Helen Campbell.

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

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Cuttings from almost all perennial plants may be started
in a dish of water, or, better still, in a shallow dish filled
with wet sand. Those from hardy plants may be simply
inserted in the earth, close beside the parent stem.

Bulbs are very suitable for house-cultivation, as they re-
quire little room. The hyacinth can be grown in earth, or
in dark-colored glass in water high enough to just touch
them, which are to be first kept in a cool, dark room, then
brought to the window-garden by the middle of November,
if they are desired for Christmas blossoms. The calla-lily,
which has been resting on its side, dry and apparently dead,
all summer, if raised in September, and plentifully nourished
with warm water, will pour upon the air a subtle fragrance
from a stainless calyx, a royal princess among her party-
colored sisters. There are no other bulbs worth the trouble
of coaxing here. Crocuses, tulips, narcissus, and the snow-
drops had better be set in beds, six or eight inches apart, ana
half as many deep, in the open ground, early in October,
though they may be used in the house if desired. The tube-
rose, from its overpowering fragrance, is unwholesome in-


Wardian-cases, ferneries, and jardinieres are almost too
delicate for young amateurs, without more explicit directions.
Roses* too, may be made to bloom ; but they require a good
deal of experience. Hanging-baskets, made from pottery or
terra-cotta, must have drainage, and are pretty additions to
the window with any small blooming plants and delicate

The diseases of indoor vegetation are mostly caused by
parasites, which are sometimes very troublesome. They may
be washed in weak tobacco-tea, or carefully sponged with a
solution of whale-oil soap.




To be able to picture simple objects correctly is not only
a source of great pleasure, but the foundation of many
accomplishments and industries. The first rude attempts of
the child with pencil and slate or paper show the natural
desire of the race for pictorial effects.

Drawing helps the student express her love of beauty,
educates her taste, and gives her hand skill, delicacy, and
force. And there is no reason why she should not begin to
draw at home, and fit herself to work with colors or to be-
come a pupil in some of the industrial arts, schools for which
have lately been established in this country. In these they
are taught to design patterns for carpets, wall-paper, wood-
carving, stained-glass, inlaid wood panels, silverware, jewelry,
lace, embroidery, and book-covers. And there is no other
road to any of these avocations, to drawing from nature or
the human form, or even to the highest compositions of the
artist, than through the training of hand and eye by pains-
taking practice.

Our maiden, having taken drawing-paper and a box of
pencils, selects one moderately soft, and begins by drawing
slowly, from left to right, a line as nearly perfectly straight
as she can make it, not an easy thing to do. A succession
of others is made parallel with each other, and the lessons
continued until the fingers are obedient servants of the eye.
Then she practises making right, acute, and obtuse angles.


There is a series of inexpensive drawing-books by Waltef
Smith, containing the steps by which the pupil may practise
in her own room ; but all figures are based upon straight or
curved lines, the only kinds in nature. Checkered and
diamond patterns come next, and geometrical figures of
squares, triangles, and irregular forms.

It may seem easy to make even a rough circle. Try it,
also different curves and ellipses ; then take simple objects,
such as boxes, cups, utensils, tools, and bits of fences, or the
side of a house with its windows and doors. Criticise your
work, and go over it carefully until it seems well done, tak-
ing up new forms slowly. You will now want to take a leaf,
or the single petal of a flower, avoiding every thing compli-
cated. In schools of industrial art, pupils are obliged to
draw the leaf of some selected plant from every point of
view, sideways, twisted, and reversed, till they can re-
produce it from memory. The petal of its flower is then
treated in the same way, followed by the whole blossom,
proceeding to its stem, leaves, and roots, as a whole, and to
its seed-vessel cut in two. And there is no true excellence
in art which is not based upon skilful drawing.

All this while, our amateur has observed the proportions
of objects ; that is, she has kept the respective size of all
parts of her pictures. But she has not shaded, or under-
taken perspective drawing, having treated only flat surfaces,
as if all parts were the same distance from the eye, and
equally in the light. But in reality no two sides of any
object are equally illuminated or distant. She will still con-
tinue to make delicate, firm outlines, but shade with paral-
lel strokes the sides opposite that on which the light falls.
She perceives, that, as there are one or more small points of
brilliant light on all objects seen in daylight, so on the oppo-
site sides there is a point of deepest shadow, while between,


range different depths of shade. Some artists, like Rem-
brandt, have been successful in displaying these gradations,
securing great dignity and character to their work. The
style of shading, too, marks the quality of the limner.

An important fact to be noted here is, that there is not
only direct light shining on all things, but there are re-
flected rays, which make the opposite side less dark than it
would otherwise be.

We are familiar with the law that all objects apparently
diminish in size as their distance from the* observer de-
creases ; but it is another thing to express it correctly on
paper. Perspective drawing indicates space and distance by
lines tending to a common centre, and by shading, which
diminishes in force as it approaches the background. A
long training of the eye is here necessary, and a knowledge
of certain rules which are observed by all artists. As we
look on a landscape, there is a point where the sight ends,
and a line where sky and earth seem to meet. That hori-
zontal line is called the "line of the horizon ;" and the point
where all lines converge is the "vanishing-point." Here
the straight lines which seem to run from above and from
below the horizon, and on either hand, end ; and it is upon
that horizontal line named. Within these converging rays,
all parts of a picture must relatively decrease as they recede.
We must also calculate the distance which the amateur is
supposed to stand from the scene which she pictures : from
her point of view, the " vanishing-point " must be exactly
opposite. Observation, study, and practice, with some trea-
tise at hand to furnish hints for obtaining the perspective,
will enable the young student to enjoy sketching from
nature, and be a preparation for more ambitious work. If
she desires to design for any practical purpose, she has had
at home the necessary elementary training. If she has


access to a good library, she will consult Owen Jones's
" Grammar of Ornament," and " Racinet's Polychromatic
Art," and study all collections and museums within her

On the contrary, if more modest in her desires, she will
still find great utility in her capacity for drawing any object
which can better be described with lines than words. It is
no useless accomplishment to draw the plan of a house, the
objects of a room, to express sentiment or humor on a card
with a few telling strokes of the pencil, to give interest and
amusement in a thousand ways. Still better, a knowledge
of the foundation principles of art, which are universal in
their application, serves to give exquisite enjoyment of forms
and hues in nature and art in a thousand ways ; while the
uncultivated eye and untrained hand are powerless to see
and grasp that loveliness which makes of beauty a "joy for-




WHEN the first edition of this book was prepared, home-
made candy was still limited to a few varieties of molasses
candy, only the ambitious girl venturing upon caramels or
drops of any sort. To-day it is not only possible for any
one to make excellent candy for home consumption, but
even to imitate successfully the choicer varieties of French
candy. For this last there is always a certain sale. Its
preparation requires time, patience, delicate handling, and
the skill which comes from even a short practice in the
use of these prime essentials. Here as elsewhere, practice
makes easy, and various cases have been given me in which
candy-makers of this order have found that a very comforta-
ble sum could be made monthly by supplying the drug-store
or the village store with the carefully prepared and pretty
bonbons. Before giving any hints for work of this nature,
I will give you the simple form which is possible even for a
child of only ten or twelve, and the knowledge of which
ends any buying of cheap candy. There is no doubt
that Americans eat too much sweet stuff of one sort and
another, but as it is a national weakness, it is a good thing
to know the purest forms. Here is the rule for the founda-
tion of many sorts of candies.


Take the white of one egg and an equal amount of cold
water. The best way is to drop the white in a tumbler,


notice how far it comes up, and then take the same amount
of water and mix both. The egg must not be beaten. Now
add one pound of confectioner's sugar, an^ the strained juice
of a lemon, or vanilla can be used for half, and half a lemon
for the remainder. Work in this sugar till all is in a firm
mass ; then lay it on a pastry-board and knead it like a lump
of dough, using a little dry sugar to keep it from sticking.
From this lump take a third for chocolate creams, a third
for walnut and date creams, and the rest for nut candy.


Mould some of the sugar dough into small balls. Melt
two ounces of chocolate, by scraping it fine into a cup and
setting it in boiling water till it melts. Drop in the little
balls, and when well covered take them out and put on
waxed or paraffine paper such as can now be bought at any
stationer's or confectioner's, and let them dry. They must
be lifted out carefully with a fork, and require some hours
to dry.


Have ready quarter of a pound of English walnuts, the
meats taken out carefully in halves, and press a half nut on
each side of a ball of the prepared sugar. For date or prune
creams, split both, take out the stone, and put half the fruit
on each side as with the walnuts. Almonds and filberts can
be covered with some of the paste and dipped in the choco-
late or left plain.


This is the title given by a family of experimental girls to
a candy made in this fashion. Take the remaining third of
the sugar paste, and add to it two figs, a handful of raisins


seeded and chopped, about an ounce of citron, and all the
broken nuts, say a teacupful of them, altogether. Chop
them all quite fine and then mix thoroughly with the sugar,
kneading them in, rolling it about a third of an inch thick
and cutting in very small squares. If there is any choco-
late left, use it to cover a few of the squares, or it can be
stirred into some of the plain sugar and cut into chocolate
squares. It is possible to vary these combinations in many
ways, and a little of this candy, if made a part of the meal
and not given between meals, can do no possible harm to

We come now to the more troublesome preparations, and
I give the first form which is the foundation for every
thing that follows. Use a porcelain-lined or enamelled
saucepan. It is impossible to make good candy in a tin
one. Begin with small amounts till you have learned how
to handle it easily and skilfully.


Boil one pound of the best granulated sugar and one gill
of water, and a little more than half an ordinary saltspoon-
ful of cream-of-tartar, till when you drop a little in ice-water
it becomes a rather soft ball. Stir it just once as you put
it on to boil, but not at all afterward, else it will not be
creamy. Then pour it into a dish but do not scrape out the
saucepan into it, or leave a spoon in it. When it has become
blood-warm begin to stir it, and stir and beat it till it is
white. It will very soon be too stiff for the spoon. Then
roll and work it with your hands, the more the better. It
soon becomes like firm lard, and in this form, by covering it
with waxed paper you can keep it for weeks. It should be
firm enough when cold to cut easily with a knife, and if it


does not, it has not been boiled enough, in which case you
have only to boil it over again, using as little water as
possible a tablespoonful or, at the most, two, should be
enough. This cream can be colored red with a few drops
of cochineal ; green, with the juice of spinach, one drop or
so giving it a pale green, and more as deep a shade as
desired. Settle beforehand what sorts are to be made, and
prepare your nuts, chocolate, and any thing else desired, as
*here must be no stopping after work begins.


For chocolate creams, melt chocolate as directed in the
rule given. Mould small bits of the firm cream, and drop
them into it, taking them out with an oiled fork and drying
on waxed paper. For nuts a different method is needed.
Take part of the firm cream and put it in a bowl, standing
the bowl in a saucepan of boiling water. Stir the cream
steadily as it melts, letting the water boil around it all the
time till melted, then leave it still in the saucepan, but re-
move to a table. Drop in almonds or filberts, let them get
well coated ; then lift out with an oiled fork, give it a tap on
the side of a bowl to free it from superfluous candy, and
drop the balls on waxed paper to dry. A second coating
when dry is always an improvement, but is not necessary.


Take a preserved peach, or piece of preserved ginger,
crush it well to get rid of all the juice, add then a few drops
of lemon juice and enough confectioner's sugar to make a
firm and easily handled paste. Roll it then into finger
lengths, cut into pieces half an inch thick and dip into the
melted cream. Any rich sweetmeat, cherries, apricot, and


the like, can be treated in the same way, the cherries, of
course, being each dipped separately. Preserved quince
makes a delicious cream.


Make a cream candy as already described, and when cool
and in shape, divide into three parts, working into each part
from two to four drops of the oil of peppermint, of lemon
or of orange. This is far stronger than the essence and
must be used carefully. To the lemon and orange add half
a teaspoonful of lemon juice. The strength varies, and as
the oils are powerful flavors, you had better begin with two
drops for each portion of the candy, and add more if needed.
If you get it too strong add some of the plain cream.

To shape these creams either make some stiff paper forms
an inch deep and wide, and six inches long, or you can get
small boxes that have held a dozen spools of cotton. Oil
them well and press in the candy. When it is quite firm
turn it out, cut it in caramel shapes with a warm knife and
do up each one neatly in waxed paper in the same way that
caramels are wrapped.


Almond paste, ready for macaroons or candy, can now
be had at the large grocers and is much less troublesome
than to blanch and pound the almonds separately. These
creams are most delicious, and are made by boiling half a
pound of granulated sugar with just enough water to dis-
solve it, till a little will harden slightly in ice-water. Grate
the yellow rind of a lemon ; strain the juice of a lemon and
a half, and shave four ounces of the almond paste very thin.
Have these all ready and add to the candy, when it hardens


a little in water. Stir till well mixed, and now and then to
prevent burning, and boil steadily till it cracks crisply on
dropping in ice-water. Oil or butter a dish, and pour the
mixture on it. When cold it will not be hard, but can be
cut in squares like caramels, or you can mould it in balls or
any shape you like, and dip in the cream candy. In either
case, it is delicious and easy.


This rule was given me many years ago by a Georgia
friend, and has won applause wherever tried. One quart of
roasted peanuts, shelled and chopped or pounded very fine.
One pound of brown sugar; a teaspoonful of butter, the
strained juice of a lemon, or a teaspoonful of vinegar and a
tablespoonful of water, or just enough to dissolve the sugar
when put on the fire. Boil the sugar, lemon, etc., for twenty
minutes, stirring to keep from burning. Then mix in the
nuts, boil up once, and pour thin, in buttered pans.


This form of taffy is so popular in England that a great
factory in London does nothing else. To make it on a small
scale, take one pound of brown sugar, one teacupful of mo-
lasses, half a teacupful of butter, two tablespoonsful of vin-
egar. Boil all together about twenty minutes, or till it
hardens in cold water, then pour thin on buttered tins, cut-
ting in squares while still warm. For a variation it can be
pulled like ordinary molasses candy till it is a light straw
color, twisted and cut in short lengths. In either case it is
the best form of molasses candy, the brown sugar being but
one remove from molasses.



One large cup of molasses ; a teacupful of sugar, and one
of milk ; one heaping tablespoonful of butter ; a pinch of
salt ; quarter of a pound of chocolate, cut or scraped fine.
Boil all together about half an hour, or until it hardens when
dropped in cold water, then pour on buttered tins, and as it
cools cut into small squares.

These rules are given because they have been tested over
and over again, and if followed to the letter never fail. If
the forms given are carefully made, boxes can be filled quite
as attractive in appearance as the French candies selling at
from eighty cents to a dollar a pound. The candy made at
home can be sold for sixty cents a pound and is worth it>
but even at fifty a fair profit can be made. To those who
want to experiment with it as a source of income, I com-
mend a little book by Catherine Owen, one of the best
writers in America on such topics: "Candy Making," pub-
lished by Clark, Bryan, & Co., Springfield, Mass. But it is
quite as well to begin with a few simple kinds, make them
as perfectly as possible, and, finding out what you can do
best, make that your specialty. In fact a specialty is much
more likely to make money than indiscriminate variety.
One woman in Philadelphia has made a fortune by thirty
years of making walnut molasses candy, and, though often
tempted, refused to add any other variety, and she was




JUST off Regent Street, in the crowded West End of
London, whose roar is sounding in my ears as I write these
words, is a quiet corner known as Langham Chambers,
where in the pleasant rooms one may see the latest novel-
ties in what they call the " minor arts." These " minor
arts" take in every form of home decoration, and include
wood-carving, modelling, and various possibilities already
described in these pages. But one of them was so surpris-
ing, and the effect so far beyond what could be dreamed of
from the materials used, that I made haste to get every de-
tail, and present them now, as not only the clue to inter-
esting and even fascinating work, but also as the solution of
at least part of one of our household problems what to do
with the broken china and broken pottery in general.

The process is said to have been invented by a popular
dentist of aesthetic tastes, who was in despair over the
breakage of some of his favorite bits of china and pottery.
He determined not to lose them entirely, and the result of
his experiments was a set of tiles, and the birth of what is
nearly a new art, and might well stand as the title of the
present chapter.


Here the art has become so popular that it is actually
taught in some of the evening schools ; and frames and all


needed appliances are now made, and can be had very
cheaply. But it is still unknown in the United States ; and
so the learner must trust to the village carpenter, or possibly
to her own skill, already acquired in handling tools, for the
small frame which is the first necessity.

This frame must be the size of the ordinary tile, and of
eight pieces. First, two cradles, or supports, on which you
lay the flat piece of board the size of the tile ; four side
pieces must be made, two of \hern a little longer than the
others, and with a groove into which the shorter pieces fit,
just as you would make a box. These are to fit around the
flat board, and to fix and hold them tightly ; a peg at each
end will be best. The frame is then complete and ready for

The iron chopper is made here so that it can be raised or
lowered by a peg; but a very good substitute will be a meat-
cleaver, such as can be bought at* a hardware store. A
small wooden mallet, a bottle of mucilage, a traced paper
pattern, a piece of glass cut just the size of the tile, and a
package of Portland cement, which can be had at a good
paint-shop, or from the manufacturers of tiles. A stock of
broken china is the next need ; and the commoner sorts are
best. Yellow pie dishes are an essential, a great deal of
white, some black, if it is possible to get it, though there is
very little black pottery, and red and white and brown ; in
short all the colors you can secure. If the home heap of
broken crockery does not suffice, any china-store will be glad
to get rid of its stock of this nature.

Now for the method. Choose for a beginning a very sim-
ple pattern, say a circle enclosed in a diamond, and let the
colors be as simple ; say, yellow for the circle, red for the
projecting triangles of the diamond, and white for the
ground. A favorite Roman combination is red, black, and


white in this same pattern ; but it may not be possible to
get black.

Draw the pattern carefully over a sheet of paper ; lay it
on the board which makes the bottom of the frame, and
cover it with the piece of glass. In this way your pattern
is not destroyed in working, and you have a perfectly flat
surface, as glass never warps as wood does. Now you must
prepare your china, and can make as large a stock as you
like, depending upon the number of tiles you plan for. If
you have not the chopper with a peg which will hold the
china, simply put your broken piece under the cleaver, and
strike that with the mallet. Begin with the yellow pie-dish,
and a little practice will very soon enable you to chop it
into rectangular bits quarter of an inch square, the most
useful size. Triangles are very useful, and the pieces will
often break in this way. It is important that they should
all be perfectly flat, ami the glazed surface must always be
put next to the glass.

When your stock of pieces, " tesserae " the mosaic work-
ers call them, is ready, brush a little mucilage over the glass
to help hold the bits steady. Then begin to form your
circle, arranging the bits so that their outer edge just touches
the outer edge of the pattern. If you take care to follow
the general outline carefully, the inside ones take care of
themselves. Remember, too, that you only see the back
of the tile while working ; that the glazed surface must al-
ways go against the glass, and the unglazed be uppermost.
Make the outline very carefully, using the triangles for the
corners, if a circle can be said to own corners, and not leav-
ing the bits quite touch, since the cement is to be poured in
to hold them together.

For the points of the diamond, take a piece of red-glazed
earthenware and cut into pieces, taking care to have four


very neat triangles for these points. Outline the diamond
as you did the circle, and fill up the centre. For the back-
ground use your white " tesserae," gumming the surface as
before, and outline the entire diamond in even pieces.

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Online LibraryHelen CampbellThe American girl's home book of work and play → online text (page 26 of 28)