Ellie Elephant 1960's
After many years living in my previous house, I finally plucked up the courage to sell and move to a new place in February of 2007. Just before Christmas, I decided to delve through the trunks I had moved from my last loft, to my new loft, so that I could decorate in readinness for our first Christmas in our new home.
Everything was hickledy pickledy and I wasn't sure which trunk to search through first, so I heaved boxes aside and unclicked the first trunk I came across. There was no Christmas sparkle inside, but tucked carefully away within layers of old tablecloths, I found one of my childhood toys ...'Ellie the Elephant' had been made for me by my uncle when I was nought but a wee baby, way back in the early 1960's.
A train line ran across the back of Gran's garden and my mother's youngest brother had quite literally taken his life in his hands one day, by playing on the track. By some miracle he survived when the train inevitably rattled over him. He spent a long time in hospital and when he was sufficiently healed to work on his co-ordination, he was given the materials to make a 7" elephant ... my little Ellie.
Ellie was one of my much loved softies and over the years, her felt eyes and floppy ears were completely loved away, but I've never quite been able to bring myself to part with her. Which leads me to part two of my tale! As soon as I saw my worn out little elephant, I knew exactly what the perfect keepsake for the new baby would be!
Ellie Elephant 2007
I had the ideal piece of wool fabric tucked away in the bottom of my fabric box and using my memory to help me, created new ears, lined with beige velvet. Rather than the felt eyes of my original elephant, I used tiny glass eyes, because this little elephant is to be given as a keepsake, rather than a toy and I prefer the look of the traditional glass eyes; my fumblings with felt looked way too clumsy, even for a softie!
This project has been a welcome distraction from the bears for me and I am delighted with the result, which I think holds all the naive charm of the original. When I was a child it wasn't unusual for special gifts to be handmade and now, several decades later, I am delighted to be able to continue this tradition for my sister and her new baby!
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
We two have run about the slopes and picked the daisies fine;
We two have paddled in the stream,
And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
Here's to a peaceful and prosperous New Year for us all ... Cheers!