A Way With Words Els van de Burgt Studio

With Sympathy

May 15, 2016

By Judi Kauffman

Hello, everyone. It’s Judi Kauffman, back as today’s guest designer. Alas, I’ve needed far too many sympathy cards in recent times. It’s always a challenge to come up with something respectful without being too solemn. I think this one hits the mark, the two strips across the front are symbolic of loss, as if the card is a reminder that something beautiful has been broken. The colors are muted, but the Shimmer Sheetz sparkles, as if the card is allowing light to enter a dark time.

I used only two dies for the card: Els van de Burgt Studio’s Ribbons 1, A Way With Words’ With Sympathy. I chose Bronze Metallic Shimmer Sheetz for the words and Fire Opal Gemstone Shimmer Sheetz for the ribbon strip.


To create the card with only one die, unravel the ends of two pieces of quarter-inch or three-eighths-inch wide seam tape, ribbon, or fabric and substitute the pieces for the die cut Shimmer Sheetz ribbon strip.

If you want to incorporate additional dies, use Stitched or Fitted Rectangles to cut the top two layers.

Vary the color combination to suit your taste. Incorporate one or more patterned papers instead of using only solid color cardstock.

Tone down the Shimmer Sheetz by lightly sanding it or by altering it with alcohol inks prior to die cutting.

Instead of using leftovers from the die cut Shimmer Sheetz ribbon strip as faux staples, use mini brads or small round peel-offs to visually anchor the top rectangle.


  1. Form an A2 top-fold card base from dark cranberry cardstock. (4.25” x 5.5”)
  1. Top with a muted gray cardstock rectangle measuring 5.25” x 4”, and a dark cranberry cardstock rectangle measuring 2.25” x 3.5”, both centered on the card front and secured with pieces of Clear Double Sided Adhesive Tape.
  1. Back a 4” x 5” piece of Bronze Metallic Shimmer Sheetz and a .5” x 6” piece of Fire Opal Gemstone Shimmer Sheetz with Clear Double Sided Adhesive Tape. Die cut With Sympathy from the Bronze and Ribbons 1 strip from the Fire Opal. Reminder: Review Els van de Burgt’s video tutorial if you are new to die cutting Shimmer Sheetz. A Metal Adaptor Plate or Sizzix Big Shot with Precision Base Plate are REQUIRED for die cutting Shimmer Sheetz.
  1. Refer to the project photo. Position the words as follows:

‘With’ is centered approximately 1.25” from the right and left side of the muted gray rectangle. Note that the end of the word ‘With’ is the flourish at the top right of the flourish on the letter ‘h’. The top of the final stroke on the letter ‘W’ touches the top edge of the dark cranberry rectangle, the baseline of the word ‘With’ is .75” from the top edge of the dark cranberry rectangle.

‘Sympathy’ is centered approximately 3/8” from the right and left side of the muted gray rectangle and the baseline of the word is just a tad under 3/8” from the bottom of the dark cranberry rectangle. Note that the small open area of the top of the ‘S’ is completely filled with dark cranberry.

  1. Position the five faux staples (leftovers from die cutting Ribbons 1 strip): 2 at the top left corner of the dark cranberry rectangle, 1 at the top right of the rectangle and 1 just below the ‘a’ in ‘Sympathy’.
  1. Cut one piece of the Fire Opal Shimmer Sheetz ribbon strip to 3.25” and position it at a slight angle, with the cut end of the strip at the left edge of the card and the die cut end – the end that looks like the end of a ladder, toward the right. Position the other end coming in from the right side of the card, straight across rather than at an angle. Make sure that the ladder-like end of the strip is toward the middle. Leave an eighth-inch space between the two strips. Trim any excess that extends past the sides of the card front. Save extra leftover bits to use as confetti or as faux staples for other projects.


Elizabeth Craft Designs:

A Way With Words With Sympathy

Els van de Burgt Studio Ribbons 1

Shimmer Sheetz in Bronze Metallic, Fire Opal Gemstone

Clear Double Sided Adhesive Tape or Sheet


Metal Adaptor Plate or Precision Base Plate – required for die cutting Shimmer Sheetz

(Precision Base Plate is used with Sizzix Big Shot)

Cardstock in Dark Cranberry and Muted Gray

Die cutting machine

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  • judi kauffman May 17, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Thank you all. It’s not a card I want to have to make, but that makes it all the more important to do so.

  • Darla May 16, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    I agree. It is very hard to find the *right* sympathy card. This one is spot on.

  • Kimberly O. May 16, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Very nice card Judi! I like the colors that you chose plus the big With Sympathy die cut word.

  • josetvdburgt May 15, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Beautiful card Judi!

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