Spatter-Work

The materials needed for spatter-work are bristol-board, India-ink, a fine-toothed comb, toothbrush having long firm bristles, some fine pins, a tack-hammer, and a smooth board on which to fasten your paper.

An artistic design is the chief requisite for successful work; and Nature will supply you with beautiful models in her tiniest leaves and ferns and mosses, with quaint shapes of cup and hood. Gather them carefully, and press them, and, when your paper is firmly fastened to the board, arrange a graceful bunch of leaves and sprays, with, if you choose, a paper pattern of cross or basket around which to group them. But the simplest arrangement is always best. Pin each leaf carefully in its place with small pins, lest the ink should spatter under it. Rub the India-ink with water in a saucer to the thickness of cream. Colored ink may be used instead, if you prefer; or any water-color paint may be prepared in the same way as India-ink, except that it should be thinner. Dip the toothbrush lightly in the ink, and, by rubbing it gently over the comb, send a fine spray of ink upon the paper, repeating the process until the tint is deep enough. The lower part of the work may be shaded more deeply, to give perspective; but, as the ink is much darker when dry, be careful not to make the tint too deep. Now carefully remove the pattern, and a white design appears, which must be deftly touched up with a fine camel's-hair brush dipped in the ink. Put in the veins of the leaves, and shade those parts of the design which would naturally be in shadow.

When all is done, and the ink is perfectly dry, the paper should be pressed on the wrong side with a warm iron, not a hot one.

The paragraph on birch-bark suggests a number of pretty gifts, which can all be made equally well out of spattered bristol-board, and many more things, like tidies, pincushions, and lamp-shades. Aprons, too, can be made of fine Swiss muslin decorated with spatter-work. White holly-wood is sometimes carved into paper-knives, work-boxes, glove-cases, and book-covers, and decorated with spatter-work; burnt-umber being used instead of ink.

Shadow-Pictures

There is a simpler way of obtaining pictures, having much the same effect as spatter-work. At any large artist's materials store can be purchased a sensitive-paper, which changes color when exposed to the light. A large roll of this photographic paper costs only fifty cents. Any pretty design may be placed upon a square of the paper, and exposed to the sunlight for a few moments, when, on removing the pattern, the tint beneath will be found much darker than the prevailing tint of the paper. Pour water abundantly over the whole, and the design will become white, while, wonderful to say, the background changes to dark blue. Pictures obtained in this way may be turned to use in the manner described for spatter-work.

Book-Covers

As books are of many different sizes, it is clear that one cover will not fit them all; but you may guess, perhaps, what size would be most useful to the friend for whom you wish to make it. A Bible-cover is a lovely gift to make. If should be cut from chamois-leather, exactly the size of the open Bible, with a narrow piece sewed on at each end to fold under. Pink the edges all round. Sew the flaps very firmly and neatly on the wrong side of the cover, leaving the points of the cover to project, and form an edge. A monogram, or any appropriate motto, may be embroidered on the cover.

Another useful gift is a dictionary-cover, made in the same way; or it may be cut out of brown linen, and bound around the edges with dark-brown braid.

Scent-Cases For Trunks

These are useful gifts for a friend who travels often Clothing packed away in trunks is apt to contract a smell of leather; and a large case of silk or muslin, scented with delicate powder, and made to fit the top of the trunk, will be sure to be appreciated.

Cabin-Bags

Another gift for travellers is a cabin-bag, which is made like a shoe-bag, and can be tacked against the wall of the state-room, within reach of berth or sofa.

Cut a large square of stout linen or cretonne. Stitch two rows of pockets upon it, and make a small pincushion to be hung at the middle and top. Bind the edges with braid, and make loops by which to hang it up.

This useful bag will take the place of a bureau in the crowded space of a state-room.

Work-Aprons

Cut out an apron by any ordinary pattern, but about ten inches longer. This extra length is turned up from the bottom, and divided off, by stitching, into three or four deep, narrow pockets, which will hold knitting, scraps of work, or sewing-materials.

Very dainty ones are made of pongee or fine linen, with a design stamped upon the space turned up for pockets, and embroidered in stem-stitch. A bunch of flowers with two or three bees fluttering over them, and along the hem the motto, "How doth the little busy bee Improve each shining hour," make a design which has become very popular. These busy-bee aprons are finished off with pretty bows of ribbon.

Toothbrush-Rack

Many pretty things, of which the toothbrush-rack is one, can be made from spruce-twigs. Cut two straight spruce-twigs having little branches which grow upward, and try to get them as nearly alike as possible. Trim the little branches until they are two inches long.

Now cut two more twigs the same length, but cut off all the branches, without entirely smoothing the bark, which is prettier if left rough. Place the twigs first cut about six inches apart, and lay the second pair across them at top and bottom, making a square frame ; fasten the corners firmly with fine wire. Two more twigs, crossed diagonally from one corner to another, help to strengthen the frame, which is hung up by a wire or ribbon. Toothbrushes are placed across the small branches, which, as you see, should be as nearly parallel as possible.