Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Hey All!

There you are!  I've been waiting here for you so that I can show you day 2's High Hopes Stamps sneak peak image by Laurie Furnell.  Such fun stuff from Laurie!  I know that many of you will want to get your hands on a lot of the new release stamps available for purchase on September 1st.

OK, now for my sneak peak card.  Fall is soon to be upon us, and if you visited the other Diva's blogs, you saw that there are some awesome Halloween sets, and Autumn too.  Take a look at this image:

Such a fun Fall image!  Don't you love that little crow?  He loves you. . .see his little heart!  LOL  I love the sentiment. . .so country.  I colored the image with my colored pencils and oms.  I sponged the sky with Colorbox ink.  I just wish I had thought about a different color for the sky instead of my typical blue.  The blue kinda screams against the fall colors.  The background paper is a patchwork of browns, beiges, and oranges which I thought was perfect for an image that says "pumpkin patch".  The ribbon was originally brown and white, but I colored it with an orange marker.

I hope you go see what the Divas have done with the other images from Laurie.  They do such great work.  I feel like such an amateur next to all of them.  You can find the links HERE.   

Tomorrow is the big Blog Hop Day!  All the images will be available tomorrow.  I'm so excited, I'm the first stop on the blog!  I can't wait till you see my card for the hop tomorrow.  It is so much fun and I think you will really like it.  I sure hope so.  I'll give you all of the blog hop details tomorrow so that you can play along and hopefully be one of the lucky winners of some of these great stamps!

Until tomorrow my friends. . .Thanks so much for your wonderful support.


Curt O'Brien

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

Monday, August 30, 2010


Hey All!

Happy Monday!  I'm so excited to bring to you a sneak peak of a brand new artist's work for High Hopes Stamps!  Her name is Laurie Furnell, and she does wonderful work!  Her style has been described as "an amazing mix of cute, funky, sweet, quirky, whimsical, country, and folk."  I have truly had a blast working with her images, and I know you will love them when you see them.  Well, this is the reason we are doing sneak peaks, so here is my sneak peak image:

Is this little mouse cute or what?  When I first saw him, it made me think that he was balancing himself on something.  So, the first thing I thought of was a stack of presents.  I cut the "gifts" out from different scraps and wrapped them in ribbons and bows.  The small bows were mad with my Bow Easy.  I colored him with my colored pencils and oms, then cut him out and placed him on the stacked gifts.  Wouldn't this make a great Christmas card as well by swapping out the birthday gifts for Christmas presents, and then dressing him up for  in Christmas colors?  Can't wait to use him for that.  I stamped the sentiment on white card stock and then "arched" it so that it stuck out like a banner.  The card is a long card (if you haven't figured that out yet!  LOL)

I really do hope you take a look at the other wonderful work of the design team on the High Hopes blog.  I think you will fall in love with this artist and her images.

Now, I'll be posting the next sneak peak tomorrow, so be sure to come back and see another wonderful image.  Then the blog hop will be on Wednesday, September 1st.  If you participate in that, you will be eligible to win some of the new images!

I hope to see you tomorrow!!!


Curt O'Brien

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

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Hey All!

I can't believe how fast Wednesdays come around!  Time seems like it is just flying.  I hope this post finds you and your loved ones well and happy.  On to this evening's post. . . . . .

I had a hard time deciding what to show you first of the 3 things I'm posting tonight.  So I've decided to post a card first.  This card has something that I think is an original idea, but then again, I just may not have seen it on the web.  Regardless, I've never seen it before so it is an original idea to me LOL.  Here is the card:

I fell in love with this stamp the minute I laid eyes on it!  It is a new release stamp over at Impression Obsession by Gary Robertson.  The stamp is called "Peeking Pumpkin".  I think it can be used for both Fall and Halloween cards.  I used a combination of colored pencils and markers.  I didn't want to use patterned paper because the image is so rich in detail.  I tried doing a scored frame around it, and that didn't do it for me.  So, I thought a little glitter would brighten it up but where would I put it?  So there it is on the photo frame corners.  This is the idea I was talking about.  Look at the pic below:

I put a strip of 1/2 inch score tape on some card stock.  I then used that punch you see at the top to punch out "pre-sticky" photo corners.  Once they were punched out, I simply peeled off the tape and put glitter on them.  The score tape holds it on permanently.  Fun idea?  Or have you seen it somewhere before?  The glitter I used is Martha Stewart and it is called "Brownstone".  

Speaking of Martha, this next project is thanks to her.  Take a look:

It is a cool coffin candy box.  Here are more pics:

This template is wonderful, and as you can see from the pic above, it holds a ton of stuff.  I added the oozing blood using the MS punch.  I also glued the inside paper to the black card stock before cutting the template so that it looks like the coffin is lined with creepy cloth.  I used rough twine to give it an even creepier look.  You can find the free downloadable template HERE.  

My final show and tell is another card:

This is the larger size of the Schnauzer stamp that I got from Bugawumps.  I made this for a friend who has had a streak of bad luck lately and I wanted to let her know that I was thinking about her.  I used the technique of using a Nestability oval die and cut the image so that his ears and top of his head stick up off of it.  I love this stamp so much.

Well that's it for another Wednesday Evening Post.  Hope you've enjoyed it and felt it was worth your time.  I'll be back on Sunday with a new High Hopes challenge card for you.  Until then, I'll be making my rounds of your blogs to see what you've been up to for the past week.

Don't forget the pic of the week!  It is new!  LOL

Hugs and good wishes to all of you!


Curt O'Brien

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

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Hey All!

I hope you are enjoying your weekend.  Can you believe that it is already the end of August?  I'm so excited that Fall is in sight.  I'm about done with this horribly hot weather!  We had a heat index of 105 earlier this week!  Couple that with high humidity, and you have misery!   My poor boys just melt from this heat.  Can't wait for the cool temps of Autumn. . .

It's a new challenge over at High Hope Stamps!  This week's challenge is "Anything But A Card".  Here is my project:

This is one of my "memory boxes" that I learned to make over at Gina K. Designs.  When I saw this High Hopes image, I knew it was perfect for a recipe box.  This one is called "Chef Pierre".  The image really didn't need a lot of coloring, so couple that with a quick box that is perfect for holding recipe cards and you have a really quick project!  Notice the ribbon has hearts on it that matches the cookies?  The paper is by DCWV and I colored the image with my colored pencils and oms.

Well, that's it for this post.  I do hope you play with us this week or at least go take a look at my other Diva teamie's work (click on link above).

Hope you are all well!  I'm working on some fun stuff for Wednesday's post.  Hope to see you then.  Thanks for dropping by!

Hugs to all!


Curt O'Brien

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

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Hey All!

Hope everyone's week is going well.  Another Hump Day is upon us, and so once again it is time for another Wednesday Evening Post.

I have a couple of Halloween cards to share and one Thank You card as well.  So here they are:

I'll start with a Halloween card:

I created this Halloween night scene by first masking off for the moon and then sponging the moon to give it color.  I then stamped the tree and cat (Artful Inkables) and the bats and spider (PTI) directly onto the moon with Archival jet black ink.  I then re-masked the moon and sponged the night sky using Black Soot distress ink.  I then added the dot stars with a silver gel pen.  I then tore strips of dark green card stock, sponged them with the Black Soot distress ink, then cut them to fit the card.  Once attached, I went over the edges with the silver gel pen.  Has a Tim Burton kind of feel to it doesn't it?

My next Halloween card is made using some new rubber I just got from Impression Obsession.    Here it is:

When I saw this stamp, I knew it would magically appear in my stock.  I colored the image with colored pencils, but did not use my oms except on the grassy area.  Once colored, I sponged the early evening sky background.  That is the beauty of using colored pencils.  They resist the ink that is sponged on because of the wax in them.  The sponging is actually darker than it shows in the photo.  This stamp is called "Free Parking".  

Final card for this post is a thank you card that I'm not too sure about.  It is one of those cards that I had in my head, but ended up looking nothing like I had envisioned.  Here it is:

I really debated whether to even post this.  You have to click on the pic to actually see the detail.  As most of you know me well, I'm not good at "mixing" papers and patterns.  No, I've never worn stripes and plaids together, but I just have an issue with cards that look too busy.  I think that is my problem here.  I also think that the flowers are too bright. . .Plus, I drew the stems in by hand, and it looks like the flowers are all wobbly or drunk.  Can't you just see them swaying from side to side saying "Hey!  I'll have another shot of that Miracle Grow."  LOL  Oh well, I hope the person I sent this to likes it.  It's the thought that counts, right?  I did this card using the technique I just learned over at Gina K Designs Stamp TV episode this week.  You can check it out HERE.  You'll see why my flower panel looks like it does!

OK, that's it for another Wednesday Evening Post.  Hope you enjoyed your visit.  I made a big mistake on my last Wednesday's post when I told you not to forget to look at the pic of the week.  Well. . . . .I forgot to change it!  LOL  I'm sure some of you thought "Isn't that the same pic he has had up for awhile?"  LOL  I'm such a dork.  So, let's try this again. . . .Don't forget the "Pic of the Week" below!  I promise, it is different.

Hugs to all of you!


Curt O'Brien

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

Monday, August 16, 2010


Hey All!

It's another House Mouse Monday Challenge.  This two week challenge is based on the following picture:

Here is my take:

I've never done this before. . .mixed House Mouse images with a Gruffies image, but I'm so glad I thought to do it.  I LOVE how this turned out, and I have to say this is one of my most favorite House Mouse cards I've made to date.  It was a lot of work with all the cutting out of the images, but I think it was worth it.  The images are colored with my colored pencils and oms and then individually cut out and placed in the scene.  The floor was created by cutting a strip of paper that had a wood grain to it.  I then cut a strip of dark brown card stock for the molding.  I used the pink polka dot paper for the "wall paper".  The bear is attached flat to the card, but all the mice have been popped up with foam tape to give more dimension.  I have so many new ideas floating in my head now that I have combined these images.

Hope you get a chance to play with us over at House Mouse & Friends Monday Challenge in the next two weeks!  You could win a House Mouse stamp of your choice from our very generous sponsor Simon Says

Thanks again for stopping by!


Curt O'Brien

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

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Hey All!

This is my second week as a High Hopes Guest Designer Diva (LOL)!  This week's challenge is "WATER".  Anything goes as long as it has something to do with water.  The prize this week is a High Hopes stamp of your choice.  I wish I had gotten the High Hopes bug a long time ago, because they have such great images.  Here is my card for this week's challenge:

I'd like to introduce you to Findley, Big Lou, and Starla!  Are they not the cutest???  My scene was created with several things.  I colored the critters with my colored pencils and oms, but I did something a little different this time.  I added a coat of translucent, shimmery paint by Yasutomo over them.  You can't really see the effect in the photo, but they are very "shimmery" irl.  I sponged the background with Tumbled Glass and Stormy Sky distress inks, then added the translucent paint on it as well.  It is super shimmery.  I tore paper strips to make the sand bars and sponged them with Brushed Corduroy and Antique Linen distress inks.  Added bling bubbles and the sentiment (computer generated) and done.

If you have High Hope stamps, why don't you run over and play along this week?!?  You could win another one of their fab stamps!  You can find their blog HERE.

Thanks for looking today.  With the High Hopes gig, my Wednesday Evening Post, and the House Mouse DT spot, I'm going to be posting more than normal!  Hope you don't get bored with me!

Hope all is well with all of you!

Have a great week!


Curt O'Brien

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

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Hey All!

Sorry this is several hours late, but I've been working on a project that I wanted to post to this post.  I finally finished it this morning, and I'm so excited to show it to you.  I am saving it as the last project I'll show you on this post!

I've got 3 more things to show you this post.   The card I want to start with is my first card for High Hope Stamps as a guest designer.  The challenge over at High Hopes is to use ribbons or bows on your card.  Here is mine:

Is she not the cutest????  Her name is "Oops Ellie".  I am so in love with the High Hopes stamp lines.  I can't wait to do more for them on their challenges, but on the new releases and blog hop.  Stay tuned for more info on those upcoming events.  In the meantime, why not jump over there and have a look at the challenge this week?  You can find the blog HERE.  

My next card is for a friend who recently got a new house.  Here is the card I'm sending her:

Honestly, this has to be one of my favorite stamp sets.  It is the Beams and Boards from Papertrey Ink.  Sponged the sky, colored the images with colored pencils and oms, cut everything out, grass was made with paper from The Paper Studio, created the scene, and then used Flower Soft there for the flower beds in front of the house.  Here is a close up:

Flower Soft is the coolest product, and I wish I used it more.

OK, now for the Grand Ending of the post.  This has to be one of my MOST FAVORITE PROJECTS ever!  LOL  Are you ready????  I've taken several shots of it here is the front shot:

OMGosh I had so much fun making this!  This was made from a template from PTI.  It comes as a plain house template that you print out, put together, and decorate however you want.  You know me and Halloween, so when I bought it online ($5 what a steal!) I knew the first type of house I was going to create was a spooky house for Halloween.  I LOVE how this turned out!  Here are some other shots:

This little project took me about a total of 6 hours to put together.  But you know me and details. . .I went online to find printable windows, doors, roof patterns, etc.  I saved them to Word and then sized them to the size I needed.  I printed them out colored them and attached them to the house.  You can see from some of the photos that I scored the main part of the house to look like siding.  I placed the whole thing on some sturdy chip board then decorated it with paper and the MS punched out fence.  Now, here's a great little surprise. . . . . . . .

It's a treat box!!!!

How cool is that?  This is a great size too!  It measures approximately 4.5 inches across the front, 3.5 inches across the side, and from the bottom to the top of the roof is 5 inches.  It is really roomy inside too.  You could get loads of stuff in it.  I'm going to use this one as a decoration on my entry table for Halloween.

Boy do I have tons of ideas for this too.  I'll be showing you all of the ideas I have for this template in the upcoming posts.

OK, that's it for now.  Hope you enjoyed the post as much as I enjoy your comments.  You are all such a boost for me.  I still need to catch up on some of your blogs, and will be visiting as usual everyone else's in the next couple of days.

Hope all of you are well!  Thank you so much for stopping by!  Don't forget the "Pic of the Week" below!

Hugs to all of you!


Curt O'Brien

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

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Hey All!

Happy Hump Day to one and all.  I wanted to start this post with some fun, exciting news. . .take a look at this:

I was the lucky winner of this awesome candy from Jodi over at Inked Inspirations!  I am so excited.  Can you believe she had 4 of these prize packs?  Jodi was one of my early readers and I have so been inspired by her work.  She is so talented and a master at coloring images.  Hop over to take a look - she will inspire you.  Thanks Jodi!  I love that I won!

OK, on to the rest of the post.  As promised, there will be no Halloween projects this post.  However, I am working on more and I will sprinkle them in my future posts all the way to Halloween.  Here is the first card I'd like to share:

Here's the story.  Our sweet Japanese neighbors across the street are moving to Osaka, Japan at the end of the month.  I didn't really "neighbor" with them a lot, but I was so fond of them just the same.  The husband was such a friendly guy, and the wife so very sweet.  When they were in Japan, she sent a couple of gorgeous origami cards to me.  What impressed me most about them is that when they first moved in, they walked around to our houses and presented us with food gifts from Japan to introduce themselves.  I've never forgotten that.  So, I wanted to do something special to let them know that I wish them the very best.  I went online and did research as to what the symbol was in Japanese for good luck.  I then printed it off and hand drew it for this card.  I wanted the card to be clean and simple and also have an Asian feel to it.  I love this technique that I used several months back on another card.  This is a labels die from Spellbinders.  I used the largest die and the smallest die to cut out the windows out of the first one.  Here is a close up:

                                                                  Click on Picture for Detail

The large die cut piece is raised up over the images which gives a great recessed look.  I added a little bling and glitter to give it a more finished look.  The flower images are from Artful Inkables which I have had forever but have never used.  I think they have an Asian look.  I actually "built" the flowers because every piece (stems and flower heads) is an individual stamp.  Inside, I have a computer generated sentiment in Japanese that I also looked up the reads "Gokouun o inorimasu" which means good luck.

My next card is also a neighbor related card.  Here it is:

I made this card for the new neighbors who just moved in to a house here on our cul-de-sac,  This image is from Paper Tray Inks' Board and Beams stamp set (a gift from my super sweet blogging buddy Chris).  I sponged the background sky and used a mottled green paper for the grass.  I stamped the trees, fence and house out on white card stock and then cut everything out and created the little scene.  I took it over with a fresh baked pineapple upside down cake.  Turns out, the new residents are a guy and his two sons.  I know he didn't know what to really think of this guy bringing over a freshly (still warm) baked cake and a handmade card over to welcome him to the neighborhood!  It was such a Martha Stewart moment. . .LOL  It felt very awkward to say the least, and I snickered as I walked back across the street.  Oh well, such is the life of this gay guy.  LOL

The last card I'd like to share for this post is a thank you card I did for a neighbor lady who was so sweet to take me out to dinner for my birthday:

I used two stamp sets for this card, and I'm sorry to say I have no idea who they are by.  These were stamps I purchased when I first started card making over two years ago.  At that time, I didn't know that lots of people were interested to know sometimes what stamps you used.  So forgive me.  The paper is by The Paper Studio.  I used two different colors of inks on the flowers, cut them out and popped them up on the stamped leaf thingies with pop dots.  Matted everything up with Bazzil card stock, added the sentiment on the little banner tag I made using a corner of a square paper punch.  I really like the colors on this.

So, that's it.  I'm sorry I was really windy on this one, but the cards needed some extra explanations.  I want to close this post with a couple of pictures that I would love to share with you.  Take a look:

I love this little couple.  See the little heart they are forming with their beaks in the first pic?  They stay around the house quite a bit, and are always together.  I watched them this Spring give life to two beautiful offspring.  The top pic is of them on my roof one evening, and the second is of them on my fence one morning.  I honestly believe that animals feel what we call love.  And I point to these little sweeties as proof.  I always tell my boys I love them and have since they were pups.  I've taught them to show me they love me back by giving me their paw.  I say "Do you love your Daddy?"  And they will raise that paw so gently to hand it to me.  The amazing thing is that with Shotsy, I will be petting him as I pass by, and without asking, he will extend that paw as if he is initiating the "I love you Daddy".  It simply melts my heart.

OK, mushy stuff over!  LOL  Just had to share.  There is also a pic of the week below for your enjoyment too.  Thanks for spending A LOT of time with me on this post.  Again, I'm sorry I blathered on so.  I'll be on my tour of your blogs to see what you've all been up to this week!  Can't wait to see.

Love you guys!


Curt O'Brien

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

Monday, August 2, 2010


Hey All!

Happy Monday to all of you!  I hope for those of you who work this week, that your week flies by, and for everyone else, I hope you have a great week too!

It's time for another House Mouse Monday Challenge!  This week's challenge was just that for me . . . a BIG challenge!  This week it is simply called "Vintage".  As those who visit me often, you NEVER see "vintage" in my work.  So, I didn't have a clue what I was going to do.  I have 107 House Mouse stamps, and I looked at everyone of them scratching my head.  My first thought was to stamp one of the images in sepia ink but that didn't work really well.  I finally came up with something that I'm sure everyone who sees it will be scratching their heads over.  Here it is:

There is something about this House Mouse image that reminds me of "vintage".  This will come as no surprise to those of you who know me, but I love Halloween, and as a child, it was such a fun holiday for me.  It has supplied me with a rich treasure chest of wonderful memories.  The scene above reminds me of a Halloween coloring book that I had when I was 6 or 7.  It was all Halloween scenes and I loved coloring in it.  So, anyway, that's my explanation for this being "vintage", and I'm sticking to it!  LOL

I created the above scene using some new stamps from Stampscapes.  I LOVE these stamps and will definitely be getting some more.  The House Mouse stamp is from a clear Halloween stamp set.  The ground, sky, and moon were all sponged using Distress Inks.  I am starting to be a HUGE fan of the distress inks.  They are so versatile and so great at what they do.  When they dry, they leave such a smooth, blotchless look.

If you have some time, jump over to see what my Teamies have done with this challenge (HERE), and if you are inclined, play along.  You have two weeks to do this challenge, so give it a try.  I would love to see what you come up with.

OK, that's it for this post.  I'm working on Wednesday's post and I can tell you, there will be NO Halloween cards.  LOL  I don't want to burn myself out.   Thanks for stopping by.  It is so appreciated.   See you on Wednesday!

Hugs to all of you!


Curt O'Brien

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