Thursday, December 31, 2015

"Bee Mine," an adorable design idea for Valentine's Day!

A few weeks ago I started working on some new designs for Valentine's 2016! There are so many wonderful new Qualatex® Valentine's balloons. If you have yet to see the full collection you can easily download the Valentine's Day 2016 Collection directly from To find out which balloons are available within your country, contact your local Qualatex distributor.

I love to create little characters, so it was no surprise that I instantly fell in love with the new "Bee Mine!" 18" Microfoil®.   This balloon is adorable, cute, and simply perfect for a design that I had in mind.

Bee Mine! #21836 - #21837
I would be lying if I told you that all my design ideas come to me in an instant. In fact, when I first created this design I used 11" latex for the body. I knew that there was something not quite right, so I recreated the design, switched out the 11" for 5" and voilà, I was instantly happier!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Seasons Greetings from The Very Best Balloon Blog.

Wow, I can't believe it's almost Christmas. Another year is almost over! It seems to me like each year is getting quicker?

2015 has been a truly great year, with one of my personal highlights being my leg of the Qualatex
® US Tour. It was so nice to meet up with everyone who came. For me, one of the best things about attending classes and conventions – apart from the amazing learning experiences – is getting the opportunity to network, making some great new friends and contacts within the balloon industry!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

"GOSH," - it's Christmas Party time! - 17th December 2015

Since 2013, the Balloon and Party Industry Alliance - BAPIA, has called upon its members to help create the decor for the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), Children's Christmas parties.

Built in 1852, Great Ormond Street Hospital had only ten beds when it first opened and was the first hospital in the UK that offered dedicated inpatient care to sick children. In 1858, GOSH survived its first major financial crisis when Charles Dickens spoke at a festive dinner and gave a public reading of A Christmas Carol in aid of the hospital. This raised enough money to purchase the neighbouring house on Great Ormond Street and increase the bed capacity to 75! Today, more than 255,000 patients visit GOSH annually. Not only is GOSH at the forefront of pediatric training in the UK, but it is also a pioneer of medical research to find new and better treatments for childhood illnesses.

Decorating the annual GOSH Children's Christmas party is such a great honour knowing that our industry, with some very dedicated helpers, has done a little to make this very special occasion a little bit more exciting and fun! 

The party is a Christmas treat for patients who are currently in the hospital or who have been treated over the last year. More than 2000 children, siblings, parents, and carers attended the four parties that are held over two days! 

These magical parties feature fun activities including face painting, arts and crafts, cupcake decorating, and an appearance from one very special guest - Father Christmas - who flies all the way from the North Pole for the occasion.

Decorating this party has its challenges as we are not permitted to use any latex balloons. So each year we get our thinking caps on and create exciting balloon decor without the help of our beloved latex balloons!

Balloon Images OCT/NOV/DEC 2015

After reading the fantastic article, Create Fabulous Foil Arches in Balloon Images Oct/Nov/Dec 2015, I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity for me and my team to recreate one of these amazing arches!

I loved the “Colourful Candy Surprise” arch by Cam Woody, CBA, that was featured in the same article.
Cam created an arch that incorporated all the Qualatex® 18" and 9" Candy Swirl Microfoils attached in a random pattern that spread the colour throughout the design. I felt that these balloons would be perfect for the children; we would add a Christmas twist to the design, too! 

Using David Mahoney's recommended H taping technique, we started our preparation. Firstly, we air inflated our selected range of "Candy Swirls" and Christmas balloons. We wanted to emulate the wonderful randomness that Cam had created in her beautiful arch and felt it would be easier if we could select the balloons as we went along! 

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Little Last Minute Inspiration for Christmas and Holiday Decor!

With Christmas and the holiday season only a matter of a few weeks away, I thought that I would take this opportunity to rekindle some of the seasonal designs that I and other fellow balloon artists have made over the years. Many of these designs have been documented in earlier blogs, so to make it a little easier for you to find, I will add a direct link with each of the designs that are featured. In most instances, there is a step-by-step recipe included within the blog!

I love this festive balloon wall! We created this using 40" Emerald Green Starpoints and 27" Lime Green Taper Microfoil® Balloons. We were unable to use any latex at this event, so we used 9" Ruby Red solid-colour round Microfoil Balloons at each of the centre points to make it look like holly leaves.  Filled with air,  this design can easily be suspended.

These Christmas presents were great fun to make too!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thinking about attending the World Balloon Convention in New Orleans 2016? Here are some great reasons why you should!

The excitement and anticipation for the 2016 World Balloon Convention (WBC) is growing by the day! I suppose if you have never been to WBC, it is hard to understand exactly what all the fuss is about?

I have often mentioned in my blogs how attending my first convention, which was the European Balloon Symposium in Paris in 1996, a Qualatex® event, helped me to turn my business around and set me on the road to success!

So why are so many people so passionate about spending a week with fellow balloon professionals from all over the world?

Joette Giardina, CBA and Garlis Bolivar, CBA "jamming."
Photograph courtesy of Jani Blocker.

Networking: One of the overriding reasons that many people attend WBC is for the camaraderie. I can honestly say that so many of us have made life-long friends and buddies from around the world. People who share the same passion for balloons and balloon art. New friends that we can communicate with long after the convention is over. Building a network of friends gives us the help and support when we need it. 

I love when I return to WBC, it is like one fantastic family reunion! I love seeing all the friends that I have met over the years. I also love to meet and make lots of new friends too! You will never feel lonely or left out at this event!

Edward Muñoz, CBA.
Photograph courtesy of Jani Blocker

Friday, December 4, 2015

Fun, friends and excellent workshops at this year's Balloon Jam Hamburg!

Last month I was invited to teach at the Balloon Jam Hamburg, Germany. I previously attended this event some years ago, but then it was known as The Euro Jam.
The Euro Jam was founded in 1998, after Rüdiger & Cordula Paulsen, along with mutual friend Happu Krenz, attended a Qualatex® Event in Prague.

Enjoying the camaraderie and excitement of sharing ideas and skills with other twisters from around Europe, they decided to establish a twisting event of their own in Germany. Over the next seventeen years they ran 15 very successful Euro Jams. In 2013, Andreas Zier and his wife Meike, with the help of Sandra Brandt, took over the event and re-named it Balloon Jam Hamburg.

This year's event saw 155 participants, coming from 14 different countries, including Germany, USA, Israel, Hong Kong, Spain, Ireland, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, and UK.