2.26.2015

Martha is Planning a New Radio Show

Martha's radio show "Martha Live," which aired on Sirius XM satellite radio, was recently cancelled by the station. The live call-in show debuted two years ago and was originally a daily program that broadcast for two hours, but was cut back to just one hour per week. (Martha's original satellite radio channel on Sirius XM, called Martha Stewart Living Radio, was cancelled several years ago.) Quickly as the news came, however, Martha announced on Twitter yesterday that they are working on a new radio show. Details have not yet been made public, so stay tuned for updates!


2.25.2015

Martha at the Social Media Week Conference

Martha Stewart has always been an early adopter of new technology. From her first IBM computer in 1982 to her fleet of personal drones that now circle her farm taking photographs of her property, Martha has always been curious about technology and interested in its applications at home and at work. Despite this, she is quick to point out that technology is not yet making our lives simpler. If anything, she says, it is making them a bit more complicated as we spend hours glued to our mobile devices and home computers. Her fascination with technology, however, indicates that she is extremely optimistic about its potential.

Yesterday, Martha spoke at the Social Media Week conference in New York City about how she views technology and the roles it plays in her life and her company. In a discussion led by Barbarian Group CEO Sophie Kelly, Martha says that the latest technology is essential to any business and has many implications for the DIY movement in America. Click here to register with Social Media Week to watch the 40 minute interview with Martha.
Martha discusses technology with Sophie Kelly at the Social Media Week conference yesterday.
Beautiful cakes and cupcakes on Martha Stewart Collection cake stands are decorated with cake toppers created by the MakerBot 3D printer. These were on hand during Martha's talk. Also on offer were cookies decorated with Emoji-inspired marzipan.

New Ads on Social Media

Many of you who follow Martha Stewart Living on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter will have seen these new ads that have begun appearing to help direct traffic to marthastewart.com. Each ad heralds a topic - a sort of title page - that links to a full article or how-to on marthastewart.com. I am blogging about them because I really admire their design. They feel fresh and engaging and it would be nice to see more of this design in other areas of the company's advertising. What do you think of them?

2.15.2015

Living with Books

I live in a book-lover's home. Between my partner and I, we have collected hundreds of volumes over the years: hardbound, paperback, and everything in between. Since we live in a small space (our apartment is just 650 square-feet) we had to be conscious of how our books were stored: not only for easy access and space-saving requirements, but also for aesthetics. Below are some photos of how we have organized our books and magazines at home with some helpful hints for how to keep your book collection well-managed.
The old saying goes, "You're never alone when you're reading a book." Both Tomas and myself love books and enjoy being surrounded by them. On any given Sunday afternoon, you can find us curled up on the couch or in bed reading a book. In our living room, we have a ''book nook'' with four large units (and two smaller ones) arranged symmetrically in each corner of the room. There is a comfortable suede chaise where we can perch as we flip through the pages. The books are organized by colour (a tip I got from Martha Stewart Living editor Kevin Sharkey) rather than by subject. I find it more appealing to the eye in such a small space. You will also notice that I keep the taller books towards the periphery of the shelves and the shorter ones to the center, creating a 'dip' or a 'wave' that I also like to look at. Organizing by subject is the most intuitive solution to book storage, but I prefer the colour-coded method. The lower shelves on each of the four units contains magazine folders (all white) where my vast collection of Martha Stewart Living magazines are stored. (Pillow is from Anthropologie.)
We find space for books where we can. For instance, we installed six floating shelves in a small alcove near our front door. The books I chose to store here are books with spines that almost completely match the colour of the walls. Not only are the shelves receded in the alcove, but the colour of the spines makes them 'disappear' even further. The books subtly accentuate the architectural details by drawing the eye up and down the alcove.
Dispersing books throughout the house is a good strategy. We keep all the cookbooks in a cupboard in the kitchen where they are used. Hardcover books,by the way, are best kept lying flat. This reduces the strain on the spines and helps keep them intact. Also, never store books in direct sunlight or in damp rooms. Sunlight can fade and damage the books. Dampness can encourage mold and mildew between the pages.
On my dresser, I keep magazine folders by Semikolon to house my more collectible magazines. On the shelves next to my bed are the books I'm currently reading: easy to access and easy to store.
Here are my ten tips for book storage. I hope you find them useful!

2.13.2015

Last-Minute Valentine's Day Clip-Art

The article "Tokens of Confection" in the February issue of Martha Stewart Living inspired me to get out my Valentine's Day kit a few days ago and start penning little notes to my loved ones. One of the nicest treats to be found in any given issue of Martha Stewart Living is the free, printable clip-art - one of the easiest ways to embellish or inspire a craft. There are many great Valentine's Day clip-art projects that you can download and print at marthastewart.com - from the current February issue as well as from past issues. Click here to view some of the printable labels and stationery clip-art designs. I want to wish everyone who reads Martha Moments a very happy Valentine's Day - as well as to Martha and her team of editors.

2.10.2015

Artful Hearts by Wendy Kromer

Even a quick glance through the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings will reveal the beauty of Wendy Kromer's confectionery artwork. Those spectacular wedding cakes with tier after tier of elaborately-decorated cake layers were more than likely created by Wendy. She began working with Martha Stewart Living as a contributing editor in 1995 after winning the blue-ribbon prize at the Culinary Art Show in Manhattan. Martha was quick to sign her on as a regular contributor to her new weddings magazine and to employ her skills in other areas of her company: her catalogs, her television shows and her other magazines. In 2007 she co-wrote her first book with Martha: Martha Stewart's Wedding Cakes.

Wendy studied her craft at the Peter Kump School of Culinary Art in New York City after a ten-year run as a fashion model in Paris. Over the last ten years, Wendy has become the standard-bearer for all culinary artists. Her work is unparallelled. In 2005, Wendy and her husband Scott Schell moved to Sandusky, Ohio, and opened Wendy Kromer Confections, a unique bakery & design studio located in historic downtown Sandusky.  Wendy Kromer Confections reaches clients worldwide through Wendy’s continued work with Martha Stewart Living. While I am not a baker, I have always loved and admired Wendy's work enormously. Below are some of Wendy's heart-shaped cookies for Valentine's Day, made with astute attention to detail and so much love for her craft.





2.07.2015

Decorating a Nursery

My good friend Jessie Hodgson and I have known each other since we were babies. Our families are close friends and we consider them to be family now. She is nine-months pregnant (her baby is due any day!) and she is excitedly making last-minute preparations for baby's arrival! Over the last couple of months, she and her husband Brendan have been preparing and outfitting the nursery with all the required materials: a crib, a changing table, a rocking chair and dozens of other accoutrements needed to care for a newborn. The most exciting part of the process for Jessie, however, was decorating the space.

Jessie chose not to learn the sex of her baby until its arrival and was firm in her wish to avoid any sort of gender 'colour coding' in the nursery: she hates the colour pink and also did not want a nursery decked out with soccer-ball and hockey-stick motifs. She opted for warm taupe tones and soothing greys with hits of bright white, green and blue. There are some very special, personal touches in the room, as well, such as a dresser that Jessie used as a child and a beautiful, hand-painted mural of a tree that was created by my father, George Ritchie. I love how the nursery turned out. 
The nursery is bright and inviting, cheery but also subdued. The rocking chair once belonged to Brendan's grandmother. Brendan painted it white to match the other accents in the room.

Jessie's mother, Sharron, refurbished this solid-wood dresser and painted it a bright white. It belonged to Jessie as a child. The mirror is from IKEA, repainted white to match the dresser; you can see the hand-painted mural in its reflection on the opposite wall. Jessie chose a bright green Jelly Bean changing mat to accent to the desaturated palette and hung pretty paper decorations from Michael's from the ceiling as a DIY mobile.
Picture rails, also from IKEA, are used to store a variety of children's books. It's a colourful, modern display. Above the books is the Modern Moo Pendulum clock (in plaid) by Paul Ocepek from Fab Baby Gear.
Among the personal touches in the room is a ceramic fox made by Jessie's nephew Drew.
This solid wood crib by College Woodwork from Sleepy Hollow will serve Jessie's child well into young adulthood. It converts into a daybed and then a full bed. The mural of the tree my father painted is just stunning, filled with so much detail.
Jessie found these shutters at a flea market years ago and finally found a spot for them in the nursery. Jessie's baby will spend many happy days and nights in this room.
PAINTING THE MURAL
My father, George Ritchie, is a trained graphic artist and worked in the advertising business for many years. He studied fine art and design in college and has remarkable talent. Jessie approached my father about designing and painting a mural of a tree for the nursery and he spent several full days sketching and perfecting the painting, making sure the colour palette was correct before diving in. Aside from its technical and artistic beauty, it will be a lasting reminder of my father's talent and a sign of his love for the Hodgson family.
Photos by Jessica Hodgson
Photo of George Ritchie by Sharron Hodgson