My Mom’s Cheeseball Recipe


I can't decide if it was more fun eating the above or listening to my mom explain how she made it so I could tell you lovely readers.  My mom doesn't measure so much.  We all know this and that is why she gets assigned food at family gatherings.  There is no questions, because you already know ahead of time that she makes a mean cheeseball, loaded veggie tray, or beautiful salad.  She also comes up with super fun group craft projects.  Those are your options and we love her for it.

So last Friday, I hosted a birthday party for my friend.  It was a lovely night!  The next day, I was nibbling on leftover chili and cheeseball and thought, I need to take a picture of this cheeseball for the blog.  You see, if you were to turn that cheeseball around you would see half of it is gone. Ravaged, really.  I now know why these are only made for celebrations because I would eat the whole dang thing myself.  I found a similar recipe here  or you can read on to see tidbits from the phone call to my mom, Jean.

*adding my mom's comments in ( )

  • 1 pkg cream cheese (I don't use generic for this–I get the real Philly kind.  Of course it's a lot easier if it's softened.  I just set the cream cheese out and worked on gluing some magnets for Kid-O-Rama (a big kids creative event happening the next day that she helps with).)
  • 8 oz finely shredded cheese (The mixed one, cheddar and..she or I can't remember.  The finely shredded cheese is the nuts!  We used to have to shred it by hand.)
  • minced onion (But I had some left over green onions from the salad you made the other night at our house so I used those. That's what made it really good.)
  • 2 tbsp milk (But, I didn't have any milk, so I used a little water.)
  • Worcestershire sauce (I'm not sure how much—a few shakes.)
  • Chopped pecans

Put the milk and minced onion in a bowl and let it sit until onion is softened.  Add cream cheese, cheese and Worcestershire sauce and mix.  Put mixture on a bed of saran wrap and form into a ball.  Sprinkle with nuts. Refridgerate.

Me at the end, "That's it?!?"  She says, "wellll, you can add some chopped ham if you want.  Sometimes I do that."  I guess I don't get out much when it comes to making cheeseballs.

That's me and my mom with our spiced cider.  We love spiced cider.

Wishing you a Happy Tailgating and Party Season!!

Labor Day Weekend Fun

I remember as a kid that Labor Day was kind of the "last hoorah" of summer.  We always spent it at the lake.  I'm just throwing this little idea out to you kids of all ages— if you have an extra $10 in your pocket, pick up a *bubble machine and some bubbles for this weekend.  Make it a surprise for your kids, your college roommates or even your spouse that you've been married to for 40 years.  Everyone likes bubbles.  

In other news, I'm up to my ears in instruction writing and shooting how-to photos for my new book.  Things are moving right along and I can't wait to show it to you!!  Yay!


*I got the bubble machine at Walmart ($6.28)

Vintage button necklace…

This is what you get after watching a night of royal wedding coverage.  I'm serious!  It all happened so subconsciously.  A pretty vintage button, a few crystals, some nostalgia and blingo!  And besides, anything to use a vintage button for jewelry, right?  To make this I used a large Katiedid component, Beadalon gunmetal chain, button with round shank on back, Swarovski crystals, 3mm coral beads, and a Vintaj Arte metal leaf charm. Also, I sanded the Katiedid and put a coat of liver of sulphur on it….to antique it a bit, you know?

The button with a round shank on the back made it so I could string it just like a bead with the same head pin it's hanging from.  Use a touch of tubing on both sides of the shank to center it—no adhesive required (jic you want to use your button for something else later on).  Ok?

I've always loved vintage.  If I was going to prom, I would wear this little gem.  Or the Royal Wedding for that matter.  Hey, a girl can dream!

Tortilla Soup and Day of the Dead Crafting

DSCF7862 I love cooking for my friends.  The weekend went so fast, but I couldn't have ended it better.  Eating and crafting with my best pal.  Last night I tried a new recipe which was risky, but I took a chance.  Tortilla Soup.  AMAZING!

DSCF7863 Can I just say fried tortilla strips are my new favorite thing?  They are the perfect crispiness!  The only thing I added to the soup was a can of corn.   It went together really easy and I liked that it was a hearty, but somewhat "light" soup.  Good for Spring.

DSCF7864I got the "Survivor" place-mats at Meijer.  You love the way they set the avocado off, don't you?

DSCF7871 Within seconds of finishing eating, the table looked like this.  Kaboom.  Craft explosion.  I was so inspired by my trip to the Pilsen district in Chicago last Sunday.  I have been on a mission to make some Day of the Dead art.  By the way, the link above is the guide I used when visiting West Pilsen and it was really, really helpful.  The area is full of interesting things and so fun!  I went to bakeries, botanical shops, cathedrals, taquerias, a pinata store and the National Museum of Mexican Art (which was really incredible).  They also have great vintage clothing stores!DSCF7865 We ended up making bright crosses embellished with flat back crystals, old jewelry torn apart with my trusty Beadalon ergo pliers.

DSCF7868 And sequins.  Gotta have sequins.  The crosses are from Hobby Lobby.  We also used Folk Art paints and Extreme Glitter along with Mod Podge to adhere the flat-back crystals and paper embellishments.  Mmmmmmm.

DSCF7866 A little nod to Rocker….love of my life.  Thank you Crafty Chica for the chihuahua card!

DSCF7870 My friend loves baseball.  After she glued it down she said, "watch this thing be worth hundreds in a few years if only left untouched."  We giggled. "Cest la vie," I say!

DSCF7867 She went home and back to reality I went working away on some upcoming projects.  I'm so thankful for my friends.

It's been a fulllll day today.  Before I close, thank you Lark Books for a neat little interview and thank you everyone who has a copy of Metalworking 101 for Beaders.  I'm off to help some students with metalworking tonight as a matter of fact.  It's pouring rain.  I think I'll sneak a bowl of leftover soup before I head out.  Viva la Vida!

Sunday to Monday


Last night my friend Mikey gave me a tip that an open jam session was going down at the local coffee shop, Modocs.  It was a blast and great to see so many warm, smiling faces.


Mikey.  I've known him since 8th grade! (he was singing a Jack Johnson song)  If you are looking for someone to play some background music at your next party—this is your man!


Then this morning I woke up so excited because over the weekend I got stuff to make baked oatmeal.  The snow was (and still is) trickling down quickly and I sat in my kitchen booth seat by the window happy as a clam with a heaping bowl of it drizzled in half and half (I don't mess around).  

If you like baked oatmeal cookies fresh out of the oven, then you're going to love this…LOVE IT!  I PROMISE!!

Baked Oatmeal:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the dry ingredients together.  Mix wet ingredients together.  Combine both, then add the fruit.

  • 3 C. quick cooking oatmeal (i do half quick and half old fashion)
  • 1 C. packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 C. low-fat milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 C. butter melted
  • 1 peeled and chopped tart apple
  • 1/3 C. peaches chopped (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/3 C. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 handful of dried fruit (dried cranberries or anything really, even some sliced almonds)

Place in a greased, 8" square dish and bake 35-40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Grandma got me hooked on Mexican Vanilla and now I can never go back to imitation.  She sells it in her store and as my Aunt Jane says, "it really makes a difference."  It does.

*I got this recipe from the Taste of Home website and then tweaked it to suit my cravings.

Links and such…


Wooo, I love a man in beads!  What is it with me and these random mannequin pictures?!?  We made it to Hong Kong yesterday.  After our errands, we spent the day goofing off.  We shopped for clothes, went to the book store, and had time to spare before catching the 6 o’clock ferry so we headed for Hollywood Rd, an excellent little street that has fine art galleries and antiques.  I ended up with some great kitsch—mahjong tile bracelets, coins and old postcards for my Ch!na photo album cover.  It was such a fun day, I didn’t want to come home…except to see Rocker.

Here’s some faboo Linkoos from the bead bloggers.  Enjoy! Jewelry Making 
Learn to "make it yours" from this latest issue of Make It Mine magazine. You’ll find lots of crafty goodness including some fun jewelry articles, one even from our very own bead buddy, Candie Cooper!

Art Bead Scene 
Is it time to get organized? Art Bead Scene has storage ideas to help you get organized.
Jennifer Jangles Blog 
Jennifer shows two bright and fabulous projects featured in Simply Beads this month.
Jewelry & Beading 
Glass bead curtains?? Come and see Denise Perreault’s sun-catching masterpieces!
Katie’s Beading Blog 
Bead embroidery doesn’t have to be hard! Check out Katie’s embellished felt flower. It’s just right for spring!
Naughty Secretary Club 
Win a free copy of the spring issue of Make It Mine Magazine that includes painting projects by Jen’s younger sister Hope Perkins!
Savvy Crafter 
It’s a plane! No! It’ a Felty Bird just in time to hang out on your spring jacket.
Snap out of it , Jean! There’s beading to be done! 
I had such a good time with Naomi Fujimoto that I wanted to repost our story of our trip to NYC! 
The Impatient Blogger 
Ornament Thursday returns with the theme of Sprout. Madge dips into her new stash of vintage French postcards to make a charming little collaged pendant with metal mesh accents. Art is sprouting all over blogland with the wonderful creations of the OT Gang.

Hi-dee Ho Neighbors!


Sister Diane, my favorite podcaster in the whole universe gave me the You Make My Day Award.  It made my day, actually more than that.  Gee whiz, that was so nice.  And then on her Make It Mine review, she gave the wine charm project a shout out.  Thank you, Sister!  I’m passing the You Make My Day Award onto Melanie, Katie, Cynthia D, and Jennifer.  Thank you for being so nice.  P.S.  If you haven’t subscribed to Sister Diane’s podcast, "CraftyPod"—go now.  You don’t have to have an ipod (I used to think you did to listen to podcasts).  Check out her site for more "crafty goodness"….

I’m off to the international school to do "Career Day" and then later tonight the "College Fair". I can’t help it, I just keep thinking of Talladega Nights where the dad comes in for "career day" and says he’s a "volunteer fireman and an amateur tattoo artist. "  And "you don’t need to listen to your know it all teacher over here…."  I won’t finish, but if you know the movie, you know what I’m talking about.  Cracking up here.  Since when did I become old enough to talk to kids about a career in the arts?!?!?  Apparently there will be a panel of us. Lord help us.  I remember being that age thinking, "yes, I get to get out of class for this"….and that’s about it. Talk soon… Ornament Thursday is this week with a theme of SPROUT! 

++Edit:::If any of you read this post earlier I actually flaked out renamed this award somewhere in the middle of when I got it and typed the post.  How does it happen?!?!  I don’t know.