Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Friday, February 20, 2009


Hey All! How have you all been? Happy Friday!!! Hope you all had a great week and a wonderful Valentine's Day. As you can see, my blog is all decked out for St. Patrick's Day as are my boys above. Honestly, they have bandannas for every holiday and season. I love my guys so much! And with my last name being O'Brien, I would lose my Irish card if I didn't decorate my blog for the holiday.

I have a few things to share with you today. A couple of cards, an update, and some EXTREMELY EXCITING NEWS! So, on we go!

My first card is my submission for the House Mouse Monday Challenge #25. This one was a little different because they had a sketch you had to follow. I'm not big on sketches, but this one was kinda cool and I really loved the layout. Here it is:

Here is my interpretation:

How perfect for St. Pat's Day. As most of you who have followed my blog for any time, you know that when I do a sketch challenge, I literally follow the sketch - no variations. I think this HM image is so cute. I like how this turned out, except that bare spot up there in the upper left hand corner. But, like I said, I follow the sketch as given. Here is a close up of the image:

I'm listing all the details of the cards at the end of the post if you are interested. But I have to say, I colored this image with colored pencils and OMS with blending stumps. I'm not kidding you when I say this. . .the pencils I use for my coloring of all images are simple Crayola colored pencils. I also use these other super cheap colored pencils called "Cran". Makes me laugh every time. Remember when you were a little kid and you called crayons "crans"? Anyway, these pencils cost $7.99 for 72 colors! LOL Can you believe it? My Crayola pencils were like $6.99 for 48 colors. And I get these kind of results. And trust me on this. . .I know some 5 year olds who can color better than me! The secret to the coloring turning out is the odorless mineral spirits and choosing the correct colors. That's it. So, I'm just telling you my little closeted secrets because if you think you can't color. . .if I can get results like this, you can too!

My next card is one that I had in my head the minute I saw two of the stamps that I used for it. The bird and the nest stamps just inspired a card in my head. Here is what came out:

Whenever I see a nest with eggs, I always picture them blue or speckled. When I saw these stamps, I immediately thought of beige and robin egg blue. The background paper is speckled with the browns, blues, and the light greens that I used for the tree just budding. Here is a close up of the bird:

I also did something that I have never tried. That is coloring an image on colored card stock. I always thought that the color of the paper would alter the color. I was so pleased with how it looked, and plan on doing it more in the future.

OK, now on to my EXCITING NEWS! Did you notice the "2 Red Bananas" logo on the right side of my blog near the top? It's there for a reason. I know many of you know Jami of Stamp Happy. If not, go see her. She is so very talented! Anyway, she has designed some wonderful stamp sets for 2 Red Bananas. She emailed me and asked if she could design a stamp set with my boys as the inspiration. She had seen a card I had done previously, and took inspiration from that too (you can see it here). I was so honored and pleased and, of course, said ABSOLUTELY! So, a stamp set was born which will be released next month. The are going to sneak peak it on February 25Th, and I get to play along. I will be posting (proudly I might add) my card using the new stamp set. I was also so excited to find out that the stamp set includes a likeness of my sweet Gunther and the stamp set is called "Gunther's Greetings". I hope I didn't spill too much, but I'm just on cloud 9! My little boy is now a stamp set!!!! LOL I've really been doing the happy dance ever since I received the set. I can't wait till you see it. So be sure to come back on the 25Th to see my card and get links to the other designer's cards.Finally, Pat gave me a final count of her cards for the kids at the hospital. She received, are you sitting down. . . 5,675 Valentines. Doesn't that just knock you over. Job well done, thanks again for all of your help!
OK, that's it for this post. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. I just can't believe that you take the time to do it, but I'm so very grateful that you do. Don't forget the pic of the week below! I'll see you on your blogs this weekend!


Curt O'Brien

"God help me be the person that my dogs think I am."
Card Details:
HM Card:
Stamp: "Oh Lucky Day" Stampabilities
Ink: Archival Jet Black
Paper: DCWV; Bazzill Card Stock
Accessories: Nestabilities; ribbon; gem stone
Bird Card:
Stamps: Tree - Memory Box; bird and nest - Inkadinkado wood mounted
Ink: Staz-On Timber Brown
Paper: Bazzill card stock
Accessories: Nestabilities; grosgrain ribbon; foam squares.


Sue from Oregon said...

Wow must be on cloud nin! I can't wait to see your Gunther creation! It really helps to have friends in high places huh? LOL

Your creations are great...I loved this HM sketch and just posted my version tonight too!

Congrats on your honor! I am tickled for you!

Diane said...

What a great card and such fantastic news!I could only be so lucky to have My "Nellie" made into a stamp...I am sure this will a must have set for me. The coloring on your card is great, gee, I might have to try those "crans".....will be watching for the release! will be posting blog candy soon...come and enter!

Sue said...

Oh Curt
what exciting news you must be so thrilled, i will be back to see them. I have just done my firts card with blender stumps and im well chuffed with the results.
Gorgeous cards St Patricks card is fab, i to follow the sketch as set, easier for me! lol. im so in luv with them HM i had to order more!!! Now i need MORE!!lol.

Angie said...

Oh Wow, Curt! That is such wonderful news. Congratulations to you and your boys! I can't wait to see the set.

Erin said...

I just love your house mouse card. I love the coloring.Thanks for sharing your secret with us. I also have those same colored pencils. So I will have to try it.

Also awesome about your dogs being a stamp set... I bet you cannot wait to get that set...
Take Care

mudmaven said...

What wonderful news Curt! Can't wait to see those stamps! Thanks for the tips on coloring (I am definitely one of those who thinks they can't color) and you've given me some courage to keep trying! ~chris

Joan Fricker said...

Great news Curt!!!! I know you must be so excited! How fun!

Great cards too. You are so creative!!


jami {sgtStamper} said...

Curt - I just love how you decorate your blog each month and dress the boys up to match!!

I love your coloring on that House Mouse!! So cute, and such beautiful shading! And your bird card is darling!

You have no idea how happy it makes me to see your excitement over Gunther's Greetings! Thank you for all your wonderful inspiration my friend! I can't wait to see what you do on the 25th! :)


Jackie said...

Fabulous news!! I can't wait to see your creations with that new set. The boys looks so handsome in the St. Paddy's bandannas and those cards of yours are wonderful! I don't get those kind of results with Prismacolor "crans".

Danielle said...

Gorgeous cards Curt! Wow - congrats on the "Gunther's Greetings" stamp set - you have every reason to be proud! It just goes to show - a door always opens when one closes!! I'm so happy for you! whooop whoop!!
Hugs, Danielle

Judy said...

Your house mouse card is wonderful ...wish I could color as well as you do.

Wow, I can't wait to see Gunther's stamps. That's so great that he is being used for a stamp set.

lisa808 said...

Congratulations! That is so exciting. I can't wait to see Gunther's Greetings.

Your House Mouse card is adorable and the coloring unbelievable! I have been embarrassed to let anyone know I use the Crayola pencils. After seeing your terrific coloring, I'm going to practice, practice, & practice some more with those little cheapies.

christina d said...

I love the cards today. I'm gonna pull my "crans" out of th drawer and try them.
Congrats on the stamp made with Gunther. I can't wait to see it.
I love seeing the boys and your photos every week. What a talent you have. Keep up the great art!

V Colbourne said...

***woot woot!!!!!*** Congrats on the stamp!!!! I can't even imagine how thrilled you

I would never have thought that your images were colored with cheap 'ol leads....that amazes me a little. I never stamp because I don't have any fancy markers or leads or anything. Thanks for the inspiration and motivation to maybe step out and try sometime :)

Nina said...

first, great card curt... and second! BAM... that rocks about your puppies and being imortalized through a stamp, can't wait to see them... I am sure you have already messed around with the set, sounds like you have one in hand.... :O) and how cute are those two on the top of your blog!!

Anonymous said...

aaaahhhhhhhh, I am so happy for you and Gunther. Your babies are so stinking cute they otta be a stamp set!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love the cards too!

Glee said...

Oh, Curt, tears of joy came to my eyes when I read about the new stamp set with Gunther's image! Isn't that the greatest? I am so full of GLEE for you!

I did not know that you used plain color pencils on your damn, you are so creative and so smart! You also inspire me so much, my Friend!

Anonymous said...

Curt, your work is stellar! OMGosh I love the HM card, but my fav is the bird/nest card. That is GORGEOUS! What a wonderful Spring card. I love the light blue/beige colors together and the coloring is wonderful. I can't get over your "secret" of using "cheap" pencils! LOL You are such an inspiration and such a down to earth guy. I LOVE your blog! Ashley, AZ

Shirley said...

Your cards are works of art as usual! How absolutely wonderful about the stamp set too! Love those guys!

Skraptacular Designs said...

Hi Curt,

My name is Priscilla and I actually ran across your blog via Carolyn Bounds blog, am AWED by your AWESOME work and really wanted to invite you to become a DT member of a brand new Challenge Blog that I am starting SOON! If you are interested or not, could you e-mail me at I would really appreciate it.

Looking forward to talking to you soon!


Ila said...

Your cards are Gorgeous!!...both of them...and the coloring is Wonderful!!...great tip about the pencils...and great results too!! Congratulations on the Gunther stamp set!!...Fantastic!!..I can hardly wait to see it!
Great photo on the soon as I saw it I thought, "Who goes there?", Ila

Ila said...

Hey...forgot to say...Your blog looks great...and the kids look very spiffy in there green bandanas!!

Macpurp said...

what fantastic news about the new stamps with your handsome lad on them!!!!
you must be so proud!!! can't wait to see them!

beautiful cards as always!
love tina x

JULS~ said...

Hiya Curt! I am not surprised about Gunther being chosen to become an iconic stamp! Both of your dogs are gorgeous! That is so exciting and I cannot wait to see what they do!!! How fun! I think they should do both coz ones ears are up and the other's are down. Which is which??

Loved the earthy card you did with the birds. I adore birds and have been looking for bird stamps at Hobby Lobby especially with Spring around the corner. And I can't believe that you used *crans* to colorize them. The tones are lovely and, like you, I can see why you like the paper tint coming thru.

I didn't accomplish much this week, as far as crafting or ANYTHING for that matter! I've been working on a scrapbook layout, trying to finish up at least one decorative box, figured out how to do a blog signature, went to the craft store to buy more paper, glaze & stuff, and created a Meez. {this-n-that} I think you should do a MEEZ for your blog!


Carolyn Bounds said...

More magnificent creations by the cardmaking master:o) You know how much I adore your HM beauties!!! You always bring these precious characters to life!!! It was interesting to read about your coloring medium...don't you just love OMS:o) I know I do!!! Still, I think your coloring is matter what you use!

Your birdie and nest card is divine!!! I love all the soft blue...stunning!!!

I look forward to seeing Gunther's Greetings!!! I know you are just beaming about this wonderful news!!!! I cannot wait to see what you create with the set:o)


Carmen O. said...

Love your HM card, for someone who doesn't like sketches you sure did an awesome job! Your coloring is wonderful too and it's great to read that any colored pencil will work!

Your bird card is wonderful, I love nature cards and you sure designed & colored it beautifully.

How exciting on Gunther being used as a stamp image!! I would be on cloud nine too, if I had such an honor bestowed upon me.

Hope the rest of your weekend is fabulous!

6 wacky women said...

Fabulous cards, Curt.
I love the sweet little house mouse. You colored it so beautifully. The dark green accent is stunning.

Awesome coloring of the bird too. I have never colored on colored cardstock before. Fabulous look, I will have to give it a try. You are so clever!!

Congrats to you and Gunther on the stamp. I just can't wait to see it.
So exciting.
The pic of the boys is just so beautiful. I really love their scarves.
I hope you got my e-mail about Layla's gift? She looks fab in her scarf too!! Pics are on my blog.

Take care
Karen x

WhimsicalThoughts said...

wow Curt, that's great news, I can't wait to see the set. Love the card, your works is awesome!

Jeanette - said...

Curt -

Your cards are wonderful! I LOVE the HM card and the bird card is just beautiful, I love the blue eggs :) I'm so excited that you are going to be sneak peeking "Gunther's Greetings" with us. I can't wait to see what you've come up with. Your puppies look so handsome with their green bandannas (wow bandanna is kind of like typing banana, see it just fits :)

Jennifer said...

Curt! WOW! WOW! WOW! That is indeed exciting news and I can hardly wait to see the premier of Gunther's Greetings! I know already that I'm going to "NEED" the set.

Your House Mouse card is fabulous! Love it!

How fun to visit your blog and be inspired by all that you share.


Jennifer :)

Nancy said...

The boys look great in their St. Paddy's bandanas! They look good no matter you put on them. :)
Love your HM card, and that image is so perfect. Great job with the Crayola pencils.
So excited for you that you boys will be forever immortalized in Gunther's Greetings!! Woohooooo! Can't wait to see the sneak peeks!

America said...

ohmygosh Curt...Im jumping for Joy over here. CONGRATULATIONS to you and your handsome boys my friend. Jami will make you truly proud. Oh I cant wait to see the set. Im suer excited. And can I just say your House Mouse card here rocks!!! Look at your fabulous coloring...AMAZING!! I love your work! Have I mentioned that before? :) Youve got really great photography talents too. :) Big hugs to you from Ms. America

Dawn said...

Wow fantastic colouring Curt! and your boys are famous!!
Can't wait to see the stamp set too = Well done Gunther!!


Rita said...

These cards are so cute & I luv green rhinestone on the 4 leaf clover! Love the card design with the bird & her nest! Thanks for sharing the cheap pencils that you used, the coloring is so beautiful & bright! I'll to see if I can find them & give it a try.

I'm so excited for you, what great news & I can't wait to see them! Hope the set includes different bandanas, wouldn't that be fantastic!!!! Even if they don't I'm sure the stamps will be a huge success!

I luv the new look & the boys look fab as usual, I luv that you change the bandanas for each holiday! Your too cute!


Michelle Ueligitone said...

OMG! Congratulations on Gunther's stamp set! He will be the "Brad Pitt" of the stamp world! Everyone will want him, lol! How cute! Can't wait to see the set.

Your House of Mouse card is too cute! I really love the St. Patty's Day idea. So cute and I can't believed you used regular old Crayolas! Too funny! TFS!


Marie said...

OH my gosh! Curt, congrats! I said, "Wow!" out loud! Can't wait to see your stamp set, and I'll make sure to try and get one before they sell out! Great cards as always, and please forgive me in the reduction of comments. I'm taking five classes this sem to try to catch up from the break last sem with the move. Big hugs! Marie.

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful Cards this week and Congrats on the Furbabies getting made into stamps! That is so amazing!

Jodi said...

How exciting this is for you!!! I know just how much you LOVE your boys and of course creating with stamps that are of dogs. Now you will have a stamp that you don't have to "doctor" up!! =)
Many Congratulations and Happy thoughts to you Curt!!! So very very happy for you!!=)
Can't wait to see it all.
Jodi =)

Becky said...

Well what awesome news....I am so happy for you and your baby's :). Now to the cards, I love the house mouse sketch challenge, you did a beautiful job with it and awesome coloring with your Crayola's :). The second one is serene, love the blue you chose for this. OK I can not wait to see what you will create with the new stamps.
Have a great day

dpkennedy said...

Well, both of your cards are wonderful! The mouse with the shamrocks couldn't be more perfect! I'd better get some Ire going on me blog too! And Gunther in rubber is awesome! I would be so proud too! Can't wait to see them! Your new pic of the boys is adorable as is your picture of the week. I love those sweet tiny footprints in fresh fallen snow, sigh.

Janine said...

WOW!! Curt you must be ecstatic!!
I can hardly wait to see what you create!! Your cards here are wonderful!!

Deb Neerman said...

LOVE the cards, Curt! And WoWzA, your coloring skillz are fantastic!

Congrats on the very kewl news; how fun is that?!? Can't wait to see 'em!

Have a great week!

~Hugs, Deb

Jamie Martin said...

Beautiful cards and congrats on the stamp set, how exciting!!!!!

Sassy Crafts said...

Fantastic use of the sketch Curt. Thanks for joining in. x