Friday, December 27, 2013

Handmade Snowman New Year Cards Tutorial

I have a fabulous tutorial for you today! This year I was ambitious enough that I handmade new years cards for the family. I decided to go with a snowman winter scene card design and used multicolor backgrounds for the base of the snowman.

This interactive snowman card rolls out into a 3 section snowman once you pull the hat upwards. Then, the family photos appear on the two sections of the snowman.. Woila!! There is also a new years note if you turn the back of the cards. It is super adorable, don't you agree?

It took some time to make these cards but, it was totally worth it! If you are thinking about making this handmade snowman cards, here is a step-by-step photo instructions. I bought all my supplies from the Joann's store close to my house. I used a circle cutting tool for the three circles. For the photo of my dog, I used a punch. I cut the family photo by hand as well as the hands of the snowman, the carrot nose and the hat.  The largest circle is attached to the base with foamy adhesives to create an extra dimension. I also used a punch for the snowflakes which I borrowed from a friend.

Hope you enjoyed today's tutorial and having a memorable, fun holiday!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Mother of 3 Daughters Jewelry Set

Happy Holidays! I am very excited about the upcoming holidays and the new year. I have completed and shipped all of the A Cup of Sparkle orders couple days ago and hoping that they will there on time for the Christmas time. This is one of the personalized jewelry sets I made for a customer. It is from the husband to his wife and they have three daughters. So, I personalized the mamma nests with three pink freshwater pearls. Isn't this beautiful?

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and stay tuned for an exciting new tutorial I will be sharing with you soon... Lots of love!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Simple Transformation of iPhone/iPad Chargers

Apple Charger Duck Tape Transformation
It is a beautiful Sunday in Seattle and today is the day that I have ended the iPhone and iPad charger craziness at home. My hubby will no longer be able to claim my chargers as his, or neither will I... Does that happen at your house, too? If so, there is a super easy solution to this problem. Buy a piece of duck tape (mine is from Joann's Fabric store) or a washi tape, and cover all parts of the chargers.
I picked the color hot pink for two reasons; 1- I love pink! It matches to my devices well as you can see and 2- My husband doesn't like pink so, he is less likely want to take my chargers. All the great reasons to go with pink!! Don't you agree?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Frida Kahlo Halloween Costume DIY

Frida Kahlo Outfit DIY
I had a fantastic Halloween this year and dressed up like the famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. I based my fun homemade costume on one of her self portraits with her colorful flower crown. Here is what I wore:
1- Handmade flower crown with mixed artificial flowers. I used this tutorial.
2- Lots of statement jewelry in gold, turquoise, green and red coral
3- Red lipstick
4- Red nail polish
5- Red shawl
5- A traditional Mexican embroidered top I bought during my last visit to Mexico
6- A colorful fabric belt
7- A black ruffled skirt that I sew a short yellow pom pom at hem
8- Black eyeliner for drawing the uni-brow and lots of eye make-up
9- Heavy red blush for my cheeks
10- Black suede boots

For the hair, I made two simple braids and wrapped the braids high on my head, just like Frida does. The large flower crown covered most of the braids, which got the most attention of all the costume. I picked a short skirt for a dance party but, you might consider a full length skirt in order to resemble Frida. The costume was easy, inexpensive, and so much fun to make and wear. Cheers and happy (belated) Halloween to you all!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Personalized Mother/Grandmother Necklace

I would like to share my recent personalized jewelry order with you. I created this personalized necklace as a birthday gift for a mother/grandmother with 2 kids and 3 grandchildren. Isn't it adorable? 
Per my customers request, I combined large and small size eggs in ivory and white colored freshwater pearls. The gold nest is embellished with a hummingbird charm hanging on top Since it is a birthday gift, I packaged it in a heart shaped gift box to send a little more love inside the envelope...

To inquire about or set up a custom order please email

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Family Keychains with Hummingbirds

Labor day marks the change in seasons. Yet, I do think there are more summery days ahead of us, earlier sunsets suggest that autumn is on its way. And then, comes the winter. For some of you, it might be too far ahead but, for early planners it is never too early. I just finished making these personalized family keychains for a customer as Christmas gifts. 

These hummingbird keychains are customized with the number of children of each family member; grandchildren, sons and daughters. Pink for girls and blue for boys... I customized 5 different keychains for the family using heart shaped key rings.

I packaged all of the keychains in A Cup of Sparkle handmade green and red Christmas jewelry bags as well. It will be perfect for the season and ready to be presented. I hope that these keychains will make all the moms happy....

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hello August.

Hello and happy August! It is my favorite month of the year - the sunniest and summeriest one. There is so much to love about August; fresh berries, red tomatoes, juicy watermelon, sunshine, singing birds, colorful flowers, lots of long days to go camping, to play on the beach and the water, outdoor theaters and concerts... The thought of all of these makes me super excited and happy. Hope you will have a wonderful month and enjoy every day of the month! Lots of love.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Personalized Handmade Bridal Bouquet Jewelry

I have recently shipped one of these bridal bouquet pin for a bride. It is a handmade pin shaped as a silver birds nest accented with ivory pearls. Bridal bouquet jewelry adds a unique glam to bridal bouquets, giving them a personal touch. This bridal bouquet pin is perfect for a nature themed wedding that will contrast beautifully with the bouquet flowers, all inspired by nature. 

Bridal Bouquet Pin by A Cup of Sparkle
You can also use this bird nest as a hair accessory or as a brooch pin.  It can be made to any size and any color. It can be personalized with different colors to match your outfit or wedding colors. Almost any color of pearls are available to choose from... The pearls/eggs can represent the number of children, family members or pets.

I always enjoy making personalized jewelry to A Cup of Sparkle customers. It is especially a great honor for me to design bridal jewelry and be a part of your special day with a small piece from my shop. You can click here to read more about this bridal birds nest jewelry pin.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Family Photo ( Husband, Wife and Canine Child)

I wanted to show off one of my favorite family photos with you today. Me, my hubby and my canine type child; Aslan in this photo.  It was much simpler to take this photo than some other family photos with pets as you can imagine... Our four-legged friend is definitely a big part of my family who always provides us unconditional love. It is not really possible not to include him in anything we do, including our family photos.  Is your pet included in the family photos?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Earthy Jewelry and Accessories

If you love nature themed jewelry, you may want to check out a large selection of handmade earthy jewelry from A Cup of Sparkle Etsy shop. All of the pieces are handmade with natural gemstones and finest materials.

Earthy jewelry necklace by A Cup of Sparkle

This rustic teardrop pendant necklace with a teardrop shaped Ryholidate natural gemstone features tones of warm earthy brown and green organic colors in antiqued brass.  I love the organic, textured look of this stone in a perfect nature color palette, it looks so natural in every way. Don't you agree?

Leaf shaped unisex keychains, modern necklaces, and warm brown colored earrings are some other selection of earthy handmade jewelry you can find in my shop. Hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.

PS. You can still take advantage of the 25% SPRING SALE on most of the necklaces, earrings and keychains.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Happy Friday and have a great weekend.

Woohoo, it's finally Friday! I am taking time off from work today for a long weekend to camp at Olympic National Park in Washington. Hope you all enjoy the last day of the week and have a great weekend.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tutorial for Handmade Cardmaking: Personalized Lab Coat Card for Doctors

I enjoyed my first attempt to card making (here it is), I thought I will try to make an another. This card is for my twin sister who always sends me beautiful cards from Turkey. Mehpare, my sister, is a doctor and currently doing her residency at a hospital southeast of Turkey as a physical therapy and rehabilitation specialist. I saw this card on the web and thought it will be perfect for her: shaped as a white lab coat.

Whether you already make your own cards or just a beginner like me, this personalized lab coat card is doable. It took me two tries to get it right since all I had a photo of it but, I have all the instructions for you with detailed measurements in case you would like to try to make one as well.

Materials: Scissors, A4 size white paper, one white button, adhesive, colored paper of your choice, pencil, ruler, eraser, printer for name tag printing (optional)

Step 1: Fold the A4 sized white paper from both sides in a way that the width is a total of 5" and the two front closures overlap by 1" as shown in the photo #1.

Step 2: Cut the paper vertically to 6". You can make it longer if you are using a large envelope.

Step 3 and 4: Mark 1" from the top and 2 inches from the bottom of the rectangular on each of the two closures, using a pencil.

Step 5: Fold the corner so that the corner will meet on the pencil marks at the top and the bottom. This will be the collar of the lab coat.

Step 6: Apply the same folding technique on the other side. Your card should look like the photo #6.

Step 7: Mark 1" from each corner of the collar with a pencil.

Step 8: Draw a horizontal line from the left corner of the collar to the right as shown in dotted lines below.

Step 9: Cut the squares. Then, draw another line from the bottom end of the collar to where the line in step #8 touches.

 Step 10: Cut the small triangle that is left on the right of the dotted line you draw in step #9.

Step 11: Embellish your card by adding a pocket, putting the button, name tag and the stethoscope.

Step 12: Fill the inside of the card with your warmest wishes and mail/give it to that special person...

I have used materials and papers I already had home. I even re-purposed a paint chip for the red pen and a thick brand tag from a jean for the gray paper for the stethoscope. The black paper is cut from a folder I also had at home.

Tip: You can use this tutorial to make a card for anyone that wears uniform at work: scientists, nurses, chefs,  or doctors.
I have already filled my card and will mail it on Monday. I cannot wait to have it delivered to my sister. Hope you enjoyed this DIY. Please let me know if you decide to make it or have any questions.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spring Jewelry Sale at A Cup of Sparkle!

It is spring time, and I wanted to give something back to fans and friends by having a 25% OFF on my shop:! Browse a selection of jewelry and accessories with one-of-a-kind and colorful designs on annual spring sale by clicking here. The spring sale offers gemstone necklaces, earrings, beaded bracelets and unisex keychains.

The online sale event goes through July 15th by 5pm PST. Enjoy big savings from A Cup of Sparkle!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Strawberries and Homemade Jam Recipe

This last weekend, I made homemade strawberry jam, which I also call the sweetest thing one can make with just 3 ingredients. Doesn't that sound so simple and sweet?

With the summer approaching, strawberries are in season now! You can either buy some from a store (that's what I did) or pick them fresh from a strawebrry field or your garden if you are a gardener. Strawberry jam is so flavorful, delicious, and it's perfect for breakfast and weekend brunch parties!

You will need:
  • A large pan
  • 1:1 ratio of sugar:fresh strawberries (ex: 1lb sugar, 1lb stawberries)
  • 1 lemon
Wash the strawebrries very well and remove the hulls with a knife. Tranfer the berries in a large deep pan. Add sugar on top of the berries. Then, wait bteween 2 hours to 1 day, depending on the ripeness of the fruit and/or simply depending on your patience levels... I could able to wait around 3 hours. With time, strawberries will suck the sugar, melt and release water. Once all the sugar is dissolved, turn on your stove to medium heat. Cook your jam until it reaches the desired consistency. If you like a marmalade, crush the strawberries with a blender. You will also need to spoon out the foams while the jam is cooking. Before you remove it from the stove, squeze in one lemon juice and cook it for 5 more minutes.

"Is it done?" Test: Here is a smart tip to test whether the jam is done: simply transfer a spoon of jam into a small plate. Wait unitl the jam cools down and bend the plate sideways. If the jam doesn't move sideways, it means it is done.  
Phases of Strawberry jam making
The photo above shows the phases of strawberry jam cooking from my kitchen, from start to finish. YUMM! How delicious would this homemade jam willl go with pancakes or on a crusty bread, don't you think?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Pastel Green Gemstone Jewelry

Pastel gemstone necklace by A Cup of Sparkle
Choosing a bright colored summer dress and accessorizing it with pops of soft pastel jewelry is a great way to go. No matter what color of outfit you choose, pastels will go well with it... This icy green pastel necklace is so perfect for summer with its luminous prehnite gemstones combined with shiny sterling silver. This pastel jewelry set is freshly listed in my shop and it is one-of-a kind. 

Geometric large irregular semiprecious stone centers the luminous green beads paired with a short sterling silver chain. The round beads are wire-wrapped and the necklace is finished with a lobster clasp. This set is one of my design faves from my shop - I hope you liked it as well!
To read more about this gemstone necklace and earrings, you can visit my shop by clicking here...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Polka Dot Fabric Jewelry Bags by A Cup of Sparkle

If you have shopped with A Cup of Sparkle Jewelry and Accessories before, you are probably familiar with these fabric jewelry bags. To add the season a little bit more color, I changed the color and design a little. Here is the new handmade jewelry bags in bright orange polka dotted fabric lined with matching orange satin ribbon.

These are perfect to keep your jewelry safe and organized either at home or while you are traveling.  All of the A Cup of Sparkle jewelry bags are made by me and my mom, and comes with any A Cup of Sparkle purchase.You can also find the tutorial on how to make these multifunctional bags in my blog as well as many different styles of jewelry bags.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Have a refreshing long weekend.

After a busy couple of weeks, I am so ready to relax. My hubby, doggy and I are going for a short camping trip this weekend. It is our first time taking our dog to camp with us. I am hoping that he will also enjoy being outside of the city for a while. What about you? Are you doing anything fun this weekend? Hope you have a refreshing one...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I ran 26.2 miles: BMO Vancouver Marathon

Yes, I ran 26.2 miles on May 5th in Vancouver. It was a great experience; both training for it and actually running the entire distance on the race day. My running partner and I have started our training almost 7 months ago. It feels so great to reach our goals after so many after-work runs in South Lake Union and long weekend runs on endless Burke Gilman Trail in Seattle, rain or sunshine...

Remember my first race medallion, here is a photo of it from a 15K run almost one year ago. Since then, I have done three half marathons and some short races but, this is my first full marathon. Now, I can proudly say that "I ran a full marathon"!

The line marked in red on the map is the route. It started at Queen Elizabeth Park, looped around the University of BC, Stanley Park and ended in downtown. The route was absolutely spectacular! Even though I have not done any other marathons before, I cannot imagine a more beautiful place to run than Vancouver.

Here are some more photos from the race day. It was a very hot day! However, the volunteers kept us hydrated with drinks and some spectators even sprinkled water from hoses to cool us. I truly appreciated all their efforts and time.

Thanks to everyone, to my husband, my training partner and all the BMO Vancouver Marathon organizers! It was a long, fun and a rewarding experience that I will always remember.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Have a heart-racing weekend.

What are you all up to this weekend?  I am having a sparkling Saturday and hoping to have a relaxing day on Sunday. I love this logo that fits perfectly for my day as I am running the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon today with my running partner. (wish me luck!). Hope you will be doing something to get your heart racing with enjoyment and excitement this weekend... Have a good one!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hand Stitched Birds Nest Card Making Tutorial

I tend to keep myself busy making so many variety of crafts and arts but, card making has never been one before. My hubby has been unfortunately sick this last week, so I wanted to make him something special and came up with this hand stitched birds nest card. In case you would like to make this special card for someone in your family, here is the simple tutorial on how to make this hand stitched birds nest card:
Materials: Tread, a branch, needle, beads, paper, scissors, pen, glue or double sided tape

Step 1: Pick a thick paper and one or more thread of your color of choice. I started with an A4 size paper. So, I didn't worry about centering the nest.

Step 2: Start stitching and leave a 1- 2 inches long thread on the surface by keeping the tension on the tread very loose. 

Step 3: Repeat step 2 until you create the base of the nest. Make it into a ball shape like a nest.

Step 4: Once you have the base, continue stitching horizontally. This time you won't be poking the needle to the paper. Move the needle through the base to crowd the nest until you are happy with its look. You can easily switch back and forth with different colors of thread to create a 3-dimensional look. (You don't want to tear the paper. So, it is very important to use the technique in this step)

Step 5: Now, it is time to lay the eggs onto the nest. I used three beads representing myself, my hubby and our puppy Aslan. You could also choose to add number of eggs representing only the children in the family. In this step, you will sew the beads in the center of the nest in a triangle.
Step 6: Your nest is complete. You can now accessorize it by adding a branch, leaves, flowers, birds, butterflies... anything you can think of to embellish the card. Use your imagination and personalize it for that special person you will give this card to.

Step 7: Trim the paper to the size you want the card to be. And then, apply a glue or double sided tape to add a paper on the back so that the stitches wont show.

Step 8: Give this card to someone special and make them smile :)

Let me know if you decide to try to make your own nest and if you have any questions. Cheers...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Heart Day!

Happy heart day!!!! Hope you are having an awesome day with lots of love. It can be hard to come up with an original gift for this day of romance as it has been celebrated every February 14th since 1400's...
But today, I read a fascinating Valentine's surprise on NPR. This guy named Payam bikes around San Francisco etching a heart shape on a map. Isn't it super sweet and romantic? If you have been in SF, you could imagine how hard it will be to do that as the city is extremely hilly. It is one of the most creative surprises I have ever heard for a long time. You can read more of Payam and Clare's story here.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Cup of Sparkle in Mexico: Get inspired by color

Every artist needs inspiration and every artist finds inspiration in different things. I equate inspiration with travel and colors. To get ready for a new year,  I took some time off from my Etsy shop and traveled to Mexico for a week during my break. I guess it is the fact that how little sunshine I get in the rainy city Seattle I often times pick sunny destinations to travel.

Mexico is full of colors... Everywhere you go, there is a touch of bright color to the ordinary and old which makes almost everything look eccentric and cool. This is steps to someone's house in an Island called Isla Mujeres:

One of my favorites is the buildings that are painted in vibrant colors inside and outside: you will find random doors and walls painted in bright yellows, hot pinks, eggplant purples... like a rainbow! Frida Kahlo's paintings will seem more close to the reality while you are wandering around the streets in Mexico.

Black and white is quite hard to spot. And when you see one, it is very artsy. Check out this door that opens up to a cool Mexican bar in Puerto Moroles:

Paintings and drawings on walls are quite common in Mexico. This coffee shop is so welcoming and serves mostly to tourists in a small town near Tulum:

And last, Mexican traditional women are always dressed up in very vibrant colors, usually accented with intricate flower motifs. It is hard to see them in very touristic cities like Cancun, but I have seen many of them in a town called Valladoid. Below is a funny picture of me that is taken in a museum:

I am happy to share some of the photos I took during my travel. I will be definitely sharing more in the future. I am very inspired from all of the things I have seen and experienced in Mexico and looking forward to reflecting it to my arts and crafts in 2013, and most of all sharing them with you. Thank you for reading! See you soon.
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