Okay, folks, this is it: I’ve obtained the September 2014 edition of Martha Stewart Living, have perused every page carefully, and thought through the project a bit more carefully.
As I mentioned before, I intend to do 4 projects per month for the next year, each taken from the glossy pages of Living. Having thought it through, I came to the conclusion that the project—like any great project of Martha Stewart’s, of course—ought to have a presiding logic that rules it. So here’s mine:
Each month, I’ll select one project in each of the following loosely-defined categories: mind, home, body, life. That last one is obviously something of a wild-card, and I’ve been intentionally vague with the rest.
With the projects I select, I must complete them by the month’s end, including a full report here on the blog about the progress, process, status, and finishing conclusions at which I arrive. Even if I fuck up. (Let’s be honest: especially if I fuck up.)
I will rate each project, once I’m finished, on a scale from 1-5 Marthas. (Wait till you see them. There are half-Marthas.) This rating will be based on ease of task, sense of accomplishment or achievement, sense of pleasure in the process, and sense of pleasure in the result. In other words, the 1-5 Martha Rating Scale is entirely subjective and likely to be influenced heavily by my personal whims.
For September, here are a few projects I rejected, first of all:
- throwing a benefit for the Audubon Society
- hand embroidering a back-to-school smock for a child
- crocheted pencil cases
- DIY brass-legged side tables
- muesli coffee cake
- beige decorating (I’m completely not kidding)
- braised pork
- leather-strap key fobs
- helping our pets adjust to the school year
- UVC-sanitizing our cell phones
As tantalizing as all of those choices were (…erm), here are the ones I selected instead, and the dates on which you can look for my posts about them:
HOME—The Mood Board: September 7. You mean I can’t do this shit on Pinterest? MarStew actually has us creating a friggin inspiration board with, like, paper and stuff. Look for mine to be a hot mess, and probably not all that inspiring. From the magazine:
In Harmony—We use digital pin-boards constantly to curate beautiful images, categorized by themes. We also like to take this habit offline: Create an old-fashioned mood board with visually striking inspiration (think paint chips, fabric scraps, calendars, magazine tear-outs, and personal photos). Working in a color scheme—we chose warm oranges and yellows—makes a harmonious focal point in your office.
BODY—Pear Chips: September 14. At least I get a tasty snack out of this—one my nutritionist wouldn’t hate, either. Martha even offers a few variations on the theme, so not only will I be making a lot of these, I’ll have enough—and enough types—to share. From the magazine:
Perfect Pear-ings—Slow-roasted pear chips let you switch out the crackers on your cheese plate for something seasonal (and gluten-free). The slightly sweet crisps are the perfect crunchy partner for a round of gooey triple-cream cheese and some toasted pecans. Of course, the chips are also a satisfying—and wholesome—snack all by themselves.
Look, bitches, I love pears, and on my current nutritional regimen I don’t get to eat a lot of chips, so I’m stoked.
LIFE—Body Scrubs: September 21. Living did a feature on 10 different body scrubs, and this sacrificial lamb is going to try all of them for you. You’re welcome. I am such a martyr. From the magazine:
Go With the Grain—Start this new season off right with a total-body tune-up to buff away any dry flakes. Step into the shower with a body scrub and walk out with silky-smooth skin. As a bonus, you’ll be invigorated by the aroma of coffee grounds, the sinus-clearing power of eucalyptus, or a mineral-rich sea salt.
The things I do for my people, I tell you. I’m not going to lie—I expect this project to get 5 Marthas.
MIND—Living Book Club: September 28. Like I wasn’t going to opt for the book reading if there was a book to read. Martha’s Living Book Club is reading Haruki Murakami’s latest offering, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, and damnit, I’m going to read it with them. From the magazine:
Living Book Club—Read along with the Living book club as we dive into Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (Knopf), the latest novel from Haruki Murakami, author of the international best seller 1Q84. Keep up with the latest book-club news by visiting our website. marthastewart.com/book-club.
So, yeah, I’ll definitely be using the book club’s online site and reporting my adventures there, too. Naturally, I am really excited about this; I’ve liked the Murakami I’ve read in the past, have heard decent things about this book, and see a lot of comedic—or enlightening!—potential in participating in a book club with the MarStewCrew.
Naturally, I hope you’ll be following along as I participate in this project. If you’d like to do your own personal Martha challenge, I’m calling this the #LivingProject, and I’d love to have you join me! Feel free to borrow the hashtag, and share pictures of your own #LivingProject victories and defeats on the Dumbleadore Facebook page. As we proceed through this month, I’m planning on doing a few giveaways, so share my blog with your friends and don’t forget to like the FB page, or follow me and my foul mouth on Twitter.