Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nutley, New Jersey


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!


33 comments:

Jennifer Bontrager said...

In one of her recent issues she had photos of her grand daughter taken with vintage Steiff animals and made them into a cute book. Thought I might do that with my daughter too.

RetroSandie said...

There is an adorable Pom Pom Bunny that she makes that is so cute. It uses pom poms, pipe cleaners, paper baking cups for the dress and it looks so sweet! She also make Chenille Christmas ornaments that I really like, too!!!
Thanks for another darling giveaway, E!!!!

ImagiMeri said...

I'm ready to send off my ornaments to you pretty lady. They are all packed. I don't have a favorite Martha craft, but I do receive her magazine with great anticipation every month. Mostly I drool over her use of space and all the storage solutions she has.....if I were only rich....my craft room would surely be published in her magazine...;o) sigh!

Love ya'
Meri

Old Fashioned Gal said...

When I got married last year, I lived on Martha Stewart's wedding blog! I examined pictures to a T! I collectively used things from all of those pictures to come up with my rustic centerpieces. Hubby and I went out to the farm and cut cedar stumps to place vintage mason jars on. I filled the mason jars with birch tree branches and fire orange roses.
Side note...I lived in New Jersey in my younger days and worked with a girl from Nutley, NJ. :)
-Denise

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

They are just the sweetest! And you are always so wonderful to share...even on your birthday! I have a Martha craft I would like to make with seashells. I have it marked...http://www.marthastewart.com/267344/clamshell-wreath
Sweet hugs and thanks!

annemarie said...

Love your pinecone people - so cute. I have always loved the large pom pom like balls she makes out of tissue paper. They are the perfect addition to any celebration. One can change the tissue paper to match the occasion.

Marianne said...

My daughter came home from college for Thanksgiving one year,waving her Martha Stewart Living magazine about and asking if we could craft for her friends. They were going to attend The Nutcracker Suite when she returned and the magazine had the most wonderful ornaments from the ballet to craft. We spent the better part of the week laughing, talking and crafting the incredibly intricate, beautiful ornaments. The girls loved them and we had such a great time together. Martha's crafts at some times challenge but they never disappoint!

carla (http://dancingmoon-carla.blogspot.com/) said...

Hi!!!! Very cute!!! Very creative!!! Thanks for the cute story and tutorial!!!

Diane Mars said...

Hey, I was just thinking about making some pinecone snowmen... like minds think alike. Thanks for the link to my Shop thats the best Birthday Gift! Hugs~ Diane

chris mckinley said...

Just last month my girlfriend and I were looking for an idea for favors for our women's group tea..she called and said she had a great idea had seen it in Martha's mag at the hospital..(she's a midwife so often up very late).The craft...gluing plates or cups to saucers or candlesticks to make dessert stands. We found the best expresso cups at the dollar store,small pieces and bright colors,and we mixed and matched. The ladies would serve themselves their dessert on them and then take them home as favors. Great for a votive candle or a tea light too. We were so proud of ourselves!! An easy Martha craft! The ladies started serving themselves..the cups and saucers came unglued! The glue didn't hold! We double checked the glue we had bought, right glue but not sticking! Good thing the ladies didn't care. Not sure if it was the cups and saucers or what!! The best ideas, even from Martha sometimes just don't work! Love your pinecone folks they are so sweet!! They have such character!
Best, Chris

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Adorable ~ as always, Elizabeth! You've made me look at pinecones in a whole new way.

I got my package today! Thank you very much ~ I just love him. I've already picked out a spot on a shelf in my craft/sewing room for him to perch on, where I can see him whenever I look up. : )

Donna said...

What totally cute little characters you've made----again!! Shoot, I love Martha but she don't have nothing on you!!! :) As for her crafts, well.........I love all her scrapbook supplies and tools but can't name just one favorite craft!!! Over a decade ago, however, I did see a feature in her magazine about vintage nursery items. I saw the Humpty Dumpty lamp and suddenly pictured my soon to arrive son's complete nursery; I set to work, scouring Ebay and my own childhood boxes and created the cutest 1940s style nursery for my little fellow. We enjoyed it so much and to this day, I credit Martha Stewart with the fun I had "nesting" as I waited to bring my sweet bundle into his delightfully old fashioned room. :)

lorlore said...

I always look forward to your stories, Elizabeth, and enjoy them all soooo much!!!!!
My favorite Martha Stewart craft is using velvet and iron imprinting the design from a wood mounted rubber stamp into the velvet, leaving the design impression. Then the velvet material is made into a stocking, bag, etc. Very rich looking when finished.

Debby said...

My favorite would have to be when she first made pumpkins with tiny holes and put lights inside. I loved that idea. These elves are adorable.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

One of my favorites would have to be her Vintage Paper Leaf Wreath! The yellowed pages make the wreath gorgeous! I'm in love with the little Nutley Elves and would be proud to give one a home! Hugs, Linda

Kim Covell-Campbell said...

I still have my Premier issue of MS Living. One of my favorites from years ago was making your own gift wrap out of brown craft paper. My husband thought I was nuts staying up late to paint craft paper! lol!

These elves are too adorable. And so is the kitty kat between them, New reader here and I am in love with your blog!

HollyC said...

My favorite Martha craft would have to be the paper mice/rat silhouettes that are used for Halloween decorations. It was in the Oct '05 issue. They are so cool looking and are fun to put in dark corners. I also love her carved pumpkins. The pinecone cuties are so adorable! Have a great night! Holly

kimber said...

There are so many ideas gleaned from MSL that I can't pick just one! Thank you for sharing your wonderful craftiness with us all. You truly make me feel like I've had a wonderful visit with a friend!
xoxo

marie said...

Love the story with the directions "tucked inside"!

Martha has (very simple) instructions for a tinsel star with a vintage glass ornament in the center, on her website. It's one of my very favorite Christmas craft to make. Simple but oh so pretty!

Chris - A Little Creation said...

I'm not crazy about Martha, everything is too perfect. I like to see the real crafters, the ladies whose mani consist of inkstains and hot glue marks. Happy Birthday to You. September is the best month for a birthday. =] Chris

Pixie said...

In the few things I brought with me when I moved to the UK is a copy of one of Martha's Christmas magazines. Inside it's covers are the fancy paper snowflakes that Justin and I made one year, inspired by the ones in that very book.

My Vintage Mending said...

I have always been drawn to Martha's organization. She has a knack for making house keeping an art. I strive to do the same. Your elves are unbelievable. My shop finds are more beautiful than I anticipated. I am stunned at your ability. Thank you for the opportunity to own a few. Smiles...Renee

LBP said...

I remember watching Martha when she first started on PBS! That channel was a little fuzzy for me, but I tuned in each week glued to the T.V. She once made a Peter Rabbit's garden cake on T.V. and I replicated it for my sister's birthday one year. I sent her a letter and a photo of my cake and got a letter back from her thanking me for making the cake and sending the picture!

I have the letter framed and hanging in my pantry!

Love the pinecone elves. Pine cones are something I have plenty of!

Blessings

Linda

Jane Valentine said...

Evoke feelings you did. Interesting that you were able to piece together your feelings with the magazine and your home life. I had the same experience. It was the cookie issue of December 1997. I had to make THOSE COOKIES on the front cover. It was a serious task to venture away from drop cookes and into the realm of decorated ginger cookies. My first batch completely bombed. I stuck with it and to this day, I am the master cookie maker...always making the same penguins each year but now I do sugar cookies instead of ginger. It is the strongest tradition that started in my home due to Martha Stewart Magazine pushing me to try something new. Thank you for a WONDERFUL story! I should blog about those cookies around Christmas and send a few out to everyone in blogville!

~Damita's Pretty Wrap~ said...

Those little elves are so cute! I love seeing the photos of how they come together! :) Last year in the Martha fall/Halloween magazine I made some cute whitch's brooms out of paper bags, and sticks, filled with candy treats! Have a great day! xo Holly

LBP said...

Yay!!!! I can't believe I actually won! I am so excited!!!! Whoo-Hoo, jumping around my office at work! Glad no one can see me LOL!!!


Linda

Holly Loves Art said...

Oh my goodness these are just too precious! What fun you're having!

Patti said...

I just love these sweet pine cone elves! My big yellow cabinet is named Martha, after Martha Stewart. I love how simplistic and clean her magazine is -but, I don't pull that off very often. Thank you for the tutorial, E!

Ina said...

Happy birthday, Elizabeth! ;p

Old Fashioned Gal said...

I am so excited to receive your lovely creations! I can't wait! Thank you so much Elizabeth! :)
-Denise

paintedlady89 said...

So Sweet, thank you
Hugs,
Gigi

jenny allsorts said...

My sweet MIL was from Nutley, NJ! She always talked of it so fondly. I didn't realize Martha Stewart was from there. :o)

voyance gratuite par email said...

Yes a big applause for this article, you have a way of saying things natural way, simple and so true, I pull my hat to you !!