Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Super Cute Cookie Box

Have you done a lot of baking and need to share the goodies with some with your friends and neighbors before you eat them all yourself?  Why not deliver them in a special container to hold all of the delectable creations?  I found this snowman shaped box at my local grocery store (on sale since it was so close to Christmas).  It was already somewhat decorated, but I decided to make it even more adorable by recovering it with one of my favorite holiday collections from Simple Stories called Handmade Holidays (how fitting).
I chose two pieces of patterned paper to line the outside of the box.  Then I measured and cut the strips of paper, matching up patterns where I could since it took more than one strip to go around the box.  Then I used a tape runner and glue gun to adhere the paper to the box.  I would recommend using something like Modge Podge to seal the paper to the box in order to make it more durable and ready for a second use.
To recreate the design, I used a plain piece of copy paper to trace some of the elements on the box and then cut them out as a pattern.  Then I used the pattern to trace on the papers I selected to fit my own style.  Pop dots on the buttons and part of the scarf make the design more fun and dimensional.
Finally I added some sentiments with cardstock stickers from Simple Stories Handmade Collection. This will be a fun gift for a neighbor or a friend.

Have a wonderful holiday week!

Friday, December 7, 2012

CUTE Carta Bella at Scrapbook Steals

Looking for some adorable children's scrapbook collections at an unbeatable price?  You need to check out the Carta Bella Alphabet Junction collection at today!  It has the most wonderful textured cardstock and patterns that are perfect for the little guys and girls in your life.  I made this fun, bright page about my little guy.
There are super cute sentiments and fun patterns to document your memories like this preschool photo of my son.  I really liked how there were plenty of places to hand write my journaling and how the texture of both the paper and the chipboard helped me avoid smudging.   The miniature stitching on this sticker is a wonderful detail.
I especially love how coordinated the cardstock stickers, chipboard pieces and patterned paper are in this collection and how they work together in clusters.  I used the alphabet stickers to make the title and then continued the sentiment with the cardstock sticker phrases.
It's fun to use banners as a design element and make each of the embellishments part of the effect.  I cut banners out of some of the cardstock paper and then I snipped the ends of the cardstock sticker phrases to complete the banner look.
I thought it would be fun to use the Alphabet Junction patterned paper and stickers to create a more mature card.  This Delightful Stripe patterned paper used on the flip side with the XO pattern made a great focal point for the design of this romantic card.
The cardstock stickers are from the Carta Bella collection, but the clear stickers are from Little Yellow Bicycle.  I used two of my Martha Stewart punches to make the border and leaves.
This card took very little time and is focused around one of the alpha cards.  I added the chipboard title and the cardstock banner sticker to pull it together for a fun everyday card.
Love how the chipboard pops off the card and the light pink is such a fun color and contrast to the darker pinks in the papers.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Simple Cards to Get in the Mail in a Hurry

Are you frantically making cards in every spare moment?  It's time to get those season's greetings into the mail...  Why not make things easier on yourself with a simple design and some fun materials from Simple Stories and Core'dinations - especially at this time of year when cardstock is a staple for making cards.  I particularly love the red Tim Holz Kraft-Core because it distresses beautifully and provides a kraft colored inside for easy handwriting.  It also compliments the Simple Stories Handmade Holiday collection perfectly.
I used one of my old McGill flower punches and some of the Core'dinations cardstock to make this flower.  Then I shadowed it with another flower of the same size using some of the Handmade Holiday 6 x 6 patterned paper.  Next, I added a Handmade Holiday cardstock sticker ornament for the center.  The Christmas banner sentiment was cut from another piece 6 x 6 patterned paper.
I simply cut a 4.5 x 12 inch strip of Karft-Core cardstock, scored and folded it, and then added the embellishments. The patterned paper is from the Handmade Holiday 6 x 6 patterned paper pad and the tiny Merry Christmas sentiment is from the 12 x 12 fundamental cardstock stickers.
I just love the Handmade Holiday advent calendar numbers and wanted to make "25" the focal point of this card.  A little bit of twine tied around the pop-dotted numbers completes the "handmade" look.
The popcorn garland is too cute for words, so I added just a bit to provide a little more interest to this simple card.  Hope you have all of your cards ready to mail soon.  Only 19 more days left until Christmas...

Have a crafty day!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Custom Tags and Gift Packaging Ideas

Time to start wrapping those gifts!  Why not keep it "simple" and create gift wrapped items that can be used again?  I used the Simple Stories Handmade Holiday Collection to cover these boxes and bag in a way that they can be easily opened with out ripping the paper. Then I used the Epiphany Crafts Shape Studio and Charms to make permanent gift tags that can be used for many future holidays.
For the larger box (found at target), I covered the bottom of the box with the Handmade Holiday mistletoe patterned paper #2709 and left the lid alone since it was already a beautiful red color.  For the permanent gift tag, I chose a 4 x 6 journal card from the Handmade Holiday Collection with a plain background and used my typewriter to add the gift recipient's name, but one could easily hand write a name as well - just make sure it will fit in a 1" cirlce.  Then I used the Epiphany Crafts Round 25 Shape Studio and Bubble Caps to punch out the name.  Finally I added the Bubble Cap to the Round 25 Charm Setting.  Voila - a simple reusable gift tag charm that dresses up any gift wrapping.
For the smaller box, which has a lid that folds up, I wrapped a strip of the Handcrafted patterned paper #2707 around the edge of the box and then cut a 3 x 3 inch square to adhere to the fold up top.  I used my scissors to curl small strips of a contrasting patterned paper and then used some foam tape to add the fun snowman sticker.  Finally I tied on the reusable gift tag charm.
For the kraft colored gift bag, I kept it simple and used some patterned paper and the scalloped cardstock sticker trim from the 12 x 12 Fundamental Cardstock Stickers.  The beautiful tag is actually a cardstock from the collection.  Then, of course, I tied on one of the Epiphany Crafts gift tag charms.

Good luck with getting all of your holiday shopping and wrapping done in time for your own Handmade Holiday, and we hope that Simple Stories makes it a little easier...

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, November 30, 2012

LYB and May Arts Holiday Blog Hop

Looking for some home decor ideas for the holidays?  This 3-dimensional 8 x 10 framed Christmas Tree makes a great mantel or side table decoration.
To make the accordion style tree, I cut ten 6 x 8 rectangles from Little Yellow Bicycle's Once Upon a Christmas collection Let it Snow/Green Medallion patterned paper.  I used a scoring tool to make a center fold in each rectangle and stapled them into a little booklet. Then I used the scoring tool to fold each side of the booklet into the shape of a tree.  HERE is a great tutorial for making this type of tree.
I wrapped the May Arts red packaging twine around the tree like garland and then made little bows to trim the bottom of the tree from a sheer red ribbon.  To create the shape of the tree at the bottom, I ripped the corners off for a more rugged effect.  
The LittleYellow Bicyle Chipboard Shapes were great tree trimmers.  I used the Chipboard Shapes - with foil ornaments and stars to finish off the decorations.  The sentiment for the project is from the LYB Cardmaking Stickers -with foil and the snowflakes are from the  Fabric Favorites.

Hop to the following blogs to find more fantastic ideas for projects with May Arts ribbon and LYB's Once Upon a Christmas.

Liz Qualman (You are here)

Leave a comment here, at each Biker Chick blog and a comment at the Little Yellow Bicycle blog telling them what you saw on the hop, and you will be entered for a chance to win some of our Once Upon a Christmas collection.  Don't forget to leave a comment at the May Arts blog too for a chance to win goodies from them too.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fun Holiday Gift and Storage Ideas at

There is a great steal at today.  They have these adorable little canisters and if you are looking for some comfy, cozy and inexpensive gift ideas, you can find them right here...and there?  The canisters are made of plastic and metal and are large enough to fit many different gift or storage ideas.  I thought I would make one canister into a family meal gift basket and include a mason jar of homemade spaghetti sauce along with the canister full of pasta.  I also thought it would be fun to make a hot cocoa gift basket and send the marshmallows in this protective canister that will keep them fresh and safe.
The canisters seal the marshmallows perfectly so they will hold their freshness.  Right now my local grocery store City Market has them on sale for 50 cents a bag and I found coupons for a $1 off of two bags, which made them FREE.  Check here for coupons at
The top of the canisters were easy to decorate.  I cut the patterned paper for the lids from the Simple Stories Handmade Holiday collection with my Creative Memories circle cutter and then added the matching cardstock stickers.  Also, the cardstock stickers REALLY stick to the plastic on the canisters, so make sure you know exactly where you want them before you stick them in place.
The Hampton Art Tag Making Stamp Set (keep an eye out for this item at - it's coming up) was really easy to use and includes the tags, ink, wooden stamps and ties. I'm not much of a stamper, but this set was super simple.  The stamps are adorable (especially the Santa) and will coordinate with many Christmas scrapbooking collections.  The red scalloped circle is the Hampton Art tag that comes with the set, but I added a patterned paper circle background from the Simple Stories Handmade Holiday collection and some larger Offray ribbon to the gold tie.  If I get enough nerve to break out the markers, I might go back and color the Santa.
I think I might go back and color the present too.  It would look really cute with the tag, although I do like the look of the black and white stamp against the plaid paper from Simple Stories.

Have a safe and crafty weekend and don't forget to check your local grocery for sales on baking items like marshmallows!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween Layout and Sketch

The challenge this week at Little Yellow Bicycle was to use a regular Fall/Everyday collection to make Halloween pages.  As you can see, it wasn't very hard with the Acorn Hollow collection.  Such a great palette of autumn colors and perfect for these picture of my kids from last year.  Please visit the LYB blog for more page ideas from the Biker Chicks.
I know it has been a while since I posted a sketch...  My blog suffered a lot this summer while I was playing outside - LOL.  But I am resolved to share them again, so today is a good day to start!  I know it is simple, but I think the simplicity leaves a lot of room for interpretation.  Hope you like it!
These little owls are a "hoot" and make a fun pair of watchful eyes over the mischief and fun that goes along with Halloween.  Not to mention they are creatures of the night and perfect for this holiday.  I added owls to the sketch because I know they are popular with a lot of MFG collections, but obviously you can substitute them with bats, ghosts or whatever you prefer.
This popped up banner is a fun effect for a title.  It is really easy to cut and score paper to make the middle pop up, or you might have banners in your stash.  This one is part of the Paper Crafting Kit in the LYB Acorn Hollow Collection.

You can purchase the whole Acorn Hollow collection HERE.

Thank you so much for stopping by and have a wonderful Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

It's a Sn@p to Save with Extreme Couponing and Simple Stories

Have you ever watched the show Extreme Couponing and thought, “There is NO way you can save that much or get things for free…”  I’m hoping my post might just change your mind and inspire you to not only save a little money, but to use your Simple Stories Sn@p products in fun and practical ways.  That receipt is a legitimate purchase I made with coupons at my local Safeway and I'm hoping to not only share a cute storage idea for coupons, but to give you some savvy tips for saving.
The Simple Stories 6x8 album is not just for pictures and memorabilia, I have found that it is the perfect size for storing my coupons.  The clear 4x6 and 3x4 pockets keep me organized and make it so easy to see my coupons.  And, the size of the album easily fits in my purse, so I don’t have to worry about the bulk of a big binder – plus it is so lightweight.
These little binders make it so easy to stay organized.  I’ve actually gotten comments at the grocery store about how nice my system is for holding my coupons, not to mention the custom design with the Sn@p collection.

Tip  - the clear plastic pockets make it much easier to see all of your coupons so that you can easily use them by the expiration date or discard them when they have expired.
I recommend using some packing tape or contact paper to seal the design of the cover so that the paper and embellishments stay in their pristine condition with all of the use your album will get.  I had a great time combining the Sn@p alphabets with this 3 x 4 Sn@p card to make my sassy title.
This little book will hold a LOT of coupons and I find that I can just keep adding the clear inserts when I clip more coupons.  Not to mention that since the inserts are clear I can use both side of the pockets and put my coupons back to back.

Tip: You can clip coupons from inserts in the Sunday newspaper, or you can print coupons online.  My favorite coupon site is
Every coupon worth 50 cents or more will double up to a $1 at my grocery store, which means that this little book is worth a lot of money.  I added my name and contact information in case I lose it somewhere, which would be devastating.  It was easy to run the 3x4 Sn@p cards through my typewriter.

Tip: Walmart and Target do not double coupons, but if your coupon is for $1 or more, it is worth checking the price of items at those stores.  Many times the price of Personal Care items are cheaper at Walmart than the grocery store and if the coupon is worth $1 or more, you maximize your savings.
These Sn@p pockets are fantastic for holding larger items like this map of my grocery store.   I always know what is in each aisle, which saves me a lot of time in plotting my savings bonanza.

Tip: It's really important to keep track of the days when the savings are best. Wednesday is when my local grocery stores print their newest sale flyers.  This is important information, so that I can cross check items with my coupons to get the best savings.
I divide my book into three parts, Food, Home and Personal Care and the mini Sn@p alphabets were perfect for labeling the three dividers that come with the Sn@p albums.
These monthly Sn@p 4x6 journal cards are perfect for keeping me organized.  As you can see I still have some candy to buy for Halloween, so I put the coupons in this special pocket so that I will remember to use them as soon as the candy goes on sale.
As I said earlier, the clear inserts are the perfect size for holding coupons I clip from the newspaper, and contrary to what a lot of people believe there are plenty of coupons out there for healthy foods.  I hate to pay retail for my favorite eggs and yogurt.

10 Ideas for Saving Big

  1. Set up an email account that is just for coupons and join the online communities of the manufacturers you love.  They will send you newsletters that may include coupons or promotions.
  2. Like the Facebook page of your favorite manufacturers and sometimes you will get an immediate coupon download.  (I got a great Popsicle coupon for liking them and saved big at my grocery store).
  3. Find some online coupon sites that allow you to print coupons for free.  (I love  It is easy and reliable and I have never had the coupons not work at my grocery store.  SmartSource is also a good site).
  4. Subscribe to your Sunday paper for the coupon inserts.  If there are coupons that you use regularly, consider buying extra copies of the paper and/or ask family and friends if you can have their inserts.  
  5. Take advantage of digital coupons at your grocery store and be sure to join their "club" program.  (I could not believe that I got $1.00 off a gallon at my store sponsored gas station just for shopping with my member card - that was big savings for filling up my SUV - about $20 in savings).  However be careful not to load digital coupons for items that you have paper manufacturer coupons, the paper coupons will double, but the digital ones won't and some stores do not let you stack coupons.
  6. Look for catalina promotions on items you regularly buy and or NEW items.  (I bought a brand new type of Kraft macaroni and got a $2.00 Thank You Catalina for my next shopping trip to the grocery store).
  7. Subscribe to magazines like "All You" which can be found at Walmart.  The magazine regularly has over a $100 worth of coupons in each issue.  Find cheap subscriptions to other magazines that carry coupons or talk about saving money (Better Homes and Gardens, Women's Day)
  8. Match ads in the weekly sale flyers from your grocery stores to the coupons in your book.  The best way to save is to buy items on sale.  Cross check promotions between stores.  (We are lucky to have a Safeway and City Market right next to each other, so it is not a big deal for me to shop at both for items on my list and save big).
  9.  Be flexible with brand names and experiment with new food items.  Manufacturers release the highest dollar coupons for brand new items, so if they look good - try them.  (I recently bought a new frozen fish that was on sale "buy 1 get 1 free" and I had a $1 off coupon, so I ended up with some yummy meals that we had never tried before for cheap).
  10. Try to hold onto your coupons close to the expiration date, stores will inevitably put the items on sale and that is when you can maximize your savings and even get things for free...
Just a few items I have literally gotten for free -
  • Colgate and Crest Toothpaste
  • Carefree Feminine Products
  • Muir Glen Tomato Paste
  • Pringles
  • Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Fructis Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Pilot Pens
  • Betty Crocker Fruit Roll Ups and Snacks
  • Nature Valley Granola Bars
  • Yakisoba Noodles
My goal is to save about 40-50% each time I go to the grocery store.  I try to clip the healthiest coupons I can find and pair them with store deals, so that we are still eating healthy and saving big.  Hope this post gives you some inspiration and feel free to email with questions.

Thank you so much for stopping by -