I wasn't able to purchase as much as I would have liked at Martha's Great American Tag Sale, the proceeds of which benefit the Martha Stewart Center for Living, a geriatric facility at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, New York. I was limited by what I could safely bring home with me across the border into Canada in my small car, and by that bothersome exchange rate! What I did find, however, were items that 'sparked joy' the moment I saw them. Below is my 'show and tell' gallery.
When I received an email from one of Martha's television producers in early April of this year telling me that Martha would like me to attend her first ever tag sale at her farm in Bedford, New York, I was floored. She asked if I was interested in attending and being one of the featured guests on a television program about the event. I wasted no time in replying a resounding "YES!" What followed were two weeks of preparation for the trip - my first trip out of the country (I live in Canada) since the pandemic hit in early 2020. I had to get everything in order, including all my vaccination papers, all of the documents required to be on the television show and make all the travel plans. It was a short window of time to plan it, but I was determined to make it happen. And happen it did!
Martha held a pre-sale cocktail party at the stables on her property, which I was invited to but was not able to attend because of scheduling. I regret not trying just a little bit harder to get that extra day off work - but it's all hindsight now. You will see photos of this cocktail party in an upcoming post by Bernie Wong and Dennis Landon, two of Martha's biggest fans (who met on the Martha Moments group!) and collectors of her merchandise. They were also asked by Martha to attend the tag sale.
Not only did I get to see Martha again and chat with her on a few different occasions, I got to meet so many of the people I had corresponded with for years on the Martha Moments Facebook group, including Bernie and Dennis, who have become great friends. I was so proud that Martha Moments had a really strong representation at the tag sale and that it was regarded by Martha, and much of her staff, as THE resource for fans online and on social media. Everyone I met from the group was so warm, caring, friendly and generous. But, honestly, I would expect nothing less from such a great group of people.
Below are some of my photos from the event. Please be sure to watch the program about the tag sale, which airs on ABC on Wednesday, May 25th, at 8 pm. You will see me, Bernie, Dennis, and several other Martha Moments 'regulars' on the show! It's going to be great fun! Enjoy!Bernie Wong and I stopped for a quick photo. We were both so excited to be there! Bernie and Dennis both dressed in really fun mint-green overalls and green patterned shirts. Bernie's favourite colour is green (it's also one of Martha's favourites) and they both looked so great.
Hello, friends! I'm back from the ether. Recent events in the world of Martha Stewart have prompted me to revisit the blog and post some updates. Stay tuned for upcoming posts about my experience at Martha Stewart's Great American Tag Sale at her farm in Bedford, New York, as well as the remembrances of my friends Bernie Wong and Dennis Landon. I'm looking forward to working on those posts and sharing photographs from the event - which was such a dream come true!
Also, I could not let the cessation of my favourite magazine go undocumented here. As I'm sure many of you have heard, Martha Stewart Living magazine has ceased publication. Several weeks ago it was announced that Dotdash Meredith, which owned Martha Stewart Living magazine, had decided to stop its publication, both online and in print. Many readers were initially shocked by the news, since there didn't appear to be any sort of lead-up or forewarning from the publishers. The May, 2022, issue which is on newsstands now is the last issue we will see. Most of the magazine's staff was laid off and it's still slightly unclear how or when the magazine's content will find a new digital voice.
The first issue of Martha Stewart Living, left, was published in November of 1990. The final issue of the magazine was published last month: May, 2022.
During a brief conversation with Kevin Sharkey, EVP of Design for Martha Stewart Living, at the tag sale a few weeks ago, he assured me that the magazine wasn't "finished" but rather in a state of flux as they search for new ways to deliver lifestyle ideas, recipes and design inspiration to its former readers. In the initial press release about the folding of the magazine's print edition, Martha urged readers to pay close attention to Martha.com and a new platform emerging there called Martha Now. Be sure to visit the link and sign up for exclusive offers and content!
I know many of us will miss the monthly delivery of the magazine to our mailboxes, or perusing it at the checkout stand or newsstand. I certainly always enjoyed receiving Martha Stewart Living and taking time to carefully leaf through its pages. You all know how much of a dedicated "Martha student" I've been over the years, so it does feel odd to know I'll never again receive a new issue of my favourite magazine. It had been a part of my life for 25 years. Thankfully, I have over 200 of the best issues the magazine has ever published and I frequently go back and read them, cover to cover, always finding something I missed the last time. They are treasures I'll never part with.
To read about my favourite issues of Martha Stewart Living, be sure to browse through a monthly column I wrote several years ago called Looking Back to Move Forward, highlighting what I feel are the magazine's best issues, month by month.
Also, click here, for a brief history of Martha's magazines, including Martha Stewart Living, and click here for a celebration of the magazine's 25th anniversary with posts about the 25 Best Things about MSL.During one of the lockdowns, I endeavored to organize all my back-issues of Martha Stewart Living. The first step was getting them all out of storage to see what I had. I love this photo of this 'pile' of wonderful issues. I've organized them by month in sturdy magazine holders from IKEA. I prefer to read them by season.
Hello Everyone! Some of you have noticed that I haven't posted in awhile. I have decided to retire the Martha Moments blog for the foreseeable future. It has been online for fifteen years and I think this year I'd like to simply redirect my focus to other areas of interest. That said, I will continue to curate content on Instagram @martha_moments and continue my post as the chief administrator/founder of the Martha Moments Facebook Group. I suggest you follow one or both of those accounts.
Below is a gathering of links to some of the best serials and posts on the Martha Moments blog that have appeared over the years. I always intended this blog to be an archive of Martha's achievements, viewed through the lens of an avid and curious reader/viewer. I think I've accomplished that. What you'll find in this post is a summary of some of my favourite content (and yours!) that you can return to and easily access.
Thank you ALL for making Martha Moments so enjoyable to produce over the years. This project has enriched my life in innumerable ways. I have met some extraordinary people through this venture and have had some illuminating experiences that I will treasure for the rest of my life. Thank you, too, to Martha and the people at Martha Stewart Living for embracing me and accepting this blog for what it is: a love letter.
THE BEST OF MARTHA MOMENTS: CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW
Click here: THE STUDENTS
I'll start the list with you guys! I've always enjoyed highlighting the people who have learned from Martha: the students, readers and viewers who have gleaned so much from her instruction over the decades. So many of you are so talented and have showcased your prowess so generously with me. Here you'll find a compilation of posts featuring some of your best work - inspired by Martha!
Click here: MARTHA'S BOOKS
This is a comprehensive list of all of Martha's books, listed in descending order from the most recently published. I know many of you reference it to help build or edit your library.
Click here: MARTHA'S MAGAZINES
Here is a list of all of Martha's magazines, with descriptions of their mandates. They include Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Weddings, Everyday Food and Blueprint, among others. You'll find their publication dates as well as mention of all of the editors-in-chief who helped run them over the years.
Click here: MARTHA'S SPECIAL ISSUE MAGAZINES
Magazine collectors seeking some of Martha's special issues will find this link helpful. These were magazines that were sold at the newsstand only and were not part of the regular subscription. They are collectible today!
Click here: MARTHA'S INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATIONS
This is a list of Martha's publication ventures outside of the United States: international editions of Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Weddings and Everyday Food.
Click here: MAGAZINE REVIEWS
Many of you enjoyed my monthly and yearly reviews of Martha's publications. Here they are!
Click here: MARTHA'S NEWSLETTERS
Precluding her foray into the world of magazine publishing was The Martha Stewart Newsletter. This is a history of that publication.
Click here: MARTHA TV
A collection of posts devoted to Martha's television ventures.
Click here: MARTHA MERCHANDISE
From her "Everyday" collection at Kmart to Martha by Mail to Macy's and beyond... This is a compilation of posts that highlight the creative genius behind Martha's product lines, from paint, to gardening tools, from craft supplies to closet organization systems, from furniture to lighting...
Click here: REMEMBERING: MARTHA STEWART PAINT
A popular post about the history of Martha's paint lines.
A summary of Martha's popular "Everyday" garden furniture lines at Kmart.
Click here: REMEMBERING: THE BUNSHAFT HOUSE
For a brief period in the 1990s, Martha's owned the only residence ever designed by renowned architect Gordon Bunshaft. This is a history of the house.
Click here: REMEMBERING: MARTHA STEWART KIDS
A history of the Kids magazine with all of the covers shown.
Click here: REMEMBERING: ENTERTAINING
A look back at Martha's groundbreaking first book, Entertaining.
Click here: REMEMBERING: MARTHA BY MAIL
A history of the Martha by Mail catalog.
Click here: MARTHA BY MAIL
Her best merchandising venture to date! This is a compilation of posts devoted to Martha by Mail. Collectors will find these interesting to read. All of the Martha by Mail catalog covers are shown here as well many of the most sought-after products.
Click here: TURKEY HILL
All about Martha's beloved former home in Connecticut.
Click here: CANTITOE CORNERS
All about Martha's farm in Katonah, New York.
Click here: SKYLANDS
All about Martha's historic home in Maine.
Click here: LILY POND LANE
All about Martha's former summer home in the Hamptons.
Click here: MARTHA'S APARTMENT
All about Martha's former Fifth Avenue pied-a-terre in Manhattan.
Click here: LOOKING BACK TO MOVE FORWARD
This was a monthly serial I wrote in 2012 after then editor-in-chief Pilar Guzman wrote about looking back at past issues to help guide the direction of the magazine. I decided to do the same and selected my favourite issues of Martha Stewart Living for each month of the year. I had a lot of fun writing it.
Click here: 25 BEST THINGS ABOUT MARTHA STEWART LIVING
For the 25th anniversary of Martha Stewart Living magazine (2015) I decided to do a daily countdown of the best 25 things about the magazine throughout the month of December, beginning on the first of the month and ending on Christmas Day. It was very popular and I had fun writing it. (I know Martha enjoyed it too!)
Click here: DOMESTIC INSIGHT
This was a fun little series I did about the history of some of those common things around the house we all take for granted: lazy susans, salad spinners, corn-on-the-cobb skewers...
Click here: AN INTERVIEW WITH MARCIE McGOLDRICK
Former craft editor Marcie McGoldrick spoke to me about her time working at Martha Stewart Living and her beautiful work as a ceramicist.
Click here: AN INTERVIEW WITH ERIC BEARE
The painter responsible for the beautiful mural that graced the foyer at Turkey Hill spoke to me in 2013 about his experience working with Martha and his craft.
Click here: AN INTERVIEW WITH LLOYD ALLEN
The author of "Being Martha" spoke to me about writing this book, being Martha's friend and neighbour in Westport, Connecticut, and visiting her at Alderson.
Click here: MEETING LUCINDA SCALA QUINN
In 2013 I met Lucinda Scala Quinn, former editorial director of food for Martha Stewart Living, and now a bestselling cookbook author and television host in her own right!
Click here: VISITING MARGARET ROACH
In 2005 I drove down to Copake Falls, New York, to tour the garden of Margaret Roach, who was then the editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Living. I had loved her book "A Way to Garden" and seeing her garden in person, with Margaret as the guide, was a dream come true.
Click here: THE GOOD THINGS EVENT
In 2006, only a few months after I had started the blog, I got tickets to see the Martha Stewart Show and attend a special event at the Manhattan piers the following day: a celebration of all the Good Things the magazine stood for. I met some fabulous people and met Martha for the first time!
Click here: THE BLOG SHOW
In 2010 my dream came true! I was a guest on The Martha Stewart Show! Read all about it...
Click here: THE TASTEMAKERS EVENT
In 2010 I was invited to the Omnimedia offices to partake in an evening of celebration as the company honoured all of its favourite vendors. I got to hang out with Martha for a bit, meet some of the editors and see some of the offices. What an interesting night!
Click here: MARTHA AT THE TORONTO FOOD SHOW
In 2013, I attended the Toronto Food Show. Martha was in attendance and I watched her demonstration, which was followed by a book signing. Martha caught up with me afterwards to share a bag of chips!
I imagine I'll add to this list of links as I think of them... For now, please enjoy what I've posted so far and explore the blog anew!
Martha celebrates her 80th birthday today! She has already posted several photos of her celebrations at Skylands, her home on Mount Desert Island in Maine - including a luscious looking, meringue-covered cake, decorated with rudbeckia flowers, sunflowers and ferns. (If you're not following Martha on Instagram @marthastewart48, you really need to be!)
I often take the opportunity on Martha's birthday to reflect on how she's influenced my life. The effect she's had on my approach to living has been profound. She taught me how to cook, how to bake, how to care for a home - all things no one else would really deign to teach me. They were subjects sloughed off as 'unimportant' or a 'waste of time.' How silly those admonishments were. I feel I can accomplish any task now with aplomb. The confidence Martha unlocked in me has been, I think, her greatest gift. It was there all along, but her guidance and instruction made it shine a little brighter.
So, happy birthday to this legend, this amazing public figure who has accomplished so much in her lifetime and has shared it all with us along the way. Thank you, Martha! And cheers to you!
It was reported recently that Martha has sold her iconic home on Lily Pond Lane in East Hampton, New York. I know that many of Martha's readers and viewers consider that home to be a beautiful reflection of her design aesthetic. Second only to Turkey Hill, perhaps, it is the home Martha's fans considered to be most familiar in terms of its style vernacular - particularly throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. It goes without saying, then, that we will miss seeing it in the pages of Martha's books and magazines going forward. The home was reportedly sold to former Huffington Post publisher Kenneth Lerer.
I thought it would be fun to do a post about the house and the role it played in Martha's work. From a line of paints to a complete furniture collection based on the home's atmosphere and aesthetic, Lily Pond was enormously influential in the creation of many of Martha's products. It was an oft-used site for her magazine photoshoots, both indoors and outdoors, and was also frequently used as a set for her television show: season five of Martha Stewart Living features an extensive number of episodes filmed at this address, particularly cooking and gardening segments. Below is a brief history of the house, how it came into Martha's possession, how it influenced her business and a brief synopsis of some of its iconic style signatures. I hope you enjoy it!Built in 1873, the house once belonged to one of East Hampton's most memorable preachers, Reverand Talmage. It stands on the site that used to be called "Divinity Hill" for the many ministers from New York and Brooklyn who stayed at its boarding houses. Some still call Lily Pond the DeWitt Talmage House, named after the longtime summer resident who commissioned extensive renovations to the home in 1893.
"I was attracted to its quiet, serene appearance, and though most of the houses were tucked behind privet barriers, some of the gardens were fully exposed. The most wonderful one was on the pond itself. It was breathtaking. I stood and gazed at the profuse and colourful flowers, making mental notes of the types that were blooming so perfectly - dahlias, salvias, asters, daisies and roses."
Thirty years later, Martha would have her own home on this lovely street. It was apparently Martha's daughter, Alexis, who encouraged Martha to purchase the old house in 1990, shortly after her divorce from Andy Stewart. It was a place to start a new garden, make new friends and create something that was entirely hers.
Martha completed an extensive renovation of the shingle-style summer home, which had been badly neglected. Replacing the cracking plaster ceilings with beadboard and removing the outdated heating system in favour of a more eco-friendly modulating gas boiler were among the necessary changes. Martha also completely renovated the kitchen, installing new marble counters, mahogany cabinetry and a beautiful floor of handmade cement tiles from Mexico that had been dyed a deep teal. She enclosed a screened-in porch to create an expansive breakfast area with wall-to-wall windows. Outdoors, Martha planted sumptuous gardens of climbing roses around her front porch and big patches of purple hydrangeas. There are over 1,800 tulip bulbs planted on this relatively small lot (just one acre) as well as hostas, Japanese maples and other shade-loving plants. The interior features large, open rooms with hardwood floors and big, bright windows. The six bedrooms played host to numerous guests during the summer months, when Martha entertained there frequently.
Even exterior spaces, such as the porch, were treated with refreshing hits of teal.