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Posts Tagged ‘Martha Stewart’

Seven Questions for Martha Stewart

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Martha Stewart was joined by Bravo’s Andy Cohen last night to kick off the second annual American Made, a two-day celebration of ingenuity and craftsmanship that turns Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall into a lively marketplace of handpicked purveyors, crafters, and makers. Among this year’s American Made honorees are lighting designer Lindsey Adelman, Shinola’s Health Carr, and paper crafters Leo Kowal and Mary Rudakas, who took home the audience choice award for their SVGCuts creations. And for Stewart, that’s not even the icing on the cake—she’s got a new book out (about cakes!), an equally delicious PBS TV series in production (more cakes!), and big Halloween plans (Pumpkin Layer Cake…and much more!). We paused in our attempt at her Clementine-Vanilla Bean Loaf Cake to ask her seven questions.

What are some of your favorite finds among the nominees and winners of this year’s American Made awards?
The two-day event celebrates the spirit of innovation and spotlight a new generation of entrepreneurs. Everything we highlight with the American Made program, which is now in its second year, is something I’ve found in my various travels and meetings to be fascinating, unique, and worthy of recognition. This year, I have my eye on Back to the Roots, which is a ‘grow your own mushroom kit’ company out of Oakland, California, as well as Spoonflower, a custom fabric printing company in Durham, North Carolina.

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Which recipe in Martha Stewart’s Cakes would you suggest for an amateur baker who wants to whip up a tasty and visually stunning cake?
The buttermilk cake with chocolate frosting is a great starting point for any amateur. It’s both visually stunning and tasteful. This book also provides a basics section specifically designed for amateurs who are looking to sharpen their baking skills. It provides essential equipment and ingredients for mixing, baking, and finishing!

Any tricks you can share about making a cake look as good as the amazingly beautiful ones featured in the pages of Martha Stewart’s Cakes?
Pairing cakes with accompaniments can be the finishing touch to a baker’s creation. They are served on the side adding richness, to simple cakes.
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A Baker’s Dozen: 13 Ways to Live More Like Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart recently sat down with Bravo’s Andy Cohen for an on-stage chat at New York’s 92nd Street Y. We sent Nancy Lazarus to glean lifestyle lessons from the indefatigable 71-year-old, whose latest book, Living the Good Long Life (Clarkson Potter), is “a practical guide to caring for yourself and others.”

Martha Stewart has been called a lifestyle mogul, domestic guru, and design maven. Whether making a stylish court appearance to testify in the contentious Macy’s-versus-JCPenney case or dishing about her recent foray into online dating, she creates intrigue wherever she goes.

She didn’t disappoint her devotees attending New York’s 92Y event last week. Andy Cohen, Bravo’s development and talent EVP, interviewed Stewart on assorted topics and fielded several audience queries. Below are selected “mottos” that Martha lives and works by. Since she’s so organized, we’ve outlined them as a numbered list (print, laminate, and save!). While the principles are straightforward, adopting them for one’s everyday life might be another matter entirely.

1. “Use your homes as your laboratories.” She brought back hanging nasturtiums from the Himalayas to reproduce in her greenhouse. Her favorite residence is Skylands, a 1925 Mission-style granite house in Maine.

2. For decorating, “edit and put together a home that reflects your own style.” Conversely, she warned not to “over-reach and copy others’ designs, or you may miss the point.”

3. When entertaining, “plan ahead and stay in your comfort zone.” Make place cards and menu cards with unique typefaces for guests to take home. Ask about food intolerances and serve familiar recipes. Her favorite is borscht made with beets from her garden.

4. Be conscious of the environment. For example, she uses white birch logs when making a fire, since they burn cleanly.

5. Embrace social media, which means updating Facebook pages, Instagram photos, Pinterest pins, and tweets. Not that anyone’s counting, but she has 2.8 million Twitter followers to Cohen’s 1.1 million.

6. Have multiple electronic devices, and be adept at using them. How does she define multiple? She has two Blackberries, one iPhone, two iPads, and a Sony tablet.
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‘Craft Jesus’ Martha Stewart Worshipped by Hipsters, No Fan of Pinterest, Bullish on Twig Trees

Martha Stewart’s craftiness knows no bounds. News that her beleaguered business sputtered to a quarterly loss of a $50.7 million–on revenue of $43.5 million–provided a peg for much Martha-bashing, most notably by James B. Stewart (no relation!), who earlier this month delievered quite the smackdown via his New York Times business-section column. Clearly, Martha was not amused. But rather than waste time crying over spilled milk (award-winning, certified organic milk from family farmers, in a reusable glass bottle, we suspect), she rallied the forces of PR, and emerged with two major features in the Thanksgiving weekend papers.

On the front page of Sunday’s New York Times, sandwiched between news of shivering Syrian refugees and gridlock in the Senate, was “Martha Stewart Clicks with a Tattooed Crowd,” in which writer Christine Haughney dubs Martha a “patron saint for entrepreneurial hipsters” looking to carve out a living selling, say, t-shirts created from vintage children’s sheets. One devotee, whose “vintage-inspired spun cotton ornaments and figures” have been spotlighted in various MSLO media properties, likens Martha to “the Jesus of the craft world.” Some MarthaStewart.com web stats are proffered to offset the widely publicized disappointments on the print side, and Haughney even finds a way to put a positive spin on Martha’s five-month incarceration, which no one will ever stop talking about, ever. “She’s such a Suzy homemaker and also did some time in the joint,” says Luis Illades, an owner of Brooklyn food-craft purveyor Urban Rustic. “That has helped cement her iconic image. Before, she was someone your mother would follow.”
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Vanessa Holden Named Editor-in-Chief of Martha Stewart Living

MSliving.jpgIt’s a busy time of year for Martha Stewart. According to the “Martha’s Calendar” section in the glitter-deckled December issue of Martha Stewart Living, Stewart spent the weekend picking the perfect evergreen, trimming the tree, and checking the water level daily (Saturday) and decorating the house with tinsel trees and hanging stockings before preparing batches of cookie dough to freeze (Sunday). Today, it’s onto holiday cards, and if we know Martha, there’s calligraphy involved (and might we suggest the spooky yet festively crimson Gary Cooper stamps?). But we digress. Somewhere between assembling holiday-themed croquembouches and sprucing up gift tags with tiny pinecones, Stewart’s company has found time to select a new editor for Living. It’s Vanessa Holden, who has been promoted from her role as editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Weddings. Katie Hatch, style director of Weddings, will take the helm of the matrimonial magazine. Meanwhile, the tireless Gael Towey, who has been filling in as Living‘s acting editor-in-chief since the January departure of Michael Boodro, has been named editorial director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Previously on UnBeige:

  • Martha Stewart Inks Deal for Home Depot Line
  • At Martha Stewart Living, Color Begins at Home, with Chicken Eggs
  • Martha Stewart’s Eggsellent Translation of Prada’s Fall 2008 Runway
  • Martha Stewart Inks Deal for Home Depot Line

    (Michael Buckner).JPGHaving conquered the likes of Kmart, Macy’s, and Michael’s, Martha Stewart is bringing her lifestyle-branded Good Things to the biggest of big box retailers: The Home Depot. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) has signed a deal to develop a Martha Stewart Living brand of home improvement products—think outdoor furniture, closet organizers, and home décor items—that will be exclusive to Home Depot. And this is no mere licensing play, assures MSLO. “The Home Depot and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia partnership is one of true collaboration,” the company stated in a press release announcing the deal. “Martha Stewart and her team of designers are working side by side with The Home Depot merchant and design teams to produce a brand that allows customers to easily coordinate décor and design elements when taking on home improvement projects.” The first products are expected to hit U.S. Home Depot stores in January.

    Cartographic Collages Put Josh Dorman on Map

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    We’ve been known to swoon over antique maps (don’t even get us started on Martha Stewart‘s canny cartographic cornering of Maine), but New York-based artist Josh Dorman manages to improve on the bleached hues and buzzing topographic outlines of vintage maps by weaving in swirls of color, bubbling grids, and ink doodles that look ripped from the notebook of Leonardo da Vinci if he had been a bored high school physics student. So successful are Dorman’s dreamscapes that an obstinacy of buffalo seem a perfectly logical counterpoint to a Louise Nevelson-style block tower hovering menacingly in the corner.

    “Paper that has lived a life and shows its age compels me to paint,” writes Dorman on his website. “I am intrigued by systems I do not understand and by information that is no longer relevant.” Try to wrap your head around it all at his solo museum exhibition debut on Sunday. On view through January 11, 2009, at L.A’s Craft and Folk Art Museum, “Within Four Miles” includes works created over the past decade, like “Sacrament II: Blissdale” (2006, pictured above). The show’s title, of course, maps to the past. According to the museum, “Within Four Miles” is inspired by Lewis and Clark‘s ability to make accurate predictions about uncharted lands.

    A Little Bit Ombre…

    mla103837_0508_bed_cat_l.jpgMartha Stewart might be a little bit behind the curve since the ombre (shaded fabric) trend has been with us for more than a few nanoseconds already this year, but if you’re not sick of skirts, dresses, and shoes that look like they’ve been dipped into an ink bottle, here are some crafty projects for your home with that same theme. While this shot here it is just a little too blue and depressing for our taste, we did like the simplicity of dyed linen panels hanging on a wall in another picture on this page. Go take a look, you know you want to. (Thank you, Craftzine.com, for the heads-up.)

    How George Lois Got Andy Warhol Into That Can of Soup

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    Not to be missed is this week’s edition of “Studio 360,” a conversation between the Muhammad Ali-rapping George Lois and the Martha Stewart-skewering Kurt Andersen (although we imagine the “Studio 360″ editing team had to do a fair amount of snipping since Lois can’t speak more than 10 words in a row without one of them being ass, shit or motherfucker).

    They spend a lot of time chatting about the blurring line between ads and art, but the highlights are Lois’ stories about designing covers for Esquire, including the story behind the Andy Warhol cover above. Lois’ impression of Warhol when telling the story about asking him to pose for the shot is absolutely priceless. He also manages to get in at least two “design students today don’t know how to draw” jabs. Warhol, for the record, could draw, according to Lois.

    A slideshow on the show’s site offers more musings by Lois on specific covers (all PG-rated, of course, but you can use your imagination). Pick up Lois’ new book, Iconic America: A Roller-Coaster Ride through the Eye-Popping Panorama of American Pop Culture for a taste of his racier side.

    Blueprint (the Martha Stewart One) to Fold

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    Dun. Dun. Dun. Another design magazine bites the dust…

    Once again you heard it here first, your #1 source for all design magazines dying slow, painful deaths. Our sister blog FishbowlNY has the scoop on the folding of Martha Stewart‘s Blueprint:

    The magazine was billed as a “fresh, fun guide to personal style”… but staffers were told that MSLO had “misjudged the market.” Instead, Blueprint is being folded back into Martha Stewart Weddings.

    Oddly enough, we predicted this way back in February 2006, when we accurately suggested that there was already one too many Blueprints on the market. All hail the “real” Blueprint, in all its architectural glory.

    The Martha Stewart Moment at the AIGA Gala

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    It was only a few months ago that the boozy reports from AIGA’s Design Legends Gala trickled in to our eager UnBeige ears. Although we seem to have forgotten most of the highlights, one in particular has stuck with us. Apparently, a certain Martha Stewart delivered the biggest hit of the night while accepting the Corporate Leadership Award for Martha Stewart Omnimedia. And now, we have the video (scroll down, mid-page, that’s it…click).

    Although it’s a real treat to see Medalists Bruce Mau, Ellen Lupton and Ed Fella get their awards, along with Georg Olden Jr. accepting for his father, Georg Olden, the comedic trio of Kurt Andersen, Gael Towey and Martha Stewart are an unstoppable, wildly entertaining team. The video is over 18 minutes long but it includes some pretty pictures of Martha Stewart Living at the beginning and a hilarious, heartfelt story about how Andersen almost ruined Stewart’s life. She does say the j-word, too.

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