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Saturday Spotlight: Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #16 Recap

 

Roses, roses, EVERYWHERE! I don't think I have been surrounded by this many roses since my wedding. In 1993. Seriously, people! You shattered the Practice Bakes Perfect participation record, with a whopping 76 entries for Challenge #16! That's roughly 1,000 individual roses, piped, painted, and transferred. With that many roses, it was no small task to pick only ten entries to spotlight here. I strongly encourage everyone to check out the Practice Bakes Perfect clip set, so you can have a look at the veritable rose garden that has sprouted on Cookie Connection this past month.  

Before I launch into the spotlighted entries, I'd like to first announce the randomly chosen winner of Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #16! As you may recall, our winner will receive a rose-themed grab bag of decorating items donated by Cookie Connection founder, Julia M. Usher, including a wide array of rose nails and petal tips, but also these three special goodies . . .

Two sets of Gourmet Sweet Botanicals crystallized sugar roses (total count: 20), like the one on the scrumptious dessert below (retail value: $40)Dessert2

One pack of "Spring Floral Bouquet" perfume bottle label wafer paper from Queen of Tarts Wafers (retail value: $14)Wafer%20Paper

And, last but not least, one graduated set of long-stemmed rose cutters from Cookie Cutter Kingdom (retail value: $14)Single%20Rose

And our winner is . . . Gina's Cake! CONGRATULATIONS, Gina! That's a lot of rosy loot, and I can't wait to see what other rose-inspired creations you come up with. Gina's entry was this delightful, soft-hued pair of cookies:

Roses on Plaques by Gina's Cakeimage-4

There are lots more roses to behold, so off we go with our spotlighted artists. In no particular order . . .

Handpainted Roses by Teri Pringle Wood20160512_103848Dubbed the "Queen of Roses" by one of our judges, Teri submitted seven (!) remarkable entries to this challenge. It was hard to choose which of these entries to highlight, and we wish we could have featured them all, but you can get a taste of the depth of Teri's challenge portfolio here, here, and here. As for this entry, another judge commented: "[What] a unique way to create very decorative roses for cookies! This work must have been done so delicately . . . [it] creates a strong, whimsical effect." I couldn't have said it better myself!

A Day of a Flower Girl by Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.DSC07688
I just love the perspective that Ryoko was able to achieve in this cookie - it carries through from the aisle, to the train, to the relative sizes of the people, and finally to the sizes of the roses themselves. This entry is such a well planned, designed, and executed cookie. AND, rumor has it that Ryoko is working on a collaboration with fellow Cookie Connection member and challenge entrant Manu to create another cookie along this same theme. I can't wait to see what they create!

Colorful Details by ManuColorful Details ManuAnd speaking of Manu . . . I was thoroughly captivated by this puzzle scene. There are so many great things going on here. I love the splashes of watercolor next to the black and white background, the jelly vase for the roses, and then those perfectly formed, tiny, tiny roses (over 50 of them)!  

Sweet Shoppe by LaegwenSweet ShoppeHere are some mad piping skills, people! To give you all some perspective, those are standard three- and four-inch base cookies. Those old-fashioned roses and all of their rose petals are TINY! On top of that, all of the cupcakes and macarons are entirely comprised of royal icing! To see more of Laegwen's mad piping skills, I encourage you to take a look at her other three entries, here, here, and here, all of which were contenders for this spotlight.

Mothers' Day Cookie by EvelindecoraMother's Day cookie EvelindecoraThere are so many things that set this stunning cookie apart, like the gorgeous blush-pink color and the nearly 50 handpiped roses perfectly arranged without any gaps. But, what I really adore about this cookie is how the large handpainted roses on the left echo the multitude of tiny ones on the right - such a lovely, thoughtful design, with perfect execution!

Wreath of Roses for Mom by Sweet ProdigyWreath of RosesWe could not pass up this beautiful collection of roses by Sweet Prodigy. I really like the varying shades of pink and how they are set off by the small white flowers. Beautiful job piping those rose petals too - textbook, in fact!

Planter-Style Cookies by emilybakingimage-5One of three entries by emilybaking, this pair of cookies really puts the roses front and center! The colors are so soft and organic; that is some terrific basketweave on the front planter; and I love the photo staging!

A Basket Full of Roses for Mom by Gulnazimage-6
I was floored by how impeccably piped these tiny roses are! Whatever texture and type of icing that Gulnaz used was just perfect. All of the other details of this cookie are of equal caliber - the various types of greenery and flower buds, the subtly painted background, and that superb wicker basket. This cookie is just gorgeous.

Victorian Gothic Rose Wedding by viragogothic-rose1_may16After all of the soft and lovely pastel roses that people submitted for their entries, it was a bit of a shock to see this deep, dark, goth set. I love the intense maroon shade that virago was able to achieve, and I think her decision to go with a gothic theme was very outside-the-box. All of this, and those are some beautifully piped roses to boot!

Weeping Woman with Roses by Chu-A-Cookieimage-7This entry is definitely a case where the art reveals the soul of the artist - I can literally feel the pain of grief through this beautiful, striking cookie. If this is the level of cookie art that Chu-A-Cookie is producing after only four months of practice, then I can't wait to see what she submits another four months from now!  

I wish I could have highlighted all 76 of the entries for this challenge. I toyed with including an "honorable mention" section, but when my list approached an additional 20, on top of the original ten, I decided to leave well enough alone! Every single entry was beyond impressive. What a joy it was to revisit each one in preparation for writing this post. Again, I really do encourage you all to take a look at the whole challenge clip set. There is some serious art there, and inspiration for many birthdays, holidays, and special occasions to come.  

Our next challenge will post on or about June 6, so be on the look-out. Until then, I hope everything comes up roses for you!

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

NotePractice 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.

Attachments

Images (14)
  • Crystallized Rose on Dessert: Image Courtesy of Gourmet Sweet Botanicals
  • Perfume Bottle Label Wafer Paper: Image Courtesy of Queen of Tarts Wafers
  • Rose Cutter: Image Courtesy of Cookie Cutter Kingdom
  • Roses on Plaques: Cookies and Photo by Gina's Cake
  • Handpainted Roses: Cookies and Photos by Teri Pringle Wood
  • A Day of a Flower Girl: Cookie and Photo by Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.
  • Colorful Details: Cookies and Photo by Manu
  • Sweet Shoppe: Cookies and Photo by Laegwen
  • Mothers' Day Cookie: Cookie and Photo by Evelindecora
  • Wreath of Roses for Mom: Cookie and Photo by Sweet Prodigy
  • Planter-Style Cookies: Cookies and Photo by emilybaking
  • A Basket Full of Roses for Mom: Cookie and Photo by Gulnaz
  • Victorian Gothic Rose Wedding: Cookies and Photo by virago
  • Weeping Woman with Roses: Cookie and Photo by Chu-A-Cookie

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Comments (27)

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Congratulations to all of you featured  

I was looking through all the amazing entries this challenge the other day, and I said to my husband "gosh, it's going to be tough for Christine to choose" there were just so many absolutely gorgeous sets and splendid (rarely get chance to use that word, so a small hurray) roses. Many congratulations to everyone, it's been so enjoyable seeing everyone's cookies.

Huge thank you Christine for such a brilliant PBP, it was great to see so many people having a go, and it gave me a kick to revisit royal icing roses (which I had decided I couldn't do). Have a lovely weekend all. 

This was such an awesome challenge, and the results were extraordinary without question. Seems like the kryptonite turned out harmless after all

Thanks again, Christine, for hosting and choosing - I truly don't envy you for it. And thanks for everyone who took part and filled the last couple of weeks with roses gallore. I was looking forwards every day to what would come up for the challenge and was not disappointed!

This Challenge was amazing, every single one of them is a journey and a different learning experience.
I love to see the way each entrant gets inspired by the theme and the beautiful works of art produced during the two months. I love the feeling I have everytime I find out what the Challenge is about: no clue of what to do and not enough skills. And then little by little somehow the ideas come and practice makes the rest. I also love the feeling I have when the Challenge is over: a backpack of ideas, a little bit of sadness and at the same time counting down the days to the next one.

Thank you once again, Christine, Julia, and congrats to all the entrants.

My fav challenge ever, you are amazing Christine!!! It is nice to see how many different styles and designs we have created with only '12 piped roses'. Every single cookie deserves to win for its creativity and original interpretation of this challenge! Congrats to all the featured cookiers and especially to you, Christine ❤️

I was very excited when this challenge was announced as roses are my favourite flower to pipe! They can be piped to achieve so many looks, from elegant to whimsical. And this was certainly the case with so many amazing entries! Thank you, Christine for all of the work you put into organizing these challenges and congrats to all who were featured! 

When I read this challenge I thought there were going to be lots of entries and all entries were  beautiful but I did not think the numbers of entries reached 76!   Wow!  That's a lot!!

All of them are very unique and new to me.    I slept with the idea and design over and over and was haunted with this flower girl, researched this and that and looked for how I could make them out.   I learned a lot through the challenge and could talk with another wonderful artist.    Thank you, Christine for the challenge.  

And thank you who always post the clips of great cookies.  

There were so many amazing entries.  Congratulation to these outstanding pieces. It seems like as time passes the cookier's level shown on the site has been raised to incredible heights. Well done Christine.

Congratulations Gina, for a beautiful entry and for scoring some awesome cookie loot!

Thank you Christine, for this most excellent PBP challenge! Hope my entry didn't jolt anyone too bad ...I was definitely aiming for something different! It's an honor to be recognized amid such talented cookie artisans! Thanks to all who participated!!! 

Woo-hoo congratulations Gina on winning the prize... Have fun  making some more beautiful creations, we will be anxiously waiting to see what you create with them.  Congratulation a to all the artists and their outstanding entries. Another congratulations to Christine. You picked a great challenge for us again and as always did a fantastic  job...your task at picking 10 to feature must have been a hard one. We appreciate you!!! Thank you. .. even though I  put roses on so many of my cookies,  I  had  not  forced myself to get the nail down.So I  was limited in size and detail in my roses.., I  am  thankful that I  seriously tackled the challenge and made huge improvements. . It has opened a whole new level of roses for me. Finally thank you to Julia for all you do for us, I  know I  say  that a lot  but it's heartfelt...again congratulations to all !

Wow! What a fabulous challenge!!  Congratulations to all of the well-deserved winning entries featured.  I am blown away by the multitude of gorgeous creations this challenge brought.  There was such an array of designs and techniques by these cookie artists and I am in awe of their talent!

Last edited by Cookie Celebration LLC
Teri Pringle Wood posted:

Woo-hoo congratulations Gina on winning the prize... Have fun  making some more beautiful creations, we will be anxiously waiting to see what you create with them.  Congratulation a to all the artists and their outstanding entries. Another congratulations to Christine. You picked a great challenge for us again and as always did a fantastic  job...your task at picking 10 to feature must have been a hard one. We appreciate you!!! Thank you. .. even though I  put roses on so many of my cookies,  I  had  not  forced myself to get the nail down.So I  was limited in size and detail in my roses.., I  am  thankful that I  seriously tackled the challenge and made huge improvements. . It has opened a whole new level of roses for me. Finally thank you to Julia for all you do for us, I  know I  say  that a lot  but it's heartfelt...again congratulations to all !

Thanks! The sugared roses that Gina is getting are awesome; they're large (more for cakes and cupcakes), but stunning. Here' s how I used some in an upcoming video. (I had to buy Gina another pack because I ended up using one of hers; couldn't resist! )Rose-Trio

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Images (1)
  • Rose Trio: Cookie Cupcake Liner and Photo by Julia M Usher
Julia M. Usher posted:
Teri Pringle Wood posted:

Woo-hoo congratulations Gina on winning the prize... Have fun  making some more beautiful creations, we will be anxiously waiting to see what you create with them.  Congratulation a to all the artists and their outstanding entries. Another congratulations to Christine. You picked a great challenge for us again and as always did a fantastic  job...your task at picking 10 to feature must have been a hard one. We appreciate you!!! Thank you. .. even though I  put roses on so many of my cookies,  I  had  not  forced myself to get the nail down.So I  was limited in size and detail in my roses.., I  am  thankful that I  seriously tackled the challenge and made huge improvements. . It has opened a whole new level of roses for me. Finally thank you to Julia for all you do for us, I  know I  say  that a lot  but it's heartfelt...again congratulations to all !

Thanks! The sugared roses that Gina is getting are awesome; they're large (more for cakes and cupcakes), but stunning. Here' s how I used some in an upcoming video. (I had to buy Gina another pack because I ended up using one of hers; couldn't resist! )

Rose-Trio

Beautiful  and omg  the cups look delicious! I've sugared other flowers but never  roses. I see  more practice in the future.... if I  had won them someone literally would have had to scrape me off  the ceiling! 

Last edited by Julia M. Usher
Teri Pringle Wood posted:

Woo-hoo congratulations Gina on winning the prize... Have fun  making some more beautiful creations, we will be anxiously waiting to see what you create with them.  Congratulation a to all the artists and their outstanding entries. Another congratulations to Christine. You picked a great challenge for us again and as always did a fantastic  job...your task at picking 10 to feature must have been a hard one. We appreciate you!!! Thank you. .. even though I  put roses on so many of my cookies,  I  had  not  forced myself to get the nail down.So I  was limited in size and detail in my roses.., I  am  thankful that I  seriously tackled the challenge and made huge improvements. . It has opened a whole new level of roses for me. Finally thank you to Julia for all you do for us, I  know I  say  that a lot  but it's heartfelt...again congratulations to all !

Thank YOU, Teri, for being such an avid participant in these challenges! 

virago posted:

Congratulations Gina, for a beautiful entry and for scoring some awesome cookie loot!

Thank you Christine, for this most excellent PBP challenge! Hope my entry didn't jolt anyone too bad ...I was definitely aiming for something different! It's an honor to be recognized amid such talented cookie artisans! Thanks to all who participated!!! 

I LOVE art that shocks a bit!  Well done.

Ryoko ~Cookie Ave. posted:

When I read this challenge I thought there were going to be lots of entries and all entries were  beautiful but I did not think the numbers of entries reached 76!   Wow!  That's a lot!!

All of them are very unique and new to me.    I slept with the idea and design over and over and was haunted with this flower girl, researched this and that and looked for how I could make them out.   I learned a lot through the challenge and could talk with another wonderful artist.    Thank you, Christine for the challenge.  

And thank you who always post the clips of great cookies.  

You are very welcome! Thank you for all of the work and heart you so obviously put into these challenges!

Evelindecora posted:

My fav challenge ever, you are amazing Christine!!! It is nice to see how many different styles and designs we have created with only '12 piped roses'. Every single cookie deserves to win for its creativity and original interpretation of this challenge! Congrats to all the featured cookiers and especially to you, Christine ❤️

Thanks so much, Evelin.

Manu posted:

This Challenge was amazing, every single one of them is a journey and a different learning experience.
I love to see the way each entrant gets inspired by the theme and the beautiful works of art produced during the two months. I love the feeling I have everytime I find out what the Challenge is about: no clue of what to do and not enough skills. And then little by little somehow the ideas come and practice makes the rest. I also love the feeling I have when the Challenge is over: a backpack of ideas, a little bit of sadness and at the same time counting down the days to the next one.

Thank you once again, Christine, Julia, and congrats to all the entrants.

I always felt the same mix of emotions when I used to be a participant, and not judge, of the challenges!  Thank YOU for always bringing your A-game to these challenges, Manu.

Laegwen posted:

This was such an awesome challenge, and the results were extraordinary without question. Seems like the kryptonite turned out harmless after all

Thanks again, Christine, for hosting and choosing - I truly don't envy you for it. And thanks for everyone who took part and filled the last couple of weeks with roses gallore. I was looking forwards every day to what would come up for the challenge and was not disappointed!

Ha ha!  I think the only kryptonite was in the JUDGING of this one!

What a job this must have been, Christine... looking through 76 entries! Wow! Thanks so much for taking this on for us! You are one admirable lady!

And congrats to all of you featured! Breathtaking creations all!!!

Teri Pringle Wood posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:
Teri Pringle Wood posted:

Woo-hoo congratulations Gina on winning the prize... Have fun  making some more beautiful creations, we will be anxiously waiting to see what you create with them.  Congratulation a to all the artists and their outstanding entries. Another congratulations to Christine. You picked a great challenge for us again and as always did a fantastic  job...your task at picking 10 to feature must have been a hard one. We appreciate you!!! Thank you. .. even though I  put roses on so many of my cookies,  I  had  not  forced myself to get the nail down.So I  was limited in size and detail in my roses.., I  am  thankful that I  seriously tackled the challenge and made huge improvements. . It has opened a whole new level of roses for me. Finally thank you to Julia for all you do for us, I  know I  say  that a lot  but it's heartfelt...again congratulations to all !

Thanks! The sugared roses that Gina is getting are awesome; they're large (more for cakes and cupcakes), but stunning. Here' s how I used some in an upcoming video. (I had to buy Gina another pack because I ended up using one of hers; couldn't resist! )

Rose-Trio

Beautiful  and omg  the cups look delicious! I've sugared other flowers but never  roses. I see  more practice in the future.... if I  had won them someone literally would have had to scrape me off  the ceiling! 

I'm tempted to call the company and arrange a site visit to see the process. I've sugared flowers too (pansies, petals, leaves, johnny jump-ups), but nothing as un-flat as these. If I can't easily coat the entire front and back of the petals, the petals quickly dry and wither, so I'm not really sure how they do these big, lush roses so beautifully.

Last edited by Julia M. Usher

Thank you Julia & Christine! This challenge definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone- it was my first attempt at piping roses! I still can not believe my work was even mentioned next to these other talented artists that I have been admiring since I started this cookie journey almost five months ago. It was truly surprising to me and I am so ecstatic! I love that these challenges aren't about "winning" (although that sure is nice as well lol), but about practicing our skills, challenging us to try different techniques & bringing out the creative process within us. I absolutely loved every entry in this challenge and have spent countless times viewing them repeatedly. thank you for creating this Challenge and the opportunity to showcase our work. I plan on practicing & keep on "cookie-ing"! 

Chu-A-Cookie posted:

Thank you Julia & Christine! This challenge definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone- it was my first attempt at piping roses! I still can not believe my work was even mentioned next to these other talented artists that I have been admiring since I started this cookie journey almost five months ago. It was truly surprising to me and I am so ecstatic! I love that these challenges aren't about "winning" (although that sure is nice as well lol), but about practicing our skills, challenging us to try different techniques & bringing out the creative process within us. I absolutely loved every entry in this challenge and have spent countless times viewing them repeatedly. thank you for creating this Challenge and the opportunity to showcase our work. I plan on practicing & keep on "cookie-ing"! 

Excellent! So glad to hear this!