Ballooning and bicycling around my neighborhood

Today was a day for working on projects and getting things in motion.  I set the date and time for a public balloon twisting class at Honey here in Tacoma for October 4, 2018 at 6 p.m..  I'm working up my balloon curriculum and I'm getting really excited about sharing my love of balloons with others who want to try a fun art form.

I'm also thinking about making some new designs to sell via digital download.  I'll probably also end up making more instructions for digital download in the near future. My old stuff is all still available at Sellfy, but it's all intended for experienced balloon artists.  Hopefully I'll have my beginning balloon instructions available online soon!

Back in my old life, the last Friday of the month was reserved for Critical Mass, a huge roving bike parade that snarled traffic all over the city of Chicago.That was where I first really got into balloon twisting. I could only twist basic stuff, but then I figure out that I could just tie balloons into a helmet, and it looked really cool and made bicycling in Critical Mass more fun.
Me doing a bike salute back in 2010
I started off doing just my helmet, but soon, I was decorating bicycle helmets for others as well.

No my picture - someone else captured this after a ride

As my balloon twisting skills increased, I began to make more elaborate bicycle art.

So, while I didn't have a bicycle parade to cycle to, I still rode my bicycle around my neighborhood tonight and just explored this little corner of the world that I call home. I live in the Lincoln Neighborhood in Tacoma, Washington. Right now is an interesting time in Tacoma. The city is transitioning from a working-class city that has lived in the shadow of Seattle for it's entire history.  With housing prices rising in Seattle and gentrification hitting this humble city, changes and development are expanding in Tacoma.

The Lincoln District is a little behind the rest of the city, but I'm okay with that. While it has a rough reputation, and I do hear the occasional disturbance outside, it's been a pretty nice place for the last  3.5 years. However, since I wasn't biking as much, I didn't really explore my neighborhood like one does when they ride a bicycle.

One thing I love about my neighborhood is all the neighborhood cats that roam around and chill around the neighborhood.  When I walk my dogs with my husband, one of my favorite games is called spot the cat.  Her are a few kitties I spotted tonight while exploring my neighborhood.

Two cats, one yard

Sweetie came over for a scritch

Just hanging out on the front step

Why yes, I'm handsome

This guy was chillin' in his back yard.

And of course, I had to continue my project of putting balloons in Little Free Libraries. I dropped off a few yesterday, but today I had planned to make something small while riding.  I tried to spot libraries while riding, but without a map, I couldn't find all of the libraries in my neighborhood.

I was ready to give up and go home, but then I remembered the library that I first started leaving balloons.

My first balloon bomb!

Another one!

However, the whole family was hanging outside in front of the library. Turns out that the owner of the little Library is a neat guy named Chip who has some very cool grandkids.  I made them all balloons.

Spontaneous balloon twisting!

You'll note the Snoopy and Woodstock on the side of the little library.  Chip actually made those with a 3D printer. He also gave me a cool bookmark that he printed as well. 

Really feeling much better about the world when I get out into it.  It's really neat to live in a city that has such a passion for art and for sharing with others, it's something that I really hope it doesn't lose as our housing prices slowly creep up and new construction threatens historic neighborhoods, but in the grand scheme of things, there's probably nothing more gentrifying than a balloon twisting, bicycle riding Millennial moving into the neighborhood.


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