Cookies for Sanity

 

Hi all! I’ve been really busy with cookies lately, but you wouldn’t be able to tell, because they are all for projects I won’t be able to share with you until later!  And of course, I am far behind in my blogging/sharing duties, so soon I will update this page with those cookies that I can share but haven’t posted here. There is always my Instagram for staying abreast too!  In the meantime, I wanted to share with you an opportunity to win some of my cookies for your very own, in a theme of your choosing!!

Harry Potter

Ever since I started decorating cookies, I’ve been in love with this community of bakers who so often will do so much to support causes and people in need with their cookies!

And since I am just a hobby baker, but I love a challenge, I love opportunities to work with others on cookie themes I wouldn’t otherwise consider.   All the cookie sets pictured above were for winners of various giveaways and benefits who gave me a direction and asked me to run with it!

Thinking about wanting to offer up cookies for a good cause, I was a bit overwhelmed with the number of causes and people in need right now. But it occurred to me that one thing these crisis all have in common is that they are so stressful: physically, emotionally and mentally. It is of course super stressful and painful for each person involved in the devastation in Puerto Rico, Houston, Florida, California, all the way to Somalia and Myanmar. And for me here in my rural area, running my business and decorating cookies, it’s hard to know what to do and where to turn to help.

The whole world feels under stress, and I know it has had its toll on my mental health, because I struggle with depression and anxiety. And many cookiers and friends of mine do as well. Do you struggle with mental illness or know someone who does? It touches so many, and I hope that by supporting NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, I am supporting those who feel like they are starting to crumble, in areas of devastation and beyond.

If you care to support this campaign, I’ve got a great incentives for you!

For every $5 donation you make to this page, I will enter you in a chance to win cookies in a theme of your choice, delivered by Jan 30th, 2018.

For every $20 you donate, I will enter you for a chance to win an hour Skype cookie chat with me, covering whatever lesson or topic you choose! (Though I’m best suited to speak about creativity, cookie design and style, gingerbread, painting cookies or cookie puzzles and arrays!)

I look forward to cookie-ing with you in support of mental health for all (especially me LOL!)

Thank you so much for your support. Again, the link to donate is here.

Gallery Update!

Hi Everyone!

My cookie design webinar was a success I think- thank you to all who participated!  I am definitely open to suggestions for additional webinar/online cookie class ideas, leave them in the comments for me! (Click on this post, and then you can leave comments at the bottom.)

I also have recently updated my gallery– did you know that its a great resource for seeing and sharing my work?

Here are a few samples from the new pictures posted.  Thank you to all who follow along- I love you guys!

 

New! Cookie Design Webinar!!

Cookie Architecture: Building up your cookie inspiration, design and style.

A webinar about creativity & design, how to get and stay inspired, principles of design, the design process, and building and applying your own style.  All taught through the medium of sugar cookie decoration.

Succulents Framed | The Cookie Architect

Sometimes it feels like creativity is not for the weak!  How many of you sometimes get stuck while designing? Feel like you are not creative?  Like you don’t have your own style and wouldn’t know how to find it? Like inspiration is something that happens to other people?

Well, I know that as an architect, I struggled to be creative, while juggling so many other business and engineering concerns.  That is, until I discovered cookie decorating, and the tools I learned and used there taught me how to bring my creative A-game to everything I was doing.

My cookie projects are often over the top, but trust me, these tools can be used for all your cookie design needs, even if it is just hobby baking for your kid’s parties, or busting out corporate orders in bulk.

If any of this resonates with you, I think you would enjoy this webinar!

Succulent Detail two | The Cookie Architect

What it is:

A fifty minute online video talk by me about all of the above, with a follow up question and answer session on live video.  Included is membership in a secret Facebook group where you can re-watch the video, or watch later on your own time, and continue to ask questions for the next few months.  I’m happy to talk with participants about developing their own style further, and to give detailed pointers on any of the design topics that come up in the lecture.

The live video presentation will May 6th at 4:00PM EST. Replay will be available if you are unable to watch live.

Cost for the webinar and membership is $30. If you would like to sign up, send me an email at rnlarch@usa.net with your name and I will send you the Paypal link. I will also need your email address so that I can invite you to the Facebook Group, so please email me from your preferred email address for that. If you do not want to be on Facebook, I can invite you to the video separately, but the chat will be available in the Facebook group only.

NOTE: This talk is the talk I gave at Cookie Con 2017, so if you were an attendee, I am happy to give you this webinar at the discounted rate of $15, so that you can take advantage of the question and chat features, as well as re-listening to the video if you want! I am happy to extend this offer to vendors and those who worked the Con and thus weren’t able to attend my presentation during the event.   For this option, please email me at rnlarch@usa.net with some sort of proof of attendance, whether your ticket, or some sort of photographic proof. Thank for your understanding.

Succulent Angle | The Cookie Architect

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Hi! Still Alive.

Hi everyone!  It’s been a while since I’ve been working on new cookie projects, mostly because I am working on building my architectural business.  But I thought I would keep my portfolio up to date on this website. I’ve just added loads of pics.  Here is a sampling of the projects I added, it’s an eclectic mix. More in the gallery, check them out if you want!

Llove me some llamas

I saw a llama on a kid’s Christmas tshirt.  And somehow, that’s all it takes around here to end up up to your eyeballs in llama cookies.  At first, they were going to be llama Christmas cookies, but as usual, my Christmas was too busy to make all the cookies I wanted to make.

When I posted on Instagram my sketches of llama Christmas cookies unmade, my friend Aime of The Painted Pastry commented that she too had almost made llama cookies!  And I thought that was even more of an amazing coincidence than if we had somehow both managed to make our llama Christmas cookies instead of just wandering around singing fa-la-la-la-llama to our families.

So we got to talking and she convinced me that I (ahem, she) needed official llama cookie cutters, and well, you don’t have to twist my arm too much when it comes to cookie stuff!  I hatched a plot to make my next set of cookies all about llamas (and the even cuter alpaca).  I also called up one of the great cookie cutter printers, Tracy of Whisked Away Cutters  and asked her if she could make me some llama cutters!  Luckily for all of us, she said yes!  And she also very generously sent me two sets of the cutters so I could share one set with you guys!!!  Giveaway info at the end of the post!

Llama Cutter from Whisked Away Cutters

Alpaca Cutter Whisked Away Cutters

Lllama Head Cutter Whisked Away Cutter

I’m really excited about how these turned out!!! Making the sketches was so much fun, and you could really do so many variations.  You could also frankencookie a hump on to the back of the llama to make a camel, or add hats to the Llama faces or you name it!!  Need help with some tips on how to frankencookie (ie put two cutters together to make a new cookie design)? Be sure to check out Lilaloa’s really cool Craftsy class that covers just that!

Here is the set I made to take my new cutters for a spin.  A llama themed baby set for a cookie friend who just had a new baby.  Well, they were to surprise her before the baby was born, but then he came six weeks early and now he wants to eat them all himself. 😉

Llamas, Baby! | The Cookie Architect

 

And here is the additional little girl cookie I made wearing a llama hat. Because, llamas.

Llama Hat | The Cookie Architect

And as if that wasn’t enough, I also made cacti.  Because I was forever seeing cacti in llama stuff online.  But further reflection has me wondering if cacti really are a big feature of their Peruvian habitat.  Oh well, I like the way these turned out!!

 

Cacti Cookies | The Cookie Architect

Check out all of the pictures of my cookie llama and alpaca, and all of my cookie pictures in my cookie gallery.   I had lots of fun trying out different methods of llama fur.  White chocolate sprinkle alpaca was my favorite. And I still want to try a few other techniques, but suffice it to say there are lots of options.

And if you’ve made it this far and you still want a chance to win these llama cutters, just use the Rafflecopter widget below, and also leave a comment on my blog post about what sort of blog posts you want me to write about.  Because I am trying to spend less time on FB, and more time hanging out with my peeps over here.  So if you want to know the latest and greatest, be sure to follow me here too!

Also- bonus question and chance to win- is a question about cookie classes.  I still have a few spots left in my Montreal classes in April at the Kitchen Jukebox, but I’d love to know what topics would be popular for future classes too!!

To enter please click on this link to enter via Rafflecopter, and then come back here to leave your comments.  Comment and Rafflecopter entry are both necessary to win!  Shipping in US and Canada only. Giveaway ends Friday at midnight EST.

Giveaway is over and our lucky winner Beth is getting new llama cutters from me! Thank you to everyone who participated, you’ve given me lots to think about as I work on blog posts and classes!Capture

 

Llama llove | The Cookie Architect

 

False Allarm

Hi Faithful Subscribers!! Due to a weird timing issue, my future scheduled post was briefly posted on the site and you all got an email about my llama cutter giveaway.  That giveaway is still going to happen, but the rafflecopter won’t be live until Midnight on the second, EST.  So stay tuned.  And cross your fingers this whole rafflecopter thing works then too, haha!

Cookie Jigsaw Puzzle- A step by step photo essay.

Hello Everyone!! It’s been too long, again.  One of my New Year’s cookie resolutions was to post more on the blog. I talked about my cookie resolutions, my cookie puzzle process and my real job and family in a really in-depth interview with Julia Usher on Cookie Connection this month.  If you don’t already know more about me than you want to, you should check it out!

I am starting this year’s blog adventure with a post I meant to do months ago.  You know, like before Christmas? It’s a photo essay showing the process from inspiration to completion and beyond of my Christmas jigsaw puzzle for Springbok.  (In a total aside, if you have done the puzzle would you please consider leaving a review on their website?).

The thing I didn’t realize until I put it all together is that in typical Cookie Architect form, I did not get good photos of the ornament and bird cookies while they were in process. That’s because I did most of them in a single sleepless weekend where I barely ate, let alone took photos and that sort of thing.  I do from time to time get to share the whole process, but this time there is that little gap!  Otherwise, lots of never before seen behind the scenes cookies!

I’ll have another blog post very soon- some fun announcements to make about…classes!!  You guys are the best! Leave me a comment and let me know you stopped by. 🙂

 

Note: these last two photos are from my favorite blogger of all time (yes, including myself!), Catherine Newman of Ben and Birdy.  They love puzzles, and I love them, so I sent them my puzzles. They are even going to tackle my enormous Spring Flowers puzzle!  I am kinda starstuck!

Cosmopolitan Tea Party

 

 

I know, I know, Christmas is in three weeks. I am excited about it too!  But before we dive in to the red and green stuff too much, I have some collaboration projects to share with you that have been in the works since Cookie Con, back in September!

At Cookie Con, Team Cookie (That’s me with the incomparable Kari of Yankee Girl Yummies and Melissa of Melissa Joy Fanciful Cookies) taught a couple of design classes.  In those classes, we started out sharing some basics of design and inspiration, and then each of us shared our design and cookie process, to show how you can start from an inspiration and make it your own, and go your own way with it.  THEN, we asked the class participants to come up with a theme from an inspiration board, and from there brainstorm how to design a set from that.  Each class had been part of a their own group Pinterest board before Cookie Con, and had all pitched in to pin ideas that appealed to them, so that we had a board to look at in the class.  Both boards were a cool reflection of their participants, so each had a different vibe.  Here is a sampling of the board from our first class:

Cosmo Pin

The board had lots of ladies in cute skirts, lots of nature, tons of flowers, shoes and fashion shots.  We wanted to come up with a theme that might actually happen, one where bringing decorated cookies would be just the perfect thing.  With all the images we were looking at, we came up with a very fancy tea party, like if the women from Sex and the City decided to throw a tea party at the Four Seasons.  Our Cosmopolitan Tea Party Set, as we designed it in our class, included fashionable ladies for every seasons, tea cups with natural elements, shoes with flowers and plants (or even made of plants).  We explored how we might pick cutters for those cookies, and different ways to organize a set, from a big platter to personalized name card cookies.  I hope the participants in class had as much fun as Team Cookie did, because we had a blast!

After the class, we offered them the challenge of taking our starting place, the theme and the inspiration of the Cosmopolitan Tea Party and going through the process on their own to come up with some actual cookies!  In the end, it was too much for many busy cookiers to take on at this time of year, but we did have one game participant, Beth of Love Bug Cakes and Cookies!  We loved the overall set, it’s so great!!! Some of our favorite details are how she used a uniform cookie for the ladies, but mixed it up with the composition so that they are all very dynamic.  Also, great use of design to solve the age old “face” problem.  Don’t want to worry about the face? Just choose a different angle!  The colors hold together well, but you can still pick out the four seasons.  And, she also managed to use the plaque cutter that we gave out in class- which was generously donated by Truly Mad Plastics.  Thank you Beth for contributing!

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Some of Beth’s classmate’s have said they will participate in the New Year when they have more time, so if that is the case, you can look forward to me sharing those with you too when they are ready!

In the meantime, each of us on Team Cookie also did our take on the theme.  Similar to the examples we used in the class, you will see how three different designers can take their needs, style, and skill and do three very different sets of cookies!

 

Let me first show you Kari of Yankee Girl Yummies‘ set.  I have been dying to share this with you guys since I first say it.  It took my breath away.  It’s a smaller vignette than Beth’s but how evocative of nature, of elegance and sophistication.  I, for one, am smitten! That lady in the wind is so gorgeous!!! And on a lighter note, that tea bag, I have it on good authority, is wafer paper filled with chocolate jimmies.  Perfect for your cookies and ice cream treat. 😉

Garden Girl Tea Party Set | Yankee Girl Yummies

 

Melissa of Melissa Joy Fanciful Cookies did a set that is perfect for getting glamour and simplicity together at the same party! Which is her specialty, right?  A platter inspired by some of the nature/fashion images from the Pinterest board, and perfect for that Fall tea party, or book club, or fashion show!  What a sweet girl, and the colors and shapes for the leaf skirt are perfection.  One of the fun things about the class was showing that it doesn’t always have to be fancy or handpainted to be a gorgeous and clever design!

Fall Lady Tea Platter | Melissa Joy Fanciful Cookies

 

Last but hopefully not least, here is the set of cookies I was inspired to make!  I saw a cute little drawing of a girl with a teacup skirt and thought that would be a fun way to do a tea party set for fashionable ladies, and it would be fun to think about what makes tea so great year round.  I was also inspired by fashion sketches, wanting to keep the backgrounds very clean and bright.  And in keeping with my body positive politics, I decided that I would change up the body shapes of the woman so they weren’t all stick thin.  Beauty comes in many shapes and sizes!  If you want to see more pictures of these cookies including individual shots, be sure to check out the gallery in my portfolio!

Time for Tea | The Cookie Architect

Thank you to everyone who took our class at Cookie Con- we had an absolute blast!  And thank you for all who participated in our mini collaborations, Beth, and hopefully in time a few others!  And stay tuned too for the other class’s project.  It is completely different.  Just goes to show you how much fun you can have with creative cookies!