New Nails, Who Dis?

This is a story about the “other thing” I’ve been doing with my time (besides making masks) that isn’t making cookies. But don’t worry, I figured out a way to work in some cookies for you.  Keep reading and you’ll see!

Sometime this summer, I found a new obsession.  It was mid-pandemic, cases were down, but our kids are high risk so we weren’t going out on vacation, or to the water park or even to TJ Maxx. Also, work is and has been crazy.  Feels like for well over a year, but honestly, more like a decade. I was feeling a little….restless.

Anyhoo, somehow I stumbled onto the idea of nail wraps- basically stickers for your nails.  Now I can’t remember how I found out about them or why exactly they caught my eye. Certainly I missed the whole Jamberry craze back in the day.  But they caught my eye in a big way. and when they did, I remembered admiring a client’s nails in a meeting, and thinking my nails could never look that cool, because I’m hopeless with polish.  And every time I got gel nails for Cookie Cons, they would look great for a few weeks, then my nails would get shredded when the polish was removed.  And time for the salon was nil, even before the pandemic. So was there really something that would give little ol’ me cool nails? It turns out that indeed there was.

Nail Art Cookies!

I joined an Instagram collaboration called #SweetNailsCollab that went live February 20th, hosted by @burntcookiesbymurrah, and decided to make cookies that reflect not just the one set of nails I wore for the photo shoot, but all sorts of nails that I have or want. It was the perfect opportunity to share my journey while also sharing some cookies! The sweet colors, cool patterns and textures that we put on cookies are getting put on nails as well. In fact, I remember a cookier saying that she looked at nail art for inspiration, and at the time I wondered what she was talking about! Now I know, because I’m living in both worlds too!

Back to the beginning, I got online, looking for tips and brands of nail wraps, and found a blog that said that Dashing Diva wraps were pretty great. So I tried them first.

My first set of nail wraps, Dashing Diva Gloss. Note that I have unphotogenic hands throughout this post, but at least my nails are nice?

Dashing Diva are pretty great!  They lasted a week looking good, and I was hooked!  I quickly discovered that if you used a coat of their base coat, they last for almost 2 weeks, and your nails are protected when you take the stickers off.

There was only one problem with Dashing Diva wraps- they were lasting too long!  Okay, so not really a problem problem.  But I was having so much fun, and I didn’t want nails that lasted two whole weeks!  Just like with cookies, I like my art impermanent and I wanted more and new.  Soon I was trying all kinds of nail wraps! OhoraEvil Nails, Sawyer and Scout, and one of my favorites for regular (cheap but work great with a top coat!) wraps, Lovely Hello.  And diving off the deep end into….holiday nails?!?! I mean, I don’t even recognize myself anymore.

So many nail options! I **may** have gone overboard a smidge.  And, I’ve started moving into press on nails, which have come A LONG way since my youth.  In fact, I’ve looked at so many nail brands, I started getting ads for the wholesale companies that will make your own brand of nails.  I’m not quite there yet, but don’t tempt me anymore, IG ads.

This brand of press on nails, Mejosi, is one of my current favorites, because they come in all kinds of cool styles and are reusable, with great sticky tabs included so you don’t have to mess with nail glue. Don’t laugh, but these are my first ever leopard print cookies, made to go with these nails. Need to work on my consistency, apparently, but I do love the effect.

The light was fading fast when I took this picture, but you don’t need much sun to light up these sparkly gems! More Mejosi nails, and I finally tried that crumpled parchment on royal icing technique, which is easily the coolest thing Haniela has ever done, and she’s done a LOT of cool things! I wore a third set of Mejosi nails to show off these cookies- I love matte nails and I love the colors of these with the glitter accent.

Ah, the French Manicure.  Still one of my favorite styles. I got married in a French mani/pedi, and on our honeymoon flight, realized that lady next to me in line to board must be a newlywed also. We had the exact same nails. 

The thing about French manicures is that my nails are all over the map, some wide, some long, so traditional French press ons or wraps don’t work because they look uneven.  That’s why I love these Incoco strips, where you do the white tips, and then a clear overlay. They are fussy to do, but the results are worth it!  LOL- I’m realizing this is basically just a walk down nail brand memory lane, or as my mom calls it, a “shopping opportunity.”

Dashing Diva Magic Press nails are also some of my faves, shown here with some jeweled accents.  I busted out some edible gems to decorate the accompanying cookies. Impress press-on nails are also amazing and have fun colors, patterns and gems.  For both of these I wear a layer of Dashing Diva (DD) Red Therapy Base Shield for press ons, and it helps them stick and protects my nails. They also have great solid colors, which never chip or peel!

Gotta mention Colorstreet in all this! Colorstreet is actual nail polish tabs, and while many of the wraps I use are made with real nail polish, most also have a plastic layer in there somewhere, and Colorstreet really doesn’t seem to. They go on easy, and they come off with nail polish remover (Most others peel off with the help of remover).  They definitely wear better than regular nail polish.  I did try modern nail polish as part of this journey, thinking maybe it would work better than it did for me in junior high. Alas, no! So back to wraps for me. Colorstreet don’t last quite as long for me as Dashing Diva, but they do feel very nice on, and you can layer them.  You can buy them from their website, but it’s usually better to buy them from your friend who sells them. For me, that friend is @nailsbymurrah, that same Murrah that hosted the nail/cookie collaboration!  If you want Colorstreet, you can check them out here.

Too Cool For School

Back to the Future!  I may never be cool enough (or young enough) to wear these pierced nails by Rave Nailz, but still I kind love them.  And same goes for these crazy rose gold holographic ones by Marmalade Nails. But they do make for great cookie inspo. I did actually buy those Clutch Nails with the tattoos, but I’ll definitely have to save them for a walk on the wild side! 

Point is, I’m going to keep stretching my creative muscles. Sometimes it’s with cookies, sometimes it’s trying to find the perfect mask pattern (new post coming on that one.) and now sometimes it’s with nails.  I won’t turn this into a nail blog, I promise! In fact, I have cookie posts to catch up on, with some great background on my Christmas set.  The job of being the breadwinning architect firm owner person is where all my time really goes, so thank you to everyone who tags along on my hobbies, and I look forward to more cookies and someday, seeing you all at Cookie Con or on the street.  Be sure to check out my nails when you see me. 😉

PS: if you made it to the end of this blog post and you are interested in trying some new nails, and you live in the US or Canada, post a comment and I’ll do a drawing in a week to send someone new nails! (EDITED TO ADD that the giveaway is complete, but please to do leave a comment! They make my day/week.)

Cookie Con Classes!!!

Cookie Con Registration starts TONIGHT at 9:00 pm Eastern time!

When the magic clock strikes the time, a big registration button should appear at the Cookie Con website: Here.

The Cookie Con is such a great event! I’ve been to the last three and had a blast each time!  The key is to just give big hugs to everyone- at least, that’s my theory.  At any rate, last year I was a presenter, which meant that I taught a class during the main event line up on Friday.  But there are also cookie classes available before the Con officially starts, on Wednesday and Thursday. I’ll be teaching classes in this capacity this year.  I hope that I’ll fill them up and we can all have a blast together!  See the class descriptions below, and also see all the other great options at the Cookie Con website.

Offered in the am session both Wednesday and Thursday-

Cookie Construction: We will be learning how to put cookies together so they fit perfectly. Whether it is fitting together a  cookie puzzle or array, or building a three dimensional centerpiece or gingerbread house, we will be filling our tool belts with the tricks and tools needed to construct with cookies!  Recipes, baking tips, and assembly will all be covered, and there will be a challenging three dimensional cookie project to decorate and put together during the class! Materials will be provided.

Offered in the pm session Weds. and Thursday-

Advanced Cookie Design: Ready to take your skills to over the top?  I’ll share with you my techniques and a few different ways to plan out a very complicated or art type set. Whether it’s a set for a big gift, or a set to challenge yourself, I’ll build up your skills AND your confidence so that you too can stay up late, I mean, soar to the next level! Be prepared to do a little on the fly designing, and projects and problems are welcome, we’ll discuss. Note that this is a design seminar, and we will not be decorating cookies during the session. This class will include some pre-Cookie Con teaching via the internet, for those so inclined, and will be tailored to the needs and questions of those that register.

New! Cookie Design Webinar!!

Cookie Architecture: Building up your cookie inspiration, design and style.

A webinar about creativity & design, how to get and stay inspired, principles of design, the design process, and building and applying your own style.  All taught through the medium of sugar cookie decoration.

Succulents Framed | The Cookie Architect

Sometimes it feels like creativity is not for the weak!  How many of you sometimes get stuck while designing? Feel like you are not creative?  Like you don’t have your own style and wouldn’t know how to find it? Like inspiration is something that happens to other people?

Well, I know that as an architect, I struggled to be creative, while juggling so many other business and engineering concerns.  That is, until I discovered cookie decorating, and the tools I learned and used there taught me how to bring my creative A-game to everything I was doing.

My cookie projects are often over the top, but trust me, these tools can be used for all your cookie design needs, even if it is just hobby baking for your kid’s parties, or busting out corporate orders in bulk.

If any of this resonates with you, I think you would enjoy this webinar!

Succulent Detail two | The Cookie Architect

What it is:

A fifty minute online video talk by me about all of the above, with a follow up question and answer session on live video.  Included is membership in a secret Facebook group where you can re-watch the video, or watch later on your own time, and continue to ask questions for the next few months.  I’m happy to talk with participants about developing their own style further, and to give detailed pointers on any of the design topics that come up in the lecture.

The live video presentation will May 6th at 4:00PM EST. Replay will be available if you are unable to watch live.

Cost for the webinar and membership is $30. If you would like to sign up, send me an email at with your name and I will send you the Paypal link. I will also need your email address so that I can invite you to the Facebook Group, so please email me from your preferred email address for that. If you do not want to be on Facebook, I can invite you to the video separately, but the chat will be available in the Facebook group only.

NOTE: This talk is the talk I gave at Cookie Con 2017, so if you were an attendee, I am happy to give you this webinar at the discounted rate of $15, so that you can take advantage of the question and chat features, as well as re-listening to the video if you want! I am happy to extend this offer to vendors and those who worked the Con and thus weren’t able to attend my presentation during the event.   For this option, please email me at with some sort of proof of attendance, whether your ticket, or some sort of photographic proof. Thank for your understanding.

Succulent Angle | The Cookie Architect



Hi! Still Alive.

Hi everyone!  It’s been a while since I’ve been working on new cookie projects, mostly because I am working on building my architectural business.  But I thought I would keep my portfolio up to date on this website. I’ve just added loads of pics.  Here is a sampling of the projects I added, it’s an eclectic mix. More in the gallery, check them out if you want!

Llove me some llamas

I saw a llama on a kid’s Christmas tshirt.  And somehow, that’s all it takes around here to end up up to your eyeballs in llama cookies.  At first, they were going to be llama Christmas cookies, but as usual, my Christmas was too busy to make all the cookies I wanted to make.

When I posted on Instagram my sketches of llama Christmas cookies unmade, my friend Aime of The Painted Pastry commented that she too had almost made llama cookies!  And I thought that was even more of an amazing coincidence than if we had somehow both managed to make our llama Christmas cookies instead of just wandering around singing fa-la-la-la-llama to our families.

So we got to talking and she convinced me that I (ahem, she) needed official llama cookie cutters, and well, you don’t have to twist my arm too much when it comes to cookie stuff!  I hatched a plot to make my next set of cookies all about llamas (and the even cuter alpaca).  I also called up one of the great cookie cutter printers, Tracy of Whisked Away Cutters  and asked her if she could make me some llama cutters!  Luckily for all of us, she said yes!  And she also very generously sent me two sets of the cutters so I could share one set with you guys!!!  Giveaway info at the end of the post!

Llama Cutter from Whisked Away Cutters

Alpaca Cutter Whisked Away Cutters

Lllama Head Cutter Whisked Away Cutter

I’m really excited about how these turned out!!! Making the sketches was so much fun, and you could really do so many variations.  You could also frankencookie a hump on to the back of the llama to make a camel, or add hats to the Llama faces or you name it!!  Need help with some tips on how to frankencookie (ie put two cutters together to make a new cookie design)? Be sure to check out Lilaloa’s really cool Craftsy class that covers just that!

Here is the set I made to take my new cutters for a spin.  A llama themed baby set for a cookie friend who just had a new baby.  Well, they were to surprise her before the baby was born, but then he came six weeks early and now he wants to eat them all himself. 😉

Llamas, Baby! | The Cookie Architect


And here is the additional little girl cookie I made wearing a llama hat. Because, llamas.

Llama Hat | The Cookie Architect

And as if that wasn’t enough, I also made cacti.  Because I was forever seeing cacti in llama stuff online.  But further reflection has me wondering if cacti really are a big feature of their Peruvian habitat.  Oh well, I like the way these turned out!!


Cacti Cookies | The Cookie Architect

Check out all of the pictures of my cookie llama and alpaca, and all of my cookie pictures in my cookie gallery.   I had lots of fun trying out different methods of llama fur.  White chocolate sprinkle alpaca was my favorite. And I still want to try a few other techniques, but suffice it to say there are lots of options.

And if you’ve made it this far and you still want a chance to win these llama cutters, just use the Rafflecopter widget below, and also leave a comment on my blog post about what sort of blog posts you want me to write about.  Because I am trying to spend less time on FB, and more time hanging out with my peeps over here.  So if you want to know the latest and greatest, be sure to follow me here too!

Also- bonus question and chance to win- is a question about cookie classes.  I still have a few spots left in my Montreal classes in April at the Kitchen Jukebox, but I’d love to know what topics would be popular for future classes too!!

To enter please click on this link to enter via Rafflecopter, and then come back here to leave your comments.  Comment and Rafflecopter entry are both necessary to win!  Shipping in US and Canada only. Giveaway ends Friday at midnight EST.

Giveaway is over and our lucky winner Beth is getting new llama cutters from me! Thank you to everyone who participated, you’ve given me lots to think about as I work on blog posts and classes!Capture


Llama llove | The Cookie Architect


Cookie Jigsaw Puzzle- A step by step photo essay.

Hello Everyone!! It’s been too long, again.  One of my New Year’s cookie resolutions was to post more on the blog. I talked about my cookie resolutions, my cookie puzzle process and my real job and family in a really in-depth interview with Julia Usher on Cookie Connection this month.  If you don’t already know more about me than you want to, you should check it out!

I am starting this year’s blog adventure with a post I meant to do months ago.  You know, like before Christmas? It’s a photo essay showing the process from inspiration to completion and beyond of my Christmas jigsaw puzzle for Springbok.  (In a total aside, if you have done the puzzle would you please consider leaving a review on their website?).

The thing I didn’t realize until I put it all together is that in typical Cookie Architect form, I did not get good photos of the ornament and bird cookies while they were in process. That’s because I did most of them in a single sleepless weekend where I barely ate, let alone took photos and that sort of thing.  I do from time to time get to share the whole process, but this time there is that little gap!  Otherwise, lots of never before seen behind the scenes cookies!

I’ll have another blog post very soon- some fun announcements to make about…classes!!  You guys are the best! Leave me a comment and let me know you stopped by. 🙂


Note: these last two photos are from my favorite blogger of all time (yes, including myself!), Catherine Newman of Ben and Birdy.  They love puzzles, and I love them, so I sent them my puzzles. They are even going to tackle my enormous Spring Flowers puzzle!  I am kinda starstuck!

Cosmopolitan Tea Party



I know, I know, Christmas is in three weeks. I am excited about it too!  But before we dive in to the red and green stuff too much, I have some collaboration projects to share with you that have been in the works since Cookie Con, back in September!

At Cookie Con, Team Cookie (That’s me with the incomparable Kari of Yankee Girl Yummies and Melissa of Melissa Joy Fanciful Cookies) taught a couple of design classes.  In those classes, we started out sharing some basics of design and inspiration, and then each of us shared our design and cookie process, to show how you can start from an inspiration and make it your own, and go your own way with it.  THEN, we asked the class participants to come up with a theme from an inspiration board, and from there brainstorm how to design a set from that.  Each class had been part of a their own group Pinterest board before Cookie Con, and had all pitched in to pin ideas that appealed to them, so that we had a board to look at in the class.  Both boards were a cool reflection of their participants, so each had a different vibe.  Here is a sampling of the board from our first class:

Cosmo Pin

The board had lots of ladies in cute skirts, lots of nature, tons of flowers, shoes and fashion shots.  We wanted to come up with a theme that might actually happen, one where bringing decorated cookies would be just the perfect thing.  With all the images we were looking at, we came up with a very fancy tea party, like if the women from Sex and the City decided to throw a tea party at the Four Seasons.  Our Cosmopolitan Tea Party Set, as we designed it in our class, included fashionable ladies for every seasons, tea cups with natural elements, shoes with flowers and plants (or even made of plants).  We explored how we might pick cutters for those cookies, and different ways to organize a set, from a big platter to personalized name card cookies.  I hope the participants in class had as much fun as Team Cookie did, because we had a blast!

After the class, we offered them the challenge of taking our starting place, the theme and the inspiration of the Cosmopolitan Tea Party and going through the process on their own to come up with some actual cookies!  In the end, it was too much for many busy cookiers to take on at this time of year, but we did have one game participant, Beth of Love Bug Cakes and Cookies!  We loved the overall set, it’s so great!!! Some of our favorite details are how she used a uniform cookie for the ladies, but mixed it up with the composition so that they are all very dynamic.  Also, great use of design to solve the age old “face” problem.  Don’t want to worry about the face? Just choose a different angle!  The colors hold together well, but you can still pick out the four seasons.  And, she also managed to use the plaque cutter that we gave out in class- which was generously donated by Truly Mad Plastics.  Thank you Beth for contributing!


Some of Beth’s classmate’s have said they will participate in the New Year when they have more time, so if that is the case, you can look forward to me sharing those with you too when they are ready!

In the meantime, each of us on Team Cookie also did our take on the theme.  Similar to the examples we used in the class, you will see how three different designers can take their needs, style, and skill and do three very different sets of cookies!


Let me first show you Kari of Yankee Girl Yummies‘ set.  I have been dying to share this with you guys since I first say it.  It took my breath away.  It’s a smaller vignette than Beth’s but how evocative of nature, of elegance and sophistication.  I, for one, am smitten! That lady in the wind is so gorgeous!!! And on a lighter note, that tea bag, I have it on good authority, is wafer paper filled with chocolate jimmies.  Perfect for your cookies and ice cream treat. 😉

Garden Girl Tea Party Set | Yankee Girl Yummies


Melissa of Melissa Joy Fanciful Cookies did a set that is perfect for getting glamour and simplicity together at the same party! Which is her specialty, right?  A platter inspired by some of the nature/fashion images from the Pinterest board, and perfect for that Fall tea party, or book club, or fashion show!  What a sweet girl, and the colors and shapes for the leaf skirt are perfection.  One of the fun things about the class was showing that it doesn’t always have to be fancy or handpainted to be a gorgeous and clever design!

Fall Lady Tea Platter | Melissa Joy Fanciful Cookies


Last but hopefully not least, here is the set of cookies I was inspired to make!  I saw a cute little drawing of a girl with a teacup skirt and thought that would be a fun way to do a tea party set for fashionable ladies, and it would be fun to think about what makes tea so great year round.  I was also inspired by fashion sketches, wanting to keep the backgrounds very clean and bright.  And in keeping with my body positive politics, I decided that I would change up the body shapes of the woman so they weren’t all stick thin.  Beauty comes in many shapes and sizes!  If you want to see more pictures of these cookies including individual shots, be sure to check out the gallery in my portfolio!

Time for Tea | The Cookie Architect

Thank you to everyone who took our class at Cookie Con- we had an absolute blast!  And thank you for all who participated in our mini collaborations, Beth, and hopefully in time a few others!  And stay tuned too for the other class’s project.  It is completely different.  Just goes to show you how much fun you can have with creative cookies!






Christmas (PUZZLE!) in August

Hi Guys! I know I am very behind in sharing my stuff with you guys, but Summer has been as crazy as Spring was!  But I just HAD to stop in to share with you my excitement for today, the day that my new Jigsaw puzzle is released over at Springbok Puzzles.  It’s a Christmas/winter themed puzzle with lots of cookie birds and birdhouses on a cookie wreath. They are calling it Christmas Creations.  It’s 500 easy pieces, and a great price point.  I’ll share all the details and all the photos that I have in another post- gotta get back to work! Thanks friends for sticking with me. 🙂

Christmas Creations

Adirondack Dreaming Coloring Page and an update!

Hi Everyone! I’ve been so busy and I am behind posting blog posts about my cookie projects, but if you check out my online gallery you will find that I’ve been keeping that up to date at least!

Maybe you’ve already heard about the project I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. It’s a project that I’ve been commissioned to make for the Made in the Adirondacks artisan show at the Adirondack Museum.  I’m calling it Adirondack Dreaming; it’s my dream camp, if by dreaming you mean that I feel in to a deep daydream and this is the camp I designed!  I am going for whimsical, fantastic, and rustic all at once.  I hope that there will be a little for everyone in it.

The cookies get finished tonight, and displayed tomorrow. Check out my Instagram or Twitter feeds for the latest sneak peeks! (Or Facebook, if you must).  Of course, when I finish I’ll post all about it here.  I’ll even share what it was like to Periscope live broadcast most of the decorating!

In the meantime, I made a coloring page to accompany this set, and I love how it came out.  If you like that sort of thing, please print it out! Don’t worry if the pdf looks broken up on the screen, it should print out smoothly, it’s just high resolution.

Adirondack Dreaming Coloring Page | The Cookie Architect