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

Federico Onida, CBA, of Balloon Express Shop in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy.

Federico and his amazing team made these awesome flower pots filled with giant flowers.

I love how he added faces to the flowers, which mirror the flowers in the film.

Alberto Falcone, CBA, and his team delighted us with some very artistic mushrooms.

Photograph by Luc Bertrand

Photo frame and toadstools by Sue Bowler and Team.
Photograph by Luc Bertrand
My responsibility was to design the photo frame. I decided to make the frame all about colour. The base of the frame was shades of green with each balloon double stuffed to create a fabulous range, from Lime to Teal. Once we completed this, we made flowers using Qualatex® 6" hearts, and yes, each one was double stuffed to create a completely new colour! As I explained to my group, this would be one of the most photographed designs at the party, so we wanted to make sure that it looked good! With the addition of a few signs that I made to help bring the Wonderland element into the design, the frame looked fabulous! We complemented the design with a couple of Quick Link toadstools. A big shout out to Cam Woody, CBA, of Pioneer Balloon Company, who helped me out with the design recipe at the last minute! 

Here are just a few of the great photographs that were taken at the party. It really shows off the power of the photo frame!

Photographs by Evgeny Bagretsov & Simone Serio ©TheDarkRoom

And finally, Luc Bertrand. Luc does an incredible job coordinating all the amazing decor, plus adding in his own designs, too. And his contribution was just fabulous!

You know that you are working with a true professional when they send you such an incredible presentation that shows how they propose to present their decor and special effects. Any client would be very happy to see this.

I know that Luc will be teaching how to make graphics such as these during his classes on the Qualatex World Tour stops, so don't miss out!

Here is the stage set up with the Quick Link Mad Hatter's hat. It made a stunning backdrop!

And here is the stage once it had been transformed into the cat face!

Luc filled the venue ceiling with fabulous Icy Blue 4' Cloudbusters dressed with 646Qs and organic style clouds. The clouds were scheduled to drop once the dancing started!

Once again, Luc Bertrand and the instructors with their fabulous delegates did a truly amazing job. When we arrived at the party, we were immediately swept into the magical world of Alice in Wonderland! Congratulations to everyone who took part in building the decor. You did a fab job and should be very proud!

If you ever get the opportunity to get involved with building decor for a theme party at a balloon event or convention, take it! You will learn from some of the top balloon art designers in the world, and hands-on is always the best way to learn! There will be plenty of opportunities to build decor at the World Balloon Convention, so arrive early and sign up quickly! Registration for the World Balloon Convention opens on 1st September, 2017! 

Happy Ballooning!



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