Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Variations on Sympathy

It's always fun to take a basic idea and experiment with variations. That's what happened with these three sympathy cards.

Basic idea: little butterflies from Papertrey's Beautiful Butterflies set for sympathy cards.

Variation #1

Papertrey Beautiful Butterflies, Technique Tuesday
One of a Kind, and Gina K Elegant Florals

Here we have a trio of little butterflies in a hedge of greenery...soothing, soft, and pretty. I wanted to put a metallic line across the division of stamped background and bottom white space, but the gold was too meh, the silver too bright, and neither worked. After looking for ribbon (no good colors), I decided on a bold strip of StampinUp old olive to provide an anchor and support for the design. It was a compromise that works for me. Sort of.

This variation isn't bad, but it doesn't really feel like a sympathy card to me. It might work better as a get-well card or thinking-of-you card with the current colors. If the colors were brighter (hot pink and orange, or pinks and purples), it might even work as a birthday card.

But it doesn't feel like a sympathy card to me.

Variation #2 (With Bonus Variation...Two-fer!)

Beautiful Butterflies again, with sentiment
from on of Uniko's Flower Power sets

My reaction to the dissatisfaction of Variation #1 was to strip everything to bare minimums except the idea of three butterflies. As you might imagine, these two monochromatic and super-CAS cards make me the happiest: clean and simple in the extreme, with a fabulously soft gradient to add to the upward movement. The curlicues on the butterfly wings work well with the Uniko sentiment.

Yep. These are better.

Variation #3

Same stamps as first card.

Finally, I tried to strike a balance between the busyness of Variation #1 and the minimalism of Variation #2. The third card uses the same elements as #1 but stripped and simplified. The sentiment makes sense quite literally at the bottom of a vertical card, and the branch rises up from the sentiment to send off the upwardly mobile butterfly. Sweet. Sad. Sincere.

Also crisp and clean.

And that's all I have to say about that.

My critique of these three cards is, of course, simply my opinion. What's yours? Does one variation appeal to you more? Do you like any of them? What works for you and what doesn't?

Inquiring minds, and all that....

ink: various 
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, rhinestones, glue


  1. I'm on board with your thoughts. Thanks for sharing your progression. I love the final result - a card that soothes the soul.

  2. While reading your comments on your first card I thought to myself that removing two of the butterflies might bring out the sympathy feeling more, and of course, you figured that out on the third card :) Because I am one that has trouble with a lot of white space, I find the first one my favorite.
    But they are all lovely, as usual!
    Lu C

  3. I think I am learning :)...#1 does not feel like a sympathy card to me either. I love both #2s! They are my favorite. #3 is very nice, also. I finally realized a difficulty I have with CAS...I struggle to "anchor" my image amongst the white space...therefore, I keep addding.

  4. UM all the cards are lovely ( no surprise) BUT i think card 1 is a get well card not sympathy (it feels too happy !!) and the others are all beautiful,Fav one is card 2 the green is warm , blue a wee bit cool , and card3 is just lovely xx sorry hope thats ok !

  5. I think all are lovely and each offers a little different feel, depending on the loss involved.

  6. Love hearing you think out loud on your creative process. Number 1 is beautiful, but I agree it doesn't feel like a sympathy card -- maybe Thinking of You. Number 3 is perfect and I'm going to have the remember that with sympathy cards, less is definitely more.

  7. Thank you for sharing your creative process. I am becoming a better card maker by visiting you. I think the first card would work by changing the colors to light grays with light purples(blues?). Visually the butterflies are too heavy as is the old olive strip. This card is horizontal .The others are vertical. If you change the orientation, the butterflies will have vertical movement. I plan to experiment with my suggestions. Or perhaps the card design says ..thinking of you and it should not be made into something it's not. Just Sayin'

  8. I think the colors of the first card help lend itself to a sympathy card and it does work as one. The other cards have a much more sympathy-card feel to them though. I enjoyed reading about your creative process.

  9. I like the first card, it has a pretty and oldy worldy feel, just right for a sympathy card. It is sympathetic without being morbid. The three butterfly cards are lovely, I prefer the blue,sympathy needs to offer freshness in hope, which the blue does. I like the last card but am unsure if I would stamp the sentiment ona band...hardto say without playing myself. All are inspirational and all will offer comfort and sentiments. Bravo!


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!