Enter Our Raffle for Goodies from Holiday Handmade Cavalcade Vendors

With the Etsy NY team's Holiday Handmade Cavalcade just a little more than three weeks away, our vendors are gearing up to offer shoppers the best holiday market in town. But lucky for you they've also set aside some fun goodies to raffle away. In this bag of stash you'll find beautiful jewelry from SarustarPrairiefunk, and J. Topolski, art from Tamara Garvey, an infinity scarf from Bshorr Handmade, and tea towels from Jenn Eng Studio among others.

To enter to win this sweet selection of artisan goods all made by the vendors selling at this year's Holiday Handmade Cavalcade, visit our Facebook page to submit up to four entries into the hat. The giveaway will run through the cavalcade, which takes place December 14th and 15th at The Space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn from 10am to 5pm. A winner will be announced that following Monday, December 16th.

And don't forget, there will be more chances to nab goodie bags, prizes, and discounts at the holiday market so pop in for food, fun, and shopping.

Best of luck!

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2012 Holiday Sales Report

Many people who make crafts for a living, or to supplement their living, depend heavily on holiday sales to move their business into the black and make a healthy profit. Holiday sales can account for 40% of a retailer's business, and predict the mood of business in the year to come. This holiday was a struggle, as anyone who did craft fairs could tell you; it's not that customers weren't upbeat, excited and purchasing, it's just that in many cases sales were not as robust as holidays past. Shoppers stuck to their lists.

Now the first reports for retail sales are coming in and it's all in black and white: 2012 was the worst year-over-year sales growth since 2008 when the recession began. The Associated Press reports that even online shopping was down, posting only 8.4% growth since late October, far lower than the 15% to 17% seen in the 18 months before the holiday.

Why would that be? Spending was off in areas hit by Hurricane Sandy, of course, and shoppers may have been jittery about all the news reports that we're falling off a cliff, albeit a fiscal one.  Not one American can tell you what they will be paying in taxes in the coming year, and even if there is no change, not knowing makes us uncomfortable.

The shootings of innocent children and teachers in Newtown, CT layered a veil of sadness over the holiday, and I have to say I felt it myself. To combat those blues, I took up Anne Curry's challenge to commit 26 acts of kindness in memory of the students. I paid the tip of two ladies having brunch in my neighborhood coffee shop after I almost knocked their burger platters to the floor with my giant Ikea bag of stuff I was taking to our booth in Union Square. In another case, I brought a cup of hot apple cider to a street vendor selling handmade ornaments on 14th Street during one freezing cold night. I'm up to about 12 acts of kindness and hope to finish by New Year's Day.

What can we do about lower than expected sales? Not much, in retrospect. But if this past holiday season is an indication of what is to come, it's time to put some prudent ideas into practice: crafters can try to use up inventory they've already paid for, take mark downs in spring on excess inventory from the holidays, reexamine prices, and consider how else they can find efficiencies.

Maybe the politicos will pull a rabbit out of a hat and by the May and June craft shows, consumers will feel a little more secure. Here's to a successful and profitable 2013 for all!

wink and flip winkandflip/etsy.com

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Extend the Holidays!

Did you all have a good Christmas? I had a great time opening presents with my siblings and stuffing my face with a delicious Christmas dinner prepared by my mom! As we were chit chatting, my mom mentioned that she always receives beautiful Christmas cards each year and she would love to display them around the house in some way. That conversation gave me the idea behind this post- what better way to keep up the holiday cheer than to display your cards around the house? Here are a few options that I discovered on pinterest!

Tell me: Do you display your holiday cards at home?

By Nnenna of star-crossed smile

Handmade Holiday Cards

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I love the holidays so very much and this year I decided to get a little creative and make my own Christmas cards. Even if you've already bought your cards, it may be fun to make a few of them for some extra-special people :) Here are a few ideas that I drew inspiration from!

Love the 3-D effect of the accordion Christmas trees.

Simple and sweet.

Revisit your childhood and have fun with finger paints!

Play with products you may already have around the house.

Buy a couple holiday stamps and get creative.

Tell me: Are you sending holiday cards this year?

By Nnenna of star-crossed smile

Holiday Handmade Cavalcade Makers Share Their Favorite Dishes

The vendors of the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade are selected from Etsy's most talented local makers. When they are not creating, they are running families, and that includes celebrating holidays. People who love to make things also love to eat! The holidays are a special time for family dishes, new creations and great celebrations! Below, these Cavalcade participants share their favorite holiday dishes. 

Some favorite foods are born of traditions, and traditions often involve grandmothers. Annie Bruce of Brooklyn Owl, a line of New York-inspired felt hair clips, unicorn horns, headbands and garlands, has been dining on her maternal Grandma Peggy's stuffing her entire life. "

My grandmother and mom would make it each year. Now my daughter and I make it!" says Annie. But paternal grandma Lois on her husband's side is famous for a delicious fruit cake that Annie likes to pop into the toaster oven for a just-made taste. Grandma Asta contributes a perfect snack mix made with cereals, nuts and pretzels spiced with garlic salt and Worcestershire sauce. Annie's whole family loves it and her grandma still sends it to her in the mail. 

Rachel Rekhter, of Naki Nagi Handmade Body Scrubs, loves her mom's potato latkes for Hanukkah. "They are super greasy, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I think she uses a gallon of oil to cook them. She makes the whole house, and all our clothes smell like latkes, and it lingers on my coat the entire holiday season. I put apple sauce and sour cream on top, I would not have it any other way. My mom can't follow a recipe, so its always some potatoes, some onions, egg, flour, salt and pepper. Simple, yet delicious."

Angeliki Jackson of Astrobub Photography was born in Greece, on the ship building island of Chios, so some of her holiday dishes, such as Smoke Gouda Mashed Potatoes, come from watching Emeril Lagasse on television. In a pinch, she'll take a recipe off the back of a box or bag and adapt it to her own taste. 

"For dessert at Christmas," says Angeliki, "since my parents host, I provide the dessert, which every year is a different flavored cheesecake. Some of the cheesecakes I have baked include pumpkin, lemon, chocolate, oreo, marbled and blueberry. I've gathered the recipes from Philadelphia cream cheese packets."

Another cheesecake fan is Kerry M. Batty of K. Batty Design and Stationery. "What is a holiday meal without dessert? In my family that means cheesecake or pie...mostly pie:

Pumpkin, Apple or occasionally Key Lime. My grandfather was the baker and his apple pie is still famous. It had the most unbelievable crust! My Pa liked what he called a cake pie - one that you could pick up, like a slice of cake and eat it with your hands because the inside wasn't super runny. The crust was very buttery and delicious and never soggy from the filling! That is pie heaven to me. Sometime through the years his crust recipe was lost and my mom and I have been trying to figure it out for years. I think we've finally done it."

Elena Ruano Kanidinc of Simply Nu, who produces green personal and home wares, grew up in Spain. She eats grapes on New Year's Eve right before midnight, during the last minute of the old year. "People believe that if you don't finish your 12 grapes, you are doomed for the coming year," she explains. Spaniards gather in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid much as they do in Times Square, to eat their grapes at the ring of a bell.

Many Etsy makers are vegetarian or vegan, and don't eat meat. That would include Ursula of Pepper Press, who makes beautiful cards. She loves a roasted corn, bean and tomato salsa salad instead of a roasted meat entree. Another of her favorite dishes is butternut squash, cut in half, glazed with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, then roasted. 

However you celebrate the upcoming holidays, have a wonderful meal with family or friends! And don't forget to stop by the  Holiday Handmade Cavalcade.

Wink and Flip

What is Your Favorite Holiday Tradition?

In case you didn't already know, the Holiday Handmade Cavalcadeis coming up soon- this weekend to be more specific! As we get closer and closer to this fun event, I've asked a few of the vendors to share their favorite holiday traditions. Without further ado, here they are (click the pictures to visit their shops)!

Tell me: What is your favorite holiday tradition?

By Nnenna of  star-crossed smile

Getting into the Halloween Spirit

Now that it's October, it's officially ok to start getting into the Halloween spirit! Take a look at all the awesome halloween-themed items created by members of the Etsy NY team!

Halloween Hedgehog // Halloween Skull n' Spider // Skeleton Necktie // Black Cat Hoop Art

I haven't yet decided whether or not I'm going to dress up for Halloween. However, I'm moving soon and my roommate and I might throw a Halloween-themed housewarming party, in which case we would go all out with our decor and costumes! And of course, there would be lots of Halloween treats, especially candy corn- my favorite Halloween candy!

Tell me: Are you planning to dress up for Halloween or are you decorating your home for Halloween? 

By Nnenna of star-crossed smile

Good Tidings To You

Bee's Stocking with Pins Made by Her Mother Annie
The holidays are literally on top of us, so to share what we at the {NewNew} are doing at this time, here is a roundup of the different holiday traditions of our team members:

Much Merriment

For Chanukah, Alexa of Roseground used to visit her grandmother to light candles and celebrate. "After candles and before presents, my grandma would put out a big pot full of coins (mostly pennies, but some larger coins), and we would all take a handful of coins and put it in a pot for charity, and another handful of coins and put it in a baggie for ourselves (though I usually lost mine playing dreidl
afterwards)."

Kelly of Aperture Agog and her family love to play games so much that her aunt has put together a family jeopardy game for Christmas that includes categories like "family history" and "Christmas Carols."

In true Etsy fashion, Jacqueline, who runs ChelseaRainbow, is busy making all her gifts for her family party that will take place at her cousin's house.

Christmas Mistletoe To-Go by Hook and Matter

Figgy Pudding

As with all celebrations, food is also at the center of our family gatherings: Lauren, a.k.a. LolaFalk begins Christmas Eve by sharing/breaking the Oplatek - a thin, crisp wafer that typically has a nativity scene imprinted on it.  The ritual is that the eldest member of the family starts with the wafer, breaks off a piece and offers it to another family member with a blessing of good wishes for the upcoming year.  It then moves through family member to member with the breaking and the blessing passing through.

Sara of S2 Stationery is becoming the keeper of her family's secret Honduran tamale recipe. She has been making these tamales with the women in her family since she was a small child and the recipe which has never been written down, has now passed from her grandmother to her mother and to her. It includes 2 special corn based mixtures and a filling of capers, raisins, and potatoes.

For Natasha, the proprietress of Wink and Flip, the Carlyle Hotel has always been a special place for important family events and Christmas morning you will find her there with her clan pondering whether to take on the enormous breakfast buffet or order a la carte.


Dreidel Kitty by MyZoetrope

Light the Lights

As the days are getting shorter, we all enjoy the cheerful decorations of the season. Melissa of be in the moment and her family always take in the Christmas decorations on the drive home from Midnight Mass.

Bee was born in 2008 and every Christmas since then her mother Annie of Brooklyn Owl has added a new pin to her stocking. The stocking pins, baking molasses cookies, watching "Home Alone" Christmas morning, and building crazy blanket forts are becoming part of this little girl's holiday memories.

With the arrival of Baby Xander, Jenn of Firelight Jewelry and her family are also making new traditions. They will begin with a reading of the Grinch, and conclude with a gathering via Skype to hang out with her family in Ireland and open presents together.

Amy of Sweet Olive Jewelry grew up with this tradition:
"Growing up, we always had the tradition of waiting until Christmas Eve to put up the Christmas tree. Usually that meant waiting until Christmas Eve to BUY the tree too! Throughout the years we ended up with trees my brother called "Charlie Brown trees" because they were sad, misshapen and usually
heavily discounted. A few times, we were so late that the lots were already closed and we just had to leave the money for our tree."

Hoping that all little trees will get this much love and that Ruby won't have to work too much this weekend, we at the {NewNew} wish you a very Happy Holiday and thank you for hanging out with us this year!

Simone
groundsel.etsy.com
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Holiday Gift Guide from the {NewNew}

As our mailboxes get inundated with all sorts of circulars and holiday catalogues, you might be concerned that your only options for gift giving include a deviled egg plate with painted holly on it or a plastic napkin holder. For a truly special, unique gifts, you cannot go wrong if you shop with the {NewNew}. And for the third year in a row, you can see your favorite New York City artisans in person at the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade!

This year we'll be at Open House Gallery in Nolita. The selection of wonderful handmade goodies has never been better! Here are some teasers to whet your appetite...



Happy holiday shopping!



Karina

Where to Find the {NewNew} November 27-30

Post Thanksgiving Day brings us to the busiest shopping season of the year... and the {NewNew} is making it super simple this weekend to buy gifts without the hassle of Black Friday crowds! Join us today until Monday where some {NewNew} artists are offering 10% and more off all merchandise. Just go onto www.Etsy.com and in the search tool bar enter newnewteam, etsyholidaysale to see the best handmade products the New York metro area has to offer.

To whet your appetite... check out some of the shops below who are a part of the holiday sale!

Silver Ring and Pearl Necklace by Wish by Felicity

String Theory Tea Light Cover by warpeDesign

Gray GrabItnGo Recycled Sweater Bag by Groundsel

Grey 3/4 Sleeve Womens Shirt with Silkscreened Pinwheels by Kimmchi

JOY by altonweekes

For in-person shopping, visit some {NewNew}ers at the Bowery Bazaar at 351 Bowery in Manhattan.

HOURS:

Friday 27th from 12pm to 10pm, Wabisabi Brooklyn and PurtyBird

Saturday November 28th from 12pm to 9pm, PurtyBird and Loella Medina

Sunday November 29th from 12pm to 6pm, Claudia Pearson and Loella Medina




Happy Holiday Shopping!



Karina
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Karina
WindowsOfAgate