Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In Martha's Corner

When our family spent time--once upon a time--in England, our hosts had a young son who had to go to school while ours did not. In a note of indignation, this former American-as-apple pie boy announced with a bit of the Brit in his voice: "It's not fair." I'm always reminded of this
plea when I see something that doesn't seem quite cricket.

The latest book about Martha Stewart might cross the line from being not fair to downright mean-spirited. I am not going to defend Martha about what she does or does not do. But I am going to applaud her for her contributions to the American home. In that way, I am in her corner--one that is furnished with good taste that is affordable. Some of the merchandise designed in her K-mart days revolutionized the home furnishings industry. I am not as familiar with her current lines, but one can count on Martha to offer good choices at good prices.

When Martha entered the magazine field, we were competitors. But fair is fair and this new book doesn't seem so it me. I don't intend to plunk down my five cents for it, but I will save it for a the Martha product I might find to make my home and my life nicer. Because nice matters...in more ways than one.


  1. Hello Nancy: I certainly agree with you 100%. I think some people like to write mean copy just to get a rise out of people. That's not my style at all, either in writing or in buying books! Thanks for the thumbs down. They won't get my five cents either. Sincerely, Susan p.s. Still absolutely adore Victoria!

  2. Yes! I agree! Maybe I don't want to clean my phone while I'm on it just to keep busy (her suggestion). I don't have the personality or the energy for that kind of thing. However, I love and bless her for revolutionizing our culture in so many ways. She elevated hospitality, a beautiful home and deliciously cooked and baked delicacies to an art form. I, actually, JUST finished frosting her famous (well, now, MY famous) sugar cookies. There's nothing like them! I should also mention, that we joke that it was her "chocolate diablo cake" that convinced my neighbor to propose to and marry me. She's an amazing one of kind woman who holds out beauty in her hands.

    Thanks for your fair and mature words! What else would we expect from a gracious lady like yourself?

    Love, Katy Noelle

    P.S. I have never really cared for her magazine, though. It feels empty and unattainable - especially after her books!

  3. I just bought a cast-iron dutch oven from her Macys line. It was very good quality and half the price of the leading competitor.

  4. Thanks for the gracious post, Nancy.

    I couldn't agree with you more. Nice does matter - and it starts with civility, a lost art these days.

  5. As Penny already said, thanks for the gracious post. I agree, nice matters.

    I hadn't heard about the book, but I'm certainly not looking for it.

    I sometimes wonder what these kinds of authors will say when God asks them one day, "So, what did you do with your one wild and precious life?"

  6. Nice always matters...our lives are changed by ladies like Martha and yourself Nancy. How wonderful to have you in her domestic corner...you are as graceful and genteel as your VICTORIA.

  7. I was a little surprised when I heard such a book was coming out, because I frankly can't imagine what sort of woman wants to read an "ex-best friend" dish on her former friend! I agree with you on Martha's contributions to the art of homemaking and her love of quality, but ... I have to say that her magazine never was and never will be a competitor of your Victoria!

  8. Thank you Nancy for your gracious comments. Nice will always matter. I remember my grandmother saying to her six daughters, "if you can't say something nice, then do not say anything." She, of course, was not original in her thoughts, but this was how she lived her life.

    I did happen to see an interview with this author and couldn't imagine how anything positive could come from her book.

    I have watched Martha through the years and enjoy many of her ideas. Sometimes they do make me smile because it is hard for busy wives and mothers to be "domestic divas." However, my esteem went up when she handled perhaps her most difficult time with some quiet dignity.

    Her daughter's show "Whatever Martha" shows me she can laugh at herself. That's another character trait I admire. Jean

  9. Oh I am curious though, which book it is with Martha?I did google for the new releases of hers- and none show up that are very new.?

    -I learned from Martha Stewart-,-- how to make beautiful Roses from coffee filters- they are so real looking & fun to make.- I even used them at Moms Memorial service amongst all of the other real flowers - and no one knew the difference--ha- Mom just loved them, so I just had to have them there.Rambling here, I know-- but that is how I am sometimes.lol--

    I still havn't read much more in your new book, Nancy- I have been reading in some older Victorias , I only have four more to find- and will finally have collected all of them. {from 1997-June,2003.}-- The ones where you were the Editor are the very best- but I do find in the Peggy victorias, a lot of good decorating ideas.From reading in one of them, I made my windows look like etched glass,using a piece of Lace as a "stencil"- it really is such a good idea-so pretty too!

    I buy and read the "New" Victoria,Bliss",- it has some nice articles & pictures in it also-- but none keep me as glued and enchanted as yours!

    -I currently am preparing the ground for planting an all-White Garden out back ,from seeing a picture of one in an older Victoria called"Twilight"-{or close to that},I'll have to go find the article...I think it was in a 1991 issue. I am really excited about doing this-The article was so impressive, just had to try it.,all white!

    Because of all the "Heart" in it,I love Victoria Regina -& the same with reading on your journal,blog,I like much better too,than reading on Martha's.Love,Valery

  10. My dear mom would have said "good riddance to bad rubbish" and tossed such a mean-spirited book. And she would have chimed in with Jean's mother in reminding us all that "if you don't have any nice to say..."
    Thanks for reminding us, once more, what it means to be a lady, dear Nancy.
    Love, Karen Marline

  11. I agree and won't be paying for the book either.

  12. Martha has been an inspiration for me for many years - I have been in some heated "discussions" concerning her and I'll defend her to the end. No one person is perfect but they should be given credit for their accomplishments. I'll not spend my money on a tell-all, disrespectful book.

  13. I just found on Amazon the book you must be talking about- I misunderstood at first- I thought it was a new book that Martha wrote-- I read the reviews of this book & also the readers opinions of this Author-- hmm- this book doesn't sound like a "good thing", especially for us "Fuddy Duddys".lol,xo-Valery

  14. I'm late to the table - as I often am - but sometimes it seems as soon as a woman reaches a certain level or goal, she is the target of much mean spiritedness from both genders.