Hello Christmas Kitty!

December 12, 2013

Earlier I shared with you a picture of my new apron embroidered with my Vanilla Bean Baker logo and I told you that I had been working on something for a month that I hoped to be able to share you with soon.  Well, *soon* came and went on Saturday, December 7th.  I attended my first ever Christmas Artisan’s show! Yup, I made 312 Christmas themed cookies,

Christmas Decorated Cookies for Artisan's Show

packaged them up in clear plastic bags with logo bag toppers

Custom Bag Topper with Grinch Decorated Cookie for Vanilla Bean Baker Artisan's Show

and along with 100 bite size sample Christmas themed decorated cookies,

Holly Edible Image Bite Size Cookie

set up my own table with my own hand-painted Vanilla Bean Baker tablecloth and got set to meet the crowds.

Hand Painted Vanilla Bean Baker Logo Tablecloth for Artisan's Show

Having customers contact you to place an order for cookies is one thing but to stand behind a table laden with your creations waiting for customers to visit is totally quite another.  The event ran from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and if a total of 100 people came through the doors during that time, I shall venture to say that that was it.  The show was held in a little community not far from me called Lanark Village.  It only has a population of about 600 people. Unfortunately, while at the show I was informed that it was also competing against three other communities in the area that were also holding Artisan’s show.  In relation to the number of people that came, I did have relatively good sales, people did buy my cookies and those that tried the samples enjoyed them.  However, I clearly over-baked for this particular show!  I was selling my cookies at the show individually, by the half dozen and by the dozen.  Twenty-four dozen cookies in twelve different designs, yup…way too much product!

While attendance was low and disappointing, I’m not discouraged and I’m already planning to do this again next year, only at a different show held earlier in November.  It was a fun learning experience and I met some great people.

So, in the next few posts I’ll be sharing with you some of the different cookie designs I made for this Artisan’s show along with some tutorials.  You’ll see that a  few of the designs were inspired by fellow cookiers, Mike of Semi-Sweet Mike, Callye of Sweet Sugar Belle and Thyjuan of Inspirations by Thyjuan.

Before showing you how I made the Hello Christmas Kitty, I want to tell you about Ethan and Melissa of Food Bloggers of Canada and their initiative to get people to share some #cookielove this holiday season.  When you are doing your Christmas baking, think about baking a few extra cookies to donate to someone.  Someone who could use a pick-me-up, someone you want to thank for whatever reason, someone who could just do with a few extra cookies.  Ethan and Melissa are trying to get as many people as possible to share some #cookielove over the holidays.  After my grand-children chose cookies left over from my Artisan’s show to give to their teachers, bus drivers, custodians, principles, etc., I still had dozens left so I shared spread some #cookielove in my area.  I donated cookies to my local Salvation Army for their Christmas Hampers, to my local Food Bank for their annual Christmas Dinner, to my local OPP Detachment as a thank you for their service, etc.  You get the idea.  After delivering 10 packages of #cookielove I came home feeling wonderful and there’s not a decorated Christmas cookie left in my home right now.

Talk about feeling warm and fuzzy, here’s my Hello Christmas Kitty cookie.  I used the *fluffy* technique created by Amber of Sweet Ambs for this cookie and I really like how they turned out.

Hello Christmas Kitty Royal Icing Decorated Cookies

Did you notice?  In this picture and in the Hello Christmas cookies shown in the first photo I hadn’t applied her whiskers!  I didn’t notice until I had assembled all the cookies to put their bag toppers on before the day of the show. I had to unpackage two dozen kittys, add the whiskers with black edible marker and then repackage them.  I sold a few of these cookies at the show so I’m glad I noticed my error.  I didn’t however, remember to take a picture of the totally finished cookies after however.

To make Hello Kitty Christmas cookies I did the following:

1. Piped and flooded cooled sugar cookies with white icing.

Sugar Cookie Piped and Flooded with White Royal Icing

2.  Using my Kopykake Projector, I traced with a black edible marker the image of Hello Kitty.  With black piping icing I piped over the edible marker lines and with red flood icing I filled in the ears and the bow.

Hello Christmas Kitty Outlined in Black Piping Icing with Bow and Ear Details Flooded in Red

3.  With black piping icing I made two dots for the eyes and using a black edible marker, made a small oval for the nose.  With green piping icing I made little sprigs of holly on the bow and topped them off with a red chocolate dragées.

Hello Christmas Kitty Cookie Face Detail Added and Bow Detail Applied

4.  With with flood icing I flooded the hat and collar and when it was dry, I added white piping icing, tapping all over the hat and collar area with a clean paint brush to create the *fluffy* effect.

Hello Kitty Christmas Cookie Done with *Fluffing* Technique5.  With a black edible marker, go over your black piping lines where needed and be sure to add the whiskers!

Be sure to try and spread some of your own #cookielove this season.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Robynski December 12, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I’m sad your sale didn’t go as planned; but maybe the plan was really for you to get one under your belt and then spread all that wonderful Christmas cheer!

You are such a wonderful example to all of us. And, along with Ethan and Melisaa have inspired many of us to take a few extra people along our travels this season.

Thanks for sharing your technique!

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Paula December 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Hi Robyn ~ I tend to agree with you. I had planned to donate any cookies left after the show but I did not think that I would have so many left to donate! It was all for the best…so many more benefited I think and now that I do have one show under my belt, prepping for the next one won’t take so long. Tablecloth…check, apron…check… :) Thanks for visiting and I’m happy that you are going to spread some #cookielove too. Have a wonderful Christmas.

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Renee - Kudos Kitchen December 12, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I’ve done my fair share of “craft fairs” over the years (for cookies and for painted glassware items) and have always walked away with a feeling of…why did I waste my time? I’ve always walked away disappointed, but to hear that you’re “re-energized” reconfirms to me what a wonderful woman you are!

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Paula December 12, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Hi Renee ~ I totally did not have any idea of what to expect at this show in terms of numbers. As the town is close to quite a few other towns/villages, I thought that people from the surrounding areas would make an appearance. There have been so many shows this time of year and I think it’s hard to get big crowds at all of them. I enjoyed the day, though it was long…waiting for people to come in, people did purchase my cookies at the prices I had set for them so that’s always a good sign. I am looking forward to next year…probably won’t bake as much as I did this year :) Thanks for visiting!

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Charlene December 12, 2013 at 9:20 pm

While your sales weren’t all you wanted what you did with your excess stock was lovely.Bet all the recipients were touched. Merry Christmas!

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Paula December 12, 2013 at 9:28 pm

The attendance was not near what all of us vendors were hoping for that’s for sure, however I’m very happy that some good came from all my cookie excess. Merry Christmas to you as well Charlene. Thank you so much.

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Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie December 13, 2013 at 1:53 am

I’m sorry that the show was disappointing, but those cookies look great! :)

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Jacquee December 13, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Congrats on the show, Paula! If the turnout was any better, you would not be able to share all that sweet cookie love – so there! Look forward to seeing all the amazing designs that I spy though your containers. :)

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Paula December 14, 2013 at 10:30 am

Thank you Jacquee. It was certainly a pleasure to donate all the unsold cookies on behalf of #cookielove :)

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Paula December 14, 2013 at 12:31 am

I have been wondering what you were up to. Interesting story with a pretty cool ending. Kudos for generously donating all those cookies.

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The Partiologist December 14, 2013 at 8:54 am

Had the attendance been larger, you’re cookies would have been gone in a flash – they are all adorable! Although, I’m sure the donation brought smiles to many!

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Paula December 14, 2013 at 10:31 am

Aww, so nice of you to say. Thank you!

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Joan - My Cookie Clinic December 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Paula, 312 cookies…. Wow, that must have been exhausting. Too bad the turnout wasn’t as large as expected. I’m sure you still picked up several potential clients. Good luck and enjoy the holiday season.

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Sue {munchkin munchies} December 14, 2013 at 9:34 pm

You must have been so busy! I cannot imagine making so many cookies with multiple designs! That’s great that you have some new, happy customers, and I bet each recipient of the extras felt very special to receive such a beautiful handmade cookie!

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Adri December 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm

What gorgeous cookies! Look at the show as a learning experience. Plus if the community is just 600, 100 is actually a darn good turnout! I guess doing these things takes a bit of research and field work – finding out the best amount of product to bring and how many varieties. I bet next year will find you writing about a tremendously successful craft fair! Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas!

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Paula December 16, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Hi Adri! Thank you for visiting and for leaving your very encouraging comment. Wishing you and your family and wonderful and very Merry Christmas!

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Lora December 30, 2013 at 1:37 pm

You and I have something in common in the over preparing department. I recently taught a cookies/cupcake decorating class, with all proceeds going to a good cause. Over-prepared was an understatement. I baked enough cookies and cupcakes to have so many leftovers they were decorated and recycled to various holiday parties for days afterwards. However, now you have a grip on what to do next year. Your Christmas Hello Kitty is aborbs!

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