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Doll, bear and craft show has new heart

HEART-WARMING: Barb Nimmo, of Country Heart Events, with her display of unique bears at last years Doll, Bear and Craft Show, reborn this year with a winter theme on May 19.
HEART-WARMING: Barb Nimmo, of Country Heart Events, with her display of unique bears at last years Doll, Bear and Craft Show, reborn this year with a winter theme on May 19.

RUMOURED to be up to 50 years old, Toowoomba's Doll, Bear and Winter Craft Show is being given a wintery, upbeat makeover for 2018.

In danger of extinction after last year's show, it's been taken on by the ladies behind Country Heart Events, who also run the Fairies and Flower Fantasy during the Carnival of Flowers and Country Heart Christmas in December as part of their wish to "give back to the community".

Barb Nimmo, a bear-maker, and fellow craftie Deb Dieckmann, whose love is textiles and beads, have put together the Winter is Coming-themed show at the St Paul's Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 19.

You'll see the difference from the moment you pull up, with stalls outside the hall as well as inside, and a Hogwarts Railway Station-style entry foyer.

Even old favourites like the doll and bear exhibition have been given new stuffing, to be judged this year by the visitors, rather than professional judges, and include cloth, wooden and art dolls as well as porcelain.

There's a new event in the shape of a mannequin competition, with $300 to the winner of the best winter themed dress.

Barb said there are at least 10 entries, including a mannequin in 1800s dress, waiting at the train station with her valise, and a wintery mermaid.

Puppeteer Jamie Colvin is coming to town, doing a cable-operated puppet workshop on Friday, May 18 as well as showing a variety of puppets on the Saturday.

This is also the first year the craft section has been winter-themed, including winter textiles, fabric toys and children's jumpers, and there's a miniatures section, including doll houses and room vignettes.

But for Barb, the creator of Barbery Lane Bears, you just can't go past the bears, which she has been making for about 18 years.

Each is handsewn - no machines here - using washable synthetic fur, with each seam triple-sewn and the handpainted eyes sewn, glued and clamped in for safety.

They take 18-24 hours to make and each has its own name and story "because they've all got their own personality - no two are the same," Barb explained.

She said she and Deb hope to create a "feel-good atmosphere" at the show, proceeds from which go to Toowoomba Hospice.

It runs from 9am-3pm and entry costs just $5.

To learn more, find them on Facebook, go to www.countryheartevents.com or call Barb on 0409 895 584.

Topics:  alison houston doll-bear-craft-show toowoomba


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