some of the rubber stamped cookies from my students in the last class I taught. Being before Valentine's Day, hearts were all the rage. Although we had a Santa or two! I once had a student make a Halloween bouquet in a Thanksgiving class! We all have our passions!

One student did an all heart bouquet. She did a lovely job coloring!

And this is the makings of my favorite bouquet: A cookie for the handyman...

And one for the baker...
Became.... The handyman loves the cook!  Isn't it adorable! I just love the creativity of my students!

**Sweet Stampen is the ONLY manufacturer of food safe rubber stamps. Please do your research before crafting with your food! 

Originally published on HollysFollyBeads 2/14/12

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mrs. Frosty

Brrrr...It's still kinda chilly around here and lots of places have snow! It's the perfect time to celebrate with a snow themed rubber stamped cookie bouquet!

Please use only food safe rubber stamps in your stamped cookie bouquets!

Originally published on HollysFollyBeads

Hello There!

Well Hello! I'm an avid blogger, bead maker, rubber stamper and former craft television show producer... I wear a lot  of hats and I've been creative and a teacher most of my life. So writing was just another outlet!

I started working with the original owner and creator of rubber stamping on food back in the late 90s when I booked her for an appearance on The Carol Duvall Show. A friendship was born and by 2004, I found myself owning the company!

There have been a lot of articles published lately by so-called chefs who don't have all their facts straight. So, I've been trying to post regularly on my bead blog... but that just doesn't seem like such a good fit anymore. So, here we are...

I'm going to make an effort to transfer those posts here so that all my stamping info is in ONE place. And I hope to publish here at least once a week... to keep my "Stamping Saturday" theme going...

So, here we go! Thanks for joining me!