Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 178: New Balloon Princess

One of the designs I get asked for a lot is a Princess. 

There are a lot of different ways to make a princess, making them look like one of the Disney girls, or just a generic one in a dress... and I've been trying to come up with a design that is quick enough for a busy restaurant, but still has a good amount of detail.

This design still needs to spend some time in the testing and rebuilding phase, but I think it's getting closer to what I've been striving for.

The proportions aren't exactly right yet, but I can knock one of these out rather quickly with more practice, and I like the direction it's moving in.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Digital News

I found an online version of the article the campus newspaper wrote about me.
they got a few things wrong, but over all I think it was a good article.

Here is another coloring book page, seems people are getting a kick out of them.

Day 177: Update!

So, I've gotten past day 175... which is one of the benchmarks I had in my head. I don't know why I chose 175 as a target to overcome, but I've found that if I keep aiming for incremental numbers in my climb to 365 the time seems to pass more quickly, and I don't feel as overwhelmed.

I think it's about time for some updates on the condition of things.

Summer break starts for me next week, which means nothing really because my summer is already filling up fast. This does mean that I hope to have the time to be able to focus and deliver on my promises to post a bunch of instructional videos on Youtube,, Zune and on the iTunes podcast.

I have an interview coming up in the local big city newspaper in the next couple weeks. They are doing a feature on me, my balloon entertaining, and a photo spread about a balloon dress I'm making for a local charity fashion show. Once the issue is out I'll have some pictures of it, probably a scan if I can so the pictures look a little nicer... I'm a little bummed I won't be able to get the actual digital copies of the photos though.

I'm talking with a Cleveland daytime talk show about doing a segment, possibly a couple if I can convince them that what I do is unique enough that people would be interested in seeing it.

The Balloon Distractions side work is picking up. I've finished training my latest balloon minion and I'm looking to take on more students this summer. In case you've missed the other posts about it. If you're in the North East Ohio area and are interested in making some money as a balloon entertainer at restaurant Kid's Nights, contact me.
What I've been doing is training people in the basics and some intermediate designs, helping them with training in how to work in a restaurant, and then we have a network of locations that are interested in having balloon twisters come in and entertain for 3-4 hour shifts.
My minions are reporting $15+ per hour in tips, and it's a fun and unique way to make some extra cash.
Contact me if you'd like more information.

I'm thinking about turning the blog into a .com... ever since I got screwed by Google and they closed my Google Ads account I've been bummed at missing out on the ad revenue that the blog was generating. The readership has increased quite a lot since then, and I think that if I were to invest the money in making it a real website instead of leaving it here on blogger that it would be more than able to pay for it's own expenses.
If I do turn it into a real website, I want to expand it though.. and I'd love the help of my balloon twisting readers with that.

My plan is to keep the name 365 Days Of Balloons and make it a resource for the ballooning community. Much like the great sites and I'd like to make the website somewhere where people can come for help and ideas.

I want to open it up to outside contributions. Give other twisters the opportunity to display their own work, talk about their ideas, the industry, etc... If I build it as a real website and get the Google Ads working for it again, then that means the posts would be generating revenue also, and I'd like to work out a system where my contributers can be paid for their work. 

I'd like to interview the bigger names in ballooning and get their insight into the industry.

I'd like to build a community on the site where people just getting started can come for help and advise. 

I'd like to build a huge freaking gallery where people can look for reference. (This would only work if I were getting permission from the creators of balloon images.) I know that there are a lot of creators taking their work down lately. I don't know if it's out of a concern that their work is being ripped off, if they have DVD's in the works and don't want the stuff up for free, or any of a dozen other reasons... but I believe in giving credit where credit is due and I wouldn't want to infringe on anyones work.
I'm putting my stuff out here for everyone because I'm hoping to help out people that are just starting, and this also is forcing me to improve my own designs. I know I'm not the best twister out there, but I still feel I have a lot to offer to the community and I know I can help the beginners get off to a good start. I understand that some people might not want to put everything out there for the world to see. I respect that, and I won't infringe on that.

Next week I'll hit the half way mark on this experiment. 
I started this blog as a way to improve my designs, and I've noticed a difference. I hope that when I move on to the next phase of this idea that I continue to see positive things come of it.

What I'd like from you guys is a few little things.

Please let me know what you would like to see more of. 
I already get weekly requests for designs to show on the blog and to  make videos for... keep them coming. I'm keeping a running list, and I intend to get to every one of them eventually. 
If you want me to keep this to just daily pictures, then perhaps I shouldn't bother trying to make this into something bigger... but if people are interested in seeing this turn into a much grander project, then let me know. If I've got the encouragement to drive me, then I can push this to the next level.

Tell your friends.
If you've got a friend that is into balloon twisting, or is just starting out, let them know about this blog. If you think you know someone that might think this is neat, point them my way.

Now for the picture for today.
I was inspired by a fellow balloon blogger over at

Some time back she posted a great picture she had an artist draw for use as a coloring book page.
This idea really resonated with me, and it's something that I've kept coming back to again and again.
I'm not the best artist when it comes to paper and pencil, but I've been messing around with a program on my iPod touch with some interesting results.
Here are a couple of the pages I've done so far...these are by far not the final products, but I'm using them as tests to find out what kind of balloon colors and lighting will produce the best images.

Let me know what you think.

I'll come up with some sort of special prize for the first person to color one of these.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 176: Dem Bones

Balloon Skeleton hanging from the lights
I know that this is way out of 
season, but my laptop 
decided to eat a bunch of 
my folders and I lost the 
folder that held all the 
pictures I was taking for the

I can recover some of them from my phone, but I lost a couple weeks worth of balloons that I'm going to have to find the time to build.

Here is a 3 foot tall skeleton I made as a decoration for a Halloween party last year. I made 6 of these guys total and had them swinging from the lights. 

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 166-175: Catching up with finals.

I know I've been having to do a lot more of these catching up posts than I'd like to... but I am keeping myself honest and not letting myself skip a day. Finals week is next week and I've been swamped with taking care off all the final projects and still managing my busy entertaining schedule.

A photographer will be stopping by my Kids Night tonight from the local big city paper to take some pictures of me for an article they are writing about my balloon escapades. The focus of the article will be on a balloon dress I'm making this weekend for a charity fashion show... but there will also be bits about the various other types of entertainment I do. I even drove into the big city yesterday to shoot some film segments for their website that should be up after the weekend. I'll link to them once I've been told where they have placed them on the internet. The videos were just some simple instructional pieces about basic balloon shapes and a few more advanced ones.

Now on to getting caught up with the daily posts.

Day 166: Red Cross Display

A month or so ago I posted a picture of a lil' balloon guy I mad for the red cross when I was giving blood. 

I left my card with them and asked them to contact me when they were coming back to campus so I could put together something larger for them. I wanted to try to draw a little more attention to the blood drive in hopes that perhaps a few more people might help out and give some blood.

I made a couple more balloon blood drive workers, and a balloon red cross.

Day 167: Thar She Blows!

I'me working on my sea creatures these days. I've been getting more than the usual number of requests for underwater designs... so I've been working on fixing them up.

I don't know why it never occurred to me before to use 350's for the whale... I was still using 260's... but I think this creates a much more whale like shape... it's not perfect yet, but it's getting there.

Day 168: Monkey Riding A Horse

This family has showed up to a few of my weekly Kids Nights, and I was sad to have to turn down their request one evening. The place was very busy, and I was trying to take care of all the tables before my time was up and I had to head to another event. This girl asked me for a monkey riding on a horse... and I had to say no.

I hate having to say no.

Luckily, a couple weeks later they came back and I was able to make her request. I was glad I could do it for them.

Day 169: Some Might Call Her A Diva...

This girl introduced herself to me while using that phrase... 

She asked me for a huge balloon frog with a long purple tongue.

I hope that this diva was pleased with my work... I would hate to incur her wrath.

Day 170: Vroom Vroom!
This girl here came a very long way to get some balloons from me. This is how far my legend and majesty has spread.

Here she is holding a quick version of a balloon race car. The hardest part of this design is the wheels. They aren't event that difficult to make... just annoying. I may be doing something wrong, but it always hurts my fingers to make them.

I'm probably doing it wrong.

Day 171: Flipperbill...

Here is another example of a balloon someone made to show me. 
I was entertaining at a party and these two girls decided to put their heads together to try and make me a balloon. The result was named the Flipperbill and I think it was supposed to be some sort of bird... I think.

They did a great job for a first attempt. Who knows, in 10 years they might be the next big names in the balloon industry.

Day 172:  Dog Head

Here is that girl again... She traveled over 8 hours to get these balloons.  Why don't I see this kind of dedication from more of my fans?

She asked me to make a balloon version of her dog, and was nice enough to provide me with a picture for reference and everything.

At the end she mentioned that all that was missing what a big red tongue hanging out.  I killed a red 646 balloon and the dog was complete.

Day 173: Easter!
What Easter post could be complete without having a bunny bringing candy?

I made a heck of a lot of different types and sizes of bunnies this year during the Easter season. 

This one even comes with his own sugar supply.

Day 174:  Hare Cut
I've been getting my picture in the paper a lot lately, so I figured I was well overdue for a haircut.

Just like the post I made about when I left  a balloon monkey last time I got my hair cut, I thought I should leave the girls an Easter Bunny this time.

He even wants to tell you about the great deals they are offering.

Day 175:  Don't Sit On It!

I got a new request last week, I was asked to build a balloon rocking chair.

Now that I'm looking at the final product, I see all kinds of things I should have done to make it look better or more decorative...perhaps I will be better prepared when next I'm asked to build balloon furniture.

It was a good learning experience.

Alright! I'm back to today again.  I'm off to my Wednesday Kids Night at Donato's. There will be a photographer there tonight taking pictures for the article... I'm hoping to have a filled restaurant.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 165: Under The Sea

Little known fact about me that I'm going to share with everyone here... I know all the words to all the songs in The Little Mermaid.

It came out when I was at that formative Disney age, and imprinted itself in my young Mot mind.

Another design I've been tinkering with is the mermaid. I'm happy with my tail, and I like the hair... I'm still trying to perfect the human body and the "seashells"...

I think it's getting there though.

See you tomorrow.

Day 164: That Freaking Toucan

I've mentioned before that my current balloon student is fond of his toucan balloon. Whenever people approach us while I'm teaching him something and ask if they can get a balloon made he always jumps up and offerers to make them a toucan.

I've grown to hate this toucan.

He's proud of it though, and despite the fact that I've shown him a much better version that is 4 colors and has a lot more detail and character... he returns to this large beaked menace.

I told him I'd put a picture up of him with it so he could show it off to the world.

Please don't encourage him.

See you tomorrow.

Day 163: Saxamaphone... Saxaaamaphoonne

I got a bunch of requests for instruments on Wednesday evening at my kids night. I took it as an opportunity to improve on my saxophone design. The saxophone I posted earlier on the blog was far too small and didn't have enough detail... I think I got much closer to what I saw in my brain this time.

This is a mobile post being made from my phone, so I apologize for any formatting weirdness. The internet is still down at the house, so I'm doing this from magic phone that sometimes can grab the internet out of the air.

See you tomorrow.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 162: Doppelganger

I had a blast making a larger than life balloon version of one of my favorite regulars for a private party they hired me for. I snapped a few pictures during the build process, I thought I'd share them with you.

Here is the head once it was nearly finished. I don't often have the chance to make the highly detailed heads for sculptures... It's always fun to puzzle out how to make it look like the subject.

Here is the figure at about 95% finished. I still needed to clean up all the extra bits sticking out and finalize what position I was going to pose him in... but this was as far as I wanted to go until got to the venue it was going to be set up at. I always save the final fixin's till I get on site if I can in case something pops or deflates while I'm in transit.

Here is the final head after I got everything all set up at the venue and cleaned up all the bits sticking out.

Here is the man I was trying to create a balloon doppelganger of. I think I did a good job of capturing the smoldering intensity of this nationally feared legal genius.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 161: Palindrome!

Perhaps I should think about how to make a balloon palindrome...

I got a few of the pictures from the article in the paper that ran yesterday, so I thought I'd share them here.

I hope to get a few more for the shoot, we took some interesting shots.

Here is the latest model of my Iron Man balloon. I changed up the torso a bit, and adjusted the proportions a little.  I didn't realize till I loaded this on the laptop that the image was blurry... it looked fine on my phone.  

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 160: Front Page

Today was a pleasant surprise. The article I had been interviewed for last week went from being hidden in the middle of the paper somewhere to right up on the front page. I haven't been on the front page of a paper in a few years now... it's always exciting.

I was interviewed by Kent State reporter Rachel Hagenbaugh last week, she had questions about how I've turned balloon entertaining in a business and what sort of things I've done.  We discussed things like how I got started, who I've performed for, and we talked a little about my training students to do what I'm doing. The article wasn't able to go into as much detail as I would have liked.

I've mentioned it here before, but I'll do so again... I'm looking to train outgoing and fun people the basics of balloon entertaining, and then help get you placed in restaurants to work their Kids Nights. People who pick up the twisting skills and are great at interacting with the costumers do very well in this industry. My past students are making $15+ per hour in tips. That's darn good money for college students.
If you think you've got what it takes do be a Kids Night entertainer and are interested in learning a fun new skill, contact me. I'm taking on new students right now. The training can be done right on campus, and is easy to build around anyones schedule.

For the article I built a few things to get some pictures of. I built a fancy version of a balloon dog, and a balloon dress in Kent State colors.

I snapped a few pictures of the dress building process, so I thought I'd share them here.

I'm hoping to get some copies of the pictures that were taken by the papers photographer so I can put them up here on the blog also.

The pictures for the article were taken by Valerie Brown, I hope to be able to get some more from that photo shoot to share here.

See you tomorrow.

Day 156-159: Stupid Internet Is Ticking Me Off!

I hate to have to do this again, but it seems that the lords of the InterWebs are dead set against letting me get a good connection to their series of tubes.

The internet connection at my house has been worse than ever, often dropping within seconds of making a connection. 

To make things worse, I couldn't event get online on campus with my laptop. The school was having problems with letting students sign in.

I have Time Warner coming out on Friday to take a look at things, this will be the 4th time I've had to call them out... lets see if they fix it this time.

Anyway, Here is me playing catch up again.  I was featured on the front page of the Kent State news paper today, so I want to get things all set in case this drives a little more traffic my way.

Day 156:  3 Headed Alien

You may recognize this girl as a regular contributor to the blog. She's the oldest child in my favorite family of regulars. I see them nearly every week, so that means she's always trying to come up with something to ask for that hasn't shown up on the blog yet.

She's addicted to the fame and notoriety that comes with being pictured here on the world famous 365 Days Of Balloons.

I suspect that I'm going to have to keep coming up with ways to add more and more heads to her aliens.

Day 157: Kangaroo

It seems that the Kangaroo is becoming a popular request since I posted it last week. I've had several more kids asking for it. As a result, it's continuing to go through an evolution as I make it over and over again, keeping the parts I like and changing up what I don't think works.

This is the whole reason I started the blog, to force myself to improve my designs.

Thank you for helping me out with that kids.

Day 158: Panda: Awesome is no extra charge.

Here is another of my regulars, asking for something I was surprised hadn't made it onto the blog yet.

The panda is a fun one to make, I just wish I could find a white market that I liked so I could give it better eyes.

I'm still on the search for the perfect white market that will solve a lot of face problems for me.

Day 159: Sunburst

This is something I hadn't made in a year or so. I used to make this at one of the restaurants I entertained at all summer because it went well with their decorations. I was trying to make a list of things I hadn't made in a long time and was excited to make this one again.  This girl works at the cafe next to where I've been training my newest balloon student on campus. She always comes over to chat, and usually ends up getting all the balloons we made during our sessions.

Alright. I'm back to today, so I'm going to make it a normal post.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 155: It Could PUNCH Your Face Off!

I had a nice conversation with this guy about battle strategies when you've found yourself in a fight with a kangaroo. 

It's been years since I was asked for a kangaroo, not since the last time I entertained at an Akron University game. (their mascot is a kangaroo)

I wish I would have thought ahead and given the balloon boxing gloves or something.

Perhaps I'll remember for next time.

See you tomorrow.

Day 154: Elephant Hat and a Freaking Toucan

Here is another girl who happened to pass by during one of my training sessions.
She ended up leaving with an elephant hat from me and a toucan from my student.

He loves his freaking toucan.
Whenever anyone asks for a balloon, regardless of all the other shapes I've shown him, he always offers the toucan.

I'll break him of that... if it kills him.

See you tomorrow. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 146-153: Catching up again.

Sorry again for being late guys. I was very sick of the last couple weeks. A sinus infection and stomach bug put me out of commission for the last 10 days or so.

I hate to be so far behind, and I hate that I missed day 150.

Here is me playing catch up again.

Day 146: Pitchfork.

This girl was very excited to get her pitchfork. She walked around brandishing it menacingly for a while after receiving it.

Day 147: Nunchucks

I had a Ninja themed birthday party where I was expecting to be asked for all kinds of crazy weapons... I wasn't. I made a dozen swords, nothing fancy.
I even brushed up on my weapons to make sure I was ready.
Nobody asked for Nunchucks, so I made a pair during a training session with my new student and got a passerby to pose with it.

Day 148: Sumo

I have to confess that the sumo design is not my own. I saw an image of a balloon sumo wrestler somewhere in the last couple months, and I filed it away in the back of my head as something to try later. I'd have to track down the original version to see how close I got, but I got a kick out of making it.

Day 149: Whirleybird

Spell check insists that "whirleybird" is not a word. You don't know what you're talking about spell check.

I find that every time I may a helicopter it's very different from the one before. I guess it's just that the design is something that is in flux and once I find the version I'm happiest with, I'll stick with it.

Day 159: 100 flowers
Ever wonder what 100 balloon flowers looks like? Here are the petal portions of them.

I was entertaining at a local Girl Scouts dance party where I was told to expect 100+ girls that would all want balloons. I planned ahead and made as many as I could before I got there to save time.

 Here are the flowers after I had put basic stems on them and packed them in my balloon transport case.  This case was one of the best purchases I made last year, it's helped me get my larger scale decorations and display pieces around much easier.

Day 151: He is the Walrus

In an effort to get some pictures for the blog so I could get back on track, while having a training session with my new student today I made requests for passersby as well.

One twisty hat and one walrus later I've got another picture for the blog.

I think I need to work on the walrus though... it's not quite there yet.

 Day 151: Panara sculpture order

I was commissioned to make a large balloon coffee mug for a local Panara Bread grand opening.

I was not however allowed to make it any way I wanted. A company in Florida had made a mug in the fashion these pictures show that Panara corporate fell in love with. I was asked to replicate it for this opening.

Here are a few pictures I snapped curring the build process.

 Hey! Look! I'm using my balloon transport case!

That thing sure is handy.
Here is the final piece once it was set up at the new location.

I tried to add my own touch by making it look like steam was coming out of the top of the mug.

I sort of wish I would have just left it alone now.

Day 152: A Different Mug.

Here is a quick mock up I threw together to give the people from Panara and idea of what I would have liked to build them instead.

The scale is a little off, but it was more to illustrate the point that if I made a weaved mug is would look more mug like than the balloon cluster column.

They said they had several more grand opening scheduled for my region this year, and they would like to use me... we'll see which design they got with.

Day 153: Easter Brunch

Here's my bunny again. The lil' guy always seems to evolve a bit each year around this time as I get more and more requests for an Easter Bunny.

I'm curious to see how he'll look by the end of the month.

Alright. All caught up again.

See you tomorrow.