Saturday, November 8, 2008

The arrival of the December issue of Martha Stewart Living is always an event for me. It represents the culmination of the year for my favourite magazine and I tend to judge this yearly issue the most harshly because of this. It's the peak of Martha Stewart Living's annual offerings and it ought to be the best showcase of the imagination and creativity of the people who make the magazine happen. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn't. There have been December issues in the past that have blown me away and there have been issues that have left me feeling more than a little underwhelmed.
I'm happy to report that the 2008 holiday issue is a dream come true!

It is filled (and I mean filled) with new ideas - ideas that feel fresh but that still manage to pay tribute to the classicism and elegance of holiday issues past. Crafters, I think, will be especially pleased with this issue. There is a lot on offer here, including wreath making, soap making and crafts for setting the holiday table and for making decorations and ornaments.

Oh, and there are templates and downloads galore!

Visit to download all kinds of beautiful gift tag designs and packaging for homemade gifts. Cooks will be pleased with more cookie recipes (although I'm personally over the whole cookie phenomenon) and delicious old-fashioned candies. The cooking segments in this issue, though, are not as plentiful as past issues have been, with more of a focus on crafting and decorating, which I love. Cooks have the special Holiday issue (Seasons Eatings) to turn to for their favourite recipes, not to mention a new cookbook to explore.

The new issue looks so happy on my nightstand. It will remain there for weeks, I'm sure, as I pore over it, absorbing all the details.

A lovely article on using vintage green ceramic ware for festive decor.

Learn how to make old-fashioned holiday candies and visit to download the pretty vintage packaging and labels you see in the photos.

A story on growing and displaying the beautiful amaryllis flower. This harkens back to the old holiday issues of Martha Stewart Living I cherish.

Come on over to Martha's Bedford estate for a Christmas carol party in the new music room at her newly restored Summer House. (You will also be able to download Martha's personalized songbook shown above on the right page at

Using doilies in all kinds of festive ways! Who doesn't love a good doily?

I love this article on using cameo crafts in holiday decor: classic and clean!

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