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MM14: Patricia's Garden

w/ Patricia Snyder


video sleeve image

$29.95 + S&H

Table of Contents:

Tools and Materials
Rose Vine
Decorating a House

Approx. Running Time: 91 minutes


Top Secret Formula Sheds Its Cocoon

Patricia Snyder began making flowers over 20 years ago, using wires and a top secret formula that she has never revealed... until now. In "Patricia's Garden," Volume 14 of the multi-part Master Miniaturists Video Instructional Series, Patricia takes you through a 7-step process that shows you how easy and inexpensive it is to make cloisonne-like flowers and vines. Also included are her instructions for creating her trademark miniature butterfly.

After mastering the techniques on this video you'll understand why Patricia says, "These flowers are going to be beautiful for you to make. You're going to enjoy them, and they're going to be food for your soul."

The tools and materials you'll need to get started will be easy for you to find. They include tweezers, nails, toothpicks, paper clips, wire, a series of brushes, and acrylic paints. And you'll want to pay close attention because it's in this section that Patricia reveals the top secret "ingredient" she uses for making her flowers and butterflies.

Once you've gathered your tools and materials, your first step will be to learn how to work with wire and mix your paints. Using a pencil as your guide, you'll create a series of loops with the wire to form three-petal flowers. Next you'll learn how to make a stem for the leaves using wire and a pencil. When the leaves are done, Patricia demonstrates how to use tweezers to shape them and give them a realistic look. "The important thing to remember when you're working with wire," she says, "is that you always twist it around the pencil in the same direction."

After learning cutting and shaping techniques, Patricia demonstrates her painting technique. And because paint tends to be a different shade when it dries, she offers a couple of terrific tips to ensure that you end up with the exact color which you intended. Although she's partial to light lavender, dark purple, yellows, and greens, Patricia encourages you to use your creativity and pick colors and shades that you like best.

The first flower you'll make is an Iris. Using an on-screen chart as her guideline, Patricia demonstrates the steps to creating first the stem, then the petals, followed by the feathers. She uses a different chart for each of the flowers you'll be creating. And because this is a video, you can pause the tape and go over the chart while you're making your own flowers. Once the stem, petals, and feathers are assembled, you'll add the leaves.

Throughout her demonstrations, Patricia is constantly revealing secrets and techniques to make the process easier and more enjoyable. For instance, while shaping the flowers she says, "Wire is very forgiving... you can do anything with it." In other words, if it doesn't come out right the first time, don't worry. Just re-shape it to your satisfaction. Best of all she reminds us, "Wire never argues with you."

Painting may create a scum build-up. "Move the build-up out of the way and keep painting," says Patricia. "Just make sure there are no bubbles." And since paint sometimes tends to run as you apply it, she shares a technique for using this to your advantage instead of fighting against it. After the paint dries and you've applied the feathers, you'll learn how to use the tops of a plastic yogurt container to form leaves for your flowers, determine how many leaves each flower should have, and how far apart they should be from one another.

Next comes the daffodil. Once again, the on-screen chart helps you to know exactly what to do. The procedure for twisting the wire is the same as the one you learned earlier. The difference lies in the number of loops and twists required. But with the on-screen charts as your guideline, you'll have no trouble remembering how many loops and twists to make for each flower.

Camera close-ups and constant guidance from the instructor show you each step in detail. If you don't understand something, simply rewind the tape and play it again. Once you've created an iris and a daffodil, you're ready to learn how to make Patricia's trademark butterfly. "Butterflies like flowers," Patricia says. In fact, "Flowers like butterflies!"

After making single flowers and butterflies, you're ready to graduate to rose vines... by far the most complicated piece of all. Once again, just use the on-screen chart if you have any doubts or questions along the way.

Wisteria adds a finishing touch to your flowers and your garden. That's why a section of this video is dedicated to showing you how to make it. "Wisteria is fun," says Patricia. "Everybody loves to make it." Once you learn how, you can put it around your miniature house, your gazebo, your fence, and anywhere else you want. "Wisteria requires a little bit more work than some of the other projects you'll learn on this tape, but when you're finished it's such a reward. You're going to love it."

The final step will be to use the flowers you've made to convert what Patricia calls a "haunted" house into a beautiful home. And you'll learn how to set up a beautiful garden around it.

"Patricia's Garden" ends with a series of helpful resources where you'll find additional help, ideas, instructional books, and supply kits. Patricia finishes her instructions with the most comforting words of all... the words every student looks forward to hearing from a teacher. "If you have a problem, give me a call," she says. "I've done everything wrong at one time or another, so I can help you. Happy gardening."