Helen Campbell.

The American girl's home book of work and play online

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more color than the others. They may, perhaps, require a
touch of rose-lake or crimson over the first color ; and the
three outer petals will need various dashes of a deeper tint
on the upper edges, and across them on the outer side, espe-
cially if the rose is beginning to wane.

Roses require extreme attention in moulding. Almost all
rose-petals are more or less crumpled ; and this crumpling
must be imitated, in order to give an accurate model of the
flower. Fine the edges well with the smallest curling-pin
first, and then roll a larger one round and round in the cen-
tre of the petal, so as to hollow it completely ; and put a
little plait at the bottom of the petal, so as to pucker it in
a little. This is easily done with the pin, when the petal is
softened by the warmth of the hand or by the breath, if the
wax seems brittle, and inclined to split. Nos. 3, 4, and 5
will require to be turned back at the upper edges by rolling
them over the curling-pin point ; and the three outer petals
(No. 5) will often need a good deal of crumpling between
the fingers, and perhaps a fold all down the centre. The
edges, too, may be a little bitten by insects ; and any defect
of this kind, copied, adds to the perfection of the imitation
of the blossom. The rose must be mounted on a thick wire
stalk, prepared with a foundation-bud like that of the camel-
lia, but larger. The first two smaller petals wrap it round
entirely ; and the three remaining ones must be put standing
up round the bud, nearly touching each other at the upper
edges. These are bound on with a narrow strip of white
wax, well rubbed in by the moulding-tool. Then the next
row of petals is put on behind the others (one side always
lapping over the other), each petal between two front ones,
a little raised, so as just to appear above these ; and this is


bound on with another strip ; and so on. Nos. 4 and 5
should fall back a little ; and the three outer petals should
be placed rather below the last row, so as scarcely to be visi-
ble in front of the rose. The five sepals of the calyx (No. 6)
are to be cut out in two shades of green wax, snipped at the
edges, and well moulded in the hand, and pinched into
points, and put on so that the points may come between
the five larger petals, over the three outer ones. The seed-
pod is made by rolling a doubled strip of green wax round
and round the wire stalk, and moulding it with a moulding-
tool exactly into the shape of the seed-pod, and, when it is
quite smooth and round, pushing it up into its place below
the sepals. This part of the rose must be very nicely fin-
ished, so as exactly to imitate the back of the real rose.
The stalk must be covered with strips of green wax, to
make it of the required thickness, and the leaves (and buds
if there are to be any) put on in their proper positions. If
the buds are green, they must be made by putting the five
sepals round a small foundation-bud, mounted on a wire
stalk, and closing them up at the points. If they are begin-
ning to show their color, three of the rose-petals No. i
must be put round the foundation-bud first. If opening still
more, three of No. 2 will be wanted, also, before the sepals
are put on. A smaller seed-pod is to be made, and pushed
up under these, as in the full-blown flower, and it must be
neatly finished in the same manner, observing and imitating
every peculiarity of the original ; binding the stalk, if re-
quired, and tinging it and the sepals and seed-pod with a
little liquid carmine paint, or brown, if they are colored thus
in nature.

The leaves are modelled in the same way as directed for
the camellia-leaves ; and great care must be taken to get the
exact impression of every vein in the real rose-leaves, to mould


and curl the edges, and to mount each spray accurately.
Small bracts, or stipules, are sometimes needed where it is
attached to the flower-stalk ; and these and the edges of the
leaves may require a little coloring, as well as the stalks.


All the yellow roses may be copied to perfection, if care
be taken to color them exactly, shading the petals so as to
give the deeper yellow centre, fading into primrose-color 01
white at the edges of the petals, and to crumple them suffi
ciently. For the yellow tea-rose, three (or five) of Nos. i, 2,
3, 4, 5, and three of No. 6, will be required. They must br


bloomed and colored on both sides. The three outer petals
will generally require dashes of red or pink powder to give
the discoloration which is usually to be seen in these. All
must be well moulded, and hollowed in the hand with th
largest curling-pin, or a ball-tool such as is used for paper
flower making. It is necessary to use tolerably thick whitp
wax for these roses, in order to roll them out, so to speak,
sufficiently. Some of the yellow roses, like the pattern, are
cone-shaped, and require to be mounted in threes on a very
long foundation-bud : others are flatter, and have five petals
in a row ; and some roses require to be made on a ball


shaped bud, and the petals must be very much hollowed, or
cupped. This is especially the case with a very delicate
pink rose, the Coupe d'Hebe. A fine large blush-rose, the
Souvenir de Malmaison, has a triangular kind of centre, to
imitate which a number of small petals should be placed
within a large petal, which should be folded round them ;
and three of these bunches of petals, mounted on a small
foundation-bud, will begin the rose; and the larger petals
must be placed round them in rows of fives, as before di-
rected, ending always with three outer petals placed below
the largest row. This rose must be delicately colored with
pink, and a little pale-yellow must be added where this color-
ing is seen on the petals. The inner petals are deeper in
color than the outer ones. The white Lamarque Noisette
is tinged with a sulphur-color in the centre. This rose is
extremely pretty, surrounded with buds of various sizes.
The Solfaterre models very well, requiring a coloring of yel-
low and pink. The Ophrie is still deeper in color, and can
be copied exactly by tinting the petals with various grada-
tions of salmon, yellow, and rose-colors. All these roses
are best modelled in white wax. The Austrian and yellow
Scotch roses should be done in yellow wax. The Cloth-of-
Gold requires white wax to give the gradations of coloring.
Some of the deep pink roses are best colored without bloom-
ing, by rubbing Barnard's rose-lake over the petals. For
crimson roses, these should be rubbed on one side with rose-
lake, and with carmine on the inner side. For red roses
with a more scarlet hue, such as Geant de Batailles, it is
necessary to paint the petals, after rubbing them on the
inner side, with liquid carmine paint mixed with weak gum-
water, and put on as dry as possible with a poonah brush.
An occasional dash of burnt carmine or violet paint will add
to the natural appearance of the rose ; and the outer petals


will require this darkening, especially at the edges, where
they become soiled by rain, etc.

The sepals of each rose must be carefully copied. They
vary much in character and color. Some turn back from
the flower over the seed-pod, and are almost flat : others are
much cupped, and adhere closely to it. Some are fringed,
others smooth. The moss-roses must have tiny branches of
fine feather-moss gummed upon them. The thorns on the
stalks may be imitated by modelling little pieces of wax to
the right shape, and sticking them on, and painting them
brown or red ; and the hairy appearance of some of the
stalks may be given by gumming down on them.

The single roses, and many of the semi-double ones, must
have a number of stamens in the centre, instead of the foun-
dation-bud. These are made in the same manner as de-
scribed for the nemophila stamens ; but they must be cut
out of long strips of white or pale-lemon wax, with a narrow
strip of yellow wax folded over one side for the anthers, and
rolled round a green style, formed by enclosing the top of
the wire stalk in green wax, and indenting it with the curl-
ing-pin ; and the anthers must be brushed over with a little
gum, and powdered with orange or brown powder, to repre-
sent the pollen fresh or discolored. The stamens must be
cut as thin as possible, and of the right length. Care must
be taken to bind them on regularly and firmly, so that the
centre of the flower may not slip off the wire stalk.

The lily-of-the-valley may be modelled, either by cutting
out a straight piece of white wax,
for the corolla, like Fig. i, moulding
and joining it, and curling back the
six notches with the curling-pin ; or

, ,. i i i r FlG. 122. I.1I.Y-OF-THE-V ALLEY.

by dipping the rounded ends of pen-
cils or pen-sticks, etc., of various sizes, in melted white wax,


after dipping them in cold water. The little bells of wax
congeal round the cold wet pencil, and are easily removed
when quite cold, and notched and curled into shape. In
either case, the bells must be of graduated sizes ; and little
stalks must be passed through each, headed by the pistil and
six little stamens. Very small flowers or buds must be put
at the top of the flower-stalk, and the larger bells follow, at
intervals, on each side of the stalk alternately, with little
green leaflets at the base of each bell-stalk. From nine to
thirteen flowers are generally on one stem, which should be
mounted between a pair of long leaves deeply lined from
the stalk to the point with parallel lines.

Some of the small heath blossoms and bells may be mould-
ed in the same way as the lily-bells ; and wooden moulds are
sold for the purpose of forming the flowers by dipping them
into the melted wax. Those with larger tubes would be
better done by cutting them separately, and joining them.

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Another flower with a tube, the stephanotis, which is ex-
ceedingly well imitated in wax, is made in two parts, a
star and a tube, each cut out of four thicknesses of wax.
The star is curled back, and the points are pinched down-
wards. The tube is joined; and the star being laid upon it,



with its centre exactly over the hollow tube, the moulding-
tool is pushed through it, and the wax pushed against the

FIG 124.

a, a Primrose, b, b Violet, c, c. Snowdrop, d, d Honeysuckle, e, e. Convolvulus.
/ Small Bindweed, g. Hawthorn, h Forget-me-not, k. Laburnum. /, I. Daisy, m. Hya-
cinth, n, n, n, , . Passion-flower, o, o. Azalea.

sides of the tube, and worked round within it, till the star is
firmly attached to it. Then a stalk, covered with a little


knob of wax, is pushed into the other end of the tube, and
the wax closed round it, and a calyx of green wax, cut out
also like a star, pushed up to the base of the white tube. A
little gum is dropped into the tube ; and some white down
put into it completes the flower. The diagrams given here
explain themselves, and are easily copied. Wax fruit is the
least desirable form of wax modelling, save as it becomes
a means of copying beautiful natural specimens, as in the
Agricultural Bureau in Washington.




IN the beginning let it be remembered, that, with shell-
work at least, it is not an ornament for the parlor, even the
most beautiful shell-flowers having a half-barbaric look.
The chief use of shell, pine-cone, or seed work, is in interest-
ing and amusing children, and teaching the neat and skilful
handling which later will tell in better work. But many
pretty articles can be made, either from shells gathered at
the seashore, or from foreign ones, which can be bought of
all sizes, the smaller ones by the ounce. For all who would
learn the intricacies of the work, there is a manual, the title
of which is given on p. 411.

Where a shell bracket, a handkerchief-box, or a basket is
to be covered with shells, a cement is made on purpose,
which can be bought at shell-stores, or made at home by
mixing equal parts of gelatine, white lead, and plaster-of-
Paris with just enough water to make the whole like putty.
It becomes as hard as earthenware when dry. In using it,
put a smooth, even layer on the article to be decorated, and
stick the shells into it in any pattern you like. Any dry
color may be added to tint it red, blue, or yellow, as desired.
A bracket can be cut from heavy pasteboard, sewed together,
and then covered with shells ; and a watch or wall pocket,
and other articles also can be thus made. Fill in all vacant
spaces with the smallest shells. If they are not perfectly
clean, boil them well, and brush with a little brush. The


strong smell about them can be taken away by washing them
in a solution of chloride of lime, one tablespoonful to a quart
of water.

Periwinkle, or large mussel-shells, make pretty pincush-
ions. Stuff a bag, cut just the right shape, with either bran
or emery ; cover it with silk ; glue the inside of each shell,
and press against it till dry. Clam-shells may have little
landscapes painted on them ; and the dark blue spot in the
inside of an oyster-shell can serve as the bearskin cap for a
soldier painted below.

Mosses for wall decoration should be carefully dried. A
small basket of graceful shape may be cut in two, tacked or
gummed to a sheet of cardboard, and then filled with bril-
liant lichens, trumpet moss, and the lovely coral moss to be
found on old fence-rails, or often on rocks covered with the
white mountain moss. Best of all is a large plate a soup-
plate perhaps filled with the bright green moss growing
in shaded places in the woods. Cover it with a bell-glass,
and water very seldom, as the glass keeps in moisture. As
spring approaches, you will be surprised to see what devel-
opments take place, for seeds -have been biding their time,
and you may get almost any thing from partridge-berry to

Pine-cones, both large and small, may be used in many
ways. The smaller cones, mixed with acorns, seed-vessels,
lichens, and bits of bark, will cover a rustic basket for plants,
which may hang in the window, or be mounted on a stand.
A round wooden bowl is best for this purpose, and the rus-
tic-work should be glued on securely, and varnished when
dry. Picture-frames are made in the same way ; and work-
baskets may be cut from stiff pasteboard sewed together,
and then, when covered with rustic-work, lined with silk,
and furnished according to taste. Wall and watch pockets,




brackets, and many other articles, can be made, and are of
much more real worth and beauty than any thing in shell-
work. For a lawn flower-box, saw half a butter firkin in
two, and either cover entirely
with cones and bark in any de-
sign you like, or drill holes in
the top of the cones, and pass
a zinc wire through each one ;
then festoon a rope around the
tub, and hang the cones upon
it, filling in all the spaces with
bark or lichens, and varnishing
rope and cones. Often a coat
of pitch is given to the whole,
inside as well as out.

Beautiful brackets can be
made from the large fungi

growing on trees in damp woods, which can be screwed
firmly to an oak or walnut back, and need no varnishing.

Straw and splints for weaving wall-pockets, or for basket-
making, or straw mosaic-work, can be bought at any fancy-
store ; but while the " castles-in-the-air " hung from chande-
liers are a good occupation for a child, they have not suffi-
cient beauty to recommend them to older people. In
making straw baskets, cardboard foundations are used ; little
holes being punched in the oval or circle, about a quarter of
an inch apart, the straws being just touched to thick muci-
lage before they are set in place. Ribbon must then be
woven in and out till the right height is reached ; and, as an
edge, either a piece of ornamental straw braid, or of che-
nille matching the ribbon, may be sewed on. Match-boxes,
etc., are made by gumming the straws to a cardboard shape.

It is impossible to more than suggest what may be done in


the direction of fancy-work ; and the whole field of ornamen-
tal needle-work, of knitting, crochet, tatting, china-painting,
illuminations, and the countless other forms of occupation,
can only be referred to. But titles of the best and most
carefully prepared manuals on all these subjects are given
on pp. 411-414; while every neighborhood, no matter how
remote, has at least one devoted worker in these directions,
who is always willing to share patterns, and give nercessay




THE jig-saw has done much to convince people that girls
can handle tools, but there is still room for a great advance
in this direction. There is no reason in the nature of things
why a girl should wait a week or a month to have a shelf put
up, when very slight knowledge would enable her to do it
precisely as well as the village carpenter. In every house
there are small repairs that wait the leisure of some one who
is "handy about house," and which, in waiting, often become
irreparable. Every girl can learn how to drive a nail prop-
erly, how to plane and joint, and all the more delicate opera-
tions in carpentery. And any girl who is willing to carry a
book-agent's bag would find herself welcomed in almost every
house, if she bore, instead, a set of light tools, and could do
the countless little jobs that wait. Certain portions of such
work are now taught in one or two industrial schools ; and
a manual of great value, the full title of which is given on
p. 412, has been issued in Boston, and is so clear and full,
that the most ignorant will gain some knowledge from it.
Some slight training is necessary, too, for all who have a
bent toward wood-carving, which will be greatly aided by
a knowledge of woods, and how to handle them.

Wood-carving is as practicable for all as drawing. But
whoever undertakes it, or, indeed, any thing else, must be will-
ing to go slowly, and not work eagerly a few days or weeks,
and then pass on to something else. To do a little of every


thing is a modern tendency ; and this is the reason that we
so often see bad work, whether mental or manual, pass un-
challenged. We do not mean bad as compared with some one's
else work, but bad in proportion to the talent and power of
the employed. Ruskin inveighs strongly against this prac-
tice, and speaks very plainly, in his " Elements of Drawing,"
on the necessity of doing nothing short of our very best in
whatever work we take in hand. It would be well if every
girl were to read his book; for she would there learn the
right spirit in which every new pursuit whether it be
carving, drawing, or any thing else should be undertaken.
And now to pass on from the theoretical to the more
practical part of our subject. A real genius for carving will
show itself at a very early age, by the child spending its half-
holidays playing with carpenter's tools, and by a general
hankering for penknives, and inclination to hoard up scraps
of wood, or any thing in the shape of a tool, on which it can
lay hands. Perhaps few children would be allowed, however
great their latent talent might be, to endanger their eyes
and fingers by following their own inclinations in these mat-
ters. Nor, indeed, would they gain much, were they per-
mitted to do so, as little good work could be expected from
such young hands. For, if we remember rightly, the boxes
of which, in those early days, we were so proud, would bear
none but the gentlest usage; and our paper-knives (by cour-
tesy so called) answered their purpose but indifferently well.
But they were the best of which we were then capable, and
had, at least, the merit of forming the first step in a prog-
ress, of which each success, and, indeed, we may say each
failure (if the failure be of the right sort, making us only the
more determined to succeed in the end), brings us nearer
to real facility. Dexterity in handling one's tools is more
easily acquired by beginning as a child than when older ; but


in other respects it is as well, and perhaps better, not to
attempt much in the carving line until the age of fourteen
or fifteen. But then you have probably little time which
you can call your own ; the greater part of the day being
occupied with lessons and necessary employments, so that
half an hour, or perhaps even less, is all the time you can
spare for your carving. This, however, is ample. Had
you the whole day at your own disposal, an hour is the most
you should allow yourself to spend in this manner ; for you
will find it hard, tiring work until you have become accus-
tomed to it. If you are growing rapidly, you must be par-
ticularly careful that your work-table be made high enough
to prevent the necessity of stooping over your work ; and you
should also avoid the bad habit of resting or pressing the
wood against your chest, which is very hurtful, as, in course
of time, the bone is pushed out of its place. You will find
it an advantage, if you can accustom yourself, to use your
right and left hand equally well ; for by so doing you will
counteract any tendency of the right shoulder to "grow
out," as the phrase is, by giving equal work to the muscles
of the left side and arm. Besides this great consideration,
there are also many minor ones ; for instance, supposing
you were at work on a large piece of carving, it would
progress far easier and quicker if you had two able hands
instead of only one, as you could then go from one part
to another without changing the position of either yourself
or your wood. Another benefit of having both hands avail-
able is, that in case you should cut or hurt yourself, as be-
ginners are very apt to do, you can bind up the wounded
hand, and supply its place with the other until it is able to
do its own work again. Perhaps this may seem a cool way
of speaking of your injuries ; but, to be a thorough workman,
you must make up your mind to a few cuts and scratches,


and not (as do some young ladies) think it necessary to faint
or scream at the sight of a little blood. However, it is right
to take every precaution against injuring yourself; and one
great safeguard is, never to carve without a vice to hold
your wood firmly ; for, by having both hands at liberty to
guide the tool, you can work with much greater ease and
safety. Wearing gloves is also a protection, as it saves the
hands from many knocks and bruises while engaged in saw-
ing or any rough work. The gloves should be provided with
stout gauntlets to cover the wrist, which is the part most
liable to injury. Girls, as a rule, do not care greatly about
the preservation of their clothes ; but, as their friends are
probably not so indifferent on this subject, it is advisable
that they should wear a thick chamois-leather apron while
working, made with a bib to protect the front of the dress,
and a deep pocket to hold tools, etc. Add to this a pair of
balloon-sleeves of the same material, reaching above the
elbow, and the equipment will be complete, and many
scoldings on the score of cut and dirty dresses avoided,
besides adding much to the carver's own comfort. Few of
our readers, probably, are fortunate enough to possess a
room that they can devote entirely to their carving-affairs.
A corner of the playroom, or perhaps part of an outhouse,
is the most that they can expect. But, however small the
allotted space may be, at least they can find room for their
work-table ; and concerning this table it is necessary to be
very particular. A common, rickety thing won't do at all.
It must be a carpenter's bench in miniature, and made as
heavy and strong as the size will permit, and should not be
less than three feet by a foot and a half ; but, if the space
will admit of its being made larger, so much the better.
Any common carpenter could make it ; and it should be
fitted with a rest and screw, and in all respects similar to


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Online LibraryHelen CampbellThe American girl's home book of work and play → online text (page 21 of 28)