Dear Martha Stewart,
Spring of 1998. I was wandering through Chapters for the first time, and i saw it. Martha Stewart Living’s Christmas Book. I did not know who this person was. In fact, I did not even have cable at the time. I was a broke student who should have been spending her $20 on groceries and her time studying for exams. But alas, I had to have this Chrismas book. In April. And I was hooked. She had me at “It’s a Good Thing”.
The thing about Martha – okay I know there are a lot of things, including controversy over bloggers – however, the thing about Martha was she invited me into a completely unattainable and beautiful world, and yet here she was offering 10 handmade items to make with felt. It was accessible and inaccessible at the same time. In the 10 years that followed I was an avid Martha Stewart Living junky. I would make multiple trips to Safeway in one week to see if the next issue was in yet.
Just over a year after I first read Martha, I would find myself a young mother of 22 in a toxic relationship, and then a struggling single mother and student (again). That magazine was often a bright spot in a difficult time. My dreams of the future, the joy I found in making, sharing with friends, and my own ideas and creativity were all bound up in that $6 issue.
After Martha saw me through meeting and marrying my husband, we slowly drifted apart. Perhaps I didn’t need her as much anymore once I’d created my own version of a beautiful life. Perhaps it was Pinterest, and blogs, that took her place in the end.
I think back to my cinnamon-dough, glitter-encrusted, bird ornaments that covered my charlie brown tree for so many years, with a profound sense of joy. That I brought that sparkling flock into our home when all the other shiny bobbles seemed so out of reach.
While Martha Stewart’s world may not be my world any more than it was then, she opened a window for me. When I looked through I could see that there was joy to be had in crafting a lovely, organized, and ultimately, peaceful home for yourself.
So thank you Martha Stewart for showing me the possibilities waiting for me. That there’s joy in the making. And that’s a good thing.
Before the days of Pinterest, I kept a scrapbook of all my favourite projects and recipes pulled from the pages of magazines, primarily Martha Stewart Living:
And where it all began:
Who inspired you in your formative years?