Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fall Leaves with Ice Cream.. cooking at A Cup of Sparkle kitchen.

Fall is when we realize the leaves outside most, when they start changing colors. When the green leaves turn into yellow, golden and red that is the time to welcome the most romantic season of all: Fall.  It is such a wonderful time of the year! But most of all; it is also the time to open the fall cooking season in the kitchen with some baked goods..
Yum! Autumn leaves ice-cream sandwich cookies... Aren't those look fantastic?

September is just around the corner and you can definitely catch the glimpse of fall in Pacific Northwest. I am still not ready for the cool weathers though after the late summer. That is my excuse to add a scoop of ice-cream to my early fall cooking today.

Cookies are one of the easiest and fastest things to make. However, there is a special secret to this leaves cookies. It has a handtouch of the nature! Simple, cheap and fun!

Pick a large old leaf with distinct veins- I picked a leaf from my hydrangea flower. Simply, use the leaf as a cookie print. Then, use a cookie cutter to create a leaf piece. My cookie recipe is simple with using less butter (I always cut from the butter from all the online recipes I use) and with a little bit of cinnamon.
Once the cookies are cooked, I added a scoop of ice cream in between two cookies and put them in the freezer. My hubby and I truly enjoyed these delicious fall cookies this evening after shopping at Costco...

I hope my little, simple recipe brought you some inspiration inside or outside of the kitchen. Have a fantastic month of September and enjoy the last day of the August my lovely readers...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Welcome home the little owl.

A wise owl sat on an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why aren't we like that wise old bird?

How the Owl came to be recognized as the symbol of wisdom is probably had a lot to do with Owl's large eyes, with their ability to see in the dark, while it is silently observes its prey. They are one of the coolest feathered animals. Don't you agree?

I bought this little owl at an estate sale today. I rarely shop garage sales but; I had to own this little guy. I fell in love with its beautiful brown eyes with blue hues and its gorgeous feathers.

and.. here is what I was working on this Saturday. My latest bird nest necklace that I customized for a mom with twin boys. A lovely pigeon is sitting on top of this sweet hand woven nest; representing motherhood. Custom orders are always so much fun! I will be working on a custom bracelet tomorrow and excited to share my finished project with you soon...

Have a fantastic Sunday all of you! Be safe and have fun.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Help - Read and Watched...

I am in a book club with a bunch of awesome girls. With my book club, we create a list of genres at the beginning of each year and read a genre each month such as romance, fiction, biography, travel, etc. Last month, we read 'The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. I truly enjoyed it. Have you read it yet? If not, I highly recommend it.

    This last week, my girlfriends and I went to see the movie 'The Help'. It is classic that the movies are always a bit dissapointing after reading the book but; I was not dissapointed this time. Lot of scenes were quite dramatic but; I think they did a good job following the book.

Have you read the book or seen the movie yet? I would love to know what you thought of it?
We will be reading a memoir this month. Any suggestions for a good memoir book?

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy the blue skies this weekend..

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Personalized Etsy Giveaway from A Cup of Sparkle

A Cup of Sparkle is doing its first giveaway to celebrate my awesome readers, fans and customers. To make it special for you, I am offering a personalized bird nest keychain, a necklace or a brooch pin so that you can experinece the customer service at A Cup of Sparkle. The winner can customize their bird nest jewelry with any number of eggs in any color. Isn't that great?

I am offering this one time giveaway at one of my favorite crafty blogs at Craftberry Bush. Remember my succulent planter tutorial?  That planter was inspired from Lucy's awesome blog. Her blog is very inspirational and crafty. You're gonna like it :-)

Make sure to visit Lucy's lovely blog at Craftberry Bush to enter to this giveaway. It ends at the end of August. Good Luck!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Delicious Apple Necklace

Red apple necklace jewelry, handmade by A Cup of Sparkle

This two delicious apples looks good enough to eat, doesn't it? Our little forest friend bee couldn't resist the smell of this delicious, sweet apples either. It has its wings out right above that branch.

A unique apple necklace inspired by the apple tree in my back yard. I hope you liked my new creation. This will make a wonderful and healthy gift for a friend, teacher or someone special. Cute necklace with rich, natural coral beads matched with fine sterling silver accents.
Like they say: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." 

Friday, August 19, 2011


Are you smiling yet? I made this sunflower smiley face for you my lovely readers. I really hope that it worked :-)
       Pike Place Market in Seattle has the most amazing and budget friendly flowers I have ever seen before. I brought this beautiful yellow bouquet home with some fresh vegetables today. I love the sunflower season with its bright yellow and orangey colors. It makes me smile! Everyone loves flowers but; smiling flowers are even better, if you want to try next time you get flowers for someone. Just an idea...

Sunflower necklace by A Cup of Sparkle
There are many original pieces in A Cup of Sparkle Etsy shop. One of them is this sunflower necklace in silver accented with emerald and Swarovski crystals. Very simple, yet; very casual and fun. It is a great piece for fall...  You can see more detailed pictures of this sunflower necklace by clicking here.

I hope you liked my creations for today and you will always find a reason to smile.  Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jersey Lace Scarf Tutorial

I have been busy hand sewing lately for my fall wardrope; something cozy chic! I purchased matching gray and yellow jersey knit and lace for my hanmade scarf project. I don't have a sewing machine so; I planned everything as simple as it can be.

Jersey and Lace Scarf Tutorial by A Cup of Sparkle
Jersey scarves has been so popular and my inspiration was a lace jersey scarf I saw on Pinterest. Initially, I thought I would do exactly the same pattern but; then, I couldn't find any good quality lace in the fabric store. In the end, I created my own versatile infinity scarf design in beautiful gray and yellow colors.

Here is my simple schematic step-by-step tutorial I prepared for you. I hope you liked it and it will bring you inspiration to do something crafty. 

Let me know if you decide to try it. I would love to know how your scarf turned out :)

Step #1: Cut your jersey fabric in rectangles. I used the entire piece I purchased for the gray fabric.
You can also repurpose an old T-shirt instead of buying new fabric.

Materials Needed
Step #2: Cut the gray fabric again into two pieces; a short and a long piece.

Step #3: Sew the yellow fabric on top of the smaller dark fabric piece.
You can skip this step, if you like. The yellow fabric I used was thinner and transparent like lace. I did this step to create a dark silhouette behind the branch and flower motifs and also to have a homogenous feel throughout the scarf in terms of thickness.

Step #4: Now, it is time to bring those two pieces together.
I did hand sewing but; I am sure sewing machine will work better.

Step #5: This is an infinity scarf shaped like a big circle so; in this step, you will close the circle by sewing the right and left ends together.

Step #6: This step is also optional. I added a short lace peace where I combined the yellow and gray fabric together. My motivation was to hide my bad hand sewing :) but, I also like the jersey and lace together.

Step #7: Ta-Da...  your handmade, original scarf is ready to accessorize your fall outfits!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Accessories for Mom - It is a girl!

Personalized accessories for moms, handmade keychain
This cuteness is flying to Virginia today. I personalized this mother keychain for a new mom. A pink pearl is sitting on a wire bird nest and a bird is hanging on top of the nest. It is more than a keychain, a small symbol that will remind your baby angels wherever you go. It is a great pleasure to handcraft jewelry and accessories for new moms and share a bit of their excitement. Congratulations again!

Other colors of this bird nest mom accessories and jewelry can be found in my shop or feel free to contact me for personalized orders. Have a lovely Tuesday!

NEW! Fall of August colors

I added a new fall color to the handmade felt jewelry bags that I ship my orders in. I have been getting so many positive feedback from my customers about my packaging. Thank you all of you for your nice comments!  New autumn packaging color is orange. Isn't the colors so pretty? You can find the tutorial here to make this cute felt bag.

Handmade felt jewelry bags

With the leaves changing colors, I also took advantage of the nature and photographed my new orange pearl nest earrings with the beautiful leaves from my yard. I love the fall of August and very excited to share the A Cup of Sparkle 2011 fall collection with you.
Burnt orange pearls bird nest earrings by A Cup of Sparkle
Have a great week everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend.. I completed one of the items from my to do list for this summer and biked around 40 miles on Saturday :) I am quite sore but; it felt really good.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Pickle and The Jar....Best of the week: Etsy finds by A Cup of Sparkle

"To Do lists" is my favorite time management tool; both at home and at work.  Lately, I realized how long is my list for the summer. I really have to hurry!
1- Do more kayaking
2- Ride my bike when it the sun is out 
3- BBQ more
4- Wear my big summer hat more
15- Go to a beach and walk/lay down on hot sand ...

How does your list look like? Do you have big plans before the end of summer OR this weekend?

Weekly Planner Chalkboard by canodesigns, $31.99
I found this brilliant chalkboard wall planner on Etsy. I believe visual calendars makes it easier to apply The Pickle Jar Theory in life; ultimately manage our time better. If you have not heard about this theory yet, I storngly recommend you to take a look. It made a lot of difference in how I balance my life and no, it has nothing to do with pickles :)
Congratulations Canodesigns! You are the best of the week of Etsy finds by A Cup of Sparkle. Great work!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Moms of Multiples

Here is my latest custom order for a mom-to-be of twins. My customer does not know the gender of the babies; so, she picked white pearls for her mama bird nest keychain. This cute dove bird nest is flying to its new home in Texas tomorrow!
Mom-to-be handmade keychain from A Cup of Sparkle
Cute gifts for twins, triplets or quads moms are available at A Cup of Sparkle handmade jewelry. You can customize your keychains, necklaces or earrings with any color and number of pearls or gemstones. These gift ideas for moms of multiples are very unique and handmade with love.
As always, please contact me for any special requests.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Let's Hula Hawaii!... Hula Girl Napkin Fold Tutorial

Ready to the bring the fun, enjoyment and sun of the tropical Hawaiin Islands
to your table?

Hula girl napkin folding is simple and really fun to make. All you need is two sets of napkins.. Large flower motifs works best for the shirts and a colorful napkin for the skirt; a green will be my first choice - (I only had white at home unfortunately...)

I am back from my camping trip out in the woods and started dreaming about a new trip: To Hawaii! I am not sure if I will be able to go soon but; I decided to create my own tropical paradise in Seattle at my house with this Hawaiian dancing girl napkins.

I got lots of good feedback from you on Lily Flower napkin folding tutorial and wanted to share another one. I came up with this shirt and a hula skirt napkin combination. Exotic hawaiin dance featuring beautiful flowers and  graceful movements. A dance party, a theme party, a summerpool party, or just for fun.. this napkin fold is so much fun and easy to make for any occasion. Let me know if you decide to try it or if you have any questions...

Step 1: Start with a square napkin and open it to a large square.

Step 2: Fold the four corners into the center.

Step 3: Next fold the top edge and the bottom edge into the center.

Step 4: Turn the right edge underneath. This will form the hem of your shirt...

Step 5: Fold the bottom right and the top right corners into the center line to meet about the margin's width from the right center.

Step 6: Fold the opposite two corners on the left. While doing this, push your hands firmly on the completed folds.  

Step 7: Gently lift up the left edge and fold it over and tuck it under the points of the collar.

Step 8: Aloha Hawaii! Your hula shirt is ready to be worn...
You can put a skirt by simply folding an accordion from a new napkin.

TIP: Decorate your table with flowers and you can serve tropical fruits and coconut juice to add extra flavor your Hawaiian theme.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Take a smile!

Hello my awesome readers! I hope you are having a good week so far. I found this awesome picture on Pinterest. I fell in love with it and put it in my office door already ( The morale at my work is pretty down lately, so; I thought it might help a bit...) I know a lot of you already know about Pinterest and following A Cup of Sparkle; but, if you are not on Pinterest yet, you can follow me to share more of the crafty goodies I find and I would love to see your boards.

P.S.I am going to camping to explore the Northwest mountains with my hubby until Monday so; I won't be able to post till I got back. I am so excited to share my new projects with you next week. I wish all of you a fantastic rest of the week. Make sure to take a smile or a couple for yourself and to share :-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bird Nest Silver Earrings

Birds nest earrings by A Cup of Sparkle at Etsy
Custom bird nest earrings are ready to be shipped overseas to London today. I had this earrings in robin's blue, green, coral and pink at my Etsy shop. I really liked this custom order in ivory freshwater pearls; just like in nature. Three eggs are resting in a swirl of sterling silver wire. Aren't they cute?
        Birds nest necklace can be also found in my Etsy shop for this nest earrings... Click here to see the other birds nest designs at A Cup of Sparkle.
Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Monday, August 1, 2011

In case of emergency - Fly Kites...

 I watched the colorful dogs, cats, bears, fishes, giant octopus, ships, dragons and many other objects and animals flew at the Berkeley Kite Fesival this last Sunday. The giant octopi were the most spectacular ones in the sky that are 20 feet wide and nearly 100 feet long. There were 22 flying...  It was magical. I had great time; but, my nephew and his excitement made it so much more fun.

Flying kites has always takes me back to my childhood so, I am glad that I had a chance to go to this festival. I remember the one time me and my family attempted to make and fly a kite when I was young.

Have you ever tried making one? If you have kids, have you flied kites with them? Isn't that so much fun?

I have also find super cute tutorials for you to try out on your own or with kids...

.. what about a cute kite tattoo? Would you do it?
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