A Way With Words Shimmer Sheetz

With Sympathy

December 2, 2017

by Judi Kauffman

     Alas, I recently needed sympathy cards for the widow and son of a dear, dear man from Vermont. He loved being out in nature, so I turned to colors, textures and shapes that reflect and celebrate that part of his life: Ferns and ivy, marble and stone; a palette of blue, gray (silver), rust, green, mustard (gold) and brown – matte mixed with shiny, muted without being entirely somber.

I wanted to create cards that were appropriately respectful without being overly sad. I hope that is what I have achieved, and that the idea will be useful to you when you are called upon to send condolences.

There are two versions.

The first incorporates only one die set from Suzanne Cannon’s A Way With Words collection – With Sympathy.  I thought the cards were done at this point, but I decided to add something in a lighter color. Version 1 – shown below.


The second (and my final) version includes ferns and ivy, two die sets from Susan Tierney-Cockburn’s Garden Notes collection. Version 2 – shown below.

The background is a combination of marble cardstock and alcohol ink-altered Shimmer Sheetz. Finished cards are A2-size, 4.25” x 5.5” with a top fold.



  1. Alter 2.5” x 4.5” pieces of Fire Opal Gemstone Shimmer Sheetz with a mix of Tim Holtz Alcohol Inks and Gold Metallic Mixatives, applied with an ink applicator tool for a soft dappled effect and/or dropped onto the surface straight from the bottle for more distinct patterning. TIP: Alter an entire 5” x 12” piece of Shimmer Sheetz instead of smaller pieces and keep the leftovers for other projects, or make more than one or two cards while you’re at it. (See OPTIONS below Step 4 for some ideas.)


  1. Using Clear Double Sided Adhesive Tape to adhere the layers, center a 5.25” x 4” piece of marble cardstock onto the card base and center the ink-altered Shimmer Sheetz rectangle on top of the marble rectangle.
  2. Die cut the words With Sympathy from Green Velvet Adhesive Sheet. Position close together and at an uphill angle as shown in the project photos. The cards are finished at this point if you decide not to add the ivy and ferns.

  1. Die cut ivy and ferns from Light Green or Light Blue Velvet Adhesive Sheet. Carefully position the pieces so they frame and accent the sentiment. Refer to the project photos for precise placement. Note that one piece of ivy touches the ‘S’ in Sympathy, and that one piece of ivy at the upper right and a bit of the fern at the bottom will need to be trimmed so they are flush with the card front.



Substitute a brighter palette and create cards for birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions using the same layout! There are many dies in Suzanne’s A Way With Words collection that are the perfect size for A2 cards. Shimmer Sheetz and Velvet Adhesive Sheets come in a wide variety of colors.

Choose a different fern – there are three varieties available. Alternatively, use only ivy vines – there are two dies in that set, only the small one is shown on today’s cards.

Instead of marble cardstock, pick a tone-on-tone patterned paper that coordinates with the other elements.



Elizabeth Craft Designs:



Gold and silver marble cardstock
Silver and olive-green cardstock
Alcohol inks in colors of choice
Gold Metallic Mixatives









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  • Reply Paula Lewis December 2, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Stunning! I would never have thought to use these techniques for sympathy cards. Thanks for another beautiful idea,

  • Reply jean marmo December 2, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Lovely cards Judi!

    • Reply judii kauffman December 2, 2017 at 6:02 pm

      Thank you! I hope the idea is useful – it can be adapted for all sorts of other – HAPPIER – occasions.

  • Reply Barb MacAskill December 2, 2017 at 9:45 am

    These are both gorgeous! I think you have met your goal perfectly! Your post caught my eye because I am a Vermonter. My sympathies for the man and his family! TFS!

    • Reply Judi Kauffman December 2, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Barb. My cousins have a cabin in Cabot so I’ve had many wonderful vacations in your beautiful state!

  • Reply Katia December 2, 2017 at 5:13 am

    Beautiful card, simply stunning!

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