Welcome to our Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #15 Recap. Spring has finally sprung! Hopefully, you are recovered from both your Easter baking and spring-breaking, and are ready for a whirlwind tour of the amazing Instanbul-inspired cookies that I am about to present to you. Their incredible uniqueness and beauty have made me want to return to Istanbul now, more than ever!
But first, there are prizes to award! The randomly chosen winner of Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #15 will receive a grab bag of mystery cookie loot generously donated by Cookie Connection's own Julia M. Usher, and also this super-fun kissy face plush emoji pillow from plushmoji.com!
[EDITOR'S NOTE: As it turns out, this big emoji pillow spawned two cute-as-a-button baby pillows since Christine wrote this post, so I've thrown them into the grab bag of goodies, along with a panoply of Sweet Elite Tools' line of celebrity decorator tools, including texture mats, snap-together letter embossers, a plaque cutter set, and kids' birthday cutters. Some sundries from my recent travels - stencils, wand cutters, and such - round out the mix shown in the sneak peek-photo below.]
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Now, back to Christine for the big reveal . . .]
And the winner is . . . Maggie Morrison! Congratulations, Maggie! Not only was Maggie our randomly chosen prize winner, but Maggie also had a gorgeous challenge entry. I adore her color palette and her combination of watercolor-painted and piped elements in her set below.
Peacock Mosaic by Maggie Morrison
And with that, let's turn to our other spotlighted artists, in no particular order. . .
Looking up at the Dome by ManuThere are just not enough superlatives to describe this work of art by Manu. The handpainted details are so refined and exquisite. (I highly encourage you to look at the additional detail photos in the comments under this entry - you will be amazed.) The colors are just magnificent. I also love how deftly Manu deconstructed a very complex 3-D structure - the dome of the Blue Mosque - and created a 2-D puzzle. Absolutely brilliant!
Floral Tile Design by Manu Manu does it AGAIN! I love how Manu pulled the leaf, flower, and vine elements from the original Turkish tiles and created these hand-cut cookie tile elements, which she was then able to arrange in a variety of different patterns. You can see photos of her other stunning arrangements in the comments here.
Cookie Tiles by Yankee Girl YummiesDespite the fact that these patterns and colors are pulled right from the challenge inspiration photos, there is no doubt that this brilliant tile/puzzle set was created by Yankee Girl Yummies. And that was exactly what this challenge was about - taking inspiration from Instanbul and creating something entirely your own.
Creator, Savior, and Friend by Kim Damon
I am still amazed every time I see this entry. I cannot believe that Kim made an entire mosaic of Jesus out of sugar nonpareils! Nor have I quite figured out how she did it (do tell, Kim!). Way to think outside the box!
Turkish Tile-Inspired Fashion Cookies by Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.
These cookies by Ryoko are truly inspired. She did, in cookie form, exactly what every good fashion designer does - "recycle" colors and patterns from other art genres to create textiles and clothing. Not only are these colors and patterns beautiful overall, but specifically, I think Ryoko did an amazing job of carrying the pattern across those skirt pleats. Wow!
Easter Puzzle by KSipes
This puzzle is just a captivating entry. It is a feast for the eyes on so many levels. At first glance, it looks like a single blue tile mosaic in a quatrefoil-inspired shape. But, upon closer examination, you can see the hidden Easter shapes - bunnies and carrots, flowers, and hearts. And then, upon even closer inspection, you see the millions of tiny patterns and details. Inspired, indeed.
Mosaic Cross-Piping by Sweet ProdigyLet me start by saying this string work is some of the best I have seen anywhere. Ever. That it was also done in the color palette and patterns of Turkish tiles is astounding. File this one under "mad piping skills".
Istanbul Inspiration by Cookie CelebrationThis entry is another example of a set that was so obviously inspired by the challenge photos and yet also bore the unmistakable mark of the cookie artist. Here, Diane masterfully recreates a Turkish tile pattern, while at the same time adding all of the little dots, dashes, and details that are a hallmark of her own work. Plus, adding that center wafer paper flower as a nod to the Practice Bakes Perfect mixed media challenge was icing on the cake!
Religious Istanbul by Olesia Gul
Leave it to a native of Istanbul (rumor has it that Olesia actually gets to live in our beloved Istanbul) to come up with such an exquisite set of Turkish-inspired cookies! The colors are gorgeous (that deep gold is so striking), and the piping is impeccable. I am seriously wowed by the painting on that center cookie. Truly captivating!
Turkish Coffee by NoaaMy hat's off to Noaa for submitting not one, but FIVE separate entries for Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #15! They were all fabulous, but I was especially drawn to this set because some of my own fondest memories of Istanbul involve sitting in a café having delicious coffee (or tea!) and these divine sesame rolls (think of flat, dense bagel-like things covered in sesame). The handpainted "china" pattern on the cup is just lovely!
And with that, we bring Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #15 to a close. May I offer a big, heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated and everyone who followed the challenge. You all made so many supportive, encouraging, wonderful comments on all of the posts. Stay tuned for the next challenge, which will post on or about April 11. Until then, walk between the raindrops, and be sure to take some time to smell the flowers and eat the cookies!
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 bimonthly 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.