Coupon Girl was created with AutoShapes in the Microsoft PowerPoint toolbar, then pasted into Adobe Photoshop and saved as a GIF file. 
Her hair began with the AutoShape star "Explosion1," colored brown and rotated.  A second exploding star formed the bangs.  Her arms are based on the AutoShape "Curved Arrow."  To change the image for a rollover effect, the limbs can be easily moved.  The letter on Coupon Girl's costume was made with Microsoft Word Art. A grey shadow was added.  The pink smile is based on the "Moon Shape," rotated left and then stretched to show various facial expressions. 
The custom animated GIF on my opening "splash" page was created with a free downloaded version of GifBuilder. I create the two images from AutoShapes, saved as GIFs in PhotoShop, opened as two frames in GifBuilder. I set the animation to loop three times with an interframe delay of 90/100th of a second.  I never figured out why the yellow and peach colors turned to white.  And the black stripes around the pocket were certainly not intentional.  The GifBuilder download includes a helpful tutorial. But be warned -- this required much tinkering to align multiple images correctly and would be challenging for beginners. 
The splash page includes the hypertext "Enter the Coupon Domain."  But I did not want the traditional blue underlining that normally designates a hyperlink. Editing the source code, I made the following "decoration: non" modification based on a tip from 

   <A HREF="" 
    STYLE="text-decoration: none"> 
    Enter the Coupon Domain</A></FONT></CENTER> 

The Rollover Home Button below was created in two different versions with slightly different colored fills on the stars and hair.  I used the wonderful RollOver MegaCoder from Infinite Fish: this online form generates the necessary tags after users answer a series of questions.  Then the necessary HTML tags just needs to pasted into two locations in your page's source code. 
If you enjoy fancy text but cannot afford to purchase Adobe PhotoShop, try some of the web sites that generate attractive font-images while you wait.  My favorite is  -- click "Awesome 2D Headings" or one of the other categories for a free trial.