I just figured it out.
Great job of resolving your own problem.
I am assuming that you went through the following to bypass the Premiere Elements 12/12.1 Welcome Screen -
Found the Adobe Premiere Elements.exe file and made a computer desktop shortcut to it. Please also see Add On note.
In Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 64 bit, the path to the Adobe Premiere Elements.exe would be
Local Disc C
Adobe Premiere Elements 12.0
and in the Adobe Premiere Elements 12.0 Folder is the Adobe Premiere Elements.exe
You then right clicked that file and select Send To, followed by Desktop (Create Shortcut).
I post that information for those who find your thread when looking for the solution of what you found.
Add On...Also see settings icon on Welcome Screen for alternative.