Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Hey All! Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you! It is just a little after midnight here so "officially" it is Thanksgiving! I wanted to post the card that I'm giving to my Mom, Jay's Mom, and Jay for today. I'm also posting some pics of a project I made on my own to use as favors to lay at each place setting for dinner. And then at the end of the blog I'll list some things that I am thankful for. Here is the card:

I have always been afraid to mix patterned paper. So many of you do it so well, but I just don't feel comfortable with it. However, I went outside my comfort zone and chose these two patters to put together. I think they look pretty good together, but some of you may be snickering or going ewwwwwwww. Oh well, I tried. But I do like how it all came together. I'll list all supplies at the end of the blog. One thing I do want to mention, I used a new set of shimmery paints that I ordered from Impress Rubber Stamps. The paint set is by Yasutomo. I used the orange shimmery paint on the pumpkin image and you can see it better in the picture below:

As you hold the card and move it from side to side is gives this cool reflective shimmery look. The paint is very transparent and came in 24 colors I think in the set. It was really reasonable too. You just touch your brush with water and then into the hard paint pot and brush it on over the image. It is very translucent. Very cool stuff.

Now here is the project I did to go with the cards at the table settings. I bought each of them one of those large candy bars. I have seen on lots of blogs where people make sleeves for the candy bar. Well, I was already upstairs and didn't want to come back down stairs to log on and try to look through several blogs for the measurements. So, I thought "how hard can it be to wrap paper around the candy, get the measurements, and make them myself. So that's what I did. Here is the finished product (but read on after because I came up with what I think is kind of a nifty thing).

See the band up there? It really isn't a full belly band. It worked out perfect because the whole sleeve and band can be made from one 8 1/2 X 11 piece of card stock with one cut! Super easy. The sleeve is pretty much self explanatory. But on the band, you score it so that it wraps around long ways and slides behind the candy bar in the sleeve. Look below:

How fun is that? Once that is tucked on each end, the candy bar stays firmly in place and does not slide out even when you hold it up and shake it! Pretty cool huh? I didn't want to have to cut a second strip and tape them together to do the traditional belly band, so this was my solution born out of being lazy! Hope you can use it. I plan on doing these for Christmas stocking stuffers. I envision them with cool winter paper and a sparkly snowflake on the circle. Once I had my measurements down, it literally took me 20 minutes to do all 3 of them!

OK, now to a few things I'm grateful for. My list could go on and on, but I will make a short list of the important stuff.

1. I'm grateful to be alive and to enjoy the things that I do.

2. I'm grateful for a Mom who is supportive and always there when you need her.

3. I'm grateful for my 22 year relationship. Jay has provided the grounding for me, and even though there are a lot of difficulties we fight with his MS, we are still together and going strong.

4. I'm grateful for my beautiful Giants. They supply the joy in my life and the perspective I need on life. They keep teaching me what unconditional love really is, and I love them so much for that.

5. I'm grateful to be living in a free country. Every day that goes by as I read about the horror and terror that goes on in other countries, I thank God that I live in the United States.

6. I'm so grateful to those men and women who make the above possible for me every day. I can't image their and their familie's sacrifice, but I'm thankful for it every day.

7. I'll end this list with something else that I am grateful for, and that is all of you! Every day when I log on to my email and see the wonderful, supportive, and uplifting comments you leave for me on every post, it just makes my life so much richer. I've met so many wonderful, generous people through this crafting/blogging thing, and I am so much better for it and because of you. So on this day of giving thanks, I give thanks for all of you!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones. Make sure you count your blessings today! You are counted among mine.


Curt O'Brien

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Hey All! Told you I was going to post more frequently! I don't know what has gotten into me, but I swear I've just been itching to get up to "my room" and create. Also, if you are interested, I was tagged and I have finally played along. If you want to know 7 things about me, read to the end of the post!

Today's card is another House Mouse card. Don't worry, they all aren't going to be HM cards. I'm particularly proud of this one, because I ordered this stamp a couple of months ago, and it became a milestone marker for me. When I ordered it, I knew that there was no way I could color this stamp at the time I bought it. But, I bought it anyway telling myself that as soon as I felt comfortable with my coloring, I would know it when I would tackle this stamp. Well, needless to say I "tackled" this stamp! I loved this image from the moment I saw it. Here it is:

This is the "Don't Leaf Without Me" stamp. This is a huge stamp. The card I mounted it on is a 5 X 7, so you can guage how big it is. There was a TON of coloring for this one, but it was so much fun, and I love how it turned out. I used my colored pencils, blending the colors with OMS. I mounted the image onto different colors of Bazzill card stock and then added the ribbon (which already had the leaves on it). Some of you on my last post was complimenting me on stamping the bones onto the ribbon. I went back to read what I wrote, but I'm not sure where some of you got that. The ribbon I used already had the bones on it. So I wanted to clear that up. I did not stamp the bones on the ribbon. Anyway, below is a close up to show the glitter I applied to some of the leaves using my Gelly Roll silver glitter pen:

It still didn't show up very well in the photo, but it gives you an idea. I did not give this one a sentiment because there wasn't much room for one, and I just wanted the image to have the stage. The sentiment can go on the inside. I'm loving to color! This was a blast!

OK, as I stated above, I was tagged by the ever beautiful, ever talented Laura Davis. So I guess I have to give 7 things about me that you all probably don't know. So, here goes:

1. I used to be a dance instructor in the 70's for Arthur Murray. My official title was "Disco Specialist". LOL Besides all of the popular disco dances, I was also a Cha Cha pro. I can still do a mean Cha Cha!

2. I can't kill anything! If I find a spider in the house (they make my skin crawl!) I go to great lengths to catch them and release them unharmed outside. If it is too cold out, I let them go in the garage (it is heated) LOL. When I'm cutting the grass, if I see a bug in the path of the lawn mower, I will stop and get it out of harms way.

3. I lost a brother to AIDS several years ago.

4. My favorite meat is BACON! I could eat bacon on anything! LOL

5. About 15 years ago, I owned my own business called "The Basket Maker". It was a gift basket company and we had a small shop on a trendy street in a place called Broadripple. My favorite product we offered was called the "Kiss My Assket" which was a basket full of nasty stuff (i.e. dead roses, plastic vomit, etc.) that people would send to people they had an issue with. Too funny.

6. I LOVE to gamble, and have been to Vegas 12 times. My favorite is video poker, and when I am in Vegas, I can sit at the same machine for 8 hours straight. I have a bladder the size of Texas! LOL

7. I have played the Hoosier Lottery and the Powerball Lottery since they began and have played the same set of numbers every week, twice a week for all those years. Boy do I have plans for when I win! For one thing, I promise all of my faithful commenters here that I won't forget you! I was thinking that if I ever would win millions, I'd fly you all somewhere fabulous for a getaway weekend of crafting at an exotic resort. That way, I could meet you all in person and we could have a blast! So, there is an incentive for you to comment more often! LOL

So, there you have it, 7 things that you probably didn't know about me.

Finally, I received an update on Glee (my blogging friend who is seriously ill) and the word is not much different. As of the 23RD, she was still on a respirator and I checked her blog today to see if her husband had updated and he had not. So, thanks so much to all of you who went and left such great messages on Glee's blog. I know her husband appreciates the outpouring of support for them. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Well, that is it for this one! I'll be posting again on Thanksgiving. I thought I would post a Thanksgiving card and list some of the things that I am grateful for. So, hope you come back to visit. Until then, thanks so much for visiting, I appreciate it so much. 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."

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Hey All! Hope you have had a wonderful weekend, and for those of you who haven't been feeling well (there are several of you!) I hope you are much better! Well, we have a winner of my blog candy. But like all of my other contests, I've put the winner's information at the end of the blog. I've also got a new card to share with you. So no peeking until the end! Let the excitement last just a bit longer. . . LOL Here is my card if you haven't already whizzed by it to see if you're the winner!

I am so in love with the House Mouse stamps! Thanks to Juliann at Pixieshire Too, I happened to stumble onto such a deal. She had made this adorable Christmas card with a House Mouse stamp on her blog, and I just loved it! She was so kind and sent me a Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon to use. Well I went rushing over to Hobby Lobby to buy the stamp and was happily surprised to find all of their Stampabilities stamps were 50% off! I didn't even need the coupon and got a better deal! But because she sent it to me I probably wouldn't have gone until later in the week and the sale would have been over. So, I ended up buying 3 different House Mouse stamps. Thanks Juliann! So this card I made with one of them. . .

I made this for our next door neighbor who was kind enough to make Jay and I a homemade Pumpkin Nut Roll. It was wonderful. I made a second one of these cards that is identical accept I switched the color of the critters. The rabbit is brown and the mouse is grey. I made that one for another sweet neighbor across the street who gave us the most wonderful homemade beef stew. So on the front of the cards it says "Thanks" and on the inside it says "That Was Yummy!". I thought this stamp was so perfect for that. I stamped the image in black Archival ink, colored the image with colored pencils and blended them with OMS. I mounted the image on Bazzill card stock, and then mounted that on printed paper (I don't know who makes it). Added the little dew drops from Impress Rubber Stamps, and raised the sentiment (computer generated) with foam squares. Added the satin orange ribbon and done!

OK, now to the winner. . . shall we have a drum roll please . . . .(Large and deep announcer voice here) and the winner of Curt's fabulous 10,000 hit celebration blog candy is. . . . . . . . . Joan Fricker!!!!! Joan wrote: "Curt, Congratulations on your 10,000 visits. Isn't this fun?? Great cards today and I love all your little details. Your gift is extremely generous and will be great for the lucky winner. Great job as usual! Joan" Congratulations Joan, YOU are the lucky winner! Please email me with your home address and I will get your gifts out to you right away! Below I published just the top 12 so you can see if you even made it into the top 12:

1. Joan Fricker
2. Sue
3. Marie
4. Scossie Jane
5. Sena
6. Catherine
7. Julie Koerber
8. Sue
9. DPKennedy
10. Deb Neerman
11. Ila
12. Jamie Martin

It was weird, I put my "regular commenters" in twice as stated in the "rules", but not one of them had their name show up in the top 12 twice. For example, Julie Koerber was entered twice, and she came out #7 and #49Th on the list. I just think that Random.Org is so cool.

Anyway kids, that's it for this post. Again, congrats to you Joan and I hope you enjoy your goodies!

Don't forget the pic of the week below. The color of these leaves with the berries was so unusual, they really made an odd color combo. Also, I'm going to be posting a lot more frequently in the next few weeks! I'm in a card making mode, and I have several lined up ready to share! Hope you come back to see them.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and I'll be seeing you on yours!


Curt O'Brien

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Hey All! Well, as promised in my last post, I am celebrating my 10,000 blog hits (way over now)! I put together something a little different than the usual blog candy. This prize is more for enjoying while one stamps instead of using it to stamp. Intriguing? OK, first you have to look at my cards! LOL That's surely what you came here to do, right? The blog candy thing was only secondary, right? Hmmmmmmm? LOL So here are my new cards. . .

This one is for my old director where I used to work. She is leaving the company, and I wanted to give her a card to wish her luck on her new job. Here it is. . .

I love this new stamp that I just got form Impress Rubber Stamps. They have so many cool things, and their prices are very reasonable. The stamp is by Memory Box. It is a wooden stamp, and the main stamp is where you would think it should be, but the secondary stamp the little thing that floats away is stuck to the side of the stamp, so they are both actually one stamp. Very cool. I stamped this with Staz-on Timber Brown ink on cs by Scrapworks called Light Coffee. The black is Bazzill cs. Here is what is amazing to me. I stamped the main image in Versamark embossing ink on the cs as a background image and just heated it with my heat gun to get this effect. Usually embossing clear ink gives a much lighter "watermark" effect, but for some reason it looks like a brown ink! I loved how it turned out. I also stamped the little floaty thingy multiple times on the strip for a background. I used my glitter Gelly Roll pen to put the silver glimmer on each. I then used my round and scalloped Nesties to cut one of the floating thingys out as well as the dandelion and adhered them with foam dimensionals. The tag thing with the sentiment (which was computer generated) is from a stamp set that I have no idea who made. I stamped it on the same card stock, cut it out, used my slot tool, then added black grosgrain ribbon. Here is another shot:

I also made her a second card. When she sent me the email that told me she had gotten another job, she also informed me that she got a new puppy and attached a picture. The picture was not very good (the pup's eyes were all glowing yellow orbs, and it was a little fuzzy) so I doctored it up in Photoshop and printed it out.

I used one of those photo cards that you buy in packs to insert the picture, then embellished it to make it more "puppy appropriate". I added ribbon and stamped the bones and paw prints on the card. Is this puppy adorable or what? It is a Cavapoo and her name is Sam.

OK now for the blog candy prize. I wanted something really grand for my 10,000 hits prize so to start it off, this card goes to the winner along with the prize. The card actually sets what the theme of the prize is. Here is the card you will get with the prize. . .

The main image and sentiment is from the Flourishes set called "Coffee With Friends". I wanted to get a wintry feel for the card, so I stamped the coffee cup image directly onto the snowflake paper. It is by K & Company. I cut the coffee cup out using a combination of scissors and an Exacto knife (for the handle). I mounted it with foam dimentionals on plain white cs that I sponged with Colorbox Aqua Blue ink. I used my silver sparkle Gelly Roll pen to get the shimmery effect on the steam. I then mounted that onto more K & Company paper which is the other side of the snowflake paper. I then mounted that onto black cs and shimmery blue cs by the Paper Company. Did the same thing for the sentiment, mounted it on dimentionals, added the bling at the bottom, and done. It is yours along with this prize. . .

I put together what I think is a really nice wintry "pamper me" gift box full of stuff. Here is another shot of everything out of the box:

Here is the list of items:

1 package of Southern Comfort flavored coffee
1 package of Ghiradelli Chocolate Caramel coffee
1 package of Land O Lakes Cocoa Classics Caramel Chocolate flavor hot cocoa
1 package of Land O Lakes Cocoa Classics Hazelnut Chocolate flavor hot cocoa
1 Gingerbread Man candy tin filled with Hershey's Holiday Hugs candy
1 scented candle in a frosted glass jar with top in a shimmery drawstring bag
1 two-pack of holiday self stick note pads
1 holiday magnetic list note pad
1 long spiral bound holiday note pad with polar bear picture on front
1 tin of Starbucks After Coffee chewing gum cinnamon flavor
1 tin of Starbucks After Coffee mints vanilla flavor
1 tin of Starbucks After Coffee mints spearmint flavor
1 ceramic snowman coffee mug with ceramic lid
1 gorgeous snowman motif holiday gift box

How about that???? No stamping stuff, just stuff to enjoy while you are stamping! Picture it now . . . sitting at your crafting table, a scented candle burning, the smell of caramel hot cocoa wafting up from your adorable snowman mug. As you watch the snow falling softly just outside your window, you unwrap a chocolate hug. . .LOL I should write commercials!

Anyway, to win this gift box full of goodies, you need to leave a comment here on this post and you will get one entry. If you are one of my regular comment posters (those of you who consistently visit me, post after post and leave such wonderful comments) you will automatically get a second entry as a thank you for being such a loyal commenter. You will have until Sunday, November 23rd at 6:00 PM EST to leave your comment in order to be entered. I will put every one's name on a list (my loyal posters twice) and will run it on Random.Org. The person who comes out #1 on the list will be the winner. Good luck everyone!

On a final sad note, my blogging buddy Glee at Gleefully Done, is very ill. Her husband posted for her and has let us know she is on a respirator in the hospital. She has pneumonia. She was just healing from a recent eye surgery, and now this. Please if you would go visit her blog and leave her a comment of best wishes. Her husband has said he will make sure that if you leave a comment on her blog he will make sure to get it to her in the hospital. At the very least, please keep her and him in your thoughts and prayers. She is a very sweet lady who needs our support right now!

Thanks again for reading this very long post (but hey, what's new huh?). Also don't forget to take a look at 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, November 15, 2008


Hey All! OK, I'm wiping the sweat from my brow on this one. For those of you who do tutorials on a regular basis (Mel that means you! LOL) I tip my hat to you! Good Lord this was some work! Trying to hold things and take a picture with the other hand was a real endeavor and then to write everything down each step and make sure I didn't forget anything was tough, but I think I've got it all. So, here is the tutorial you've asked for. . .


1. Cut two panels of card stock so that you have two at 4 5/16 x 11.

2. Score panel one at 4 1/2, 5 1/2, and 10 inches.

3. Score panel two at 15/16, 5 7/16, and 6 1/2 inches.

4. Using whatever DP you are going to use for the back of the diorama, cut a panel that is 4 1/2 x 4 5/16 inches.

5. Stamp background image on this panel (make sure you stamp it correctly depending on the orientation of the card. It will either open from the top or the side. This will make sense when you start to fold). Set image aside for now.

6. Working with panel 1, cut a window between the 5 1/2 inch and 10 inch score lines. I used the largest scalloped rectangle Nestie. You obviously can use whatever shape you want.

7. After cutting the window out, I then ran this section of the card through the Cuttlebug again using the Swiss Dots embossing folder.

Panel 1 should now look like this:

8. Using a strong 2 sided tape, tape panel 1 at far left edge and also at the edge of the first score line like this:

9. Line up right edge of panel 2 with first score line on panel 1. Secure it with the tape you just put down. You should now have one long panel like this:
Here is a shot of it with a little bend at all the score lines so you can see them better.

10. Now comes the time to adhere your background image that you stamped earlier. Adhere it here (look at the photo below). It shouldn't be too hard to figure out where to place the image, because at this point there is only one place it can go. Remember, you need to make sure you attach it in the correct orientation (see #5.).

It should now look like this:
11. Stamp middle "3-D" image on a separate piece of card stock.

I used Marvy's Liquid Applique on the branches to give it a 3-D snowy look. Then heated the liquid applique with my heat gun. While it was still "warm", I sprinkled the tree with glitter and then pressed it in with finger so that it would adhere to the applique. It works really well.

12. Cut image out and set aside for now. NOTE: Be sure to leave at least a 3/4 inch bottom on the image to be able to fold it under (see next step).

13. At this point, I would start folding at the score lines so that you can "see" your card as it is going to be once folded and to locate where your front cover of the card is.

14. Decorate the front of the card however you decide. I cut an identical panel and stamped an identical image of the one I used for the background on the inside of this card. I matted it and used a decorative corner punch and matted it on the front of mine.

15. Now, flip back over and add 2-sided tape here to finish off window box.

16. Tape the front of the 3/4 inch tab of your cut out image with 2-sided tape and fold it back so that it stands up on its own (tape is underneath).
17. Slide cut out image behind window and press down firmly to adhere.
18. Now decorate the panel in front of the window with DP and sentiment.
19. OK, so you are now done. . .sort of. Look at the picture below and note the "flap":
As you fold the card closed, you will notice that this little flap will fold nicely over the outside edge of your card. I left this as an option. I was thinking that you could use this as a closing feature by adding a button with string, a slip in tab, etc. However, I chose to cut this flap off completely. So that it just becomes the front of the card that you simply lift open. Here is the final series of pictures of the final product from pulling out of the envelope to the open product:

There you have it! I hope this wasn't too confusing. I know I probably added way too much detail and way too many pictures, but I wanted to be sure that it was clear. Please don't think that after all this that it seems like to much or too time consuming. It really isn't that hard and only took me less than 30 minutes to do this one. If you have any questions about this tutorial, please do not hesitate to drop me an email.
I hope some of you make one of these. I would love to see what you come up with. I'm sure that some of you could find an easier way of getting the same results, and if so, I would love to hear about it. If you do make one, please leave a comment on this post with a link so that I and everyone who visits can take a look.
Hope you enjoyed it! I'm fast approaching my 10,000 hits, and I have something special planned to give away to celebrate. So stay tuned. Thanks again for visiting! I'll see you on your blogs! Don't forget the pic of the week below. . .
Curt O'Brien
"God help me be the person my dogs think I am."