I'm thrilled to say that, in recent weeks, I've been spotting a lot of first-time posters to the site and to our Practice Bake Perfect challenges! A few have said that the intimidation of posting here is what had previously held them back. And I get that - the work of many of our members, both longstanding and new, is nothing short of amazing.
However, I've also been around cookiers long enough to know that we are perfectionists, and often our own worst critics. We look so closely at our work, just by virtue of how cookies must be decorated, that it's too easy to magnify the air bubbles, stray icing blobs, and other "errors" that are often imperceptible even to other cookie decorators. I also know that this community is incredibly welcoming. When beginners go out on that first limb by making a post, people take notice and invite them into our "family" with comments, likes, views, and other shows of support. I am grateful for this inclusiveness, as it gives beginners more reason to take the posting leap!
And when they do, wow! I am typically astounded - so much first-timer work is fresh, invigorating, and out-of-the-box fabulous. I end up wishing they had taken the leap sooner.
I think you'll see all of what I just described in the commingling of "new" and "old" talent in this week's Spotlight and this month's challenge. Our hot list*, below, includes veteran @Teri Pringle Wood, our most fearless and prolific poster, topping the list with a record five mentions. But both Spotlight and challenge also feature a number of new and talented faces, whose work you will find absolutely impressive. Moral of the story: Don't be shy! Jump in, join the Cookie Connection fun, and post on, everyone!
Now, for that hot list . . .
#1: Fantasy by Teri Pringle Wood
#2: Happy in the Sun by Teri Pringle Wood
#3: Floral by Deborah Probst [EDITOR'S NOTE: A special congrats to this newcomer! I love Deborah's cheery cookie array - so much so that I selected it for this post's title image.]
#4: Cacti and Llamas by Teri Pringle Wood
#5: My Vision of Japan by Dragana
#6: Summertime Fun! by The Vintage Cookie Jar
#7: 50 Years of Love by Teri Pringle Wood
#8: Rainbow by Teri Pringle Wood
#9: World of Morocco by Miki@Atelier Detour
#10: Lace by Sweet17Cookies
While more will be said about our Practice Bakes Perfect first-timers in @Bakerloo Station's challenge recap next week, I'd be remiss if I left this post without naming their names and encouraging you to check out their inspired entries here. So please also say congrats to new challengers @Piper Girl, @Kanch J (with two entries), and @Elke Hoelzle!
Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone. And, as I said, please don't be timid about posting here. The dividends, in the way of learning and new friendships, are big.
So that no one has an unfair advantage in making it onto a hot list, the algorithm is secret even to site administrators. Only our platform developers know the code, which has been exhaustively tested by those developers and Cookie Connection staff.
All photos shown here are the courtesy (and copyright) of the designers listed.
To check out our other hot lists, at any time of day, visit our Hot Spot, also found in the site's main navigation line.