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

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


The theme for my post this month...

(Themes are for people who weren't up before the crack of dawn and didn't leave writing their blog post until the last possible minute. As that leaves me out, let's just call this what it is. Cheating.) about seeing what newbies our teammies have posted in the March 2013 "Show Us Your Creations" discussion thread...  

(Which is a great place to see some great new finds.)  

I love the great spring colors on these earrings:  

Dangle, Chandelier Handwoven Seed Bead Earrings in Watermelon Colors
Chandelier Earrings by Sparkles-a-lot 2

I'm a sucker for bags. This one is too cute:

Backpack Blue & White Pattern, Light-weight, Gym Bag, or Purse
Backpack by Three Sisters Harvest

I love the rough-hewn quality of this men's bracelet:

Stone Textured Handmade Copper and Silver Bracelet A for Him
Copper Bracelet by Texturz

What a stunning necklace: 

Raw Quartz Necklace in Gold
Raw Quartz Necklace by 443Jewelry

Another bright, fresh color in earrings: 

Polymer Clay Jewelry Earrings, Green Handmade Nugget Earrings, Dangle Earrings, Beaded Jewelry, Handmade Jewelry
Polymer Clay Earrings by BobblesByCarol

A nice, understated choker:  

saffron henna choker
Saffron Henna Choker by Our Folk Life

And a subtle bracelet: 
There's always a great mix in the new creations thread. Make sure to check it out.  

This post was contributed by Liz from Zizi Rho Designs. Happy spring!  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Crafted Wedding Season

I don't know about you, but I am already in the midst of wedding season! I went to a wedding a week ago, I am attending one this Friday, I am in a wedding in May, my husband is in a wedding in June, he is marrying a couple in July and my brother is getting married in November!!!

No this is not normal for us! But it got me thinking...weddings are a lot different these days. Thankfully, for us crafters, more brides are adopting the look and feel of homemade for their wedding day.

For my cousin's wedding in May... we have been making brooch bouquets! I am also taking on 2 flower girl dresses, 2 ring bearer bow ties  6 fascinators, a birdcage veil, a garter and I am helping dream up some very cool centerpieces! that I am seeing it all written out...I may have bitten off more than I chew:/ But I work well under pressure:)

I'll post pictures next week!

I have made up a treasury (of course in support of our team), consisting of a few items that represent a more homemade look to a wedding a day!

Wedding Treasury

Click on some items in the treasury, comment on it, share it and favorite it:)

In the comments below, tell us about some Etsy-fied or Pinterest induced weddings, that you have attended or created!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Artist Profile - the BackLoop

Is it spring where you are yet? Alas it isn't ALWAYS sunny in California but hopefully this next profile will bring you a bit of sunshine. Let me present ME! A few people have sent me a message wondering about the person behind the questions for the monthly profiles and - since I have no other profiles in the queue I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself, Julia Akpan, designer and owner at the BackLoop.

Describe your shop.
The BackLoop is simple, beautiful and handmade.  Everything in my shop is hand crocheted and/or knit by me.  Spring is coming up so I'm working on posting more necklaces, earrings, and lightweight spring scarves but what's taking up most of my production time is making prototypes for my new wedding line - lightweight shawls for spring weddings, thicker ones for those winter, bridesmaids accessories, groomsmen hand crocheted ties, hanging garlands for photo booth backdrops -- all customizable.  I'm super excited! 

When did you learn to do what you do? 
My mom taught me to crochet when I was 8 or 9. It was just before a flight to visit relatives back in Chicago.  I made the longest scarf ever on that plane ride!  I taught myself to knit just after my son was born (he's 4 1/2 now). I used one of those Klutz books you find in the kids section of the book store.  I quickly became the resident yarn instructor among friends and colleagues. Having the responsibility of teaching someone else can be one of the best motivations to learn your craft even better than you thought you could.

What are your favorite pieces to make? My giant rose brooches and long spiral earrings.  I like accessories with personality. I like working with really thick yarn and huge hooks...or yarn so thin you could sew with it.


What inspires you? I like mixing the feel of vintage patterns with modern lines and colors. I love soft, cozy, and fluffy everything. I adore Japanese craft books.  

What does your work space look like?I treated myself to a trip to Ikea for Christmas and got a bookshelf and these drawers I've been fawning over for a year or so. Now all of my yarn is (mostly) tucked away. But the area where I do most of my work is the left corner of the couch.
(that's my sister)
Where would you like your shop to be 5 years from now? 
I'd like to be selling regularly and often to people outside of my immediate friends and family! I want to be a go to spot for brides who want handmade accents in their wedding but don't have the time or the skill to actually use their own hands. I'd like the BackLoop to be associated with a place to find the perfect gift. In 10 years I'd like to have a small brick and mortar shop that sells my merchandise but mainly that of other local artists and doubles as a handmade learning center of sorts with small DIY craft workshops in the back room.

How do you spend your time when you're not creating? Well, I have two kids (4 1/2 and 2), a husband, and a house with about 1/3rd acre of yard to take care of so I stay pretty busy. I also work as an editor in the publishing world. 

(these two test all prototypes for durability...and enjoy string cheese)

What is your favorite thing to have for breakfast? My breakfast is usually one of two things: fruit and granola with a splash of soy milk OR 1 fried egg on a piece of jalepeno cheddar corn bread; either of those, plus a mug of green tea.
Where else can we find your work? I have my own little corner of the web at and, if you're in the SF Bay Area, you can find many of my items at Modern Mouse in Alameda.

Where can we learn more about you?
Pinterest:  Facebook page: 
Twitter: @thebkloop

If you're interested in being profiled, just contact Julia A. This post contributed by Julia A. of the BackLoop