Saturday, June 1, 2013

It's about Inspiring others...

At least three-four times a week I find e-mails waiting in my inbox from readers asking if I take cookie orders. And, while it is true that I will create cookies in exchange for the cost of ingredients, packaging materials and if required, shipping... I never accept payment for my time. The reason I won't sell cookies for profit is simple... It's my hobby! Plus, like anything I enjoy doing for fun or to keep my mind off Ranger's deployments scary stuff, I believe that the first time creating cookies begins to feel like a job, I'll want to give away everything in my baking pantry and never bake another cookie again.

This cookie hobby has been my sanity saver and source of enjoyment for nearly five years... But what really thrills me about creating cookies to share with my coworkers at the Dream-job, my family, friends and with you, my dear readers... Is the fact that I've been able to inspire others to create cookies of their own, just like Bridget and Dani inspire me!

I cannot tell you what a thrill it is when someone contacts me through the standing offer I make on my Cookies tab to share my favorite recipes and decorating tips. While other bloggers charge for their recipe and decorating advice, I am happy to share what I've learned without any expectation of payment. Now, that does not mean I don't ask for feedback and photos of cookie baking and decorating successes... Because I absolutely do!

This week I was rewarded with the nicest note and photo from Stefanie, a reader in Arizona who said:

Hi Janet,
I'm ridiculously excited. After viewing your blog I was inspired to make cookies and because of the information you shared with me, they turned out great! I found a local place to create the icing sheets for me, but I'm still going to contact your friend Jenny for future cookie projects involving icing sheets. The cookies I just made turned out so great that my company is going to buy them and use them for their marketing. Check them out!
Less than a week after presenting those cookies to her company, Stefanie was
very excited to tell me she received her first official order and created these!

Now, tell me... How fantastic is that?! Not only did Stefanie discover a craft she enjoys, she
turned it into a business. Way to go, Stefanie!

Another adorable reader, Leah from Maryland and I have been chit-chatting about cookies ever since she wrote this e-mail to me in February:

Hi!
I found your blog via sugarbelle's link-up yesterday. I adore your cookies and spent a long time looking through your posts last night while I should have been working. Ha. I am just getting started making cookies and have been using a plain cookie recipe I'm happy with, but was curious about your recipe and about how to use vanilla paste. I love the idea of trying something new and would love to have the recipe and decorating tips you offer to send people for the asking.

Of course, I was happy to send Leah my recipes and decorating tips and was uber-delighted to receive this follow-up e-mail from her a few weeks later:

Janet! You truly have been an inspiration! Thank you for the recipes and all of your amazing advice. You have such a refreshing and defined decorating style. I love your clean, crisp lines, amazing color combinations and contemporary flare. It's what makes your cookies stand out from all the rest. It's also what makes them instantly recognizable as yours and so appealing to me! Of course, the fact that you are kind, compassionate, genuine, have incredibly good taste, a serious sense of style, and can photograph the heck out of anything doesn't hurt either! I'm just delighted to be baking and thanks to you, I'm trying all sorts of new decorating techniques I wouldn't have had the confidence to try before! Thank you for that gift. I MEAN IT! I'm still sorting out pictures but I hope you'll enjoy these few!
Camo-crabs... Can you believe it? Leah told me the icing technique I used
on my Bingee cookies helped her achieve this camo design. Also, Leah
created these fancy red crabs to celebrate a very special 40th birthday!
Through our many e-mails, Leah and I discovered that we share the same
fanatical love for all of the old Martha by Mail copper cookie cutters! Here
are a few of the cookies Leah created using the MBM Beautiful Bugs set!
Now, I baked up a batch of cookies using these cutters too... But as
you can plainly see, they remain here in my freezer. Undecorated!
How cool is it that someone who asked me for advice
has now inspired me to finish my own cookies?!
Pretty darn cool!
Thanks to Leah and Stefanie and to all my readers who have been inspired to bake,
decorate and share their creations with me... Because for me, what is more important
than any money I could earn selling cookies is the fact that I'm able to inspire others
to use their own imagination and to find joy in this rewarding and delicious craft!
And, that's what it's all about... Honoring my cookie mentors by inspiring others!

8 comments:

  1. That butterfly cookie is exquisite! :)

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  2. Your cookies are amazing and so are you for your generosity. Your kindness is unprecedented in the baking world where everything cost to try it. To be able to make cookies like you is only a dream for me as my skills are better suited elsewhere in the kitchen at the moment. However dreaming can make its way to the kitchen, can't it? I'm inspired and ready to get some more cookie cutters, (I gave mine away about ten years ago), and try some of your most amazing cookies. I don't know how to send a photo but will try when I make some.You're the best Janet. Thanks for such uplifting posts.

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  3. What a great sentiment, Janet! I love your cookie style...and if I ever decide to bake again, I'm asking YOU for a lot of advice!!

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  4. Thanks for the sweet shout-out, Janet! So happy that you love cookie decorating and that I've gotten to "meet" you Your cookies are always just completely lovely. :)

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  5. What a beautiful post, Janet. Thank you. I'm so glad we have got to "know" each other too! I so enjoy your positive outlook and your cookies are beautiful and delicious! I still think of those beautiful cat cookies you iced in memory of your furry sweet, Bing. So beautiful. Thanks for sharing these photos (Hello camo crab awesomeness!) One day when we meet, please be sure to bring that MBM bee cutter- I just might need to borrow it! :) Xo

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  6. Hi Janet. Thank you so much for your help and for featuring my story on your blog. You've been an incredible inspiration. I can't wait to share more of my work with you!

    Stefanie

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  7. Janet,
    I so love how you share your knowledge, treasures & tips with us. That's what I like to do with my blog too. Sharing & creating is what's it's all about. If we happen to inspire someone, then it's the icing on the cake in my opinion.

    bisou bisou,
    David

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  8. What a wonderful surprise to log on this evening and discover my camo crabs and bug friends featured on your beautiful blog with Stefanie’s totally AMAZING cookies! What an incredible honor! (Love the graphic designs Stephanie created for her icing sheets and how she used the red, white & blue non pareils to accent her cookies! Her patriotic ribbon is the perfect finishing touch!)
    Janet your generosity of spirit is second to none! Thanks for firing my imagination and for giving so freely of your time, recipes and decorating advice, but thank you most of all for your tremendous encouragement. You are a joy and a gift!
    “The greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of inspiration” Cornel West

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Readers who comment ROCK!

xo