Shelly Minette says she has the best job in the world.

“Either I’m covered in dirt, or I’m covered in paint or glitter,” she said.

In the spring and summer, she’s busy doing outdoor planters, but now it’s the paint and glitter time of year for the owner of Studio DIY in Valley.

Minette is one of several local florists and designers chosen for the Assistance League of Omaha’s Christmas Caravan of Homes on Wednesday and Thursday. The fundraiser supports Operation School Bell, which helps clothe about 3,700 school-aged children in the area.

Other florists and designers for the four-home tour are Papillion Flower Patch, the Humble Hive Mercantile, Country Gardens and This & That & Other Stuff. This year, the theme is Gifts of Caring.

“The four homes are all decorated by the different decorators,” said Christmas Caravan chairman Cheryl Shetlar.

Each provides their own distinct touch. Last year, the group sold almost 3,000 tickets to the event.

Decorating is a hobby that has turned into a career for Minette, who loves doing trees, especially the pencil variety.

She matches her decorations to the decor of the homeowner. Last year in her debut, she used gold, silver and rose gold colors in the main area of the house. On the back deck, which had a big stone fireplace, she went with a rustic red and green plaid.

In the kitchen, where the homeowner incorporated reds, she also used reds and golds.

“This year, it’s a more modern house,” Minette said. “Lots of grays and whites and straight lines.”

The owner of the home in the Champions Run subdivision has a flocked tree, which delighted Minette, who created some flocked pencil trees to go with it.

“It sparkles,” she said of the tree.

People are using more gold, silver and white in their decorations, Minette said, providing more of a clean look. That’s what she did in this house.

The biggest challenge was the master bedroom, with its light gray and white theme and a painting that has a touch of aqua.

“I’m still working on that tree that I’m going to put in that room,” Minette said.

She will try different ideas until she gets it just right.

After the caravan is over, the decorations will come down, and then things will turn really busy for Minette. Along with assistants Christina Ramos and Sharon Kelley, she typically works 14- to 16-hour days decorating homes throughout the metro.

“Last year, it did not slow down until the middle of December,” Minette said. “My son was bringing me dinner at the studio.”

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Marjie is a writer for The World-Herald’s special sections and specialty publications, including Inspired Living Omaha, Wedding Essentials and Momaha Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @mduceyOWH. Phone: 402-444-1034.

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