“I Made This” Monday: Embossing & Salads

In just 75 days, the Camp Canadensis Arts & Crafts Complex will be alive and buzzing with camper creativity, but Cara and I just couldn’t wait, so we did some crafting during lunch in the winter office today.  Cara taught me how to do her new obsession…embossing!  It’s a way of taking paper crafting to a whole new level, and you can easily make some professional looking stuff with a few supplies.

1.  A Watermark Stamp Pad (the black pad above)

2.  A Heat Gun (the pink item above)

3.  Embossing powder in the color of your choice

4.  Assorted rubber stamps

5.  Card stock paper is preffered, but you can use any paper you have on hand!

Embossing paper through this method allows you to take a stamp image you like, and by applying heat, you can actually raise it off the paper and have a 3D look.  Many cards, stationery and invitations use this technique.  Here’s what you have to do…

1.  Push the stamp into the watermark pad, and then press it onto your paper in the location you want to emboss.

2.  When you remove the stamp, you will have a wet mark.  Generously cover the area with embossing powder, and then shake it off onto scrap paper so you can collect what is unused (this is a similar process to using glitter).

3.  With the help of a parent, use the heat gun and watch as the embossing power melts together and rises off the page.  It’s like magic, and very addicting!My friend Caroline loves stationery, so I made my first project for her.  You can see that some of the letters I stamped up top were a bit messy, but using the clear embossing powder made them rise off the page.  I think the flowers at the bottom came out great, but I’m most proud of the gold flower I embossed at the bottom left!Once the envelope was sealed, I did one more embossing over the flap.  It’s a bouquet of flowers embossed with white powder.  This was such a fun activity, we will definitely be teaching it during camp…possibly at an iCan Night when our Senior Campers get to choose their evening activity.

In addition to crafting with Cara, I’ve also been doing some urban gardening.  I live in the city of Philadelphia, and I have a front yard that is about the size of a car, but in the past few weeks I’ve been loading it up with plants!  I have never gardened or taken care of plant before, but this has become a new passion of mine over the last few months (mostly because of this amazing garden store called Terrain at Styers that is owned by Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters).   I’ve got a big project I’m going to share with you next week, but right now I wanted to show you some of the veggies I’ve been growing…I’ve been growing two different kinds of lettuce…mesclun and buttercrunch.  I planted them as tiny seedlings a few weeks ago, and they have already grown into the huge plants you see above!  These lettuces are considered “pick and come again” which means I can pluck off enough leaves for a salad, and in a few weeks the plant will grow back again.So, all I have to do it take my bowl outside, and for the buttercrunch, I pluck the outer leaves off.  For the mesclun, I just chop all but the bottom two inches down.  Everything needs to be washed really well, but it’s worth it!  This salad is so fresh and delicious, it’s totally different than when you pick it up at a grocery store!The first time I served it, I added shaved onions, parmesan cheese and cannelloni beans.  It was so good that Dave and I almost finished the whole thing before I remembered to take a photo!  I snapped the picture above just before our final bites.   I’ve named my crops “Levi Lettuce” and I’m looking forward to a lot more salads from the yard before I head up to camp in May!Although I didn’t grow the salad you see above, it was my contribution to the amazing Seder Dave’s family put together this weekend.  As you can see, it was large enough to feed the whole group, and it was a combination of tomatoes, asparagus, avocado, red onions, quinoa and feta cheese.  If you are looking for a good Kosher for Passover recipe, I recommend whipping up this filling salad!  Hope everyone who observes Passover is having a great holiday!