Hobby Riding

Lamp bases for a young girl's bedroom can be made to har­monize with almost any color scheme by filling clear glass bottles of good proportions with dried petals. Bottles are easy to electrify with reducible cork adapters. Peeling off outer layers of cork will make them fit any bottle neck. By uncorking the adapter the child can empty out old petals and switch from a delphinium-blue base one season to larkspur-pink the next, to conform to her color whims.

Lampshades for petal bases may be made from leaf and flower printed papers. Or pressed flowers to match the petals in the base may be glued on a plain parchment or plastic shade and covered with a transparent plastic such as frosted cellulose acetate. Edges may be bound with one of the colored adhesive tapes. Or they may be covered with raffia, using a raffia threaded needle and an over-and-under stitch. This is particu­larly compatible with the leaf and flower decorations.

All sorts of seeds, large and small, commonplace and exotic, are used in the making of seed-pictures. Backgrounds may be paper, cardboard or sheets of sandpaper. The subject may be anything of which the child would like to make a picture. Whatever it is to be-landscape, still-life or pure abstraction-the outlines should be lightly sketched in before the work begins. Seeds are secured with transparent cement. Tweezers are used to place the smaller ones.

Seeds are selected for color, form and texture effects, and bear no relation to the objects depicted. Grains of corn, for instance, may make petals of a daisy. Shiny black columbine seeds could be used for a beadwork effect, or to make centers of flowers. Leftover seed packets from previous season's gardens should be saved for this project, in addition to seeds gathered from the child's own plants.

Another type of seed picture is the decorative seed-pod plaque, which is like a one-dimensional winter arrangement flattened against and secured to a panel of some sort, usually wood. It utilizes seed pods more than seeds. Long pods like those of trumpet vine and wisteria will give an impression of leaves, although it is considered cricket to include a few dried leaves, as well as twisted stems and branches occasionally. The effect of a well-done seed-pod plaque, in varying shades of brown against a wood background, is rather like a wood carv­ing done in high relief.

Both seed pictures and plaques are projects with which the imagination and natural ingenuity of childhood are well equipped to cope. As much as possible seeds and pods should be collected from the child's own garden.

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