Karen and Mike

CookieCon 2015: Greatest Sugar Show on Earth!







Just a couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of participating in CookieCon 2015.
Having been to the previous two CookieCon events and enjoying them immensely,
this year's event was just as over-the-top as the others.

There is no other place in the world where so many cookie decorators gather, fellowship, and learn from one another, plus display so many of their brilliantly decorated cookies.
It was quite the extravaganza and highly recommended.

Since I taught some of the hands-on pre-CookieCon classes (this was a new feature this year),
there was MUCH prep work to be done before embarking on the trip.

Being the CRAZIE person that I am,
I volunteered to make 450 small sample cookies for a tasting event during the event.
This was in addition to the 200+ cookies I needed for my classes and for display!



It was pretty tedious to make such a number, but after they were completed, the results were worth it.


 Since I decided to enter the sugar show for the very first time,
there were some special cookies to be made for that event.
(Super fun, by the way!)


 Here's a photo of all the cookies and edible clay flowers I packed in my suitcases.



They were carefully stowed away in shipping boxes and then placed in the luggage.


And suddenly, it was time to go!

The flights there went very well.....and ALL the cookies arrived intact at CookieCon!


It was time to prep for the pre-CookieCon classes.
I could NOT have done it without these two precious ladies!
Nancy Paine (Seasons of Joy) and Cristin Sohm (Cristin's Cookies) were essential for the success of my classes. I was so honored that they helped me provide quality instruction to my students.


[Stay tuned for a full blog post on the pre-CookieCon classes.]

After prepping and executing three-4 hr long classes in 48 hours, it was time for CookieCon to begin.
All three of us were exhausted, but the energy of the event propelled us along.


Mike & Karen Summers opened the event on Thursday evening
and welcomed all 450 cookie enthusiasts.
Oh.....the excitement in that room was electric!

Lisa (The Bearfoot Baker) shared how powerful the cookie was.
And then she read a unique CookieCon exclusive book entitled
"If You Give a Cookie Decorator an Order".
Each page shares Cookie Connie's story, and all of the illustrations are done in COOKIES.
I had the privilege of providing one of the nineteen pages in the book.

[Stay tuned for a full blog post featuring the book and a chance to receive a copy!]

This was a first for me.......contributing to a book, and signing my autograph in said book. ;)





The Sugar Show was out-of-this-world AMAZING.
Here's just a sampling of the many amazing cookies shared in that room.







Here are the two CookieCrazie entries:




On Friday, we had the privilege of hearing from seven awesome instructors.

Monica Holbert  •  Cookie Cowgirl
Susan Carberry  •  The Cake Cottage
Nadia Kalinichenko  •  My Little Bakery
Dotty Raleigh  •  Sugar Dot Cookies

Jeanette Durham & Laurie Thompson - SugarBliss Cookies
Bridget Edwards  •  Bake at 350
Mallory Mae Chiavacci  •  ButterWinks 



As you can see from the photos......a fantastic time was had by all. :)



Saturday was open decorating day.......along with lots of other fun activities.

Participants were challenged to decorate a "mystery shape" and enter it in a final sugar show contest.
These cookies were decorated on the "spur of the moment" with only a few hours to enter.
AMAZING!
And the variety of interpretations and styles is incredible.





The event was concluded with a huge banquet and awards ceremony on Saturday evening.
There was a enormous number of prizes given out and awards presented.



And just to delay the goodbyes.....there was a karaoke and PJ party AFTER the banquet.

It was truly an unforgettable time with life time cookie friends.

 I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a special event.


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Here's blog posts on the previous CookieCon events:

2012 CookieCon: The Cookie Event of the Decade 


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Here's the awesome sponsors of CookieCon 2015!

Visit their sites and let them know we appreciate their support of CookieCon. :)







































































































































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Cookie Con 2014: The Greatest Show on Earth..... for Cookies, that is..... :)





[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.

http://cookiecon.net/


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 (prounounced Gee-Gee).
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.

 Angela of Oh Sugar! Events, Susan of The Painted Cookie, Georganne of LilaLoa, Anne of Flour Box Bakery,  Liz of Arty McGoo, Amber of SweetAmbs  & Myri of Chapix Cookies

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.



Saturday morning was BRP Box Shop's presentation.
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.

Ann Clark   
Kurabiiki   
Salsa Sweets   
Gygi    
Velata   
ASM Cutters & Things 
Spices, Etc.   
Americolor   
Cake Crafts   
Arty McGoo   
Foose   
Glory Albin     
Fancy Flours    



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!
♥♥♥



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Cookie Con: Cookies for Karen and Mike



I made some custom cookies for CookieCon to give to Karen & Mike, our hosts.

They are some pretty special people.....nicest you'd want to meet.
They've built a successful cookie decorating store, Karen's Cookies (that I use often!).
They are the quintessential of excellent customer service.
And best of all.....they are my friends. :)

I wanted to commemorate their successful venture in the first annual cookie convention, CookieCon.
And.....I wanted them to know how much they are loved. ♥

A photo complete with that wonderful Karen's Cookies address label and LOTS of yellow tissue.
(Don't you love it, when you get this in the mail????)

Karen and Mike's icons on Facebook and the CookiersRUs forum.


Congratulations, Karen & Mike!
We think your awesome.
And we're looking forward to many more CookieCons to come.....




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