Visiting NYC During the Holiday Season: Exploring, Shopping, and Sightseeing- Itineraries for Two and Five Days

When I returned to New York as an adult, a new friend and co-worker said to me, "New York City around the holidays is absolutely magical. The lights, the store windows, the snow - it is all so exciting! Then January and February hit and you wish all the snow and cold would disappear!" As a native, and now, seasoned New Yorker, I couldn't agree more with her statement.

With the Thanksgiving holiday, New York turns into a snow globe of magic. If it snows, even more so. People bundled up and sloshing around make for a quiet and pretty New York City experience. Sure, people are still as feisty as ever, it is the holiday season after all, and shopping can be overwhelming even for those prepared with lists and gifts already purchased, but there is an overall sense of happiness and delight that comes with interacting with strangers.

The holiday season is also the busiest for New York City travel wise. Many visitors from around the world come to experience all that New York offers during the season including the endless shopping. EtsyNY team members know all about the shopping season, as they're currently and hurriedly making and packing goods for upcoming markets. 

In preparation for the season upon us, I've put together a list, with the help of native New Yorkers and current residents, of what is considered "must do/see" when visiting New York in December depending on a two-day/weekend or a full five-day/week schedule.

Two Days in NY: Holiday Windows + Handmade Markets at Bryant Park and Union Square + Rockerfeller Center

1. You definitely want to see the windows of Macy's at 34th Street and Lord & Taylor at 5th Ave. Both are gorgeous displays of holiday merriment.

2. If you're looking for unique and special gifts for the holidays, you want to make sure you visit the holiday markets set up at Bryant Park at 42nd and 5th Ave (on the map in point 3) and Union Square* at 14th Street. There are a few more open holiday markets such as Columbus Circle (no map available), but, these two I can confirm definitely have EtsyNY Team members selling their handmade and locally made wares.

If you're visiting Union Square, I highly, and I mean highly, recommend you stop at The City Bakery on 18th between 5th and 6th Avenues. They have some of the most decadent hot chocolate in the world. They also have these amazing homemade marshmallows that slowly melt by the temperature of the hot chocolate. YUM! As you're walking along this tour, you'll be glad to have one! 

Note on this map that Chelsea Market, which is hosting our annual Handmade Cavalcade, is listed on here and is the main focus on this map. Our Handmade Cavalcade is detailed below in the five day/week long schedule.

Note on this map that Chelsea Market, which is hosting our annual Handmade Cavalcade, is listed on here and is the main focus on this map. Our Handmade Cavalcade is detailed below in the five day/week long schedule.

3. Last, but not least, you'd have to see 42nd Street, or Times Square. Minutes away from there is Bryant Park, which is listed as a place to shop at their open holiday market; Grand Central Terminal, which is a beautiful building and also has trains to points North by way of Metro North; Rockerfeller Center, which has their famous Christmas Tree; and Radio City Music Hall, which currently has the Rockettes Holiday Show, "Christmas Spectacular" performing and is a must see.

Five Days in NY:  Holiday Windows + Handmade Markets at Bryant Park and Union Square + Rockerfeller Center + NY Botanical Garden Annual Train Show + Christmas Lights in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn

1 - 3.  See the three maps above and check out all of those options, as they're within walking distance from each other.

4. If you have a couple of hours to spend walking the grounds of the New York Botanical Garden, I recommend it. Currently, the annual Train Show (celebrating its 25th year!) is on display and it is perfect for children and adults! The trains have history and, as is New York City, are always evolving. I suggest you add this to your visit to Grand Central Terminal. You can purchase a ticket upon arrival, or on MTA's website to take the Metro-North Harlem local line to Botanical Garden Station.  It's a 20-minute train ride. The main entrance is across the street from the train station. You can't miss it!

Note: Almost directly across from the NY Botanical Garden is the Bronx Zoo. I'm not sure what they have on display for the Holidays, but if you're up there, you might want to make a full day and visit both locations. Remember, they're both large and you'll want to map your day accordingly if you do both.

Note: Almost directly across from the NY Botanical Garden is the Bronx Zoo. I'm not sure what they have on display for the Holidays, but if you're up there, you might want to make a full day and visit both locations. Remember, they're both large and you'll want to map your day accordingly if you do both.

5. Take a tour of the houses with Christmas light displays in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn! This is another option that requires some time and should be done in the evening. The lights go on at dark, around 5pm and stay on until around 9pm, give or take. The lights are definitely worth seeing around mid-December, if you can trek out to Dyker Heights. When I visited a few years ago, I did a bus tour through A Slice of Brooklyn that ran 3.5 hours, met at Union Square, and had a cannoli and coffee stop at the end. Their website (link above) has all details, including how to purchase tickets. Well worth the money in my opinion!

If you're not interested in spending that kind of money, you can take the subway to Dyker Heights, averaging around an hour each way and walk around the houses. There are some hills, so if you go the walking way, don't complain that you were not warned! Also, depending on when you go, it may be really cold, so you'll want to be bundled warmly if walking around.  Free Tours by Foot has some great instructions on how to best get there, along with streets and houses you want to make sure you see.

Note: Brooklyn is not scaled and therefore is not accurate. It should be wider.

Note: Brooklyn is not scaled and therefore is not accurate. It should be wider.

4. Last, but not least, you should head over to Chelsea Market. It's an institution and the High Line Park is around the corner. It has delicious eats and some great shops and most importantly, it will have the EtsyNY team Holiday Handmade Cavalcade (HHC) for the third year!

This year, the HHC will run for a full week - opening Monday, December 5th and closing on Sunday, December 11th. We are hosting a "Sip 'n' Shop" event on Thursday, December 8th between the hours of 6:30pm and 9:00pm. The event is sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery and will have alcoholic beverages for you to drink while shopping. The Handmade Holiday Cavalcade is a sought after event and we highly recommend RSVPing ahead of time for both the Cavalcade and the Sip 'n' Shop event. Shoppers without an RSVP will be charged $2.00 at the door.

If your holiday travels bring you to NYC at any time through the holiday season, we welcome you! Not to mention, you have a few ideas on how to spend your time. We hope you'll enjoy them, if you do decide to use these suggested schedules.

If you happen upon our glorious City during December 5th-11th, we hope you'll find your way into Chelsea Market and into the doors of our Handmade Holiday Cavalcade, leaving you with everlasting treasures from your holiday visit.

Happy Holidays!

Sara Stroman

Sara is a stationery maker and paper lover and runs S2 Stationery & Design. Since the young age of seven, she loved grabbing handfuls of deposit slips from banks and using the carbon copy paper to trace designs. In 2012, she traveled to Echizen, Japan to learn paper making from well known paper makers in the community with the blessing of their paper goddess. She also loves to travel and as you can see, doodling maps not set to scale.

Eating Good at Chelsea Market, While Shopping at the 2016 Holiday Handmade Cavalcade

One of the best things about the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade is its location, in Chelsea Market. Chelsea Market is chock full of good things to eat and I’m going to share some of my favorites!

If you love coffee like I do, you will appreciate the smoothness of a 9th Street Espresso cappuccino. Named after its original site in the East Village, this location is sort of in the middle of Chelsea market.

The Cavalcade is just across from Amy’s Bread, where in addition to loaves, slices of cake, cupcakes and other delicious baked goods, you can get freshly made sandwiches. Amy’s also has, in my opinion, some of the best lemonade around!

When you’re craving Thai, I recommend Chelsea Thai Wholesale. Here, you can buy authentic Thai grocery ingredients as well as a comprehensive selection of prepared-to-order food. Here’s my Pad See Ew with tender rice noodles and chicken.

Another fantastic choice – and super cheap – is Los Tacos No. 1. Just look for the line (don’t worry, it moves very quickly!) by the tea and spice place. I love the molcajte mortar and pestles that hold the serve-yourself salsas and lime wedges.

It’s pretty common to see people feasting on whole lobsters from The Lobster Place. I asked a couple if they would mind my taking a picture because, really, what more is there to say!

Inside Buon Italia, there is a vast selection of hard-to-find authentic Italian ingredients to make your own meals.  Outside, there are prepared foods to eat on-site.

Dickson’s Farmstand creates sandwiches and hotdogs from their house-made charcuterie. Take home a freshly made rotisserie chicken and sides for an easy dinner.

Indie Fresh features a health-conscious, organic lineup of soups, salads, mains, and juices along with many vegan options.

It’s important to stay well-fed while shopping the Holiday handmade Cavalcade! These are just a few of the many lunch options at Chelsea Market to help you shop happy. And don’t forget the free brownie samples at Fat Witch Bakery

See you at the Cavalcade!

Lu

Lu, of LuCrafts, is a part-time crafter who lives in Manhattan where she loves using paper to create beautiful objects for everyday use. Her cat Cookie helps by being cute and not judging the state of her workroom, aka living room!

Kitchen Finds from your local Etsy Team

We are nearing the end of another season.  After the third heat wave  New York City has experienced, I think most people are ready to start the fall season.  A time to clean house, switch out wardrobes, harvesting time, pickling, apple picking, pumpkin picking and jam making.  You may realize you can use some new kitchen supplies.  

From titiluli, tea towels are such a great hostess or host gift.  This adorable tea towel with honey bees is perfect for the tea drinker or bee lover. 

from Vicki Finkel Ceramics

Perfect apple red color vase/pitcher  to complement your table or counter top from  Vicki Finkel Ceramics.  Raised bottom, handle and fired with a red and yellow glaze in a gas reduction kiln. 

Set of three bowls from Romi Ceramics to hold sauces, jewelry or any other precious little items you may have.  Cast in two colors and they nest in each other.  Perfect for those small kitchens where space is treasured.

It's easy to shop local on etsy, just visit etsy.com and type in the search button etsynyteam  or click here.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Tracey Toole

www.traceytoole.etsy.com

 

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ETSYNY AT CELEBRATE BROOKLYN! VENDOR SNEAK PEAK #3

True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

celebrate brooklyn artwork by wallcojr

                                                      When:  JUNE 3 – AUGUST 12

        Where: AT THE PROSPECT PARK BANDSHELL (9th Street and Prospect Park Entrance)

Back for a fifth season, members of the Etsy New York Street Team will be partnering again with BRIC as the sole merchandise vendor for Celebrate Brooklyn! the premier outdoor summer festival concert series in Prospect Park. Seventeen vendors, from a variety of disciplines, will grant show attendees exclusive access to a carefully curated, all-handmade capsule market chock full of local goods, ALL SUMMER LONG!

 

Here is the THIRD of a four-part post showcasing but a small selection of the amazing products available this year:

Be in the Moment jewelry focuses on the ancient technique of fusing glass to metal to create modern, fun enamel jewelry. From funky statement earrings to cool bicycle pendants, we have unique enamel jewelry for every style. We create each piece with lead-free enamel on copper, and use leather and sterling silver chains and ear wires.

fine arts by  wallcoJr

fine arts by wallcoJr

Wallcojr Designs creates one of a kind art pieces many of which have an urban or humorous theme, all one-of-a-kind and many from recycled materials.

housewares by  Lucrafts

housewares by Lucrafts

LuCrafts believes that practical should be fun! Light switch covers, magnets, and coasters made quirky, beautiful, funny, and cute. All handmade in NYC.

 

jewelry by  jpsy's junk

jewelry by jpsy's junk

A JYPSY'S JUNK is an eclectic line of handmade, eco friendly jewelry and accessories, created to capture the gypsy girl (free spirit) we all have the tendency to be!

In total there will be 17 designers and makers representing Etsy NY at Celebrate Brooklyn this summer.  Check back for our other featured artists!

Celebrate Brooklyn! starts tomorrow, June 3rd, with Chaka Khan opening up the music festival season! 

Melissa Hile and Tracey Toole

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"MEET the ARTISAN": Bugged Out + GIVEAWAY

"MEET the ARTISAN" is a blog series that spotlights Etsy New York Team artisans and their craft. In this feature, we learn more about Dina, the creator of Bugged Out.
 
Q: What is Bugged Out? Can you briefly describe your business for us?

A: Bugged Out is a line of my screen printed whimsical bug, fruit, veggie and critter designs on organic cotton onesies and T-shirts, cotton fleece hoodies, recycled cotton canvas tote bags and note cards. All Bugged Out products are designed and hand printed by my husband and me in NYC.

Q: Some artisans develop their products to meet consumer needs, while others craft products based on things and/or experiences that inspire them. What is the inspiration behind your business?

A: Bugged Out has a very personal meaning and has to do with my diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis in 1998. In April of that same year I formed a team for the MS Walk and named it “Bugged Out." I designed team T-shirts with an ant design, and my friends, family, and even complete strangers loved them! For the next several years the same happened with our team T-shirts with my other bug designs - so many people commented how great these designs would be on kids’ clothes that I decided to start Bugged Out, the company, in 2007! A percentage of the proceeds from Bugged Out sales goes directly to Multiple Sclerosis research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Q: Oftentimes, each artisan has a different strategy and objective for their business. What are the next steps for you and your business?

A: To keep growing and hopefully soon have a small Bugged Out store!

Q: Can you tell us some of the partners you have made? Retail stores where we can find your product?

A: You can find Bugged Out in many retail and gallery shops. A few of the local ones are the Shop in the Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, Better Than Jam, Willy’s Toy Box and Lab Brooklyn.

Q: As many artisans look to grow and further develop their businesses, do you have some advice that you can share with fellow artisans?

A: I strongly advise to consider the production process when designing.

Special thanks to Dina for sharing with us. You can find her products showcased on her Etsy shop at www.buggedout.etsy.com. And, details of her special product GIVEAWAY are below. Please enter for your chance to win!

Enter to WIN HERE!

Bugged Out reusable totebag made from recycled cotton canvas, with our fly design and “b.y.o.b. bring your own bug” on one side; the other side is blank.

Entry period ends at 11:59pm on Friday, May 15, 2015.

published by Susan Ng

www.NaturallySusans.Etsy.com | www.NaturallySusans.com

The Cavalcade Has Arrived!

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
― Winston S. Churchill

When:  Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14, 2014
Where: Chelsea Market, 9th Ave between W. 15th and W. 16th, Manhattan
Hours:  10a - 8pSubway: A, C or E train to W. 14th Street station

First 100 through the door each day will receive a free goody bag!

The 7th Annual Holiday Handmade Cavalcade is almost here! 60+ vendors from the Etsy NY Street Team will be presenting a vast collection of locally made, handcrafted goods, including great clothes, jewelry, paper goods and body products, as well as a fantastic selection of kid stuff and eco-friendly housewares too!

And we’ve got our awesome sponsors to thank for making it happen. The cool creatives at Swap-bot and Funky Finds join Purl Soho, who has graced our goody bags again this year with some of their luscious yarn. Diana, from MakeWorkshop, will be there offering amazing coupons for studio time, and Kiva Zip will be on hand to answer questions about how microfinance can change lives around the world.

Pinterest will also be there - giving out some cool T-shirts! 

As if that weren’t enough, Etsy, the online marketplace for all things handmade, is sponsoring a free gift wrap station, while Legally Addictive Foods and Vienna Cookie Company (who’ve also donated to our goody bags!), will be providing some fantastic bites as well as great gift packages.

This is an amazing amount of good stuff. With such blessings, let’s not forget those who are struggling. For them, we’ll be accepting any gently used coats for the New York Cares 26th Annual Coat Drive.

So, come give and receive, as well as support real people - who make things!

Admission to this event is free. For more information, visit www.handmadecavalcade.com.

Melissa Hile, Prairiefunk

EtsyNY Team Members in Action: Design Your Own Silk Scarf with Rekha Krishnamurthi

Ever wanted to design your own silk scarf? Curious about dyes and patterns? Would you love to be able to tell someone "I designed this!" when they compliment you on your accessory piece? Well, we have a workshop for you!

Join fellow ETSY New York team member, Rekha Krishnamurthi of DivineNYCo as she joins SideTour.com to host a series of fun silk painting workshops.  *Please note these workshops are not an EtsyNY Team event, they are independently run by Rekha, a fellow Team member.

In her 2-hour workshop, you’ll learn how to design your own silk scarf using silk dyes, eyedroppers, resists and other tools.  Once the scarf steam sets for 15-20 minutes, you’ll have a beautiful creation to take home!

All tools and dyes will be supplied.   Participants are encouraged to dress casually and bring their creativity and design ideas with them!  Sample designs will be provided to help inspire you.

More information can be found on the Sidetours website: www.sidetours.comWorkshops cost $60.00 and are taking place at Pearl Studios, 500 8th Avenue, New York, NY. Workshop dates are as follows:

Sep 9, 2014 - 6:30 – 8:30pm

Sep 13, 2014 - 2:00 – 4:00pm

Sep 16, 2014 - 6:30 – 8:30pm

Sep 23, 2014 - 6:30 – 8:30pm

Sep 25, 2014 - 6:30 – 8:30pm

Sep 27, 2014 - 2:00 – 4:00pm

This promises to be a great workshop. If you do attend, please feel free to leave a comment and a photo of your newly designed scarf in the comments.

 

MEET the ARTISAN: Featuring Mezze Designs + GIVEAWAY

"MEET the ARTISAN" is a blog series that spotlights Etsy New York Team artisans and their craft. In this feature, we learn more about Rachael, the creator of Mezze Designs

Q: What is Mezze Designs? Can you briefly describe your business for us?

A: Mezze jewelry is handcrafted from gold, silver and mixed metals. I create pieces in limited quantities to preserve the exclusivity of each design. My studio is in an area of Brooklyn that is undergoing rapid change; it is an influential hub for indie rock and has a thriving local art community, which provides endless inspiration. The beauty of handcrafted jewelry lies in fact that each piece is inherently unique. My style is raw and organic and as such, some pieces have been left with a purposefully unfinished appearance. Whenever possible, I use recycled metals as well as ethically sourced stones. 

In Arabic, mezze refers to an assortment of small appetizers. For me, it refers to something that stimulates a desire for more. Mezze \'me-'zei\ to relish, take pleasure in; enjoy

Q: Some artisans develop their products to meet consumer needs, while others craft products based on things and/or experiences that inspire them. What is the inspiration behind your business?

A: Mezze jewelry is designed to create tangible vestiges of memories, extrapolating them for the wearer to form and discover those of their own yet to come. I am an avid traveler and the places I’ve been and people who have touched my life have influenced many of my designs. Most pieces have a very personal meaning to me and I make an effort to share some of those stories in the product descriptions; they are physical reminders that evoke memories I will always cherish. I love all that is simple and elegant, but every now and then I get a little mischievous and will make something edgy or whimsical.

Q: Oftentimes, each artisan has a different strategy and objective for their business. What are the next steps for you and your business?

AI started Mezze as a hobby and as a creative outlet from my corporate career in the pharmaceutical industry. Since moving to New York, I have had the time to shift that focus with the intent to make it a sustainable business.  I am in the very early stages of the process, so my current goal is to increase my market presence both online and in boutique stores. Part of my strategy has been to get involved with the Etsy NY team and use this network to build and maintain relationships with other artisans who have turned their art into successful businesses.

Q: As many artisans look to grow and further develop their businesses, do you have some advice that you can share with fellow artisans?

A: Don’t be afraid to take risks. I am always experimenting with ideas, taking classes and asking for input on designs. Not everyone will like everything that you make and that is ok. Some things will work, others won’t and that is all a part of the learning process. Your style and ability will change along the way, which means you are evolving. There is a niche for everything out there, so keep working until you find the one that fits you and your product.

Special thanks to Rachael for sharing with us. You can find her products showcased on her Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/mezzestudios. And, details of her special product GIVEAWAY are below. Please enter for your chance to win one of her beautiful silver stud rattlesnake vertebrae earrings!

About the earrings: Tiny rattlesnake vertebrae have been cast into sterling silver to make these spiny stud earrings. They are intricate, unique and have been lightly tumbled to maintain the natural texture. Earrings measure about half a cm.  They are the perfect accessories for your nights out and weekend getaways! 

Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery.

Like Mezze Studios on Facebook and enter to WIN here!

Entry period ends at 11:59pm on Tuesday, July 15, 2014!

MEET the ARTISAN: Featuring Jumping Birds© + GIVEAWAY

"MEET the ARTISAN" is a blog series that spotlights Etsy New York Team artisans and their craft. In this feature, we learn more about Natasha, the creator of Jumping Birds©

Q: What is Jumping Birds? Can you briefly describe your business for us?

A: Jumping Birds is unique goods for children and babies handcrafted one by one, with love for charming yet minimal details and construction quality. I strive to design and make items that will be enjoyed by little ones for a long time and that will stimulate their imagination.

Q: Some artisans develop their products to meet consumer needs, while others craft products based on things and/or experiences that inspire them. What is the inspiration behind your business?

A: When I design I find inspiration everywhere. Vintage children’s clothes and toys or my own daydreaming, anything sets me going. My mind is always filled with ideas (it’s a bit chaotic at times!) and eventually one of them is realized and becomes a tangible item. Also, the fact that I have shipped all around the world and the dream that one of my goodies might become a family heirloom to someone, is so encouraging! Of course, my children - always “jumping” about - are an endless source of inspiration.

Q: Oftentimes, each artisan has a different strategy and objective for their business. What are the next steps for you and your business?

A: At the moment I’m very happy with the size of my business. It allows me to come up with new designs and develop new ideas, one step at a time. I’m also enjoying doing a few local fairs whenever I can. I love talking to customers and finding out what they like. I’m hoping to be ready for wholesale in the near future and explore that side of business.

Q: As many artisans look to grow and further develop their businesses, do you have some advice that you can share with fellow artisans?

A: Whatever your craft is, make sure you’re passionate about it and that you absolutely love the making process involved. Experiment with other mediums and techniques or take a class, if possible. I think learning new things feeds my creativity and brings new inspiration. This will ultimately keep you relevant and unique.

Special thanks to Natasha for sharing with us. You can find her products showcased on her Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/JumpingBirds. And, details of her special product GIVEAWAY are below. Please enter for your chance to win one of her beautiful plush robots!

Jumping Birds© June GIVEAWAY:

June 1st is Children's Day! And, Jumping Birds© is giving away a handmade, Mini Green Plush Robot! 

A sweet little robot sure to make a statement in any child's room. This cutie can be used as nursery decoration, as a huggable plush,  throw pillow or as a soft stuffed toy (kids really enjoy playing with them!) Backed with a chevron fabric in coordinating colors.

This Giveaway is for one (1) Mini Green Plush Robot. 

APROX. MEASUREMENTS
7.5" high x 6.5" wide

Handmade of cotton/linen fabric and gently stuffed with poly-fil in her smoke-free, pet-free studio.

Like Jumping Birds© on Facebook and enter to WIN here! 

Entry period ends at 11:59pm on Monday, June 16, 2014!

 

Published by Susan Ng of Naturally Susan's


Are You Ready to Craft? Are You Ready to Party? Lets Meet at the Etsy Craft Party!

The time is here fellow makers, crafters, and Etsy lovers to meet across the globe (and in DUMBO) to celebrate Etsy's annual Craft Party! This year's theme is "Recapture: bringing new life to your photographs" and focuses on transforming photographs into display-worthy works of art using a variety of craft supplies and creative techniques.  Visit the Etsy Craft Party Page for more details including details on how to host your own party!

Samples of some photos retouched.

Samples of some photos retouched.

Etsy New York Team Members will be on hand to help Etsy staff put on this large craft event on Friday, June 6th between 5:00 pm and 8:30pm at the Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza.  The event in DUMBO is free and open to the public. To reserve your space, please visit Eventbrite.

This year's Craft Party highlights include:  a video made by the Etsy Design Team projected on the bridge. Each guest will get their own embroidery DIY kit to embroider photographs that includes one unique vintage photograph, as well as a kit friendly coloring kit for the first 50 kids.  On each table will be a tablecloth with photobooth frames drawn on for easy photographing and instagraming!  And of course, food trucks will be on the premises for those hungry crafters.

Etsy has been encouraging other hosts to share examples of the DIY ahead of time.  You can see some lovely examples of embroidered photographs if you search the hashtag #craftparty.

To view images from past Etsy Craft Parties around the world, visit Flickr.  If you're hosting a Craft Party, you may find some inspiration sorting through the photos.

We hope to see you next Friday as we celebrate crafting, community, and the spirit of making new friends and sharing in the power of craft.