Curt's Best Shots Slideshow

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Hey All!

I hope you all are doing fine.  I've sure missed you, and hope you can forgive my absence from your blogs this past couple of weeks.  THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the heartfelt comments you left for my and Jay.  You honestly don't realize just how much they meant or how much they were really appreciated.  Jay has been transferred to a rehabilitation hospital and will be there for the next 10 to 14 days.  He is doing much better, so those thoughts and prayers you were sending sure did help!

I have forced myself to take some time and make a few cards.  I need to make a bunch more, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it.  I'll get them made as pressing issues allow.  So here are three I've completed this week:

I wish I had the time to take a picture of the painting I saw in a store front that inspired this card. I can't get over how close I came to it.  I'll post the painting on the next post so you can see.  The square card is my favorite shape card.  I have more room to create.  I created the colored panels by masking each panel and sponging distress inks.  But before I did that, I stamped the swirly image with Versamark then embossed it with clear ep.  I then stamped the script writing in walnut stain distress ink and also embossed it with clear ep.  Then I did the masking and sponging and wiped the ink off of the clear embossed images.  I then stamped the "weed" image with the same walnut stain ink and embossed it again with clear ep.   Stamped the sentiment with the same ink and popped it up with foam tape.  Add the ribbon and bow to complete it.

SUPPLIES: Inks: Distress inks (walnut stain, tea dye, old paper).  Stamps:  Swirl (unknown), script writing-Stampendous; Weed-Stampabilities; Sentiment-Studio G.

Here is my second card:

I made this card with the inspiration of the new punch I purchased from EK Success.  It reminds me of a trellis and this is the card I had in my head.  The flowers were made using two different punches, and the leaves were a punch as well.  I cut very narrow strips of green paper to use as the "vines" and wove them through the trellis.  I just realized looking up at the picture and describing it, that the only stamping is the sentiment.  I used an embossing tool to draw the lines in for each leaf.

Last card:

I've been looking for a good Eiffel Tower stamp and finally found this one at Michaels.  It is by Inkadinkado.  I added the flag by cutting it from a piece of card stock.  I created the diamond background with my Score Pal scoring lines every quarter inch then flipping the paper and repeating the scoring the other way.  I wanted the card to have a simple look, so I didn't add a lot.    I created the sentiment on my computer.  The stamp actually has a banner across the tower that says "Paris", but I covered it up with the sentiment panel.  I kept it as a monochrome look.  I wanted it to look like a vintage postcard.

I also received the nicest surprise from my very sweet blogging buddy Linda of Scrapcat Cards.  Thank you so much Linda!  It is so awesome!  Instead of showing it, I thought I would let you see the wonderful You Tube video she made:

Well, there you have it.  I'll start tomorrow making my rounds of your blogs.  Thanks again for your patience.  It took me forever to write this because I kept having to take the boys and go for cover because the tornado sirens keep going off.

I hope you have all been safe from these horrible storms that we have been having all over the country.  I actually teared up watching the coverage of the tornadoes in Joplin and Kansas.  I can't imagine that kind of destruction and loss.  I don't know how those poor people get through it.  My heart breaks for them.

Again, thanks so much for your support.  You have been wonderful and I am so appreciative of all of you.

I took this a couple of weeks ago.  He didn't think I could see him!

Don't forget the new poll for this week!  I can't recap the last one because of the stupid blogger issues that we all experienced last week.

Hugs to all of you!

Curt O'Brien

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Hey All. . .

I'm sorry that there will be no post this evening.  Jay was hospitalized last Saturday for some complications and still remains in the hospital as of tonight.  I just got home from visiting with him this evening.  He is doing much better, but he is going to require some physical therapy and will be transferred to a facility in the next couple of days.  Hopefully, the PT will only take 7 to 10 days and he can come home.  Between the trips to the hospital, consulting with doctors, taking care of "the boys", and just dealing with the stress of it all, I've just not had the time, desire or energy to craft.  I'm also very sorry that I have not gotten around to all of your blogs.  I hope you'll forgive that.

Thanks very much for your support.  It has, does, and always will mean so much to me.  Thanks for thinking about me.  It's comforting to know you are all out there pulling for us.



Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Hey All!

There you are!  And here I am!  LOL  Is that a new outfit???  You truly look awesome!  It's really good to see you!

Here we are once again at the hump day of the week.  I hope your week is going well and I hope you are feeling well.  Thanks so much for all the great comments you left on the last post.  You don't know what it does for my mood to read the sweet things you leave for me.  I'm truly blessed by all of you.

I was really shocked at last week's poll results.  The number 1 pet peeve by far was blogs that play background music (49%)!  I thought for sure it was going to be "word verification".  However that even tied for second with "type that is hard to read" (29%).  I am learning so much from these polls.  It's amazing how many of my assumptions are incorrect.  Don't forget this week's poll!

On to the post. . .Hope you all had a great Mom's Day.  My stuff is Mom's Day related because I couldn't post it prior (my Mom reads my blog).  So here is the card I made for my Mom:
Many of you have made gorgeous easel cards and I always leave comments stating I'm going to make one, but I never have until now.  I LOVE these cards, and I will be making many more in the future.  OK, the pussy willow stamp is another one from CowTown stamps.  The stamp is a single stem so I stamped it several times.  I filled in the white parts with liquid applique and heated it.  I then stamped another single branch, DID A BUNCH OF FUSSY CUTTING, and attached it so that one branch is hanging over the ribbon for a 3-D effect.  The bird was also cut out and popped up with foam tape for dimension.  I sponged the background with distress ink before stamping the branches. The bird stamp is by Stampabilities.

The next card is the one I did for Jay's Mom:
I'm not as happy with it, especially because of the poor photo.  The "dots" all over it is actually Stickles.  I have to tell you, I'm not a huge fan of Stickles.  It is very sparkly irl and much prettier. I wanted to keep this one simple.  I used one of my newly favored techniques of coloring the stamp with markers and then, before stamping, spritzing the stamp with water.  It gives such a beautiful watercolor look to the image.  The stamp is by Stampendous.

The next project is a wonderful "moving parts" card.  Here is the outside:
This was made for Jay's Mom.  Here is the one for my Mom:
And here is what it does:
It's called a "pulley card", and you can find a video tutorial HERE.  When you pull the ribbon on the right, the sentiment comes out on the right and the gift card slides out at the same time on the left.  HOW FUN ARE THESE???  I already have plans for Halloween with these!  They are really easy to make, and for those of you who have an Archiver's store near you. . .they have these in a pack of 4 that are all cut out and ready to assemble!  I bought a pack to use one of them as a template.  The Moms LOVED these and were just blown away by how they were made.  My Mom kept opening and closing it, totally baffled as to how it worked.  The main flower stamp is by Inkadinkado.  I stamped it with two different inks and then embossed it with clear ep, then popped it up on foam tape.  The background is various little dollar stamps.

The last card is kind of a joke. . .I handed each Mom an envelope explaining that "the boys" asked if they could make their own cards for them this year.  So I explained that they could use my supplies and I let them at it.  Here is what they created for their "Grandmas":
LOL  I think they did a pretty good job for Giant Schnauzers huh?  What do you think?  I think Gunther got a little carried away using the paw print stamp and smudged it quite a bit.  Their printing is improving as they get older!  LOL

OK, enough of all this. . .I truly do hope all you Moms had a great day.  From visiting some of your blogs, it sure sounded like it.  I'm still working on catching up kids, so hang in there.  If I haven't gotten to you yet I will in the next day or so.  I had so much to catch up on.  Boy you guys are prolific when it comes to posting!!  LOL


Thanks so much for visiting me.  You know I love you guys and I so appreciate your support.  Take good care of yourselves!


Curt O'Brien

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

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Hey All!

How the heck are ya???  I'm back from my week's hiatus, and I'm feeling much better.  You may not think my cards show it, but I am!  LOL  I took a week off from everything "blogging".  So I have not visited you guys yet.  I've got some catching up to do!

I'm anxious to see the results for this week's poll.  I've talked to many bloggers who have pet peeves about the blogs they visit.  I admit, I have mine too, but then again, some may have pet peeves about my blog, God forbid!  So don't forget to answer this week's poll!

Tonight's post also includes a photographic series of photos I took this week.  They are all nature related and I wanted to show them to you.  I hope you enjoy them.  They will follow my cards. . .so off we go!

Here's the first card I'd like to share:
I've had nothing but trouble getting good lighting for my card shots errrrr!  This one looks a little bled out, so click on it for a better view.  This is a new stamp from CowTown which I just discovered (Thanks Stacie!).  They have wonderful stamps and I bought several.  This is a "manly" thank you card.  The ship is from CowTown.  The two things I want to point out about this card are the "cork button" and the map background.  I made the cork button by thinly slicing it from an actual wine bottle cork.  I used a small hole punch to make the holes.  The baker's twine was a gift from my blogging buddy Katie.  She sent me some twine, ribbon, and seam binding to play with along with an awesome card.  Thanks Katie, so much!  It was really appreciated.  The map background is from the internet.  I did a Google search for "maps".  Printed it off and cut it down to the size I needed.  The ship and the sentiment are both clear embossed.

Here is my second card:
This is the newest Happy Hopper stamp in my ever growing collection.  Is that little bunny adorable or what?  All colored with my cheap colored pencils and oms.  I stamped the background mat as well.   The kite is popped up with foam tape, and the string on the kite is actually "sewn".  I used a needle and embroidery floss.

Last card:
This looks a little chaotic to me, however it is sort of what I had in mind.  This stamp is called "birch branch" and it is from Memory Box.  I used a new technique (new to me) on this where you color the stamp with markers and then mist it with water before stamping.  It gives a wonderful watercolor effect.  Before I stamped the main branches I stamped the image in "pumice stone" distress ink, stamped off, then stamped for the branches in the background to look further off.  I added MS glitter in dots all over the flowering parts.  Added pearls to the tiny butterflies and dotted them with a marker.  It really is pretty IRL, but if you click on the photo, you'll get a better look at the shimmer of the card.

OK, on to the photo gallery. . .

I went out specifically to shoot objects in a different way than you would normally look at them, or just shoot stuff that I found interesting.  I found a ton!  It is amazing what you "see" if you really look.  Also, be sure to click on the photos for a better view.  Take a look at what I "saw":



There were so many interesting things to "see" during this walk.  Can you tell I have a child's imagination??? LOL  I have a ton of other photos to share, but I don't want to blow them all in one post.  I'll run out of "pics of the week"!

OK, I'm off to start my long journey of blog surfing.  Can't wait to be inspired and to see what you've all been up to.  I've really missed you all, and I'm glad to be back creating.  Thanks for your kind remarks while I was gone.  They were very encouraging.  I have a big list of things I am working on, so no more dry spells for awhile.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  You know how much I appreciate it and I always love to read the comments you leave.  You all leave such thoughtful, interesting comments. 

Hugs to all of you!


Curt O'Brien

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