When I was ready to start the icing around the green part of the cookie, I discovered that I didn't have the right green in my stash in perle cotton, so decided to go ahead and use floss. That wouldn't do in stem stitch, so I used chain stitch instead - and it worked beautifully! It was also very easy to turn corners, whereas stem stitch wasn't.
After the usual trial and error part (learning experience) I found that six plies were perfect. This is just a fantasy, after all - not a real cookie.
The entertaining part of this, as with most of these little ornament shapes, is the trial and error part - what will work and what won't. I had originally thought to use #5 perle cotton, but the French knot blobs disappeared.
I switched to #3, and by trying out a few different "wraps" etc., I finally got what I wanted. Every little spot of icing is made with two wraps only - some tight, and some very loose, as the one with the arrow. One wrap wasn't enough, and three wraps made them stand out too far off the surface. Amazing!
Next - the "sprinkles." I started using beads with needlepoint almost 15 years ago, and as I had nobody to show me how, I worked it out myself - so it's an easy easy thing to do this way. The photo shows all that's required for this project - the little medicine bottle caps to hold them, the beads, the long, skinny beading needle, and a wire needle threader. You can see that one came from The NeedleWorks here in Austin - (mail order is quickly attended by these ladies).
These last a lot longer than the little metal one that comes with the beading needles. ( I order my needles through Bead Buddies - link on my side bar.) The other needle lying there is the chenille needle I use for surface embellishment - in this case, icing. When putting the beads onto the surface, I had to constantly remind myself that they would fall randomly when sprinkled over the surface, so I took care not to put them in any kind of order. I didn't have the green or the white ones in size 11, which would have been better, but did have the clear #250's in that size. I used the background color floss to apply them, and just dipped into whichever cap I wanted to for creating an effect of sugar sprinkles. These are all Sundance beads - three different ones.
This won't be difficult to finish - and, although it has bordered on being boring, I have already thought of others I might try, which involve pots of gold (PVV and Kreinik metallics) and bargello rainbows. As I have said, these small pieces are great for practicing and developing new skills and techniques, and stash threads can always be used.