Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Time With Martha Part 1

While we were in NYC visit my in-laws, Ryann and I sat in the audience of the The Martha Stewart Show for the "Easter Show".   I didn't know it at the time (I had heard rumblings), but this season is the final season of the Martha Stewart show.  The last episode EVER aired 2 weeks ago leaving me even happier that I got to experience it.

I have been a Martha groupie since her magazine was first published.  Actually before her magazine was published, I was a fan of the cookbooks.  Last time when we went to NYC, I missed getting tickets.  They open the window for only a short period of time per show; first I was too early, then too late.  This time I was determined to see the taping.  But more on that later…for now back to spring 2010.

While I didn't see a taping of the show in 2010, my trip wasn't complexly "Martha-less".  We happened to be in town on the day she was celebrating the release of her sewing book Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts.  In true "Martha" fashion they held a cocktail celebration which was open to the public.  I bought two tickets and took my mother-in-law.  The event was billed as a cocktail party with demonstrations, samples from the book, and light h'ors d'oeuvres.  At the end of the party we all received a SWAG bag with product samples and the book itself.

The event was nothing if not interesting.  They had a signature cocktail, a few h'ors oeuvres, and the make-and-takes.  It was easy to pick out the stick-skinny interns wearing the latest fashion trends.  They spent the evening running around trying to keep things together.
see the cute mice?
Peering down the hall into the craft
There were samples boards sprinkled throughout the space.  They clearly came directly from the book.  Several crafters who worked for Martha were doing demos and there were even two Make-N-Take projects but they are so overrun with people I avoided them both.  We walked around, enjoyed the party, watched the guests and enjoyed the space.   We were in the middle of a big "loft" space that held the craft department.  I was fascinated to peek around the room-dividers and see the craft supplies, desks, and half-finished projects.  The picture at left is the looking down into the craft workspace.  It is hard to see but at the end of the little hall was a display with the newest- at that point, unreleased- scrapbook papers.  Although Martha was not at the party, I recognized several other staffers.  Does that make me a dork?  Would you recognize them?  The picture below left shows Darcy Miller, Weddings Editor speaking to the editor of collections.  I can't remember his name but would know him anywhere…he's the guy wearing a 3-piece red and black PLAID suit.  Oh, and he has a beard that reminds me of one I saw on the show "Moonshine".  I'm always amazed at how out of place at MSL Omnimedia headquarters this man is and yet he is her expert on collections.  The photo below right is Hannah Milman in the white hat- she developed all the glitter I love so much.  The staffers all stood around and talked to each other.  There was no way I was going to interrupt them and take pictures so I had to be sneaky.

Then da…da...dum….in she walked….
I was standing with my back to her, speaking to MIL when her eyes suddenly got big…. bigger than saucers.  I knew- without  word being said- that Martha was in the house.  Everything went into slow motion…I turned as I said the word "wwwwhhhhhaaaaattttttt? and there she was…a vision in brown.  My life is complete.  She wasn't there long; she walked around, looked at everything and spoke a few words to a few guests, chatted with her staffers and left.  I seem to remember she had another event to attend that evening and she wasn't supposed to even come to this party so it was all icing on the cake to me.

I know a lot of people aren't fans, let alone obsessed with Martha like I am.  I found a blog yesterday called Hating Martha.  You might be wondering Why do I worship her so much? Because unlike so many crafter today, she has an attention to detail that is superb.  She finishes all sides of a project, she is concerned with the heirloom quality of a handmade item.  I love her clean aesthetic-it's not my style, but I appreciate it.  She searches for and uses quality supplies and she she can't find something she makes it herself and sells it under one of her many collections.  She doesn't shop at The Dollar Store.  While I understand crafters on a budget love the Dollar Stores, 99.9% of the time I can tell they shopped at The Dollar Store.  While there is nothing wrong with that, I prefer the authentic, craftsman aesthetic.

Martha uses quality, high-end products and gets appropriate results.  She studies and then teaches…whatever it is..uses appropriate tools….the best materials and the correct techniques.  I Adore that she sets trends.  I cannot tell you how many times I have watched or read about a technique she loves and 3 years later it is EVERYWHRE.  Take Faux Bois.  She has been writing and doing crafts with Faux Bois (fake wood) for years and now it is everywhere.   Calico Studio just released a wood background stamp, Tim has a wood Texture Fade and you find Faux Bois in pillows, sheets….Google "Faux Bois" on Etsy and you will see her influence.
My determination to get tickets to the show paid off this time.  We were heading to NYC to visit my in-laws but I knew they would appreciate my trip to Martha's show.  Last year my sister-in-law was walking home from work and passed Martha signing books at a Barnes and Noble.  I ended up with an autographed book for my birthday.  I opened the package and without even opening the cover I know what she has done and I squealed.  Scared the kids to death.  

Part two tomorrow….

Laters Baby….

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