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    Posted June 19, 2014 by
    Denver, Colorado
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    The maker movement: Robotics

    The Maker Movement 2.0

    While suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following her brother’s sudden death in 2004, Sarah Huerta picked up the art of knitting, along with other crafts. Crafting projects helped alleviate her stress and anxiety, and she sought out new skills online, enabling her to create scarves, shawls and other knitwear. By learning at home, she didn’t have to worry about outside factors impeding her learning or triggering her stress.

    Formerly passed down through generations, traditional hobbies and crafts like quilting, sewing, knitting, baking and more can now be learned from expert instructors through our state-of-the-art online platform at Craftsy. Today, 10 million Americans participate in some sort of craft, and we love fostering these creative endeavors. We’re part of an inspiring new phase of the maker movement, version 2.0.

    Beyond the tangible results – vibrant quilts, nifty knitwear or other handmade projects – crafting also offers a number of other benefits to makers and our communities, including elements of generosity and healing that are experienced by many makers firsthand.

    Take one of our instructors, Elisa Strauss, a cake decorating professional and a member of the board of Icing Smiles. Icing Smiles brings elaborate, ornate cakes to children fighting cancer and other critical illnesses, offering compassionate healing and a sense of warmth that only a personalized cake in the shape of a child’s favorite item – a car, toy, pet, you name it – can bring. Another of our instructors, Kate Sullivan, recently created and delivered Icing Smiles’ 5,000th cake to a sick child and her family.

    The sheer number of online communities showcases the immense growth of the high-tech maker movement. With a combined user base of over 100 million, Etsy, Ravelry, Society6 and Pinterest demonstrate the effect that the digital age has had on the maker community by streamlining access to supplies, classes and handcrafted goods. Makers worldwide have an opportunity to learn new skills and be a part of a shared, proud identity.

    Memorable moments like Sarah’s healing process or the bright smile on a terminally ill child’s face after receiving an amazing cake bring us together as a community in ways that overcome barriers like time and distance, and it’s all thanks to the way technology has unified the maker movement across age groups and crafts, common interests and strengths.
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