Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Hey All! Just a quick post for you today. I wanted to announce the winner of my blog candy from my 1 Year Blogaversary Celebration. As stated in the Blogaversary post I would put everyone that entered onto and whoever came out in the 14th spot would be the winner. May I have a drum roll please . . . . . . . . . and the winner of the set of 36 Copic Ciao markers is. . . . . . . . (opening the envelope). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .who came out in the 14Th spot on the list is . . . . . . . . . . . . .AMERICA!!! Congrats America! I'm thrilled for you! Please send me an email with your address so that I can get your prize(s) to you.

I'm very sorry that you all couldn't have won. . .I want to thank you all for the amazing comments and well wishes I received regarding my blog and my blogaversary. I can't believe how many left comments and how very blessed I am to have so many wonderful people looking at my "stuff". I honestly can't tell you how much each and every comment meant to me.

The card I wanted to share with you today is one I made for no particular occasion. I like to make cards sometimes with no sentiment on the outside so that I can send it for any occasion by stamping a sentiment on the inside or just writing a note to fit. Here it is:

I love this image so much. Of course it is a House Mouse stamp by Stampabilities. I used my cheap colored pencils and OMS for the coloring and Archival Jet black ink for the image itself. I added some "Angel Wings" Shimmerz to the goldfish to give him some shimmer (click picture for larger view). The card stock is Bazzill. This card ended up with an Art Deco kinda feel to it. . . A lot of these images are quite large, and this card is a 5 X 7 size which most of my cards are. I added some brads and done.

Hope you are having a great week. The weather here is Carmel, Indiana is pretty creepy. It goes from 70 to the 30's in a blink of an eye. We have had rain and spitting ice for the last two days, and the damp, cold, grey of the days is so depressing! But they say we will be near 80 by the weekend. Go figure!

Take good care everyone! Thanks again, so much, for your support and inspiration. I'll have a new post in a couple of days! I'll be seeing you all on your blogs! Don't forget the pic of the week below. . .


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

Monday, April 13, 2009


Hey All! I am so excited to welcome you all to my 1 YEAR BLOGAVERSARY! This is going to be a big post, because there is so much I want to say, show, and share. Not to mention the FABULOUS BLOG CANDY up for grabs! Here it is:

For those of you who didn't get my "photo clue", the photo is the top of one of the Copic markers. This has a retail value of over $150.00! Some of you who follow me regularly will probably guess that these are the markers I won over at Gina K Designs blog. I was so lucky to win these, but honestly, I just can't get the hang of them. I am so comfortable with my cheap colored pencils and OMS, that these have just sat in my drawer unused. I thought that this was just a shame and a waste, and I decided I wanted someone to have them that would really use them. I'm also throwing in a couple of surprises in the box as well so good luck to each of you!


I would really appreciate it if you would read the entire post. I'm highlighting some special people, and expressing my appreciation to all of you who visit me on a regular basis. You are the reason for this blog, and I want you to know that!

The first thing I want to do is to highlight 3 people who I want to thank for their first encouraging posts on my blog when I started a year ago.

Julie Koerber (Out To Impress)

Julie was the very first person to post a comment on my very first post. I still can remember reading that first post and being so excited that she thought enough of my post and my cards to leave a comment! She was so kind, complimentary, and encouraging. I can't thank her enough. I also couldn't believe (when I went to visit her post for the first time) that someone as talented as Julie would even bother with my pitiful little cards, but she did. Click on her name above to see her blog, and then hop over to her SplitCoast Gallery. Some of her cards will literally take your breath away!

Janine Orchard (2bKrafty)

Janine has been a true blogging buddy, posting a comment on almost every one of my posts. Her work is not only gorgeous, but she is so amazingly generous because a lot of the things she posts are things that she is giving people. I have always loved her style, and her coloring is incredible. She is such an inspiration to me. Please click on her name above and check out her work. She is wonderful!

Pat Adam (The Rubber Maid)

Pat is Julie Koerber's Mom and she is certainly one special lady! Pat creates such wonderful cards, but the best thing I love about visiting Pat's blog is her hilarious sense of humor. Reading her posts makes me laugh out loud. Pat has a "no holds barred" approach to her blog and I would imagine to life as well. She is a joy to me. I invite you to click on her name above and check her out.

I have highlighted these 3 because they were the first 3 to leave comments on my blog. They were the ones who made me want to keep creating and to keep blogging. I also went to all of the blogs they had listed on their blogs and that's how I found some of you. And then from yours on to an infinity of talented folks.

Here are some statistics that really blow my mind:

1. My first post. 1 comment - My posts now average between 35 to near 70 comments

2. From 0 followers to almost 50 followers and growing!

3 I receive comments from Canada, Australia, England, Spain, Italy, Romania, South Africa, and many other countries. So amazing to me.

4. Blog hits as of this post is over 20, 800. Awesome!

5. In the year I posted a total of only 70 (with this post).

This has been such a wonderful experience for me and it is certainly been because of all of you. I can not thank those of you enough for leaving me consistently uplifting, smile-generating comments, post after post. You have been so inspiring with your comments and your creativity, and I like to think I consider you friends. I love spending time on your blogs, and I try to visit you all at least once a week. It amazes me that I can feel such a connection to people I have never met. You are truly special to me and I cherish each and every one of you.

OK, enough of the "Oscarish" speech. I just want you all to know that you make my life more meaningful.

Now I have a couple of projects to share and a card. Then I will get on to the deets of how to enter for the blog candy. I made these for my Mom's and Jay's Mom's Easter baskets. You might be surprised what I used as a template for these:

The stamp is a House Mouse stamp (gee, what a surprise, huh?) I love how this little guy is winking and holding those jelly beans. I stamped him in Archival Jet Black ink, and colored the image with colored pencils and OMS. The tulips around the box are a patterned paper from The Paper Studio, and the little picket fence was made with the Martha Stewart punch. I used my Nesties for the scalloped oval. Here is what I used as the template for the boxes:

Funny, huh? Every time I would buy these, I would think "this is such a great size for something." So I "undid" the box and taped it to card stock, traced around it, and cut it out. I had to alter it a little bit because the front flap is designed to be on the outside, and I wanted it to tuck in the box. The neat thing about this box is that you can open it by pressing each side of the box at the same time. It pops open like magic.

The next project is my famous candy bar sleeve with the faux belly band.

I don't know who the stamp is by or the paper either. I stamped and colored it with colored pencils and OMS and mounted it to the band with foam squares. Here is a pic of it unassembled:

My last thing to show you is my card. Forgive me for another HM stamp, but as you know, I got a new bunch of them and I just have to use them:

I loved this image the minute I saw it, and thought of so many sentiments that could go with it. I use two different CB folders for the embossing and of course colored pencils and OMS.

So, there you have it. Here's what you need to do to to enter the contest for the blog candy. Simply leave a comment here on my blog. For those of you who have been my long standing followers, I will enter your name twice. To find out if you are in that group, just look to see if your blog is listed on the side of my blog, or if you were signed up as a follower of mine as of yesterday. But remember, EVERYONE must leave a comment in order to have at least one entry. Every one else who leaves a comment will be entered once. I will use Random.Org to draw the winner. Since my Blogaversary is April 14Th, the person who comes out in spot 14 on the list will be the winner! Good luck everyone! You have until Midnight (EST) on April 20TH to enter. I will post the winner on April 21ST.

Well, thanks for sharing my 1 year Blogaversary! I appreciate you all so much and thank you again for being my very best "blogging Buddies"! I'll be seeing you on your blogs!


Curt O'Brien

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

Friday, April 10, 2009



Hey All! Hope your week is progressing nicely! Along with today's cards/project, I'm going to tease you with some exciting information. As most of you know, my 1 YEAR BLOGAVERSARY is in 4 days! I've also went over the 20,500 mark on my counter. Naturally, I want to celebrate because I think this is a very special occasion (at least to me) so I'll be offering blog candy. However, it isn't just any blog candy. . . and when I announce what it is in four days, you will be thrilled. But at the end of this post, I'll give you a photo clue as to what the prize is going to be and I think that you will be quite excited. Some might even drool. . .LOL

So on with the cards. . .

I had this sunflower paper for quite awhile and when I saw this House Mouse stamp, I knew it would be perfect with the paper. I love everything about sun flowers, and I love how well the image and the paper went together on this one. You know how when you just take some time to relax and let your mind wander? And sometimes you think of people you haven't thought of in awhile? That's what this image brings to mind for me. The card stock is by Bazzill and the paper is by The Paper Studio. The sentiment is a $1 stamp I picked up at Michael's.

Below is a close-up of the image:

The next item I would like to share with you is another one of my famous Spam can note card sets LOL. I made this for my friend Bonnie. She is a huge dog lover like me and she also is a professional groomer. Here is the set:

The theme of the set is the sentiment which reads "Dogs Leave Paw Prints on our Hearts". Here is a close up:

There are six cards in the set and each has a matching envelope with the paw print, as well as the paw print appearing on the inside of the card. The ribbon already had paw prints on it so it was perfect for this note card set. I now have a collection of 5 more Spam cans, so more note cards sets are in the pipeline. I'm currently working on some that I am using my own original photography. I've selected some floral shots and have turned them into "Artsy" watercolor pieces using Photoshop. The images turned out beautifully and I think the note cards will be very unique. So stay tuned.

OK, so now for the tease for the upcoming blog candy give away announcement in 4 days! Below is your hint:

Now, if you know what that is, sssshhhhhhhhh. Don't put it in your comment. You CAN tell me in the comment that you know and how excited you are, but don't let it out of the bag when you leave me your fabulous comment! LOL

So, here is the scoop. . .On Monday, April 13Th (ooohh a lucky number!) I will be posting my Blogaversary Celebration post with all the details and the actual prizes that will be given away. You will find out how to win and it should be a lot of fun! So don't forget to come back on the 13Th for your chance at this very special prize!

Thanks for stopping by today and looking. I love reading your comments. They give me such a lift! I'll be seeing you on your blogs!


Curt O'Brien

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

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Hey All! Happy Saturday! I hope all is well in your world. I have lots to share with you today so I'll get right to it! I have 3 cards to share with you, a recommendation of an online store, some amazing RAKs I received, and an announcement. So if you don't read anything else, be sure you read the last few paragraphs! LOL

My cards today are Easter themed for obvious reasons. I also have one card that for the first time I cased from SCS. So on to my the first card:

As most of you know, I'm a big fan of House Mouse stamps by Stampabilities. When I saw this one, I knew it would make a great Easter card. This one is called "Will Knit for Friends". I colored the image with colored pencils and OMS. The paper is from Paper Studio and the card stock is Bazzill. I used white photo corners and colored them to accent the card.

The next is another Easter card made with a HM stamp. This one is called "Eggcellent". These are bunnies from their Happy Hopper line.

Again, colored with colored pencils and OMS. The paper too is again from The Paper Studio and card stock is Bazzill. Each layer on this card is mounted with 3-d foam squares, so this has some hight to it. I then added the coordinating brads to finish it off.

My next card is the one I cased. As I understand it, when you case a card you have to change 3 things about the card. I don't know if that is a rule or just the rules for a challenge on SCS. Regardless, I would never try to duplicate any one's work. It's kind of like American Idol for me. You take a card idea and "make it your own". LOL You can all be the judges on this one and see if you would vote me through to the next round. Here is the card I "cased":

I have tried so hard to find the artist who did this card on SCS, but after searching over 30 pages of cards and using keywords to search, I still can not find who did this gorgeous card. EDITED TO ADD: Two people found her for me! You guys are so awesome! Here is the link to the SCS post: HERE And you can see her actual blog HERE. Jean aka CraftJean on SCS found the link to the SCS gallery, and the other was found by my blogging buddy Julia. Thanks again you two!

Here is my version:

I do love how this one turned out. I love the effect of looking up at the dragonfly flying by. As you can see, I changed many things to make it my own. I left the circle in tact, used a dragonfly instead of a butterfly, used different foliage, added brackets instead of ribbon, different colors, etc. This person's card was really an inspiration for me. I just wish I knew who it was. This has taught me to be more cognisant when making notes.

Now, on to the RAKs I mentioned at the beginning of the post. The first is from a very new blogging friend who lives in Canada. Her name is Bonnie, and she is a groomer and also has a Miniature Schnauzer. She is a huge dog lover like I am. Unfortunately, she doesn't have a blog that I can share with you, but based on the card she sent me with my gifts, she is so talented! Here is what I received from her:

Is this awesome or what??? A gift for me and gifts for my boys! I was amazed at her generosity. The bookmark is brass and has this wonderful saying: "A dog is the only thing that loves you more than he loves himself. ~ Josh Billings" I just can't thank you enough, Bonnie. I will cherish these always!

Another wonderful RAK arrived the same day! It is from my wonderful blogging buddy Jodi at Inked Inspirations. Here is what she sent me:

Are those puppy faces cute or what? She had gotten this for me awhile back, but had misplaced it, and then recently found it again and sent it to me. I lOVE it so much, Jodi! Thank you for your thoughtfulness knowing how much I love Schnauzers and thinking of me. You are very sweet!

OK, now for a BIG recommendation for an online store that I am very impressed with. The store is The owner is Laura Hampton and is located in Illinois. WHAT AMAZING SERVICE! I had been jacked around by another online store (which I won't mention) and gave up on an order that I had been waiting for for 9 weeks! I cancelled that order and went to Creative Play Stamps to order my Nestabilities. Not only were they on sale, but she also carried House Mouse stamps (and a ton of other stuff). So, I ordered a few other things and got my priority shipping free. I placed my order on a Wednesday night, and had it in hand on Saturday morning! I was having trouble (due to my stupid computer) placing an order on her site. I sent her an email and she responded literally in minutes to help. Once I placed my order, she sent an email (again in minutes) telling me that she had pulled my items and they were ready to go out. I then received an email from the USPS that it had been shipped with a tracking number. When the package arrived, she had also included a free gift (small ink pad) with my order. I couldn't be more impressed, and I plan to order from her again in the near future. Go check her online store out. Huge selection, and AMAZING service! Thanks again Laura! You have a very happy customer here!

Finally, my Blogaversary is coming up in 10 days. I also noticed this morning that I have gone over the 20,000 hit count. So I'm going to be celebrating! Stay tuned for my Blogaversary Celebration. More details to come in my next post in a few days, so stay tuned.

That's it for now! Again, thanks so much for your incredible comments and support. You are all the reason why I do this, and I wouldn't be doing this without you! I hope you all have a FABULOUS Easter! Don't forget the pic of the week below! I'll see you on your blogs this week!



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