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Fanciful Flurry: Elizabeth Cooper’s dolls are heart-melting little snowflakes!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 16:49

Photos courtesy of Cooper Dolls

Yes, I know it is still November, and Christmas is MORE than a month away, but if you're anything like me, you are desperate for that jolt of holiday bliss right about now. The musical "Mame" birthed lots of popular songs, but it also debuted a caroling standard — a tune that gets played on the radio every Thanksgiving weekend and beyond.

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Saluting the Zawieruszynskis: Learning the A to Z’s of Doll Artistry
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 10 November 2016 20:42

Photos courtesy of Henry & Zofia Zawieruszynski

I've worked in the doll industry for a long time now, and my path has intersected with many of the same people time and time again. That's one of the heartening things about being in a niche profession for more than a decade. (Actually, two decades now — sheesh!!!!) While I am always joyful to see new blood coming into the doll world, it also pleases me endlessly when I get to chat with and spotlight familiar names and faces. Such is the case when I've been able to interview and break news about the always evolving, always impressive Zawieruszynskis.

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Super Women as Super Dolls: It’s Elementary, My Dear Watson, with IAmElemental Figures
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Friday, 04 November 2016 14:32

Photos courtesy of IAmElemental

In past postings, I've honored the female pioneers who have firmly established doll creating as an art form. The Madame Alexanders and Lencis of the world deserve all the kudos that they have received because they elevated what is often dismissed as a "toy" or "plaything" to a heightened level of beauty and realism. Today's post takes a look at a modern twist on an empowered woman and, perhaps most important, her dolls that are both empowering and powerfully alluring. I'm talking about Julie Kerwin, who is an author, pop culture critic, music maven, and mentor to up-and-coming young women. Whether she is advising a nascent band on how to compose, present, and market their albums — or raising funds for a charity that is near and dear to her heart — Kerwin is a force that must be reckoned with.

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Thrills & Chills: Timid folks might be afraid to read this post. Are you?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 27 October 2016 20:52

Photos courtesy of Mezco Toyz and Living Dead Dolls

Sigmund Freud seemed to have had a theory for everything, didn't he? (Check out your Psych 101 textbook on the symbolism of cigars and bananas and tunnel entrances, for goodness' sake!) The father of modern psychoanalysis also had a very solid impression of dolls. According to the good doctor, dolls were potential nightmare-makers because they played around with people's notions of life and death.

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Tender Loving Care: Mayra Garza sculpts with an abundance of faith, hope, and love
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:33

Photos courtesy of Mayra Garza

Babies are very much on the blog readers' minds these days. My recent postings on North American artists who excel at capturing the innocence and wholesomeness of infants have garnered a lot of great comments and e-mails. It's my sincere pleasure, then, to dig into my archives and reintroduce readers to the talented Mexican doll artist Mayra Garza. . It's very satisfying to showcase many of the photos that didn't make it into the original feature, due to space consideration.

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Monsters United: Lady Gaga makes her Monster High debut as Zomby Gaga
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 13 October 2016 17:23

Photos courtesy of Mattel

Whispered about at Toy Fair in February 2016, the Lady Gaga and Monster High connection was teased to reporters with a simple silhouette of a doll. The outlines of a ponytailed, curved figure was etched onto the Mattel showroom walls. There was talk that the doll would be coming at a later date, but no firm arrival was leaked. Well, that later date is now here!

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Baby Bounce: From Oprah to your daughter, Andrea Arcello finds inspiration everywhere
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 06 October 2016 20:21

Photos Courtesy of Andrea Arcello

Andrea Arcello is known for her amazing, lifelike baby dolls. Even as I type the word "dolls" in relation to her creations, I feel a bit of worry and anxiety. Yes, on one level — my intellectual one — I realize these are dolls. Many are made of silicone, and some are produced from her vinyl doll kits. But, still, when I stare at their precious faces, and study their realistic poses and attitudes, I am convinced that I am seeing my own family baby portraits springing to life!

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Beautiful Dreamers: Looking Back at Some of Sherry Rawn’s Sleeping Cherubs
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 29 September 2016 16:28

Dreams are an odd thing, aren't they? For many folks, if they get a notion in their head, they feel they have to pursue it immediately. If they fail to respond in a certain, calculated number of hours, then that's it. Game over. Dream over.

For Canadian doll artist Sherry Rawn, her professional life proves that a dream never dies. Just as a person sleeps, dreams, and then wakes up refreshed, a dream can also slumber, undisturbed for months or years, and the suddenly get roused a decade later and be totally wide awake and raring to go!

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“So Long, Farewell” to Charmian Carr, forever known as Liesl von Trapp
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 20 September 2016 20:38

Do people seek immortality? It seems rather conceited, doesn't it? I mean, does anyone wake up one morning and announce, "I want to be remembered for eternity. That is my one and only goal." Seeking ever-lasting fame seems rather bizarre. There is no guarantee that any person will have his or her legacy enduring for decades, centuries, or millennium. That's why the life and now the death of Charmian Carr is so touching and humbling. Her name might not ring any bells, but if you start to hum a few bars from "[I Am] Sixteen, Going on Seventeen," her lovely and lively image will immediately float into your mind.

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Lorella Falconi pt. 2: Dolls that blend vintage purity, visionary splendor
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 20:39

Photos courtesy of Lorella Falconi

Among cinephiles — a fancy-schmancy term for movie lovers — there is always debate about whether a sequel can live up to its prequel's quality. For film buffs, they always point to the "Godfather" trilogies. Some maintaining that number II was just as good, if not better, than the original that kicked off the franchise. (Everyone, however, agrees that III was a "dog." The cast was made an offer to re-assemble, but they should have refused!)

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