Monday, May 1, 2017

A Mermazing May!

Last week, I went to Boston with my friend Libby to help her out at the Collins Group Education & Trade Show. I got to teach a class there, and it was so much fun.

In the short amount of non-work time we had on Saturday - we went downtown and saw the JFK Presidential Library which was amazing. I happened to be listening to Killing Kennedy at the time, and seeing so many objects from the book, the clothing, etc., was really incredible - I felt immersed in that time period. The campaign dresses were tied for my favorite thing in the library with Jackie's art journal/scrapbook that she did on a trip to Europe with her sister, called One Special Summer.

The library is in a STUNNING spot - at the conclusion of the tour you walk into a beautiful glass atrium designed by I.M. Pei - the guy who designed the triangle in front of the Louvre AND my student center at the University of Rochester, strangely enough. Walking into the bright, airy space with a huge American flag hanging in it, actually gave me a flashback to the many hours I spent in that space. Even in a horribly grey climate like upstate New York - that was one place you could go for tons and tons of UV rays and bright, natural light. I love his airy design. Just outside the atrium is the harbor - you can look back across it to Boston. It was gorgeous. Jackie must have been thrilled with that perfect spot for the library. Highly recommend a trip there if you get a chance.

After that, Libby was nice enough to indulge me in a trip to Dick Blick - the first time I've ever been in one of those stores - heaven! I was blown away by how friendly they all were too - great service, and really friendly people - both there and at my hotel. I lived in Boston for one summer during college, and like New York in that time period, it was most decidedly not a friendly city. Maybe like New York, it became friendlier after 9/11. Whatever the cause - it's awesome. People were so nice. It's such a beautiful, fun place.

So today's My Monthly Hero kit is so perfect for my recent trip to the ocean! It's all about the sea, and the images are SOOOOO beautiful. I freaked out and did multiples with it again because I could not help myself.

I had actually used one of the add-ons for this kit at the class I taught in Boston. (You'll see the other cards soon!) This gorgeous paper-layering mermaid was so much fun, and I bonded hard with the die.

I used the blue inks listed below for the background - I smooshed them on my craft mat, sprayed them with water, and then dabbed my watercolor paper into them to get a watery background look. The mermaid was super easy and fun - it uses two Daniel Smith colors from the Hero Arts dot card - and that's it! If you want to try out watercolors, these dot cards are a great way to do it - they are only $2.99 and you get 18 colors - I love the palette they chose.

I painted the mermaid with only Quinacridone Pink and Quinacridone Gold - that's it! All variations are made from blending these two colors. In my class - they made me say "quinacridone" like twenty times to learn how to say it - it was hilarious - it's such a hard word!

After she was painted, I dried her, and then used my piercing tool to poke out her scales from the back, some strands of hair, her arms and her tail. Then I put glue just around the edge pieces that aren't dimensional, and glued that down to the background. I added some gems and a sentiment. Look how pretty she is! I think they all had fun making this one.
Paper Layering Mermaid by UnderstandBlue



When I played with the kit - I really thought watercolor was the perfect backdrop for alllllll the images in the kit's stamp set - . So I used the oval die that is included with the Reef Border and Frame Fancy Dies - also an add-on, to cut two large ovals from watercolor paper. One of them, I painted with Phthalo Blue Green Shade Daniel Smith Watercolor. The other, I painted with Raw Sienna Light, and I used that and Burnt Sienna Light on the starfish and to spatter this piece. I watercolored the Mermaid with Opera Pink and Quinacridone Pink on a scrap of watercolor paper, and painted her shadow with Quinacridone Gold. There's a matching die in the kit, but I fussy cut her so she wouldn't have a border. I fussy cut the starfish too.

The sentiment is from Mermazing Messages (an add-on). It's hard to see here, but I glued down the bottom part of each image, and popped the top of each image up - so they are both sort of leaning out of the card towards you.
May My Monthly Hero by UnderstandBlue





Finally, I wanted to play with another add-on - the Reef frame die. If you can resist this beautiful frame, I'll worry about you a little bit. So there's this GORGEOUS mulberry paper with the kit - on one side it's this deep blue/green watery look, and on the other side, it's more defined color with gold marbling - click on the kit image above to see a closeup - it's stunning. It was very hard to cut into it. Turns out it's a dead-on match to the DS Phthalo Blue Green Shade watercolor - so I used that for the outside of the frame, and then I painted the plants and animals.

I stamped the solid creature images in Indigo ink onto the mulberry paper before attaching the frame. Then I added the sentiment from the main kit in white ink, that I heat embossed. Just a tip - since mulberry paper has little fibers in it - I wasn't sure how it would do with embossing powder - I was afraid the powder would stick to the fibers, so before I embossed it, I painted on a little Liquitex Matte Medium just to make the surface more smooth. It embossed perfectly!

Reef Frame Die Fancy Cuts by UnderstandBlue



I love these magical, mythical images and played with this kit for days. Even my Google Fiber technician who installed our new high speed internet this week oohed and aahed over the kit and the cards - she was a crafty girl too.

Lucky for one of you - Hero Arts is giving away one of these kits to one lucky blog reader - selected from the comments across all of the blogs in the hop. (They will reimburse you if you have already bought the kit, since they are while supplies last. Nice, huh?) Giveaway closes Sunday, May 7 at 11:59pm, and the winner will be announced the following week on the Hero Arts blog. So please leave me a comment and visit these fine individuals who I'm lucky to hop with today! Next up is my sweet friend Libby!



Thanks for stopping by, and for being generally mermazing!

Loveyameanitbye.

169 comments:

  1. Look at the amazing colors being used in the mermaid pink and yellow and it looks like water coloring in the other card. I have not used the water coloring is it hard to work with? Do you suggest a certain product for water coloring for beginners?

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    1. Hi Kimberly! If you're just starting out, I'd start with reinkers or an inexpensive travel set like the Koi Travel set - search koi in my search box to see the one I like. I have lots of watercolor videos on my YouTube channel, and the Online Card Classes watercolor classes are great! I don't think it's hard at all - it just takes practice!

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  2. So very beautiful! 😍😍😍 Thanks for the giveaways and inspiration! 😘❤️

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  3. The color is so rich! Looking at your card makes me feel like I am indeed under the sea!!!

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  4. wow wow and wow for all your design love the colors too thank you so much for sharing your work

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  5. Love how you colored the mermaid bright pink, super pretty. I love all your cards and ideas. Thank you

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  6. Gorgeous! My girls love mermaids! Just bought my kit today!

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  7. I'm digging that hot pink mermaid! And your ocean full of thanks card is my fave use of that die I've seen.

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  8. Wow. The paper layering mermaid is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Love your cards, especially the backgrounds! I need to try what you did for the first one - dipping paper into the ink - that looks gorgeous!

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  10. Wow, thank you for your impressive cards. I love your attention to detail. I'm very interested in the technique you used to emboss the specialty paper that came with the kit. Do you apply the liquitex where you want the embossing powder to stick or where you want it not to stick so it will dust right off? Thanks!

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    1. I put it on the area where I was going to do the embossing so the little fibers of the paper wouldn't stick up.

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  11. What super projects!! Loved reading about your adventures too!

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  12. Thanks for sharing your beautiful cards!

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  13. Your cards are amazing. I love all the watercoloring, as that's a favorite technique for me. This is a most awesome kit from Hero Arts, especially for those of us who love the sea!

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  14. Such a gorgeous trio of cards! Love all of them and this kit is magnificent! TFS!

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  15. Three totally different 'looks' for your cards!! I really like the way you colored in the beautiful frame!! Hadn't thought of that. :)

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  16. What nice vibrant cards. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  17. Love the card using the sea background die. I enjoyed how you watercolored the oval die cut

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  18. I love all of your cards and can't wait to play with this kit! My favorite is your last card.

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  19. lovely cards, Lydia. Your last card reminds me of going to the Baltimore Aquarium and being immersed by all of the aquatic life all around me.

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  20. great cards. great kit. thank you all.

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  21. These projects are super cute and sweet!!

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  22. The background on your first card, simply, is wonderful!

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  23. I love your cards! and I miss your group chats with people from the craft industry.

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  24. I love all these beautiful backgrounds!

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  25. I love how you watercolored the Reef Border; such a great idea! Beautiful cards ^_^

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  26. Such beautiful cards, really love how you used and coloured the paper pieced mermaid. So pretty.

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  27. Love the water color! These are fun and capture a summer vibe

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  28. Especially like the dimension of the pieces that pop up for the mermaid die.
    Melissa
    "Sunshine HoneyBee"

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  29. Thanks for showing off the beautiful serene die cut mermaid, and the depth and beautiful colors in the ocean scenes!

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  30. Your oval fram card is stunning. Beautufl colors and wonderfully imaginative. Tfs

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  31. Wow!!! Beautiful cards and your painting is sublime.

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  32. Lovely job , I'm excited to work on my very own kit !

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  33. Wonderful "Under the Sea" imagination. Can't wait to get started on some cards.

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  34. Fabulous cards. Love the ocean scene.

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  35. Fantastic cards!!! They are all so lovely. I love the die cut mermaid! The colors you used on her are so gorgeous!! And the card with the reef frame die is just amazing. I love the deep rich colors!! Just spectacular ❤️ Thanks so much for all these inspiring ideas!!

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  36. Fantastic cards and such amazing watercoloring! :)
    I have really enjoyed hopping along, so many wonderful creations ♥ Tindaloo

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  37. Love your ideas for this kit. I ordered it this afternoon. I am really liking these Hero Arts monthly kits.

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  38. I love the 3rd card, the ocean background is amazing

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  39. Fabulous cards!! The colors on the Mermaid ate great. Can't believe you only used 2 colors. I have the dot card high on my wish list. Thanks for sharing all these awesome projects!

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  40. I love the card with the reef colored in

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  41. I am so glad to see the layered mermaid since it is hard to know how it looks without an example so thank you. As well she is absolutely

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  42. I am glad to see what the layered mermaid looks like and she is beautiful. Thank you for choosing her as your example.

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  43. I like the water color technique and the bright colors that you used on the card. Made the cards stand out and beautiful

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  44. It is always a treat to see your beautiful use of color turned into amazing cards.

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  45. Beautiful cards! I saw the pic from Dick Blick and was sooooooo jelly, until I found out that there's one in Pittsburgh, right near me! Lol, silly me! And now I need to go look up how to say "quinacridone"! ;)

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  46. Cool cards! I especially like the one with the reef border die. Very realistic-looking underwater scene.

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  47. Ocean full of thanks is a really beautiful card!

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  48. Such beautiful cards! Love this whole kit! It's absolutely my favorite!!!

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  49. Beautiful! Love the watercolor background!

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  50. Thank YOU for being Mermazing!! And thanks for sharing your wonderfully colored cards. 😊

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  51. Gorgeous cards. Love the beautiful rich colors.

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  52. Beautiful cards! Love the colors used in the paper-pieced mermaid!

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  53. All your cards are fabulous. Thanks for the tip for embossing on the tissue paper, and for the inspiration to play with water colors. You don't have to worry about me because I COULD NOT RESIST the reef die, so I cannot wait to get it and my kit, so I can freak out as well. Keep your great prose and inspiration coming!

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  54. Love the vibrant colors of your cards!

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  55. Oh Lydia, I love you and your cards! Your blog is so fun to read! I ordered this kit too, plus several of the additions.

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  56. Oh I love your cards. You are so creative and the colors you chose are perfect for each of your cards. Thanks for sharing about your trip. Glad you enjoyed it. I love to read your blog.

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  57. Thanks for sharing your cards. I can't believe that that mermaid is only colored with two colors of Daniel smith paint. You have definitely enabled me on that reef die and am hoping they also carry some Daniel paints so I can give them a try.

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  58. Fun to see the die on a car ... and I love her mer-mazing lady in pink.

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  59. Thanks for sharing your cards. I can't believe you colored the mermaid with just two colors of Daniel smith paint. You have definitely enabled me to purchase the reef die and if they carry Daniel smith paint I will have to try some myself.
    Kathy D.

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  60. OMG, Lydia! Your cards are mermazing! I love the last one - and I don't think I can resist anything in this kit! So glad you used the paper layering die - was on the fence for a minute; now I gotta have it!

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  61. Great cards. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  62. The backgrounds you've created are striking. Great cards.

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  63. Beautiful colors for the mermaid, thank you for sharing these lovely cards

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  64. Stunning! Ahhh, I really do need to pick up watercoloring because in the right hands it produces beautiful results.

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  65. Your watercoloring is so deep and rich -- like being under the sea! So cute - this little mermaid!

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  66. I LOOOOVE this set!!! So beautiful, and my niece will love it too!!!
    xoxo,
    Azana H.

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  67. Thank you for sharing all this inspiration for us! This kit is one of their best!

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  68. Bright and colorful cards :)

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  69. I agree, the border frame die really is gorgeous!

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  70. This is the first kit I've ordered and I'm so excited. These look like so much fun. Glad I saw the preview and set an alarm in my calendar to place the order.

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  71. The pink mermaids are very soft and feminine looking. Nicely done! And like the way you cut,colored, and used the frame die. Just wish Hero Arts brought in more of these items. The die was sold out last night. :(

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  72. Stunning cards and colouring!!!

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  73. Lydia you've got mad skills girl!! Gorgeous cards!! πŸ’–πŸ˜Š

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  74. Your card ideas are amazing. I love that you used the largest die. I cant wait to see if someone did anything with the he-man. Love the combinations.

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    1. I'll have a card on the Hero blog with him tomorrow :)

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  75. Your cards are amazing❣ I loved seeing them painted in DS paints we can easily obtain. I ordered the kit last night, including the incredible detailed reef die, and thought all was good. About 30 seconds later, I was getting ready to hit "submit" or whatever that last step is & the kit & reef changed to "out of stock". I was in shock. When I saw your cards this morning , I actually shed a few tears. I've never done that before!!! Sssshhhh, don't tell anyone. Beautiful cards, Lydia❣ Oh my, I would love to win. ��

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    1. Good news though Elizabeth - it's an add-on, so it will be back in stock! Take heart! xo

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  76. Beautiful watercolours. Great layering die so suited to a mermaid image.

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  77. That deep ocean blue color really makes the mermaid image pop and that die is gorgeous.

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  78. I love how you made the creatures in that "ring thing" standout. Most everyone else had it just as a subtle background. Very nice.

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  79. Everyone of your cards are created so beautifully. You have such talent! I especially am drawn to the first one though. I like the way you've popped out some of the hair & the scales. Just lovely.
    I'd order the kit in a heartbeat, but, alas, the exchange rate is beyond ridiculous. I'd be over the moon to win this kit. :)

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  80. your colors are so beautiful. I love the layered paper mermaid

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  81. The shading is fantastic.
    Love the die cuts - coloring
    in parts of it was a wonderful
    idea.
    thanks for sharing so many
    great ideas.

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  82. Love the cards! Great Blog hoop :)

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  83. Your cards are fabulous, Lydia! Love the mermaids, the dies, and your coloring is so gorgeous.

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  84. Great cards! I love this kit!

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  85. Oh my!! All your creations are gorgeous and I can't pick a favorite! Thank you for sharing all of them!!

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  86. Gorgeous cards!! Love this kit!!

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  87. Beautiful cards! I love the water coloring. I am so incredibly sad that I missed out on this kit.

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  88. Beautiful cards I love the pink mermaid very pretty would love to win the kit

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  89. My favorite from this release is the Reef Frame die, love it! Your cards are beautiful!

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  90. Fabulous array of cards ! Very beautiful watercoloring and gorgeous colours ! Very amazing showcasing of this new kit ! Thanks for sharing and for inspiring.

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  91. Such beautiful cards! What a super cute kit, I just love mermaids and the ocean! Thanks for sharing. ~Gin K.~

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  92. Absolutely amazing and very beautiful cards!!

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  93. These cards are all just amazing. I love the last one best (although I hate to play favorites). What a fabulous kit (and add-ons)

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  94. Love the colored Reef Border Die, actually, loved all the cards! I'm feeling the need to swim!

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  95. Just gorgeous cards! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  96. Living in Florida I do like good beachy/ocean/mermaid/fishy themed products. I absolutely love this set. Thanks for the giveaway....I love your blog...

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  97. Love your cards!!! So happy to see someone paint the reef die!

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  98. Lovely cards. Great way to use some stash like mulberry paper

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  99. I'm so glad you are on this hop!!

    I have been looking for the perfect mermaid stamps FOR YEARS! These are the perfect mermaid stamps, I am in love and desperate to have this set!!! I waited 24 hours too long to order because I stupidly promised my husband that I wouldn't order anything new until we sold our house and now I am so sad because they are all gone.

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  100. Amazing kit! I went to take a look and it was already sold out!

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  101. All your cards are sooo gorgeous! I love all the watercoloring. So perfect for mermaid and ocean cards! Such a lovely kit and the add-ons are wonderful too!

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  102. Gorgeous cards. Love the mermaids. Thanks for sharing

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  103. Lovely cards!I really like these vibrant colors!

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  104. I wish I could water color like you do. Just lovely. I know I have to practice, practice, practice. Love all the cards!

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  105. I love your pink mermaids and the colorful reefs on the border oval!!

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  106. Great cards. I especially liked your paper layering of the mermaid on your first card. Thanks for sharing your creations and for being part of this blog hop.

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  107. Your background colors are beautiful, so creative.

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  108. I too missed out on this fabulous kit! Your colors are amazing and your coloring truly an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your wonderful cards!

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  109. I wondered what they meant by "paper layering" and now I know. I love the colors on your cards- very pretty.

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  110. All three of your cards are great. I really like the layered die & I'm glad you show a really good use of it. Thanks!

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  111. Amazing talent! Great cards! She is a very pretty mermaid!

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  112. Great cards. Love the backgrounds.

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  113. OMG all the card are beautiful . specially the way you caret the ocean.

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  114. I love how you colored the die cut and created shadows allowing the cut to get the focus.

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  115. Absolutely incredible! It's like I'm under the sea.. your water coloring is brilliant :)

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  116. Oh My Goodness, a Pink Mermaid!!! How delightful! Your cards are so awesome. Thanks for sharing.

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  117. Lydia, your card is STUNNING! Fantastic kit this month; no wonder it's already sold out! :(

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  118. these are all STUNNING!!! i'm in awe of your talent - and you have inspired me to try watercoloring when my kit gets here!

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  119. Beautiful!!! Love the watercolors.

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  120. Wow awesome cards with this great kit.

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  121. Love all your samples but the reef one is my favourite! It's like looking through a porthole into a magical, underwater world - beautiful!
    I am LOVING this kit & it would be wonderful to win something - thank you for the opportunity.
    all the best, Liz M xx

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  122. such wonderful cards - absolutely love the watercolor looks you achieved with each of these stamps and dies!

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  123. Gorgeous cards. Thank you for sharing you amazing talent. Loving the blog hop (maybe that should be swimπŸ˜‰)

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  124. Your cards are luscious! Can't wait to get my hands on this fun kit!

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  125. The watercolor effect is so fitting for this kit!

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  126. These are gorgeous creations - love the inspiration for using this great kit !

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  127. Love love love them all! Can't wait to get my kit!

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  128. Gorgeous cards and amazing colors!

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  129. ooooh! the paper layering mermaid die is very unique- love how you used it. The blue oval colors are very bold and beautiful!

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  130. Fantastic cards! They turned out beautiful!

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  131. I love how you did your card and got shadows on the card. That is such a cool technique! I want to learn how to do that. The ocean is so cool and i've been to Hawaii and Aruba and swam in both. When we were kids my parents used to rent out a cottage for a week in RI and we swam in the ocean. This was before Jaws and there was always a shark scare or 2 and we all had to get out of the water until the life guards went to check it out. I never did see a mermaid. Your card is so clever.

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  132. Awesome cards, awesome kit.

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  133. These are all so unique and cheerful! Love the new Hero Arts kit!

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  134. Wow gorgeous cards I especially the 3rd one wow!!!

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  135. I'm speechless! Your amazing πŸ™ŒπŸ½πŸ™ŒπŸ½

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  136. Awesome colors and textures! This kit is awesome... my favorite kit so far!

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  137. Nice cards with the fun mermaids and the merman! I like the vibrant colors on the reef frame.

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  138. These are GORGEOUS! The last one is completely mesmerizing, seriously, I think you got me hypnotized! Love the pink mermaid in the sun too :) Thanks for the inspiration!

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  139. SO MUCH FUN! Love these cards and kit!
    ~God bless~

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  140. Beautiful Cards. Love the water color look you achieved!!

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  141. Love to win! I adore the mermaid stamps and the beautiful papers in the kit ! Love the reef frame !

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