The blooms of the large sunflower make stylish table-centres; place four together, with a vase in the centre of them filled with small sunflowers and coreopsis. From beneath the petals to the corners and sides of the table place wide yellow satin ribbons, with a blossom at the end of each.
An autumn breakfast-table decoration of purple heather, placed in a handsome game-pie dish, resting on a bed of heather. A sprig of white heather is put by each plate. This pretty device is peculiarly suitable if a shooting party is present various items ordinarily dealt with in the home.
For easy reference the following recipes are given in detail, although they have been mentioned as required in the directions for laundering the
Shred as much soap as will be required, the quantity depending upon the number of articles to be washed. Do not cut up more than is necessary, as soap jelly rather wastes with keeping. Put the shredded 'soap into a lined saucepan, which should be kept for the purpose, and cover it with cold water. Allow this to melt slowly on the kitchen stove, or in the oven, until the soap is dissolved. Do not try to hurry the process, as the soap will very readily froth up in the saucepan and boil over. As soon as the soap is quite clear, and without lumps, it is ready for use. This will form a jelly when cold, and must always be dissolved before using. Any odds and ends of soap that are too small for washing purposes may be employed for the making of soap jelly, which should always be made the day before it is required, so that no delay may be caused by having to wait for it.
For a moderate quantity, take three tablespoonfuls of dry starch, put it into a basin, and mix into a smooth paste with cold water. Then pour on fast-boiling water, stirring all the time, until the starch turns clear. A little shredded wax may, if liked, be added to make the iron run more smoothly, but if the iron itself is waxed or greased, this is scarcely necessary. Hot-water starch is seldom used in its full strength, but is diluted according to the material to be starched and the stiffness required. Common-sense must be used to suit the starch to the material. For diluting purposes, the water need not be boiling; in fact, it is more convenient to thin down the starch with cooler water. This starch will not keep long, and is better when used fresh.
Starch .. Water ..
Turpentine .. Borax ..
2 ounces or 2 tablespoonfuls
3 gills or 3 teacupfuls 1 teaspoonful
Mix the starch with the cold water until there are no lumps left, and let it soak overnight. Then add the turpentine and borax, and the starch will be ready for use.
The turpentine is used to produce a gloss, and the borax to whiten and stiffen the linen. The starch must be well mixed up from the bottom of the basin before using, and, if any is left, it may be covered and kept for some days. The starch will form a cake at the bottom of the basin, and if the water on the top should appear dirty, it may be poured off, and the same quantity of clean water added.
This is used for the washing of fancy work, particularly wool and canvas work. The proportions are :
1/2 pint of bran
2 quarts of cold water
Then strain into a tub or basin, adding an equal quantity of cold water. Return the bag of bran to the saucepan, add more cold water, and boil as before, so as to get a second water.
Soap jelly may be added to the bran water if the articles to be washed are very dirty. Bran water, besides being very soft and cleansing, has certain stiffening properties, which, for wool work, will be found quite sufficient, without using starch.
The proportions are one tablespoonful of gum arabic to one pint of boiling water. Stir until dissolved, and then strain. Lace will require this strength, but for silk it may be thinned down considerably. If liked, the gum may be dissolved in less water, and kept corked in a bottle, to be used as required.
Carefully sort the clothes before the washing is commenced.
Keep a look-out for stains and spots when sorting; once set by suds, a stain is difficult to remove.
Do not be economical with the rinsing waters.
Stockings should be dried wrong side out.