[WARNING: This is an extremely long post with lots of photos! :) ]
It's taken me a whole week to recover after arriving home from Cookie Con 2014
I've been meaning to write this post and have planned things in my mind to put in it......
but have had trouble sitting down and getting the job done.
The event was so consuming (physically, mentally, & emotionally) that
once I arrived home.....I felt behind in everything else in my life.
And every time I've got on the computer......my "20 new FB friends from CookieCon" haha
and the Cookie Con FB page were FILLED with tons of posts and things to read.
I've found myself glued to everyone's enthusiasm,
which made me even more behind....instead of catching up.
But alas.....I'm finally able to sit down and tell you all about the 2014 CookieCon experience.
My, my......it was so much more than I thought it would be.
I think the idea of making 450 cookie friends is probably all you need to know about why it was
overwhelming....and yet, so exciting.
The premiere Cookie Con in November 2012 was phenomenal.
You can read my post about it here
It didn't seem like it could get any better than that.
And yet, this latest Cookie Con was equally phenomenal......
for some of the same reasons.......but also for different ones.
When you are really passionate about something......something as crazie as decorating cookies....
most of the people in your life don't understand.
But Cookie Con provides an avenue to be with people just like you.....
where talking about cookies non-stop for hours and hours is perfectly normal.
And so......the journey began for me on Wednesday morning, March 19.
I left from my home near St. Louis, MO and worked my way to Salt Lake City, Utah.
Via a very "indirect route".....I flew to Phoneix and then on to SLC.
But the cool part about that was I got to see the Grand Canyon from the air......
and lots of other BEAUTIFUL terrain on my flight.
I've got to say that the best part of Cookie Con 2014 for me was being with the people.
It seems like every day I was with a different set of cookie friends (sometimes several different sets)
and had a blast with each group.
On Thursday, many of us took the SLC Trax system to Orson Gygi
It is an amazing kitchen supply store with everything imaginable for cooking & baking.
Included in all their stock is all sorts of things that cookiers LOVE!
Tatiana (from Moscow, Russia) is the sweet lady in the bottom two photos.
She was the "big spender" at Gygi......as so many of the things carried there she can't get at home. :)
Registration on Thursday afternoon.......
And then it was time for the exciting opening.......
Karen & Mike (creators of Cookie Con) greeted us first thing.....
and then Liz & John Adams (Arty McGoo and "Mr. John") treated us to a
plethora of music and videos depicting "Cookievision".
Check out the videos presented in their presentation here
It ended with all the instructors of Cookie Con on stage rockin' the house down.
Friday was filled with class/instruction by some fabulous presenters.
The event was attended by cookiers from 16 countries and 44 States.
We even had some very special celebrity guests (haha).
And the prizes were out of this world......awesome.
There were all kinds of extracurricular activities to get involved in.....
The Sugar Show was filled with so many wonderful cookies.
I couldn't vote for a "winner" because there was just too much talent and incredible-ness on display.
The many vendors and sponsors of Cookie Con 2014 gave us lots to inspect, explore and
either splurge on......or plan to save for.
(See the entire list of sponsors and vendors at the bottom of the post.)
Karen & Mike invented the Notta Cookie
and it debuted at Cookie Con 2014.
It's a re-useable practice cookie that allows you to practice decorating/stenciling/airbrushing on it,
and then you just clean it off and start over again.
Everyone received a NottaCookie in their swag bags.
They are available from Karen's Cookies here
I had the special privilege of going to ABC4 in SLC (local live news)
for an interview about Cookie Con on Friday afternoon.
The entire interview is here
Other Cookie Con interviews:
Friday night I got to see a beautiful view of Temple Square and the downtown area of SLC.
Kip, Connie, & I worked together in the last few months to develop their new basket box
It debuted at Cookie Con and everyone got to take a basket box home.
The baskets come in five different colors and are available on BRP's website
And some the craziness happened.
Liz (Arty McGoo) had challenged Kip (BRP Box Shop) to a dance off after he showed his
moves to everyone on the Cookie Con FB page the week prior to CC.
Watch this amaze-ness if you dare.....
Saturday morning/afternoon was filled with open decorating in the main hall.
Nearly every imaginable decorating tool/ingredient was supplied to practice decorating.
And from that decorating came these amazing cookies (and many more!)
in the mystery shape cookie contest.
There was lots of time to hang out with everyone and enjoy good conversation and taking photos....
Saturday evening was the Cookie Con Banquet complete with a delicious meal
and lots of awards and speeches about our weekend together.
After all the "formal part" of Cookie Con was over.....
there was lots of mingling and enjoying those last few minutes with each other.....
since so many would be leaving that night or the next morning.
Karen & Mike Summers were our hosts for the weekend.
Boy do they know how to put on a superb event!
We're all so grateful for all their hard work this last year.
And also, a big thank you to all the "purple apron" people who gave tirelessly to make sure that Cookie Con 2014 was a HUGE success.
Sunday was spent saying goodbye to many......
and spending an extra day with those that remained until Monday.
There are lots of great memories from these photos.....
Departing day........time to go home.
But not without tons of memories, new friends, and treasures in my heart. :)
So long, Salt Lake City!
And once I got home and caught my breath a bit.....
I had lots of things to unpack, enjoy, and anticipate using. :)
BRP Box Shop
gifted us with tons of samples....a very happy box of boxes. haha
Between purchases, swag bag, and gifts.......it was quite a cookier's delight.
Here's all the official vendors and sponsors of Cookie Con 2014.
What fun it was to see their products and in some cases, get to know the people behind the product.
ASM Cutters & Things
Cookie Con 2014 was a fabulous event loaded with inspiration and instruction.
But most of all it was an incredible time with all those who love to decorate cookies.
What a joy!