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April My Monthly Hero Blog Hop + Giveaway

Hi friends! It's the first Monday of a new month and time for a fabulous My Monthly Hero release! This month's kit will have your wanderlust on high with all the tools needed to create some beautiful Italian vistas. This month's add-ons are spectacular, too, so be sure to check them all out! I can't wait to find some more time to play with them all! I know you're going to have a blast pairing them with the April MMH kit.

If you've been hopping along, you should have arrived from Emily Midgett's blog. Your next hop stop after this will be Laurie Willison's blog. The entire hop list can be found later in this post.

Once again, Hero Arts is generously giving away a fabulous prize for a lucky commenter along the hop.  Leave a little love in the comments section for all these amazing artists and if your name is drawn you'll receive this month's kit (or equivalent product if you're already a kit subscriber) absolutely free! If you're not a kit subscriber, you should really consider subscribing. The kits frequently sell out and subscribing guarantees you'll never miss a kit. The kits are such a great value, with super fun and versatile images and accessories. Plus there's such a wealth of inspiration from the designers each month! Speaking of inspiration, let's get started...


My first card, builds a beautiful Venetian scene using the beautiful fancy dies in the main kit. I started with some mixed media paper and then started smooshing a variety of oxide inks (I used an obscene amount of distress oxide colors to make these cards, but I do love the colorful effect. It's a great way to add a lot of color without the fuss of watercoloring.) until I had a smattering of color all over the paper. I then die cut several of the dies from the release from this smooshed background and started building my scene. 


I added accents with frayed burlap distress oxide, then pulled out some salty ocean, chipped sapphire and broken china to smoosh a background for the water die.  I die cut this, then figured out layout.  When I was happy with how things looked, I did an ink blended sunset background with squeezed lemonade, mustard seed, dried marigold and worn lipstick. I finished off by stamping the sentiment and birds from the kit in cup o' joe ink, then gluing everything down and adding some crystal clear lacquer and glitter accents to the water.



I was having so much fun with smooshing, I just kept on going.. and going... and going. 😀 The  background for the cityscape die was done with similar colors as the card before, but more yellow and brown tones. I also did a smooshed background of blues and aquas for the sky behind my scene. I added some shading around the die cut image with a brown stabiloall pencil and a waterbrush, then sponged around the edges with brown ink. This panel is matted on chestnut cardstock.


For the card background, I stamped the postage mark stamp from the kit randomly in soft brown ink all over my cardstock.  Next I sponged around the edges to give it a vintage look.  The Ciao sentiment in cup o' joe finishes things off.


Did I mention, I love smooshing? 😉You know what else I love? Any stamp Hero Arts makes to coordinate with their Peek-a-Boo Doors Fancy Die! And the beautiful Venetian Neighborhood Cling add-on does just that! I couldn't wait to ink it up, so started once again with a smooshed distress oxide background on mixed media cardstock. I then stamped the background in cup o' joe ink and cut with the Peek-a-Boo Doors die. But guess what?  It gets better! The Hero Greetings Mini Messages add-on has a ton of teeny tiny phrases that fit perfectly inside these door/windows! What?! Sign me up!

I chose several windows to stamp phrases from the add-on that would go with the thinking of you sentiment I chose from the main kit. I love the idea of the recipient opening each door to see if there's a little surprise inside. For the accent on my sentiment, I chose the beautiful feather image from the Carnevale add-on set. I inked it up with cracked pistachio, broken china and frayed burlap ink, then cut with the coordinating Carnevale Frame Cuts. I matted the sentiment with chestnut cardstock and then popped up on foam tape and added a bit of glitter glue to the feather to finish things off.


My final card for today uses the Tree Arch Fancy Die. I cut it from mixed media cardstock, then adhered to a card panel of arctic cardstock from the main kit. I watercolored with brown and green distress oxides, then pulled one of the European Village Fancy die cuts I had previously done with my smooshed background and backed this with another leftover smooshed background, with more yellows to give it an inviting, the lights are on come on in kind of look.



I popped this up on a foam tape and linked two of the fence die cuts from the European Plaza Fancy Dies together to place behind the house. The bottom of the card uses the cobblestone die from the European Village Fancy Dies, cut from another smooshed panel, then matted on chestnut cardstock.  I finished off with a sentiment from the Color Layering Village add-on set and a heart stamp from the main kit on a circle die cut.

Well, that's all from me today! I hope you've enjoyed my makes and a bit of my creative process. I had so much fun with the builder dies in this month's release! If you're a kit subscriber, remember you can order any of this month's lovely add-ons to ship with your kit with no additional shipping fees if you place your order before Thursday. All of the add-ons are added to the Hero Arts catalog and restocked. The kit is only available while supplies last, so pre-order yours while you can! Kits begin shipping from Hero Arts on Friday, April 5th.

Here's a closer look at the April My Monthly Hero kit. I've also linked the entire release along with the supplies I used for these cards below for your convenience.

Kit Contents:
  • 4" x 6" Clear Stamp Set
  • 7 Scenery Fancy Dies
  • 14 5.5" x 8.5" Sheets of Hero Hues Premium Cardstock (Sand, Mustard, Pumpkin, Cherry, Plum, Adriatic, Arctic)
  • 2 5.5" x 8.5" Sheets of Vellum Paper
  • 2 Rolls of 1/2" Foam Tape, 2.2 yd. each, in 2 thicknesses
  • Tombow Mono Drawing Pen (Black)
For a chance to win the giveaway of this month's kit, leave some comments for the talented designers linked below. Here's the full hop list. Next up on the hop is Laurie Willison.  Happy hopping!

The Hero Arts Blog
Jessica Frost-Ballas
Janette Kausen
Ilina Crouse
Nichol Spohr
Michelle Short
Caly Person
Emily Midgett
Julee Tilman ✋ that's me!
Laurie Willison
Amy Kolling
Debi Adams
Lydia Fiedler

Affiliate links are used where possible. When you order from them, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you and you receive happy mail! Win, win! Thanks so much for clicking on my links to shop. 💙

55 comments

Marianne said...

Amo, amo queste carte. In particolare i bei colori.

Monica Croteau said...

Julee, I really enjoyed seeing the beautiful colors you were able to create with this smooching technique... so cool.... now I'm gonna have to go and try it... I hope I get as great of results! Thanks for the idea.. it's perfect for this type of card art!

Kelsey Thomas said...

Love those colors!

luluvision said...

Oooh!! What a stunning set of cards you created! I love them all! So colorful! Thank you for sharing!

Purple Princess said...

Gorgeous cards!!

Ellibelle said...

How beautifully you used this month's kit, Juli! Love the rustic look of the way you colored the buildings. And amazing design with the add on's as well! Thank you for all the wonderful inspiration!

Melissa Smith said...

Oh my goodness! Your cards are STUNNING! They all look like gorgeous photographs! What talent and creativity!

karenb said...

Awesome cards! TFS

Debbie Selby said...

Your samples are wonderful. Enjoyed your comment about the peek a boo die. When I first got it, I admit to thinking "limited use" but I LOVE this kit's use of it even more than as an advent calendar. Bravo Hero Arts!

Karthikha said...

Oh wow!! Fantastic creations!! Each one is awesome! I'm so in love with the first and the second cards especially, beautiful and colorful scenes! :)

Cherry Blossom said...

Lovely cards. . .lovely kit!

Helen Kalb said...

You made some gorgeous cards with what must be me favorite kit and add ons ever!

Eve N said...

Your cards look like paintings! Love what you created with both the kit and the add-ons. I bought the kit the moment it became available, and after seeing your cards, have to get some of these add-ons.

Elizabeth Roberts said...

I really like the different spin you took with the die cutting!

Laurelin Whitfield said...

That smooshing! Those colors!! What fabulous cards!!! Thanks for such great inspiration for the kit!

Brenda Kuder said...

I love your cards! The colors are fantastic!

scrAPpamondo said...

Wow, you captured so well the sunny feel of my beautiful country!! (I'm italian) Amazing works! LOVE all your cards, especially the first one with the sentiment that is also the title of a famous moving film with Roberto Benigni :)
Very well done!!

D.Ann C said...

Your watercolor scenes for this kit are gorgeous!! And I love the European Village, too!!

sharon g said...

OH MY GOSH, your coloring brings out the very cool look of the Italian buildings. I LOVE IT!!!!!

Shelley E said...

It is always such fun to see how every person puts their own spin on the monthly kit. I love the effect you created on your cards.

irishgalkelly said...

Amazing Julee! These cards are fantastic and I love all the mixed color swooshing and how realistic that makes the buildings look with a great patina. You did a fabulous job showcasing so many products here and I just love all of your examples!

Natalie Winterstein said...

The coloring on your cards is stunning! Fantastic job!

Stampnms said...

Your smooshed backgrounds are gorgeous.

Shari Czerwinski said...

Beautiful coloring/shading! Love your cards!

Jeanne Beam said...

Beautiful cards and such vibrant colors.
Thanks for sharing...

Golda said...

These are so very beautiful with all the colors you used. Love the way you used the color.

Cheriese said...

Wonderful cards!! Love those peek a boo doors!!

Scraplea 1 said...

Oh wow! Your coloring is fabulous with the ink smooshing and details your cards show. Amazing!! Thanks for sharing so much with us.

cosie said...

So bright and colourful. It's like the sun is shining and reflecting all the lovely colours of the buildings. Nice to see a different take on these lovely cards

Sherry Butcher said...

So well done, love the bright colors, the buildings, birds and effect of the ink smooshing. Thanks for sharing.

Arianna Barbara said...

Wonderful cards and colouring!!!

Shanna said...

Your cards are amazing and I love all of the new ideas!

Surekha Galagoda said...

Dear Julee
Thanks for the inspiration with your beautiful cards created using the My Hero AprilKit. Love and hugs from Sri Lanka

Terri Fain said...

WOW, WOW, WOW I am at a loss for words. What beautiful cards. At first glance I was like there is no way I could even come close to being able to make a card this beautiful, however, after reading how you achieved your results I think I can. The smooching effect for this card is beyond stunning! Great job!

Carrie Rhoades said...

These cards are AMAZING. I love all the inks distress panels you made to die cut the pieces from! WOW, I wanna go get inky now!

Linda S. said...

Wow. So many beautiful cards but I have to admit I loved the peek a boo card the most.

Teri Smith said...

Julee, your cards are absolutely one of a kind! I don't know if anyone could watercolour the buildings & get the kind of Gorgeous effect you did. I'd frame the first card & put it on a wall! I just want to keep looking at it. I feel like I could soak in all of the sunshine & hues in that sunset. I am at a loss to describe how much I love your cards. I think they are the best I've seen!! I SO want this kit!!! Thank you for sharing your amazing creations.

Cynthia Cole said...

Holy Cow, you've created so many beautiful masterpieces with this month's kit and the ink smooshing technique! LOVE THEM ALL!!!!!!

sharon g said...

The water coloring is amazing! You nailed it!

Stacey Kowbel said...

Fantastic cards! I really love how you coloured the buildings in your first couple of cards! And your sky on the first one is stunning!

Lagene said...

Great release! Awesome creations, I love your card designs, especially the colorful buildings!

Libby C said...

The watercolor look of your cards is stunning! I love that idea and it fits the kit so well.

Janet D. said...

I love your coloring, it really brought the scenes to life!

Annette Reed said...

Very nice! The first two are my favorites. I really like the one with the kraft frame.

Kirsty Vittetoe said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful creations!

Unknown said...

Jules, your MMHERO April Kit European Village colors and technique is beautiful. I am inspired by your creativity.

Unknown said...

Julie, beautiful color and technique on your MMHERO April kit Village card. Thanks for sharing your work.
PJ Nusslein

Mary Holshouser said...

A wonderful sampling of cards.
The coloring is spectacular.
thanks for sharing
txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

slbt17 said...

love them all - beautiful work!

Denise Terry said...

I love your ink smooshing...and that Ciao card is simply perfect!

Heather said...

Wow!! You were busy!! These are all so beautiful! Love the colors you used; they definitely give an Italian feel.

Geri S said...

Oh my gosh! Those are amazing cards! I hope mine will look half as good with this terrific kit!

Unknown said...

Never would have thought of smooshing for the buildings!!! Fabulous!!!

Sue D said...

Fabulous scenes and colors.

Denise Bryant said...

Awesome colors and details on each of your beautiful creations! Fab kit!