Say Hello to Our Harbinger of Summer, Our June Site Artist!

Summer hasn't yet fully arrived here in Missouri - on one day, the thermostat might trick you into thinking it has, and then, on the very next day, it plummets to brisk spring-like temperatures, usually accompanied by lots of rain. Well, I'm ready for brighter, warmer days every day (and not for sun-bathing, but to help my cookies dry faster!), so I'm going to will the new season to arrive (at least in my mind) by plastering this site with super summery artwork this month:

June 2017 Banner - Ryoko Bannersummerbg

Isn't our June site art, designed and created by the charming and talented @Ryoko ~Cookie Ave., just fabulous?!

Many of you already know Ryoko from her incredible contributions to our monthly Practice Bakes Perfect challenges, but if you don't, you can read more about her in the brief bio below and in the much longer Cookier Close-up interview that we conducted with her just under a year ago! 

headshot_ryokolightRyoko Hayashi (aka Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.) has been decorating cookies for three years as a hobby, and is married with no children and living in Japan. Ryoko started working right after college at a trading company and worked there for eight years, importing ceramics, glasses, fashion-related items, food, wine, and other sundries, and exporting machinery. After this first job, she started her own company, selling imports from the EU. She ran two brick-and-mortar shops, as well as an online store, and sold to both retail and wholesale customers. Because of time differences between Japan and the EU, she worked incredibly long hours, but the pace did not bother her at all!

Four years ago, after 18 years of running her business, Ryoko closed its doors and stopped working to take care of her mother and to spend more time with her husband. During this time, she decided to attempt things she had always been interested in, but had avoided most of her life, such as sewing, knitting, weaving, and cooking! One day while net-surfing what to cook, she found cookies decorated with royal icing. Pleasantly reminded of the Cookie Monster cookie she had gotten from the States when she was little, Ryoko was spurred to learn more about this craft. She could not find any classes at that time, so she learned how to decorate cookies by watching YouTube and reading books and blogs.

After Ryoko closed her business, her friends worried that she might not be able to adjust to new water, but cookies gave her a welcome outlet and a way to connect more deeply with others. Even her mother-in-law looks forward to her latest cookies and their shared cookie talks!

Photo credit: Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.

A huge thank you to Ryoko for taking the time to make cookie art for our site - and not just for this month, mind you! She graced our site with this art back in July 2016!

* 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. Please note that we have artwork for every month in 2017, except for September and December, so, if you plan to submit, please focus on those months. Thanks!

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Manu posted:

Congrats, Ryoko! Beautiful banner and great idea for the background. Your cookies are special and always tell a story. The little girl is so cute and looks real. The colors perfect.

Hi Manu.  Thank you for your lovely comment and thank you for pushing me to make these cookies.  I wish people can hear roar of waves, feel salty wind remember fun time in summer.  

Such an interesting bio. You definitely have had a busy work-life. How lucky we are that you found cookie decorating.  Your creations are always so fun and creative, and you know I always think that many of them would make the perfect illustration for a children's storybook - your banner is the perfect example. Congrats, on making this month's banner!

Sweet Prodigy - Christine posted:

Such an interesting bio. You definitely have had a busy work-life. How lucky we are that you found cookie decorating.  Your creations are always so fun and creative, and you know I always think that many of them would make the perfect illustration for a children's storybook - your banner is the perfect example. Congrats, on making this month's banner!

Hi there, Christine.  Thank you for reading my bio and thank you for your lovely comment.  Isn't it fun to find something we are very interested in like this girl?  Let's enjoy summer!!

Cookies Fantastique by Carol posted:

I loved reading your bio! What an interesting and diversified life you've had. I greatly admire you for your passion to learn new things and to achieve such mastery in your cookie decorating! I always look forward to seeing each post from you @Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.

Thank you, @Cookies Fantastique by Carol.  Each "like" and each comment to my cookies make me go forward. And surely you encourage me!!  Thank you again, Carol.    Every one of cookies here Cookie Connection is really beautiful and it makes me happy everyday.  

swissophie posted:

Your work is always so charming and beautifully crafted, Ryoko. This set is outstanding and a favorite of mine. That little baby girl ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️!!!

Thank you, Sonja.  I am sooo happy to know they are your favorite.  I love your cow saying "Eat more Chicken"  

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MsInesKat Rutledge-ibicciswissophiekatydoescookiesPatricia DemettreKim DamonD&SLorena RodriguezChu-A-CookieCookies Fantastique by CarolSweet Prodigy - ChristinecarouselselselManuSandra GarveyRyoko ~Cookie Ave.Evelindecora
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