McGoo U Online: January

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it is 2016!!!  I honestly think there was a fast forward button on the entire year of 2015!  

I've been thinking a little about fresh starts and new beginnings and that "R" word: resolutions.  I want to focus this year on pushing myself.  Getting out of my comfort zone and doing things that scare or challenge me.  Some people like to pick a word for the year, so I guess if I had to choose one word for what I want for my 2016 it would have to be "Uncomfortable".  ha ha!  That sounds like fun!  

So to start off my year with the right focus of being uncomfortable I decided to make my January McGoo U class this paper doll cookie set.  Don't get me wrong, I love this set!  I wrote all about it here when I originally made them in 2012  It was so fun to re-visit them and simplify them just a bit.  (Of course when you create them, you can doll her up as much as you want.)  So what is uncomfortable about paper doll cookies, you ask?  I've been asked several times over the years to make a tutorial for this set and have been asked to teach this set in classes, but I've always said no.  for one reason.  I was skurred!  When I plan a class I pack as many techniques into it as possible.  I want students to be successful and feel good about their cookies and to leave with tons of new things to try.  Paper doll cookies are all about one thing: PAINTING.  I love to paint, but not everybody does, so I worried that if I were to teach it, it wouldn't be fun for everyone or they wouldn't be happy when theirs looked different... because they will all be different.  I've made Dolly Dingle three times now and they each look very different as do the original illustrations these dolls are based on.  Not to mention there was also the definite possibility that as I painted these on camera, I would royally screw up!

So, I'm pushing out of my comfort zone and I'm going to only focus on one technique for the January McGoo U and I really hope you enjoy it.  If nothing else, I know it will help you see it in steps and make it not quite as scary to pick up that paintbrush and try.  I know you will rock it!  So get uncomfortable with me! and make some adorable cookies.  The great thing about this set is you don't have to hand cut all those tabs and ruffles and itty bitty shoes like I did the first time I made them.  I made a 5-piece paper doll cookie cutter set so you can still feel your fingers after making these cookies.  How nice am I?  Check out the cutters here.

Our fantastic visiting professor this month in the Expert Lab is Andrea Walters of Andy Kay's Cookies.  She holds our hand (just in case we are uncomfortable) through the process of Periscoping!  Periscoping is a live broadcasting app that lets us into other people's worlds and is especially fun with other cookiers as we can watch their process, take a peek inside their kitchen, or whatever they want to share AND it is all live and we are able to ask questions or comment.  It is a wild and wonderful world and Andrea is the perfect gal to help us navigate through the good, the bad, and the blocked as she hosts her own Periscope show "Cookie Coffee Chat" every morning.  

But wait!... there's more!!!  Andrea was nice enough to lead us through a bonus Expert Lab where she shows us how she makes her beautiful toothpick roses.  They are the perfect scale for cookies and she shows us a fun new product that can make the process easier.  Bonus Bonus!  

As always we Mix it Up with our expert and Kansas resident Andrea Walters and chat with her about how she was inspired to cookie by going to a cookie decorating class... where she learned nothing!  She talks about how she keeps it real every morning on her periscopes and how she lets her viewers lead her discussions.     

This month in Smart Cookie I introduce you to accountant, author, motivational speaker and business consultant Marquita Miller who we are lucky enough to have as a recurring guest.  She will walk us through different strategies and give advice on how we can make our cookie business more profitable.  This month we discuss the hows and whens of turning our hobby into a business.  

After School is particularly ridiculous this month (when is it not!?) with an infomercial just for cookiers.  Fortunately the "Songs in the Key of Cookie" CD we are selling is not actually real or for sale, but we sure had fun pretending it was!  You will find it highly cheesetastic and hopefully entertaining because we had way too much fun writing and singing the songs and filming the video for you.      

As always we finish off the day with a relaxing and impromptu design using the Extra Frosting from class.  Have a fantastic New Year.  If you make resolutions I hope you stick to them, if you pick a word... I hope you find one more comfortable than I did!  

I would love to see what you created using this month's tutorials.  Remember YOU can earn your varsity letter by sharing your McGoo U inspired creations using the hashtag #mcgoou on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook.