Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy President's Day

My history-loving friend Anne of Flourbox Bakery had the ambitious goal of pulling together cookiers to make a complete cookie catalogue of the presidents of the United States!  I think this is the largest collaboration yet and purple mountain majesty! look at those cookies down there!  Isn't that amazing?!  It is a veritable quilt of cookie artistry and patriotism.  I love seeing all the different styles and incredible skills these women have.  I'm proud to be an American and I'm proud to be among these amazing cookiers!

All of the presidents were chosen randomly and I was given our 6th president:  President John Quincy Adams.  Not one of the most recognizable presidents, I only had a vague idea of what he looked like, so when his surly, Ebenezer Scroogish visage came up on a search my first thought was to go with what I was comfortable with and paint his scowl onto a cookie.  But my favorite thing about a collaboration is learning something new and trying out a new technique.  I'm usually drawn to realism so I decided to get a little uncomfortable and venture into the world of caricature.  

I stumbled across this brilliant artist Dan Barrett and his blog called Drawn to Distraction.  He did a series of graphic illustrations of the presidents and when I saw his John Quincy Adams, I hoped hoped HOPED I could translate the look onto a cookie canvas.  

I had so much fun with the dimension and the subtle shading of his face.  It wasn't until I got to pipe on those eyebrows at last, that I realized he looks just like Count Olaf from Lemony Snicket!  Well, I became very fond of John Q. during my cookying of him and learned quite a bit about him.  After reading about his life I think of him more like a grumpy looking grandpa, or the reformed Ebenezer.

I won't give you a history lesson and there will be no quiz at the end, but I will give you some interesting facts about him:

  • He was the eldest son of the former President John Adams.
  • He was one of America's greatest diplomats {in his pre-presidential years} formulating, among other things, what became the Monroe Doctrine}.
  • He was anti-slavery and continued his fight against slavery in his post-presidential years.
  • He was fluent in French, Dutch, and German.
  • He was a Harvard graduate.
  • Like his father he was aloof, stubborn, and independent in his convictions.
  • He was the first president to be photographed.
  • He proposed many ideas that were ahead of his time {a network of canals, public land conservation, astronomical observatories, the establishment of a uniform system of weights and measures}.
  • He was one of 3 presidents who chose not to attend their successor's inauguration.  His father and Andrew Jackson were the others.
  • He believed the Constitution should be used to protect Native Americans and opposed Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act.
  • He was arguing on the floor of the House of Representatives when he suddenly collapsed, suffering a massive cerebral hemorrhage.
  • He died two days later.  His last words: "This is the last of earth.  I am content."

I know I said I wouldn't give a history lesson and I kind of did.  From what I've learned it seems he was a man lead by his conscience, and while that didn't make him a popular president, it did make him a great one that worked diligently before, during, and after his presidency to move America in the right direction.  

I can't wait to see and read up on all the other presidents today.  I hope you are joining me on this presidential journey and will follow along and visit all these amazing cookie artists and their cookie interpretations of our Heads of State.  Thank you Anne, for inspiring such beautiful work and patriotism! 

1) George Washington by Sarah of Sweet Surrender Cookie Co.
2)  John Adams  by Nicole of Life’s a Batch
3)  Thomas Jefferson by Sarah of Songbird Sweets
4)  James Madison by  Georganne of LilaLoa
5)  James Monroe by Anne of Flour Box Bakery  
6)  John Quincy Adams by Liz of Arty McGoo,
7. Andrew Jackson by Tiffany of TheRedCooky 
8) Martin Van Buren by Jill of Jill FCS – Funky Cookie Studio
9)  William Henry Harrison by Christina of Sweet C’s Bake Shop
10)  John Tyler by Kim of The Cookie Puzzle
11) James Polk  by Debbie of D&T Designs
12) Zachery Taylor by Stephanie of Ellies Bites
13) Millard Fillmore by Melissa of Simply Sweets by Honeybee
14) Franklin Pierce by Kris of So Cute Cookies
15)  James Buchanan by Lene of Not Your Everyday Cookie
16) Abraham Lincoln by Debbie of Sweet Creations by Debbie
17) Andrew Johnson by Liz of CookiesToGo 
18) Ulysses S. Grant  by Rebekah of Love at First Bite
 19) Rutherford B. Hayes  by Heather of Twins Plus One Goodies
20) James A. Garfield by Teresa of Sugar T's Cookies
21)  Chester Arthur by Alyse of B.E. Sweet Treats
22) Grover Cleveland  by Kimberly of Barefoot N Baking
23)  Benjamin Harrison by Laurie of Cookie Bliss
24) Grover Cleveland  by Kimberly of Barefoot N Baking
25)  William McKinley by Susan of Sweet Williams Cookies
26)  Theodore Roosevelt by Heather of SugarNosh Treats
27) William Howard Taft by Sarah of Sarah’s Sweet Shoppe 
28)  Woodrow Wilson by Cheryl of The Sugared Apron
29)  Warren G. Harding  by Shannon of Artfully Delicious Cookies 
30) Calvin Coolidge by Stephanie of Ice My Biscuit
31)   Herbert Hover by Fumie of A+Kake sweets
32) Franklin D. Roosevelt by Christine of Chris’ Creative Confections
33)  Harry S Truman by Kim of Sugar Rush Custom Cookies
34)  Dwight Eisenhower  by Monica of Cookie Cowgirl
35)   John F. Kennedy by CeCe of The Tactical Bakery
36) Lyndon B. Johnson by Jennifer of One Kookie Cookie
37)  Richard Nixon by Jackie of iBakery
38)   Gerald Ford by Georgeanne of LilaLoa
39)  Jimmy Carter by Jennifer of One Kookie Cookie
40)  Ronald Reagan by Melissa of The Baked Equation
41) George Bush Sr. by Penny of Lucky Penny Cookies
42)  Bill Clinton by Laurie of Cookie Bliss
43)  George W. Bush by Sarah of Sarah’s Sweet Shoppe
44)  Barack Obama by Teresa of Sugar T's Cookies

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mixing it Up! Episode 2

When I first posted episode 1 of Mixing it Up! I envisioned a regular series of episodes where I would meet a great cookier and make cookies with them, get to know them, and travel the world!  As you can tell from my track record, this great dream hasn't happened... yet, but I'm happy to say episode 2 is now ready for your viewing enjoyment.

This episode is a little different because there is no cookie-making {GASP!} but my sister and I had a lot of fun making it and I hope you have fun watching it.  Even though it was made with Valentine's Day in mind, these treats would be appreciated any time of year... in fact I could go for one right now!
If you have not seen the past episode featuring the always adorable Cristin of Cristin's Cookies you can check it out here.

I hope you have a fantastic Valentine's Day and enjoy this Mixing it Up! episode.

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