A few weekends ago I was invited to attend a Holiday Decorating workshop led by Martha Stewart at The Home Depot Super Store in Vauxhall, NJ. A large (heated!) tent was set up in the parking lot for the occasion, perfect for the chilly November day. Everyone in attendance was entered in a raffle to win prizes from The Home Depot or Home Decorators Collection (which is located next door) and gifted a one-year subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine, as well as a coupon for Home Decorators Collection. They also kindly provided bottled water and hot Dunkin Donuts coffee, perfect for a cold morning.
The Martha Stewart/Home Depot team had setup a colorful, festive stage using decor from the Martha Stewart Holiday collections and Martha Stewart Living Craft Space Tables from Home Decorators Collection (I happen to have one of the tables, they are fantastic for crafting).
The tent filled up quickly and the crowd eagerly awaited the arrival of Martha. As she and her entourage prepared to enter, I was excited to catch a peek of her French Bulldogs, Francesca and Sharkey outside...
...and thrilled when Martha herself came in walking her Chow, Ghenghis Khan.
Martha and her team paused near the entrance to greet Martha's daughter and grandchildren, so Ghenghis Khan and Francesca took the opportunity to say "hello" to those of us sitting nearby. I was even able to pet Ghenghis Khan (my husband isn't wrong when he jokes that this was the highlight of my day).
You would think that a woman who features her own dog on her blog so often would be better at photographing dogs in motion, but, alas, it's blur city. I included the photo below because it was the only shot I got of Sharkey.
Martha took the stage with Kevin Sharkey, SVP Executive Editorial Director, Decorating, and Executive Creative Director, Merchandising (what a title). They started by going through a slide show of holiday decorating ideas from past and current issues of Martha Stewart Living, interspersing personal anecdotes of holidays past between tips and explanations.
After the presentation Martha and Kevin made their way to the back of the stage to begin the holiday craft workshop. They started by creating an ornament garland, a project simple in execution, yet the finished result makes a big impact. Using a thick wire, simply string your ornaments through the hook holes to create a large garland. Kevin suggested hot gluing the tops onto the ornaments to ensure they don't pop off, but Martha didn't think that step was necessary.
Next they showed the crowd how to create an illuminated star using wooden dowels zip tied together to form the star, then outlined in white LED lights.
Finally, they demonstrated a few ways to display traditional decorations in new and unexpected ways, such as using a store bought artificial wreath as a holiday centerpiece, paired with a candle or ornaments in a glass hurricane.
My personal favorite was the idea to pile ornaments in a covered cake stand by filling the top with ornaments and placing the base over the opening while it's still upside down, then flipping the whole thing over to display on a table.
Following the demonstration Martha took questions from the audience. She had tips for everything from holiday decorating and gift ideas, to general home keeping and design questions.
The time flew by and it was a great way to spend a morning. If any of these events pop up at a store near you, I'd definitely recommend going. Thank you to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia for inviting me to this event.