Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Hey All!

I have to start by saying that I hope all my blogging buddies on the East coast are well and suffered no damage from that God awful Irene.  I've been watching the coverage of the devastating flooding and am just heartbroken for their losses.  I think we all need to say some extra prayers for those folks.  I know this sounds crazy, but the first thing I think about when I see devastation like that is "Can you imagine trying to recoup all your crafting supplies?"  I don't want to even think about it. . .

On with my cards.  As most of you know I am a freak for Halloween and love everything about the holiday and the Autumn season.  I walked the boys this morning and someone was burning leaves and the smell of that smoke was so exciting.  
Aren't these cute images?  I found these at Michael's in the dollar bin.  They are by Craft Smart stamps (never heard of them).  They are wood mounted red rubber and stamp beautifully.  They had a few more different images, but I stopped at these four.  When I saw them, I had this card in my imagination.  Super quick and easy to color.  You can see I decorated the inside too.  The sentiment inside says "Happy Halloween From Our Weird Little Family To Yours".  It is computer generated.

The next card is kind of special because it is from a Mystery Benefactor.  I went to my mailbox the other day and there was a package addressed to me but there was no return address on it.  Ironically, the postmark was really smudged and scrunched so I could not even make out where it was from.  I opened it up and there was this wonderful stamp and a note that simply read "I know how much you love Halloween, so when I saw this stamp at Archiver's, I had to get it for you."  The note wasn't even signed!  Here is the card I made with it. . .
Is this stamp not adorable?  I remember last year seeing a challenge blog where the challenge was to make a Halloween card using non-traditional colors.  I thought that was a fun idea, but never got around to doing a card for it.  This image was perfect for it and I'll be ready if I see one pop up this year.  If you click on it you can see that the ghosts are covered in glitter and the window has an acetate sheet behind the window frame for a little reality.  I stamped the image twice and cut the window out separately and popped it up on dimensional tape.  The sentiment is from another set.  The stamp is by Northwood.  So whoever you are out there that gifted this to me, I so appreciate it.  It was so nice of you, I just wish I knew who you are!  LOL

My last card for the night is quite different for me.  I've seen a Michelle Zindorf card sort of like this, and a couple of others and I really liked them.  So I made my own version.  Take a look:
This took a lot of sponging and masking, but I like the result.  I found this stamp at Joanne Fabrics and it is by Inkadinkado.  When I saw it, I knew it was going to be perfect for this card I wanted to do.  The lamp is a circle cut in half and I freehanded the post extending from it.  I highlighted it with a silver glitter pen because it kind of fades in with the night sky.  I'm sure you also noticed that this is one of those long cards.  I don't use this size much, but I like the size.  The inside sentiment says "Thanks for lighting my way." and was computer generated.  I love how the cat is looking up.

Well, that's it for another post.  Hope you've enjoyed what I posted tonight and that it gives you some ideas.  I've just about caught up on most of your blogs, but I still have a few to go.  So if I've not gotten to yours yet, you'll see me soon.

Aren't these weird looking?  They are the left over of some type of flower, but I loved the pattern that was on them.  Some of them look like perfect little star shapes.

OK, that's it for now.  Thanks for coming by to see me.  You know how much I love having you here.  You are so appreciated!

Love you guys and hope all is well in your worlds!


Curt O'Brien

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

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Hey All!

First, let me start by saying that I appreciated so much the kind words and thoughts you posted for me during my rough week.  Please know that I DO read each and every comment and am so honored that you think enough of me to leave them for me.  Please also know that the comments left on my last post meant so much to me and truly lifted my spirits.  I can't thank you enough.  Things still aren't the greatest yet, but we'll get there.

OK, I really struggled to get this post together.  I tried to create and with everything I'm going through right now, it was hard.  But I forced myself and came up with stuff to post.  Probably not my greatest work, but still worthy for a post.  Here we go. . .

I LOVE this digital image from Delicious Doodles.  I created the background by masking with the largest circle in my nesties set and then sponging on Black Soot distress ink for the night sky.  Then sponged the moon with various yellow distress inks.  I used an MS punch to create the "iron work".  To make it look like metal, I rubbed the cut out with Versamark then embossed the whole thing with silver ep.  Colored the image with my colored pencils and oms.  I also dotted the night sky with a silver gel pen for stars, but you can't see it very well in the photo.  To emphasize the eyes, I used yellow rain dots.  Another Halloween card to add to my collection!

This is a card where I created a frame by using Nesties.  The frame is popped up with dimensional tape.  I stamped the leaves then cut them out and attached them to the frame I created.  I generated the sentiment on my computer.  I ran the brown cardstock through the CB with a wood grain embossing folder.

This is not one of my favorites for tonight, but I chose to post it anyway for a couple of reasons.  This was an experiment card.  See the background?  I used Versamark ink, rubbing it on the protruding side of the CB embossing folder.  I've seen this done with colored inks, but not with Versamark.  I love the effect I got.  It is a perfect tone on tone look.  Almost duplicating the letter press look.  The second experiment was coating a metal (silver) buckle with Versamark, and then dipping it in copper ep and heating it with a heat gun.  I really like how it looks.  I didn't have a copper one, so by gosh, I made one!  

And finally, the "Pic of the Week":

YOU JUST HAVE TO CLICK ON THE PIC FOR A CLOSER LOOK.  Check out the tongue "thingy" on this little guy!  When I uploaded this pic for the first time to my computer and looked at it, I couldn't believe what I had captured.  Nature is amazing. . .

OK, gotta run.  I'm going to try to start to get caught up on all of your blogs.  Hang with me while I try to get to you.  I'll be there before you know it.

Again, thanks so much for your support.  I won't go into detail, but it has been a very rough two weeks and it has taken its toll on me.  It will be awhile before I get back to normal.  Thanks for being there.

Love you guys!



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

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Hey All. . . 

Just wanted you to know that there won't be a post tonight, but I'll try to have it up tomorrow night.  Jay has been in the hospital since Sunday, and I just brought him home this evening.  I've been so busy running between home and the hospital that I haven't had the time (or honestly, the desire) to create.  I do have things to post, but was just too tied up with all that is going on to get it published tonight.  I hope you will indulge me an extra night.  Nothing too serious with Jay. . .just another severe bladder/urinary tract infection.  With MS, this takes him almost to a weak, almost helpless situation.  So, that's the reason for not getting to your blogs this week. . .I'm so sorry I didn't get to visit.  But I'll catch up, I promise.  No need to comment on this post.  Don't want to have you comment on this one and then on tomorrow's.  Just wanted you to know what is going on and why there wasn't a post.  Thanks for your understanding. . .

Hope you are all having a better week than I am having. . .



Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Hey All!

I sincerely hope that his post finds you all well and happy.  Does anyone have any retirement funds left???  Can this world possibly get any crazier?  I just hope the financial effects have not affected you.

I've got some cards to show you, and no, I did not drink while making these!  I'll try not to make that a habit.  I also tried to minimize the full bottle of wine episode by saying that one bottle only consists of 3.5 full glasses. . .that doesn't sound too bad now does it. . .    :P

On with the post!  Here is my first card:

This is kind of a different card for me.  I normally don't do many images like this unless they are House Mouse images.  But this is such a cute image and I needed a get well card for an ill neighbor so it was perfect.  I don't know who the image is by because the image was sent to me by my sweet friend Sue.  I colored it with my colored pencils and oms.  I used the leaf image paper background to simulate the leaves of a tree and even ran the strip of cardstock through a leaf embossing folder to keep the theme going.  Not sure about that pink pillow though!  LOL  But it was for a nice woman and I wanted some pink in there so her little slippers, tissue box, and pillow got it.

My next card was for a very wonderful neighbor/fellow crafter named Nina.  She and her great husband Steve celebrated their 15TH wedding anniversary this past weekend so I made them this card:
I got the idea from an email newsletter from The Stamp Pad (the ones who sells the embossing templates I told you about in a previous post).  However I could not find a link to the actual card.  The images are from Inque and I stamped them simply with Versamark and embossed them with clear embossing powder to make them darker (I wanted more than just a watermark effect).  Stamped the sentiment and punched out a MS butterfly from DP and done.

My last card project has a WOW factor to it and all the credit for this design goes to an incredibly talented and creative lady.  Have you all been to Audrey's blog CUTE AND SOME? If you haven't, you have really been missing out.  Take a look at the card I made using her unique design:

Now, I know it doesn't look like much at the moment (and I could not get a good shot of this for the life of me).  But look at what you get when you slip the belly band off of this little guy. . .
Is this design not the most awesome ever?  She calls it the "Triple Twisted Easel Card" and boy is it ever easy to make!  This is one of those cards that really has the WOW factor.  She has an easy to follow picture tutorial on how to make them HERE.  I actually added the belly band to this card because, when closed, this card is a bit bulky.  The band holds it down and slides easily off to reveal the amazing insides of the card.  The image is a Gruffies image and it is colored with my pencils and oms.  I used liquid applique for the snow on the main image and glitter for the snow ridge on the side panels.  I also used silver tinsel embossing powder on the swirls for a sparkly effect.  This card when opened, measures a full 12" long.  Each panel is 4 X 4 inches.  She even shows you how to have them twist in any direction you want.  I'm telling you, she is always coming up with the most brilliant designs.  Thanks so much Audrey!!!  I hope I did your design proud, and I want to thank you so much for the tutorial.  You are awesome!

OK, there you have it.  We have been having some really hot weather and some great cloud formations.  I took this one this week while walking the boys in our favorite park:

These were some massive thunder heads building and the moon just added a really neat look to the shot.

I loved seeing everyone's work this week.  Some gorgeous stuff out there.  I'm so lucky to think that such talented people come to see me.  Can it get any better than that?

Love you guys!


Curt O'Brien

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

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Hey All!

How the heck are ya?  Hotter 'n Hell I bet!  LOL  However, in my humble opinion, "dewy" looks wonderful on you!  Can you believe it is August!?!  Dear Lord where is the time going?

OK I've got something a little STRANGE to tell you at THE END OF THE POST, so be sure you read it because I want to know what you think. . . now, on with the post!

I told my good blogging friend Myrna that I was heading up to my "man cave" with a glass and a bottle of my favorite wine to "create".  Well, that's exactly what I did. . .and I can't believe I drank the whole bottle!!!  My cards may be a little off, but I sure was happy with them at the time! LOL  Here is what I created "UNDER THE INFLUENCE":

I don't usually play along with sketch challenges, but I like this sketch a lot!  It was a Splitcoast Stamper's challenge (SC343) so I played along.  I wanted to do a monochrome look on this because let's face it, coffee and coffee beans are brown.  All images and the sentiment on this are by The Paper Studio.  If you look really close, I used a silver glitter pen on the steam coming from the coffee cup.

I wanted to do another monochrome card (think it was the wine?) and I also wanted a simple note card.  I really love this image by Stampers Anonymous.  I stamped it in distress ink (peeled paint) and then embossed it with clear ep.  Stamped the french writing on the mat panel (Inkadinkado) and then added a simple strip of sparkly ribbon.  You can see evidence of the wine taking effect because the image part is matted a little crooked on the green mat. . . LOL  I made all of these in one night!  And I'm presenting them in order. . . 

This is a variation of the sketch challenge for the first one.  Instead of using 4 strips in the background, I used only 3 (probably was getting confused by this point!  LOL)  I have no idea who this stamp set is by.  It is one of the very first ones I bought (3 years ago) and before I realized that people would want to know the stamp maker. . .Anyhooo I was looking for a sentiment and came across this one and started giggling. . .It's cute, but not that funny now, so I was obviously on the last of the wine by this point.  I stamped the spider webs and embossed them in white for the background piece.

So, there you have it.  Nothing too exciting except that they were made under the influence.  Now on to the strange thing.


Take a look at this photo:

I happened to look up while I was walking the boys and saw this beautiful hawk flying above.  So I snapped this photo.   Nothing really special right?  Take a closer look (if you click on it you will get a bigger image).  Look just to the right and above the hawk. . .see that little "spot".  OK here is your challenge.  For those of you with a photo editing program or something that can magnify the image, copy this photo and take a look at it magnified. . . . . .
I honestly think I have inadvertently captured a UFO.  I'm not joking.  I have the photo editing software called "Picasa" (fabulous and FREE from Google).  I noticed the "spot" and zoomed in thinking I had caught a jet.  But it looks nothing like a jet.  Under 800 magnification, you can clearly see a domed object with sun glittering off of the top of the dome and the respective shadow of its belly.  I have shown it to several people and their mouths drop open when they see it.  It is fuzzy to say the least, but there is no mistaking its shape or the fact that there is nothing (chemtrail) coming from the back.  As I said, I didn't even see it when I took the photo, it was only later that I discovered that it was in the photo.  WHAT DO YOU THINK?  It has me a little spooked.  I've always thought that we couldn't possibly be "alone" in this huge universe, but I've never had a personal experience until this photo.  Just thought I would share. . .And NO, I was not drinking when I was looking at the photo!  LOL


This little beauty played coy with me and it took me for ever to get this shot.  He/She kept opening and closing her/his wings so I shot about 15 times before I got them.  I'm always amazed at how their wings are exact mirror images of each other.  God does some great work. . .

OK, that wraps up another Wednesday Evening Post.  Hope you were entertained by my intoxicated creations and story.  Trust me, I normally don't drink like that, but I was having such a great time (obviously) listening to the radio (all 80's weekend) just jammin' and making cards. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Loved everything you all did this past week!  I think I hit all of your blogs.  If I missed anyone, I'm sorry.  BY THE WAY. . .I've been meaning to tell you all HOW I keep track and visit all of you. . .from my last post, I click on the comments and start at the top and visit everyone who left a comment that week.  I just click on the name and it takes me to your profile page and I click on your blog title there and then I visit.  That's how I've always done it.  I don't use the Google reader.  I feel it is a little more confusing to keep track of where I've been.  Especially if I am interrupted and have to come back to it later.  So, that's how I visit you.  When you leave a comment, that is my ticket to your blog. . .Anyone have a better way?

OK, Curt, Stop already. . . .I see a couple of you nodding off. . . LOL  Thanks for coming!  I'll see you on your blogs in the coming week!



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