Grassy Hill Sympathy – Tutorial


I seem to never have enough sympathy cards on hand.  I keep a basket of cards at work for staff to purchase and for agency use.  Sympathy cards never last long in the basket I’m afraid.  I try to keep the price of my cards down.  I’m currently charging $4 a card.  I’m not into it for the money.  Stamping is my therapy.  It’s the creative process that gives me so much pleasure.  You will never see me do a 5 minute card (remember therapy, I need lots of it). With that being said, lets get started on today’s tutorial.


Stamps: SU Trees Three, SU Holdiays & Wishes, Grass stamp by Double D Rubber Stamps Inc.
Paper: Whisper White, Soft Sky, River Rock, Always Artichoke
Ink: Stampin Up Old Olive, Always Artichoke, Blue Bayou, Adirondack Ink Aqua, Lake Mist
Accessories: Versamark pad, SU markers Old Olive & Always Artichoke, Ribbon, Sponge, Brayer, Clear Embossing Powder, Post it notes, copy paper, Stamp-a-ma-jig


Starting with Whisper White card stock and a torn piece of copy paper as a mask for the sky area.  Keep the piece of paper you tore off.  We will use it in later steps. I just hold the copy paper in place.


Stamped flowers from Trees Three set with Versamark and heat embossed using clear embossing powder.



This is one of my stamping buddies, Lucas.  He is a German Short Haired Pointer/Great Dane mix and weighs about 110 lbs.  He is so darn cute and attentive this morning.  Thought I would share!


Sorry, back to the tutorial.

Return copy paper mask, lining it up as best you can.


Brayer on Old Olive ink.


Now I sponged on more Old Olive ink to create a shadow on the hill.


Sponged on Always Artichoke ink to get a graduation in shadow color.


Remember the piece of copy paper I tore.  Well here we are using the chuck of it that was torn out to mask the hill area.  I tack it down with small post it notes on both sides to help keep the mask in place.


Brayer on Aqua ink to create lake.


Turn piece around and brayer on Lake Mist ink for the sky, not brayering all the way down to the water color.  I like to leave white showing to brighten things up a bit.


Remove mask and wipe ink off the embossed flowers on the hill.


I just want to use the grassy part of this stamp in this step. So I colored in just the grass on the stamp with an Always Artichoke marker, huffed on it then stamped.



After stamping a line of grasses with Always Artichoke I stamped over them using an Old Olive marker to get some color variation in the grasses.


Stamp some more grasses using Old Olive marker at the bottom of hill.


Used a sponge and Always Artichoke ink to sponge in the shadows at the base of the grasses.


Put to much time into this card so far to mess up on the sentiment so I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig for placement.  Stamp my sentiment using Blue Bayou ink and stamping off on scrap paper once before stamping on the card stock to lighten the color of the image.


Thought the sky looked just a little drab, so I brayered in a bit of Aqua ink at the top of the sky area.


Completed card!


Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and will give it a try.

Thanks for visiting with me and Lucas today.  Have a wonderful day!

21 responses to “Grassy Hill Sympathy – Tutorial

  1. You are amazing! I love coming to your blog to see you beautiful artwork! It’s absolutely inspiring – TFS!

  2. Great tutorial! Thanks for the shading/gradiation tips – that really helps me see how to soften edges and create depth.

  3. Lori got there before me in thanking you for the shading/graduation tips. I always find that difficult. Half the problem for me is I think I put on too much ink. Unfortunately I had problems with my ISP and wasn’t able to comment on yesterdays tutorial. Thanks for reminding me about using dry embossing. It’s something I always forget about.

  4. Wow, Michelle, how beautiful! Thank you so much for your tutorials. I have shied away from using a brayer because when I do it looks awful. Silly me, I had been lining up ALL my colors and running the brayer through and trying to transfer everything from the sky on down to the grass. After seeing your tutorials and trying a couple I see the way to do it is work on one area and use masks. How simple you make it look. With some practice and the help of your tutorials I may start using my brayer again. Oh, and watching your use of sponges was a major enlightenment too. I am fairly new to stamping and your tips, by far, have helped more than I can say. I will be visiting very often. Thank you again and keep the tutorials and your inspiring work coming.


  5. Michelle this is gorgeous! Such a great attention to detail! The designs you create are amazing!

  6. Wow! That really all I can say and I am glad I happened upon your blog:)

  7. Deborah Long

    I love your blog and your tutorials are awesome. I don’t have time to read many blogs but I make time for yours. Lucas is a beautiful dog and that’s a great picture. Thanks for teaching and sharing!

  8. Gidget-Trish

    Wow! I always wanted to watch you work and now I can. Your tutorials are fantastic. And the dog!!!!! He’s adorable! Thanks for a great idea for a sympathy card. It seems I’m always making sympathy cards too. Just this morning my Mom asked if I’d make cards to sell and I wondered how much I should charge for them. Your idea sounds just right. Thanks for all the inspiration Michelle. You’re awesome. :)

  9. This card is absolutely wonderful….and your tutorial is great. Thank you so much. Joan

  10. Gorgeous card, Michelle. I love your tutorials, too. Awesome. (Oh and Lucas looks like such a sweet patient dog. What a wonderful companion.)

  11. I just love your blog! (Your dog looks pretty irresistible too!) Your cards are amazing. Thanks for all of the time you are putting into these wonderful tutorials and for teaching your techniques. You are toooo good!!!!!

  12. Beautiful. This is such a different scene from what we normally see, and I love it!

  13. Evelynn Saddler

    I am with the rest of the girls, I love your tutorials, you are a wonderful teacher. You are so talented I wish I had just a little of your talent and touch. Thanks again.

  14. Julia (Artystamper on SCS)

    I love this seaside hill – the flowers look so magical – this is a wonderful tutorial – so clear understandable! and I love Lucas! I had a brindle great dane and he was the best dog I ever had!

  15. Love your tutorial, it is awesome, question for you thought, what colors of SU would you say these two colors are closest to? Adirondack Ink Aqua and Lake Mist. I would like to try this card but don’t have those two colors. Thanks!

  16. Lisa asks “what SU colors would be closest to Aqua and Lake Mist?” Lisa Aqua is a lighter shade of Soft Sky and Lake is a lighter shade of Going Gray. :)

  17. FABULOUS Michelle!! and LOVE the pic of Lucas!!!

  18. wow this is another great card… i am definitely going to have to try this one. also your pup is just too sweet!

  19. Deborah (beadn&stampn)

    Another beauty!! Definitely makes me want to use my brayer more!! Lucas is DARLING!! He looks like my dog.. she is a border collie mix, but Lucas and her have the exact markings on their faces!!So sweet…. My dog (Lua) loves to be at my feet when I work… Thanks for the wonderful tutorial!

  20. Beautiful work, Michelle. Sympathy cards can be difficult, and your design is so appropriate. Tasteful, thoughtful and wonderfully executed. And your tutorials are so very helpful. Like an earlier poster said, I’m fairly new to stamping and your tutorials have really helped me open up my mind to the myriad of possibilities my supplies give me. Thank you so very, very much!

  21. Diane (cameldiva)

    Lucas is da bomb!! Please hug him for me today. Oh, and your card is gorgeous too (but you already knew that) and thanks for the tutorial!!