Monday, November 26, 2012

Made to WOW! Grey and Yellow Gemstone Jewelry

You all know how crazy I am about sparkles... This gemstone necklace is one of my favorite jewelry designs in my shop with the mixed grey and yellow bead combination and silver components.

Handmade gemstone necklace jewelry in grey and yellow
 What do you think? Do you like it?

Sun-touched yellow creates a WOW effect when combined with matte shade of grey. This original jewelry set makes a huge statement whether you are wearing a simple white shirt or jeans. The necklace dresses casual and dressy outfits, leopard and flower prints with luxe gemstones.
 The focal pendant is yellow quartz in sunny hues hangs from textured double chain. Round shaped quartz faceted beads are wire wrapped to each other delicately.

To read more about this gemstone necklace and earrings, you can visit my Etsy shop by clicking here...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sparkling Bangle Bracelet Tutorial

Do you every find yourself other people's shopping carts to see what they got? And then, get inspired and buy the same item from the store. I did find myself doing that while shopping at a bead store yesterday. I spotted these silver bangle bracelets in someone else's bead tray and then next thing I did was to buy several of them...

Today, I am going to show you how to make these sparkling bangle bracelets. If you are still looking for gift/s for Christmas or new years, you can try to make them. They are very simple and once you learn the technique, it is very easy to apply to make other jewelry.

You will need a strand of beads of your choice, wire (26 or 24 gauge works great), a bangle and cutters. The beads I choose are faceted quartz gemstones in different shades of black. The faceted beads creates lots of sparkles and light... If you decide to make one of these bracelets, I highly recommend using faceted beads rather than smooth beads.

Begin with cutting a long piece of wire that should be enough to cover the entire bracelet. Hold the bracelet and 1 inch of the wire in one hand. Secondly, lay the wire over the flat surface of the bracelet and start anchoring the wire by bringing the wire behind the bangle and pull it up through the middle of the bangle.

Next, string a single bead onto the wire and bring the wire over the top of the bracelet. The bead should be resting on the outer edge. Holding the bead in place, bring the wire down behind the bangle and back through the middle. Between each bead, wrap a single round of wire to create a small space between beads and secure them better onto the bracelet.

Continue the pattern by repeating the steps 3 and 4 until you have completely covered the bangle. Once you are done, wrap the wire around the bracelet three times. Then, cut the end of the wire using the wire cutter. 

Optional: Use a drop of glue to help preventing the ends of the wires from snagging.

To create a more dramatic effect, wear these sparkling bracelets together. They are so much fun! You can apply this technique to make earrings and necklaces as well using smaller size circles. Try choosing circles with flat surfaces to anchor the beads on. Otherwise, beads will turn inwards and will not be visible.

Hope you enjoyed today's tutorial by A Cup of Sparkle. Always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions..

Monday, November 19, 2012

Personalized Handmade Keychains for Holidays

More personalized keychains are available at A Cup of Sparkle now... You can choose from 1,2, 3, 4 or 5 freshwater pearls representing children or grandchildren in these wire mother birds nests; pink pearls for girls and blue pearls for boys. These timeless sweet keychains are sure to make your friend, mother or grandmother smile this holiday season!

Personalized keychains makes great gifts for holidays for moms.
Specials to holidays, all the A Cup of Sparkle jewelry and accessories comes in new jewelry bags in lovely Christmas colors; green and red! They are perfect for presenting these cute birds nests. Happy holiday shopping and make sure to visit A Cup of Sparkle this Black Friday for Thanksgiving specials.

Handmade jewelry bags for holidays by A Cup of Sparkle

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sparkly Nail Polish Ideas for Holidays

Just one more way to add red and green to your look this holiday season: sparkly nail polishes! I collected some of my favorite, easy to make nail arts for you. You can check out my nail polish board on Pinterest to get more ideas...

1- Sparkly red and green on white background,  2- Peppermint candy,  3- Christmas lights,  4-  Blood red glitter,  5- Christmas red and green

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What you want in life....

I came across with this image while surfing the web today and I thought it will be cool to share with A Cup of Sparkle readers.

So, what are the first 3 words you saw?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Cup of Sparkle Halloween Pumpkins

Everyone loves Halloween pumpkins. Carving one is always fun, too regardless of your age. At a dinner party, I carved my first pumpkin yesterday. I usually have hard time deciding on a pattern, but this year I had a cool idea... Here is the 2012 A Cup of Sparkle pumpkin sitting on my front porch.
 What do you think? 
Have you noticed the sparkles coming out from the cup?

Have you picked your pumpkin yet for carving or if not, what about an orange pumpkin jewelry to get you in the Halloween spirit? This pumpkin necklace is perfect to wear this season at home, around the office adding all the more joy to holiday celebrations. The pumpkin is in a rich orange color accented with silver components and a tiny green leaf. It is not a perfect circle like any other pumpkin. It is organically grown...

Glass Pumpkin Necklace

 Have a great Halloween season to all you. Lots of love!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Slide to power off.

Ready to power off and get some rest? I am. 

It is finally the long weekend! And, we still have the great summer to enjoy the warm outdoors, beaches and parks. Hope you will all have a great labor day weekend. Make sure to power off some devices around you to better enjoy your holiday. The simple equation I have for you today is: Time Off = Power Off
Lots of love from A Cup of Sparkle xxx

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Birthday gift for a mom

This is an illustration of my elder sister's family with two boys. She is celebrating her 30'th birthday this week and I personalized a special A Cup of Sparkle keychain with a golden momma bird and two white pearls representing her two little boys; my nephews. I have added couple silver charms; a large flower, a leaf and a heart that says mom on it. I know that she really liked her gift. I wanted to send her my dearest birthday wishes through my blog and share this design with you as well. Happy Birthday Elif!!! Enjoy your new year...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Map It!

Summer days tend to bring me a huge desire to travel. What about you? For avid travelers like me, maps are absolutely a must have whether it is on your shoe, on your carpet, on your bookshelf or on you... Here are some of my favorite map decor, accessories and outfits from the web. 

Enjoy and happy travels if you are somewhere else rather than home...

Map It and Don't Get Lost...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Have a relaxing weekend.

What are your plans this weekend? I am going to rest most of the time and enjoy the sunshine in Seattle after a long work week. Talking about relaxation, I saw this awesome, super comfy looking giant nest couch on Pinterest. Even the thought of laying down inside this nest makes me want to sleep. Pretty unique, isn't it? Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mommy Pearl Necklace with 9 Children

A Cup of Sparkle personalized mom necklaces hit a new record today. Here is a custom family jewelry with 9 pearls representing nine children and/or grandchildren. It sounds a bit crazy, but it is true and also really cute. I can see people trying to count all these tiny pearls in your nest necklace wondering how many you have...

Personalized mom pearl necklace with 9 pearls, custom hand-made jewelry

This white freshwater pearls silver nest only measures 1" in diameter and it can be made with any number of pearls starting from one pearl to 5-6-7-8 and 9 pearls. You can visit my Etsy shop to all the options for mommy necklaces.

Isn't this cute?

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Mom Jewelry

New mom jewelry by A Cup of Sparkle

Looking to find the perfect gift for a new mom? This handmade necklace features a beautiful handmade birds nest to express your feelings of joy and happiness for a new baby with a lovely mother bird hanging by its nest protecting her baby. I personalized this piece with a purple freshwater pearl for a one of my customers. You can choose any color of freshwater pearls for your nest. Bubblegum pink, canary yellow, cherry red, sky blue, smokey gray,... A great piece of personalied jewelry to celebrate a newborn.

Personalized moms jewelry with different colors of pearls

 Looking forward to sharing with you more of A Cup of Sparkle new mom jewelry! 
Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Thanks a Latte!

I and my husband did a road trip from California to Seattle couple weeks ago and I shot this photo at a super cute, coastal coffee shop in Mendocino. Isn't this adorable? I cannot really think of a better tip container at a coffee shop, adorned with red summer flowers and a huge seashell beside it to put coins inside. Hope all of you are enjoying the beautiful, sunny days of July.

Thanks a latte for visiting A Cup of Sparkle blog and have a wonderful week!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Handmade Gift Pouch Tutorial

You have probably seen my new gift/jewelry pouches in my previous blog post. Did you like them? I am so in love with the colors of the bags and cannot wait to send it to A Cup of Sparkle customers. As I promised, here is the short tutorial showing you how to make them:

Materials: Fabric, matching thread, scissors, sewing machine, cord or ribbon

Tutorial on how to make gift pouches
1- Choose the fabric. Always consider what you will be using the bags for to determine the colors, the material, and how much fabric you will need. Pick fabrics with small patterns. I recommend geometric or symmetric patterns which saves so much time when you are cutting the fabric.

2- Cut the fabric according to the size of the bags you want. This will be the vertical length of the pouch. I made the bags big enough to put a business card inside. 

3- Fold approximately 1" of the fabric inside and sew it as shown in the photo. Sew the whole length of the fabric - this will save you so much time. This size of the channel depends on the ribbon you will use.

4- Cut the fabric again to suit the size of the pouch you want. 

5- Fold the cut outs and sew the two sides to form a pouch. Turn the bag inside out.

6- You want sharp corners for the bags. In order to do that, use a pointy object like a pen or scissors and gently poke it to the each two corners. It is very easy, but makes so much difference.

7- Draw the cord or the ribbon inside the channel you create in step 3. I used a velvet ribbon in matching brown color of the fabric.

7- TA-DA... Your gift pouches are ready to keep your jewelry, make-up, shoes, coins or anything you like. 
Handmade jewelry bag by A Cup of Sparkle

Hope you enjoyed this quick, easy tutorial. All the A Cup of Sparkle jewelry and accessories will come in these cute bags until I am out of the bags.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Cup of Sparkle is now open for business!

Sign via Jessica Lanan Illustration
 A Cup of Sparkle is now open for business after a short vacation. In addition to the A Cup of Sparkle's signature birds nest jewelry and accessories,  I will be adding tons of new and unique jewelry in the store every week. Come visit A Cup of Sparkle on Etsy and receive free shipping with the coupon code SPARKLINGSUMMER until July 1st.  
I look forward to working with all of you!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Branding your Etsy shop Part 1: Name Recognition

I am reopening my Etsy shop this week after a couple months of vacation. Yayyy :) I am so excited! This summer and fall season I will be focusing more on branding my Etsy shop to increase my online presence. I thought I'd share what tools I use and how I use them with my awesome readers via my blog.
NEW Jewelry packaging by A Cup of Sparkle

I will start with a simple, inexpensive step for branding just before my shops re-opening: Name Recognition using labels on packaging. (Talking about packaging, these are my brand new jewelry bags. Make sure to visit again to see the tutorial on A Cup of Sparkle jewelry bags). Here are the five questions and answers I prepared to guide you through the process. 

Why are we labeling? 
I use handmade jewelry bags, so instead of printed labels I recently purchased iron-on labels which will be kept permanent on the bags. Given the fact that the bags are reusable, my goal is to have people remember my shop even if they don't frequently visit my online store. I just want to create that mental, visual signature in people's head with these labels. This is a step that I have to wait to see the impact on the overall sales, but I think it will worth the wait.  

How to choose labels? 
Since I am doing a test run, I choose depending on the price and picked cheap labels. You can get sew-on or iron-on labels. Since I don't have a sewing machine, I got the iron-on labels.  
Version 1 with the URL link and Version 2 without the URL link

What to have on the labels? 
This depends on your business and also on what you want emphasize. I wanted to emphasize my shops name and leave a visual image on customers using a design. I think it is important to have a picture that people can associate to your shop name. Think about your products and make sure to be original... I didn't include my shop's URL, but that can be also added to your label. Usually space and font on the label is the limiting factor. Large font is better then having too much with small font.

Where to buy?
There are tons of shops on Etsy to choose from. I started with only 60 labels from GloriaSticker. They are very simple and feeds the purpose100%. Just search iron-on labels on Etsy and it will give you more options then you want :)

Tutorial on how to iron-on labels to a fabric
How much?
I paid $6 for 60 labels, so each one label costs 10 cents. Depending on the fabric of your choice and customization you want on the label, the labels can go up to $1-$2 per label which are usually made of organic cotton sateen.

This is the first step to branding my Etsy shop. Make sure to come back again to get more tips on branding.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ombre Packaging with Paint Chips

I love ombre coloring trend, whether it is on furniture, clothes, shoes, hair or home decor. I was having fun with new jewelry packaging for my shop. I decided to use some of my left over paint chips for this small project. Remember the coupon book I made for Valentine's day using paint chips, which might be a great handmade gift idea for Father's Day actually? This is a bit easier to do if you want to add some originality to your handmade packaging, whether you are wrapping a jewelry box or something bigger. I also used my "handmade with love" stamps on my gift box to make things a bit more special.

Don't they look pretty? My favorite ombre tones are dark brown and black transitions which is what I picked in this project, but you can use more brighter tones for a more festive packaging ideas. Alternatively, you can finish it with a colored ribbon.

Here are some of my favorite darker tones ombre picks around the web... Enjoy!!!

Photos via Pinterest

Friday, May 25, 2012

Special Teacher Gifts by A Cup of Sparkle

My Etsy shop is still closed, but I couldn't say no to a customer who wrote to me couple weeks ago requesting a custom order for her son's teachers before the end of the year. What better way to go back to my studio to work on something special for one of the most important people in everyone's lives: teachers.

My customer also sent me this quote which is written on a sign at her son's school that says "Flying from the nest no other bird's wings will do". I decided to print the quote and glue it on the gift boxes I prepared for the teacher keychains.

This custom key chains are made with two wings and an apple charm that says 'special teacher' on it and a birds nest with a single blue freshwater pearl. It is finished a cute heart shaped split ring. Aren't they adorable?

This last one is one of the custom handmade keychains made with 4 pearls, heart charm and a sparrow bird. They are all ready to fly to their new homes today. I am quite happy with them and hope that teachers will like their gifts.

Hope you are having a wonderful Friday. Have a fantastic long weekend!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

My first 15K Race.

I completed my first 15K race last Saturday. It was AWESOME! My friend and I signed up for the Seattle's Best 15K to test ourselves before our half marathon which is only 2 weeks from now.
These are the medallions we got after finishing. Aren't they so pretty? I was very excited about them since it is my first race medallion. We were very proud of ourselves.

Are you doing any races this summer? It is highly satisfying, refreshing and enjoyable. Makes you filled with positive energy! There is so many great organizations benefiting non-profits and you don't really have to run the whole distance. A 5K race would be a great place to start if you are a beginner. And a race could be a great bonding experience you can enjoy with your spouse or a friend. xoxo

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Have a motivated day!

This made be smile and feel motivated to get things done today. Hope it will bring some motivation to you as well.... Cheers!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Born to Run Barefoot or with traditional shoes?

Early January I started my training for my first half marathon which is also my first time distance running. It has been the big challenge that I always wanted to take on and never had the time or enough motivation for. And, I had the perfect excuse for it as I didn't have a full time job first time in my life after finishing school. I could finally cross one of those things from my long "To-Do's in life" list as well as my new years resolutions for 2012.
My training is still going on full speed as I am getting ready to run my first 15K this Saturday in Seattle and the half marathon in June 3rd. Before my big race day I finally finished reading "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall. It was fascinating to hear the stories of ultrarunners and the legendary Tarahamura Indians. I couldn't even imagine what one can do on his feet before reading it. I highly highly recommend the book.

Wondering if I am planning on switching to Barefoot instead of my hot pink Nike's? (Barefoot running is what McDougall argues as the way running should be done.) Nope :)) I think I am going to stick to my girly shoes until I decide to run a 50K ultra-Marathon which is quite unlikely for me...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Photo via
Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful moms! I hope all of you are having a great day with your family surrounded with love. Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful mom too!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Custom Design: Gold Mama Birds Nest

Gold Mother Jewelry Set for a mom of two children, custom order
I wanted to share this beautiful custom jewelry set I made for a customer. A pair of simple freshwater pearl dangle earrings and a 14K gold mama birds nest with the same baby blue and bubblegum pink pearls. It is going to be a Mother's day gift for another special mother...  Isn't it beautiful?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Love Nests for Mothers

I had a great pleasure making all the love nests this week for Mothers Day and after a busy weekend and Monday, I shipped all the A Cup of Sparkle orders yesterday. Now, even more busy days are waiting for me to clean my house before my trip to New Orleans this Friday...
Mother of 1,2 and 3 children nests before the chains are added
I hope all the purchases will make the recipients very happy and make them feel special. I put so much love into all of them from making them to packaging them.
A Cup of Sparkle will be on vacation until July but, I will be taking more time to blog. Please come back to see more on traveling, cooking, and DIY's. Have a wonderful May to all of you!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Personalized Necklaces for Mothers

Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Friday! There are only 3 weeks left for Mother's Day and I have been working so hard lately to complete personalized necklace and accessories orders for A Cup of Sparkle customers.
Mom Son Daughter Key chain for a mom of 4 children by A Cup of Sparkle
It is always so much fun to make custom designs and see the finished custom designs. Today, I thought I will share some of the custom orders I made.

Personalized Birthstone Necklace
This necklace is a custom birthstone necklace with a beautiful hummingbird for a mom with 5 children in red and purple freshwater pearls. It is already on its way to its new home (nest).

Handmade Three children mom necklace by A Cup of Sparkle
This blue and pink pearl design was already in my shop as a  key chain and I have made it to a necklace for a customer lately using smaller pearls. I like the finished designs so much that I post it in my shop to make it available for others. Hope you liked them as much as I did. I am looking forward to more new projects... To see more, you can visit my Etsy shop.
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