The Accidental Collection

I've never been a big collector of things. The more things that I have, the more claustrophobic I feel. So it was strange a few weeks ago when I realized that I had inadvertently become a collector of something. How could this be I wondered? Is this how all collections start? Do they just sneak up on you and then before you know it you are on the TLC show, Hoarders? Well, to be fair to myself. My collection is not that problematic but it is indeed a collection, nonetheless. 

What could this collection be?? 

Well, my Martha Stewart Living of course!! Over the past six or seven years, I have amassed my fair share of MS magazines without even realizing it. You see, I just didn't have it in me to throw out my coveted magazines after I read them. Instead, for several years I used the magazines as a design element in my apartment - decoratively displaying the issues in a nifty little (or large) basket. Eventually my collection outgrew that space,  which led me to archive my MS Living in magazine files. Then, the unthinkable happened. My collection out grew that space too! So I moved the collection to my book shelf and reasoned with myself that there was NO WAY that I could exceed that amount of space. 
Needless to say, I proved myself wrong. For fear that I was soon going to have countless piles of magazines around my house like my grandfather (God love him!) who has been collecting National Geographic Magazine for the past thirty years, I knew I needed to downsize without sacrificing. But how?

For me, the solution was easy and something I have done before with my favorite fitness magazines and law school books: Unbinding.

What's that you say? Well, it involves carefully removing the content, discarding the excess (such as advertisements, etc.), sorting and organizing the subject matter, and then placing the pages in binders for easy access. 

So here is the break down on how it is done:
Step 1: Tear off the magazine cover.
Step 2: Carefully tear out the pages of the magazine by applying steady pressure near the spine. The pages should remove easily from the glued spine with consistently straight edges.
Step 3. Sort the pages (For MS, I sorted by recipes and projects). Keep in mind to keep the pages in sequential order. 
Step 4: Hole punch like crazy.
Step 5: Place in your favorite binders. 
Step 6: Enjoy.
The best part about this space saving tip is that it is so much easier to access all your favorite recipes and projects without having to page through 8,000 pages and no one will ever know that you have a "collection problem."

Dilemma solved!


Let's Start at Square One

For most of my life, I have been enamored by the empire that IS Martha Stewart. Think with me for a second. Name any other CEO of a billion (or even a million) dollar empire that IS the brand that they are selling. Sure we can all name Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, but we aren't typing our our new GATES or JOBS computers, are we? Think not. Rather, Martha Stewart IS the brand that she sells and it is evident that she is in a league of her own when it comes to business. So for me, a Martha-wannabe (hereinafter, "Martha-be") I find the niche business Martha Stewart has created off of her name fascinating. 

(With that being said, let me digress for a moment. Instead of sharing the complete biography of Martha Stewart here in one post, I will try to embed the interesting Martha facts throughout this blog.)

Okay. Back to the fascination part. What surprises me the most is that the Martha-phenomonon did not happen overnight. In fact, Martha did not even make her first million until well into her 40's. For me, this serves as a crucial fact because, good or bad, I need to remind myself that success comes one day at a time and that well-executed, novel ideas are few and far in between.  

Continuing on... I've been following the Martha Stewart empire going back as far as I can remember. In my early years, I would often spend my sick days home from school watching the Martha Stewart Living show on television and I would long for the days of summer to come so I could tune in consistently each morning. While most kids my age were into shows like Dawson's Creek and Friends, I found that I did not possess the ability sit still enough to pay attention to the content. But, not with Martha. With Martha, I was hooked. For hours. 

Often throughout my childhood, my family would find me surrounded by some sort of project. Between the bits of paper and scraps of some article of clothing that I cut into pieces, I found what I was good at and I found my passion. Although, I am quite sure there were times that my family wished that I would refrain from re-working some object that they just purchased for me or that I would abstain from painting the walls of my bedroom again for the sixth time, they mostly let me be free to create. Sometimes the results were good. Other times, they were less than stellar. (i.e. tinfoil on the ceiling) However, my family was always encouraging throughout my childhood because they knew that there was a glimmer of talent inside me - something that I am still grateful for to this day.
After I high school, I quickly grew too old for the pages of Seventeen magazine, so I searched my local supermarket for my next read. At this point in my life, most of my friends began to delve into the world of novels, but books never seemed to do a real good job at keeping my attention either. I need something more visual. And then, I found it - Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Score! I was instantly obsessed and quickly sent in the insert card in my magazine to purchase my own subscription. In addition, I would occasionally pick up the inspiring Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine on newsstands, even though I was far from being ready to get married. I just couldn't get enough!  

Month-by-month, year-by-year I would peruse my magazines, practically drooling on each page of "domestic goodness." Oh how I wished I could spend my days bringing Martha's ideas to reality but my life was far too busy. So I archived my magazine collection with my good intentions. That is... until now! 

So what is this blog about? Well, it is about creation fueling creation. It is about innovation from inspiration. It is about self-exploration by breaking old habits and creating new ones. But mostly, this blog is about tackling the empire of Martha Stewart, one Living magazine at a time. 

Call me crazy or disillusioned but I think everyone needs a little more Martha in their life and I'm here to show you just how it's done. 

More to come but ciao for now.

~ I