Dress up your door

Yarn Wreath Tutorial.

Crumb Cake

Who would've thought?

Coconut Sugar Scrub

A simple, yet luxurious gift. Don't forget to make one for yourself!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Under Wraps

I love wrapping presents.  Tying big bows of ribbon, making them all coordinated; it’s one of my favourite things about Christmas.

I had a great idea for my gift wrap this year, however my Slice machine decided not to cooperate.  I’m now awaiting an upgrade card from the manufacturer (which also means there won’t be any gift tags in my Etsy store until it’s fixed) and had to come up with another way to wrap my gifts.

My original idea included using kraft paper, so I decided to keep the kraft paper and do something simple.  Sometimes simple is better.



Brown paper packages tied up with string.


How do you wrap- with fancy bows? gift bags or boxes?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

DIY Christmas gift- Coconut/Peppermint Sugar scrub


I love giving homemade gifts.  Last year I gave some cookies in a jar and they were a big hit.  While watching Steven and Chris on CBC, they had a segment by The Frugalista  on coconut oil (she has a great website by the way).  Her sugar scrub stuck out in my mind and I knew I had found this years gift in a jar.

There are many recipes out there, but I followed Frugalista’s using coconut oil.  Here’s what you need:




1) Containers:

I found these sugar jars at my local dollar store. They were perfect because they had a lid and a little spoon!  If you can’t find a suitable sugar jar, I’d recommend a mason canning jar.  I think it’s important to have a wide mouth jar; if you don’t have a little spoon to scoop the scrub out, the recipient has to dig their fingers in the jar…much more difficult if the jar is narrow. I washed and dried the jars, and I removed the “sugar” sticker on them because I wanted to make my own labels.


2) Cocount oil:

I found organic extra virgin coconut oil at a local health food store.  This jar was $12.99 and was enough for the 6 jars I made.  You could likely substitute the coconut oil for olive oil if you wanted to.  I love the smell of coconut oil and it has very good moisturizing  properties, so I knew I really wanted to use it.


3) Scented oil:

This is the peppermint oil I use for my beeswax lip balm so I didn’t have to buy anymore.  You could use any essential oil you like, just make sure you’re not using baking extracts! {although since the recipe is just sugar and coconut oil, it would be completely edible…a little snack for the shower? ;) }

3) White sugar


C’mon, I don’t need to take a picture of white sugar, do I?




That’s it for ingredients!

Coconut oil is quite stable, meaning it can melt and then return to a solid form without any major consequences.  My apartment is a balmy 26 degrees Celsius year round, so I had to keep my oil in the fridge, otherwise it would turn to liquid.  Since the Frugalista measures her oil in solid form, I was convinced I had to have the oil solid.  I’m going to tell you to throw this out the window.  You have to melt the oil to mix it with the sugar anyhow.  The 1/4 cup of coconut oil that’s recommended in the recipe didn’t give me the consistency I was looking for.  So don’t worry if your oil at room temperature is a mix between solid and liquid, or all liquid. 

In a bowl you’re going to mix 1 cup white sugar with your coconut oil.  I will recommend you start with the 1/4 cup melted coconut oil that’s recommended, but I kept adding until I liked the consistency.  I wanted it to be a wet mixture; with 1/4 cup of oil, I found  the sugar to just be clumpy.  I ended up with close to 1/2 cup of oil, but mix it until you like it.  Add your essential oils; I never measure how many drops, I go by smell.


Now comes the crafty part…making the jars look pretty!


Labels are up first. 

I could have easily left the sugar labels that came with the jar, but I wanted something a little more festive.  You could design your own, or you could use holiday address labels.  Here’s a link to some holiday label templates from Avery. 

I decided to use the labels in my Stampin UP digital design free download, that I got a few weeks ago.  I chose the little snowman label.  I added the words “peppermint sugar scrub” and resized it to fit the space on my jar.

I printed them in colour and cut them out.   Since the scrub is most likely going to be used in the shower, I wanted to protect the label from water damage…which would make the ink run and get…well…yucky.

If you have a laminator, this is the time to use it!  If you’re like me, you resort to plan B and use shipping tape.

Sandwich the label in between shipping tape, and now it’s protected! Trim the edges and adhere to your jar.  I used double sided tape I use for making cards, it’s strong and sticky!


I wanted to dress up the jar a bit more, so I added one of my rhinestone snowflake gift tags and added some red and white baker’s twine to the lid of the jar.


Sugar Scrub

How cute are they!!!??

I’ve gifted one already and it was a big hit!  I also had some scrub left over and used it myself.  It smells amazing and left my skin so soft and smooth.  A quick and easy gift, easily made in big batches and quite cost effective! 


If you make some, take a picture and post it on my Facebook page!  Tell me what oil you used too!


Happy gifting!!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Homemade gifts- Cookies in a Jar

If you’re looking for some ideas for homemade gifts, check out my post from last year on Cowboy cookies in a jar- a great gift to give, and easy to put together!

Happy Gifting!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Postal Leap of Faith

     This is the time of year, where as an online business owner, I hold my breath every time I put a package in the post box.  I find myself saying a little prayer to the mail gods to deliver my customer’s order with speed and efficiency.  I pray to the Customs gods, that if they must pull the package, that they wrap it with the same care I did (I know…) and put it back in the mail system as quickly as possible.

As a Canadian Etsy seller, the majority of my customers are located in the US.  The estimated timeframe for letter-mail delivery to the US is 4-6 business days.  Most of the time, these time frames are upheld.  However, especially around this time of year, mail volumes go up, and turn around times may get longer.

I’ve done my due diligence and make sure my profile as my location as London, Ontario; I put notices in my announcements, the message that is sent when the order is  placed, in my acknowledgement email to the customer, and again in the shipping notice email. I ship all orders the next business day upon confirmed payment (unless otherwise stated). 

All my customers have been phenomenal.  If they don’t realize when they order that their cards are coming from Canada, they realize it when they send me a message and are always understanding. I recently received some feedback from a US customer that there was room for improvement with shipping; the customer, although very happy with her order, and stated she would purchase again, seemed to express disappointment that her tags took 1 week to arrive.  

1 week?! That’s fantastic!

At first I was confused, and a bit taken a back.  When I looked at the order and shipping dates, a little light bulb went off.  I think I understand her comment better now, but I think there are some things customers should keep in mind when they place an international order.


Here is some information about our Canadian Postal system that my international customers may not be aware of:

  •  Post boxes have cut off times.  Here in London, a major city with a postal processing plant, post box pick ups are scheduled for 10am
    • Some locations may also have an evening clear out of 5pm, typically these are post boxes that are in front of a postal outlet, or a mall. 
    • This means, if you put mail in the post box after 10am, it will not get picked up until the next business day.


  • We do not have Saturday mail service.   Our letter carriers work Monday-Friday. That means, if I put a letter in the post box, on Friday, and after 10am, it is not picked up until Monday morning. 
    • The customer I previously mentioned placed her order Friday afternoon; therefore when I put it in the post box on Saturday morning, it wasn’t picked up until Monday morning.  She received her order 5 days later, which is within the estimated turn around time for US lettermail.  She may not realize that we don’t have Saturday mail service, and thus she expected her order to arrive earlier than it did.


  • Customs can inspect the packages at random.  By law, I need to include a CN22 customs declaration when sending printed matter with a value under $500.  This means, each order has a customs form that I fill out.  Customs has the right to inspect these packages, which can delay the delivery times.  I have absolutely no control over what they inspect, or how long they hold on to it.


  • It’s all really a gamble.  I’ve had orders get to Australia faster than they get to the U.S.  I have no idea why, or how; aside from putting an “airmail” sticker and increased postage, the orders that are sent to the Australia are packed the same as the orders to the US.


This is a very busy time of year for mail; I know everyone is excited to receive gifts and purchases in the mail.  I feel very helpless when things don’t arrive when expected, and I will do everything I possibly can to ensure an order is in the mail as soon as possible.

I want to thank all my wonderful customers, who have had orders delayed due to customs inspections or other mail delays for their understanding.

I ask that the next time you make a purchase from a small business owner, that you take into account the location, where’s it’s coming from and where it needs to go.  Plan ahead if you can, and if the timing isn’t going to work out, ask if you can upgrade shipping, or consider something else.


Happy Shopping!


Picture source: Copyright © 2011 Joy Khoriaty - All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Etsy wishlist

Like it or not, Christmas is around the corner!  I admit that I’m just trying to make it to 5pm December 4th before I do anything remotely Christmas related.  At 5pm on December 4th I’ll have finished a weekend at The Met.  After that, I’ll be able to breathe.  Then I’ll have time to finish my own shopping, decorating, wrapping and all the things I love about Christmas.
I’m trying very hard to shop local and/handmade if possible this year, more so than in the past.  Except for some little kids I know, I will be choosing to purchase local/handmade items, or making things myself whenever possible. I’ve already purchased a few gifts on Etsy and have a few items in mind for the rest of the people I’m shopping for. 
I was taking a peek through my favourites on Etsy; I’m still amazed every day about the talent of the artisans.  Here are a few things on my Etsy wishlist:

A TwillyPop Bianca necklace. Or anything TwillyPop.  I have been eyeing so many things from her shop for a long time.
Photo credit: twillypop

A photo calendar.  I can’t decide between Paris or New York as they are two of my favourite cities.  EyePoetry Photography’s work is just absolutely gorgeous, so either would be amazing to hang on the wall.
Photo credit: EyePoetryPhotgraphy

Isn’t this leather Dalia brooch gorgeous!  I’m very much intro brooches now and this one from Leatherblossoms is just beautiful!
Photo credit- Leatherblossoms

I love this yarn bowl from LennyMud.  I actually have a piece from the artist Lorrie, who very generously gifted a pink elephant to me after we both participated in a Thursday Sweet Treat challenge.  I have never forgotten her kindness and proudly display my pink elephant on my shelf in my office.  You can read the story of the Pink Elephant here.  Lorrie’s work is incredibly awesome and her Etsy store indicates she’s busy working day and night to keep her popular items in stock.  Unfortunately her knitting bowl has sold, but I will continue to keep my eye out for after the holidays and hopefully a few more will be available.
Photocredit: LennyMud

And finally, this picture from PibbleSlobberStudio.  I don’t know where I’d put it, but every time I see it, I can’t help but smile and laugh.  This may go in my office for some stress relief.

Photocredit: PibbleSlobberStudio

I hope that more people will find Etsy, or other avenues of shopping handmade and/or local.  It may not be possible for everything, and I have many things in my possession that are not handmade.  But when I have the choice, I will choose to purchase handmade or local.

Besides, it’s pretty exciting to shop online comfy and cozy with some coffee and look forward to a package in the mail amidst all the bills ;)

Happy Holiday shopping!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Time to walk the walk

I have always said that I want this blog to be about more than just A Paper Buffet and my store.  I haven’t been doing that.  The past few weeks, I’ve been trying to blog more, but I haven’t kept my word about content.  The  majority of my posts have been a breakdown of my cards; the same pictures found in the listing, but I explain what colours I used. 

I’m not that boring in real life, I promise.

So, I’m committing, once again, to change up the content of this blog and make sure it’s about other things that just cards.  With the holidays coming, I have lots of ideas for homemade gifts, holiday decorating and some non-holiday related things.  I’ve been practicing some new things in photography so I can share that with you as well.  I will still feature some cards, but I don’t want to make it my entire focus.

I hope you’ll join me, or come back if you’ve left because of my boring content {I don’t blame you}.


And if you’ve stuck through it all, boring posts and me blabbing endlessly about different shades of cardstock- thank you!


Until next time,



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Vintage card- part 4

Here’s another card made with some vintage Authentique paper.  I used the striped paper as the background and kept the rest of the card quite simple.


I used Old Olive as the card base and added a cherry cobbler mat.  I cut a poinsettia with my Slice machine from cherry cobbler paper; the poinsettia is cut in two layers and I really like the effect.  I used a large rhinestone in the centre of the poinsettia to add a touch of sparkle.


I stamped the Christmas tree in old olive ink; this tree is one of my favourite Christmas images and is from the Season of Joy set.  I cut out the Very Vanilla paper with my nestibilities, but before I removed it from the die, I sponged some Crumb Cake ink around the inside.  I’ve often seen this technique and was quite envious.  I’ve only recently gotten better at it, the trick is not to have too much ink on your sponge.


I used a scallop punch for the bottom edge of the DP, and placed a rhinestone in a pattern on the bottom. Finally, I added my absolutely favourite ribbon…which technically isn’t ribbon at all- it’s called seam binding in Cherry cobbler.

The inside of the card used come more Authentique paper (I seriously can’t get enough of it!), more scalloped border punch and distressed all of the edges.


I’m also really pleased how this card photographed. Some cards are very easy to photograph and some are…well an absolute nightmare.  I am getting better, but sometimes it’s still a struggle.





Happy Tuesday!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lest We Forget

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium, by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae


Never again.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Vintage Christmas- part 3

This might be one of my favourite cards so far; and it came about by accident!  I had cut the background paper, punched the red edge and attached the red ribbon and then…hit the creative wall.  The card I had planned out, just wasn’t working anymore.  I tried a number of different images, sentiments, but nothing was working.  I put the card away for a night and decided to come back to it later.

I looked over my craft table and saw a scrap of the Authentique Christmas paper tucked under my paper cutter.  This little group of birds was staring back at me…eureka!  It was perfect! The answer to saving the card wasn’t a stamp at all…it was patterned paper!

I cut out the birds with my oval nestibilities, and added a cherry cobbler mat oval and it became the focus point of the front of the card. 

The inside of the card used coordinated paper, with a lace punched old olive paper. 

This card is a bit vintage, and for some reason I feel the bird image makes it a bit country/shabby chic.  For a card that didn’t come together as I had envisioned, I’m thrilled with how it turned out.  Some times you just have to let the creative process completely take over.


  I’ve added this card to the A Paper Buffet Etsy shop .  I’ll have more cards to share with you from this paper collection soon!


Happy Thursday!






Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Vintage Christmas- part 2

Here’s another card with no stamping on the outside.  Another vintage Christmas cards using Authentique Christmas “Wonder” paper.  I just love this snowman!

I added a different stitch (and did it by hand…I must be crazy!) to the border to add some texture.  I used the cherry cobbler for the base, with a black mat and black stitching.

There’s not much more I can say about this card- I think it speaks for itself.  The collage paper is absolutely gorgeous, I can’t wait to show you more from this line.

I added more to the inside of the card again, using more patterned paper and distressing all of the edges.

  I’ve listed this card in the A Paper Buffet Etsy shop and I have some more vintage themed cards to show you, so stay tuned!

Happy Wednesday!









Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Vintage Christmas; part 1

Surprisingly, there’s no stamping on the outside of these cards.  I recently bought some gorgeous Christmas paper (Wonder by Authentique) and I just couldn’t bare to cover it up with stamped images. 

This paper has a very vintage theme, which isn’t something I normally work with, but I couldn’t resist this paper.  I added hand stitching to the border of the card to add some interest since I was using the paper as the main image.  I was most happy about using black and red, what an impact it has!


I just love this old vintage Santa image, and the postmark just adds to it.  I decided to dress up the inside of the card since the outside didn’t have anything extra


I added some more of the Authentique paper, and a border of green cardstock, punched with a lace punch.




The card base is cherry cobbler and I used some black paper for the matting.  The inside panel is more black with a

very vanilla panel. 


I’ve listed this in the A Paper Buffet Etsy shop  and I’ll be back tomorrow with another vintage Christmas card.


Happy Tuesday!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Coffee mug gift boxes

  Are you ready for some cuteness?  I am so happy to be finally sharing these with you.  I’ve made some cute new gift boxes that are shaped like coffee mugs! 
Just in time for the holidays and perfect for teacher’s gifts, the office gift-exchange or that hard-to-buy for person on your Christmas list.

I’ve been working over the past few weeks trying to figure out how to ship these, in a manner that won’t cost you your first born child.  Shipping is very expensive here in Canada; funny enough, it’s cheaper for me to ship something to the U.S. than it is to ship within Canada!

I’ve decided, due to the cost of shipping, to sell these paper mugs in sets of two.   You can gift these as a set, or individually. 

Aren’t they adorable!  Each mug is 3” high and has a diameter of almost 2.75”.  You can fit a package of hot chocolate and some marshmallows, or some little cookies inside.


   These will be perfect filled with little goodies; I’d wrap some clear or Christmas cellophane around the whole mug and tie it with some ribbon.  It’d be so sweet!


I’ve made these mugs in three colours, and they’re available in the A Paper Buffet Etsy shop 




You’ve already seen the green set, so here is the blue:


and red:

I can’t decide which one I like the most- they are so cute!


What would you put inside your paper coffee mug gift boxes?  Chime in below!


Happy Monday!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thank you card

I bought some mini shipping tags months ago, and completely forgot about them.  I needed to make a thank you card, and thought the mini tag would be the perfect way to stamp the sentiment.  I used some of that great Simple Stories Elementary paper that I used for these birthday cards and a simple layout.  I just love this paper, and the slightly distressed look;  I distressed the tag using some SU Crumb Cake ink to compliment the DP.




The card base is SU Very Vanilla, and I layered Cherry Cobbler paper for the matting.  I love the deep colour of the Cherry Cobbler paper.  I added some Cherry Cobbler seam binding ribbon to the tag to tie it all together.  I made the card 5” square- I needed the card for work and 10 people had to sign it, so I wanted to make sure there was enough room.



Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Knit poppy and a penguin sweater

In Canada, November marks Remembrance day, celebrated on November 11th.  We pay tribute to our military personnel, past and present.  We wear poppies on our lapels as a sign of remembrance.  The poppies are pinned on using a small straight pin, and  I often lose many poppies each season. I hate the thought of losing a poppy and having it lay on the ground somewhere.  I think I lose them, in part, because I drive so much and the seat belt often moves the poppy that I wear on my left side.  I was browsing Ravelry and found a pattern for a knit poppy.   I thought this was a great way for me to have a poppy that I wouldn’t lose. The pattern was written by Laura Chau, and she also has it posted on her blog here .  The poppy was my knit flower, and it knit up quite quickly.  I didn’t have any black yarn, so I used some left over dark grey yarn.  I added a few rows to make the poppy larger; the grey yarn was double the thickness of the red yarn, and I wanted to keep the flower proportional to the size of the centre.  I added the following rows:

                           Round 10: Knit
                           Round 11: kfb k2 repeat to end 56 stitches
                           Round 12: Knit
                           Round 13: Knit
                           Round 14: purl
                           Round 15: bind of pwise

I’m happy with how my very first flower came out.  The first few rows are the trickiest; the needles (2.75mm) are very small and I felt like I kept getting tangled in the yarn and the needles.



Poppies are received when you make a donation to the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy fund.  I’ll continue to make a donation when I see the Legion members with their poppy boxes, while wearing my knit poppy.



And now for  a penguin sweater update- it is complete!  I finished knitting and then added the elastic thread on the collar and on the bottom edge as recommended.  I don’t have a stuffed penguin, so I modeled the sweater on my Harrod’s bear.  He looks pretty cute!penguin sweater 2

The penguin sweater is on it’s way to Australia. It might not help this round of penguins (the request went viral and the wildlife centre received an abundance of sweaters), but perhaps some other little animals can put it to good use.


Happy Tuesday!


Monday, October 31, 2011

Here’s looking at you, kid.

  Happy Halloween!!  


I’ve been waiting to share this project with you for so long!  I have a circle of crafty friends and we’re located all over North America.  We keep in touch on Facebook mostly and every so often we have a Secret gift exchange.  It’s like a Secret Santa, but we do it for other holidays or for no reason at all.  I haven’t been able to participate in all of them, but we decided to have a Fall gift exchange.  We were allowed to choose if we preferred a Halloween item, or a Fall item.

I will admit, I’m not the biggest Halloween fan.  I love seeing my little Godson dressed up, but I’m not one to go to a Halloween party.  I had a project in mind for a Fall gift, but I was nervous about getting someone who wanted a Halloween item because I didn’t have any ideas!



As fate would have it, my Secret Sister requested a Halloween item.  I was up to the challenge!  Cue Pinterest!  Well, indirectly Pinterest.  I’ve avoided signing up for the site, even though I’m extremely interested since I already spend so much time online.  I was hopping through some stamp blogs for inspiration or another project and went to i {heart} to stamp for some inspiration.  Jen Del Muro is so uber talented, it’s just awesome!  I found her post from her adventures on Pinterest and her frame

I knew I had to case this frame!  I decided to add more space in between the eyes, and I excluded the banner she had created.  Even thought it’s for Halloween, I wanted to keep the frame less-holiday specific.

I picked up a wooden frame and covered it with black card stock.  I used a nail file to smooth all the edges flush with the edge of the frame.  Then I glued  down all those googley-eyes. 


  I created the flower with some green and black glitter ribbon (read: glitter everywhere) by cutting straight pieces, arranging them in a star pattern and then folding them into the middle and gluing them down.  I found a lime green paper flower, and then a giant black flat-backed rhinestone.   I sprayed the glitter ribbon with sealant so that the glitter would stop ‘spreading’.   I glued down the flower eh, voila! 


The best thing about this frame is the sound it makes when you shake it…all those googly eyes, moving about…it’s creepy and hilarious all at once!


If you celebrate Halloween, enjoy! Be safe, and have fun! 

And if you don’t celebrate Halloween, at least it’s a good TV night ;)

Happy Halloween!




Monday, October 24, 2011

Birthday greetings (and a penguin sweater)

My  mom requested some (masculine) birthday cards for some upcoming family birthdays, and luckily I had just bought some gorgeous paper.  I had picked up some Simple Stories Elementary paper (Spelling Bee #1207 and Smarty Pants #1205) for a thank you card, but had enough for some birthday cards.

I chose a variation of  Mojo Monday sketch and made two cards using this great paper.  Both cards were made on Night of Navy cardstock, with Old Olive card stock as mats.  Each edge was distressed with Crumb Cake ink.


I bought the little shipping tags last spring, and completely forgot about them.  But it worked really well on this sketch. 

The second card used the same paper, but flipped some of the paper (thank goodness for double sided paper), and this time I used a label and a button instead of a tag.


You probably thought the bit about ‘penguin sweaters’ in my title was a joke, but, sadly, it’s not.     There was an oil spill off the coast of New Zealand and it has affected some Little Blue Penguins.  A yarn store, Skeins, a yarn store in New Zealand is collecting Penguin PJs to be forwarded on to help the penguins.  The penguin sweaters will prevent the penguins from preening their oily feathers and ingest the oil.

The pattern was posted on the  Skeins newsletter.  There was an update on the blog and the Wildlife centre doesn’t need any more sweaters, but you can still send them in as there is another rescue centre that has asked for the surplus. 

I’ve started a sweater and I’ll send it down once it’s finished, here’s a snapshot (from my mobile, sorry for the bad lighting) of the first part.

penguin sweater

I’ll have some more projects to share with you this week, and some new holiday items to add to the store- make sure you check out the A Paper Buffet’s Facebook page and grab a coupon to save 10% on any purchase until Oct 31st (limit one per customer). 

Happy Monday!

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