Hi, everyone! It's time to celebrate some very important people on the site! As you hopefully know by now, Cookie Connection stays the vibrant, enriching place that it is in large part because of the hard work and generosity of our contributors. All of their post writing, site art creation, challenge masterminding, and so on is done with passion and care, purely on a volunteer basis. To say I'm deeply appreciative of their work would be an understatement.
As a small token of my gratitude, I started the Milestone Awards five years ago to honor those who have contributed to the site for a year or more. In addition to being showered with my unending adoration, each winner gets a commemorative crystal vase, similar to the one pictured below on my dining room table. (And, yes, those are Christmas ornaments still in the centerpiece! Their glittery goodness works year round! Or, at least, that's how I justify my laziness! )
Awards background behind us, today, we have two contributors to recognize! One passed her one-year anniversary mark a few months ago, and another is on the cusp of hers in July, so I thought, "The more, the merrier! Let's give them both a huge shout-out at the same time!"
And, so who are these folks? If you've been on the site for any amount of time, you can probably guess . . .
The first award goes to @Sweet Prodigy, aka Christine Dutcher, for so fabulously orchestrating our bimonthly Practice Bakes Perfect challenges. Her one-year challenge anniversary was actually on March 22, so I apologize for the brief delay in making her announcement. In a little over a year's time, she already has seven and a half wonderful challenges under her belt! (I encourage you to check out her current one, Imprinted Icing! It closes on June 20, but there's still time to test your mettle with textured icing, and potentially win a lovely prize from @SugarVeil!)
The second honoree is none other than our Site Art Stylist, @Icingsugarkeks, aka Gabi, who, since July 20, 2020, has been beautifully transforming your cookie creations into our monthly site banners and backdrops. She has a gift for graphic design!
Please join me in giving these two women a huge round of applause! And please take a moment to get to know them better by reading their bios below. Thank you again, Gabi and Christine, for your amazing work. Please keep an eye on your mailboxes for your vases, which will ship tomorrow! And, perhaps it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: I so look forward to your contributions in the months to come!
Christine Dutcher 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! Christine's journey as a cookier began in early 2013 when an online search led her to the amazing world of cookie decorating. After spending countless hours learning all that she could, Christine decorated her first set of cookies in October 2013. In 2016, she decided that she would begin to focus on perfecting her skills, challenging herself each time to create more detailed and progressively complex pieces of cookie art. In 2019, Christine became one of the very first sugar artists from around the world to be named as an "Honourary PME Five Star Sugar Artist" by Knightsbridge PME. You can learn more about Christine's work here on Cookie Connection, and by following her Facebook and Instagram pages. Catch up on all of Christine's Cookie Connection posts here. Photo credit: Christine Dutcher.
Icingsugarkeks, designedbygabi, and Gabi are all synonyms for our Cookie Connection Site Art Stylist. Gabi, who harks from Thüringen, Germany, is a talented hobbyist decorator who has awesome graphic design skills acquired through years working as a media and graphic designer in image processing, film cutting, television programming, print media, and website design and programming. Gabi never thought that she would love HTML and CSS one day! But she does, and she's now happily applying those skills to help Cookie Connection members turn their cookie photos into art for our site's banner and backdrop. To learn more about Gabi, please visit her Instagram page. And to get her help with your site art submission, please send her a private message via her Cookie Connection profile page. Cookie and photo credit: Icingsugarkeks.