Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Hey All!  Welcome to another addition of the Wednesday Evening Post with yours truly.   I have a few projects to share with you this evening.  So on to the first card. . .

I haven't made one of these in a long time.  So, this idea came from my lack of ability to create an Easter card that I actually liked!  I attempted no less than four (all sitting in my trash can) before thinking of this type of card. I had almost given up, but this came to my rescue:

How cute is that rabbit???  You'll hate me too, because I have no idea who makes the stamp.  I bought this almost two years ago and put it in my binder before I found out that you were supposed to tell people who made your stamp!  LOL  Anyway, very little coloring was needed for him.  I just did a little grey shadowing and added the pink to his ears and nose.  Here is a little side view:

I love to create scenes, and Easter just lends itself to scenes.  The eggs were created by first cutting them out with my oval nesties and then running them through various CB embossing folders.  I then highlighted the embossed areas with MS glitter.  The grass and fence was created with MS punches.  I also used a CB die for the ribbon tag used for the sentiment.  I attached it with the green gingham ribbon.  Everything (including the grass panels) are attached to the base card with foam squares.  The pale eggs in the background is just a sheet of paper that I used for a background for this photo.  I made five of these to give to family members and my best friend and his partner.  I'm going to attempt a dog themed one using the stamp that looks like Shotsy next.

My next project I wanted to share is just a simple one.  Here it is:

I had made one of these for my blogging friend Chris for sending me the gift certificate.  It is just a simple box to which I added some printed paper that looked like a row of tulips, and then punched out the fence to wrap around the box.  The little plastic jars fit perfectly.  I filled them with jelly bean eggs and then cut the same paper out for the top of the lid.  Looks different in the picture because of the different light I had at the top of the box for lighting.

The next two are packaging for those little Millstone coffee packs and for packs of gourmet hot chocolate:

This is the same "memory box" that I have used for other projects that I've shown you.  Here is yet another use:

The last card I want to share is this one:

The flowers were done with FlowerSoft.  I love that stuff!  The other thing I wanted to point out is that it is very hard to get a nice border around some of the Nestabilities dies labels editions.  What I did with this one (and don't look too close 'cause I don't think I did a great job on this one!) is once I cut the nesties die cut out, I use double sided tape to tape it to the card stock that I'm going to use as the mat.  I then carefully cut around it to get this mat.

OK, that's it for this post.  Hope I made it worth your time.  Thanks for sharing some moments with me.  You know you have my heartfelt thanks.

I want to take this opportunity to wish you and all of your loved ones a very happy, warm, and blessed Easter Sunday.  I hope your hearts are filled with the joy and meaning of this holiday, as well as all of the fun that the Easter Bunny can bring.

Love and hugs to all of you!  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."

Monday, March 29, 2010


Hey All!  Happy Monday!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that this Monday finds you well and happy!  Two weeks have passed, and that means that it is time for another House Mouse Monday Challenge.  This week's challenge is Heather's, and she has chosen Easter as the theme.  Very good timing since Easter is this coming Sunday!  Yikes!  I still have some cards to make and get out!

Here is my card for this challenge:

I so love this image.  That little bunny decorating the egg on the back of the big bunny is just priceless.  I kept this Easter card simple because I find that I, like many, have the inclination to make Easter cards a little gaudy with scads of pastels and glitter, and printed paper, and Oh, that is what I have up there!  LOL  I used my colored pencils and oms to color this sweet image.  I then added glitter on the green stripe and blue spots.  Matted it on eggplant card stock then attached it on top of the dp with foam squares.  Added a simple bow to the corner and done.

Hope you get a chance to play this week.  At least head over and take a look at my DT member's work.  They always do an incredible job and sometimes I feel lost in their talent.

I'll be back with Wednesday's Evening post.  Until then, stay safe, well, and happy!  Thanks for stopping by and lending me your wonderful support!


Curt O'Brien

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

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Hey All!  It's so nice to see you here!  Welcome back for another edition of the Wednesday Evening Post with yours truly.  LOL  I have a TON to share with you in this post, so off we go!

First thing I'd like to share with you is a card I made for my sister who is sadly going through a divorce.  After 13 years of marriage and 16 years of being together, he decided that he's not happy.  She is devastated by this and I wanted to let her know I was there for her.  Here is the card:

 click on image for larger view

I love this image and have used it on other cards, but the image says so much about caring.  The sentiment is computer generated and its placement to the side of the image is thanks to my blogging buddy Sue who has done this with some of her sentiments in her last couple of posts.  Thanks Sue!  The umbrella was stamped twice, one cut out and applied to give it dimension.  I tried something different this time with the water.  Once I colored the water, I used the colors of the bunny and the frog and lightly colored over the water where they were standing to create a reflection look.  I used Diamond Glaze to give a slick look on the puddle and rain drops.  I really like how it turned out.  Here is a picture of my sister:

Isn't she pretty?  This is the picture I took for her to send to her publisher for the back cover of her book.  She is a budding author with one book under her belt and is working on book number two.  Her first book is called Bargain Party and it is about how to have a successful, one of a kind garage sale.  You can click on the link and read more.  Anyway, can you keep her in your thoughts and prayers that she finds the strength to get through this?  I'd sure appreciate it, and I know she will too.

My next thing to show you is a card set that I made for a lady here in my neighborhood.  She is such a wonderful person, and she has the sweetest little pug named Marley.  I found this wonderful image and had to get it so that I could make this card set:

Click to enlarge

Isn't this such a cute image?  It's called "Puggles" and I found it at HERE.  You really should go visit her blog too.  Wow, she has some great stuff.  Her blog is HERE.  I hesitated getting this image because my neighbor's dog is all black, and you know how I feel about coloring black things.  But after tackling this image, I do feel more comfortable doing black images.  Here is the set and how it was packaged:

She loved them and said she was only going to use them to write notes to special people!  LOL  She is very sweet and I'm so glad to know her.  She is the one that, after hearing about Gunther's injury, brought the boys treats and me some of her delicious homemade chicken soup because she knew I was hurting too!

The last card I'd like to share (here I go giving away all my projects in one post!  LOL), is a "congrats on your new home" card.  I saved it for last for a particular reason.  Here is the card:

I have wanted to own this set for a long time, but watch my money and have to pick and choose what I can get.  This set is called "Boards and Beams" from Paper Trey Ink.  This looks like a simple card, but I had to go through a lot of stages to create it.  I colored the house and trees with my colored pencils and oms.  I cut the house out.  I stamped the trees on a separate piece of paper and sponged the sky on that strip.  I then took a piece of dp that looked kind of "grassy" and cut it.  I then pieced the sky/tree panel to the grass panel then attached the house on top of both with dimensional squares.  Finally I stamped the sentiment (from same set) on the grassy piece to finish it.  Now, here's the story:

I entered for a chance at some very generous blog candy on my very good blogging friend Chris' blog Mudmaven Designs.  Well long story short, only 3 people entered and she decided to divide it between the 3 of us which I thought was great.  Well, a few days later, I get this email from Paper Trey Ink that someone had purchased a $50.00 gift certificate for me.  I was in shock!  Then I found out it was Chris.  I just couldn't believe it.  The gift certificate came with a note from Chris that said "A little advance blog candy - now you can get the trees and some goodies to go with them!  ~chris"   She was referring to a card that she had made that I loved so much.  The stamps she used on the card were from Paper Trey Ink.  Well, I purchased both that set and the one that was used for the card above.  Thank you again Chris!  You really will never know how much your kindness meant to me!  If you click on the link to her blog (in this paragraph), you'll see the gift package that I sent to her as a thank you.  Below is the blog candy that she also sent in ADDITION to the wonderful gift certificate!

She is such a generous, sweet person.

Whewwwwww!  That's it!  Done for this post.  I hope it was worth your time.  My next post will be on Monday.  We have another House Mouse Monday Challenge coming up then.  I hope you come back for that.

GUNTHER UPDATE:  Gunther is almost back to normal!  We have been walking now up to a mile, and yesterday he was let off of his leash to run and explore.  He still can't run without limping, but he sure walks with barely noticeable limping.  Thanks for your inquiries on how he's doing!

 Again, thanks so much for spending some of your valuable time with me and my blog.  I love you guys and I thank you so much for thinking me worthy enough of your time, let alone taking the time to comment on my "stuff".  You are all the best.  And by the way, WELCOME TO ALL OF THE NEW FOLLOWERS!  I'm honored to have all of you!  Don't forget the Pic of the Week below!  Take good care!


Curt O'Brien

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

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Hey All!  HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!  I hope the luck of the Irish has been with you all day and for the rest of the year!  I have a lot for this post tonight, so I'm going to get right to it!

I've been on a creative streak these past couple of weeks.  I'm still working on my "easel box" and will have it ready for next Wednesday's post.  However, there are other things that I have designed that come from my head and ready to share with you tonight.  Here they are:

Coffee Bag Holder

This is the front of it.  To give you an idea what it reminds me of, it's like a giant matchbook.  Here is the side view:

And here is the view when it is open:

You may notice that the "open" picture has a different punch border!  LOL  It is a picture of another one that I made that will be shared below.  Here are the other two that I made:

They are really quick and easy to make.  I simply measured the bag of coffee and then cut a piece of card stock to cover it with enough of a flap to bring over the front.  I then decorated the fronts, used various border punches to make the border on the flap, and then used a hole punch to punch a couple of holes to run a piece of ribbon through to keep them closed.  The coffee bag itself is adhered to the inside with glue dots to keep it in place.  I love how these turned out and how easy and fast they were to create.  These would make great items to put into a gift basket

The next project I wanted to share was a note card set I made.  Remember the physical therapist who sent me an email with help with Gunther's injury?  Well, I wanted to do something to thank her for her help.  She had mentioned in  a comment about how much she enjoyed my House Mouse colored images, so I decided to do a note card set with them.  Here is the set, the box, and each individual card in the set:

I did the card set in Spring colors.  Again, I used that "Memory Box" found on Gina K Designs' that I highlighted on a previous post.  This once again proves how very versatile this box is.  All four of the note card image panels are raised with foam tape.  So even with the thickness of the combined cards and envelopes, they fit perfectly.  Below is the card I sent along with this gift.  In it, I played on the image and said that it was thanks to her that Gunther was on the "Mend".

I just got an email from her that she received them and she was so pleased with them.  I was happy that she liked them.

That's it for now.  Next Wednesday, I'll be showing a ton more, including highlighting a very generous blog friend that blew me away with her generosity.  Part of what I have to show you next week is what I made for her, so until I know she has received them (should be tomorrow) I'll wait to do it all at once!

Again, thanks so much for coming by.  I love that you come here to see me.  I know how much effort and time it takes, and I am humbled that you think my stuff is worth it.  I'll be by to see what you've been doing in the next couple of days.  As always, I get my inspiration from all of your wonderful work!  Can't wait to see what you've done.  Don't forget the "Pic of the Week" below!

Stay well and take good care of yourselves!


Curt O'Brien

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

Monday, March 15, 2010


Hey All!  Welcome to Daylight Saving Time!  I may change all of our clocks around the house, but it takes several days for my internal clock to get it right.  For example, I'm writing this post at 12:47 A.M. however, I'm thinking to myself, it is really only 11:47 P.M.  LOL  Then I pay for it in the morning!  I will eventually give in and go by the "real" time, but it's hard!

OK, now for the post.  Today, Emma (the owner of House Mouse Monday Challenge blog) has given us a great sketch to work with.  Here is the sketch for this week's challenge:

Emma says she likes to keep them simple so that it makes it easy for everyone to play along.  For my card, I flipped the sketch 90 degrees counter clockwise (see going against the clock again!!!!  LOL).  So here's what I came up with:

Isn't he cute?  I colored him with colored pencils and oms and mounted the image on green card stock.  I then did something I haven't tried before.  I wanted to mount the matted image onto gold, but I didn't have any gold card stock, so I made my own!  I took my Versamark embossing pad and rubbed it on a piece of white card stock then covered it in gold embossing powder.  Heated it up and viola!  Gold card stock!  I like it a lot and plan on using this technique again!  The background paper is from The Paper Studio and I embossed the sentiment in gold too.  This card can be used for the upcoming St. Patrick's Day holiday, or to which someone good luck on a new job or new endeavor.

So, there you have it.  Another House Mouse Monday Challenge under the belt!  I really do hope that you will play along this week!  I know a ton of you play sketches every week, so here's your chance to do one with us over at House Mouse Monday Challenge!  If you have no time to play (remember you have two weeks with our challenges) at least run over to see what my very talented teamies have done with it.  They always do such great stuff!

That's it for now.  I hope you join me again for Wednesday's post!  I have fun stuff to share and can't wait to show you!  I wish you the best of weeks ahead.  Stay safe and happy!


Curt O'Brien

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

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."

Monday, March 1, 2010


Hey All!  Happy March!  What a great way to start the month out with a House Mouse Monday Challenge!  This challenge is hosted by yours truly.  I challenged everyone to make anything but a card using the House Mouse, Happy Hoppers, or Gruffies images.  So, on with the post!

If you read my last blog post, you saw the memory box that I made for photos.  Well, today's box is made the exact same way, however this one was made to hold recipes!  Here is the box:

I thought this Happy Hoppers image was perfect for the front of this box.  The white light I have to use to photograph in the house kind of bled out the coloring and the sponging I did on this image.  The background of the image is more of a cream color which doesn't show in this photo and the coloring of the image is much darker IRL.

Here is the box open:

The recipe card inside is from a Microsoft Word template and is a 3 X 5 card.  BTW, this is not a real recipe!  LOL  I made it up just as a prop for this photo.  As some of you know from my last post, this can hold up to 40 index cards.  If you want to see how to make these great boxes, see Gina K's video tutorial HERE

Well, short and sweet!  Hope you play along with us in the next couple of weeks.  If not, at least take a look at what my other talented teamies came up with at House Mouse Monday Challenge.

I'm still working on catching up on your blogs.  If I haven't been by yet, I'm on my way soon.  So be patient with me!  

I hope you all are well and doing great.  I thank you so much for coming by and supporting me.  I have the best blogging buddies in all of Blogland!  Hugs to every one of you.  I'll see you on your blogs and hopefully you'll come back and visit for the Wednesday Evening Post on the 3rd.  


Curt O'Brien

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