Monthly Archives: September 2013

257th to 259nth Balloon Sculptures: Giraffe, Monkey on Banana Tree and Lion Safari Scene

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I was asked to do a jungle theme for a baby shower. it was requested that there be a lion, a giraffe, and a monkey.

I decided to make a best of compilation,lol.

I had seen a picture of a giraffe made by Ballonkunstenaar Patrick, his Facebook page here, https://www.facebook.com/BallonkunstenaarPatrick. It is actually his profile picture. Man- you have got to like his page! He is amazing and very inspiring! I just felt it was the coolest giraffe I had ever seen. I decided to make a run at his style approach. I just felt like his was the best giraffe I had ever seen.

To make the giraffe stand on his own, I decided to take some brown balloons and fill them with some water and then use that to be simultaneous feet and weights to hold it upright. I was quite proud of myself for that. 🙂

And let’s see for the monkey, that was easy, Sam Cremeen’s monkey design, altered to go up a banana tree. For 5 dollars you can purchase his awesome tutorial here, http://www.balloon-animals.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=67. He is a great instructor.

I figured and came up with the banana tree on my own.

For the lion, I just feel that Derek Wong of Twisted Inflations has the coolest lion design. I have admired it for a long while and was excited to finally try my hand at replicating it. A picture of it is on his cover page. He is amazing and super inspiring as well! I actually consider him to be one of my all time favs.

I did my best by just looking at pictures of the giraffe and lion. I had a tutorial for the monkey so that was nice,lol.

They were a huge hit which made me happy.

Pictures of my replications and versions of these wonderful designs below.

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1 year in video project.

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Well, I decided to make a video photo collage of all the different balloon designs I learned and made In a year as it was my 1 year balloon twisting anniversary  Sept 27th.  And for everyone else out there sticking with this art, congratulations and happy hugs to you!

I need to find music to fit the length better- but I just love love love love this song I found for it so far sooo much,lol.

Just in a sentimental mood. 🙂

Winner of the TJam on the Road contest in Atlanta! My Entry, Dalek Costume, EXTERM-INFLATE!

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Well folks, today is officially my one year balloon twisting/sculpting anniversary and what better news than to say I won T Jam on the Road’s Whatever You Can Fit Through the Door Contest in Atlanta!

Where to begin where to begin?! I decided last minute that I should just go for it and go to Atlanta and enter the T Jam on the Road Whatever You Can Fit Through the Door Contest. I figured that even though funds are tight, this is just too cool of an opportunity to meet Buster Balloons and David Brenion and see if I can win.

I knew I couldn’t do the workshop, which is like a 100 or more dollars but the contest was only 20 dollars and my husband has a Prius so that would help and the place was only an hour and a half away- totally doable.

It was last minute- so the day before I looked at my balloons to see what the heck I had in stock. I decided to make a Robin’s Egg Blue version of my signature Dalek Balloon Costume since that is what I had the most balloons of,lol. I wanted to enter something that was my design and that I felt would make the biggest impression. I know that David Brenion specializes in wearable balloons and I thought perhaps he would appreciate a full balloon costume.

Everything came down to the wire. I made half of the balloon the day before and the rest of it the day of the contest. I had just 4, size 350 balloons left so thank goodness nothing popped! 350 is a type of balloon and I only had 4 of the Robbin’s Egg color in that size left!

I picked my daughter up from school, dropped her off at my mother’s house and then rushed home to pack the balloon in the car and go. I even had to keep working on it while in the car,lol. The bottom half fit in the back seat and the head of it we stuffed in the trunk of the car.

We got there just in time, it started at 7 and we got there at like 15 minutes till. My husband drove while I worked on balloons.

I had no idea what to expect. It was at this place called Jubilee Center which ended up being a church, which surprised me because I was expecting it to be a convention center filled with thousands of people,lol.

It ended up being in a room with about 20 or more people,lol.
Which is so wrong to me, don’t people realize Buster Balloons was there and David Brenion of Nifty Balloons? Do people not know of their amazaballs wonderful coolness? It was ironically sacrilegious to me that such an event was held at a church and not an auditorium filled with thousands of people,lol.

I still had to attach the head to the body and finish it up and then barely fit it through the door,lol. That was nerve wracking, but hey- I have seen my Dalek costume fit on a narrow bus, so it was chill man,lol.

The Jam was totally not at all what I expected and Buster and David were totally down to earth and everything was super lax, casual and laid back. I was Pinkie Pie at Mach 5 excited. I wanted to hug everyone there!

I couldn’t believe I was meeting David Brenion especially- it was just super cool as I have bought several of his tutorials and it was just really neat to meet him. He is really nice and I can’t help but think of John Flansburgh from They Might Be Giants when I see him,lol. I totally envisioned David singing TMBG songs the whole time and had dream sequences where he made a Triangle Man balloon music video. I was totally Wayne and Garth, We’re Not Worthy in my head,lol.

Buster was really reserved and just kind of kept to himself. I couldn’t tell if he was just tired, which I imagine they were totally over the tour by then as they had just 1 more stop after Atlanta to go and they just taught an all day workshop they must have been exhausted, or if he is just a super introvert. He kept kind of to himself doing his own thing experimenting with balloons. He was awesome to watch. Everything he touched just seemed to turn to gold. I could watch him make balloons all day.

David was very approachable and was not “Hollywood” at all,lol. Neither of them were. David was very much involved with what people were doing and very encouraging and just really outgoing. I was intimidated to talk to Buster, I tried but I couldn’t read him as far as emotions and I went Fluttershy in 0 to 10 seconds,lol. If I can’t read a person I get really shy and intimidated easily.

Both of them really impressed me with their demeanors as their balloons were inflated but not their ego’s.

And Bettina Davis was there, I found that to be exciting because whenever you buy balloons from T Myers and Magic, you get an email from her and it is just cool to actually meet these people who are a part of your life in these wonderful strange ways yet you are strangers,lol. Familiar strangers.

I will have another post about the jam but for now let me just celebrate. Out of the 4 entries I ended up winning and was super excited and my head nearly exploded. I jumped up and down and held my prize of a bag of Qualatex Magic Links to my heart,lol. Apparently I will be in a bigger contest and I am not sure how it works but somehow there will be voting for the best of the winners from each city on this tour, there are 11 cities so I will have a 1 in 11 shot! Hopefully I will win! Man would that be a dream come true! It will be on the T Meyers website, the national contest I guess you could say. Holy Cow! I can’t believe I will be one of the runners!

I named my entry, EXTERM-INFLATE. When I put the costume on, Buster said to me, Okay say the line, and I said, EXTERM-INFLATE, in a Dalek voice and it cracked them up. David bent his head back and laughed. That is the golden laugh! 🙂

I felt weird as I had never been around other balloon twisters twisting balloons and had never balloon jammed before,lol. It was awesome but also very instantly new girl in high school- will anyone like and accept me, am I cool enough to hang with these people,lol. I was so nervous and excited, I was a kid in Disney World!

I am sooo glad that my hubby was there to share that experience with me and help me not pass out from both fear and happiness,lol.

So long story short, my costume won and I was able to secure it a happy home rather than see it popped. I felt like a surrogate mother, I gave birth and then gave my baby away to a happy home. It ended up with these two really nice college boys who loved it and tried it on and we all played around with it. Ben and Alec are their names.

My YouTube video of us all playing around and having fun after the Jam was over, because Extermination, like Friendship, is MAGIC,lol. Thank you so much Ben and Alec! 🙂

Pictures of my Exterminflate below. My husband is wearing the Phoenix shirt in pics below and Ben is in the other pics.

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255th Balloon Sculpture, Ballerina Take 2

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Well Dylan Gelinas has a very cute ballerina design on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIsB1OX7-fk.

I finally have geo blossoms and am soooo excited!

His ballerina design uses a 6 inch geo blossom for the skirt and it is super cute.

I modified it by drawing on a face and adding some ballerina shoes, a girl’s got to have her shoes,lol.

Pictures of my replication below.

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254th Balloon Sculpture, Hello Kitty Parody Bracelets

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I had a birthday party gig and this time it was requested that the birthday girl receive a larger cute kitty cat and also something kitty themed for the guests. It was requested that everything be pink and purple.

I saw somewhere online a person who had a super simple but awesome design for a Hello Kitty parody bracelet. I can’t remember where I saw it as I was just surfing the internet late one day. I just made a mental note of it. I will try and see if I can’t find it and post it here.

Anywho, I made a pink and purple kitty cat that is heavily inspired by Dylan Gelinas’ cat, see this post for reference, and some Hello Kitty parody bracelets.

All you do to make the bracelets is make a 6 or 7 petal flower for the bracelet and take a white 6 inch heart for the head and twist it into the flower. You then draw on your face and then add a little bow, I prefer to use 160’s for the bows for these and glue dot on the head. You also add a balloon un-inflated for a strap and attach it to flower. It is super cute!

Everything was a hit!

Pictures below.

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Why Balloon Sculpting?

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My one year balloon sculpting anniversary is coming up on the 27nth of this month and I can’t help but reflect on this whole experience and psychoanalyze it.

One of the things I have been taking a serious look at is why balloon sculpting? Of all the things I have done, which are many, I have never stuck with anything for more than 6 months usually, there are some exceptions where it lasted longer. I have pursued acting, poetry, stand up comedy, painting, and composing music and even more things. I have delved “passionately” into all these activities. I have won contests and gotten praise for my abilities for these things. I have even won money for a lot of the things I have pursued and have been encouraged to pursue them professionally. Especially stand up comedy.

For whatever reasons, my drive and interest would shift and especially once I started to excel at any of them. If I reached any kind of significant point on the journey with these things, then I would lose interest. Oh I am good at this, what else can I do? I would totally lose interest after I reached some sort of goal. But that wasn’t enough of a reason, thinking about it I realize there were brick walls and worst of all, I wasn’t passionate enough to climb over them.

Randy Pausch once said that, “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

Brick walls are inevitable. I don’t care how good at something anyone is, you are going to run into obstacles and predicaments that test your committment to and drive for anything. One of the brick walls is one’s own ego.

If there is anything I have learned from analyzing myself from this past year, it is that one way to know you are truly passionate about something, is if your passion for an endeavor is stronger than your ego.

What do I mean by this? Well, you are going to have highs and lows. You are going to have to be able to deal with failure and success in such a way that it doesn’t overcome your passion. You will want to quit sometimes, you will feel insecure, you will perhaps have flops or fall on your face. You will feel like a loser or perhaps be haunted with the curse of potential and feel the burden of needing to prove yourself. There are going to be elements that you find are tough and daunting, if not with the art or activity then with dealing with people and business aspects of it. And no matter what happens, no matter if you fall on your face or make huge mistakes and feel like an utter fool, your passion has to matter more. Your joy and need to do something because it selfs you so much needs to exceed your ego, because your ego is fragile and highs and lows are inevitable.

You have to be in a weird state of being content and yet never satisfied as stagnation can kill a passion as well.

If you are too confident and brought down a peg, again, if the passion exceeds the ego, then one won’t give up and will be willing to go through the humbling pains of growth because the passion trumps all.

There is self-discipline required so that you don’t over do it and get sick of your passion or burn out.

The self takes a back seat because the passion is more important, and ironically the passion will give more and more of a satisfying sense of self.

I could not put my ego in the back seat of the other ventures I have pursued before. I feared to fail too much. Even though I had done well at other ventures and had people really encouraging me to take it to the next level, I was still too scared to fail and flop and the emotional tax was just too high and not worth all the struggle and work to really turn anything into a long term path.  My hunger for approval and praise was also just too high and not sustainable, so that if I didn’t receive a certain consistency I would starve. Bottom line, I cared too much about what other people thought and it was more about me than my “passion” of the week.

This is not so with balloons. I am not afraid to fail in pursuing this to a really high professional level. Even if people thought I sucked, I would still enjoy the activity. The balloon sculpting is an end in and of itself and not simply a means to an end, as I have learned is crucial from studying Aristotle.

I remember when I started getting into balloons, several of my friends made fun of me when I said I felt I found my special purpose,lol. I would say, this is it! This is my passion! I found my thing!

They felt it was the flavor of the week. It was a huge deal when I passed the 6 month mark and kept going.

So again, why balloon sculpting?

I have pondered and reflected in-depth on this question. It boils down to, it fits my personality, my talents and my theme in life. One constant theme in my life is that I am a big kid and what I love to do is bring people into a child like state of mind.

My stand up comedy was all about reminding you and getting you back, in a light-hearted way, into your child hood and your thought processes as a kid. I am light-hearted. I want to make you light-hearted.

My joy is to feel like everyone is in kindergarten again. A first meeting and yet a reunion of all our inner children who are invited to come and out and play and make an appearance. That is why I walk around, a 31 year old woman, with Care Bear hats on,lol. It is why I have My Little Pony wallets.

Balloon sculpting, more so than anything I have done or could do, achieves this goal to lure out other adults inner children to the most instant and greatest degree. Everyone loves balloons. It is one of the few delights that keeps delighting us all of our life.

That child-like wow that is so filled with wonder is a very specific wow that I seek to gain from people. It is how I connect with people. It is what makes life meaningful for me. Life is too short and too wonderful to ever lose that kind of awe and wow. We have such a short time on this earth, as Oscar Wilde said, “Life is too important to take seriously.”

Life needs to be filled with color and balloons certainly bring that to the table. I am also the type of person who likes to collect and needs variety. I get bored easily and I need constant new. One of the things that deflated comedy for me, is I got bored of sharing the same jokes and the rule of thumb is that it takes 5 years to perfect 5 minutes of comedy,lol. Ahh! I collect ideas and I collect pictures of my balloon work and there are countless possibilities and it will take a life time to make everything on my list of balloons I want to make,lol. That is something that helps keep me interested and provides me challenges when I need them, and also just mindless stress free fun when I just want to make something simple.

I can pace myself with challenge and comfort basically and my mind is ever stimulated with endless possibilities and new techniques and presentations.

The having just a picture long-term works especially nicely as I don’t have to worry about anything taking up space in my house,lol.

I love that it engenders respect from people too. I am not one who easily would afford respect from others. Especially professional and serious people. Balloon sculpting is like this magical bridge. I love how easy it is to cross that bridge, into that magical land of respect when I make them balloons or even just show pictures. People respect competence, even if they do not get you as a person whatsoever,lol. Balloons are more universal and the proof of ability and the likability of a well made balloon is more objective and easier to evaluate. By expanding my social circles, it helps me feel more fully integrated in my community or any community and helps me grow as a person and gasp- grow as an adult,lol. I can hold my Care Bear head up high amongst the suits. 😛 This is not imperative to keeping up with my passion but is a significant cherry on top.

In short, I have found that balloon sculpting self’s me and connects me to others more so than any other passion that I have had. This is it. This is the thing for me. 🙂

253rd Balloon Sculpture, Triceratops

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Michael Floyd also has a very cool 2 balloon Triceratops. I need to practice making the horns. My husband said that the horns on mine looked like boobs,lol.

Michael is a great instructor and his tutorials are very well done. He goes by the name Balloon Animals on YouTube, that is his channel name.

Here is a link to his tutorial and pictures below of my replication. 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfCzcguDMRI\

Click on the picture below to see the writing better. 🙂

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