Magical Childhood Newsletter
Volume 20
October 2, 2001

Hi folks!  It's the middle of the night as I write this.  Annalee is a little sick and I've been up taking care of her.  She's fallen back asleep and now I'm wide awake, so I figured I'd write to you all in these wee hours.

Autumn is winning me over out here.  The trees are beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red.  We've been doing leaf crafts and stomping through the crisp brown drifts that line the streets.  It's been nice and warm this week, giving my stubborn tomatoes one more chance to hurry up and ripen before I have to make all sorts of green tomato salsas.

I'll get on with the newsletter or it'll be sunrise before I get this thing out, though.  Have a great day!


Here's a nice little poem to remind us of what's important in life.  It might be fun to print it out on your word processor (on nice paper) and then let the kids have some lipstick to leave kiss marks, then frame.  :)

Send the Children to Bed With a Kiss
(author unknown)

Oh, mothers, so weary, discouraged,
Worn out with the cares of the day,
You often grow cross and impatient,
Complain of the noise and the play.
For the day brings many vexations,
So many things go amiss.
But, mothers, whatever may vex you,
Send the children to bed with a kiss.

The dear little feet often wander,
Perhaps from the pathways of right.
The dear little hands find new mischief
To try you from morning 'til night.
But think of the desolate mothers
Who'd give all the world for your bliss.
And as thanks for your infinite blessings,
Send the children to bed with a kiss.

For someday their noise will not vex you.
The silence will hurt you far more.
You will long for the sweet childish voices,
For a sweet childish face at the door.
And to press a child's face to your bosom,
You'd give all the world just for this.
For the comfort t'will give you in sorrow,
Send the children to bed with a kiss.


This fall, one fashion trend is fur.  While I think the real stuff is best suited for the animals who owned it, I love the look of fake fur, especially the over-the-top fun ones.  I've got some scraps of spotted, striped and patterned furry stuff that I'm going to use to embellish the collars and cuffs of some of the girls' older clothes for a fun new look.  All you need is some iron-on fusible tape (available in the sewing section).  Cut the fake fur into strips (most doesn't ravel so you don't need to hem it).  Iron the fabric to the "fur" in whatever areas you choose, and presto!  Tots ready for the runway!


Halloween Treats......

When I was a kid, my mom used to hand out books to Trick-or-treaters instead of candy.  At the time I thought she was frightfully embarrassing (no pun intended) but now that I'm a mom I have to admit I really like the idea!  It costs a little more, but if you watch bargain bins, sales, gently used piles at rummage sales and such, you could probably get a nice assortment for all ages.

I still remember watching as these big kids would squeal "Cool!  Books!" and all scramble to pick out the ones they wanted.  Not a bad alternative to all those sticky sugar treats.....


Leaf Crafts

Here are a few things to do with all of these beautiful leaves abounding right now if you're in our part of the world.  If you're in the Southern Hemisphere, I'm not going to feel too guilty for leaving you out because you have summer right around the corner!  :)

Collect large flat leaves. Put them between two pieces of wax paper--wax sides facing each other with the leaves in-between. Iron on low heat to make a place mat.

Gather some newer, flexible leaves and put them under a sheet of paper.  Use the side of crayon pieces and gently rub to create leaf patterns.  This is beautiful as homemade stationery or greeting cards, especially if you use different colored crayons for each leaf and make a quilt pattern.

Gather some beautiful leaves in different colors and put them in jars of glycerin (so the stems are immersed-- you don't need to immerse the leaf itself).  You can get glycerin at most drug stores or crafts stores.  It will preserve the flexibility and the color of your leaves.  This is a neat way to track the colors as they change.

Cut out the middle of a paper plate. Have you child arrange dried leaves around the plate and glue them in place. Add a ribbon and hang on your door.

Okay, this one isn't very sensible or professional sounding, but I just let the girls each fill an empty flower pot with leaves that they picked and bring them inside.  I let them pretend to cook with them, grind them up, color on them, crush them, you name it, all at the kitchen table as I cook supper.  Sure, it made a mess, but then they just gathered all the leaves back into their pots and dumped them outside while I swept up the crumbs.  Just letting them experiment leads to such creativity, and they feel like they're getting away with so much.  :)  This is a great activity for outside too, of course!


Homemade Gifts~  Jewelry worth showing off

Okay, here are some ideas for holiday gifts that are easy, whimsical, and made of ingredients you probably have around the house!

Pick your favorite clay recipe or buy some ready made stuff in a color you like (see the site below for tons of recipes).  Roll pieces fairly thin and cut into shape of choice.  I'd suggest round pieces about the size of an American quarter or half dollar, or rectangles the size of a child's eraser.  Use a skewer of some sort to make a hole in the top for hanging.  Dry or bake.  Then give your child some paints and let him decorate the pieces.  Once dry, use a paint pen or marker to write the word or phrase that best fits the person.

Here are some examples.

Circle, painted red, says QUEEN
Rectangle, painted with two shades of light blue, says Be Brave in child's lettering
Rectangle, painted with all different colors, says believe in white letters
Circle, painted pink, says I love you and Grandma on the back
Circle, painted to look like a flower, with initials over the top

Other words that could be especially meaningful:  Hope, Have Faith, loved, DIVA, or one that says angel on one side and grump on the other.  You get the idea.  :)

Finish off with a layer of varnish, clear fingernail polish, or leave plain (it may not be as durable without a top coat).

Get a length of ribbon, leather lacing, twine, chain, or whatever suits your pendant.  Tie at a length long enough to slip over the owner's head, like 21 inches (or get a fastener for shorter lengths).  You could add buttons or beads on either side of the pendant, glue baubles to the top, or add metallic paint or glitter, too.

Here are some sites with clay recipes.  For ideas, comb through gift catalogs that come in the mail and tear out sayings, designs or ideas you'd like to recreate!


"You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens."

~Ethel Barrymore


Check out our Halloween version of the web site!  We have a new look for the new season at the Magical Childhood site (thanks Daryl!).  I've added an open letter to Victoria about the terrorist attacks (the link is at the bottom of the welcome page).  Look for more new pages soon-- plus pictures!


I was going to do another list of ten ways to make the day magical, but it's getting late!  Or early...

I'm sure you'll make the day magical all on your own.  :)

Have a wonderful week!!!



A Magical Childhood
Copyright 2001, Alicia Bayer

A Magical Childhood Newsletter is just something I throw together because I love children and those who love them.  To subscribe, send a message to  We do not use ads.  It's not about money.  :)

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