Friday, November 27, 2009


Once again this year, Tina, Sarah and I cooked a Thanksgiving feast. Last year we cooked for 16 people (!). This year was smaller - just four good friends, with beautiful food and wine - but no less fun. Tina did the turkey and a delicious British sausage stuffing, yummy Brussel sprouts (with bacon) and the pan gravy (and was a gracious hostess). Sarah brought the all-American nostalgia with a classic green bean casserole and an apple-blackberry pie made by a friend of hers. And, gentle readers, I was charged with cranberry sauce, rolls and a pecan-bourbon pie. I had made some cookies earlier in the week and took some of the remaining to share (and for my friends to take home with them for later in the week).

cheddar-herb poppers (recipe via the November issue of Bon Appetite) baking in the oven on Wednesday night

red wine, sugar and pomegranate syrup reducing for the cranberry sauce

a close-up of the pecan-bourbon pie, straight out of the oven

the brussel sprouts washed and waiting to be blanched and then a quick saute with bacon

bacon food porn

stuffing, brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes by Mark and cranberry-pomegranate sauce with a red wine reduction (I made that!)

slices of delicious turkey and a mug full of gravy

a close up of the top crust of the yummy blackberry-apple pie made by Sarah's friend, beautiful and yummy!

and, of course, lots of Cote de Rhone was our beverage of choice

I hope all of you had as beautiful and enjoyable a Thanksgiving feast and day as I did this year.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


© Briana Campbell, 2009

I made this little octopus (it's yet to be mailed) for my dear friends Jen & Tony's newborn son, Maxton.  On my Etsy site, you can see a different octopus I had made - I think it's cute, but it didn't come out exactly how I was imagining.  For Maxton's new friend, I enlarged the pattern a bit and made the tentacles a bit fatter.  I also decided on closed eyes - I think it's a softer, perfect for a newborn. 

Monday, November 23, 2009


©Briana Campbell, 2009

For a recent project in my textile design class at FIT we had to make a croquis (a tossed design), keeping in mind the fabric's use. I drew, using Photoshop, these vintage-inspired bicycles and scattered them over the page, on a soft green background. I envision this pattern being used on a mini-dress (think something like this from APC).

The next assignment, due tomorrow!, is to index the colors and re-color the pattern two different ways from a previously determined color palette.  I love the idea of getting an entirely different feel from a pattern using only a subtle change of color.

Hire Me Martha

Gentle readers, your MatchGirl has been alerted to the job she must have at Martha Stewart Omnimedia. Associate Designer, Crafts.  How very amazing would that be for a crafty girl like myself?  To make crafts, to come up with ideas, to organize the intense library that already exists at MSO...  That is something that I would love doing every day.  Absolutely love!  It was posted a month ago, so the likelihood of me getting this job is pretty slim, I'm sure (and I'm not sure any of the other jobs listed on the Martha Stewart website are quite right for me at this precise moment). But, let's take a look at the description and I'll let you all know why I would be an amazing fit for this job.

Associate Designer, Crafts
Posting Date: 10/15/2009
Type: Full-Time
Description: Assist in the development of thematic concepts, color palettes, style guides, create original artwork, and generate applicable product suggestions utilizing our design resources, archives, market research, editorial, and television content.

Assist in the development of Crafts / Weddings / Celebrations / Stationary products. Design select artwork, products, and create initial samples.
I can totally do this. As readers of my blog know, your MatchGirl is quite the crafty girl. In addition to my Etsy shop, I have a degree in Fine Arts and am currently taking classes in textile design at FIT. I've been making things my whole life. I've woven baskets, sewn everything from doll clothes to my clothes to stuffed animals. I'm a whiz with a paintbrush and pencil, I've silk screened, made paper, bound books and made masks for a black and white ball.

Manage the artwork library and leverage it for different product types and businesses.

Organize all design components to hand off to partners. Assist in the communication regarding product specifications with partners up to the final sample approval. Keep designers, merchants, and product mangers updated in all communications. Create and maintain formalized record of designs, design revisions, correspondence, and approvals. Maintain product communication consistent with current department standards.

Research trade shows, antique shows, and retail stores for inspiration and to keep abreast of craft trends and competitive landscape. Purchase market samples as reference.

Collaborate with brand management in the development of packaging and collateral. Confirm all details of the products and projects are accurate.

Maintain library of all MSO publications, artwork, and inspiration tear sheets.

Develop a strong sense of Martha Stewart design aesthetic throughout the design of all merchandise. Stay informed of the latest editorial and television content through appropriate channels. Use inspiration to create viable product suggestions where appropriate. Research and develop new ideas that will in turn inspire editorial and television.

In my last position, as the operations manager for a start-up cosmetics company/photo studio/event space (Think on the Smashbox model), I wore the mantle of manager of several businesses, all running under one roof. I believe that my former employer would say that I handled this with an enormous sense of organization, style and grace under pressure. When one is in a management position at a start-up, gentle readers, the ability to know where everything is, how everything works and what everyone else is supposed to be doing (and whether they are doing it or not!) is a great asset.

In my apartment, the books on the shelf are divided in categories (fiction, art books, cooking books, etc...) and in alphabetical and chronological order by author. The same for the CDs on my CD shelf. The clothes in my drawers are neatly folded, with everything at my fingertips and my closet is hung by category. Lest you think I'm a little OCD, I'm not. I'm not going to have a melt down if something is out of place. I'm simply organized. And, I've found that it's a lot easier to get things done quickly and well if you're organized to start.

So, even though the job was posted about a month ago, dear ones, your MatchGirl is going to give it a go - use her networking and her resources and see if she can't get herself this job (or one a lot like it)! Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Like You

This is one of my favorite clips from the Martha Stewart Show. New York's domestic diva and funny woman Amy Sedaris (another of my favorite ladies) shows Martha how to make a cake from her very amazing and, quite frankly, indispensable, book on hostessing, I Like You.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hire Me Martha

Ah, gentle readers, as many of you know, your MatchGirl adores Martha Stewart. I've written about it here before. And last week, thanks to one of our fellow unemployeds (yay, Tony!), your MatchGirl had the opportunity to attend the taping of Martha's Brooklyn show (which you can watch here, if you missed it!).

The studio was totally big and beautiful, with a huge kitchen area, crafting area and humongous "greenhouse" looking section where she films her outdoor and gardening segments. Thanks to, I dunno, sheer luck, we were seated in the front row and had a prime view of Martha and her guests (and, of course, Joey, her warm-up guy). Martha was everything I had hoped she would be - please no jokes about insider trading or that you know she's difficult - she was totally self-deprecating and professional (and, once or twice, funny).

It was an amazing day. Who cares that I had to get up when it was still dark outside! It was so worth it! Beyond worth it.

As many of you know, I want to work for Martha.

So, dear ones, I have decided that I am going to launch a campaign, via this little blog, to get hired by Martha Stewart. Once a week I will write a post about how much I want to work for Martha and the reasons that she should hire me. Maybe someone who works for her will see it. Maybe not. But when I think about my job hunt - and where the past year has taken me, and the kind of job that I'd like to do on a regular basis - every day - I want to be doing things that I enjoy. I want to be able to work in a creative environment and get to be creative and to be surrounded by creative people. I want to work somewhere where creativity and a passion for all things creative (crafts, arts, sewing, baking cooking, gardening) is the status quo. And that's hard to find, even in New York.

Many of you have messaged me or e-mailed me to attempt to get me a connection at her company, and I really appreciate it. Many of you have said that she is a bitch, but the simple fact of the matter is that I've worked for a bunch of real tough people, and taken a lot of crap, and not one of them was as successful (or had really any excuse for being so rude, except that power had gone to their heads) as Martha Stewart. And, a few of you have said that she has a hiring freeze (which is probably very true - so many places do!), but that can't last forever, can it?

I'm a great manager and would happily take an administrative position somewhere in her company. Anything. A foot in the door is all I am asking for - it's the hardest thing, of course - but it's all I need. Once I'm in... Martha will see how much of an asset I can be to Martha Stewart Omnimedia. Seriously. Just leave it to me.

So, hire me Martha!