A set of quaint dessert d'oyleys can be painted by any girl, even though she may have a very elementary knowledge of painting.
Let us, as concisely as possible, consider the ways and means of making a set of artistic d'oyleys at the cost of a few shillings, such as could not be purchased for six times the amount if procured in the ordinary way. The usual designs on commonplace d'oyleys are so well known that they hardly need description. Hunting scenes, the mad hatter, the walrus and the carpenter, to say nothing of toy dogs and Dutch maidens in voluminous skirts. But it is rather out of the usual run of things to come across "poetical" dessert d'oyleys. Each one should have a verse printed in neat black lettering, reminiscent of the old-world "poesy" which decorated cup and ewer in days gone by. This article is especially written for those who, though they have artistic taste, cannot wield pencil or brush in the necessary manner. By paying attention to the following directions, a new and fascinating, and even lucrative, hobby should be opened out to them.
First of all, procure a yard of white glace silk, paying about 2s. 11d. a yard for it. A good, firm, and reliable silk should be obtainable at this price. Secondly, invest in a shilling box of moist water colours, and a sixpenny bottle of a reliable liquid pearl ink, or any good Indian ink, and an etching pen. Cut the yard of silk into twe1ve squares of about 7 inches by 7. Now choose the designs; they may be taken from illustrations of the works of the artist's favourite poet. Take care to select a set which are artistic, simple in line, and yet well-defined. Cheap and beautiful art books abound in these days from sixpence upwards, so there is ample material for selection.
Fitzgerald's Omar Khayyam
An Omar Khayyam dessert d'oyley made of a square of silk, on which has been traced the desired illustration, which is then painted and outlined in Indian ink. The d'oyley may be lined, and edged with fringe or trimming.
A set will form a table centre has a place in the affections of many, and illustrations of the "Rubaiyat" are diverse, many of them being full of poetry and rare beauty. A set of Omar Khayyam dessert d'oyleys would make a charming wedding present, and one greatly prized by the recipients if they were of a romantic turn of mind. Take one of the glace silk squares, and begin to decorate the first d'oyley.
As the silk is almost transparent, pin it very carefully over the chosen illustration at each corner with some small drawing pins; or hold the silk firmly with the left hand, and trace the design with a well-pointed lead pencil. Unpin the silk, and pin it to a drawing-board to keep it firm. Dissolve two lumps of sugar in an egg-cup full of water, and use this as your medium for painting. Copy the colours of your illustration as closely as possible. As in everything else, "practice makes perfect." When quite dry, outline the entire design in Indian ink; this greatly enhances the effect of the painting. The d'oyleys may be lined, if preferred, with white glace silk, and edged with a light trimming or fringe; or bound with narrow black ribbon velvet, which frames the picture, as it were, and looks distinctly quaint. The d'oyleys look equally well unlined and with the silk simply fringed around the edges. This art need not be restricted to d'oyleys. When once the knack of tracing and colouring has been acquired, a beautiful table-centre can be made by joining the twelve or six squares together, according to the size of the table, with a moderately fine silk lace in-sertion. The table-centre should be lined with a thin silk to tone with the predominating colour of the design on the silk squares, each of which should be f e a t h er-stitched, and the entire table-centre edged with silk lace, finished off by featherstitch.