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December 2006


FEATURES

All That Glitters

(Page 3 of 3)

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"Sure, people copy the look. But I don't own it. I'm inspired by old tablecloths," Jennifer says, adding that admirers look shocked when she enthusiastically divulges how to make a wreath out of Christmas ornaments. ("Gorilla Glue," she says about the process. "It's the only thing that works.") When one woman e-mailed Jennifer to tell her she sold a wreath that was made using her tips at a crafts fair, Jennifer was thrilled. "'You go, girl,' I wrote back. It takes 10 or 20 or 30 hours to make one of those things," she says. "No one's stealing anything."

Unintentionally sending a cloud of glitter across her home workroom, Jennifer waves this non-concern aside. She's busy, after all. She's got a house to decorate. This year, she's into tabletop trees, which are cone-shaped confections lavished with beads, baubles, costume-jewelry brooches, paillettes and, of course, glitter. She adores her herd of tabletop deer—vintage, felted plastic animals embellished with beaded saddle blankets. And here comes the UPS guy with big boxes of more stuff she bought on eBay. Her raw material would look like nothing to most—a half spool of grosgrain ribbon, Chinese paper lanterns and vintage postcards with pinked edges.

"These are fantastic," Jennifer says approvingly. With her blond head bent over the box, she starts to work on the wonderland that will be her holiday open house. So, the question begs: Does her family's private holiday decor include a wreath the size of a tractor wheel, a silver tree so obviously fake and shiny it looks ready to blast off and two dozen flocked and beaded reindeer standing amidst a forest of cone-shaped trees?

"Oh, no," she says. "We tone it down. We have a normal people's Christmas." Then she amends. "Well, normal and sparkly."

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