I admit it, I love Martha Stewart. I love her drive. I love her insane love of crafts. She had Nathan Lane on the other day making plaster of paris bunnies — it was insane. She had these plastic molds she’d clamped together with binder clips and as she was making Nathan Lane file off the rough edges he looked at her and said “Martha! People aren’t going to do this! They have lives …” and her response was “Oh yes they will.” As though she was going to come over to each and every one of our houses and personally supervise the proper manufacture of decorative plaster of paris bunnies that we were all to paint to look like chocolate ones.
And then this morning she was dyeing eggs. First, of course, she was wrapping them in scraps of lace, “you know, from your sewing basket,” or, as she also suggested “you could cut up that old wedding dress. You know, if you’ve gotten divorced or something.” And then, after taking the lace-wrapped eggs out of the dye and cutting the lace off them (they really were pretty) she put them on this egg-drying board she’d made by sticking a million pins through a piece of foam core. Like one of those beds of nails the freak-show guys lie on. “You could just have your kids make one of these for you,” she said. I loved the whole thing. The freaky attention to detail. Her genuine joy at how pretty the eggs were. The kind of mind that thinks of sticking a million pins through a piece of foamcore so your eggs will dry without spots.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I know that I have a little inner Martha, the one who took enormous joy in making 6 dozen pecan biscuits last weekend and freezing them for my Easter Brunch I’m throwing this weekend. My inner Martha likes projects — likes the way you get all focussed and keep trying to figure out how to make an actual object that matches that cool idea in your head. It was my inner Martha that got obsessive at Christmas about repurposing two tiny lunchboxes that I got for free at the grocery store into flower fairy lunchboxes for the twins. It was so much fun — finding the right paper then decoupaging it, then cutting the flower fairies out of the calendars and glueing them on, and of course, the glitter. What’s not to love about a project with glitter?
Here’s how they turned out:
Maybe it’s the bossy older sister in me, but I get an enormous kick out of watching the way Martha relentlessly orders her world. It’s probably not always a lot of fun to be around her as she’s forcing the universe to conform to her inner vision of how it’s supposed to be, but there’s something I find enormously touching about it. She seems to take such genuine joy in her ridiculous crafts — it’s a joy I get. There’s something wonderful in knowing you’ve got a supply of perfectly lovely plaster bunnies that look like chocolate, but aren’t chocolate so you don’t have to worry about them melting or the pets eating them. And you made them yourself. Martha’s flaws, temper tantrums, and generally difficult nature have all been exhaustively documented, but I just have to admit to a big soft spot for her. She’s so relentlessly herself, and ever since she got out of prison, she seems to have grown a healthy sense of humor about herself as well. What can I say? Martha Stewart cracks me up …