Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

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."


Patti J said...

Lol...I'm going to start at the bottom! Curt, I love your pic of the week! You have a real eye for photography, and I truly enjoy seeing what you post! As for animals? I believe they have hearts and brains, and love us unconditionally, and can think for themselves! Your cards this week are perfect, but I do miss being a tad scared! I laughed out loud at the image of you snickering to yourself on your way home after delivering your card and cake! Wonder if they'll bring your bowl back... Oh well, you can be MY neighbor! My momma used to make the best pineapple upside down cakes... haven't had one since 1998. Your Japanese card is so thoughtful! The Asian calligraphy is very difficult to reproduce! I was always impressed when DD was living there and would send packages home, wrapped in newspapers! Of course, she was in Taiwan, so it was very different! Yikes, I need to stop rambling! Enjoyed your post! Hugs!

Shirley-anne said...

First of all ..thank you for " mushy " stuff as it reminds me that there is still love and kindness in this world of ours .
Your blog is such a delight to visit .
Love all the cards but fav is the last card . It is so bright and it is obvious, as with all cards shared today , that it was made with kindness in mind. LOVE those flowers.

Sharli said...

Please don't apologize! I love reading your blog - and since you posted the photo of the hot air balloon that landed in your neighborhood, I can just picture your neighbors, your doves, it all seems like I've been there. Partly it's that you tell it so well.

I love the card your made for your neighbors moving to Osaka. You put so much heart into it - and it does have an Asian feel - the two smaller die cuts are perfectly placed and the images are wonderful. How thoughtful to look up the sentiment in Japanese for them. So like you.

I love the other card too, but the story was the best part - you are so kind, someday the neighbor will get it.

Hugs, dear friend.
ps - I've seen turtles eating bread like that - I just never got such an awesome photo of them!!!

Dawn said...

I think you are one of the most thoughtful men I know. There is no accounting for being raised properly and to have good manners.
I would be thrilled to have you as a neighbor, especially if we could share supplies. You would have to bring the boys along so I could play with them also.
I enjoyed all your cards today and must say the neighborhood scene is my favorite for sure. Thanks for sharing your weekly pictures also. Not sure where you find all these critters, I would have to go to our local zoo to see so many.

Tertia said...

If you ever decide to move to South Africa, please let me know, so that I can get rid of some of my neighbours and make room for you. LOL Seriously though, you sound like the perfect neighbour.
I love that Japanese card, its a design I might have to 'steal'. The last card is also very beautiful. Those colours are awesome.
O yes, I almost forgot - I did a happy dance when I saw you won that candy. Can't wait to see what you are going to make with that.

Jackie said...

I love your mushiness, don't ever stop! And....I am moving to your neighborhood. Yes, Mr. Rogers...I mean O'Brien, I want to be your neighbor. How sweet of you to do all of that research for the Japanese couple - that card is perfect! I'm sure the pineapple upside down guy enjoyed that cake a lot! Did you get any of the Martha Stewart Halloween stamps or punches yet?

Lisa Summerhays said...

Great cards Curt! Love the thank you card. I'd be thrilled to receive a homemade cake and card! What a fabulous neighbor.

Congrats on winning the candy too!

Sue said...

Hi Curt
fabulous post, did smile about the cake, you can bring me a fresh baked cake round any day of the week! lol, Gorgeous cards as always, never thought of doing the with my labels die look lovely.
Im with you on the animals be they great or small. Great piccie of the week,, have great day, hugs, sue,x

Becky said...

Great post and not long at all :). I just love this first card very creative and very stunning. I just love the scene you created on the second one, this is gorgeous, I can smell that pineapple upside down cake right now, it may have been a awkward moment but it was a very sweet jester and I bet that cake is almost gone :). That third card is just gorgeous, I love the colors and how the design paper matches so well with it.
What gorgeous pictures of these two doves and love your picture of the week, you always have the best pictures. what great mush mush about your dogs..Enjoy you new goodies.

Lori Barnett said...

OMG!!! You are soooo funny!!! All I gotta say is where's my cake? LOL! I bet you are the talk of the neighborhood! LOL!! LOVE IT! Wonderful cards! Gosh...look at all the "!" I just used!!! HA! I can't STOP!!!!! Oh's a hug xx

Bonnie Weiss said...

Where do I begin...first, that's quite a "haul" that you won! Congrats!

As far as the new neighbour and your cake ... well, there will be no question that you are a talented and friendly neighbour ... gay or not!

That is a beautiful card and gesture for your neighbours moving to Japan. Too bad THEY are the ones moving ... if only it were someone else (wink, wink!)

We can certainly learn a lot from nature and those Doves are a perfect example. Too bad we can't all just get along and share this world, like the birds do.

lisa808 said...

Congrats on your big blog candy win!

Your 'Japanese' card is lovely and so well thought. Loved the cake/card story--you are too funny! The last card is stunning. The popped flowers look so good on the background.

Amazing pictures of the birds. Who else but you could have caught that 'heart' shot?!?!?

'Paws' to you!

craft-princess said...

I just love reading your posts!! The cards are amazing as always! Great story about the cake with your new neighbor and I could just picture you snikkering while walking back home! LOL! I'm sure the guy appreciated the cake...I mean who doesn't love cake??
And I had to stop and ask myself....who gets to live in a neighborhood where everyone makes cards and brings over food or takes neighbors out to eat??? I sure don't get that so I am super jealous because it sounds wonderful!
Oh and how sweet for your boys to raise their paws to say I love you!! That just melts my heart even reading that!!
Take care!

Heide said...

Awesome post Curt!
Love all three of the cards and the little story with each, What a nice neighborhood you live in! I know I tell my dog how beautiful she is and how much I love her daily, being the independent Airedale that she is the only love She shows back is when I have a Scooby snack in my hand! LOL!

Gina Wrona said...

Great works of art this week my friend!

I look forward to your weekly posts, even though I may not have the time to get to them on a timely basis, they still brighten my work day at the office.


Celeste said...

Can I move to your neighborhood, can I? can I? can I?
Your cards are gorgeous as usual. I think it's very nice that you took a cake to the new neighbor and his boys. So many people these days don't bother. I love the Asian card and I love the stories behind the cards you made. How nice to have a neighbor who takes you out on your birthday. You are truly blessed with friends.

laurie said...

Curt, I really look forward to your work every week. I love your sence of humor, about your work and yourself. And the fact that you love dogs, gives you and A+ in my book. Your work is so good it is had to believe you are only doing it for 2 years, Keep it comming you are a light in my week. TFS

Nancy said...

FYI...I love pineapple upside down cake! My address is.... hee hee!
Your post was fun to read, as always! Your cards are wonderful. Really like the Asian one. You are, as always, a very kind and thoughful person.

Nancy said...

FYI...I love pineapple upside down cake! My address is.... hee hee!
Your post was fun to read, as always! Your cards are wonderful. Really like the Asian one. You are, as always, a very kind and thoughful person.

Julia Aston said...

What a great post Curt! sounds like you have a nice neighborhood and you are certainly a great neighbor! Love all of your cards and your picturesque morning doves! Your story about the paw is so sweet too! Have a great weekend - thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Jean M. said...

Love your cards. They are all so beautiful. I wish I were your neighbor;)

Krissy said...

♪♫ Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won't you be my neighbor?♪♫ I so wish you lived by me! I love all your beautiful creations, and your neighbors are so lucky to be the recipients of your creativity!

I always enjoy reading your posts and am constantly inspired by your beautiful cards! And I LOVE the pictures of the boys! So so so cute!

The card for your Japanese neighbors is gorgeous! Made me think of a blog I just looked at this morning and thought I would share with you incase you hadn't already seen it I love Patti's kimono card and think I need to go out and buy origami paper today so I can copy it!

OK! Enough from me! Hope you have a beautiful day! Take time to get inky!


Anonymous said...


Deb Neerman said...

WoWzA, Curt your cards are, as usual, absolutely stunning! And not just beautiful, they've been created with real depth, meaning, and intention. It's truly a gift, my friend!

Love the photos ... naturally ... but your story about Shotsy went straight to my heart! It's amazing how much our furry companions give to us while asking for so little in return. We humans could take a page from their book of life!

I so appreciated your visit the other day ... you have a way of brightening my day!

Hope you and Jay are well and happy! Sending hugs!!

Nina said...

HI CURT!~ Looonngg time no visit!! too long in fact! I truly have missed your lovely creations, funny humor in your postings and of course the pics of the week and your doggie header! Love them in the swimming pool! Too funny! and your turtle pic is awesome! Went all the way back to April on your blog because I can't remember the last time I skated by! So today I am just making time to visit some of my favs since it just seems like I don't get much time to do that! Of course you know I love your stuff... I loved the halloween cards, you sick man with the spider web! And lol about that balloon landing right next to your house, makes an exciting evening for everyone! Loved the crayon technique, very interesting and lovely. Reminds me of some things we did in school once with crayons and an iron on material, but of course your has much more class then a second graders project! :o) Hope all is well and congrats on you guest designer spot as well! Hopefully it won't be this long for me to get back here! Also, we are having a blog hop next week, do you like tea? LOL.... it's a tea party hop, not sure if some of the images are your style but come check them out and hop along with us we would love to see you! And if anything you can always make fun of them! hahaha... Kacey won't be there, but she still sends her love your way! Hope all is well with you, Jay and your puppies, hot last couple weeks here, a? But today is fairly lovely and the heat index has fallen.... OK... well, you take care my friend, and as always good to visit and spend some time with you! Have a stamplious kind of day! ((hugs))

Clare said...

Curt i wish you were my neighbour!!! what a lovely guy you are (i have the proof in my craft room!!!). A big congrats on your candy win!!! i cannot think of a more deserving person to win that Curt. Your cards are as usual totally gorgeous. I love the lengths you go to personalise your cards and the detail. I love all of the cards, i am totally in love though with your Home Sweet Home card. That image is totally gorgeous and going to hop over to the links you have supplied.
Your pics are amazing. Although i live in UK these beautiful birds are a regular in my garden. Everyday i feed them. They sit waiting for me on either my roof or a neighbours and as soon as they hear the door opening they all swoop down on my fence waiting patiently. I totally believe that animals have feelings and although they cannot talk like humans do, they certainly have their ways of communicating. I have two cats, Bert & Simone and the love that they show me is unconditional. When i am sick they are there at my side and they know all of the key words i tell them. I am talking to them all of the time and i know that they are listening. Animals are so loyal and they should be treated with respect, as they show us.
Curt i just love your posts and so look forward to reading them. Never think you are waffling etc as im sure you can see by all of your followers, we want to read!!!!! till next time, big love and hugs your way, Clare xxx

Judy said...

All your cards are fabulous but I have to say that the thank you card is my favorite.

Wish I had a neighbor like you!

mudmaven said...

Oh my, you have me laughing and crying at the same time and dh is looking at me like I'm nuts! You never, ever cease to amaze me with both your talent and your insights. What a totally wonderful and caring person you are and I feel so blessed to have been able to get to "know" you - even if it's just in the digital world. I too would so love to be your neighbor. What an asset to any community you would be. Totally love all the cards in this post and that Asian one has my wheels turning. Just have to wait till after the 29th when I get to go ashore and stay ashore! Big, big hugs! ~chris

Cathy's Rubber Room said...

Oh Curt the cards are gorgeous, the pictures are so sweet. The way you wrote about them gave me goosebumps. I love the stories you tell with your cards and pictures.
I am looking forward to working along with you as a High Hopes Diva.

Diane said...

What a neat pic of the doves, I am so glad you pointed out the heart as I wold of missed it, you are a true photographer for sure, and I am going to mention it need to get published, you are missing your calling...okay...I am sure I will bring that up sometime again. I had a good laugh at the cake to the neighbor...made my day!!! The cards are beautiful, and you always think of the neatest things to do with them, researching that symbol was a wonderful idea...see I need to think outside the box will inspire me to do that yet....wonderful post as always!!

Paul said...

Hi Curt, thx for popping by my blog and saying hello :) Just been browsing on yours and love it. Your cards have a clean, elegant style that I'm instantly drawn to. Love looking at your photos too. I'm keen on photography but not as skilled nor prolific as I could be. Anyways, enjoy your week. Paul x

Ruth M said...

Gorgeous cards, all of them! I love how you used the Nestie dies on the first card, very inspiring, thanks for sharing!

Linda said...

Hi Curt, I just read about you at High Hope. I love your photographs and cards. They are wonderful!
I have been stamping cards for a little over a year and am so hooked.
I would love to have you take a look. I could use some help with how to take good pictures of my cards.
Nice to meet you,

Susan (rainy) said...

Three beautiful and perfect cards for each recipient. And I'm sure your new neighbor enjoyed the pineapple cake.. Your neighborhood sounds like such a wonderful place to live, Curt!
And like you, I truly believe that many underestimate the relationships that animals have with us and each other. I have no doubt that they love and care and feel. I had two cats a while back (brothers). They had never been without each other. One of them was killed by a coyote a few years ago and Gonzo was never ever the same. He cried and ached for weeks. Okay... here I sit all teary eyed. Geesh.

Lynn Mercurio said...

What a great post Curt...not only are your projects wonderfully done, but I loved your story-like post as well.

I wish you were my neighbor! Our neighbors aren't nearly as "neighborly" as you seem to be. None of them have EVER brought me treats! LOL

Anonymous said...

Oh my gracious, where do I begin? The cards are allll beautiful! I have said it once and I will say it again, you are such a thoughtful person!Your stories make me laugh out loud AND send butterflies to my heart. Our dog loves to give us her paw too but she is only looking for treats. LOL but I do know she loves us. Your Martha Stewart Story cracks me up but I'll bet that Upside down pineapple cake was gone within the hour!! It is sad to lose such wonderful neighbors. This summer our elderly neighbor moved to a Seniors home and his house was sold to a loud partying, motorcycle lovin couple who don't keep their dogs at home!! (reminder to cherish the wonderful neighbors.) Hope you are having an awesome summer my friend!

Janine said...

Hi Curt!! How have you been? Your cards this week are amazing!!
Hope all is well with you>