Unfortunately, I’m in need of a batch of sympathy cards. One of the staff members at our church is grieving the death of her father, and one member of a group of stamping friends from the NC/VA area passed away after battling cancer for several months. So I created a batch of this card to send to all of the stamping group and our dear church friend. I hope that they all draw a smidgen of comfort from the card and the thought make behind it so they feel my support and love. Now I’ll have to do the very hardest part of sending a sympathy card… figuring out what to say inside. I struggle with this every time; I don’t want to say something wrong and I feel like I should be able to come up with words to help. I really need to get over myself, and focus on the recipient and not worry about my discomfort. Probably just saying something simple like “I’m thinking of you at this very difficult time” or “I hope sweet memories of XXX will sustain you at this time”. I’ll ponder a bit more before I start putting pen to card, and I’ll get them out in the mail real soon.

I was actually inspired for this card by a technique video by Jennifer McGuire. She is such an inspirational stamper, and frequently I can adopt the things that she shows with Stampin’ Up! supplies. Not always, she uses products from lots of vendors (never Stampin’ Up! as far as I’ve seen) and there are just some things that Stampin’ Up! doesn’t offer. But frequently enough there’s inspiration there that can work with a wide variety of products. This particular card features using masking paper to create a frame and then using stencils to create a background for silhouette stamped imagery. I haven’t seen any samples with the Sending Smiles stamps that use them as a silhouette style image, but since they are solid stamps they do it perfectly. The Stamparatus was a God-send for these cards since I was creating several, and I found that I needed to stamp the black images a couple of times to get a nice solid image. I encourage you to give this a try because it’s pretty simple and you don’t need lots of fancy tools to pull this off.

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