5.02.2012

Looking Back to Move Forward: Vol. 5 (May)

In her letter to readers in the March, 2012, issue of the magazine, Martha Stewart Living editor-in-chief Pilar Guzman makes an intriguing comment about looking back to former issues of the magazine in order to move forward. She writes: "...we will feature images on this page that inspire us from the magazine's archives. Sometimes it's important to look back in order to move forward." As a longtime subscriber, I felt like playing along! I'll be raiding the archives each month to showcase my favourite issue.
MY FAVOURITE MAY ISSUE: 2000
May is a beautiful month - one of my favourites. It is warm enough to forego any heavy outerwear but cool enough to be comfortable, even in full sunshine. Flowering trees and blossoming bulbs are everywhere in evidence and there are celebrations, too, like May Day, Mother's Day, Cinqo de Mayo, Memorial Day and Victoria Day in Canada. What's not to like?

The May 2000 issue of Martha Stewart Living brilliantly sums up everything May stands for. In its pages we find pinatas, Mother's Day crafts, breakfast ideas and the gentle reminder to invite the outdoors back into our lives. We learn that not all geraniums are created equally with a tour of Margaret Roach's fancy-leaf varieties at her home in the Catskills. We venture to Maine to visit the summer home of one of Martha's Skylands neighbours on Mount Desert Island. The rambling, three-story home is bright with floral wallpaper and children's artwork, summer-hued palettes and casual coverlets in its many guest bedrooms, ready for seasonal visitors. The value and collectibility of vintage plastic dinnerware is examined thoroughly, as are its beautiful designs through glorious photographs by Stephen Lewis. We stroll through an artist's garden, organize our sewing drawers and learn how to make whites whitest.

The magazine has always succeeded in distilling the essence of a month's domestic subjects to their most beautiful and informative presentations. The May 2000 issue ranks as my favourite May issue of all time for its understanding of the mood and themes of the month in question and the inherent interests of its readers.

11 comments:

Danette Dillon said...

I love all these pics.

Pru @ Perfecting Pru said...

I acquired this issue recently and it really is a great May issue. I enjoy the May issues alot (although the holidays you mention are not related in the UK) but there is a sense of 'summer around the corner' and I find still that all of the magazines change me a little in my thinking.

Great post Andrew!
Oh, and the 'Singer' sewing machine photo is obviously a favourite!

Rowaida said...

Hi Andrew, I agree with you sometimes it's important to look back in order to move forward. Every Oct, December April and May I Love to gather Martha Living magazines for inspirations and ideas amazing how you can go back and use some ideas, I love it. I will be looking forward to your posts and remembering some of the old issues.
PS traveling today to London for 2 weeks I can't wait to see the cherry blossoms and flowers at this time of the year. Amazing! I will be reading your posts from there.
Best wishes

ANDREW RITCHIE said...

Any relation to THOSE Singers, Pru?

Anonymous said...

Do my eyes deceive me that yellow tea set, the yellow Spode tea set, the yellow Spode tea set is the same yellow Spode tea set Martha spoke of on one of her episodes or was it her magazine??. Anyway, that yellow Spode tea set is devine. We need some savvy internet browsers to get the Lowdown on the yummy yellow Spode tea Set.

ANDREW RITCHIE said...

Yes, anonymous, it's THE yellow Spode tea set! (And you really like saying yellow Spode tea set!)

Barbara said...

Rowaida, I wish I was going to London with you ! I would love to see Kate and William,if they were out and about! I just love them !!!Kate is so beautiful, lucky girl! Have fun!

alan said...

great choice of issue Andrew,my personal May favourite is the 2001 issue,i love the african violets on the cover and the homekeeping story on summerizing your home is reread every summer..i have 4 african violets on my desk beside me inspired by this beautiful issue!

ANDREW RITCHIE said...

Alan, 2001 was my second choice! I had a hard time choosing between them. In the end, it was the big summer house in Maine that put 2000 on top for me - and the fact that Turkey Hill is on the cover! I'm a die-hard! :-)

Alan said...

Andrew -- speaking about looking back .. I got in the mail yesterday my thank gift for my subscription, along with a letter from Margaret Roach editor in chief ... just a few years old .. the little booklet still have the MSO address on 42nd Street ... I guess they are clearing out the stockroom ...

ANDREW RITCHIE said...

Haha! Wow, that's funny Alan! :-)