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 -

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall Page with LYB and Xyron Giveaway

I love the bright colors of the Little Yellow Bicycle Acorn Hollow collection.  It is great for both autumn and everyday pages.  I thought the collection would definitely compliment these photos of my son playing at the park.  I clustered three photos (4x4, 4x5 and wallet-sized) to add more meaning from the day and to move the eyes around the page.  My son is famous for his funny faces, so I had to add one instead of a tradition smiling photo. The baker's twine border keeps all the photos grounded in the middle.
I also love all of the beautiful foiling on the Acorn Hollow embellishments and how you can easily layer the clear cut stickers and chipboard shapes together.  The green tree is a clear cut shape and the orange tree is chipboard.
The Xyron 2.5" Create-a-Sticker was super easy to use and perfect for both the chipboard and clear cut shapes.  They easily crank through the machine and do NOT need to dry - which for an impatient scrapbooker like me, is a little slice of heaven.  I was particularly happy that the adhesive was clear and does not ruin the clear cut shapes.

I liked the idea of tying the baker's twine together at the ends and then gluing it down as a "free form" frame.  The black and white twine was a nice contrast to the fall colors and pulled the photos and papers together.
I'm a big fan of using LYB journal tickets and fresh verse stickers to make a title.  It saves you from having to rely on alphabets and will fit together in fun clusters, like this one where I added a chipboard leaf and some jewel stickers as an accent.

Acorn Hollow Products:
AH-105 Toss & Tumble/Crimson Houndstooth
AH-104 Bountiful Bands/Textured Teal
AH-134 Journaling Cards - with foil accents (10 pieces)
AH-140 Cardstock Stickers - Fresh Verse - with foil and debossing (43 pieces)
AH-279 Chipboard Shapes - with foil accents (36 pieces)
AH-230 Clear Cuts - with foil accents (38 pieces)

Now for the giveaway - leave a comment on the Little Yellow Bicycle Blog and you have a chance to win some awesome Xyron goodies to make your own amazing project.  Leave a comment on the LYB Facebook page and you add another chance to win.  Then head on over to the Xyron Design Team blog to check out their fabulous creations and enter their giveaway with our Acorn Hollow Collection!  Be sure to "like" them on their Facebook Page for an extra chance to win!

Thank you for stopping by -

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sn@p You Go with Simple Stories

I'm sure you have noticed how much fun the new Sn@p Collection from Simple Stories is with all of its bright colors and playful sentiments.  I think it is my favorite Simple Stories collection to date...  The colors seem to compliment just about any photo you can come up with, so I thought I would use the collection for a Fall portrait page of my daughter.  I could have easily used the Harvest Lane collection, but had to try some Sn@p.

I really like the idea of a journal pocket, so I used one of the kraft colored pockets from the Sn@p Pockets - Color Fusion Assortment.  It worked perfectly with the numbered journal elements from the 3 x 4 Sn@p Cards.
I simply cut the numbered journal strips apart, wrote my sentiments and stuck them in the journal pocket which is attached to the layout with foam tape.
I also love the cardstock stickers with this collection, especially the month and days of the week sentiments.  It was easy to combine them for the title of my layout.

Thank you for stopping by -

Friday, October 5, 2012

Unique Fall Collections at the Steal Network

Recently I have been invited to join the Fall Design Team at the Steal Network for  I've been a long time customer and am tickled to get to play with whatever they send me, which includes today's steal of the day from Graphic 45.  You can also visit the Blog for inspiration and Surprise Steals - be sure to check it out...
It's almost time for the witches, ghouls and goblins in your lives to take the street and harass your neighbors for candy, which means it is time for you to get ready to document those precious Halloween moments.   The Magic of Oz collection from Graphic 45 was really fun to work with because of its unique Wizard of Oz graphics - not exactly your typical Halloween collection.   However, I really love how my Wicked Witch of the West layout turned out...  The bold titles around the border of the purple Wicked! patterned paper made a great background for my page and I chose to cut a piece of the green Parcel Post patterned paper to add to the middle for contrast to both the large 8x8 photo and the border.
These wicked chipboard buttons were a fun accent and only needed a bit of foam tape and some baker's twine to finish them off and make them pop.  I used my circle cutter to add a little orange border from the Munchkins patterned paper.
I also love the sentiments on these chipboard tickets because even though there are no scarecrows, lions or tin men in the photo, these little trick-or-treaters have plenty of brains, heart and courage and will use them to make it through this night of mischief.
It's fun to use Halloween collections for more everyday photos and pages.  I used some of the less graphic backsides of the patterned papers to make an Autumn page about love.  Layering many of the colors and papers together adds a nice variety and makes the papers seem less like Halloween and more like an autumn palette.
It's kind of funny that these beautiful flowers were included in what seems more like a Halloween collection, but they got me thinking about using the papers and palettes to make a Fall layout, so of course I was glad to have them.  I used a Martha Stewart leaf punch to cut the green leaves from the Emerald City paper that I also used to create the green sentiment strip that runs across the photo.
The chipboard tags are beautiful and easy to write on with a gel pen.  I merely added some twine for texture and used a bit of foam tape to make the tag stand out a bit more from the paper.  I also used my Martha Stewart Cherish Punch to make the border on the Scatterbrained Scarecrow patterned paper and then added a bit of black velvet floss to stitch through the holes created by the punch.
Please head on over to to pick up this fun Magic of Oz collection from Graphic 45 at a fraction of the retail price and get ready to record your Fall and Halloween memories.

Thank you for stopping by today!

Monday, October 1, 2012

More Fall Fun with Simple Stories

Is this a busy time of year for you?  Trying to get those Fall memories documented?  The Simple Stories Harvest Lane collection is a great palette for getting those photos scrapped and the design elements make it, "Oh so easy!"  This page of my son playing at the park was created in less than an hour... 

Tip: Even with a time crunch, push yourself to scrap more than one photo. I like to combine 4 x 6 photos with wallet-sized ones to get a better feel for the event/moment and to add more personality to the layout.  It also takes up more room on the page that you will not have to embellish.  I also love to pick up the main colors in a photos with the border of the layout page, so this light floral patterned paper was a great compliment and makes the photos pop.
I love how there are multiple sizes of alphabet stickers included with each collection.  It was fun to wrap my title around the page and start with the largest letters (featured below) and end with this phrase using the smaller red alphabet.  The grid patterned paper makes it so easy to line up all the elements on the page.
The 4 x 6 journal elements make great photo mats, like the one I used here to make this funny picture of my son stand out a little more on the page.
The cardstock stickers are wonderful embellishments and sentiments.  Add a little bit of foam tape to make them more dimenstional without too much bulk on the page.  Simple is the way to go at a busy time of year like Fall.  Hope this page provides a little inspiration on how to scrap in a hurry.

Harvest Lane Products:
  • Harvest Lane 12 x 12 Fundamental Cardstock Stickers 2602
  • Harvest Lane 12 x 12 Expressions Cardstock Stickers 2603
  • Harvest Lane Simple Basics Kit 2624
  • Harvest Blessings 2605
  • Splendor 2606
  • 4 x 6 Journaling Elements 2611

Have a wonderful day!