Friday, November 3, 2023

Sympathy and Old School

Karen's Card Shop always needs sympathy and get well cards, and when we ran completely out of sympathy cards this summer, I went to work. 

When I was grieving my grandmother, someone sent me a handmade card that looked like it should have been a new year's card...bright colors and glitter everywhere. It struck me as an odd choice and one I never wanted to make. Ever since, I've generally gone for soft looks, and the old-school technique of inking a stamp with markers and spritzing with water creates just that. 

For our first card, I had a spare piece of embossed lavender card stock and was going to put a simple 1/4" mat under the stamped panel. The mat, however, wasn't quite big enough, so I opted for an asymmetrical mat instead. This happy accident was gratifying because it sort of looks like the lavender panel is reaching out for a hug. 

Our second card uses an ancient wood-mounted stamp from Hero Arts that's designed to look like watercolor.

Note that both cards use a FABULOUSLY versatile embossing folder from Tim Holtz. You see me use this a lot because it just adds texture and softness without meaning much of anything. 

Sympathy cards are extremely hard to make when you actually need one, so it's a good idea to make a bunch to have on hand when needed. I sent these and a bunch of others to Karen's Card Shop, along with the ones sent by Kelli, Charlotte, and Eddie. My own stash needs restocking. Guess I'll pull out my markers and spritz bottle and get to work!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,



  1. I faithfully read your blog but don't get to comment often as I read it at work and commenting on blogs is somehow blocked. Here I am at home today and I have to say Amen! I agree with you that sympathy cards should be soft and subdued. I once received a sympathy card with a cutesy smiling angel in bright colors with glitter. The words "with sympathy" were in a whimsical font with big dots on the ends of the letter. I appreciated being thought of, but wow, that card has stuck with me through the years as a fine example of what not to do.

  2. I so agree...sympathy and thinking of you cards are not happy cards... I always wonder what people were thinking when making or sending brightly colored cards at a somber time. And then there are the sentiments that can be SO over the top. Less is more. My favorite sentiment was in a condolence card sent to me that simply said: "Wishing you peace". It was perfect and exactly what I wanted/needed at the time. It is now my go to sentiment...


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