Screen-printed bags, made on site

Last Thursday I spent a few hours at the first-annual Martha Stewart American Made Awards at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Station. One of the points of the gathering was to honor artisans who make useful and lovely things, right here in the U.S. of A. Also,  for guests, there was much to take in, learn, make, and taste.

Vanderbilt Hall

Silke Stoddard shows hoi polloi how to make pom poms

I enjoyed making my way around the crafting stations and trying various crafts that were either made from Martha Stewart craft products or inspired by the editors. Speaking of which, many craft editors were on hand to show hoi polloi how to make pom poms, craft clay, wooden bead necklaces, and more. I think it’s really cool to be able to have this interaction with “craft celebrities.”

Crafty highlights

What I made, from left: baker’s twine and dot sticker garland; green, white, and pink “frames” made from air-dry clay; blue pom-pom keychain; red tag flower; blue “punch around the page” test run; pale green envelope; wooden bead and plastic thread necklace.

There were former MSLO employees and a well-edited selection of other crafters and artisans selling their wares as well. I didn’t get any photos of them, but the Wall Street Journal took a great photo of my favorite artist-vendor present, Vintage by Crystal. 

Blog panel

Martha Stewart Living Editor-in-Chief Pilar Guzman hosted a roundtable of bloggers and commentators including Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan of Apartment Therapy, Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom, Erica Domesek of P.S. I Made This, and Stacy Morrison of BlogHer.

Oh, and Martha sat two rows in front of me. That’s her head in the foreground.

bag silkscreening, blue

Silkscreened-on-demand tote bags (as shown at the top of this post) were a popular takeaway. Here’s the blue paint…

bag silkscreening, red, and loopy guy doing it

…and quickly thereafter, the red. Along with a slightly punchy silkscreen operator who decided to get in the photo at the last minute.

Bouchon spread

There was a rotating “cafe” of gratis nibbles for visitors. The stars were aligned or something because I happened to be there when the spread was by Bouchon Bakery, pictured above. Ohhhhh yes.

Sample treats from Bouchon

Here’s what I chose (one of each.) Something like a brownie, a ganache-covered tart, a pate de fruit square, and a ganache-chocolate square.

Martha Stewart iPad app

I tried out the new CraftStudio iPad app. It was beautiful, fun, and pretty intuitive to use.

Jodi Levine and Heather Donohue

At the end of the event: Jodi Levine, Martha Stewart Living’s kids editor and I, in front of the sign composed of a zillion craft supplies.