Overall, I’d say that CookieCon was pretty much the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced in my cookie decorating career. Before I left for Salt Lake City where the event was held, I was really excited, but also felt worried and anxious about my presentation. I’ve taught plenty of classes, but this was different. Presenting for 45 minutes in front of 50 people 8 times in a row in one day is not something that I’m used to! I was also nervous about meeting all of my cookie friends in person for the first time. Once I got there, however, most of my worries melted away (except for the worries about presenting in front of 450 people. Those were still there). Meeting so many people at once who have this common interest was something that I’ve never experienced before. Where else in the world can you sit in a hotel lobby discussing royal icing craters just for the fun of it? No where. This is the filigree cookie, one of the designs that I demonstrated during my presentation, which actually went really well. The only thing missing was the classical music!On the first day, I arrived around 9pm and went straight up to my room and got to bed. Traveling wears me out. On Thursday morning, I went down to the restaurant for the breakfast buffet, where I ran into some of the girls that I’d been so excited to meet. Of course, as soon as I met them, it was like I’d known them forever. The 6 instructors and the CookieCon staff got together for a meeting later that morning. From left to right: Anne of Flour Box Bakery, Georganne of LilaLoa, Mike of Karen’s Cookies (the event organizers), Angela of Oh Sugar! Events, Elizabeth of Arty McGoo, Myri of Chapix Cookies, Me, Susan of The Painted Cookie. Here we are in neon headbands after Arty McGoo and her husband Mr John kicked off the event (in a big way!). Myri of Chapix Cookies and I did some prepping for our presentations. Here’s Myri making some royal icing transfers. This is the room where I did my presentations. I had a few photos to show the class, then I switched over to the Elmo projector, which I used to demonstrate brush embroidery, filigree, monograms and bead borders. During the day, I met so many kind and supportive people from all over the world. There were definitely a few moments where I was holding back the tears! Here are a few of my favorite cookies from the Sugar Show. This was the biggest display of talent I’d ever seen in one room! The sugar show only displayed numbers instead of names for anonymity during voting, so if you can help me connect the artist with their cookie so I that can post a link to their website or Facebook page, please let me know in the comments! #81 Sucre Coeur #234 (Fish) SugarBliss Cookies #354 Fernwood Cookie #94 #408 BAKRGAL #113 #359 #15 This is the cookie cutter exchange table. I didn’t bring any cookie cutters to exchange, but it was fun to look! On Friday, everyone had a chance to try out some new techniques during the open decorating hours in the ballroom. There were tubs and tubs of royal icing and they had stations set up to try airbrushing, stenciling, molding fondant and KopyKake projectors. I spent the day walking around the ballroom and the vending area, where I picked up some new cookie decorating supplies. Here’s my pile of stuff. You can see a stencil from The Cookie Countess on the right. I’m so excited to try it out! I also picked up some all natural food coloring from TruColor, which is a new company just getting off the ground. Their colors have nothing artificial and no preservatives and are some of the most vibrant colors I’ve ever seen. They’re also much cheaper than the natural colors that are available on the market now. I’ll post the results once I try them out. Some photos from the banquet. Left: Seflie. Right: Hilliary of The Cookie Countess, Me, Lorraine of Lorraine’s Cookies. Left: Clockwise – Me, Hayley of Bee Sweet Confections, Tiffany of The Red Cooky, Trinette of TLC. Right: Me and Mike Tamplin of Semi Sweet Mike. Mike and Karen of Karen’s Cookies did such an amazing job organizing this event! I don’t know how they did it! It was an incredible weekend and I cannot wait for the next CookieCon! You can see more photos on my Facebook page. I’m celebrating CookieCon all week with a sale in my tutorial shop! Get 25% off the Video Tutorial Bundle – Lessons 1-15 now through Friday.