An Exaltation of Yuccas

I’m excited to share photos of some incredible yuccas, made by two different miniature artists, both starting from the same kit.*

*Uhh, to clarify: each had her own kit. Two artists, two kits, two locations. Nancy B finished first. Not that it was a contest.


This is Nancy Bristow’s work. (Nancy has been making miniatures since the 1970s, and it was she who finally identified the Braxton Payne pots I had bought at auction, and pointed me to his obscure website.) She hand-colored the leaves using markers, and I love that she styled them curling out and upward. So pert and jaunty! They’re planted in BP pots she “aged”, and used bird grit as gravel.


Here’s a shot of Nancy’s work-in-progress, adding knot holes to the stems. I noticed she chose to curl the leaves first, before attaching to the stem. Brilliant! It is so gratifying — and informative — to see how other makers work with my kits. One can learn so much.


This is Keli Minick’s interpretation of the yucca tree kit. Look at those colors! I love the graceful trunk, and the stubby branch. Two completely different plants! She suggested using round nose pliers to separate and shape the leaves after attaching — which makes the process much less tedious. And she kindly pointed out a typo in the armature instruction sheet. Argh!


Here’s what the Broad Leaf Yucca Tree kit looks like to start. This is the green leaf variation; cream and white are also available. (I believe Nancy B started with white leaves; Keli with cream?)

What would you make of it?

Sincere thank-yous and expressions of humbled awe to Nancy B and Keli for allowing me to share their work. 

10 thoughts on “An Exaltation of Yuccas

    • Nancy Enge says:

      I did some marker color tests with cream and white base leaf clusters. Mostly, there was no discernible difference, except for lighter shades, and then only somewhat… But. The cream base feels more mellow and organic to color on, and it’s great if one wants to have a “white” stripe in the leaves. I’m so glad you like the kit; your results say it all.

  1. Nancy Bristow says:

    You are most welcome, Nancy, and I’m actually honored that you would post my efforts on your blog. I did start with “white” leaves and used my Winsor & Newton markers to color them. I learned about those markers from you and I’m obsessed with them. Anytime I put in a order with Art Supplies, I order just a few more colors! ha ha The goal, before I die, is to have all 148 colors. Right now, I probably have 50.

    I also loved seeing what Keli did with the same Yucca kit… her specimens are fabulous. My “curly up-do” of the leaves was a “happy accident” because I thought I was following instructions — apparently not! I even went back and re-read the instructions and all I could come up with is that, “yes, I burnished each leaf in the correct direction (tip to base) but I obviously used more pressure than you or Keli so the leaves did an automatic curl. I then cut the circle of leaves open and spiral wrapped on the trunk, below the already coiled and glued “top” leaves.

    Thank you for sharing… I’m such a show n’ tell Ho! Since you posted this photo, I embellished the tall Yucca with an additional knot hole, new leaves growing from the stump and added blue Hens and Chicks (learned technique from your kit) to the same pot. It turned out so awesome. Yucca trees rule… as do Hens and Chicks.

    Check it out: look for a photo of this particular specimen when Braxton’s (Payne) site remodel is completed…he plans to have a “photo” page. I had show n’ tell with him and told him I was working on another one of your kits in one of his pots. He asked if he could use the photo! I also shared photos/link of Sea House Pavilion Remodel: Front Entry with him and said that he should check out ALL of your fabulous Yucca trees. *grin*

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Nancy, I think you did everything more than right with the kit. Your yuccas are gorgeous. I remember seeing your updated yucca with the succulent underplanting, but could not find it again for this post. It is lovely!
      I’m eager to see Braxton Payne’s new website! Thanks for the mention!

  2. elizabeth s says:

    This was an awesome post Nancy and I have throughly enjoyed seeing how one of your Yucca kits has been re-interpreted in 2 different ways by two VERY talented miniaturists; so Bravo to Keli and to Nancy B for sharing their Incredible Results! :D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s