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I was a 10-year-old Magazine Mogul

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Flair magazine, August 1986/7?

Yes – that’s right; in the late ’80s, my sister and I wrote, edited, and published our very own teen fashion magazine – all before we ourselves had hit puberty.  It was the only magazine stylish Barbie dolls and their friends read. In our house anyway.

Like any good magazine, it included advertisements, interviews with teen celebrities, a romance story, and makeovers. All in a 1 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ format to fit in Barbie’s hand.

Thanks to my sister, a few issues have survived, albeit with what looks like smoke damage (probably from a fire that started in the diner below our apartment one year).

Chemò Perfume

Chemò Perfume

As a writer and also someone who’s worked in the wonderful world of public relations, I’m particularly tickled by our inner cover/first page spread, featuring an advertisement for “Chemò” perfume (pronounced ‘sheh-MO’)… which on first glance looks like your typical glamorous perfume advertisement, complete with a woman wearing a fancy ballgown and dramatic cape set against the moonlit skyline. In script, the next page says “Every woman wants to be a Chemò woman… because Chemò is every man’s dream.”

This ad is actually a lot more clever than it looks.  The name of the perfume is meant to be a combination of faux-French (because we know anything that sounds French is a good perfume name) and a play on the Italian word  “scemo” (pronounced ‘SHEH-mo’)… which means… STUPID.  So basically, even as preteens, my sister and I were hip to the whole advertising scene. Or we were calling our intended audience stupid. (Since our readers were made of plastic, I think that was a fair assessment.)

The rest of the magazine has a lot of those tongue-in-cheek imitations on what you’d typically find in a Teen or whatever, but I think that’s the best one.  Though I will say the “Makeover” section seems pretty extreme even in today’s age of Botox and plastic surgery, but in our defense, we had a limited stock of Barbie photos to choose from.

For your amusement, I’ve  photographed the entire magazine so you can see for yourself.

Flip through it here:

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Have a wonderful day

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Have a wonderful day

So if you were wondering what I was planning to do with the little cards I showed you on Thursday (in case you missed it see here), I was going to distribute them yesterday but decided not to take a chance that they’d get ruined in the rain.

Here’s a better look at the cover:


And here’s the inside:

inside card

So this morning when I made my rounds I dropped some of them off at various places around town – a couple went to my favorite local shops, and a few at random places I’d never been to.

These were so easy to make! I used only materials I already had at hand. Here’s how I did it, but really your own creativity is the limit. Make some up for your friends, favorite business owners, or drop them off in random places where you think they might be appreciated. Who doesn’t like getting a card for no reason?


Card stock, pencil, a thin marker pen, assorted stamps and ink, hole puncher, flower brads, and ribbon


Fold card in half. I scored mine first to get a neater fold.

On the cover, draw a brief word or message in pencil – once you’re happy with how it looks, outline it in ink (or marker, or colored pencil). I chose to do a different pattern on each letter, but you could easily make it a solid color or the same pattern throughout.

On the inside, I used two stamps – one for the flower and one for the “have a wonderful day.” If you don’t have stamps you can freehand it – the idea is not to spend ages making “art” but to keep it whimsical and fun.

Finally, I punched a hole in the corner so I could thread the ribbon through and hang it on doorknobs. I added the flower brads through the front cover hole only for decoration.

That’s it! Distribute to anyone you think could use a good day, and make sure to tell them to spread the love.

By the way, I have a few more of these left, so if you didn’t get one yet, there’s still a chance you’ll see one somewhere around town tomorrow.