The very first time I became aware of Martha Stewart's Living was while waiting for a friend to gather her things together at her home so that we could go out for lunch together. I noticed a blond haired woman smiling at me from the cover of one magazine among many upon a coffee table.
Knowing my time was limited, I quickly thumbed through pages that were unlike any I had ever seen. As I reached the very last page, a title "Nutley, New Jersey" caught my eye along with a tiny old-fashioned photograph of a woman in her kitchen. A page of words, I began to read.
The words painted so clearly for me the members of a large family bustling about a tiny kitchen as they packaged fruit cakes in tins to give as Christmas gifts to their neighbors. I was enchanted. (Hot glue head bead to pine cone base.)
I didn't need to know anything else about the magazine except that I wanted to read more about the family at 86 Elm Street, Nutley, NJ. A subscription card pulled from within the glossy pages made it's way home with me. (Cut two inch square, cut curve. Match long edges, trim until opening is right size. Apply bead of hot glue, press edges together,
before glue dries, flatten seam by pressing between fingers.)
For many months and many years to come, I would await the arrival of Martha Stewart's magazine among the stacks of bills and letters my children would retrieve from our mail box. I would always turn to the last page, first, (Apply hot glue to end of pipe cleaner and position for each arm and leg cutting stem as you move along.)
and read about the every day patterns of the Kostyra parents and their six children.
I knew the stories were romanticized tableau's of Martha's childhood, but to me they meant everything as my own childhood was not at all typical. The stories became a framework for the home life I wanted for my own children. (Slip shoes onto leg stems. Bend stems at right angles. Apply hot glue to top and bottom of created foot, press shoe bottom to top.)
In every way we were a family who created traditions to remember always the loving home we shared. (To position elf to stand, place two fingers at bend of foot. Lean elf towards fingers until able to stand alone.)
When I began my blog, I made a conscious decision to write in such a way that would evoke the feeling I had when reading about Nutley, New Jersey. (Long strip of felt is positioned to create scarf, hot glue applied to keep in place, trim to correct length.)
I love to come to this place I call Creative Breathing filled with it's pages of childhood remembrances and things made to celebrate holidays with friends. Martha Stewart will never know how her stories of Nutley, New Jersey have touched my life, but I know; and I am thankful. (Apply hot glue to both sides of arm stems, press mittens to both sides.)
How absolutely sweet Martha's elves are posed with my Happy Birthday sign from Diane's Etsy shop. I was suppose to wait until my actual birthday to open, but you know how that goes....
Birthday Wishes and Nutley Elves, now THAT'S A GOOD THING!