Thursday, March 29, 2012

WBC2012 - for the Stampin' Up girls!

To the Stampin' Up ladies in my lovely wife's team and to her customers. This blog post is for you. Many of you wished me well before I left for WBC in Dallas, so I feel it only right to give you a brief rundown of the events of the past 10 days.

On our first day, the Aussie team had to decorate the hotel foyer, and we came up with this masterpiece. Paint swirling down to a colour wheel and a feature wall painted by our new man, Mr Q !

Some delegates got involved in competitions and there were some awesome creations. This design won the large sculpture competition - just remember this is 100% balloons.

Yes the whole idea of WBC is to learn, and not just party. Here I am promoting the "learning" part of the convention in my class.

...and it would be remiss of me not to also promote the "partying" part of the convention. The theme was Circus so I came as the Aussie Human Cannonball!
The flying suit is authentic, as you will note by the strategic placement of the "easy access" zipper!!!

There were a large number of 'accented Aussies' at the convention, almost 30 of us, making us one of the largest represented of the 47 nations present. Here is the pick of the bunch - so to speak - with our large sculpture entry in the background!

It was great to catch up with some aquaintences and also to meet new friends.

...and you will agree with me that this is a fine example of American cuisine - also known as a "small pizza!"

That is about it from me. I just made it back yesterday. I hope to see you all at Marelle's launch on this Sunday. Just to clarify the human cannonball will not be able to attend, however his alter ego will be there to serve the food and drinks (with a smile) as usual!

Festival of Balloons - WBC2012 final event

Even though I am back in Australia, I have to do a post for the final day "The Festival of Balloons".

The WBC2010 Festival of balloons was a huge 'learning experience' (debacle) and this time, everyone was ready and organised. Here is the team getting a stack of balloons inflated and ready to distribute BEFORE the doors were thrown open to the public... that when they came, we were waiting with a smile!

Everyones favourite character, Mr Q was there,with hugs for girls and boys of all ages.

The were people in funny hats...

...there were balloons rides...

...and a couple of Aussie trouble makers doing 'burn-outs' around the room.

Despite this we made it through, and each had a "small pizza" and drink to sustain us after the event.

It doesn't get any better than this.
I will do one more post afetr this with a few select pictures for some friends who want a brief wrap up.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

WBC - Final Night

I must apologise that there has been a considerable break between the final night dinner and me actually posting a blog for you all. I must have been more tired that I thought. On Friday night my commitments had ended and I went to sleep without having to set any alarms. My body decided to cash in and I slept for 14 hours straight, not waking until 2.15pm. I missed the classes and was nice and fresh for the final night dinner.
Here we all (well most of us) in our finery. Final night dinner in front of the Aussie Large Sculpture.

These next few pics feature the fabulous decor thoughout the room. Again the tapers and starpoints were the feature around the room...

...and on the ceiling...

Here is Australia's latest Certified Balloon Artist, and W.A's first. John Brew gained his CBA at the convention and, as you can see, his new found status made him a favourite with the ladies.

Then of course is the fabulous stage decor. Tapers featuring this year and they were very cool indeed.

Here are our competition entrants with Bruce and Rachelle Fraser - Beth Boynton, Amanda Girdlestone and Matt Russell. Unfortunately Christine Georgiou is not in the photo.

And after the formalities were over it was time to let our hair down and party. We were only on the dancefloor for a short time, because the DJ was rubbish, but I managed to capture this pic while we were there.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

WBC - Friday classs and challenges

I must apologise that I do not have a great deal of photos for today. I spent the morning doing judging and prep for my class, and then teaching in the afternoon, so I was not "out and about" as much as I had been.

Anyway, I taught the Decor with Really BIG Balloons class today, and we had some fun, that is for sure. Here we all are with our 5.5' balloons and material.

For this class, I had to purchase all the material and bring it with me. My mum cam to my rescue and overlocked and hemmed the 4mtr lengths of material so they would be presentable. I was grateful and so were the people who attended my class.

The classroom door was not wide enough for us to fit the balloons through, so we went into the hotel foyer so we could continue and inflate the 8' balloons

After classes we had to run some challenges and a jam room for the delegates. Mala and I were put on challenges booth number two, and we had some fun. The jamroom continued until after 2am.

Mala decided we needed some aussie icons on our table at the final night dinner tomorrow night, so she managed to wangle in a kangaroo twisting contest (nice one Mala), and here are the three winners. They all went with the boxing kangaroo theme.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

WBC Fancy Dress Party

Today was the first full day of classes. Here is a quick snapshot of the creation one of the hands on groups in my "fantastic foils mix up" class made.

There is a really positive vibe around the place and there were lots of lovely people who came up and said hi and complimented me on my classes, so a big thankyou to all those generous souls!!
It was no secret that everyone was looking forward to Circus night and getting dressed up. I came as the Human Cannonball, and found a compatriot, Brandon, amongst the throng!

There stacks of very clever costumes and here are just a few of them.
Firstly we have Tina, Amanda, Di, Maureen, Cheryle and Stacey in the front.

Amanda and Chelsea (both Pioneer, Rachelle, Mala and Matt

Then it was into the ballroom through the fantastic clown entry arches that were there to greet us.

We walked in to see a huge canopy over the centre of the room, complete with illuminated clown face and fairy lights chasing up and down the garland.

We were surrounded by an assortment of colourful centrepieces - including clown faces of course!

Then look to the front of the room to see the awesome stage with circus letter sculptures.

800+ balloonies in the one place is going to make for a sensational party. Here is a sneeky peek at the craziness on the dancefloor.

And the dancing spilled back into the room as well, as Beth and Rachelle are demonstrating.

We all had an wesome night, awesome theme and awesome headache the next morning.
Love your work.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

WBC2012 - All systems are Go

Welcome again to todays instalment of WBC2012. The pace of the convention is so hectic, I can barely keep up. I will have to do a seperate post of all the wonderful new designs in the welcome room. So, let us review the competitions that finished. I hope this is not too long and boring for you all. Let me know if it is.

First up we have the Awesome Aussies in Amanda, Stacey and Matt, and the postcard from Australia Large Sculpture. well done team.
The jester is very cool and he rotates as well.

It appears that what I though was a naked lady is actually a cherub. Whoops. To be fair I was stuck behind the barrier and didn't get the best view.... that's my story and I am sticking to it!

Some conjecture as to whether the next one is a large bird or dragon. I'll let you decide.

Team Italia were soimpressed by their sculpture they wanted to gaze adoringly at it!

Our Russian friends showed us a pizza oven with the owners sitting on top in traditional garb.

Welcome to the Prep Room. This is where we weave our special type of magic. Here are my room mates Lisa Swiger (USA). The Balloon Bros Dominic and Keith (UK), and Federico Onida (Italy) on the floor at the back. As you can see it is work, work, work...

Here is the majority of the Aussie contingent. Rumoured to be the largest international group at WBC. Top effort!

I hope this video works. It is the Instructors and staff welcoming the Delegates to the opening night of WBC. lots and lots of fun.

Here are the two "Big Boys", Mr Q and our MC Robbie Furman...

...and as always being generous with their time and their smiles, it is Mr and Mrs Qualatex, Ted and Betty Vlamis.

Phew. What a day. Teaching tomorrow so on deck early. Costume night coming up so that should be ...errrr... "interesting viewing".

Let me know if you are enjoying this so far. i'd love to get some comments, and any suggestions on what you want to see.

love your work.

Large Sculpture Competition Update

With just over 1 hour to go in the competitions it is looking magnificent. Here are some images so far...
Remember that photo I posted at the start of the competitions yesterday. The room looks a bit different huh?

This picture shows Aussie team members who have worked through the night and are racing with their twisting to meet the deadline. An outstanding effort from our team lead by Amanda.

Looks like CC drew her inspiration and staying power from "The Ray"...

This piece impressed me. It is not single 350Q's, but each couple of 350Q's is inside a clear 646Q and then has been bent, twisted etc, to create the shell.

This is going to be a very large bird. I watched the ladies painstakingly twisting every feather of the wings and body yesterday. All balloons were double stuffed. It is finger cramping work, but it will pay dividends.

And here is Amanda rigging the sunset over sydney harbour. You can see the Opera House in the foreground, the pylon is up - just waiting for the bridge. The harbour is looking fantastic. Emu s there and waratah flowers. Very cool concept.

Here is the view of the nude lady from her...uhum...derrier (young children should avert their eyes). The manipulation required to create this sculpture is quite awesome.

Remember the bird you saw a bit earlier. Here it is within the last 2 hours. WoW!

C'mon Amanda. Go you good thing! Just over an hour to go! Many of the team members have retreated to their beds to catch a few hours precious shut eye, before they get up again to compete in other design categories. There are 28 Aussies here, and it is the cream of the Australian industry. Simply by entering the competitions, they have done themselves (and the Australian industry) proud. Their efforts will win much respect for the Australian Balloon Industry.

and here are sone other entry pieces.

As I type there is 45 inutes to go before the end of the competition. Gotta go and cheer on the team.