Author: Stephanie Finnegan

Menacing Doll Magic: ‘I Walked with a Zombie’ features powerful rituals

Photos courtesy of Movie Star News With Halloween right around the corner, it’s that time of year again to question why are dolls perceived as so wicked and conniving. Yes, I said it. Every October, dolls become Public Enemy #1, thought to be capable of wreaking all manner of havoc upon unsuspecting civilians. There are all sorts of films that cast dolls in the terrifying roles of purveyor of evil and demonic possession. Some of the flicks are extremely low-budget — producers don’t have to worry about paying union wages when their leading lady or man is a doll....

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Monica Reo fashions new Marie Antoinette doll

I like history. To me, it is like the best of storytelling, because I subscribe wholeheartedly to that theory “Truth is stranger than fiction.” In school, I always excelled at literature and history, since I viewed both subjects as working hand-in-hand. A nation’s history and culture and society impacts its writers, and its writers help to shape how citizens and visitors view the history. You see, it is all hand-in-glove. This month marks a rather sobering anniversary for one of history’s most infamous and debatable characters: Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, better known as Marie Antoinette. On October 16, 1793,...

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Doll with a Difference: Mia with cochlear implant

Photos courtesy of Lottie Dolls One of the most wonderful things about dolls is that they mean so much to both the creator and the collector. When people talk about synergy or mutually reciprocal advantages — I know I hate that kind of corporate speak, too — they could be discussing the secret ingredient behind doll love. For every artist, manufacturer, doll aficionado, and child who still longs for one, a doll is a friend with benefits, and I don’t mean the smutty, naughty ones! Dolls are confidants that accompany children wherever they go. Long before the omnipresent iPad...

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From the Heart: Doll donation shares a part of yourself

Oh, I know it is bad form to begin a blog with a cliché, but this is an oldie and a goodie — emphasis on the good. “Charity begins at home.” There, I said it and I typed it, and I truly believe it. All acts of altruism, whether they are publicly announced or covertly performed, have their roots in how you live and how you conduct yourself on a daily basis. That’s why it really warms my heart when I see the doll community coming to the foreground and doing an act of random kindness or deliberate concern....

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Epic Creativity: Ankie Daanen’s dolls become a cast of thousands

I love getting good news! Though “snail mail” is slowly and surely crawling to eventual extinction — I can count on two hands and one foot the number of Christmas cards I get via postman nowadays — the daily give-and-take, back-and-forth, of e-mail is picking up more and more momentum. (Not to mention texting, Facebook messaging, and IMing!) That’s why I am so happy that I opened my cyber in-box and found a cheerful and jubilant message from doll artist Ankie Daanen. “It’s time for some doll news!” her note declared. And she then proceeded to share her upcoming...

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Honoring 9/11 and 911 Responders: Our world yearns for heroes

The week of 9/11 is memorialized in myriad ways. It’s easy for me to argue that it was the most impactful moment in our contemporary nation’s history, and in my personal biography as well. In a past blog, on a past anniversary, I told the tale of how I was trapped in New York City, a mere couple miles from Ground Zero, with a bag full of children’s books and Barbie dolls. It is emblazoned in mind. But the psyche of the post–9/11 world can be seen in our popular culture, from the novels we read (EXTREMELY LOUD &...

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