With deepest sympathy

It’s the card no one wants to make, but the one that means so very much to receive. Mr. Maui Stamper and I needed a card for dear friends who lost a beloved mother, grandmother, friend.

Maui Stamper Stampin' Up! Sympathy Hello Friend

  • Stamps: Hello Friend, Loving Thoughts (retired)
  • Color Palette: Very Vanilla, Basic Black, Sahara Sand
  • Accessories: Big Shot, Layering Circles framelits, Black Diamond Jewels (retired Holiday 2017), Layered Leaves Dynamic TIEF, Stampin’ Dimensionals

I was pleased with the color palette because it was light enough to be hopeful, but subdued enough to convey the depth of our feelings. Color speaks volumes.

Maui Stamper Stampin' Up! Sympathy Hello Friend

I stocked up on those tiny black rhinestone jewels from the Holiday 2017 catalog, and they were the perfect touch.

I hope you don’t need a card like this, but if you do, I hope you’ll be inspired to make and send one. Don’t worry about what to put inside. Simple things are best, things like “I’m thinking of you” or “I’m available to pick up your kids from school all month”. Don’t try to fix it or make it better. Grief takes its own course. Just be present.

Maui Stamper Stampin' Up! Sympathy Hello Friend

Remarkable You with Sympathy

Sympathy cards are challenging, but making one is at least part of how I express my feelings when someone has experienced loss.  It’s never easy, but for me, the act of creating a card helps me to work through some of my feelings.

Maui Stamper Remarkable You Stampin' Up!

The metallic thread is very fine, and doesn’t create issues with the USPS as it won’t add any bulk to a card. I use a little adhesive on the card where I want it to go, and wind it through the adhesive. It comes out differently every single time. I’ve had to learn to adapt to that!

Maui Stamper Remarkable You Stampin' Up!

July brings Bonus Days back to Stampin’ Up!  Spend $50 in July and earn a $5 reward to spend as you choose in August – with no limit. What’s on your list?

Maui Stamper Stampin' Up! July 2017 Bonus Days

Has your wishlist grown? If it’s near $100, consider joining the Maui Stamper team. There’s no obligation, and in July, Stampin’ Up! is making the deal even sweeter. Your $99 (no additional tax or shipping) always includes your choice of $125 in Stampin’ Up! product. In July, it will include an additional $52 in essential tools – snail, snips, bone folder, grid paper, and two D blocks – PLUS the not-yet-released Carols of Christmas stamps from the Holiday 2017 catalog. Check it out!

Maui Stamper Stampin' Up! July 2017 Christmas in July Join My Team

So hard to find the words

One of the most difficult cards to make is a sympathy card. It needs to express something that is truly beyond words, a message spoken from one heart to another. I often choose elements from nature for a sympathy card, partly because the images are soothing, but also because nature represents the full circle of our existence.

Maui Stamper Touches of Texture Sympathy

  • Stamps: Touches of Texture, Gorgeous Grunge, An Open Heart
  • Color Palette:  Whisper White, Pear Pizazz, Sweet Sugarplum, Soft Suede, Crushed Curry
  • Accessories:  Stampin’ Write markers, Aquapainter, Sweet Sugarplum 3/8″ Ruched Ribbon, Stampin’ Dimensionals

Maui Stamper Touches of Texture Sympathy

I used Stampin’ Write markers to color the leaves and the centers of the flowers, then added a lighter touch with the Aquapainter to give the blooms some depth.  I’m not a formally trained artist, and so my watercoloring is nothing more than whimsy.  I’m ok with that.



Sakura Sympathy

These sweet blossoms just begged to be colored in pinks:

Maui Stamper Sakura Sympathy Indescribable Gift

  • Stamps:  Indescribable Gift, Bloom with Hope (Host)
  • Color Palette:  Wild Wasabi, Pink Pirouette, Soft Suede, Crumb Cake
  • Accessories:  Blendabilities, Memento Black ink pad, Pearls

There is sad news regarding Blendabilities.  Stampin’ Up! has made the difficult decision to withdraw ALL Blendabilities.  Period.  Because of quality concerns that cannot be overcome, they have been discontinued.  While this is a super-frustrating problem for anyone who has gotten their hands on this great product, it’s also super-frustrating to receive items that do not perform to the high expectations we all have for Stampin’ Up! products.

Maui Stamper Sakura Sympathy Indescribable GiftI’m sharing this close-up image so that you can see that there is a lot of flexibility in the way you shade.  I have never had formal art training, and anyone who has is likely exclaiming “Yeah, I see that!”  However, with just a little practice, I found I was able to produce results that I found very satisfying.

The moral of this story?  Have fun, try something new, and enjoy the process!  And stay tuned…I’ll be giving this same image a try with an aquapainter and sharing the results.

Sending love and sympathy

Recently I needed sympathy cards.  I try to have one or two on hand, but I much prefer making just the right card.  It allows me to create something just for the person who has lost a loved one, and I can also spend some time thinking about them and praying for them as they grieve.

These cards were made for young adults – a brother and sister who lost their dad.  This is the card I made for the young woman:

Simply Soft Sympathy

  • Simply Soft and Faith in Nature stamp sets (both hostess sets)
  • Old Olive, Baja Breeze and Naturals White card stock
  • Old Olive, Baja Breeze and Not Quite Navy Classic ink pads
  • Baja Breeze seam binding

I considered adding pearls and other embellishments, but ended up rejecting all of that for the simplicity of the flowers.  I folded the seam binding in half – it’s so soft that it takes that treatment easily and can still be mailed without extra postage.

Lately, cards that can be mailed without extra postage have become more of a focus for me.  I think twice before adding buttons, big brads and other heavy bling.  I LOVE those embellishments – don’t get me wrong – but I mail a lot of cards and those extras create headaches at the post office.  I’m keeping the 3-D goodies for hand-delivered cards, and there are plenty of those, too.

Here’s the companion card for the young man:

Medallion Sympathy

  • Medallion and Thoughts and Prayers stamp sets
  • Old Olive and Naturals White card stock
  • Old Olive, Baja Breeze and Not Quite Navy Classic ink pads
  • 1/2 and 1 3/4 inch circle punches
  • Stampin’ Dimensionals
  • Crystal Effects

The “brad” in the center is nothing more than a circle of cardstock covered with Crystal Effects, and I left off that girly-frou-frou ribbon stuff.

Although these cards are similar in color and general style, the fact that they coordinate was more for my benefit than that of my young friends.  As I thought of the two of them,  putting these complimentary cards together gave me a little comfort.  I hope it did the same for them.


Soothing Sahara Sand

Sometimes you need a card that is soothing.  Your message is simple and subdued, and your colors and images need to fit the same criteria:

Soothing Elements of Style

  • Elements of Style and Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp sets
  • Very Vanilla, Soft Suede and Sahara Sand card stock
  • Soft Suede Classic ink pad
  • Oval and Small Oval punches
  • 3/8 inch Vanilla Taffeta ribbon
  • Basic Pearl Jewels
  • Stampin’ Dimensionals

Although this card didn’t start out to be this understated I’m happy with it all the same.  As a matter of fact, if I’d set out to create a card that looked like this I’m not sure I would have been able to accomplish that task.

The ribbon embellishment is a pair of 1 1/2 inch pieces that are loosely hand stitched along one edge and gathered slightly.  The ends are drawn together and I’ve tied a knot to hold each short piece in a rough semicircle.  They’re attached to the back of the oval with a bit of SNAIL and a second Soft Suede oval is adhered over the first, sandwiching the ribbons in place so they’ll be secure.  The completed embellishment is attached to the card with Stampin’ Dimensionals.

Sahara Sand is an under-appreciated color in our palette.  I need to remember to choose it more often.