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Craft Critique at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Reported by Joanne Basile

I recently had the opportunity to attend an exclusive “Blogger’s Night Out” party at the Martha Stewart Living Offices.  The invitation was offered just days before the event, so it was in a whirlwind that I hopped on a plane to NYC.  
As you know, all crafty women and home makers are required by US law to worship Martha Stewart.  I abide by this law, and was hopeful in my attendance to leave with at least a MSLO napkin, if not a lock of Martha’s hair.  Thank goodness security was present at the event.  Martha’s blond coif would remain unharmed.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Bloggers'  Night Out
Upon arrival we were greeted by the myriad of youthful MSLO staffers, and given our custom name-tags.  In “Martha blue” of course.
Bloggers Liesl Gibson and Andrea Chan check in
My date, and NYC tour guide, Carol Cho from BurdaStyle and took turns posing in the lobby…

While unbeknown to us, Martha Stewart was playing ping-pong in the room down the hall.  Honest to pete!  This was my chance! 

Martha and designer Kevin Sharkey sure look happy.  I’m sure the strategically placed ping pong table wasn’t *just* a well lit photo op.  I am sorry that we didn’t each get a chance to lob the ball a bit with Martha.  Rumor has it she is a well practiced player.  And hello, she just celebrated her 69th birthday!  Who doesn’t want to be like her when they grow up?

Unfortunately the handsome servers had filled our hands with Honeydew Agua Frescas on the way into the party. I mean look, here is Martha standing seemingly ALONE!  But I have a bag (a big heavy overnight bag no less) and this drink, plus my camera and my iPhone… oh, and my bag of business cards…

So this is me, captured looking like a “super-geek-fan”, my plans to meet Martha foiled by the drink tucked under my left armpit.  Where is Nate the Intern when I need him?

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Bloggers' Night Out

But the Craft Critique readers need photos right?!?

And I even captured this video for you of Martha speaking at the event… note at about the 3:22 mark when she looks me in the eye and tells me that “real businesses can evolve from your blog”.  Honestly, I got a tad misty.

The rest of the night played out as expected… hobnobbing with Jennifer Koppelman-Hutt and Alexis Stewart from “Whatever Martha” one minute…

Crafting with Hanna Millman of the Crafts Dept. the next!

Attendees milled about, chatting and networking.  It was so fun to meet some of my favorite bloggers, and learn about so many new blogs as well!  You can follow along some of the chatter and read some fun party highlights by following the #marthablogger hashtag on Twitter.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Bloggers' Night Out

Foods and beverages from the latest issue of Everyday Food were served.

Grilled S’mores anyone?
The Agua Frescas that saved Martha from being accosted by yours truly:
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Bloggers' Night Out
Bistro Sliders with Pickled Onions.  Delish!
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Bloggers' Night Out
Really tasty treats by One Girl Cookies
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Bloggers' Night Out

There were these cute passports we got to stamp at each table that featured lists of “must-see”NYC destinations.  Too bad I didn’t have any time to spare!

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Bloggers' Night Out

And let’s not forget the crafts!  We were shown how to use the popular Around the Page Punch and Edger Punch.  Craft Critique approved!

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Bloggers' Night Out

We love the Martha Stewart Crafts line here at Craft Critique.  Especially recommended are the Glitters, punches and the new Score Board!  You can see a Video of the Score Board we filmed at CHA HERE.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Bloggers' Night Out

The party was a DREAM!  But even more exciting was the personal tour of the MSLO offices we honored to receive the following day.  The offices are spacious and filled with natural light.  We were able (no cameras allowed) to tour the test kitchens and craft areas.  We saw some sneaks of Christmas decor in Hanna’s office; woodland animals, placed on stumps around a tree covered with glittered birds!  Love!

All of the offices are filled with amazing inspiration; floor to ceiling cork-boards covered with magazine clippings, colors and fabric swatches.  It all happens here! We saw people working on TV show edits in one office, just down the hall from the Weddings department, overflowing with dresses!  We even saw Martha’s office (I was not however, allowed to sit in her chair, spin around and squeal “whee”).

I was pleased to note that Martha has an open, glass walled office.  No closed door meetings are happening in there!  Employees at MSLO seemed genuinely thrilled to be working in this amazing environment.  We were told Martha takes a very hands-on approach, and she in in frequent attendance at the office; something that is obvious considering the quality of product her team is able to consistently produce.

My favorite part of the tour was the props room.  All neatly curated, every dish, glass, vase or chair you have ever seen in the pages of Living.  The room was right next to the space where the party was held, which turns out to be their photography studio.  Many of the photos you see in the magazine are shot right there… backdrops and counter tops swapped out from the prop room.  One of my favorite food bloggers, Matt Bites had some terrific photos of the prop room in his event recap.

For more fun event pics, visit the Event Flickr Group.

So in summary, I could have danced all night.  I left feeling inspired and fortunate to have been given this unique opportunity to peek into the wonderful world of Martha. 

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Ellen Hutson LLC… committed to bring you the finest papercrafting products and related product education, including Martha Stewart products.

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