The California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE) is a group of independent artists, crafters, & artisans from California who sell their wares on

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Folkloric California - Celebrating the Folk Art of California

Hello! My name is Gwendolyn Garcia, known as seller GwendolynForever on etsy. The mainstream culture of my home state has always been influenced by a rich mixture and mingling of cultural diversity, ethnicity, and history. From the missions, street names, and names of cities influenced by the Spanish, China Town in San Francisco, or the farm workers from South America, and many, many others, our state of California is a colorful blend of many. I myself am a product of the American Dream and the promise of a free and easy society that all people associate with California. Though the American dream often seems unobtainable to most, and the free and easy lifestyle of California doesn't come without a price, folk art represents the hope and truth of a society. Being born of multiple ethnicities and descending from ancestors who immigrated to this country in search of freedom and an opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their families, I have always been moved by the vibrant colours, sounds, and flavors of California. Folkloric is defined by Wikipedia as "Folklore culture, including stories, music, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, customs, and so forth within a particular population comprising the traditions (including oral traditions) of that culture, subculture, or group." In this article, I am featuring the art work that has a folk flavor and charm and represents the resilient, cheerful, competent, and culturally diverse spirit of Californians. This is the California that I know and love.
Beautiful hand embroidered cocktail napkins by IRobinson. These napkins represent resourcefulness, great skill, an eye for beauty, and a connection to nature that is present in most folk art through-out history. Our Lady of Guadalupe Cycle Cap by alloneword. This hat represents cultural fusion. The culture of Southern California is highly influenced by the year-round sunny weather, which in turn has influenced a desire to be fit and attractive, which in turn has influenced sub-cultures of fitness clubs, bicyclists, and out-doors sports clubs. Cross this with the influences of environmental consciousness and the religious influences and bold colors of South America, and you get a hat like this. Fruit Stand Fine Art Print by BarbaraGordon. This piece represents the truth of California. What says California more than a roadside fruit stand and a landscape of rounded mountains? Azuki and Mung Bean Mosaic Mini Birdhouse by SGArtCA. Resourceful, unexpected, simple, vibrant, and connected to that which is vital to all people- food. Folk Art Rooster Mosaic by BlackCatBazaar. The artist said it best, this rooster represents a Portuguese custom but is now a common piece found in many kitchens. My foster grandmother, who is of Mexican descent, has rooster decor in her kitchen. Does she know it is a Portuguese custom? I doubt it. However, she grew up on a ranch in Texas, and on that ranch there were chickens. Then she moved to Oxnard where she made her living laboring on farms, and she raised chickens there, too. Chickens are something people from many cultures can relate to because they represent a source of sustenance that crosses cultural boundaries. Folk Art painting of Spring Flowers by LindaKellyArt. Simplicity, bold colors, joy, and connection to place. Representing the hope and truth of a people. Patch the French Bulldog Pup by NatiCraft. Highly skilled artisan crafts using bright colors, whimsy and imagination, and another common theme, a love for our animal friends. Anima Sola Bottle Cap Earrings by FabDangle. Unexpected and resourceful, and ironic twist of religious tragedy, glitter, and strawberry soda. Little Spool Girl Granny Beth by StitchyImpressions. Folk art has always been about creatively making the most of the objects and resources around us. Remember Laura Ingalls and her corn cob dolly? This is a decorate piece but once upon a time it may have been an actual toy for a child who had limited financial resources but a very clever and imaginative mommy. Fanciful Fairy Figurine by Abbybelle. Handmade toys and sculptures of paper and clay express simply wrought figures that speak volumes about the spirit and imagination of the maker. There are so many fine examples of folk art within the CCCOE Team, and I could certainly list more but then I'll never be done with this post! If you are interested in discovering more talented folk artists within the CCCOE Team enter "CCCOE" and "folk art" in the etsy search engine. Until next month!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Cancer!

Born June 22 thru July 21 Cancer is symbolized by the crab. Much like the crab Cancerians are well protected on the outside but usually soft and mushy on the inside. Many can describe Cancerians as sweet and sympathetic one moment, then cranky and irritable the next.

Crabby the Amigurumi Crab by Beegrl88

Crab Card by sweetperversion Cancerians are known to be psychic, and can almost guess things before they actually happen. They rarely forget things and are very close observers. These traits make them highly intuitive and psychic.

Mystic Goddess Tara Necklace by QueenofQueens Cancerians follow an indirect approach in life. If they want something, they have a tendency to not go after it straightway. Instead, they will think the whole thing through first, even avoid it for sometime, and then take a completely different approach to get it.

First Love Illustration by ChristaHoward

Famous Cancerians include John Cusack, Natalie Wood, Ringo Starr, Neil Simon and Ernest Hemingway

This is the 6th post in our series of Astrological signs by Sophie n Me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In the Garden

April showers brought May flowers and now gardens are full of June blooms. Here are some fanciful finds for you and your garden. Already forget what you planted? Here are some great reminders from Pretty Paris.

Don't forget your four legged furry friends! Let them chew on this handmade eggplant dog toy from Wags and Wiggles.

Need a little music to help you relax? This adorable Dolphin Wind Chime from Copper Unique should do the trick.

No garden is complete without a bird feeder. Check out this one from Lean Dog Pottery.

After a long day gardening you are bound to be covered with dirt. Try Pacific Paradise Soap Amazing Gardener's Soap with Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Super Fine Pumice and Clay.

No time or space to garden? No worries, this print from Jane Elizabeths is all you need.

Don't forget to brag about your garden and gardening skills with all your friends. Send them these adorable note cards from Sophie n Me.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Happy Best Friend Day!

A quick Google search of June holidays unearthed a wealth of little-known causes for celebration. Today's choices: Pick Your Poison Day (huh?) or Best Friend Day. I think I'll go with that one.
A typical photo of my daughter taken by my best friend, Trisha Ratledge. I know! How lucky am I?
I am lucky--my best friend Trish is an amazing photographer (who does product photography as well, thank you Jesus), and even though I treasure her friendship much more than her picture-taking abilities, I must confess that I do a mental fist-pump when she hands me a disc of photos after we take family vacations together. In honor of Best Friend day, make a point to let your best friend know how you feel--maybe with one of these great items from our talented CCCOE team members. What do you love most about your best friend? Post by Janet of CustomSepia

Sunday, June 5, 2011


There are some strange people on etsy. (Yeah, I'm one of them. I can admit this.) As I was flailing about for a topic for today, I found something that made me laugh.

It's a soda can cozy from Handamade. Too cute.

As I perused Handamade's shop, it occurred to me that other CCCOE'ers must have the sort of off-the-wall items that would amuse me, so I went looking. Here are a few things I found...

Skull and crossbones knitting tools? Designs by Tami has all sorts of fun things, but these stitch markers and point protectors stood out.

I continued to browse around, and I found this...

He's a crocheted Mini Mummy Monster, and he's by Giggles. He's too cute!

I felt a Halloween theme developing, so I looked around for some things more in tune with summer. That's when I saw these bracelets...

...from It's Me, Mary. These are shiny and glittery. They're the perfect crocheted accessory for summer.

And finally, I end this with one last jewelry item, a knit...

...and the thought that perhaps I shouldn't leave coming up with my post theme until the absolute last minute. Although, there were things I stumbled across that I might not otherwise have found. There is so much out there to find. Thanks for joining me.

This post was contributed by Liz from Zizi Rho Designs.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lemon, Lime & Pomegranate ~ wonderful colors and flavors for summer !

Still life with Guava and Lemon by KevinInmanArt

Kevin Inman Art from San Diego describes this oil on canvas as "the fixings for a top shelf guavarita." In case like me you may not know what a guavarita is, I found out that it is like a Margarita but with guave. Sounds great, I'll have to try one !

Lime green & purple bracelet by itsmemary

This hand crocheted beaded bracelet is from it's me, Mary in Orange County. The description says : "This is a great bohemian style, beaded bracelet for a casual day or a night out! It can be made bigger or smaller by pulling the strands through the adjustable knot."

Green Blush by NessysNest

A gorgeous print from Nessy's Nest in Southern California. This flower has a beautiful lime green color. An 8x10 print of an original photograph printed on Fujicolor Crystal Archive paper with a lustre surface.

Bathing in Luxury is from San Francisco. This one sounds delicious! "A blend of pomegranate and yuzu (Japanese citrus, like a grapefruit). The greener yuzu scent tones down the sweetness of the pom. Colored with mineral pigments and clay."

if you want to visit these shops all pictures and links are clickable