Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Favorite Projects

As sad as I am to say good-bye to 2011, I am excited to see what 2012 brings! Looking back through some of my previous posts, I thought I would re-share a few of my favorite projects from 2011.

Anniversary Card
See original post here.

Simple Personalized Mini Notecards/Envelopes
See original post here.

Art Philosophy Floral Wreath
See original post here.

Cupcake Birthday Cards
See original post here.

Notes Desk Set
See original post here.

“It’s your birthday” Card
See original post here.

“The Sweetest Gift” Card
See original post here.

“A Friend is...” Card
See original post here.

Thanks to all of you who visit my blog. I hope you have a wonderful New Year filled with many blessings (and lots of creative mojo!) LOL!

Don’t forget to enter my little giveaway here. You have until midnight tonight to post a comment on your favorite way to organize and simplify. Be sure to check out the other comments so far. There are some great ideas!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

FREE Studio J Layouts in January

January is free layout month for Studio J® members! For every 9 custom-printed Studio J layouts you buy, you’ll receive the 10th layout free. To receive the discount, just add 10 or more layouts to your cart. You’ll see a discount reflected in your order total. And you can totally take advantage of this promotion by ordering in multiples of 10. Buy 9, get 1 free. Buy 18, get 2 free. Buy 27, get 3 free. And so on! If you’re not a member yet, now’s a great time to join!

Why should I use Studio J?

With the popularity and convenience of digital cameras, people take more photos than ever before. Unfortunately, many of those photos remain lost in cyberspace, tucked quietly away on a hard drive where no one ever sees them. Time to take those photos from the computer to the coffee table for all to enjoy!

One option is to pick your favorite photos and print them in a 4" × 6" size, then put them in photo albums. It’s a quick and easy way to put your photos on display, but there is one drawback—the stories behind the photos are lost unless you write them down. Even the most unforgettable moments lose some of their vibrancy over time.

That’s where scrapbooking comes in. Whenever you pair your photos with journaling—bringing together words and pictures—that’s scrapbooking in its most basic form. Scrapbooking helps you capture life’s moments, both big and small, so that you and your loved ones can enjoy them again and again.

For years, Close To My Heart’s classic scrapbooking products have helped you get your shoeboxes full of printed photos out of the basement and into scrapbooks where they’ll be seen and enjoyed.
Now Close To My Heart brings you Studio J®, online design software that lets you skip the extra step of printing your photos before you scrapbook them. With Studio J, you create digital scrapbook pages that are then printed and delivered to your door, ready to slip into your classic 12" × 12" scrapbook albums.

You’ll love the ease and convenience of studio scrapbooking. And if you decide to become a Studio J member, you’ll love the way each custom-printed layout you purchase comes with free JPG files of the layout—one high-resolution version for archiving or printing more copies, and one web-ready version for you to email to your loved ones, upload to your blog, or post to Facebook. Plus, as a member, you also get free shipping once a month, and all of your layouts at half price! It makes sharing your photos—and your stories—easier and more affordable than ever!

 To sum it up, Studio J Members get:
  • 50% off layouts
  • Free monthly shipment
  • Members-Only Templates and Kits
  • Free JPEG files
  • Free Page Protectors
  • Special Members-Only promotions like this one

Give Studio J a try—there’s no cost until you place your order. Upload some of your digital photos and find out how quickly and easily you can create a finished scrapbook layout, preserving not only your pictures but the all-important stories behind them! If you like it, you can either order your layouts at full price or purchase a Membership for 3 months or 1 year, or purchase a 5 pack that includes 5 layouts, shipping, and page protectors.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Clean and Simple and a Giveaway

My life has been so crazy and hectic this past year despite my attempt to simplify. So, my motto for the coming year is going to be “simplify.” (We’ll see how long it lasts. LOL!) Something that I have wanted to do for a while is to simplify the design my blog. I recently created a very simple blog header and changed the template. (If you are reading this post via Google Reader or from a FeedBlitz email, you won't be able to see the new design. You’ll have to visit my blog.) I’d love to know your thoughts. Is it too simple?

Another area where I seem to already gravitate towards simplicity is my design style. I recently signed up for an online class taught by some of my favorite designers, Jennifer McGuire, Kristina Werner and Julie Ebersole, called Clean & Simple Card Making. The class starts on January 9th and I simply cannot wait! (Pun intended. LOL!) Other than the awesome free CTMH Training Academy classes, I have never taken an online class before. In fact, I think the last class I officially took was an Advertising class when I went back to get my Masters Degree in the mid 90's. (I never finished. I got married and started a family instead.) Anyway, I hope to share some of my “class projects” with you over the course of the two week class.

Now for a fun little giveaway...If anyone has any great suggestions on how to simplify your life, I would LOVE to hear them. Please leave a comment with your best advice on simplifying (and maybe organizing) and I will pick one lucky winner to win a package of Close to my Heart White Daisy Die-Cut Cards and Envelopes and a package of Kraft Die-Cut Cards and Envelopes so you can create some clean and simple cards yourself. I will pick a winner at random on January 1st and announce it here on my blog. I will also notify the winner via email, so be sure to leave your email address.

I will leave you today with a clean and simple card that I created using Close to my Heart’s Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge and Cricut Craft Room. (If you are not familiar with Craft Room, you must check it out. It allows you to have more control over your Cricut images and the best part is that it’s free.) I used the font on the AP cartridge and welded the letters together in Craft Room. I cut it out of some White Daisy cardstock and added it to my card with some 3-D Foam Tape. I couldn’t find the perfect sentiment to fit the bottom of the card, so I used a retired alphabet set called Sans Alphabet. I love using alphabet sets to make whatever sentiment I want! I also added a tiny Cranberry Embroidery Floss bow as a reminder to count my blessings next year and to SIMPLIFY!

Here’s to a clean and simple New Year!


ETA on 12/27: Thanks for all of the feedback on the font. Since so many people were having problems seeing it, I changed it back to basic Arial. Thanks also for the GREAT simplifying suggestions. Keep them coming...

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop

Papertrey’s monthly blog hop is a fun one this month. Here’s the challenge: Your challenge is to use some type of leftover Christmas wrapping, paper, bows, ribbon, tags, cancelled postage, or other leftover Christmas materials to create a project. And if you really want to challenge yourself even further, you can try to create a non-holiday card from your leftovers.”

I took one of my daughter’s Christmas cards from Grandma (hope she doesn’t see this post LOL!) and cut out the adorable little cupcake. I knew it would be perfect for a clean and simple birthday card. (Check back tomorrow for a “clean and simple” post about 2012.)

I used Papertrey Ink’s Stamper Select White and Hibiscus Burst cardstock. I also used one of my most used PTI stamp sets called Mixed Messages in addition to the Everyday Button Bits set. I added a bit of Close to my Heart’s Glitz Glitter Gel and a little dimension with some 3-D Foam Tape. I also used my rectangle Nestabilities. It was a quick and simple card, but those are the ones I like best. *Ü*

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Click on the photo to enlarge.

Thank you for filling my 2011 with friendships, creativity, and blessings!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
With Love,
The Stenz Family

Exciting New Products!!!

I have some exciting news. I received my new Spring/Summer 2012 Close to my Heart Idea Books yesterday and let me just tell you...I AM IN LOVE! I cannot wait to share with you all of the amazing new papers, stamps, embellishments, and other fun surprises in the new book. Plus, my family photos are highlighted in THREE different projects in the book. Woo-Hoo!

I can't share the book with you until it goes live on February 1st, but if you'd like to get your own copies and order out of them a whole month earlier than anyone else, think about signing up as a Close to my Heart Consultant. Gaining access to CTMH products early is just one of the MANY benefits of becoming a Consultant.

Start the year off with a fun new venture and start your own business! Or simply sign up to save money on some amazing products for yourself and your friends. Click here to read more about joining this amazing company as a Personal Use Consultant, Hobbyist, or a Business Builder!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Remarkable Wreath Card from a Remarkable Friend


Look what greeted me in my mailbox a couple of days ago! My sweet friend and upline Denise Anderson-Turley sent me this beautiful card along with a few other fun goodies. She used the Remarkable Wreath stamp set which is one of my all time favorite sets! Don't you love the Glitz Glitter Gel that she used on the wreath? It looks like she also used some Wings Level 2 Assortment Ribbon, the December Stamp of the Month, Foundry Pin Clips, White Hemp, Christmas Love, and some Kraft, Cocoa, and Vinyard Berry cardstock.

Thanks Denise! You made my day! xoxo

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Peppermint Bark Snowflakes

As many of you know, I am not very crafty in the kitchen, but I do like to make my neighbors something fun each year for Christmas. I have made them all kinds of fun gifts, but this year, being that I am running out of time, and I haven’t been feeling very well for the past few days, I opted for something quick and easy. 


I found these cute Wilton's peppermint bark kits that included everything I needed: snowflake cookie cutters, dark chocolate, peppermint chocolate, melting bags, clear gift bags, gift tags, and even the silver string to tie them up. PERFECT! I bought 4 boxes of them and have actually been having fun in the kitchen today. Can you believe it? Me having fun in the kitchen! LOL! The chocolate melts very easily and I just piped the dark chocolate into the cookie cutters first. Then I put the tray in the fridge for a few minutes to harden them. Then I melted the peppermint chocolate and piped it on top, chilled them again for a few minutes and they were done!

I put them each in their own baggie and tied them with the silver string provided. I was going to make my own tags, but thought, “Why not just stamp on the ones that came in the kit?” I stamped the background first with a few small snowflakes from the Snowflake stamp set in Heavenly Blue. Then I stamped our own personal message on top in Cocoa ink. Did you know that you can order a personalized stamp that says anything you like? I ordered a stamp that said, “Merry Christmas ~ From the Stenz Family” and used it to stamp the tags. I actually cut the stamp and stacked the words on my block so they would fit on the tag. Can’t do that with a rubber stamp! I love my acrylic stamps!

One of my neighbors actually emailed me and asked for my peppermint bark recipe. I had to humbly tell her that it was a Wilton kit and that I didn’t make it from scratch. But I was thrilled that she liked it enough to ask for the recipe. *Ü*

   Happy Crafting (and Cooking)!

Winter Memories Studio J Video

"Catch" your winter memories with this chilly layout in Studio J. Watch the video below; then log in to Studio J and create a warm layout for your frosty memories!

Try Studio J's online scrapbooking program for free here. If you like it, contact me about getting your layouts at 1/2 price with free page protectors and free shipping! Have questions? You can either contact me or check out the Studio J FAQs online here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Die Cut Snowflake Card

I saw a really cute snowflake card here that I fell in love with, so of course I turned to my Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge and other Close to my Heart products to create my own version. I cut the snowflake out of a piece of 4" x 5-1/4" Kraft cardstock. Then using the Snowflakes stamp set, I stamped some small snowflakes with the White Daisy pigment ink. (By the way, the White Daisy pigment ink stamps like a dream on the Kraft cardstock!) I also inked the edges of the Kraft CS with some WD ink using a Sponge Dauber

The sentiment is from the Christmas Love set and was stamped in Cocoa ink. Then I put the Kraft CS on top of a piece of 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" Heavenly Blue cardstock and stamped the large snowflake from the Snowflakes set in Cocoa and ink Crystal Blue. I added little dots of Silver Glitz Glitter Gel and one large Clear Sparkle in the middle. I adhered the Kraft CS with some 3-D Foam Tape and my humble version of Heather‘s card was complete.

Don’t forget about my big sale! Today is the last day to get 20% off of your Close to my Heart order! Click here for more details!

    Happy Crafting,

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rock the Block Video

Check out this great video showing the fun products in the Rock the Block promotion! Don’t forget that any orders you place through me today and/or tomorrow, will get 20% off! See yesterday’s post for details on all FOUR of my deals including those that will overlap for the next two days!

Click on the shopping cart below to place an online order
and/or email me to get your 20% discount.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

TWO Days only - FOUR Great Deals!

I am excited to share with you FOUR special Close to my Heart deals that will be overlapping for the next TWO days!

DEAL #1: As a special Christmas gift to you, I am offering 20% off ANY Close to my Heart order (no minimum) from Monday 12/19 (12:00am PST) - Tuesday 12/20 (11:59pm PST.) That's right, you can get as many Close to my Heart products as you like for 20% off, including the popular Art Philosophy Cricut bundle!* Be sure to either call me or email your order to me at, so that I can place the order for you and apply the discount. Online orders will be charged full price.
DEAL #2: PLUS, when you place a minimum order of $25 from the Autumn/Winter 2011 Idea Book, you can get two valuable new products for just $15: the My Creations Collage Cubes (a Spring/Summer 2012 sneak-peek product!) and the exclusive My Acrylix Rock the Block E-size stamp set (available only during this promotion). This Rock the Block promotion represents a retail savings of almost $30! You're going to love the collage cubes and the Rock the Block stamp set, which work together for interactive, fashionable fun!

DEAL #3: PLUS, with a $50 order, you will qualify to get the Stamp of the Month called Mad About You for only $5!

DEAL #4: PLUS, I am including a FREE package of Winter Cheer Glitter Rub-Ons (retail value of $13.95) with every order placed through me during the month of December! So, this is the BEST time to order those Close to my Heart products that have been on your wish list for a while!

Not sure what to get with your 20% discount? Here are a few of my favorite products:

Don’t forget that my 20% off sale is only good through 
Tuesday, December 20th (11:59pm PST).

Be sure to either call or email me your orders soon to take 
advantage of all FOUR of these great promotions at once.

  Creatively Yours,
*20% discount is only offered on orders placed directly through me from 12/19 - 12/20 and will not be honored by the Close to my Heart Corporate Office or any other Consultant. Shipping will be charged on the retail price, however, tax will be charged on the discounted price. Club orders, Stamp of the Month, or the Rock the Block Promotion do not qualify for the 20% discount. 

20% discount on orders placed 12/19-12/20. (Only available from Lisa Stenz.)
Rock the Block Promotion runs from 12/19-1/31.
December Stamp of the Month is available from 12/1-12/31.
Free Rub-Ons available with order from 12/1-12/31. (Only available from Lisa Stenz.)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Snowflake Tags - A "Happy Mistake"

Have you ever created something fun by mistake? When I was in the midst of prepping my club kits a few days ago, I had placed some of the snowflake shapes that I had just cut using the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge on top of some plain tags that I had also cut from the AP cartridge. (I tend to make a bit of a mess in my studio when I am prepping for my classes. LOL!) Well, I looked over and saw the white snowflakes on top of the white tags and thought, hmm.... I might have something here. So, I reached for some of the leftover Sky re-inker/water mixture that I still had in my Spray Pen and spritzed the tags. I removed the snowflake “masks” and then stamped the sentiment from the Christmas Love stamp set, and the simple snowflake tags were born.

The white snowflakes ended up blue, so I think I will take them and adhere them to a white tag and play a little more...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quick and Easy Gift Tags

I needed to make a ton of quick gift tags so I turned to my trusty Close to my Heart  Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge for help. I love that there are lots of tag shapes on it and with the Cricut, I can cut them in various sizes super fast, and super easy. Here are four different sets of tags that I created in just a few short minutes.

The first set of gift tags uses three stamp sets. First I stamped the bracket shape from the retired You & Me stamp set in the center of the tag in Cocoa ink. Then I stamped it again on a post-it note, and cut it out to use as a mask.  I placed the mask on top of the stamped image on the tag and the stamped the musical notes background from the Universal Backgrounds stamp set in Olive, Honey, Crystal Blue, and Cranberry.  The sentiment in the center is from the Art Philosophy Seasons stamp set that comes with the Art Philosophy Bundle.

The next set of tags uses the A Holiday stamp set and the sentiment from the Holiday Cheer set. The border was stamped in Olive and then I dotted the berries quickly with the fine point of the Holiday Red marker. I added a little Cranberry Embroidery Floss.

This set uses the Glory to God stamp set, some Cocoa Grosgrain Ribbon and a square Clear Sparkle. They were SUPER quick and easy to stamp and I love how they turned out.

The final set uses the Holiday Commentary stamp set along with one of the ornaments from the Holiday Cheer set. I also used a Clear Sparkle in the center of the ornament to quickly add a tiny bit of bling.

I hope this helps give you some ideas for making quick and easy gift tags to dress up your holiday packages this season.

    Thanks for stopping by today!
    Creatively Yours,

Monday, December 12, 2011

For you local folks...

Just thought I'd let all you local folks know about a great event happening this Thursday at the Wilson Creek Winery here in Temecula, CA. There will be a wonderful speaker, a yummy luncheon, and lots of great vendors (including me!) If you'd like more information, please contact me at, or Debi at 951-551-4778, or Christine at The luncheon is sponsored by Stonecroft’s Temecula Valley Women’s Connection. 

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Blitsy Enabler Alert!

ENABLER ALERT for all of you crafty peeps out there! There is a new online store, called BLITSY. Blitsy is a free members-only online shopping community that offers private, limited-time sale events with the best brands in the crafting industry for up to 60% off retail! Right now they are offering the pink ATG Guns for only $19.99 and the tape rolls for only $3.99. They also have Tim Holtz and Spellbinders products and so much more! The sales last only 7 days or until the items are sold out.

They also have a great referral program. When you tell a friend about Blitsy, and they sign up, then place their first order, you will receive a $10 credit in your Blitsy account! If you'd like to check it out, I would love it if you would use MY PERSONAL LINK to access the site. This way, if you sign up and order, I will get the referral credit.

Plus, they are having a HUGE promotion right now. They are having a
race to 20,000 members! Their 20,000th member and the friend that referred them will each win a $200 Blitsy gift card!
How cool is that! Here's a little video that explains the promotion.
They are just starting up, but I think this is going to be great! Be sure to sign up and then share your link with your friends! *Ü*

Click here to check it out and sign up for your FREE Membership and who knows, maybe you will be the 20,000 member and get a $200 Blitsy gift card!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Art Philosophy Stencil Cards and Glimmer Mist Recipe

Did you know that you can use the negative part of your images from your Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge cut outs as well? I cut a tree, a star, a circle, and a snowflake using my AP cartridge and used the negative shape as a stencil. (I got the idea from the negative snowflake shape that was left over from the card I made here.)  I simply placed the negative shape over some White Daisy cardstock and used the Universal Backgrounds stamp set to stamp either the musical notes or the text image on top. Then I used a Sponge Dauber to add a tiny bit of color before lifting off the stencil. I added a simple Christmas sentiment from the Christmas Love set. 

If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you probably know that I tend to lean towards a clean and simple style. I liked the simpleness of the cards, but wanted to add just a bit of “something” so I pulled out my trusty old Spray Pen and a tube of Create-a-Shade Pearl Paint and mixed up a little homemade “glimmer mist.” I added about 3 blobs of paint and filled the pen with water. I shook it up and spritzed the cards a couple times. It is really hard to see in the photos, but in the sun, the cards have a beautiful shimmer to them. You can even add a few drops of re-inker to make your own colored glimmer mist. It is such a quick and easy way to add a bit of fun to any project!

Here's a close up of the images. The circle ornament photo is darker so you can see the shimmer a little better. It really does sparkle a lot in real life. 

Don't forget to check out the Art Philosophy Blog Hop/Linky Party below. 
Stay tuned for more Christmas projects. I have some CAS gift tags to post soon...