So . . . I've got some good news and some bad news. First, for the bad news (for me, anyway): I won't be able to make it to CookieCon this year due to competing events! (If there's one thing I finally accepted in 2015, it's that I can't be in four different places at one time! So, sadly, CookieCon and OSSAS got trumped by a video shoot and a trip to Greece, which means I won't be able to do my normal recaps of either cookie show.)
As for the good news, well, fortunately, there's lots of it! Instead of just me, there will be four (yes, four!) eager and able CookieCon attendees reporting a wide variety of news from CookieCon, all here on Cookie Connection. So if you're like me and can't make the event in person, you can still feel like you've been there by following our daily updates. And if you are going, you're bound to see other angles or aspects of CookieCon that didn't make it on your personal agenda.
First things first, I'd like to take a moment to properly thank these cookiers for so willingly stepping up to fill the news void, especially as this means they'll each be setting aside some of their own precious CookieCon time to interview, write, and post for all of us. So, THANK YOU in advance!
I'd also like to properly introduce the same folks I've been thanking (that would make sense, right?!), and give you a better idea of what you'll see from each of them while they're at CookieCon. So, without further ado, I present our highly esteemed CookieCon 2015 Correspondents Team . . .
Barb Florin, aka BAKRGAL, has been interested in both baking and art since she can remember. Barb studied art in college, later graduated from pastry school in San Francisco, and, between jobs in corporate America, dabbled in her own baking business. However, it was only within the last few years that she became involved with decorated cookies. In addition to finally finding a way to combine her art and baking interests in one medium, she's met so many members of the cookie community who share a philosophy of creativity, inspiration, and generosity. In Barb's words: "It’s really a fun and fulfilling thing to be a part of!"
Barb's coverage: In a nutshell, Barb will be doing a "Day in the Life of Barb" series of daily blog posts that track her CookieCon fun, starting with the highlights of her pre-CookieCon course with Team Cookie and culminating with a recap of the Sugar Show.
Beverly Parker, aka Bev, is a cookier from Edmonton, Alberta Canada; a generational baker* and mom; and an educational assistant for special needs children. She is self-taught and enjoys the creative side of her baking as well as the joy it brings to those who experience it. Bev's cookie style has developed over the years through her involvement with various online communities and social media. For over ten years, she has raised funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Society and, beginning this year, she will also support Ovarian Cancer Canada. Bev is a CookieCon veteran and has been a member of Cookie Connection from the beginning! [EDITOR'S NOTE: Way to go, Bev!]
*And, if you were wondering about the term "generational baker," so was I! Bev described it as follows: "It means I love making all the recipes that were handed down from my grandmother to my mother to me. I hope to add my recipes to that list and pass them down as well. "
Bev's coverage: Bev will basically be our dedicated photojournalist and social media spitfire during CookieCon! Her camera will be aimed at the most memorable parts and people of CookieCon, and she'll be posting those images (with proper permissions from the subjects, of course!) in a Cookie Connection clip set specifically set up to receive them. She'll also be spreading the word by sharing these images in social media - and we hope you'll do the same! (You can find that clip set here.)
Jen Wagman is the owner of Sugar (Cookie) Momma, Inc., founded in July 2012 on a complete lark following a couple of her kids' birthday parties and a dare from a good friend. In the ensuing years, Jen's cookies have been featured at corporate and private events, and the United States Capitol! She lives outside Annapolis, Maryland with her husband Matt and four kids (including four-year-old identical twin boys). Jen is also a practicing veterans' law attorney in Washington, D.C. Her cookie philosophy is to have a solid combination of a delicious cookie and a fearless attitude toward decorating. Trying and failing is part of the process. Imperfect cookies will still make somebody very happy (especially in the Wagman house!).
Jen's coverage: Jen is a CookieCon newbie, and so she'll be capturing what it's like to be a first-timer through a series of daily blog posts.
Jennifer Wallace, aka jennibakes4u, is a Certified Wilton Method Instructor and has been decorating cakes for over 25 years. A few years ago, she started decorating cookies, and she now ships her edible works of art nationwide. Her kitchen is registered and inspected by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. "Most of the cookies I make are gingerbread, as I love the texture and taste when paired with royal icing," adds Jennifer. [EDITOR'S NOTE: You might also recognize Jennifer from her recent cookie storybook tutorial on Cookie Connection!]
Jennifer's coverage: She's going to give video interviews with Mike, Karen, and instructors a go, but if the video part doesn't work out, she'll convey all the same great content in blog posts with photos! Jennifer also aims to interview others on the subject of the business of cookies.
Great stuff, eh? With all four cookiers contributing on a daily basis, my editing queue is going to be jam-packed! But in between video shoots and plane rides, I'll do my very best to keep the content flowing to you as close to real-time as possible.
Now sit back and stay tuned for the kick-off posts, which should start appearing around the launch of the pre-CookieCon classes on September 23!