Hi, How'dy, How are ya?

Welcome to "The Country Schoolmarm"! Get yourself a cup of coffee (I take mine strong with vanilla creamer), grab a seat, and chat a while! Isn't that what country friends do? Now, all we need is a porch...

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Day 5 of Ravenwood Whimzies "12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop"... Party in the House!!!

Wait, wait... If you came in through the back door, you'll need to go stop over at Wendy's first. She has some words to get you on your way, and you don't want to miss the other blogs' wonderful posts. They are full of fun crafts and goodies to make and eat. Thank you, Wendy, for organizing and hosting this blog hop! 

If you came in from Wendy's, well, make yourself at home. I am going to show you a fun and easy craft and share a favorite recipe from my childhood. 

Sitting by my "fire" with a basket of scraps. Good times!

My craft is a yo-yo tree. Yo-yo's are about as basic as you can get in stitching and are very forgiving. I have taught my fifth graders how to make these trees many times. Nothing says fun than trying to teach 15 some 11 year olds how to use a needle and thread.  It really is a good introduction to a very basic stitch- the running stitch. If you choose to do this with younger children, a dowel rod and spool make great bases for this tree. A little bit more substantial to handle. It is a craft that needs supervision, but it is a good lesson in crafting. You can use multiple fabrics, scraps, anything! I think next time I might make these out of old feedsack material


For my tree, I used the following:

1 fat quarter in a green material
1 cut piece of branch with a drilled hole in the top (I got a bag of them at a home decor shop. Already cut. Already had a hole!)
A little container for my tree
Button and craft thread
A little tree topper (mine is a rusty safety pin and red bead)
There is some fluff in the picture in case you wanted to puff up each yo-yo a bit. 

Now, I am going to show you an "orderly way" of doing this for those rule followers out there. In real life, I would not measure or trace anything. I'd just cut. Shhhh. Don't tell. I think there is beauty in imperfections. Either that or I am lazy. It's a toss up. I hate to measure!

Measure your container first. Then, decide how much overhang you want out from the sides. My pot is 2 inches wide. I want an inch of overhang on each side. So, I'd need a yo-yo that is 4 inches wide. To get the right amount of cloth, double the size that you want for the yo-yo. I want a 4 inch yo-yo, so I need an 8 inch circle. I am not into templates. So, I found an 8-inch plate and traced it. I need to make just one. This will be my bottom "limbs". I am going to make 7 yo-yo's total. Odd numbers are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. 

 Yup! That plate works! I continued to find household items to use as templates. I used a marker to trace. I used button and craft thread to make a running stitch along the edge of the circle. When I came full circle, I pulled the string like a little draw-string purse. I did this with all of the yo-yos. 

Here is my first yo-yo...

I continued to measure, double, trace, cut, running stitch, and pull. 

Now that you have them. It's time for gluing and stacking. I used a glue gun because I have no tolerance for waiting. I glued the skewer to the stick. I snipped a little hole on the non-gathered sides of the yo-yos and fed the skewer through the yo-yos. 

I snipped the end of the skewer and hot glued my tippy top piece. Then, I glued the trunk to the inside of the container with lots of hot glue. I wrapped a little burlap inside the container for interest. I finish it with some fun baker's twine!

There you go! Simple and easy to make!

Now!!! Good eats!
I have fond memories of these! They were so thin and buttery, the melted in your mouth. I also would always scramble for a particular shape. The angel, think!

My Grandmom's Sugar Cookies
(Sand tarts)
Makes 5 dozen


1-1/2 cups sifted 10x sugar
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
2-1/2 cups flour (my grandmom specified "sifted". Yeah. I don't do that. My sifters are purely decorative. )
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar


Mix sugar and butter. Add egg and flavorings. Mix thoroughly. Sift (There it is again!) dry ingredients together. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir until mixed evenly. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. 

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Divide dough in half and roll out on lightly floured surface to 3/16 of an inch thick. Roll very thin for crisp cookies. Cut with cookie cutters. Cut as many cookies from each rolling as possible (rerolling makes the dough get tougher). Sprinkle with sugar. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 7-8 minutes or until delicately golden. 

I am not sure why my grandmom referred to them as sand tarts except with the golden brown and lots of sugar, they do look like a sandy beach. I like to use "Sugar in the Raw" because it gives more texture and crunch. 

Thank you for stopping by! Make sure to keep visiting Wendy's page for more crafts and good eats from other wonderful bloggers!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Day 2 of Ravenwood Whimzies's 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop

If you haven't already, make sure you head over to Wendy's blog for your second stop on the Blog Hop. Get to know Vicky of Paintspots & Splinters! See what fun things in store for us!



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just some snippets...

Blessing and hugs, friends!


P. S. Don't forget Ravenwood Whimzies "12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop"! Starts December 1st!!!


Friday, November 20, 2015

Ravenwood Whimzies Blog Hop! Let the hopping begin!!!

Hi, Dear Friends!!!!

December 1st starts Wendy from Ravenwood Whimzies Christmas Blog Hop . I have been absent from Blogger for a bit. Starting this new path of creating dolls and, well, being a real schoolmarm, takes a good portion of my brainpower. ;) So, I am excited to get started again. Prime the pump so to speak. 

On December 5th, I will be hosting the blog hop party here! Stop by for a craft tutorial and a favorite recipe from my childhood! Make sure to stop by Wendy's site for more information on some other "Hopping Places"!!!

Blessings and Hugs, Friends!
See you soon!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ravenwood Whimzies Christmas in July Pinkeep Swap


 I have had the absolute pleasure of previously participating in Wendy's Ravenwood Whimzies Blog pinkeep swaps.  I have gotten to know many talented ladies and  received such special and treasured pinkeeps (remember, I am a pinkeepaholic!). It has also been a growing experience for me in creating! I have enjoyed every swap. 

The theme of this swap was "Christmas in July". My swap partner was Danice of Homespun Hannah's Blog.   If you look a few posts back, you will see I was the recipient of one of her giveaways. You can see from those pictures what a gifted artisan Danice is. Her work reflects her sweetness as an artisan and person. 

When I opened my package, and saw my pinkeep, I just wanted to hug it. That would be bad, well, because of the pins. But, she is absolutely adorable.  And, there were some other goodies as well!

First, the pinkeep. I love mice. Yes, I admit it. I like rodents. Elves, on the other hand, well, elves creep me out. Sorry, elf on a shelf lovers. Ooh! But I do love the movie, Elf! Okay, okay. Back on track. My pinkeep is perfect and reflects such thoughtfulness. The mouse is so dear and sweet and holds a strawberry, another theme in pinkeeps I love. If you look closely, you can see all of the unique pins she put in, even an apple for the teacher! I just love all of the added details. She is so well made! Just perfectly dear!

Inside of the box were needles, thread, and a thimble- all things I desperately need and use! As I opened the other packages, I found a pair of small scissors! I was so excited! I only have big scissors! These were perfect for working on my dolls! The other goodies were a beautiful mat and cross-stitched reindeer! I can't wait to put them out for Christmas! 

My pinkeep may have Christmas spirit, but it will be out and cherished all year long. Thank you, Danice for such a thoughtful and special pinkeep and your sweetness and generosity in your other gifts as well! Your package means so much to me. As do you! Your faithfulness in visiting and commenting on my blog is appreciated as well!

Please check out Danice's blog, Homespun Hannah's! You can see the other things her talented hands make!

Blessings and love to all!
The Marm

Friday, June 19, 2015

Giveaway at The Rusty Thimble

I have had the privilege of being the recipient of goodies from her giveaways. I also am so happy to own her wonderful work in my home. She is having a giveaway on her blog! But hurry! It ends June 22nd. 

Also, check out the pictures of the flooding in her state of Oklahoma! My sister lives there as well. Wow. Just wow. Brenda's pictures of Lake Texoma are beautiful and frightening as to the power of water! We frequently undervalue it and underestimate it- until it is missing or there is an extreme overabundance of it. One of the most important, but also potent things in God's creation.  He uses water and references it a lot in His Word. I think there is good reason!

Thank you, Brenda, for again being so kind and generous in your giveaway!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Whistle is a Hangin' in the Closet...

So, how have ya'll been? I have been terrible with blogging! With school, my brain seems to be empty of things to say. Oh, funny stuff happens at school, don't get me wrong. Hilarious stuff! But somewhere between, "That's hilarious!" and a drive home, the thing that comes next is a nap. Kindergarten students have the life. They won't realize it until they hit 40. It all becomes clear then.

At this point in the summer, my split personalities part ways. Mrs. Wise, fifth grade teacher, goes into the closet like Superman with his tights and cape. Not that I am Superman. But, there are many that are glad that my super sonic whistle is hung up and quiet for a few months. When I take my whistle off, I really do feel like this persona, Mrs. Wise, goes away. I am Heather. Just plain Heather. Nice. 

But, switching gears is hard. I don't know what the date is. It is not written on the board. I don't know what day of the week it is because it is not marked by what specials are on which day. The day passes in odd speeds. Fast. Slow. I drove my husband a little nuts this week. He was on vacation, you see.  After we would do something, I would ask, "What are we doing next?" He wondered why I kept asking that. I realized that the passage of my day is marked by subjects. First, Bible. NEXT is Spelling. Then, snack. Next... Next... Put kids on busses and in cars and stop. Maybe I should map out my day like a schedule. First, Cleaning. Next, Laundry.  Then, Snack (very important). Next? Baahahha... Yeah. No. I think I will not be doing THAT schedule. Except snack. We'll keep that. And, nap time. Wait, aren't you a fifth grade teacher? Hey! 

My persona in the summer is a little different. Now, I am "The Country Schoolmarm". Yup. That's me. Oh, what does she do? Um, I am doing it right now. Sitting on a couch and writing about nothing in particular. Sweet. I am making dolls now. And, an occasional pinkeep. I love pinkeeps. I have been blessed by the opportunity to be mentored by Barb Moore of "The Primitive Oswald" and author of Purely Primitive Dolls. 

This journey has been such a huge dewdrop of mercy. Not really a dewdrop. More like one of those big, huge fat raindrops that come down during a summer thunderstorm. It has been a blessing to be challenged to move beyond pinkeeps to creating extreme primitive dolls. I never thought I could do that. Ever. If it weren't for God using Marie (Dear Old Lady Morgan ) to push me into the pool and Barb's book to give me guidance, I wouldn't be on this path. It is an opportunity to create AND write. I am truly blessed to have this opportunity. But, very importantly, God used each and every one of you. Those who read my blog, commented on it, encouraged me, prayed with me, gave your friendship freely... Your part has been such a blessing in my life. I am overwhelmed by these many blessings. 

So, if you want to see what you have been a part of, you can come visit me, The Country Schoolmarm, on my Facebook page. You can see the dolls I am working on, and the stories I have written...all by the grace of God. 

Thank you, dear friends, for your friendship and encouragement! God bless, lots of love, and huge hugs to you! 

The Marm (Mrs. Wise, Heather, Skeeter, Pinkeepaholic, but not "Late to Dinner"...)