Two New Books from Martha Coming Soon

There are two books on the way that Martha Stewart fans can look forward to. The first is called Martha Stewart's Appetizers and will be released on September 8th. The second is a book about weddings to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. It will be released on December 1. You can pre-order them both at Amazon.com. Find out more about them below.

Hors d’oeuvres made modern: Today’s style of entertaining calls for fuss-free party foods that are easy to make and just as delicious as ever. With more than 200 recipes for tasty pre-dinner bites, substantial small plates, special-occasion finger foods, and quick snacks to enjoy with drinks, Martha Stewart’s Appetizers is the new go-to guide for any type of get-together. It also includes a chapter on cocktails. Clarkson Potter. Hardcover. 256 pages. Order here.


With rich photography, expert voice, and taste-making style, Martha Stewart Weddings—a brand-new volume, the first in nearly two decades—is at once a guide to and inspiration for planning a wedding.

Since the debut of Martha Stewart Weddings in 1995, it has been the premier resource for couples looking to plan and personalize their big day. To coincide with the brand’s 20th anniversary, the magazine’s team of experts has compiled a comprehensive guide to their distinctive way of creating a customized celebration. It’s packed with the original ideas, real-wedding photographs, and tried-and-true advice for which the brand has become known. From the engagement to the day itself, every detail is covered. Readers will learn what goes into making a “Martha” wedding, which includes dreaming up a cohesive theme and color palette, as well as finding a dress and suit, registering for gifts, enjoying showers and bachelor(ette) parties, hiring vendors, choosing the flowers and cake, and orchestrating a sweet send-off for the evening. With 300 full-color photographs, Martha Stewart Weddings will be the most gorgeous and practical wedding book on the market and a keepsake for every bride. Clarkson Potter. Hardover. 272 pages. Order here.

Paper Goods Projects: The New Book by Jodi Levine

I was really excited to hear that Jodi Levine's new crafts book will be out this August! It's called Paper Goods Projects and it's filled with brilliant, imaginative ways to turn everyday paper items into terrific creations. This is the second book by the former editor of Martha Stewart Kids magazine and it's going to be a must-have for anyone interested in paper projects - for kids and adults alike. (Her first book, Candy Aisle Crafts, is also essential.) There are 60 projects in all, perfect for birthday parties, rainy afternoons at home and holidays.
The projects are designed with the supermarket in mind, based on the notion that anything made of paper can be re-purposed and re-imagined into something colourful and fun: coffee filters, cupcake wrappers, paper doilies, cardboard boxes and balloons, to name just a few. The book is organized into four chapters, grouped by the materials:
  1. Coffee Filters & Cupcake Paper
  2. Paper Plates, bags, and Doilies
  3. Balloons
  4. Recycling Bin
The photographs by Amy Gropp Forbes brilliantly illustrate the how-to process for each craft as well as the finished project. Paper Goods Projects will be in bookstores on August 11th, but you can pre-order it at Amazon.com. Visit Jodi's and Amy's website for more information and inspiration: supermakeit.com
Coffee Filter Water Lilies, from the Coffee Filter chapter. So pretty!
The Big Box Town, with interchangeable components, from the Recycling Bin chapter.


A Special Delivery

I was so delighted on Friday to receive a package from a reader of this blog who has since become a friend of mine. In a kind gesture of generosity and thanks, my friend Kevin sent me some treats from the new Martha Stewart Cafe in Manhattan: a package of Martha's Blend coffee, a tin of Martha's Breakfast Blend tea and a beautiful chambray apron with red straps, emblazoned with the Martha Stewart Cafe logo. I was honoured and humbled to receive such a kind gift. I can now also attest, first hand, to the quality and deliciousness of the items sold at the Martha Stewart Cafe, which is now accepting online orders from anywhere in the United States. If you are contemplating getting anything from this cafe store, I urge you not to hesitate.
The items arrive wrapped in black tissue paper and sealed with a Martha Stewart logo sticker. (I, of course, saved the sticker!)
These were the contents of the package sent to me by my friend, Kevin. The apron is gorgeously made of American chambray and was specially designed for the cafe by Hedley and Bennett of Los Angeles.
This morning I tried the breakfast blend tea: perfection! It is an organic black tea with subtle citrus notes with a wonderful aroma. Its taste is light but not weak (it has a lot of body) and with a little splash of milk it is just perfect. (I used a fancy tea cup for my inaugural tea tasting this morning.) I do not drink coffee on a regular basis so I will save the coffee blend (whole beans) for company.


Good Thing: Making a Bee Bath

Bees are tireless workers. I would imagine that flying from flower to flower, back to the hive and then back again would work up quite a thirst. Many of us, however, seem to forget that insects need to drink too. Creating a bee bath (or several!)  in your garden is an ideal way to encourage bees to linger a while longer, which could have untold benefits for your garden. (Did you know that bees are responsible for the cross-pollination of nearly 90% of the world's flowers?) When I recently read about this ingenious idea on another blog I felt compelled to share it here. It has all the hallmarks of a garden "Good Thing" and I'm guessing it will resonate well with many Martha Moments readers.
This beautiful bee bath was created by Sally in Australia. She places blossoms amid the stones to encourage the bees to stop by for a sip. Visit her blog Under The Mango Tree for more inspiration.

Creating a bee bath is simple. All you will need is a large ceramic, plastic or galvanized tray and stones of various sizes. Place the tray at ground level and fill it with a shallow amount of water. Place the stones strategically around the tray, to create islands for the bees to land upon to sip the water. (Do not submerge the stones completely). Be sure to replace the water at least every two days to keep mosquito larvae from growing and to prevent stagnation or evaporation. Place the bath in an area where bees tend to frequent.

Bee baths don't just benefit bees. Many beneficial insects will enjoy the access to fresh water. If there is an area of your garden that is infested with aphids or other leaf-sucking pests, placing a bee bath nearby will encourage lady bugs and other predatory insects and arachnids to the area as well. Before you know it, the aphids will have been eaten up.


Remembering: Everyday Food Special Issues

With the new Everyday Food special issue out on newsstands this week, I thought I'd look back at the previous Everyday Food special issues. It occurred to me that some of you may not be aware of them. None of these issues were part of a subscription and were only available for a limited time at the newsstand. The first one was issued in 2006. It was a special holiday cookie issue with recipes not contained in any other Everyday Food issue. The following year, it was all about holiday baking. It was not until 2011 that the third special issue was released. This one was devoted to summer recipes and was unique in that it was a full-size issue, unlike its digest-sized cousins. Finally, longtime subscribers were gifted a special Everyday Food Index: a reference for the first four years of the magazine's publication. It was never sold to the public. This is very rare today. These issues can occasionally be found on eBay. Watch for the new Everyday Food special issue on stands this week!

Good Thing: A Beach-Stone Basket

Every summer as a boy, my parents would take us to the seaside. Whether it was Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, Florida or Maine, I can scarcely recall a summer when I didn't have an adventure with my family by the sea. My father is something of a beachcomber and we would always find room in our trunk for a little bucket of the beautiful stones that he would find on his walks along the beach. Over the years, with more and more trips, this collection began to expand. Several years ago my parents decided to place all of their collected beach stones in a basket and display them in their living room. In addition to the places mentioned above, the basket now contains beach stones from New York, Scotland, England, Puerto Rico and France.
Tip: Look for stones with unusual markings and details. To enhance these marking, my father applied a light coating of varnish to some of the rocks to help them maintain that shiny, wet look. This drastically improves the appearance of the markings and special details. Once coated, let the stones dry on a wire rack for at least 24 hours before placing them in any sort of vessel.


Martha Stewart American Made Awards 2015

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 Martha Stewart American Made Awards, an initiative begun by Martha in 2012 to honour American makers who are turning their dreams into businesses. Each year, Martha and the editors at Martha Stewart Living magazine honour makers, small-business owners, and creative entrepreneurs in the fields of crafts, design, food, and style. These makers are recognized for their dedication to creating beautiful, quality products and building successful business and communities.
Five-hundred finalists will be chosen from the nominations and 10 winners will be subsequently chosen by the editors, including one Audience Choice Winner, who will be voted by the audience as the grand-prize winner. Prizes include $10,000 towards the growth of the business, a trip for two to attend the American Made Summit in New York City, hosted by Martha Stewart and her team of editors, a feature in Martha Stewart Living magazine and a chance to become part of the American Made Market, with advertising and direct links to your business from marthastewart.com.

Click here to learn more about the American Made Awards or to nominate yourself!