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Jewel tones dominate this year. Other years, it's been pastels.

Leslie Hackett goes with her gut when it comes to selecting colors for her annual Christmas wreath-making sessions. The process takes months and covers multiple surfaces in her St. Paul home studio. First she hand-makes the pompons, then assembles and decorates them, adorning them with tiny pine cones, little Santas and wee wooden soldiers, among other delightful objects.

The one-of-a-kind result feels both contemporary and old-timey.

"My grandma was the first person to encourage my creativity," says Hackett, who studied fine arts at the Parsons School of Design. "She was my first fan, and she was quite stylish herself."

Hackett loved her grandmother, Myrtle Sletta, so much, she named her company, Myrtle's Studio, after her. Myrtle's spirit infuses not just the wreaths, but all of Hackett's offerings: bejeweled crowns of stiffened lace; matchbox-sized party favor boxes designed for each season; tiny ships made of marbled papers that look like they could sail into a fairy tale.

The creativity shows — as does the love for Myrtle.

Where to buy

10-inch wreaths start at $55. Buy them online at or from A Rare Bird Antiques, 3016 W. 50th St., Mpls.