Good Things specializes in Martha Stewart Magazines.
The majority of questions I get comes from customers wanting more information in regards to Martha's Magazines. In an effort to educate you and help you make buying decisions, I've put together this informational page. It is solely based on my observation as a Martha collector myself and is in no way official information from MSO (Martha Stewart Omnimedia).
Martha Stewart Baby: In 2000, the staff at MSO was having lots of babies themselves and decided to launch a baby only magazine. For whatever reason, only 7 issues were produced and there are no current plans to produce additional ones. These magazines are chocked full of wonderful ideas for babies and toddlers.
The first two issues were produced with two different covers. The 2000 Baby issue was done with a baby's face. In one the upper left box was pink and the other a light blue color. Then the second issue, Winter 2001, was produced with a baby's face front and center and the second with a toddler looking under a blanket for a holiday gift.
Baby issues are as follows:
Martha Stewart Kids: MSO also started testing the idea of producing a Kids magazine in 2001. As of Spring 2006 they no longer produced this magazine. The magazines started out with small project cards inside then progressed to having a numbered project book that can be torn out for your kids to read and learn from.
These magazines may have had a small amount of infant information in them but when the baby magazines ended, you'll see more infant and toddler articles in the Kids magazine.
Kids issues are as follows:
#13 May/June 2004 (From here on after each issue is numbered)
#14 July/Aug 2004
#15 Sep/Oct 2004
#16 Winter 2004
#17 Spring 2005
#18 Summer 2005
#19 Fall 2005
#20 Winter 2005
#21 Spring 2006
Martha by Mail Catalog: These catalogs first started appearing as small, 1 page and 2 page advertisements in the Martha Stewart Living Magazines. Then in 1996 small inserts started appearing in the magazine. They would mainly appear around the holidays but popped up throughout the year. I know of three issues for sure that contained these: #40, #44 and #54. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Holiday 1997 was the first of the stand alone catalogs sent out.
These catalogs were inovative and evolved in content. They started out with lots of do it yourself kits and ended up with lots of kitchen and home accessory items. They featured many reproductions of collectables that have already become collectables themselves. I can't begin to totally describe these catalogs but they have just as many ideas in some of them for your home than some of the regular magazines. The Halloween catalogs have the most holiday ideas but Easter, Thanksgiving, New Years, Christmas and 4th of July are all well represented as well.
I can't even begin to outline all the catalogs but please know that there were sometimes 10 or more in a single year. As an example in some years there were Early Fall, Fall and Late Fall issues. And sometimes there were two Fall issues.
Special Issues: These can be confusing to some. As the original baby and kids magazines started out as "special issues" and transformed into something else. Possibly her most popular special issues are the Halloween and Cookie ones. But they range from Christmas to Cooking to Halloween to Organizing to Technology and more. Don't be fooled though. Some of the Martha Stewart Living magazines will have "special issue" at the top of the cover. Don't be confused. These are regular subscription monthly MSL issues and not "special issues." They may just feature all gardening or all decorating ideas. That is why they are called "special issues." Then there was an Index which I personally use a great deal which covers years 1990 to 1999. I'm told that MSO doesn't plan to produce any more but will have an index of sorts on their website. Other special issues were the promotional Good Things booklets that were about 20 pages. And the Good Things mini magazines that focus on organizing and entertaining.
Then finally the Martha Stewart Living magazine. Most folks know that the Premier issue was in 1990. Her television shows hadn't started. (I use to tape her weekly program in 1995. Very interesting to see the difference to today's shows.) The year subscription changed constantly and the look of the magazine changed as well as the size (thickness).
Lets start with issues per year. At first the staff produced a magazine every other month in 1991. In the middle of 1994, it changed to a monthly magazine with Dec/Jan combined and Jul/Aug combined. From 1995 to 2000 this was the case and then in 2001 MSO started producing a 12 issue a year magazine.
The look of the magazine has evolved over the years. The articles and photography have stayed true to the clean eye catching look that Martha is known for. But there have been subtle changes. The biggest was when Martha stepped down as Editor in Chief. I'm not on the staff so I'm giving you only a reader and collector's perspective.
The first year, the magazine included special inserts like project templates and transfers. The #2 issue, Spring 1991, "What's for Dinner" or "What to have for Dinner" inserts were included. In the beginning, I would rip them out of my personal magazines in a nano second. I've since come to my senses.
Then there was the fluxuating thicknesses of the magazines. In 1997, MSO started producing a thicker and thicker magazine. Much of this was due to a desire to increase advertiser revenue. I'm guessing here. But to compliment the additional advertisements, there were also additional articles and benefits to the readers.
After a short time, there was an editorial by Martha that talked about this. Apparently, the readers weren't interested in a big whopping magazine but more interested in the one they grew to love with just the right amount of articles and not one that would compete in size to an issue of Vogue. So in 2003, the size of the magazine decreased back down to an easier size to absorb.
Weddings is another very popular magazine produced by MSO. In my opinion, this is the best wedding planning and idea magazine on the market. Ideas are timeless and can be used to fit a wedding 20 or 30 years after the magazine is produced. It appears that there are about 4 of these issues produced per year through time and started in the mid to late 90's. Many who aren't even planning weddings like to collect these as they are full of gift, decorating and party planning ideas.
MSO also produces Everyday Food. That first issue was January/February of 2003. Body and Soul and Blueprint are new productions of theirs whose first issue was September 2005 and then in 2006 spun off a Self Healing newsletter by Dr. Andrew Weil's.
Please feel free to ask me questions. I am happy to help out you out in any way I can.