Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seeing Spots!

Hey All! OMG it is a week until Christmas!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH Can you believe it?!?! I did make a dent in my projects, but I have several more to complete! Hopefully I'll have everything done by Sunday. I hope you all are caught up and are where you need to be. If not, I hope it brings you comfort that I'm right there with you! Here's what I've been working on in the last few days. . .
The first project was the gift to my Vet's office and their staff. When I called and asked how many people were there she said "14". I thought your sh***ng me, right? I thought there were only 6 or 7 LOL! So it was double what I thought I had to make! Oh well, 'tis the season huh? I made 14 of my candy sleeves with the "faux" belly band. I made 3 designs and here they are:

Pine branch, snowflake, and holly. The paper is from the Paper Studio, card stock is by Bazzill, and all of the punched images are Martha Stewart punches. I cut the scalloped circles and regular circles with my Nesties, then attached them to the band with dimensional tape. Here is a close up

After making all 14, I put them in a basket and the finished gift looked like this:

I hand tied the big red velvet bow and attached it to the front of the basket, and stuffed the basket with a combination of tissue paper and sparkly red netting. I then arranged all 14 bars in the basket and tah dah! They were very impressed, and loved the gift. I got a thank you note today from the staff. I had also made a card to go with the basket (of course). I wanted it to be "dog themed", but after making 14 of those sleeves, I decided to do a simple card. Here it is. . .

I LOVE this stamp. As some of you may remember, I used it for the first time for one of my Autumn cards. I thought this is so perfect for a winter card. This stamp is from Penny Black, and it has to be one of my favorites. All the card stock is Bazzill, and I stamped the image in Versamark ink then embossed it with white ep with glitter mixed in. Look at the close up below:

Such a pretty effect with the sparkles! Anyway, mounted it on an the Swiss dots embossed card stock with foam squares for depth, then mounted all of that on watercolor card stock. The sentiment is from a $1 stamp, and the snowflakes are from a Martha Stewart punch. Added some bling to the snowflakes and done! Easy as could be.

The last think I have to show you are the "mass produced" cards I did. These are also the reason for the title of this post LOL. I wanted something that I could piece together after cutting all the pieces out for all the cards at once and then begin an assembly line. However, I wanted it to be a little elegant at the same time. So, here is what I came up with:

The stamp is by Hero Arts. I stamped the image on silver card stock using Versamark ink. Then I embossed it with an embossing powder called "gold tinsel". Boy is it sparkly! I love gold and silver together. Here is a close up of the detail of the ep:

I mounted it onto metallic gold card stock from DCWV the metallic stack. The silver section is raised with dimensional foam squares. I then mounted that onto another piece of silver metallic card stock. I stuck every one of those little red sparkly dots on one at a time. Now you understand why I called this post "seeing spots". OMG! They are really small, and I had to lift them off with the tip of my piercing tool, transfer them to the card, and then press them on. I made 20 of these and I'm tellin' ya I WAS SEEING SPOTS when I was done. These are A2 sized cards which I normally don't do. I'm not good at the smaller size, however this design lends itself to a smaller card. The sentiment is on the inside. Below are a few larger square cards that I made to send out too with the same tree stamp:

Again, these 3 designs were done pretty much the same, however they were mounted on card stock that was already pre-embossed. I thought this pattern was really nice.

So, there you have it. That's it for this show and tell. I did manage to get all of my cards mailed out to all of you that I have an address for. Hope you like them. Speaking of, I have been receiving cards from many of you, and I so appreciate them. What I thought I would do is save them and post them all at once as my Christmas Eve post.

One final note. I was very saddened to learn of the death of Joanne Johnson of My Adventures in Card Making. I just went back over to her blog to get the address to link, and noticed that she has 171 comments for the post her husband posted shortly after her death. Amazing. Joanne was one of the most sweet people I have ever met. She had one of the best outlooks on life and was so positive. If you want to read something that will give you such inspiration, read her Friday, November 28Th post. It is a prime example of why I loved going to her blog. Please go hug the ones you love at your earliest convenience. You never know. . .

Don't forget the pic of the week below! I'll see you on your blogs! Thanks so much for coming! I truly am grateful for all of you!



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

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Cards/Great Cartoon/Stuff

Hey All! Before I start my ramble, I just want to say thanks to each and every one of you who left such uplifting comments on my last post. If you were all right here right now, I'd give you all a giant hug! You don't know what your comments mean to me. For those of you who don't have a blog, or have your comments set to "no reply", I want you to know I do appreciate the comments, and I wish you would give me some way of responding to you so that I can say thanks. But until then, know that I love your comments and I think you are wonderful for leaving them.

OK, that mushy stuff said, take a look at this hilarious cartoon I found in the January 2009 issue of the Reader's Digest (be sure to click on the picture for all of the detail, it is priceless!):

OMG is that hilarious or what?!!! I couldn't believe it when I saw it. Especially since it is a guy being interviewed! How perfect is this for me. As many of you know, I am currently unemployed because of downsizing. Can you see me in this situation in the future?!?!?! LOL I swear, if it doesn't break any copyright laws, I'm going to use this as the header for my blog after the holidays. What a hoot!
Alright now. . . .on to the Christmas card. This one took me some time, but I think the result was worth it if I do say so myself. I've seen others make this wreath, and I always marveled at them, and I had the punch, so this is my version. . .

This is a 5 X 7 card (which most of mine are). I used the McGill pine punch to punch out the gazillion pine branches. I punched them out in two different shades of green to give it more of a "real" look, and a few gold branches for decorative value. I cut out a "ring" to use as a template for the wreath using my Nesties. I then began to glue them on to the template one at a time with my Martha Stewart glue pen (I love that pen). I alternated greens and stuck on the gold ones last. I used red rhinestones for the "berries" and glued those on using diamond glaze. I then used my CB and embossed that background with one of the folders (forget what it is called) and used a Gelly Roll glitter pen to highlight the raised parts. I mounted the wreath on that with foam dimensionals, mounted that onto Bazzill card stock, and added the bow (ribbon from Michael's). The sentiment is from Martha Stewart and I added the two rhinestones on either side to finish it off. If you click on the photo, you will see how glittery the background is.

My next project is a set of monogrammed note cards that I made for Jay's Mom's birthday. Here the are:

I made two each of 3 designs. I wanted them to have a little elegance about them, so I used paper from (I believe DCWV) a stack called "simple elegance". I mounted all the papers directly onto Bazzill white card stock. The monograms were done using the JustRite DIY Monogram Stamper Kit. I love this product, and plan to get other sets. This is a great starter. I stamped the monograms in Versamark ink and then embossed with black fine detail ep. I then cut them out with Nestie circles and scallops. All were mounted with dimensional foam squares. I tied ribbon to some and added bling to others as you can see from the close up below:

I put them is a simple box (store bought) and decorated it with ribbon and a matching monogram tag. She really loved it. I had to take it back from her after I had given it to her because I realized I had forgotten to photograph the set for my blog. LOL

Finally, I received the sweets RAK from the very sweet Michelle Ueligitone. I was so pleasantly surprised to receive it. Here is what she sent:

It came on a very wet, cold, grayish creepy day. When I opened it, it was like opening sunshine. It really brightened my day. Michelle lives in Hawaii, so it was nice to think about such a beautiful place for that moment. If you have not visited Michelle, go do so. She is very talented, and she has the most amazingly beautiful little daughter! They actually are both stunning beauties! Thanks Michelle. It was so thoughtful of you!

That's it for this post kids! It is 10:00 pm here and I'm off to go upstairs and continue working on my Christmas projects. Here's what I'm working on to be highlighted in upcoming blog posts: Dog treat Christmas gifts for the neighborhood dogs; Dog themed clear ornaments to go with them; giant candy bar Christmas sleeves (40 of them! LOL); and various other Christmas cards. These are just a few of what I'm working on. So lots of posts coming!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by. As I said at the beginning, it means so much to me. I'll be looking at all of your blogs when I get up tomorrow while having my first cup of coffee, so I'll see you in the morning! LOL Don't forget the pic of the week below!


Curt O'Brien

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

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Challenge Entry

Hey All! Hope your week is progressing well! Today's post is super quick. I wanted to try the House Mouse Monday Challenge over at House Mouse Challenge. This is my very first time doing a challenge with them. You all know how much I'm loving the House Mouse stamps and I'm feeling a little more confident in my coloring abilities so I thought I would give it a shot. The challenge this week is "Let it snow". You are to use at least one House Mouse or Friends stamp on your card and this challenge you had to add snow. So here is mine:

Boy did this card take on a life of its own! Geeeez! I started out with the image stamped on white card stock and colored with colored pencils and OMS. Well, all coloring was completed accept for the tip of the second branch from the top on the right. I was using a blending stump and my dear, sweet little Gunther barked unexpectedly which caused me to jump and smear the color WAY out of the lines! LOL Little monster! My original intent was to cut the image out in a square, mount it, add a few flakes, and done. But Gunther changed all of that. So, not wanting to have to re-stamp the image and re-color it, I had to figure out a way to salvage it. So after much pondering, I came up with the idea of cutting the image out as close as possible which would eliminate the smear. Then I thought I would mount it on paper that I embossed with the CB snowflake embossing folder. OK, so far so good. Then I thought I would simply mount it on the white card add a sentiment and bow and be done. But it was way too much white so I added the green matting. It still kind of looked a little plain, so I got out my Martha Stewart glue pen and dabbed at all the embossed snowflakes in the background and sprinkled them with glitter. That looked better, but still it needed more. Got out the Stickles and dotted the tree with "berries". Looking better, but not quite there yet. Applied the liquid applique for more snow effect and pressed in glitter and heated it with the heat gun. OK, almost there. I had a hell of a time with the bow because I wanted to put it where I have it, but I needed something to tie it around. So I cut a thin strip of the green matting paper and a thin strip of card stock for stiffiness and tied the ribbon around that. The bow just didn't look right, so I added another strip of ribbon which I tied around the middle knot of the bow and cut it. Now it looks like a deformed octopus bow, but I was so done with this card by then. THEN I realized I didn't put any sentiment on it. So at the last minute I created the "Deck the Halls" sentiment on my computer using the Curlz font, cut it out, attached it with the "bend" to give it a 3-D effect (I've seen that on other cards and I like it a lot - see the up close pic below), added the bling and said "That's it, enough, I'm done!" I think that is why I don't do challenges, because I get my self in these tizzies over wanting it to be perfect.

Oh well, I don't think it turned out horribly, what do you think? You can see from this shot that I only attached the cut out image from the bottom leaving the top to stick out a little bit from the background to give it some depth.

Well there ya have it! My first House Mouse challenge. Or shall I say "mine and Gunther's first challenge". LOL

Thanks for stopping by! I'll have another post on Saturday for you. Can't wait till you see the one card I'm just about finished with. Until then, I'll see you all on your blogs!


Curt O'Brien

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

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Birthday and Thanks

Hey All! Sorry it has been several days between posts. Don't know why, but I've been in a funk that has lasted about a week, and I finally think I'm coming out of it. I don't know if it is pre-holiday stress, or just plain feeling blue, but I just didn't feel like going up those stairs to create. But then as surely as it came, it left, and I climbed those stairs and got to it! Now I'm working on 4 different projects which will show up in subsequent posts, so I'm showing you the cards I made yesterday.

The first one is a birthday card I made for a very good friend of mine named Jan. As I do every year, I totally spaced her birthday. I get so mad at myself for doing that, and I swear I do it to her every year! I can be such a moron some times! Anyway, she and I have been friends for many years, and she is the reason I have gotten my last two jobs. She has really been a great friend. Here is the card I made for her:

When she bought her condo several years ago, she painted her bedroom this gorgeous shade of eggplant. So, I made the card with that color in mind. I used standard Bazzill card stock, ran the green piece behind the image through my CB, used a corner punch to achieve the edges around the image, and added some bling. The flower (stamped in Versamark and then embossed in purple ep) is an Inkadinkado image (I believe), as well as the sentiment. I mounted the image to the card with dimensionals, tied the ribbon, and done. I love these two colors together. They are actually darker than they appear in the photo. Here's a close up of the flower:

As I said, she is such a good friend. I went to my mailbox the other day to get the mail, and there was a gift bag in the box. It was from Jan, and when I opened it, I couldn't believe my eyes. Here is what she got me:

Is that not amazing!?! I can't believe she found this ornament with a silhouette of a Giant Schnauzer it it! These are so hard to find, but she found it! And here I forgot her birthday again. I feel like such a schmuck! So, I wanted to make her a thank you card, so here it is:

I showed two angles so you could see the shimmer in the top one. I LOVE this stamp! It is called "Frosty" and it is by Penny Black. This snowman shows such happiness, and that is exactly how I felt when I saw my gift. So, I thought this would be a perfect image to use. I stamped it in Staz-On jet black, and colored the shadowing with colored pencil and OMS. I also used that around the frame of the image as well. I'm not to good at distressing the edges with ink pads. I always get it all over me and not evenly around the edges. So, I use a colored pencil and scribble the color all around the edge, then use OMS to soften it. I think it works well, at least for me! LOL I then added sparkle around the frame, in the snow, and on his shadowing with my Gelly Roll sparkle pen. Then sentiment is a $1 stamp I got at Michael's. I punched out the tiny snowflakes with a punch and added bling to each. The image was matted on navy blue Bazzill cs and then attached to the card with dimensionals. Added the ribbon and attached the sentiment with a silver eyelet and some silver cord which finished it.

So, there you have it. Now I have a couple of pics to share with you of my Gunther. The first one shows what he does when I'm talking on the phone:

He lays his head right on the phone and stares at me like "Daddy! Get off the phone and play with me! I'm bored!) He has actually laid his head on the phone when I am not on it, and hits the speaker and redail button which called my Mom! He is such a brat!

The next two pics is of him wearing my hat. He actually laid down and went to sleep with it on, so I took this first pic.

Then he heard me take that picture and kinda sat up and I took the second picture:

He looks like he is saying "What's the big deal? Don't all dogs wear hats?" LOL He is such a little clown. My Shotsy is nursing his back leg. He has had surgery on both back legs to replace his ACLs. He had the surgeries last year and the year before to the tune of $6,000.00! But he is worth every cent! But ever since the surgeries, when he overdoes it with running in the park, sometimes he has to nurse his right back leg. It always worries me.

OK, enough of my babbling! I'll have another post is a couple of days. Working on some Christmas cards and projects that I want to share with you all!

Don't forget the pic of the week below! This was a pic of a hawk feather that was caught on a very tall piece of grass in the field next to the path. It just seemed so odd flapping in the breeze, but it looked so beautiful with the way the sun was hitting it. It makes a bizarre picture, but cool too I think.

Thanks so much for visiting! I feel better now that I shared this stuff with you! I'll be seeing you on your blogs!


Curt O'Brien

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

Monday, December 1, 2008


Hey All! Today's post is a get well card that is a little different. My Mom's good friend had a very nasty fall a few weeks ago, and ended up breaking her arm. Ouch! I know this woman somewhat, and wanted to cheer her up. Because of this accident, she can't work and is really having a tough time. Because there was injury, the first word that came to mind was "heal". When I hear that word I automatically think of the dog command "heel". So you put the two together in my head, and you come up with this card. . .

I LOVE this dog image. This image is from a set I used to create a card back in August. This is an "altered" image. This is not what the original dog stamp looks like in the least. I cut off the ears and the tail, altered them and then used them as "new and improved" ear and tail. Lots of plastic surgery to make it look like a caricature of my beautiful Shotsy. I had to hand color the image after stamping it because the original has little white spots and circles all over his body. Anyway, I hand made the little collar and the big collar. See pics below:

I used a sparkly glitter pen to put the studs on his collar, and then did the buckle and dog tag out of metallic card stock. I did faux stitching on the big one too. I used a silver cord from a store bought gift tag from Christmas last year to attach the dog tag to the buckle. Supply list is below.
Hope you like it!

A couple of other things. . .I was again bestowed with two more awards from two very sweet people. The first from my very good blogging friend Pat at the Rubbermaid. Such a sweet award. If you have not checked her blog out, you need to do so. Not just for her very wonderful creations, but also for her hilarious sense of humor! She is a riot! I'm proud to call her my friend. She is also the mother of the super talented Julie Koerber at Out to Impress. Here is the award she gave me:

The other award was given to me by Jodi at Inked Inspirations. She was just recently married and she is just adorable! Her cards are marvelous with such wonderful detail, and she is so good natured with my bad sense of humor. She had showcased a card on her blog where she used one of the Matilda stamps (I think that's what they are called). Anyway, they are the ones that kind of creep me out because they don't have mouths. She was making up a story about how she thought the male was in the house (in the background) making her dinner. In my comment I said that I didn't think that was the case because why would he make dinner if they didn't have mouths to eat it with? LOL Oh I am so horrible!!!! I still laugh when I think of that though! She was sweet and just replied that I was so funny! Gotta love her! Here is the award she gave me:

OK, here is the same caveat that I put whenever I receive one of these. First and foremost it is always appreciated! I'm always honored when you think enough of me to give these to me. I am so humbled. However, I usually don't follow the rules because I think everyone who I visit on a regular basis deserves the awards, and they only limit you to give to a few. So I always share this with everyone because you are all so deserving. And besides, most of you who I visit already have them! LOL

Lastly on a serious note. . .I got an update on my blogging friend Glee. A lot of you know Glee from being visitors on her blog. Her husband has left another update as of last night. Though there is some inkling of good news, Glee is still on the respirator and has now had to have a feeding tube put in. She is still sedated. Please think of Glee, and continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Let it also make us aware of how quickly our lives can change and forever be altered by something like this. It would be nice if you would all go over and leave some encouraging comments not only for Glee, but for her husband who is by her side through this. I know many of you did the last time I gave an update, and her husband seemed very appreciative of it and can't wait to give all of them to Glee.

OK, that's it. I'm working today on some winter/Christmas cards for upcoming posts, so check back in a couple of days for new stuff! Don't forget the pic of the week. I took this over the weekend. He/She is so beautiful all huddled up like that. It was cold and blustery, and she was all puffed up keeping warm.

Take care all! I love that you stopped by. . .it means so much to me! I'll see you on your blogs!


Curt O'Brien

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

Card Materials List

Card Stock: Archiver's, DCWV
DP: Rhonna Farrer
Ink: Archival Jet Black
Sentiment: Curt's hand LOL
Odds and Ends: Gelly Roll sparkle pen, silver cord, Nesties, black marker.
Stamps: Inkadinkado