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