CookieCon Wrap Up

CookieCon

CookieCon Wrap Up 

The frenzy surrounding CookieCon began back in the spring. There were rumblings popping up on facebook and the big question was, “Are you going to CookieCon?”  Mike and Karen , from Karen’s Cookies, were overwhelmed by the response to this newly created cookie convention.  Tickets were sold out in a blink of an eye and there were cookiers coming from all over the world. My husband thinks it’s hilarious we have made a name up for ourselves but mark my words “cookiers” will be in the dictionary soon.  Australia, Brazil, England, Mexico and America, were all represented at CookieCon. Who says cookies can’t bring world peace? Count down calendars began to pop up, announcing how many days we had left until CookieCon or if you were having a bad day a friend would chime in and say, “Just 63 more days!”  The cookie world is a very unique place. Some of us decorate cookies as a hobby, some of us sell for profit, and others sell to raise money for their charities; yet many have reached out to one another to encourage each other along this crazy journey. Oh yes, it is a tad crazy.  And trust me if you are thinking about decorating cookies, you to will need a support group soon too.

Last week 200 women from around the world began to pour into Salt Lake City. I can tell you this, the hotel noise level got louder and louder as the evening went by on Thursday. There were so many women I wanted to meet when I left home, and I honestly thought I would get to meet everyone. But I did’t. It was just to hard. I thought long and hard about how to rectify that problem. Since you can’t change the past, let’s have a link up party. A place where people can link up their favorite moments and pictures from CookieCon to share with those who and those who unfortunately couldn’t go.  But before we go any further I have to share with you a little bit about my rocky journey to CookieCon.  First step to making it to Utah is to put on my traveling shoes. I am not a superstitious person, but I always wear my favorite shoes when I have to get on a plane. I tried clicking my heels, thinking I might magically appear in Utah but it didn’t work. Anyways, much more fun awaited me at the airport.

CookieCon

I knew my schedule was going to be a tad hectic leading up to CookieCon. I had a massive wedding cake that I had to do that weekend and harvest cookies due the week of the convention. What was I going to do? How was I going to fit the sugar show in and make swap cookies? I had settled on two ideas for the sugar show. I was going to do a rubix cube for the “Good Ole Days” category and I was going to paint my favorite picture of my brother’s for the holiday category.  When you see the picture below, are you wondering, “I didn’t see that cookie in the sugar show.” Well, the night before the convention I went in my office to begin packing my cookies. In the two years that I have been making cookies I have never  had one go missing. At first I thought my husband and son might be playing a joke on me. But they weren’t. I started frantically looking through the house. I could not find it anywhere. Are there special milk cartons that you can put missing cookies on to find them ASAP? Well in the process of frantically running around the house I kept stepping on crumbs. Odd…Then I saw a guilty dog. I had not put my cookie in a special place because it was not going to be eaten. I didn’t have to worry about any safety precautions, right? Um, WRONG. So, I can honestly say my dog ate my CookieCon HOMEWORK!!!

Once Blind Studios

Oh well! While I wanted to cry, it didn’t matter. Plus, there is no crying in baking, man! Come to find out, my peeps at The Smart Baker just made a shirt just in time for my debacle. The cookie is gone and it is time to move on.  I couldn’t wait to meet my cookie buddies in the morning.  I didn’t have time to do swap cookies but everyone is always asking for my cake. Since I can’t ship my cakes to my friends, like I can ship my cookies, I decided to make some of my mason cake jars. I called Southwest and asked if I could take cake on the plane. They assured me cake is absolutely ok to take aboard an aircraft.  I thought what a fun surprise, I will take some of my salted chocolate caramel cake jars. Um no, the surprise will end up to be on me.

CookieCon

As I begin to make my way through security  all of a sudden a bag sets off an alarm. I start thinking to myself, shoot I got in the wrong line. Um, no, I didn’t get in the wrong line. It’s my bag that is setting off the alarm and making everyone behind me a tad angry. TSA takes me to the side and asks me what is in my bag. CAKE! Cake is what is in my bag. The TSA officer says, oh no problem, I just have to test it and then you can be on your way. The officer tests the cake jar and another alarm goes off. Oh nuts!  Next thing I know they are calling in a military explosives expert.  Oh yes, be jealous,  it’s not every day you get to spend an hour of quality time with a weapons expert. Awesome! So there is good news and there is bad news. You can take cake on a plane but if you are lucky enough to set off two alarms, you get to have everything tested including yourself.  Oh the swabbing fun begins.  Good times. Now I must say the 4 TSA agents and the explosives expert that got to deal with the “situation” were very nice and we had quite the time laughing about this whole ordeal. This gives new meaning to, “for the love of cake!”CookieCon

Yup, there they are, the explosive cake jars. But it was all worth it when I delivered it to some of my most treasured friends.

CookieCon

Cake jars have now been delivered and I can relax.  But then I look down and wonder, “Where is my suitcase?” I was so excited to meet the women I have interacting with for months that I left my suitcase in the lobby. Seriously? You have to be thinking what is wrong with this girl. Well I ran to the lobby and there it was right where I left it. Nobody touched it or moved it. Relief.

CookieConThe Presenter’s

Alison Stinnett from Ali B’s Bake Shop:  Piping and Royal Icing Transfers

Glory Albin from Glorious Treats:  Fondant on Cookies, Photography and Food Styling, Blogging

Pam Sneed from CookieCrazie:  De-mystifying glaze, Packaging

Callye Alvarado from Sweet Sugarbelle:  Cookie Think, The Cookie Business

Elizabeth Adams from Arty McGoo:  Painting on Cookies

Lisa Snyder from The Bearfoot Baker:  Airbrushing

Julia Usher: Stenciling and Adding Dimension to Cookies

Maryann Rollins from the Cookie Artisan:  Platters, Message Cookies, Layering

Mike and Karen from Karen’s Cookies: The most gracious hosts at CookieCon.

As you can tell the schedule was jammed packed and filled with topics that hit home for beginners to the more advanced.  Some of the presenters we were not able to get pictures of during their presentations because the room was dark. One of the neatest things about watching the presenters live is realizing that they are human. Some times I think we read blog posts and see pictures and think they are super human. Each of these amazingly talented women was candid and honest about their journey doing cookies. Sharing the successes and pitfalls to avoid in your cookie adventure.  I was so thankful to meet these women. I have poured over the blogs and tutorials. I have started blogging myself and I have realized that it is HARD WORK. It was nice to be able to thank them in person. Now while there was lots of chatter at the conference, the room went dead silent when this VIDEO played by Arty McGoo. I would upload it but I am technically challenged. So just pop over to the video link and watch. {Bring tissue}

While this wasn’t a cruise, there was definitely an excursion that everyone took. Everyone at some point or another headed to the Orson Gygi store. I order all my milk glass cake stands from them, so I was really excited to be able to go to the warehouse in person. How could a cookier skip Orson Gygi? They answer is they can’t.  Orson Gygi is a giant baking warehouse that boasts of a wall of cookie cutter, it has every color sprinkle under the rainbow, pattterned bags with no end insight and an 11 lb. chocolate bar that Laurie from Cookie Bliss just couln’t say no to.

CookieCon

Seriously, right? ^^^It’s like a baker’s Disneyland.

These are just a snippet of the sugar show entries. I am hoping many people will post some of their favorite entries in the link party.

CookieCon

Aren’t these cookies amazing?  Voting was not easy.  See the cookies in the up right hand corner. The cookies that say Snow and Noel. I fell in love with them the first time I saw them.  On Friday evening, I got to spend some time with Michelle. She traveled all the way from England for CookieCon and she is absolutely lovely.  She confided in me that she would like to improve her skills but she is just a beginner. While we were chatting someone came and told her how beautiful her sugar show entry was.  Come to find out her cookies were the exact one’s that I voted for.  I just about died. Beginner?? Wow. I can only imagine the cookies you will create next Michelle.

CookieCon

Now I want you take a moment and check out the “mystery shape” cookies. Can you guess what the cookie shape is? It’s a turkey. Now, these were some of the winners and some of my favorites. I could only fit so many in one collage. How amazing are these? What is even more impressive is that these were created in just a couple of hours. Normally, it takes me a couple of hours just to figure out what I am doing, let alone create a masterpiece.  Monica, from the Cookie Cowgirl  won top honors for her vintage girl with the red hair and purple hat. So amazing! Have I maxed out on saying the word “amazing?” But not only did she make an awesome cookie, her apron was just about the cutest thing I have ever seen. She even had piping bag holsters. I definitely won’t be messing with this Texas girl.

CookieCon

Showdown: Cookie Cowgirl vs. Cookie Artisan 

CookieCon

Gratitude:

So thankful that I got to meet some of my most treasured friends.

So thankful that after a weekend with me, they still LOVE me!

Thankful for the random conversations, with people I have never met, that turned into people I now call my friends.

Getting to meet so many people that you admire.

Seeing Julia Usher’s cookies in person. They are stunning.

Talking about style, blogging and the art of how you handle a cookie business.

Getting to meet BRP Box Shop in person. I am horrible with figuring out the right dimensions when ordering online. I loved seeing the samples.

Getting to meet the presenters who I have admired and followed their blogs for so long.

Getting to meet my roommate in person, Tara, The Shaky Baker. She was the first “real” person to follow me on Twitter. I was so excited. I no longer had to talk to myself!

That cookie peeps are probably the nicest PEOPLE ON THE PLANET!

Regrets:

While so many amazing things happened at CookieCon I do have some regrets.

Shannon, from Artfully Delicious and I tried and tried to have breakfast or lunch but there just wasn’t enough time. Next time, I will make time.

There are so many ladies I wanted to meet. I even had a list. I even checked it twice. But time flew by like a whirlwind.

And I did not get to meet them all. :-(

Christy, from The Cranberry Cookie Shop emailed me when I got home. Were you sitting in the airport this morning, around 7?

Yes! You were there too! Ack!!!

I have always wanted to meet Pam, from CookieCrazie. She makes cookies to raise funds for the mission in Ukraine. I remember the first time I read about it. I make cookies to raise money for

our charity, Micah 6:8 Sudan.  We are building a farm in the Sudan where we are training pastors and hopefully providing food and jobs for the villagers we work with.

But we didn’t get a chance. But next we will.

While I realize that you can’t do it all, and that you can’t always meet everyone. I want to!

Yes, that may be a tad toddlerish, but I do! {can you see me stamping my feet}

Finally, my last regret: not hoarding Anita’s amazing cinnamon roll cookies, from Sweet Hope Cookies

CookieCon

Thank you Mike and Karen for putting an amazing weekend together.

Thank you to all my amazing friends who wrote me such precious notes on my “yearbook apron”

Thank you to so many wonderful women. You are truly an inspiration.  It was so great to hear your story.

Now it is time to share yours!

Link up your favorite moments for CookieCon! I can’t wait to see.

If you wrote a blog post about your Cookiecon adventure. Leave me a message with the link. I would love to include it!

Thanks!

CookieCon Blog Posts:

Glorious Treats: Home from CookieCon

CookieCrazie: CookieCon: Cookie Event of the decade

Arty McGoo:  CookieCon and On and On

Sweet Hope Cookies: CookieCon Through My Eyes and Heart

The Bearfoot Baker:  CookieCon 2012


28 thoughts on “CookieCon Wrap Up

  1. Hi im Diana. A fairly New fan on FB. I just love the way you write. So I’m a new Fan on your blog as well! Im hoping to go to Cookie Con next year- sounds like a great yummy time! ;)

    Diana Munoz from San Leandro,Ca.

  2. Melissa, it was great to meet you and Natasha at the gate in Phoenix (post explosives testing!). Chatting with you girls on the flight into SLC was a real treat and definitely set the tone for a great weekend with some of the friendliest people anywhere! Thanks for a great recap and the links to others. Blessings!!

    1. Rose! It was such a blessing to meet you. It’s funny we had coffee with some Master’s grads last night and I was talking about how random it wa to not only get to sit next one on the airplane but she was also headed to Cookiecon. Blessings to you!

    1. Liz! No joke, right? I am pretty sure if I didn’t have my lucky shoes on I would be behind bars, my cakes would be bagged, tagged and now moldy. I am so glad I got to meet you. When you write on your blog, your words flow so naturally, as if it were a conversation. You have a heart of gold! By the way, the picture that Bailey drew for you is priceless! Thanks for giving me the link to the blog so that I could include it on mine. You are the best!

  3. What a wonderful post! So many fun and treasured memories!

    I love reading all about these amazing women and can’t wait to meet you all in person! XO

  4. What an awesome write-up, Melissa!! It looked like everyone had tons of fun. I hope to make it to the next one and meet a few of my cookie idols I follow, you included! Plus, it would be nice to represent the few male “cookiers” in this great cookie community.

    1. We were looking for you! We wondered if any of the “man” decorators would be brave enough to show up. There were some husband’s there! You will get quite a bit of attention if you come. Kip, from BRP box shop was there. Thank you for your kind words. I have to say this group of cookie peeps are soooo nice. Hope you come next time. I look forward to meeting you.

  5. What a wonderful post! The airport story is a classic! But you did make me laugh out loud at one point – You just about died?? I nearly died when I found out you voted for me – seriously – I think that made my CC weekend! Til the next CC…

  6. Love your traveling shoes! Love your jar cakes (though not what you went through at the airport) and love this wonderful wrap-up of what was a fabulous weekend that I sorrily missed. Hopefully next time.

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