"I am a member of Teddy Bears and Critters Australasia, Teddy Bear Society, Guild of Master Bearcrafters and Teddy Talk; all of which have wonderful online forums and plenty of help and advice from bear artists all over the world."
"I like to trade at the Sydney Teddy Bear Fair, Mittagong Doll & Bear Show, Central Coast Doll & Bear Show and Newcastle Doll & Bear Show each year. They are all within a comfortable day’s drive from my home, and I have just started trading at periodic online shows through the Teddy Bears & Critters Australasia website."
Margaret began entering competitions.
"I won my first competition in May 2007 at the Sydney Teddy Bear Fair where I won Best Novice Bear which encouraged me to keep entering competitions. I do so mostly to learn from judges comments in critiqued competitions and to improve my techniques in doing so."
In 2008, she won the Best Open Bear at the South Australian Teddy Bear Show, and has been a finalist in the People’s Choice of the Sydney Teddy Bear Fair in 2008 and 2009.
"Most recently, I have won the Best Photographic Layout in the 2009 Spring Challenge show conducted by Teddy Bears and Critters Australasia."
As a relative newcomer to the bear making industry, Margaret feels that she is still developing her ‘signature style’ although she does get quite a few positive comments at shows and elsewhere on her bear's eyes and little round bottoms.
"I work painstakingly to create character and personality in each of my bears and feel that I achieve this through striking starburst, hand-painted eyes."
Margaret draws inspiration from some unusual sources. "I love the color and fantasy of shows such as Cirque du Soleil and Fanta-Sea in Phuket, Thailand." She finds herself drawn to artists whose styles are more fantasy based and contemporary.
Her company, Nikkel Bears, was only created in July 2008, the name comes from the combination of her daughter’s names: Nikki and Kelly.
Margaret hand stitches all of her bears (yes, even the larger ones!) and has recently started creating trapunto toes in different styles which she is really enjoying.