Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Hey There!

I thought I might see you here!  It's good to see you, and I swear you've never looked better!!  Come on in and take a look around.  I'm so glad you are here!  I have a special new product to highlight at the end of the post that I think you are really going to like!

Well, last week I told you that fabric would be involved in this week's cards, and true to my word, you will see the use of fabric.  You know what else you'll see???  I figured out my sewing machine!!!!  LOL  I'm so relieved. . .at least for the moment.  It's one of those deals where I'm going to be very leery for awhile.  Anyway, I am almost positive that I had NOT WOUND THE BOBBIN CORRECTLY.  I knew I had threaded everything correctly, but the thread on the bobbin seemed to be loose when I did the winding on the machine.  When I put the newly wound bobbin in, it worked like a dream again.  Thanks so much for all of your suggestions.

OK, on to the card with some fabric and sewing!
The printed background on this card is all fabric.  I loved this print, and when I saw it, I pictured this stamp going with it.  The stamp is by Penny Black.  I zig zag stitched the fabric onto the black mat.  I stamped the image, cut it out with Nesties, matted it on black, then used Stickles for the red berries for a little touch of color.  Stamped the sentiment, used a regular hole punch to run the tweed ribbon through.  Added the two silver and red brads and done.  My stitching isn't perfect but I can live with it.

My next card also uses fabric . . . take a look:
The image is stamped on "Duck Cloth".  It has a look and feel of canvas, but it is a little more tightly woven and frays like a dream!  I stamped the image with Distress Ink (Rusty Hinge) onto the fabric then heat embossed it with clear detail embossing powder.  Helps the ink stand out more.  I found that using a solid image works best.  I created the background paper myself.  Attached the fabric with the glittery copper brads and added ribbon loops (ribbon has a wood grain pattern on it - very cool) for added interest.  I really love how this turned out.

My last card for tonight's post does not have fabric (unless you count the ribbon).  Here it is:
This is a Happy Hopper stamp.  It is relatively new to my connection.  I chose this stamp for the sentiment inside which reads "All You Really Need In Life Is A Friend Who Has Chocolate."  LOL  I colored this with my cheap colored pencils and OMS.  I also created the background paper using markers and a ruler so that it would match the colors of the tops of the candy.  Added a chocolate colored ribbon and bow to finish it off.

OK, now for a new product that I found!  I'm very excited about this find.  And I found the most wonderful woman who makes these!  Her name is June and is such a wonderful person with a fabulous brick and mortar (or shall I say logs) store in Zoar, OH.  Here is her product:
These are called "Easy Frames" and they come in the above set of 7.  What they are used for is to "frame" an area while using your Cuttlebug embossing folders!  How cool is that.  I just got them late afternoon yesterday, so I haven't had much of a chance to play with them.  However, I just had to try one so I could give you an example of what they do.  Take a look:
I used the top circle template and as you can see, your embossing folder embosses everywhere except where the cut out is.  These are so simple to use.  You simply put your paper in the embossing folder, lay the template on top of the folder and run it through your Cuttlebug.  I stamped the image above after the embossing was done.  Love these!  To get more info and to see some "real" examples go HERE.  Just scroll down and you can see some great examples and you will also be able to find out how to order a set of your own!

This was a really cool looking web that was covered in dew.  Click on it for some great detail.

OK, that's it for this post.  Hope you've enjoyed your visit as much as I enjoy you visiting.  I'm on my way to come see you next!

Hope you are all well and happy.  Thanks for being my blogging buddies.  I've got the best in Blogland!

Hugs to all of you!

Curt O'Brien

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Hey All!

How the heck are ya?  I hope this post finds you well and happy.  I have to start by apologizing for my little rant in my last post.  But all of you came to my rescue to try to help me.  Alas, I had already tried most of everything you all suggested to no avail.  I have not revisited the machine, but plan to this coming week.  If I can't resolve the problem, it is going back.  I have 60 days with receipt.  Nuff said. . .

To make up for the lack of projects last week, I worked really hard this week to provide you with stuff to look at, so here we go. . .I hope you like!

See this little tiny stamp?:

And yes, that is ink on my finger. . .Anyway when I saw this tiny little stamp a card set popped into my mind.  So I brought this little fella home and it created all of this:
This is the box I created to hold the "note" card set created by that little stamp.  The box is one of my favorite projects from Gina K. Designs and you can find the tutorial for it HERE.  Now, let's open it up:

Let's see what's inside. . .
See what one little, tiny, single stamp can do???  LOL  This is my "Just a Note" set.  And this was pretty much what was in my head when I picked up that little guy.  Here are a couple of pics of them:
These were quick and easy to do and incorporate the clean and simple style.  The single stamp is by Stampendous, the music page stamp is by Hero Arts, the sentiment is by Stampabilities, and the piano keys stamp is by Stampabilities, (yes, the little guy needed a little help).   Hope you like my set and that it gives you some ideas for that little stamp that is sitting around in your collection waiting to help you with your cards!

Next on the agenda. . .get ready. . .it's coming before you know it. . .prepare yourselves . . .
EEEEEEEKKKKKKKKK!  Hey!  If people can post Christmas cards already, I certainly can start my Halloween cards. . . .right?  LOL  Now I know that this looks really simple and doesn't look like much. . . ahhhh but that is the intent.  For when you slip off the belly band, this is what you will find:

What do you think???  This is a "pop-up stage" card which was the highlighted technique on SCS last week.  You can find the tutorial HERE.  I so love how this turned out!  I used a combination of stamps/sets here.  I made the floor from scratch by using a piece of mottled paper then scoring the "planks", and then drawing the lines and "nail holes".  The wall paper is DP, the chair (stamped on DP and cut out), the picture on the wall, the fireplace, the witch's hat on the bear's head, and jack-o-lantern are all by There She Goes Stamps.  The bears are all from one stamp from the Gruffies line.  Everything was colored with my cheap colored pencils and oms.  You can count on more of these to come in future posts.  I have a ton of ideas for this card style!

Now to a couple of cards that have sad stories. . .

This is a Mo Manning digital image that I just love.  It is really the only "cat" image that I have to use for "cat" cards.  I was at my local Archivers store this past week and found out that one of the young ladies that works there had to put her cat to sleep.  So I made this one for her.  If you are reading this Kacy, this card is on its way to you.  (Myrna, I wish you would get yours soon!) My very sweet blogging buddy Myrna also lost their sweet cat as well, and I sent her a card weeks ago and it still has not arrived (she is in Canada).

And on the dog side. . .
Our very sweet neighbors across the street from us lost their beloved "Jake".  He was the sweetest dog, and became ill very suddenly.  I wanted the card to be simple and only highlight the sentiment.  The sentiment is a Northwoods stamp that a friend of mine got for me awhile back.  I took the card over to them and talked about Jake and cried.  Jake will be so missed by many. . .

OK, that's it for this week's post.  Hope I made up for the "bitch fest" I laid on you all last week.  LOL  I still sneer at that damn machine each time I walk by it!  But I thank you all for your wonderful attempts to help.  With or without the machine, next week's items will incorporate fabric!

Until next week, take good care of yourselves and be happy!  Thanks so much for stopping by.  Wish I could serve you some "cyber beverages" while you are here!  Thanks for always leaving such awesome comments.  I cherish them, I really do.

Pic of the Week:
Such a sweet little beauty stopped to pose for me this week.  Love that it casts a shadow on the leaf.

Hugs to all of you!

Curt O'Brien

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

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Hey All. . .

First, this is a post where I'm going to bitch, moan, and whine for awhile, so be prepared. . .There are pics of my room below if you just want to bypass my whining. . .

OK, I thought I would go ahead and post why I'm not posting any cards tonight. . .(I am posting pics of my "room" that many of  you asked me to do.)  But, I thought maybe someone out there could help me. . .before I throw the damn sewing machine out the window!!!!  Yes, you heard me. . .

I was working on three projects this afternoon for tonight's post, and my STUPID new machine started doing something weird.  I have wasted a ton of cardstock, fabric, and a ton of time (5 straight hours), and I finally just gave up.  So consequently, I have no cards to show (well, not necessarily true, I have one, but what is the point?) 

Here is the problem. . .the top thread keeps breaking in the middle of sewing, and the stitches are all funky looking.  I've read the damn manual (can you tell I'm really pissed off right about now?) and tried everything.  Here are the things I've tried:

1.  Re-threading the machine (5 times!)
2.  Adjusting the stitch tension (1,000 times!!!)
3.  Rewinding the bobbin and double, triple and quadruple checking to make sure it is put in place correctly.
4.  Tried other stitches (same problem)
5.  Did everything the manual said to try.

It is weird because it is NOT knotting up at the bobbin, it is like something up above is causing the thread not to "flow" smoothly somewhere between the thread spool and the needle.

I had such great luck with it the first time I used it.  This is the second time I sat down with it and I swear, I'm not a stupid person, but for the life of me I can't figure out what is wrong.

Any suggestions???  If I can't get through this, I'm taking the sucker back, and trying something else.  I'm so frustrated!  I've got so much stress going on, and the one thing that usually takes the stress away for awhile is now what's giving me more.  I could just spit!  Sorry for the rampage, but today was the only day I had a hole afternoon to "play" and all I did was cuss and throw tantrums and waste so much time and stuff.

OK, here are pics of my room:
Here is my room as you walk in the door.  The room is about 21 X 16.  It is the only room upstairs.  It was called a "bonus room" and it is directly over the garage.  The boys had to be in the picture.
My main work area
Where I store most of my paper.

I made these shelves out of drawer fronts from an old chest of drawers we had.  How's that for recycling?  I made them primarily to display my House Mouse stamps.
Here is the other shelf holding the rest.  I now have 117!
This proves you can get great storage solutions for not a lot of money!  I got this "media rack" at the local Goodwill store for $2.99!  It matched my desk and it turned out to be a great place to display all of my most used wooden stamps.  It currently holds over 50 stamps.
This is looking now from the other direction towards the door.
The HATEFUL sewing machine!!!!
A little amateur thing I built to hold my ribbon. . .as you can see, I still needed more storage for ribbon in the plastic boxes.
Gunther is ready to help Daddy stamp!!!
The crafty werewolf!!!  LOL 

OK, that's it for this post.  I'm so depressed. . .I was so looking forward to mastering the sewing machine and it ended up throwing me on the floor and beating me up. . .yes, still whining.

Thanks for looking and listening. . .hope someone out there can give me a suggestion. . .if not, it is going back in the box and back to where it came from!

Hugs to all of you!


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

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Hey All!

I swear to you that I must have this mental ailment where you have blackouts and days pass without you being aware!  Where does the time go?  Honestly, the only excuse that I have for this post being late were my priorities for last week.  I helped my Mom move last week, and when you add a major item like that to your already hectic schedule, something has to give.  Anyway, enough whining!

Now, instead of "whining" how about some "winning"?  I have a WINNER for my blog candy which I had posted last week.  Only I'm going to make you work to see if you are the winner. . .I'm such a brat aren't I???  I'm hiding the name of the winner somewhere in this post!  LOL  Since I didn't really make you work to enter, I'll make you work to find out if you won.  When you find your name, send me an email ( with your snail mail address and I'll get your prize right out to you.  You have 4 days from the date of this post to respond or I'll have to choose another winner.  And to all those who didn't win, I'm sorry and I wish you could all have won.  OK, on to the post (happy searching)!

First card to share:
The only thing stamped on this card is the sentiment on the mat (Waltzing Mouse).  I needed a "new home" card, and was looking for inspiration and this is what I used (CLICK HERE) I didn't want to do the standard "little house" stamp and I thought what a great idea to just do a "door".  I made it kind of "rustic" looking.  The "siding" was strips cut out and ran through my CB.  Everything on the door (except the brad for the door knob) was either hand cut or die cut.  I made the flower pots from scratch, and all those little flowers are hand cut from some printed paper I had.  Talk about my fingers hurting!  But I do like how it turned out.  I'm not a big fan of "punch out" cards, but sometimes they can be cute.

Second card:
This is quickly becoming one of my most favorite color schemes.  On the left panel, I heat embossed the feather image after stamping it with Versamark and using clear ep.  The right panel I dry embossed with my CB.  Colored the bird image with my pencils, added a ribbon and made a double bow with my Bow Easy.  The feather and bird image are both by Inkadinkado.  I made this for a young neighbor woman's 81 year old Mom who broke her femur!  Ouch!

Last card to share. . .
As any of you who have been following me for awhile know, I'm a HUGE Fall/Halloween fan.  So I'm thinking that since time seems to be flying by so quickly, it is time to get a jump start on the Fall season cards.  I sponged the background after stamping and embossing the wheat image in clear ep.  That way, the wheat resisted the ink and maintained the original color.  The little "strap thingies" came out of my head. . .(well, not literally!)  I used the SU word window punch and just wrapped them behind the card after putting a little dark copper brad in each.  I kinda like 'em. . .

One quick project:

Don't forget you can turn the above into this:
I made this little recycle project for my friend Nina here in the neighborhood for her birthday.  It was filled with Ghiardelli (sp?) chocolate squares.  I just wrapped the can in dp, cut the top panel with a circle (Cardscrapper you are the winner!!!!  Congrats!!!!!) with my Nesties, added a ribbon and bow, done!

Well, there you have it.  I didn't take the time to take pics of my craft room.  I need to clean it up first before I let you see it, so that will be for next week!  Congrats to the winner!!  After taking out the one multiple comment and the one's that said to exclude them I ran and the winning number was 36.

Hope you are all well!  Thanks for visiting me.  I'm on my way to see what you've been up to.  I always enjoy my visits with you!  Hope you had a safe and happy 4TH!



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