Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Hey All!

I need to get a couple of things off of my chest before this post gets started.  Because I feel you are all friends, I wanted to share a couple of things.  Today would have been my brother's 52nd birthday.  He died 13 years ago from complications of AIDS.  Happy Birthday little brother.  I also found out this past weekend that my father passed away.  He and I had been estranged for over 13 years.  I always had the thought in the back of my head that he and I would speak again, but it is obviously too late for that now.  I share this with you because if you have a similar situation, you really need to think about this and decide if it would be OK if the family member you are on the outs with would suddenly die.  I'm OK with what has happened, because it was his doing, but none the less, it is a very weird feeling to have to deal with.  I'm sorry to start out on a down note since this is usually an uplifting post, but I just felt I needed to share.  Thanks for allowing me to do so.  Anyway, out of the downer stuff and onto the fun stuff: . .

I have 3 more cards to share with you.  I've been up in that creative cave quite a bit over the past week and I have more than 3 to show, but I'm saving some in reserve!  LOL  Here is my first card:

I was browsing the web a few weeks ago, and found where someone had used a stamp of a spider holding candy corn.  So, I made my own.  The spider is an Inkadinkadoo stamp and the candy corn stamp is from Recollections.  You can't really see it in the photo, but the design on their backs is colored in with a silver glitter gel pen.  I colored the candy corn with my colored pencils, and drew in the spider web strand on each spider.  The sentiment is from Studio G.  Before I mounted the panel on the main card mat, I attached a fun fur yarn strand to give it a "webby" look and feel.  I used my Stampamajig to align the candy corn up so it looked like the spider was holding it.

Here's the next card. . .

This is in honor of Michelle Zindorf.  I LOVE here style and her cards are simply works of art.  If you've never seen her work, check out her gallery HERE.  I've looked at nearly 100 of her tutorials and just sit in awe of her techniques and talents.  I read on her blog a few days ago that she just lost her Mother. (Seems September is a month for losing people).  So I thought I would try something "Zindorfian" in nature.  The main limb was created by using a Stampscapes stamp that is actually 3 trees.  I just turned it sideways and stamped only one of the trees.  The branches are also from Stampscapes.  The owl is a Martha Stewart Stamp.  I sponged the background masking the moon off with a circle cut with Nesties.  Highlighted the top of the "limb" with a white gel marker for depth.

Here's my last card for the post:

This is an image that my sweet blogging friend Lee sent to me from St. Agnes.   The stamp is by Elzybells I believe. and it sure is a cut1e.  I colored it with my colored pencils and oms.  For some reason my camera always used the flash when I took the pictures of this card, so the colors are a little bled out.

OK, that's it for this edition.  I really do appreciate you coming to see what I've done.  I'll be doing my weekly round of your blogs in the next couple of days.  Can't wait to see what you've been up to!  Thanks to for letting me share my personal stuff with you.  I appreciate it.

Don't forget the "Pic of the Week" below!  I've not quite seen a turtle lay like this!  LOL  Check out his back legs!!!!

Hugs to all of you!


Curt O'Brien

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


Danielle said...

Oh Curt I'm so sorry to hear your news of your father's death. Your estrangement doesn't make it any easier I'm sure but hopefully you're at peace with it! And I hope you have happy memories to recall of your brother! So glad you were able to share with us Curt and I have no doubt your words will help someone else in a similar situation. As for your cards - wow, wow & wow!! Gorgeous - especially love the owl in the moonlight - spectacular work out art - TRULY!!
Take care - my thoughts & prayers are with you, as always!
Hugs, Danielle xo

Dawn said...

Looks like the turtle just woke up and is stretching!
Sorry to read the first part of your post. Somehow we never get over the loss of a love one, we try to go on but always feel their memories, it is even harder to imagine the loss of your father after being estranged.
I bet it feels like your going over the situation 13 years ago.How sweet of you to give others the insight to mend or think about similar situations.

Glad to see you have been creating, you sure are a great Halloween card maker, I can totally appreciate the fun images. Love Zindorf techniques, always wanted to take a class.
Have a great week and sending you a big hug sweetie!

Wendalyn said...

Your halloween cards are great...

Sharli said...

Hi Curt,
I've sent an e-mail about your loss.

Your cards are fabulous! The spiders made me laugh out loud - you see, I bought candy corn at the store tonight (they jumped in my cart, honest!) - I love the white fibers sticking out everywhere!!! Awesome!

The "Zindorfian" card is also awesome - and very spooky. WAY cool! Michelle will love it and you are so sweet to recognize her grief in this way . . . such an honest compliment.

The last card is just darling! I love the trio of trick-or-treaters! I, too, have been on a Halloween ROLL but I've only gotten one of them posted so far - give me a few days to get them up! LOL

Your turtle photo is another LOL moment! I've never seen one stretch quite like that either!!! Perhaps the turtle was taking a yoga class?? Up Dog?

Jackie said...

{{Big hugs}} to you, Curt. My DH is in a similar situation with his mother and I hope he is able to handle it as well when she passes on. I've also has similar issues in my lifetime as well and I so appreciate you sharing that part of your life. You are such a gentle soul and I am so glad to have found you, and your beautiful creations. Blessed be.

Shirley-anne said...

Curt , I am glad that you are so comfortable in your own skin that you could share this trying time with us . Sending warm friendship wishes your way .
As usual your cards have made me chuckle , inspired me and amazed me . How ...'out of the ordinary' is the first spider card with all those webby bits about .oooh yuk!!!!

Sue from Oregon said...

Oh have had quite a run going on this month. Sorry to read about your brother and father. Big Hugs to you!

Very fun and creative cards this week. That spider card is a fun "creepy" the fringe. And the Zindorf inspiration is just SPOOKY...what wonderful elements! I think the other image might be an Elzybel...not sure. is cute!

ilove2write said...

Curt.. I'm so sorry to hear about your younger brother..and also sorry to hear about your father..and that situation..just know there wasn't anything else you could do.. when someone makes a decision to exclude you from their life.. then that's on them.. not you.. I also had a parent do that to me when I was just a little bitty girl.. and although it hurts sometimes.. you learn to live on because life carries so much more out there and it's not worth it to fester too much on the past..of things you can't change.. but it was a great point to bring that up about telling a person to really think and see if they would be "ok" with a similar situation.Anyway.. I'm sure you have other family and friends you can also lean on for support during this difficult time.. my thoughts go out to you..On a positive note.. your cards look amazing,you are very talented..I wish you a great day!

Sue said...

Hi ya Curt
so sorry to read about your loss, sendind extra large hugs to you, such a shame you didn't get chance to talk.

As for your cards a sever they are fab, i adore your owl card, it is totally stunning, i will have a look at Michelle's blog later. Fun spider card luv the fiber.As for the las card so cute awesome colouring as always,
hugs to all, luv sue,x

Lorraine A said...

Am so sorry you've having a traumatic time Curt xx To lose a brother at such a young age is very sad,, sending BIG HUGS xx I am sorry you lost your Dad too, whatever happened he was still your Dad and even though you haven't spoken for years he was still in your thoughts. I don't know what to say really Curt ,, I just hope that you are OK me darlin xx

moving on to your fabulous cards ,,, i love them all ,,, the spiders are fab ,, love the fibre,, the moon is brilliant !!love the owl and the branches ,,, and the trick or Treat is very cute :-)

fab photo of the week too ,, he is obviously happy :-)

Love to you Curt ,,, take care xx

Lols x x x

Anonymous said...

Curt, you know we all love you and will always be there for you!! I hope you have lots of good memories of your brother that have stayed within your heart. Your father, no matter how absent he was, was still your father and I am sure there is still pain over his death but I am glad you have dealt with the loss of an absent father while he was alive.
Your cards are super scarry .....the spider one gives me willys...not sure if I can eat candy corn again without looking through them for the spiders. LOL
Hugs my friend

Bonnie Weiss said...

Loss is never easy, no matter what the situation is. With time, comes healing. Thinking of you,Curt.

Heide said...

I am so sorry for both of your brother and father. big hugs to you!

Your cards this week are so fun! I love the spiders with the candy corn. The owl is my favorite! My jaw just dropped when I saw it! Great work this week!

Sue Ann said...

I am so happy I found your blog this morning ...... your "OWL" card is over the top amazing and I cannot stop gazing at this spooky card. Then I see these other 2 fantastic cards...... GREAT WORK!! My husband is Curt and my sister has a mini ..... FRITZ!! You have the PERFECT names for your babies!!! I am very sorry for the loss of your brother and father. I know it does not get any easier as the years pass. Curt's moms birthday was Monday and she has been gone for 2 years .... sometimes it just punches you in the gut when you think about it. I am sorry that you had a rocky relationship with your dad ..... I look at my children often and think ....... unconditional!!! Have a great day Curt !!!

Diane said...

Sitting here lost in thought, trying to think of the right thing to say, decided there is not a right thing....cept' maybe I feel bad for your Dad..look at the wonderful person he missed out on "knowing"..... "YOU"!! A great tribute to your Lil' brpther, too...I am sure you miss him...alot! Also thanks for the wake up call, I do have a family member, that I need to reconcile with.
Loved the cards...the spider one is very clever.....the Zindorf technique one is of my favorites, too.....great post my friend...take care!!

Jane Wetzel said...

hi Curt- Life isnt always easy but sometimes it helps to know so many others have a similar situation and they go on- we have to...
your cards are darn cute like always and those spiders are the best!

laurie said...

I am so sorry to hear about your loss, please know you are in everyones thoughts. Your art should give you comfort, I look forward to your post every week. I really love the owl and moon scape very eerie.

Lelia Pierce said...

Biggest hugs for you, Curt! I hope you always feel you can share with helps a little, I'm sure.

All 3 of your cards are very nice. I have to say that I adore the owl one the most! I, too, love Michelle's style and you have done an awesome job on it!


Celeste said...

Curt, I am in the same position with family members being estranged so I know where you're coming from. I am okay with the estrangement too. Sorry to hear about it though. So sad your little bro' died so young too.
I loved the cards you made. Isn't Michelle wonderful? You really made a great card using her style. I also love the other ones.
The "sunbather" made me giggle. Best to all of you.

Lorraine said...

Oh Curt I give you a big hug I think you are needing it. Such a sad time.
Your cards are amazing love everyone. xxx Jersey U.k.

Macpurp said...

I am sorry for the loss of your Brother and your Father, even though you were estranged it is still a loss, and with your brother, the years pass but the connection remains.

the cards are beautiful as always dear friend. hugs xx

lisa808 said...

Curt, I am so sorry to learn of the loss of your brother. Even though it was many years ago, I know it doesn't make it any easier or less painful. Cherish your memories. Happy 52nd Birthday to him. My condolences on the recent loss of your father, even though you were estranged. Every family has their problems and fights.

Now, on to happier topics--your amazing cards! The 'eek' card is just too cute for words. You sure would make MZ proud with your fabulous owl card. Cute trick or treaters.

craft-princess said...

I never know the right thing to say during sad times but just know that I am thinking of you during this difficult time. BIG HUGS!

Also, your cards are really wonderful!! Love how you did the spider and candy corn!


Lee said...

Hi Curt.You know how i feel about the first part of your post.I'm glad you shared it.
On to your fab cards.I am always in awe of YOUR WORK.I am an aracnaphobic but i did laugh when i saw the can't say that word lol.A great card.I think the owl card is absolutely stunning.The halloween card looks so cute,so glad you liked the elzybells image.Take care now.x

Myrna said...

There is a saying, "a burden shared is a burden halved". Thanks for sharing and hope that peace is yours.
Love the owl card. The turtle is wonderful.

Becky said...

First - thank you for stopping by and leaving love. you always lift me up.:)
I am so sorry to hear about your brother and your father, hopefully by you sharing it will make people reach out more, forgive quicker, stay angry less.
I just love these how you did the first one that yarn is perfect for this. The second one is just fabulous, you did such an awesome job with this. I just love Michelle, have copied her work from time to time, and she is always willing to help you out when you ask her.
the third one is just adorable.

Gina Wrona said...

Oh Curt,
my deepest sympathies for both of your losses. death is never easy especially since i am also going thru it as well since my uncle passed sept 2nd. this time though everything people say and don't say to me doesn't help at all. nothing seems to make me feel any better without him. kinda makes me feel like when I tried to comfort others that my words didn't help them because their words dont help me. tomorrow is what they are calling a memorial at the cemetary where we will be burying half his ashes in the same plot as his father because he wasn't married and doesnt have any children. not looking forward to crying again, kwim?

anywho, love all your cards! GREAT JOB MY FRIEND!

Love ya,

Krissy said...

Curt- I am so sorry for your losses. My husband had a similar situation with his Grandmother when she passed away last Spring. They hadn't spoken in about 10 years. In fact, I never even met the woman and we've been married almost 10 years. She refused to attend our wedding and never wanted to meet our boys, her great-grandsons. Her loss, I figure. My hubby, like you, came to grips with the situation long ago.

Loss is never easy, know that you have many on-line friends to "confide" in. Cherish your memories!

have a great weekend!

Lynn said...

Hi Curt, I'm so sad to read about your losses of loved family members..sometimes we find our grief is too much to bear, but we go on and remember the happy times and just knowing they are up there watching us can help at times.
I do your love your beautiful cards and perhaps peace will help you through your creative talents
Lynn xx

Clare said...

Hi Curt, so glad that you were able to open up on your post about your losses. I think our blogs are fabulous therapy that we can share with others. I am so sorry that you lost your Brother and more recently your Dad. Just hold on to the good memories hun and try not dwell on the bad. Always remember them, and celebrate memorable dates and share them. Thinking of you at this time lovely man!!!!.
Wowsers look at those gorgeous cards. I love, love love the own one. Big hugs Clare xxx

Rita said...

Sorry to hear of your news, kisses & hugs to you my friend.

Your spider card is so unique & I luv the idea of the fun fur yarn you used, makes for an awesome fun card!

I luv your owl card...a beautiful piece of art!

Cute fun trick or treat card, that image so darn cute! I luv the card design & the glitter around your sentiment.

Have a great weekend Curt!

Macpurp said...

I loved the owl card so much I had a wee go and linked back to your blog! hugs xx

Susie Little said...

Hi Curt, Good to meet you!

My thoughts are with you in this difficult time.

Great Cards love your techniques.

Susie xx

Lauri said...

Curt thank you so much for sharing the memory of your brother...although he is gone from this earth I am sure he is with you every day! and your dad....well that is a sad situation and something no one can really understand but I am glad you are okay with it! It certainly makes us each think though..we all know people in similar situations!

Paul said...

Sorry to hear about the news. The cards look fantastic though. Thanks for visiting my blog and in return finding another male.

Ted said...

Hi Curt, first time visitor... saw you respond on Sue Ann's recent blog post and when I see a fellow male papercrafter, I have to see their work... we're a rare breed. ;)

Anyway, I absolutely LOVE the spiders holding the candy corn! That's just so awesome. If only I can find those images somewhere. I'll have to be on the look out. Genius!

Sorry to hear about your father. I'm in a similar situation... may God give you the peace and comfort that only He can provide.

Take care!

joyful-foodie said...

When my mom said you were something of a legend she wasn't kidding! These cards are beautiful. When I saw the first one I gasped! And then I scrolled to the second... and the third! Really great pieces, all three.
Thanks for your comment on my blog, I'm really honored! (Thankfully its been mostly cool days here, so there was no hot car for the chicken to be left in!!)

Patti J said...

Oh, Curt... what a week for me to miss your post. I am so very sorry for your losses. I'm sure that you miss your brother every day. I'm also sure that you were the angel in charge of his care. You are such a kind and gentle man. I am so sad for your father that he couldn't have known you the way that we all know you. Your heart is as big as Texas, you are always doing something nice for your neighbors and friends, you are one of the most talented people I know, and you take wonderful care of your moms, Jay, and the boys. I'll certainly be thinking of you. Your cards, as always, are so special! And that turtle? Priceless!!! Hugs, my friend...

Lori Barnett said...

Thank you for sharing part of yourself on a personal level Curt. There was a similar situation with my dad and his dad. And another thank you for sharing Michelle's wonderful blog link. I will be trying out her "style" too!!! Well...after I get my other work done that is first priority...but I will get around to in some years! LOL! Your cards are amazing as usual. BEAUTIFUL work from a beautiful person :)

Dawn said...

So sorry to hear about your family bereavments, it's never easy to come to terms with it all but fond memories serves us well sometimes.

Love your cards especially the EEK!! LOl and the turtle photo is brilliant!


Janine said...

WOW!! Thanks for sharing...
My cousin hasn't spoken to her mother in over 7 years. I wish I could get them to talk.. So much precious time has passed that they can't get back.

Anonymous said...


Jamey said...

Sorry to hear about your father, and your brother.
But, listen to your mom!

Audrey Frelx said...

What fun cards! And the one with the owl is just beautiful!!!

What a very sad thing to have two sorrows to deal with. I understand what you're saying because tomorrow is not promised and we really must take time to think about and take into consideration the things in life we value most and/or how to make what we want/need to care about valuable. I know it may be difficult right now to deal but you sound like a person who knows how to grieve and move on -- I can admire that!