Vintage Bathing Beauties - a tribute to my mom

Posted by Anne Yorks on Monday, July 1, 2019

Last summer, Melanie at Killer Zebras invited me to participate in her annual calendar project that benefits a charity - A New Dawn. She let us pick our month and I was so grateful July was available. 

July is special to me because July 1st is my mom's birthday. I lost her on Christmas Day in 2017. We were so close (next door neighbors to be exact) and so this all has been hard for me. Here I am with my brother and sister and our mom at a wedding.

My mom would be 68 today. I know it is cliche, but I miss her every day. Thankfully she has left me with a lifetime of amazing memories. She was my original baking buddy. I loved spending time with her in the kitchen at christmas time. My mom was a single mom who worked two jobs and so that time was really precious to both of us.

Our family loves to tell funny Nana stories. Like the time she couldn't see her cheese in the movie theater. Or all the times she sat on her reading glasses and broke them. The time we were playing mini golf and I hit her in the head with a golf ball. We still call Panda Express (you know the fast food restaurant), Panda Chicken because she could never remember the name. I love to remember our sledding adventures on the back hill. The legendary porch parties with friends in Kempton. And our many many trips to the beach and all the fun memories, including our family dance parties at the Windrift, in Avalon, NJ.

My mom was smart. She should have tried out for Jeopardy. She was loving, so-stinkin-hilarious, and such a good listener. I think miss that the most. She loved my brother, sister, and I uniquely and equally. 

Every year on her birthday I would make her special cookies. She was my biggest support as I started my cookie business and I loved to make her feel extra special on her birthday. I share some of my favorite projects I made for her below (if you're interested). 

So for the calendar project, I was so excited to make cookies in honor of my mom. I'm not sure I've had more fun decorating cookies than I did when I created these vintage bathing beauties.

These cookies were based on figurines my mom and I used to admire in a shop in Stone Harbor, NJ. I wish I could remember the name of the shop! Here is the inspiration for this project - a photo taken of their front window display ...

I created a sketch of the cookies and cut the cookies out by hand.

And then I had a blast decorating the bathing suits and beach balls with fun colors and patterns. (I definitely broke my 5 color icing rule!)

This calendar is available on the Killer Zebras website. I know it is half way through the year, but it's a pretty cool collection of cookie ideas. Plus, 100% of the proceeds goes to A New Dawn. Click Here to buy the calendar.


And, as promised, here are a few of my favorite projects I made for my mom.

July 2017

July 2016

July 2015

July 2014

July 2013

July 2012

And her reaction to the mini tea set was priceless...

I made her vintage bathing beauties once before ... July 2011!

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into the inspiration of my calendar page ... and the walk down memory lane! 

Happy Decorating!



  • Nancy Paine

    Jul 04, 2020

    Hi Anne, these are so cute! I love everything about them, and that cherries swimsuit! 🍒❤️👙 I lost my brother just before Christmas 2017, and a dear friend earlier that same month. ❤️🙏 So sorry about your mom! You definitely celebrated her well. Such beautiful cookies and lovely memories.

  • Joan Vogel

    Jul 04, 2020

    How well I know those vintage bathing beauty figures from that Stone Harbor gift shop (and those Windrift dance parties ¨̮ ). What an incredible job you did of recreating them into cookie form!! A beautiful tribute to your Mom. Thank goodness you got July!! Much love your way.

  • Joy

    Mar 06, 2020

    What a beautiful tribute to your mom. I lost my mom 20 years ago. She never saw her grandkids grow up to be wonderful women. She never saw one of her granddaughters become a mom of two adorable boys. She was also a baker and always baked my sister and my birthday cakes. I immigrated to the US 33 years ago so I never had more time spent with her. Oh, how I wish I could have baked her birthday cakes now. <3

  • Sarah Judd

    Feb 25, 2020

    I stumbled on this when I was looking up how to decorate grad caps. Love your website and your work. I lost my mom October 23, 2018, very suddenly. She would have been 68 the day after your mother’s 68th birthday – July 2nd. I miss her dearly and relate so much to your sweet post. I look forward to reading more as you share. Thank you so much for posting.

  • Ursula Thompson

    Nov 24, 2019

    Fun,sweet memories.
    I am sorry you lost your mom.

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