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Christmas will never be the same!! Santa and his elves will no longer be able to produce gifts for children under 12 years old due to new toy legislation scheduled to go into effect February 2009.
Please read the following article and write your Congressman and Senators to help save Santa and his elves and all the (responsible) independent toy makers in the United States, Canada and Europe!

http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/

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Christmas Centerpiece Ideas

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I just started offering these two gingerbread snowflake ornament decorating kits on my Christmas etsy site, bzlittlechristmaself. Save 20% off your decorating kits total by putting the code ‘wordpress’ in the message to buyer at checkout.(discount will be refunded via your PayPal account, discount does not apply to shipping cost)

Large Gingerbread Snowflake Decorating Kit

Large Gingerbread Snowflake Decorating Kit

Small Gingerbread Snowflake Decorating Kit

Small Gingerbread Snowflake Decorating Kit

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^Okay if you remember, this was the inspiration^

Here are images of my elf ornament in progress.
[I’ll try to edit this with directions when I’m finished. Hopefully I’ll be able to make some patterns!]

What you need:

round wood bead [I used 25mm]

Flesh toned acrylic paint [I used Delta Ceramcoat¬† ‘santa’s flesh’]

paint brush

black art pen [for drawing face]

2 pieces of chenille pipe cleaner [beige or flesh tone would be best]

Your choice of felt colors [I used scraps of lime, red and green]

clear tacky glue

needle and thread [coordinate your thread with felt colors]

pom poms, jingle bells or other accoutrement

Gold cord for hanging



Here’s the finished elf, A little rough but I think he came out pretty cute! Still working on how to do patterns and directions!!

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I won’t do this too often,

but here are the newest additions to my etsy Christmas shop:bzlittlechristmaself

$1 of every puzzle wreath ornament sold will be donated to The Autism Research Institute.
[ARI was established in 1967. ARI is primarily devoted to conducting research, and to disseminating the results of research, on the triggers of autism and on methods of diagnosing and treating autism. They provide research-based information to parents and professionals around the world. ARI is the hub of a worldwide network of parents and professionals concerned with autism. The ARI data bank, the world’s largest, contains over 40,000 detailed case histories of autistic children from over 60 countries.]

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from COOKS.COM

2 1/2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. or 1 1/2 sticks butter
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
Sift flour and salt and set aside. Beat butter, sugar and egg at high speed for 3 minutes or until fluffy. Blend in vanilla. Stir in flour mixture to make a stiff dough. Wrap in wax paper and chill 3 hours or until firm enough to roll.

[icing recipe from Sugarcraft, also a great place to find cutters!!]
My Favorite Cookie Icing
The best part of it is that you can stack these cookies but the icing doesn’t get rock hard like royal icing would to suck all the moisture from the cookie. Royal icing ruins cookies. It sucks out all the moisture.

I made some big Gingerbread boys with this icing. They had to have a yellow hard hat with a logo on the tummy. I used frosting sheet to make 200 logos, stuck them on with this icing, spread yellow hard hat with knife, then put it in a bag to make the brim. I also put it in a bag to outline. These cookies (200) went to Port of Trinidad…2 got broken! That isn’t bad at all. They emailed me back that they loved them.

This icing is like that used on petite fours. It will crust so you can stack your cookies. But it won’t get rock hard like royal icing does. I find it easier and more fun to work with too. This icing (as opposed to royal icing) is very tasty!

Firm Cookie Frosting: Try this, its very easy and you’ll get raves!
Fondant Cookie Icing…For icing cookies (and for decorating):
(links go to the products needed)
10 parts Dry candy Fondant *
to
1 part water
Flavoring or this
Food Coloring

You can make it thicker by adding more dry c. fondant. Or thinner by adding more water. Color or flavor as desired. I usually just add a little almond flavoring or vanilla extract. No beating necessary. Just stir until no lumps remain. This can be as thin as color flow and still won’t run off the side of the cake.

I ice the cookies with this. You should have it thin, but not so thin that it readily runs off the  cookie.
For decorations, I put some icing in a dec. bag with a tip #2 for drawing lines and detail. Or you can paint icing on to decorate too, using a medium soft paint-brush.
This icing is like that used on petite fours. It will crust so you can stack your cookies. But it won’t get rock hard like royal icing does. I find it easier and more fun to work with too. This icing (as opposed to royal icing) is very tasty!

* Dry Candy Fondant, available via mail order HERE
Dry candy fondant is simply another sugar. It is not ‘granulated, not brown, but fondant. It will keep like any other sugar.

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