Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pretty Pictures!

Kevin Keeker, our resident photographer, visited Susan in the kitchen earlier this week as she was prepping for IHIH. These shots are too good not to share with everyone.

Susan hard at work making Vanilla-Cardamom lollipops.

Susan bagging some Vanilla-Cardamom Lollipops.

A completed batch of Tangerine-Clove. We often call these trays "droid armies".

The coloring for a batch of Sweethearts has just been added.

A completed batch of Sweethearts has just been poured. I love this shot.

The molds await the syrup for Salted Caramel.

All photos, of course, by Kevin Keeker.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Two Days Until I Heart Indie Holidays and Free Shipping on Etsy!

I hope your Thanksgiving was good and you're all full of turkey! It's Black Friday, which means it's time for a small promotional post.

First, Free Shipping:
If you haven't been over to our Etsy Shop lately, you may not know that we're having free worldwide shipping this weekend! That's right, anywhere in the world.

We can also send gifts to your loved ones. We have a special gift invoice that hides prices and includes a gift message from you. Just convo us or include a message to seller to let us know!

Second, I Heart Indie Holidays:
There are only 2 more days until I Heart Indie Holidays! We'll be there with our full selection of delicious, uniquely flavored lollipops. I'm flying up to join Susan, so I really mean that "we". If you're in the Seattle area, I hope you'll stop by! I'd love to see you!

That's all. Back to your regularly scheduled Fridays.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sweethearts: Twilight-inspired Lollipops

If you’ve read Twilight, you know it seems like every male Bella’s age in the town of Forks has had a crush on her at some point. She’s easy to fall in love with; inspiring fierce loyalty in Jacob, and turning the heads of her classmates. However, Edward is the one who captured her heart.

Fragrant jasmine pairs wonderfully with sweet honey to create just the right flavor to capture the sweet, flowery essence that Edward smells in Bella’s blood.

Sweethearts are a shimmery, flower-shaped, royal purple, and can be found in the Love Triangle collection. Or, pick up a 12-pack of Sweethearts. They’d make a perfect gift for the Bella Swan fans you know.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blood Suckers: Twilight-inspired Lollipops

We admit to being inspired by Twilight to make Blood Suckers. We had the perfect name, but it took months of experimentation to develop a flavor that would appeal to Edward’s romantic nature.

The apple symbolizes love and temptation; it requires a partner equal to its fundamental mystery and danger. Blood Suckers blend crisp apple with the cool, tingly-kiss of anise to create a flavor with just the right bite.

Blood Sucker lollipops are a dark, rich, mysterious, heart-shaped red, and can be found in the Love Triangle collection. Or, pick up a 12-pack of Blood Suckers, a perfect gift for the Edward Cullen fans you know. Go Team Edward!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lickanthropes: Twilight-inspired Lollipops

Jacob’s cheerfulness, warmth, and emotional support often lift Bella’s spirits in New Moon. Despite his usually sunny demeanor he experiences occasional bitterness over Bella’s choices and his werewolf heritage.

The Lickanthrope pays tribute to both sides of his character with two warm and comforting, yet slightly bitter flavors of Jacob’s native Pacific Northwest – coffee and hazelnuts.

Lickanthropes are a round, earthy russet brown, and can be found in the Love Triangle collection. Or, pick up a 12-pack of Lickanthropes. They’d make a perfect gift for the Jacob Black fans you know. Go Team Jacob!

6 days until I Heart Indie Holidays!

Seattle-area folks are heartily encouraged to buy copious amounts of This Charming Candy at I Heart Indie Holidays!

When: Sunday November 29, 11 am – 6 pm

Where: Lake Street Bar & Grill in Kirkland

Lake Street Bar & Grill -- 15 Lake Street, Kirkland, WA

To get you even more excited for the show, we’ve put together a collage of work from some other vendors who’ll be there. We don’t know exactly what they’re bringing to IHIH, but it’s sure to be awesome.

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  1. Cotton Candy- Tsumami Kanzashi Hair Clips by theastarr
  2. Snow White Gothic Fairy Tale Big Eye Print 13x19 by cherrybones
  3. wig wag borosilacate glass pendant by Emmettsglass
  4. Synonym button by Short Attention Span Girl
  5. Poppy letterpress notecard combination pack by ilee papergoods
  6. Bluebell hat by Muluk
  7. SWEET ANTHEM vegan friendly perfume oil samples by sweetanthem
  8. Chrysoprase and Silver Bracelet by girlseattle
  9. Squid ashtray by urbana
  10. Mia by pare*umbrella

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hockey Friday: Sharks vs Flyers

Tonight was a This Charming Candy favorites matchup, Sharks and Flyers.

San Jose has one of the top records in the NHL, but even so, they've been making a lot of mistakes over their last few games. They've gotten lucky to get the overtime loss a couple of times, including last weekend's game against the Blackhawks. One of the reasons to watch the Red Wings is that you're seeing a well-oiled machine (which also makes watching them feel a bit like watching something cold and not very interesting). The Sharks? They don't really come off as a well-oiled machine. Tonight they had a lot of communication problems, particularly in the first period.

In fact, the Flyers didn't seem to be a well-oiled machine either, though I know far less about them. They're known for their gritty toughness, so Pronger is a good fit with them. Ray Emery looked fabulous for the first two periods tonight and has apparently been on a streak.

But you know? I'm happy rooting for a not-well-oiled machine. Well-oiled machines are too bloodless. I'm a sucker for the underdog; I root against the Yankees. I like a little bit of mess in my sports teams. So, go Sharks and go Flyers!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crafty people

It’s mid-November, which means the holiday craft fair season is heating up. Here in Seattle, there’s an abundance of talented creative craftspeople and we have lots of opportunities to see and buy their work. Here are a few shows I’ve got my eyes on for the next three weekends:

eRAINholiday200 The EtsyRAIN Holiday Art & Craft Show will be held in the lobby of Intiman Theatre (201 Mercer Street) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, November 21-22.

The first 50 people in line each day will receive a swag bag filled with awesome stuff from EtsyRAIN members. We aren’t selling at this show, but we donated a dozen Charm School Dropouts, so 12 lucky people will get a lollipop among their swag bag items! Details about the show and vendors who’ll be selling there are on the EtsyRAIN holiday show web page.

IHIH-logobutton This Charming Candy will be one of the vendors at the I Heart Indie Holidays show in Kirkland from 11 am – 6 pm, Sunday November 29. Come to the Lake Street Grill on 15 Lake Street and get some charming candy from me and Kate! Lollipops make great stocking stuffers, and we’ll have plenty of Spice Racks, Fruit Baskets and Love Triangles for sale.

Admission is free, and the first 25 people through the door will receive a swag bag with goodies from many of the IHIH vendors – including a Charm School Dropout in every bag. Check out more details and get directions to the show from the IHIH website.

UCUlogo And Urban Craft Uprising's Fifth Annual Winter Show is a huge huge show that will be at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall – check out the list of vendors! The show runs December 5th & 6th, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

And those are just a few of the shows that are going on in Seattle this holiday season. Happy shopping!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Importance of Taste-testers, Part 4

Not long after I started making lollipops as a hobby, my friends started howling for a coffee-flavored sucker. And being a Seattle-based candy company – a city which is synonymous with coffee dependency – means we’ve got to have a coffee flavor or we risk having our business license revoked!

And yet, in the tasting party, coffee was the most polarizing flavor we tested. It earned nearly as many top ranks as bottom ranks, and had the highest standard deviation of any flavor’s scores. We thought to ourselves, “We can do better than that.”


(“Eels” was Coffee’s codename in the tasting party)

Enter another great flavor of the Pacific Northwest: the hazelnut. We’ve been experimenting with adding Chocolate Hazelnut and plain Hazelnut flavor to Coffee and circulating the results for casual feedback. Plain Hazelnut was the clear winner, so we included it with our Love Triangle lollipops as our representation for earthy Jacob.

Photo by Kevin Keeker

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hockey Friday: are power plays charming?

I’m visiting my family in Pennsylvania for a few days and got to watch the Flyers on TV with them last night. Flyers beat the Sens 5-1, so yay, and the first three goals in the game were all power play goals and it got me to thinking. Are power plays charming?

I think they are, in a bizarre way. There’s just something very direct about the punishment of an infraction with the equivalent of a parent’s “time out” for a disobedient child. Of course, when it’s your team that’s received a penalty, it doesn’t seem so charming…

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Love Triangle

These beautiful blood-red, royal purple, and russet brown lollipops are a delicious treat, especially for Twilight fans. We’re certainly going to be eating them when WE see New Moon!

Love Triangle Lollipops were born when we first read Twilight. It was then that we envisioned a Blood Sucker for dashing Edward, a Sweetheart for lovely Bella and a Lickanthrope for hunky Jacob.

The heart-shaped Blood Sucker is a tingly blend of apple and anise; the flower-shaped Sweetheart is an intoxicating pairing of floral jasmine with honey; and the round Lickanthrope is a comforting combination of hazelnut and coffee. They’d make a perfect gift for the Twilight fans you know.

Buy some Love Triangle Lollipops in our Etsy store today!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Importance of Taste-Testers, Part 3

My favorite part of getting feedback is the funny things that people say to describe their reactions. No matter whether I’m usability-testing software or taste-testing candy, occasionally someone will come up with a fantastic zinger.

One of the most entertaining comments I’ve gotten lately is:

“It’s like eating sugared old lady’s underwear – liked it at first, then it began to be cloying”

It's the funniest thing I've read in awhile. Clearly, we need to take this flavor back to the drawing board.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Presents are Charming aka Lollipops Make Great Gifts

We love sending out lollipops for presents! (May we suggest the Fruit Basket? Fruit flavors are always popular!) We've already shipped several orders to gift-ees. If you'd like to buy some charming candy to give to someone else for their birthday or anniversary or Christmas or Diwali or even just because, we can do that! We won't have gift wrapping this year, but we can ship to a different address and use an invoice that has both a message from you and hides the prices. Starting December 1st, for the holidays 2009, we can include your gift message on a holiday card, too! We will have both Christmas themed cards and non-denominational.

All you need to do for any of these options is to either email us or let us know in the message to seller when you buy from us on Etsy!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hockey Friday: San Jose Sharks

I live near San Jose (Susan's in Seattle), so I root for the San Jose Sharks. The local media enjoy the boys-being-boys storyarc of two of the younger players, Torey Mitchell and Devin Setoguchi. They came to the team at the same time a couple of years ago and there was an instant little-brother quality about them. They got teased a lot for sharing an old Honda Civic at first (they now have their own new shiny cars); they still share an apartment; and right before the preseason started the local paper had a story about how they decide whose place to have supper at.
They were notorious for showing up at the Roenicks’ dinner table there, but also were scouting other dining options at the homes of some of their married teammates.

The two players have specific criteria they look for.

“It has to be someplace quick. We show up, eat and maybe stay awhile, but there are no expectations,” Mitchell said, giving points to Joe Thornton’s wife Tabea for excellent appetizers.

They are totally your little brothers who come over to charm you into letting them eat your food and do their laundry. It's a fun narrative for them, but for now I wish they'd both get healthy so I could watch them play hockey!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


On November 1st This Charming Candy participated in its first craft show – I Heart Rummage. This monthly indie show is held in the Chop Suey nightclub in Capitol Hill, a great little music venue with two rooms. In fact, I noticed a poster on the window behind me for this Saturday’s Bishop Allen / Throw Me The Statue show and it reminded me we need to get tickets for that…

Anyway! This Charming Candy was assigned to the better-lit lounge area along with about a dozen other vendors. I had a great time meeting other local crafters that we’ve previously only met online (or hadn’t yet met at all). And we’re thrilled to have gotten our candy into the public eye and thrilled with the sales we made. Thank you Seattle!

Our good friend and official photographer Kevin Keeker dropped by to take a few photos (click the pictures to see bigger versions):


The photo above faces into the lounge room (the mainstage area is directly behind Kevin from this vantage point). The room looks really pretty. Love the doors. Those are colored flyers for upcoming shows taped to the windows in the back. If you squint, you can maybe see me in the center of the photo.

The day before the show, I went to Goodwill looking for stuff to use for the table display. Goodwill rocks! I got several nifty chrome and wire pieces including two round wire baskets (for displaying our Fruit Basket flavors) and a chrome spice rack and glass spice jars (for displaying our Spice Rack flavors). I also got a taller chrome, um, thingy that had little arms to hang the lollipop bags from.

4067932096_15fc529a1a_o <—Fruit Basket

4067181039_e0dd468070_o <—Spice Rack

4067932046_1f98ee17c1_o <—chrome thingy

The photo below shows me sitting at our table – the hanging bags and spice rack are on the right side of the photo, and the wire baskets are on the left side. A little wire easel holds up our menu/price list behind the baskets.


What do you think? OK for a first draft of our display? I think it’s kind of hard to tell what the chrome spice rack is, with the bags of lollipops laid on its shelves. But I was relieved that we didn’t look out of place with respect to the other vendors’ setups. I don’t think anyone would have called us out as the amateur first-timers we were :-)

(Oh, and I got some blue and brown armwarmers from the crafter next to me – ScaryWhiteGirl – and I love them!)

Our space at I Heart Indie Holidays on Nov 29th will be bigger. I’m keeping an eye out for more ways to showcase our candy. Suggestions are welcome!

photos by Kevin Keeker

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lollipop Photoshoots Behind the Scenes

We hope you have been finding our lollipop photos as beautiful as we do. Like this one of Vanilla-Cardamom:


I could pretty much stare at this all day and not get tired of it!

At one of our recent lolly photoshoots, Kev took a picture of the setup we’ve been using for the solo shots – we thought people might like to see how we’ve hacked together a few strategies that yield great results.


The lollipops are posed in front of a white brick fireplace. There is a little ledge directly above it, almost like a mini-mantel. We pose the lollipop in a hunk of Play-Doh. To get more light on the mini-mantel, we’ve put a compact fluorescent bulb in a task lamp with an adjustable arm, and we’ve wrapped the lampshade with aluminum foil to keep the light from getting too diffuse.

And yes, Kevin’s cat Laser Jet usually oversees the proceedings as shown above. He’s the official art director of This Charming Candy!

photos by Kevin Keeker, of course