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Cookie Connection Team Live Chat: Part 2

Hi, everyone! We've got another unusually great chat this week insofar as you have not one, but two chances to chat one-on-one with talented cookiers! Today we've got Cookie Connection's Practice Bakes Perfect challenge host, Rebecca Weld (aka REBECCA W), and our recently unveiled mystery guest, Rebecca Litterell (aka REBECCA L), who will be our new business correspondent. Her debut post will appear later this month or early November and will follow her happenings as she moves into a brick-and-mortar bakery. You can read more about her new blog feature here: http://cookieconnection.juliau...or-rebecca-litterell Welcome, guests!!
Since we have more than the usual guests this week, our chat rules have been modified a bit to make it easier for us to handle the potentially large question flow. Those rules are . . .
. . . 1. Please address EACH of your questions to a specific contributor whenever you can, and please also indicate that person by REBECCA L or REBECCA W at the start of your question. This will help me keep the questions and answers straight . . .
. . . 2. If you have not directed a question to a specific contributor, the question may be randomly assigned to one contributor to answer so this chat doesn't get extraordinarily long. But when you really want to hear from both ladies, I'll try to make sure that happens . . .
. . . And last, but not least: 3. Questions are usually answered in the order received. In the event that we get a lot from one person (which we have had in the past), we may space out questions to allow a mixture of voices on the chat at all times. That said, we'll do our very best to get to every question, so please refrain from entering questions twice.
Ready to roll? Guests?
Ok, it's quiet, but I see you ladies are here, so let's get started with advance questions.
Rebecca W. - Based on your work, it's obvious your career in architecture influences your cookie designs. Do you feel that there are any other aspects of your life that influence your cookie designs?
Kari- there are definitely other things besides my professional background that feed my passion for cookies. I've always been crafty, thanks to my mom. She taught me how to sew, and I've quilted and done cut paper art as well. The other thing that I've found I did that has translated into cookie think is looking at catalogs. I get tons in the mail, and I use to flip through them all- often pining for more housewares and clothes than one girl would ever need. I am just a magpie for design and color! That is why I find Pinterest so exciting, and what I love about cookie design. You can "shop" around for inspiration, and then make it into something for yourself or others!
Rebecca L. - Welcome to the Cookie Connection! So excited!! The question that is on everyone's mind - How to price cookies. Do you have any advice?
Yes, welcome to Cookie Connection, Rebecca L. We are so excited to have you blogging about business!
Yankee Girl Yummies~ Thank you so much, Kari! I am equally excited to be here!! Pricing has honestly been THE most challenging thing for me while running my business. I first had to sit down and take on the very tedious job of figuring out my cost of goods sold (COGS) and breaking this down to find out how much 1 cup of flour cost and even a tsp. of salt! Once I had that all figured out, I was able to attach it to my recipes and calculate how much I was spending on each. As far as knowing how much to charge a customer, well, that is going to be different for everyone. Honestly, the COGS are going to be minimal, compared to the time it takes to complete our cookie projects. My advice would be to ask yourself, "what IS my time worth?" This is time taken away from a regular job (with a regular paycheck), my family, etc...Everyone needs to find an asking price that makes them feel like their work and worth is meaningful. I also encourage people to look around on places like Etsy to see what others are asking for their cookies. It's a good place to start.
Rebecca W - do you have anything to add about pricing? Do you do it the same way? It's a super important issue.
I can't really speak to pricing, except to say it is absolutely about valuing yourself. My market is not in selling cookies as cookies, because my "architectural rate" can't really be applied!
I would add to be careful to calibrate your price off of what's available in the market - not all cookies are created equal, and I see many art cookies that are way underpriced.
But you also don't want to price yourself out of your market completely, so it's a balancing act.
This is for either Rebecca.  Can you give us some good places to order from online?  Also, the curly q alphabet cookie cutters - do you know where these and like cookie cutters can be purchased without costing $70-$80?  Thank you.
Sue P~ I order from various online places. Amazon is huge for me because I have Prime, which gives me free two day shipping on most products. For boxes, I order mostly from BRP box shop. Cookie cutters come from TMP, Karen’s Kitchen, Whisked Away Cutters, or Cheap Cookie Cutters…as far as the curlicue cutters…I don’t own that set so I am not sure where you could order those for less. I just recently started ordering my clear bags from Gifts International and I try to shop at Global Sugar Art when they are having sales.
Hi Sue P! I do most of my cookie shopping through Karen's Cookies and Coppergifts. Both have great selections and good prices. I also will try Amazon for items. Julia actually has a great reference list in the back of her Ultimate Cookies book too- so maybe she can speak to other good resources, or if there is a list somewhere here on Cookie Connection! As for the cutters, my approach there is definitely hand-cutting. I've been known to make a template out of a picture of the cutter I don't have. It's good for things like the alphabet, where you rarely need all 26 letters at once.
Thanks, RW for the book shout-out. American Traditions - a site sponsor - is also a great supplier of inexpensive tin cutters. Lot of shapes.
But with some things, I think you get what you pay for. Like stencils . . .
. . . I love Designer Stencils because the cuts are so clean. It's hard to do a clean stencil with royal icing with a rougher cut stencil.
Thank you, Julia! My journey, thus far, has been interesting to say the least! Can't wait to put it all down on paper and share with you all.
OK, we're onto live questions and we have a few in the hopper . . .
Truly Mad Plastics sells great custom plastic cutters, as does Whisked Away Cutters! And the list goes on, of course!
Assigned to both: To anyone....whip or blade attachment when mixing royal?
I use a blade attachment! And a medium/low speed, like a 3 on my Kitchenaid.
hastyquilter~ I always use my paddle attachment for royal and at low speed as well.
Yay! First time in a chat, and so excited to ask some questions!! Firstly, your work is amazing! How do you keep inspired??
Welcome, Cecilia. FYI - I am assigning this question to both guests!
I use paddle.
I look at Pinterest a lot for inspiration- but not just cookies. Other artists- design boards- fabrics. Pinterest is great because each image is linked to others. Honestly, I see cookies in everything! I also always try and keep thinking about something as I am doing it. You have to stay open for inspiration to strike. It's mostly an attitude of not settling, in my experience.
Awesome. Thanks!
I have the Stencil Genie by Creative Cookier.  It is wonderful for holding the stencil and makes using RI so much easier.
I am dying to have one of those Joanne!
Yes, the Stencil Genie is great, Joan. But when I was talking about Designer Stencils I wasn't referring to issues of the stencil moving, but to the cleanness of the stencil cut. I find some cheaper stencils have relatively ragged cuts which inhibit super smooth spreading of the icing.
Rebecca L??? What about your sources of inspiration?
Thank you rebeccarchitect!! I love pintrest too!
Cecilia~ I find inspiration in everything. From fabrics, to greeting cards, even nature. When I first started, I was really clueless about how to tap into and use the things around me as inspiration. But It has gotten easier for me, the longer I do this, to find inspiration in many things.
Rebecca L - I'm also curious about comparing baked goods in general. I know that you make a variety of baked good - macarons that I can personally say are wonderful! Do you find other baked goods to be more profitable? Of course, taking into consideration time to make. Because we all know how time consuming cookies can be!
I haven't heard of the Stencil Genie! Sounds intriguing!
It's a magnetic weighted frame made by Creative Cookier . . .
. . . designed to keep stencils more firmly planted on cookies
Brand new as of this past month, I think.
OK, I'm pausing to allow RL to handle Kari's second pricing question - another good one . . .
Thank you Kari! I just made another batch of macarons the other day and I am getting better at making those stinkers! Eh, er um I mean wonderful things! I definitely found that cookies are more profitable than cakes, for me. And by cookies, I mean any kind of cookies; drop, decorated, macs...
Interesting . . . when I had my shop, I found the opposite. To make the same profit from a wedding cake, I'd need to do many times the number of cookie orders. But much has to do with the time intensity of the design.
This question is for LDCakery. How many cookies are you making I  a week to be able to supplement a full time job's income? Do you advertise?? Thanks!
I also have a problem with the word "simply decorated." It's like it is not in my vocab...I can't just flood a cookie and walk away. I MUST do more! lol...and by the time I am done, I have put several hours into my cookies
The better quality the stencil, the less you need a frame or weights, I think. But I rarely use stencils. I try but they don't seem to go with my style.
I agree, Lauren. I don't use frames that much with Designer Stencils.
Good to know! I struggle with 'simple' as well.
Cecilia~ I will typically make anywhere from 3-6 dozen decorated cookies a week, but keep in mind that is not all I offer. I also make cakes, macarons, and other bakery items to help supplement
Simple? What is this simple?
OK, let's talk about "simple" more concretely. Lauren has a good question related to this . . .
I find myself spending waaay too much time on each cookie (which is fine when I'm fiddling but not when I'm filling orders). How much time on average do you both spend on the decorating part of each cookie?
Or "not simple", as the case may be . . .
I use stencils A LOT! For awhile, I was stenciling everything. I've gone to hand painting my backgrounds most recently so I haven't been using my stencils as much.
As in not intricate  Julia?
Lauren- on the decorating part of the cookie it is very dependent on the design, but it can easily be half and hour to an hour of hands on decorating time. That said- with planning I've made some nice sets in a night. My pysanky set took two hours to make- but two weeks of sketching and thinking...However- I could have done that multiple times and sold them for a bunch...hmmmm. But I'm really a terrible example if you want to do it for profit. The only market I have is sort of for publication!
Right, I'd like to hear how much time these ladies spend on average on a cookie, and also the high extreme. In that extreme, what are they charging?
If paid for my sets, it is usually at the rate that someone would pay for artwork for a magazine to use, so several hundred dollars. I still do most of my cookies as gifts though!
Good question Lauren. I have been training myself to not spend so much time on each cookie. It is so hard! If I am doing a flooded cookie with an outlined border and a monogram, It'll probably take me less than 5 min per cookie (not counting drying time, obviously).
Are you excluding color mixing from that time, RL? It can take me an hour just to mix a simple set of colors.
If I am doing something like detailed painting, then I can spend up to 20 min on a cookie!
I think the challenge of going commercial - and carrying larger overhead - is simplifying designs so you can do them faster and more profitably.
Yes, for me excluding mixing time. But I'm a slow flooder, apparantly!
Thank you Julia for sponsoring this chat.  My first time also.  To any of you find a difference in refrigerating or not refrigerating your royal icing?  I made my first batch last night.  Thank you Rebecca and Rebecca for being the guests today.
Thanks, Sue P. Glad to have you here.
Damn computer - sorry, my space button is not working so it's taking me forever to type - typing and retyping . . .
Wow, Architect.
As for me, I was having a terrible time with RI. Just the other day I put it in the fridge and used cold water to thin.  Worked great!  I have been told not to refergerate.
My icing was blowing up on me.
sorry for typos
I tend to not mix colors anymore, due to a hand injury last November. I paint everything nowadays, so yes, I am leaving that out of the equation.
I find that the fresher the icing the better. But that doesn't stop me from using icing to the bitter end of a two week or so span. When I refrigerate it I don't have any issues, except to remember that it i thicker cold, so I let it get to room temperature before adjusting the consistency.
Wow, that sounds dangerous, Dona!
My colors seem to set less "solidly" when I use old icing that I'v refrigerated, so I like to use colored icing the day I make it.
RL?? What about your experience with refrigeration?
Sorry, I was having internet failure there for a moment...
Ha! I was just about to say that for Rebecca L.
I'v = I've - darn keyboard . . .
Yes I see.  Monitor is blinking rapidly.  lol
I'm one of those weirdos who always have my icing chilled. I use cold packs to keep it cold while I'm working. Since I live in a hot climate, I find it gives me consistency (the ambient temperature in my home fluctuates a lot).
Well- any questions for me? My computer is working haha!
R A good Im not alone. with me black is made from left overs.
Sue~ I like to freeze mine but not refrigerate it. Not sure why but for my RI, it does make a difference. When I refrigerate my RI, it becomes it separates and becomes harder to use but if I freeze it, I don't have that problem
Re: Dona's icing explosion, I think . . .
I was so happy Julia.  Thanks.  Thanks to veryone and the guests too.   Julia, I had a terrible time.  I put a wet towel and covered with saran wrap and closed the container too.
Smiling at the Architect.
Lauren, mone got warm this morning.  Quickly.  I guess my hands are too warm ?  Don't know.  I thought of using a cold pack.
Rebecca L. I am trying that next time. I do have separation issues over time.
Ok, onto a new question - I think we'v covered the icing temp issue pretty well . . .
For Rebecca W: Do you ever worry that your cookies are not going to be received well? How do you handle any self-doubt? You are such an established and talented cookier, do you worry like the rest of us?
Good one! I'd love to know this of both cookiers, actually.
Salsasweets- I worry about most sets! I handle self doubt with humor and the help of friends. Lots of dark comedy about eating the offending designs. On the last set I worked on, I agonized over the design. There were lots of interlocking parts, and I was designing as I went. Things weren't working at all. Cookie friends talked me off of cliffs, my stepdad helped me with culling out the offending cookies. Whole sets of cookies were eaten and redone. So yes, I worry. Lots of tears, and sweat behind some of these cookies. And sometimes sets that I love, nobody seems to respond to in the same way.
Looks like my "e" isn't working too - could be the cookie crumbs that I got in my keyboard the other night . . .
I cried Julia.  lol
I find the cooler icing helps my arthritis, too.
Above two comments related to previous icing theme.
RL? Any self doubts? Or are you boldly confident about each new cookie design?
All the time, Salsasweets! I know I am going to be the hardest on my own work but I still (after 8 years) bite my nails wondering if my cookies will be liked by the recipient
Maybe it's the perfectionist in cookiers that makes us all so self critical? I wish we could cut ourselves some slack more often.
To both, an icing question. Color purple. any hints to keep from fading?
Great to hear that no matter the experience, or successes, we can all be a bit self conscious of our work!
People are boldly confident? I thought that was myth!
I still doubt.  lol  hahaha
Really Rebecca W?  Your work is stupendous.  Can't imagine their not being appreciated/liked.
Dona- its all relative. Someone will like them! But sometimes LOTS of people like them. Sometimes I hate them and others love them
I do have self doubt. Wish I could be more confident. I have definitely had to learn to let go of things.
Thumbs up to you.
Let's Talk Cookies- I've not noticed purple fading- but any color issues I would recommend super fresh icing and a dehydrator or setting fan.
Thanks for getting us back on track, RW!
Most of the time, I really don't have a final design floating in my head...I kind of make it up as I go, which is nerve wracking!!
I have also noticed that the older the icing, the harder it is to work with. It just doesn't 'flow' the same as fresh.
I don't see my purple fade either - wonder if it's the brand of coloring you're using, Let's Talk. I use Chefmaster - no trouble with reds/pinks either, which are more notorious faders, esp. in fondant.
Rebecca L- that is always my problem- a sketch and half a plan. And then if you throw a new technique in the mix, you can get yourself in trouble!
I use Americolor purples without problem!
Ok, we have 12 questions still to answer in 15 minutes. Are you guests Ok with me adding 15 minutes to the chat to get to them all?
To both...when layering royal onto a cookie for dimension, do you use oven, dehydrator, heater?  And do you dry multiple times if you have multiple layers to prevent cratering?
I'm good with that!
I use Americolor purples as well! No problem
Yep, me too
Hastyquilter- I swear by my dehydrator. I do each layer- though I will do just a quick set on the bottom layer and then let it dry, then build up with quick dehydrator burst after each layer. Too much time in there and I get butter bleed.
As long as my internet is okay with it
OK, just posted next question from hastyquilter about drying.
And my keyboard . , ,
Rebecca L, do you have a brick and mortar retail shop?
Rebecca W., would keeping out of light stop the fading?
Yay more time!!
Hastyquilter~ I have only used a fan. Well, I take that back. I tried a dehydrator once and I wasn't as crazy about it. Plus, I had this fear that it was drying out my cookie, not the icing. I put my cookies about a foot or two from a low fan and let sit 30 min before layering. Then I leave them by the fan for another couple of hours.
This is soo cool! I love being able to chat with fellow cookiers! I have yet to reach out to other cookiers in my surrounding areas as I'm new to this medium. Wanted to know if either guest has found a lot of local competition, or other cookie artist in their communities. Were they willing to share ideas?? Thanks!
Lauren~ not yet, but it is something I am currently working on.
Dona- I am not that fussy. I don't think about things like that! But might not be a bad idea if it was a problem for someone.
Cecilia I have the opposite of local competition. I have local cookie friends, and we get together and make cookies or play around. I've been spreading my obsession! Online, I have found the cookie community to be an incredible support and have made some very good friends through cookies!
Lauren - the subject of RL's new column on Cookie Connection will be all about her search for a brick-and-mortar bakery and her trials and tribulations along the way. I am really looking forward to it.
Cecilia~ There aren't too many other cookiers in my area, that I know about. I have found a few in Arkansas, Like Yankee Girl Yummies, but few in my immediate area. But yes, the ones I have spoken to are extremely sweet and helpful and I have tried to do the same
RL - what prompted you to go the brick & mortar route for your business.  It seems like overhead, like rent, would really eat into profits, especially since one can only decorate so many cookies per month.
Not sure what Lauren's thank you is in reference to, but here it is:
Me, too! Thank you.
Great to hear Rebecca(s)! I have been waiting to reach out to share ideas but have been afraid! I will def be more active online though! It has been a learning experience!!
I'm just full of gratitude (but this was for the upcoming column).
You are welcome Lauren, for everything.
Bakerloo Station~ exactly!! You hit on some key points right there, and are topics I will be addressing in my column. What prompted me was my current space. I bake out of my home which also supports a family of 5! Lets just say I am running out of room!
Rebecca W - Since I know that you do not sell, where do you see cookies taking you in the next year? Teaching? Traveling? Long term goals?
Good questions this week, BTW.
Yankee Girl- I would love to travel and teach a little. Though to be honest, my only long term goal is to keep my cookie “hobby” in check so I can keep my business and family thriving. So, not making too many plans! Though...who would be interested if I did a seminar in their area? Anyone?
Cecilia~ Yes! Be more active in your online cookie communities and you will find that there are others who have the same fears, questions, and concerns as you
Rebeccaarchitect - how do you find publications for your work?  Do they usually come to you, or do you actively look for publications?
Bakerloo- they come to me But when my local public radio sent my story to National Public Radio, that didn't hurt either!!
I can honestly say that I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for my fellow cookiers. They have supported me all the way!
I'd drive to Potsdam to attend your seminar, Rebecca. Also, I really want to get out of the desert.
I would love to have classed in south Florida! There has only been one cookier doing classes here for exclusively cookies! Come please!!
I am absolutely obsessed with looking at everyone's pictures of cookies on FB, instagram and Pinterest.  Sometimes I many times did they make this cookie before they got one that looks so perfect.  I was almost relieved when I saw some post a non perfect cookie. How much practice does it take?
I think hasty's question is great - and speaks to how intimidating it can be to see so many great cookies being posted all of the time.
Hastyquilter- I don't do much practice per se, but I do often make two of a complicated design, “just in case”.
And sometimes designs get eaten.
One thing to bear in mind is that people generally put their best face forward on social media. I try not to post my worst stuff, you know? So there's a little smoke and mirrors going on - you never see the full reality.
Hastyquilter~ good point! I know I am relieved when I see someone post a not so perfect cookie! The perfectionist in me says, 'NO WAY!' but I think when others see your mess ups or whatnot, they can relate to you better because we are human and we do make mistakes.
I always make multiples of a new cookie design, and only show the versions I like best.
I've started posting my "flawed" cookies a lot more too- I'm human, and I want everyone to know!
Me too, RW!! I cringe when I do it but it is almost like therapy lol
So I let butter bleed show, and sometimes my flood is bumpy on the edges.
Sometimes I need to put on blinders too, and just stay focused on what I want/like to do. Otherwise, the joy is quickly sapped if you're constantly comparing.
Yes! same here!
That's so reassuring to hear ladies. It's good to know that even when you are established, you still get worried. What do you both think about posting lots of pictures of each set of cookies? I see a lot of people take individual pictures of each cookie while I only take pics of the entire set.
Absolutely, Julia!
It starts to feel like a race or competition when you compare too much - I don't think it's a healthy thing to do, but it's natural to do.
I think it might be fun to have a mess up cookie post now and then.
Salsaweets~ I see that a lot too. I post sets as well, unless I have that one cookie that must be showcased! Unfortunately, FB has made it difficult to make your photos be seen so I can understand why some like to post multiple photos.
Good idea, Lauren. Maybe the CC contributors and I can collaborate on one!
Julia- that is so true. When I start to feel like that, I know it is time to walk away from the newsfeed for a little while. The thing to remember is that every beautuful cookie is just more beauty in the world. And we all want that to come from everywhere!
Salsa I take lots of pictures, as you have probably noticed! I like the big set, and if the quality is there you can zoom in. But I get requests for people to see detail, so I take pics for that too. Also, as part of my thing- I like to be very active on FB, and I like to have different views to share different places. I will say- once you've got cookies and camera there- at least take a banner shot
I see a noticeable fall off in views both on Facebook and this site when people post multiples of the same set, or variations on the theme. I think it's more impactful to concentrate views in one strong image.
And, as I found out through my loving husband, I am extremely competitive, so yes, comparing myself to others can be a problem. I am getting better at looking at myself in a better light and to just do the best that I can do.
I sound a lot like you, RL. I'm extremely competitive to a fault.
That's a great idea, Lauren!
This question is for Julia. I have noticed on my web page, that I have a lot of guests, but very few comments. How do you get people to be interactive with you and your business??
I will say that here on CC I do post the one "Main Shot" more. I use my multiple shots to mix it up on Instagram and Facebook.
Cecelia, good question. I have found it tough to drive interaction on Facebook actually, ever since FB changed its distribution algorithms. YouTube is a much more interactive place, and I enjoy it more for that reason. But generally, I think there's nothing better than a high impact visual (either a photo or video) to grab attention and spark conversation. I also sometimes leave a little mystery as to how things were done so that a dialogue starts on that.
Funny thing is, I didn't even know I was competitive. I didn't play sports growing up and I had this false thought that you had to play sports to be competitive...WRONG!
WRONG - I was competitive in everything but sports.
I have problems with my piping breaking on long strands. Help?
Great ideas Julia! Thanks!
Thank you cookie friends for answering all our questions! I am extremely grateful!!!
Lauren~ when I have that problem, it is because I didn't add enough water to my RI. An extra spritz will make all the difference!
Some have accused me of being competitive, so I crushed them
So I'm not the only one who resorts to the "crush" strategy then?
RW - thoughts on how to minimize the breaking of long icing threads?
Hahaha Julia!
Julia- my thought on icing strands is to listen to RL, because I have not mastered the problem!
I think this question relates to RL's comments on adding water to prevent breakage . . . though not sure . . .
Rebecca L  so you emptied the bag and re-worked the icing?
Crush them all!! Muahahaaa!
So grateful for this chat. Inspiring to us newcomers!
Julia- yes- try adding water for icing strands!
Just a heads up - there are 6 more questions in the queue and 7 minutes to go.
donaharrisburg~ Yes. I have actually done that lots of times.
Dona- yes- I use saran wrap bullets, primarily so I can pull the icing out of the bag and rework the consistency, or freshen it up if I am decorating over multiple nights.
I am adding a few more minutes to the chat, but I don't think we have time to take any more questions beyond the 6 already in the queue. Ok? Forging on . . .
Donan - I just squeeze the icing out of my parchment cone and back into the bowl to adjust consistency. Toss the paper cone and start with a new one.
Rebecca L, do you airbrush?
Opps- I answered Dona's question too! Dona- my local cookie friends has loaned me her airbrush a few times. I resisted airbrush for a long time, but I've found some things that it does that I enjoy. Still working on my skills though to accomplish what I want. Overall- I still prefer RI layering or RI stencilling.
Sounds good to me, Julia.
I don't do a lot of airbrushing, Dona. I own an airbrush machine but just find it cumbersome to lug out.
I lose confidence  Julia.
ty  rw
ah!  Rebecca W   I tried that.  Worked one time, thenbellied up - lol.
Cant decide to buy   can spray was a disaster
Dona- what did you try that only worked one time?
I will add that when I use stencils, I like to use the Wilton's spray in a can rather than get my airbrush machine out. Just depends on how many cookies I have to airbrush
Dona- I'd hold off on a airbrush until you know you need/want it! Notice I'm still borrowing my friends
I'm going to move onto some other questions while Dona clarifies what she's having trouble with - I think maybe spray colors, and so was wondering about getting an airbrush??
RebeccaArchitect, I know you have done some amazing gingerbread structures in the past...I was wondering if you were planning on doing more in the future? You've strayed into the cookie decorating side more...which is out of this world, we all know!
OK . . . Here's the clarification from Dona . . .
the saran wrap in a cone or bag
Dona- I use expensive saran wrap so it stays sealed, but my girlfriend uses cheap stuff and tape!
Melissa Joy- you know that there will be more gingerbread houses in my future. When my boys get a little older, I'm going to do it with them. Now that you mention it, I might design a house with my older boy for this year. He already designed the cookies he wants for his sixth birthday! You should do a post on decorating with kids- you always have such great ideas!
To both:  Do you do Youtube videos?
I use to wrap my icing in saran wrap, like Karen from Karen's Kitchen demonstrates, but I went to tipless bags after the first of the year and haven't looked back.
I have never done a YouTube video
I'm totally team tip, I still use the same wilton disposable bags for the last year. I'm not in production though, or I might give those bags another go.
Parchment cones are the same concept as tipless, just biodegradable! I am obviously a huge fan of them. The bullet thing seems like so much work.
RW - thoughts on YouTube?
No you tube videos for me. And not on my list to try them either! So many great ones already! Julia, Lucy, Montreal Confections, Hanielas!!!
That's something I want to ask about! Organization of supplies! My dining room floweth over. Ideas for condensing supplies but still being able to use them regularly? Both of you!
I do need to try parchment cones. I am all in favor of protecting our planet.
I'm waiting too for an answer to Lauren's Q - my basement work area spilleth over.
I might be convinced about parchment cones before master bags, but I really like my system. It's whatever works for how you work I think!
RW - I agree, more than one way to do everything. Just being snooty about my cones.
Lauren- I have a big craft tackle box that holds paintbrushes, tips, luster dust and couples, pens. A dresser or something with drawers would be good for cookie cutters. I have like 6 boxes of stuff in every nook of my pantry. And a dining room table that looks like a cookie craft explosion right now. Lilaloa did a post- she had a small space, and a cookie dresser. I totally want one!
I hate fumbling for cutters s   Lauren
Lauren~ my cookie cutters are about to be placed on a pegboard going from Rubbermaid containers on shoe racks! I have several cabinets in my kitchen that house other supplies and wall shelves for others
Peg walls might be the only way to avoid shuffling though cutters, but you'll still have the box for resorting haha!
Yeah, there's always that resorting thing!
I have an 10-foot cookie pegboard, but it holds a small fraction of my cutters - only about 100. I need a supplemental cookie dresser. Actually, what I really need is someone to organize it all for me.
Being a beginner, how do you find other cookiers in your community?
OCD here
Rebecca L   I contemplated a peg board too
wow Julia  Im not going that large
Sue P~ online cookie communities are where I found other cookiers. Facebook has lots of groups and Instagram, believe it or not, is where other local cookie people have found me!
Sue- Well, I “made” the other cookiers in my community, but having them join me in cookie-ing! But actually, online on way to find out about locals- though forum posts or facebook.
And I can see instagram working if you tag your location!
My husband is making the pegboard this weekend. Hopefully it will make things easier on me.
It's just if you don't go large, the pegboard can't really contain that much. But then again, I don't double up my cutters on the board - the board is more a piece of statement art in the room with each cutter fitting in a special place. Yeah, OCD.
so glad to here Im not the only one with a duly dinning room lol.
Thank you.
OCD is harmful   that's why I cry
Sounds like the pegboard will be perfect for me then!
Last question coming up for Renee with just 7 minutes to answer! GO!
this question is both guest, and of course you Julia, Is there a app you can reccomend for drawing and sketching cookie designs?
Yes  I did think it would be cumbersome Julia  a pegboard
Ohhh, good one, Renae! I have no clue but would love to know if someone else has the answer!
good ?  Renae
I do all my sketches in my head lol. Most don't even make it to paper
Lucy talked extensively about Camera Lucida in last week's chat and posted about her set up in the Clips area last week. The Camera Lucida app develoepr actually chimed in to comment on the app! I'll try to find that link.
Camera Lucida is the app to use to transfer designs. When it comes to sketching I use two tools of the architectural trade. One is my drafting program- mostly for cutter shapes though. The sketching I do on paper. My secret there is a roll of tracing paper. Lets you try multiple ideas on the same outline, or trace the part that works and sketch on that.
Very few of my designs don't have some sort of sketch.. but I'm working at the complicated end of things!
That was fun! Thank you all for your wonderful questions and that warm welcome! <3
in my head but don't make it to the cookie  lol
That was super fun! I was worried it would be crickets! Oh me of little faith! You guys are the best! Thank you!
I usually run out of time RW, otherwise, I would complicate things too
No worries, I just extended the chat long enough to find Lucy's link. Since we're already 30 minutes over time on a weekend, I'm going to draw this chat to a close by thanking our amazing guests.
I have a few of those too, Dona.
And also you all for the great questions - they went a little deeper this week than the usual "how to I get air bubbles out of my icing" . . . not that it's not a valid question, but we get it in most chats!
Thank you Julia for your awesome job moderating! And for the opportunity to be a guest here, and a contributor on Cookie Connection!
Thank you, Julia!
to = do
And Rebecca W.
Thanks, everyone. I had to walk the dogs but I've caught up. This was great!
ty to ju  r l and rw
I have a kindle   couldn't get your apps Julia  not sure if id get the lucinda
Dona - my app is available on Kindle. I can help you with that if you email me privately.
Thanks to Julia  R L and W   and attendees
Thanks so much.  This was great!
Have a great rest of the weekend everyone. I'm off to buy supplies for my next video shoot. Ooh. I forgot - to the gym first . . .
that was ok ty to julia
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