Martha Stewart Geeks Out for Wired's Annual How To Guide

The DIY diva reveals her inner geek, showing off the gadgets she uses daily.

ByABC News
February 9, 2009, 12:54 PM

July 24, 2007— -- Don't let the blond 'do and the pressed shirt fool you: Martha Stewart has DIY in her DNA. (When was the last time you rewired a lamp or built a lath house?) She's also a gadget freak, buying new digicams and cell phones as fast as manufacturers can spit them out. And when it comes to making things, she's been giving instruction since most of us were messing with Play-Doh. So Stewart seemed perfect to host our 2007 How To issue.

To interview her, we called on Mark Frauenfelder, a Wired correspondent and the editor of Make magazine. As they sat down in her office, Stewart put her RAZR and BlackBerry on the table in front of her — and then geeked out about home music setups, rude technologies, and Marthapedia.

Wired: What can geeks learn from Martha Stewart?

Stewart: First of all, they can learn to prioritize, and they can learn how to make things beautiful. It's about using your hands and your mind to make things work better. Whether you're a programmer or a seamstress, it's all about new techniques, simplifying old techniques, and consolidating steps. Making things go faster — but not worse. Better.

Wired: One reason people like projects is because they get a sense of control over their environment and technology. It gives them ownership.

Stewart: That's why I say, "You own it if you made it." You don't own the pie if you buy it. You just don't. Doing projects really gives people self-confidence. Nothing is better than taking the pie out of the oven. What it does for you personally, and for your family's idea of you, is something you can't buy.

Wired: You've just relaunched your Web site. Will your readers become content contributors?

Stewart: I'm working on Marthapedia right now, which is my version of Wikipedia. If you know how to take red wine out of a white cloth napkin better than I do, that's good to know. We'll be editing user content, and it won't be as freewheeling as Wikipedia. Because a lot of this — you have to really monitor it.

Wired: OK, let's talk tips. What's your home music setup? How do you keep all the wires and cords to a minimum?