Happy 20th Anniversary, Martha Stewart Weddings!

Last week, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia celebrated the 20th anniversary of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine by throwing a glamorous bash at the Pierre Hotel in New York City during bridal fashion week. Martha was in attendance, as was the editorial director of Weddings, Darcy Miller. You can read about the party on Martha's blog.
Martha Stewart Weddings has always been a magazine that has set trends, rather than simply regurgitating them. Unpredictable, with a mix of traditional and modern, as well as a refreshing DIY take on many of the details that go into making a wedding memorable have all contributed to the magazine's enormous success. Weddings is Martha's most profitable magazine at the moment and is the second best-selling weddings magazine in the world after Brides magazine. 

What I've always admired about the magazine is its wide range of topics (fashion, cakes, stationery, decorations, etiquette, venues, flowers, bridal bouquets, favours, etc.), its beautiful, award-winning photography and its timeless, helpful advice - whether you are planning a wedding or any special party. I must also mention how refreshing it is to see a weddings magazine that celebrates inclusion by showcasing same-sex marriages in its pages. As a married gay man, myself, it feels very special to be 'seen' in such a popular magazine. 

It is truly one of the best magazines out there for brides and their families, as well as for party planners, people who love to entertain or for those interested in bridal fashion, flower arranging, table settings and all the details that make an event special. Below is a feast for the eyes: some of my favourite imagery from Martha Stewart Weddings.... Happy Anniversary to the entire Martha Stewart Weddings team!



Meet the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Award Winners

Click here to see all of the 2014 Award Winners and all of the American Made alumni, those who inspire us with their beautiful goods, quality craftsmanship, and innovative ideas. These creative entrepreneurs turned their passion into a thriving business. Read their stories, learn about their process, and find some inspiration of your own.
Also, on November 7 and 8, you can meet many of these creators in person at the American Made event in New York City. Martha Stewart and the team at Martha Stewart Living will welcome you to a can’t-miss networking event and maker lecture series at the MSLO headquarters in Manhattan, where you will be treated to insightful talks about entrepreneurship and craftsmanship, an American Made market, craft stations where you can work with Martha Stewart's craft experts, breakfast and lunch provided by hand-picked artisinal purveyors and a cocktail bash at the end of the two-day summit. The event will not only spotlight American makers but will also share a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the creative laboratory of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Space is limited, so act quickly and get your tickets today!


Meredith Corp. to Handle Ads, Circulation & Production of Martha's Magazines

Readers of Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings magazines may not notice the changes once they become effective next month, but there has been a significant internal restructuring at the company that will outsource the handling of the magazines' ad sales, circulation and production, while the in-house editorial team will focus exclusively on content creation.

The new partner handling sales, circulation and production of Martha's magazines is Meredith Corporation, which is a leading media marketing company dedicated to leveraging media platforms that serve American women. Meredith currently handles magazines such as Family Circle, Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home and Everyday with Rachel Ray. 

Under the terms of this transformative, multi-year agreement, the Martha Stewart Living editorial team will continue to create all content for print and digital properties.  Meredith will also assume responsibility for the sales and marketing of the www.marthastewart.com and www.marthastewartweddings.com websites and MSLO's related digital assets, including its vast video library. MSLO will retain control over the brand's social media channels.

The agreement, which applies to the United States and Canada, is effective November 1, 2014. Meredith will begin delivering editions starting with the February 2015 issue of Martha Stewart Living and the Winter 2014 special issue of Martha Stewart's Real Weddings.

"We are very excited to partner with a great company like Meredith, which has an excellent track record in advertising sales, operations and production of a library of some of our country's most popular magazines.  Our editorial team can focus entirely on what we do best: the creation of inspirational, original, practical, useful, and trusted content for our superb publications and digital properties - content that continually enhances and improves consumers' lives," said Founder and Non-Executive Chairman, Martha Stewart.

For readers who may be worried about a drastic changes to the magazine's look and feel, fear not! A spokesperson for Meredith noted that "the change will be invisible to the consumer, and strengthen the Martha Stewart brand in the advertising marketplace."

I'm actually quite happy with this news. What I'm hoping it means is that we'll see thicker issues with more content, supported by an increase in ad sales. I'm also glad that the magazine's future now seems more assured than ever. The editorial experts can focus on what they do best while the business aspects are handled by a company with proven success across a multitude of media platforms. This will likely mean layoffs at MSLO, however, as it restructures its business, but I'm confident that this new, ten-year plan will only help the magazine grow and develop in the future. 


Book of the Month: "Collected: Living With the Things You Love"

Most of us - if not all of us - remember Fritz Karch, the fantastic, wizzard-like Collecting editor at Martha Stewart Living, who dressed almost exclusively in vintage plaid suits. Fritz has not been with MSLO for a few years, but I was so happy to learn that he has written a new book about his favourite subject: Collecting! He partnered with another MSL alum, Rebecca Robertson, the former Home editor at the magazine, who helped Fritz edit and style the subject matter. Their new book, "Collected: Living With the Things You Love" serves as a guide to collectors, helping them bring their treasures out of storage and into the rooms they live in so that their collections can be enjoyed every day.
The book teaches readers the basic principles of the hunt while exploring the thoughtful and inventive ways people display their various collections, from the accessible and affordable to the aspirational and extreme. The featured collections range from dice to cafĂ© au lait bowls to 19th-century-French sewing tools to sand from world travels—illustrating collections as expressions of personal style. It is divided into 16 chapters by collector type (The Modest, The Minimalist, The Exceptionalist, The Maximalist, etc.) and presents rooms filled with peculiar, elegant and awe-inspiring collections from around the world that suit the specific type of collector. Make sure to add this volume to your book collection!


Free Spice-Jar Label Clip-Art

My favourite article in the October issue of Martha Stewart Living is "Secrets of a Hardworking Kitchen" on page 94. It is filled to the brim with ideas, tips, strategies and solutions to keeping your kitchen running like a well-oiled machine - while still looking welcoming and attractive. Careful readers may have noticed a small link to some free clip-art for spice-jar labels. Click here to download the PDF. Simply print them on adhesive paper, cut out the labels and affix them to the spice jars. There are 56 spices listed! Below is a sample.


The November Issue

Well, I haven't received my issue in the mail yet, but the cover of the November issue of Martha Stewart Living has been revealed on the iPad. The pie slices look beyond tempting and I'm excited to hear about these 'NEW' Thanksgiving traditions and see the gorgeous flower arrangements and table settings the cover promises! On sale next week!

Sedums: Autumn Joy

On a recent stay at my parents' home I was drawn to the vibrant sedums growing throughout their garden borders. Sedum, a genus of about 600 species of succulent plants, is generally perennial, found in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They store water in their thick, fleshy leaves and grow to various heights with various types and colour of flowers borne in terminal clusters on the stem; they can be yellow, blue, pink, or red. Sedums grow well in full sunlight and sandy soil and are most often cultivated in rock gardens or as border plants. Most species are low and creeping; some, however, grow upright. I love how they look in the late-season garden, providing stunning swaths of colour in borders that are generally on the decline.
The species my parents have planted is called 'Autumn Joy' - one of the most popular sedums grown in the Northeast regions of North America. It is a Herbaceous perennial with a height and spread of approximately two feet, creating great mounds of texture and colour in the autumn landscape. The rusty-red shade of the flower clusters looks especially festive this time of year.
Sedums are uncommonly fresh and healthy all season long. Even out of bloom, the succulent foliage is luscious and vibrant. Foliage is dense and succulent, meaning the leaves are thickened and fleshy to retain water, so the plant is very drought tolerant and the high water content gives Sedum its’ always-healthy look.

They prefer full sun and a well drained soil as Sedum is susceptible to fungal disease in wet or humid summers. When grown in overly fertile soil the plant may not be as strong and tend to flop over. 
This perennial is very easy to grow and care-for. Sedums are a favorite plant of butterflies and bees, making them a very beneficial addition to the late-season garden.
The leaves are generally a smoky blue in summer, as shown above, and tend to darken in the fall. This is the sedum shown in early June. The flower clusters had not yet formed but the foliage was still thick and luxuriant.