Monday, May 22, 2017

Setting The Scene with Fabulous Balloon Arches.

Design by David Saker, CBA.
As a balloon decorator, Balloon Arches are a big part of our everyday business. David Saker, CBA, of, regularly sells multiple Garland Arches for sporting events such as this recent cycle race that was held at Windsor Racecourse in the U.K. David was commissioned to build fifteen Arches to mark the start and finishing line of the race. Each Arch was built using the AeröPole System, a fantastic system for creating air-filled Arches that still gives the free moving appearance of a helium-filled Arch, and is perfect for outdoor events!

Arches are such a fabulous way to set the scene, bringing attention and colour to an event. When used outdoors, they work fabulously well for sporting events, the opening of new stores, and to indicate where an event is happening! Indoors, they are often used for entrance decor, welcoming and greeting guests as they arrive at their function. For theme events and parties, they can create a big statement and are often used as backdrops and photo opportunities.

The great thing about Arches is that we can make them in so many different ways. Here are some great examples of balloon Arches that have been "embellished" — which is to be made more interesting by adding extra decorative detail, which is something that I love to do with my Arch designs.

"Flower Embellished Arch."
Design by Sue Bowler, CBA.

This Arch is very elegant, and perfect for formal black tie events. The pattern created by the placement of the red latex balloons creates a wavy, asymmetrical line that shows perfect rhythm and motion within the design. The use of the Qualatex® Taper balloon flowers adds a whole new dimension to this Arch using Microfoil®  balloons and shape, as there is a huge contrast between the roundness of the latex balloons versus the pointedness of the Tapers.

"Colourful Candy Suprise."
Designed by Cam Woody, CBA.

When I first saw this Arch it was love at first sight, and I could not wait to have the opportunity to make one myself! Making an Arch solely out of Microfoil balloons is challenging. Firstly, you need to step out of your comfort zone of the formal placing and sizing of latex balloons, much like the organic style decor we see much of today, but there is also the technical issue of securing the balloons to the frame. 

"Game-Winning Goal."

This is another version of an all Microfoil balloon Arch! Once again, this design has a huge visual impact by using a range of Stars 36", 20", and 9" Stars and the 36", 18" and 9" Soccer Ball round.

Mickey Mouse Polka Dot Arch
Designed by Cam Woody, CBA.
Who could not adore this fabulous Mickey Mouse-inspired Arch! Cam has used one of my favourite latex balloons, 11" Polka Dots to add fun and excitement to this awesome Arch! I expect you're wondering how the 3' balloon is so neatly placed in the centre of the Arch? A little bit of balloon magic, of course! 

Monday, May 15, 2017

A "BACI" Alice in Wonderland Extravaganza!

Designing and planning a theme party is challenging, but also a great deal of fun! We are very lucky to be part of this industry, and I am very fortunate to get the opportunity to attend so many wonderful theme parties when I travel to teach at conventions around the world. I think half of my wardrobe is filled with fancy dress costumes!

Cheshire Cat by Alberto Nava, CBA.
Photograph by Luc Bertrand.

At BACI - Balloon Arts Convention Italy this year, our party theme was based on Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, a slightly different take on the original theme. Luc Bertrand, CBA of wAw Balloons, in Vichte, Belgium, was appointed the gala party coordinator and tasked each of the BACI instructors with a project that would be completed by them with the help of delegates on the day of the party. One of the biggest challenges was to transport all the decor from one side of Florence to the other, a factor that certainly had to be taken into consideration when making the designs. The venue was very quirky, with greenery, wood, and foliage hanging from the ceiling. This worked extremely well for our theme. For me, it looked like the rabbit hole, which was absolutely perfect!

Here is a photograph of the venue before we transformed it.

And after!

Centrepiece Designs by Enza Mondello, CBA, and Jośe Luthman, CBA.

Photo by Silvia Ingrid Cotellessa©TheDarkRoom.

Enza Mondello of Balloon Express Shop in Patty, Italy, and Jośe Luthman of Fiesta Mulhouse in Mulhouse, France, were both asked to design centrepieces. Enza chose two different designs for her delegates to make; one with fabulous polka dot teapots and the other with the Queen of Hearts/ Ace of Spades playing card Microfoil balloons. Jośe worked on an intriguing mushroom design created from double stuffed 6" Quick Link Balloons®.

Nicolas Fiault makes the perfect Mad Hatter! 

Photo by Silvia Ingrid Cotellessa©TheDarkRoom.

Mad Hatter hats! These awesome hats were made by delegates as part of a twisting class led by the very talented Alessandro Patanè, CBA, of Balloon Express Shop in Giarre, Italy.

Olga and Olga with their beautiful entrance decor.
Photograph by Luc Bertrand

Olga Baranova, CBA, and Olga Samoilova, CBA, of Sonlnechny Veter in Samara, Russia, took charge of the stunning entrance decor. Not only did it make an exciting entrance piece, but a beautiful photo opportunity, too!

Ted and Betty Vlamis of Pioneer Balloon Company came suitably dressed to the party!
Photograph by Silva Ingrid Cotellessa ©TheDarkRoom
Design by Federico Onida
Photograph by Luc Bertrand

Friday, May 5, 2017

Instagram — Are You Using It To Grow Your Balloon Business?

Instagram is one of the social media groups that I have not really got to grips with. Since I set up my Instagram account, I have used it mainly to post personal photographs, rather than balloons or business related items. It was only when Shannon Kilford of Born to Party in Sydney, Australia, made a really interesting comment regarding Instagram on a recent blog post, I decided that I should really find out more about this social media platform. 
"I am also a passionate Instagram user! This social media platform has literally changed my life and my business! 90% of our customers use it and come to us with pictures off our Instagram account requesting a particular design. I also find it useful for instant messaging and sending images back and forth to my clients. Not many days go by when I'm not using direct messages to communicate with my clients this way! As our account grows, so does our business. It's definitely not a coincidence. You are welcome to check out our Instagram here;
We also use Facebook, and in the beginning it was a great tool for growing our business. But since Facebook made changes to its reach for business pages, it is not nearly as good as it used to be so we don't focus on it as much as we used to."

To read Shannon's full article on "Modern Balloon Styling," click on the link below;
Giant Balloons, Confetti Balloons, Tassels, and Organic Decor — Modern Balloon Styling by Shannon Kilford, Born to Party, Sydney, Australia.