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

Friday, September 18, 2015

Going Places

Summer may be over, but if you're not worried about a school year, now is a great time to get away without having to deal with all the crowds. And if you're planning to get away (or just dreaming of a trip)...

Airstream Glamping Photograph In The Snow 1971 Vintage Trailer Beautiful Scenery Black And White Upcycled Fine Art Junk Gypsies Dream
Airstream Glamping Photograph by Lost Coast Arts

Route 66 brings up memories of road trips. Or the idea of old road trips (for those of us who grew up with interstates)...

Clearance SALE, Tote Bag, Handmade, Retro Route 66,  Reusable Eco-Friendly Bag, Groceries, Beach, Sports, Gym, School
Retro Route 66 Reusable Eco-Friendly Bag by Sew Darn Comfy

Route 66 Upcycled T-shirt Tote Bag
Route 66 Upcycled T-shirt Tote Bag by Red Bess Bonney Too

But for an actual trip, there are a few necessities you might need. Like something to store all your jewelry...

Mini Jewelry Travel Organizer Case Storage Gift
Mini Jewelry Travel Organizer Case by Falling Star Lane

Or a way to identify your bag amongst all the others at the baggage return...

Luggage Handle Wrap-Suitcase Identifier Set of (2)  Green, White and Blue CHEVRON ZIG ZAG
Luggage Handle Wrap-Suitcase Identifier by O.C. Styles

And if you're planning on getting out of the country, you need something to keep your passport safe...

Travel Passport Case /  Handmade / pick your color
Travel Passport Case by jackandbeedesigns

Or, you can sit at home and think about the world...

Latitude Longitude Bookmark, Copper Gift, Custom Made, GPSCoordinates, Nautical Location, Wedding Gift, Seventh Anniversary Gift, Mens Gift
Latitude Longitude Bookmark by Pearlie Girl

And there are all sorts of other treasures to be found at Going Places in the team pages... 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A First Craft Fair

Are you planning on doing your first craft fair this holiday season? All sorts of craft bloggers have great advice. And once you start reading these posts, it's easy to get overwhelmed.

Just like when you opened your Etsy shop, you started someplace and learned as you went along. The same is true for a craft fair. Don't worry about having everything perfect your first time out. You should think of it as a learning opportunity.

If you've done your research, you should have a basic idea of what to bring and how to set up your table. But I do have a few tips to help you get through your first craft fair.

1. Start Small

You don't want to hit the big events your first time out. It's a good idea to do a few small shows to get comfortable with the whole process. Many churches have holiday events that are inside (no worrying about acquiring and setting up a canopy), and they even let you rent a table. All you have to do is bring yourself and your wares.

2. Practice Your Setup Ahead of Time

Take a couple hours (or plan to use a whole Saturday afternoon) to put out all of your items in the space you'll have. It'll give you some idea of how everything is going to look. As you do this, you'll see what sorts of signage you will want and how much you'll actually need to make your table look full. You might be surprised. 

The other bonus to this is it'll help make your setup easier on the day of the craft fair. When you know about what you want things to look like, you won't spend precious setup time trying to figure out how to get everything positioned to your satisfaction.

3. Bring a Buddy

Things go easier when you have someone for support. Your best friend owes you. Your spouse would love to spend the day with you. Bribe them with dinner or that item that they've had their eye on. You get the day to sit and visit. And if you need to use the restroom or you want to send someone to pick up lunch, someone is already there.

4. Say Hello to Everyone

There's a reason why retail establishments ask their employees to greet people as they walk in the door. It makes you more approachable. It establishes rapport. Some will ignore you, and many will grunt out a hello in response as they quickly move past your table. But some will stop and chat. And a few of those might just buy something from you. 

5. Check Out the Other Booths

This is a great networking opportunity. Say hello. Get cards. Check out their setups. Support them by purchasing something. (You know you have Christmas shopping to do, too.) You may find some very helpful, experienced vendors who can give you advice as to where the good shows are. And the day is much nicer when you're enjoying the company of the other vendors at the event.


As you do more of these events, you'll get better at them. You'll learn what to tweak and what works just fine as is. 

What are some things you'd advise to someone doing their first craft fair?

Friday, September 4, 2015


With the end of summer comes all sorts of stressors. School. Winter weather. The holidays. At times like these, we need to remember what calms us down and makes us feel better.

I asked the team what de-stresses them, and here are some of their answers...

Sparkles-a-lot2 says:
One of the reasons I make jewelry is because it de-stresses me. Nothing like being creative and working with my hands. Which is why making music is my other de-stresser! I am one of the lucky people who gets to do what I love and actually get paid for it! 
Hand-woven Drop, Dangle Owl, Bird Earrings Made With Brown and Copper Delica, Seed Beads for Summer, Spring, Winter, Fall, Gift for Her
Owl Earrings
What de-stresses me is playing with my polymer clay... Squishing it, kneading it, then making anything relaxes me, because I've accomplished something enjoyable...
Butterfly Clay Brooch Pin, Shimmery Multicolored Pin, Fun Jewelry, Scarf Pin, Coat Pin, Affordable Handmade Polymer Clay Jewelry
Butterfly Clay Brooch Pin

Bella Beads Originals says:
Something that de-stresses me is a mani/pedi. I feel so pampered! It helps me feel ready to take on the world and know that at least I look groomed.
Rainbow Tourmaline Pendant Necklace, Rosary Style, Pink Chalcedony Teardrop Pendant, Gold, Pink, Green
Rainbow Tourmaline Pendant Necklace

Zizi Rho Designs (that's me!) says:
When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I love to sit down with yarn and needles and make something. Besides the sense of accomplishment when I finish something, there's something relaxing in the rhythmic motion of stitch after repeated stitch.
Desk Cell Phone Holder ~ Knitted Pillow Prop
Knitted Desk Cell Phone Holder

 What de-stresses you?

Friday, August 28, 2015


In perusing the team newbie thread this month, I noticed a bit of a trend. Feathers. Feathers are everywhere, it seems. In an old fashioned looking writing instrument...

New Custom BALL POINT Quill Pen Feather iNK Pen STEAMPUNK
BALL POINT Quill Pen Feather iNK Pen by Saber Shores

...a pendant...

Peacock Feather Adjustable Boho, Hippie, Native, Southwestern, Necklace with Amazonite Gemstone Heishi and Arrow Charm on Leather Lace
Peacock Feather Charm on Leather Lace by Sparkles-a-lot2

...or a boho headband.

natural, taupe, cream, edm, colorful, feather, feathers, feather headband, Feather hair comb, bridal hair comb, feather extension, feather
feather extension by enchanted headwear

But one doesn't need an actual feather to be in on the trend. Feather-looking earrings work just as well.

Sterling Silver and Copper Double Leaf Earrings by Texturz

Or a little feather addition to your gifts.

Feather Gift Tags and Hand Tags
Feather Gift Tags by Handy Grams

But feathers are a great embellishment elsewhere. Like on bottles.

Adorned Bottle   Feathers Birds and Pearls
Adorned Bottle Feathers Birds and Pearls by suchandsortaltered

And, of course, you can't talk about feathers without remembering the dreamcatchers.

Wild Turkey Dreamcatcher, Native American inspired large Apricot leather and wild turkey feathers purple beads
Wild Turkey Dreamcatcher by DreamCatcherMan

When was the last time you wore a feather?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Christmas Is Coming (In Four Months!!!)

Christmas is coming. As of this post, there are only 125 days left. (Check it out: Countdown to Christmas Clock.)

Which is a long time for most people. But if you're a maker, it's time to get cracking. There's not much time to get your Christmas presents made. And if you're short of ideas, there are plenty of patterns and tutorials that you can find to help you with your gift making endeavors.

First off, who doesn't need more Christmas ornaments? Okay, maybe you've got plenty, but when the finished product looks like this...

Lace Picot Beaded Ornament Pattern
Lace Picot Beaded Ornament Pattern by Arhyonel Designs

Or perhaps you want to try jewelry making. Here are a couple tutorials/patterns for some truly gorgeous pieces...

Tutorial for DIY Handcrafted Earrings by Laura Bracken Designs

Victorian Lace Beaded Earring Pattern by Nans Glam Supplies

Or perhaps you're a knitter/crocheter like me. Then you'll need something original to knit...

PDF Knit Jewelry Pattern Set by ohmay designs

Or crochet. (Didn't I say you needed to get kraken? Whoops, wrong cracking.)

CROCHET PATTERN PDF - Kraken Of The Sea Scoofie - Mythological Creature Hooded Scarf Couture
Kraken Of The Sea Scoofie by Pink Avenger!

Perhaps you're a sewer. What would be cuter than a mythological creature on your wall?

DIY Felt Unicorn Head, Plush Sewing Pattern PDF Digital Download
DIY Felt Unicorn Head by A. I. Creatures

Or I'm sure you could find some kiddos who would love this vintage pattern...

Giant Caterpillar Toy Pillow - Sewing - Vintage Pattern
Giant Caterpillar Toy Pillow by Avril Joy

Didn't find something here that works for you? There are many more patterns and tutorials at DIY Patterns on the team pages...

DIY Patterns curated by California Crafters Club Of Etsy - CCCOE on Etsy

Including a little knit pattern for your electronic tablet or ereader...

Tablet Buddy Knitting Pattern
Tablet Buddy Knitting Pattern me.

Have you started your Christmas making yet? Or do you buy all your presents?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Craft Fairs for Beginners

Yes, it's only August, but you may have noticed certain decorations in your favorite craft store. It's time to start thinking about the holidays. (And no, this is not too early for us. It's too early for stores to put out their Christmas stuff, but not for us makers to start making it.)

ohmay's Holiday Table

And the holidays bring out the craft fairs.

Craft fairs are a great way to get out into your local community and show off your wares. Online we're beholden to the search. Is someone searching for just what you make? But at a craft fair, you get people stumbling upon you. Perhaps they'll discover that you have just what they never knew they needed.

Allie's Adornments (currently on vacation)

But where do you begin?

Many sellers on our team have done craft fairs, and they're a great source of advice. I think the hardest part is just getting started.

Getting started includes research. This is the fun part. A great way to do research is to attend any local craft fair you can find.

Show up. Take a look around. See how various sellers set up their booths. Do a little shopping.

Talk to the sellers.

cserpent designs

There are many places that hold craft fairs. Schools. Churches. Community centers. There are even some people who hold home boutiques. The only way you're going to get a sense of where you'd fit in is to take a look at a bunch of these.

If you find a fair that you think would be a good fit, ask around and find out who runs the thing. That person is usually on site. Most of the sellers should know who he/she is and can point him/her out for you. Even if the event is a once-a-year thing, you can get on the mailing list for the next year.

Know of any good craft fairs? Do you have any advice for someone who has never sold at one?