So sorry, no Saturday Spotlight AGAIN this week. I just had to finish up my recap of the recent Cookie Cruise while I could still get away with calling it "recent", and while my old memory still had a decent recollection of events. So . . . you'll cut me some slack AGAIN, right?
I got halfway through my tale of this cookie extravaganza last week (click here for Part One), and so without further ado, here are the rest of the trip's highlights . . . Enjoy!
Day Three: Saturday, January 24, 2015
I must have worn out everyone with my six-hour (!) heart box class on Friday, because Saturday was designated an official "day off" from formal cookie classes. The night before, the boat had docked in the port of Cozumel, and so today, most cruisers headed for steady ground, venturing into town for Mexican vanilla and a little sun.
A few cookie diehards stayed behind for open decorating with Ginny and Tammy, but I must confess I was not one of them. Having been nearly three days without a reliable Internet connection, I opted for a quiet in-town cafÉ, a cup (or three) of coffee, and several hours of playing email catch-up. Not the most fun way to spend my day, but it allowed me to partake of Sunday's crazy-busy cookies activities with an uncluttered mind and free spirit!
More on Sunday in a sec . . . but first, a few choice pictures from Saturday. (Apologies in advance, my Saturday selection is actually quite slim . . . I mentioned I was glued to my computer all day, didn't I?!)
Our ship from afar! Pretty grand!
The day was cloudy and blustery as we headed into town, but the sun did eventually emerge! I heard that it even got warm enough for Monica Holbert to take a swim!
Thanks to Becky, one of the able members of the Dream Team, I didn't leave Cozumel with just an empty email box. She gifted me with a huge bottle of Mexican vanilla, a brand which I had been hankering to try!
By late Saturday afternoon, we were back on the high seas and resting up for Sunday, another HUGE cookie decorating day! (Correction: Everyone but Monica and her Night Owl class-goers were resting up, that is. Every evening of the cruise, starting at about 10 pm and going 'til the wee hours, Monica led small groups of cookiers in the handpainting of cookie owls! All reports said these classes were fab!)
Day Four: Sunday, January 25, 2015
Our final cookie-ing day started early with the mad mixing of many, many glaze colors for Pam Sneed's crazy quilt class scheduled for later that morning. (If you don't know Pam, she's a veritable glaze guru! Just take a look at her wonderful creations on her blog CookieCrazie, and you'll see what I mean.)
All of the Dream Team kicked into high gear, either adjusting colors or bagging up those that had already passed Pam's muster. Pam then taught all 50 cruisers how to mix glaze and use it to create myriad wet-on-wet and marbled patterns. Glaze expert Cristin Sohm of Cristin's Cookies tag-teamed the class with Pam, adding invaluable mixing and handling tips along the way.
A mere two hours later, every cruiser had made her own "quilt block" consisting of about seven small cookies, and all were assembled into one gargantuan cookie quilt. A perfect example, I'd say, of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
A small selection of the pretty colors prepped for Pam's glaze class.
Pam (right) all ready to teach, along with Dream Team member Becky.
Pam demonstrating colorful marbled floral patterns on her cookie quilt pieces.
Everyone's quilt pieces coming together!
Almost done! Pam's applying the finishing touches here - a scattering of buttons made from her specially formulated "candy clay".
As if quilting wasn't enough for one day, cruisers soon got busy stenciling. Shannon Heupel of Artfully Designed Creations was the mastermind behind this segment, guiding everyone through the essentials of stenciling with both royal icing and an airbrush. I know of several people who at long last conquered their airbrush fears, thanks to Shannon's clear and thorough instruction.
Some of Shannon's beautifully stenciled demo cookies! Such clean work!
Students overcoming airbrush fears!
Shannon getting up close and personal with her cookie to demonstrate a multi-color airbrushing technique.
The results of aforementioned demo. Wow!
In addition to these fabulous classes, this last day of the cruise was infused with lots of other fun. Prizes were given for just about everything - the best name tag bling, the best decorated cabin door, the best decorated mystery cutter cookie . . . heck, even an eight-quart KitchenAid mixer was randomly given away.
Some of the mystery cutter contest entries. Monica's Night Owl classes clearly made a big impression; many of these cookies were done by first-time cookie painters.
A blinged-out cabin door. I believe this one was the second-place winner, but don't hold me to this! (My memory is fading . . .)
Blinged-out name tag.
And Nicole hugging her new eight-quart KitchenAid like there's no tomorrow.
Well, it's late, and if my memory wasn't failing me at the start of this post, it certainly is now. I know I've missed many notable moments from this event - truly, there were too many to remember. But I hope this "little" recap gave you a good taste of what it was all about.
Thanks again to Ginny McCormick-Levack of Creative Cookier for dreaming up this unimaginable (to everyone but her) event, and for jumping through the often substantial hoops to make it happen. (Yes, there's good reason she was recently named our Cookie Innovator of the Year.)
Rumor has it Ginny's already working on another unbelievable event for next year! All aboard!