February Chat: Cookie Storytelling and More with Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.

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As so many of you know, @Ryoko ~Cookie Ave., aka Ryoko Hayashi, has been a longstanding member of Cookie Connection, a fearless and faithful contributor to our Practice Bakes Perfect challenges, and an artist who consistently delights us with her cookie "storytelling" abilities. Her cookie sets are undeniably lovely, but they always go further than surface beauty. Whether they teach us lessons about Japan (Ryoko's home country), expand our skills by showing us techniques, or simply capture a whimsical scene from everyday life, each and every one is a heartfelt expression of Ryoko's passion for cookie art. Here's a small sampling of Ryoko's work that shows you what I mean about her storytelling abilities . . .

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For all of these reasons (and more), I've wanted to chat with Ryoko for forever, to give everyone the opportunity to get to know her and her cookie design process even better. But, alas, the 15-hour time difference to Japan and the fact that I don't speak Japanese have prevented us from scheduling a chat - until now, that is! 

I'm thrilled to announce that, this month, we're finally going to give a chat a try! However, please note, that this chat will NOT be a live chat. To ensure maximum participation across time zones and to allow Ryoko time to translate questions, all questions and answers will be fielded in advance, in a non-live mode. From now until February 23, we will be accepting questions for Ryoko in her chat room (here). As Ryoko receives these questions, she'll be translating and answering them, and on February 28, rather than opening the chat to more live questions, we'll close the chat room and post all of the questions and answers entered up to that time.

I sincerely hope you'll join us for this chat. Again, questions can be entered here any time between now (January 27) and February 23, 2018

To help fuel questions for Ryoko, please read her brief bio below and visit her Cookie Connection portfolio here.

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Ryoko Hayashi, aka @Ryoko ~Cookie Ave., lives with her husband in Fukuoka, Japan, about 1,100 kilometers (690 miles) southwest of Tokyo. Four years ago, after an early retirement from her own overseas trading and retail company, Ryoko began exploring things she had always wanted to try, including knitting, crocheting, sewing, making bags with paper tape, making beaded accessories and clothes, swimming, and decorating cookies, of course. 

Having finally overcome her needle phobia, Ryoko can now sew a button without sweating! She also does the crawl stroke, back stroke, breast stroke, and butterfly quite competently. And, having consistently pushed herself in Cookie Connection’s Practice Bakes Perfect challenges, she enjoys regularly decorating cookies for her family and friends. One of her biggest cookie milestones was having a set of her cookies printed in a cookie book about how to make icing.

Looking forward, Ryoko wants to learn how to draw and paint, handle drawing apps with her iPad, do basic embroidery, and make stained glass accessories. She would also like to one day publish children’s story books illustrated with her cookies. As her cookies are distinguished by their attention to detail and often playful storytelling, the latter goal seems well within Ryoko’s reach!

Photo credits: Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.

Again, enter questions for Ryoko here, up until February 23, 2018.

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