[EDITOR'S NOTE: My apologies for the delay in posting our usual Saturday recap, and the next challenge. (See the very end of this post for details about the timing of the latter.) I am traveling with a spotty internet connection, and will be doing so over the next few weeks, so it's tough to find computer time! Thanks especially to @Bakerloo Station for overlooking my tardiness! ]
Vintage art and items have always been popular, and for good reason. Objects, whether truly vintage or merely vintage in style, tend to evoke deep and fond feelings about the past. Who doesn't look at a little dress from the 70s and think, "Gee, that's just like the dress I insisted on wearing every day of second grade?!" Or, see a vintage porcelain tea set and recall afternoons spent having tea and cookies with grandma and a table full of well-dressed teddy bears? The entries for this challenge stirred up exactly the same warm and fuzzy feelings for me, and I hope you all felt the same!
Before we get to our lovely vintage spotlighted entries, let's talk about the incredible prize that one lucky challenge entrant (chosen at random from among all of the entrants) has won! Generously donated by Cookie Connection founder @Julia M. Usher, the prize for our Silver Anniversary Challenge #25 is the soon-to-be-released "Julia" airbrush, designed with Badger Air-brush Company specifically for cookie and cake decorating, and companion compressor (not pictured here).
And the winner of this unbelievably awesome prize is . . . @Biljana Kovacevic! Congratulations, Biljana! As someone who doesn't even own an airbrush, I have to say I am pretty darn jelly!
Biljana's challenge entry was also a favorite of our judges . . .
Vintage Lady Hair Care by Biljana KovacevicThe finely piped details and realistic aged metallic sheen really stand out in this entry. One judge even said this set bore an uncanny resemblance to her own grandmother's hair accessories set, which she used to play princess with when she was a little girl!
Let us turn now to the rest of our spotlighted artists, presented in no particular order.
Vintage Shelf by E. Kiszowara MOJE PIERNIKI
This entry has it all. It has multiple vintage subjects: enamelware, portraits, and clocks. This set also has perfectly executed vintage style: the distressing of the enamelware, the antiquing of the golden picture frames, the sepia-colored portraits, and even the photo staging lend a vintage air. Additionally, we were incredibly impressed by the handpainted portraits. The amount of work that went into this entry is staggering, and it shows!
Tiffany by sweets decoration Tink
I hardly know where to begin with this entry! Every cookie is an individual work of art. The theme, Breakfast at Tiffany's, is iconically vintage. Our judges were just blown away by the 3-D Tiffany-style stained glass lamp, which we swear would light if you pulled the cord! The bronze base of the lamp is incredibly realistic, and I would love to know exactly how @sweets decoration Tink achieved that color and texture. Finally, can we talk about that handpainted portrait of Audrey Hepburn?! Holy cow! At first, I thought it was a printed image. When I realized it wasn't, my jaw literally hit the floor. What talent!
Japanese Vintage Hair Accessories by Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.One of the reasons this set looks so truly vintage is that Ryoko did her homework. She literally interviewed elderly people and asked them about the things they had used more than 50 years ago. (You can also see the results of Ryoko's research in her other fabulous challenge entry, Vintage Toys in Japan.) Her detailed research shines through in this set, lending an incredible feel of authenticity. Additionally, I think the execution here is flawless. The piped floral details of the red wooden kanzashi are impressive, and the "tortoise shell" kanzashi with the cranes is so realistic that I thought it might not be a cookie at first, but a real kanzashi used as a photo prop.
Vintage Girls' Dresses by La Shay by Ferda OzcanThis set of cookies could easily have been inspired by a set of vintage Butterick dress patterns from the 50s and 60s. Because the styles of these dresses are so obviously vintage, no other antiquing techniques (such as using brown dusts around the edges) are even needed. Additionally, I have to say that that deep red velvet dress with the stippling technique is just fabulous.
Vintage Alice in Wonderland Cookies by Tammy Trahan New Orleans Cookie Company
I love the layers upon layers of vintage deliciousness in this set by Tammy Trahan. All of those layers - the sepia stamping and backgrounds, the transfers, and the handpainted fondant characters - really give depth and personality to these cookies. The antique gold picture frames also tie the whole vintage look together. This is just a really well-crafted set of cookies any Alice fan would die for!
Embroidery by micaling @ PEACH PIT
I know I have mentioned this before, but my mom is a massively talented sewer, and so I always have a soft spot for sewing-themed cookies. This set is not an exception. I really, really like how @micali @ Dress Sweets antiqued all of the backgrounds of these cookies, some flooded with royal icing and some left bare. My favorite cookie of this set is that embroidery hoop - with the textured netting background and very realistic stitching - although that pin cushion, with its perfect ruffles, is a close second!
Vintage Halloween Greetings by Kim DamonWith her paper-and-ink style and judicious use of orange, Kim perfectly captures the curious vibe of vintage Halloween art in this entry. You could spend a long time debating "creepy-cool" with this one, but no one could deny that this entry is brilliant!
Goodbye My Love by Love Cookies
I have said it before, and I will say it again: I adore this vintage theme! What a touching scene it represents, and how appropriate for Veterans Day! The portrait is wonderful, with the perfect clothing, hair, and mustache for the time period. The quill, with all of the shading and rich emerald green tones, is really striking and provides a marvelous contrast to the muted neutral tones of the rest of the set. The fact that there is a 3-D cookie thrown in there is just icing on the cake!
Vintage Thanksgiving and Autumn Set by Sweethart Baking ExperimentDoes this set not scream the 1960s?! The colors - browns and muted warm tones - are iconic. And the speckling effect is literally "spot-on!" In fact, the speckled brown, oranges, and yellows remind me of 60s and 70s formica. The patterns and colors of the rooster really complete the theme. I would love to have a retro tea cosy with that rooster design on it!
1950s Clothing by EconladyThe "judges" all like this set for a couple of reasons. First, the style of the clothing - the long white gloves and three-quarter-length dresses are so vintage 1950s - and, on top of that, @Econlady did a brilliant job of antiquing the colors and creating aged fabric creases with her brown petal dusts. I also give bonus points if she actually hand-cut those gloves, as it appears she may have!
And with that, we bring our Silver Anniversary Practice Bake Perfect Challenge Celebration to a close! Thank you to everyone who entered this challenge, or participated by providing the myriad of supportive comments to these entries. Stay tuned for our next challenge, which will be slightly delayed due to Julia's travel schedule and the Thanksgiving holiday. It will post during the first week of December.
Christine Donnelly began her professional baking career at 16, when she was hired on the spot at her local bakery to work the counter and decorate cakes. After detours to college and law school, she worked as a trial lawyer in Chicago for many years, ultimately leaving that career to become a stay-at-home mother to her two children. In her “retirement,” she continued to bake at home, at last finding her preferred artistic medium in decorated cookies. In February 2013, Bakerloo Station was born with a presence on both Facebook and Instagram. Christine makes cookies to balance her left brain, to inspire and share creative ideas, and to feed those needs that only art can satisfy.
Photo credit: Christine Donnelly
Note: Practice Bakes Perfect is a bimonthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Christine Donnelly that poses inspiration or challenges to get you to stretch as a cookie artist - for practice, for prizes, and for fun! Its content expresses the views of the author and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. Catch up on all of Christine's past Cookie Connection posts here.