What Shall We Do Now? 223
A lump of modelling clay can keep one agreeably employed —provided your ringers have any cleverness at all—for hours. This can be bought at any artist-material shop ; or ordinary clay dug up in the garden will serve. Hundreds of capable modellers must have lived and died in ignorance of their power, simply because the idea of playing with clay never occurred to them.
Home-made Easter eggs are made by painting pictures or messages on eggs that have been hard-boiled, or by merely boiling them in water containing cochineal or some other colouring material. In Germany it is the custom for Easter eggs to be hidden about in the house and garden, and for the family to hunt for them before breakfast—a plan that might very well be taken up by us.
Paper and cardboard articles can be prettily decorated by spatter-work. Ferns are the favourite shapes to use. You first pin them on whatever it is that is to be ornamented in this way, arranging them as prettily as possible. Then rub some Indian ink in water on a saucer until it is quite thick. Dip an old toothbrush lightly into the ink, and, holding it over the cardboard, rub the bristles gently across a fine tooth comb. This will send a spray of ink over the cardboard. Do this again and again until the tone is deep enough, and try also to graduate it. It must be remembered that the ink when dry is much darker than when wet. Then remove the ferns, when under each there will be a white space exactly reproducing their beautiful shape. If you like you can paint in their veins and shade them ; but this is not really necessary. Coloured paints can be used instead of Indian ink.
Making scrapbooks is always a pleasant and useful employment, whether for yourself or for children in hospitals or districts, and there was never so good an opportunity as now of getting interesting pictures. These you select from odd numbers of magazines, Christmas numbers, illustrated papers, and advertise-
Modelling in clay.