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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Artist Profile - Allies Adornments

Happy February everyone, it's time for a profile of another amazing California artist. This month is all about Allies Adornments. Have a read; I love the surprising bits of her family's history that pop up in her shop.  
Describe your shop.
My shop is AlliesAdornments on Etsy. The official name is Allie's Antiqued Adornments & it's where my family history mingles with my love of vintage & art in an attempt to share antique buttons as miniature pieces of art.

  Allie is my great-great Aunt & the namesake of my jewelry line. I use her picture from 1878 in the packaging for my button bookmarks.  

A photo of Allie & Louise (my great grandmother) from 1881 is used to package my button hairpins. The smiling girl wearing a crooked hat was a young cousin of my great grandfathers & this image of her from the early 1900s is my online avatar & tags for my button jewelry.

Allie passed away at the young age of 31 and never had any children. The way her items & image have sparked my creativity is her legacy. One thing that my family believed about "things" was that they needed to be used in order to be properly appreciated. That we should let those things bring you joy every day instead of locking them away for special occasions.

When my great aunt gave me her collection of vintage buttons, many were so lovely that I was inspired to find a way to use & enjoy them more often. Some I sewed onto sweaters, coats & scarves. But because most of these older buttons are too delicate to wash in a modern machine, wearing them as jewelry occurred to me. Allie's Antiqued Adornments evolved as a way to share the romance & craftsmanship of antique buttons as miniature pieces of art.

How would you describe your style?
My personal style is somewhat eclectic. I have an affinity & appreciation for a wide range of eras & art styles. I do have a special fondness for the styling of the Victorian era. In my jewelry I like to use old elements in a way that makes them new again.
When did you learn to do what you do?
I am self taught & started making jewelry because I love to wear a variety of pieces. I began with making beaded jewelry & some strung button bracelets. However, the design on many of the Victorian buttons is lost when they are strung sideways so I searched for a way for them to be displayed & used face up.

What are your favorite pieces to make?
Bracelets are some of my favorite pieces to make. With 7, 11 or 22 buttons I feel like they let me tell a little story in the way I can combine them based on size, color, texture, material & theme.

What inspires you?
For the button jewelry, it's the individual buttons themselves that inspire me. Some are incredibly detailed. When I first started, I didn't clean the buttons much in order to retain their integrity. One day I scrubbed some grime from the center of a button & found lovely copper strip that was engraved with a Greek key design. After that I was determined to gently clean the years from my Victorian buttons in order to return them to their former glory. One of my favorite buttons is a storybook button of the character Yum-Yum from the 1885 comic opera The Mikado by Gilbert & Sullivan. The button is normally brass & shows a Japanese lady holding a fan in one hand & a parasol that forms the background of the button in the other. The fan is detailed with a floral design that is often lost under 120+ years of patina.

Where would you like your shop to be 5 years from now?
In the 5 years that I've been on Etsy, my sales have been fairly consistent even with price increases. For the next 5 years I'd like to step it up to the next level. To do that I know I'll need to increase production & list more product. My goal for the past couple of years has been to get 300 items listed in the shop. I've come close many times but feel its ok to not quite get there if it means the new pieces are selling. Being able to make a living making button jewelry would be ideal.
How do you spend your time when you're not creating?
When not creating I spend a lot of my time seeking out old buttons to make jewelry with. I love antiques & share some extras in my other shop I moved into a new home last fall & enjoy fixing up the house & yard as well as finding new/old pieces to refinish & furnish it with.

What does your work space look like?
My workspace is always a bit of a disaster & since I moved a few months ago, I'm still juggling how I like things to be organized in the new space. My work is never as straightforward as having one piece that I can put together in single sitting from start to finish. There are always dozens of projects in various states of completion. The buttons often have to be cleaned & prepped & often that prepping requires that the shanks be cut off & backs carved down so that the buttons can lay flat. Many of the pieces, like my most of my bracelets, are going to have 2-3 layers of jewelers epoxy used to securely adhere the buttons. 

As a result, there are always lots of piles of things. Piles of recently acquired buttons that need to be sorted; to be cut or used for charm bracelets & not cut. Prepped buttons then need to be organized into drawers. Designs are laid out, findings are added & then pieces are put together. Start to finish can be a week or more for certain items to allow for drying times.

What is your favorite thing to have for breakfast?
Bacon. I could easily eat bacon every single day.

Where else can we find your work?
In person, my gallery pieces can be found in Old Town Sacramento at
Antique photos & postcards are on the blog at my website for others to use in their artwork

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


We're in the depths of January, and the last thing I want to think about is winter. (Luckily, the weather is cooperating, this week at least.) What I want to think about is summer, and what is more summer than the beach?  

And what is more beachy than seashells?  

Beach Decor - Shell on Lucite Base
Shell on Lucite Base by The Seashell Collection

Perhaps we can't get to the beach, but we can wear beachy jewelry.

Purple Beach Stones Pebbles Sterling Silver Hoop Earrings
Purple Beach Stones Earrings by Beach Girl Beads

Or we can put up some beachy art on our walls.

Pacific Rim // Beach // Watercolor // Big Sur Coast // California
Big Sur Coast Watercolor by Deborah Olliff Studio

Oceanside Pier, California Photography Print
Oceanside Pier Photo by Nessy's Nest

How about some beachy soap?

Handmade Soap, Marine Street Beach Seafoam Green colored Soap enriched with Macadamia Nut Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, and Super Fine Pumice
Marine Street Beach Handmade Soap by Pacific Paradise Soap
Summer will be here before we know it.  

This post was contributed by Liz from Zizi Rho Designs who is not necessarily looking forward to the summer, but who just couldn't do a seasonal theme that goes with the current season.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jane is in Paris! Wish we were There!

Our CCCOE teammate Jane, of LoveJaneJewelry is in Paris! We can't be there, but here's a view of our Paris, 
on Rue de Etsy.

Sacre Coeur Carousel, Montmarte
An Original Signed Photograph by SonjaCaldwell
One of the many evocative photographs of Paris in her shop!

Need some change for the carousel? Here's the perfect coin purse for those Euros.
Paris Market Coin Purse by ArtToWearDiva.

Fleur-de-lis, the stylized symbol of the lily is used in French heraldry and found in historical buildings and coats of arms. Here is a pendant from BeadedTreasurebySue.

Roaming through Paris, a daily must is a stop for macarons!
A macaron necklace from Roscata, looks almost good enough to eat.

Our last night, one more look at the Tour Eiffel. Pick up a souvenir bangle, this one is from DesignsbyTami

Want to share the Paris love, send your friends some Edith Piaf in these CD sleeves, from Shasta Blue

Home, but still wishing for more Paris! These French Victorian Shooting Stars might make your wish come true. There could be an April in Paris in you future!
 Vintage 1800 French Victorian Shooting Star button earrings are from AlliesAdornments.

We are at the end of our fairy tale visit to Paris! Au revoir! I hope you had fun! Who would have known our own Paris right here at CCCOE!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Artist Profile - Copper Tree Art

With so many amazing artists and creators in the CCCOE community, who's next? This months' profile is Kendra of Copper Tree Art.

When did you learn to do what you do?
I have taken metalsmith classes for several years now. I continue to take these classes on a weekly basis. I love learning new techniques and getting inspired for new pieces.

Describe your shop. How would you describe your style?
My shop is a collection of bohemian jewelry. Each piece is handmade and what I like to call perfectly imperfect. I like raw, earthy, organic looks.

What are your favorite pieces to make?
I love combining turquoise and copper. The colors complement each other so well. I love making wabi sabi rings where I get to hammer the band and each one turns out unique.

What inspires you?
I've always had a love for creating things. From the time I was a little child I would come with different crafts to make. Now as an adult, I love wearing jewelry. I began making jewelry so I could make myself
specifically what I wanted to wear. It has blossomed into an Etsy shop.

What does your work space look like?
I have many projects in the works at one time. I have built a studio that has taken over my garage. 

How do you spend your time when you're not creating?
My full time job is a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld. I am very blessed to have my dream job. I moved out to California 5 years ago when I got this job and have been so blessed to work at this amazing facility.

What is your favorite thing to have for breakfast?Eggo waffles

Where would you like your shop to be 5 years from now?I make jewelry as a hobby because I love it. I hope in 5 years I am still creating jewelry and still enjoying all the hours I put into it.

Where else can we find your work (online an in person)?My work is only for sale on Etsy.

Where can we learn more about you
You can follow me on:
Facebook at:

I don't know about you guys - but I spotted a great copper cuff I may be adding to my spring wardrobe.

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