Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Hey All!  I'm so glad to be back on my Wednesday night schedule.  I hope you are all well and everything is going great for you all.

Thanks to each and every one of you for your heartwarming and thoughtful comments to me regarding Gunther's accident.  I can't tell you how comforting it was to sit there and read each of them as they came in.  You all helped me through a tough time, and I can't thank you enough.  I had several emails asking for my address, giving me extra thoughts on Gunther's situation, and even offering money to help with the vet bills!  The thought was so sweet, but the money is not necessary.  What was necessary to me was all of your thoughtfulness, comforting comments and emails, and your prayers.  A wonderful neighborhood woman even left homemade chicken soup, dog cookies and treats, and a get well note for Gunther on our front porch today!  And another dear lady left him some dog cookies from a local dog bakery and the sweetest get well card.  I'm so overwhelmed with everyone's kindness!

They have all worked beautifully!  Gunther is doing much better after 5 days of intensive "Daddy Care".  The vet has called almost every day to check on him.  I'm happy to report that on the "Limp Scale" with 10 being the worst limp, Gunther is now a 7.  Not great by any standards, but better than the 10 that he started at.  Again, thanks for all of your concerns!

On to my two cards for this post.  I've started some Valentines and I have to admit, Valentine's Day is not one of my most favorite holidays.  In fact, I have really disliked it ever since I was in grade school.  But, I do like sending Valentines and so I'm making them.  Here is the first:

OK, no jokes about stuff coming out of the bee's rear end!  LOL  This little guy is from a stamp set called "Don't Bug Me" by Recollections.  The heart borders are made with the MS punch.  I stamped the flourishes behind the bee, then embellished them with MS glitter and sparkly hearts punched out with a heart punch from glitter paper.

Here is the second card:

The flowers are the new MS pop up water lily punch (small, they have a large one too).  The paper is by The Paper Studio and Bazzill.  I stamped the sentiment and embossed it with red ep.  The butterfly is done with a Cuttlebug.  This CB "set" comes with a cutting die for the butterfly, and 3 special embossing folders that fit the butterfly after it has been cut to emboss 3 different designs on to the butterfly.

Well, that is my first 2 Valentine's Day cards.  My next project is doing my very first Magic Box.  It's done, I just can't seem to photograph it correctly.  So I'll be wrestling with my camera and it till I get it right!

Thanks again for stopping by and again for your kindness.  I'm such a lucky guy!  Don't forget the Pic of the Week below!



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

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Hello Everyone.  I have been missing in action for awhile, and I'm OK enough today to let you know what has been going on.  I'll share the story then post a couple of the cards I made last week.

My beloved Gunther was severely injured a few days ago, and I am heartsick over it.  He was at the park sliding as he always does having a great time.  It was to be the final slide of the day as we were getting ready to go home.  As he came down the slide, he got too much momentum going and lost control as he exited the slide.  As he hit the ground, he let out this horrible scream of pain, and he was holding his right front leg up at a horrible angle.  He was screaming for what seemed to be an eternity.  I ran to him and held him to calm him down, and it was evident that he was in a lot of pain.  He also couldn't put any weight on it whatsoever.  Thankfully, my Mom was there and we got him to my van.  She drove as I held him in the back and we rushed him to my vet's office.  After an exam and x-rays, it was determined that the main injury was to the "wrist" area of his right front leg.  There are so many small bones in that area, but they feel confident that nothing is broken.  His shoulder is OK (thank God) and the other parts of his leg seems to be fine.  They feel that he has a severe sprain of the area, and there is a possibility of some ligament or tendon damage, but they can't be totally sure right now.  So it is a wait and see how he does over the next week or so.  It is so awful to see him hobble with only 3 legs.  Today has been the first day that I haven't cried whenever I see him try to walk.  He is on pain/anti-inflammatory meds, and I am putting ice packs on his leg several times a day for the swelling.  He is such a trouper though.  He lays so still for 30 minutes will the ice packs are on his leg.

So, no more sliding for Gunther.  I feel like such a horrible "parent".  I feel this is all my fault for allowing him to slide.  It just seemed like harmless fun for him and I didn't see the danger of such a serious injury.  I'm also grateful, because it could have been so much worse.  The initial vet bill was $235 so, you won't be seeing me use any newly purchased stamps or other new things for awhile!  LOL  So any way, please send good thoughts in Gunther's direction.  I never had any children, so he is the closest to that for me, and I am really heartbroken over this.

I'm going to share a couple of cards I made and had planned to post earlier before Gunther's accident.  Here they are:

This is a Happy Hoppers image from Stampabilities.  This was one of many images that were sent to me by my very thoughtful blogging buddy, Lorraine.  She sent me a ton of House Mouse images and some other things which I will highlight on my next blog post (Thanks Lorraine!!!).  Here is a close up of this image:

I think the reason I love these images so much is that they are so magical to me.  I colored them with colored pencils and oms.  The background paper is from The Paper Studio.  I chose this because it reminded me of kitchen wallpaper.  I tried to make it look like bead board at the bottom by scoring the card stock at 1/2 inch intervals.  It doesn't show up very well in the photo.  The sentiment is what came to mind the minute I saw this image, it is computer generated.

Here is my second card:

I have always loved this color combination.  This image is by Hero Arts and it is a reverse image or negative.  This stamp gives a very dramatic look.  After I stamped the image, I simply colored the one flower with a marker and then added the little glitter sticker to the center.

OK, it's time for an ice pack on Gunther's leg.  Thanks for stopping by and for all of your support.  Honestly, when I'm going through something like this, I feel like I have a ton of friends out there to send good thoughts, and that is so comforting.

Don't forget the "Pic of the Week".  This week it is of my funny Gunther.



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

Monday, January 18, 2010


Hey All!  Happy Monday!  I hope this day finds you happy and well!

It is Monday, and that means it is time for another House Mouse Monday Challenge from the blog with the same name!  So, without further ado, on with the post!

I have to admit that I was really thrown by this week's challenge.  More so than any other challenge I've done.  So thrown in fact that I created a card like no other!  LOL  This week's challenge is given to us by the ever so talented Pat Rose who challenged us with a Faux Grid!  GASP!  I thought how the heck am I going to do a Faux Grid with a House Mouse image!?!  So I looked through my ever growing collection of HM images and just sat there thinking. . ."what the hell am I going to come up with?"  LOL  So, I kept coming back to the same image time and again, so I thought that this must be the one that I'm going to use. . .now how am I going to use it?

Here is what I came up with . . .are you ready????

I honestly don't know if I like it or not!  Can you see how the "shower curtains" hang on each side?  I formed the "ripples" of the shower curtain by using several pencils alternating one on the paper then the next under the paper and did the creasing that way.  When I was thinking of the faux grid, I kept thinking bathroom tiles!  Don't know why, just did LOL!  So I drew the grid using a pencil for the grey to be the "grout" for the tiles and then did the tile pattern in pink.  I colored them with a Bic marker.  Here is a close up:

I do love how it looks as if your image is floating over the grid.  I used to refurbish old  houses when I was much younger, and I lived in a house that was built in the early 20's that had pink and white tile like this.  Boy did this "bathroom scene" bring back those memories!  Anyway, this is a Happy Hoppers image and I colored it with my colored pencils and oms.  The shower curtain paper is from The Paper Studio and I love how the pattern matches the CB embossed back panel.  I added some glittery domed embellies in each corner.  I didn't really want to show the closeup of the tiles because you can see how some are thicker than others, but hey, that's what that grout looked like in the house I was telling you about!  LOL  Inside the card the sentiment simply says "Relax".  Now that this challenge is done, I can finally relax!  Thanks Pat for getting me TOTALLY out of my comfort zone.  That's why the call it a challenge huh?

I do hope you'll take time to go visit the House Mouse & Friends Monday Challenge Blog to see what the other totally awesome design team members created.  I too, also hope you will give this one a try!  I'd really like to see what you do with it!!!!  So stop laughing at me and show me what you can do!

Again, thanks for stopping by.  Love having you here.  I'll see you all on your blogs.  I'm half way through catching up on all of you after recovering from my bout of blahs!  Gosh have you been busy!!!  LOL

Take good care!



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

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Hey All!  I hope you are doing well on this wintry Hump Day!  Sorry I have been missing for the last several days.  It has been a combination of computer problems, a little bit of burnout, and a little bit of the blahs.  But, here I am, back on schedule with this edition of The Wednesday Evening Post.  I also wanted to THANK ALL OF YOU WHO CHANGED YOUR BLOG FORMATS!  Wow was it so much quicker to visit you last week and a breeze to leave you comments.  I thank you and I know others who visit you thank you!

The first thing I want to point out to you is the NEW FEATURE I've added to the right sidebar!  VIDEOS!  I've  added two this week of Gunther.  One is of him doing one of his favorite things. . .SLIDING, and one when he was a little younger doing the MOONWALK!  Gunther is my little clown and he is all boy.  I took these videos with my regular camera.  It does a pretty good job considering it is first and foremost a digital camera.  So, if you'll take a couple of minutes to watch them, I'm sure they will make you smile.

On to my cards.  I have three to share with you in this post.  And I just realized that they are all digital images.  I'm very selective when it comes to digital images, and I rarely use them.  But some come along that are just exceptional or catch my eye and I just have to have them.

The first card is using a digital image from Nina May who, as you might remember, I used to be on her design team.  When I first saw this image on her post last Monday, I thought that this would be a perfect image for a new baby card:

Isn't this a cute image?  Nina calls it "Painted Pony".  I colored it with colored pencils and oms, matted it in navy blue with Nestie scallops, added a button and ribbon/bow on simple striped paper and done.  It was a simple and easy card to do.  And, all I have to do is change the colors to pink and I have a little girl's card!  Thanks Nina for this great image!

My next two cards are made with digital images from a digital artist I recently found, and I truly love her work.  Here is the first card using the first of two of her images:

This polar bear mother and her baby just grabbed my heart when I saw it.  The beauty of this image is that there isn't much that needs coloring.  I only had to color the green pine boughs behind her.  I then went around some of the snow with some MS glue and added glitter.  Here is a close up:

I matted the image on metallic pale green card stock and then onto silver card stock.  I then attached that with foam tape to super sparkly card stock that I found at Hobby Lobby.  This is a 5.5 X 5.5 card.  Simple, but really pulls an emotional response when you see the image.  Inside the card it simply says "Dream".

My 2nd card using another of her wonderful images is here:

Isn't this image gorgeous?  Another that needed little coloring for a dramatic effect.  What I love most about this image and what I think sets it apart from most wolf scenes I've seen is the frosted breath.  You can almost hear it calling out to the moon.  I added glitter to the tree behind him, dotted all of the stars with a glitter gel pen as well as using the same pen to outline the moon.  I also added a hint of glitter to the frosted breath.  Here is a closer look:

I simply matted this image with a simple black matte and attached it to some DP and then attached that to the card base.  This image is so perfect for "male cards".  The artist's name is Teresa Sherman and you can find her blog HERE.  Take a few minutes to go take a look at her work.  It is really versatile and ranges from simple line drawings to the beautiful images above.  She has a great variety and very reasonably priced.

Well, that's it for this post.  I hope I made up for the absence last week.  I also hope that you enjoyed Gunther's videos.  From time to time, I will share new videos with you of their antics.  I hope you don't mind indulging me.

Again, thanks for coming by.  I love that you do and I love that you take the time to leave me such great comments.  They really do brighten my day.   My next post will be Monday for the HM  Monday Challenge.

Take good care!  I'll be seeing you on your blogs!  Don't forget the Pic of the Week below!



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

Monday, January 4, 2010


Hey All!  Happy New Year to everyone!  Did you party?  Did you make it to Midnight? Or did the New Year find you sound asleep?  We rang in the New Year as we have done for the last 7 years.  We wait till Midnight, I pop open a bottle of cheap champagne, I have one wine glass for me, one regular glass for Jay (he has trouble holding wine glasses), and two ceramic custard cups for the boys.  I pour the champagne in all of us (the boys just a little taste) and we loudly say "Happy New Year!".  Then the boys start howling!  LOL  Honestly, that is exactly what happens every year!   Hope yours was more exciting!

Now on to the House Mouse Monday Challenge Blogs challenge #60.  This challenge comes to us by way of Mary on our design team.  Mary thought it would be fun to do an "On The Beach" theme.  She thought that since most of us are under snow and cold weather, a beach theme would get us thinking about somewhere nice and warm and away from the cold.  So, the challenge is to make a card doing a beach theme using any House Mouse/Gruffies/Happy Hoppers image or even one that portrays a  warm/summer theme.  Here is my card:

 This House Mouse stamp is called "Beach Bums".  I colored it with colored pencils and om.  I added to the image an "ocean" line as well as sky.  I used turquoise blue glitter for the tops of the "waves" to give it more of an "ocean" look.  I matted the image on glittery blue card stock and then mounted that with foam tape on 3 different papers.  One that looks like sand, one that represents wavy water (I used a tearing ruler for the waves) and lastly paper that had printed suns on it.  As a final touch and before I put the card together, I put the "sand" paper into my printer and printed the computer generated sentiment directly on it.  I was trying to get a postcard feel to the card so I printed it at an angle.  I also wanted it to look like it had been drawn in the sand.  Don't know if I achieved it, but it does kind of remind me of a postcard.

So, there you have it!  I hope you give this challenge a go.  It was nice to think about the beach and warm weather.  The temperature reading on our electronic gage was 1 degree at about 11:00 last night.  So the beach sounds pretty good right about now.  Don't forget to see the other great cards that the rest of the design team presents on the House Mouse Monday Challenge Blog HERE.

As always, thanks for coming by.  I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!


Curt O'Brien

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