Jumble of Julia's Jewelry :: Photo by Julia M. Usher
Celebrating the Everyday:
A Study in Repurposing, and Taking Time to Breathe
OK, so this feature isn’t my usual special party, but it is a celebration in its own right - of the smaller things in life that we (or at least, I) too often take for granted. After a whirlwind winter of event-hopping to promote my latest book, I finally returned home earlier this month. My first obsessive-compulsive impulse upon “landing” was to tend to the many home projects that have been calling out for attention for months - like taming the dust bunnies bouncing in every corner and the honeysuckle that’s choking my backyard. Alas, I couldn’t muster the strength. My next impulse was to start my equally large number of neglected work projects - instructional videos, assorted TV pitches, a new book proposal . . . the list goes on. Yet again, no taste for this stuff. I waffled for a while with no sense of purpose. Then I did what I rarely do . . .
3-D Cookie Cake :: Cookies and Photo by Julia M Usher
Playing Cookie Catchup:
My Latest YouTube Selections
Tsk, tsk! I’ve been so captivated with making cookie projects over the last few months that I’ve been remiss in posting them to my very own website! Time for some much-needed cookie catchup!
My latest fixation has been 3-D cookies (of course) but with some new twists. First, I’ve been trying to create beautiful cookies that use as little icing as possible. (Call me lazy if you wish, but if there’s anything I dislike about decorating, it’s color mixing and cleanup!) Second, I developed a new technique that uses edible papers to stencil on curvy cookie shapes - something that, to this point, has been virtually impossible to do with traditional acetate stencils. And, last, I’ve been dressing up many projects with embossed (meaning molded) cookies. They’re gorgeous in their own right, but they also fulfill objective number one in that they need no icing! A double bene!
You’ll see all of these techniques expressed in my latest projects, which include everything from cookie wedding cakes and mosaic boxes to baby rattles and embossed cookie hearts. So without further ado, here’s a roundup of what’s been keeping me so busy . . .
Table Set for My Favorite Magazine :: Photo by Julia M. Usher
Behind-the-Scenes at My Tea Party Shoot for Where Women Cook Magazine
Even though I’ve been food-styling for publications for a few years, it’s not everyday that a national magazine emails to say they want to photograph me doing my cookie thing.
Usually I’m hired to make someone else’s food or space look camera-ready. It’s fun, but there’s little glamour in it for me. While others get coiffed and prettied, I’m the one who buzzes behind the scenes, unkempt except for two thick schmears of under-eye cover stick and a manicure chipped by excessive prop-lifting.
So when Where Women Cook Editor Jo Packham asked me last fall if I’d like to be featured, I nearly lost my dragées - and you cookie decorators know how dangerous that can be . . .
- In September, Julia won the coveted Medal of Honor at the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show for her contributions to the sugar art community!
- Attention all Cookie Cruisers! Download the resource list for my cookie heart box class here!
- See Julia’s exciting lineup of Spring 2015 cookie events - Chile, Israel, and more!
- Woo hoo! Listen to Julia’s recent NPR interview, and read about her Best Cookier of 2013 Award.
- Explore the world of cookie decorating! Join Cookie Connection, Julia’s free cookie community. Then grab a badge!
- Hone your decorating skills with Julia’s app!