Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 115: Kent State

Last Thursday I got free tickets to go see a Kent State basketball game. I'm a student at Kent State, so I thought it would be fun to show a little school spirit and make something to wear.

This is the hat after I added the finishing touches. I spelled out Kent on the front and I made a basketball player on the side. 

I got a lot of compliments and more than a few turned heads. I even popped up on the JumboTron during the first half.

I wish I would have thought to take a picture of the hat before I got to the stadium... you still get the idea from this pic though.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 114: Hang Ten

Here is my version of a balloon sea turtle. The design is based on the adorable sea turtles from Finding Nemo.

I was hired to do some decorations for a Nemo themed party a couple years ago and I decided it was a perfect excuse to upgrade my turtle design from the simple 1 balloon and 3 balloon shapes.

This guy is made from a total of 6 balloons, I can get it down to 5 if I'm not in a rush and am careful with the flipper balloons.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 113: Clap If You Believe

Ever wonder if I was going to post a picture of a little girl smeared with pizza holding up a balloon Tinkerbell?

If so.. then there is something wrong with you, and you should get that checked.

Here is a quick version of my smaller ballerina design that has been modified to look like Tinkerbell. I was told afterwards that the wings are too large, but besides that was a good replica.

It's clear that the little one was digging the balloon though.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 112: Get To The Choppa!

Bad Arnold Schwarzenegger impression aside... I like this little helicopter design.

This time a helicopter was requested that also had two guns on it. 

It's a quick version of a helicopter, and I think it works well.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 111: Palindrome! .....kinda...

I was in a flower making mood yesterday. I churned out a few designs for some orders. It reminded me of this one I made back before Valentines Day at one of my restaurants for decoration. I forgot to transfer it over from my phone.

I was told that the next day one of the workers made a sign for it that said something like "I'm wild about you Valentine."

I thought it was cute.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 110: Special Delivery

Today I had a special order to deliver.

Here is the flower bouquet I took to the lucky recipient.

I have been training a new student interested in learning how to do this whole balloon thing. She helped out with the flowers and was nice enough to lend her artistic eye when I asked for her opinion on how to arrange the flowers.

If there are other people that happen to read this blog and live in the north east Ohio area that are interested in picking up a fun new skill (and potentially making some money on the side) let me know. I'm in the mood to take on some new minions.

See you tomorrow.

Day 109: Daisy

Here is the last of the Disney heads for now. I wish my pink sharpie hadn't died on me, I would have liked to been able to color in some eye shadow or something.

I'll be looking into building Donald's sailor cap so I can throw his head up here also.

On an unrelated note, I've moved the ads to the bottom of the page to see if that helps with some of the problems I've been hearing about with my posts.

The most common problems I'm hearing about are that the posts are running off to the side and being covered by the ads to the right, or that the most recent couple days aren't showing up at all.

Please let me know if this has fixed anything, or if you are having any other troubles viewing the posts.

I don't want to have to remove the ads if I can avoid it.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Is anyone having troubles viewing the posts I'm putting up?
I've had a couple people tell me that the blog isn't loading correctly on a few different types of system.
For my part, if I try to view the blog through my phone the most recent couple days don't load. (I just tried again and the most recent day showing up is day 106)
I tried on my iPod touch and the posts show up, but none of the other stuff like the videos or the archive are visible.
Everything is showing up fine on my laptop...

I've had a couple reports of incomplete loading from some of the readers.
Anyone else having similar problems?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 108: The Mascot.

Continuing with the theme of disembodied heads... here's another one.

I've joked with the girls that asked for these character heads that now their arms will be famous, because this blog is so popular.

I've had some suggestions for more characters, so this series may go on for a little longer than planned.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 107: That Guy Is Kinda Goofy Lookin'

Here is a Goofy looking character. I admit I may have made the hat a little too tall, but it all turned out very well for a quick character head.
Normally I have to refuse any licensed character requests because to make them right it simply takes more time than I have when I'm working in a crowded restaurant.
Perhaps the idea of just getting a characters head will catch on.

I've gotten requests for more Disney characters, so I'll see what I can do.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 106: Cavalcade Of Heads

As I said yesterday, there have been a lot more Disney requests lately than normal. I don't know if a new movie or TV show is out... but there seems to be a spike in popularity.

Here is my more detailed Minnie Mouse Head. I only had enough time to make the heads for the characters being posted over the next few days, the restaurant was packed more than normal last Wednesday. 

I'm bummed, because I had to turn down the boys that come in with the Beyblade challenges... I had too many tables to get to and couldn't give them the time that I would need to make them some good designs.

They did give me a heads up on what they want from me next time I can though, so I'm going to brush up on my wolf and pegasus.

See you tomorrow.

Hey! Looks Like I've Got Ads Again!

A few of the readers had some recommendations for other ad support options besides Google. (Google decided to close my account right before my first pay out, and denied my request to dispute it.)
I'm trying out one now, seeing what kind of things their algorithms will find for the blog.
I will say that I liked how well Google found ads that fit my posts. I'm hoping that this new company will put up ads that people reading the blog will be interested in clicking.
The ads will move around the page a bit while I try to figure out where I want them.. I don't have as many options with where I want to place them as before.
Please bear with me while I get it sorted.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 105: Quick! It's A Mouse!

This design is from last week, but for some reason I couldn't transfer the photo file over form my phone.
I was asked for Minnie Mouse by this grinning little girl... but didn't have the time to do the full sculpture. I admit I tried to cut a few corners.
It wasn't till after it was done that I realized that I had made the eyes the wrong color. The was happy though, so it all worked out.

Strangely, at last nights Kids Night I was asked for several Disney designs. I don't know if the families knew each other or not, but I don't often get so many requests for Disney characters.

The next few days will be Disney themed.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 104: Purple People Eater

This boy decided to throw me a curve ball and asked for a "One eyed, one horned, flying purple people eater."
When I asked him to give me an idea what the heck one of those are supposed to look like he just shrugged and said "Whatever you want it to look like.

I then preceded to make something that looked like a leach with scales... then some sort of adder with a fat tail... once the eyes, horn, and fangs were added I don't even know what I could have compared it to. Then I heard "Where are the wings?" and that helped complete the design.

In the end I think my version of a purple people eater looks like some sort of mutant sting ray... but it still looked neat.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 103: Octopus Of Love

Last night was Valentines Day. It was also one of my Kids Nights, so I had plenty of opportunity to practice my hearts, flowers, and teddy bears.

Todays picture was sent to me by the mother of the boy standing with me. They were new to my Kids Night, and hadn't known I was going to be there.

The boy had a "Happy Valentines Day" balloon he had gotten at school with him, and wanted to know if I could use it in the balloon I made for him.

When I suggested an octopus he grew quite excited. 

So I present to you dear readers, a new holiday mascot.
The Valentopus... (perhaps the name needs work.)

See you tomorrow.

Day 102: Valentines Day!

Valentines weekend is always crazy for me. 
Private parties, delivering bouquets and special orders, and this year I also have a Kids Night on Mondays, so I had to rush there and take care of a very busy restaurant full of happy couples out celebrating love.

I still managed to get home at a reasonable hour and enjoy a nice evening with the wife. This was our first Valentines Day as husband and wife.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 101: Counting Down To V Day

Tomorrow is Valentines Day.

I've been crazy busy for the last couple days with shows and special decorations. 

Today I'm going back to the great pictures I had taken. I'm anticipating getting plenty of great pictures at the restaurant I'm entertaining at tomorrow night.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 100!

Many said I wouldn't make it this far. I'm not known for a long attention span. It's because I've had so much great positive feedback from my readers that I've kept coming back.

It's been a good 100 days. I've seen some improvement on my designs, I've learned a little about how to make a blog, and I had a lot of fun.

I did get screwed by Google and got my ad account closed. I was hoping to be able to make a little money on the side from this. I've had some suggestions for alternate ways of earning from the blog.. I intend to look into them.

I have some plans in store for this blog. I intend to extend it to more than just the daily posts. Things have been very busy for me lately, school and a busy month entertaining have prevented me from giving this blog the attention I'd like to.

Here is where I declare some things I want to do with the blog, and hope that by putting it out there that I'll be able to force myself to follow through with it.

1. More instructional videos. I have several already filmed, but editing takes a long time. I would love to get to a point where I'm putting out a video every week, or at least a couple a month.

2. I would like to develop more awareness withing the balloon community. One of the reasons I began shooting my videos and then started the blog is because I want to help improve the quality of ballooning as a whole. I am passionate about this business, and I think that it could be accepted as a real art with the right people behind it. With shows like The Unpoppables on TLC helping to bring balloon entertainment into the main stream I think that in the coming years there could be a real surge in people getting interested in balloon twisting and entertaining.
When I tell people I do this for a living, they think of clowns making simple shapes at kids birthday parties. (I don't want that to sound like I'm speaking negatively about clowns. I have some close friends that clown professionally. If anything I'm intimidated by them. They go through hours of preparation to get into their costumes, and have to deal with a lot more social stigma than I do as a balloon entertainer or magician.)
What I'm trying to say is that I hear several times a week that I'm the best balloon twister people have ever seen. When they see me working, or pictures of what I've done, they say that they can't believe these things can be made from balloons.
Those of us that are doing this are in an interesting place. We can take our clients completely by surprise. Most people have no idea what we can do, and if we're smart about the decisions we make and the way we reveal ourselves to the world we could make a huge impact that would help to put our work on the map.

3. If this blog starts getting enough traffic, I'd like to open it up to other contributers. I've already gotten it to the point that I'm getting a couple hundred page views a day. I would like to turn this into a  site other balloon twisters would come to for reference or help with their work. If it gets big enough I'd even take it off blogspot and give it it's own .com 
I think that I'd have to find a way to make the blog profitable (or at least breaking even) before I invest in it's own hosting package... so if people have any suggestion for good ways to help a blog earn some money I'd love to hear them.

100 days ago I started this blog as an experiment. I didn't have a single follower for the first few weeks and I was just doing this more or less for myself. Today I've gotten it to a point where I think that there could be a future for this crazy idea of mine.
You guys have given me the drive to keep coming back. If there wasn't interest in what I was doing, I don't think I would have kept posting.
I want to get to a point where I could approach some of the bigger names in the community and try for some interviews.

I didn't get into this to make money. I started posting videos on Youtube because someone in a message board asked for help on a design and nobody else was able to provide it. I like helping people, and I think this blog could be a good vehicle for it. If I can get things to a point where the blog could sustain itself on it's own site, then I would love to expand it with a gallery section and a place where videos are collected.
If It gets popular enough, and I have people interested in contributing, then I would love to be able to pay them a little something for their work.

I've grown a hobby into a business in my neck of the woods. I've expanded that to helping other people develop their own skills. I would love to some day say I helped build a community.

So... now that I've given my long winded couple pages... He's what I need from you guys.

Keep coming back. It's the fact that I know people are paying attention to what is happening here that I've kept this up and will continue to do it. 

Share this with people you think may be interested. If you know someone that is interested in balloons, send them this way. They just might find something here that they like.

Check out the videos. I know there aren't a lot right now, but I'm going to keep posting them. If I can get the site and the videos to have high enough view counts I can approach sponsors and convince people that it would be worth their time to support the blog.

Give me feedback. What do you like about the blog and what I'm doing? What don't you like? I'm new to this sort of thing, and I'm always happy to hear from someone more experienced than me about what I could do to make things better. 

Make requests. I'm not just doing this to help myself improve. I hope that I can help others show improvement with their own work. What do you want to learn? Should I focus more on my little talks about marketing ideas that have worked for me? Are there certain designs that I've posted that you'd like me to make a video for? Are there designs I haven't posted yet that you'd like to see?  Make a comment in one of the threads, or contact me personally. I'm trying to make a running list of what people want me to make. I also love to hear from you guys.

Because of this blog and my videos I've had the opportunity to have some really great conversations with people all over the world. I can't tell you how much I'd like that to continue.

Thank you all.
I hope that you will all continue to check back with this blog.

Now, for the picture for today.
I spent some time with a local photographer getting some pictures taken in preparation for Valentines Day. You've seen some of the pictures here on the blog, they are the really nice and shiny ones.
He surprised me with a great composite picture of a lot of the balloons I had brought in. I think it looks great, and I thought it would be a fun one for today.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Website

Seeing as tomorrow is day 100 for the blog. I thought I'd spend a little time updating the website with some of the new pictures and changing up the text a little.

I'm still very new at web design stuff and I've been teaching myself each step as I go. I am still trying to get colors and images to be just how I want them.

Give it a look and let me know what you think.

Day 99: Strange Alien

Back to business, back to posting the strange requests I get from my customers.

This smiley girl has become fond of the alien head balloons that I keep in my bag.
Last night she got creative and asked for a two headed alien monster.

It's been a couple years since I used this design for a body, it worked out well for the two color design.

See you tomorrow.

Day 98: I'm Bananas For You

This is a popular design, people tend to like the monkey I think.

Only a few more days left till Valentines Day! Make sure you get your loved ones something to show them how special they are to you.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

day 97: Larger Flowers

Here is another example of the balloon flowers in a vase that I make on occasion. I like the way the colors turned out with this picture, like vibrant Easter in a vase.

Sometimes a client will ask for all the lowers to be the same color, or perhaps 2 colors. I think it looks nice when there is a wider selection of colors in the assortment... just my opinion.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 96: Udderly In Love With You

Here is another of the designs I get orders for around this time of year.

I like bad puns. Those of you that know me are well aware of that.
I try to come up with bad puns for these delivery designs.

"I'm udderly in love with you" is the best one I've got for the cow.
Can anyone come up with more?

See you tomorrow.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 95: A Little Bit Of Love

Here is a smaller flower assortment I offer. It is 3 roses, or daises, or tulips, or whatever wrapped in a bow and put on a small stand. 

Around this time of year I tend to leave these as the decorations at my restaurants. They are free standing and draw the eye well.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 94: Super Bowl!

Every other blog in my reading list has a similar title today.

I had mentioned that there would be some designs showing up that would be suitable for the upcoming Valentines Day.

The next few days will be some examples from the options I offer as special deliveries. These are available for local hand delivery, or can be shipped anywhere in the country.

I'm going to go watch a football game now. 

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 93: She Could Beat Me Up.

I know I said I would have some valentines delivery stuff up on the blog, but things are still getting edited for perfection so I'm pulling from the other images today.

Here is the matriarch of my favorite regular family, she is super tough. She's so tough that she competes with other tough chicks.

She is also tough on me. She more than any other person I've made balloons for makes me really think about what I'm building. I have to be aware of what I make when she's around, because she won't hesitate to let me know if I did something wrong.

This has resulted in me stepping up my game and improving my designs. The blog is an extension of that mind set. I've already seen an improvement in my work and I'm not even past day 100 yet.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 92: Valentines Day In On The Way

Over the next several days there is a good chance the updates will be images of hearts, bears, flowers... and cows.

I met with a great local photographer and had a series of photos taken to begin the process of making a catalog for orders of special custom balloon deliveries.

My hope is to have a selection posted on my website as well as to give printed out menus to local florists and delivery agencies to try and drum up a little side business making custom sculptures for the upcoming holidays. 

I already do some work with a local singing telegram company delivering flowers or helium filled balloons to sweethearts in love in the Northeast Ohio area, why not add some of my own work to the options people can order?

So, expect some the next several days to be peppered with cute.
Fair warning.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 91: Lego Ninja

Hia Ya!

This guy asked me for a ninja. As we began discussing what color the ninja should be he picked up a cool little Lego Ninja. 
(How come Lego didn't have cool stuff like ninjas when I was a kid? Coolest thing I had was basic pirates... and pirates are lame.) [Yes, I realize the previous comment could ignite an internet war that could burn this blog down... but I'm sticking with my statement. Ninja are better than Pirates.]

His Lego ninja even had a cool little sword! I did my best to recreate the little guy. He's holding it up in the picture, you may have trouble seeing it... it's tiny.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 90: Snow Day

Part 2 of my fan club posts... Here is a small saxophone. I was trying to build this from an old design, and as I was finishing it up I already saw some improvements I could make to it. I think I would also like to make it larger next time. 

I'm bummed that I am missing out on a Kids Night tonight... My dang car is now in the shop awaiting a full diagnosis.

I hope that those of you hit by this ice and snow storm have kept safe and warm.

See you tomorrow.

Stupid Frozen Ohio

I won't be at my regularly scheduled Kids Night tonight.
Went out to scrape ice off my car and found a nearly flat tire.
When I tried to turn on the car to get it warmed up it made some horrible sounds and won't do what I tell it to.
Guy from AAA said it sounded like the alternator... My mechanic agrees.
I'll find out for sure once it arrives at the shop.
I'm bummed I have to miss a Kids Night. I have some new stuff I've been working on.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What Now?!

So... I got an email from google saying my ad account has been closed due to suspected fraudulent activity.
I'm not quite sure what activity they found suspect...
I've disabled ads on the blog for now. If I'm not going to get paid I see no reason in letting them keep ads up.
I've tried to dispute this, but I need my account number to fill out the dispute form... And I am currently locked out of my account so I can't view my account number.
Have any of my followers that also have blogs encountered this?
Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Day 89: My Fan Club

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting some new fans. A family stumbled upon the blog, and came to see me in person at one of my restaurants.

They were all very nice. (And I'm not just saying that because I'm pretty sure they'll see this.) 

I realized as I was posting this picture that this girl had asked for a unicorn she could "ride"... I forgot to add the horn.
I'm sorry for forgetting the part that made it magical. (In my defense she asked for a taco first.. and that threw me off.)

They hinted that they may be showing up at a kids night again, and if so then I think I owe them something fancy to make up for it. (Still not getting a taco.)

See you tomorrow.