Monday, November 30, 2009

Fanciful Christmas Trees

If ever there is a time to be over-the-top and indulge your flights of fancy, it is during the holidays. Extravagance is delicious in small, temporary doses. When spread upon the Christmas tree - the ideal canvas - opulence looks extraordinary. I've compiled a few images of fanciful Christmas trees below for inspiration.

What makes this spruce tree remarkable is the use of oversized ornaments in a monochromatic palette that perfectly suits the pale tones and formal mood of the room. Silver and white dominate the scheme with long, shiny ornaments elongating the form. (The plastercast reindeer adds a whimsical and dramatic touch!)
This tree in this California home looks luxe with its peacock tree-topper. Ornaments in warm oranges and ocres are offset by punches of cool blue and green. Thick, flowing bands of wide ribbon running vertically down the length of the tree add to the dramatic height.
The entrance to this New Orleans condominium is a study in theatricality with its trio of hanging chandeliers and dramatic floral arrangements. The tree, a fragrant cypress, is an unusual and beautiful choice. It is decroated in gold and red tassles and hand-sewn ornaments. Several starburst mirrors are tucked into the branches for added brilliance.

This Manhattan atelier is transformed into a holiday vision with a 15-foot high tree decorated in 8,000 tiny lights and a multitude of red, green and white ornaments.

A diminutive tree in a rustic kitchen in Connecticut is decorated in citrus tones - pale limes and orange hues interspersed with white and silver accents.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gift Wrapping Station

How do you store your wrapping paper, ribbons, trim and tie-ons? If you're anything like me you resort to grouping a bunch of rolls of gifwrap together and stuffing them at the back of a closet. Ribbons are stuffed into a shoe box and little tie-ons and tags are crammed into a plain brown envelope marked "Tags" in black Sharpie. (I may love the art of gift-wrapping, but the keeping of such occasional fare generally escapes my somewhat exacting standards.)

However, the wall-mounted gift-wrapping station ($299) at Pottery Barn is a stroke of organizational genius. I only recently discovered it during a recent trip to the store, and it hasn't quite left my imagination since. What I like about it is that it is wall-mounted, safely and neatly kept out of one's path, easy to access (no stooping or reaching required) and perfectly appointed for prime storage. It measures 32.5" wide by 34" high and has two drawers with labels for various ribbons, scissors and trim. There is a space for envelopes and craft booklets (Martha Stewart Holiday issues anyone?) and two shelves for extra storage. Nicest of all is the ability to store four of your favourite papers and ribbons on sturdy wooden dowels.

It would be the proverbial cherry in any craft room scenario, but the perfect proportions of the piece would lend themselves to just about any room in the house: a spare bedroom, the laundry room, the home office, even a quiet corner in the kitchen. Get wrapping!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Holiday Wrapping: White and Green

Each year I like to have a loose colour palette in mind when I wrap my gifts. I enjoy having a "collection" that speaks to the season and one that is personalized. Everyone will know this year, for example, that my gifts will be in white and green trim: "This must be from Andrew!"

Ideas for these sorts of whimsies come to me primarily from the pages of magazines. I may see a colour combination in a room that I love and run with it during holiday decorating time, letting it taint all of my little holiday projects, from tree trim to wrapping.
Last year, I wrapped my gifts in a white and gold motif, as shown above. I liked the white base enough to keep it around for a second year. It infers snow and ice. The gold brought some warmth to the palette. I used a gold toile wrapping as accent trim and gold rope in place of ribbon. I also used a very broad white ribbon on some of the larger gifts and recycled some gold gift bags from Christmases-past, stuffed with gold and white tissue.

Below are some inspiration photos for the green and white motif I'm going with this year. I will have a follow-up post to show you how the gift wrapping is going later next month. (I am 90% finished my Christmas shopping, but there are still a few key items to put together before I set up my wrapping station!) Is anyone else inspired by certain colour combinations this year?

These two images from Veranda magazine demonstrate the clean, cool look of white and green. Above, gorgeous arrangements of white roses and thistle are nested into large glass vases filled around the rims with white pebbles. Green pears at each place setting add an additional pop of chartreuse. The room, with its desaturated palette of creams, whites and beiges, benefits greatly from the vibrant hue.

Here, again, a neutral dining room in warm gray tones, makes an excellent backdrop to the powerful punch of green filigree. Potted paperwhites look graceful on a natural 'runner' of moss and cedar sprigs. Cedar boughs tucked into the curls of the chandelier give the effect of a dangling Christmas tree overhead. The cedar motif is carried to the garland around the bay window and a large urn filled with olive branches adds a decadent touch.

Some vibrant green and white dinnerware.

Extending the white and green motif from home decor to gift wrapping is the next step. Here, various kinds of giftwrap in shades of white and cream (with silver accents) look lovely with green trim, including sprigs of ivy and white flowers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Martha Stewart Weddings Contest

Are you planning a wedding? Well, if you're lucky it could be planned for you - by Martha Stewart and her team in the Bahamas!

Last Friday's special weddings episode of the Martha Stewart Show, which featured Martha Stewart Weddings magazine editor Darcy Miller, a special contest was announced. The grand prize winner, who will be announced on February 11, 2010, will be awarded a customized Martha Stewart Wedding, created by Martha's team of editors and designers at Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas. The package also includes a six-day, five-night stay at Emerald Bay, a four-day, three-night stay for 10 guests, plus roundtrip airfare for the bride and groom, as well as all ten guests. The wedding will be filmed for a special episode of the Martha Stewart Show and photographed for a future edition of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine.

Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas

Couples who wish to enter the contest, which runs through January 20th, 2010, can go to where they will be invited to submit a 90-second video explaining why they should be awarded the grand prize. Please also read the complete list of requirements. (The contest is open to U.S. residents only.)

To learn more about customized Martha Stewart Weddings at Sandals Resorts, visit

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Martha Apologizes to Rachael

Martha apologized publicly to Rachael Ray on her show Monday for comments she made about Ray during an interview with Cynthia McFadden last week on Nightline. "There are no bad feelings between us, nor have there ever been," Martha said, apologetically. "I truly believe that Rachael has done a terrific job bringing people, many people who would have never have stepped into the kitchen or made a dish to cook. I applaud Rachael for her enthusiastic approach to cooking."

On Nightline Martha had said that what Rachael does was "not good enough" for her and said that Rachael's latest cookbook was "just a re-edit" of her previously published recipes. Martha said Rachael was entertaining, but not a true teacher.
The media ran away with Martha's loaded words and developed it into tabloid fodder, nearly ignoring the fact that Rachael Ray, herself, was not even remotely offended by the initial comments. She actually conceded that Martha was correct in her assessments and that she, too, would rather eat Martha's meals than her own.

My own feeling here is that Martha was being her usual direct self. She is, and has always been, a straight shooter. (She has admitted in the past that she is not always the most sensitive person in this regard. She won't pretend to be impressed if there is nothing to be impressed about.)

Repeated comparisons between Martha and Rachael Ray must likely drive both of these TV hosts crazy, since neither one considers the other to be in the same competitive stream. Is it not true that people looking for a lasting, original cookbook with high-quality ingredients would turn to Martha before Rachael? Of course it is! Would someone looking for a quick-fix dinner using grocery-store coupons be inclined to reach for one of Martha's more complex recipes over Rachael's? Of course not! As Martha said, originally: "She's a totally different kind of cook than I am."

Personally, I don't feel Martha needed to make any sort of apology since no one was hurt by her comments in the first place. She was simply responding to an unfair comparison, and she was doing so honestly. No sense in apologizing for that.

Oh, and Martha invited Rachael back on her show "any time." So, there.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Martha Stewart Living Press Run, 2009

Ever wonder how many copies of Martha Stewart Living get printed each month, and how many of those issues are used to fill subscription orders, how many are sold at newsstands and how many are given away in promotions? Well, since MSLO is a public corporation, all of that information is public. It's actually printed, annually, in the December issue of Martha Stewart Living in the back pages. (In the December, 2009, issue you can find the information on page 248 in a gray, shaded box.) I often like comparing how many issues are printed, year to year, and what the percentage of paid circulation is compared to earlier years of the magazine. The good news is that the magazine is still going strong!

The average number of copies for each issue during the preceding twelve months is 2,641,421, which is the net press run each month. So, imagine 2.6 million copies of Martha Stewart Living fly off the printing presses each month, which is quite astonishing! Here is the breakdown of sales and distribution of MSL each month:

  • Paid and/or requested circulation, subscription (paid or requested) is 1,724,035

  • Sales through dealers, carriers, street vendors, counter sales and other paid distribution outside USPS delivery is 348,720

  • Total paid and/or requsted circulation: 2,072,755

  • Free or nominal-rate distribution by mail (samples, complimentary offers and other free copies is 42,277

  • Total distribution: 2,115,031

  • Copies not distributed: 526,389

  • Total press run: 2,641,421

  • 98% of the net press run is paid and/or requested circulation.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Martha Wishes Oprah The Best

The news that Oprah Winfrey will be leaving daytime talk to pursue the creation of an Oprah Winfrey network has people wondering what the world will be like without a daily dose of the Talk Show Queen on cable. At a celebration dinner for rapper P. Diddy, friends and supporters were not surprised by her decision. Martha Stewart, who considers Oprah to be the best television host of all time, told reporters that she has no doubt Oprah Winfrey will go on to do bigger and better things. "She'll do another show," Martha said. "She's evolving. She's fabulous!"

Martha and Oprah have been mutual admirers for decades. When Martha was starting her television show in the early 1990's, it was Oprah's on-air confidence and authority that Martha was going for. Alternately, when Oprah started her magazine years later, it was Martha Stewart Living she used as a template.

What do you guys think about a Martha Stewart Network?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Martha on Nightline

Ever wonder what it's like to have a day like Martha's? On, Thursday, November 19th you'll be able to find out! On ABC's Nightline, host Cynthia McFadden and her camera crew join Martha from dawn til dusk in a feature interview. Cynthia takes part in a morning workout with Martha and joins her in the kitchen for a delicious breakfast. Next it's a tour of the farm, and then to Manhattan to the MSLO offices and the television studio. The interviews with Martha are candid. Martha says she never gets sick ("Who has time to get sick?") and that she is not a normal person. She discusses prison and the subsequent comeback she says is still far from complete. She also discusses Rachael Ray, pointing out that Rachael is not a teacher or a true author, but more of an entertainer. (Ouch!) You can see a brief clip here. Be sure to tune in to see the full interview!

Martha and Cynthia chat it up with Martha's housekeeper in Martha's Bedford kitchen.

Monday, November 16, 2009

This Year's Stationery

Since I discovered Etsy early last year I have been a fastidious supporter of the venture: think eBay with a homemade bent. On Etsy anyone can set up a 'shop' to sell their crafts and handmade goods, from knitted scarfs and handmade clothing to stationery and journals. Whatever crafty item you're looking for, you'll find it on Etsy.

I ordered my holiday stationery from a seller on Etsy (byvikINK) that I have been very pleased with in the past. She specializes in one-of-a-kind letterpress designs, which I absolutely love. I ordered these packages of holiday stationery last week and received them today. Each package contains a set of six cards with coloured envelopes. If you'd like to forego the usual cards this year, I urge you to explore Etsy.

I love the Scandanavian-folk designs of my cards this year, and the detail of the imagery. They're elegant without being ostentatious or gaudy and they still have that element of whimsy and fun that the holidays are all about. I hope you like them. At least a few of you readers will be receiving one in the mail...but which one? You'll have to wait.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Take a Bough

There is no written rule about foregoing container gardening in the chill of the winter months. In fact, a front porch or walkway flanked by beautiful winter arrangements in sturdy containers can add zest and colour to an otherwise dreary landscape. Look to these clever containers below, which combine traditional and unexpected elements, and create your own outdoor holiday pots for a hit of holiday pizzazz on your stoop this winter.

Use plastic, concrete or iron containers for these arrangements, since ceramics may crack from the cold, especially where moisture is involved. Insert a small bucket or jug into the garden container and fill with water. Place the boughs and berry branches inside. The water will likely freeze, keeping the boughs in place and preserving their stems for longer-lasting greenery. On mild days, the boughs will be able to drink from this well. In the arrangement above, oversized cones from California's sugar pine mingle with hot-pink king proteas from South Africa, scarlet native winterberries, cedar boughs and Scotch pine branches. Fasciated willow gives the arrangement height.

Country goes upscale as green apples and pears are tucked in among magnolia leaves and gold-tipped cedar under a fountain of yellow dogwood twigs. Faux fruit, which is used here, is longer lasting and easier to secure to the arrangement. For the best effect, group the fruit into bunches and layer the foliage for volume.
A brilliant red container plays host to winterberries, magnolia leaves, fasciated willow and a traditional mix of pine and fir branches with California sugar pinecones tucked in.

This sturdy concrete vessel holds a mixture of boxwood boughs, winterberry sprigs, thin birch logs for contrast and red dogwood twigs for height. Nestled into the boxwood is a glass lantern with a candle.
(photos by Canadian Gardening Life magazine)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Man for all Species

Pet expert, and pet-store owner, Marc Morrone, has a new book on petkeeping on the way. The book, "A Man for All Species" charts the experiences and adventures of a master pet keeper and animal lover and he imparts his advice on raising animals at home. Many of us know Marc from his appearances on Martha Stewart Living television and The Martha Stewart Show. We've heard him on the radio and read his columns in some of Martha's magazines, including Kids and Martha Stewart Living. Martha writes the foreword of his new book, which will be out on April 20th, 2010.
I hadn't realized that Marc had written these small books for children about pet keeping: Ask The Cat Keeper, Ask the Dog Keeper, Ask the Fish Keeper and Ask the Bird Keeper.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sewing and Fabric Crafts Book

As reported here earlier this year, Martha will be releasing a companion encyclopedia to her "Encyclopedia of Crafts," released last spring. This one, due out on March 30, 2010, will be devoted strictly to sewing and fabric projects and will include a special CD with templates and patterns that you can download and print (or upload to a digital sewing machine) making it simple to create the same patterns in the book at home. Below is the cover of the book.


It was through my friend Kenn that I discovered a new feature in the "Shop" section of It's a section devoted to 'Marthawear' - everything the Martha fan needs to show a hint of Marthaness. It includes t-shirts, sweatshirts, aprons, various tote bags and an umbrella. Below are three of my favourites. Orders are filled by but are not eligible for shipping outside the U.S.
Okay, so it's just a brown t-shirt with a few words written on it. But, oh such iconic words!

I've got to get one of these totes. It has the large "Martha" logo from the television show wrapping around the sides. It looks sturdy and is made of thick, heavy canvas. Heavy duty!
What makes the umbrella attractive is the multi-coloured stripe detail under the top. Lovely!

Everyday Food: Sharing the Joy

The December 2009 issue of Everyday Food will soon be making its debut on newsstands. I received my copy in the mail today and it's a delightful companion to Living. As the editor writes in her letter, Everyday Food balances the "practical with the special," which is what I've always loved about the magazine. At holiday time, espcially, there is nothing more refreshing than preparing a simple, pared-down dinner made with fresh and light ingredients: simple to prepare and wonderful to eat. This issue has these recipes alongside richer fare, including all kinds of cookies, squares, fudge, truffles and cakes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Margaret Roach's New Book

Margaret Roach, former editorial director for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, author of the excellent book A Way to Garden and current administrator of its companion blog,, is in the midst of writing her new gardening book. I was excited to hear over the weekend that the first draft of her 70,000-word tome was turned into her publisher just a few days ago. In a newsletter to her regular readers, Margaret shares some information about the new book, which is due out sometime in November or December of 2010. I'll share them with you now:

"It was the longest piece of writing I'd ever attempted, and also the most personal. It's a book about dropping out, at midlife and in peak career; about trying not to be afraid of lost prestige or about money - or about snakes or electric storms and whatever else rattles my cage.

"It is a story about starting to realize a dream I'd had for more than 20 years but always been too afraid to try - to live in my rural garden fulltime and return to the personal creativity that got lost in my executive years in publishing. It's a book about letting nature be the guide, finally, and listening to its signals; about looking for (and finding) some peace.

" was the first thing I created in the aftermath of my old life. It is the most precious possession in my new life, largely because of how welcome and connected all of you make me feel each day, even as I sit alone at my table in Nowheresville at my old table littered with all my writing stuff, pondering."

Margaret is an exceptional writer and is certainly my favourite garden writer. She perfectly blends the philosophical with the practical, which is so much of what true gardening is about. She uses language gorgeously, weaving engaging sentences that make the reader want to get down into the dirt and start digging. I'm sure this new book will be incredible and I can't wait to read it!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Good Things Come in Threes!

What's big and glossy and filled with cookies, crafts and glitter? Why, it's the December issue of Martha Stewart Living, which arrived in my mailbox today. It is an utterly beautiful, utterly fantastic, utterly inspiring issue to behold! What's more, the December issue this year comes with a triple cover! (See them all below!) I always suggest to all my friends, whether they're Martha fanatics like me or not, that they get the December issue of Martha Stewart Living. It's like nothing else on the newsstand this time of year.

In the issue, there is everything you'd come to expect from the issue, which is actually very thick this year. In the issue, Martha describes the virtues of artificial trees and shows us some from her collection. Crafts and recipes for Hanukkah and Christmas make up the bulk of the Good Things sections. There are plenty of new cookie recipes, including chewy chocolate raisin cookies I'm dying to try! Try your hand at a Hanukkah menu this year or embark on some no-knit craft projects to create gifts for friends and family. Learn how to wrap everything in a special gift-wrapping section or make a chocolate-chestnut mousse cake.

In the well of the magazine, there is an alphabet of ideas, including a special remembrance by Martha in which she reflects on the quietude of her Bedford farm at winter and the beauty of the snow on the landscape. On newsstands on November 16th!

Martha takes the actual cover.Martha's crochembouche is featured the second cover.

A pair of glittered bells is on the third cover. (I love how the titles of all three covers are glittered galore!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Year In the Country (via suds)

Working at one of Canada's three new Anthropologie stores has numerous perks, not the least of which is being surrounded by luxuriant scents for the entirety of my time on duty. Within the store is a glorious selection of home and personal fragrances, carefully chosen by our offices to reflect the image of our brand, including candles, perfumes and soaps.

I was thrilled when I learned several months ago that two friends of mine had joined the numerous vendors that Anthropologie brings on board on a continuous basis. Dr. Brent Ridge (a former health editor at Martha Stewart Living magazine) and his partner Josh Kilmer-Purcell (a novelist and advertising executive) are owners of the prolifically productive Beekman Farm in Sharon Springs, New York. They now sell various examples of their fine, all-natural goat's-milk soaps at Anthropologie, including an exclusive new boxed collection of 12 handmade soaps, straight from the mills of their farm.
Their "A Year In the Country" soap collection features all twelve of their custom-formulated scents (12 soaps with particular scents that reflect seasonal fragrances) and comes in a beautiful, sturdy wooden box.

I adore the label on the tin!

When I told Brent about my little scream of delight when I received the delivery of his soap at our store in Toronto, he informed me that he personally made, by hand, each of the metal lids on each of the hundreds of boxes that are being shipped to Anthropologie stores across North America, and to the new store in London, England. He also had to hand cut each of the small holes on the lids, which act as gripping mechanisms to slide the lid open. His effort paid off -the collection is beautiful!

Underneath each monthly soap is a description of the scent and the natural derivatives that were used to achieve it. All the soap is handmade at the Beekman farm by Brent and Josh (with help from Farmer John!) using the milk from their prized goats.

In any case, the soaps are delightful and are so beautifully packaged that I will naturally be buying myself a box. I urge you to seek them out at the Anthropologie nearest you or order them online at

NOTE: I will be visiting Brent and Josh at the farm in December, so I'll have a full report about their beautiful little piece of earth, with photos!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

MSLO Posts Third Quarter Losses

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's third-quarter loss widened on lower revenue and a continued slump in advertising in its publishing division, the company's most profitable department. Each of the core elements of its business was hit with losses, including merchandising as the company transitions out of its lucrative deal with Kmart.

For the third quarter, the company posted a loss of $12.1 million, or 22 cents a share, compared with a loss of just $3.7 million in last year's third quarter. Total revenue decreased 25% to $49.8 million. Ad revenues in the company's magazines declined by 22% and a slump in newsstand sales and subscriptions was also noted. MSLO's merchandising division saw sales fall by 39% this quarter as the segment's profit dropped by 59%.

On the up side, the company has expanded its retail business by incorporating new relationships with Home Depot and PetSmart in recent months with the announcement of exclusive products at these stores. These partnerships, in conjunction with new product launches by Hain Celestial Group (Martha Stewart Clean) and an expansion of the company's line of prepared foods, are expected to help bolster merchandising revenue.

Martha in Rachel's Kitchen!

The seventh sign? Maybe. An addition to the list of deadly sins? Possibly. All I know is that when I read this morning that Martha Stewart would be a guest on the Rachel Ray Show on November 12th, I actually screamed out loud. It was a mix of excitement and dread, rather like the feeling one gets on approach to a roadside accident: "Should I look?"

Of course I will try to tune in just to see the odd dynamic between the two domestic gurus. I am not a Rachel Ray fan in the slightest, but Martha standing next to her in her studio, surrounded by canned tomato sauce, is enough to get me to watch.
Above, Martha and Rachel pose for a photo at the New York City Food and Wine Festival last month.

The two have been set up by the press as arch rivals, with abundant rumours about how they cannot stand each other. Rachel and Martha, for their parts, have been mostly mum on the subject of their supposed rivalry over the years, but they have let it slip that they respect each other, despite some very pointed differences, which they also proudly acknowledge.

In any case, it will be worth watching. Here is the commercial touting Martha's appearance: click here.

UPDATE: Rachel will appear on Martha's show the following day (November 13th) to make a Thanksgiving dessert. Fair is fair!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Art-Angels Stationery

On a recent stationery-buying binge I discovered a fantastic new UK stationer that specializes in distributing greeting cards featuring the work of English and Scotting printmakers who primarily specialize in linocuts. (Linocuts are prints derived from an inked slab of thick linoleum that have been skillfully carved to create a relief pattern, which catches the ink and creates the image, once printed through a press onto paper.)

The company is called Art Angels and is based in Norfolk, England. It also sells gift wrap printed with images by contemporary illustrators and designers. It was founded in 1993 by Chris Cordingly, who has worked for years in stationery design and distribution.

There are several things I admire about the company, not the least of which is that they are open to submissions by everyday artists and illustrators. All of the cards are also printed in the most ecologically-sound way possible, using only 100% recycled board, or they're board manufactured using elemental, chlorine-free pulp from managed forests that have sound replanting programs in place. The envelopes are also made of recycled paper, and even the cellophane wrapper the cards are sold in are made of a corn starch derivative and are completely biodegradeable.

The cards are now available for export to North America, and I was lucky to find these cards below at a local, independent stationery store. You can see my lovely purchases below!

I love the folksy look of linocuts, with their rough edges and boldly printed patterns. These ones are perfect for fall birthdays or special occasions. Having worked as a printmaker myself in the past, I also understand the amount of work that goes into painstakingly carving the linoleum and courageously inking it in multiple colours to hopefully achieve a beautiful image on paper once it's put through a press. It's a tricky but rewarding process.

Mark Herald, "Salad Days."

Robert Gillmor, "Winter Lapwings."
Robert Tavner, "Village." 1966.

Angie Lewin, "Loch with Dandelions."

Edward Bawden, "Autumn." 1950.

Edward Bawden, "Ives Farmhouse, Great Bardfield." 1956.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Martha Stewart Holiday Issue

Watch the newsstands this week for the newest special Holiday issue by Martha Stewart Living - a supplement to the monthly publication that is not part of the subscription. This new glossy issue, which is free of advertisements, is a collection of 100 sweet recipes for the holiday season, hand picked by Martha. From Thanksgiving to New Year's, you'll have your desserts covered.. Cupcakes, pies, tarts, truffles, petits-fours are all part of the parcel, as are a series of delicious cakes. Be sure to get your copy!

Martha Stewart Clean

Monday, November 2, marks the launch of Martha's new all-natural cleaning products, produced by Hain Celestial Group. The products will be available at numerous retailers across North America later this month but are currently only available to buy in bulk at Amazon.

Shown here is the laundry detergent, the all-purpose cleaner and the carpet stain remover. Also available is a wood floor cleaner, a fabric softener, a bathroom cleaner, a toilet-bowl cleaner, dish detergent and dishwasher detergent.

Cookbooks by Omnistaff

I recall Martha saying in an interview once that one of her greatest rewards as an employer is seeing her staff grow and develop, and that she encourages them to start their own enterprises and projects. It seems that guidance has paid off for a number of Martha's food editors, many of whom now have their own cookbooks and independent businesses.

Below are a few cookbooks by Omnimedia food staff that you may want to check out.

John Barricelli, a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, host of Everyday Baking and co-host of Everyday Food, has a new coming out in March. It is a compilation of some of his most beloved recipes from his bakery (the SoNo Baking Company and Cafe) in Norwalk, Connecticut. I'm really looking forward to this book. It has a foreword by Martha.

Matt Lee and Ted Lee, writers of the wine column in Martha Stewart Living magazine, devote most of their time to the traditions and flavours of Southern cooking. Their new book "Simple, Fresh, Southern" is a collection of time-honoured Southern classics with a modern twist.

Lucinda Scala Quinn, ediorial director for food at Martha Stewart Living and co-host of the Everyday Food program on PBS, has written a fantastic new book about a topic that concerns many moms out there: feeding men and boys! Dealing with the ravenous appetites of the male stomach, the book humorously (but effectively) compiles strategies and survival techniques to get the boys fed and full each night on a reasonable budget, while not foresaking nutrition and good health. My friend Kenn recently attended one of Lucinda's promo lectures for the book. Please take some time to read his account here. "Mad Hungry" is not Lucinda's only cookbook. She has also written two excellent books about Jamaican cookery and a book on Italian cooking at home.

Susan Spungen, former editorial director for food at Martha Stewart Living, is currently a freelance cook and food writer, working primarily for film and television. (She was the creator of all that delicious food on screen in the hit film "Julie & Julia" last summer!) Her cookbook, simply titled "Recipes," has a foreword by Martha Stewart and is a collection of some of her finest creations. I always loved Susan's work at the magazine. I found it simple, fresh and beautiful.