Friday, April 27, 2012

Kendra in Wonderland

Let me introduce Alice, at least my cookie interpretation of Alice in Wonderland.
I had an assortment of girl cutters to select from when I knew that I would be creating an Alice cookie. One was rather small. Another had arms that could easily break off in a favor bag. Then this little gal appeared in our goodie bag at Spring Fling! She was perfect, and she was free! Mike and Karen of Karen's Cookies were so generous in their sponsorship of this cookie event.  I digressed . . . let me return to Alice . . .

It is hard to believe our oldest granddaughter will be five and starting kindergarden in the fall.  It was her second birthday that started this cookie journey for me.  Since then, not a birthday has passed (or a grandchild born) without a cookie to commemorate the celebration.  Kendra has been stuck on princess themes for a few years, so her mom was thrilled to hear that Kendra wanted an Alice in Wonderland party for this birthday.  She loves the movie.  I find it a little creepy and didn't want to do any characters that could create nightmares for her young guests.

When I asked Kendra what cookie she wanted as a party favor, she told me in a rather matter of fact tone, "Grandma, you take a circle and you cover it in black.  That's the black hole that Alice falls into."  That would have been just too simple!

Instead, Grandma pulled out the crayons and the cutters, drawing some other possibilities for party favors.  Kendra is rather selective.  A dress is NOT Alice.  She wants a face.  I tried to sneak one by with just eyes, but Kendra quickly told me, "I like this one, but add a smile."

So, smiles she does . . . I also made a key and the Cheshire cat to keep Alice company in the favor basket.

Hopefully, this small assortment isn't a problem when handing them out to guests.  I usually like a selection of one for small children, but if the granddaughter asks for three . . . Grandma makes three . . . grandparent law, right?

Happy 5th birthday, Sweet Kendra!  Please don't grow up too quickly!
Kendra and sister Kylie.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Fling 2012 . . . It's All About the Shoes!

Kay and May of Cookie Two Shoes
For those of you who were unable to attend the first ever (but not the last) Cookie Spring Fling, let me just begin by saying that it's all about the shoes!  Kay and May of Cookie Two Shoes are the dynamo's who turned this dream into a reality.  They should be hearing the thunderous applause from all around the cookie world for putting 424 pounds of powdered sugar, 380 cookies, and 64 cookiers together for a memorable three-day experience. They worked their little tails off getting sponsorships that kept costs to a minimum for participants.  They poured their heart and souls and husbands into this event.   I applaud their efforts, appreciate their hospitality, and in awe of their commitment. 

Can you believe our six fabulous instructors arrived thinking that some of the attendees would not know who they were?  Many of us followed their earliest photo's on Flickr and check their blog posts on a daily basis.  They were so generous in sharing their self-taught skills . . . wrapping a bullet of icing, using a stencil, arranging an attractive platter, packaging and photographing cookie creations, working with glaze icing, and applying "cookie think."  (Although, I may need to trade kids with Callye.  My family expects full bodies and faces when they request character cookies.)

Karen of Karen's Cookies
Alison of Ali Bee's Bake Shop
Maryann of Cookie Artisan
Glory of Glorious Treats
Pam of Cookie Crazie
Callye of Sweet Sugar Belle
 Did we recognize them?  See for yourself . . .

Your would think that George Clooney had walked into the room when our six instructors posed with their new aprons.

Maryann was kind enough to arrange our Kentucky themed cookies into platters for a photo shoot.
Each participant was asked to create two Kentucky theme cookies.  The display was jaw-dropping beautiful as well as creative.  This group was very imaginative and has their own arsenal of piping skills.  Check out the work for yourself.
The blackberry fruit jar was selected by participants as the best entry.
Now that I have shown you the overall collection, I'll share the entries that Cookie Friend and I brought to the event.  Diane created a beautiful butterfly and a goldenrod cookie.  I went with the NCAA basketball collection.
As our instructors repeatedly advised, "Experiment and have fun and quit apologizing."  We all have our own styles and should be happy to strut our own stuff.  I was just happy to be with others for a few days who share my love of cookies.  Best of all, it was great gal pal time with the one who started this fabulous journey for me . . . Love you, Cookie Friend!

Donna and Diane in cookie heaven.
My husband is highly suspicious of Spring Fling.  I came home after four days with just four cookies (Can they be bronzed?) 

My first attempts at brush embroidery and stenciling.

He keeps asking what I learned and what I did for four days.  I had fun.  I also came away with the following . . .

1.  Despite their skill level, every instructor advised us that it isn't about being perfect.  It's more about learning how to be yourself, cover your mistakes, and have fun.

2.  It's ok to glob and spread rather than flood if that is what works for you.  Even the experts are self taught and have their own approaches to piping, icing consistency, etc.

3.  The cookie world is full of warm and fuzzy people.  We are blessed that so many talented individuals are sharing their techniques via blogs, tutorials, videos, etc.  Acknowledge their efforts when possible.  Leave a kind comment and link back whenever you use something they have posted.  They deserve credit for their creations as well as the financial payback for the countless hours they pour into their work.

Thank you for the hospitality and your hard work!
All good things must come to an end.  The attendees collected money and presented thank you gifts to our Dynamic Duo.  Forget Batman and Robin!  These twins are Wonder Women in pulling off an event that was as inspirational as it was instructional.  
Sisterly Love . . . Hugs, Hugs . . .
To all my sweet new cookie friends, stay in touch and share those photo's! 
Peace, Joy, Cookies!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Parade

Wooly sheep are ready to do the bunny hop.  Do you prefer swirls or pearl sprinkles?
This little guy is hopping through the flower beds and leavng a very sweet footprint behind.
Girl bunny puzzles are off to join Kendra and Kylie.  Who wouldn't love that face?

Boy bunny puzzles were mailed to Ben and Jack.  Jack assembled.  Ben gobbled.

Bunnies are lined up for the holiday show and ready to kick up some fun.

The gang's all here.  Have an egg-cellent Easter!