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Don't Quit Cookies! 10 Tips to Rediscover your Cookie Mojo!

posted Thursday Jul 07, 2016 at 06:43 AM by Anne Yorks — 7 comments

I think it is inevitable that at some point the thing you love stops becoming easy. You're a little BURNT OUT or just tired. At least that is how cookie decorating has been for me this summer. It's like I have cookie block or something. You know what cookie block is, right? It's like writer's block, only for cookies. Well, I almost lost my mind over these cookies. Like, literally almost went to crazy town.

And I also needed to make cakes too (I'm not a cake girl...stressing times two!)

 

They seem innocent enough, but what that photo doesn't tell you is that I struggled for DAYS on what to make. You see, they weren't just any cookies, they were THE cookies for my mom's 65th birthday. And I wanted them to be the greatest project I ever completed in the history of my decorating career. No pressure, right? But, when I started to brainstorm cookie designs, nothing came to me. Zilch. Nada. Enter sweating and stress and that sad feeling in my tummy that I chose the wrong career path. After all, who do I think I am? Certainly not a cookie decorator.

See, I told you...Crazy Town, population 1.

Thankfully, these cookies taught me one very important lesson...'just lighten up, already'. THEY ARE JUST COOKIES THAT WILL BE EATEN IN SECONDS!! Sheesh.

In the end, I was happy with the final cookies. They weren't the end-all, be-all I was hoping for, but they were really pretty and most importantly my mom LOVED them (she would have loved anything, didn't I already know that?)

How to Rediscover Your Cookie Mojo:

1. Brainstorm ideas for your theme. Any idea counts, you can't keep them all, but make a big list so you have some choices. 

2. Decide on colors. If you're short on time or struggling with designs, make it easy on yourself and stick to 3-5 colors to keep the project manageable. I had a whole house to clean and party to set up, so I was not about to embark on a 20-color cookie project. I like to remove those colored pencils from the box and use only those when sketching so I'm not tempted to add in another color.

3. Look at google images/clipart/invitations. I'm not suggesting you copy someone else's work, but rather get inspired and get some ideas. 

4. Just start sketching. Even if nothing is coming to you. Just get started. That is the most important part. I'll say it again...just get started. Who cares if at first your lizard cookie looks more like a kitty cat sleeping in the sun. Just start with something. Then you can make modifications or tweaks later. I find it is easier to edit things, especially with a fresh set of eyes.

5. New to decorating? Find a cookie tutorial that will help to guide the design. You can ask permission to replicate a cookie design, but for the most part, if there is a cookie tutorial post, it is fair game. It is polite to tag the inspiration for your design. For this project, only the seashell was a new design. After all that struggling, I used an oldie but goodie design, the seahorse (see video below). By using a design I had already done, I felt like I accomplished something. 

6. Create an environment that is good for planning and decorating. Get out your favorite colored pencils. Put on Gilmore Girls (all 6 seasons now available on Netflix) or the Kelly Clarkson Pandora station. Get in the mood. 

7. Step back. If it is 'crickets', and you're ready to throw your cookie cutters in the yard, just take a break. 

8. Call a cookie friend. They will assure you that you're not alone in struggling with fun cookie designs. It happens to EVERYONE. And maybe they can help with a few suggestions.

9. Simplify. If you're running out of time because you stalled on getting started, just simplify. That seashell cookie is not complicated. It's easy and pretty. And I got the cookies finished in time for the party (and still managed a few hours of sleep).

10. Lighten Up. It's ok if the cookies aren't perfect or exactly what you had in mind. Just lighten up. They will be loved and eaten and maybe forgotten. And life is way to short to quit cookies because they stopped being fun. One way to overcome cookie block is to just keep decorating!

Just remember...Cookie decorating should be about making pretty cookies that are yummy to eat and are fun to decorate. I think this is my new personal cookie decorating mission statement. My mantra.

I'm not sure I am out of the woods, yet. I still feel that cookie block lurking. But, I am not giving up. 

I know I promised a video ... this is a favorite from last summer, a seahorse cookie! Have fun watching and happy decorating!!

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Introducing Sweet Sugarbelle Cutters - The Biggest Thing to Happen to Cookies

posted Wednesday May 25, 2016 at 06:52 AM by Anne Yorks — 0 comments

I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say this just might be the biggest thing to happen to cookies...the new Sweet Sugarbelle line of cutters and decorating tools! And to celebrate, today through Friday, save $5 on your $30 purchase from our online shop! Stock up on these new cutters (or stencils, color, or decorating tips from our online shop) because it's a party!

Hands down my favorite part of this new cutter line is the Shape Shifter set. This is the ultimate cutter set because each cutter 'Shape Shifts' into multiple designs!

And the set is more than just an assortment of basic cookie cutters. It includes: 18 cookie cookie cutters, 40 templates, 2 edgers, 11 instruction cards, and 3 recipe cards to help your creative cookie decorating started! Cutter shapes: heart, boy, candy corn, pencil, plaque, balloon, paisley, girl, cake, tulip, flip flop, snowman, gift box, house, tomb stone, ballerina head, ice cream cone, and egg. 

Here's how it works! One cutter can be used or flipped for multiple designs!

 

Pretty neat, huh? Just look at the possibilities!

 

And there's more! I feel like this is just the tip of the iceberg. I cannot wait to see the ideas that are going to come out of this set!!

In addition to the Shape Shifter set, there are four new cutter sets! They include cutters and design templates, and there are BONUS templates that can be used with the Shape Shifter cutters. It's so brilliantly designed!

There are two more sets coming this summer (expect an update June/July). These were delayed. But they will be work the wait!

 

And then there is this for all us bottle users. The Bottle Spatula! Seriously brilliant!!! 

And because we love making videos...I've already started to use these cutters. I made a fun cookie set for a birthday party. Check out this whimsical birthday cake that was inspired by a popular kids movie!

I can't wait to see what YOU create with this new amazing set of cutters!

Happy Decorating!

Anne

 

 

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How to Decorate a Bride Cookie Favor

posted Wednesday May 18, 2016 at 08:23 AM by Anne Yorks — 0 comments

It is wedding cookie season!! To celebrate, we created a new Bride Cookie tutorial!

 

Isn't she so cute?! We made a ton of these a few weeks ago, here come the brides...

Check out the video on how to create this cookie using our very own Princess/Peacock cookie cutter!

In this video we use a food safe brush to create a thin layer of icing for the veil. Check out this brush guide for other uses for the 5 pc Wilton food safe brushes that are now available in our shop.

These soft, synthetic bristles are food-safe for all decorating applications. I like these brushes best because the bristles don't fall out leaving behind tiny hairs on my cookies!

1. Use the liner brush to paint thin lines and fine details.

2. The round brush is perfect for blushing cheeks using our FDA approved carnation pink dust. This brush is also great for painting broad thin to thick lines and details.

3. I like the small flat brush for brush embroidery details like on the wedding gown. This brush is also great for shading and blending colors.

4. I used the angled flat brush to creating thin icing layers like the veil. The angled flat brush lets you shade and paint curved strokes, petals and larger details with ease.

5. I mostly use the wide flat brush for applying cornstarch to airbrushed cookies to prevent color spreading/blending. The cornstarch absorbs the excess moisture from the airbrush. Also, paint and blend larger areas and make broad, bold strokes with the wide flat brush. 

This 5 pc brush set is available online here.

The bride cookie favor is definitely a time-intensive project. If you're looking to create a quick and easy accent cookie, consider a stenciled wedding design!

This new Mr. & Mrs. Stencil would make a great accent cookie. Check out this stencil and more here online!

 

Looking for a variety of Wedding cookie cutters? Our shop carries dozens of options with prices starting at $1.99 for most cutters!

 

Finally...coming VERY SOON...the new Sweet Sugarbelle line of cookie cutters.

  

We are beyond excited about this new collection! Stay tuned for updates and special promotions surrounding the launch of these cutters!

Happy Decorating!

Anne

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How to Decorate a Happy Graduate Cookie

posted Monday May 02, 2016 at 09:44 PM by Anne Yorks — 0 comments

It's officially graduation season! So I'm bringing out my favorite cookie cutter - the cupcake with swirl - to create a Happy Graduate tutorial!

Click to watch BOTH YouTube videos and learn how to make the Girl and Boy Graduate.

THE GIRL GRADUATE

THE BOY GRADUATE

I love that these cookies be customized for the graduate. This custom order went to a group of graduates and so I got to create several skin tones and hair colors. The darker skin tone is Americolor Copper + Americolor Warm Brown. The lighter skin color is just a small dab of only the Americolor Copper. I used the warm brown to create the light and dark brown hair color (the darker color has a few extra drops of gel). The blonde hair is Americolor Gold. I prefer this over the Americolor Lemon Yellow for hair.

I find it quicker to decorate without a projector, so I use guide dots to help set off the design. Like this ... 

Adding guide dots in the beginning gives me confidence when I'm piping the outlines.

Does that cutter look familiar? It's the Cupcake with Swirl. And it is free today (May 3) with your $10 supplies purchase. No coupon code necessary - the cutter will be automatically added to your order box before shipping!

 

Can you tell it is my favorite cutter!? Just look at all these designs created with the Cupcake with Swirl!

I now have 12 cookie videos that feature this cupcake cookie cutter! Check them out on the the Flour Box YouTube Channel

PLUS...we have a few more graduation themed tutorials coming soon - the Grad Cupcake, diploma, and Grad Cap will be posted on YouTube!

Happy Decorating!

Anne

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How to Decorate a Radiant Sun Cookie

posted Wednesday Apr 27, 2016 at 06:51 AM by Anne Yorks — 0 comments

It's been a busy Spring at Flour Box Bakery and all this activity has us glowing. Just like these Radiant suns!

Check out the video on how to make these cookies here!

Don't you love that shiny sun!? This video features the Amerimist Airbrush Colors, the Stencil Genie and the Sunburst Stencil. Click here to check them out in our online shop! Plus, now through Friday 4/29 we are offering $5 off the Stencil Genie with promo code 'GENIE5'!

This sunburst stencil is a new addition to our extensive line of stencils! Click here to check it out online!

 We have used this stencil on a few other fun projects, like this Super Gaby set!

One last note ... grad season is around the corner! Check out these great cutters perfect for celebrating your 2016 Graduate!

 

Behind the scenes we are working on some fun web updates! PLUS, coming this May we will be launching the new Sweet Sugarbelle Cutter Line! It's going to be amazing!!

Happy Decorating!

Anne

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