Thursday, September 11, 2014

Something Blue Elise

Madame Alexander Elise

Yesterday I managed, through walking only about six miles instead of ten, to be amazingly efficient around the house. I went to the store, swept floors, washed laundry, and finished a new doll, beginning to end. Today I'm afraid my track record isn't as good. I've been reading Colin Dexter's first Inspector Morse mystery, Last Train to Woodstock, and I just couldn't do anything until I finished it! I thought I knew who did it, and I was correct!


Elise after restoration

Anyway, last week I bid on a 1950s Elise doll and amazingly, won. This Elise has most unusual copper-colored hair. You often see the blond or "Tosca" strawberry blond Elise dolls, but rarely those with red or dark brown hair. She arrived yesterday morning in pieces, with a darkened infused plastic face and eyes caked with some white substance. She did, however, retain her original hair set with pins, net and barrette, and her diamond ring and earrings. I set to work immediately. In fact, I was so excited to get started I forgot to take "before" photos! Sorry! This face was every bit as bad as my Sleeping Beauty Elise shown here: http://mandalineartfulliving.blogspot.com/2014/03/sleeping-beauty-revived.html.


Some dark plastic remains.

Just as with Sleeping Beauty, I scrubbed the face repeatedly with a Mr. Clean Eraser until I was able to remove most of the orangey color. The cleaning removed Elise's eyebrows, of course, so I repainted those and sealed them.  I cleaned her ice blue eyes with a Q-Tip dipped in Windex and they came out beautiful and sparkling.

Elise with cleaned face and eyes.

After this, Elise just needed stringing. She has no splits at all, another unusual thing for a doll of her age, so I certainly didn't want to cause any by stringing her too tight. It's always hard to achieve the delicate balance of tight enough stringing to stand and pose, but loose enough to preserve the seams. I think I did it here, however. I am including a stand since it's always hard to get Elise dolls to stand up on their jointed ankles and this one is wearing the later 1960s kitten-heeled Elise shoes that aren't quite high heeled enough for her to balance on them well. Elise has a small factory-flaw dimple in one calf, but this is extremely minor.


A small dimple on her calf

Elise can stand alone with careful balancing.

The Madame Alexander mark

The original hair set with net and barrette

One reason I could finish Elise so quickly is that I didn't have to worry about repairing or sewing an outfit for her. A while back I bought a lot of dolls with a fully-dressed Elise bride #1760. Her dress has multiple rows of lace, meaning it was produced after 1966 (when that dress had only one row) but before 1975, when they switched to the #1670 bride. The dress and clothing is all in good repair, with only slight age-spotting and elastic stretching, but the doll needs work from sitting too long. It's sad how display-only dolls can have damage simply because no one ever played with them! That Elise has a rubber band and hair net rotted into her hair and will have to have all the old fabric and elastic picked out and her hair re-styled. Once I'm finished I may list her, but she has amazingly dark eyes with long eye lashes and black hair, so I may save her as a gift for my Chinese daughter. Watch my store for that doll to possibly appear! This doll and a large collection of others are for sale right now, though, so please check: http://stores.ebay.com/atelier-mandaline.


Elise in the panties, hose, garter, and shoes of the #1760 Elise.

Elise's "something blue"

In my doll stash I have a slip I acquired somewhere, but have now forgotten. It is a Madame Alexander slip, but it's very yellowed and stained from age. I cleaned it as best I could and replaced the elastic. It helps the dress skirt stand out, but doesn't show when the dress covers it.



The slip has lots of all-over age staining.

With her entire outfit, Elise makes a lovely bride! It's amazing how much detail Madame Alexander puts into their doll clothing. This tulle skirt and veil are so full they probably stand out about two feet in diameter! I couldn't fit the whole skirt into the photos!


I think, as well, it's appropriate for the dress to show slight age. That way it seems to belong to the doll. There's nothing awful, though. The bouquet is rather raggedy. I have this doll displayed in my case right now, though, and she makes an incredibly lovely display. I can't believe how many bride dolls I have right now. I'll have to take their photo together! They'd make a beautiful collection.



Elise's original wedding ring.

The bouquet

The veil trails on the floor!

The dress is tagged.

I ought to be out working in my garden, but to be honest, I'm about ready to pack it in. I'm losing all confidence as a gardener. The giant swings from far below to far above average temperatures are wreaking havoc on my plants. I had to bring my cabbages inside to baby them because it got to hot, but yesterday I discovered something seemed to be eating them indoors! On close inspection I discovered worms all over them. Every time I think I've gotten them all more appear. Evidently the eggs were already on the plants when I bought them. Then, my cucumbers and peas got angry at being moved and all died. It's not looking good for the cold crop!


Worms on my cabbages

I did get to enjoy the super moon on my walks last night and the night before. Over the lake it looks just like Edvard Munch's iconic and thematic moon. I hope you get a chance to see it.

Munch's Moon in gold

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