Stampin’ Up Cards

29 05 2008

I went to my second Stampin’ Up card making class a couple of weeks ago, and I was very pleased with the results. I never used stamps before, but now that I have a few techniques under my belt, I’m excited to make more cards and use more stamps in my scrapbooking and such. All designs and materials courtesy of Judy Gierlach.

This was a cute card, but slightly time consuming to make. Each panel was stamped off once for the background, and all of the black line details were hand-drawn. The ladybugs’ wings were cut out by hand, so that took a bit of time. The real pain was attaching the red half-circles with ribbon to the top, but I think the end result is cute. The card folds up accordion-style with the green panel in front.

The only issue I see with this card is I am not sure where to write a message. I suppose you could write on the panels, or on the black paper in a metallic pen.

I ended up giving this to my friend for her birthday, and it turned out to be a birthday card and an engagement card at the same time. (The boy got her a good present, huh?) We first stamped the image on the white cardstock, then colored the flower in by hand. The edges of the white paper were inked with green and blurred a bit. The white was put on green, then yellow cardstock, then onto the card itself, which was stamped with a design in the same color. I liked how the colors were combined in this one.

This is a card in a slightly different shape – the green is a single sheet and the blue is a long, rectangular shape that is attached in the back and free in the front. When you open the card, both the blue cardstock and the yellow picture open. The image was stamped on white, then colored in by hand. The yellow ribbon was tied on the blue cardstock, then the yellow piece with the image attached was glued down. I thought the hedgehog was too adorable to pass up.

This was a neat 3-D card. I loved the polka dots. The ladybug was made out of three pieces punched out in a scallop shape. The wrong side of the punches were attached to each other and the card itself. The line details were hand-drawn.

This is one of my favorite cards, using a cracked glass technique. We first stamped the image on a white piece of cardstock, then heat embossed the image several times. (I think the final count was 5.) While we assembled the rest of the card, which was stamped with a background image on both the green and purple parts, we put the embossed cardstock in the freezer for about 20 minutes. After taking the cardstock out, we bent it gently at different angles until the hardened embossing cracked. We then took a brown ink pad and swiped it over the cracked embossing, then wiped it off to give it an antique look. You can put the ink on and wipe it off several times to get the desired effect.

I am definitely going to use these techniques for the next time I need to give out cards!


Seared Tuna with Avocado

7 05 2008

Last week, the weather was pretty nice in Rochester, which is a reason to celebrate.  I did this by walking around my neighborhood and stopped by the seafood market there.  I love fresh seafood and fish, and the Pittsford Seafood Market is great.  They are within walking distance from my house, so I save on gas, and their seafood and fish are very reasonably priced, so I save money as well.  I bought a couple of nice tuna steaks for dinner, then picked up some fresh vegetables to make a delicious, summery and colorful meal.

  • sushi grade tuna steaks (you will be leaving the middle bright pink)
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 avocado, cut into slices
  • 1/2 c cilantro
  • 1 serrano pepper, minced
  • 1/2 bunch rappi (you may see this as rapini or broccoli rabe)
  • 2 heads baby bok choi
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 5 Tbsp soy sauce, divided into 2 and 3 Tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce, divided in half
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  1. In a skillet, heat the olive oil.  Cook the shallots and the minced ginger until the shallots become translucent.  Add enough rappi to fill the skillet, allow to cook down, then add remaining rappi, if any.  Add the bok choi and cook until softened.  Add 2 Tbsp of soy sauce and 1 Tbsp oyster sauce and mix while vegetables cook.  Keep warm on low heat until ready to serve.
  2. Pour the sesame seeds into a shallow bowl or dish.  Cover all sides of the tuna steaks with the seeds.  While you do this, heat a frying pan over high heat.  When the tuna is coated, place large, flat side down on pan and cook until fish changes color about 1/3 the way up.  Flip the tuna over and cook the same.  Remove from heat and cover with aluminum foil to set.
  3. While the tuna sits, make the sauce.  Mix the remaning soy sauce, oyster sauce, ground ginger and pepper in a bowl. 
  4. Arrange the food to be served.  Put down a layer of the cooked rappi and bok choi, then arrange alternating slices of the avocado and the tuna.  Rip off a handful of washed cilantro and put that in the center of the tuna and avocado, and mix in the minced serrano pepper.  Drizzle a couple Tbsp of the sauce over the food and reserve the rest for dipping.

I really liked the combination of the avocado and the seared tuna, but it doesn’t take too much to convince me on seared tuna.  I thought that the slightly bitter rappi and bok choi really complimented the tuna.  The cilantro salad also adds a degree of freshness and a bit of heat from the peppers.

I served this with unfiltered sake, which is very sweet.  I would change this the next time, for something not as intense.  The boyfriend came up with the clever idea of putting the sauce in the shot glass and nestling that in the cilantro salad.  It made for a nice presentation.