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I had a few other projects planned for this last week, but we received a call a few days before Christmas that one of our cousins had passed. While we weren’t very close to him, his sister is very dear to us. I didn’t have any sympathy cards in my stash, so I ended up pulling these together after deciding a store-bought card simply wouldn’t do.

Koi Sympathy_front     Hummingbird Sympathy

I haven’t had a reason to make sympathy cards (knock on wood), so I’d never given any thought to their design. Most of the sympathy cards I saw in stores had an abstract image, flowers or a landscape. Due to my love of vibrant colors, I didn’t have an appropriate papers for pastel flowers in my paper stash & I didn’t have time to create a landscape.

Koi Sympathy Card

Koi Sympathy_detailThe round card base is from Wild Card cut at 5″ tall from pearlescent blue cardstock. The round window in the front of the card reminded me of a bubble which got me thinking about the koi fish from the Art Nouveau cartridge. Most of the images from the Art Nouveau cartridge should be cut at 3″ tall (or larger). I didn’t want the koi fish to be too large for the card, so it was cut at the minimum 3″ tall. Because of the smaller size, I opted not to cut out the eye; instead, I used Champagne Glitz Stickles. A pearlescent white cardstock was used for the koi fish base layer, side fins & whisker. A cream cardstock from the Bazzil Bling line was used for the face. The edges of the white & cream cardstock were outlined with an E00 Copic Marker. A dark pink mulberry paper was used for the body & accented with Champagne Glitz Stickles. Grey vellum was used for the back fin.

The koi fish shadow layer is cut from an acrylic sheet. The edges were inked with Moonlight White pigment ink (Tsukineko Brilliance Dew Drop) to help it stand out. The acrylic also had the added benefit of making the koi fish stong enough to extend into the center opening without fear of bending. Five clear rhinestones (1 medium, 2 small & 2 extra-small) were added to the bottom right curve to visually balance the koi fish on the top left.

Koi Sympathy_insideInside, the “With Sympathy” sentiment, also from the Wild Card cartridge, is drawn at 4″ tall. It was drawn with my Cricut machine using an ultra fine black Sharpie in a MAR-kits holder. I cut out the sentiment & hand-colored it using a lime green Sharpie. The colored sentiment was glued to a 2″ gold mesh ribbon using Glossy Accents. The ribbon was then glued to the card base using Glossy Accents & trimmed to size. Glossy Accents dries clear & because it doesn’t flatten while drying, it’s a good choice for attaching tricky dimensional items.

Here’s a larger photo of the finished card:

Koi Sympathy_front

All of the images on the Wild Card cartridge are sized to be layered on their respective cards, including the phrases, so the relative size for each layer is quite large. The real size of the “With Sympathy” sentiment is around 2″ tall. The same sentiment was used for the hummingbird card below.

Hummingbird Sympathy Card

Hummingbird Sympathy_detailThe hummingbird, also from the Art Nouveau cartridge, is cut at 3 ½” tall. I had the circle cut from the koi fish card, so I did not use the shadow layer behind the hummingbird. A cream pearlescent cardstock was used for the 5″ square card base. Tim Holtz Kraft Glassine was used for the hummingbird base layer & beak. An olive-green cardstock was used for the body & top wing layer. I had a scrap of Luna Lights painted cardstock that I used for the stomach. A dark red pearlescent cardstock was used for the throat. Cutting out the eye would have necessitated the use of tweezers to glue it on, so I trimmed red cardstock & added a bead of Glossy Accents for the eye. A few of the edges were outlined with BG15 or E00 Copic Markers.

I used more of the 2″ gold mesh ribbon on this card. The ribbon & the sentiment were both glued down with Glossy Accents. The sentiment was colored with a BG15 Copic Marker because I didn’t have any light blue Sharpies. I found that the alcohol ink can lift the permanent ink, so I didn’t layer the blue as dark as I would have liked. Overall, I’m still quite pleased with the way it turned out.

Here’s a larger photo of the finished card:

Hummingbird Sympathy

Envelope for Five Inch Square Card

Both envelopes were made using single-sided paper & my Martha Stewart Crafts Scoring Board. To make envelopes for the 5″ cards, I started with a 8 ½” square of paper. Place the envelope guide in the top corner of scoring board. Place the paper face down at a 45° angle so that a flat edge is against the envelope guide. Score at the 3 3/8” mark, turn the paper 90 & repeat three times. After scoring, clip the triangles where the score lines intersect. Fold all four flaps & decide which flap will be the opening/top of the envelope. Glue the remaining three flaps together. I like to use Terrifically Tacky Tape, rather than liquid glue to attach the three flaps together; I don’t want to have to worry about glue oozing out around the edges of the flaps & making a mess. The finished envelope is 5 ¼” by 5 ¼” square, the extra ¼” allows the envelope to fit over small embellishments. If you have thicker embellishments, such as 3D flowers or multiple pop dot layers, you might want to consider a small box rather than an envelope.