March conjures up many varied images for me, ranging from raucous leprechauns and blustery winds to softer, gentler harbingers of spring, such as the season's first birdsongs and the muted pinks and greens of hellebores peeking up through my forgotten fall leaves.
This month's site art certainly falls more towards the latter end of that spectrum (my personal preference, BTW) with its barely-there spring-y hues and graceful scrolls and brush embroidery . . .
She is none other than site sweetheart Noriko Forster aka @mintlemonade (cookie crumbs), whose cookie art was also featured in September AND December 2016, and is immediately recognizable for its subtle colors and sophisticated piping.
Since we interviewed Noriko at the time of her first feature last year, we won't be conducting another Cookier Close-up with her this month, but please do read her previous Close-up here. Please also check out the transcript from her July 2016 live chat and her bio, below!
Noriko Forster (aka mintlemonade) started her cookie decorating journey in spring 2012 when she happened upon a book about cookie decorating in a local shop. She was so intrigued that she decided she would cover a store-bought cake with cookies for her elder daughter's birthday to make the cake extra special for her. Noriko guessed that cookie decorating would be much simpler than making a fancy cake, but she found it actually wasn’t so easy!
Nevertheless, Noriko's decorating skills and reputation for making beautiful colors and flowers grew fast! By the end of 2013, Noriko was teaching cookie decorating classes out of her home, while also editing language-learning books and Japanese translations of English books as her primary job. Last year, however, Noriko's cookie class work ended up occupying more time than her book editing job. She taught six classes a month on average (!), which she admits was a bit too much for her. In 2016, she's had more book work than cookie classes, which feels like a better balance for her.
On a more personal note, Noriko lives in Tokyo, is married to an Aussie, and is the mother of two girls, ages 10 and 12. She studied modern American literature at university and, upon graduation, worked for a book editing company and then a publisher. After becoming a mother, she began editing as a freelancer. She enjoys being a stay-at-home mom, working at home when her schedule permits, and reading British and American novels when she's not decorating cookies.
Photo credits: mintlemonade
* P.S. Our 2016 featured site artists were all winners of our Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #13, which you can read more about here. If you would like your own cookie art to be considered for use on the site in 2017, I would love to see it at any time. Guidelines for submitting cookie art can be found here. Pssst . . . we're still in dire need of art for the months of September and December 2017!