Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Hey All!

The last post of the year, and I'm taking it off!  LOL  I wanted to make sure though that I at least posted my wishes for you for the coming New Year, and to let you in on something that I'm planning for the blog starting the first post of the New Year.

I'm going to try an experiment and start "Vloging".  For those of you who don't know what that is, it is "video blogging".  Instead of writing everything so you have to sit there and read, all you have to do is watch and listen.  What do you think?  It will be just like a tutorial, however I'll just "show" you the cards.  I'll still post the pictures of the cards under the video, I'll still post a pic of the week, and a video of the week.  There just won't be a bunch of writing.  Would love to get your thoughts. . .please?

Do you have any New Year resolutions?  I've kept my list small. . .

1.  Get and STAY organized (especially in the craft room)
2.  Get cards done way in advance of when they are needed
3.  Do something new (Vloging)

Short and sweet.  I think it's doable.

Pic of the Week
Video of the Week
I love videos where different animals interact with each other.  It makes me think that humans can learn a lesson from these two!

Wishing you all the best that the New Year can bring.  May it be filled with joy, luck, love, and happiness.  Thanks to all of you for being such great blogging friends this year!  See you next year!


Curt O'Brien

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

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Hey All!!!

Happy Holidays to all of you!  It's really nice to see you here right before Christmas!  I'm honored that you took the time to stop by in this busy time.

I've decided to do this post quick and dirty!  LOL  I'm going to post only pictures of the last of my Christmas cards that I've finally finished with.  If there is anything you need to know like stamp, technique, etc. just let me know and I'll get you an answer.  Just make sure your Blogger account is set up so that I can reply to your comment.

Here are the photos!  If you click on the first one, you will be able to see all of them in the new slide show format that Blogger has now tied to photos in blog posts.

OK, that is the end of the Christmas cards for 2011.  Will you let me know which are your favorites?  I'd love to know if your favorites differ from mine.

I have to share this as the Pic of the Week:
These are the Christmas bandannas that Bonnie made for my boys!  Are these not adorable!?!  They have little felt bow ties on them.  And instead of tying at the back, she has sewn clip on attachments like you find on collars.  Thank you so much Bonnie!  The boys love them!

Here is a picture of my living room decorated for Christmas.  I made that wreath about 20 years ago and it is still going strong!

And now this is a MUST SEE video (very short).  It tells the story of Mary & Joseph but as if the Christmas story were happening today and how it all would be handled.  Not only did I think it was really well done, I marveled at how well they captured what it would be like today!  Double click on the video itself to get a larger view.  Please watch:
Was that not amazing!  I've watched it 5 times because there is so much you miss watching it the first time.  Whoever did this was amazingly creative!

Finally, I want to wish all of you the Merriest of Christmases and I hope the New Year brings you all luck, love, happiness, and all of the things you hold most dear.  Thank you to all who have sent me your beautiful Christmas cards.  I'm honored that you spent the time to send these beautiful works of art to me.  I treasure them!

Love you guys!


Curt O'Brien

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

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Hey All!!!

PLEASE READ THIS:  For this week's "Video of the Week", I decided to install a fireplace for your enjoyment while you are here to keep you nice and cozy.  Just click the play button over there on the right and the fireplace will magically start burning.  Enjoy the warmth!

 OK, for those of you who were trying to send me snow. . .please either try harder or stop what you are doing because all I'm getting is frigging rain!!!!  And to top it all off, it was nearly 60 degrees here today.  As I write this post, it is raining so hard that you can hear the rain hitting the windows.  It's so hard to make Christmas cards when you are too warm and watching it rain.  I'm now changing the words to Christmas songs:

"It's beginning to look a lot like flooding. . .everywhere I go"  or. . .

"Big Puddles Big Puddles. . . puddles all the way". . .    or. . .

"I'm dreaming of a dry Christmas". . .  You get the picture. . .LOL

But Christmas cards I have made and I'm on a roll and getting quite a few done!  Take a look:
I do very few "clean & simple" cards because I'm not good at them.  However, I'm liking how this one turned out.  I actually hand crafted the pine branch by stamping it end to end 4 times to get the length and once to the left and bottom to make it fuller on that end.  It is just a small one branch stamp.  But before stamping it, I cut out a rectangle with a die and used the negative as a mask to create the little rectangular blue space.  The snowflakes were stamped with Versamark before sponging on the distress ink.  It gives such a nice, subtle look to the flakes.  The "ornament" is simply a button with a gem glued to it.  Tied the tiny bow with my Bow Easy, added a piece of embroidery floss for the string, stamped the sentiment and done.  I've made several of these because they are pretty quick.

Next card:
My blogging friend Karen sent me this great stamp last year and I just think he is adorable.  Colored him with colored pencils and oms, cut him out and placed him on the background paper.  Stickled his buttons, berries etc, popped on a couple of glittery snowflakes and done.  Then image is by High Hopes and the sentiment is from a Tim Holtz set.  (Yes Mark. . . Tim Holtz).  TIP:  I had the snowman all colored and cut out and went to pick him up and got a big ink smudge from my thumb on his bottom section.  Instead of throwing it away and starting over, I stamped the image again on a piece of paper and cut out that section and paper pieced it over his bottom half!  Worked perfectly!!!!!

Next card is a very different kind of Christmas card. . .
This is more of a manly card and I do like how it turned out.  When I first bought this stamp set, I had other things in mind for it, but I never have used it until now.  I simply did the sentiment on my computer and printed it out on regular paper.  I have a very old paperback dictionary so I tore out the page that had "Christmas" on it, distressed it with Antique Linen distress ink as well as the typewriter stamped image.  I cut the typewriter out and cut a slit in it to put the paper in, taped it to the back and popped it up with dimensionals so the paper stands up from the card.  Put it on some plaid background paper, added a ribbon with twine bow, and the "typewriter keys" are stickers.  The ring around the numbers/letters is actually metal so they feel like keys.  The image is by Hero Arts.

My last card for tonight is this one:
I had to take two pictures of this to actually show you what type of card it is.  From this photo it simply looks like the tree is on a panel, but it is not. . .take a look:
See!  It's a card with a punched out window.  No big deal, I know, but I wanted you to see it was a window card and not just one of my standard panel cards.  I don't make these much either!  This image is from Mark at Deadbeat Designs (a very talented and funny guy).  This is his tree stamp (large tree) and I added the birdhouse and bird from Artful Inkables.  I added liquid applique to the branches for a snow effect.  All the little snowflakes were punched out, Stickled, and hand applied inside and out.   

Pic of the Week
Since I don't have any snow yet this season, I had to post a pic of snow from last winter.  This is the park that the boys love the best and is in the "walking videos".  This was taken last February.

So that wraps up another edition of the Wednesday Evening Post.  Hope you enjoyed your stay and that the fireplace kept you nice and warm.  Can't wait to see you next week.  I'm on my way around to see all of you!  Hope you are getting all the stuff done you need to get done!

Love you guys!



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

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Hey All!

How the heck are ya??  Any snow yet?  Here in Carmel, not a stitch. . .we've had some flurries but that's been it.  Hard to be in the mood for decorating but I'm forcing it.  I've invited my Mom over tomorrow for a "Christmas decorating lunch".  I'm putting up the tree and decorations right after lunch with her help.  I will have wine in hand!

OK, on to the post.  All Christmas today with a couple of fun techniques.  Here is the first which is my favorite:
OK, pretty boring I know. . .until you slip off the belly band and get this:
This is another one of those pop up stage cards.  Here is a side view:
You know me and scenes.  I created one of these for Halloween.  These images are from Recollections cling stamps.  The bear took a LOT of fussy cutting but it was worth it.  I colored the images with Bic markers.  The "ice" is a cut out piece of patterned paper that I used diamond glaze to look like it was "real ice".  I then used liquid applique around the little pond to look like snow.  Not sure who the paper in the background is by.  SCS has a great tutorial for this card HERE.  So there is the first technique.  Here is the second:
This is an origami folded Christmas tree, and it is so easy to do.  I love how it looks, and I've made another one which I will show you next week.  You can find a great video on how to fold this tree HERE.  The embossing folder I used on this one is a new one from Sizzix.  It is pine branches and it is beautiful.  Here is a side view of the card to give you an idea of depth:

I used same embossing folder on the next card with another technique:
No matter how many photos I took of this, I could not pick up all the glitter.  I made the mats totally glittered by using ScorIt tape around the edges then loading it up with glitter.  It look so beautiful IRL.  I double stamped the pine cone and cut one out.  I colored both with markers and on the one I cut out, I cut out individual pieces and pulled them up for a ton of 3-D.  Then I glittered all of the prongs of the pine cone for more sparkle.  Here is a close up:
You can see a little more of the sparkle in this photo above.

Well, that's it for this post!  So glad that you stopped by.  If you have snow where you are, can you send some this way to help me get into the mood???  Thanks!

Pic of the Week
Video of the Week
This video is one of my favorites for Christmas.  If you've not seen it, you will LOVE it. . .watch for the Giant Schnauzer. . . 

Again, thanks for coming by and taking time to see my stuff.  Hope you've enjoyed yourself!

Love you guys!



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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Hey All!

Come on and get in here!  It's cold outside!  Here, have a cup of freshly made hot chocolate and go sit over there by the fireplace.  Gosh, it's so nice of you to drop by!  I've got some stuff to show you!

Well, I can finally show you something I've been working on for a couple of months!  And it's in VIDEO FORM!!!  Two first here. . . I made my first paper bag album and my first video showing you a project!!!  So you ready???  Here is the video. . .it explains it all. . .
Bonnie loved it, and I'm so glad.  She has posted still pics of it on her blog HERE.

Here are my cards for this post:
A left over Thanksgiving card that I did not show you.  I love creating my own background paper and I made this using a stamp by Basic Grey.  I stamped the images with Forest Moss and Rusty Hinge distress inks.  The acorn image is by Inkadinkado and I covered the acorn caps with copper colored Stickles.  Added the wood grain ribbon and brads and done.

This started out being a Thanksgiving card and ended up as a thank you card.  I really like this bird stamp from Paper Girl clear stamps.  It actually stamps the gingham pattern.  Again I used distress inks for the bird images, cut them out, and popped them up on dimensional tape.  The wings are actually from another set and is actually a leaf!  LOL  I just thought they needed wings and the pattern on the leaf looked good with them so I went with it.

Now, my first Christmas card!!!!  Can you believe it?  Nor can I. . .
I've always liked this simple Santa hat image from Stampabilities.  It's colored with markers and then the white areas were done in Liquid Applique for texture.  The sentiment is Hero Arts.  I matted them onto red, sparkly paper for a little pizzazz.

OK, that's it for another visit.  Can I get you some more hot chocolate?  I've still got the "Pic of the Week" to show you and the "Video of the Week".

Video of the Week

Pic of the Week

OK, if you must go, I understand. . .here's your coat.  It was so nice that you popped by.  Hope you enjoyed the visit.  I know I certainly did.  Take care of yourself and I'll see you soon!



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

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Hey All!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!  I hope this post finds you surrounded by friends and family and filled with love and happiness.

Today's post is simply about thankfulness.  No matter what your situation is in life, there is always something to be thankful for.  Sometimes it's hard to remember all the blessings that fill our life on a daily basis, but that is what Thanksgiving is for.  To reflect on all of those gifts that are big or small that we are grateful for but generally take fro granted.

I could go on and on for all the things that I am thankful for, but I've narrowed it down to the top 10:

  1. My health-even though I have a few issues, overall I have great health.
  2. Jay-he's always an inspiration in how he deals with so much.  I've learned so much from him.
  3. My Mom and Sister. . .they are always there when I need them.
  4. My "boys".  I can honestly say I would be on medication if it weren't for their unconditional love.
  5. Freedom - We are so blessed to live in this country (despite the politicians!).
  6. My craft room, all my supplies, and my ability to create.
  7. My great neighbors and my neighborhood.
  8. Dr.s and nurses who dedicate their lives to the sick and injured - Where would we be without them?
  9. Walks with my boys every day.
  10. And last but not least, all of my wonderful blogging friends.  You all make my life so rich and I am so very grateful.  Grateful for your support, your wonderful comments, and just the pleasure of "knowing" you.

I'm going to leave you with an incredible video that I was fortunate to find.  I have watched it several times and each time I am more inspired.  This is one of those videos that the five minutes you spend watching it will change something in you - the words are amazing.
Again, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!


Curt O'Brien

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

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Hey All!

Can you actually believe that it is a week before Thanksgiving????  Didn't Halloween just end last week???  Where does time go?  I feel frazzled but like always, you all look incredible and calm.  Amazing!

OK, on with the post.  I ADDED A NEW VIDEO TO THE SIDE BAR!  Many of you said you enjoyed the walk with Shotsy & Gunther that I did last Winter and asked if I'd do another one.  So, I now have recorded an Autumn walk.  So, if you are so inclined, go take a hike. . .err I mean a walk with us!  LOL

Now for my cards and project.  Take a look:

These are small boxes that I created to sit at each setting at the dinner table for Thanksgiving.  I wanted them to be functional, so each contain chocolate dinner mints (Andes) for after the feast as well as a decorated toothpick!  How's that for functional?  The two boxes on the side were done with DSP (don't know, didn't look) and the middle one is done with plain cardstock and decorated.  I stamped the turkey and colored it with Bic markers then attached it with a dimensional.  The leaves on the other two were cut with Nesties and the CB, added Stickles, a button, and some twine.  Filled each box with natural shred then added the mints and decorated toothpick.  Each mint was painstakingly wrapped with matching DSP.

Here's a card:

Another one of my beloved House Mouse images.  This one is new to my collection.  I splurged and bought it at Hobby Lobby.  I got it for 40% off!  Colored with my colored pencils and oms.  The sky was sponged with distress ink.  I did a lot of fussy cutting of the leaves on this one so it would look like he is throwing them out of the picture and onto the card.  I also cut out the 3 above him and popped them up with dimensionals for a 3-D effect.  I really do love how this one came out.

Last card:

My first Winter card!!!  Yikes!  The snowman and sentiment are by Crafty Clear stamps.  Colored with a combo of Bic markers and colored pencils/oms.  There is lots of glitter on this one, but you can't see it unless you click and make it bigger.  The white background is also embossed with the Swiss Dots ef, but you can't see that very well either.  Oh well. . .you are probably tired of looking by now anyway!  LOL

Pic of the Week

I just loved this shot when I got it uploaded.  I believe that this is an Ornamental Pear tree sprout coming up wild in the field.  Even the "sprout" was dressed for Fall in the midst of the browns and beiges.

Video of the Week

This video makes me laugh every time I watch it.  And who says dogs don't have feelings!?!

OK, that's it for another post.  I hope you are all well and happy.  Again, I'm so pleased you joined me for another Wednesday Evening Post and I hope you have enjoyed yourself.  It's always good to have you here and you are always welcome!

Love you guys!


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

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Hello Everyone. . .

Before I begin my post tonight I have to pay tribute to a remarkable young woman who lost her brave battle with stomach cancer this past Monday.  Katie Renz was diagnosed with this horrible disease about a year ago and it took her from us much too soon.  Katie turned 40 this year and leaves behind 3 kids (two very young twin sons) and her amazing husband Kevin.  I've been following Katie's battle for almost a year, and I have been overwhelmed by her spirit and courage.  She has truly been an inspiration to me as has her husband Kevin who was always there for his beautiful, sweet wife.  They both faced this disease head on with incredible courage and grace.  I can't tell you how many times I cried reading some of her posts and what she was going through.  I have actually cried several times over the past couple of days thinking about her.  As I wrote in my last comment on her blog, this world is a dimmer place now without Katie's light.  If you weren't aware of Katie's battle or her blog posts, you can find her blog HERE.  Rest in peace dearest Katie. . .

The post tonight will be shorter than usual because I'm really effected by Katie's passing.  It just feels odd to me to do the post tonight in my usual manner. 

I don't normally use a lot of digital images but this one is certainly an exception.  For those of you who are always looking for "manly" images, this would be perfect.  The digital image is from "The Digi Doodle Shop". Judy Thompson is the owner and she delivers amazing customer service.  I've gotten several images and you'll be seeing more of them soon in future posts.  You should go take a look at what she has to offer there.  These are very high quality images.  I colored this one with my colored pencils and oms.  The pumpkins were created by lots of masking.  The pumpkin image is by There She Goes.  I placed the image a little cock-eyed to add a little more interest.
Here I've made another one of my "scene" cards for Autumn.  The tree and fence are by the ever so talented Mark at Deadbeat Designs.  Right now Mark is doing his "6 Tags of Texmas" on his blog HERE. The fence is actually double stamped on top of the first image to make it a 4 rail fence instead of a 2 rail.  The pumpkins are from Tapestry Stamps.  The leaf stamp is one I cut from a vine stamp from some set long ago.  I colored them in with various colored Stickles for lots of sparkle.  The background was created with sponging using Distress Inks.

The last card for the post is just a quick card I made to include what I call the "Ruff Report".  I "babysit" for various neighbor's dogs from time to time, so I create a report for each job to let the owner know what went on during their absence (the times I was there, feeding times, etc.).
This is made with various scraps of paper left over from another project.  I created the "leather collar" by running the paper through my CB with a CB folder, rubbing it with Versamark and embossing with clear embossing powder to give it a glossy leather look.

OK, that's it.  Sorry for the mood downer of this post, but I just admired Katie so much and the blogging world has truly lost a wonderful blogger.  Please keep her family in your prayers as they navigate the next several difficult days.

Pic of the Week
KATIE RENZ 1971 - 2011
Take care all. . .

Hugs, Curt

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

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Hey All!

I see you survived Halloween no worse for wear!  Good for you!  I'm kinda sad it is over, but I was getting a little tired of making Halloween cards.  As you can see, the blog is now dressed for Thanksgiving as well as a new pic of the boys who are always ready to welcome you!

OK Bonnie, you can relax. . .no hiding left over cards from Halloween.  So, on with the post!

As I looked through stamps to do cards for this post, I realized that I have horribly neglected my House Mouse/Happy Hopper/Gruffies stamps.  So I pulled out the ones I could use for Thanksgiving and here are the cards I made:
This is one of my favorite Happy Hopper images.  The apples always remind me of Autumn.  Right before I put this card together, I turned and through all the pieces on the table behind me.  When I went to grab them to assemble the card, the mat pieces kind of landed like they are in the finished project.  I kinda liked the look, so I went with it.  I colored the image with my colored pencils and oms.  The background paper is from a DCWV stack.  I love coloring these images.

Here is the second one:
Another one of my favs for Thanksgiving from House Mouse.  I love how they are being civilized by using their little spoons.  Again, I colored these with colored pencils and oms.  The background is from the same DCWV stack as the one above.  Those jewel leaves came from the $1 bin at Michael's.  There are 20 of them in a box.  What a deal!  The sentiment is from Peace and Plenty stamp set by Waltzing Mouse.

Last card for the post is this one:
Again, another great House Mouse/Happy Hopper image for Thanksgiving.  And again colored with my colored pencils and oms.  Patterned paper is from The Paper Studio, and I didn't notice what stamp set I used for the sentiment.  I believe it is from Stampabilities clear stamps.

So, there are the cards for this post.

Pic of the Week
I'm also adding a new feature to my blog which I hope you will like.  I'm calling it "Video of the Week".  I do a lot of surfing on YouTube, and I find some of the coolest videos, so I thought I would share these that I either find funny, interesting, nostalgic, etc.  I promise to only choose videos that are less than 3 minutes long.  So here is the inaugural video.  It falls under "Nostalgia":
 I just found this amazing and such an example of how things have changed.  Can you imagine Santa selling Camel cigarettes????  LOL

Hope you are all well.  Thanks for stopping by.  I'm working my way around to your blogs and I'll be seeing you shortly!

Love you guys!


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

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Hey All!

I'm so sorry for being late with this post, and to tell you the truth there is no good reason for it.  It was just a very crazy week all the way around, and I was just plain exhausted to be honest.  But thank you to all of those who sent me emails of concern.  I'll make you a promise. . .from now on, if there is something wrong I'll post to let you know. . .if not, just know that I'm just running behind.  That way, you won't have to worry.  Love you guys for that!

OK, the last of the Halloween cards (Bonnie is sighing with relief).  HOWEVER!!!!  The first card was made with a stamp set that SHE sent me as a gift for Halloween!!!!  LOL  Take a look:
This is such a cute set and so different from the ones I have.  It is by Recolections.  Love the haunted house stamp and the ghost and bat are really whimsical (thanks again Bonnie!!).  I glittered up the bat with black glitter from MS.  I chose the background paper because it reminded me of the wrought iron gating that you would find in front of a big old scary house.  I stamped the house image right onto yellow cardstock.  The card was quick and easy!

The only stamping on the next card is the sentiment:
The scrolly spider web and spider were already part of a 12 X 12 piece of paper by TCP.  I simply cut the section out, matted it, and attached it to the background paper on my card.  Stamped the sentiment and done!  The spider is all glittery and the background paper I had kinda matched the swirly patter on the image.

The next two cards are kind of made to go together.  One is for my sister and the other is for my Mom:
I've had these window beveled die cuts for over 3 years and have never used them.  I thought that it would make a fun window scene for Halloween.  Started with black cardstock and added a punched out white moon that I stamped a couple of bats on.  Stamped the tree (Cowtown) in kraft white ink and then went over it with a glitter pen.  Drew the ghost myself and cut it out.  Taped the scene to the back of the window and then attached that to the background paper.  Stamped the small "boo" and done.

Here is the companion card:
As you can see, I used the same paper as if it were from the same wall in the room of the house that the window is in from the card up above.  I "built" the shelf from wood grain paper and then popped it up with dimensional tape.  The bottles are MS Halloween stickers.  As I placed them on the shelf, the spiders on the background paper kind of lined up and looked to me like they were grabbing or coming to grab some of the bottles.  So I went with that!  LOL  Stamped the "eek" and done.

Well, that's it for this post.  Again, so sorry it was so late.  Thanks for your patience and concern.

I want to wish you all a VERY HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  I hope it is fun and safe and filled with tons of treats and not tricks!  Here is the last Halloween related Pic of the Week:

Pic of the Week
And I'll leave you with a very old, classic Halloween Cartoon that always makes me laugh.  Enjoy!
Happy Halloween Everyone!!!


Curt O'Brien

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