14 IDEAL HOME LIFE
"Life of Johnson." The roof is a flat square lid, once the lid of a packing-case, stained a dark brown like the bricks • of the walls. On the side are the windows made of the ivory fan, and the dark bricks and the elephant tusk shells. There is a door, too, a mother-of-pearl one; in a former life it was the card-case of a much-loved aunt, who nobly contributed it to the Temple. Above this door is a white animal from the Noah's Ark.
Materials from Unexpected Sources
When once you begin to build, you will find that all sorts of things that before looked neither useful nor beautiful become both, when they are built into your city. Look at the bedstead-knobs in the Elephant Temple, and the pepper-pots and the teacups on the top of the tower of pearl and red.
Those children who are lucky enough to go into the country for a holiday can collect fir-cones and acorns; nicely shaped bits of wood are more easily come by in a country village than in a city. Acorns are most useful, both the acorn and the cup. A brown building with doors and windows outlined in acorn cups with their flat side set on with glue looks like a precious work of carved wood. If you cannot get acorn cups, the shells of Barcelona nuts are good, but they are difficult to cut into the needed cup shape. The shells of peanuts on a stone-colored building look like carved stones, but always the nutshell must fit its edges tightly and neatly to the surface and show as a little round neat boss.
Your own observation will supply you with other little and valueless things, which will become valuable as soon as you stick them evenly and closely on a foundation of their own color. The periwinkle shells and the corn-grains look best on white wood. The shells of the cocoanut have a value all their own. The larger ones, sawn neatly in halves, make impressive domes for brown buildings, and half a small cocoa-nut shell will roof a cardboard box that has held elastic bands, and you can call it a thatched cottage or the hut of a savage chief. I called mine Cocoanut Cottage, and the curator of my Botanical Museum lived there.