As part of an event that honored families of government employees who are overseas, the State Department invited Martha Stewart and her expert crafters to decorate several rooms at Blair House, the President's guest house, for Christmas 2009. Inspired by the rooms' colors and decor, Hannah Milman and Anduin Havens headed up the transformation of the entrance hall, dining room, and Lee drawing room into glittering celebrations of the season.
Martha joins Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who hosted a Christmas event for families of government employees who are serving overseas.
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Gilded Oak-Leaf Wreath
A magnificent wreath on the front door of the entrance hall pays homage to the Washington, D.C., state tree, the Scarlet Oak. Gold-embossed leather oak leaves and acorns with glittered caps are anchored by a brown bow.
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Copper Tinsel Tree
A tinsel tree in the entrance hall is embellished with glittered acorns and pinecones in various shapes and sizes. Some of the acorns are real and have gold glittered caps. A delicately rendered gold oak leaf adorns the tree top.
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Glittered Blair House Miniature
Originally a single building, the Blair House now consists of four buildings across from the White House. This miniature rendition is coated in fine-grain glitter, while the tree in front is decorated with a coarser tinsel glitter to resemble leaves.
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Gilded Oak-Leaf Garland
The four doors of the entrance hall are decorated with garlands of gilded oak leaves and centered by a brown bow. The bow is embellished with glass acorns and pinecones.
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Glittered Glass Acorns
The gorgeous chandelier in the entrance hall is artfully transformed with glass acorns that are capped by a cross-hatching of brown glitter and stripes of yellow gold. Smoky topaz crystal garlands hang between each acorn to match the chains of the chandelier.
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Martha and Blair House Curator Candace Shireman
Martha and Blair House curator Candace Shireman in the Blair House dining room, where Candace shows Martha a silver tankard made by Paul Revere.
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In the dining room, the original Blair House is rendered with gingerbread and Jolly Rancher candy that was melted to form stained-glass windows. Cookie-trees embellish the front. Pink feather trees are decorated with ornaments of candy canes, ribbon candy, and varying shades of pink balls.
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Lovely pink rosettes and antique tinsel decorate the mantel in the dining room. Candy canes hang from the rosettes; beneath the display are several vases of pink and white amaryllis and poinsettia.
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Martha and Ambassador Capricia Penavic Marshall, Chief of Protocol
Martha poses for a picture with Ambassador Patricia Penavic Marshall in front of the decorated Christmas tree in the Lee Drawing room.
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The fireplace mantel in the Lee Drawing Room turns into a winter wonderland with gold glittered branches peeking out of snowlike tufts of cotton. Perched on the branches are glittered birds.
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Glittered Bird on Branch
The wall in the Lee Drawing Room is covered with 250-year-old hand-painted Chinese wallpaper. The birds and magnolia branches on the wallpaper inspired the glittered decor.
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Peacock Bird Cutout
Various birds, including this peacock, were created by photographing and printing the birds in the wallpaper and then cutting out their shape by hand. The birds were embellished with glitter and placed on the mantel and Christmas tree.
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Bird Standing on Peacock Feather-Bed
This beautiful bird perches on a bed of peacock feathers.
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Gold Willow Branches
These willow branches were spray-painted gold; they bloom out of two urns that stand in the archway of the Lee Drawing Room. Red birds with glittered bellies adorn the golden tangle of branches.
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The bird-themed Christmas tree in the Lee drawing room is decorated with little beauties like this small red bird in a golden nest.