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Mark Angelo Askew is the author of "Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Guide Workbook and Keepsake" and the founder and director of the Family Reunion Planning Group that established November as Annual Family Reunion Planning Month.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

5 Fun DIY Autumn Decor Craft Ideas

It's that 'get warm and cozy' time of year. A time for breaking out the sweaters and knitted caps. A time to watch the wind curl a splendid bouquet of autumn's rich beauty, tastes and scents and feast on the fruit of harvest season.

A well tended fall garden gives up so much harvest that after baking and canning for the winter it's time to think about using nature's lovely seasonal remnants for craft ideas.

That said, while many crafters begin the season planning creative scrapbooking projects, others are eagerly making use of falls natural effects to produce magnificent decor for home, parties and festivals. Unlike any other season, autumn gardens provides more natural decorative materials ideal for the home.

Here is a short list of natural materials and supplies you can start collecting to use for your next DIY home decor craft project.

1.  Acorns
2.  Apples
3.  Cinnamon Sticks
3.  Dried Fruit
4.  Dried Oak Leaves
5.  Dried Sentenia Grass
6.  Dried Wheat Stalk
 7. Dried Tree Branches
8.  Gourds
9.  Pine Cones and Needles
10.  Tumbleweeds
11. Foam Rings
12. Glue Sticks and Gun
13. Mason Jars
14. Flat vases
15. Small Stones and Pebbles

Here are a few fun fall craft decor ideas you can do yourself using the above material list. 

1. Make an acorn, pine cone and leaf reef.

2. Make a glowing mason jar decoupage using electric candles and maple leaves.

3. Decorate apple spice and cinnamon candles with dried grass, wheat and flowers.

4. Make colorful patterns with lintels in mason jars.

5. Make beautiful dry wheat stalk and tree branch centerpieces 

Enjoy beautifying your home while adding that special touch of rich spicy and earthy essences of autumn's bounty all season long.

Want something to write home about? Why not throw a party? An autumn/fall season themed party. Family fall fests are the reason to bring family together and feast on your autumn garden of delights.

To get creative and inspiring event planning ideas get Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Keepsake book, or if you prefer to do your event planning online get Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app. Everything you need to plan a memorable fall reunion.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Planning The Best Family Fall Fest Ever!

So you're planning a family fall fest and want it to be the absolute best fall fest ever? There are seven keys to making your fall festival a success. The keys are revealed in my recent weekend experience while throwing a fantastic fall fest bubble show.

It was a crisp sunny day. Benches and colorful flowers lined the restful parklike setting on the lawns of the JHU office field. Gigantic moon bounce play sets filled the spacious grassy yard with splashes of fun festive colors. It's the annual Fall Fest staff appreciation day at Johns Hopkins University. A day of celebration and a veritable JHU family reunion.

This story really began when I got the idea to start handcrafting my own bubble wands. first was the bubble spray wand. It sprays hundreds of bubbles in seconds with one gust of wind. Then I designed the hoop wand that creates giant tube shaped bubbles and large bubble balls. My next creation was the tri-ring shaped wand that generates strong, long reptilian shaped bubbles and large bubble clusters.

Hoop Bubble Wand
Multi-Spray Bubble Wand
Tri-Ring Bubble Wand

By 3:30 pm families and their children began to spring from the office building doors and parking lots bursting with sounds of  excitement and awe. Wow! Ooh! Yeah! The family fun begins. That said, a fall fest should provide plenty of exciting child activities.

Brenda and I set our bubble gear for our biggest bubble show to date. And what a show it was. Scores of kids came running from all directions to see the spectacle of glistening bubble clusters, gigantic gleaming crystal spheres floating in the air. Amazed adults stopped by to eyeball the bubble floats and try out our circle of brightly colored bubble wands. Before we knew it there was a tactile hands on affair with bubbles flying everywhere, long tube bubbles and wonderful breezy bubbles sprays all in use by young children, pre-teens and the young-at-heart.

Our tubs of bubble juice quickly became frothy tubs of soap suds as kids and parents dipped and shook and wiggled their bubble wands desperate to create their own bubble formations. Laughter and cheers filled the air. Everyone was living in the moment.

As the DJ played our favorite tunes, children could not resist dancing, prancing, running and jumping while reaching out to catch every flying bubble in sight. It was enchanting and wonderful to behold. A fall fest at it's best.

When planning a fall fest add a special touch with seasonal decorations. Rent an outdoor venue with plenty of space to rip roar and run. In addition to bubbles and high wind bubble wands throw up some kites and have a face painting booth. Hey rides are fun for the whole family.

Here are a few more tips to make your fall fest the best ever.

1. Have a DJ present fun festive family oriented music
2. Serve hot dogs, fried chicken and plenty of drinks
3. Rent two or more moon bounce play sets
4. Hire a professional Bubble Master
5. Serve apple cider, nutmeg and pumpkin pie
6. Decorate with leaves, dry arrangements, cinnamon sticks, hay, squash and pumpkins
7. Include outdoor games such as the great bubble chase, bubble race and bubble toss.

Check out the fall fest event planner in Fimark's Family Reunion Planner social web app, ebook or paper back book available at

Living in the Baltimore Washington area? Want to add the special touch to your festival or family event? Contact Brenda at 443 813 0865 and ask how to book an Angelo and Marie's Fantastic bubble show.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How To Remember This Kind Of September

September has a way of conjuring up nostalgia, laughter and warm memories of days gone by unlike any other month of the year. May this September be one of those months for you and yours. What will make this September extra special?

The astronomical fall 2015 begins on Wednesday, September 23. this often begins fall season events including arts and craft shows, my personal favorite - bubble shows for kids, street fairs, music and food festivals as well as beer and wine tasting.

Like Golden Leave

No doubt, after a long three day vacation weekend you already have some golden moments to remember. But as time passes by it can be hard to hold on to the details of even your most prized memories. Like the golden leaves of autumn scattering to the wind the names and nicknames of old friends and cousins, the places and subtle details of a special event may seem to slip away and drift far from your reach. How can you remember that kind of September?

Tell The Story By Narration

Don't just take pictures. One way to recapture the moment is in stories. Take a video and audio recording of the day. Enhance the visuals with narration and stories that focus on the details of that day like the smell of Auntie Emm's apple pie and uncle Herman's peanuts roasting on an open fire. a funny thing that happened or a joke that made you laugh so hard you almost fainted. Add narration on the spot or a few hours or days after the event. Don't delay. The longer you wait the more details may be lost.

Include Descriptive Sounds 

Remember to include the sounds and voices around you when recording. The sound of children playing, birds cooing, the rustle of the nearby stream, The crackle of cooking butter topped popcorn. The ocean.

Music has a way of setting up the mood and creating the atmosphere. Add the music of the day and you're practically there reliving the moment as if was yesterday.

Use Slow Motion

Enhance parts of the video by recording in slow motion so you can savor every second and make time stand still if only for a moment. This month "Try to Remember That Time In September" with video, sound, music, slow motion and narration. When it's time to look back you'll be so glad you have this virtual time capsule to recapture, relive, reminisce and as the song goes, remember the time of September and, ...follow.

Want to make and record more family memories? Planning a traditional family reunion, a black tie family night ball, a family food fest, or an anniversary family dinner just got a whole lot easier with Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app.  Plan, organize and manage your family reunion in just a few days. Get more information on my profiles page.