A natural flower, some tissue-paper, a pair of scissors, a spool of thread, and nimble fingers are all you need.
There are no patterns, only circles and squares and strips of paper which you gather here, spread out there, wrap and tie somewhere else, and, with deft fingers, model into almost exact reproductions of the natural flower before you.
With its unfamiliar terms to be committed to memory and the many parts of the flower to be distinguished
Ordinary garden flowers and those most easily procured make the best models. The carnation, the morning-glory, and the rarer blossoms of the hibiscus are well adapted to the work, also the daffodil and some of the wonderful orchids.
Even holly, with its sharp-spiked leaves and scarlet berries, and the white-berried, pale green mistletoe may be closely copied. All these and many more are made on the same principle, and in so simple a manner that even quite a little child may succeed in producing very good copies from nature.
Buy a sheet of light pink tissue-paper, another of darker pink, and one of the darkest red you can find; then a sheet of light yellow-green and one of dark green. Have a table "cleared for the action" and place your paper on the right-hand side, adding a pair of scissors and a spool of coarse thread, or, better still, of soft darning cotton.
With all this you are to copy the
Lay your natural flower down on the left-hand side of the table, away from your material, but within quite easy reach, for it must be consulted frequently. Seat yourself comfortably and don't work hurriedly.
The first thing necessary in this system of squares and circles is to know
Fig. 226—Fold the square diagonally through the centre.
Fig. 227—The folded square makes the triangle.
Cut a square the size you wish to make your circle. That is, if you want a circle with a diameter of four inches, cut a four-inch square . Fold the square diagonally through the centre according to the dotted line on , and you have a triangle . Fold this at the dotted line and it will make another triangle . Again fold through the middle and you have the third triangle . Fold once more and is the result. Measure the distance from the edge, B, to the centre, A, in , and mark the same distance on the other side of the triangle shown by the dot, C . With your scissors cut across from C to B, curving the edge slightly, as shown by the dotted line from C to B . is the circle still in its folds. is the circle opened, the dotted line indicating where it has been folded.
Fig. 228—The second triangle.
Fig. 229—The third triangle.
Fig. 230—The fourth triangle.
Fig. 231—Cut along dotted line.
Fig. 232—The folded circle.
Your eye will soon become sufficiently accurate to enable you to gauge the distance from A to B, and you can then cut from C to B without measuring.
Now hold the pink off at arm's length. The separateness of the petals disappears and you see them only as a mass; the points on the edges are not noticeable except as they give the flower a crimped appearance, and the edge of the calyx looks almost straight. It is this appearance or the impression of the flower that you are to produce rather than its many and little separate parts. So now set to work.
Fig. 234—Crimp the edge with your fingers.
Fig. 235—Draw these through your hand to bring them closely together.
Fig. 236—Make the stem of a paper lighter.
From your light green paper cut a circle measuring three and a quarter inches through its diameter and cut it in two to make the half circle for the calyx . Remove the thread that holds the flower just below its petals and wrap the calyx closely around the lower part, tying it at the bottom; then cut a narrow strip of dark green paper and wrap it spirally around the stem, beginning at the top . Let the wrapper extend a little below the lighter and twist the end to hold it in place. Spread the petals of your flower as much like the natural blossom as possible.
Fig. 237—Tie the flower to the stem.
Fig. 238—The calyx.
Fig. 239—Wrap the paper spirally around the stem.
Fig. 240—The leaves.
Fig. 241—Twist each end into a point.
For the leaves cut a strip of dark green paper six inches long and three-quarters of an inch wide . Find the centre by folding the paper end to end and making the crease shown by the dotted line in . Gather it along this line, not with needle and thread—we use no needle in this work—but with your fingers, and pinch it together; then twist each end into a point . With the sharp end of your scissors punch a hole directly through the centre, E , and push the point of the stem through the hole, bringing the leaves as far up on the stem as you find them on the natural flower; then wrap and tie them in place.
Fig. 242—Make the bud of a circle.
Fig. 243—Slip the bag over the head of the lighter.
It is wonderful how very natural these blossoms appear. At a short distance no one would think they are not the real, old and familiar pinks. Only the fragrance is missing, and that may also be supplied and a spicy odor given by inclosing a whole clove in the heart of each flower.
From the pale pink paper you can make a delicately beautiful morning-glory . Have the natural flower with its stem and leaves to copy from, even if the blossom is not the color you want. As with the pink, it is the general form and appearance we strive for in the morning-glory, not the detail.
Make your pink circles with a diameter of about seven inches. It is always better to have your flowers a trifle larger than the natural ones, rather than smaller.
But one circle is required for each morning-glory. Crimp this in your fingers and draw through your hand as you did the circles for the pinks; then, pinching it together to within one and a half inches of the edge, hold it in your left hand and flatten out the top, as in . See that the fulness is evenly distributed, and pull and straighten out the edges until you are satisfied with its appearance.
A piece of bonnet-wire makes the best stem if you wish to give the true viny effect of the growth. If it is only the blossom you are making, a paper lighter will answer. When you use the wire, bend one end over to form a small loop; this is to keep the stem from slipping through the flower. Pass the straight end of the wire through the centre of the flower and draw it down until the loop is hidden.
Fig. 246—Green square for calyx.
Fig. 247—Hold the square at the centre.
Make several buds of the pink paper, following the directions given for the green bud of the pink; then twist each bud at the point and add a calyx.
The wilted flower shown in the illustration is made by taking one of the morning-glories you have just finished and actually wilting it by drawing the flower together and creasing and pressing it to resemble the partially closed and drooping natural blossom.
Only a piece of dark green paper six inches square is required to model two almost perfectly shaped morning-glory leaves.
Fold the square twice diagonally across from corner to corner to find its centre; then begin at one corner and gather along one of the creases until you reach the centre . Start again at the opposite corner, gather along the crease to the centre, then wrap and tie . Pinch each leaf from underneath along the crease in the middle, to give the depression at the midrib. Straighten the leaf out a little at its widest part and you will find you have a pair of leaves which are surprisingly natural. Wrap and tie these to the stem and make as many more as you think are needed.