Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 201-207: I Hate Time Warner Cable

I know I've complained about this before.. and I'm sure I'll complain about it again... Time Warner has been screwing me for over a year now. I promise to get all caught up over the next few days.. in between the internet dropping randomly while I try to do my work.

Here is a big chunk of the updates I owe you.

Day 201: Cactapus
I'm not sure I spelled that correctly... but I really can't spell check Cactapus.

When I was asked for "A cactus with tentacles" I had to ask what the origin of such a creature could be.

When I asked what a Cactapus was, the answer wasn't much help... she replied "My Sister!"


Day 202: Narwhal

You may have noticed that the young lady in the black top has appeared in both images... Let me introduce you to the real Cactapus.

At least, this is the sister that was pointed at when I asked what a Cactapus was.

The Cactapus asked for a Narwhal... and frankly, I couldn't pass up the chance to make one.

Day 203: Paradise

I have to apologize for the quality of the balloons in this picture, they were already beginning to shrivel a bit by the time the picture was taken. I made this to be a special decoration for my Monday night Kid's Night... but they closed for Memorial Day. I didn't know they were closed though, so I drove 50 min to the restaurant, learned it was closed, and took nearly an hour to get home.  Today was really hot, so the balloons didn't survive the trip very well.

I liked my guy sitting in a hammock between two palm trees, so I wanted to show you guys.

Day 204: Orbit
My wife got some free tickets to out local minor league baseball teams game last week. I decided to make another crazy hat to try and get up on the Jumbotron.

I succeeded.. but wasn't able to get my phone out in time to grab a picture of my giant smiling head.

I was able to get my picture taken with the teams mascot, which is who I had popping 
popping out of the top of the hat.

His name is Orbit, and he's a space cat.
Some might say he's the greatest space cat... but I have to imagine that's a short list.

The game was a great time though, and I may be heading to the stadium every once in a while to make balloons for the fans.

Day 205: Penguin- Before and After

I was cleaning my office this week, organizing things that were well past due to be taken care of... and I found something funny.

This is what my balloon penguin looks like when it's handed out.

This is what a penguin looks like when it is left alone on top of a tall book shelf that I apparently never look at.

I don't know how old this guy is... at least 6 months. He may even be the penguin I made in the instructional video I made for youtube and iTunes last June... which would mean he's almost a year old.

This kind of makes me want to perform an experiment on the process and rate at which balloon animals deflate.

Day 206: Purple Platypus

Can you believe that I don't often get asked for the purple platypus?
I admit it's not a common design I have requested.

I think that this one looks a bit like a duck crossed with a seal... but I also have no idea what a platypus looks like, and should probably Google it and work on a design.

Day 207: Fresno Fishes

My favorite regular asked me to help her with a school project this week. 
She is doing a project for an entrepreneur class where the kids are in charge of fantasy baseball teams.

Their team is the Fresno Fishes... I might even get a copy of their logo to put up next to this for comparison.

I'm always happy to help someone earn a better grade.

That is all I've got for now. The internet dropped several times while I was working on this update.
I'm going to be giving Time Warner a piece of my mind in person tomorrow... I'm sure it won't do much good, but it might make me feel better.

I'll spend time making some sculptures just for you guys so I can get back to the right number of days.

See you tomorrow.

Day 200: Slideshow!

It's Day 200 of the blog!
Can you believe it's come this far?

I put together a little slideshow of my favorite designs from the first 200 days.

I hope you like it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 199: Battle Axe

These guys were a lot of fun.

They were hanging out at the bar at one of my restaurants and were very excited to get some balloons. 

When I told this guy to strike a battle pose... he went right for attacking his buddy... don't know what that means.

See you tomorrow.

Day 198: Hulk Smash!

I've been playing around a bit with my super heroes. A couple weeks ago you saw a version of my Superman, I've posted a few versions of my Iron Man... But I don't think I've posted any other heroes besides them.

I used to own a comic book store, I'm a big comic dork... I made a point of being sure I had some good super hero balloon designs.

I guess I need to add them to the list of things to make.

Here is the quick restaurant version of my Hulk. I make him mostly out of 360's because he's supposed to be a larger than normal creature.

See you tomorrow.

Day 197: Bird Trial

I'm trying out new things...  I saw a picture of some really amazing looking balloon birds that another twister has done. I don't know the name of the twister, I just had the single image sent to me with no name.  I'm trying to figure out how they got so much detail into the face of his birds.  The part that interested me the most was how they used heart shaped balloons to make the beak. 

If anyone knows who I'm talking about, please let me know.

I haven't received a single submission or suggestion for the weekly showcase... so I guess that means I'm going to have to start tracking down people and asking for submissions.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 196: Rocket Ship

I have a space themed sculpture order for August, and I decided I'd brush up a bit on my designs. Here is a quick shuttle I built in between tables at my Monday Kid's Night.

As any of you that know me are aware, I love me some puns ans silly sayings. The heart on the front of the shuttle reads "Doogan's is out of this world!"

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 195: 100 Followers!

I hit 100 followers! 
I know there are lots of blogs out there with much higher numbers than mine, but I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing here and it means a lot to me that 100 people cared enough to want to come back every once in a while.

Here are some links from the Article that ran about me in the local paper.
It's got a photo gallery attached to it, I don't own the rights to those images so I don't want to post them here.
There are also some more instructional videos that they had me to for their website.



Thanks again everyone.

See you tomorrow

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 187-194: Mega Update!

Day 187: One of these things is not like the other

Sometimes it's fun to leave balloons in the real world and see how people respond to them.
I was doing a show at a Farming Co-op's employee appreciation day and I had some of the kids hide balloon props in the store.
It was fun later on to see customers shopping around come across the balloon props. 

Day 188: A Bunch Of Heads

I'm kicking myself that this is the only picture I took of the big project I had on Sunday. I built 26 centerpieces for my local magic clubs magic banquet... and was so tired and in a hurry at the end that I forgot to take a single picture.
The only picture I took was when I was about half way done with building the individual parts.

Day 189: It's a bird.. a plane... a balloon?

This guy here did something super of his own. He set the record for running... I think it was a quarter mile. The way I heard it he was half a lap ahead of all the other racers when he crossed the finish line.
He asked me for a superman balloon, and I was happy to make it for him.

Day 190: Minion

I had a Despicable Me themed party that I wanted to make some minions for as decorations. I'm very happy with how these guys turned out. Here is my favorite one. The designs were all basically the same, I just made some taller or shorter... or different types of eyes or goggles.

Day 191: Hot Air Balloon

Last Monday was a beautiful day... The first really nice day we've had here in Ohio.

I showed up at my Monday Kids night in a great mood and was excited to see a big helium tank behind the counter. I had made a great hot air balloon sculpture a year or so ago... but didn't get a picture of it before I gave it to the client. I wanted to make another.
I asked the manager if I could use some of the helium for the sculpture.. and was bummed to hear that the tank was empty.

This is not the balloon I wanted to make, the design would have had a very different shape because you can't get as much twisting out of balloons filled with helium. I still had it in my head that i wanted to make a hot air balloon though, so I gave it a try.
I especially like the little balloon guy waving from the basket.

Day 192: Dolphin Hat

At a drizzly outdoor event, I was asked for an orange dolphin hat.

I usually try not to make the dolphin hat in lines... it takes a while to make, and once I make one I end up having to make several more. The weather was keeping my line manageable though, so I said yes.

Day 193: Balloon Family

There have been bits and pieces of these balloon people posted on the blog before, but here is the whole balloon family all together. This was one of the most fun builds I've had this year, and I was happy to do it for my favorite family of regulars.

Day 194: Balloon Princess

Here is an example of the medium sized balloon princess. I make one about a foot shorter, and once that is a little over 5 feet tall. This was part of the balloon family order I had. I lost the original pictures of these balloons and had to go digging around to find them again to post them here on the blog.

And that has me all caught up again. I wanted to get this all up before the article about me and my balloon antics ran in the Akron Beacon Journal.

See you tomorrow.

Day 186: Balloon Dress

Day 186: Balloon Dress

I had the pleasure of making another balloon dress for a local charity fashion show. Here are several pictures I took during the build.

I am having a  heck of a time getting Blogger to let me organize these pictures in the way I want.

 See you tomorrow.

Day 185: Balloonatic Podcast Balloon Dragon

Here is an instructional video for a balloon dragon. This isn't the most advanced dragon I do, it's the one that I've worked out for when I'm working in front of a line of kids or in a busy restaurant. The main thing I wanted to be sure of was that it didn't just look like I'd added wings to a T-Rex.

See you tomorrow

Day 184: Balloonatic Podcast Balloon Ball

Here is the first of several balloon instructional videos.
This is my version of a balloon ball. I think this is much better than just blowing up a round balloon and handing it to someone. (which is what I used to do when I was younger and less experienced.)

Here is the video for how to make this balloon design. You can find it on Youtube, and it will be up on iTunes, Zune, and other sites soon.

See you tomorrow

Friday, May 13, 2011

There will be an update!

Oh how there will be updating!

Blogger was down for the lase several days for maintenance. You could get on to read the site, but the had locked the account stuff so I wasn't able to do any updates.

I know I'm behind by about a week, but I'm good for it.

I have a busy weekend. 2 shows Saturday, and then I'm building centerpieces for the big AMAS banquet show.

For those of you not from the area, the AMAS banquet show is the yearly magic banquet that the Akron Magical Arts Society puts on in the summer. This year our headliner is Michael Finney, which is awesome. This year I won't be performing, but I will be building some kick butt magic themed centerpieces.

The article about me in the Akron Beacon Journal should be running on Sunday... so I'm hoping that will point some more traffic to the blog.

I will be making a big update on Monday or Tuesday to make up for all the lost time, and it will have a bunch of larger and more advanced designs in it.

To hold you over, I've posted a few more instructional videos on Youtube. I haven't uploaded them to iTunes or Zune or any of the other sites yet... but they will find their way there soon enough.

Here is a video update about things I've got planned.

Here are instructions for how to make a balloon ball.

And here is a video for a simple version of a balloon DRAGON!

I'll make posts for each of these later with a picture of the balloon and the video embedded in the page.

I'll be back in a few days.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 183: Head In The Sand

Try to overlook the looming shadow of the balloon guy taking the picture.

One of the things I've been working on is making animals that are larger than the normal balloon animal. I've found that when you scale up the size of the animals it is not only more impressive for the person you're making it for, but you also have the opportunity to add a lot more detail and character. 
The ostrich isn't a shape that would have looked right being made with with 350's, so I made it all  out of 260's. 

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 182: Backpack

Here is a simple design for a balloon backpack. Of course you can't hold anything in it, but it can be worn by the child.

I had a heck of a time finding a place I could set it up so you could see the shape, I had to wedge it into my balloon bag.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 181: Toucan... and A NEW CONTEST!

A few weeks back I made a post about how my latest minion was a big fan of his balloon toucan design.
I was asked to show my own toucan design... and I finally had the time to make one at one of my restaurants.

I decided to make a little scene with this one, building a branch for the toucan to perch on. The restaurant I built it at is called Doogan's, it's a family Irish pub sort of a place. One of their slogans is "How you Doogan?" so I thought I'd make a little word bubble for the toucan to speak.

This is a smaller version of the toucan, I made it out of 260's instead of the 350's I usually use. Now that I see the size of everything, I don't think it would have looked too big for the branch like I had worried. I'll make it a bit bigger next time.

An anonymous commenter made a suggestion that I like quite a bit, so I'm going to try out having a weekly contest.

I'm going to call it "Balloon Of The Week" for now... (until I think up a name with a pun or something)
Those of you that are readers and also happen to be balloon twisters, I want you to send me designs you've been working on, or pictures of balloons you're really proud of making. 
If you don't want to send in your own stuff, then please point me in the direction of other twisters you'd like me to showcase. I'll pick one design or twister each Friday and make a post about them. If I can I'll try to contact them ahead of time to get a quote or comment. I will only post images of designs that are sent in from the person that made it. I want to make sure that people are getting the credit for their work.
If the designer wants, and provides me with the information, I'll happily include a link to their website, twitter, facebook, or whatever. Hopefully I can help to drive some traffic to you guys. 

I'm looking forward to seeing the submissions.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 180: Creepy Face

Super creepy, right?

I was goofing around at the end of the night at one of my Kid's Nights and decided I wanted to try to scale down the really detailed face design.

I like this design because you can recreate very close versions of people is you know the tricks to get the different shapes out of the balloons. It's much easier when using the larger balloons like the 640's and 350's... much harder when it's 260's and 160's.  The design is still clearly a face, and it's very detailed.... it's just rather creepy.

I know the shape of the eyes is a big part of the creepy factor, and that can be changed easily enough. I decided to embrace the creepy though and make it a large headed little guy on a tiny body.

Here is the bartender at the restaurant... I made an attempt to make this guy into a creepy little leprechaun since that is the mascot of the restaurant... I think all he needed was a little hat and it would have been perfect.  I'll likely be making more versions of this character as Halloween decorations.

He just needs the murderous look in his eye because someone has taken his pot o' gold.

See you tomorrow.

Day 179: Just Because

While digging in my archives trying to salvage the pictures lost when my laptop ate my balloons folder I found this picture that for some reason I didn't post back when I had the professional pictures taken.

This is a quick and simple 3 rose gift design I make, the stand is made from a Geo Blossom balloon.

See you tomorrow.