So many things in life are complicated, but some are just so very simple! Its those simple moments that are- to put it simply- amazing! I’d be lying if I told you what goes on behind the scenes of the images you see in magazines or on TV was unplanned. In fact, it is very planned… also booked, arranged and styled.
When I was hired to create cookies for the possible cover of Real Simple’s December issue I was thrilled. I am a huge fan of the magazine- not only is it aesthetically beautiful, but I adore the Real Simple message. The photo director and lead stylist assigned me a few cookie shapes and gave me some direction. I also spoke with their food editor, Allie Lewis Clapp (of early Everyday Food fame!), who advised me to “add in anything I think might work” but asked me to keep with a monochromatic cookie tag idea. They sent over a big box of cutters and she asked me to pull a few of my favorites that I thought would relate.
I always enjoy sifting through my cutters- it’s very inspiring since they are pretty much all blank canvases! After pulling a few cutters from my Christmas bins, I kept the monochromatic idea in mind while looking through my other cutter bins (arranged alphabetically) and there it was… the dove cutter. As much as I have always loved it, I hadn’t used it in a while. For weddings it seems to have been fallen by the wayside and replaced by more “fabulous” cutters like the heart wedding cake or my brides and grooms but I looked at it and pictured it exactly as I ended up icing it- simple and sweet. The red heart was a monochromatic rule breaker but I could not help myself. Almost all of my cookies “have heart”…
I boxed up my final cookies and sent them off with a messenger. When I arrived on set the day of the cookie shoot, the dove cookie had already been shot. Apparently it had come together very simply and quickly and was shot with another gift package option. When I saw the photo it just made me so happy. The photo Stephen Lewis took is not only beautiful, but somehow he managed to capture the true spirit of the Holidays with this simple bird cookie… a message of love and peace that so often gets clouded in the hustle and bustle of the Holidays.
The following day we worked on a beautiful but much more involved “cookie pattern” cover that we all loved. In the end, neither shot made the cover but I was so honored my peace and love dove was chosen to kick off the Gift Guide on the inside of the magazine- a gift guide, might I add, that my Sweet Dani B expert icing kit is in! Because icing decorative cookies with my bottle kit and royal icing recipe makes the process Real Simple in fact!
Special thanks to Brian Madigan for taking note of my icing kit and suggesting it to the gift editors, to Jeffrey Miller for his fabulous styling and to Janet Froelich for her amazing creativity! I loved working with you all!
Peace & Love! Xo Dani