Public Radio Balloons

My public radio passion first bloomed in May of 2005. I remember it very clearly.  I was moving from Washington State to the big, exciting city of Chicago. It was just me, my cat Napoleon and a ’97 Geo Prizm with all of my belongings. I didn’t have a job, and didn’t know a soul but I had that optimistic spirit that every 22 year old fresh out of college has in abundance.

A friend from Spokane had mentioned that he thought that I’d like This American Life. As someone who was used to the Garrison Keilers and droll news segments of NPR, I thought it sounded like a boring show. Fortunately for me, he had burned several episodes onto a CD for me to listen to.

My first episode of TAL was “Promised Land.” It was fitting. I was on my own journey, I had my own “I Wish” anthem, and I had several hours of driving ahead of me.  I was hooked.

Over the next several years I systemically listened to every episode of This American Life. I began branching out into other NPR shows like Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, and Selected Shorts. When I didn’t even own a car, I listened to Car Talk while riding my bicycle.

Naturally, when I became a balloon artist, I started making public radio balloons, as any good fan girl does. I haven’t done a lot of public radio figures, but I think I’ve done more than most balloon artists.

One thing that is interesting is seeing how far along my balloons have come. My first public radio personality balloon was of course, Ira Glass:

Ira Glass as a balloon

I shortly afterward  did a Peter Sagal while at a party at the studio. I wasn’t fully prepared, but the staf was nice enough to snap a picture with Peter the next day:
sagaloon

I also did a Carl Kassel balloon at a Wait Wait Don’t Tell me taping, but I seem to have lost that picture.

Tonight I’m going to volunteer for the show Radiolab, which is having a live show here in Seattle tomorrow and on Saturday. I’m quite proud of my Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich balloons:

Radiolab's Jad and Robert

Who should I make next?

Some summer favorites!

This summer has been quite fabulous here in Seattle. I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to join many celebrations and have been making lots of great balloons. Here are some of my favorites:

 

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Where the Wild Things Are monster

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Zoidberg and Bender

 

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Cthulhu

 

Balloon Yoda

Yoda

 

Alien!

Reddit mascot.

Balloons-Not Just for Kids!

Yes…of course, children love balloons. They loves swords and dogs and flowers…they also enjoy huge dinosaurs, lions, octopi and aliens. However, they aren’t the only ones who appreciate balloon art.

When I’m at a birthday party…naturally the kids will be jumping up and down and eagerly awaiting their balloons. However, once I start making stuff…invariably this will happen:

Adult 1: “I’ve never seen a balloon like that!”

Adult 2: “I want one!”

Usually I’ll have enough time to get to work making balloons for some of the grown-ups.

Rochester, ny
Halloween balloons in Charleston

 

I’ve also been to some all-adult events and balloons are always a welcome addition. They can provide great props for photos:

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Or they can be a great way to identify the guest of honor:
lara hat

 

Otherwise they are just great for breaking the ice and getting guests talking and enjoying themselves. Balloons can add just a small amount of punch to provide a great impact.

Penguin Headband

Business Ladies and Balloons!

Just because children won’t be at your event…doesn’t mean that balloons won’t be a welcome addition!

Blue Party Headband

 

Futurama Balloons

I love twisting quick things on the fly, but I really love making detailed balloon sculptures. Taking the time to study a picture and to see how I can translate it into latex is awesome. Thinking of things to make is more of a challenge. So…I decided to make some nerdy balloon cause, well,  I’m a nerd at heart.

I present: Futurama Balloons!

Bender
Balloon Bender

Zoidberg
Why not Zoidberg?

The Pair

Zoidberg and Bendet

 

Let me know what you think I should make next!

Balloon Dresses

 

I made my very first balloon “dress” shortly after I started doing balloons. I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea what I was doing. It was orange, bulbous and not the most flattering garment. I didn’t use a dress form, and the biggest motivator behind making the dress was that I had a whole bunch of orange balloons left over from Halloween.

Orange dress

I did try it on…luckily that picture is lost on a different computer. It wasn’t the prettiest sight.

 

My next attempt was at my first balloon convention in 2009. I took a dress making class and bought an inflatable dress form, so at least then I had a bit of an idea for what I wanted to do.  I ended up with quite a fabulous bridezilla.

bridezila

I was certainly able to see issues. Long dresses take quite a bit of time, and the weaving got a little messy at the end. It was a fun effort.

My first dress that I actually put on a person was designed by my good friend Sarah to take part in a fashion show she was having at a New Years Eve event.  I loved it.

Urbansky Design balloon dress

Since I’ve been back here and in one place, I’ve had time and the ability to work on more dress making projects. I’d be more than happy for more dress making opportunities.  I think I’ve pulled it off now!

bumblebeecostume

potogolddress

Lately

Other than a brief trip to Chicago in January, I’ve been in the Seattle area since Thanksgiving.

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Armadillo

Over the past week, I’ve been seeing a new kind of roadkill: armadillos. I haven’t seen a live one, but the sad sights reminded me of limerick I wrote when I learned about the prevalence of leprosy in the armadillo population. A patient was laid up, head on a pillow Way Down in the Lone […]

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Skipping the Suburbs: Multimodal Bike Touring

From the beginning of my trip, I planned on utilizing public transit whenever possible. This means that I will happy take a train or bus when possible to bypass suburban sprawl or to get ahead in my travels. Russ and Laura of The Path Less Pedaled are a couple who took this to the extreme […]

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Upcoming Itinerary: DC to Orlando then “Home”

One thing that I love about traveling by myself is the flexibility that I have to make decisions and to change things. When I was planning my trip, my first goal was simply to get to the east coast and to see where I’d want to go from there and if I wanted to keep […]

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Riding to DC!

I found this in my drafts section. I suppose should go ahead publish this.  It looks like I had written this back in October!   I was excited to get back onto my bike to continue south, but I had little direction other than that which Google Maps provided me with. The ride took 3 […]

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