From Cairnlea to Cookie Con: One Aussie's journey

Arty: If you have been to one of the last two CookieCon you’ve probably met Joeanne Cassar (of Cookies with Jo) because she is so friendly! I love that she says she is usually quiet and keeps to herself because whether she likes it or not, she stands out from the crowd with her infectious smile and her cheery demeanor. Also, her accent is awesome and I know I speak for most when I say I am fascinated by the Australian culture and the mind boggling trip it takes to get here!

Joeanne is one of several fantastic ladies who make the trek from Australia to CookieCon. I love that so many people find friends through cookie decorating. Especially when they travel across the world to find they have friends in their own neck of the woods! So without further ado: here is Joeanne (and we can’t forget her husband Andrew. He is a really good hugger!)

Joeanne: Let’s start at the beginning…well, almost! I started cookieing about 2 1/2 years ago. I ended up getting sick and couldn’t do much so I sat and cookied. Decorating cookies is like an addiction for me; I find it very relaxing and therapeutic.

Georganne Bell came out to Australia and I took one of her classes. She started talking about CookieCon. I went home and said to my husband Andrew, “Wow, can you believe it? They have a conference in Salt Lake City all about cookies!” Andrew told me I should go, and I said “don’t be ridiculous! Go all the way there for a conference? Ha ha!”

Probably a day or so went by and I thought “You know what? Life is so short; Why not?” Salt Lake 2017 was my first CookieCon, and it added fuel to the fire of my addiction. So I got a ticket and got ready to go to my second CookieCon in Indy. I was ready to go; and the Cadbury Koalas, Tim Tams and fridge magnets were ready to go as well.

What is great about CookieCon is that my husband and I stay in a city that we would never normally visit. For the week of CookieCon Andrew is on his own; He’s flying solo. No complaints from him though!  Andrew only had one goal for CC and that was to meet Arty McGoo and have his photo taken with her. He got it!  Boy was he a happy soul. His bucket list was complete for CC!

 My husband Andrew & Arty

My husband Andrew & Arty

I, on the other hand, was like a kid in a candy store at CookieCon. Unlike other times I was well and truly in my comfort zone. I’m normally a very quiet person who is polite and keeps to herself, but something happens at CookieCon and I go Cookie Crazy. You all just get me!!  I can’t believe how addicted I was to pins. If someone posted a picture of one on CC attendees page, I wanted it! Even if it was late at night and I was tucked up in bed, if someone posted "I’m in the foyer for 20 minutes handing out pins” I’d hop up, get changed, and grab that pin! I was weighed down in pins.

 My pins…not all of them! Crazy, addictive things!

My pins…not all of them! Crazy, addictive things!

I did pre-class workshops, hung around with my Aussie girls Rebekah Jodie and Cathy, made lots of new friends, got my CookieCon Goodie bag (Ammmazzzzing) and learnt an amazing amount of things.

 My Aussie girls: me, Rebekah, Cathy and Jodie.

My Aussie girls: me, Rebekah, Cathy and Jodie.

Hey I took two Classes with Arty and I never, ever thought that would happen. Might I just say… awesome!!!! And NO I wasn’t paid for this post. :) I loved being part of CookieCon.; I had my photo taken with any Cookie Royalty that would have me.

 The Aussies and Arty at Camp McGoo

The Aussies and Arty at Camp McGoo

Camp McGoo was great I don’t think I have ever done anything as fast as I did the requirements to get my oven mitt badge. I was so fast, Mr. John couldn’t believe it!

The CookieCon banquet was wonderful. I loved seeing who had won for their Sugar Show entries. The amount of talent in that room is extraordinary. Cookie Karaoke (or dance party, as it turned out) was great fun too. I brought Andrew along, but he went to bed early; he has two left feet.

There is nothing like CookieCon. The love for Cookies is fabulous and the people are extraordinary and crazy…just like me! CookieCon (thanks to Karen and Mike) is staggering. The love from my Cookie Friends is Real. Thanks for a blast. Hope to see you in Reno if I’m lucky enough to get a ticket. 


 Finally, my letter and patches!

Finally, my letter and patches!