Author: Stephanie Finnegan

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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By the Book? Nicole Marschollek-Menzner writes her own lessons

Photos courtesy of Zwergnase When there is a crisp, fall feel to the air, I instantly know that school is right around the corner. Never mind the fact that I am inundated with classroom to-do lists (a certain number of Number 2 pencils, postings about Post-its, memos about memo pads), I can divine just from the shift in the breeze that my kids are heading back to school. This year, the quirky pickup line from Tom Hanks to Meg Ryan in “You Got Mail” rumbles through my head. As her anonymous Internet pen pal, Joe Fox types to Kathleen...

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A Nod to Nostalgia: Connie Lowe honors, preserves past

Photos courtesy of Marbled Halls It’s fantastic to keep up to date with family and friends, and with the arrival of Facebook and its constantly expanding networking possibilities, even the occasional frenemy or long-forgotten colleague might tiptoe into your social media universe. Facebook lets us see our nearest and dearest, as well as faraway friends and way-way-far-back classmates, in an up-close and personal way. We might get to see their faces from a high school yearbook, circa 1980s or 1990s, or we can receive notification that a cousin’s Throwback Thursday image has hit our timeline from a birthday party...

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Aloha, Miss American Doll! Meet Nanea, this year’s BeForever creation

Over the last few days, all American eyes seemed to be focused on the eclipse — well, not so much on the eclipse, but on quizzes, blogs, posts, and articles ballyhooing how the skies would turn dark, affected cities would fall into shadows, and animals would begin to behave erratically and bizarrely. The press had a field day depicting late August’s solar eclipse as one flip-flop away from the apocalypse! Living outside of the corridor where the natural phenomenon was visible, I peeked outside my window around eclipse time, but found nothing but cloud cover and a bright afternoon....

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Heartfelt: Barbara Felts feels her dolls reflect reality, faith

Photos courtesy of Moonlight Art Dolls When I showed Barbara Felts’s idealization of the Little Mermaid, folks were understandably impressed. The doll is an aquatic stunner — part Esther Williams/part Rita Hayworth. She’s a lovely pinup character, just minus the million-dollar Betty Grable legs! What’s interesting about Felts as an artist is that many of her offerings celebrate the reality of life, not the more mythological, fantastical elements. Though she has done fairies and cherubs, a mermaid or a pixie, she finds the most satisfaction by creating dolls that honor everyday affection, everyday elegance, everyday attitudes. With her respect...

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Part of Our World: Ariel, the Little Mermaid, is the patron of all collectors

Well, truth can be stranger than fiction. Social media proves that every single day, and among one of those “is it probably real, or is it really improbable?” quandaries is Lindsay Lohan’s all-out campaigning to play Ariel in Disney’s live-action version of “The Little Mermaid.” Disney has had huge box-office success with the translation of their beloved cartoons into real-life human versions. (Or as real-life as carefully made-up and costumed celebrities can be!) “Cinderella,” starring Lily James and Richard Madden, did very healthy ticket business, and Emma Watson’s “Beauty and the Beast” did what VARIETY newspaper likes to call...

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