Cookie Con Classes!!!

Cookie Con Registration starts TONIGHT at 9:00 pm Eastern time!

When the magic clock strikes the time, a big registration button should appear at the Cookie Con website: Here.

The Cookie Con is such a great event! I’ve been to the last three and had a blast each time!  The key is to just give big hugs to everyone- at least, that’s my theory.  At any rate, last year I was a presenter, which meant that I taught a class during the main event line up on Friday.  But there are also cookie classes available before the Con officially starts, on Wednesday and Thursday. I’ll be teaching classes in this capacity this year.  I hope that I’ll fill them up and we can all have a blast together!  See the class descriptions below, and also see all the other great options at the Cookie Con website.

Offered in the am session both Wednesday and Thursday-

Cookie Construction: We will be learning how to put cookies together so they fit perfectly. Whether it is fitting together a  cookie puzzle or array, or building a three dimensional centerpiece or gingerbread house, we will be filling our tool belts with the tricks and tools needed to construct with cookies!  Recipes, baking tips, and assembly will all be covered, and there will be a challenging three dimensional cookie project to decorate and put together during the class! Materials will be provided.

Offered in the pm session Weds. and Thursday-

Advanced Cookie Design: Ready to take your skills to over the top?  I’ll share with you my techniques and a few different ways to plan out a very complicated or art type set. Whether it’s a set for a big gift, or a set to challenge yourself, I’ll build up your skills AND your confidence so that you too can stay up late, I mean, soar to the next level! Be prepared to do a little on the fly designing, and projects and problems are welcome, we’ll discuss. Note that this is a design seminar, and we will not be decorating cookies during the session. This class will include some pre-Cookie Con teaching via the internet, for those so inclined, and will be tailored to the needs and questions of those that register.

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

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Cookie Con Sugar Show Entry and GIVEAWAY!!! (CLOSED)

It has been too long everyone.  Blogging is hard.And I have been busy!  Because did you guys know there really is such a thing as Cookie Con?  Yep.  It’s real, it happened, and it was a blast. Our Team Cookie classes were a huge success, and will be blogged about I promise- I have a whole list of posts to do.  The Classes, the Con, assorted cookies, all sorts of things. Today’s is about my Sugar Show entry from Cookie Con 2015!

Last Cookie Con, I tried to do something in a new style, with my first set of painted Matryoshka dolls.  This time, I aimed for something a little more “me.”  And what is more me than a coloring page these days? How about a cookie collaboration!!  I decided to go something interactive, that I thought would be fun.  I designed and drew a coloring page on to a cookie, and then for the Sugar Show at Cookie Con, I put it out with a set of edible food coloring markers, and a little note asking everyone to participate by coloring some of it.  And everyone did! What a blast!

Cookie Con Sugar Show | The Cookie Architect

Here was the entry as I submitted it to the show. The drawing was an original composition that I drew. I have been grooving on birds, so I decided to do a birds and flowers thing, and a little flower girl snuck in there too.  I wanted the pattern I used to be cookie cutter related.  Do you guys recognize the cutter shape I used? It’s the Georganne Cutter designed by Lilaloa and sold at Whisked Away Cutters.  I’m going to have to see if I can get the complimentary Georganne’s Accomplice cutter made to so I can make a cookie tile pattern!

I did a lot of experimenting to figure out a way to do the line work like I wanted but not have it bleed when the cookie was colored over with marker. I knew that it was probably too ornate of a design for wet on wet, and my early experiments there were a failure anyway.  In the end, it turned out that if I used my Rainbow Dust food marker and let it dry, then dusted with cornstarch, and the lines didn’t blur when I scribbled on top of them.   Perfect, and easy!

Originally, I had intended for the cookie to be all one piece, but then I decided that it would be harder to transport that way.  And in a classic Cookie Architect move, I found myself making a bizarre set of curved puzzle pieces that had to all fit together, and were NOT easier to transport to Salt Lake City.  I’m silly.  But they did fit together, and they did get to Cookie Con in one piece, so all’s well that ends well.

Watching my plan come together during the convention was definitely the best part! I even made a quick video showing the page getting colored in!

And in the end, it was amazing! And at least 61 people, including a record two (2!!!) MEN helped to color it and make a piece that captured the cookie community spirit that is Cookie Con.

Cookie Con Final | The Cookie Architect

Contributors Included: Bette Wu, John Adams, Rosemarie Carroll, Nikki Krause, Lisa Provenza-Bebar, Robyn Wilson, Andrea Jensen, Lindsey DiLoreto, Lisa Lamb, Lara Parodi, Bobbi Barton, Andrea Young, Melissa Mitchell, Laura Dong, Karine Lemonnier, Kelly Carter, Delorse Sword, Nancy Cavagnaro, Signa Atherton, Susanne Kristine, Janis Nunez, Barbara Newlon, Summer Turner, Jennifer Wallace, Becky Kasten, Josi Dyer, Nicole Hastings, Kimberly Dickerson, Malinda Hollinshead, Sally Koldenhof, Sandy Parkhouse, Sherree Hellinger, Desiree Sedwick, Sandee Moss, Peka Peke, Kathy Pilato, Melissa Murray, Kimberly Damon, Kari Arroyo, Toni Shavers, Josie Felix, Stephanie Organes, Tatiana Khromushina, Lilly Fenton, Ameeta Rajagopal, Cindy Timpone, Karen Summers, Mike Summers, Kendra Player, Claudia Ayala-Frush, Sarah Kluge, Silvia Latour, Brenda Byrne, Belinda Bain, Heather Impson, Katy Metoyer, Dany Lind, Sarah Kersten, Christine Donnelly, Rebecca Weld, and I’m sure others- let me know if you aren’t on the list but helped on the cookie coloring!

So here is the GIVEAWAY part! I am giving away this actual coloring page cookie.  And since at this point it is a display piece, I’ll also include a few eating cookies so you can get a taste for some fresh Cookie Architect deliciousness!  For a chance to win, all you have to do is comment on this blog post (if the comments option isn’t showing, click on the title to “enter” the blog post instead of the page stream).  In the comments, I’d be curious to know which of the styles I’ve worked in is your favorite(or which of my cookie sets), and/or what you’d like to see me work on next! Giveaway will end Tuesday at 8:00pm EST.  US and Canadian mailing addresses only- others can win for a friend!  (Congratulations to the winner- Trisha M.!!)

And last but not least- I promised you a treat, and that treat is that I went ahead and made my coloring page cookie design into a real printable coloring page! You can download it by clicking here.  If you color it, please share! I’d love to see it!! And be sure to check out my other coloring pages here on the blog!

Coloring Page Birds |The Cookie Architect

Christmas (PUZZLE!) in August

Hi Guys! I know I am very behind in sharing my stuff with you guys, but Summer has been as crazy as Spring was!  But I just HAD to stop in to share with you my excitement for today, the day that my new Jigsaw puzzle is released over at Springbok Puzzles.  It’s a Christmas/winter themed puzzle with lots of cookie birds and birdhouses on a cookie wreath. They are calling it Christmas Creations.  It’s 500 easy pieces, and a great price point.  I’ll share all the details and all the photos that I have in another post- gotta get back to work! Thanks friends for sticking with me. 🙂

Christmas Creations

Adirondack Dreaming Coloring Page and an update!

Hi Everyone! I’ve been so busy and I am behind posting blog posts about my cookie projects, but if you check out my online gallery you will find that I’ve been keeping that up to date at least!

Maybe you’ve already heard about the project I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. It’s a project that I’ve been commissioned to make for the Made in the Adirondacks artisan show at the Adirondack Museum.  I’m calling it Adirondack Dreaming; it’s my dream camp, if by dreaming you mean that I feel in to a deep daydream and this is the camp I designed!  I am going for whimsical, fantastic, and rustic all at once.  I hope that there will be a little for everyone in it.

The cookies get finished tonight, and displayed tomorrow. Check out my Instagram or Twitter feeds for the latest sneak peeks! (Or Facebook, if you must).  Of course, when I finish I’ll post all about it here.  I’ll even share what it was like to Periscope live broadcast most of the decorating!

In the meantime, I made a coloring page to accompany this set, and I love how it came out.  If you like that sort of thing, please print it out! Don’t worry if the pdf looks broken up on the screen, it should print out smoothly, it’s just high resolution.

Adirondack Dreaming Coloring Page | The Cookie Architect