So, I've been trying to expand my skill set for quite some time to face painting. I'm very lucky that I made a new friend who is a very good face painter. She supervised while I experimented on my patient, good natured friends. Here are some of the pictures from the party!
I didn't actually forget about this blog, but last weekend was a little full, and for the most part, my weeks tend to be pretty chill. This one was the exception, though. Lots of errand running yesterday so I could spend today doing ballooning stuff.
I restocked my apron, followed up with some inquiries, and updated my calendar. (The offline, spiral bound kind that I keep appointments in).
It feels like a really long time since I made something that I really liked just because. So, here it is. I am a big comic book fan. Mostly I prefer snobby indie stuff, but of the superheroes, I really like The Hulk. I find Bruce Banner to be a lovable nerd, and think that Stan Lee's take on the Golem myth. I make Spiderman all the time, and it makes me a little sad that movie franchising didn't skyrocket Hulk's popularity the way it did Spidey's.
I was lucky enough to be invited to this sharp dressed dude's First Communion this weekend, and was impressed not just by how polite and considerate he was (asking for balloons for other people, some of whom were grownups), but also by how creative and focused.
I've also been looking for someone to model a balloon helicopter for awhile, so here's Christian, my favorite New Yorker, clad in a kid-copter and crazy hat. I should, in all fairness, credit Felix at globoflexia.net for this awesome shape.
So, I was out of town this weekend visiting family and at an event in Brooklyn, but before I went, I made some party decorations for a client. When I first started ballooning, lions and motorcycles were my kryptonite, and I never really learned to do a decent plane, so this was a good opportunity to polish up some skills I was unsure of. And so I learned to make a wide variety of shapes in different degrees of difficulty (whew! say that three times fast!). Good times!
In keeping with the theme of yesterday, here is the coolest hat I made last night, as taken by the model's friend Orlando.
As promised, today is all about wild and colorful balloon hats. The picture above is of some of my favorite kids. When I moved to Philly, I knew that leaving my godsons behind would be really hard. They're awesome kids, and I'm so proud of them. I miss them both so much. Hanging out with the dudes in the balloon hats shown above make me a little less homesick. Also, they're just really charming, funny, sweet, well-behaved little guys. Their parents are pretty amazing people too.
The next hat, while not specifically inspired by Princess Beatrice's hat from the royal wedding, drew several comments about being similar. I don't really see it much. But I had a few requests for this hat specifically throughout the day.
The first picture below this block of text is my sweet neighbor, Ms. Anne, who makes an awesome hat model. It's quite a large hat, and is probably about half as tall as she is.
The next hat is worn by the doorman at my apartment, Burt. He's a super nice, very helpful guy who I'm pretty sure still doesn't know my name.
So, when I first started ballooning professionally, four gigs a weekend was kind of the average. This winter slowed me down a bit, and this weekend, I did four gigs in three days for the first time in awhile.
First, I did some ballooning outside of Bredenbeck's Bakery which is about half a mile near my house and home of some of the most amazing pastries in Phillyland. I had a good time and several friends visited me, most notably David Reichenbacher, a very talented musician friend who later name-dropped me in his awesome blog. He and his wife brought me CDs!
I got tipped in ice cream a short while later and had to take a break to enjoy it, but from then on it was pretty steady going until 8 when it was time to close up shop and have dinner (At Cafette, which was pretty good, if you're in the area) with my girlfriend, and her friend Lisa, who is an excellent photographer.
Saturday was the UPenn Health Fair, which was fun. Then the usual Saturday night gig, which was also fun.
Sunday was the Chestnut Hill Home and Garden Festival! It was insanely crowded, and I was really glad that it was just up the street. I stayed busy and had a lot of fun, but the day left me kind of sunburned and dehydrated. I learned a couple of crucial lessons: buy lots of water, wear sunscreen, and consider a rolling cart to house extra balloons/pumps/equipment, and find some way to rig up a tip jar/place to business cards/etc.
This weekend is first friday in Philly, and I'm really excited to see how that goes.
Also, while I'm linking to other people's pages, I wanted to take a minute to mention The Balloon Hat Experience. It's a really cool project that brings whimsy and joy to areas of the country that are heavily affected by disease, war, and poverty. It's a really beautiful project, and lately balloon hats are something of an obsession of mine. Look forward to a long balloon blog about hats soon!