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Woo hoo! Our 2018 CookieCon Speakers Series continues (and concludes) with our last (but not least) CookieCon instructor live chat. On November 3 at 10 am central time , we're meeting up with none other than Katy Metoyer of Sugar Dayne , perhaps best known for her avant-garde, impressionistic seaside-themed cookies, like the beauties pictured below. Since 2017, she's also been the proud operator of a brick-and-mortar cookie shop, which I suspect we'll learn a lot more about during the chat!Read More...
Last Reply By CHELY Morales · First Unread Post
Woo hoo! Cake Masters Magazine just announced the finalists in its 2018 awards program! As a judge, I can say with certainty that the finalists' work is amazing (better than ever, in fact!) and the judging will be intense. Joining me in the very difficult task of judging this year are the following esteemed sugar artists. It's a tremendous honor to be included among their ranks: Now, onto the really important stuff - the 2018 cookie finalists! Please say congrats to the following talented...Read More...
Last Reply By Ros43 · First Unread Post
Thanks to Berni Solti, aka @Gingerland, for dressing up our site again this month - this time in full-on Halloween regalia! I just love Berni's crisp lines and perfect piping, and the "energy" of her designs, don't you?! As you may know, Berni has been a prolific contributor of site art, and, as such, has already been the subject of one of our in-depth Cookier Close-up interviews - one of the perks of being a site artist! So, if you don't yet know her, please read that...Read More...
Last Reply By Wickstead's Eat Me · First Unread Post
Hi, everyone! The JULIA Airbrush System sold more quickly than ever anticipated and, as some of you may know, is now stocked out. Thank you to everyone who supported the product through their purchases. I am so grateful to you! Several people have asked when it will be available again, and, instead of responding to each and every one of you separately, here's the official answer for all. I regret to say that I have no plans to release any more of this particular system . It’s a long story,...Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post

New Cookie Connection Merchandise!

Julia M. Usher
Hi, all! I have a fun little announcement for you, which includes some goodies designed to make us feel even more like one big, happy Cookie Connection family! Long story short, I recently partnered with teespring.com and YouTube to bring branded Cookie Connection and JULIA merchandise to YouTube. I’m beta-testing the feature now with some cute Cookie Connection tees and other goodies. Right now, I've got two Cookie Connection tees that look the same from the front . . . . . . but which have...Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post
Hi, all! First, huge thanks to Cookie Connection members @mintlemonade (cookie crumbs) and @Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.! In an effort to lure more Japanese members to this site, they generously volunteered to translate the site's Terms of Use (利用規約) and Photo Posting Guidelines (画像・動画投稿について ―― 投稿する前に必ずお読みください) into Japanese! THANK YOU, LADIES! Now, everyone will find links to the Japanese translations at the top of each of those pages (links above), and also directly below: Terms of Use...Read More...
Last Reply By pip · First Unread Post
Hi, all, I've been receiving an unusually large number of questions about how members can edit or delete their own content. It's super important for you to know how to do this, as I typically do not edit posts for people, unless I happen to see a misclassified image or other typo. It can also take me several hours to days to respond to site inquiries like this, as I work several other jobs. That being said, your surest bet for getting a quick answer is to familiarize yourself with our site...Read More...
Hi, all, regrettably, I've recently had to delete some images from challenges and other areas of the site due to lack of compliance with Rule #8 of our posting guidelines, which states that artwork (including characters, from Disney, Hasbro, etc.) cannot be copied and posted here without permission from the creator : http://cookieconnection.juliau...READ-BEFORE-YOU-POST In response to those deletions, some members have asked me why so many licensed character cookies exist on the site,...Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post
We all have different message-reading tastes, so Cookie Connection has been designed to allow for everyone's individual differences! The site's default email and onsite alert notifications are set to show you most of the site info that you could get notified about, just so you're aware of the site's full functionality. But I recognize that this amount of info may (or may not) be overkill for you. That said, I recommend that you edit your "Notifications" settings as soon as you join the site...Read More...
Read in Japanese (日本語はこちらから) (Last Translation: August 25, 2017) ________________________________ Hi, all! Before posting images or videos to the Clips area, please review the site's Terms of Use , as well as all of the following posting rules. They are designed to give your images more visibility on the site, to make sure artists are given proper credit for design inspiration and/or source artwork, and to avoid copyright violations. I'll start with the easy cataloging stuff first . . . 1.Read More...
Last Reply By Lupita Cárdenas · First Unread Post

Topics

Hi, all, a quick Saturday Spotlight update! Two days ago, I posted a special (and extra long) Spotlight featuring the winners of my "Julia Usher's Decorated Cookie Competition" at the 2018 Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show (OSSAS). Those winners were Stacy Frank (aka @thefrostitute), Shelby Bower, and Heather Brookshire. (Congrats again, ladies!) Not only did they create superb works of art for the show, but they also did a superb job of providing work-in-process photos and...Read More...
Hi, all! My tech team, Hoop.la, will soon be doing maintenance on the systems that power Cookie Connection for the purpose of maintaining and improving the security and stability of your service. This maintenance is scheduled for Wednesday, October 10, 2018. The maintenance window is from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). During the maintenance period, there will be occasional site outages of up to 30 seconds, but Cookie Connection will be functioning normally for the vast...Read More...

Say Hello to Our May Site Artist!

Julia M. Usher
Hi! Yes, that site artist is me once again, so we'll skip the usual artist intro and move onto more important matters - like how to get your art featured instead of mine! I'd really, truly love to have more submissions from all of you. One reason is selfish: I'm bored with seeing my cookies. Typically, I've looked at them for countless hours before posting them here, and enough is enough! But the primary reasons are for you. Featured cookiers get noticed by other members, potential...Read More...
Last Reply By Elke Hoelzle · First Unread Post
Yes, you got that right! Even though CookieCon 2018 is over, I'll be wrapping up live chats and Cookier Close-up interviews with the remaining CookieCon instructors in the coming days and months. Stay tuned for interviews with @Hillary Ramos (aka The Cookie Countess), @Jodi Till (with whom we chatted just last weekend, here ), and @Anne Yorks (aka Flour Box Bakery), as well as both chats and interviews with @Andrea Walters...Read More...

Saturday Spotlight Delay

Julia M. Usher
Hi, all! I had intended to post a CookieCon Sugar Show recap as this weekend's Saturday Spotlight , but I am still awaiting the final winning photos. It is now pretty late here and I have mounds of other work to do, so I will hopefully post it tomorrow (Sunday) or just as soon as I receive the photos. Stay tuned! From the photos I've caught on Facebook and Instagram, the wait will be worth it - the show looked pretty darn spectacular!Read More...

Introducing Our September Site Artist

Julia M. Usher
So sorry. Forgive me, but it's me again with some cuts and splices from my recent "School Rules" stencil release. Since there was no other art in the hopper this month, I quickly turned a few of my back-to-school photos into our September site banner and backdrop: Also, please forgive the fact that the globe is on backwards - I just wanted to keep you all on your toes! As I've mentioned before, I'd MUCH rather spotlight your cookie work than mine, so please do not hesitate to submit your...Read More...
Yippee! Our CookieCon live chat series continues in September, even after CookieCon is over (!!), with CookieCon presenter and repeat Sugar Show winner, @Jodi Till of Kids to College Cookie Creations. Jodi's live chat is on the weekend after CookieCon - Saturday, September 22 at 10 am central , to be precise - but her chat room is now open to receive your advance questions. Just click here to visit her chat room , and then follow the instructions at the top of the page to...Read More...

Site Display Errors

Julia M. Usher
Hi, everyone, I just wanted to report that the site is experiencing some site display errors, where, in certain forum posts, the text of the post is displaying above the main header of the site in the background. I am aware of this problem and have reported it, so there is no need to report it to me. My site guys are working on it, but I do not yet have an estimated time by which it will be fixed. I'll report back here when it is. Thanks for your patience. Here's what it looks like on one...Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post
It's that time again for our monthly site makeoever, and - wowza - we have indeed been transformed, thanks to this generous and very summer-y contribution from @Gingerland, aka Berni Solti. I just love the perfect porcelain-like finishes on Berni's cookies, and the added depth and dimension she achieves through shading with an airbrush! Her cookie colors work wonderfully with the Cookie Connection logo too - an added plus! Thank you, Berni, for keeping our site alive with...Read More...
Last Reply By Gingerland · First Unread Post
Woo hoo! After a little break from chatting in July, we've got a busy, all-star lineup in August! On August 11, we continue our CookieCon 2018 Speakers Series with CookieCon instructor and The Cookie Countess owner, Hillary Ramos! We'll naturally talk to Hillary about cookie stencils and stenciling (the focus of her business), but any other cookie questions are also fair game. To join Hillary's chat at the appointed time, just click on this link . Or, if you can't make the chat, no worries!Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post

A Second Live Chat in August! Woo Hoo!

Julia M. Usher
Our CookieCon live chat series continues with a second live chat in August! This time, it's with CookieCon keynote speaker @Anne Yorks of the wildly popular Flour Box Bakery . Anne is yet another cookie renaissance woman who has done everything from teaching online classes with Craftsy to running her own in-person classes and cookie bakery. So your questions for Anne can literally run the gamut! Anne's live chat is on August 25 at 10 am central , but her chat room is now...Read More...

No Saturday Spotlight This Weekend!

Julia M. Usher
Heads up for those who did not see my notice at the end of last week's Saturday Spotlight . I will be in New York on personal matters this coming weekend, and therefore unable to post our weekend Spotlight as usual. Spotlight s will resume next weekend on July 28, 2018. Thanks for your understanding and patience.Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post
Hi! The Cookie Connection forums are a great spot to get speedy advice from other members, or to post your news. But before you post there, please read and heed the following rules: 1. Make sure your question (or topic) has not already been addressed , as we try to avoid duplicate topics. To do this, use the Advanced Search function under the "magnifying glass" icon (in the upper right of the site in standard laptop viewing mode) or under the yellow "Search" tab (to the left on mobile...Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post
Hi, everyone. I awoke, as I'm sure many of you did, to learn of the devastating flooding and landslides in Japan ( https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/07...ly-floods/index.html ), which have caused several deaths and millions to evacuate their homes. The news and images are utterly heartbreaking. I heard from our some of our members this morning who reported that they are "okay". I am so overjoyed to hear this, but very worried about our other members and friends. Please know my heart goes out to...Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post

Manu, Our July Site Artist, Does It Again!

Julia M. Usher
Thanks again to Manu for adapting some of her photos from her recent (and completely stunning) water lily tutorial to fit our banner and backdrop! Lucky us, they'll be gracing our site throughout the entire month of July! They look absolutely splendid, don't they?! As noted in last month's site art post , I am now officially out of site art for the rest of the year, and I would love to feature YOURS! Getting your art featured is easy - you can work with existing photos and just crop them to...Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post
Hi, if you view this site in Safari, you may be noticing some broken image links. A broken image link will appear as a question mark in a blue box, as in the "Members at the Moment" graphic on the right side of the home page, shown below. Broken image links seem to be an issue with only those images that I have stored on an external site, and only when the site is viewed in Safari. (When viewed in Chrome, for instance, the images are all showing up just fine.) Anyway, I just wanted to let...Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post
Thanks to @Manu, who so kindly succumbed to my urgent pleas for site art, we have some wonderfully summery cookies dressing up our banner and backdrop this month! Manu simply repurposed and re-cropped some images from her recent knot tutorial to come up with the following banner and backdrop, which you now see on the site: What a charming harbinger of the coming season, don't you think?! BTW, neither Manu nor I was concerned about the different patch of wood in the...Read More...
Last Reply By Evelindecora · First Unread Post

Announcing Our June Live Chat!

Julia M. Usher
Hi, all! I’ve got another awesome live chat for you next month – on June 23, 10 am central to be precise! It’s the second installment in our 2018 CookieCon instructors series, and we’ll be chatting with none other than the über -talented Autumn Carpenter. Autumn is pretty much a household name when it comes to cookie decorating, so it’s no surprise that she’ll be teaching at CookieCon in the fall. She owns Country Kitchen SweetArt (the sponsor of our wonderful challenge prize this month!).Read More...
Yes, congratulations to Samantha Yacovetta, aka @Aproned Artist! Samantha's gorgeous and informative cookie tutorials have graced our site for over a year now, earning her the designation of Milestone Award Recipient! Woo hoo! For those not in the know, Milestone Awards are my small way of thanking longstanding site contributors for their dedication to enriching Cookie Connection through tutorials, articles, and other cookie creations. Since May 2, 2017, Samantha has been...Read More...
Last Reply By Manu · First Unread Post

New Member Moderation Practices

Julia M. Usher
Hi, all! Due to an unfortunate rash of spam/fake members signing up for the site since January 2018, I am moving to a new system of moderating new member signups. In the past, everyone who signed up for Cookie Connection automatically had access to the site, without any moderation/review by me. However, this process has (recently) allowed a large number of fake members (10 to 20 per day) to join, and has created an ENORMOUS amount of cleanup for me - about 1 or more hours each day to delete...Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post
Hi, all! I just wanted to give a warm welcome and thank you to Dotty Raleigh of @SugarDotCookies for becoming our latest site advertiser. If it weren't for the contributions of such supporters, Cookie Connection would cease to exist. (That may sound dramatic, but it's true!) So thank you again, Dotty! Also, I wanted to alert you to what Dotty is advertising, as I think it will interest those of you with cookie enterprises, or those aspiring to launch businesses soon. For a while...Read More...
Last Reply By SugarDotCookies · First Unread Post

Heads Up: No Saturday Spotlights 'Til May 12

Julia M. Usher
Hi, all! In case you missed my announcement at the end of last week's Saturday Spotlight , here it is again . . . I'll be traveling for the next two weeks (first to SoFlo in Miami and then to teach in the Dominican Republic), so I will be unable to publish Spotlight s for the next two weekends. I've learned over time that trying to travel, teach, and maintain this site and a personal life all at once do not a sane Julia make! I apologize for the hiatus, but promise to resume our normal...Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post
Hi, all! I'm super excited to introduce our next live chat, not only because the featured guest, Chris Taylor, is a fierce competitive baker, but also because this chat marks the first in my CookieCon 2018 interview series! Woo hoo! Over the next few months, my aim is to conduct live chats and in-depth Cookier Close-up interviews with all of the fabulous core presenters on the CookieCon 2018 roster. If you're not familiar with CookieCon, it's the country's biggest cookie-only convention and...Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post

Say Hello to Our April Site Artist!

Julia M. Usher
Super HUGE thanks to @Ryoko ~Cookie Ave. for sparing us all the tedium of having to see my stenciled cookies in the banner and backdrop again this month! And for sparing us with such a marvelously whimsical banner in her signature story-telling style . . . They're an absolutely adorable pair, aren't they?! As you probably know by now, Ryoko is a veteran site submitter, having already been featured a few times. So in lieu of doing another Cookier Close-up with her this month, I'm...Read More...
Last Reply By carouselselsel · First Unread Post

Sorry Again - No Saturday Spotlight!

Julia M. Usher
So sorry - again! When I wrote last week's post alerting you to no Saturday Spotlight last Saturday and mentioned that I'd resume this week, I forgot I would be in an all-day class today with another all-day one tomorrow. I was also awoken at 5 am the day before yesterday due to a fire alarm in the hotel (!), and then, last night, I had to change hotel rooms at 1 am because someone in a nearby room was smoking and all the smoke was getting sucked into my room through the bathroom vent. So...Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post
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