Monday, April 3, 2017

You Are Fabulous

I wouldn't exactly call myself a Francophile by any means. I vividly remember getting kicked out of my 8th grade French class for taking the opportunity to learn a few French curse words and sharing them with a classmate. I was never so happy to be out in the hall, because even though I LOVE languages (I have a Master's degree in Slavic languages, and loved the Italian, Russian and Czech I learned and found them easy) - I couldn't stand French. It just sounded wrong coming out. Romance languages and Slavic languages were so much more natural for me. For the record, German falls into the unnatural category as well, which is odd, since English a Germanic language. I love the little meme that says "Tell someone you love them today, because life is short. But also, SHOUT it at them in German, because life is also terrifying."

But I wish that French had come easier to me, because I love the IMAGERY of France, and would love to be able to go and feel like I could converse. I love all French cooking shows that had as their background the beauty of southern France, or Paris. I love Jacques Pepin to the moon and back.

My friend Dana and I together probably have the world's largest collection of Eiffel Tower stamps in North America. I simply cannot resist buying anything with Parisian imagery, as you will soon see. Everything about it speaks to me - the little poodles, the glamorous women, the bakeries and cafes, the nighttime city scenes - it makes for great, fun and uplifting cards. You can see why so much incredible art came out of, and into France.

So what you are about to see (and I know I say this all the time, but dang it people keep coming out with my favorite things!) is my favorite Hero kit EVER. I squealed so loudly when I saw it that I'm pretty sure they could hear me at Hero HQ.

Not only is it a French set, which I'd have to have, but it's a FASHION PLATES SET!! You can interchange heads, bodies, legs, outfits of the girls to build the scene you want - OH EM GEE.

Remember my Fashion Plates card? Those things will always have a place in my life. I bonded so hard with that particular art supply as a kid that we will never be separated! So I felt like a kid again when I got this kit.

Here's the first card I made with it.
You are Fabulous by Understand Blue


SERIOUSLY - don't you love that??? Oh my word. Here's what I did. I took a white Prismacolor pencil and highlighted the right side of the Eiffel tower die cut. I wanted the light on that and on the girl to be coming from the right. Then I watercolored a background with Daniel Smith watercolors. I watercolored my girl - who I dressed like the French Flag - and fussy cut her out, lifting color around her knees with my Absorber while it was still left. Doesn't that ultramarine make your eyes happy? I used my itty bitty Silver brush for those details - I love that thing.

Then I stamped the sentiment from one of the addons (with  Audrey Hepburn builder stamps in it - squee! and a cat! squee!) onto the background. This is cold press watercolor paper so both the girl and the sentiment had to be stamped multiple times in the MISTI.

I had so much fun doing this it was ridiculous. I love stamp sets that I play with the second I get them in the mail. This was most definitely one of them.

So speaking of France and art, this paper layering ballerina add-on just screamed Degas to me!

I colored it with Luminance pencils after die cutting it - with paper layering dies, you can leave the shape as part of the card front, and then just pop up the dimensional parts - so much fun.

I did it on pastel paper and just kept it simple with no sentiment. It will just be a thinking of you card.

Degas ballerina by Understand Blue



I enjoyed that process so, so much. You can buy these pencils in open stock (link above) if you want to slowly buy them - they are AMAZING. So buttery and pretty. The colors I used on this are: Middle Cobalt Blue, Turquoise Blue, White (I always layer the colors on top of white), Anthraquinoid Pink, Golden Bismuth Yellow, Apricot, Burnt Ochre 50%, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Ochre 10%, Sepia, Genuine Cobalt Blue.

Jana was nice enough to let me in their kit hop today, and of course they're giving away a kit as well. They do have a subscription option now, so you don't have to worry you'll miss one anymore.

Here's what comes in the kit - everything else is add-ons which means they will be available after the kit sells out.

April MMH by Understand Blue
I'm excited to see what everyone has done with this. I've deliberately avoided peeking before today because I wanted to be surprised. So I'll be hopping with you. Be sure and leave comments for your chance to win! These are all incredible artists.


Loveyameanitbye.

150 comments:

  1. Both of your cards are fabulous.. but the ballerina one! Oh my!!

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  2. Gorgeous. Love the ballerina. So elegant!

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  3. Your cards are beautiful. What an awesome kit.

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  4. Beautiful cards!! Love these pretty feminine images :) thanks for sharing !

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  5. Love the detail on these die cuts! 😍

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  6. Both Cards are fabulous!!! I may need to get that ballerina die!

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  7. Goodness that ballerina is just beautiful. Love the tower too. Nice techniques. Thanks for sharing and inspiring

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  8. I loved the fashion plates when I was a little girl, and you are right, it reminds me of this, beautiful cards! I can not wait to receive my kit.

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  9. Love the cards you have made with this kit!

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  10. Haha! You can't enable me on those pencils because I already have them (thanks to last year's enabling on those adorable cup coloring you did)! But this set oui! Love what you did and now I need this Hero Arts set! Beautiful!

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  11. Love this kit, looking forward to trying it. Thank you for sharing your beautiful ideas with us.
    Take care
    Tracy

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  12. Absolutely stunning designs. Your use of the kit contents is so creative, love!!!

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  13. Great cards! Love how you used the new kit!

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  14. Love your cards. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. LOVE your cards and this amazing new kit!!!

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  16. OH WOW!! Fabulous cards! Love the first with the girl standing next to that awesome tower. Then I scrolled down & saw your ballerina card...so beautiful & exquisite...I'm blown away!!

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  17. OK, Lydia...did you intend to make me drool? Both of your cards are so lovely...and I'm craving a croissant right now! Seriously...I LπŸ’—VE what you did with this gorgeous HA Kit. TY!πŸ‘πŸ»

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  18. OMGGGGGGSQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! Enabler!!!!!! ****going to buy now!!!!

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  19. Adding shading with a white pencil was a brilliant idea! It makes the tower really pop. And I really like that you used the ballerina!

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  20. Hahaha, you made me laugh so hard while reading your post, people around me were giving me odd looks! Is it wrong that I also feel giddy just thinking of playing with all the fashion pieces of this set?

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  21. Love your projects! The coloring is great and I like the background of the Eiffel Tower card. Thank you for the chance to win!

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  22. Love your card Lydia. I adore this kit and I was excited like you when I saw it. (Don't tell the other kits but I think this one is the best so far.)

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  23. Absolutely gorgeous cards! Love your coloring.
    This is an awesome kit!!!

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  24. The little blue dress reminds me of one I had in elementary school!

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  25. You're so talented!!!! The ballerina card is so simple, yet beautiful.

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  26. Great looking cards,
    lovely colors and
    stamping.
    Carla from Utah

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  27. this set reminds me of when i was a kid and designed clothes for my paper dolls - so fun!

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  28. Oh wow! Your ballerina is a work of art! Love her!

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  29. I love your ballerina cards. Nice colors.

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  30. Amazing, as always, Lydia! Thanks for sharing your talents and giving inspiration!

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  31. So beautiful - I especially love the shadow-y background you created. So fun to see these lovely colored pencils in use. Definitely on my "wish" list for sure!

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  32. Love your cards! This set is darling!

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  33. Amazing cards. Great colouring on the ballerina. I'm in love with the April My Monthly Hero Kit.

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  34. Wow both stunning!! Love the visual dimension you've created on the first one!!

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  35. Fantastic! I love this kit so much, each card I see on this hop, I get more excited to get started with all of the stamps and dies, ohhhhhhh!

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  36. Love these cards...so wonderful. Thank you for inspiring me to create, too.

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  37. Beautiful cards, oh la la! Love the white Prismacolor pencil technique for coloring - the Eiffel Tower is stunning, awesome watercoloring!

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  38. Oh my gosh!!! I love those fashion plate toys. I might have to get them too. i"m supposed to be saving money, but what could i do??? I went to gary and showed this to him, reminded him how much i love paris, how i speak french, and how i much i was influenced by the french fashions (made so many paper dolls as a child) I have totally blamed this purchase on you lol. I had to order that wonderful eifel tower die and yes almost all of the other add ons (in the spirit of saving money, i didn't order the stencil, i know i'll be sorry later, you can say i told you so. lol) I cannot wait for this set to get here! I'll be a kid again. and on top of that, I am getting bariactric surgery in 2 days, so i will be thin again, and now instead of looking up recipes, i have been looking at what is in style in clothes. lol can this be any more perfect? I really love love love the cards you made and the blue card with the fashion plates. gosh, i wish i could figure out a way to stamp with them too. any ideas, thought? lol hugs, treen

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  39. Amazing job on the ballerina

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  40. This is so funny that you love it so much. I must see if you'll draw my name, so I too, can squeal with delightπŸ˜‚

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  41. YOU are fabulous! I love these cards!

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  42. I love your cards, especially the ballet dancer. Her tutu is such beautiful colors!

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  43. Just stunning, Lydia!! The white shading on the Eiffel Tower diecut is so striking!

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  44. I can't even tell you how much I enjoy getting your blog posts, it's like you are in my head!! So I was so happy to see you on this hop and literally laughed out loud at the saying... tell then in German because life is also terrifying... I am dying!!
    I too love all things France and after the hop, plan to go make my purchase! Your cards are gorgeous, as always. ☺

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  45. Hi Lydia, I absolutely love your cards! The watercoloring was done so spot on, so pretty and loved your colored pencil card too - beautiful! I'm glad you used Luminance I have been wondering about those pencils! Thanks for the share!

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  46. Gorgeous! I love your card, it's watercolored so beautifully! The ballerina is lovely as well! So excited to get my kit! Wonderful job, thanks for sharing!

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  47. Love, love love that ballerina card! I can't wait to make one for my little granddaughter in ballet!

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  48. Love your cards. Can't wait to get this kit.

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  49. Beautiful cards! I love your ballerina card. The coloring is gorgeous!

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  50. Wow Lydia your Parisian card is beautiful but the ballerina took my breath away. I debated purchasing the die as an add on and I think you sealed my decision. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  51. Your cards are FABULOUS, Lydia!! I ordered this kit and several add-ons right at 10am when the link went live. I think this may be my most favorite Hero kit yet, too!!

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  52. Love the shading snd depth you added to the Eiffel Tower. Two very pretty cards!

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  53. I really like what you did with April's kit! Your coloring is wonderful too!

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  54. Beautiful cards!! And techniques with pencil and watercolor.

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  55. Love these cards! I absolutely adore the first card especially, and how realistic the setting and the eiffel tower looks!

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  56. Wonderful cards. Love your background ideas.

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  57. Love your ideas! This kit and the add-ons are fabulous. Thanks for sharing on the blog hop!!

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  58. Lydia your card is sooooo very gorgeous.

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  59. OH I adore your beautiful Eiffel tower and french girl. They looks so fabulous!! I had to look twice at the ballerina die because you are right-it does scream Degas!! Wonderful creations!!

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  60. Lovely cards. The ballerina is really sweet. Great job..

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  61. I love the ballerina! Your style is unique.

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  62. I love these artsy, creative cards. The ballerina is so gorgeous!

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  63. I ALWAYS enjoy reading your posts and your projects are absolutely AWESOME. Love today's cards...TONS.

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  64. Love what you've done with it,can't wait to play!

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  65. I like the coloring on the jeans. It certainly looks like a fun kit to play with

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  66. Fantastic card! I ordered the kit. Now I can't wait to get it.

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  67. These are so awesome! Love the ballerina!

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  68. Love your card and the new kit!

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  69. Wow Lydia! Both of these cards are gorgeous! I never had the fashion plate but I loved playing with my friends and I have loved paper dolls for as long as I can remember and I collect them. I LOVE this kit and the add-ons are just as amazing! I thought I could live without the ballerina but after seeing your simple card on pastel paper, I think I might have been wrong. Thanks for sharing your creative genius!

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  70. Wow, those are beautiful cards! Well done. I like the new kit :) Thanks for the post!!

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  71. I just love your cards! I love the attitude of the girl in the first one and the ballerina is just beautiful. This set is so fun!

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  72. Gorgeous cards! I especially love how you colored the Eiffel Tower!

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  73. Absolutely stunning cards Lydia! Not only are the images just too fabulous, you showcased them to perfection. Then I went and followed your link to the fashion plate card. OMG, you noted all of my very favorites fashion plates, Lite Brite, the Spirograph and Super Elastic Bubble Plastic. I think I squealed out loud (I don't squeal)! Leaving your blog with a big smile - thanks!

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  74. The ballerina is fantastic.
    Love the coloring. This is
    a unique stamp and will be
    welcome by many.
    The Eiffel Tower die is
    fantastic. Can't wait to get
    it.
    thanks for
    sharing.

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  75. Very lovely cards! I enjoyed your post about learning languages and collecting Eiffel Tower stamps - partial to them too and ordered the die from the add ons to the kit.

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  76. I completely understand your excitement for this set - I feel the same way!! Crossing my fingers I get picked.. I want it so badly!! Love your beautiful cards, especially love your watercoloring work on the first one :)

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  77. Your cards are GORGEOUS!!! The ballerina especially is amazing!!

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  78. Love both your cards! (And the story that accompanied them!) ;)

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  79. Very well done,Lydia, and as usual I like your sense of humour!

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  80. You always create the most amazing art!

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  81. Just beautiful. Thank you. I love the kit.

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  82. Great cards. I just love the ballerina cards.

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  83. I love today's cards, I especially like the colouring you added, i thought you used pastels! And I read back a few posts and the fashion plates post. Yes I had them over 30 years ago as a 14 year old and loved them! I wish I had kept them lol . My daughter is studying fashion and costume design so I guess it "rubbed" of, pun not originally intended, but I left it in :)

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  84. Oh my goodness!!! Both your cards are really glamorous!!! I'm definitely in love for your Ballerina!!!

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  85. How do you use your study of languages day to day these day? Just curious. I'm in awe of anyone who is able to learn languages so easily. I took French as an undergrad and today can probably count to 10 or maybe on good days can say the names of the months.

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  86. love the scene welcome to Paris. love the colors it makes you want to be there right now

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  87. Love the Eiffel Tower. Great card.

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  88. I am so glade I ordered the ballerina die wasn't sure what to do when I got it but now I do your card is fabulous!

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  89. Beautiful cards! Love the perspective on the first card!

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  90. well dang, when I seen some of the other peeks in my email I kind of skimmed them thinking, I do not need more people stamps. and you got me with the remember your fashion plates... I did not look close enough to see that it had possibilities.
    I am not sure if I'm gonna thank you for sharing that cool-ness or not yet lol
    I really love what you did here!

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  91. Love the ballerina card,totally gorgeous!

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  92. Beautiful cards!! Love the sky and the ground of your first card! It totally makes the card!! That Eiffel Tower just pops. Love it!!! First ballerina I've seen on the hop and she is gorgeous!! You've convinced me that I must have it (I've been debating with myself)

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  93. Wow! Amazing coloring on that Eiffer Tower. It really looks as if it had light shining on the side.

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  94. I enjoyed your write up as much as your beautiful card. Thank you for making me laugh.

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  95. LOVE this kit! I love it when games I played with as a kid are turned into an adult games ;) Thanks for sharing your elegant French lady and ballerina, SUPER design! xx

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  96. I love these cards they are gorgeous and this months card kit is amazing.

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  97. Both of your cards are stunning. I am also a lover of all things France, and you did a great job of showcasing it.

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  98. Awesome cards. I like how you added the highlights to the tower.

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  99. I love your Eiffel Tower card - this kit looks amazing!

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  100. I always thought French was a romance language of course I've been wrong about a shit ton of stuff before so I could be wrong. Love your cards. The woman standing in front of the Eiffel tower with her arms akimbo reminds me of a story - my mom thinks that's called sass and when I explained what akimbo meant she asked what language that was.

    Thanks for the chance to win.

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  101. Fantastic, like mini pieces of art! Creative Blessings, Tracy x

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  102. I absolutely LOVE your cards! Love that Eiffel Tower! You are amazingly talented! :)

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  103. Awesome project. The sentiment is perfect

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  104. Wow! I love the ballerina card, and you made it look just like a Degas painting. I love your style

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  105. Beautiful tower card and such an elegant ballerina for your second card!

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  106. Love your cards ! And love what you have to say always !

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  107. Tres beau mon ami (very beautiful my friend). I used be fluent in French when I was in high school (2 years of high school french and one year in college). For me, I was able to pick French up and ended up being teacher's pet in high school! Your cards are gorgeous and I just love this kit. Kim in Austin.

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  108. Great cards with a Parisian influence. I've got several Eiffel Tower stamps, too, but probably no where near your collection.

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  109. Love your coloring on both cards, but the ballerina is so life-like. Beautiful designs. Thanks for sharing.

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  110. I totally agree with you...this kit blew me away! I paused for about 10 seconds before snapping it up! And I too love all things French...even though I'm mostly Irish! LOL

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  111. Simply beautiful - love your cards and love the new kit.

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  112. What you've done for both cards is gorgeous but I especially love the ballerina. So very artsy! And I also loved fashion plates too and was so excited to see them again!

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  113. Love your cards, especially your Degas Ballerina! Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. what a neat monthly kit!

    ~Gin K.~

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  114. these are stunning. you are very talented!

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  115. Gorgeous cards!
    And hello from a Czech reader, oh well, living in "unnatural" Germany, hehe)

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  116. Beautiful card! I love the creativity of this release! Thank you so much for the inspiration!
    -Miranda
    TheCraftyCritter.com

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  117. As always, you totally cracked me up as well as blew my socks off, Lydia! I absolutely adore both of your cards (hesitant to call them simply cards since I'd immediately be framing them if I was lucky enough to receive one LOL), but I have never seen anyone use a paper layering die like this ballerina! Seriously...cannot choose a favorite! 😍

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  118. Love the artistic look of these, and the shading on that Eiffel Tower looks amazing!

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  119. both cards are super, super beautiful, but your second card is stunning! is my favorite on this hop!

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  120. Lol it is your fault after ordering most of the kit I did not order the eiffek tower and the ballerina. i had a couple of stamp sets. Then I saw your ballerina. Had to put another order in. Its sll your faukt. LOL. Thanks for sharing

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  121. I wanna be you when I grow up!!! A-MAZ-ING!!!!

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  122. Awesome coloring on your beautiful cards! Love this fabulous kit! The ballerina is amazing!

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  123. The fun you had making these cards shines through so clearly! They're just lovely!

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  124. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

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  125. I love the colors and such lovely cards. Great job and this kit is worth the price I love it.

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  126. Love both your cards! Ooh la la!

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  127. Wonderful new kit! Great cards, I especially love your Eiffel Tower card!

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  128. Lovely cards - your ballerina is gorgeous!

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  129. Lovely cards! I am interested in the pencils you used.

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  130. beautiful layout. i can't wait to start with my kit. but of course i have to visit all the blogs for inspiration before diving in.

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  131. Yes, I agree, the new kit is full of fun and versatile images that can be mixed and matched. Great cards!

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  132. Super chic creations! Love the elegant ballerina!!!

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  133. Enjoyed reading your post...made me laugh. Beautiful cards. I love the details and techniques you put into them.

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  134. Love the ballerina in this release! Thank you for sharing your gorgeous cards!

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  135. Your coloring is spectacular...love what you did with the Eiffel Tower, makes it POP!

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