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Favorite item of the week

They may be designed to tackle one of housework's most mundane tasks, but feather dusters are lively creations. With the exception of some somber gray ones - what fun are those? - dusters come in a riot of colors.

Kids simply can't resist them, and even clowns use them in their acts, reaching out to "dust" unsuspecting spectators.

And get this. Feather dusters are not just for dusting. Some creating types use them for decorative painting - along with sponges, squeegees and fly swatters - to give character to boring walls.

We're tickled.

Let it snow

Buffalo artist Gerald Mead, who is interviewed in today's story on miniatures, has his collection of snow globes on display at the Buffalo Museum of Science. It's all part of the new exhibit, "Winter Wonders," which showcases the large collection of snowflake images by photographer Wilson A. Bentley and includes other snow-related material.

Get the drift? For hours and information, call the museum at 896-5200.

Feeling blue

Guests touring the "Modigliani and the Artists of Montparnasse" exhibition at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery are looking at more than artwork. They are also noticing the lush blue color painted on the walls . . . and liking it.

"To date, more than 30 people have called the exhibition curator for the specific information on the paint and color. We're predicting "Newburyport Blue' walls in a number of local homes very soon," said Susan A. Scholterer, director of marketing for the gallery.

The paint is Benjamin Moore's HC155 2154B - Regal Premium (flat), Scholterer reveals. The color name is Newburyport Blue.

Set the mood

With Thanksgiving just days away, here are some candle decorating tips from Lyn Peterson - decorator, author and consultant to the National Candle Association:

Try clustering multiple candles of the same color, but in varying sizes, styles and shapes on a silver tray or metal charger. Place candles in silver holders to add sparkle with additional reflective surfaces.

Instead of only lighting a fire in your fireplace, create a two-tiered lighting effect with your fireplace and mantel. Place a candelabra or two or three interesting candlesticks on your mantel for a simple yet powerful lighting effect.

One tall, eloquent taper is always an appropriate mood setter or centerpiece for a side or accessory table, especially when offset on the other side by flowers. Partnering a flowering plant and a single candlestick can make for a clean, classic look that will dress up any occasion, minus the clutter.

From the home front

"One of the biggest faux pas in dining room design is to make it a step below the kitchen. You trip and there goes the turkey."

Architect Bill Sutton, in the Washington Post

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