July is a month blessed with bounty - idyllic summer vacations, laid-back gatherings with friends and family, outdoor parties galore, festive patriotic fireworks (at least here in the US), and . . . yes, two Cookie Connection featured site artists! Aren't we lucky?!
The artist whose work will be featured in the first half of July is none other than @Magadiuz, aka Ina Uzzanu, who was, coincidentally, also featured around this time last year. (See that post here.) Ina's current subjects couldn't live further afield of her previous ones (mini fish inhabiting the deep blue depths of the ocean), but I'm sure you'll agree that her butterflies are equally delightful and perfectly complement the site's color scheme!
As always, we do an in-depth Cookier Close-up interview with each of our featured artists. You can find Ina's previous interview here, and a brief bio directly below.
Ina Uzzanu (aka Magadiuz) started cookie decorating only very recently, back in September 2014 to be exact, when she saw some decorated cookies and was especially impressed by the cookier’s skill and artistry. While she thought cookie decorating might be mission impossible for her, her motto is “never say never”, so you can guess where she ended up!
At the beginning, cookie decorating was just a hobby for Ina, but it soon became a fever! Discovering Cookie Connection was the turning point! "I felt like a baby in a toy shop. I couldn’t believe there were such wonders. Since then, I’ve been learning so many new techniques and improving myself even more," reports Ina.
Because health laws are very strict in Sassari, Italy (Ina's hometown), she's not able to prepare cookies in her home, and she doesn't sell because she would need both a license and a shop. However, at the end of 2015, she established a cultural association to allow her to start selling classes. She's also exhibited her cookies at the MURATS craft museum in Sardinia.
On a more personal note, Ina was born on a Mediterranean island, but lived for many years in Florence. It was there that she acquired her love for art and her aesthetic sense. She credits her father, a painter, for turning her onto painting, which she often applies to her cookies. Ina is mother to a 27-year-old son, and also works as a translator and English teacher. To learn more about Ina, please visit her Facebook page and profile on this site. You can also find her on Pinterest, and on Instagram as ibiscottidimagadiuz.
Photo credit: Magadiuz
Now, onto our second artist, whose work, below, will be decking out our site starting around July 15. Its subject matter is some of that summer bounty I mentioned at the very start of this post - all the goodies one could imagine at an old-fashioned ice cream social or church picnic!
I'm sure many of you know this work's artist, as this isn't the first time (or even the second) that she and her cookies have been featured this way. Plus, her bright and cheery style is a dead giveaway! Yes, it's the lovely @Kim Damon! If you haven't been lucky enough to meet Kim yet, read all about her in her past Cookier Close-up and also in the bio below.
Kim Damon, a hobbyist cookie decorator and family daycare owner from Potsdam, New York, USA, loves every art medium she’s ever tried – from clay, watercolor, and oil painting to hand-sewing and jewelry making.
One night, when she and her friend Rebecca (aka The Cookie Architect) got together to work on one of Rebecca’s cookie challenges, Kim first touched fondant and was hooked! Soon after, she was introduced to the cookie challenges on Cookie Connection and fell in love with the cookie community and the format of this site. Friendships developed, as did Kim’s experimentation with her new cookie art medium.
Kim’s love of God, people, color, design, and nature have all woven their way into her cookies, which she both sells and gives away. Her 29-year-old son named her business (Mom Makes Cookies), and, because he’s the oldest of her kids, that name just seemed right! Kim has been married to her best friend Tim for 29 years, and together they have six kids ranging in age from 15 to 29. For more of Kim's work, check out her Cookie Connection portfolio here.
Photo credit: Kim Damon
Big thanks to both Ina and Kim for taking the time (AGAIN!) to make cookie art for our site - without such contributions, our site wouldn't look nearly as colorful, festive, and cookie-laden as it is!
* Heads-up! September and December are fast approaching, and will be here before we know it. But, alas, I still have empty holes for those month's site artwork. If you would like your own cookie art to be considered for use on the site, I would love to see it at any time. Guidelines for submitting cookie art can be found here. Thanks!