Friday, March 1, 2013

Sympathy Extravaganza

I must confess.

I don't like making sympathy cards.


I don't think so.

No one likes making these cards. Sending a card is the one thing we can do during times of tragedy, so we do it. But cards feel so...inadequate. Yet I also know from personal experience, they are a blessing to those who receive them. A true blessing.

But, dang, they are hard to make when you need them!

So why not make it easier--right now when (hopefully) you don't need them--by finding some stamps and making a bunch at one time? Pick a stamp set, a technique, some colors, and go for it.

I used Turning a New Leaf (Papertrey), various sentiments, Glimmer Mist, and pearls on every one-layer card in a single quick stamping session. These came together easily. The slight shimmer on the dark shades of ink is subtle and pretty, and the pearls (which, among other things, symbolize tears) pick up on the luster.

My favorite is the last one. The dark blue just works so well, and all that white space seems so empty. Did you know purple was a color of mourning for the Victorians? Well, lavender was; I learned that reading Anne Perry's Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mysteries. I just went a little darker purple. Green is good for sympathy cards because of the natural associations and its symbolism of hope. Teal's dignified.

The corner rounding on the first two seemed sensible. The first card looked too "pointy" and needed some curves to balance it. The second card was a little too heavy on the left, so a single curve on the right gives you something to look at over there (the bottom left curve cut off an ugly blotch). The last two didn't need more curves.

It amazed me how quickly these cards came together. The hard part, of course, will be writing something meaningful and not trite inside when the time comes.

Blessings to you all for a wonderful weekend.

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: pearls, corner rounder, Glimmer Mist


  1. These cards are all exquisite. The designs are so well conceived and executed. I wish I had that stamp set. (I have never been able to make a sympathy card in advance of need.)

  2. Fab cards and a great idea to run some up when it's not quite so personal.


  3. Thank you, Susan, as always, for such a rich vein of learning and inspiration. These are all lovely sympathy cards, particularly the purple one ... the leaves underline the message so beautifully. Anita :)

  4. I am totally with you about TANL for sympathy cards....all the stamps are just so other way to put it....and the green is my favourite colour - Brilliance Pearlescent Ivy.
    As for the inside - the simplest the better if you don't know the recipient too well...otherwise I just write what's in my heart.

  5. I haven't commented in a while-I feel like a broken record..."Love your cards, love your cards, love your cards!" It's true, but somehow it loses impact over time. However, I am so grateful for your suggestion to make up those sympathy cards in advance. I just posted one I made recently. While I was comforted by the process of making it, I would rather be able to just put the next one in an envelope and pay more attention to what I write inside. Turning a New Leaf is a perfect set to use and thanks for the little lesson in "the meaning of color". I love stuff like that!

  6. thank you for taking the time to give words to the "now it looks right" explaining the connection between straight edges, curves and the stamp set chosen...blessings
    patti moffett

  7. Unfortunately, there comes a time when one of these cards are needed. Your cards, Susan exemplify tranquility. and would be so soothing to the bereft recipient!

  8. All are gorgeous - I love the colours. And they are what I call perfect sympathy cards - simple, no fuss, straightforward sentiments.

    I see no-one else asked, and you didn't explain it in your write-up, so maybe I'm the only dimwit when it comes to Glimmer Mist - did you spray it over the whole card, or did you spray it on the stamp in place of ink, or did you spray it on the stamp after inking with a Memento ink? Sorry to be so dense!

  9. Susan, I sprayed the Glimmer mist on the inked stamps, then stamped. So only the inked image is glimmery. I only have the Dazzling Diamonds (I think that's the name of it...anyway, it's pearl colored). Hope that helps!

  10. Lovely cards. And I definitely would much rather make sympathy cards than write the message inside.

    Thanks for the little explanation of your thoughts on rounding corners on cards. I have to say that even though I have two sizes of rounders I can't be sure that I've ever used either of them on a single card. I see people using them a lot on the blogs I read, and I usually like the look, but when I'm making a card I never even think about rounding any of the corners. I like the look on cards of one or two corners rounded, but then I think if I did that the person who might receive that card would wonder why I didn't round all the corners to match! LOL! Oh well... maybe someday I'll be brave and round a corner or two.

  11. I find myself using leaves quite often on sympathy cards. My fave is the second one. That rounded corner really balanced it beautifully.
    Thank you for giving us explanations for why you add a particular touch here and there, and love the history lesson now and then.
    Have a great rest of the weekend.

  12. Picking a favorite sympathy card is like trying to pick a favorite child. Any sympathy card is appreciated. It is best to have them on hand so you can concentrate on what you want to write, not feeling pressured to come up with a card. All of these are lovely and to the point. As always, thanks for the design tips. I so enjoy reading why you chose to do certain things to your cards. The stamp set is a perfect choice for sympathy cards. I must save my pennies and get it.

  13. Thanks, Susan, for explaining how you did it when you answered my comment. I'm going to try that as I also have the clear sparkly Glimmer Mist.

  14. Sooo beautiful!
    The first one is my favorite!


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!