Thursday, December 13, 2012

I'm liking Martha more and more

Martha Stewart popped up in two spots this week, making comments that I found appealing.

First in this month's AARP magazine, in talking about decorating for the holidays, she recommends keeping it simple. One of her recommendations is using swags of wide ribbon about the house. We've done evergreen garlands in our house in the past. But using wide ribbon instead would be simpler, cheaper and take less room to store. 

I can imagine a large wall mirror festooned with a large bow at the top, then cascading ribbon down the sides. Far simpler than the typical Southern Living look of boxwood, magnolia, berry branches and pine cone garlands that I've seen in their magazines. Or how about draping a wide band of ribbon across the front edge of the fireplace mantel, in place of the typical evergreen garland. Even on the Christmas tree, I find large bows to be beautiful accents amongst the green branches and ornaments. So, I'm liking the idea to use ribbon to decorate for the holidays.

Martha also suggests decorating with masses of candles. I love groupings of candles. In our house, I go one of two ways. Either, I try to find similar candle holders, and use matching candles. Or, I use same colored, but different-sized pillar candles, grouped together. In our living room right now, I currently have 2 pairs of crystal candle holders, with dollar store, tall, off-white taper candles. The 2 pairs are different heights, which I think actually makes the grouping that much more interesting. In the family room I've done the same with various brass candle holders. 

Also on Martha's simple but elegant list, is using boughs of evergreens. This works especially well on the flat surfaces of furniture in your home. Simply go outside with your clippers and a large bag and cut whatever evergreens suit your fancy. Then arrange them on a large platter or tray and set on the counter, a table or desk. I recommend the platter, tray or plate to prevent sap from ruining any finishes. 

This idea can be done on a large or small scale. So, for my desk, I have used a small bread and butter plate (about 5 inches in diameter), piled with some cedar sprigs. But for a large surface, like my dining room table, I may use a large oval platter, piled with cedar, rhododendron leaves, pine cones and some fresh fruit like lemons or pomegranates. This is decorating at it's simplest, IMO.

The other opportunity I had to see Martha this week was on the Today Show, yesterday morning. Martha Stewart was a guest on the show. Before her particular segment, the cast was gathered around discussing getting that last bit out of containers of products. The NBC hosts put it that in this recent recession, a lot of folks have been making the effort to get every last bit out of a container. 

Well, it appears that Martha has some frugal blood. She said it was not just a recessionary thing, but should be an any-kind-of-economy thing. Quoting Martha, "everything costs several dollars, you might as well be thrifty".  She has little implements, as she calls them, tiny spatulas designed for getting the last little bit out of makeup bottles. Things like serums can cost $60 or more, so in her words, "you might as well be thrifty". Really, that's what she said. 

Of course, at this point in my life, I'm not likely to spend $60 or so for a bottle of some anti-aging serum. But the same principle holds true. Things cost money, and we shouldn't be wasteful, whether we buy our "supplies" from the dollar store or from some pricey department store counter. 

This week, I found that I have a lot more in common with Martha Stewart than I ever imagined.

4 comments:

  1. Whether or not you like Martha, you've got to admit that she's a marketing genius. Look at how many books and products she has.

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    1. Hi live and learn,
      I know. I check out her project kits at Jo-Ann fabrics when I go there. I can often put together my own supplies for a similar result, but her kits give me the ideas.

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  2. I agree with live and learn. She is indeed a marketing genius...lol.

    I normally don't like her suggestions because they are too fussy and expensive for my taste, but these are good suggestions. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Shara,
      I've watched her shows, and segments on other network shows, and gleaned a lot of ideas. I find it's just a matter of ignoring the stuff that doesn't suit me, but using the ideas that do work.

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