Wow, it's been a whirlwind of hugs and kisses and hellos here at CookieCon, as cookiers from around the globe assembled for the kick-off of this long awaited cookie event! Since tomorrow is a busy day of presentations and vendor booths (opening at 8 am sharp), I'm going to keep the words tonight to a minimum, and simply share a few photos and video snippets from the day.
Important context: I didn't arrive on scene until about 5 pm, and had my booth setup to do, so my view of CookieCon to this point is heavily skewed toward the exhibition hall - though I've got some glimpses into the opening remarks and keynote address to share as well. So without further ado, grab a cookie, sit back, and enjoy . . .
By the time I arrived, other exhibitors were already well into setting up their booths, including Shannon Heupel of Artfully Delicious. And what about that sign behind her? It displays all 50-something of the stencil designs she brought to sell!
Shannon had a small army helping her set up her expansive booth. Here's Liz Wernsing tidying up CookieCon and other t-shirts.
The energy here is amazing! With over twice as many attendees this time as last, and SO many new vendors, the expo area and halls are truly buzzing. Ribbon by Design, a new sponsor this year, has the most marvelous array of ribbons, specifically designed for cookie packaging (of course), that I've ever seen!
Kip Simspon of BRP Box Shop (also a Cookie Connection sponsor) looking uncharacteristically serious! Oh, and about that box with flashy purple ribbon peeking out from behind his right shoulder . . . just a KitchenAid mixer, one of BRP's very generous giveaway prizes! (You can bet I'll be standing in line for that one!)
The Cake Cottage sells cutters and other cool cookie stuff. I love that they brought decorated cookies to demonstrate what each of their cookie cutters can do! Talk about attention to detail.
One of The Cake Cottage's holiday cookie displays closer up.
My good friend Glory Albin (and CookieCon 2012 presenter) is celebrating the launch of her new dessert cookbook by selling them here at CookieCon. Go, Glory!
The humble Cookie Connection booth, where I am also selling my book and DVD, along with about 30 stencils from Designer Stencils' line. Later this year, I'm planning to work with Designer Stencils to develop a line of Julia-branded stencils, so selling here is part of my market research! If you're at CookieCon, please stop by and tell me what types of stencils you like most!
The crowd of cookiers assembling for Karen and Mike's opening remarks, followed by Arty McGoo's keynote address, which was a combo skit and video extravaganza. More on that in a bit . . .
After some brief housekeeping notes, Natasha McKnight presented Karen and Mike with a US flag in recognition of their support of Operation Cookie Takeover, a collective cookie effort in late 2013 in which hundreds, if not thousands, of cookiers delivered over 10,000 cookies to troops in Afghanistan. Talk about a labor of love! (Some of the appreciative recipients, pictured above. Original photo courtesy of Natasha McKnight.)
Arty (Liz Adams) and her husband, affectionately referred to as "Mr.John", kicking off their video program . . . OK, so I know this photo does no justice whatsoever to this amazing presentation, so I captured a few video clips as well (links below) for more flavor. Basically, they shared their "Cookie Vision" - that is, what the world might look like if cookies dominated the media. (As they should, right?) Think iconic TV shows or movies - like Sesame Street, Breaking Bad, Star Wars, MTV - all cookie-fied in some clever way. Again, this is just flavor. I believe Liz will be selling or sharing the full program at some point, but don't quote me on that!
Video Clip 1 (Arty McGoo's "Cookie Vision" - Sesame Street)
Video Clip 2 (Arty McGoo's "Cookie Vision" - Night of the Living Dead)
Video Clip 3 (Arty McGoo's "Cookie Vision" - MTV)
I could go on and on with more stories - of "old" cookiers reuniting and new ones meeting happily for the first time, of over-the-top cookies in the Sugar Show, of cookies brought hundreds of miles to be proudly shared and sampled among friends . . . But as I said at the get-go, it's a busy day tomorrow, and I need to be up bright and early to capture more highlights for you. Sleep well, cookiers!