Monday, July 7, 2014

Lisa Swiger shares her Quick Link top tips and a 'Beeauitiful' Bee Sculpture design with step by step instructions.

Lisa Swiger CBA
Lisa Swiger CBA of Blooming Balloons, North Carolina, USA is one of our Quick Link experts and she has very kindly offered to share some of her top tips with the 'Very Best Balloon Blog'!
Lisa's Quick Link Tips:
* Tie as tightly as possible. This gives better structure to your sculptures. * If using with helium, hi-float works great! I recommend tying off the link tip before hi-floating so that extra hi-float doesn't stay inside the tip, wasting hi-float and weighing down the tie points. * I always trim tips and tails. This gives a cleaner look and when using helium, improves float time. * When doing air-filled, I only inflate to about 9 inches. This makes it easier to do 3D sculptures because the balloons are spongier and can be handled more. * I usually twist the balloon chains around each other, vs. using 5" duplets to lock them together. This is just a personal preference. I like the stability of have the sculpture stand without 5" balloons holding it together. I add the 5" duplets at the end to finish the piece. * When I do use 4 balloon clusters or duplets to hold QL chains together, I always twist them around each other to lock them. I've seem people just place them in without locking and the sculpture comes undone! * When I build with chains, I usually have a 5" connector at each end to start and finish the row, instead of just tying the chain in. * When building something round (like an apple or a hot air balloon) that needs to hold its shape, I'll use 5" on the outside, but 11" for the inside to give extra structure inside and hold it out better.

Lisa's Lovely Quick Link Bee Sculpture

Bee Sculpture created by Lisa Swiger CBA

Step By Step instructions
24 - 6” Black QL
24 - 6” Yellow QL
9 - Black 350Q
2 - Black 260Q
2 - Clear 260Q
1 - 5” Rose
2 - 5” Printed Friendly Eyes

Step 1: Inflate these chains of 8 and tie into 6 circles:

  • (a) One circle of Yellow at .2 PA  (tail)
  • (b) One circle of Black at .4 PA
  • (c) One circle of Yellow at .6 PA
  • (d) One circle of Black at .6 PA
  • (e) One circle of Yellow at .4 PA
  • (f) One circle of Black at .2 PA (neck)

Step 2: Inflate 8 Black 350Qs, leaving about 5 inches of tail.  Tie these into duplets and then twist to make a cluster of 8.

Step 3: With the first 350Q, Make a 4 inch bubble and wrap around on of the tie points on your first circle of yellow (“a” above).  Do this with each of the 350Qs to a new tie point until all 350Qs are connected to the circle.  This is tight with the 350Qs overlapping a bit so I pull every other one forward and push the others down.  This gives a cleaner look and makes the tail lay flatter.

Step 4. Now make a 2 inch bubble from one of the 350Qs and wrap around the “b” circle of black QLs. Repeat this with all 350Qs to weave a second row.

Step 5: Repeat step #4, with each circle in the order above, “c” and then “d”, then “e”, and lastly “f”.

Step 6: After you attach circle “f”, make a pinch twist with the 350Q to finish ON EVERY OTHER 350Q. With the others, make a bubble that will be about to the center of the bee neck. This will be about 3-4 inches long. Make a pinch twist with the first neck bubble and tie the remaining 3 bubbles to this pinch twist. Your bee body is now done and you just need to add the face and the details!

Step 7: Inflate a duplet of Friendly Eyes and a single 5” Rose to 3 inches. Set aside for now.

Step 8: For the face, inflate a black 350Q and leave about 4 inches for the tail. Make a small loop twist for the nose. Take the remaining inflated 350Q and make two loops for the cheeks. Tie into nose. Now inflate a black 260Q and leave 4 inches of tail. Wrap the tie end into the nose and cheeks. Get your duplet of Friendly Eyes and use the black 260Q to make a loop around their tie point. Twist the loop end into the nose and cheeks to secure. Take the Rose 5” and wrap the nozzle into the nose . Use the rest of your black 260Q to go around the Rose 5” to add a bottom lip. Wrap the end of the 260Q into the nose, tying off and discarding any extra balloon.

Step 9: Inflate a clear 260Q, leaving about 1.5 inches of tail. Tie the end to the tail to make a loop. Repeat with a second clear 260Q and then tie these two loops together. These are the wings. Attach these by tying them into the third tie point from the neck on the bee body.

Step 10: Last, you’ll want to add a stinger to the tail end. Inflate a 260, leaving about 2 inches of tail. Don’t tie it yet! Working from the tail end, make a bubble of about 2 inches on the inflated part. Hold onto the bubble and let the rest of the air out of the 260Q. Then tie the balloon so you have only the bubble and the tail. Tie this into the 350Q’s center at the tail.

Here are some more great Quick Link designs created by Lisa.

9' Pink Apple design created by Lisa Swiger of Blooming Balloons.

Logo created by Lisa Swiger of Blooming Balloons.

6 Point Star created by Lisa Swiger of Blooming Balloons.

Snowman created by Lisa Swiger of Blooming Balloons.

'Pink Ribbon' created by Lisa Swiger of Blooming Balloons.

Entrance design created by Lisa Swiger of Blooming Balloons.

A huge thank you to Lisa for sharing her top tips and the cutest Bee sculpture recipe! There are so many exciting design ideas working with the Quick Link balloons, I am really looking forward to having a 'creative' few months over the summer and Quick Links will be on the top of my list of balloons to play with!

For more downloadable Quick Link recipes visit

Happy Ballooning!

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