This month at McGoo U the lesson was a "smashed" make up set. Well, my friend Susan Young went above and beyond when she made hers! She cookied an entire line of Arty McGoo products, complete with my reflection in the compact mirror. Professor McGoo hereby awards her an A+!
Arty: I feel like I am introducing the valedictorian of McGoo U! Danielle impresses me so much for so many reasons: her knowledge of classic movies is unreal, her commitment to not supporting anything that harms animals and standing by her principals is seriously rad!, how modest she is (she's totally going to be 100% uncomfortable with me saying how RAD she is and I can't wait because it's all true), how unique her eye color is or how incredibly silky her beautiful hair is... wait, this is starting to get romantic, but I'm so happy I get to brag on my friend who is totally squirming right now!
The first time I met Danielle was decorating with her in Paso. I enjoyed her self-deprecating humor and could see immediately that she had serious cookie skills even though she had just taken my beginner decorating class. Also, she quoted from old movies and: BOOM. It was love at first meeting.
Danielle is so thoughtful and has been known to bring amazing smelling heirloom sweet peas or a delicious local treat or sometimes a unique cookie cutter that she magically knows I need in my life. I AM SO glad she went out of her comfort zone to come to class that first day because not only did I gain a friend, but as she continues to come to classes I'm always excited to see who gets to sit next to her. Those lucky ducks get extra expert advice as they decorate along side her and leave with an awesome new friend with super silky hair. Meet Danielle you lucky duck!
Danielle: Did you know I have 3 rolling pin patches? What?!? At this point you are probably asking yourself: "Who are you & how on earth do you have 3 rolling pin patches already?" My name is Danielle Stone & I am the nerd that did all of the McGoo homework lessons in one year... EVERY.SINGLE.ONE!
How did my Homework Mission come about? I’ve made cookies for years. Nothing terribly fancy and not too often, just for the big holidays. Now it seems I make them weekly and if I’m not actually making them, I’m planning them. What changed? I signed up for McGoo U!
Let me tell you how I found McGoo U. I was laid up after a surgery, and spending a lot of time shopping online. When I ran out of cookie cutters to buy (yes, I bought them all), I’d search for whatever it was I wanted to make; a dog cookie, a bear cookie, a flower cookie, a whatever cookie. Slowly, I started to realize I kept saving Arty McGoo cookies. Who the heck was Arty McGoo?!? Of course, then I had to Google Arty McGoo and that’s how I found out about McGoo U.
I decided to sign up for a month but, Arty was having a special (and I do love a good sale), so I bought an entire year! At first, I would just randomly flit around from month to month not making anything I saw, just taking it all in. There’s so much to take in! Then I started to make some of the cookies. First were the pretty pumpkins from the very first episode, then the fall leaves from November 2014. I completely avoided anything that I considered “scary”!
After a few months, I got brave & headed down to Paso Robles for a beginner class. It was fabulous! Liz is the BEST teacher & I started to take all the in-person classes I could! I was learning so much that it got me to thinking that it was pretty dumb to not take advantage of all that McGoo U content. By picking and choosing to do the lessons I was comfortable with, I was never going to get better. So, I decided to do ALL of the lessons, even the "scary" ones!
April 2017 was the first month of my mission. I made sure to post the picture on the McGoo U Student Body FB page, yikes, that way I’d have no choice but to go forward with the mission! Everyone was so nice and I didn’t die, so onward I went! I did May, then June, then July then... well, you get it!
As I look back over the lessons, I see so many things I wish I’d done better. But, I think we are all like that. I am so happy the Dolly Dingle & Eye lessons came later in the order. They would have scared me away if I had to do them earlier! I was so afraid of Dolly Dingle, she sat for ages on my table all flooded & waiting. I’d walk by, and think, "not today Dolly"! It was funny though, Dolly was so much fun that once I did the first set I immediately did a second set! It is crazy how quickly the year of lessons flew by. It is even crazier how talented Liz is, and how much she shares with us!
Along the way I’ve done many more of the in-person classes. At one of the classes Kimberly Holmes, Liz’s fabulous assistant, talked me into attending Party McGoo. That was a scary drive; I nearly turned around several times! My non-cookie friends were like what?? a cookie slumber party with total strangers??! The closer I got, the more I thought the same thing!! This was totally out of my comfort zone but, it ended up being super fun! I met some really great people, had some great food (Kim is an amazing cook) and Liz taught us a great set of cookies! I left with improved cookie skills, new friends, and a great sense of relief that the karaoke machine didn’t work that time!
Needless to say, I am hooked on all things McGoo! I am still taking classes in Paso (like they can stop me!), I’ve attended a couple more Party McGoo's, and I always do the monthly homework lesson!
So much has changed since I became a McGoober. My cookies have improved exponentially. I’ve learned a ton of decorating techniques. I am no longer scared to pick up a paintbrush and paint away on a cookie. I have also met so many great new cookie friends, including fellow McGoober Leesa Giancola who sometimes heads to Paso Robles with me for classes!!
So, my suggestion to everyone is to jump right into McGoo U, do that homework, earn those patches, do an in-person class & get yourself to a Party McGoo!
Arty: Ahhhhhh, Nancy Westfall. If I were to sum up Nancy in a word it would be generous. I got a hold of Nancy when we had a little emergency at McGoo U to see if she could fill in an Expert Lab segment for us. I had never met her before! You see, I have a theory that everyone has something to teach, and I truly believe that. We are all experts at something. What I didn't know was that Nancy is a flippin' GENIUS! She has perfected the art of stencil making/designing and is a teacher by profession. She swooped in like a superhero sans cape with her cutting machines and stencil making paraphernalia in tow ready to share her knowledge. Did I mention she had 30 minutes notice?! She blew me away! If you have ever wondered about cutting your own stencils, Nancy is your woman. She knows the ins, outs, and upside downs of the different machines, supplies, and tools and even better, she knows how to guide you through the learning process and make it easy for you.
Nancy is a natural teacher, she is selfless, she loves sharing her passion and knowledge, and I'm SOOO grateful she came to my rescue and has several times since that first meeting. Maybe the word I should use for Nancy is SUPERHERO! Or maybe FRIEND...
Nancy: I am so excited to be a guest on Arty McGoo’s Blog! I met Arty and Mr. John last Spring when they called me to film a video segment for McGoo U. It was quite a surprise! I was really excited! I had no time to plan or get nervous because I was filling in for someone at the very last minute. I had no idea what was in store for me! The people on set were so much fun! I had a great time. From that day on, I began meeting more cookiers and have continued to make great cookie friends.
I got to go back and film again just last month. Getting to film with Arty a second time was just as much fun as the first.
From one good thing, came another! I had just moved back to the KC area last Spring. That evening after filming, there was a dinner/meet up for local cookiers. So many local cookiers came to meet Arty. It inspired me to create a Facebook group for the KC metro area cookiers so that we could keep in touch. It has grown to 42 members today. Through our local FB group, many of us have become close friends. It is great to have a good relationship with local cookiers. We get together often and even go on field trips once in a while. And as a special treat when the Arty McGoo Crew comes to town, we get together for dinner and an evening of fun with them! I feel like I have truly been blessed by some of the best friends!
In my previous life, I was an elementary school teacher. I loved it! I enjoy teaching very much! I had always wanted to learn to decorate sugar cookies. I started following a lot of cookiers on Facebook and watching YouTube videos. They were all so generous with their knowledge and helpful tutorials. When friends and family started asking me to decorate cookies for them, I decided to start my own cookie decorating business. I love all things colorful, so I called it “The Colorful Cookie.” I purchased several stencils for orders. Stenciling made the cookie decorating process quick and easy, but I had to plan in advance to order custom stencils. Sometimes there was not enough time to wait for them to come in the mail. That is when I decided to buy a Cricut Explore Air to design and cut my own stencils. I could not find any specific help or tutorials to show me the exact process. I spent many hours and wasted a lot of stencil material learning the process. Now, everything I see gets “stencilized” in my head! I always say it’s like when you learn to read. You can’t “unlearn” it, if that is a word. Everything just fell into place as I was learning how to use the software. I began sharing what I was learning with others in Facebook Groups. After mastering Cricut Design Space, people were asking me questions about Silhouette Studio software. I didn’t know anything about it, but I wanted to help them learn, so I purchased a Silhouette Cameo 3. More and more people started asking me questions, sending me emails and messages. I really enjoyed helping them learn. I was teaching again!
I decided starting a blog would be a good idea, but I was spending a lot of time writing blog posts. I couldn’t interact with people to give them the help they needed. That was when I decided that we needed a Facebook group to interact with each other. I knew I could offer help quickly if I had a group. So many people would often say, "I don’t know how or I don’t have time to design my stencils. Would you sell me the stencil or the stencil file? I’d love to be able to buy them or cut them on my machine." And that is why I opened The Colorful Cookie Stencil Studio online shop for downloadable SVG files. I like to call them “Cookier Cut Files.” When someone needs a stencil in a hurry they have access to quick and easy stencils. Now cookiers who don’t know how to design can easily cut their own stencils on their cutting machine. The design work has been done for them. All they need to do is download the file and cut the stencil. I like to call that, “I Design…You Cut!”
The next step in my journey was a big one! Teaching designing and cutting stencils became more than a full time job. I have followers from all over the world, which still amazes me! Launching The Colorful Cookie Club was a huge project for me. I have learned so much about technology and how everything hooks up. More than I ever wanted to know! The club is awesome and I am so glad that I started it! It is a monthly membership club offering tutorials for both Cricut and Silhouette software. The tutorials cover all of the software tools and how to use cutting machines. With the membership also comes helpful support through a members only Facebook group, a weekly FB LIVE Q & A, a set of step by step, easy to follow stencil tutorials with a specific theme each month, a 20% discount on every item purchased from the online shop, a free stencil download each month, and members can be entered to win an Amazon gift card in our monthly contest.
My cookie journey has been amazing and I am enjoying every minute of it! Thank you Arty McGoo and thank you to the cookie community. It’s the love and support from all of my cookie friends that has inspired me to do what I’m doing today.
If you are interested in learning more about designing and cutting stencils, The Colorful Cookie Club Membership is now open for enrollment.
Link to Club Membership Enrollment:
Link to The Colorful Cookie Stencil Studio online shop:
The link to the free Colorful Cookie Stencil Studio Facebook page:
I'm VERY excited to announce that we have BRAND NEW Arty McGoo products in my shop! Since each one is kind of like one of my "children", I'd like to introduce you to each one!
First, and maybe my favorite (am I allowed to say that?) are these adorable, McGoo blue silicone spatulas! They come in 2 sizes: large...perfect for getting that dough or icing out of your bowl, and small...the perfect size for mixing your icing colors. No cookie kitchen is complete without one! For all of the details, click here.
Next, let me introduce what I like to lovingly call the "Cookie Enabler Kit" This cute little baby toolbox includes everything you need to start decorating now...except the icing. (That would be messy.) In it you will find: 6 seamless, stainless steel decorating tips (101, 101s, 80 ruffle tip, 2, and two 1's), 1 ring and coupler to easily switch out tips, and 10 decorating bags that can be used with or without tips. It's perfect if you're just beginning your cookie journey, or as a gift for someone you are trying to lure into the cookie world! Click here to get yours.
And speaking of those 10 decorating bags, we also have them in packs of 100! Tipless bags offer the ultimate in convenience when decorating. Just cut the size opening you need, from teeny-tiny "micropiping" to "Let's flood this fast" ginormous, and you're ready to go. You can tie a knot or use a closure to keep things tidy while you decorate. These bags are a traditional 8"x12" size and easy to handle. And the best news: each package of 100 is only $4. To order, click here.
And if you just can't let go of your tips (I still love me some tips!) there is now an "essentials" collection of tips available in the shop. They come in various sizes: 1, 2, 101, 101s, and 80 (aka: "ruffle"). They are stainless steel, for those of you who like to be able to soak your tips, and SEAMLESS, for all of us....because your icing is less likely to curl as you're piping! Each one is etched with the Arty McGoo logo and the size. How cool is that? If this group shot isn't enough for you, you can see more pictures of these kids here.
And since my least favorite thing about tips is cleaning them, I am pleased to introduce you to this! This handy dandy dual-ended brush will have your decorating tips cleaned out in a jiffy. Stubborn icing or greasy residue is no challenge for this dynamo. And bonus...it comes in a two pack...like twins! Get your own set of twins here.
And now...the Arty McGoo Flower nail! Size matters when it comes to flower nails, and this one has the right dimensions for creating perfectly petite flowers. The stem is ribbed and longer to aid in control as you swirl and twirl your way to a beautiful bouquet. Get all the deets here.
And last, but certainly not least, are my coupler and ring. Couplers and rings allow for a quick change of decorating tips. It's like those magicians who change their clothes in seconds! You can go from a round tip to a leaf tip; a ruffle tip to a star tip in a flash! Confetti and sound effects not included, but totally encouraged! You get both for the amazingly low price of FIFTY CENTS! Golly gee willikers, the Arty McGoo website is like shopping a discount store...only cleaner...and prettier.
So there you have it, the latest in the Arty McGoo lineup! I hope you enjoyed learning about each one. Happy cookie decorating...and have a delicious day!
Do you enjoy cookies? Do you enjoy podcasts? Do you enjoy podcasts about cookies? Do you need something entertaining to listen to while you decorate cookies? Then we've got you covered! Mr. John has been working hard for the last year to make McGoo U Radio a reality...and now it is! We talk about all things cookie all the time. Join us twice a month for the latest in cookie news, chats with some of our favorite cookiers, and other good, clean, cookie-centered fun! You can start listening RIGHT NOW by simply clicking here.
It's that time of year....time to find the perfect dress! Whether it's Easter, Prom, Graduation, Bridesmaid, Cocktail or Wedding, finding the right dress can be frustrating. And finding the perfect dress CUTTER can bring you to the point of tears! But not to worry, I feel your pain, and I'm here to help. Did you know I have a set of mix & match dress cutters? Well, I do...and I want you to see how they can help with your dress dilemma.
Because there are so many options with my open-ended cookie cutters that you can mix and match, it’s almost impossible to show up to the party with the same dress as someone else!
Aren't they so fun? And I made a video to show you even more options. Enjoy!
So, are you ready for the perfect dress? You can get yours here. Happy dress making!
Arty: Brad is all heart. He sees the best side of people and literally wants to show people's "best side" on camera. Whenever we go to him with our ridiculous skit ideas, he and his crew Darrin, Travis, and Corbin brainstorm about how to make it even more ridiculous. Then he proceeds to talk everybody into doing these crazy stunts. In the cool kid vernacular: "He is so extra!" in the best way possible.
Every part and segment we film for McGoo U is fun, but we let our hair down for the After School segments in particular. You can see from his picture: Brad REALLY lets his hair down and we usually end up making a big mess of the studio in the name of creativity. He loves meeting and getting to know the Expert Lab guests we bring in. He is a complete jokester and if he teases or tries to scare you... he likes you.
He is the ringleader of this circus and we couldn't do it without him. Meet, Brad!
BRAD: In a Kitchen far, far away there once lived a Queen. . . a cookie Queen. That’s Arty to us at Real Media. Queen of the Cookie Kingdom! We love being a part of her incredible kingdom and all of the incredible Cookie students and citizens. The Kingdom is growing! It all started a few years ago when a messenger delivered a note to my office from King John. He said, “We have this idea for a Cookie Decorating Show”. I said to myself, “Hmmm, let me think about that for a minute . . . I’m in!” Soon we began to formulate this idea of teaching the kingdom how to create incredible cookies the Arty way! It’s been a great ride and we look forward to every trip King and Queen McGoo make to Kansas City.
Over the past couple of years we have had some very fun times creating the cookie tutorials and fun videos that you’ve all seen. I thought it would be fun to describe some of those times from our point of view.
First and foremost, we’ve loved being a part of the skits and funny videos. I think we laugh more on the Arty production week than anytime during the year. We love brainstorming ideas and finding new ways to entertain the Kingdom. I remember Arty’s very first trip to Kansas City. We had the Cookie Artisan (Maryann Rollins) in for the Expert Lab segment. Of course, we had to put together the After School Segment as well. Shooting these segments are always one of the highlights of the production week. We found ourselves shooting a Halloween segment with Arty and The Cookie Artisan in a cemetery by my house. We brought fog machines and props. I can’t ever remember hearing so many screams and laughs all at the same time. We ran out of that cemetery so fast when we were done I still haven’t caught my breath! We laughed and laughed, but more importantly, that video was the beginning of many more fun videos. Maryann’s scream will forever be engrained in my mind.
We (the production crew) love to get in front of the camera too. We love making cameo appearances in the videos. I have enjoyed getting to be in the cookie band, running the chainsaw for Housewives of Cookie County and other fun shoots. The most memorable time for me was playing air guitar with King John behind Arty for the Heart music video remake. Of course, I rocked so hard that I had to take Advil when I was done, but it was totally worth it and I would do it again. I have hired an agent now. . . as far as you know.
I think the most talked about segments are the ones that use the . . . “naked suit”. This has become a very important prop for Arty week here at Real Media. You have to be very important to actually be considered for this prop. One of the most popular videos we created was the “Meme” cookier video. This featured Arty and The Hungry Hippopotamus (Stephanie Kappel). The most popular part of the video is the section “this is what my husband thinks I do”. The naked suit made its debut that day and has gone down in the lore of McGoo history as a groundbreaking moment. Not only did thousands of people witness the spectacle of the Hungry Hippopotamus laying on our kitchen island in the suit, this set the tone for more scenes with the infamous naked suit. To date the suit has been used for compelling scenes with LilaLoa (Georganne Bell) and of course Arty. As you can imagine, we laugh a lot on those days. I don’t think I’ll ever forget seeing LilaLoa run out of our studio as part of a scene in the naked suit. I think we forgot to unlock the studio door to let her back in. Maybe. . . Not sure what the neighbors thought about that one.
All fun aside, we love being a part of the team. Most of all we love the fact that we are contributing to helping cookiers all over the world develop their skills and earn extra dollars for their families. We consider it an honor and privilege to be a part of the Arty Kingdom. We look forward to being in many more videos and seeing all of the great work that is done by all of the students.
So, until the next great cameo, “here, here”! Cheers to Arty and all of the vast McGoo Kingdom!
You KNOW how much I love a good pun, and this recent set of cookies by Diane Mayer (Mama Mayer Bakery) had me ROFL...or at least chuckling out loud. She is so clever and her cookies are so clean. My hat's off to Diane, one of the punny-est cookiers in my Instagram feed!
Recently, my friend Autumn Carpenter asked me (and 15 other cookiers) to create an animal cutter for a charity project. And now I am proud to announce that the cutters are available to you! This set includes 17 cutters designed by some of your favorite cookie artists: Jill Wettstein (Jill FCS), Autumn Carpenter, Blyss Cookies, Butterwinks, Chapix Cookies, Sweet Sugarbelle, Cookie Cowgirl, LilaLoa, The Bearfoot Baker, Cookie Crazie, The Hungry Hippopotamus, My Little Bakery, Tunde's Creations, Flour Box Bakery, You Can Call Me Sweetie, Susan Carberry, and me! And the best news is that all of the profits are being donated to "Tender Hands", a charity that helps economically disadvantaged women in India.
The set also includes an instruction booklet that includes recipes, photos, and information on each of the designers. So to make some amazing animal cookies (like my flying squirrel design) AND make a difference in the world, buy your set here.
I have 2 sets to give away! If you'd like to enter, just follow the directions below. Contest ends Sunday at midnight (PDT).
THE GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED, BUT CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS: Johanna and Tricia!