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The Sweet Smell of Success: Estée Lauder’s doll devotion
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Two of New York City's most famous, wealthy philanthropists — individuals who loved the nightlife, attending charity balls, and hobnobbing with the "beautiful people" — just happened to be women. Even more fascinating, they both happened to be doll lovers!

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Illustrator Kyle Hilton turns pop-culture icons into real paper dolls
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Photos Courtesy of Kyle Hilton

Among my favorite toys as a child were my paper dolls. I know that in this modern age of interactive devices and virtual-reality glasses, admitting to a penchant for paper dolls makes you a throwback to antiqued, more genteel times. I'm sure there are folks who imagine I must be as old as Methuselah and most likely hitched a ride with Fred Flintstone to the one-room schoolhouse. ("Move over, Pebbles, I've got to squeeze in beside Bamm-Bamm! Today we're going to invent the wheel!")

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Quirky Quotes: 16 celebrities sound off about their doll connections
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

As January comes to a close, and a new year of doll discoveries awaits us, let's take a gander at what some well-known people have said about doll creations. With the Oscar nominations hitting this week, and presidential news conferences taking center-stage, it's fun to see which stars have chatted about being collectible, in both a dignified and charming manner, and in a bold and boisterous way.

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Postscript to the Past: Theresa Merritt visualizes hidden figures in history
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Photos courtesy of Lady With a Past

In addition to being a first-rate doll artist and historical researcher, Theresa Merritt is a born conversationalist. Probably because she loves history so much, she is gifted with the ability to share stories of her life, her ambitions, her dreams, and her accomplishments. Theresa doesn't just answer a question; she weaves a tapestry of intrigue and excitement.

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Celebrating a Fresh Start with Gretchen Anthony’s Reborn Creations
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Photos courtesy of Southern Angels Nursery

While the new year is still in its infancy — I have to confess, I am having a hard time writing "2017," it doesn't seem possible — my focus for this week is understandably on babies. Yes, I am highlighting the little faces and wiggly toes that make the world that much sweeter and enjoyable. It makes sense to celebrate baby dolls in January because of the "New Year Baby." Does anyone out there know what I'm talking about, or has this onetime popular icon gone the way of the Discman, the Walkman, and the transistor radio? (Try wearing a Walkman or a Discman while you jog or speed-walk around town. You might as well be dressed in a Paul Revere costume — that's how antiquated the headgear has become!)

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Real-Life Miss Peregrine? Meet Linda Michel’s Contemplative Dolls
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Photos Courtesy of Linndolls

The year 2017 is beginning, and the aspect of a brand-new, clean-slate existence is certainly appealing. Everyone has baggage that they've overstuffed with regrets, missed opportunities, poorly chosen words, and roads not taken. For some people, this emotional baggage is a simple carry-on-luggage–sized worry; for others, it is a lifetime of not being sure that the right choices had been made; perhaps their path took a wrong turn and the road just kept wending away from them.

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2016 in Review: A Golden Age of Female Re-Imagining?
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

When I look back at what I've chronicled for the aptly named Doll Chronicles, I have to declare that 2016 was the Year of the Real Woman. Now, in the doll industry, that shouldn't be such an earth-shaking proclamation. After all, the majority of doll artists are female; the overwhelming abundance of doll creations are female; and the consumer base is very much female-centric. Like Beyoncé has sung, who rules the world? In the doll world, it has always been girls. And I guess that is why the Year of the Real Woman is so definitely different. From dolls that represented women who — God forbid — wore a size 12 to a headstrong, capable 12-year-old Disney princess, the world of dolls was given a much-needed makeover. This year many girl dolls became young women.

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Paradise Galleries: Memories of Christmas Past
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

As the countdown to December 25 continues — it's less than a half week away . . . Yikes! — it's tempting to shed one's equanimity, isn't it? In other less sophisticated terms, it's easy to lose one's cool. Funny, when living in the Northeast, Northwest, or the Midwest, when temperatures are dipping down as far as they can go, emotions often spike higher and higher. People at the mall can be reaching boiling points when it comes to waiting one more minute on line. Folks who are taking the easier route — doing all their browsing and buying online — can feel their passions bubbling over when UPS or FedEx loses or misdelivers an item. Ah, the unexpected "joys" of Christmas shopping.

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