Bendigo Doll and Teddy Show proves a hit with collectors

BIG dolls, tiny dolls, blonde dolls, brunette dolls.

In doll world, there is a doll or accessory that could eventually seduce everyone.

Just ask Dale Johns, an Eaglehawk ‘miniaturist’.

He was at first unmoved by his wife Caroline’s hobby of collecting miniatures – tiny furniture and homewares in doll houses - when they met.

"My wife was into it when we met 28 years ago,” he said. “She had a collection but I wasn’t interested.”

Then Caroline lost all her miniatures in a fire. “So then I felt sorry for her and got involved.”

Since then it had become a big part of their lives, he said. "It fills our house,” he laughed.

For Caroline, the miniature doll hobby is about creating perfection.

“Miniatures create the perfect world,” she said. “You can rearrange the furniture, decorate it however you want it, make a beautiful room full of antiques and things.

“With doll houses you can make the perfect house exactly how you want it without having to lift anything heavy.

“You can make the perfect home.”

Miniature collecting is one of the biggest hobbies in the world, she said and she loves coming to the Bendigo Doll and Teddy Show.

“It’s always a good day here.

"It’s very friendly, it’s like catching up with family every time the traders get together.”

Raggedy Anns, Barbies, even golliwogs were all at the Bendigo Doll and Teddy Show on Saturday, which remains a big event on the doll calendar. 

Miniatures create the perfect world - Caroline Johns

The “doll doctor” from Melbourne, David Short has been coming to the Bendigo show since it started 23 years ago. He was in demand to restring dolls and mend arms, legs and eyes.

Melbourne dollmaker Lee-Anne Carpenter was happy to be at her third Bendigo Doll and Teddy show.

 “I’m doing very well today,” she said. “I have sold three finished dolls and I haven’t done that here before.”

Ms Carpenter said though she would never be a millionaire, “I love it, it’s my passion.”

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