Nature Study With Tissue-paper
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, botany is apt to prove dry and tiresome to the little child, but to study nature by copying the flowers in this marvellously adaptable material is only a beautiful game which every child, and indeed many grown people, will delight in. The form of the flower, its name and color, may, by this means, be indelibly stamped upon the memory, and a good foundation laid for further study.
The Best Models
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
which some one has given you or you have growing in your own garden. Make one of your light pink paper, one of the darker pink, and another of the rich, deep red to have a variety .
Fig. 225—Carnations modelled from tissue-paper.
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
How to Cut a Circle Quickly
easily, and accurately, and always without a pattern. Here is a method which never fails:
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.
Fig. 233—The circle opened.
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.
Before Beginning Your Flower
take up the natural one and examine it carefully. You will notice that it has a great many petals crowded closely together, and that their edges are pointed like a saw. You will also see that the calyx is wrapped snugly around the lower part of the flower, and that it, too, has a pointed edge.
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.
Cut Two Squares for Each Pink
one measuring five and a quarter inches, the other four and three-quarters inches, and turn them into circles , by the method just explained. Take one of the circles at the centre, where the folding lines cross, with the tips of the fingers of your left hand, and pinch it together; then, while still holding it, crimp the edge with the fingers of your right hand . Do this always with every kind of flower, whether it be made of circles or squares. Without loosening your hold of the centre, draw the paper lightly through your right hand several times, then crimp the edge again, this time with the blade of the scissors. Treat all the circles alike, then place a small circle inside a larger one and draw them through your hand to bring them close together, pinching them closely until within a little over an inch of the edge . Make a slender lighter of ordinary writing-paper , snip off the point of the flower, D, in , open the other end a little, and push the lighter through until its head is hidden. This forms the stem. Wrap and tie with thread at the bottom of the flower , and again where the petals spread. This last is to be but temporary, as you will remove the thread when the flower is sufficiently pressed together to hold its shape.
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.
is made of a circle of dark green paper the diameter of which is three and a quarter inches . Gather this circle between your fingers as you did the others and crimp the edge with the scissors. It will then form a little bag or cup like . Slip the bag over the head of the lighter and tie at the bottom, as in . If the bud does not take the proper shape at first, model it with your fingers until it is correct. Start the wrapping of the stem just above where the bud is tied and finish as you did the stem of the pink. Use small leaves on the bud stem, having the strip of paper just as wide, but considerably shorter than for the leaves on the stem of the open flower.
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.
Fig. 244—Morning-glory modelled from tissue-paper.
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.
Fig. 245—Flatten out the top.
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.
of a square of light green paper measuring about four and a half inches. Fold the square four times through the centre to form the creases shown by the dotted lines in . Hold the square at the centre and draw the edges down as in ; then bring the two edges together in gathers, just below one of the corners, to form a leaf-shaped point, as in . Gather below each corner, tie as in , and twist each corner into a sharp point like F . Draw the calyx through your hand, bringing the points together . Push the calyx up on the stem and tie just at the base of the flower, then tie again about three-quarters of an inch below and wrap the remainder of the calyx close to the stem. Wind the stem with light green tissue-paper and bend it as the natural one is bent and curved.
Fig. 248—Form a leaf-shaped point.
Fig. 249—Twist each corner into a point.
Fig. 250—Bring the points together.
Fig. 251—Gather along one of the creases.
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.
Fig. 252—The morning-glory leaves.
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.
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