Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Hey All!

How the heck are  ya????  Hope you all are in the middle of a wonderful week.  I know it will be a little better for one of you, because I have a winner of my blog candy to announce.  Now, I was going to make you wait until the end of the post, but who the hell am I kidding?  You'd scroll right past everything to the bottom to see if your name is there.  So, drum roll please. . . . . . . . . . the winner of Curt's Playhouse blog candy is. . . . . . . .Gina Wrona!!!  Congrats Gina, I'm very happy for you!  Please email me with your snail mail address (to confirm you saw this post) and I'll get your package right out to you!  For all of you who didn't win, I'm sorry. . .I truly wish I could send you all a package.  I'll be having another blog candy soon. . .so stay tuned.

On with the post. . .

A couple of weeks ago, Splitcoast Stampers had their weekly project.  It was a quilt card.  I'm not a quilter, but the lady across the street who always looks after us (last big snow she called and said she had an extra rotisserie chicken in case we needed it!) is a great sewer and has a beautiful quilt hanging in one of the rooms in her house.  So, I decided that was reason enough to make her a note card set.  Here are the pics:

This is the box that I made to hold the cards.  I made a quilt for the top of the box as a hint of what is inside. . .here are the individual cards:

And all of them together. . .

I thought that these would be difficult, but they were pretty easy once you got a system going.  To make the patterns easier to place, I cut a square the size of the finished "quilt" (4" X 4").  I then covered the square in a tight grid of strong tape.  Once that was ready, I slid the square into the left hand corner of my Score Pal.  Then starting at the top, placed each piece based on the pattern I was following.  If you go to the quilt card tutorial HERE, they supply you with a website with tons of different quilt patterns.  I really had a blast making these though it got tedious by the box lid quilt!  LOL  My neck was getting stiff.  All the squares are 1".  Since this is a "note card" set, I did not use sentiments, plus I didn't want sentiments to detract from the pattern.  Hope you enjoyed these and try one or two.

I have just a couple other quick cards I wanted to share. . .

This is a sympathy card I made for my blogging friend Audrey who recently and sadly lost her very young nephew.  I wanted to send my condolences because she is such a wonderful blogger and such a wonderful friend.  Again Audrey, I am so sorry. . .

The last card was a combo attempt at "clean and simple" and a "man" card. . .

Good "man colors", but I was bound and determined to use a ribbon on it.  So I did one of those neat folded styles.  The Fleur de lis  bottom part is done in gold embossing.  Simple yet manly wouldn't you agree???  LOL

OK, that's it for another Wednesday post.  Still working on organizing some fun new changes that are coming for my blog.  I want to keep it fresh and fun for you so you keep coming back.  I want it to be fun and interesting and hopefully I've shared something that inspires you or I've shown you a new technique that you would like to try.  Whatever the case, I just want it to be worth your valuable time to come here.


OK, I thank all of  you for stopping by and visiting me.  You know how much I love having you here and I so appreciate all of you!  Hope you all have a good rest of the week, and I'll be seeing you on your blogs in the next few days!

Love you guys!


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

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Hey All!

First and foremost, thank you so much for all of your wonderful words of encouragement regarding my week from hell.  Each and every one of them meant the world to me.  I feel like I was being such a whiner when I posted that.  There are others out there far worse off than I am, and I need to remember that and be grateful for that. . .

OK, I'm going to start off with cards, then I will unveil the BLOG CANDY at the end of the post.  I not only hit 250, I'm now at 260 at the time of this post.  Welcome to all of my new followers, and I hope you find this blog worth your time.  On with the post. . .

First card is a card I'm entering into a challenge.  As many of you know, this is very rare, but the host of the challenge berated me miserably into playing along. . .   :P  Ted at Happily Ever Crafter has a challenge this month which is to create a Valentine for someone special in your life.  HOWEVER, the stipulation was that the sentiment on the front AND inside the card had to be done in your own handwriting!!!  I hate my handwriting as many of us do, so this was definitely a challenge for me.  Here is my card:

As if you can't tell, the "Always" is in my own handwriting. . .here is the inside sentiment:

OK Ted!!!  I played. . .are you happy now?!?!?  I have been seeing loads of these flag stamps and I really do like them a lot.  I also created  the background paper simply by stamping Versamark ink on plain red paper to create the watermark effect.  Moving on. . .

This is my attempt at the "Zindorfian" techniques.  I Love Michelle's work, and when I saw this tree stamp at Michael's on sale a couple of months ago, I knew I would use it for this type of card.  If you are not familiar with Michelle Zinidorf's beautiful work, you can visit her blog HERE.    

Next is this one:

This card used 4 different stamps.  I don't know why this card was stuck in my head, but I'm glad it is out.  I had pictured a bird on a limb with a little balloon in its beak to go with Mark's "Happy Bird Day!" from Deadbeat Designs.  It's still a little plain and I feel it needs something, but it is now out of my head!

Last but not least. . .

This is a box I came up with to hold this. . .

This is just a sheet of paper scored and then a pocket added inside to hold the large size chocolate bar.  I made one each for my Mom and Jay's Mom for Valentine's day.

OK, now for the blog candy.  Here is the picture followed by the list of what's in it:

It includes:

1 - Cuttlebug embossing/die cut set (includes 4 mini folders and mini dies)
1 - Package of Tim Holtz Tissue Tape
1 - Ranger Distress Ink Forrest Moss (my personal favorite color)
5 - Laurie Furnnel unmonted rubber stamps (winter themes)
2 - 1 Pound Scrap Packs
1 - Crafter's Workshop 6 X 6 Template
1 - Sweet November rubber stamp
1 - Sugar Nellie rubber stamp (Strawberry Tea)
1 - Elizabeth Bell rubber stamp (Sugar Plum Rainy Day Emma)
1 - Hero Arts Sparkle Clear Stamp set with gems
1 - Quickutz Embossing Folder - Plants
1 - Pink Poison rubber stamp
1 - Decorated 5 X 7 journal
1 - Package of 2 mini frames
A few unlisted surprises

How's that?  Here's what you have to do to win:

1.  Jump up and down on one foot and say booga booga
2.  Stick your index finger in your mouth and make a popping noise
3.  Twirl around over and over until you are dizzy
4.  Point at a perfect stranger and start laughing hysterically
5.  If you have more than three ears, you get a second entry
6.  If you have ever worn two different colored shoes out in public you need not enter

LOL, that's about what I feel other blogs put you through just to win some stuff.  Not here.  Just leave a comment on this post and I will use Random.Org to choose the winner.  You have until next Tuesday (February 22nd) at 11:59 PM EST  I will announce the winner on the next Wednesday Evening Post.  Simple enough?  Good luck to all of you!

Thanks very much for taking the time to visit me.  I know how busy you all are and I am humbled that you spend some of your valuable free time with me.

All my best to you guys!  You are the best!


Curt O'Brien

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

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Hey All!

I'll try to keep this as brief as I can. . .

Well, it was a week from hell. . .First my internet was out until last night.  I was going absolutely nuts without it.  Something about the wiring being effected by the ice that kept the signal from getting to the "box".  Finally it was fixed, and then the mountain of email to go through and sort out.  But that is the silver lining because there were so many emails from you guys worrying about me and wondering if I was alright.  I was overwhelmed by the amount of emails showing such concern and saying such wonderful things.  I love you guys!

The second BIG catastrophe was horrendous!  I inadvertently left our garage door open all night.  It just so happened that it was the coldest night of the year where the temperature dropped to -4F.  Well I'm sure you guessed it by now. . .my pipes froze!  Jay woke me up around 6:45 AM saying that we didn't have any water.  Sure enough not only did the pipes freeze in the garage, they burst!  Water flooded through the garage and froze instantly to everything!  It was a horrible mess.  I was covered in water trying to shut the water off.  When I couldn't find the shut off valve, I went out with the guy from the water company and started digging through 7" of snow and 3" of ice trying to find the main water shut off.  My jeans and coat froze solid, and when I walked the ice would crack on them.  I finally got the water shut off.  Long story short, we had to replace the water heater and the water softener.  So total bill for my stupidity . . . . .$4,200.00  I was just heartsick.  That was such a big hit to our finances. 

I then heard the news from a neighbor that our next door neighbor had a heart attack (ETA - She survived it and it will be OK).  I had just finished helping her shovel her driveway the day before and she seemed just fine.  It just made me feel awful and so weird how things in your life can change in an instant.  She had just brought Jay and I over some homemade potato soup with bacon and cheese the other night and I was returning her container with a thank you card when I heard the news.  Just really made me sad.

On top of all of that, Jay had a neurologist appointment to discuss going on a new drug with potentially dangerous side effects.  I also had to take him to the eye doctor to have tests run on his eyes to make sure he doesn't have a particular problem because the new drug could cause some big problems with his eyesight.  So just the anticipation of him being on this new drug causes me some concern and worry.  When he takes the first dose, he has to take it in the neurologist's office and be observed for 6 hours to make sure his heart rate doesn't drop too low from the drug.

So, it has been a stressful, emotional roller coaster week for me.  But it was nice to know that so many of you worried about me and were keeping me in thoughts and prayers without even knowing what was happening.  You guys are amazing.  I even heard from some whom I have never heard of before who follow my blog but have never left a comment!  Thanks to all of you.  It's nice to know I have so many out there that care about me.

As far as the post, I'm going to wait till next Wednesday to post.  I've got the blog candy prize pack to offer up and some fun stuff to show, so I'll just make it a colossal post then.  Hope that is OK.

Again, thanks to all of you out there who sent me emails of concern.  You don't know what it meant to me. 

See you guys on Wednesday. . .God willing :P


Curt O'Brien

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

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Hey All!

Welcome to February, the official month of LOVE.  And I love that you came by to see me again!  As of this writing, I am officially at 249 followers. . .only one more needed for my blog candy give-away to kick in.  So which one of you lurkers are going to step up and follow me openly. . . huh???  LOL  I've been cleaning and reorganizing so the stash for the give-away has grown.

I want to start off tonight's post with highlighting a brand new crafter who has entered Blogland for the very first time.  I'd like for you to meet BONNIE and her brand, spanking new blog "The Pink Dawg House"!  (APPLAUSE) Bonnie has been a blogging friend of mine for some time now.  She is so talented and is the "Mom" to 3 Miniature Schnauzers, so you know she is A-OK in my book!  She does beautiful work.  So, can you show her a huge, warm welcome to this blogging world of ours and go leave her some love so she'll continue to be a citizen of this wonderful world of ours?  You'll love what you see!

OK, on to tonight's post. . .Here is the first card:

This card was inspired by another very talented blogging buddy of mine, Jackie of Just Stamp It.  Look HERE to see what inspired me.  I loved the beautiful simplicity of her cards.  I am always nervous making clean and simple cards.  But when I saw this stamp set, I new it would make the job easy.  This image is from Stampendous.  I stamped it directly on the card base and colored it with markers.  I stamped the image a second time and cut out two of the flowers (top and bottom) and placed them slightly offset with foam tape.  The butterfly and sentiment are from different sets.  I used FlowerSoft for the centers of each flower.

My next card:

I so love this wonderful take on a side step card.  Here is the site complete with a video tutorial.  My doctor and his wife are expecting their second son this month, and I wanted to make them an out of the ordinary baby card.  When I saw her dresser cards, I was in love and new this was what I was going to make.  The bear is cut out from embossed paper by K & Company that I bought over a year ago.  The wonderful charm is from a gift goodie bag from my wonderful friend America (a former teamie at House Mouse Monday Challenge blog).  That top drawer is the same color as the other two, it is just the lighting.

Last card is my least favorite:

This is one of the main reasons I don't use die cuts on cards that I make.  When I saw this die cut (by Kwik kuts) I had this card in my head.  However it just doesn't do it for me.  The butterfly cuts in two pieces, the intricate top cut and the solid side.  It also cuts two slits on the body.  I used those slits to slide a ribbon through to hold the two sides together.  I wanted a dramatic look with the over-sized butterfly, but it was a little bigger than I thought it was going to be.  I'll try something else again with this.  The background paper was made using the a background stamp by Hero Arts.

Pic of the Week:

It is the month of love, right?  Look at the teeth on the brown one!  LOL  I love horses.

OK, that's it for this post.  Next post should be really exciting if I can get that 250th follower!  I'm also working on some new features for my blog that I think you will like.  I'm always wanting to make your visit here worth your time and fun for you.  So you can look forward to that in upcoming posts.

It has really been a rough week here in Carmel, Indiana weather wise.  OMGosh, we don't have snow, we have ICE and lots of it.  I have 2.5 inches of solid ice coating my driveway.  I know that a lot of you all over are having hard times with this crazy weather.  And I'm sending my friends down in Australia my most positive thoughts with the horrible storm you are facing.  Godspeed.

Thanks all for stopping by.  Love you guys! (month of love, remember?)


Curt O'Brien

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