Great Outdoors

What does the phrase “The Great Outdoors” mean to you? I am sure if one were to ask 100 people that question, one would get 100 different answers. To me it means anything to do with being out in the fresh air, but mostly having to do with anything in nature: trees, flowers, butterflies, birds, mountains, oceans, marshes, etc.

For today’s card, which was inspired by the Paper Players Theme Challenge #356, I chose to use leaves as the focal point.


Yes, this says “Great Outdoors” to me. So now that I have inspiration my mind is going several directions. Should it be pines and the northwoods? Or maybe a great Oak tree? Or a lake scene with some watercoloring?

As I sat at my worktable looking at my cardstock, my eyes kept going to the Dapper Denim bin. OK. My brain also kept telling me, “leaves.” This card is what I made today with the Great Outdoors to inspire me.


This isn’t your typical color combination for a leafy card. Where is the green you ask? Well, the sky is sometimes blue and the leaves lose their chlorophyll as temperatures drop, but there is some Old Olive in there. I think this card reflects that seasonal change, though we are still in the summer season. I love autumn, and could make every card reflect the leaves of that season.

Anyway, Card cuts and products used will be at the end of the post.

I began with the Dapper Denim, knowing I would place the leaves on it. The card base is Sahara Sand with a copper foil mat to show off the lovely blue.  I decided to use a technique I have done many times, that of sponging Whisper White card stock in many colors and then heat emboss a leaf design.

A new favorite in the annual catalog is the Colorful Seasons bundle. I used the maple leaf stamp and both maple leaf dies from the Seasonal Layers thinlits, beginning with the stamp. After sponging my Whisper White card stock with Crushed Curry, Cajun Craze, Elegant Eggplant, Old Olive and Early Espresso, I stamped as many leaves as I could fit on the paper in Versamark ink. I wanted all those colors to show, so I used Clear embossing powder and heat embossed all my leaves.

I thought the leaf frame thinlit would be just the thing, but after running it through the Big Shot, I decided the detailed one would be better. So, I lined the embossing up with the die and cut away! Next I lay them on the Dapper Denim and made the decision to back them with copper foil, lining some up perfectly and offsetting some a bit. Beautiful!

Falling leaves need a branch from which to fall, so I chose the branch die from Seasonal Layers again and cut it from some of the Wood Textures DSP. After all, branches ARE wood! I also cut a shorter branch and some very small copper foil leaves using some Tim Holtz dies. I wanted the veins in the leaves to show, so I used the Sizzix Impressions Pad and Silicone Rubber mat to emboss these foil leaves.

branch detail

After dry arranging them, I used the Fine Tip Glue Pen to attach the leaves to the foil, Liquid Glue and Stampin’ Dimensionals and Mini Stampin’ Dimensionals to put everything together on the Dapper Denim. I think the addition of the smaller leaves gives a more realistic look to the card front, and the Dapper Denim really shows off the colors of the leaves. I extended the branch and some of the leaves beyond the edge of the Dapper Denim.

I had also sponged a piece of watercolor paper early in the process. It was now dry, and for contrast, I decided that a leaf from that paper would hold my sentiment. Using the Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set, I heat embossed the sentiment in Copper after stamping it in Versamark ink. The bone folder curved the leaf nicely and it was attached to the panel with dimenionals. It was deliberately angled it a bit so the sentiment would not be straight.


After cutting out the center of the Copper Foil panel (why waste it when it would cut several leaves?) I used Tear & Tape to adhere the art panel to the copper mat and onto the Sahara Sand card base. The photo below shows how some of the leaves are raised off the panel with Stampin’ Dimensionals.

side view

On the inside, the Dapper Denim became the mat with the sentiment panel in Sahara Sand adhered to the copper foil, again with the center cut out. You wouldn’t know this if I didn’t tell you, but I see no reason to waste that lovely foil.


I used a copper leaf and a detail cut sponged leaf to decorate the sentiment panel. The sentiment, stamped in Early Espresso, is from Simply Refined as the message was what I wanted to convey.  I used Tear & Tape again to adhere the sentiment panel to the copper foil and liquid glued the copper to the Dapper Denim mat and into the card base. This card is now finished, but let’s do the envelope.

A medium Whisper White envelope flap was stamped with versamark leaves the same as the ones on the sponged paper and heat embossed in copper. Too much sameness bores me, so I liquid glued the remaining leaf to the front of the envelope instead of making another copper leaf. All is complete now and we don’t have a naked envelope!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you like this card. Please leave a comment.

If you need supplies and do not have a Stampin’ Up demonstrator, I can help. Or, you can click on the button at right to shop with me online.

Card Cuts: Sahara Sand: card base 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″, inside panel 3-1/4″ x 4-1/2″; Dapper Denim: front panel 3-3/4″ x 5″, inside panel 4″ x 5-1/4″; Copper Foil: front mat 4″ x 5-1/4″, inside panel 3-7/16″ x 4-11/16″ scraps for leaves; Whisper White: sponged for leaves, approx 4″ x 5″

Product List

12 thoughts on “Great Outdoors”

  1. It’s such a fabulous set and you’ve used all my favourite elements of it. I love that your leaves are all autumn-y and coppery and are set against that gorgeous Dapper Denim. Great job. It certainly says outdoors to me! Thanks for joining us at The Paper Players this week.


    1. I am sorry to have failed to respond to your comments. We had a special election that day and I worked from 6 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. By yesterday I was playing catch up and just failed to reply to you. I appreciate your kind and positive words. I really enjoyed this challenge and making this card. It has already been sent to the recipient. Thank you for stopping by and for your comments.


  2. Julie this is gorgeous! I love your beautiful leaves and the copper accents. Just stunning. So glad you shared with us at The Paper Players!


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