Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Hey All!

I'm just going to come out and say it. . .There's not going to be a post this week.  I really need a breather, and I haven't had the mind or the inspiration to create.  I have thought all week about getting up there and creating, but when it came right down to it, I just didn't have the desire.  I've been taking care of Jay and his Mom quite a bit last week, and I've also been doing "Spring cleaning" projects that have just tuckered me out.  Today is a prime example. . .I went into my walk-in closet this morning, looked up at all the boxes that were sitting up on the shelves.  I went to the garage, got the ladder and pulled each and every one of them down and went through them.  I now have about 100 pounds of very old paperwork in bags and boxes that need to be taken for shredding. . .I went through paperwork that dated back to 1991.  I'm also starting to get rid of "junk" that has been in closets since we had the house built 10 years ago.  It's time for a garage sale!  So I'm just tired and a little sick of the constant rain and storms we have had over the last two weeks.  My grass is so long that I told Jay I was going to find some huge cutouts of buffalo and set them out in the yard for a wild prairie display!  LOL

OK, sorry for all the text.  Just wanted you to know I'm taking the week off and will be back with a post next Wednesday.  Now I can truly catch up on all of your blogs.  I can also spend a little time on my guilty pleasure playing some games on Pogo.  Are any of you members of Pogo?

Hope you are all well!  I'll see you on your blogs!


Curt O'Brien

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Hey All!

It's always good to see you.  I have the best looking readers in all of Blogland!  I sure hope that you all made it through the stormy weather of the past week unscathed.  I thought about many of you in the states that were affected.  We've had quite a couple of nights with heavy wind and rain, but thankfully, no damage.

Well, last week's poll revealed that the most aggravating part of our card making is CROOKED CUTS.  I'm with the majority there.  You have all read my rants about paper cutters that don't cut straight.  Coming in at a close second was SMUDGES.  Again that would be my second biggest frustration.  Thanks for participating.  I've got a new question up, so let your opinion count!

Nothing over the top for tonight's post.  I've been scouring the internet for some new creative ideas and have been coming up dry.  But I did create 3 cards for this post so here they are:

My first is a card I made duplicates of for a couple of neighbors and my doctor's office for Easter:

This is the newest addition to my Happy Hoppers collection.  This sleeping bunny is just adorable.  Looks to me like he ate everything in the basket and now is sleeping it off.  I colored it with my colored pencils and oms, added the bow and done.  I really do think this is a perfect Easter image.  This image is called "Hoppy Dreams".

Here is another Easter card:
Do all of you have those neighbors who decorate their outdoors for Easter?  I was inspired by those folks that decorate their trees and shrubs with brightly colored plastic eggs.  I really do love the DIY Topiary Stamp set from Flourishes.  I've used it more than any other stamp set I have.  So, I thought an egg covered topiary tree would be perfect for an Easter card.  I created the little eggs in Microsoft Word and cut them out.  Made the little tiny bow with the Bow Easy (love that thing).  I kind of like how it turned out.

This last one represents something that I normally don't do, but I did make an exception for this card.  This is almost an identical copy of a card I saw  HERE.  

I changed several things, but they look so similar.  I changed colors a bit, stamp, ribbon color, sentiment. . .but all in all it is a case.  I loved the look of her card and it was one of those classics that can be used for so many things.  Thank you Wendybell for the inspiration for this card!

I took this photo yesterday, and it just made me think that it was the perfect depiction of Winter giving into Spring.  You have the trees in many different stages, the dead grasses from Winter's cold and the greening up all happening in one scene.

OK, that's it.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  To all of those who celebrate Easter, I wish you many Easter blessings.  Easter also happens to be my Gunther's Birthday.  So along with Easter dinner we will be having the traditional ice cream birthday cake for dessert to celebrate his day.

Hugs to all of you!


Curt O'Brien

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

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Hey All!

I so apologize for the lateness of this post.  As some of you have asked me, yes "life got in the way".  I won't whine about what is going on, but I'm OK.  Thanks again to all of you who emailed me to make sure everything is alright.  I love you guys!

So, the poll results last week surprised me just a bit!  Over 72% of you voted that you RARELY use digital images.  Only 12% use them a lot, and everyone else was in between.   Yes, I'm in the rarely category, but I was sure that more people would use them sometimes.  I'm learning a lot about you guys!  Don't forget to vote in this week's poll!

OK, on with the post.  I have a 3-D project to share with you and two cards.  Here is my 3-D project first. . .It was a bear to photograph it.  So here it is:

With all the white, it's hard to see the sheep!  But this is a card set of 4 sheep in a little pen I made for them.  Each has one of these sentiments:

Love Ewe
Happy Birthday to Ewe
Thinking of Ewe
How Are Ewe?

Here are all the sheep let out of their pen:
These sheep are all over SCS, so they are nothing new and certainly nothing unique.  However, I did make the pen from scratch a well as the envelopes.  Speaking of envelopes, here is what the sheep look like sitting inside:
I used the MS scoring board to create the envelopes to fit.  The sheep are "clam shell" type cards that open from the top.  I used the largest scalloped circle to cut them out.  I also used the smallest scalloped oval for the "hair", and regular oval Nestie for the face and ears.  Ran 'em through a cuttle bug folder for the embossing.

Here is my second card:
This is one of those reverse image cling stamps from Hero Arts.  I've been having an issue using them until now.  I finally had an "Ah Ha" moment.  I had been trying to emboss them with white ep on white cardstock and then trying to color or paint them but with not much success.  Then I thought "why not just use white ep on colored cardstock and call it a day?"  LOL  It worked.  I used linen white ep on black cardstock to create this image.  Matted it several times and added a sentiment on the bottom.  Really was quick to do.

Last card for the post is an Easter card using a Prairie Fairy (Thanks Sue for the reminder!) digital image:
The inside sentiment says "Sending Love at Easter Time".  I love that squiggly big smile on his little face.  I did the cut out of the image so his ears are sticking out of the die cut.  He's colored with colored pencils and oms.

OK, that's it.  Hope you liked what you saw tonight.  I appreciate you coming to look and also your concern when I come up missing.  Thank you so much for caring.  I've been remiss in visiting your blogs last week as well, so I'll be catching up as usual.

Here is the Pic of the Week:              SPRING CROCUS
 I do hope you are all well.  Can't wait to see what you've been up to.  Thanks to my new subscribers.  Welcome!


Curt O'Brien

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

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Hey All!

Here I am. . .seems like I'm getting later and later with these posts!  Sorry about that.  But this post is BURSTING with photos!  So there is lots of eye candy for you tonight!

First, the results of my first poll were great!  Thanks for so many of you participating.  I was a little surprised by the top answer.  The question was "Where do you get most of your card ideas?"  Almost 50% of you stated you get your card ideas from surfing other blogs!  My vote went to the second most popular answer which was "places like SplitCoast Stampers".  I had over 90 people vote!  Tonight's new poll is up and has to do with this blog post tonight, so go vote over there on my sidebar!  I love learning about my readers.

OK, on with the post!  Here is my first card to share:

Isn't this image cute?!?  This is a Hambo digital image.  The inside sentiment says "Thought you might need a little lift".  LOL  Cute huh?  I colored it with my colored pencils and oms. 

Next card:

Another incredible Hambo digital image.  Again, colored it with colored pencils and oms.  The sentiment is computer generated.  I really can't tell about this image, but to me, it looked like they are wearing little knitted sweaters.  So that's what I went with when coloring them.  I came up with the sentiment and since I used the term "spring chicken", I went with fun Spring colors.

Here's my last card to share:

And again, another Hambo digital image.  I love whimsical, and this is such a fun image.  I used an MS punch for the grass there at the bottom, and I cut out an extra bunny (yellow sandals) and popped him up on dimensional tape.  I also made these images a little larger than most images (a real plus for digital images).  I wanted these great images to be dominant on all the cards.

If you noticed, all my cards have several things in common tonight.  They are all square cards, they all use Hambo digital images, the are all animal themes, and they are all colored with colored pencils and oms.  I normally don't use digital images.  I find most of them to be not well drawn (some almost look like they were drawn by very young children).  I'm also not a real fan of simple line drawings which most digital stamps are.  But there are some companies out there that really produce quality work.  Hambo is definitely one and so is Mo's Digital Pencil Too.  

OK, that's it for the cards.  HOWEVER, I wanted to share with you some photos I took today while I was out for a walk with the boys this afternoon.  These pics were taken along the same trail that you "walked" with me and the boys this past Winter.  Take a look at what we saw, I call this group "Signs of Spring":

I have no idea what type of plant this is, but that little bud in the center pops out this dark burgundy colored flower.
I don't know what this plant is either, but I loved the variegation and patterns on the leaves.

I don't know what these are either but they are so pretty and are popping out everywhere on the floor of the woods.
This little sprout growing in a hole of a tree trunk reminded me of the sentiment "Bloom where you are planted".
And this is a sure sign that Spring has sprung.  Love the perfect coil keeping itself warm.  It was about 58F here today with a brisk wind.  I read in an old Almanac some time ago that you can count on no more hard frosts when you see snakes out and about.  Here is a pic of this one's sibling which was not more than 5 feet away from this one:
Again, coiled up keeping warm.  I did "bother" this one with a stick because I wanted to see how long they were.  This one was about 3 feet long.  I believe these are common rat snakes and are not poisonous.  I have heard that for the most part, if a snake has a slender, long head (like this one) they are generally not poisonous.  If their heads are more square shaped they usually are poisonous.  But I would imagine there is always an exception to the rule, so I don't mess with them much.  I tend to keep my distance whenever possible.  I used a very long stick on this one and my camera's zoom lens is exceptional.
I love how this little cluster was huddled up in this cozy little alcove at the base of a tree.
And finally I just found the rippling roots of this tree covered in this beautiful green moss so interesting to look at.

So, you can consider those an extra dose of the "Pic of the Week".  Hope you enjoyed them.  I'm loving seeing the daily changes as Spring takes hold.

OK, hope you've enjoyed this edition of my blog.  I so appreciate you coming by and I'm so glad that you do.  I always look forward to your comments and coming to see what you've been up to this week.  I appreciate you so much!

Hope you are all well.  Hugs to all of you!


Curt O'Brien

"God, please help me be the person that my dog's think I am."