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Pretty as a Princess: If Kate’s baby is a girl, expect a kingdom’s worth of dolls to follow!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:33

As I’ve said in the past, my daughter, Jane, is anything but a “girly girl.” She likes to play with the boys, enjoys a water fight with balloons and Nerf plungers, and laughs like a maniac when a “breaking wind” pun is uttered. (She just learned that “cutting the cheese” is a metaphor for you-know-what, so she is always asking now for her cheddar or Swiss or Muenster to be cut for her. Go figure the mind of a second grader.)

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Graduation Extravaganza: Valedictorians, future superstars, and bizarre figures earn high marks.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 10 June 2013 15:26

Now that it’s mid June, my social calendar is certainly in full bloom. With the weather finally being warmer—and many activities being held outdoors—I finally get the meaning of the term “social butterfly.” Yes, I am really like a butterfly who has emerged from her couch-potato cocoon. Suddenly I am outside for graduation barbecues, graduation lawn parties, graduation deck gatherings, and, of course, the actual graduation ceremonies for middle schoolers and high schoolers. (I don’t have any college grads in my current social coterie.)

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Cinderella Charming: The toast of Broadway 2013 has long been a muse to dollmakers.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 03 June 2013 15:21

Once upon a time—well, actually, it wasn’t so very long ago—just about a week past, I was treated to one of the nicest days out in many, many eons. For Mother’s Day and for my daughter’s First Communion, my very good friend, Cathy, took us to Broadway to see “Cinderella.” Featuring all of the lush Rodgers and Hammerstein score, with a few not very notable new additions, the musical is more than enjoyable. It’s positively enchanting.

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Heart, hearth, and home: A modern installation and a Jazz Age jewel have much in common.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Friday, 24 May 2013 14:45

Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff to the summer getaway season. For a lot of my neighbors and colleagues, this means a trip to either a rental home or a mortgaged seasonal cottage. I, unfortunately, am real estate deprived. So, for me, it’s a “staycation.” That means, I’m staying close to home—if not downright in my home—and seeing what my neighborhood and surrounding cities have in store.

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Bard Beauties: The play is indeed the thing for these Shakespearean-inspired dolls.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Friday, 17 May 2013 15:28

One of the best things about living near New York City is the fact that theater is there for the watching. I can’t say “for the enjoying,” because (quite truthfully) some of the productions that end up on the Great White Way are anything but great. They’re often mediocre, or sometimes worse than that. Off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway often have much more risky fare, and many times will offer up the most imaginative and satisfying evenings.

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Dragon Heart: “Game of Thrones” sets sci-fi geeks’ (and their moms’) imaginations afire!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Friday, 10 May 2013 13:39

On Sunday nights, even on Mother’s Day, I leave behind the mundane matters of being a working mom and a busy blogger. For an hour on the weekend, I’m transported to a world where there is certainly a lot of strife and stress, but it’s of an epic, grandiose nature.

Sure, I might be upset that my kitchen renovation is taking three times longer than I had been led to believe, but what’s that compared to ritual beheadings, avalanches, sword and sorcery, and soaring dragons? My worries seem minuscule when compared to the travails of “Game of Thrones.”

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Party Girl: Madame Alexander’s legacy turns 90 years old, and still going strong!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 19:13

After hearing mounds of bad news over the past few weeks, it’s gratifying when a piece of cheerful information flits over the transom or, in more modern terms, arrives in one’s e-mail in-box. Such was the case when I received notification of Madame Alexander’s 90th anniversary celebration.

No, the esteemed Beatrice Alexander isn’t turning 90—the company’s founder passed away in 1990, at age 95. If she were still alive today, she’d be looking at 118 candles on her birthday cake.

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Perfectly Perky: Shirley Temple turns 85, and her dolls continue to delight collectors.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 21:09

One of the benefits of working in the doll world is the fact that I got to rub shoulders with some really sweet, really good-natured famous folk. Many of the women and men I had the chance to meet in person or chat with over the phone would be defined as America’s sweethearts. From Margaret O’Brien to Marie Osmond, Annette Funicello to Marla Maples Trump, all of these ladies were polite, courteous, and cheerful when it came to talking about their affinity and affection for dolls—dolls of their own likenesses and dolls that they owned as children on movie and TV soundstages or in junior beauty pageant competitions.

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Frankly Speaking: Anne Frank’s words inspire doll artists and give strength in these “crazy times.”
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 19:28

On April 15, 2013, terrorism reared its ugly head once more. Like all other Americans—and, really, TV viewers from around the globe—I watched in horror and amazement as reports of the Boston bombing consumed the airwaves. As a person who was in New York City, working, on 9/11, I immediately felt a flashback to those surreal hours when I, along with my fellow New Yorkers, were stranded in the streets of Manhattan for many, many hours as police and first responders shut the city down, and stopped all points of entry and exit. It was a horrendous day—which spawned a month of constant (fake) bomb threats being called into my employer, Random House. The whole work force learned to drop everything and take to the stairwells to exit the building. This was the new reality—it was the new normal. Terrorist threats became as common a part of my life as my morning coffee and muffin were.

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The Cat’s Meow: Zelda &Scott, the Great Gatsby and fashion fads, are part of doll culture.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 19:28

The other day I was watching a DVD and a trailer for “The Great Gatsby” exploded on my TV screen. Now, I’m a real devotee of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I have visited his college of choice, Princeton University—he dropped out in 1917—and have gotten real shivers down my spine knowing that I might be treading in his footsteps. Yes, to borrow a phrase from Noël Coward, “I’m mad about the boy.”

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