Hello! I'm Julia M. Usher, founder of Cookie Connection: A place to learn, share, and celebrate the art of cookie decorating ! I'm so glad you're here! Before you dive into the site, I wanted to tell you a little more about who we are and how we came about, as well as share some important housekeeping rules. Please read this entire post (and re-read our Terms of...
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Hello, everyone! I've got some good news, and some other news for you today!
Other news first: After much reflection, I've decided that these Practice Bakes Perfect challenges are too much of a time commitment for me at this time. They have been SO MUCH fun - especially watching all of you guys try new things and stretch yourselves, often with amazing results! Remember the gnomes? And the thousand shades of lilac we assembled together?! You all are an inspiration, and I hope you know that whatever you want to do, you have it in yourself to accomplish it. And if you ever feel like you need a lift or an assist, just drop me a note, and I'll see if I can help.
As I'm sure Julia will fill you in, these challenges will carry on with Christine Donnelly of Bakerloo Station at the helm, and I'm excited to see what new things she'll ask us to try!
[EDITOR'S NOTE: First and foremost, a HUMONGOUS thank you to Rebecca. These challenges were her idea to bring to Cookie Connection, and they've been a tremendous boon to the site and all of our individual experiences ever since! As always, these transitions are bittersweet for me. I'm sad to see Rebecca go, but I'm happy because I'm sure she's got another amazing cookie venture up her sleeve, which I can't wait to see revealed. Like Rebecca, I'm also super excited to see the unique spin that Christine will bring to Practice Bakes Perfect. She's been a thoughtful contributor to these challenges from the get-go, always pushing her (and our) creative boundaries, so I can think of few people better suited to take the column forward. Christine will pick up the challenges without letting us miss a beat, with her first one being announced around March 9. I'll also give Christine a more proper introduction then. But for now, back to the matter at hand . . . this week's Saturday Spotlight!]
And the good news! As promised, we have a winner for this month's challenge. The winner will receive a fantastic $50 gift certificate from American Tradition Cookie Cutters! These great cookie cutters are made by hand by the owners of American Tradition, and are a great price! So that means that Sweet Ellie Belle Cookies will be able to get quite a few cutters with her prize!
Sweet Ellie Belle is a double winner today! Not only did she win our great prize, but she was also a shoo-in for the Spotlight! The contributor panel loved the great dimension she achieved with this cookie. The icing details with the painting and shading bring it wonderful depth that really makes the cookie design stand out! And the dreamy softness to the picture had us imagining moving right in and hanging out on the great front porch. Congrats all around, Sweet Ellie Belle!
A unanimous pick, Moroccan Style Doorway was definitely a favorite entry. And with good reason! Did you guys know that Dolcimaterieprime is an architect too? I love that! This entry impressed everyone with the depth and realistic effect created by the cookie setup and the photography. We were impressed with that painted royal icing transfer lantern, and the subtle colors and textures. It feels like you could walk right through the doorway without having to shrink!
Another cookie with great depth! So cool - it's unique and it's three dimensional. It's fascinating how the original architecture is plain, but is beautiful now that it’s abandoned to the sand. We think this entry captures the atmosphere of the original with a very clever creation of depth that pulls us right in.
This gorgeous cookie with monochromatic hues really has a great antique vibe. The lovely detailed scrollwork makes this entry fit the architectural bill! Great job with shading to highlight the beautiful details.
3-D Roman Colosseum by Hani of Haniela'sWe love that this entry had to actually be BUILT, giving double meaning to the notion of an architectural cookie! The textured walls, both inside and out, are a nice contrast to the icing decoration. It also looks delicious, so no wonder it was eaten, as Hani stated in her description! Great attention to detail in the piping and the proportions. All around, an awesome cookie!!
Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna byMaybe a CookieWe all work as a team on our selections, and there is always enough overlap that we each get a chance to pick a few of our favorites for the Spotlight. I don't always say, but since this is my last Spotlight, let me just say that this one is my favorite! I loved it the moment I saw it, but I just went and looked up the building that was cookied here, and now I am even more impressed. There is a building that looks just like this, and it and this cookie are so colorful and whimsical and fun! Great job, Maybe a Cookie!
Thatched Roof Cottage by theanxiousbakerThis cookie had our contributors gushing. We liked the apparent simplicity of the design - it's a piece of modern art, and yet it also realistically portrays the low roof line and thatch with amazing texture. The composition is very inventive, and the heavy effect of the roof draws your eye down to all the great details at the base. A treat for the eyes!
Love Bug has used different textures and techniques to make not one, but four different fairy doors - and she has a great story behind each one. You should blow up this image to fully appreciate the exquisite detail that’s gone into each one of these cookies. They’re whimsical yet realistic, with so much texture created using a wide variety of techniques. Brava!
We chose this cookie not just for its clean work (those violins are PERFECTION), but for the out-of-the-box architectural idea behind it. We had no idea that, at one time, images such as these were used as “addresses” for family homes in Prague. Thanks for the lesson, Kerri!
We thought this was an extraordinary little piece of craftsmanship. Fascinating to look at, and quite a challenge to make.
Well, that's all folks! Thank you for playing along with me; it has truly been a pleasure. You can always visit me on my blog or Facebook page, or here on Cookie Connection! And thank you to Julia for all that you do to make Cookie Connection so great, and for letting me be a part of the team for a while. It was a wonderful opportunity! [EDITOR'S NOTE: And it was wonderful to have you! ]
Rebecca Weld came to cookie decorating from gingerbread house making. As a "real" architect, busy business owner, and mother of two small children, Rebecca discovered that gingerbread houses had a way of getting out of hand, and that cookie baking offered her a more manageable artistic outlet. Always eager to be a part of the cookie conversation, Rebecca maintains an active Facebook page as The Cookie Architect, as well as Pinterest and Instagram presences. She makes cookies to inspire herself and others, to feed those needs that art fills in all artists: expression, sharing, stretching yourself.
Photo credit: Rebecca Weld
Note: Practice Bakes Perfect is a bi-monthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Rebecca Weld that poses inspiration or challenges to get you to stretch as a cookie artist - for practice, for prizes, and for fun! Its content expresses the views of the author and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. Catch up on all of Rebecca's past Cookie Connection posts here.