TonnerCon 2015: Guilty Pleasures – Days 1 & 2

Last year, 2014, was a dolly dearth for me. My mother and I were invited to celebrate ‘Christmas in July’ with her family in Sydney, Australia, so that ate up all my vacation time, not to mention monies! Thus, I was unable to attend any dolly events last year.

Therefore, I was extremely excited to attend the 2015 TonnerCon: Guilty Pleasures, held at the lovely Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre hotel in Dallas, TX! I was SUPER nervous to go, as it would be the first doll event I would be attending by myself. Previously I had dragged one of my parents along with me (mostly to drive me, heh), but this time, due to circumstances, neither could attend. So I would be flying all the way to Texas on my own. Now, it wasn’t the first time I’d traveled on my own — I’d flown to Texas and Japan all by my lonesome previously. But, it was the first time I’d be traveling on my own after being diagnosed with two conditions that could be debilitating. Thankfully, I had my own little cheerleading squad in the form of Thomas Lake and Shannon Craven. I couldn’t have managed as well as I did without them!

Day One

After getting up at the ungodly hour of 3:30 a.m. to get to the airport by 6, it was smooth sailing — or should I say, flying — to the Lone Star state.

Texas or bust!

Texas or bust!

I managed to time my flight to arrive within 20 minutes of Shannon’s arrival to Love Field, and Thomas was able to pick us both up to take us to the hotel. After meeting up with Lance Goforth and a delicious Mexican lunch, we were Lincoln Centre bound! Check-in went smoothly and Amelia and I were finally able to get a little rest before meeting up with the others for dinner. At the Cheesecake Factory. Like you do.

YAAAASSSS!

YAAAASSSS!

I needed to get some sleep because I had been up way too long and I needed to get up early to see if Shannon needed at help setting up her booth in the vendor room the next morning. But not before we had another quick look at the agenda.

Planning and plotting...

Planning and plotting…

Day Two

Morning came around way too quickly for my liking, but it didn’t really matter. It was finally time for TonnerCon! Went downstairs to help with Shannon’s display, though I mostly just fetched and carried. But I got to touch her amazing repainted dolls. Oooh! Then it was time for registration! Aaaah! Our convention bags were a beautiful basic black, and quite roomy. Inside were issues of Haute Doll and Dolls Magazine. Woohoo! Reading for the flight home! The Wilde companion dolls were on display at the registration desk. I wanted them all.

In back, Evangeline Loves Sweets. In front, Angelique Loves Lingerie. She would become my first Angelique.

In back, Evangeline Loves Sweets. In front, Angelique Loves Lingerie. She would become my first Angelique.

Parnilla Loves Hats.

Parnilla Loves Hats.

Penn, Just Relax.

Penn, Just Relax.

Far East Day Dream Ellowyne. Resin. Fell in love, but did not purchase. Something I now regret.

Far East Day Dream Ellowyne. Resin. Fell in love, but did not purchase. Something I now regret.

There wasn’t much to do between registering and the first event, so I wandered the hotel a little and took some shots of the lobby/convention areas.

The gorgeous - not to mention spacious - hotel lobby.

The gorgeous – not to mention spacious – hotel lobby.

The convention area was downstairs off the lobby. Fortunately, escalators.

The convention area was downstairs off the lobby. Fortunately, escalators.

But at last! It was time for the first event — the Wilde Tea Party! I’m always super excited for the Wilde events, as Wilde Imagination dolls make up the bulk of my collection. Plus, I always love the centerpiece the design team comes up with! And they did not disappoint!

Amelia LOVED the table favor -- a gorgeous tea cup! 'It's big enough to bathe in!'

Amelia LOVED the table favor — a gorgeous tea cup! ‘It’s big enough to bathe in!’

Vintage Tea Ellowyne -- she came with an entire tea set!

Vintage Tea Ellowyne — she came with an entire tea set!

Vintage Kitchen Lizette

Vintage Kitchen Lizette

Vintage Baker Pru

Vintage Baker Pru

LOVED the centerpiece and their ’50s look! Their aprons reminded me SO MUCH of my grandmother’s handkerchiefs I played with as a child. But as much as I loved these, I did not buy any of them. I wanted the companion Angelique doll, and this was, after all, only the first event of the weekend.

Every table was given some paper and we were instructed to write a poem that had to mention Ellowyne and tea. Since no one at our table seemed inclined to write anything, the task fell to me. And as everyone munched on finger sandwiches and cookies, I scribbled away. It’s really hard to come up with something on the spot! But here was my effort:

Stuck inside on a rainy day, 

What is there to do?

If you’re in Texas, the answer’s easy:

Tea with Ellowyne, Lizette and Pru!

Tonner Guilty Pleasures

Has gotten under way;

Friends from near and far

Have gathered here today.

“Hello! How are you?

It’s been such a long time!”

Such a sunny atmosphere,

Who cares about the rain outside?

For three days we’ll mingle

And party ’til we drop, 

Drink tea, rockabilly

And hope the fun never stops.

So glad we’re together

To share our common passion.

So don’t let the weather get you down,

You’re never sad at convention!

Shannon thankfully volunteered to read it on stage and our table was one of the finalists! In the end, we came in third, and though we didn’t win anything, it was still a lot of fun!

The entertainment was a “cake decorating contest” between two Tonner employees and a member of the audience… which ended with more frosting on the participants than on the cakes! Too funny!

After the tea party was over, the Tonner sales room opened to sell the companion dolls and I walked away with the stunning Angelique Loves Lingerie! My first Angelique! Super excited to get her!

So pretty!

So pretty!

The second event of the day was the “Rockabilly” dinner event! You’d think, having grown up on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, I would have appropriate costuming, but alas. I did throw a bandana in my hair just to join in the fun. Amelia was delighted to find a doll-sized guitar as our table favor!

A little too big for her hands, though.

A little too big for her hands, though.

Along with my violin and harp, I will soon have a whole orchestra!

Along with my violin and harp, I will soon have a whole orchestra!

The table centerpiece was a lovely gal named Dixie. As that is the name of my puppy-dog, I was tempted, but Thomas ended up taking her home.

She screams Old Southern Charm!

She screams Old Southern Charm!

Dinner was simply an ENORMOUS piece of chicken, roasted potatoes, beans, a salad, followed by a scrumptious piece of caramel cake. Due to some last-minute rearranging and some cancellations, there were only five people at our table. Which was quite nice, as I am not good at dealing with crowds. Thomas proved once again to be a gracious table host.

Our entertainment for the evening was a group from New York called the Gold Hope Duo, who played some “rockabilly” type tunes for our enjoyment. I rather enjoyed listening to them!

Rocking out!

Rocking out!

Amelia was delighted to meet up with an old friend, and a new one!

Amelia was delighted to meet up with an old friend, and a new one!

When the dancing was over, it was time for our first dolly surprise! We were presented with Maxine, a new head sculpt on the Chic body, dressed in the southern style! Gorgeous!

Love the hair!

Love the hair!

The vendor room opened later that evening, and I browsed, but restrained myself. I really could kick myself for not getting a photo of Shannon and her lovely creations! Fortunately, Michelle from Tonner did an AMAZING job documenting the convention, as always!

Look at this beauty! The dolls ain't bad either! XD (Photo courtesy of Tonner Dolls.)

Look at this beauty! The dolls ain’t bad either! 😄 (Photo courtesy of Tonner Dolls.)

Finally, time for bed to dream of dollies to come!

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