Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Hey All! Thanks for stopping by! As promised from last post, I told you I was working on stuff to give to the neighborhood dogs for Halloween. I know, you probably think I'm nuts, but I just LOVE dogs, and the neighborhood dogs are awesome! So, here is what I put together for them. .

How cute are these? I love those little monster toy thingies. They were so perfect for the Halloween bags. Below is a close up of the tags I made for each:

It says "Happy Howling" and the sentiment was computer generated using Word Art in Word. I then stamped the black paw print in the center. I cut them out with my oval Nesties then cut out the larger oval scallop with my Nesties. I punched a hole at the top of the tag and threaded through the "hairy" yarn and tied it to the bag. I bought the bags at Michael's and the little toys at Walmart. Below is a picture of what is actually inside each:

LOL! These were so much fun to make! Each has the little monster squeaker toy, and they each also contain two small sacks of dog treats. One is filled with various hard treats like Scooby Snacks and all natural paw print cookies, and the other bag is filled with bright orange cheese flavored Pupcorn. If you have dogs and have not given them Pupcorn, you really need to go get some! I've not met a dog that doesn't like it. You can get it at any PetSmart store (Walmart even carries it!) and it comes in cheese, peanut butter, and cranberry flavors. My boys LOVE it, and the best thing about it is that it is a low calorie snack. Really, go get some for your fur baby! They will love you for it.

Now on to a wonderful RAK card I received today from my very sweet blogging buddy, Sue Kment. Take a look at this little cutie!

Is this amazing!?! I love this card so much! You should go take a look at her blog. She is ULTRA talented, and her coloring of the House Mouse stamps is jaw-dropping. She was the one who inspired me and helped me with coloring! Thanks Sue so much for this card. It really made my day!

Well, that's it for this post. Hope you are all having a great week! I'm now going to work on Christmas cards and other projects that I have on my list, so I will be posting soon! Don't forget to look at the pic of the week. It is the pumpkin I carved for Halloween. I blurred the picture a bit to make it more spooky. I hope you like it! Thanks again for stopping by. I really do love having you here! Wishing you and your family a safe, fun-filled Halloween tomorrow! I'll see you on your blogs!


Curt O'Brien

"God help me be the person my dogs think I am."

Monday, October 27, 2008


Hey All! As the title of this post suggests, I told a fib. However, it was unintentional. I know my last post said "the last of the Halloween cards, but I just had to post these Halloween cards that I made at the last minute for a couple of friends and family that came to my annual pumpkin carving night. I had made treat boxes for them, but then decided I wanted to make those cute stand alone pop up cards. I thought they would make cute table decorations sitting at each place. So here they are:

Here are the close ups of each one:

These are similar to the stair step card in looks, however each is an individual scene. I like how they turned out, and they do make great place setting embellishments for the table. And yes, even though I added stand up pieces to the cards, they still fold flat to fit into envelopes!

OK, this is a short post. Just wanted to share these with you. The last Halloween subject post is coming. I am working on Halloween treat bags for my favorite neighborhood dogs. You know me and dogs. . .LOL. Thanks for looking! See you on your blogs!


Curt O'Brien

"God help me be the person my dogs thinks I am."

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Hey All! Well, the time has come to stop production on the Halloween cards! I'm sad, because this is my favorite holiday, and it has been so much fun to make them! However, Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching, and I need to get on those! So, today's post has my last 2 Halloween cards and a new Thanksgiving card. I also have to thank a few folks too! So, on with the cards:

My first one is one I saw on SC. It's called a stair step card and I really think they are a cute idea. When I saw them, I knew I had to make one for Halloween. Here it is:

This was so much fun to make! I used a tag punch to create the tombstones which were punched out of cs from Daisy D's which had a great weathered stone look. Some I left in the original shape of the tag punch, others I rounded off. I decorated each with something different. The ghost and cat on the fence were pre-printed cutouts in a kit and the skull and witch were from the same set. The skeleton is an image from Inkadinkado. I stamped him with Versamark embossing ink, then embossed him with white detail ep and cut him out. The spider web and spider are from a bag of Halloween confetti. I hand made the Halloween sign and stamped the sentiment on orange cs. I used my Nesties to cut out the moon on sparkly yellow cs. I love the "3-D scene" look of these cards and have a ton of other ideas for them.

My second Halloween card was a quickie. Here it is:

I'm not too happy with how this one turned out. It is not what I had in my head and it took on a life of its own. I just wanted the owl, branch and moon for the card, but it didn't look very "Halloweenie". So I added the pumpkins, but that didn't help, so I drew the ghost and made him "hold" the sign with the sentiment. It turned out OK, but not what I intended. I drew and cut the branches out and colored them with a black marker. The pumpkins are from the new Magenta set that Karen sent me. The owl is a Martha Stewart stamp. I cut the moon out with my Nesites. I mounted it all on black cs and used a white pen to make the dotted stars for the background.

My last card for this post is one for Thanksgiving. Here it is:

I LOVE this stamp set! This is the stamp set that Karen sent me as a RAK last week. It is by Magenta and their stamps have such high quality. I stamped the images in jet black archival ink and colored them all with colored pencils and blended with oderless mineral spirits. I cut all of the images out and matted them with two different colors of cs. I then mounted those onto patterned paper (speckled). Some of the images are raised with foam tape.

Finally, this week I was given the same award by two different blogging buddies! Here it is:

It was given to me by Mada who is my blogging bud in Bucharest. She is so amazingly sweet, and leaves the most wonderful comments. I love visiting her blog. Hop over and take a look.

The second person that gave it to me is my newest blogging buddy Karen over at 6 Wacky Women. I highlighted her in my last blog for sending me the fabulous RAK! I hope you've had a chance to go see her work! I am proud to list her under my favorites. One thing though, I "altered" this award. Sorry, but I used to work with a group of editors at a publishing company years ago, and it is just a habit to correct things I see that are wrong. The original text said "I Love"You" blog instead of "Your". That would have driven me nuts if I posted it on my blog and had to read that every day! LOL I know anal, anal. . . . So, I took it on over to my Adobe Photoshop and did a little altering. If you guys would like to re-copy it from here, you are welcome to do so. Anyway, I love the fact that you both thought of me, and I will display it proudly on this blog! Thank you both very much! It was sweet of you!

Well, that is it for this post. I hope you know how much I appreciate you visiting! This blogging and card making can be so time consuming, and for you to take the time to come see me is so amazing to me. I so appreciate it! Don't forget the pic of the week below! I'll see you on your blogs!


Curt O'Brien

"God help me be the person my dogs think I am"

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Photo Inspiration

Hey All! Thanks for coming! Today's post has a new idea for me which I'm excited to share with you! I also have to tell you about another wonderful RAK I received. So, on with the post!

Lots of you have been so kind in complimenting me on my photography. It is something that I have loved doing for the past 4 years or so, and I am always looking to improve that art. When I look at some of the pictures I take, the first thought that comes to mind with some of them is "Wow, that would make a cool card!" Well, I took another one of those pictures the other day, and I decided instead of "thinking" I would use the photo as the basis of the idea for my cards. That's why I'm calling these cards "Photo Inspirations". Here is the first photograph, and then my interpretation of it as a card. . .

And the card. . .

I love this new stamp I bought (bird on weeds). It is a Penny Black, and I am getting so addicted to their stamps. I used my Cuttlebug embossing folder for the embossing, and my Nesties to do the scalloped oval. Added ribbon and the pearls, matted everything in black and mounted the bird on the weeds image with foam tape. The other bird image is by Inque.

OK, the next photograph. . . I loved the colors of this tree, and how they contrasted so beautifully with the bright blue sky. The leaf colors were stunning:

And the card it inspired. . .

The tree stamp is another Penny Black stamp that I picked up a few days ago. The minute I saw it, I had a ton of card images in my head. I stamped the image in dark brown Colorbox ink on a speckled tanish paper, then sponged the top of the image with yellow, orange, and red Colorbox ink. I mounted it on brown and orange cs and then gave it some depth with foam tape. I cut the leaves out in the corners from a printed piece of paper and stuck them on with glue. I used the corner of a petal from a flower punch to get the corners cut then added the brads. I then stamped the acorn image onto orange cs with the same dark brown Colorbox ink. I cut it out with the scalloped Nesties, added a dark brown eyelet and attached it to the ribbon with some metallic copper cord. The acorn image is by Inkadinkado.

This was so much fun to actually put the photographic image into a card form. I'm going to do this more often. If any of you would like to try this, feel free! I would love to see what you come up with on these two pictures. Give a link to your creation in the comment section below. I would love to take a look. I had thought about making these a challenge, but then I think there are so many challenge sites out there that one more would just be silly. So, if you want to play along with me, that would be great. I'm just kinda doing this to inspire some cards for me. But if my photography inspires a card for you, go for it!

Last but not least, I got the most wonderful RAK in the mail a few days ago. It came from my very new blogging friend Karen at 6 Wacky Women. You have to go see the blog! When you see the card she sent me below, you will want to jump over and take a look at all the other great creations she has posted! I had seen a card she had made featuring the stamp set she ended up sending to me as a gift, and just had to have the set! So I emailed her and said I wanted to order it. She said their store had one left and she would get it out to me. I asked her for the price and how I could pay for it, and she never answered. So, a few days later, I sent an email to her asking again how much and how to pay for it. The little sneak emailed me back and said she hadn't gotten around to typing up an invoice, but she would send it soon. A few days later the package arrived and it had THE MOST ADORABLE CARD included with the stamp set stating that it was a gift to thank me for telling people about their blog. I was stunned, then burst out laughing that she had me fooled the whole time! Thanks so much Karen and Cathy! I can't tell you how much I appreciate your thoughtfulness! The card and the stamp set are below:

Is this not adorable????

Look at that little face!!!!

Here is the stamp set she sent me:

It's by Magenta and it is called a puzzle stamp. Is it not wonderful??? I'm a lucky guy!

Well, that's it for this post. Hope you enjoyed it! Don't forget the pic of the week. I just have to be a proud dad and post this year's Autumn picture of my boys. Take care all, and I'll see you on your blogs!

Curt O'Brien

"God help me be the person that my dogs think I am."

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Think I Get This Coloring Thing Now!

Hey All! Sorry it has been awhile since my last post. I'm glad you haven't given up on me! I have several cards to post today. My first is the reason for the title. I'm dedicating this card to my good blogging buddy Sue Kment at Sue's Stamping Stuff. Go visit her blog to see a true artist! Her coloring of the House Mouse images are jaw-dropping gorgeous. Awhile back, she very generously sent me a ton of stamped images which included the one I feature on today's card. No matter how hard I tried to emulate her coloring, I failed miserably. She told me that she uses blending techniques and what supplies she used. Well, I went out and got some, and boy, what a difference it made! Here is what I made after her coaching. . .

Sue had done this image, and I was just in awe over it. When I tried to color with just my colored pencils, it always looked like a 3rd grader did it. Now, with her help, the use of blending stumps, and odorless mineral spirits, I think I have the hang of it now! Here's a close up view:

At least I'm so much more happy with the results, and because of her, I can't wait to tackle some more of these! The dp is from the Fall Stack from DSCW. I mounted the image on green and mustard cs and attached it to the paper. Stamped and embossed the sentiment cs and then cut it out with my circle and scallop Nesties, and mounted it on the card using foam squares. Added the little dew drop thingies and ribbon. Thanks again so much Sue! You are my official "Coloring Mentor"! Honestly, I can't thank you enough!

My next cards are some I have made specifically for Pat's "Cards for Kids" project. Click on the link if you want to learn more and how you can help! The first card is a Halloween card. I figure since it is coming up soon, that would be a good theme. Here it is. . .

This is such a "boy" card! Catching bugs in jars. . .LOL. The jar stamp is by Inkadinkado and the spider stamp is a Martha Stewart stamp. I used my white ink pen to draw the spider web and to dot the photo corners. I added the red jewel to the spider for bling effect (see close up) below:

I don't know who the paper is by. Stamped the sentiment on orange cs mounted all stamped images after matting with foam squares, tied the ribbon and done.

So I figured that if this one was "boyish", I guess I'd better make one a little more softer for the girls. . .

This was an image that Tammy at Stamp Happy (another incredibly talented person!) sent me too! I colored the image with colored pencils and used the blending again. I then took a wet paper towel and blotted it on my Colorbox ink pad and blotted it to make the purple background. I like how it turned out. I did the same thing for the white cs that the sentiment is stamped on. The image and the sentiment are from My Favorite Things. I matted both, mounted them on the dp with foam squares, added an eyelet for the ribbon, and also added brads to the sentiment cs. Here is a close up of the image. . .

My final cards for today's post are more for the younger kids. I made 3 cards, each with a different center image.

These are simple cards, however they took me forever! These were cards that I bought that were already embossed with round looking bubbles. So I thought they would be good to use for the fish stamps I got from Stampin Up. I used my Versamark embossing pen, and colored every one of those "bubbles" on the front of each card. I then sprinkled with turquoise and glitter embossing powder and embossed. THAT is what took me so long, and THAT is what nearly sent me over the edge by the third card LOL! I then colored each image with colored pencils, added glittery highlights to each (see detail shot below), and mounted each on to the center of the card with foam squares.

The sentiments are on the inside, and were computer generated. The one for the seahorse says "Happy Birthday"; the one for the starfish says "You are a Super Star!"; and the crab card says "Just Beclaws". So Pat! If you are reading this, I have 10 cards now to send off to you. I'll be going to the post office tomorrow, so watch your mail!

Well, that's it! I am so glad that you stopped by! Don't forget the pic of the week below. It is a picture of my Mom's dog Chunk. We all went for a walk yesterday, and he was sniffing around and looked up and had those leaves stuck to his face. Thought it was a cute picture. . . Thanks again for visiting! I'll see you on your blogs!

Curt O'Brien

"God help me be the person my dogs think I am."

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Hey All! Happy World Card Making Day! This is really kinda cool! A day just for us to celebrate our craft! By the way, I've added someone to my blog list over there to the right. Her name is Marie and her blog is Aloha and Mabuhay. She is so talented, and I love visiting her blog. Go take a look, and I think you will agree that she has some fabulous cards to share. Her detail is incredible!
I've made 4 cards for today's special occasion! So on with the cards! My first is an Autumn card:

I used my new Spellbinders Shapeabilities for these leaves (except for the little bitty ones, those are punches). I love this new set! I love how it embosses the leaves and gives them veins. I used my glitter pen to go over them to make them sparkle. I attached the 3 main leaves with foam mounts to give it depth, and glued the others flat on the card stock. I used my corner punch to do the scalloped edge and then pierced each scallop, mounted all of that onto chocolate brown card stock, added the ribbon, the bling to the ribbon, and dew drops to a few of the leaves. Here's a close up of the Spellbinders leaves:

See how the leaves have the embossed veins? Love this!

My next card is a Halloween card. I just can't stop making them! I was cruising blogs the other day and came across a card that I just had to case. However I could just kick my butt, because now I have no idea who's blog it was on to give them credit! I'm such an unorganized dork! Anyway, this is my version of that card. . .

I started with a watercolor card stock. I then took my ink pads (all Colorbox) and started at the bottom rubbing the ink pads on the card stock. I started with yellow first, then orange, then purple, then dark blue, then black. I then used my Aquapen to mute it and blend it all together so the colors graduated into the next. I used a heat gun to dry it, then stamped the tree line with the bare tree stamp from Rubber Stampede. I used my Nesties to cut out the circle for the moon. This paper is from Doodlebug and it is called sugar coated card stock. It really sparkles and comes in lots of colors. I got it at Archivers. Anyway, I stamped the witch image right on the sparkle stuff using archival jet black ink. The stamp is from Martha Stewart. The ink did not really come out well because of the granular surface, so I went over it with a black marker to make it darker. I then attached the moon to the card, and then used a glitter pen to dot in the stars. This was a pretty easy card to make. Here is a close up:

Even after going over the image in black marker, the sparkles still shined through! I was really amazed by that!

My next two cards are birthday cards. One is for a friend of mine and the other is for the batch of cards I'm making for Pat for the Cards for Kids project that she started. I'll start with that one first.

This one was a little time consuming because of all of the cutting out and assembly, but I think it is really cute if I do say so myself. The stamps are from Stampin Up. They were part of my prize package that I won as blog candy from Rita's blog. I stamped the packages and balloons on white card stock with different color inks by Colorbox, then embossed them with clear ep. I cut them out and attached the bling to the balloons and then attached the color coordinated yarn to both pieces. I attached them all to the matted card stock with foam squares. I then used my glitter pen to do the background "swirlies". Here are a couple of close ups:

I wanted something suitable for kids and whimsical.

My last card is also a card I kind of cased from Catherine at Inksomnia. I loved the card she posted, so here is my version:

I like her card way better, but this served its purpose. I used various stamps to fill in the squares which were cut out of the paper using a plastic template. I then adhered the paper to white card stock. The images (I have no idea who makes these stamps) were colored with colored pencils, cupcake was glittered, hats had bling attached, and the sentiment was embossed with red tinsel ep. Pretty quick and simple card.

Well, that's it for this post! Whew! That was a lot of pics! I set a record for pics in one post! And speaking of pics, don't forget the pic of the week below: Thanks for visiting, and I'll see you on your blogs later tonight! I have a birthday dinner to attend to this evening, then back to the blogs!


Curt O'Brien
"God help me be the person that my dogs think I am."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Puppy Card

Hey All! Hope everyone is doing well on this first day of October! I still have been really busy with every day "stuff", including still some doctor's stuff with Jay, but he is way better! Again, thanks so much to all of you who sent such sweet, encouraging emails. They were so appreciated!

On to today's card! We had a new puppy move into the neighborhood. . .and you know me. . .being the huge dog lover that I am, I had to get a "baby gift" and make a card to welcome the new bundle of joy! LOL He is a mixed breed pup who she rescued from the street. His name is Winston (God I love that name!) and he is absolutely adorable. He was in pretty bad shape when she got him, but he has certainly found a wonderful home and a great Mom who is taking great care of him! Here is the card and gift:

Is that a cute porcelain canister or what? I got it at a garage sale for .75 cents! I'm always looking for dog stuff at garage sales for things like this. I filled it with puppy treats and hung the dog bone tag on it after writing his name on it. More detail on the card below:

The card measures 5 X 7 (which is normally the size of card I make). The card base is white cs and I used an Inkadinkado stamp set to stamp the background with the paw prints, bones, and "puppy". The border at the bottom is from the "Pet Stack" from DWCS or whatever those letters are (I never get them right and was too tired to go back upstairs to look LOL)! The fire hydrants are very sparkly. I created the sentiment on my computer, cut it out with Nesties, mounted it on black card stock with dimensionals, added the bling, and added the gingham ribbon. The paw prints kind of went nicely with the porcelain canister. The "Mom" loved the gift. She told me that the neighbors warned her that there was this guy in the neighborhood who would probably stop by with a new "baby" gift. Guess I've got a reputation around here for being nuts about dogs! LOL

Couple of other things I want to share. First, did you all know that October 4Th is "World Card Making Day"? I had no idea, but what a great thing to have! For more information, please visit Julie Koerber's site Out to Impress for a lot of great information on the many ways everyone is planning on celebrating it. Thanks Julie for the info! So, I plan on following one of the suggestions and will be posting a few new cards that I'm working on, on October 4Th! Join in the fun!

Speaking of working on cards, I'm also busy working on some cards for a very worthy cause, and to help out a great blogging friend with her wonderful work. She does volunteer work at a local children's hospital. She has started a program called "Cards 4 Kids", and the cards are for the caregivers and parents to give to their sick children. I wanted to help, so I'm making several cards to send. If you are interested in helping out with cards for these sweet kids, you can find all the information on Pat's blog, The Rubber Maid. I'm sure that she would really appreciate it, and so do I! I know the kids and their caregivers certainly will!

Well that's it for now until October 4Th. Don't forget the pic of the week below. I was so excited when I spotted this "subject matter"! Now, don't think that I'm naive and don't know what they are "doing". However, I chose to ignore that and give it a much cuter title and interpretation! So you all get your minds out of that gutter, and think more cutesy! LOL Enjoy, and I'll be seeing you all on your blogs!


Curt O'Brien

"God help me be the person my dogs think I am."