CHALLENGE: “With Sympathy” Card

Are you looking for card making inspiration? Check out Pals Paper Arts, a fun way to get inspired, show off your creations, and possibly win some recognition as a Pals Paper Arts Pick! New PPA challenges are released the 1st-4th Thursday of every month, and if you’re wanting to upload a card for the contest, entries are due by the following Tuesday. Today is the start of a color challenge, PPA 218. PPA218 on

Recently I’ve been in need of several sympathy cards. My husband’s friend and coworker lost his mom, my dad’s wife lost her father, and another friend lost her grandmother unexpectedly. They say bad news comes in three’s, so I’m praying my circle of friends gets a little break from experiencing loss.

This string of difficult news has prompted some pretty deep conversations with my 4-year old. Interestingly, it comes around the same time that he’s started noticing and inquiring about cemeteries. We’ve talked a lot about how dying and being buried is a lot like a seed being planted in the ground. 1 Corinthians 15 teaches us, “when you sow a seed in the ground, it does not sprout to life unless it dies. And what you sow is a bare seed, perhaps a grain of wheat or some other grain, not the full-bodied plant that will later grow up… This is how it will be when the dead are raised to life. When the body is buried, it is mortal; when raised, it will be immortal. When buried, it is ugly and weak; when raised, it will be beautiful and strong. When buried it is a physical body; when raised it will be a spiritual body.” (Verses 35-37 & 42-44, Good News Bible)

Oh, how thankful I am for the knowledge of the resurrection! To have full assurance that this life is a mere vapor, and everything amazing about this life and our incredible bodies will pale in comparison to what is ahead– like an unimpressive apple seed compared to a vibrant, fruitful tree. My husband laughs at me, but I’ve told him before that I want my gravestone to read, “Merely Planted.” What more can I say about the place my body is laid to rest? It’s not a final resting place, nor is it just a memorial of my life, but it’s the place that my physical body awaits the moment when God causes life to burst forth from my dry bones as only He can. What a glorious event!

Even in light of the resurrection, death of loved ones still causes such a deep pain. I am drawn to the phrase, “with sympathy,” because it shows the person that you are sympathizing with their grief, that you are in the trenches of heartache with them to offer help and comfort. That’s the sentiment I chose from the Stampin’ Up! set Teeny Tiny Wishes, which is a long-time workhorse in my stamp collection. This is a little longer post than I normally write, but without further ado, here is my PPA218 inspired card.

PPA218 inspired card by Becky Gifford This card uses the Stampin' Up! sets Everything Eleanor, Gorgeous Grunge, and Teeny Tiny Wishes.

My friend and customer, Missy, inspired me recently to stamp on vellum. In this case, I stamped the Dictionary background stamp with Crumb Cake ink onto my vellum paper and dried it with a heat tool just to make sure the image didn’t smear. Considering what I just wrote about the resurrection, I kind of like the symbolism of the opaque paper; like there’s something more that’s being partially hidden from view. Here’s a helpful tip for assembling this project: to adhere the vellum over top of the splatters, I used Snail adhesive. I wouldn’t recommend a liquid glue because it will cause the vellum to wrinkle and might even show through the opaque paper.

These cards were an extra labor of love with all the fussy-cutting. That’s a term I’ve heard, and I feel it accurately describes cutting a stamp image out with scissors vs. a punch or Big Shot die. It’s a little high-maintenance, but never disappoints. I fussy-cut the flowers from Everything Eleanor and the angled stripe image from Gorgeous Grunge, which I think was totally worth the effort. Pop up the big flower with a few Stampin’ Dimensionals and it makes a gorgeous focal point!

PPA218-inspired card (details shown) by Becky Gifford This card uses the Stampin' Up! sets Everything Eleanor, Gorgeous Grunge, and Teeny Tiny Wishes.

You may not have noticed, but I strayed a little from the color combo in the challenge. It called for Hello Honey and Blackberry Bliss, but I substituted So Saffron and Rich Razzleberry. It’s a lovely color combo, maybe even one of my all-time favorites! I think the recipients will enjoy the splash of color, don’t you?

If you’re motivated by showing others you care and you love to be creative, I know for certain you would love to be a part of my Stampin’ Up! demonstrator group, Team Social Stampers. In addition to being embraced into my group, you’ll be a part of the Stampin’ Pretty Pals group as well, which is where the PPA challenges originate. The Pals are some of the most supportive and enthusiastic stampers around! If you’d like to learn more, here are links to visit my Becoming a Demonstrator FAQs page and an informative Opportunity page.

Praying your days are filled with love, and I’ll see you next week for a fresh Pals Paper Arts challenge!

Shop Now Signature Becky Gifford The Social Stamper


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5 Responses to CHALLENGE: “With Sympathy” Card

  1. This is a beautiful card, Becky! So sophisticated. Definitely some challenging times lately…hoping for better days ahead.

  2. Shannon J says:

    What a beautiful card, Becky! I love all the details, they work very nicely together :)

  3. Dawn Tidd says:

    Beautiful card, Becky! I love the vellum and the way the stamping looks right on it, so soft and pretty. I know it will be a comfort to the recipient. Love that you got to share with your 4 year old in and about the difficult times. Sweet moments to cherish! :)

  4. Katy McGloin says:

    This card was obviously well thought out and a labor of love and caring. Use of the vellum is brilliant and resulted in a very lovely panel. Thanks so much for sharing it with the PPA challenge this week.

  5. So soft and pretty! Beautifully stamped! So sorry you have had some difficult times recently. thanks for,sharing this at PPA!

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