Sunday, November 14, 2010

Martha's Second Annual Holiday Craft Sale

If you happen to be in New York City on December 4th, be sure to pay a visit to the Starrett Lehigh building and experience a craft sale like no other! Held at the Omnimedia offices, the Second Annual Martha Stewart Living Holiday Craft Sale will feature the handmade crafts of a number of Martha Stewart's talented employees, including craft gurus Hannah Milman and Marcie McGoldrick, as well as wares from some of the company's favourite vendors, like the Purl Bee and Foxy & Winston. (Martha will also likely make an appearance, as she did last year!)

Martha Stewart Living editors Jodi Levine and Page Marchese-Norman pose with some of their handmade holiday goods at last year's event. (Bryan Gardner photo)

The event takes place on Saturday, December 4th, between Noon and 6 pm at 601 West 26th Street in Manhattan on the 9th floor of the Starrett-Lehigh building. Keep in mind that most of the vendors will accept only cash or check. A portion of the funds raised at the event will go to the Susan G. Komen foundation for breast cancer research.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Love These Glasses!

In the December issue of Martha Stewart Living there are two removable pamphlets - advertisements for some of Martha's Christmas wares at Michael's and Macy's. (For archivists of all-things Martha, little clip-out brochures and catalogues like these are treasures.) Among my favourites is this set of glasses from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's. The four-piece recipe glass set (Bloody Mary, Mojito, Tom Collins and Pink Gin Fizz) retails for $16.99. An accompanying serving tray for hors d'oeuvres goes for $24.00. I love the colours, narrow shapes and vintage designs.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Living for i-Pad is Launched!

Today marks a very historic day for Martha Stewart Living magazine: the launch of their first digital issue! It is now available for download (i-Pad only) and contains exclusive content not found anywhere else. The magazine features astonishing animation (peonies blossoming before your eyes, bubbles floating by) beautiful photography, more than 23 new recipes for delicious dinners and desserts, 20 slide shows with step-by-step instructions, five exclusive behind-the-scenes videos and four panoramas, including one of Martha's farm in Bedford.

The digital issue also contains:

- A slide show of Martha's early years: her modeling portfolio and her first home, cooking, and gardening projects. Plus, listen to an interview with a fellow creative guru.

- Take a panoramic 180-degree tour of Martha's peony garden and watch a video of how she makes her spectacular arrangements.

- Experience the untouched Alaskan landscape with its glaciers, mountains, and rugged shoreline; ride along with a salmon fisherman on the pristine Copper River; and learn new recipes to make wild Pacific salmon at home.

- Go glam: Get a holiday makeover with our festive product picks. Toggle between before and after shots to see the stunning transformations.

- Be jeweled! Learn how to make fantastic plastic jewelry using not much more than polymer clay, your oven, and a few basic molds.

Click here to learn more about the digital magazine as well as watch a behind-the-scenes video about how the issue was put together. Click here to download the magazine to your i-Pad for just $3.99!

Get inspired for your next celebration—with bubbles! Fizzy drinks and floating decorations plus sweet and savory treats add up to an effervescent atmosphere.

After touring Martha's peony garden, view an incredible glossary of these lush flowers and learn about how to grow each variety.
Find out what happens when two decorating editors go head-to-head, then vote for your favorite room and get live voting results.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

December Issue Has Arrived!

The wait is over! My copy of the December issue of Martha Stewart Living arrived in my mailbox today and, oh, it is a beauty. The magazine is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2011 and the December issue kicks off the festivities by harkening the holiday season in style. The issue has three covers and is packed with ideas for holiday entertaining, decorating (indoors and out), baking and cooking (of course) and offers plenty of crafts, plus tips for a homemade Hanukkah. I urge you to pick up a copy when you see it on the stands! Have a look at the three different covers, below.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Martha in Canada to Visit Polar Bears

Martha was in Churchill, Manitoba, over the weekend to film a segment for her television show about polar bears. Manitoba, one of Canada's prairie provinces, is home to a large percentage of Canada's polar bear population, a species that is facing increasing endangerment due to climate change.

Churchill is located on the shores of Hudson Bay, approximately 1000 kilometers north of Winnipeg, and Martha took the "Tundra Buggy" to cross the desolate, frozen landscape in search of these elusive and beautiful bears. While in Churchill Martha visited Gypsy's Restaurant and Bakery and sampled some of the desserts there, including the homemade apple pie, ├ęclairs and fritters. She also took a helicopter tour of the town and witnessed a polar bear rescue, which her crew filmed for the show. Watch for the episode featuring these polar bears soon!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New at The Beekman

Our friends at Beekman farm (Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell) are forever developing new offerings, usually incorporating local Sharon Springs crafters and artisans into their fun and innovative ideas for home and beauty products. Among the new items on offer this holiday season is a line of scented candles, a new line of seasonal soaps and bath milk and new goats-milk soaps. One of the things I find most enticing about their brand is the way they celebrate the scents and essences of the four seasons at the Beekman through the use of delicate fragrances. The emphasis on natural ingredients, usually sourced locally, is another reason to fall in love. Lastly, the clever packaging and label design, something Brent clearly learned from his work at Martha Stewart Living, presents the experience together beautifully.

The Beekman Milk Shake Goat Milk Bath Soak is a combination of seasonal essential oils and dehydrated goat milk from the goats at the farm. The Shake comes in four scents inspired by the four seasons at the Beekman and is designed to help create a luxurious bath experience, leaving skin soft and gently fragranced.

The back porch at the Beekman is a sprawling space to reflect and take in all the beauty of the seasons as they slowly roll by. Brent and Josh created four scents for their "Back Porch Collection" of soaps (one for each season) and packaged them in a sturdy cedar box with a lid. The soaps are also sold separately. Since the bars are quite large, it is recommended that you slice them into threes for longer-lasting use. (The Autumn and Winter soaps are also currently available at Anthropologie stores.)
My favourite new Beekman product this year is the scented bud-vase candle. Made of pure beeswax, the four candles are lightly scented to reflect the four seasons. Each one comes in a lidded cedar box and glass container for the wax. Once the wax is gone, the container can be used as a bud vase: reuse, recycle, reimagine!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Holiday, Everyday

I just received the holiday issue of Everyday Food and it's another great way to get you thinking about your holiday plans. It's filled with holiday snacks and hors d'oeuvres, cookies, candies and cakes plus a full holiday menu that is simple but classic. A feature on bacon has my mouth watering just looking at the recipes and the photographs, and a full roster of easy, plan-ahead meals to help you and your family during this busy time will prove highly beneficial. On newsstands soon!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scrapbooking: The Basic Tools

I just counted, and I have four scrapbooks, one of which has been an ongoing project since my last year of high-school nearly 15 years ago. This book is the largest of the four and has 'my interests and inspirations' as its theme. It has 100 enormous pages and I take my time composing the layout and content of each page, making sure it is exactly how I want it to look before I set glue to paper.

A portion of my large scrapbook, above, from the "Egos and Icons" section I designed in the book.

The most important (and time-consuming) aspect of scrapbooking is locating, altering and finally attaching the imagery to the pages of the book. This process can be quickly and easily sped along with the right tools on hand, always within arms' reach, always kept organized.

I loved the gallery of basic scrapbooking tools on and thought I'd share them, since they are exactly the sorts of materials I have on hand to create my scrapbooks. Oddly missing, however, is mention of a few good pairs of scissors and a set of X-acto knives for cutting, something I find essential for paper crafts.

Keep a pencil on hand to make marks, a white (or other light-colored) gel pen to label dark pages, a bone folder to neatly score and fold pages or inserts, and a ruler to take measurements and neatly position scraps.

Transform these stationery-store tags into tiny frames for photographs (color-photocopy the pictures, cut to size, and glue to surface). You can also use the tags as write-on labels. Fasten to pages with brads or grommets.

Use a utility knife to cut out the centers of labels while keeping the decorative borders intact; you can use them as frames for small photos. Airmail envelopes can be used to create evocative mini albums for travel scrapbooks.

Press rubber stamps into colorful or metallic inks and use them to add words, numerals, or artistic details to album pages.
Rub-on letters and numbers (shown in back) come in a range of fonts and sizes. Easy to apply (rub them with the accompanying stick, and the characters will transfer to the paper underneath), the letters and numbers can be used to print names, dates, and more onto pages. Store-bought scraps come in all forms. Maps and printed papers can be used as backgrounds or to create pockets. Old-looking scraps (the seed label shown here) are available from scrapbook stores. Flea markets can yield old postcards if your own keepsake box doesn't. Available at scrapbook stores, vintage papers can be used as backgrounds for smaller scraps and to make pockets. (One of my favourite things is this packet of vintage stamps from Anthropologie.)

I do not have the sorts of scrapbooks that require these materials, but grommets can be used to secure tags, pockets, and other sturdy scraps to pages permanently. Brads come in traditional brass, in bright colors, and even in whimsical shapes. They can be used the same way as grommets but are removable. Jump rings are little metal loops that can be used to suspend items from brads.
Acid-free double-sided photo tape is safe to use on photos. Photo corners provide another way to mount pictures without damaging them, and they give a scrapbook a vintage feel.