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!)
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?
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!
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.