There is no artificial light in the world so soft and becoming as that of the old-fashioned wax candle. Observe the well-dressed woman, clad in all the bravery of a twentieth century dinner toilette, as she stands in the mellow candle-light. Notice how her jewels gleam and flash and scintillate in the gentle amber glow. Then compare this same study of modern luxury under the influence of electric or incandescent light.
All the art of modern science cannot rival that relic from the past - the witchery of candle-light. How easily it transports one to long-since departed glories, to the wealth and magnificence of the French Empire, when women swayed the greatest intellectual giants in France with their wit and elegance. How they flaunted their wonderful brocades and powdered tresses, beneath the brilliance of the myriad candles which lit the historic salons.
Thus the vogue for novelties in decorative candle-shades grows apace, and one meets them at every turn in all colours, shapes, and sizes.
The pretty trifles range in price from a few pence to many shillings. The silk ones, hand-embroidered, with their glittering bead fringe, may run up to a considerable sum, yet are quite easy to make with a little skill and patience, and cost but a mere trifle. The embroideress on the look-out for further conquests with her needle will find great pleasure in the working of these little silk shades.
Procure three-quarters of a yard of pale rose pink glace silk at about two shillings a yard. Cut out the exact shape of a candle-shade in white cartridge paper. An easy means to this end is to use an old shade as a guide.
Place the cartridge-paper pattern on the silk, and with a steady hand draw the shape all around with an indelible pencil. Either have a design of roses stamped on the silk, or place a fancy card, with roses on it, under the silk, which is almost transparent, and trace it yourself. Cut the silk in half, so that there is a perfect design and guide tor cutting out each shade on each piece of silk. It is better to embroider these before cutting out, as silk is always liable to fray. Work the roses in shades of pink filoselle, using satin-stitch; it is a little difficult to work smoothly so as to obtain fully the brilliance of the silk, but it is the king of stitches, and wonderfully effective. The result always repays the embroideress for her trouble.
Work the leaves in the same manner, shading them delicately. The stems may be worked in the "stem" or "chain stitch." For the method of working the latter, take a stitch downwards, and, before the needle is drawn out of the fabric, bring the silk round towards the worker and pass it beneath the point of the needle.
When the embroidery is finished, cut round the pencilled shape of the shade and stitch each piece of silk neatly over the white cartridge-paper shape. Finish off the bottom of each shade with crystal bead fringe. This may be bought from 7|d. a yard. Sew up the shade at the back, top of the shade and finish off all round with a narrow bead or sequin trimming.
The candle-shade completed. Crystal bead fringe, headed by sequin trimming, is added as a finish. The sequin trimming edges the
The result is a pair of exquisite candle-shades worthy to grace any room or table. The shades, when the candles are lighted, should always be protected underneath by little talc shields, which can be bought for twopence each.