Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Hey All!  As Ricky Ricardo would say "I've got some splainin to do."  LOL  I've been missing in action for the past several days due to Jay having another medical emergency.  Even though it wasn't a critical matter, it was/could have been serious.  So, with the stress of that and the extra "nursing" I've had to do, I've just not been able to create.  Nor have I come to visit all of you which will be corrected as of today!  LOL  So forgive me for not coming by, but I'll be there shortly!

OK, I've come up with a couple of projects that I think will make you all want to try them!  The minute I saw both of the video tutorials I was blown away.  So, I'll show you my take on each project and then link you to the video tutorials.

This first project is so useful and versatile in its many uses!  I've just begun to think of all of the things I can do with this.  It is called a "Memory Keeper", but it can be used for so many other things:  Here it is:

This is a super easy box that has so many uses!  This one that I made is to hold photos.  Take a look below:

You slide the ribbon off to open it.  I love how the photo of Shotsy inside looks as if he is peeking out of the box.  Here it is completely open:

The photo of Shotsy is one of my favorites of him.  These are 4 X 6 size photos and there is plenty of room in this box.  I filled it with 40 photos and it held them perfectly.  This box makes a beautiful way to share photos with friends and family.  Imagine taking some great photos of a friend's wedding and presenting them in this great box decorated with a wedding theme.  You can find the video here at Stamp TV.  I'm sure you agree that this box has so many uses.  It also is the perfect size for A2 cards too.  Stay tuned for Monday's House Mouse post because I've used this box for another purpose!

My next project is a great new card design that I think you are really going to love!  When I saw this one, again my mind was racing with so many ideas for it.  Here is my card (make sure you look at all 3 photos):

OK, it looks like a simple card, but look there at the top. . .should I pull it?

Cute, but wait, is there more?????

Is this not a great card design???  I LOVE this!  When I first saw it, I, like the creator of this card, saw stacked presents, cake layers, extensions of scenes, etc.  The list is endless.  I saw her video and fell in love with this card.  And it's easy too!  Don't let the 1/8 inch measurements stand in your way.  This card is so forgiving with the slots that it uses.  The closed card measures about 4 X 4.5 inches.  And when fully opened, it measures a full 8.5 inches!  It is super easy and the results are really impressive.  I love this card so much!  You can find the video tutorial here on Stamp With Heather's blog.  You'll see her original design, and that is what gave me the idea for my balloons.  Anyway, I hope you try this card.  So much fun!

Now, just a couple of other things. . .

Many of you have been asking for an update on my sweet Gunther.  He is still limping, but he does seem to be progressing in his healing.  As of tomorrow, it will be 5 weeks since the accident.  I got the most wonderful email from Jen Tapler in Maui.  She was catching up on my blog posts and was concerned when she read about Gunther's injury.  She is a physical therapist and she had some wonderful advice for me and some great suggestions for me to help with Gunther's healing process.  It came at such a great time because I was getting so depressed, feeling that his progress was not normal.  She made some wonderful points that put my mind more at ease and made me feel so much better about things.  Thank you Jen for your concern and your help.  It meant the world to me!  She is a card maker too and does gorgeous work!  Go see her at Jen Tapler Designs.  

Also, I received the sweetest get well card from Sue at Sue's Scoopys Stuff.  Take a look at this:

Thank you so much Sue!  It was so much fun receiving a card from the United Kingdom!  Gunther liked it too, because when I showed it to him, he licked it!  LOL  So it got the Gunther Seal of Approval!  It was so thoughtful of you!

OK, I hope that I made up for missing a week.  I'm so excited to add these two wonderful techniques to my ever growing list of favorites!  These two are ones I'm going to go to over and over again for future projects.  I hope you find them inspirational and fun.  I'd love to see you add your own creative touches to these projects.

OK, thanks for stopping by and having a look!  Your comments and opinions mean so much to me and I love reading them.  They so make my day, especially on days that aren't so happy for me.  You guys are the best!  Don't forget the PIC OF THE WEEK below!  We had a thing called "FROZEN FOG" happen a couple of weeks ago and it was an awesome thing to see.  Everything was covered in this.

Until Monday's post, take good care of yourselves!


Curt O'Brien

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

Monday, February 15, 2010


Hey All!  I hope this Monday morning post finds you well and happy.  It's been two weeks since the last challenge, so it's time for a new one!  So on with the post!

This week's House Mouse Monday Challenge is challenge #63.  We have been challenged to do a multi-fold card.  I decided to really take this challenge to heart and find a multi-fold card that I have never done before.  I chose a "Spring Card".  No, not the season, but a card that actually springs up.  This was a lot of fun to make, and you can find the tutorial and a video HERE.  Here is my card:

Here is a side view:

I love this card!  I'm so glad I forced myself to try a new type of card.  That's what challenges are for huh?  The folding of this card is so easy, I couldn't believe how easy.  It would have been a quick card if not for all of the intricate cutting I had to do on the two little mice to make them look 3-D.  But I think the results were worth the cramping hand!  LOL  Here is a close up:

I colored the image with colored pencils and oms.  The sentiment was created on my computer in Word with Word Art.  I cut it out with my Nesties and then punched out a sparkly dot and glued to the middle.  I used an EK Success punch for the photo corners.  Main image is cut out with Nesties and I then secured it to red card stock and cut around it freehand to give it a defining matting.  There was nothing on the back of the card stock for the main card base that said who it was by.

So, there you go!  Why not give this challenge a try?  At least go take a look at my talented colleagues take on the challenge at House Mouse Monday Challenge Blog

Thanks so much for coming by and taking a look.  I so appreciate your time!


Curt O'Brien

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

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Hey All!  It's another Wednesday and I'm back with my Wednesday Evening Post.  I've evidently had a very LUCKY week.  According to my spam mail, I've won the Canadian, UK, Australian, and Nigerian lotteries!  With all that money, I can now buy all of the Viagra, Vicoden, and other online prescription meds that are in the other spam mail!  Try not to be too envious!

OK, now seriously, on with the  post.  You have to see the "Pic of the Week" at the bottom of this post.  I can't believe that I got the shot that you will find there!  Yes, it is a real tongue.  

I've got a few things to share with you this post.  First up on the agenda is my first "Magic Box".  No matter what I tried I could not get it to photograph as well as I had hoped.  It really does look so much better in real life.  I made this for my Mom as her Valentine card.  Here are the pics:

It is so hard from the pictures to really see the detail when it is opened.  If you click on the pictures you can see it better.  I got my inspiration from the "Queen of Magic Boxes" Elaine at Magic Boxes.  Her magic boxes are astounding, and one of her boxes was presented to the Queen of England herself!  I am so in awe of her work.  There are two large embossed butterflies and several floating hearts.  What I didn't get a picture of was the inside of the lid which is where I placed the sentiment.  These make impressive gifts, and I just wish I could have photographed it a little better!

My next card was inspired by my good blogging buddy in Canada.  Karen at "1 Wacky Woman" did a card back in November which I never forgot.  Take a look at the card HERE.  Here is the card that I came up with based on hers:

She used a stamp for her frog and booth.  I had to "build" mine.  The booth is made of a wood look paper.  I don't know who it is by.  I cut out the pieces and built the booth and wrote "Kissing Booth" at the top.  I then stamped the frog, colored it, cut it out, and attached it with a dimensional (you can see the shadow behind him).  The background paper had a "scene" on it, so I cut out the part that would make a good background for this card.  I thought it made a cute Valentine's Day card.

My last card was born out of an experiment.  I have an HP printer, and every time I buy the set of ink cartridges for it, it comes with 150 sheets of 4 X 6 photo paper.  Well I now have oodles of these and wondered if I could use them in my card making somehow.  Here is what got created:

Here is a side view so you can see the glossy shine there at the lower right quadrant:

I can't get over how weird it was sponging dye ink onto this surface!  I figured it would smear around and create an interesting background, but it didn't!  When the ink hit the surface that is where it stayed.  It was so odd.  And the ink became so vibrant.  Don't know if it was the ink reacting to the chemicals in the photo paper or what, but it was weird.  The image is from Hero Arts and the butterflies were punched out using an MS punch.  It looks like a fiery summer sunset.  It reminded me of these two photos of sunsets I took a couple of summers ago:

Anyway, I kinda like how it turned out.  I'm liking the silhouette stamps like the one I used above.

OK, that's it.  DON'T FORGET THE PIC OF THE WEEK BELOW! It will make you smile if not laugh out loud like I did when I first saw what I had actually captured.  I kept telling him "Gunther!  Look at the camera!  Gunther!"  And when he finally did, I quickly took the picture.  What I was wanting to get was the snow on his face.  I certainly got a little more!  LOL  Quick update on him.  He is still limping at about a 6 on a scale of 1-10.  It's frustrating, but he doesn't seem to be in any pain.  He is just going nuts not being able to go for walks.  I'll be calling the vet on Friday (3 weeks since the accident) to see if she thinks that level of limping is to be expected.  I'll keep you all posted.  Thanks so much for all of your concern!

Thanks for coming by and looking!  You guys and your comments are truly a huge bright spot in my day.  I thank you so much for that!  I'll be back on Monday with another HM challenge post.  So until then, I wish you a very HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!  Sending you all huge blogging buddy hugs!


Curt O'Brien

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

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Hey All!  Happy Hump Day to each and every one of you!  I hope this post finds you all, well , warm, safe, and happy!  I  have another Gunther update at the end of the post for those who want to know what's going on with him!

I have a ton to share with you in this post, so I'm getting right to it!

I've been working on Valentine Day cards for Pat Adam's kids at Michigan's Children's Hospital.  I participated last year, and I'm very honored to be able to do it again this year.  I bought a set of stamps by Recollections called "Don't Bug Me".  When I saw this set and bought it months ago, I did so with Pat's kids in mind.  So here are the cards I made for them.  I made two of each:

Making cards for the kids is a blast and it makes me feel good that I'm doing something to put a smile on their faces.  If you want to do the same, again, the info is here at Pat's blog.

This next card is related to the above.  My good blogging buddy Chris at Mud Maven Designs is offering an array of wonderful things as blog candy if you help Pat out as well.  She challenges us to do 5-10 cards for Pat's project and to follow a sketch for another Valentine card.  Here is the sketch and my card:

I just don't feel I'm good at sketches and that's why I don't do many.  I always feel like I have to follow them to the "T", and I get really frustrated if I can't do it just right.  Anyway, I wanted to play along with this one.  

I also wanted to take some time to share with you some of the very sweet things that several of you have done for me.  I've kinda waited and wanted to put them all together.  So here are things I've received from some very sweet, thoughtful people:

Lorraine from "Lorraine's Loft" was so nice to send me the above after winning my last blog candy.  Lorraine did one of the most thoughtful things ever. . .she actually went through my entire blog to look at all the cards I did with House Mouse images so that she wouldn't duplicate any that I already had when she stamped out a bunch for me.  Lorraine, that was amazingly thoughtful and was so appreciated - Thank You!

This wonderful HM stamp was sent to me by the very sweet Margie at "Oh Bumbles Me".  She had emailed me and said she had this stamp and it needed a home.  She sent it along wit this amazing card!  Thanks so much Margie!  It was so nice of  you to do!

Gina Wrona (Gina's blog here) sent this wonderful gift for Gunther!  Is this not cute??  The card is so adorable and the decorated Altoids tin contained a wonderful bone for Gunther.  Gina, you are so very sweet and you have been a wonderful blogging friend.  Your constant concern has been amazing and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!  I hope your sweet Zorro is doing well.

And this was sent to me from a fellow Hoosier blogging buddy, Julia at "Indiana Julia and Her Temple of Crafting" (love that blog name!).  She emailed me out of the blue and wanted to know if I would like some House Mouse images.  This is what arrived in the mail.  That card just melts my heart, and the images she sent are wonderful.  The extras she sent were such a wonderful surprise.  Thank you so much, Julia.  It was very kind of you!

This funny, sweet card came from one of my very sweet neighbors, Pat.  It came complete with a bag from a local dog bakery with some wonderful dog treats for Gunther & Shotsy.  I know she reads my blog, so Pat, thank you again for your thoughtfulness and kindness.  Gunther and Shotsy LOVED the treats!  I LOVE the way you "wrinkled" the background paper on this card.  How did you do that?  And the eyes on that frog made me laugh out loud they are so cute!

And this adorably sweet card was sent to Gunther from Jan McConnell at "Serendipity Stamping by the Gulf".  
She sent this adorable easel card to Gunther.  I love this image, and the sentiment is adorable.  Thank you Jan and I hope your little sweet Dulcie is doing OK too!  Again, thanks so much for your thoughtfulness.

I am so blessed and my life is so much more enriched by all of you.  Whether you have sent things, or emailed me, or left comments on my blog, you have all meant so much to me.  I honestly feel that I have so many friends out there and you have most definitely helped me through this episode with Gunther.  Thank you so much for your support and encouragement.  You have ALL made a difference in my life!

Quick update on Gunther.  He still has quite a dramatic limp going on, but he is definitely starting to do "Gunther" things that he hasn't done since the injury.  His leg does not seem to be as sensitive to pressure, and he is way more mobile than he has been in almost 2 weeks.  So, I think he is on the mend, but Daddy is not letting him get away with anything.  Keep sending your good thoughts and prayers his way.  I know they have been working!

Well, that's it for this post.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  I'm going to start visiting your blogs in the morning over my coffee.  So I can't wait to see what you've been up to.  Don't forget the "Pic of the Week" below!

Take care my friends!  GO COLTS!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010


Hey All!  I have an update on Gunther at the end of the blog for those of you who want to know what's going on with him.

Well, it's another Monday and that means it's time for another House Mouse Monday Challenge!  Since we are so close to Valentine's Day, my teammate America has challenged us to use "Love" as the theme of our cards.  Anything goes as long as it has to do with love.  So, here is what I came up with:

OMGosh I love this image so much and was so glad I could finally get to use it.  I originally bought it just to have in case someone got married or someone wanted me to make a card for a wedding.  Well, that has not happened, so this was the perfect opportunity!  Are they not the sweetest little couple?  This House Mouse Stamp is called "Playing Dress Up".  I took some of the great suggestions I got from you all for coloring "black" things, and I really am pleased with how his little tux came out.  Here is a close up of the image:

I had to hold the card at an angle for you to see the glitter on her dress.  I used a glitter gel pen and just dotted her dress to make it look like it had sequins on it.  You will also see that I put a little pearl headband on her veil.  I used colored pencils and oms to color them.  His tux is colored with a black pencil and then blended with oms.  So just the one pencil did it.  I used a MS punch for the lacy border.  I wanted the card to reflect both feminine qualities and male qualities so I made the upper half with swirly paper and the bottom half with a formal "tux stripe".  LOL  I then punched out the heart and attached it with the little silver chain and stamped the word "love" on it.

I really hope you have time in the next couple of weeks to join in the challenge over at House Mouse Monday Challenge blog.  I would LOVE to see what you create!  If  you don't have time for the challenge, at least hop over to see what my fellow design team created.  They are an amazing group!

OK now for a Gunther update.  After the accident and the initial xrays, the vet said that I could walk him for a short walk five days after he had total rest.  So that's what I did.  I guess "short" is a relative term.  I walked him for what was a way shorter walk that he normally gets. . . just around the block.  He started out OK, but by the time we got home, he was having great difficulty.  It set him way back.  As of today (Sunday) he is at an 8 on the limp scale of 1 - 10.  I'm so disappointed.  So now the vet says no exercise for two weeks!  He is going to go nuts!  And poor Shotsy.  I'm going to have to get over my guilt and take Shotsy for his romp in the park without Gunther, and that just breaks my heart.  Gunther is not going to understand, but on the other hand, Shotsy shouldn't have to suffer two weeks of not going to the park.  God I can't wait until Gunther heals! So, that is the scoop.  He is off pain meds and on to Ascriptin.  It seems to take the edge off for him.  So keep those good thoughts coming his way!  Thanks again for all of your sweet comments and support for my beautiful boy.

One last thing. . .I'm working on Valentine's Day cards for Pat over at The Rubber Maid.  Every year she takes the donated cards to the kids over at the Children's Hospital in Michigan.  This is such a worthy cause and I participated last year as I am this year.  I'll be posting the cards on my Wednesday Evening Post along with other stuff.  So, if you would like to help, here is the link to the info.  There is blog candy involved!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I love you guys!


Curt O'Brien

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