Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 88: They're Grrreat!

I don't know if I spelled that right....

I've been working on improving my tiger lately... I don't think I've got it where I want it yet, but it's getting there. 

This was done at a local trade show for a title agency's booth that wanted me to make requests for the attendees walking by. The theme was "It's a jungle out there" so I was making mostly jungle animals while I was there.

See you tomorrow.

Day 87: Happy To Take Your Order

One of the most common things I'll do at a restaurant if they don't have a theme to the restaurant or it's not a special day, then I make a balloon server.

I do my best to recreate the uniform of the servers if there is one, and place it up near the host stand. I will then usually have the balloon server either in a fun pose, or holding up a carry out menu.

I do this for two reasons. 

1. Guests coming in while I'm there will see the balloon guy and usually look around and see me there. They are now aware I'm there and make the approach to their table that much easier.

2. The balloon will remain at that host stand for at least a couple days. (In most cases the manager doesn't take them down and I will arrive the next week to see a slightly deflated balloon server still smiling at the entering guests.) The fact that the balloon stays there means that for the rest of the week people coming in will see it at perhaps ask about it. This is a perfect opportunity  for the people working on the nights I'm not there to mention the fact that I'm there on a specific night and that they should come back to see me. The balloon serves as an example of my skill and will hopefully impress the guest enough that they want to come back on Kids Night.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 86: Step into my den

I was digging through my old photos of balloons trying to find an example of something and ended up finding some good pictures of stuff from a few years ago.

Here is a spider in it's web that I made as a decoration for Halloween at one of my restaurants.

This was a fun stroll down memory lane.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 85: He's SO Skinny.

Todays balloon is a request I tend to get around Halloween, not the end of January.

Here is my small skeleton design. It's made almost entirely from 160's. (that's the really skinny and small balloons for those of you that don't do this for a living... and truthfully you probably better off not knowing.)

This design evolved while I was working on a life sized skeleton for a local high school science teacher who wanted to try and do something new to grab his students attention.

He said it helped a lot... but the skeleton didn't last till the end of the day.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 84: I liked Stewie Better When He Was Just Evil

 Today is kinda a Twofer.
(Hey! 2 fake words in the opening sentence!) I was asked to make Stewie Griffin by the guy tending the bar at one of my weekly restaurants. It was a busy night, so I didn't have the time to really devote to a full Stewie, so I made him one in between tables and brought it to him a little before it was time for me to leave. The patrons sitting at the bar loved it.

One of the women near by chimed in that he needed his stuffed bear Rupert. So I made a little teddy bear and the woman who had made the suggestion deemed it perfect.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 83: I'm Tired Of Winter

I was asked for the biggest penguin I could make by a very little girl tonight. If I had larger sized balloons I would have tried it, she was adorable. This penguin ended up being a little over half the size of the recipient.

The only way I could have made it any bigger is if I would have weaved the shape, and I just didn't have that kind of time.

I think that despite the balloons being different sizes than I'm used to  making it with, that the proportions still turned out close and it looks nice.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 82: Where Is Blue?

Here is an example of experimenting with different shapes for common designs. 

This is a blue version of an intermediate dog design. It's not the most fancy dog... you certainly can't claim that it is any particular breed, but I think it looks better than the standard 1 balloon pooch.

I've been trying to change up old designs as I'm making them so I have content for the blog, so with this one I started the twisting at one of the legs instead of the head so the dog would have separated front paws instead of the standard bound together legs.

As a result, the dog now stands on it's own and takes a pose that I will be using when making bulldogs and the like. 

See that? I tried something new on the fly and it turned out to show me something I'll be using in the future. It's almost like this idea about the blog helping me improve wasn't some crazy idea after all.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 81: Squeak Squeak

Here is a fun little character I make on occasion. Sometimes it gets modified to be a squirrel, but usually it's built to be a little mouse.

This little guy tends to get hidden in my restaurants, or at larger events I'm at... and I often have my regulars spend a little time looking around for what I may have hidden. 
More often than not all that will be visible is a little mouse head popping up behind something. I've also used this mouse in place of my balloon people if I don't have enough space to fit a full sized balloon character.

This guy is roughly 1/4 to 1/3 the size of my standard balloon person, so it can be very impressive to people that don't know what I can do because they are surprised to see so much detail in something so small.

See you tomorrow

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 80: Meep Meep!

For some reason the image file for the last Beyblade I made transfers over from my phone as nothing. I've tried DropBox, emailing it to myself, and of course the data transfer cable. It keeps showing up as an empty file...

So today it's back to random stuff I've made for people.
Here is my Roadrunner design. I first started working on a roadrunner when I was hired for a local Time Warner Cable employee appreciation day... I've made a few changes since then that I think improved it.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 79: I'm Seeing A Pattern

A week goes by, and the two Beyblade boys come back in with a whole collection of tops this time. It seems they had been discussing all week which ones they wanted to challenge me with.

The younger boy picked another flying creature, and the older one chose another forest dwelling monster. I'm pretty sure they are also reading these posts, so I may be tipping them off to my suspicions... but I wonder if they will bring me the same types again next Wednesday. I wonder if these are the types of monsters they like to use in their battles, so they collect only flying and hairy man eating creatures.

Today I will address the Phoenix. I admit I've never been asked for the fire bird before, so I didn't have one readily available. I thought about modifying a parrot, but didn't think it would be large enough. I contemplated changing the colors on my eagle... but it's shape didn't look right for a phoenix.

In the end I just made something from scratch.  It was had to get a viewpoint on the final product that showed the full shape.
I think it turned out well.. it became a mix between a turkey design and a bird of paradise.

Looks like I'm adding Phoenix to the list of designs I'll have to work on.

See you tomorrow.

Day 78: I'm Not Sure What This Is...

Continuing with the Beyblade posts... here is the other boy bringing in the tops for me to try and recreate. His was some sort of strangely stylized howling wolf head thing... that was yellow and green.

I tried to get the proportions and shapes as close as I could to the picture on the top.

In retrospect perhaps I should have just made a wolf.

It certainly had me thinking outside the box a little to try and get the shapes.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 77: You want a WHAT?!

This boy here, and his Beyblade compatriot have been making things a little difficult for me the last couple weeks, and they've made their intentions clear that they don't plan on letting up on me any time soon.

I don't know if you know what a Beyblade is... (I only had a vague idea before last week.) They are more or less customizable tops that you use to battle your friends with. Each top is supposedly infused with the spirit and power of mythical beasts and strange made up creatures.

I'm being challenged each week to try and make a balloon version of the animals represented in little stylized imaged on the top of each... top... as it were.

So here is the first post of my attempts to make the monsters from Beyblade. I tried to find a picture of the image on the top, but I can't for the life of me remember what the name of the creature was. It was some sort of bat monster with large claws.

The boy said that I did a good job... so I'm happy with that.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 76: Why Are Those Birds So Angry?

As promised, here is another from the Angry Birds game. The first of the birds can be seen back on Day 69.
The family that had been the original inspiration for making the designs came back on Monday and asked for me to try some of the other birds.
I'm happy with how it turned out, but I had a heck of a time getting it to look anything like the pyramid shape it's supposed to have.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 75: Stick em' up!

Today will finish off this short round of advanced weapon designs. This boy asked me for a taser gun...; at frst I thought he had said "lazer gun" but he quickly corrected me.

I did a quick google image search on my phone, because I luckily had no idea what a taser looked like, and he pointed out this picture.

I got to work, and I think that the final result turned out alright. The important thing is that the kid liked it.

See you tomorrow.

(I'm testing to see if I can have any say over the content in my ads that show up on the sight. My thinking is that if I can steer them towards stuff that people that are reading this blog may be interested in then they may be more inclined to click on the ads. At the very least I would like to try to get some ads showing up for items I'd be interested in buying... so here it goes. is a wonderful resource for anyone who is a fan of audio books. I do a lot of driving, and listening to a good audio book is how I keep myself sane on those afternoons where the shows are far apart and I'm spending more time driving than entertaining.)

Lets see if that works.

Monday, January 17, 2011

day 74: Who's in the kitchen?

While at one of the restaurant I was entertaining at over the weekend, I walked into the back of the place and found a breakfast buffet. This guy was very excited to see me walk in... I guess the kids I'd been making balloons for had been walking through, and he was wondering where the balloons were coming from.

He asked if I could make him a chefs hat... which is something I have to admit I've never been asked for before.
This was a quick and kind of sloppy modification of my kings crown. All white of course, instead of all the normal royal colors.

Day 73: It's a bird... it's a plane... it's a... well, it's a plane.

I helped out a buddy over the weekend by picking up one of his restaurants. It was at a nice place called the 356 Fighter Group. I've never been in one of these establishments before, I thought the place was rather cool.

I figured that since the theme was planes, that I would make some stuff to have sitting around that fit that theme.

They had one of those "Drop your business card" bowls, and I thought I'd try to draw some attention to it for them.

Here is a very simple airplane design. Takes almost no time to make, and can easily be attached to a base to help create the illusion of flight.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 72: Silent Killer

Continuing with the thread of more advanced weapon designs... here is the intermediate sniper rifle.

This little guy proceeded to silently snipe off every other customer in the restaurant. His parents did not think this was funny.

See you tomorrow.

Day 71: Something Awesome

I had gotten a few requests for some more advanced weapons. Among them were a chainsaw and a sniper rifle.

Here is a picture of the intermediate chainsaw. I have a quicker and simpler version, and I have one that takes like 10-12 min.

The boy holding it is a regular at one of my weekly kids nights, and he had gotten the simpler version in the past. He was excited to get the next level up.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Google Image Experiment

Back on day 62 I had asked for some help or information about trying to get some of my pictures to show up closer to the front page of Google Images.

The pictures were of the balloon character I made of Brian Brushwood. I had asked if anyone knew of ways to get the images of the balloon to show up higher on the image search. The goal I'm aiming for is to have the picture of "Balloon Brian" show up when he googles himself.

I checked at one point a few days ago and the balloons were showing up around page 3 of a Google Image search when all I typed in was "Brian Brushwood". If I do a search for "Balloon Brian Brushwood" then the pictures are right there at the top.

Is there anything I can to to help make the images show up higher on the search?

Thanks for any help that you guys can give me.

Tomorrows balloon is going to be something extra awesome.

Day 70: Let The Games Begin!

Over the course of this blog you will see a lot of hats. Balloon hats are probably the most varied item in any twisters repertoire.

Here is a variation on my basket ball hoop design. She wanted to be able to play a game with her brother. This way they could take turns trying to score points... and each could either help or hinder the person trying to make a basket by moving the hoop around.

The ball that she is holding is probably going to be the subject of one the upcoming instructional videos.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 69: Get Those Pigs!

I think that it is a safe bet that if you are reading this, then you at least have an idea of what the game Angry Birds is.

It's one of the most popular and most purchased games for mobile devices for 2010.

At my Monday Kids Night I had a table where the kids were both playing Angry Birds on their phones... I understand just how addicting this game can be, I've got it on my phone as well.

I decided to try a new design on the spur of the moment and threw together my version of the main bird from the game.

This post is more of a teaser for a group of posts that will be coming along soon.  I'm going to work out the designs for the other birds from the game as well as at least one pig.

In the end I may even build a little castle and throw the birds at it for a while... it will depend on how bored I am I suppose.

See you tomorrow.

Day 68: Balloon Jet Pack Armada

At one of the birthday parties I did last weekend I ended up making Jet Packs for all the boys there. I have to admit that it was a surreal moment towards then end when this group came in from a side room flying in "formation" and referring to each other by call signs. 

One of the parents tried to wrangle them into action poses so we could take a picture of them all ready for battle.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 67: Just A Little Off The Top.

I think today I'll mention a mode of marketing that perhaps some people haven't thought of.

I call it "Walkabout Marketing"...

The best example I can give you of this is the picture for today. I took the wife out for an afternoon of pampering and it included her getting her hair done. Over the course of the 2 hours or so that the whole process took we got to chatting with the women doing her hair and the topic of my being a balloon entertainer came up. Suddenly I was accosted by the employees of the salon all asking if they could have a balloon animal. I'm a man who knows not to argue with half a dozen females wielding scissors , so I went out to my car to get my balloons.

After making a few requests the idea of making a monkey holding scissors came to mind so I threw together the guy in the picture.
I hung him from the sign in front of the entrance to greet the new customers coming in.

The manager asked me to leave some business cards in case people ask about me. You read that right... The manager asked me to leave my cards. I didn't have to ask for permission, or go through corporate. I spent some time that I would have been sitting bored in a chair anyway making balloons for the girls that were taking care of my wife. She got a little extra pampering from them, which earned me brownie points. I now have a salon full of people that will be talking about my work for at least a week or so to most of the moms that come into their shop. I also ended up getting a discount from the manager when it came time to pay for the wifes hair.

This is a good example why I feel you should always have some balloons on you, or at least be willing to entertain the idea of making something for someone that is providing you a service.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 66: Balloons are art?

I made this for a local art show last year. One of the show rooms was kind of hidden down a side hallway and the artists were complaining that they weren't getting a lot of traffic in their areas.

I built this and aimed it at their hallway hoping that I might help out some local artists get a little more attention.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 65: Star Wars Rebel Blaster

It seems that I'm getting plenty of practice improving on my different gun designs.

This boy asked me for a Rebel Blaster, and was actually able to show me a picture of what he wanted in a book he had with him.

I have to admit that this is the first time I've spent any real time trying to reproduce anything from the Star Wars universe that wasn't a Light Saber. I think it turned out well, and the boy was quite pleased with it.

See you tomorrow.

Day 64: Llama in Pajamas

At my Wednesday kids night my favorite regulars asked me for a llama wearing red pajamas.
Apparently this is a series of books for kids that the family is quite fond of.

This is the same family I made the pigeon balloon for that I posted  a picture of back on Day 53.
They were nice enough to send me a picture of their daughter with one of the books.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 63: Make Me A Bicycle CLOWN!

If you're a balloon twister, then You've probably had it yelled at you. I didn't see Wedding Crashers for something like 6 months after it came out, so for those 6 months at every event I was at someone would yell at me "Make me a bicycle CLOWN!" I would make the bike for them if I had the time or my line wasn't too long, but I had no idea why people were being so belligerent to me.

Eventually a friend explained it to me and I rented the movie. I would say that I still hear it a couple times a month...
I still don't think it was all that funny of a scene.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 62: Brushwood

Here is a special character I did. When testing how well balloons survived being shipped I made a likeness of Brian Brushwood (An amazingly bizarre entertainer, and rising star of the podcast world) and mailed it to him so he could let me know what it looked like after it arrived.
Sadly, he was on the road when it did arrive so his invisible wife snapped some pictures and sent them to me.
I think her iPhone took better pictures than the one I took on my old crappy phone I had then.

Here is what Brian looks like, if you aren't familiar with his work.

Here is the shot I took of Balloon Brian holding his sidekick Mr. Happy Pants.

Here are the shots The Invisible Wife sent me.

I think that the lil' guy survived the trip just fine, and it was good to do a little experiment before I began shipping balloons out to people.

I think that I may begin a little project where I'll contact celebraties and get send them balloon versions of themselves to see if they will take a picture with the balloon and sent it to me.
That could be a fun little collection to start.

If any of you happen to know any famous people, let me know.

Also, if anyone knows how to make an image more likely to show up in a google image search, I'd love to know. I think it would be great if Brian went to google himself and a balloon the balloon Brian showed up.

See you tomorrow.

Day 61: Game Time!

I was told by more than one person that I need to make something for Ohio State because there was a game of some sort going on... perhaps an important one.
I don't follow football, and though I do know a few Ohio State designs, I think I will save them for a time when I'm making them for a fan that requests it.
Here is something football related though.

I have a few different designs I cycle through when asked for a football helmet. One night last week I had a couple families come in right after a game. Some kids were still wearing their uniforms... and it was fun to make helmets that matched the team colors.

Here are a few examples of a basic football helmet design.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 60: Another baby

Here is a picture of the updated Baby New Year.
Let me know what you think of them. Which version do you like better?

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 59: Baby New Year

Today and tomorrow will be a two parter or sorts.
Here is a picture of the Baby New Year that I made last year for a local Donato's pizza that I do a weekly kids night at.
Tomorrow I will post a picture of the new Baby New Year that I put together for them this year.
You can get a little example of how a design can be improved, and perhaps it will give you some ideas on how to experiment to make your own designs.

I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Years Eve, and I look forward to hearing from you in the coming year.

See you tomorrow.