Monday, November 10, 2008

For the Love of Elke

Many of you know Elke.   But many do not know of the astounding transformation that Elke has made over the past year and a half.  

Elke was given to us by my mom.  She picked her up at a yard sale, pristine and lovely as can be, still in her box.  Greta was maybe 6 months old so Elke went up on a closet shelf to be brought out when Greta would really be able to play with her and not just try to eat her.  We forgot about Elke for about 2 years until cleaning out the closet she was rediscovered.  I pulled her down for Greta.  It was love at first sight.  

She was the perfect model of the traditional Dutch girl. She wore a high peaked lace hat, brightly colored skirt with apron, wooden clogs,  and two of the  most beautiful long golden braids.  This doll was not meant to be played with but rather set up on a shelf to be admired.   This harsh truth was realized when Greta tried taking off the clothes.  Everything was glued on, even the clogs!  The horror!  I explained to her the type of doll she was and that it was ok that her clothes stay on and that we wouldn't want her to be naked and cold.   This worked for a while but it wasn't long before I was put in charge of removing those adorable itty bitty clogs.  I tried to talk her out of this especially since I knew that they wouldn't stay on on their own and would very likely be lost within the week.   The shoes came off.

Elke has come to be Greta's mostly companion.  She even was Elke for several days this spring spent with Grandma Peggy.   I have made her a few outfits, attached and reattached her arms and legs, and most recently we gave her new hair.  I am least proud of this make shift wig,  but Greta couldn't wait for me to get proper doll hair.  We had to make due with what we had at that moment.  But Elke needed new hair....bad!  Greta had cut off those pretty braids awhile back and she was sporting a sort of pixie cut.  It looked cute for awhile.  Elke looked like a hip and more modern Dutch girl,  straight out of Amsterdam.  But Elke had too many baths and this hair soon turned into a matted mess.  Now she wears white cotton dreads.

The last outfit I made for Elke was this cute kimono.  We thought it suited her because after all Elke is no longer that old fashioned Dutch girl with the high peaked lace hat,  but a cosmopolitan and worldly young lady.

She has been described to some as "scary" (you know who you are and shame on you) but we love her just the same.  She has inspired many conversations about Holland, the Dutch people, travel, maps, herring.   Most importantly Greta loves her and has given her life and personality that we all find endearing.  We love Elke around here and believe she is here to stay.  And you'll be happy to know Greta has managed not to lose those adorable wooden clogs. 


1 comment:

Peggy Ray said...

Wonderful! I love your writing! I love Elke and her latest do! I love Greta and her fantastic poses... and of course the marvelous and mysterious Henry!