Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Inspiration Hop Day 1: "Stately Flowers 1", "Make a State-ment", "Close Kit Friends" and "Because of You" Duo


Good morning!! Thank you for attending our party last night and welcome to our first day of Inspiration Hops with the Gina K Designs team! I have to say, I love all my sets in their own way, but I am especially thrilled to bring you this month's "Stately Flowers 1" and "Make a State-ment", introducing the beginning of a series that has been one of my all time favorite experiences illustrating! I spent several weeks drawing all the different state flowers and I can't tell you what a pleasure it was to research all these glorious florals, studying hundreds of photos each, wanting to them as detailed and accurate as possible, many of which I'd never seen or heard of before (having only visited certain regions). What an amazing time of discovery! With the music turned up as I drew, it was like making a cross country road trip with the top down and everything in full bloom!

Collecting these sets over the next year will be like a journey of your own, enjoying so many fantastic and unique flowers America has to offer!* Whether a set contains a flower for your home state or a friend or relative's state or not, I know you will enjoy these detailed botanical illustrations for coloring or just making some really pretty cards for anyone, anywhere! Here I swiped that same piece I used from the CAS card with Frayed Burlap Distressing ink and added a star I cut out of a piece of moonlit Fog CS embossed with Stars Cuttlebug folder. Card also uses Kraft, Red Hot and In the Navy Pure Luxury.

I think you'll also really like the shading in these images which makes coloring a snap, it helps show where to put the darker colors, or even easier, for example just use one shade of green on a stem if you have a more limited supply of coloring media (and/or want to save time), the darker rendering in the image will make your color in these areas appear darker when you add them! Flowers are my favorites to color so I'll be sharing lots of tutorials for them here, come back often, because all four of these new beauties come in LOTS of different colors!

I've lived in Texas my whole life and have only had the opportunity to travel to a handful of other states, but the friends I've made here over the years have spread across the US. I am so excited to have these set to really personalize cards for them to honor where they live now and send them sweet memories of where they came from, as well as create special cards for cyber friends I've never met in their great states, it's a little bit like getting to visit them referencing the map (my geography isn't the best, so there are a few instances I have to check and make sure which state is which) or coloring a native flower!

I think "Make a State-ment" is such a versatile set, and I"m really excited because while lots of guys aren't into flowers generally ALL guys LOVE MAPS, this is going to be a great image to own! My 6 year old William said "I love this one so much I have to color it RIGHT NOW!" and he sat down and used a different Copic for each state (then left them all out on the desk, booo!) Fifty colors took awhile, but there are SO many ways to highlight just the state or states you want, with paper piecing or these little elements in the set: thumbtack, arrow, etc. TIP: The greetings are much more versatile than at first glance also, because you can omit inking the "in" or to" and the end of each if you want to just stamp a card saying "have fun" or "Come see us", no state required! :)

This card uses Soft Sand cardstock, again the top panel is sponged with Frayed Burlap and some Vintage Photo. Map is stamped in Versamark and I used a lavender Copic to fill in Colorado. Columbines can be almost any color, but I colored this one to match the Rocky Mountain Columbine, which is the official state flower. Nestabilities die is Labels 14, sponged with Wild Honey Distressing Ink.

We've also created a free set of 50 free pdfs, one page for each state, that you can download from StampTV to use with both these sets. This way you have every state name, in different sizes and fonts, for smaller tags, cards, or large scrapbook pages to use with the "Make a Statement" set and flowers right away, rather than having to wait for your particular "state" to come out!

Here you can see I have stamped a few of the greetings from "Make a State-ment" and framed them with some random Nestabilites, they will work with any shape. The one on the right side stretches across a card front like in the Texas sample, the one across the bottom is perfect for an 8 1/2" x 11" or 12x12" page border, and I've allowed for a generous amount of room around the remaining smaller words on the page so you can do larger cropping with images in different ways.

Last we have some stamp duos! The first uses this cute little dancing silhouette "Because of You", it reminds me of a Ty Wilson print I had on my wall in the late 80's early 90's! ;) Instead of a silhouette, I decided to do a bunch of Direct to Stamp coloring on the image with my Memento Markers: Desert Sand for the skin, Angel Pink for her dress and Ladybug to draw on some flowers and ink the shoes, Rich Cocoa for the hair. I did this in two layers, stamping twice and cutting to make on tuxedo dimensional. Don't forget to huff on the image before stamping to moisten the ink!

You can take the fine tip of the marker to go over any areas you want darker or add more detail, I also used a Sakura glitter pen for some sparkle and a rhinestone for her little earring. :)

Then we have the "Close Knit Friends", I thought it would be really fun to put this knitting basket with this stocking paper from Echo Park Holly Jolly Christmas and color all the yarn balls to match. Cardstock is Turquoise Sea and Lipstick Red, I added some Pure Luxury buttons and little bit of bakers twine.

Thank you very much for visiting and please enjoy the hop! Don't forget to lave comments along the way for a chance to win a grab bag full of 12 different stamps images from Gina K Designs, the more comments you leave the more chances you have! Comments will be drawn randomly and Gina will announce the winners! (While you're here, why don't you tell me where from!) :)

*How did I choose which to start with? Well, as you know I live in Texas, my relatives live in California, and I know a couple special people in Wisconsin and Colorado! ;) Future sets will be a combo of states large and small, with a good mix of very different looking blooms!

105 comments:

  1. Absolutely gorgeous designs, Mel! I'm so in love with your new sets. Amazing!

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  2. Very nice Melanie. Thank you for the samples.

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  3. I LOVE the new Stately Flowers set!! I love flower images and these are fantastic. I can't wait it buy it

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  4. I am loving your flower set!!! I have tons of flower stamps but no columbine or bluebonnet yet :)

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  5. Oooh! So beautiful! Love them all, especially the dancers!!

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  6. I just love these flowers Melani.. your cards are just beautiful.

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  7. WTG on your new set! You got very creative with the Because of you!! Fun samples~

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  8. Love your new sets!!! Great bluebonnets!!!! Can't wait to see more in the future!

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  9. Melanie- love each and every one of your samples. You rock!!!

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  11. Your cards are BEAUTIFUL! Thanks so much for sharing how you designed/illustrated these stamps!!! Thanks for the inspirational peek from behind the scenes!!!

    I live in GA currently but grew up in KS and LA!

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  12. Oh Love your designs and cards. Awesome. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Love love love the Stately Flowers 1!!! :)

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  14. These are really great. I love the different styles you used in demonstrating the stamps.

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  15. Just beautiful designs & cards- you never stop AMAZING Me~~~

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  16. LOVE your TX cards!!! LOVE how you created the Because of You card!! FABULOUS!!!Totally perfect DP for the Knit card!! LOVE your new sets, GF!! They will get used sooo much with out of state friends!

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  17. Absolutely amazing cards! The dancing couple is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your designs. I am from IL originally and in the summer but now spend my winters in AZ. We come through TX every trip out here to the desert!

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  18. Absolutely love everything you create!!! The flower stamps are really beautiful and are so versatile. Thanks so much for sharing your amazing talent!

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  19. Your work is awesome! I am so glad to have found you thru this hop and I look forward to upcoming sets you design.

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  20. Love your state flower set and look forward to the rest of them. I also love how you colored the dancers from Because of You. Quite spectacular!!!

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  21. Beautiful projects, love the new sets, cant wait to get my hands on them, please could you add a single stamp with the map of the UK as many of the sentiments on the "state-ment" set would work equally well with other maps : )

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  22. Such talent! Thanks for the inspiration...

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  23. Wow, your stamp sets are amazing and beautiful! A sure winner for everyone! Love how you showcased them here ... GORGEOUS!

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  24. Great cards!
    The stately flowers are going to be such fun to work with.

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  25. I love this idea of all the state flowers. But the map will be at the top of my Christmas list :)

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  26. Love the state flower idea. Such a unique way to comment about your home state or one where you have loved ones!

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  27. What a novel idea to design the state stamps. Love this idea, and also think the "Make a state-ment" set to go with them, (or used separately) is super! Oh, and I'm originally from Iowa, have lived in Kansas, and now live in Minnesota.

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  28. Those are really beautiful cards. ^_^ I wish I have the money to buy those stamps.

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  29. I love your new stamps Melanie!! and your creations today are fantastic!!

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  30. Melanie, just can't tell you enough how creative you are. Your two stamp sets from last nights release are just so clever. What a thoughtful set you have come up with and can't wait to see the rest of them. Oh, and thanks for the additional PDF files just another special touch that all of you from Gina K are so known for.
    Marcie

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  31. Awesome idea for the state flower sets. Love your Texas card!

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  32. I love the way you did each of your cards love the colors and the papers Beautiful, romantic, just fantastic. thanks for sharing and for the chance to win.
    abbraddock@msn.com
    www.anita-craft-corner.blogspot.com

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  33. So talented...everything is just wonderful!

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  34. Your cards are SO pretty Mel!!! I cannot wait to get your set, I will have a hard time deciding which flower to color first, hehehe!!

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  35. Beautiful, versatile sets ,Melanie! Congrats on another beautiful release.Your projects today are fab!

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  36. So love the flowers and the states. I lived in California and Colorado, family lived in Texas. Love them all and look forward to the next set. Absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much.

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  37. Fabulous!!! Love the dancing couple and how you created dimension with the lovely gentleman.

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  38. Oh my so amazing, I love the dancing couple! I was truly amazed by that!
    Rosanne
    rosannesahai@hotmail.com

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  39. Oh my so amazing, I love the dancing couple! I was truly amazed by that!
    Rosanne
    rosannesahai@hotmail.com

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  40. Love, love, LOVE your new sets. What a brilliant idea for both! I can see I'm going to go happily broke purchasing all of them. I can't imagine leaving a single one of the coming stamp sets out of my collection!

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  41. I love all these new stamps but particularly - Stately Flowers! And thank you for including California... there is nothing better than stumbling upon an unexpected field of California Golden Poppies in the springtime. Breathtaking!

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  42. Love your new stamp sets!! Even tho I'm from Indiana, I really love the Texas card.

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  43. I've ordered your gorgeous Stately Flowers and Make a Statement sets. I'm from Texas and you captured the bluebonnet perfectly! Can't wait to get it and look forward to the next set in the series.

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  44. Just beautiful! I love the way you color everything.

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  45. WOW... I love your sets and your cards!

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  46. Wow - you have been busy! And your creations are as beautiful as ever.

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  47. These cards are wonderful and I love the stamps you designed.

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  48. I have so enjoyed working with your sets this release Melanie (not that I don't always lol) but really I had a ton of fun. And your projects are always beautiful and so inspiring--love them!

    hugz,
    Suzanne

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  49. these are all over the top....just like your stamp designs.

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  50. I love the stamp sets and your cards.

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  51. Your new stamps are wonderful. the card samples are perfect.. as usual :)

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  52. Wow! So many great projects and varying techniques.

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  53. What great sets, Melanie! I can't wait to color the flowers. I currently live in MA, but was born in NJ and grew up in CT and NH

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  54. Such a wonderful post filled with fantastic creations! It must have been hard to choose which images to create with first! They are all wonderful, and I love the creations you have shown today... thanks for making the first hop stop so much fun!
    hugs and blessings, from Australia,
    Pauline

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  55. Melanie, these are beautiful sets and the cards are gorgeous. Thanks for the inspiration! I was born in New York and now live in Puerto Rico, can't wait to see what's coming.

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  56. Wow, this looks like an amazing release! Love you state flower idea and the first set!

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  57. What a great idea, the state flower series!

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  58. These projects are gorgeous and the state flowers, etc. idea is awesome!! Our dd lives in TX so your card plucks at my heartstrings!!

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  59. Wow, all of your creations are gorgeous! And love the new images!

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  60. Absolutely beautiful! I love flowers, too! Can't wait to get all of these!

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  61. Awesome job on all the cards.
    Thanks for sharing your talent.

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  62. Awesome cards and a great way to showcase the new sets.

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  63. Love that you're going to do all the state flowers. Can't wait for them all.

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  64. Great new designs and cards! Love those California Poppies.... Looking forward to seeing all the states, actually. They are just beautiful!

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  65. Wow! Gorgeous set and samples, too.

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  66. Beautiful, beautiful cards! I am happy to say that I ordered Make A State-Ment and 2 of the duos, the 2 you have shown here, whahoo! TFS!!

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  67. Love these beautiful flowers! What a great idea! Can't wait to see future installments!

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  68. I love this new set, I didn't realize you lived in Texas before. I would love to live there. I think your amazing!

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  69. What fun sets and amazing examples. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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  70. Very pretty stamps. I especially like the poppy in Stately Flowers.

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  71. OOOOOO MY ! ! ! Have you ever been busy - WOW!!!! You have such a wonderful God given talent and I am soooooooooooo glad you share it with us.
    Your cards are B-U-TEEE-FULLLL!!!!!
    Jean McGee

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  72. Gorgeous cards and the new stamps are beautiful. I love the way you colored your images.

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  73. They are all stunning and I never thought of direct to stamp coloring for the silhoutte images. That now opens a whole new horizon!

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  74. I love your stately flowers and of course, Wisconsin was an excellent choice!

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  75. Great job! Thank you for sharing your ideas and inspiring us. Love, love, love poppies and all the other flowers.

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  76. Love your new sets, Melanie! What a fun idea and I love it that you included Wisconsin in Stately Flowers! :-) I know it's because Gina is here but, hey, I can pretend it's for me, too!

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  77. Fantastic samples Melanie! Your flowers are so beautifully detailed; and love how you colored the dancing couple!

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  78. Wow! A beautiful set and a chance to learn something while stamping (tee hee). Such talent!!!!

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  79. Wow! What can I say! Everything is fabulous! Love the flowers/states idea! So needed for card makers and scrap bookers alike! TFS!

    Kris in Alaska
    funamom at yahoo dot com

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  80. oh so pretty, the cards are amazing. Thanks

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  81. Fantastic stamps sets, Melanie!! I LOVE the flowers so much & can't wait to receive the set. I think I'll be colouring away all month ;) Your cards are gorgeous!! Great job!!

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  82. I would never thought about coloring in the shadow stamp - great idea!

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  83. I love your stamps and these are no exception. Beautiful!

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  84. Awesome sets Mel... You did a great job! Makes me miss my time in Colorado!

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  85. Everything is fabulous! Your ideas and inspiring Us....

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  86. How generous of you to take on such a hugh set of stamps (states and flowers). As always your designs are very detailed and beaautiful. Clever idea to color- stamp the couple. Thanks for your inspiration.

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  87. Being from Texas, I really like the bluebonnet illustration/stamp! Such a great set this will be to see when they are all released!
    Blessings,
    Audrey

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  88. Beautiful cards! I especially love the dancers.

    I am from Cleveland, Ohio.

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  89. Can I say again how THRILLED I am with these sets???!!!! You ROCK!!! And your samples are just stunning!!! And then LOOK at that dancing couple....THUD!!!

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  90. you have me sold! I love these new sets so MUCH!!!! so very creative!!

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  91. FAB new stamps sets and cards to match!

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  92. State flowers? GREAT idea! Gorgeous

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  93. Wonderful examples with these sets!

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  94. ...way to WOW us..
    mitz_zee@yahoodotcom

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  95. Super versatile sets with lovely images! It is so fun to see all the different projects they can make. Thanks for the inspiration!]



    Carol B
    ciaoitalia2007(at)gmail(dot)com

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  96. Very pretty flower stamps! That is quite the project you've taken on to do each state! Very cool coloring of the couple stamps. Hello from Alaska!

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  97. Melanie, you've totally outdone yourself. Your new sets are awesome!!! I can't wait to see the other state flowers.

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  98. I read you blog so interesting and very useful. thank you.

    Flower delivery London

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  99. These cards are fabulous! That first Texas one is amazing,looks like a painted fence, and I love the piecing of the guy in the dancing one. Thanks!

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Your generous feedback helps make my work and this blog better! Thanks for inspiring and motivating me! :)