If you need any fire dragon skin or dragon heart to make a potion, I have some in jars on the table downstairs. A few dragon toenails too, along with some (baby) ogre fingernails, some hellhound eyes, sliced caterpillar, dried billiwig stings, and an assortment of other exotic ingredients, all neatly labeled.
Tonight I’m too tired to finish cleaning up from the party, but sometimes tomorrow I’ll have to dismantle my lovely display, and the magical ingredients will turn back into dried peppers, beef jerky, dried blueberries, chocolate jimmies, and so forth. (I’ll toss out Kyra’s toenail clippings, along with Al’s fingernails and mine. Unless you have a need for some nice green fingernails…) I’m not sure what I’ll do with the green slime (cornstarch, water, and food coloring).
Like most of my parties, some ideas worked out better than others. The potions jars were a hit, but the wizard hats were more difficult to make than I had imagined. The wands, both the edible and inedible ones, were also popular. The magic tricks were a mixed bag, however.
For just about every trick Al and I did, at least one of the guests already knew how it worked. (The props, after all, are readily available in the toy aisles of many stores.) I did have fun watching the eyes of one boy just about pop out, however, when I did my disappearing/reappearing ball trick. He also liked the candy lightning bugs that really light up, and was quite pleased that I let him eat them all (no one else wanted them).
For me, the real magic of the party is when the kids start playing on their own. I provide the brooms for the broomstick race, they figure out the rules. Two of them made up a magic story while the others made extra wands. Then when all but one guest had left, Al and the last boy had fun on their own, both indoors and out. And I was free to collapse and wonder why I do this each year.
The answer, of course, is that I have fun being creative, as well as wanting to give Al a fun time for his birthday without spending much money. Most of the ingredients and supplies have non-magical uses, or were made with items I already had in the house. My husband will eat the dragon heart, I’ll eat the dragon eggs, and the hellhound eyes can go in muffins or pancakes. And the bloodworms were made from spaghetti than had fallen on the floor anyway.
Tonight, however, I’m just glad it’s over. Now if I can get myself to stop looking everywhere for interesting potions ingredients. (Did you know peppercorns make good dried eye of newt?)