NOTH: When a personal reply is asked for, a stamped, self addressed envelope must be enclosed.
No notice will be taken of anonymous communications. Writers must sign their names, not for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith.
Information about educational institutions and business places is confined to Canadian ones.
Question—Mrs. L.J.: Can you tell me how to treat alkali water, as found in Saskatchewan, so that it will not affect a young baby?
Answer—The only information I can get on the subject is that it is wise to boil the water before using and cool it. Does anyone know of a better way? I would suggest your preparing some barley water, which is a healthful drink, good for children and adults. Take one tablespoonful of pearl barley and wash it in cold water, then pour off the water. Put the barley into one quart of boiling water, add the juice of half a lemon and three cubes of sugar. Let it stand covered and keep warm for three hours, then strain and cool.
Question—Miss R.: Is it possible for one to enter an Interior Decorating establishment without experience. I am very fond of this form of work, and if possible would like to get a position in Vancouver.
Answer—Probably the best you could do would be to procure a situation in the house furnishing section of a department store, and study evenings to get all the information you could. I can recommend a correspondence course in Interior Decorating that would fit in well. For a girl to become a professional Interior Decorator on her own, calls for much talent. There is scope only for a limited number of such in our larger cities. She must possess originality, a keen color sense, general culture and a specific knowledge of architecture, historic periods and their furniture, fabrics, porcelains, bronzes, applied art, etc.
Question—M.L.: Can you suggest a way by which a person fond of writing letters could add to her income in that way? Do magazines of certain types offer any opportunities?
Answer-—As you live in a small town, I should advise you to aim first at getting regularly into print in your home newspaper. Ask the Editor if you may submit to him a chatty, weekly letter, covering a certain field, such as social, district news gathered around the ranches, or women’s public and home interests. If you can swing something like this, so that it becomes a regular feature of the paper, even if you do not receive much money for it, you are at least off to a start. Gradually you can broaden your scope, sending news items from your district to the larger city papers. In time you may find yourself with a small but dependable income from such work. A nose for news is a great help.
Question—R.L.: I think I have one of Goldsmith’s first editions. But the fly leaf is gone so we have not the date. How can we tell if of any particular value?
Answer—Doubtful if this has much value, lacking the date. However, write to R. J. Blackeby, Bookseller, 29 Christ Church Buildings, Lisson Street, London, N.W., England, and ask him.
Question—L.C., Ont.: Can you tell me if Gaelic is taught in Toronto?
Answer—Write to the Toronto Gaelic Mission, 39 Davenport Road, for this information. In a tiny chapel, services in English are conducted in the morning, and in Gaelic in the evening.
Question—Mrs. H.A., Sask.: I am fond of art, and would like to take a course by mail, as I live in a small town and cannot get to an art school. I am undecided whether to take china painting, picture painting or interior decorating. Which one is the best to take by mail, and which one can I turn into money when I have finished my course? Please send me addresses of places that give a correspondence course in these.
Answ er—To be able to turn out work good enough to sell requires a thorough art training lasting years. You could not
learn china painting by correspondence except at great expense. All the china would have to be shipped to the nearest kiln to be fired, and then back to you again. You could not do good work, either in this branch or in landscape, until you learned to draw well. Students of drawing must copy objects in black and white first, then life models, going on to color— all a most exacting study. Even talented artists who have spent six or seven years in study of art often cannot sell their pictures. As for interior decoration, if you aim at money-making in the remote place where you live, you had better not attempt it. Conditions are all against you. But I would again recommend a simple practical book that teaches how to make and decorate small saleable articles. This is, “One Hundred Things a Girl Can Make,” published by the J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia' Price $2.50
Question—L.M.: Will you please send me information about insects? To whom could I send them? I have a moth which I think is a Luna. Is it of any value?
Answer—Not so easy as that, my child! You cannot sell insects unless you know about them, and this requires much time and patient study. Luna moths are not rare. Read Fabre’s books on insects.
Question—Thomas Cumming, North Battleford: Nelson, in his illuminating article, “Fifty Nine Years of Nation Building,” advises us to stiffen our backs by reading the speeches of the Fathers of Confederation. Can you tell me who published these speeches. You may remember the writer when I tell you he is still in the incurable ward, reading his Browning, and finding it good to live and learn. With thoughts, leal and many, o’ the Box.
Answer—So glad to hear again from this plucky correspondent, who with his optimism and courage is a lesson to us all. There is a book which is shortly to be brought out in a new edition, the first one having been exhausted, called, “The Builders of the Canadian Commonwealth” by Dr. George Locke. Ryerson Press. Price $2.50. This contains lengthy quotations from the most noted speeches of the fathers of confederation.
Question—R.M.: I am thinking o^
opening a small shop devoted exclusively to children, and would like to know if five hundred dollars would be sufficient to start. Can you give me names of manufacturers of good lines, and would this amount be enough to begin on?
Answer —• The amount you mention seems rather small, and I think you would need in addition enough money to keep you for at least six months until your shop got established. Why not talk the matter over with your banker. I am sending you the names of manufacturers. Without wishing to be discouraging I may say I noticed a very nice shop indeed of the kind you contemplate starting, and it began and ended within the space of a year or two. Evidently it could not compete with the big stores.
Question—J.A.M.: Can you help me with my problem? I am a young man twenty years old, who would like to specialize in some branch of electrical work. But my funds are very limited. Is there any college in Canada, like West Point, where a young fellow can get through on his merit, or is it absolutely necessary to have money to get a proper training? Failing electrical work, I would like to take up civil engineering, starting with surveying, of which I have done a little and like, but there is little opportunity here. Would you advise me to go to the States?
Answer — Have you matriculated? Money must be forthcoming for a University education, but a number of young men and women put themselves through. Electrical engineering and surveying are taught at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ont., and part of the course possibly might be taken by correspondence. But first you would have to matriculate. Surveying would make a good start for you if you found it impossible to take the engineering course. In the Technical Schools, found in the larger cities of Canada, the study of electricity is taken up and a good groundwork given. Matriculation standing is not required, and the course costs little. I would certainly advise you to stay in Canada. We are on the eve of great prosperity, and there will be all sorts of chances here.
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.