Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Sunday, June 29, 2008

No Stamp Card

Hey everyone! Hope all is well with you! Today is a quick post. This was my first adventure with rub-ons! I saw this set at Michael's for $0.99 and thought "What the heck? Can't go wrong with $0.99, right?" So, here is what I came up with:

The rub-ons already had the glitter on them, so truly all I had to do for this card was pick the colors, do the matting and the rubbing, the bling and the bow, and there ya have it! The "thank you" was printed off using my printer and a font that I really like. I use my printer when I don't have the sentiment I want in a rubber stamp, or I need it smaller than I have it in a rubber stamp. I kind of like how this card turned out! Below is a close up of the detail on the rub on:

If you click on the picture you can get a better detail of how they sparkle. I bought another set that has butterflies that are sparkly too, and I'm anxious to see what I can make with those. So, there you have it, a "no stamp" card. I will say it took me just as long to put this together as any of my other cards do, however no cleaning stamps, no coloring, just rubbing. I still like using my stamps better, but I still like this card a lot!

Again, as always, thanks very much for stopping by and telling me what you think of my stuff. Some of my near future posts are going to be a little different. I hope you come back to see what I'm talking about. Hopefully I'll have it up in the next couple of days!

Don't forget the "Picture of the Week" below!


Curt O'Brien

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gifts for the New Pooches

Hey Everyone! Thanks for stopping in today. . .that counter is getting closer to 2,000 and when it does, BLOG CANDY!!!!! I've got some great ideas for stuff that I'm going to include for the Blog Candy prize. More info to come!

Today's post is a combination card and craft post. By now, most of you who visit me regularly (and thanks for that!) know that I am a HUGE dog lover, and my world revolves around my two Giant Schnauzers. Anyway, we have two new puppies in the neighborhood, so I just had to welcome them with baby gifts! Take a look below:

Believe it or not, this is a "no stamp card" and I didn't use a stamp on the canister either! (Click on pictures for larger images.) The canister was a Pringles can that I covered in dog paw print paper and used dog bone ribbon on the top and bottom. I then filled them with puppy treats. I decorated the metal bone tag with a Sharpie black pen. Notice the card. . .the bone border strip was made with a bone shaped punch, and the sentiment was done on my computer and printed out on white card stock. The paw prints spell out Oscar's name are done with a great font I found on a free font site. So nothing was stamped this time! I didn't realize it until I got my ink pad out to do the little stamp on the back that says it is made by me.

This one was done the exact same way, just different paper prints. I did them in the colors of the puppy it was going to. The black and white one went to Oscar, a Miniature Schnauzer, and the brown one went to a Labradoodle named Char (short for Chardonnay because she is a light tan color.) I put the canister along with a dog toy in a gift bag and delivered it to each house.

So much fun! Isn't what we do a blast?!?!? Thanks again for visiting my blog. I really do appreciate it! Don't forget to look at the bottom for the "Picture of the Week". This week's pic is dedicated to my sweet Shotsy who turned 7 on Tuesday of this week. I've got another post ready to go in a couple of days, so come back soon!



Sunday, June 22, 2008

June RAK Revealed

Hey all! Hope all is well in your crafty corners of the world! I've really had fun this week visiting a lot of your blogs and seeing all the cool stuff you all have been doing. You are all truly an inspiration to me. That said, that is the perfect lead into this new post of mine. (Please make sure you read the last couple of paragraphs!)

I was excited to sign up for a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) on my blogging buddy's blog a few weeks ago. Being new to this crafty and card making world, I had never heard of this thing called a RAK, and once I found out what it was, I was anxious to do it. So I signed up for the RAK for June at Jen Young's blog and was matched with Jen herself! For those of you who still don't know what a RAK is, it is simply you being matched up with someone else who signed up and then you send something to each other. Kind of like a little surprise or an "act of kindness". From my understanding, it could be anything, it was simply up to you. So, once I signed up, I felt a little anxiety about it. I kept thinking. . ."What if they don't like what I send? and "What the hell am I going to send?" So, long story short, I got an inspirational idea from one of my "mentors" Julie Koerber over at "Out to Impress". In one of her recent posts, she had done some monogrammed cards, and they were simply beautiful. So I thought "That's it! I'll do a set of monogrammed note cards!" So that's what I did. See them below:

(click on the picture for a larger shot) Her name is Jennifer so obviously I used the initial J for her cards. I chose this scripted J and sized it on my computer and printed several of them off onto white card stock. As you can see from the picture above, I made each of them differently. The only thing consistent is that the same J is used and each has at least one element of "bling" on it. I call this my "Bling Collection". . .LOL. I wanted each to reflect a different feel. One whimsical (red/white), one more formal (black/cream), one that reflected where she lives (Hawaii) (pink/white), and one that was really "girly" (paisley/bow).

I hand made each envelope to match the card (example above) The color is off on this one for some reason. The envelope is white and the inner paper is the same on the card. The lighting was weird I guess.

I then put them in this satin finished box and used one of the circles with the initial and bling to attach to the ribbon. And there you have my first RAK! It was a lot of fun, but I was still worried about what she would think about it when she received it. Well, I'm happy to report that she emailed me today telling me that she loved them and she said that she was not going to use them, but frame them and hang them in her house! LOL She is so funny! I couldn't post this until I knew that she got it so it wouldn't ruin the surprise if she read my blog before she got it.

I'm working on several cards/projects at the moment that I can't wait to post here for you to take a look at and tell me what you think. So don't forget (if you haven't already) to subscribe to this blog up there on the right so that you will be notified when I update the blog. Ever since I have put the subscription service up, I've been getting tons of notifications that people are subscribing! That is so cool and I am so honored. Also, I can't believe that I have now had over 1,000 people visit, so when the counter reaches 2,000 I'm going to give away some blog candy like so many others have done.

One final thing. . . I have recently come across one of the most fabulous people I've ever "met" through this blogging thing and I would love to share her and her blog with all of you who visit here. Her name is Jennifer Muraoka and you can visit her blog here (I also have her linked above in my links section under "Jenn in Hawaii"). Yes, another Jennifer in Hawaii and both unbelievably talented and amazing human beings. Jennifer Muraoka honored me this week with a tribute to me on her blog for my birthday. I have never felt so honored. She not only announced it was my birthday and made an adorable card for me which she posted too, she used that card to do her video for the week called "Aloha Friday". She even used the song "Celebration" for the background music in the video. If you get a chance, please go to her blog and look at these videos if you want to be absolutely blown away by her talent and creativity. These videos she does are nothing less than awesome and something like I've never seen anywhere else. Thank you Jennifer for making last week really special for me. I can't tell you how much it meant!

Finally, sorry for such a long post, just so much to say. DON'T forget to look at the "Picture of the Week" below. I took this photo this morning while walking the boys in a nearby park. It was an awesome moment and I'm so glad I had my camera to capture it. Enjoy! And thanks again so much for visiting!



Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sketch Challenge #2

Hey everyone! Hope you are well and enjoying your week! Well, I didn't win the last challenge, so I'm going to try again this week. I've included the sketch and my card for the sketch below:

I love how this card turned out! I just recently acquired this cute bug stamp, and I couldn't wait to use it. This challenge worked out really well too, because I actually made this card for a special friend so I killed two birds with one card so to speak! I colored the "bugs" with colored pencils, added a little glitter to their wings, did the matting, added the bow, flower, and bling, and there ya go!

I also wanted to say thanks to all of you who keep leaving great comments and encouraging words here on my blog. I try to respond to each and every one of you to let you know how much I appreciate your taking the time to be so nice! It also gives me a chance to go visit your latest works on your blogs as well. I'm so honored to be visited by such talented and creative people! I'm going to be taking some time to start revisiting more of you so that I can start linking your blogs from mine so that others can see you too!

Don't forget to check out my "Picture of the Week" below! See you on your blogs and will post at you again soon!



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My First Sketch Challenge!

Happy Wednesday! I've participated in my FIRST sketch challenge today and I'm kind of excited about it! There is a new blog called 2 Sketches 4 You and they post a new sketch every Monday. Your challenge is to come up with a card following their sketch design. The designers, Kazan Clark and Laura Davis created the blog, and boy are they talented! Then on Sunday, they pick the "Card of the Week" and that person wins that week's prize. Below is
this weeks sketch:

So again, the idea is to come up with a card using the above sketch as a guide. My "attempt" is below:

I did the multiple layers as suggested by the sketch, with the scalloped edges for one of the matted features. I love to do black and white cards with one accent color. I used a printed paper for the scalloped edge and then used the same printed paper for the top panel. I stamped the floral image on the rectangle feature of the card and then embossed it with black embossing powder. I then stamped two more heads of the flower image, embossed them and cut them out. I distressed the white paper with some black ink, stamped the butterfly and embossed it in red, and added the bling. I used foam squares to attach the stamped rectangle so that it pops off the card. So, there you have it ~ my first attempt at a challenge! It was a lot of fun to do, and I look forward to the next challenge for next week. By the way, this sketch was done by Kazan, and next week the sketch will be done by Laura.

Thanks for checking in! As always, I'll be dropping in on your blogs as well. Good luck to all who entered this week! Oh, and don't forget to scroll down to see my "Picture of the Week". It is really a special one this week. I took the boys to a local park this week, and on the path in front of us stood this beautiful baby Robin. It never moved as we approached, and I walked right up to it! It just stood there looking at us as if it was saying "Please don't let those big hairy things eat me!" As you can see in the picture, Shotsy laid down by it and his front paw was two inches from it. Shotsy acted really concerned about it as if he wanted to try to protect it (he is sensitive that way). I had to hold Gunther back because he was drooling thinking to himself "Mmmmm chicken!" (he is such the dog!). Finally, the mother came back and was doing her worried chirping, and in an instant, the little thing shot up in the air and into the tree with his Mom! I was so shocked! I didn't think it could fly and poof, it was out of there like a rocket! What a cool experience it was, and I am so glad I got the picture! Hope you enjoy it!



Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sympathy Card

Hey All!

Hope everything is going well for you during the weekend! Time for an update post. . .Below is a sympathy card I made for a friend who just lost her Grandmother:

I love taupe and black together. I'm also kind of traditional and think that sympathy cards should have a somber feel about them, and black is traditionally used. I stamped the center image with Versamark Watermak ink, then used copper embossing powder, did some matting, added some copper brads and added the ribbon.

The interesting thing about this card that I wanted to point out is the "ticket punch" effect. I don't have a ticket punch, and have not been able to find one at any of my local stores. I love the look, and was pounding my head against the wall wondering how I could get the look without having one. I then was fortunate enough to visit a blog by Jen Young in Hawaii. I think she has to be one of the most creative people I have come across when it comes to being innovative and coming up with ideas. She uses tools for other things besides what they were intended for. The above is a perfect example. On her site, she has some "how tos" listed for all kinds of creative things. One was how to use other punches to get the ticket punch look. She pointed out that you probably have many punches that could be used to get this effect, and she shows several of her punches that could be used. Sure enough, I had a flower punch that was perfect. I flipped the punch over so that I could see where the card stock was going. I slid the corner of the paper into one of the petals of the flower and presto the ticket punch look! It worked perfectly. She has tons of great ideas like that on her blog. Thanks Jen for the great tip! It's funny, but a few days after I published my last blog entry about my idea of organizing my clear stamps in binders, low and behold I noticed Jen had already had a similar idea posted days before. If I had gone there sooner, I would have been organized sooner! Great minds. . .

I am participating in her June RAK, and I'm fortunate to have gotten her as the person I'm going to RAK. I'm working on hers now, and I hope she likes what I'm doing for her. I'll be posting it here as soon as she receives it.

OK all. . .hope you are enjoying your weekend. It's rainy here today, but a perfect day for stamping! Don't forget to scroll down for the Pic of the Week!


Curt O'Brien

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cookie Box

Hey Everyone!

Sorry it has been over a week since I last posted. Can't believe I've been so busy for someone who no longer is employed! There are not enough hours in the day! That being said, I do have lots to blog about and lots of pictures to share!

Per my last blog, I talked about working on making a box for cookies I was baking for the new neighbor lady who just moved in on our Cul-de-sac. I then made a card to match the box. See pics below:

I covered the box in this great paper that had a beige Harlequin square background and daisies (you can see it better in the close up of the tag below).

For the tag, I used one of my tag punches and punched out a tag in a coordinating blue color. I then cut out one of the daisies from the paper and glued it to the tag and stamped "for you" on the tag. I then put an eyelet at the top to run the ribbon through. I tied a double bow using thin satin ribbon.

Here is the matching card I made to go with it. I wanted it to be simple, but matching. So I took the same blue card stock for the matting that I used for the tag, and used the same paper I used to wrap the box as well. I used the two eyelets to anchor the welcome sentiment which I stamped in a darker blue. Below is a picture of both the box and the card together:

I also made a card for my best friends who are leaving on a 7 day cruise to Alaska this coming weekend. It is their first cruise, and they are really excited about the trip. Here's the card I made for them:

The picture here doesn't do it justice. The ship is one of those "things" from Jolee stickers, but it's not a sticker, so I don't know what to call it. Anyway, I used cloud print scrapbooking paper for the background, and then cut out a couple of clouds and made them pop out from the card with sticky squares. I used my zig-zag cutter for the "ocean waves", and then used a glitter pen to highlight the waves and the bottom of the clouds. The "sun" was made with a circle punch on super glittery paper that I got from Archiver's. You can't really see the glitter, but it's really "glittery".

So, there you go, my two projects that I worked on this week. Also, I noticed that a lot of your blogs also include a picture of your "workspace". So, I decided to take a picture of mine too. Here it is (by the way this is a lead in for something else, bare with me):

That's my little creating corner. It is the bonus room above the garage that we had built when we built the house. Anyway, I am always looking for new ways to organize things. I hated the way I stored all of my clear stamps. They were crammed into one of those white Sterilite drawers you see up there on my desk. I would have to fish through all of them just to find one that I wanted. So, I came up with an idea that I thought I would share with all of you! Please don't laugh at me if this is an old idea that everyone knows about. Remember, I'm new at this, and what I think are revelations to me, might be old stuff to all you "vets" out there. OK, back to what I was saying. I had binders and sheet protectors lying around my home office, and a light bulb went on. . .why not put your clear stamps in sheet protectors and then put them into the big binders!?! So, that's what I did. I put a piece of white card stock in each sheet protector, then slid the sheets of clear stamps into each sheet protector. I now just leaf through the binder like a catalog of all my stamps and can easily find which one I'm looking for! I also put them together by "type" of stamp such as leaves together, flowers, birthday stamps, etc. I have so many of them I had to go to two binders! But boy does it make it so much easier! Anyway, if this is a new idea to some of you, I hope it helps! I no longer dread digging through all of those stamps. I also worried that they would be damaged if they just laid on top of each other. This way (if you look at the picture of my space, you'll see two binders sitting to the right of the light) they are standing up and nothing is on top of them! I know, I probably sound like Martha Stewart. . .anyway, I of course have a pic of this below too!:

How cool is that? Nice and organized! LOVE IT! Now I just have to come up with a better way to store my rubber stamps!

OK, I think that's it for this post! I'll try to update more frequently. One of my "inspirational mentors", Julie Koerber (that's how I think of her because she is an incredible designer and I have linked her under my favorite blogs upper left (Out to Impress)) has posted some beautiful monogram cards on her blog, so I think that is what I'm going to try next. I'll post that soon!

Until then, I hope all is well in your world! Thanks for visiting, and I'll be visiting your sites as I always do! Don't forget to scroll down to see the "Pic of the Week"!