Martha Moments Holiday Giveaway!

A few months ago I told you about a gorgeous Etsy shop called Golden Age Botanicals that was started by my friend Kathryn Bondy, whom I met at Anthropologie nine years ago. She was a display coordinator at the time. Well, she has been kind and generous enough to create a small, festive wreath - with paper blossoms, gilded leaves and hand-painted strawberries - for a giveaway contest that is starting today!! See below to learn more about the prize, the contest and preview a gallery of Kathryn's new work:
This is the gorgeous paper wreath that is yours for the winning! It was handmade by Kathryn and all of the flora and foliage you see here is made of handcrafted paper that has been cut, shaped, painted or dyed to mimic actual roses, berries and leaves. The wreath form is made of handmade 'brass rope' reminiscent of the details on brass vases in still life paintings and the roses are Majolica-inspired. It would be gorgeous in any room of the house, but especially a bedroom, a child's room or a pretty corner of a parlour or living room.
Kathryn is extremely detail-oriented and she leaves no subtlety unaccounted for. Look at the detail of the rose petals and each of the tiny stamens.
The strawberries, made of Polymer, are hand painted with terrific details: seeds, leaves, golden tendrils and beautiful blossoms.


Winning this wreath is really simple!

1. You must follow both @martha_moments and @goldenagebotanicals on Instagram in order to win. If you follow one but not the other your name will not be entered. (If you're not on Instagram, it's very easy to sign up!) 
2. You must leave a comment on one (or both) of these accounts detailing your favourite holiday tradition (one or two sentences is fine) and then tag a friend!

And that's it! The deadline is midnight on Wednesday, December 20. The entries will all be gathered and we will choose a name, at random, out of a pretty Jadeite teacup - figuratively speaking! The winner will be announced on both the @martha_moments and @goldenagebotanicals Instagram accounts, as well as here on the blog on December 21rst. From there, Kathryn will contact you via Instagram to retrieve your mailing address and send it off to you! We're both looking forward to seeing your entries! And good luck to all who enter!

Please note that if you're not a contest sort of person, an identical wreath to the one shown above is available for purchase at Kathryn's Etsy shop, Golden Age Botanicals.


Kathryn has been busy getting new items up on her Etsy shop for the winter season. Below, I've highlighted some of her new creations. I'm sure you'll agree that they are utterly beautiful. To see Kathryn's shop, click here. (All items in the shop are handmade by Kathryn in her Toronto studio. Prices are in Canadian dollars.)
Hellebores are such harbingers of spring. Handmade of paper, the flower is mounted to a vintage silver coaster and can be hung.
Here is a more detailed look at the petals. Astounding detail.
This gorgeous, diminutive wreath features Paperwhites and winter berries.
A closer look at the Paperwhite blossoms.
There are two sizes of the wreath available.
This set of three paper pear ornaments would make any Christmas tree the envy of the neighbourhood.
A closer look at one of the pear ornaments.
A set of four strawberry ornaments, made of hand painted Polymer, would be perfect accompaniments to the pears, shown above.


Martha Moments Readers Decorate for the Holidays!

Each year I try to showcase at least some photographs of the beautiful holiday decorating and/or baking that so many readers of this blog participate in, and each year I'm always astounded by their creativity and skill! Below are some photos that members of the Martha Moments Facebook Group have shared on social media. Martha's influence is apparent in so many of them. Enjoy!
Bernie Wong has two white feather trees that he has decorated in a muted palette of green and silver.
Even during the day, the ornaments catch the light beautifully.
In another room, Bernie has a real evergreen that looks so festive in white, silver and gold ornaments.
Some of Bernie's ornaments include an assortment from Martha Stewart Everyday, a brand that is now defunct but that was formerly available at K-Mart stores.
Just this past weekend, Bernie's area received a large amount of snow - unusual for Georgia!
I love how Bernie has decorated his front door. The magnolia wreath and the garland were handmade by Bernie, himself!
I've showcased Anthony Picozzi's holiday decorating in years past. I always find it inspiring! This is his living room, looking very warm and inviting.
This is one of TEN trees that Anthony has set up in his home in Rhode Island.
Here is another...
And another - a silver tree with black and silver ornaments!
Anthony has four of these tall, narrow artificial trees that he places in tight corners and against narrow walls around his home: on either side of the fireplace and in the dining room.
A cluster of three trees in his breakfast nook.
His kitchen is ready for holiday baking and entertaining.
I love Jeremy Lambertson's tree, just dripping with decadent ornaments! It's one of a pair. (Notice Martha's coffee-filter wreath hanging on the wall behind it).
They look quite lovely together in his living room.
Jeremy, too, has erected numerous trees around his house this year.
And, once again, many of the ornaments are from the Martha Stewart Everyday collection from K-Mart!
Jeremy has quite a collection!
Another vignette in Jeremy's home.
Mark Waldron's animal-theme tree is so charming!
The perfect tree topper for this tree!
Mark is also a skilled gift wrapper! (Look at those bows!)
Matt Lara made Martha's copper-leaf cookie ornaments this year. This is a project that was featured in her first Christmas book from 1989.
Once the copper leaf had been applied, Matt embossed some of the ornaments with monograms. So pretty!
A cute detail in Julio Torrado's kitchen: glass canisters filled with artificial snow and miniature Christmas trees! It's a Good Thing!
Julio bedecked and bedazzled his bookshelves with string lights. His inspiration was a Christmas party scene in Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut".

Thank you all for sharing and I hope you've enjoyed the gallery!


Maha Malluh's "Food For Thought"

On a recent blog post at TheMarthaBlog.com, Martha showcased a photo of herself standing in front of an art installation at the newly-opened United Arab Emirates Louvre Abu Dhabi gallery in Dubai. The installation is a grouping of enormous aluminum pots with their charred and crackled bottoms facing outward to reveal a beautiful tapestry of texture and pattern. They are part of a larger series of work by Saudi artist Maha Malluh called "Food For Thought - Al Muallaqat".
I was really struck by the odd beauty of these pots and the creative thinking behind the concept so I decided to learn a bit more about the artist and share more images from the exhibit here on Martha Moments.
The grouping of pots Martha is standing in front of is part of a larger, untitled installation featuring an entire wall of these pots.
The effect is striking.
The artist, Maha Malluh, shown above, was born in Saudi Arabia in 1959. It is where she lives and works. Most of her work is comprised of found objects that she re-purposes and reinvents into large-scale installations that speak to a larger theme or topic. The purpose of much of her work, she says, is to challenge the viewer to pause and think more deeply about the world that surrounds them and to see ordinary objects in new and unexpected ways. 

"I am interested in the systems of value awarded to material objects in our contemporary culture," she says. "I like to work with objects that are going to disappear from our life, in order to preserve our identity and our cultural memory."

In her Food For Thought collection, Malluh explores the beauty of everyday cookware by grouping pieces into mass installations, as she did with the aluminum pots. For this exhibit she also created enormous columns of bowls and serving dishes by fusing them together into towering pedestals.
To read an interview with Malluh and learn more about the symbolism and intent behind the work, click here.


Martha's New Cookie Box on National Cookie Day

On this #NationalCookieDay, I thought I'd take the opportunity to feature Martha's new Cookie Box from Martha & Marley Spoon. The box contains the ingredients for four simple but delicious cookies, providing you with everything you need to make these tasty treats. The cookies are Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies with Cardamom, Double-Chocolate Peppermint Brownies, Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies and Noel Nut Bars. Whether the in-laws drop by unexpectedly, the office cookie exchange is looming or you want something fun for the kids to do while they're on Christmas break, Martha's Cookie Box has you covered! The cost of the box is $38.99 USD and it will arrive no later than 10 days after your order is placed. The Cookie Box is available until January 3, 2018. (U.S. residents only)
The ingredients for each cookie are individually boxed with gift-giving in mind. You can give one or two of the boxes of ingredients as a gift to the baker on your list, or you can bake the cookies yourself and give a few cookies to friends, family or colleagues in one of eight cookie bags that come in the box. The kit also includes red and white baker's twine for presentation. Whether you make and keep all of the cookies for you and your family or give them away to friends, Martha has thought of everything!
As always, each cookie box comes with large recipe cards with easy-to-follow instructions. Below are photos of the finished cookies.
Double Chocolate Peppermint Brownies: Get the recipe here.
Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies with Cardamom: Get the recipe here.
Noel Nut Balls: Get the recipe here.
Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies: Get the recipe here.