11.20.2014

New Martha Stewart Wall Art Decals

Today, Martha Stewart Living and Fathead LLC., a Michigan-based company, announced the launch of a new line of wall-art decals. The decorative wall graphics are inspired by nature, collectibles and classic architectural details with over 50 individual designs in 400 variations: a beautiful array of colours, sizes and styles is available.

Martha says, "Decorative wall decals have become such a fun, interesting option for decorating your home, and I love how creative you can be with them. Our wall decals are beautiful and easy to use, and they're a wonderful way for us to help our consumer with solutions and inspiration that are quick and affordable."

The designs can be seen and ordered at Fathead.com and come in a variety of price points. Click here to see the full line. Below are some of my favourites from the new collection.






11.13.2014

Countdown to Christmas!

New episodes of ''Martha's Countdown to Christmas'' begin tomorrow! The popular web series is in its third season and is available to view only at marthastewart.com/countdown. In each segment, Martha reveals her favourite Christmas crafts, DIY decorating ideas and holiday recipes. I've always enjoyed this series and look forward to the next chapters. Click here to watch past episodes of the series, and new episodes beginning November 14th.

11.08.2014

The December/January Issue

The December/January issue of Martha Stewart Living will be on newsstands November 17th, but some subscribers have already begun to receive their issues in the mail. Martha Moments reader Kevin Link sent in this scan of the cover, which I think is really gorgeous. Kevin says he feels this issue is "one of the best December issues in recent memory" and was very inspired by the content on its pages. It is filled with craft ideas, DIY decor and all kinds of incredible recipes for holiday baking. This is the last issue that MSLO will produce in-house. Beginning with the next issue (February, 2015) the magazine will be produced and circulated by Meredith Corp., a company that Martha has partnered with to handle the magazine's ad sales, production and circulation. I can't wait to get my copy of this festive-looking issue!

11.05.2014

New Real Weddings Special Issue Out Next Week

Scan the newsstands on November 10th for the Fall 2014 issue of Real Weddings, a bi-annual special issue from Martha Stewart Weddings. On the cover are design specialist Brooke Sirianni and her husband Shea Foley, a partner in the socially-conscious men's fashion site Apolis. The magazine takes you to their stunning Southern California wedding where clean stripe motifs and a crisp cream palette defined the occasion. Click here to see more photographs from this wedding.

FROM THE ISSUE:

"Shea’s mentor, Pastor Milt Richards, officiated at the alfresco ceremony, on the lawn of a family friend’s residence in Shea’s hometown of Temecula. The bridesmaids processed to a guitar version of Philip Phillips’s Sea of Love, then Brooke entered to an instrumental rendition of Coldplay’s Strawberry Swing. The couple exchanged vows in a Christian service set against rolling hills and a cross that Shea’s dad constructed from reclaimed wood.

At the end of the ceremony, guests tossed white rose petals at the newlyweds. The petals were stashed in paper bags stamped with “Shower the Foleys” in the same calligraphy style as the invites."

ALSO IN THE ISSUE:
* Ten couples share their one-of-a-kind celebrations
* 92 pages of dresses, flowers, cakes and DIY design
* Seasonal hair and beauty tips

11.02.2014

The New Beekman 1802 Bedding & Furniture Collections

My friends Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, founders of the Beekman 1802 brand, have finally unveiled their new bedding and furniture collections. It has been more than a year since I heard they were working on furniture, lighting and bed-linen designs and now we get to see these designs fully realized! To say that I am impressed by the beauty of the designs would be an understatement. I am actually quite gobsmacked by how astoundingly gorgeous their vision of home furnishing is: deeply inspired by history with a true commitment to quality. While I have not yet seen the collection in person, I am encouraged by the high level of craftsmanship they employ when designing and making all of their products. (You can read all the details of each item in the collection by visiting the Beekman 1802 Shop.) 

I am so proud of the burgeoning home and lifestyle brand these intrepid entrepreneurs are building. Below are samples of some of my favourite picks from their new collections. I hope you will find them as beautiful as I do.
THE BELLVALE COLLECTION: Beekman 1802 has created four new bedding collections, each one based on elements of a historic American town. Above is the Bellvale Collection, shown on the Beekman 1802 Hollywood Hotel bed, which is upholstered in linen. Bellvale, NY, was part of a land grant from Queen Anne in 1703. New world settlers were drawn to the area because of the abundant timber, game and water power. The Bellvale bedding collection is inspired by the currents of that creek and all of the creativity and craftsmanship that it powered.
THE FULTON COLLECTION: The industrial nature of Fulton, NY, led to a very stable workforce for many years. In fact, during the Great Depression of the early 1930s, the New York Sun newspaper wrote a lengthy article featuring Fulton, its residents and the strong local economy. It was headlined as, "Fulton, the City the Great Depression Missed." That type of work-ethic and the natural colorful beauty of New York State inspired the Fulton bedding line, shown here on the Beekman 1802 Hotel Adler Bed.
THE SANGERFIELD COLLECTION: In the mid-1800s, the development of railway service through the town of Sangerfield made the area a major shipping point for all kinds of manufacturing, including textiles. It’s a town that has long survived on its own steam (literally), and it has inspired the varied and eclectically beautiful elements making up the Sangerfield bedding collection.
THE STILLWATER COLLECTION: During the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Stillwater was a turning point toward American independence. Independent spirit. Free spirit. American spirit. Those are the things that inspire our Stillwater bed designs.
BEEKMAN 1802 FURNITURE: The new furniture collection is also a marvel and there is scarcely enough space here to showcase all of my favourite pieces from the line, which includes bedroom, living- and dining-room pieces (beds, cabinets, drawer units, tables, sofas, chairs), as well as rugs and lighting. Please visit their online furniture gallery to see all of their amazing new designs. If you happen to be in Sharon Springs, New York, where Beekman 1802 is headquartered, you can visit the Beekman 1802 Merchantile to see the pieces yourself in their new furniture emporium, located above their shop on Main Street.

10.29.2014

Brian Utz's Halloween Magic

My friend Brian Utz (a longtime Martha Moments reader) knows how to do Halloween! It is one of his favourite holidays and he often turns to Martha Stewart Living for inspiration and how-to when planning his Halloween parties and events. I'm always very happy to showcase Brian's work. You can read about Brian's past Halloween parties on the blog by clicking here. Below is a compilation of Brian's great Halloween projects - past and present. There is much more to be read about his inspiring ideas on his website, The Morbid Homemaker. (An appropriate title, don't you think?) If you happen to be in the Philadelphia area, you can also catch occasional radio segments with Brian on "Mornings with Liz Bell" on Warm 103.3. I love seeing Brian's creativity at work and I hope you do too! Enjoy the photographs and get inspired this Halloween!   
Brian often uses Martha's special Halloween issues as inspiration for his costumes. Last year he made this stunning mask of a 'big-headed' French aristocrat, which was featured in the 2013 special Martha Stewart Halloween magazine. The year before that, Brian made his own 'Motha' costume, modeled after the one Martha wore.

This year, Brian held a Halloween Crafternoon Party with some of his young family members. It looks delightful! You can read more about it here.


 When it comes to decorating for Halloween, Brian always goes all out!



 Brian's pumpkin spice whoopie-pies? Yes please!
 If they run out, I'll happily try Brian's pumpkin bread!
This year, Brian held a 'Coven' party - a witch-themed gathering in his backyard. You can read all about the details and the menu here.

 Deliciously-oversized sugar cookies in festive Halloween shapes, smothered with icing!
 Brian's living room was completely transformed for the party! Spooky!
On his front lawn, a pretty scare-crow greets visitors. Happy Halloween!

MSLO Third Quarter Conference Call Recap

At the end of each fiscal quarter, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which is a publicly-traded company, hosts a conference call for its investors and for Wall St. analysts to review its business: earnings, losses, new partnerships, operational changes, etc. My friend Kenn, who is an MSLO investor, sat in on the call and provides a brief recap, below. Among the significant announcements  is the expiration of the deal with Avery and Staples and its Martha Stewart Home Office line, which will expire at the end of the year. Also significant is the announcement that MSLO is in talks with a Canadian retailer to bring some of Martha's home merchandise to Canadian store shelves! (This is obviously very exciting for me! Currently in Canada we have access only to her craft merchandise at Michael's, her line at Home Depot Canada and the aforementioned home-office line at Staples, which will be gone in 2015.) Please read Kenn's thorough review of the call. I think you will find it interesting.

***

This call was all about preparing for the transition from a media business to a design and content creation company. This Saturday marks the start of a 'new' MSLO as the Meredith agreement goes into effect.

I'm not sure how many people are into the financials… but MSLO did show a loss for the quarter. The 3rd quarter is typically the weakest quarter of the year. Even with the loss, they did beat Wall Street estimates of 'how much loss,' though they did miss revenue estimates. You can read all the financial information via the website under investor relations.

There are several new merchandising opportunities:

An upcoming partnership with "Fat Head," a Michigan based company that specializes in wall art. Think very large repositionable decals for the wall.

There is an upcoming Home Fragrance line. This one surprised me since Martha has frequently mentioned how she doesn't like "scents" in the home.

An expansion of the Macy's line called "Whim Martha Stewart Collection." This will be a new line that is youthful and whimsical, instead of the traditional designs MSLO is known for. Think Blueprint, for those that remember the magazine. Macy's is also beginning distribution into Canada which is a significant opportunity for MSLO to reach consumers to our north. 

MSLO is also in negotiation with a company for a retail partnership in Canada.


In other Merchandising news:

Sales are soft at Home Depot. The partnership is still strong, but the sales are soft. Paint ended at the start of the 4th quarter. Outdoor furniture performed poorly this year. No news of any product expansion.

JC Penney continues to report strong consumer reaction to the Martha Window line. Holiday merchandise is now available on line and in stores. MSLO does NOT expect any merchandise expansion with JC Penney. 

MSLO did confirm the termination of the agreement with Avery. Staples stores will continue to sell existing inventory, though no new inventory is being produced. No new partnership for the Home Office line has been announced.

In Publishing, a new book, "Clean Slate" hits store shelves on December 16th. MSLO will continue to publish books. Book publishing is not part of the Meredith deal. 'One Pot' reached number 4 on the New York Times bestseller list. 

The December/January issue of Living, due out in just a couple weeks will be the last issue produced by MSLO.

In Television, viewership for Cooking School and Martha Bakes continues to be strong, with over 1.5 million viewers a week. The new season of Martha Bakes is currently under production and will air beginning in January, 2015.