Channeling my Inner Martha - Part I

I love Martha Stewart as a person. Anyone creative enough to pull off the phenomenal handiwork she does is a goddess in my book.

The demonic presence that taunts me into thinking I can emulate her skills and handiwork must be channeled carefully and ignored if at all possible. I call this demon my Inner Martha. She hovers just behind my left shoulder and whispers in my ear, with a soft reassuring voice, each time I do not save a milk carton or egg crate or plastic shopping bag.

"You know, dear, you could easily transform that simple spare paperclip into an absolutely exquisite holiday centerpiece, with just a few dabs of hot glue, a small bit, say fifteen yards, of wide red velvet ribbon edged with ivory lace trim, some dried sprigs of holly, a handful of imported cinnamon sticks, fourteen paper doilies with the edges trimmed just so (use this handy pattern I'm faxing to you), 32 twigs of lavender, two dozen lengths of fiddle fern, a discarded strawberry basket turned upside down and spray painted white, and just a teensy bit of baby's breath tucked into the lower left edge. Nestle a four-inch hand thrown clay bowl in the center of the fern cluster, then toss in 12 ounces of orange peel potpourri, warmed slightly over the homemade vanilla votive candle, and - you're done! See how simple that was?"

Busting Tradition, Madness and Holiday Stress


It's what drives many of us to the end of our wits during the holiday season. It's what makes many of us depressed and panicky between Thanksgiving and New Years. It's what drives mom to the madhouse and pop to the poorhouse once a year.

When it's time for New Years resolutions to get written and stuffed in a drawer, many of our lists will contain a telling line: Take it easy next December.

It'll be forgotten by then, sadly, and many of us will go nuts, decorate too much, address too many holiday cards, bake too much, try to accept as many invitations as we can, party too much, spend too much, worry too much, eat too much, fret too much.

We climb on the stress train almost without realizing it, then wonder why we're physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted by New Years Day. We want things to be perfect for our families, our friends, our selves, so we go overboard. We overextend for 1/12th of the year, then spend the next eleven months wondering why we're secretly dreading the holidays.

"But we've always opened a huge pile of presents under the tree at 8 PM on Christmas Eve, then driven through the drifts to grandmother's house for caroling, cookies and more presents and a huge dinner!" We do a lot of this in the name of tradition.

Maybe it's time for some new traditions.


Perfectly Shaped (and Site Integrated) World

This blog is now an integrated part of our Perfectly Shaped World community site at [address removed] You can find this blog and all archived contents by choosing the PSW Blog button from the right-hand Shopper Services menu. This will automatically display the latest post. The post archive is below the latest post, as are any comments for that post. Posts are displayed one per page, as many of our heritage posts exceed reasonable page lengths. The frame containing the post will display a scrollbar only where absolutely necessary.

In order to keep everything up to speed, we have also moved over the archived posts from Perfectly Shaped Life, with very few exceptions (time-sensitive posts regarding sales, free shipping, similar offers are not being moved).

This move is part of our current effort of bringing all of our services into a seamless community environment. The forum is also available through the Shopper Services menu.

Bottom Line: While you can still retrieve posts from this very bare page, the experience will be far more complete by visiting the integrated blogs section at [address removed]

Update - July 2008:
What is it they say about good intentions and paving the road to heaven? As it turned out, combining two active blogs into a third Wordpress-based blog ended up being a utopian dream - or nightmare in this case. The blogs steadfastly refused to be combined, gracefully or otherwise. In addition to all that fun, the social club's internal blogs ( are completely inaccessible.

I'd say we're back to square one, folks. Both Perfectly Shaped World and Perfectly Shaped World II blogs continue to exist, side by side. Some entries continue to be duplicates. But I'm still not giving up.