Cookie Con 2012
Last month, I enjoyed a very special and fun weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah. I had the honor of being a presenter at a cookie decorating convention called Cookie Con. Cookie Con was the first large scale, international cookie decorating convention of it’s kind. Around 200 people (99% women) traveled to Salt Lake City to learn new skills, meet their cookie “idols” and meet up with on-line friends face to face! Women traveled from around the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, Great Brittan and Brazil, all for this fun and crazy hobby (and business) of cookie decorating!
Cookie Con was dreamed up (and then organized and executed) by Karen and Mike Summers (pictured below) , owners of the on-line cookie decorating supply shop, Karen’s Cookies. I feel so privileged to call this couple my friends! They are two of the most hard working, giving, kind and patient people I have ever known! And the fact that they could pull together such a large event, keep everything running smoothly, and treat each other with love and respect throughout the weekend was quite inspiring!
Mike and Karen, of Karen’s Cookies
I had been looking forward to Cookie Con for close to six months, and as a presenter had been able to learn little snippets along the planning stages of the fun that would be in store! Life experience reminded me that rarely does a special event, trip, etc. live up to all of the hopes that we hold for it… but I can happily say that this weekend was a wonderful exception to this! Cookie Con was everything and MORE that I had hoped for! The whole weekend was beautifully organized (again, thanks to Karen and Mike), and the positive energy from 200+ women who gathered from around the world just to have fun was beautiful and overwhelming!
The general format of the three day event was a a schedule packed full of presentations by 8 different presenters. Each presenter was asked to teach on a particular cookie decorating technique or concept that they have some expertise in.
The presenters and their demonstrations were as follows…
Alison Stinnett, Ali Bee’s Bakeshop– Piping and royal icing transfers
Glory Albin (me!), Glorious Treats– Decorating cookies with fondant, and (a second presentation) Photography and food styling.
Pam Sneed, Cookie Crazie– De-mystifying glaze icing, and (a second presentation) Ideas for packaging and boxing cookies.
Callye Alvarado, Sweet Sugar Belle– Thinking outside the cookie cutter
Elizabeth Adams, Arty McGoo– Painting on cookies
Lisa Synder, The Bearfoot Baker– Airbrushing on cookies
Julia Usher– Stenciling and Adding Dimension to Cookies
Maryann Rollins, Cookie Artisan– Cookie Platters, and special centerpiece cookies
I could write a whole post just on how wonderful this group of ladies is! These ladies are beautiful, fun, kind, and talented beyond belief!
Here is the beautiful group of presenters… ladies I am so proud to also be able to call my friends!
Julia, Pam, Glory (me), Lisa, Liz, Ali, Callye, Maryann
Each presenter did a wonderful job sharing lots of ideas and techniques, and I’ve already seen many of the attendees trying out the new things they learned!
In addition to the series of presentations, there was a block of time set aside to try all the new techniques, and get help from the instructors. Stations were set up around the room where the attendees could try out each technique, or and ask questions.
Here’s a peek at the room of ladies (listening to Karen and Mike)…
And here they are “in action”, during one of the open decorating sessions…
In addition to the various presentations, one of the special elements of Cookie Con was the “Sugar Show”. Attendees had been given a list of categories (ahead of time) that cookies would be displayed in. Categories included Winter/Christmas, Fall/Thanksgiving, The Good Old Days, and Anything Goes.
The cookies (or sets of cookies) these ladies came up with were just mind blowing! The level of creativity, artistry and skill demonstrated on a “cookie canvas” was awe inspiring and overwhelming! In addition to cookies in the Sugar Show being judged (through voting) by the attendees, each presenter was also given the task of choosing a “judges favorite.” Let me tell you that was quite a job! It was impossible to consider “judging” such amazing works of art. In the end, each judge simply chose a cookie that really appealed to them personally.
Here is just a teeny tiny sampling of the amazing work displayed in the Sugar Show…
Winter/Snowman set, by Absolutely Sweet.
TV through the decades, by Artfully Delicious.
Cornucopia, by Cookie Bliss.
Black lace cookie, by Clough’D 9 Cookies
White 3-D snowflake, by Seasons of Joy
Christmas fireplace scene, by (TBA)
One of the extra special highlights of the weekend for me was meeting, and getting to spend some time with Julia Usher, author of two (amazing) books on cookie decorating (Cookie Swap, and Ultimate Cookies). I’ve been a fan of Julia’s work from afar for quite a while, but to be able to see her amazing works of art up close and in person, and then to discover that Julia herself is just as lovely as her cookies was an extra treat!
Julia, Glory (me) and Maryann
A display of Julia’s work at her demo/book signing table.
What an amazingly special weekend it was… cookie decorating and spending time with friends! It’s so awesome to realize that ladies that I met over the internet, through our mutual love of decorating cookies, are now such dear friends!
(left) Me, Maryann, Ali (right) Callye and me.
As long as this post already is, it so poorly captures the details of the amazing weekend! I met so many wonderful ladies from around the world, learned new things, had fun with cookies, and laughed quite a lot!
Lucky for you, plans for the next Cookie Con are already in the works, with plans to be bigger and better (not sure how it’s possible, but if anyone can do it, Mike and Karen can!). Keep up to date on all things Cookie Con by bookmarking CookieCon.net, and following the Cookie Con Facebook Page.
As I was planning this post, I thought it might be a bit mean to show you all the fun I had without including a little something for you too…
So how about a little Cookie Con Giveaway?
BRP Box Shop, my favorite place to buy cookie and cupcake boxes, has sent me 40 boxes that were designed with cookie decorators in mind!
You’ll receive 20 boxes of the small, 7″x 4.5″ size, these are perfect as a small gift! And you’ll also receive 20 of the medium sized, 10″x 7″ boxes, perfect for holding about 6 medium sized cookies.
In addition, Julia Usher gave me a signed copy of her newest book, Ultimate Cookies, for the lucky winner of this giveaway! This book is so beautiful and just packed full of amazing cookie decorating ideas and inspiration!
On top of that, Karen’s Cookies, the incredible sponsor and organizers of Cookie Con will give the winner of this giveaway a $50 gift certificate… so you can stock up on all the cookie decorating supplies you desire!
In all you’ll get…
40 Cookie Boxes, from BRP Box Shop
a signed copy of Ultimate Cookies,
and a $50 gift certificate to Karens’ Cookies
To enter, simply leave a comment below (that’s it!) (Giveaway closed)
Comments must be left on this blog post. E-mail subscribers, click HERE to view this post on-line and leave a comment.
One entry per person. Open to U.S. residents only. Giveaway ends Tuesday, December 17th, 9pm Pacific.
********************************* Giveaway closed ********************************
Winning comment #127- Cari