Monday, October 8, 2012

Chocolate Chip Ricotta Cheesecake

Last week, ricotta cheese was on sale with extra money off for gas. It was a pretty good deal, so hubby picked some up. We also had a couple boxes of lasagna noodles in the cabinet, so it was good timing to make a lasagna. However, the ricotta was a larger container than what I needed to make the lasagna, and I wanted to make sure that the extra wouldn't go to waste. So I suggested that hubby look up a recipe for cheesecake or something so we could use it up before it went bad.

He found nothing. Not to be deterred, ingenuous man that he is, he created a masterpiece recipe.

Doesn't it just look delicious?

So here's your recipe:

Chocolate Chip Ricotta Cheesecake

16 oz. ricotta cheese
1/4 cup plain yogurt (vanilla would work, too)
4 eggs
2/3 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 prepared chocolate pie crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat ricotta, yogurt, eggs, and sugar. Add vanilla. You can mix in chocolate chips now or save to sprinkle on top.
Pour mixture into the prepared shell. Do not overfill the shell -- it rises slightly when baking.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Let pie cool, then refrigerate to set; the pie will become creamy and dense. Serve cold.


Friday, October 5, 2012


This, my friends, is my first batch of homemade yogurt!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Beautiful Model

This is, by far, the best way to display a headband!

I love it when people send me pictures. =)

Saturday, September 29, 2012


They're always so sweet when they are sleeping! Since he's still sleeping this morning, I declare this an 'awww' moment of motherhood. Forgive my veering off crafts for this.

I just came across this picture looking for a Christmas doily that I wanted to post.

...never did find a picture of that doily. I'm afraid that I gave it as a gift before remembering to take a picture. =(  So you just get this wrong-time-of-year photo instead.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lavender Butterfly

I loved this one so much, I almost had a little trouble parting with it when I sold it! In fact, I've considered buying another packet to make myself my own set to create a combo with a dress that I'd someday like to alter/adapt so it might actually look OK on me... hmmm, lots of qualifiers, so maybe it's not worth it yet. We'll see. It's not like there aren't 372 other projects that should get done first anyway.

Size 6/0 Seed Beads. Peaceful colors or something, but I just love it. Is the green a bizarre addition?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Purple, Pink, and Pearl

...with a touch of gold, but that doesn't start with 'P.'

"Never underestimate the power of alliteration, my friend."

10 points if you can identify that line.

And now I'm off track, before even really getting on track! I blame it on a lack of sleep.

Size 6/0 Seed Beads purchased in individual tubes. Try as I might, I couldn't get the picture to translate the real colors. But that is definitely a purple and not brown. I guess you'll have to trust me that it's prettier in real life (if you can trust me to have an unbiased opinion!).

Monday, September 17, 2012

Packer Headbands for Toddlers

My dear sister-in-law asked me to make some Packer headbands for my little niece's birthday coming up. They are far from Wisconsin, so they love to show their Packer pride whenever they can.

Once again, I was so excited to see what she thought of them that I forgot to take pictures first. Good thing she snapped one for me before she shared some with friends and family!

They sure are fun to make for little girls, even if they don't actually last long on the head... ;-)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mickey Coasters

When I found a pattern for Mickey Mouse coasters, I knew they'd make a perfect gift. The circles flew together quickly, but then my putziness caused the ears to be floating separately from the heads for far too long.

They're finally done!!!!

...and we don't have a camera in the house. Isn't that the way it goes? ;-) So this is the best we get for now.

Yeah! What a relief to cross that project off the list. Do you ever have those projects that only take 20 minutes to finish but weigh on your mind for days or weeks nagging at you to be completed?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Turquoise and Pearl Bead Crochet Necklace

These Size 10/0 beads were purchased in a tube. Usually, that's plenty to get a necklace and a bracelet, but for some reason, the turquoise just didn't have enough. So it became a longer necklace!

I've also started adding bead caps to the ends of my necklaces and bracelets. I love the finishing touch (even though I broke one of my great-grandmother's crochet hooks doing it a few days ago...).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Northern Lights Necklace and Bracelet

This Bead Crochet Necklace was a bit of an experiment. I've found many color packets of beads that I really like, but I know it just wouldn't make sense to separate out the colors of the Size 10/0 beads. So I thought I'd try to do something different with this one. I kept 2 rows of silver and one row of black together, and then randomly strung the aqua-variety beads.

I mostly like how it turned out. Next time, I wouldn't keep the black ones in the 'random' threading. It seems a bit too 'chicken pox' for me. I'd like to see how it would turn out with softer colors sometime, too.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ugly Blanket -Bright Colors

Ugly Blanket #2 is complete...and the ideas for #3 are already churning. =)

It's perfect for a twin bed. The 2 variegated colors are VERY fuzzy. Super soft and cozy. The edging is done in a thinner yarn with a picot edging to finish it off.

This was an interesting pattern to do. Even though it was intended to be ugly in using up scraps of yarn, I actually had to be quite picky about what I could use because it had to be enough yarn to complete at least 2 rows in the pattern. The next one won't follow such a strict design. I'm writing a new pattern for the next one that will probably be wide again and warmer colors. But who knows what yarns I'll have available partway through it? It may just evolve in colors as I go.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blue and Brown Baby Blanket

This is a baby blanket that I finished in the spring for some friends of ours. Baby boy was born in June, so he probably hasn't needed it yet!

It's done in I Love This Yarn, sport weight, so it's quite light and flimsy.

It's hard to tell the pattern with the variegated yarn in there, but that's probably why it suggested a variegated and solid color choice. The panels alternate in 3dc shells for 5 rows and 3 V-stitch rows with solid dc rows in between.

Isn't it funny to see how the variegated yarn creates patterns when you look at the finished product in a picture?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Coconut Oil

I know that coconut oil is extremely good for you, and it's very good for your skin.

...but perhaps not so good when splattering directly out of a hot skillet.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Bib Necklace

There are tons of projects on my list that are completed or in-process that are just waiting to be posted!

Here's my most current 'in-process' project.

I was asked to make a bib necklace, and since I'm not 100% certain what she'd like, I'm trying several varieties and patterns until one pops out as perfectly adaptable to how I want to create it.

This went much faster than I expected. It's an unknown yarn/thread that was given to me. I used a Size F hook, and it was finished (minus assembly, clearly...) in one afternoon. Love it! I found the pattern here.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rummage Sale Baby Blankets

Last Saturday, a friend invited me to go along with her to a church hosting a children's items rummage sale. My boys had been out late for a baseball game the night before and were still resting, so it was a good time to pop out for a bit.

Just before we were done, we wandered over to a table that held a lot of bedding items. I noticed some handmade blankets, and it initially made me very sad that someone had taken the time to create these blankets only to have them end up in a rummage sale. I wanted to buy them just to appreciate the workmanship! Then I realized that if they weren't kept for one reason or another, I could at least frog them and reuse the yarn in my Ugly Blanket or something.

So I bought them.

I still feel a little guilty about how cheap they were and that my whole intention was not to use them but to take them apart!

Oh, what to do?!?!

This one is a crocheted blanket that got a little wonky in sizing. The yarn seems to be in pretty good shape with only a spot or two that seems fuzzy.

Also a crocheted blanket, this one is the smallest. It's made from a very bulky yarn, so it may not work into my Ugly Blanket very well. Maybe it will be used for something else. This was actually in a bag that held 2 handmade blankets and one store-bought blanket, so I figured it was still worth it.

This last one is a knit blanket. Clearly a lot of time and work went into this one. Especially since I don't knit and admire those that do, this one is the one that is screaming at me most for having the audacity to take it apart. But I really love the color! Once i got it home and took a closer look, I realized that it is two strands worked together. A warm and cozy blanket for sure!

Have you ever done this before? Have you found good quality yarn? What would you do?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bright Ugly Blanket

I've started a new Ugly Blanket, and here's my progress so far:

That reminds me, I never posted a final picture of my completed Original Ugly Blanket! I'll have to snap one soon.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that fuzzy row (and another one coming) will be the highlight of this one. =)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Blue and Silver Bead Crochet Set

It's been a while since I've posted any of my Bead Crochet work, but I've been doing a lot of it lately!

Here's a necklace and bracelet set that is done with Size 10/0 Seed Beads, Blue and Silver.

I was happy with the finished product, though I've not had opportunity to wear it yet! I have a couple great summer shirts that should match. Maybe I'll get to wear it soon.

Remember to check out my tutorial if you're interested in doing this yourself.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A giggle for today

Our son just came running to me laughing about something (which isn't unusual...). He was saying, "Yes!! I found it JUST like this!"

Searching through his Lego box, what should he find?

...a baby wearing a helicopter pilot's helmet, of course!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Asparagus and Tomatoes

We're big fans of asparagus around our house. When I came across this recipe for Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes over at Newly Wife, I knew hubby would really want to try it.

We were all set to make it today, and then we remembered we were out of Feta Cheese. Rather than running out to the grocery store (again...), we substituted some freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.

The results were delicious! A hit for everyone.

Oops! It was so good, I forgot to take a picture until after we already dove into it. The mark of a good recipe, I'd say.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Little Quackers Pattern

I recently tested this pattern for Lazy Daisy Crochet. It's Quackers the Baby Duck, and he's a smaller sized cuddle blanket.

Look how cute he is!

I keep thinking he needs some little smile lines around his beak to make him even cuter. But I hate to mess with a good thing!

Her pattern is for sale here. Go check out her blog --she has some amazing giveaways pretty regularly! She's currently celebrating her followers with a great giveaway package.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


While we were growing up, my mom would make us crocheted slippers. They were always so warm and cozy! I couldn't remember the pattern for sure, so I decided to try a different style for myself.

It was a quick and simple project and didn't take much more than an afternoon, but somehow I forgot how I did certain steps between slipper one and slipper two. Ha!

Small amounts of leftover yarn were perfect for the pattern. Add your own flower or embellishment, and voila!

Also, taking pictures of your own feet is harder than I thought it would be...

Sort of a funny choice of color combination, but winter in Wisconsin declares that all is fair for the sake of warmth!

(Anyone else have memories of 'ice skating' in your slippers on the kitchen floor with your siblings?)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Peeps and Kewpees

Today our family went to see this special Peeps exhibit at the Art Museum because Rachel had a submission. It was so much fun! While most of the displays used actual (unnaturally fluorescent) marshmallow bunny and chick Peeps, I loved that Rachel's wasn't going to decompose anytime soon. (I voted for you, Rachel!!)

Photo stolen from Rachel's blog - Pretty in Peep
After that, we walked around downtown a little bit, then stopped for lunch at Kewpee's. The boys had burgers and their homemade root beer, and I had some chili. Yum! While we were eating, I noticed a few dolls in their wall of Kewpee Dolls had little crocheted outfits on them. I didn't figure that hubby would be willing to take a picture for me, so I just asked the family sitting there if I could take a picture over their heads. They were very sweet and understanding.

Little bright ruffly dress!

On the first shelf are some little crocheted pilgrim outfits, and on the second shelf there are some smaller ruffly dresses!

After that, I realized that there was another section that had a Mrs. Claus and a cute orange dress on another doll, but I'd already used up my bravery of interrupting other peoples' lunches, so I'll have to save those for another (less busy) day. =)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Carrot Egg Cozy

I put together a quick little project on Friday, and it was so fun!

The idea was presented by Megan of Crochet Every Day. When I saw the pattern for the little carrot, I knew right away I had some orange yarn that was calling me to make this project.

Here's the result!
There's a little plastic egg inside of it. Can't you just imagine a basket full of these little guys? Adorable.

She has some other patterns for egg cozies, too. If I'm feeling like I have a few extra minutes, I might try the chicken next...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Supper Art

Hubby is an excellent cook, and he's also very good at artistically arranging a meal for a nice presentation.

Now, our son tries to do the same. He asked me to take a picture of tonight's supper.

Looks like it needs a bit of green vegetable, but we won't discourage the budding artist. =)

Just in case you wondered, we had grilled salmon and homemade dill sauce with oven-baked sweet potato fries. Delicious!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Big Batch of Neckwarmers

Here's another batch of cozy neckwarmers (since it's moving toward getting a little cooler again).

Oh, this purple is gorgeous. It's Yarn Bee Princess in Tapestry. The photo doesn't do justice to the beautiful crystal-cut purple buttons. I really loved this one.

This copper color is a discontinued Lion Brand Lion Suede in Canyon with gold buttons.

This is Red Heart Shimmer. I like the subtle sparkle to it. 
This is also Red Heart Shimmer, but it is crocheted with two strands and held closed with the gorgeous pin.

Yarn Bee Infatuation. Seriously fuzzy and soft yarn.
The buttons are sort of pearl-like with a silver/pewter edging.

This is also Lion Brand Lion Suede. Very beautiful color, and so so so soft. Since I didn't have much left, I opted for a decorative edge that could be flipped around to be on the top (shown) or along the bottom edge.
Here's a slightly larger view of the decorative edge.

And finally, Yarn Bee Boucle Traditions. Simple and cozy.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Packers Football Orders

These Headbands and Neckwarmers were ordered quite a while ago. I'm finally posting them because I'm a slacker.

I started with this one in a Shadowbox Pattern I created:
Hubby pointed out (in all his Packer wisdom) that adding a little white would keep it from looking too Retro-Packer. He's so brilliant!
It definitely brightened it up.

So I kept that up for the Headband/Earwarmers, too.

I wasn't really sure about that football. I probably wouldn't do it again, but she seemed to like it.

It definitely appears that spring is coming, so maybe the Headband and Neckwarmer making will slow down a bit so I can post all I've been making. ;-)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Green Smoothie

We've been enjoying our smoothies lately for a good quick breakfast. We recently got a huge container of spinach, and since we all really like it I figured I'd throw some into the smoothies.

He had lots of fun watching the blender turn green, though he had some reservations about whether or not it would taste good. It was a success!

Our Green Smoothie Recipe
1 1/2 C chocolate milk
1 T peanut butter
1 large handful spinach
1 frozen banana
3-4 ice cubes

Throw it in the blender until well blended. Enjoy!

When I make a batch for all three of us, I adapt it a little:
3 C milk (chocolate, coconut, plain, or any combination)
3 T peanut butter or almond butter
2-3 frozen bananas
2-3 handfuls of spinach
5-6 ice cubes

Do you have favorite smoothie ingredients?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Giveaway winners

You think I forgot about my Bead Crochet Giveaway, but I promise you that I haven't.

After much deliberation, in the spirit of the Acts of Kindness Giveaway, everyone wins!

So Joanne, Julie, Kat, Vikki, and Nicolette, send me an email (or reply to my comment on your blog) letting me know your first couple choices from the pictures posted, and I will do my best to make sure everyone gets one of their top choices. If you're not certain, you can always choose a headband or other item from our PF Creations ArtFire Shop.

Also, send me your address so that I can send you your prize! Thanks for entering!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Snow Fun

We awoke to this:

Notice that dear man with the snowblower? He cleared off pretty much the whole block! Gotta love kind neighbours.

Therefore, this:

Yep, it's taller than the kiddo! Such fun!
**Just in case you're interested in my obviously brilliant plan (which translates to 'necessity is the mother of invention' or 'desperate times call for desperate measures'), that snowman mouth was drawn on with lipstick.