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:

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:



Where the Wild Things Are monster


Zoidberg and Bender





Balloon Yoda




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:


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!

Balloon Bender

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.


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!




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

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