Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Cold, The Wet, The Misunderstood

I'm here today on behalf of a few misunderstood sea creatures.

When I was little, we used to go to the Texas coast occasionally for a beach vacation.

It's important to note though, that a Texas beach vacation is nothing to write home about. Our beaches are not the sugar sand, clear water beaches you find in the Caribbean and Florida. You're never going to see a Texas beach on Pinterest, unless it's a pin called "Five Ways to Remove Tar From Flip Flops" or maybe "What Makes Water Brown?" It's just a fact. We Texans only go there because it's the only beach you can get to after driving for 9 hours with a bunch of cranky people you're related to.

But you can still do all the fun things you do on pretty beaches - you can look for shells and little crabs, you can see those teeny ground squirrel thingies in the dunes, you can eat sandy hot dogs and drink canned beer and you can hear the ocean, if you like that sort of thing.

But from a very early age, I always thought the MOST dramatic and interesting thing about Texas beaches was the jellyfish. But in true Texas beach style of only doing things halfway, the jellyfish we encountered weren't even REAL jellyfish - they were Portugese Man o' War, also known - wait for it - as FLOATING TERROR. I'm not making that up.

And they are terrifying - they continue stinging you even after they're dead, even if only little pieces of them are floating around or washed up on the beach, which is where we saw them the most.

Even though we all were very careful not to come into contact with them, having been told dramatic tales by our parents, we still got as close as we could to them on the beach to look at them, because they are so strange and beautiful. They are like a deadly soap bubble - all iridescent and multi-colored. They look so delicate and improbable.

Unlike the FLOATING TERROR, real jellies can move themselves, instead of just floating on currents, and they are actually some of the most efficient swimmers of all sea creatures. It's magical to watch, and the jellies are always my favorite thing to see at aquariums. Their looks and their movements are mesmerizing. If I actually liked the water, and got to be reincarnated as a sea creature, I think I'd come back as a jellyfish.

So, lucky me, there happens to be the most gorgeous jellyfish stamp in the newest My Monthly Hero kit, among other incredible sea-themed images. There was much SQUEE when I opened the stamp set.

The jelly images are actually layering, but I thought the detail layer alone was so delicate and perfect that I used it to do some emboss resist with my beautiful Mijello Mission Gold Watercolors, which I've neglected since May!

I tried to incorporate all the dreamy colors I saw on the washed up Man o' Wars into my more peaceful floating jellyfish.

In the end, it was so pretty and serene I didn't even want to add a sentiment - I just wanted to let the jellies float, wordless, as they do.

Pin It

I don't know why, but I really think this is one of my favorite cards I've ever painted. It just is so peaceful.

I painted a bunch of watercolor backgrounds while I had the watercolor out. I used another one for the sweet sea turtles in the set. I wanted the colors to be more turtle-y on this one, so I went heavy on the greens. AREN'T THEY CUTE?


 There's something so soothing about sea images, even though I find the sea completely the opposite of soothing. (Insert screaming from all my beachy friends here. It's okay - I'll wait)

Finally, I had to make a card set with the more graphic images in the set - including an octopus with the most hilarious look in his eye! This time I did use both layers on the jelly, and I combined a few sets for the sentiments, including Hello Gorgeous and the sentiments from the kit. They crack me up.
 
AND, best news of all - I love it when my crafty purchases go towards a cause - Hero Arts is donating 10% of the profits from the July kit to ocean preservation through the World Wildlife Fund. Since I'm a member, this really spoke to me. I love all creatures great and small and whenever I find an animal-related crafty cause, I have to get behind that. So a big thanks to the kind people at Hero for doing this!

I made a little video for you of the watercolor process for these cards - so you'll see how I fixed a few color mistakes along the way - remember with watercolor - never give up! Contrary to popular belief, it can be a very forgiving medium.





This is a while-supplies-last kit, so move faster than a jellyfish! It's a BIG kit, and includes alllll this:


http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=728637&b=855179&m=65361&afftrack=&urllink=heroarts%2Ecom%2Fshop%2Dsidebar%2Fmh0716%2Dmy%2Dmonthly%2Dhero%2Djuly%2D2016%2F

There are also add-ons, which I will be buying - this completely cracks me up. It comes with dies as well.


http://shrsl.com/?~czx3


And I'm hopping with some friends today if you want to see some more inspiration with these lovelies - the people on this hop have my complete admiration - they are incredible artists!

The Hero Arts Blog
Yana Smakula
Amy Tsuruta
Clare Prezzia
May Park
Laura Bassen
Lydia Fiedler
Jessica Frost-Ballas
Justin Krieger
Jennifer McGuire
Jenn Shurkus
Veronica Zalis
Libby Hickson
Joan Bardee

So thanks for stopping by - I'm swimming off now. Loveyameanitbye.


188 comments:

  1. WOW Lydia!!!! Had to watch the video twice so I could enjoy the process! Your cards are STUNNERS!The kit is GORGEOUS....and the add on octopus is WONDERFUL!!! All going on my wish list!!!
    Paper Hugs,
    Jan

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  2. Lydia, I enjoyed reading your post. My family and I went to South Padre Island last summer and the beach was full of these gorgeous blue blobs. That didn't stop me from walking barefoot for miles, I guess I was really lucky, I didn't know about that dead and still stinging thing! Anyway, love your peaceful underwater scenes you've created with this kit!

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  3. one of my first elementary school projects was making a man of war for science class... I remember reading about them and being so scare lol I think I made it out of play dough lol all of your cards are so beautiful. thank you for sharing!

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  4. Gorgeous watercolors!! I love your post title too!! :)

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  5. Wow , your card is amazing.thanks for sharing

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  6. your jellies are stunning! so soft and pretty!

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  7. All of your cards are beautiful the jellies really look angelic.

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  8. Thoroughly enjoyed your comments about sea creatures. Absolutely beautiful water coloring for backgrounds!

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  9. I love this kit, so cute! I really like the Ombré Dolphin ink and Mermaid mix that comes with it :o)

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  10. Your cards are fabulous and your stories are equally enjoyable! Can't wait to get this kit in my hot little hands and see if I can be as successful with it. Your tutorial will def help

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  11. The first one looks more like art for a wall than a card. Lovely. The turtle one is my favorite though. They are so cute.

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  12. My mom grew up in Brownsville, TX and spent a lot of time on South Padre Island before it was a huge tourist area. When I was 4 we went to the beach with a bunch of family and I stopped my cousin from stepping on a man-o-war on the beach. You would have though I had saved her from a snippers bullet.

    Beautiful card as usual.

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  13. loved watching you watercolor - beautiful!

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  14. The card is great. Love the backgroud. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. Crazy gorgeous, Lydia! You've really ushered these terrors to a beautiful place. Love it.

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  16. Have to say, your watercoloring technique is very organic and the results are stunning.

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  17. Both your writing and cards are always mesmerizing to me! I get lost in both.... Wether laughing til I have tears or picturing you as a little being daring..... You are such a treasure!!!

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  18. I love your color combination. Great sea scene. It's the most beautiful cards in this blog hop.

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  19. Lydia, so beautiful! Great card kit! Not often I say I MUST have something, this was the exception.

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  20. Wow, thank you for your informative post Lydia really enjoyed being educated about jellyfish :-) Now about your cards just LOVE them, love the colors you used for them.

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  21. Love how tranquil the ocean is in your cards I will be watching to learn more about your coloring tequniques. Thanks

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  22. love these pretty watercolor backgrounds! Perfect for this super fun kit.

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  23. Love the watercolor and the anecdotes.

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  24. Love them all and what you did with them --- beautiful backgrounds, too!

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  25. Your water colouring is so beautiful. Love this kit. Melanie x

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  26. Beautiful cards. Love the backgrounds.

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  27. Huh, I thought I was the only one, all my life I've heard "but the beeeach is so beeeaaauuutiful, the waaater is sooo sooothing, the sun is so goood for you, the whole experience is aaaammaazzzing! NO! IT'S NOT! I'm allergic to the sun, there is sand EVERYWHERE, the wind is ALWAYS blowing, and the sea wants to EAT YOU! That being said i do the like the beaches along the Washington coast, overcast and rocky is my style, but the water still wants to get you so watch out! Your card is beautiful and calm The kit is beautiful and I'd use the heck out of it. Jellyfish behind glass are some of the most soothing peaceful things I've ever encountered.

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  28. so cute and simple love your delicate design thank you for your tutoriel

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  29. WOW! I thought the first two cards were great and then I saw the set of four you did with those awesome sentiments!!! Totally blown away :)

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  30. Great cards! Love the background.

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  31. The simple one image and one sentiment cards are so impressive! I realky like the jellyfish one w/the blue-ish accent. Thanks for sharing your story about the Texas beaches, too!

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  32. Love the card and the story! It's a nice reminder to enjoy life, but be careful because sometimes it bites.

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  33. The way you blended the colors together is just breathtaking. I love this! It is so calming and beautiful!

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  34. I love the ocean and all of your cards. Your watercolor card is just beautiful.

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  35. I'm with you, I love that rose color! I'm still trying to get the hang of watercolor washes. Thanks for the video and your advice.

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  36. Living in Florida and swimming near the jetties have met many of those "FLOATING TERROR" pieces. Really like looking at your jellyfish the back ground colors of the card are relaxing , they actually do look like they are floating up.

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  37. Beautiful card. I enjoyed your jelly fish story. Thanks.

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  38. You captured the Texas beach experience perfectly. hahahaha!!! And wow, seriously, that jellyfish card is everything. I am so in love with it. Absolute perfection!! Also, I love that you just paint and don't do all the taping down and whatnot of your paper. I never mess with that but figured I was just a derelict.

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  39. Amazing cards! Thanks, Lydia

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  40. I love then all! I agree, though, that the wordless jellyfish panel is very peaceful, and is my fave!

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  41. I absolutely love your cards. The watercolor ones are serene and quite calming! I feel the silence of the underwater world of the ocean when I look at them. And your more graphic cards are way too fun!

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  42. I love your card. It is so peaceful looking.

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  43. Wow!!! Stunning cards!! Really love the watercoloring on the jelly fish card!!!

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  44. Beautiful. Reminds me of the jellyfish displays at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

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  45. You make it look so easy and they are just beautiful.

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  46. So Pretty! Wonderful Background!

    Theresa

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  47. Absolutely love your technique! You actually managed to make jelly fish look like a good thing! Enjoyed your take on TX beaches. I recently visited Galveston & was a bit let down.

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  48. Oh my I do love watercolour, what a great job and the colours are terrific. What an credible and versitile kit.

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  49. Very nice..all of them! That jelly fish card is really great looking! Your background did come out very nice. I too love jelly fish!

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  50. What amazing cards. I just adore your beautiful watercoloring. I just love the ocean so I love the beautiful new Hero Arts kit.

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  51. I really like your jelly fish card and I enjoyed readying your story.

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  52. Your first card is so ethereal, and as you said, "peaceful". The colors are the best. You've turned this HA Card Kit into a real winner--just like your card is. Super job.

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  53. Love the watercolor. I love this kit. I would type more but broke wrist

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  54. I can relate to your story. I spent some time in the hospital about 20 years ago after I got into a "fight" with a Portuguese-Man-O-War ...... and lost! It was very painful, especially after my "stings" became infected. But, living in Florida nearly all my life means the ocean is a part of life ... and we go right back in. I definitely need to get these stamps!

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  55. Beautiful! The watercolor backgrounds are perfect for the stamps. Thank you for sharing.

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  56. I'm so glad that you used the jelly fish. I was looking forward to seeing how you could use them.

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  57. Gorgeous cards and kit! I live in Texas and got a kick out of your description of the Man O' War (Men O' War?). When my parents were first married they went to the beach and my poor mom got stung by one while she was in the water. My dad said all of a sudden all he saw was my mom almost walking on water trying to get to shore. She said it hurt so bad. It's great that HA is donating to a great cause!

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  58. Totally awesome kit and card! Love the video! 😍
    God bless!

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  59. Absolutely gorgeous cards! Love the artistry. I'm really enjoying the creativity with this kit.

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  60. Interesting info about the jelly fish or the terror ones. I never knew anything about them. Nice cards.

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  61. WOW! Stunning watercolored cards! Just wow!

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  62. Excellent card. The watercolors are dreamy.

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  63. Gorgeous card! Loved your video too.. thanks so much for sharing! :)

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  64. I love how your emboss resist technique turned out. Both card backgrounds are so lovely. My favorite is the jellyfish one. So subtle and so beautiful. TFS!

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  65. Lydia F, What a lovely watercolor card, love the colors etc. Good job. Thanks for sharing.

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  66. I love all your cards---I enjoyed watching you watercolor!!!!

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  67. Loved your little story And your card was my favorite!

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  68. The watercolor backgrounds are awesome! Just perfect for these stamps!

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  69. I learn something new every blog hop, i can't wait to try this kit thanks for sharing

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  70. That card is so serene! I love to watch jelly fish, and that is why!

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  71. This is such a fabulous kit. Super cute card. tfs!

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  72. I'm fascinated by jellyfish too. You should check out the Monterey bay aquarium Periscope channel. They do the most amazing and informative scopes.

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  73. Beautiful cards. Love the first one and nice video too, thanks for sharing too. This kit is awesome.

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  74. beautiful cards... very calm and serene!

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  75. Such a darling stamp set, and a Fab tutorial on watercolors! Thank you, Lydia.

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  76. Gorgeous cards, love the watercolor tutorial, thanks!

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  77. Gorgeous cards! I could watch you watercolor those backgrounds all day, lol!! Thanks for sharing your technique!

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  78. Your cards are all gorgeous! I think this is HA's best kit yet - love it!

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  79. Love the jellyfish and the colors you used on the card!

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  80. I like your water coloring. It's always very relaxing watching you and the results are always pleasing to my eyes.

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  81. Gorgeous sea scene! I love your video showing how you created the backgrounds! Awesome new kit from Hero Arts!

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  82. Very difficult to choose a favorite. All the cards are incredible, the water colored background is amazing

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  83. As a native Texan I can relate to your beach experience! Love the jellyfish card! very pretty!

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  84. Fabulous backgrounds to feature these beautiful ocean-themed designs! Awesome colors and details on your beautiful cards!

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  85. I really enjoyed watching your video. I love to watch watercolor do its thing! I'm like you, I love that Opera Pink. Those jelly fish are so awesomely beautiful!

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  86. Your story made me chuckle but your jellyfish card made me sigh happily- all of your cards are lovely but that water colored jelly should be framed!

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  87. so glad I came to the blog as I hadn't seen the last set of 4 cards. They are fantastic. And that watercolored jellie card blew me away.

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  88. I can see why this card is one of your favorites - it's gorgeous! Just before I came to the blog hop, I ordered my MMHK plus the seahorse set. I live by the sea, so I love everything ocean-related.

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  89. Oh Lydia, this card is just magical! The jellies are ethereal and beyond gorgeous.

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  90. Having been to Texas on a family vacation many years ago :) As a young Wisconsinite who grew up on beautiful Lake Michigan I have to ask....what is up with the tar?
    I don't recall any tar..although I was just a teenager and it was my first time seeing the ocean :)
    I love your post as much as the wonderful set.
    Beautiful colors and wonderful ideas!
    Thanks for sharing...your story and your talent :)

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  91. Love the ethereal look of your sea creatures!

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  92. Beautiful cards!! Love the stunning watercolored backgrounds you created on both cards.

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  93. LOVE.
    ALL your cards are fabulous.

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  94. Your watercoloring made this card so special. TFS.

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  95. Fabulous cards. Love the watercolor backgrounds and your story of Texas beaches.

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  96. Lovely, lovely cards! Love the watercoloring and you do it so effortlessly.

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  97. Love your watercolouring technique. Awesome card

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  98. This kit is absolutely GORGEOUS!!! So many possibilities! And your cards are stunning, thanks for the inspiration!!!!

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  99. Thank you for the water coloring inspiration. This jelly card is just plain gorgeous!

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  100. I can't wait to get my set. I have just ordered it!

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  101. Gorgeous cards! I could watch you watercolor all day. Simply stunning!

    As far as Texas beaches though, have you ever been to one south of Corpus Christi? Gorgeous blue green water and blonde sandy beaches.

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  102. I love your cards, there are my favorite on this hop!

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  103. Your water coloring truly is beautiful. I could just stare at your creations. Very peaceful.

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  104. I wish I could afford to buy this kit right now because those color combinations are my favorite. Thanks for the chance to win the kit :)

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  105. Love the watercolor effect. So pretty.

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  106. Great watercolorig tips.so nice cards.

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  107. Hi Lydia, hope you have been doing well! I have to say that your blog posts are always so enjoyable to read. Your writing is every bit as beautiful as the cards you create!

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  108. WOW.... I love your watercolor backgrounds!!!! There are absolutely beautiful!!

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  109. Wow! Such fabulous watercolouring, you created such beautiful backgrounds/oceans! It is so nice to hear that someone other than me thinks that watercolours are worth sticking at. I love them and all it took was a little time to get good at them, they are so forgiving and so wonderful to use too, thanks for the fabulous hop Karen x

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  110. Simple, elegant and adorable!

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  111. Such pretty cards! I too love your backgrounds!

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  112. The watercoloring is beautiful.
    Makes such a wonderful background.
    thanks for the idea.

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  113. Um, wow. Saw your card on IG and was mesmerized. Now Joan pointed me over and I'm amazed again. Cuz I hadn't made the Man o War connection before. My toe had an encounter with a dead one on the Silver Coast of France (yes, I was curious about this lovely blue, purple, iridescent, thingy on the beach). Needless to say I'll never forget it. Fabulous project. Fabulous post. And as a MI gal, I happen to love the water ;)

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  114. Love your watercolor techniques and your card designs are wonderful. I just discovered water coloring and after watching your video, I am going to try my hand at doing more.

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  115. I've been reading your blog for a while and have come to trust your judgement, so when you posted aways back about a certain onion dip, I sat up and took notice. I haven't had the occasion to use the recipe until this year's 4th of July get together. Holy Moley, you rocked my everlovin' chip & dip world! Thank You! As to today's post and video, you make such beauty and you make it look effortless, and I thank you for your videos of the step by step processes so I can play along too! Can't wait to get those cute little turtles! Thank You for all of it!

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    Replies
    1. Oh my GOSH - is that not the most amazing dip ever? GEEZ where has that been all my life? Thank you for your kindness and I'm so glad you tried the recipe! xo

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  116. Great cards, I really like the backgrounds.

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  117. Awww!!! Definitely one of the most beautiful release! And your cards are really breathless!!!

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  118. I love the color choices and the background turned out so beautiful.

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  119. Loved your water coloring techniques and the results were wonderful. Just discovered watercoloring myself, so am anxious to try.

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  120. I have been attempting to post a comment for the past two hours and hope that this one takes. Love your watercoloring techniques and am anxious to try them out. Love your card design and use of colors. Great stamp kit set.

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  121. Great cards and love the soft colors. I would love to be able to color like this with watercolors and I know it takes patience and I need to continue to try. Thanks for sharing.

    Linda D.

    Linda D.

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  122. Love your watercolor backgrounds. The card with the turtles is my favorite.

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  123. It's a marvelous card Lydia ! As you say, very peaceful and calm ! And the watercolors you managed on it are just tremendous ! I love your video too. Hope I will be able to make such wonderful cards with my kit ;-) ! Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win. Izzy Scrap

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  124. Your story was hilarious :D
    I think this set is cool, I LOVE that HERO ARTS is making so many layered stamps! They are easy and fun. Also, what a great cause! Thanks for sharing!

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  125. I love the watercolor jellyfish. It makes you feel like you are just floating along with them. Great job.

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  126. The colors you added for the watercolor wash look very soothing.

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  127. Fabulous water coloring that shows the beauty and transparencies of the jellyfish!

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  128. Your cards are simply mesmerising! Stunning!

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  129. Absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Love this so much!

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  130. Wow, I love all of your cards!!! This is such a great kit!!!

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  131. I was mesmerized by your beachy tales of the Portuguese Man-of-Wars! Eeeeeek!!! I grew up in Oregon where the ocean is cold and shell-hunting and sandcastle-building are abt all you can do. There are sand half-dollars and quarters (broken by the rocky coastline!) and pieces of jellyfish (fortunately none very dangerous...but still shouldn't touch). I love hearing abt the coastlines of other places!

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful cards. The watercoloring is just gorgeous with these graceful sea creature images!!
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com
    HerPeacefulGarden.blogspot.com

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  132. Beautiful cards! Your watercoloring is awesome! Cant wait to get this set!

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  133. Hello fellow oceanic animals of the deep lover! I love your card! I'm so glad that Hero Arts is donating 10% to WWF!

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  134. The designs and colors are stunning.

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  135. The soft colours are just fantastic and dreamy. Great watercolouring, love these cards

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  136. wow that jelly card is simply gorgeous...that says it all, gorgeous!

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  137. Its a toss up for me Lydia - whether I love your incredible cards or your wonderful story telling more. So glad I don't have to choose!

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  138. Oh, how I love your watercolored soft background, Lydia! Thanks for sharing the video!

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  139. Wow wow wow! These are gorgeous!!!!

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  140. beautiful watercolor background. thanks for sharing
    stamping sue
    http://stampingsueinconnecticut.blogspot.com/

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  141. The video and cards are wonderful. I enjoyed your story and watching you paint. The set of black and white cards is lovely and eyecatching.

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  142. I enjoyed your introductory comments, Lydia. They are funny and very interesting. And thank you so much for your beautiful watercolor cards! Gives me encouragement to try it. Also, thanks for participating in this great hop and giveaway.

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  143. Wow, I must get my watercolors out, this so cool. Thanks for sharing.

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  144. Love the kit and your cards! So pretty!

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  145. Love your watercolored backgrounds! The jellyfish card is my favorite.

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  146. I love how your watercolor background came out! You really did capture all the colors of one of those iridescent jellyfish.

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  147. WOW! That watercolor jellyfish card is *stunning*!!!! I need those jellyfish SO badly, I hope they come back in stock!

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  148. Absolutely stunning!! Awesome colors. Love the serenity of this one.

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  149. I've seen Jellyfish in our aquarium in Mystic CT and I must admit they look very cool. However, my sister got stung by a jellyfish and she would disagree with me. If she saw your pretty card though, maybe she would like them again!

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  150. OH. MY. Your art today took my breath away. Thank you!

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  151. Wow love your water coloring. Your cards are beautiful

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  152. Wonderful post. Love the cards and pinned the Jellies. Thanks for sharing.

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  153. Hi Lydia! Great video, love those water color backgrounds and all of the details. Great kit! One year, we vacationed in the Florida keys and encountered some broken up jellies. Thankfully, the. Realtor that helped us rent a condo advised us to get some white vinegar to keep on hand and we used it all day with our jelly stings. Thanks, Paulette Still
    Craftqueen417 at yahoo
    HTTPS://paulettesrpettypapercrafts.wordrpess.com

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  154. I do so love your watercolor backgrounds! You inspire me to keep on trying with my own!

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  155. Learned something new from your blog post, and I'll just stay away. Can't say I haven't been warned! Lydia, your watercolored backgrounds are gorgeous and can see why you didn't want to cover them up. Stunning!

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  156. Soo beautiful! I love your soft coloring! Thanks for sharing (unfortunately the kit is sold out -.-)

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  157. Love your cards!! Thank you for the video on how you colored your background!

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  158. Gorgeous! Your video made me want to go and play with my new W&N water colours, but it's time for bed...

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  159. Your cards are so sweet and serene looking. Love the soft colors. Thanks and God bless! ILuvTheEucharist (at) aol.com

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  160. Wow! These are stunning! LOVE the backgrounds and I must agree....those jellies are fabulous! ♥

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  161. Okay, just in love with the watercolor background. Images really stand out. Also love the black and cards. Some times we forget how black and white can make a statement too

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  162. Enjoyed watching you watercolor the backgrounds. Beautiful cards!

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  163. Your watercolored cards are so beautiful and serene - just lovely!

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  164. that is some of the most beautiful cards I have ever seen! So absolutely amazing! I am almost speechless! WOW!

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