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Ode to Heavenly Heroines: Odette and Gabrielle are OOAK twists on classic characters.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 16 July 2013 15:12

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!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 08 July 2013 20:01

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.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 15:55

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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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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