In 1996 at the tender age of 14, I bought my first copy of Martha Stewart Living. I was on vacation in Florida with my family and I convinced my mom to pick one up for me at the local Home Depot.
That was it. I was hooked. I began looking up to, and aspiring to be like all that Martha Stewart Living stood for. I couldn’t get enough of the lush images, creative ideas, and magical atmosphere that magazine produced.
I’m still a loyal subscriber and I’ve got a bookcase stacked high with MSL issues dating all the way back to that formative issue in ’96. And you know what? They are still some of the best issues with the best material, bar none. Of course I’ve branched out to many more shelter titles since I was 14, but there is just something about classic Martha.
And so, I’ve decided to mine those precious volumes for their timeless treasures and muse about them here. Classic Martha will now be a regular conversation on Michael Penney Style and I’m starting today with the issue that started it all – Martha Stewart Living, June/July 1996.
This is a scan of the actual cover I bought fifteen years ago. You can see it’s been read over and over. I never actually made these melon ‘pops’, but I drooled over the palette of sherbety oranges, pinks and cool green. Yum!
A story all about the wonder and mystery of shade gardens had me spellbound. I can just imagine my feet sinking into this carpet of moss with little tufts of ferns popping through next to a stream.
Margaret Roach’s story on hollyhocks is still so gorgeous today. The peachy apricot ruffles of this old-fashioned perennials’ blooms are so full and romantic and I especially love the dark black variety with it’s tall spires. I planted hollyhocks in my own garden that summer fifteen years ago at my parents’ and again this past summer at my place. They’re a timeless cottage garden staple.
And finally the perfect place to finish – Jadite. What could be more Martha Stewart than Jadite – that iconic mid-century workhorse with its cheery green hue? Martha introduced me to Jadite that summer with this story on refrigeratorware – a practical predecessor to today’s ‘Gladware’ (which I sometimes loathe). I’d much rather open a cupboard full of Jadite food containers than a jumble of those thin plastic ones of today.
Well there you have it – my 1996 introduction to the beautiful world of ‘Living’ and the start of a new blog conversation that will generate many ‘good things‘ I’m sure.