Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Balloons and the Great Outdoors

Outdoor Numbers by David Mahoney of Balloons Everyday,
Carrollton, TX, U.S.A.
Making outdoor decor is not the easiest job. It can bring all sorts of challenges —rain, wind, dirt, heat, 
cold, plus many other potential obstacles. With a little care and planning, we can overcome most of these.

There have been a number of great articles written about this subject in Images magazine and on Balloon HQ. We also discussed outdoor decor as part of a Round Table session at the 2016 World Balloon Convention, with some great information and tips being shared amongst the group. I was particularly drawn to comments and advice given in an article featured some years ago on Balloon HQ by Wynn Bell, CBA. I first met Wynn and his lovely wife Lindy at International Balloon Arts Convention (IBAC) 1997.  Their work was absolutely breathtaking,  they subsequently went on to win a number of 1st place awards for their large sculpture entries at successive IBACs. Wynn and Lindy’s inspired designs and elegant decor are regularly featured in Images magazine, even though Wynn has since retired from the balloon industry. I also received some great advice from David Mahoney of Balloons Everyday, Carrollton, TX, U.S.A. David and his team regularly install decor outside in all weather!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Soft, Elegant and Very Sophisticated - Qualatex® Balloons and Tulle

U.S Patent No. 6,782,675
Recently I had my first experience of working with a tulle covered balloon. I have seen so many beautiful photographs of this effect and wondered how easy it actually was to do. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Save our balloons!

California is in the process of trying to ban sales of all foil/metallic balloons. 

This is serious folks!

This bill would totally ban the sale and use of helium-filled metallic balloons in the State of California, as of January 1, 2018.

•Selling and distributing balloons made of, or attached to, electrically conductive materials would be punished as follows:
–A first offence is punished as an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $250; and
–A second subsequent offence is punishable as a misdemeanour/criminal act.

•The bill will wreak economic havoc and possibly destroy hundreds of balloon and party businesses.

•Legislation in California can have a ripple effect on other states and will severely hurt anyone in the balloon business

22,000 jobs are dependent on balloon sales in California, and 60,000,000 foil balloons are sold annually in the state. Direct and indirect sales from balloons are estimated to be nearly $1.1 billion. (Source:

If you live outside of California, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about or why balloons are such a big problem in California.

The issue all started over 30 years ago when the random release of helium-filled foil balloons caused some very serious power outages. Proponents of the ban suggest that balloon-related outages cost Californians millions of dollars each year, but they don’t provide much information on how they calculate that number.

In 1990 the California State Legislature passed SB 1990, a compromise bill supported by the balloon industry enacting a law to regulate the sales and use of helium-filled foil balloons. The law was passed in an effort to reduce power outages related to balloons.

In short, to be in accordance with the California Balloon Law and reduce electrical power incidents, all retail shops that sell balloons should follow the guidelines below:

Weight all helium-filled foil balloons.
Tie all ribbons to the weight so if they are released they will float away individually. DO NOT tie ribbons together before attaching to weight. Tie them to the weight with one knot each.
Do not use metallic ribbon with helium-filled balloons.

The balloon industry has promoted these standards throughout the world, and it is working to ensure these Smart Balloon Practices are known and implemented by everyone who sells balloons.

In 2008, the issue resurfaced and a California legislator proposed to ban the sale of all foil balloons by the year 2010, once again due to the claimed increased number of power outages. An opposition grassroots campaign, “Save Our Balloons,” was set up by florists, special events planners, and small businesses to fight this new bill. Once again, due to the strong opposition, a compromise bill was passed. Because of the state’s financial crisis, the governor vetoed all “non-essential” bills and the California Balloon Law has remained the same since 1990.

So here we are again, faced with the same frightening ban that could truly affect our industry worldwide!

 So what can we do?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Party decor fit for a princess!

Pretty dresses, crowns, magical wands, fairies, and even frogs! There are lots of fun ideas for us to use to create a magical "princess party".

Anne McGovern, CBA, of Elegant Balloons in New York, U.S.A. captures the essence of this theme perfectly with her princess, centrepiece designs using the 18" ‟Princess Tiara” Microfoil® balloon, dressed with tulle & feathers!

I designed this fun princess castle entrance backdrop for a photo shoot to promote the Rachel Ellen - Birthday Princess range of balloons and partyware. 

The colours are vibrant and bold. For this decor, I used Caribbean Blue, Pink, and Wild Berry as these colours complimented the balloon and party range perfectly! 

I have also made a version of the lovely ‟Birthday Princess” that stands approximately 4ft tall (1.2m).