Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Hey All!  Hope this post finds you with good weather, healthy, happy and safe!  It got to 68 degrees here in Carmel, Indiana and sunny on top of that!  It was such a beautiful day.  But I'm not buying that Spring is here yet.  I just have a feeling that Winter is hiding around the corner and is going to smack me upside the head at least a couple more times!  LOL

I'm using a lot of restraint on this post.  I'm fighting the urge to post every card and project I've done in the last couple of weeks.  But I'm resisting and am only going to show a couple on this post.  I'm always showing everything, and then when the next Wednesday comes around, I'm scurrying around for something else to post.  This way I'm pacing the projects so that I'm ahead of the game!  LOL

Anyway, here are the cards I want to share with you today.

This card was made for a sad occasion.  My vet had to euthanize  his sweet Golden Retriever, Ellie.  I always somehow take the loss of someone's dog personally because I still remember the pain from the first dog I had to do this to, and it just always breaks my heart.  I wanted the card to be simple, dog oriented and also convey my sympathy.  Pet loss cards are hard to create.  You want them to be pet oriented but you don't want them to be "cutesy".  I thought a simple paw print would represent the dog.  I also put the paw print on something that I created to look like a dog tag.  No bright colors, no cute bones, etc.  The loss of a dog is like losing a member of your family, and the card, I think, should have this in mind.

Unfortunately, the week had also another sad event.  One of my Mom's good friends' and neighbor sister passed away.  I know Mom's friend, and wanted to make her a card to show my sympathy.

I don't know what is going on with this photo.  The butterfly is the same vivid color on both sides, but this photo makes the right half of the butterfly look faded.  It is not IRL.  I think it is because of the angle of the wing and that it is popped up with a dimensional and the light reflected differently.  Anyway, I like cards that have a black and white theme with a burst of color.  I love these "reverse image" stamps from Hero Arts.  You can do so many things with them.  Both cards are 5 1/2 X 5 1/2.

A quick update on Gunther for those of you who would like to know.  Gunther is SO MUCH BETTER!  I truly give the credit for that to Jen Tapler.  If you remember from the last post, she is the PT from Hawaii that emailed me with advice on things I could do for him with physical therapy.  I have been doing what she suggested religiously, and it has made a huge difference in his healing process.  Today, we went for a walk in the park for 30 minutes, and he did great.  Very little limping at all tonight.  Thanks again Jen!  You are an angel!

Well, that's it for this post.  Next post will be Monday for the House Mouse Challenge so I hope you stop by and take a look.  Then next Wednesday's post is going to highlight an Easter easel card/box combo that I designed myself!!!  It is based on some other similar boxes out there, but it has my own touches, tweaks, and measurements.  I LOVE how it turned out and can't wait to share it with you!  So until then, I hope you keep well and safe!  I'll see you on your blogs!  Thanks for stopping by!  Don't forget the Pic of The Week below!!!


Curt O'Brien

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


Sharli said...

Finally! I've been stalking your blog for a post - worrying that something had happened to Jay or Gunther . . . and here you are with two wonderful cards and good news on top of that! Whew!

I know what you mean about the pet sympathy cards. They are even harder than human sympathy cards - no kidding. It's because of the way pets love us - so unconditionally - totally. That's my belief. I think your paw print is perfect.

The second card is very beautiful and communicates "hope" - hope for comfort, hope for peace, hope for good memories.


mudmaven said...

What wonderful cards - as always! I'm sure the recipients will be very comforted by them. I really love the floral one - you have totally done that HA stamp justice - incredible! So very happy to hear that Gunther is doing so well! Your robin picture is outstanding. I shared it with dh - we don't have any yet that I've seen, but I am hearing lots of tweeting in the mornings now so I know it's not far off. Best to Jay and give the boys a big hug! ~chris

Diane said...

Wheeeeew...look at that fat ole good to see finally!!! Your cards are great...I find Sympathy cards the hardest to do of all.....we lost our wonderful Golden Retreiver 2 years ago October...on my birthday.....she was so special...such a sweetie...but aren't they all?? I am soooo glad Gunther is doing better..aren't "blog friends" the "em"!!!...can't wait to see your next weeks post...I am working on a project...thanks to you...hope to have it posted soon...take care!!!

Patti J said...

Can't believe I'm first to comment! LOVE your pic of the week - that bird is as chubby as I! Curt, your sympathy cards are both beautiful. I am always at a loss on pet cards as well, as most dog or cat images ARE cutesy. Maybe you should design a line of pet stamps that are serious! Hope Jay is feeling better, and so happy to hear that Gunther is better! Have a great weekend!

Sue from Oregon said...

Wonderful sympathy cards Curt. The dog one is perfect for you Vet and I am sure he will appreciate your card.

Danielle said...

Although the reasons behind your cards this week are sad Curt, you have done a spectacular job on them! The doggy one is so perfect in every way - the paw print is simple and yet relays the sympanthy message so beautifully! And your butterfly card is exquisite - I love the reverse image of the poppies and the butterfly adds the perfect pop of colour! And I am SO happy to hear of Gunther's progress - you must be thrilled (and I bet he is too now being able to take 30min walks!!).
Take care and have yourself a great week enjoying the Spring weather!
Hugs, Danielle

Kimberly S said...

I hope the weather surprises you and stays on the warmer side from here on out. Sorry to hear about your vet's loss, and the loss of your mom's neighbor's sister. Your cards are lovely, and just perfect.
So glad to hear the good news on Gunther, sounds like he is moving right along now.
Have a great night, and enjoy the rest of your week! :)

Tertia said...

Love your cards. I battle with sympathy cards. I never know what is too much and what is too little. You seem to do it si effortlesly.
So glad to hear Gunther is doing so much better.

Jackie said...

Those occasions are always difficult but your cards are lovely and very appropriate. I am glad to hear about Gunther's improvement! I hope the good weather is here to stay, too.

Sue W said...

Hi Curt- your cards are both so good love the bright butterfly on the black and white image!
Glad to hear Gunther is well on the road to a full recovery too. Our days are starting to draw in so it figures that you must be getting ever closer to Spring.

Sally Cicada's Designs said...

Hey!! You have robins already--no fair!! :) It has been beautiful and sunny here too for the past 5 or 6 days--but no robins to be seen yet :( Glad to know your pooch is feeling better!!!!
Both your cards are really nice! I think sympathy cards are the ones that challenge me the most. I like your simple, clean approach. I am sure the recipients will appreciate them very much!!

Sarah :)

Dawn said...

I just ordered that background stamp from hero arts before I stopped here,I have been wanting it forever.
I am so glad things are going better with Gunther, I keep all of your family in my thoughts.
I also really like the simple clean design of the sympathy card, it always means so much that someone takes the time to remember you and acknowledge your loss.
Hugz to you !

Jean McKenzie said...

So sorry to hear your sad news Curt. It is never easy to make sympathy cards but I really love what you have done with the black and white one. Gorgeous image - think I will have to go searching for that one LOL. Your pet sympathy one is perfect too.

So glad Gunther is doing so well with all your TLC and I love the picture of the week - we don't have robins here!!

lisa808 said...

Curt, your sympathy cards are very tasteful. I am so sorry though that you had to make them.

On a brighter note, so glad to hear the great news regarding Gunther! Thanks to Jen for her helpful advice and to your love and devotion of your boys.

Jen Tapler said...

Oh Curt! You make me blush with your kind words and way too much credit!! But I'm glad I was able to help and so so happy Gunther is feeling better. 30 Minute walks with very little limping after is a VERY good sign indeed!! I think you guys are over the hurdle and the road to recovery should be all downhill from here!!

I'm so sorry to hear about your vet's loss as well as your mother's friend. You've done a perfect job on the cards. I, much like everyone else it seems, struggle so much with sympathy cards and never seem to make them until I need them.

Sue said...

Hi Curt
lovely to see you, your sympathy cards are beautiful, i luv the black/white card simply stunning.Losing your dog is awful they are part of the family. So pleased to hear Gunther doing well, great piccie, its been lovely & sunny here but still very cold. hugs sue.x


Good morning Curt, what a lovely blog you have here and im loving your latest two creations. Sympathy cards are always difficult i always struggle with them, but you have certainly given me some inspiration! so plased to hear that Gunther is feeling better, i havn't had chance yet to read the background, but will be back when i have more time to do this. Sending hugs, Linda x

Lorraine A said...

Lovely cards Curt :-) The dog sympahy one is perfect, I am sure your vet will really appreciate that. The Hero Arts one is stunning too ,,, love the black/white with the beautiful butterfly,,, gorgeous and am sure that will be appreciated too :-)

Am so glad Gunther is almost fully recovered now and the photo of the robin is lovely :-)

Lols x x x

Leigh said...

That is wonderful news about Gunther. Sad about your Mum's friend and Vet's dog.
Love the little bird, the first sign of spring.

Our Little Inspirations said...

Your cards are so thoughtfully created, and both recipients will be touched to receive them. The butterfly is gorgeous!!
I saw 2 robins fly onto my deck railing yesterday so hopefully spring is right around the corner! Love your robin photo, what a sweet sight that is!!

Jane Wetzel said...

well- great job on the sympathy cards..the dog ones are REALLY hard to make that is for sure- Glad to hear that your Gunther is coming along-and that the sun is also coming along! :)

Gina Wrona said...

Hello my friend, Curt.

So very glad to hear the good news for Gunther. I was wondering if you could share with me the "massage" techniques you got from Jen. Maybe they might continue to help Zorro as well as all his meds.

Love your creations and I totally understand how it is so sad to make sympathy cards. I still need to make one for Teri in Hawaii who lost her mom, but since I she is such a good friend I can't decide what to make so it's perfect.

I always look forward to your pics of the week, they are so professional!


*Vicki* said...

Curt, that is so sad and I'm sorry to hear about the beloved pet! It's never easy to make up sympathy cards for sure! It is nice to have them at hand when you do need them though and I think these are both awesome!! That butterfly card is just gorgeous!! I'm glad that you'll be linking it up with the Charisma challenge!! HUGS

Cara said...

Love your picture of the robin and your cards are great, it is hard to make sympathy cards, but you did a great job, sorry to hear about your mom's friend and your vets dog, but glad to hear Gunther is doing so much better...looking forward to your monday mouse card!

berg4 said...

They are lovely cards, unfortunately the purpose of them is sad, though I am sure they will be appreciated. Great picture of the robin - surely Spring is close

Carmen O. said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful creations Curt! I myself would love to see them all, but I realize not everyone wants to read long posts. I'm sorry they were for sad occasions, but I'm sure the cards were received well. I always know how much love is put into a handmade card. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week!!

Macpurp said...

what two beautiful comforting cards.
i love them both, my first serious boyfrind as a teenager dumped me the day before we lost our beloved dog. i was heart broken about my doggy dying..still remember how upset i was....and barely remember the boy.

your pic is beautiful. glad gunther is on the mend.

Elaine M said...

Sympathy cards are so hard - we want to say something meaningful but words usually fail us. These two cards are perfect!! I'll be making some for my stash.

So glad Gunther is doing better - we'll all send mental hugs to your friend for her suggestions.

And yes, winter is just hidding around the courner to smack us in the face. Sat and Sun we were in the 70s and today it's so cold, it hurts to breath. Brrrrrrr

Love ya!!

Allison said...

fab cards, lovely butterfly and cool dogs
Thanks for joining us this week at Charisma

Serendipity Stamping said...

Hi Curt, very sweet and tasteful cards for your vet and Mom's friend. Love the b/w with the little color. Weather here in Fl. doesn't have a clue as to what it wants to do, chilly, warm, cold, warm, on and on. Soon we will complain of being too hot, aren't we silly. So glad to hear Gunther is getting so much better and thanks to Jen for her input. Can[t wait to see what you are working on next. HUGS TO YOU ALL.

Danni said...

Both cards are wonderful! So sorry for the sad occasions.
I just had to put my boxer to sleep in December so I know first hand that pain.
Glad Gunther is doing better too!!
Thanks for playing along with my flutter by challenge!

Scossie Jane said...

Two beautiful cards Curt, a very difficult subject, but your cards are just perfect xx

Dawn B. said...

Your stamping is terrific but your photography is incredible.. I love that picture.. Is is spring yet??? These cards will give so much comfort.. Beautiful job.

Becky said...

I love this pet sympathy card, it is the first I have seen, love the paw print. Glad to hear Gunther is doing better, he is just a precious little thing. Sorry to hear it was bad news that produced these beautiful cards.

Gina said...

Glad to hear that Gunther is doing better. Sympathy cards are always hard, but you did a beautiful job. Especially on the pet card.

Andrea6760 said...

I came across your blog by a link from the Flutter By Wednesday blog. I wanted to let you know that both cards on this post are beautiful.

I really like how you designed the dog sympathy card and agree totally with you on how it is like losing a family member. The colors are so appropriate and the simplicity is very elegant.

I also like the reverse image and butterfly card. What a gorgeous way to make the colors pop.

I am looking forward to finding more great discoveries on your blog.

Thanks for sharing your creations,

Chris said...

Losing a pet is the pits, I'm sure that your card helped ease some of your vets grief.

Deb Neerman said...

Two fabulous cards for two very sad events ... you've used just the right touch on both of these. Very beautiful and meaningful without the "cute" factor. These will be very appreciated by their intended recipients, Curt.

SOOOOOOO glad to hear that Gunther is coming along so well! I've been wondering but haven't wanted to write and ask. So thanks for the update on your baby!

Thanks to Jen from me too, lolol! Isn't the web wonderful ... and full of wonderful, sharing and caring people ... for things like this?!? No matter what it is, someone, somewhere out there is sure to have the answer or know where to get it for you!

Have a great weekend, Sweetie!!!

The Rubber Maid said...

Good golly the butterfly card is standout! Just so pretty. Love your paw print one also but the butterfly just popped out at me and I said WOW. Happy weekend, Pat

Anonymous said...


Lori Barnett said...

Oh Curt...I'm so sorry to hear the sad news of your mom's friends and your Vet's Golden. :( I'm sure your beautiful cards will give them a bit of sunshine...and will be deeply appreciated. You are such a kind person.

OK...about holding out on showing us ALL your wonderful projects. GOOD FOR YOU!!!! It will take some pressure off you...that's for sure. I'm like you...and wanna take a pic and show the world every little crafty thing I make. :) I will look forward to seeing what's to come! Have a great weekend my friend. ((HUGS))

Lori Barnett said...

oh geezz...I forgot to say YIPPEE about the progress with Gunther!!! GIT-R-DONE POOCH!!!

Juls~ said...


Hi man! ;) So happy to hear that Gunther is on the mend and that your PT friend helped out with some kind and good advice! That just shows you how connected we are in this blog-o-sphere! And I also think of you quite often too. My thoughts are more of how your dogs are more orderly & obedient than mine! And how you are so much better at grooming them than I am! Any tips?! ;)

Hey, if you'd like, send me a favorite photo of your dogs and I'll do a layout. If you like the same background I used for mine this week, I'll so one of each of your dogs. Or one of both. OR! Get down on your belly take some wildflower shots in your area, and I'll Photoshop it for you!

Your cards are reflective of how thoughtful you are about your friends, family & loved ones. I love both of them. And like you, love the black & white with punch of color. Butterflies are meaningful to me for some reason ... I feel some kinda serendipity for them. They are magical little creatures of earth!

I agree with you stretching out your work. Just photographing and blogging are enough, alongside the work of creating. You always do a fabulous job. And we all love you.

You are sunshine, Curt!

Sharon Caudle said...

Oh Curt, they're both such wonderful sympathy cards! The butterfly is just stunning! I'm sure they were both very much appreciated! Your work is always amazing! Hope you're doing well, and I'm so happy to hear that Gunther is doing so much better!!!
big hugs!

dpkennedy said...

Both of your cards are lovely...the sedated pet sympathy, and the striking butterfly.

I am so happy to hear Gunther is doing so well! Keep it up! Have a great day!