Saturday, January 29, 2011

Turkish Towels: Gotta be crafty! Softness is not enough...

Turkish towels are famous all around the world with its good quality, high-absorbent and organic cotton material that does not wear/tear with many many washes in addition to its softness. Don't be surprised to see a 'Made in Turkey' tag even if you are shopping for towels from designer brands such as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Neiman Marcus, etc... Most of the good well-known brands carry Turkish towels.

For turkish people, there is an another feature that will not make a towel Turkish towel: the handmade authentic designs on two ends. Turkish people adapted this crafty, fancy feature from Ottomans. The designs are done in a variety of embroidery techniques. Needlework, ribbon work, lace work, hand stitching and crochet are some examples. The color palette on the towels is usually extremely rich matching with its designs and figures.
I wanted to share some of my towels with you that is mostly handmade by my mom. 
So, what do you think A Cup of Sparkle readers? Do you like them?

Hand Stitched Foot Towel from Kayseri, Turkey

Hand Stitched Hand Towel from Denizli, Turkey

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Best of the Week: Etsy Finds by A Cup of Sparkle

Multicolor Earstuds by Donauluft

I come across with many outstanding pieces on Etsy that I thought I 
would make a regular best of the Etsy finds series of A Cup of Sparkle
My picks will be things I find unique, creative and worth spending 
money on.I am excited to share my findings with my readers.

This weeks best of the week piece is these multicolor earstuds by 
DonaluftI love the design, color and the perfection of the tiny glass 
beads in this piece. 
Great job Viktoria! Congratulations...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Free Shipping Promotion on all A Cup of Sparkle Jewelry till Valentines Day!

I wanted to let all of my readers know about the promotion I am running till the February 14th, Valentines Day.  All the A Cup of Sparkle jewelry comes with free shipping now.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Momma Bird Nest Pin Photography: BEFORE and AFTER

For the first time, I have joined a meet-up group get-together yesterday: etsyRAIN Team! They were all very nice, enthusiastic and talented Etsy ladies; some with well established Etsy stores and some with new stores-like my Cup of Sparkle. I truly enjoyed my time and learned from them.

It is not the first time that I started thinking I need better photographs for my jewelry shop; but, I think now I have a better idea how to do it (kind of) and where to start. I discovered a new blog of one of the etsyRAIN team leaders, Marlo M. Her blog is about small object photography which is exactly what I need. She has great tips about lighting and composition in her blog. She teaches photography as well.
If you are interested, her blog website is:

Marlo has some before and after pictures of arts, mostly jewelry on her blog. I wanted to share one before and after photography for my bird nest brooch pin with you.

What do you think? I would like to hear your honest opinions. I have not used any of these pictures on my Etsy shop for this brooch yet. I think I have a lot of room to improve here.
If you are interested, click below for the brooch in my online store:
Bird Nest Brooch Pin with Freshwater White Pearls

Friday, January 14, 2011

Creativity is everywhere... made in Mexico!

My husband and I visited Cancun over the Christmas holiday in 2010. Our very welcoming room service attendants made those overly creative animals out of towels everyday. The only materials they used are rubber bands, towels and stickers for the mouth and eyes.  

If you are looking for something special for your guests visiting your home, I recommend the towel animals. Aren't they so pretty????
Photograph courtesy belongs to A Cup of Sparkle.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Instructions on how to make professional looking business cards and spend less?

Creating your custom business cards might be easier than what you are thinking of. I created cards for my Etsy shop recently to help the advertisement of my shop. I summarized the instructions below. I hope it will help.
1- Buy printable business card templates from an office store such as OfficeMax or Staples.

Once you look online or go to a store, you will realize that you have so many options. 
1- Your background color options are ivory and white.
2- You can get cards for laser or inkjet printers. This is quite important because the papers can melt in the printer if you use the wrong printer.
3- One sided or two sided templates are available. It depends on what you want.
4- Matte or Glossy cards are available. This also depends on what you like.
5- They all come in standard size (2" x 3 1/2") in 100  or 200 cards/pack. I would go with the higher quantity.

As you can understand from my shop title, I like glimmery things. Therefore, I picked a glossy finish and a white background. If I will buy card templates again, I will pick the same card for laser printers while most copy stores carry laser printers.

2- Go to Web and search 'business card design' on Google. This is the time to brainstorm about your business card. Grab a piece of paper and a pen, sketch your ideas. Be creative!

Microsoft office offeres many templates for business cards that you can reach from the link below. I found them useful while brainstorming.

3- Once you decide on your picture and wording, find a template for the business card you purchased online. There are two easy ways for this.

 a- Go directly to vendor's webpage. I had Avery labels . You can find Avery templates from this webpage:
 b- If you have Microsoft Word on your computer, follow the instructions below: ( I have 2007 version)
Mailings ---> Labels ---> Options ---> Scroll down the label vendor list to find the correct vendor ---> Select the correct product number which you will find on the label envelope.  ---> Hit Okey ---> Now, you should see the exact template on your screen with the printable business cards you purchased. The border lines you see on the screen will not be visible when you print. They are only to outline.

There are many advantages to use the word, in my opinion. You can find almost any label vendor and the product number in their system. You can also use basic shapes, lines, arrows to draw. I have used Avery, product number: 8879 using Word as my template. You can find the correct product number on your business card .

4- Now, you can copy and paste your pictures and write the wording you picked on your word document template. Then, copy that box and paste to all the rest of the boxes.

For A Cup of Sparkle business cards, I have used my banner which is the same in my Etsy shop and my blog. I didn't want to write my real name; but, if you like, you can have it on there. I also included two links; one for my Etsy shop and one for my blog. as well as my e-mail address.

5- Make sure to save the word document on your computer. Print at home or save it on a flashdrive to print at a copy store.

My banner was quite rich in colors. Therefore, I printed my cards in a copy store. FedEx offices offers printing. However, they only have laser printers.
If you are printing at home, make sure to load the paper from the correct direction. You should definetely give it a try first and print the rest after a succesful trial. One other thing to pay attention is to let the papers cool and dry before you do antying with your prints. Lay each paper individually.

6- Once your cards are dry (max. 10 min after printing),  you can snap them apart following the vendor's instructions.

7- Now, it is time to distribute your card as much as possible. 

Good Luck Advertising!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Years Crafting Resolution. Wish me Luck!

..............Finish knitting my scarf I started almost 18 months ago.

My twin sister is always the one who knits in the family. She will knit for everyone; for my aunts, my mom, my in laws, my husband etc. etc. Therefore, I usually don't. My thing is jewelry making...
Last year, I had some free time to spare while watching movies. Hence, I wanted to start a new project.

Aslan loves my scarf!
That project was knitting a scarf that I saw in a store in San Francisco. I fell in love with the small flowers they put on the two ends of the scarf. Next, my mom and I went to the closest yarn store which is Jo-ann Fabrics in Ballard and picked up some beige color yarn and some fabric to use to make flowers. We cut the fabric using some craft stamps shaped as flowers. That worked out fantastic. The knitting, not too well. Yes, I am slow; but, I also realized that I started my scarf too wide and the design was too heavyweight.

I am very determined to finish it this year and wear this winter-which is quite long in Seattle. I am using my fourth yarn and looking forward to share my finished scarf with all of you.

Thank you all for your support!!!!!!!
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