Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge Feedback Survey

In an effort to encourage broad participation in our Practice Bakes Perfect challenges and to better tailor them to your needs, challenge host Bakerloo Station and I have a few quick questions for you. Please answer this survey even if you've never heard of or participated in one of our challenges. 

IMPORTANT: 
(1) If you select any "Other" options in any of the questions, please also specify what that "Other" is in the box that appears underneath. Responses are limited to 255 characters. 

(2) If a question does not apply to you, DO NOT skip it; instead, select the "N/A (not applicable)" option. You must answer all questions, or your responses will not be saved by the system.

Thanks in advance for your participation!

84 Responses
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Q1: Have you heard of our Practice Bakes Perfect cookie decorating challenges before now?

Yes
No

Q2: How many of our Practice Bakes Perfect challenges have you entered since we began them in April 2014?

0
1-3
4-6
7-10
11-14
15 or more

Q3: Did you enter our most recent Challenge #22 about wafer paper?

Yes
No

Q4: If you answered "yes" to Q3, why did you enter Challenge #22? (Check no more than three items, please.)

I wanted/needed experience with wafer paper
I enter every challenge I can in order to expand my skills
I entered because I wanted a chance to win the prize
I entered because I had more spare time than usual
I entered because the challenge sounded fun
N/A - I did not enter Challenge #22
Other

Q5: If you answered "no" to Q3, why didn't you enter Challenge #22? (Check no more than three items, please.)

I didn't have enough time this month
I didn't want to find and buy wafer paper to complete this challenge
These challenges are too competitive (not fun) for me
I didn't think I would learn much about wafer paper by doing this challenge
I wasn't interested in the chance to win the prize
N/A - I entered Challenge #22
Other

Q6: For this question, please think about cookie decorating challenges in general, and not just our Practice Bakes Perfect challenges. What are the most important factors that determine whether you enter a cookie decorating challenge? (Check no more than three items, please.)

The amount of time I have available to do it
How much I'll learn or advance my cookie decorating skills
The amount of social media or online visibility my work might get
The amount of recognition or feedback I might get from my peers
The quality of the prize I could potentially win
The personal satisfaction that comes from trying something new and different
My desire to win and be recognized; I just like to compete even when no prize is involved
The ability to collaborate with others on a single project
The creative inspiration I get from seeing others' interpretations of the challenge
N/A - I have never entered a cookie decorating challenge
Other

Q7: What, if anything, could we do to encourage you to participate in more of our Practice Bakes Perfect challenges? (Check no more than three items, please.)

Give us more time to complete each challenge
Select topics that don't require us to purchase specialty ingredients or tools
Choose more interesting or relevant topics
Make the challenges more technically challenging
Make the challenges less technically challenging
Make the challenges more competitive
Make the challenges less competitive
Make the prizes nicer or increase their value
Nothing, I like the Practice Bakes Perfect challenges just as they are
N/A - I don't know enough about the current challenges to answer this question
Other

Q8: What topics or techniques are you most interested in seeing us cover in future Practice Bakes Perfect challenges? (Check top three only.)

3-D cookie construction
Airbrushing
Chocolate work
Dimensional piping with royal icing
Fondant work
Handpainting
Piped flowers
Royal icing miniatures
Rubber-stamping
Stained glass cookies
Stenciling
Textured royal icing effects
Overall set or platter design
N/A - I don't have an opinion or preference for topics
Other

Q9: Are there any other ways we can improve our Practice Bakes Perfect challenges so they better meet your needs? (If so, select "Yes" and "Other"; then enter your explanation under "Other".)

No, I like the Practice Bakes Perfect challenges just as they are
Yes, please see my explanation under "Other"
N/A - I don't know enough about the current challenges to answer this question
Other
Posted by Julia M. Usher ·

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Comments (3)

Newest · Oldest · Popular

This was interesting to see where the votes went and what others had to say in the “Other” category. This is only the 2nd Challenge I’ve entered. I actually “stumbled” across this site only lately, about 3 weeks before Challenge 21 ended, so I entered. I haven’t really decorated cookies for over 30 years and had only recently decided I’d give it a try again. I work outside the home, full-time, and have many other obligations (particularly at this time of year), so there hasn’t been a lot of time for practicing this art. Therefore, just like some of the others, I am intimidated by the professional looking cookies I see and that these artists are able to put out so many in such a short period of time. I don’t own an air brush, or any stencils, or a dehydrator, and I have no financial backing except the little I can use from my paycheck, so even basic tools are difficult to gather. I have done the last 2 Challenges because that is what I decided to do, to really push myself, with techniques and trying to get my cookies to look more professional. I don’t put up the other cookies I do, because I feel they would be an “embarrassment” in comparison to the beauty that is created by the others. It isn’t that my Challenge cookies aren’t a little bit of an embarrassment, but I’m prepared for that when it’s only once every 6 weeks or so. It seems as if others feel the way I do – intimidated because we don’t feel our cookies “measure up” and don’t have the “fancy” equipment that might help us to compete on an equal footing -  and that’s why they have not entered the Challenges. I can definitely say, however, that I have only had positive responses from people so far and I thank the Cookie Connection community for that. So, while understanding the hesitancy, I do encourage others to try the Challenges – they really are rather fun – and it isn’t really a competition, except with yourself.

Nikki Carriere posted:

This was interesting to see where the votes went and what others had to say in the “Other” category. This is only the 2nd Challenge I’ve entered. I actually “stumbled” across this site only lately, about 3 weeks before Challenge 21 ended, so I entered. I haven’t really decorated cookies for over 30 years and had only recently decided I’d give it a try again. I work outside the home, full-time, and have many other obligations (particularly at this time of year), so there hasn’t been a lot of time for practicing this art. Therefore, just like some of the others, I am intimidated by the professional looking cookies I see and that these artists are able to put out so many in such a short period of time. I don’t own an air brush, or any stencils, or a dehydrator, and I have no financial backing except the little I can use from my paycheck, so even basic tools are difficult to gather. I have done the last 2 Challenges because that is what I decided to do, to really push myself, with techniques and trying to get my cookies to look more professional. I don’t put up the other cookies I do, because I feel they would be an “embarrassment” in comparison to the beauty that is created by the others. It isn’t that my Challenge cookies aren’t a little bit of an embarrassment, but I’m prepared for that when it’s only once every 6 weeks or so. It seems as if others feel the way I do – intimidated because we don’t feel our cookies “measure up” and don’t have the “fancy” equipment that might help us to compete on an equal footing -  and that’s why they have not entered the Challenges. I can definitely say, however, that I have only had positive responses from people so far and I thank the Cookie Connection community for that. So, while understanding the hesitancy, I do encourage others to try the Challenges – they really are rather fun – and it isn’t really a competition, except with yourself.

Thank you so much for this excellent and candid feedback, Nikki. And thank you for participating in the challenges, despite the obstacles!

Bakerloo Station posted:
Nikki Carriere posted:

This was interesting to see where the votes went and what others had to say in the “Other” category. This is only the 2nd Challenge I’ve entered. I actually “stumbled” across this site only lately, about 3 weeks before Challenge 21 ended, so I entered. I haven’t really decorated cookies for over 30 years and had only recently decided I’d give it a try again. I work outside the home, full-time, and have many other obligations (particularly at this time of year), so there hasn’t been a lot of time for practicing this art. Therefore, just like some of the others, I am intimidated by the professional looking cookies I see and that these artists are able to put out so many in such a short period of time. I don’t own an air brush, or any stencils, or a dehydrator, and I have no financial backing except the little I can use from my paycheck, so even basic tools are difficult to gather. I have done the last 2 Challenges because that is what I decided to do, to really push myself, with techniques and trying to get my cookies to look more professional. I don’t put up the other cookies I do, because I feel they would be an “embarrassment” in comparison to the beauty that is created by the others. It isn’t that my Challenge cookies aren’t a little bit of an embarrassment, but I’m prepared for that when it’s only once every 6 weeks or so. It seems as if others feel the way I do – intimidated because we don’t feel our cookies “measure up” and don’t have the “fancy” equipment that might help us to compete on an equal footing -  and that’s why they have not entered the Challenges. I can definitely say, however, that I have only had positive responses from people so far and I thank the Cookie Connection community for that. So, while understanding the hesitancy, I do encourage others to try the Challenges – they really are rather fun – and it isn’t really a competition, except with yourself.

Thank you so much for this excellent and candid feedback, Nikki. And thank you for participating in the challenges, despite the obstacles!

Agree - thanks for the super candid feedback and for just diving in and participating in the challenges. Having watched several cookiers' submissions to the challenges over time, I can say with certainty that skills only evolve by participating. Entering challenges is a great way to grow, and, if people take the further leap of asking other members or our contributors (who review the images for featuring in our Saturday Spotlight) for feedback and advice, the learning process can be accelerated. But, I also agree, it takes a certain amount of courage to step out there and share one's work publicly, be it in challenges or just on social media. There's always the fear that it won't be well received or won't stack up to others' work . . . but, at least here on Cookie Connection, you're sharing among friends who I've also found to be super supportive!

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