As we boarded the plane and took a 7 hours flight from Singapore to Brisbane, I was very excited as this is the first time that I would be visiting Brisbane. What awaits us in Brisbane? I’m sure it would be a wonderful experience as I’ve heard that the Winter Wonderland Show is one of the largest and biggest shows in Australia, with over a hundred tables showcasing Dolls and Teddy Bears from various artists. We learned about this show from a fellow bear artist (Lisa Dopking) whom we met last year in Melbourne. This is the first time we were taking part and we could not wait to see what would be on display.
The weather in Brisbane was very nice and cooling. How I wish Singapore’s weather could be like this every day! At around 20 degrees, all you need to wear is an additional jacket while outdoors to keep yourself warm and comfortable.
|Venue location - RNA Showgrounds|
This year, the event was held at RNA Showgrounds which is a newly constructed building that was recently opened. When we entered the venue for the first time, we were very impressed with the layout as all the tables were neatly organised. It did not take us long to find our way to our designated table, which we have requested to be placed right beside our dear friend Margaret Burke whom we met last year in Melbourne.
|Margaret Burke with my family|
There were plenty of traders selling doll outfits, vintage toys, mohair supplies, porcelain dolls, parts, reborn dolls and teddy bears. The scale of the event literally blew us away as we had never been to such a big scaled event like this before.
Even before the doors were opened, collectors, hobbyist and people from all walks of life started forming a queue outside. At 9.30am sharp, the doors opened and the people paid their entrance fee before entering the showroom. All of them seemed excited that the event had finally begun and could not wait to see what was being showcased.
|L-R ( Me, Lisa Dopking & Margaret Burke|
At the show, we met some popular Australian bear artists, mostly whom are already on our Facebook friend list. Namely, Margaret Burke (Nikkel Bears), Lisa Dopking (Megelles), Laraine White (Rainebears), Tracy Sully & Noeline Williamson (Little Bear Company), Ann-Marie (Goldelocs Bears), Christine Jacobs (Winkle Bears), Robyn Gan (A Gunnie Collectible) , Stephanie Raye (Burringbears) and Colleen Low (Victorian Bearlooms).
|Margaret and family|
|L-R (Me, Margaret, Tracy and Noeline)|
|Ann-Marie (Goldelocs Bears) & Me|
|Burringbears by Stephanie Raye|
|Victorian Bearlooms by Colleen Low|
|Robyn Gan & Spouse with my mum & me|
|L-R (Laraine, Christine, Margaret & Me)|
I met many doll artists as well; the Reborn Dolls were so realistic and gave me goose bumps… Excellent craftsmanship; they smelt so good just like new born babies and weigh similar to the real ones. I felt just like a father when I cradled them.
|Dolls outfits by Fran Smiles (Doll Dressmaker)|
|Realistic baby reborns made by Glen and Ray King (Sunny Hill Sweeties)|
There was also a competition for doll and bear artists. I submitted 2 entries for the competition, a Pink Dragon named Edra and a Panda named Day Dreamer. Both of them received top scores in the critiques, however they didn’t emerge as champions. To my surprise, both my new dragons, Edra and Goldwin (which I had specially made for the Winter Wonderland Show) were adopted within the first 2 hours of the show. To top it all off, my Panda Day Dreamer also won the “People’s Choice” Award. I was presented with a porcelain glass trophy and had the honour of taking a picture with the maker of the trophy.
After the show on the first day, we had dinner in a Mexican Restaurant with some of the bear artists. All of us really enjoyed ourselves and kept talking throughout the night. It was good fun. I was glad that my parents and sister enjoyed the dinner too.
Overall, the event was a success. Five of my animals have found homes and most of the artists have more than four sales on the first day. I had the chance to meet up with all my fellow bear artists, and made new friends as well.
We want to thank the organiser, Liz Radford and her team, for giving us a wonderful and heart-warming experience in Brisbane Winter Wonderland show. We really hope to see you all again soon. We also like to thank all who came down and support the show to make this event a successful one.
Thank you for reading the review of the Brisbane Wonderland Show. We hope that you have enjoyed the review as much as we enjoyed ourselves in Brisbane!