Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Macy's summer rollout

With the spring weather warming up by the day, Macy's is rolling out the new summer lines from the Martha Stewart Collection. I received the new summer "look book" recently and thought I'd highlight some of the new items from the Collection, due in Macy's stores soon!
A pretty cover for the Look Book!

Florals abound on these fresh summer quilts: Fern Fronds Quilt set in Chambray blue, Hydrangea Blossoms quilt set and Spring Stripe Kyoto Quilt set. All $170 to $300.

Garden Acres sheet sets in Fawn, Daisey, Morning Glory and Poplar: $40 to $100. Solid sheet sets in Daffodil, Wasabi, Stream, Sky, Milk, Cream, Shitake, Coffee, Pea, Scarlet, Mist and Chambray Blue: $15 to $70.

New from the Collection this year is a line of closet organizing products, including shoe racks, storage boxes, hampers, collapsable sweater shelves, hangers and garment bags.

This colourful melamine and acrylic dishware is kind of exciting - perfect for outdoor entertaining.
Packing a picnic or heading over to a friends' backyard barbecue is simplified with these plastic food storage items. A new line of plush, oversized beach towels will have you pining for the surf: $40 each.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Martha Stewart Stationery

The Massachusetts company that makes paper for US currency has entered a partnership with Martha Stewart Omnimedia to create a full line of social stationery products.

Crane & Co.'s brand director Megan Kuntze told the Berkshire Eagle last Thursday that the new line of wedding stationery will be released this spring. The Crane and Co. website is already selling the various collections, some of examples of which appear below.

Martha Stewart's Pearlized Striae Letterpressed Invitations: Letterpressed printing
Invitation: 5/12 x 7 1/2 inches; Response postcard: 3 13/16 x 5 5/16 inches; 25, 50, 75, 100, 125 or 150 per box. Price: $284 - $514.
Lily of the Valley Personalized Save the Date Cards: 3 13/16 x 7 3/16 inches; 50, 75 or 100 cards and envelopes. Set of 50 is $290.

The announcement comes one week after Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia announced it was eliminating 70 jobs and that about 200 employees would take a 9 percent pay cut.

Stewart's media and merchandising company already sells products through licensing agreements with companies including Macy's, Kmart and Wal-Mart. Stewart said the new line will be called the Martha Stewart Stationary Weddings Collection.

Kuntze said during Stewart's modeling days in the 1960s and 1970s, she was once featured in a Crane stationery advertising campaign.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Encyclopedia of Crafts Review

Trust Martha Stewart to develop an encyclopedia of crafts. Not just a book on crafts, or a special issue magazine about crafts, but an encyclopedia, a 400-page tome on the best and most beautiful craft projects anyone could ever dream of doing. Paired with the projects are little histories of the craft in question, specific tips for each craft and detailed instructions on how to complete the project. It is as complete and wondrous as anyone could expect it to be.

Not since the days of Catherine Beecher and Mrs. Beeton have 'important' books on the domestic arts been written for the homemaker and crafter.

In her foreword, Martha recalls dreaming of being the first author since those days to "create a beautiful series of how-to books on a wide assortment of practical, useful and inspiring topics for the homemaker." She says that she envisioned lavishly illustrated, hardcover books on flower arranging, collecting, on every holiday, on gardening, on sewing, on embroidery and a vast number of beautiful crafts. She has already brought that vision to life by completing some of those books. What she focused on instead, however, was her monthly magazine and her daily television show, forms she says were much more appropriate for the new world of mass media and much better suited to accommodate her ever-growing interests in the domestic arts.

Still, the consistent release of this series of large, beautiful books is ongoing: Martha Stewart's Entertaining, Martha Stewart's Weddings, Martha Stewart's Gardening, the Homekeeping Handbook, Martha Stewart's Cooking School and now Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts.

I was tickled when I heard that the promotions department at Martha Stewart Living had sent me a review copy of the book in advance of its release. Paired with the book was a glitter set of 24 colours from the Martha Stewart Crafts collection - a nice surprise, indeed!

The book is a lovely addition to anyone's Martha Stewart book collection, and is certainly recommended for anyone with an interest in crafts. It is published with full-colour photography from previous issues of the magazine and is a fine collection of the best-loved craft projects that have been devised by the engenious craft team at MSLO over the years.

The contents are as follows: Albums, Scrapbooks and Memory books; Beading; Block Printing; Botanical Pressing; Botanical Printing; Calligraphy; Candlemaking; Clay; Decoupage; Etching Glass; Fabric Flowers; Gilding; Jewelry Making; Marbleizing; Matting and Framing; Mosaics; Nature Crafts; Origami and Paper Folding; Painting China and Glass; Paper Cutting and Punching; Paper Flowers and Birds; Photo Crafts; Pom-Pom Animals; Quilling; Rope Crafts; Rubber Stamping; Silkscreening; Soap Making; Tin Punching; Wirework; Wreaths. Each section begins with a thorough introduction about the particular craft and then delves into specific projects with a series of illustrative photographs and instructions.

At the back of the book there is also an extensive collection of useful and beautiful templates, printed on matte paper for easy photocopying. The book contains, too, a product buying guide, a list of all the tools and materials needed to create each project in the book, a section on basic craft techniques and a complete book index.

Perfectly organized, easy to use and inspiring to look at, the book is a must-have. It's released on Tuesday, so be sure to pick up a copy!

Here is the media pack that was sent to me: the book, a small postcard about the book, a Clarkson Potter newsletter about the book and a set of 24 glitter tubes from the Martha Stewart Crafts line at Michael's.

The inside of the covers are designed in this beautiful marbleized pattern of pink, green, white and yellow.
Photographs of Martha are few in this book. This photo accompanies her foreword.
The Contents: neatly organized on one page and easy to follow.

This book was designed by Amber Blakesley and has many of the clean, streamlined layout concepts found in recently released Martha Stewart publications, such as the Homekeeping Handbook and Cooking School.

At the back of the book there is an extensive section on materials, with brief descriptions of each.
The templates section was a lovely surprise: it contains all of the templates necessary to complete many of the projects in the book, from paper crafts to tin punching, scrapbooking to stamping.
Full-page, colour photographs, like this one of rubber-stamp projects, abound in the book, keeping the reader inspired.

The back cover contains a photograph of Martha's craft room at Bedford. The room appears several times throughout the book.

Anthro inspiration

I've always felt that living without inspiration is not really living at all. That's why I'm SO grateful to now be working for a company that whole-heartedly embraces "inspiration" as a fundamental part of business growth and development.

The company I'm speaking of is Anthropologie, which is a division of Urban Outfitters. The store, in case you are not familiar with it, is a must-see for any shopper, for any lover of fashion, for any afficionado of housewares, and for anyone who has any sort of interest in the eclectic combination of quality with whimsy. My position at the first store in Canada (so exciting!) is as the manager of the housewares department. To say I'm excited would be an understatement. It's a little dream come true.

Inspiration was part of my training package these last couple of weeks. Thankfully it will be an ongoing part of the program at Anthropologie, with monthly "inspiration days" that employees are asked to take part in to help develop one's understanding of the Anthropologie brand and aesthetic. For those of us in training, the "inspiration day" took us to the Royal Oak Farmer's Market in Royal Oak, Michigan, where a weekly flea market takes place every Sunday.

It certainly wasn't mandatory, but I took it upon myself to take photographs of the things I found at the flea market that I believe adhere to the Anthropologie aesthetic. Throughout the experience, I understood how product development begins with a kernel of inspiration, even those little sparks of genius found in the darkest, dustiest little corners of a quaint flea market in Michigan. I thought I'd share my findings with you...
I loved this bell jar, which was filled with twigs and silk ferns, wooden eggs and moss.

If I had a multitude of crates and bags with me, they would have been filled to brimming, but I had to leave so many gems behind, including this 1950's cake dome. The "cake" part of the stand is actually the lid. It can be lifted by the large strawberry at the center to reveal the confection inside.
Gorgeous, vintage dresses and nightgowns - some never worn before - were in abundance. The florals and materials were reminiscent of some of the vintage prints found at Anthropologie.
This massive board full of pins and brooches reminded me a lot of the exquisite hardware sold at Anthropologie: floral and starburst knobs on cubpoards and drawers.
Vintage linens begged to be felt and explored. They were made of gorgeous materials and were in such good condition, even though some of them were more than 60 years old.
The light playing on this old, gilt-edged mirror, which was covered in baubles, was just fantastic. I love the dance between the glint of clean shimmer and the subdued patina of the old frame.
This mosaic box stole my heart. It is very much an Anthropologie runaway.
All in the details: each little section of this wall-mounted case contained a little surprise. I love the little "room" (second row from left, third box down) with the starburst clock, the sconce and the little faux-bois table with a cake dome.
These vintage napkins may as well have been taken directly from the Anthropologie home department: they were in gorgeous condition and their lovely patterns were unmarred by time or use.
I thought this necklace made of painted shells would have been a big hit with Anthropologie's beach-going ladies.
A vintage quilt made for a child was perfectly worn and tattered. The hand stitching and sewn-on buttons were just adorable.

Martha would definitely approve of this useful conversion: an old aluminum frying pan finds a new life as a wall-mounted clock. (Wouldn't this be wonderful next to an Aga?)
Salt doesn't seem so unhealthy when I see it written on this beautiful and alluring vessel.

I loved this sweet little salt and pepper shakers, which were two sleeping goslings.

An old sideboard, dark with time, may make a lovely addition to an Anthropologie-inspired room.

If given the chance, I would propose marriage to the excellent woman who once wore this fantastic skirt.
It is decorated with crazy women in fancy evening gowns, bedecked by coloured ribbons that act as ties, scarves and sashes. Fabulous!

This vendor, Ida Belle, was very enthusiastic about her handmade soaps. They were deliciously scented and individually wrapped in beautiful fabrics. Visit her website: idabellesoaps.com
Pretty, holiday-themed stationery - some used, some blank - was piled high in several stacks on several tables.

I loved this old, opaque teacup and saucer with the faded floral print.

Vintage tea towels were everywhere! They would be very comfortable on the shelves at Anthropologie.

The only things I actually bought were these two clipped-out coupons from a stationery vendor: one of them was for chicken feed and the other was a grocery-store coupon from a company called Lautz, which was located in Buffalo. It's value at the time (the 1920's) was three coupons.Anyone who knows me knows I love old paper with old font. These will go in my scrapbook.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Craft Book Preview Next Week

Hello everyone! My job training at Anthropologie is proceeding as planned and I'll soon be settled in Toronto for good. I found a wonderful apartment in a little brownstone with hardwood floors, a fireplace, a little kitchen with French doors and checker-board tiles. Cute, cute, cute! It's in a lovely part of town, right near a park and easy access to all areas of the city. I'll have pictures once things are settled. In the meantime, there is still lots more to do. I haven't even moved in yet.

In other news, the kind folks at MSLO sent me along a review copy of the Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of Crafts, which will be released on March 31. I plan to review it next Sunday when I'll have access to my scanner again. I'll post information about the book, my personal review and many other fascinating little details, so be sure to stay tuned for that.

I've also received a plethora of garden books by the wonderful Suzy Bales to review in the near future, so stay tuned for those as well.

I'd like to offer special thanks to Kenn for watching over Martha Moments while I'm in transit! All the best to everyone! I'll be in touch again soon.

Don't miss your opportunity to meet Martha in person and snag your own signed copy of Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts!

Upcoming Book Signings

Westbury, New York
Friday, April 3 at 12 p.m.Michaels,
Roosevelt Raceway Center
1280 Corporate Dr.
Westbury, New York 11590516-693-0420

Martha will sign copies of "Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts."Hannah Milman, crafts editorial director, will demonstrate a variety of projects.Pre-purchase books at your local Michaels while supplies last.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

MSLO Adds Pets as Core Content Area

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. announced the launch of a multiplatform pets initiative with www.marthastewart.com/pets as a cornerstone of the program. The website will provide fresh ideas and information related to pet care and the joys of animal companionship, including a blog from the perspective of Martha's French Bulldogs, Francesca and Sharkey, called "The Daily Wag" at http://dailywag.marthastewart.com/.

The primary sponsor for the new website will be Nestle Purina PetCare, a leading global manufacturer of pet products and an innovative marketer within the pet food industry, and its super-premium pet food brand Purina ONE.

Martha Stewart is widely recognized as an animal lover who is devoted to her pets, many of whom have been featured in the pages of Martha Stewart Living, on the nationally syndicated daily television show The Martha Stewart Show, and on Martha's popular blog on marthastewart.com. This devotion is shared by her enthusiastic fan base. According to MRI, the Martha Stewart audience includes 9.7 million dog and cat owners who share their home with a collective 21.7 million dogs and cats; they purchase more than 200 million pounds of pet food each month.

Martha Stewart, Founder of MSLO, stated: "I have been passionate about pets all my life and over the years have been fortunate to share my home with many dogs, cats, and canaries. I understand why people consider their pets to be members of their family and am delighted to be offering a website, television programming, and other content that celebrate that special relationship and help consumers to better care for and enjoy their pets."

The new website will serve as a comprehensive resource for pet owners seeking information and ideas on a broad range of topics from nutrition and grooming to fun crafts and contests. In addition to Francesca and Sharkey's blog, it will feature hundreds of videos and articles, as well as photo galleries, quizzes, and more. The website will also provide advice about pets from MSLO's experts and Purina's nutritionists and veterinarians.

The website is part of a larger effort to build on MSLO's established presence in the category and leverage its extensive library of pet content. Pet content, integrations and advertisements will be featured across all of MSLO's media platforms, including The Martha Stewart Show, Martha Stewart Living Radio and the company's magazines. MSLO also will explore Merchandising offerings.
Hello everyone - While 'minding the store' for Andrew, I've discovered some problems with my graphics software - hence the header of this post is different than most you have seen. I heard from Andrew and he's doing well! He'll be back soon! --K

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hello everyone! I'm currently in the midst of a move to Toronto from Ottawa to start an exciting new job in 'the big city.' I will be very busy these next few weeks with all manner of things, not the least of which is finding a place to live, conducting a move and training for a new job. With this in mind, I've asked my friend Kenn to mind the Martha Moments blog for the next month and keep you updated on Martha news and information until I'm fully settled and I've got a bit more spare time to devote to the blog again. Wish me luck and I'll write again soon! In the meantime, be nice to Kenn! There's no one I'd trust more to handle the blog.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This striking red wire patio set, new from the Martha Stewart Everyday collection, bears little in common with its Scottish namesake. The town of Aberdeen in the northeast of Scotland, with its industrial landscape and chilling winds, was likely not the inspiration behind this beautiful, summery patio set. I happened upon it in an ad in the April issue of Martha Stewart Living.

I'm not a patio furniture afficionado at all, but this one really caught my eye. I love the detailing of the wire in the chairs, in particular, but also the whimsical table legs and the snug little bench. The table is $90, the chairs are $159 for the pair and the bench is $149. Available at Kmart.

Lemon, butter, mustard, gold, chartreuse and ocre: whatever the shade, the colour yellow definitely says spring. Maybe it’s the proliferation of daffodils, primroses, yellow tulips, crocuses and raincoats that will soon appear, or the implied freshness of yellow’s sunny warmth, but spring without yellow is not spring at all.

Below I’ve compiled some yellow inspiration to help us get into the spirit of spring.