Wax flowers are ordinarily only clumsy imitations of the lovely blossoms which adorn our gardens, or smile upon us from lurking-places in wood or wayside, yet the artist in this work is sometimes so successful as to cheat the bees and birds.

In endeavoring to learn this art do not be too easily discouraged. Practice in this, as in all things, makes perfect. You may try to make one flower and produce a result more nearly resembling another, but if you would succeed you must not let such failures stop your work.

You always have the advantage that your model is perfect. You are not required to make any improvements upon 454 nature : you have only to imitate, and the pattern is before you in all its charming perfection of shape and tint.

Practice will fit you in time for closely reproducing nature, if the exact imitation of her work is what you are to aim at. New models are always at hand; spring and summer bring them, and the coldest winter day need not be without them blooming in window-pot or hothouse avenues.

To say there is a peculiar fascination in this art is only to express what has been realized by nearly all who have tried it. And when you have succeeded and your productions bear a close resemblance to their original copies, your home has beautiful ornaments.

Wax should be kept in a box, closely covered from dust, and in a cool place. A brush must be provided for every color, and strictly kept for that one tint. Your sable pencils may be cleaned after using for one color, and employed in another.

Always use a pair of scissors to cut out your petals, and take as your pattern the flower you wish to copy.

In purchasing, it is economy to obtain the very best wax. You will need white, cream-tinted, very pale green, smilax, tea-rose leaf, pale spring- and deep spring-green tints for wax, but at first a few colors will suffice. In paints, both in powder and cake, the waxworker should have carmine, chrome-yellow, burnt sienna, burnt umber, Prussian blue, indigo, crimson lake, violet, carmine, rose-madder, French ultramarine, flake-white, and Indian yellow; a sufficient number of tinting and sable pencils ; some modeling pins, wires covered with silk for fine, and with cotton for coarse stems; a palette and palette knife; some best Bermuda arrowroot; green and white down for leaves ; two sizes of wooden molds for the lily of the valley and a cutter for heliotrope, and a bar of India ink. This is a much larger outfit than the novice requires, and will only need to be obtained gradually, as the worker improves and grows more ambitious.

To take the pattern of a petal, place it on white paper, and brush it over with a tinting-brush. The form of the petal will be left white on the paper, and may be cut out. Or the petal may be laid on a piece of paper and its pattern cut out in that way. Always cut the petals with the grain of the wax. The fingers are excellent modeling tools. A few drops of glycerine used on the hands an hour or two before working makes them soft and pliant. Do not work with brittle wax. To remove its brittle-ness set it awhile in a warm room, if it has been in the cold.