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Conversing over Coffee: A blogger pours out her heart about dolls and caffeine.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

There are two things I am very passionate and serious about: my coffee and my dolls. Like an outspoken NRA advocate, I firmly believe that you’ll have to pry my fourth cup of coffee out of my cold, dead hands! Yep, I’ve always managed to tune out the naysayers in my office that would grouse about coffee being the root cause for all evil health issues: hypertension, high blood pressure, insomnia, indigestion, bad breath, bad ulcers . . . you get the picture!

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The “It Girl” Forever: Mona Lisa has captivated songwriters, historians, and doll artists.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

I love a mystery. My bookshelves are lined with the likes of Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Barbara Vine, and Ruth Rendell. (Yeah, I know, Barbara and Ruth are the same person—Ruth is the real name, under which she pens traditional police procedurals, and the other is reserved for more potboiler, macabre, and psychological whodunits.) I also used to have quite a collection of Anne Perry titles until I learned when Anne was a teenager, she actually participated in the cold-blooded murder of her friend’s mother. (See the Peter Jackson movie “Heavenly Creatures” and it is chilling and jaw-dropping.) That realization of her criminal past made me give all of her books away: it’s one thing to imagine murder—it’s another to commit it.

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PANdemonium: There is a riot of Peter Pan dolls that invite us to fly and believe.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

My son’s middle name is Peter. Nothing special or unusual about that. However, my son was adopted from China, where the name his orphanage assigned him was Pan Zhi Hong. Now, as a literature-loving mom and a particular fancier of Victorian and Edwardian tales, I couldn’t let the sign pass me by. How many people have you met with the actual name of “Pan”? I had never met one until I met my son.

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Icy and Intriguing: Virginie Ropars brings a mature and menacing vibe to the Snow Queen.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

One of the best parts of blogging and being in the doll world is keeping up correspondence with doll artists around the world. When I was a young girl—probably fourth to maybe even ninth grade—I had a huge array of pen pals. They lived everywhere: America’s Southwest, New England, New Orleans, South Korea, Japan, and Ireland! Yes, I certainly had a busy weekend when I’d sit down and pen letter after letter to these never-seen friends.

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“Frozen” Fever: The Internet is heating up with speculation about Disney’s cool fall release.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

While the United States is baking and boiling and broiling, it’s nice to take a voyage to cooler climes. I don’t have the cold, hard cash to book passage to Alaska, but I am already in a wintry wonderland in my mind. I am gearing up for the avalanche of publicity and tie-in collectibles that are going to be heading our way around Thanksgiving 2013. In November—if the publicists are correct—Disney Animation Studio will be unveiling their next hopeful blockbuster. This time around, it’s a film called “Frozen” and it is a musical/comedy/animated adventure flick inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen.”

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Ode to Heavenly Heroines: Odette and Gabrielle are OOAK twists on classic characters.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Frank Sinatra crooned it best: “Fairy tales can come true/they can happen to you/if you’re young at heart.” I certainly believe that lyric, and I know that doll artist Monica Reo is a big fan as well. (http://creationsinporcelain.com/)

Recently Monica wrote to me about one of her new dolls. For several years now, she’s been tackling the classic heroines of children’s literature, but she’s been imbuing them with a level of maturity and costume sophistication.

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Surf-n-Turf: Getting to the meat of the swimsuit preoccupation of our dolls!
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

When the temperatures start to peak above 85 degrees, I don’t want to even peek my head outside! Even though I love summer (in theory)—the kids home from school, chances to spend more time with family and friends—I have to admit that I’m a party pooper when it comes to warm weather. Well, not “warm.” I mean, hot, humid, and heatstroke-causing temperatures.

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Mod Men: With the show on the brink of 1970 America, Don Draper is no longer buttoned-up and Brylcreemed.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

As I watched the season finale of “Mad Men” this past Sunday, I had to shake my head and recall that this journey along with the Draper family—his current one, past one, imaginary one, and subverted childhood one—only kicked off six years ago. The show debuted in July 2007 and was set in the waning years of the 1950s. Much has been made about the props and wardrobe of the office environs and the characters who toil there.

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