Joyeux Noel

A long time ago, when I worked in downtown Chicago, my favorite lunchtime haunt was a magazine newsstand that offered the biggest assortment of magazines I had ever seen, including many foreign titles. I came across a French craft magazine that instantly became my favorite–it was called 100 Idees. Miss an issue? Quelle horreur! I have kept all the copies, and periodically I riffle through them to absorb their particularly French take on crafts, especially enjoying the Christmas issues. I would like to share some images from these Christmas issues, because they are fun and inspirational, and even if you don’t speak or read French (I read it with a French dictionary at hand), I hope you will enjoy these pictures and perhaps be inspired to have a Christmas a la Francais.

Earthenware baking molds from the French province of Alsaace-Lorraine.

The idea to take away here is how pretty the pale blue gloves look when embroidered with angora yarn. Angora is beautiful but very expensive–this would make a little go a long way.

An assortment of French Christmas cookies, called sables. Sables are like shortbread/sugar cookies, and have a sandy texture. There are many different kinds of sables. A recipe to try can be found at  Joy of Baking.com.

Another assortment of Christmas cookies, also sables. A roll-out ginger or spice cookie recipe could also be used to the same effect.

An idea to take away: bake giant hearts and string them on red ribbon, to hang in windows.

Candy apples are an old-fashioned treat that would be fun to make for Christmas.

Gingerbread cookies are frosted, and then paper santas and angels are pressed on while the frosting is still moist.

Giant meringues, anyone? And the lace-trimmed windows and sills are lovely.

A row of candles light a walkway.

Mice slippers!

Adieu, 100 Idees.

100 Idees went on to become marie claire idees, and is available at Barnes and Noble bookstores.

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