36 Down — 614 To Go

If I have been AWOL lately it is because I have a new project.  One that is consuming me until I feel like I have it under control.  I am woman possessed.  More so than usual.

As some of you know I am a volunteer for Hospice of North Iowa.  I love what they do.  As a volunteer I have been able to have 2 “relationships” with women at the end of life.  The one lady was unusual as I was her volunteer for over a year.   Volunteers can do many things with Hospice and when I moved back to Ohio after Chris’s dad’s death in 2011  to help get the estate settled I had to go on “leave”.  Since then I have been gone so much that I have just not been able to have a relationship that required a weekly visit.

I kept trying to figure out what I could do to support them and I finally came up with THE idea.  I pitched it back in January.   I heard nothing.   It was still on my mind but I figured the answer was that my idea was not a good fit for them.

In August I was thinking about it again and thought maybe I would try to call someone else in the organization to see if there was any interest.  Before I made that call I got a call.   My email had made it to the desk of Kathryn who is with the Bereavement unit and she wanted to talk to me.

Long story short I got the gig!!!  It is a perfect fit and I am all consumed right now to try to get this underway.

And the project is…….making sympathy cards for them!   Simple sympathy cards that the team can all sign and send to the families upon the death of their loved one.  It is a huge step up from a form letter that has been sent in the past and I am THRILLED to be able to do this for them.

So I have been working hard to get the supply established so that they can actually start this project.   How many cards, you ask?????   Kathryn estimated that they would need 650 in a year.  Yes, you read that correctly.  So I am doing it!!!   I am in production.   So far no two are alike . I committed to doing this for a year and then we will re-evaluate. They are simple and thanks to my good friend and blogger, Bernie at One Mixed Bag, and her husband, Roy, who own The Rubber Stamp Shop—–I have speciality stamps for the inside message and for the back of the card!!!!  I sent them the message that Hospice wanted and they made the magic happen and I am so grateful to them for doing that for me.

Slight glitches in the process today included Buddy stepping in my cup of hot tea (don’t ask me if I kept drinking it) and me dropping a fully inked stamp for the front of the card on my favorite  Life is Good tshirt.   stamp

Other than that—-I am rolling along, singing a song  (well–not really—I am watching Breaking Bad episodes as I work on them which is a pretty weird thing to be watching while making Sympathy cards, I admit)  and making cards like crazy.   Chris has figured out my production rate and how long it is going to take me to finish.  I need to ramp it up but I want them to be special so there is no rushing me.

It is a pretty huge undertaking but one I am very excited about.  Here are some of my favorite ones so far.  Click on any image to begin a slideshow.


  1. Amy Prentice says:

    Sounds like an awesome project that you have undertaken!!! What a wonderful idea and so much more personal than a form letter! My hats off to you Beth Ann….and your assistants Buddy and Holly.

  2. Goodness, Beth Ann, this is a brilliant project–and the PERFECT one for you! The cards are gorgeous! Wish I were in the US, so I could help with production and it wouldn’t cost several limbs to mail them to the US. Maybe you can find folks there who would be interested in helping. Gosh, I love this idea!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Thanks, Kathy! I admit it is a little daunting but I know that I can do it. My plan is to get 150 done by the end the month so that they have a good supply —then just keep up with making 50 or so a month which will be doable, I think. It is such a perfect way to be involved with them on my own time. I am really excited!!! I have thought about asking someone to help but so far I haven’t gotten to the point of asking anyone! 🙂 I guess I want to prove to myself that I can do it.

  3. It appears your endeavor is well underway. Although it is an awesome goal to make each card different, may I suggest that you have established a great selection and making multiples of each would be a better use of your energy(ies) and would allow the team to implement this wonderful change sooner. When you shared this with me, I thought it was the perfect task for you and your marvelous card-making creativity! You go girl!!!!! Hugs…….

    • Making multiples of each is not really such a big deal at this point. I am just using the small pads of paper that coordinate and it makes the process fairly quick, actually. Since I am using the smaller pads of paper it does not require a lot of cutting and I can work my way through the small pads of paper rather quickly. With 2 weeks in Houston coming up I am going to knock them out in no time at all!!! Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Becky Miracle says:

    What a great idea!!!!! The cards are beautiful ! I am sure this will be a project that will touch many hearts.

    • I hope so!!! With each one I make I am praying for the family that receives them. I am thrilled that I can do this and even though the number is kind of astronomical with keeping the design simple and easy I can make them fairly quickly. I still have this “thing” that tells me that they all need to be different in some way! 🙂

  5. Beth Ann, this is a perfect project for you. As a past recipient of your cards (not sympathy, but other), I can vouch for how delighted I was to receive them. It’s something about that personal touch, the knowing the card was handcrafted by you with care, that makes it incredibly special and touching.

    The intended goal of 650 is certainly ambitious. But I have no doubt you will reach it. And that Chris, to have figured out how long this would take you. Gotta love a man who thinks to do that.

    Have fun. Your work and your gift will be appreciated in more ways than you will possibly ever know.

    Bless you, dear friend.

    • Thanks, Audrey!!! I am really excited as you can tell from the exclamation marks. And the neat thing–I can pray over those cards that they touch the families in just the right way when they receive them. Thanks for the support!

  6. As I have said before, I don’t know how you squeeze everything into a 24 hour day.. God bless you for your perseverance and your compassion as well Beth Ann.

  7. Rhonda True says:

    Beth, This is absolutely awesome and something that will touch more lives than you realize. Rhonda

  8. A great big WOW! They are beautiful!

  9. Bless you! they are so beautiful and so much more personal and thoughtful than a form letter. what a wonderful idea.

    • Thanks so much! I am really having fun making them and feel like I can finally do something for them again which is a great feeling. They were really looking to do something more personalized and had planned to buy cards so it was something that they wanted to change but hadn’t done it yet. Timing is perfect!

  10. From a fellow “stamper” your cards are beautiful! What a lovely thing for you to do! Hand made and heart felt I’m sure!

  11. These cards are wonderful. What a great thing to do. Best of luck with this special project.

  12. What a great opportunity to share your gifts and talent. I used to donate cards to my local stamp store that supplied them to Meals on Wheels. That was fun, and a great way to use up those small leftover pieces of decorative paper. There are so many embellishments now, I know you’re enjoying this labor of love.

    • That is another great idea!!! The kids in our church often made cards to send with Meals on Wheels and I know how much those folks loved getting them so I am sure your cards were fabulous also! Love that idea!

  13. Hospice is a great organization and I admire all that work and volunteer. they are lovely and I admire your dedication. Such a nice thought. And yes, I want to know if you continued drinking the tea? I have pets so I’m wondering if we are alike.

    • I did. I did finish the cup of tea. Please do not think less of me. Please, I beg you. It was a fabulous new hot steaming cup—–I applied the 5 second paw rule to it and it tasted just fine. 🙂

  14. You are wonderful. Just simply wonderful. Hugs.

  15. What a great project! The cards are beautiful. I’m sure the 650 families that will receive them will appreciate them.

  16. Doesn’t it just fill your heart to know that many of your cards will be saved in special boxes representing people who cared during such a sad and difficult time. The kids in Cole’s 7th class made cards when Joe died and I treasure every single one. Each one was different and each kid wrote a memory of Joe—on some the color is streaked from tears–heartfelt moments. What a magical difference your cards will make to so many people.

    • Thank you so much for sharing that with me . I still have all the cards from when my daddy died in 94 and I know what you mean. They are cherished as I hope these will be.

  17. You are going to be one busy lady! Good luck with your project! I love crafting but this would feel like too much of a chore to me to do this many.

  18. I made a comment but it seems like it disappeared into the ether!


  1. […] a fan but it does mean that I am hunkered down inside making more cards for Hospice as part of my commitment to make around 650 sympathy cards for them this year.  It is a really good thing to do when the wind is howling and the temperature is dropping outside […]

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