Elise was a Piano Once Upon a Time

This is a true story.

This is the story of how a tiny doll and her special hedgehog friend came to live in my studio….

Long, long ago, there was a seed, well several seeds, really.

They grew up and became majestic trees.

They sang the song of the wind and the sun and the moon and the rain and the stars for probably hundreds of years.

And, then they were cut down.

They became a piano.

And the piano sang  songs of love, and sadness and grief and joy.

Eventually, the piano wore out.  Completely.

The piano tuner shook his head sadly and declared it to be done.

But he had a friend who made things with wood, so he offered some of the wood from the piano to his friend.

His friend happily accepted the wood from the sad and gone piano, and because he is a generous and kind person,

he offered some pieces of the wood to his Mum.

That’s me.

I was sure I could feel a very, very tiny doll singing little tiny songs inside the wooden scrap….

I cut a little bit of the piano wood and loved how it felt in my hands….

I cut out rough shapes that would be just the right size to carve my favorite size of doll- 2 and a half inches tall.

I carved:

and carved:

and carved and carved and carved some more.

While I was carving, I asked her what her name is,

and she declared: “Elise, of course!”

She said that even though she preferred playing Mozart when she was a piano,

that she had always loved it when her family played ‘Fur Elise’.

(An interesting thing happened when I told my daughter about tiny Elise-

she knew, even before I said Elise’s name that that was the name of this tiny, but

determined little wooden person!)

Elise let me know that she wanted old fashioned boots

and cream colored stockings and camisole

and that lovely amber color from the shellac for her hair.

She also told me that she wanted me to tat her dress,

and while I was at it, to make the tatting shuttle that I would use

to tat her dress.

And, to make the tatting shuttle a hedgehog, and

to use the bit of wood that was around the lock that used to keep the piano closed.

Elise  helped me to figure out how to get the lock out of the wood….

She insisted that the lovely round brass keyhole had to become part of her tatting shuttle.

Elise chose some old tatting cotton that I had been given

(from the estate of the friend of a friend who didn’t know what to do with it)

Elise and I started freeform tatting her dress.

Sometimes, it didn’t go well.  sigh.

Tatting is the pits to try and unpick, so scissors were the best option:

Elise got a little annoyed at times with all the trying on and taking off of the dress,

but I reminded her that she was the one who demanded it be tatted-

crochet would have been infinitely faster!

She fell on her face and refused to co-operate for awhile, but eventually,

calmed down and we got on with the tatting:

Eventually, Elise’s dress was done.

It’s a bit cattywombus but Elise has forgiven me for that.

She understands that freeforming when making a tatted dress can mean that things are slightly ‘unique’.

Elise is looking forward to having adventures with the other wooden dolls in the studio.

She has placed a few requests for things that she would like to have, thank you very much.

Elise may look young, but you must remember, that she’s a doll with a long, long story!

(and has more to tell, but that is for another day and until then, she and her hedgehog friend will enjoy life in the studio).


I have joined a group of wonderful bloggers from all over the world – The Scrap Happy Bloggers- who work with upcycled materials and post once a month.

Here are the links to all their blogs: Do check them out 🙂

Kate Gun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2 and Noreen



Filed under carving wood, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, eco crafts & green projects, lace making, tatting, upcycling, wooden dolls, woodwork

17 responses to “Elise was a Piano Once Upon a Time

  1. Elise is delightful, if opinionated – does she sing? She seems to have an Opera-singing stance, and with all that music in her xylems and phloems…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fascinating process. The tatting would have been my undoing – not that I’d have got that far but, if I had…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tialys…. LOL… tatting is one of the delights of my life, so it was a pleasure to tat Elise’s dress…. although at times it was a bit of a challenge to make the dress come into shape. Tatting a dress for a doll that is only 2 1/2 inches tall is not easy – but worth it 😀


  3. maitrilibellule

    She is, of course, enchanting, and so is this wonderful story. I did, however, look very hard for her hedgehog and couldn’t find him? And I am very intrigued about The Scrap Happy Bloggers! Thank you for sharing your magical world with us once again. And a special kiss to Tottie herself!



    Liked by 1 person

    • Maitri, ScrapHappy Day happens every month on the 15th. Around the world, people who make things from scraps put up a blog post showing what they’ve made. My friend Gun in Sweden and I started it 6 years ago, and we have never missed a ScrapHappy Day since! The world is full of scraps waiting to be turned into something useful, pretty or charming as Miss Elise herself.
      Kate in Australia.


  4. welcome to the scrap happy group, what a wonderful story, I hope to see more of Elise in the future. She seems to be a very scrappy little person with a big personality. Her tatted dress is a beautiful addition.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Tatting Shuttle is a Hedgehog, Maitri- it’s in the header photo and the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th photos 🙂


  6. What a delightful little diva she is, to be sure! How lovely to create something/someone so filled with music as she must be. Welcome to the group, and I hope to see many more such creative wonders.


  7. Oh my goodness, adorable! Doll, dress, and story–all simply adorable.

    Liked by 1 person

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