Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chocolate Cake with Ch. Buttercream Frosting

This was my first attempt at cake and frosting in the kitchen aide.  I just made the cake in a regular 9x13" pan but then I cut it in half and layered it.  Frosted it all over with chocolate buttercream frosting.  I made two attempts at fondant, neither of which turned out.  However the first batch of fondant did what it was supposed to it was just too crumbly to roll and therefore I couldn't get it on the cake.  The second batch of fondant I used a candy thermometer that Hubz bought me.  I got it just right according to my lovely directions and after fifteen minutes of mixing it didn't do a thing.  I ended up scraping both batches and we just ate the cake as is.  The following are the pictures of the dramatic process.

Cake: ready for the oven
Cake after it was baked.

Buttercream frosting. YUM.

 Cake layered and frosted and ready for fondant.
 Mixing fondant attempt 1.
 After it mixes for a bit it turns white then gets hard like dough.
 Eventually you can knead it into a dough and roll it.  This batch might have worked but I couldn't roll it out and therefore couldn't drape it over the cake. 
This pic features my lovely Hubz helping knead the fondant.
 Fondant attempt two.  Note the use of a candy thermometer this time. 
Although I followed the directions perfectly... this attempt was worse than the first.  I was so discouraged I didn't even finish taking any more pictures.
Next time I will use a different fondant recipe and again hope for the best.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Haven't really painted anything since I was in high school.  Whew... almost ten years! Yikes!

My hubz and I go yard sale-ing almost every weekend just for something fun to do.  One weekend as we pulled up we saw a nice art set with paints, oil pastels, pencils etc. in a wooden carrying case.  The Hubz went out to negotiate a deal for me and it wasn't even necessary.  He scooped the whole thing up for $2.  He was thrilled when he came back to the car and told me how much he got it for, exclaiming, "the case alone is worth more than that."

I went to Michael's looking for a few brushes and a cute little canvas for my first painting.  Then I got to work.  This was the finished product and it isn't awesome, but it isn't terrible!! Just a fun little something to brighten up my kitchen.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Homemade Bread

A few days ago I decided to make some homemade bread with the help of my new birthday kitchen aide, another one of my "FAVORITE THINGS".  I made two loaves and they were good but a little yeasty and doughy.  Next time I will try letting them rise right in the pan since they are quick rise.  I think after punching them down and transfering them the dough became too dense. 
We ate them with my favorite homemade chicken chilli.  Because it is stew like it was a perfect fit for our dense bread!  I will leave my chicken chilli recipe down below.

Chicken Chilli:

One Red Pepper chopped
One Orange Pepper chopped
One can of Yellow Whole Kernel Corn
Two-Three Chicken Breasts cooked and cubed
two cans rinsed and drained great northern beans
one can rinsed and drained pinto beans
one can campbells cream of chicken (or chicken broth for lighter soupier taste)
one can water (in empty cream of chicken can)
one McCormick white chilli seasoning packet.

after chopping peppers and cooking and chopping chicken, throw all this stuff in a crock pot and let loose on low for the day or high for a few hours.

Eat with homemade BREAD!!!! YUM!!!  MY FAVORITE THINGS!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

More Graduation Cards

I made these cards before I got my ("FAVORITE THINGS") embosser so they are not quite as fancy as my black and orange graduation cards. 
They still feature the "Leave a Legacy" stamp found in the dollar bin at Michael's and also some colorful dollar bin ribbon from Target.  It is amazing what you can do with a few bucks, some cute materials and a little creative juice. 
Don't ask me what I was thinking with the dragonfly cards.  Not sure what was going on in my mind with that but they looked different in my minds eye.  Let's just say I won't be mass producing any of those.  The others I like because they are not in the traditional school color cards that most people send.  Sorry about the blurry pictures... didn't have a chance to retake them.  Enjoy.  Ps. Mom you can purchase some of these as well!!!

Graduation Cards

  I made a few graduation cards.  My little brother is graduating from High School this year and his school colors are black and orange.  Not the most wonderful color pallet to work with but I made a few simple but elegant cards with it none-the-less.  I got the "Leave a Legacy" stamp in the DOLLAR bin at Michael's and the embosser is my new  FAVORITE THING (in Oprah voice)!  The raffia I happened to have lying around from some package I received a while back.  Hopefully my mom will read this blog and want to purchase a few cards from me for all the VHS kids she knows!!!  ;) hint hint.

Enjoy my newest creations.

Yard Sales

Hubz and I have been doing a little thrifting the last few weeks.  Here are some of the spectacular items that we got at different yard sales.

This table we got for $15.  It looks lovely in our formal living room.
 I went to Costco yesterday and decided to get some flowers to go on our new table.
 Too bad I don't have a vase!!!!

This globe was one of our most recent buys.  It was also our most expensive item so far at $30.  The lady would not budge on the price.  But it is a really nice showcase piece and it is also in our formal living room.  It has a light inside and has three different settings.
 The lighthouse picture was $3.  Had to get it.
 This was a brand new picture frame still in the box with the original $80 price tag on it.  We scooped this deal for $8.
 Baby seat for when Matty gets big enough to eat in a seat.  $2
We have many more items that I haven't photographed yet. I will share more later.
Now that it is getting to be that season in other snowier parts of the world I hope that your thrifting is as successful as ours was.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I listed quite a few new things on my etsy site.  I have been sitting on some photo cards for a while that I didn't post yet.  So I got down to business and did that last night.  I also posted a few 8x10 photos that are matted.  I am quite pleased with how everything turned out.  Now if only I could get my FIRST SALE!!!!

I know people want my products but I haven't made an etsy sale yet.  Is it something about my displays?  My price points?  My descriptions? 
If you visit my shop and have some advice for me leave a comment so I know how to improve.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Family visits and Baptisms

Haven't blogged in a while.  Been busy with family visits and my baby's baptism.  First my auntie Mary came out to visit.  She was sick so we didn't do a whole lot but we got to play a few hands of cards.  She got to visit with my baby boy and we did make it to the local zoo one of the days.  It was a wonderful visit.

A few days after she left my husband's family came in for our son's baptism.  A day later our friend from TX flew in and my husband's brother.  We made a lot of trips to the airport and managed to get everyone just fine.

The next day was the baptism.  It went well and it was short and sweet.  There was a wedding scheduled right afterward so they had to move the 9 children being baptized through rather quickly.  We went alphabetically so our son was first! 

We had a nice party at our house afterward with lots of food from Costco and family and friends.
Matthew was fantastic for the whole thing and was a very happy baby.  Now he is a cute Christian.

bought some new supplies so hopefully I will get back in the crafting spirit soon.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Find one of my photos featured in this lovely Etsy Treasury!  HOORAY!

Remember to look for NBradleyStationary

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love with Words Only

This card is about as simple as it gets but I like it.  I love the wedding vow stamp that is the background and the simple yellow and blue rectangles really make the sentiment pop.  This is perfect for a man who doesn't like a lot of fluff.  Just get to the point and give him a card that says it all. 
This card is entered in a challenge HERE

If you like this card it is part of a set that can be found in my etsy shop HERE

Old Hand Dyed Paper

This card uses some old hand dyed paper that I made when I was probably 12.  Yes I have had it for over ten years!  It was time to bust it out and use it.
I am quite pleased with the results.  This card is entered in a challenge HERE

If you like this card it is part of a set that is for sale on etsy and can be found HERE

Thursday, February 10, 2011


This is a challenge based on a photo of some flowers.  I was in the mood for spring anyway.  Although it is always summer in southern Arizona!  Can't wait until the cacti are in bloom!  Until then here is a pretty flowery card.  This card in entered in a challenge HERE.

What is cool about this card is the orange and pink paper is hand dyed by me.  WAAHOO... I have been hanging on to that paper for years not wanting to use my only piece.  It was time! 


If you like this card it is included in a set of Spring type flowery cards for sale in my etsy shop HERE

Valentines Challenge

Yay... St. Valentine's Day is coming up.  Not many people know that there are many many St. Valentines but the original for which the day was so named was sent to Rome to renounce his faith and when he refused he was beaten and beheaded (on the 14th of course)  Yikes!  He is known as the patron saint of happy marriages and young people not because of anything special but because people were worshiping an idol who was celebrated on the 15th of February.  So to get peoples mind away from that, early church fathers sent out propaganda about St. Valentine so people would stop thinking about these idols.  Interesting.  Now on to happier matters.  CARDS!!!

This I made as an anniversary card but is a nice Valentine's Day card as well.  Not in the typical red and pink which I like.  This card is made with a stampin' up stamp and watercolored to perfection!  Just kidding!  This card is entered in THIS CHALLENGE!

Also if you like this card... it is included in a set that is for sale in my etsy shop HERE

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Happy First Birthday

FINALLY I am back to crafting and stamping.
My wonderful husband has spent the afternoon holding our 7 week old while watching football so that I can craft.  This is what I came up with!

This card is entered in five challenges this week.

Craft your passion - Ribbon
Totally Paper Crafts - Happy BDay
Creative Cottage - Something New
Stamp Challenges - Stamp Something
City Crafter - Sketch Challenge


Monday, January 3, 2011

Family Visits

My in-laws were here for a week in mid December.  They helped us get a lot done around the house.  Drew's Dad helped him build all sorts of things and he insisted on getting Drew tools and whatnot.  They spent a lot of time at Home Depot and Lowes over the break.  His mom and I hung out at the house mostly and hung out with Matty.  We made cookies did laundry and other boring things.  But it was a fun trip.  We did go to the zoo with them and that was a very nice outing on Christmas Eve.  We were supposed to go to Christmas day dinner at his uncle's house with his parents.  They however left early that morning for fear of a major snow storm that was supposed to hit NC right as their original flight was landing.  This way they were able to get home before the snow and ride it out there.  We didn't get to see them on Christmas though or say goodbye which was sad.  Christmas day Drew and I still went to his aunt and uncle's house.  It was low key but nice.

My parents and brother were in last week and got to spend a lot of time with us.  They got to see a lot of the baby and we even made a trip to IKEA to get some furniture that we needed/wanted for the house.  It is too bad though that the weather wasn't nicer because it would have been nice to do a few more things out of the house. 

Drew went back to work today.  He had a long inservice and didn't arrive home until after 7pm.  Now he is still doing work that he didn't do over break.  Needless to say it has been a long day for both of us.  Now that I am getting back into a routine and the families are gone maybe I'll get to stamp a bit.  That is if I have any energy left after taking care of this baby.  He is awake all the time!  Whew....

Need some inspiration for my future cards and need some people to buy something of mine on etsy.  THat way I can justify making more.

That's all for now.  Keep reading.