Martha's New "Celebrations" Line at Michael's

Spring is always a harbinger of new things and it's the perfect time for companies to roll out new product lines. Martha's ongoing partnership with Michael's craft stores recently saw the unveiling of an extensive new collection of party supplies called "Celebrations" - just in time for one of the busiest celebration seasons of the year: weddings, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's Day, Father's Day, not to mention family reunions and picnics. 
The Celebrations line is sub-divided into colour-coordinated themes, beautifully harmonized to decorate a setting with a cohesive look; there's Black & White, Blue Ombre, Pink Ombre, Copper, Gold, Indigo, Iridescent, Sterling, Meyer Lemon and Mint & Blush. Within each colour category there are consistent offerings, such as paper napkins, paper plates, Mylar balloon bouquets, place cards, gift tags, gift bags, confetti wands, streamers, swags, pom-poms, ribbons and complete decorating kits containing all the essentials. Click here to have a look at all of the collections and some of the new products.

Below are a few items from some of my favourite collections from the "Celebrations" line, available online at Michaels.com and at Michael's stores.
I just love all the colours of clothespins that are available in the "Celebrations" line. Shown above, clockwise from the top, are clothespins from the Blue Ombre, Pink Ombre, Copper and Sterling collections. You could use them to attach mementos and photographs to a swag for a wedding shower or anniversary party.
The Indigo collection has a gorgeous colour scheme. I love the deep indigo with the crisp white and that pop of peach; it's masculine but not overtly so. In each collection, everything coordinates so beautifully. Martha and her team are geniuses when it comes to taking the guesswork out of party planning and choosing colour palettes.

The Meyer Lemon collection, too, is just such a pretty palette to work with. The paper plate, shown at the top, with its lovely scalloped edge and exuberant daisy design, is already sold out online! I can see why! Paper favour boxes in a pretty yellow gingham would look gorgeous filled with lemon candies or white jelly beans, or even dark brown chocolate-covered almonds. The small bucket, with its gingham design, is 4-inches in diameter and would be beautiful as a vessel to hold a bouquet of daffodils or used to give party favours to guests.

I think the Mint & Blush collection is probably my favourite colour palette for spring. The d├ęcor kit has everything you need to decorate a small space. The paper plate, with its faded rose design and gold rim, would elevate any picnic. A package of five large pom-poms has the effect of giant peonies hanging from the ceiling. A 4-inch tinplate bucket with a gold rim and gold handle brings a hit of lacquer and sheen. The Mylar balloons come in a beautiful mix of shapes, shades and patterns and the simple, plain gift tags are the perfect shade of green.


Martha's Wall-Mounted Tree with Flower Pots

Fans are going crazy for this reproduction of Martha's American Folk Art wall-mounted planter, which is now available on QVC. The planter is shaped in the form of a tree with 11 4-inch flower pots that can be mounted into the form through loops that hold them in place. The QVC reproduction measures 71" in height and can be mounted to any wall - indoors or outdoors - with screw attachments. It is weather-proof and rust-resistant, meaning it can be hung on an outdoor wall all year round. It sold out the first day it was showcased on the channel and is already on backorder. (This is proof, I think, that affordable items that have a connection to Martha's own personal tastes and preferences are destined to become bestsellers - not to mention collectible!)
The design is based on an original that Martha has at her farm in Bedford. The original was showcased on the cover of the March issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine in a photograph from her new book, "Martha's Flowers". The original form is American Folk Art, likely made around 1900 of cast iron. The new version is much lighter, although still made of sturdy metal.
The flower pots are four inches in diameter with drainage holes. To arrange cut flowers in them, as shown on the magazine cover, above, Martha suggests insetting plastic cups and filling them with water.
To give you an idea of scale, here is Martha and the host standing next to one of the planters mounted to a wall with various potted plants. The design is so unique - a Martha and QVC exclusive!
Click here to watch the presentation and add your name to the waiting list for this item!


Elizabeth Graves Speaks About #ChangeTheDay

Martha Stewart Living editor-in-chief Elizabeth Graves recently took part in a Build Series NYC talk where she explained the new #ChangeTheDay initiative the magazine has launched. Beginning with its April issue, Martha Stewart Living will be highlighting a 'change maker' in its pages each month, focusing on an area where simple lifestyle changes could significantly reduce adverse effects on the environment. Whether it is energy consumption, water conservation or waste reduction, the magazine will provide simple solutions to reduce our footprint on the environment. In the interview Graves also discusses a typical day at Martha Stewart Living, working with Martha and how the covers for the magazine are chosen each month. Enjoy the interview!

Please take a moment to take the Change The Day pledge online. The focus on April is reducing waste at lunchtime, such as cutting back on plastic packaging, avoiding bottled water and juices and using steel or bamboo utensils instead of plastic ones. You can also share the strategies you have adopted to reduce trash by using the hashtag, #ChangeTheDay on Instagram.


Martha's New Closet

Last fall, Martha converted a small, unused bedroom at her home in Bedford, New York, into a fully-equipped walk-in closet. She employed the services of California Closets with design consultant Chris Reynolds. The finished closet is showcased in the April issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine, but you can see a sneak-peek here!
This was the bedroom before the conversion, shown in a photograph taken by Martha and posted on Instagram last October. The room was rarely used and Martha knew the space would be ideal for a walk-in closet. In her caption, Martha wrote: "I have lived with just a couple small closets in my 1925 farmhouse. With TV and public appearances and now my new fashion business with QVC I now have many more clothes and desperately need more space in which to keep them." 

Prior to the renovation, Martha had to go from room to room to access all of her clothing. Now it is all stored in one place. 
The transformation, as you can see, is quite dramatic. All of the components, however, are modular, meaning none of the room's architecture was altered; the space could easily be converted back into a bedroom if ever necessary. A two-sided bureau now sits in the center of the room with marble tops similar to the kind used on her pastry countertops. Between the two bureaus are storage nooks for purses and bags.
The window shown in the top photograph was covered by one of the closet fixtures, as shown in the plan, above. However, the window remains intact behind the closet wall. The plan also shows a very careful delineation of space with designated sections to hang shirts and blouses, a spot for shoes, a spot for dresses, pants, sweaters, etc. 
Two window seats were installed with storage underneath for large tote bags, t-shirts and bulky sweaters. The windows are covered with sheer solar shades which keep out damaging UV rays.
A tall cabinet with restoration-glass doors proffers Martha's sweaters.
Martha's clothes are arranged by item and colour. She uses sturdy wooden hangers, which match her floors, for blouses, and thicker ones for jackets. For pants, she uses two types: some with a velvet-covered bar to fold delicate bottoms over and others with brass clips for sturdier pants. A berth above provides a space for more bags and purses.
Martha's shoes are arranged on specially designed shelves: Martha commissioned boards that were thicker than one inch (the standard is three-quarter-inch) to add a more bespoke feel. (When Martha finds a style of shoe she likes, she often buys it in multiple colours).
Martha says she loves her new closet - everything is easily accesible in one location! (I also love the small stool in the corner emblazoned with the sycamore logo - the Cantitoe Corners insignia). 

All photographs are by Marcus Nilsson for Martha Stewart Living. To see more photographs and read the full article by Melissa Ozawa, click here. The article also contains links to many sources.


Four Covers for the April Issue

The editors at Martha Stewart Living had a lot of fun with the April issue, devising four different covers for the newsstand, subscriber and digital versions of the publication! Perhaps the arrival of two new team members stirred the creative juices for this issue; Abbey Kuster-Prokell is the new creative director of the magazine (Jaspal Riyait stepped down in February) and James Maikowski is the new art director.
The newsstand cover is illustrated with brightly coloured wooden eggs while the subscriber cover demonstrates a lighter palette of eggs in an egg-shaped nest of pussy willows. During a Facebook Live video, Martha explained that the two different covers for the newsstand and the subscriber issue (a "split run") was the result of a difference of opinion regarding which cover was best: Martha preferred the subscriber cover with the paler eggs while the publishers preferred the brighter colours. Thanks to a generous ad campaign by Quaker Oats, the magazine was able to produce both covers, plus two extras, which also appear inside the covers of the newsstand and subscriber versions, as well as on the digital versions of the magazine. Fun!


Martha Stewart Living Launches "Change the Day" Campaign

Martha Stewart Living magazine has launched a new campaign, beginning with its April, 2018, issue. The campaign, which will be a cross-platform initiative led by editor-in-chief Elizabeth Graves, is designed to help readers lead cleaner, greener, healthier and happier lives by changing their daily habits through mindfulness and an awareness of the environment around them. By demonstrating how simple habits and new routines can change the day for the better, the magazine will focus on an a new initiative each month through the magazine: clean water, energy efficiency, wellness, etc.

"Martha Stewart Living has always set out to make life better for our audience," Graves says. "In the same spirit that we've championed American Makers, we want to highlight those innovative people and organizations that are working tirelessly to help improve the way we live in every way."
In the April issue of Martha Stewart Living, shown above, the "Change Maker" column makes its debut. It will feature inspiring individuals and organizations working vigorously to make a positive and tangible impact on the world. The magazine features Lauren Singer, a zero-waste advocate. Singer shares her daily tactics for dramatically-reducing her trash output.

"We don't expect everyone to go zero-waste off the bat, but Lauren offers so many easy and attainable things that we can actually do," says Graves. "The average American generates more than five pounds of garbage a day, and cutting that down by any degree is impactful."

To turn these ideas into action, readers have the opportunity to take a pledge each month at marthastewart.com, and thereby become part of a movement to make an even bigger impact. The first pledge is to minimize trash at lunchtime - whether that is passing on the plastic takeout bag or keeping metal/bamboo utensils handy - these are simple and impactful changes. Each pledge is also shareable, and can be found on social platforms, using the hashtag, #ChangeTheDay.

Throughout every month, consumers can visit marthastewart.com's "Change the Day" hub and find additional content, original videos, and sign up for a newsletter to continue to learn new tips, and stay connected with the progress of each campaign. The site will also feature "Companies that Care," highlighting organizations that are making strides to help consumers live better.

Martha to Receive Lifetime Empowerment Award

On June 7th, Martha will receive the Lifetime Empowerment and Achievement Award from Folio: magazine, an information resource that publishing executives turn to for news, news analysis, commentary, and thought leadership in driving business strategy, value creation and revenue growth in the publishing industry.
"Martha Stewart was an obvious choice for our first-ever recipient," says Caysey Welton, Folio: Content Director. "For nearly 30 years she has never rested on her laurels and has continued to push new boundaries in publishing and media in general. She is an Emmy Award winner, bestselling author and successful entrepreneur, and now, a star on Facebook Live. Not to mention her name alone is a powerful brand, as evidenced by her deep product lines, which are synonymous with quality."

Tom Harty, Meredith Corporation's President and Chief Executive Officer, had this to say about the nomination: "Martha Stewart has truly set the standard in the magazine media industry for creativity, innovation, and leadership. Martha is the original influencer in the lifestyle category, inspiring millions of readers and setting the benchmark for quality content. No one is more deserving than Martha for this honor, and we are thrilled she is part of the team at Meredith Corporation."

Congratulations, Martha!