Announcing the Cookie Connection Milestone Awards!

 

As I said on our Contributors page, it takes a small community to keep a large community like Cookie Connection going . . . but what I really should have said is: it takes a small (and ever-growing) community of passionate, talented, and tireless volunteers to keep it going! Deftly crafted tutorials, challenges, and chats appear like clockwork on the site each week, and our contributors make these appearances seem effortless - sometimes so effortless that even I forget to properly thank them! 

That being said, I thought it was high time to introduce an official recognition program for our incredible volunteers who have stood the test of time with Cookie Connection. This new program, called the Milestone Awards, will honor those volunteers who have served the site and its members with outstanding content for more than one year.

Today, I am thrilled to announce two such honorees, Christine Donnelly (aka Bakerloo Station) and Lucy Samuels (aka Honeycat Cookies), both of whom will receive the official crystal Milestone Award pictured below! It's but a small token of my appreciation for the immense amount of work they have done for the site, and the personal support they have routinely given me. Ladies, I bow down to you on this special day - and always! (Please note that Lucy's award is post-dated "2015", because she's been hard at work on the site not for one year, but two - since February 17, 2014!)

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When I speak of their immense contributions, believe me, it's not hyperbole. Let me remind you of what they've both accomplished during their tenure on the site.

As noted above, Lucy debuted her first What's New, Honeycat? tutorial in February 2014, and her column was an immediate hit! I mean, who wouldn't be charmed by these retro coffee pots?

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Since then, she has written another 14 blog posts, each one more dreamy than the next, and has amassed a whopping 37,286 (and counting!) blog views. Along the way, she also managed to find time to win a 2015 Cookiers' Choice Award nomination. We are clearly lucky to have an artist of this caliber sharing her secrets here on this site!

Christine joined Cookie Connection as our fearless Practice Bakes Perfect challenge host a little over a year ago (on March 8, 2015, to be exact) and debuted with this piped lettering challenge. That was Challenge #9, and now we're on #16, but don't forget that, in addition to conceiving of and writing each challenge post, she also corrals our contributors to evaluate the results, writes the recap posts (another seven posts and counting!), manages the challenge entries on a daily basis, works with me to secure prizes, and sometimes even "enters" cookies herself just for the extra practice. In fact, you'll see her winning Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #13 entry, partially pictured below, gracing the site's banner and backdrop in just a couple of days!

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Congratulations again, Lucy and Christine. This site wouldn't be as fun or as beautiful without the both of you!

To read more about our Milestone Award winners, please check out their bios below.

Christine Donnelly is author of Practice Bakes Perfect, a bimonthly Cookie Connection blog feature that poses inspiration and challenges to stretch you as a cookie artist - for practice, prizes, and fun! A lifelong baker, Christine began her professional career at 16, when she was hired on the spot at her local bakery to work the counter and decorate cakes. After detours to college and law school, she worked as a trial lawyer in Chicago for many years, ultimately leaving that career to become a stay-at-home mother to her two children. In her “retirement,” she continued to bake at home, at last finding her preferred artistic medium in decorated cookies. In February 2013, Bakerloo Station was born with a presence on both Facebook and Instagram. Christine makes cookies to balance her left brain, to inspire and share creative ideas, and to feed those needs that only art can satisfy. Catch up on all of Christine's Cookie Connection posts here. Photo credit: Christine Donnelly.

Lucy Samuels is the owner of UK-based Honeycat Cookies and author of the Cookie Connection blog feature, What's New, Honeycat?, where she pushes the cookie envelope every other month with innovative cookie design ideas and tutorials. Originally with an art-based career in mind, Lucy attended art college for a year after school but switched to nursing where she spent twenty years specializing in cardiology. After becoming a stay-at-home mom to her daughter Jess, Lucy experimented with a range of crafts, alighting upon decorative cookies almost by accident. In late 2011, she was persuaded to start her business Honeycat Cookies following several requests to place orders. She set about learning the craft from books, the Internet, and trial and error. Lucy has a YouTube channel as well as a blog, Honeycat Cookies, that document some of her wider adventures in confectionery. Plus, you can read all of her past Cookie Connection posts here. Photo credit: Lucy Samuels.

 

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Thank you  Christine and Lucy for all you do to make the  site educational, interesting and a lot of fun.  Congratulations on your achievements and your lovely award. Thank you  Julia for you vision, dedication and huge success with the Cookie Connection.  All that each of do for us is greatly appreciated and really does make the world a little sweeter.

Congrats Christine and Lucy, so well deserved!
I joined this community less than six months ago and your challenges, tutorials and work have been a great source of inspiration. Thank you

How lovely to start the day and find this post! Thank you so much Julia, I'm really touched by this, it means a lot. I've so enjoyed producing the tutorials these last two years, it's challenged me not just in cookie-ing, but photography and writing (and uploading photos!!), and I've learned so much from you since I joined the team.

And congratulations to Christine, your challenges are always varied and interesting, and I'm always amazed at the variety and effort put into the work they stimulate! 

Teri Pringle Wood posted:

Thank you  Christine and Lucy for all you do to make the  site educational, interesting and a lot of fun.  Congratulations on your achievements and your lovely award. Thank you  Julia for you vision, dedication and huge success with the Cookie Connection.  All that each of do for us is greatly appreciated and really does make the world a little sweeter.

Thanks, Teri! It's been really fun for me to see the site first take shape and then evolve over the last three years. Again, only really possible with the help of lots of people with enthusiasm and fresh ideas!

I am truly surprised and honored!  I am a Honeycat Cookies fangirl, and so I am especially honored to share this award with one of the kindest, funniest, most creative cookiers I know.  Thank you, Julia, for providing this amazing forum where we can share our art and passions (obsessions?) in a community that is beyond supportive. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a contributor on Cookie Connection, and look forward to all of our future cookie adventures together.

Thank you Christine and Lucy for all your contributions to this wonderful site. I learn so much here and everyone is so helpful and kind. I really enjoy reading your posts and viewing your tutorials and pictures. Thank you for being so generous of your time and sharing all this wonderful information. Well deserved awards.

Complimenti sinceri, siete delle donne e artiste fantastiche e meritevoli dell'apprezzamento di tutta la comunità di Cookie Connection!

Sincere congratulations, you are fantastic and deserving women artists and the appreciation of the whole community of cookies connection!

Congratulations ladies. I am very new to cookie decorating and all of you here are so inspiring with such beautiful artistic creations. I am in awe of your talent. I hope to learn more and aspire to your achievement. 

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