Posted in Card Challenges, Cards, Paper Players Challenges

Always an Adventure for PP329

Denise Hoepfner | The Mountain Magpie

I live in Montana, so it’s no surprise that I love the mountains and nature. No matter the time of year here, people do their best to get out and enjoy our wildlands. Hiking, kayaking, skiing, sledding, camping – it’s all right out our front door. Of course, the flip side of recreation is conservation and working to keep our public lands accessible to all.

So, when I saw the Always an Adventure bundle from Stampin’ Up!, I knew it was a must-have for me. And when I saw Joanne’s Paper Players challenge, PP329, the diamond shapes reminded of – mountain ranges!


You’ll notice there isn’t a whole bunch of stamping on this card, just the tent (stamped in Cherry Cobbler and Dapper Denim) and the sentiment, which is from the Places You’ll Go stamp set (stamped in Early Espresso).

For the rest of the card, I used the following card stock:

It’s hard to capture the beauty of mountains — the alpenglow, the bluish-grayish whites of winter, their sheer majesty.

It’s a good thing this adorable stamp set and coordinating Framelits dies don’t even try. Instead, they give you a fun, almost cartoonish card that is sure to make anyone smile.

Thanks for stopping by!


Posted in Cards, Paper Players Challenges, Promotions

Quadruple dipping and PP 247

Denise Hoepfner |

In case you haven’t noticed (despite the 1 million stamping blogs out there), today is the first day you can order from the NEW Stampin’ Up! catalog!

Here it is, in all it’s glory:

Cue the Heavenly angels!
Cue the Heavenly angels!










It’s also the last day to order from the outgoing catalog and the 2015 Occasions catalog, too!

Goodbye, old friend!
Goodbye, old friends!

Don't forget to write!



And, there are new Weekly Deals!


I know; the excitement is almost too much! It’s like the perfect storm of stamping!

You can click on the magpie in the upper right corner of this blog TODAY to place an order from any of the catalogs, the Clearance Rack or the Weekly Deals! Tomorrow, last year’s catalogs ride off into the sunset to The Land of Retired Catalogs.

Now, in honor of the new catalog and the opportunity to quadruple dip, I created a card using some of the products now available to order for the latest Paper Players Challenge #247!

I’ve been itching to do a Tic-Tac-Toe Challenge, and this week Laurie provided the chance! Here’s the challenge:


I chose to go right across the middle with a birthday card that features embossing and a flower.

I love the Petal Potpourri set, and the crocheted flower is my favorite from the set, which returns in the new catalog. It’s beautiful when it’s just inked, but STUNNING when it’s embossed. The Whisper White embossing looks beautiful when backed with Tip Top Taupe, a new In-Color that is my favorite!

Also new, is the background paper, which is from the Cherry on Top Designer Series Paper Stack. Most of this paper stack is made up of bright colors, but this Tip Top Taupe offering sneaked in on the back of one of those.

The “Happy Birthday” sentiment is from a new (and super versatile!) Hostess Set called Happy Birthday, Everyone, a set that’s available for purchase to those who host a party/workshop or place an order of $150 or more. The inside of the card reads, “to an amazing woman.”

This card is earmarked for my sister-in-law, who really IS an amazing woman!

Other returning favorites are the Basic Pearl Jewels, the Flower Medallion Punch and the Scalloped Thinlits Die. (I can’t quit you, Scalloped Thinlits Die!)

Here’s to a new year of stamping and here’s what I used to make this card! (Click on product to order!)

Posted in Cards, Paper Players Challenges

A Tale of Two (Happy) Accidents for PP 246

Denise Hoepfner |

I love the Striped Scallop Thinlits Die. And when I say “love,” I mean, looooooove. You may have already guessed this, since I’ve used it for several projects posted on this blog: here, here and here.

When I saw the latest Paper Players Sketch Challenge, PP #246 from Anne Marie, I knew I wanted to use the Striped Scallop Thinlits Die for the center shape across the card.

This is the sketch:


I also knew I wanted to use my new favorite tool, the Color Coach (on the retiring list for $7.48!) to choose a color combination. I chose the color combination of Basic Black, Smoky Slate and Tempting Turquoise, mainly because I hadn’t yet used Smoky Slate.

First happy accident: I thought I would trim the Bermuda Bay scalloped diecut to three rows of scallops and use the inserts from the Smoky Slate to fill in the negative space. But I made a mistake in trimming the end pieces and cut my card base. I was too frustrated to start over, so I played with three rows of each diecut until I happened upon this arrangement. I liked it so much I can already see myself using it again. And,this is one of many other cool arrangements you can make by varying the rows, orientation and placement. If you have this die, try it! If you don’t, get it! 😀

Second happy accident: When I stamped my flower in Tempting Turquoise, I realized it didn’t match my scallop. That’s when I noticed I had mistakenly grabbed a piece of Bermuda Bay card stock to make my scallop. Bermuda Bay is another color I hadn’t used before, so I decided to keep it. I broke open my never-used Bermuda Bay ink pad and stamped three flowers with the plan of cutting layers to add dimension. I thought they needed a little more pizazz, so I stamped over the flowers with my Metallic Silver Encore ink to give them a little shimmer (not very noticeable in this photo). I used the same ink for the sentiment from the Flower Patch stamp set.

The silver ink over the Bermuda Bay flower changed the color to where it didn’t match the scallop die anymore, and at first I wasn’t sure I was happy with it not matching. But, I decided to ignore my OCD for once and left it as is.

I finished the card off with four Smoky Slate Candy Dots — three in the center strip and one in the center of the flower.

Here’s to happy accidents and here’s what I used to make this card:

Posted in Paper Players Challenges

A sweet Clean and Simple card for Paper Players 245

Denise Hoepfner |

I love it when my card making life collides with my work life. This was the case when my sweet coworker went on vacation to celebrate her 50th birthday and came back with a gift for me.

Not just any gift, but LAVENDER BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE SAUCE. How I’ve gone my entire life without even knowing such a thing existed is beyond me. But it does. And I have some, straight from a lavender farm on the San Juan Islands.

Of course my sweet coworker who brought me such a sweet gift deserves a sweet Thank You card.

And, as it so happens, this week’s Paper Players Challenge 245 calls for a Clean and Simple
“girly” Thank You card.


I chose my favorite pattern from the All Abloom Designer Paper Stack. I love this pattern because it reminds me of the round flowers Mary Englebreit is known for. The sentiment is from the Hello There stamp set, and fits the occasion perfectly.

To mimic the round flowers, I used three different circle punches for the sentiment and embossed the strip across the card with the Polka Dot TIEF.

I blinged the paper a bit to finish it off, using the 2013-2015 In Color Sequin Assortment. The round sequins fit perfectly in the flower centers, something I found out when I made a somewhat similar gift enclosure card here.

Because of the repetition of the circles, I think this card still manages to be clean and simple even though the background paper is “abloom” with flowers.

Here’s what I used to make this card:

Posted in Cards, Paper Players Challenges

A vibrant card for a vibrant girl and PP 239

Two of our nieces are having a birthday this month so I’ve been trying to come up with cards to match their personalities.

The younger preteen niece, whose birthday is Friday, is a vivacious and outgoing redhead with a vibrant personality. I wanted to capture this by making a card with a mixture of colors, patterns and texture, something that’s a little out of my comfort zone because I’m always worried about doing too much.

Throwing caution to the wind, I pulled out my Birthday Bash DSP, which alone satisfies the colors/patterns requirement. I had thought I would use my Celebrate Today stamp set for the balloons and the paper as a background, but as I was looking at the paper I realized I would rather cut the balloons from the paper using the Balloon Framelits Dies.

I love the way the Birthday Bash DSP, like all Stampin’ Up! DSP packs, makes it easy to coordinate the colors. I chose three sheets with colors and patterns I thought worked well together. I also chose the colorful matchstick design (my favorite) for the first layer of the card and glued it to my Calypso Coral card base.

Next, to add some texture, I added a layer of Whisper White card stock that I embossed with the Lucky Stars Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, and adhered it with Stampin’ Dimensionals.

This is where I started to hyperventilate a bit, wondering if I was overdoing it. But, I breathed through my budding panic and kept going.

I used Dimensionals on all the balloons to give them some lift. (Get it? Ha-ha! I’m here all week, folks.) I then attached Baker’s Twine in Calypso Coral (no longer available), Tangerine Tango and Island Indigo (no longer available).

I made a mental note to finally order the twine in Crushed Curry and Whisper White (both good replacements for the colors used here) and take advantage of free shipping this week.


I wanted to use my Bow Builder Punch, because I hadn’t used it in FOR-EV-ER (aka since Valentine’s Day), so I created a bow from the same paper as the background and used it to gather the balloon strings.

To echo the gold accents on the confetti balloon, I added a gold sequin to the center of the bow because the birthday girl loves her bling.

The ONLY stamping I did on this card was the “Happy Birthday” sentiment from the Itty Bitty Banners set that is stamped in Calypso Coral ink. I adhered this to the confetti balloon using a dimensional I cut in half.

All in all, I think this is a really fun card! There is a lot going on, but not too much. It was a quick and easy card that doesn’t look quick and easy. I’m planning on making different variations of this card to keep on hand.

I’m also entering this card in the Paper Players Challenge #239, which calls for a project made using a die cut.


Here’s what I used to make this card (excluding the twine colors that are no longer available).

Posted in Cards, Paper Players Challenges

A spider, wine and Paper Players Challenge 236

So yesterday I shared the party invitations I made using the Flower Patch stamp set, Flower Fair Framelits (say that three times fast) and the Striped Scallop Thinlits Die.

As I was making those invitations, I wondered what the white scalloped background would look like on white card stock. The latest Paper Players Clean and Simple Challenge gave me just the reason to find out!


As I mentioned in my last post, I had a few scallop die cuts that I messed up by not realizing the top of the die was a little off the card stock when I cut it. For this challenge, I used one of those rejects, trimming it up and adding it to the lower half of the Whisper White card base.

I love the white-on-white look! I think it adds just enough interest and texture without dominating the card or making it too busy.

I originally intended to stamp a sentiment directly on the card stock in the top right corner, but a spider ran across my desk. And I had a glass of wine on my desk. In the ensuing mayhem, I somehow got a small smudge of Tempting Turquoise on the white scallop.

Sooo…enter my Window Word Punch and my favorite sweet sentiment from the Hello Love stamp set to cover the boo-boo. I actually like the empty white space in the corner, so it turned out to be a happy accident.

(In case you’re wondering, both the spider and my wine survived, although the spider was relocated outdoors.)

Inks I used: Calypso Coral, Pool Party, Tempting Turquoise, Tangelo Twist, Daffodil Delight, Pear Pizazz, Old Olive.

Embellishments: Subtles Candy Dots and a sequin from the In-Color Sequin Assortment.

Here’s the product list:

Price: $4.95

Price: $99.95

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Posted in Cards, Paper Players Challenges, Projects

A thanks and a color challenge

You know those projects that just flow together perfectly? The ones where everything goes exactly as you imagined it? Yeah, this isn’t one of those.

I thought Paper Players Challenge # 235 would be easy peasy. But, I just couldn’t figure out how to put all four colors together.

Here’s Anne Marie’s beautiful pallette:


I pulled out card stock, inks and pens in all four colors. I dug out my DSP packs and pulled out sheets that featured these colors. I die cut banners and sayings, stamped flowers, embossed card bases. The most I could pull together were three colors at a time.

But, then I discovered the sunflower stamp in Petal Potpourri. I had used every other stamp in this set except for this one, so thought I would give it a try. I colored the stamp with So Saffron and Crumb Cake Stampin’ Write markers and LOVED it. I like that it’s a sketched look, rather than all filled in, like the one I stamped to go under it.

From there, the rest of the card came together.

I had already cut out the word “Thanks” in Wild Wasbi while I was trying to get inspired. After playing with it a bit, I thought I could use it as the stem of the flower. The only problem was that the flower and sentiment together were a little too long for an A2 card. I remembered seeing another challenge that used a 4″ x 9.25″ card that would fit into a business envelope, so I thought I would try that.

I cut a butterfly in Crisp Cantaloupe, then stamped over it with my Something Lacy Background stamp in Whisper White. I embellished the body with Pearl Accents.

I thought it looked fine on a plain Crumb Cake base, but decided to see if adding a background would be better. I chose the Hardwood background in Crumb Cake ink, even though I would have to stamp twice to cover the long card. Can you say challenging? My finished product isn’t perfect, but I convinced myself that there isn’t such a thing as perfect wood. 😀

The sentiment seemed a little flat, so I cut two extra ones and layered them on top of each other. (Thanks, Brian King for that hint!)

I also wanted to raise the flower a little higher, so I stacked two Stampin’ Dimensionals on top of each other.

Color challenges really make me think differently, which is a good thing! I’m looking forward to more.

Here’s what I used on this project:

Price: $99.95

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