Well, hello, cookie people! I know it has been an extremely busy time in the cookie world - from back-to-school to CookieCon, to the GO BO Foundation Bake Sale, to the beginning of the holiday baking season . . . And so, I am extra appreciative that so many of you took the time to enter this month's Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge. You people-making people are the BEST.
Before we get to our spotlighted artists, let me first talk about the winner of this month's TWO fabulous prizes: the first is a set of five Yummi Yogi cookie cutters (retail value $40, plus free shipping worldwide), very generously donated by Yummi Yogi owner, Amy Dube.
And the second prize is a copy of Kristine Samuell's brand new book, A Year of Gingerbread Houses, generously donated by Kristine herself. Although, if you are not the one lucky winner, never fear, because you can still purchase this gorgeous book from Amazon.
So let's cue the drum roll . . . The randomly chosen winner of Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #12 is . . . donaharrisburg! Not only is Dona our randomly chosen winner, but she also has one of our judges' favorite entries. We really love the facial expression on Dona's diva; we can almost hear her yell!
DIVAAAAA by donaharrisburg
I am hoping upon hope that we see Dona post a picture of a gingerbread yoga studio on Cookie Connection in the near future. Until then, here are our other spotlighted artists, in no particular order.
Marie Antoinette Cookie by Jolies Gourmandises
We are all very impressed with the very fine details of this cookie and the multiple techniques used, from the delicately painted face to the intricately piped details of the dress. This entry is obviously a very thoughtfully planned and executed cookie.
To My Teacher, Evelindecora by Magadiuz
The details of this cookie are notable. Particularly remarkable are the deeply expressive eyes, sculpted elongated nose, and beautiful hands. Overall, this is just a lovely cookie. [EDITOR'S NOTE: And if you've ever met Evelin, you'll know it's a great likeness of her beauty as well!]
You Fly So High, Butterfly by Kim Damon
I think this entry is a very clever take on the challenge. I love the dimension, but especially LOVE the perspective of this cookie. Not only is the butterfly flying off the cookie, but the little girl looks like she may actually leap off the cookie to grab it.
Ballerinas by Paola Hojuela
These little ballerinas are darling. As one judge aptly remarked: "You can clearly see the research the cookie artist has done to work out how to depict the different positions and movement, not just in the position of the limbs, but the flow of the fabric too."
Fairy Sitting Under Flower by Natasha Ananyeva
This is one of the few entries where the person is in a sitting position, and I think Natasha just nailed it. If you look closely at this photo, you can really appreciate the extremely finely painted facial details. (Those eyes are gorgeous, and the shading of the skin - perfection!) I could gush over the wings and leaves and flower in the background, but I will spare you. Really, this cookie has it all.
Portrait Cookies for Halloween by Susan Hennes
Are these not the sweetest little trick-or-treaters? Susan did an impeccable job with these cookies. The body proportions are terrific. I also like the fact that, although these two girls were made with essentially the same template, they are each unique. I also give bonus points here for attempting eyeglasses. I, personally, have ruined many a pretty face trying to add eyeglasses!
Karate by Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.
"Dynamic" was the word that kept coming up with respect to this set of martial arts people. We love the positioning of the bodies and how the gis and belts seem to move with the wearer. The positioning of the feet and toes also lends an incredibly effective sense of movement.
Audrey Hepburn by Taeko_Papillon
This cookie is every bit as lovely as Audrey herself. Her face is really beautifully painted despite what must have been a very small amount of cookie to work with. I love the painted shading of the face and gown, combined with the piped underlying figure, creating what to me looks like a pencil sketch come to life.
She Baked Through All the Years by Hoosier Sugar Cookies
This entry is definitely a sentimental favorite of many of the judges (though I am not sure why, because it isn't something any of us can really relate to or anything ). But, this set also has many great challenge elements. I am very impressed with how the artist accomplished the age progression - the waist got thicker, the hair got smaller and grayer, the legs became less shapely, and the wrinkles set in. Well done, Hoosier, and may we all happily be baking well into old age.
Knight and Princess Set by Claudia's Creative Cookies
This is an adorable set. I think it is terrific that Claudia was inspired to give people cookies a go after seeing the Cookie Cowgirl's presentation at CookieCon. (My non-entry Hugs4Mom was also inspired by the Cookie Cowgirl's presentation, which was partly about how to make lots of different people from just a few basic people cutters.) I also love that Claudia drew her own unique characters. Now, if I could only figure out how she got those swords to be such a shiny tone of gold . . .
And that's a wrap for Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #12! We have a very special challenge in store for lucky #13, so stay tuned.
Christine Donnelly began her professional baking 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.
Photo credit: Christine Donnelly
Note: Practice Bakes Perfect is a bi-monthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Christine Donnelly that poses inspiration or challenges to get you to stretch as a cookie artist - for practice, for prizes, and for fun! Its content expresses the views of the author and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. Catch up on all of Christine's past Cookie Connection posts here.