Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.

For several years we have been doing this giant pink balloon ribbon. It is on display for the whole month of October in the lobby of the OXY building here in Dallas.

Making a balloon sculpture last the entire month is a bit of a challenge but we have had very good luck.

I hope you enjoy out ribbon. Please click on the link if you would like more info about Breast Cancer Awareness month.

pink balloon ribbon

trade show

Aerial Bouquet trade show booth

It’s it Valentine’s day already? It sure feels like it after doing this booth for Aerial Bouquet.

The HEB grocery store chains were having their annual trade show the George Brown convention center in Houston.
After many weeks of phones calls and planning, I designed a booth shapes that was 30 x30. That was supposed to look like this.

Well I had my suspicion about a trade show booth that was 30 x 30. I asked over and over to everyone that was in change “are you sure this is not an island booth?”

Well, surprise, surprise, surprise!!! When we got there guess what we found? That’s right a 30 x 30 Island not only was it an island it was first booth you saw when you entered! It was a great location and everyone would see it first think when they entered the show, BUT….. hello….. There was no way I could put a 30 x 10 solid balloon wall up. It would totally block the sight-line of all the other booths.

foil Balloon wall

So after weeks of planning and 2 day of prepping we were back at square one!

I had spent 2 days assembling all the balloons. Taping balloon panels together to make the wall and cable tying and the curve balloons for the overlay. So now I had to think fast and make it work with the products we had.

After a few conversions with the show manager on what I could and could not do, I had Plan B. That idea soon morphed into plan C. We decided on making giant 3d columns to put in the back of each corner. This would give us the visual impact we were looking for without blocking all the other venders. We could also new use the new I “heart” U foil balloon on the top.

Anagram panel

We also made short and tall pedestals out of silver panels.

Aerial bouquet trade show

Check out the new Valentines Day foil designs.

valentines day bouquets


Sempertex Balloon Convention Bogota Colombia

I have just returned from Bogota, Colombia from the second international balloon Congress. Sempertex Balloons sponsored the Convention, where Jan Iiams and I were the guess instructors. There were over 120 students eager to learn new and exciting balloon techniques and designs.

Bogota Colombia
The students were divided into 2 groups. We taught the same class to each group in two different days. This was good because we were able to keep the size of the classes smaller.
My Español is no bueno. I did try and use as many Spanish words and phrases as I know. Thank goodness we had interpreters in the back of the class in a booth, and the students all were wearing headsets. Wearing headsets made things go much smoother.

Balloon convention class room
When I was in teaching, I wondered if some of the words I used to describe techniques like “duplets” and “quads” would translate. In order to make sure the students understood everything, I would often look back at the translator and give her a thumbs up sign to confirm what I was saying was being translated.
The World Cup had just finished with an incredible performance of James Rodriguez that made him the Colombian’s Futból hero. The soccer’s fever gave me the idea to show them how to make a giant soccer ball. In the end, the class had a lot of fun playing with it while listening to Shakira’s song La La La.
I’m sure the hotel thought we all were a bit Loco, but at the same time we were enjoying all of the fun balloon decorations that spread out of the classroom into the hotel. The hotel staff was even muy feliz when it came time to popping all the balloons. All my hard work over the past 3 days,S inflation and creation was gone in what seemed like only a few seconds.
The whole trip was quit and adventure. I was truly honored to be included as the instructor to be with Jan Iiams. She is a leading educator in the balloon industry with a huge fan base, and I am grateful to be apart of the team.

Jan Iiams  Eddie heyland

Enjoy the video.

Balloon Soccer ball

George Strait finale balloon drop

George Strait finale balloon drop

June 7th “the cowboy road away” at the AT&T Stadium the home of the Dallas cowboys. DFW was the final show of George Strait’s tour.the cowboy rides away

One week before the event, we were contacted to do the balloon drop for his ending song. This drop had to be big, epic, and unforgettable. Go big or go home, in true Texas style.

 The event planner was concerned about the time it would take the balloons to hit the ground from a 300 feet tall ceiling. My balloon crew together with the event planner came up with an idea to do a mini drop four days before the show using one 50’ long bag. This was the best way to time how long it would take for the first balloon to hit the ground, and also to estimate the total balloons needed for the balloon drop.test balloon drop

 It took 1:30 minutes for the normal sizes balloons and 1:00 minute for the 3’ giant balloons to fall. For this stadium, we decided to use 16,000 balloons.

I only had three days to make this happen. Production was now in high gear. My Balloon City crew started making the bags and stocking the balloons while I worked on logistics. I needed to put together a crew of balloon professionals to help inflate the balloons. I assembled 10 people using 4 other balloon companies from as far away as Houston. Having a great crew is key to a successful event. The crew was awesome and inflated all 16,000 balloons in less time than I have calculated. With that major part finished the only thing left was to rig them in the catwalk.

 The next day, I only needed to move the bags into place on the ground and make sure the riggers installed them correctly. After a lot of standing around and waiting everything was rigged and ready for the sound check.

Now for me there was nothing left to do but wait until the next night to enjoy the show. I had a guest pass that allowed me full access! I felt so special parking with the tour buses, with my own entrance and being able to go wherever I wanted. There was over 100,000 people that attended the George Strait concert. That is more people than the population of my hometown!Georgr Strait guest pass

The concert was great and the timing of the finale was perfect. The promoter found me on the stage floor to tell me the balloon drop was epic! Epic is good!

Check it out for yourself: VIDEOGeroge Straight finale

World Cup Fever

World cup fever is in full swing. Just in time for my first visit to Colombia. I’m so lucky to have been invited to be an instructor with Jan Iiams at Sempertex Balloon Company.

The timing is perfect for me to catch the South American Futbol fever! There is no continent in the world that celebrates more the World Cup.
In honor of Futbol, I am going to teach in my classes how to build a giant Futbol balloon or as we say here in America soccer ball.
I am going to use a design that my Amigo Dante Longhi created last year at FLOAT. He was playing in the jam room and made a small version using 260 balloons. Then, Tommy Delorenzo and Robin Veach decided they wanted to make a bigger version using LINK O LOONS. They made a monster soccer ball big enough to bowl over Dante while he was explaining how he made it. I am attaching the video, so you can experience it for yourself.

In my class, I will make two versions of the monster giant soccer ball. The first one is the one that Tommy and Robin made, and the other is a smaller version that is easier to maneuver and use for décor. I will make the smaller version out of 6” LINK O LOONS. Using 6” will result in a soccer ball about 4’ tall. This is a good size for room décor that you can hang from the ceiling or placed on the stage. Depending on your party, there can be many uses for this ball. They can be placed on top of columns to use in key areas inside the event space. Also, they can be placed outside the entrance to make a dramatic impact.
I made a very short video for my class in Bogota. I wanted to share it with you as well.

balloon soccor ball

BIG things happen here

Let’s think Big. Thinking small never got anybody anywhere.

The Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau (Dallas CVB) launched a new branding campaign, designed to show the world that “Big Things Happen Here.” In support of the campaign, the Dallas CVB hosted a social media contest for locals to explore Dallas by capturing photos at prominent locations throughout the DFW Metroplex and share over social media for opportunities to win one-of-a-kind experiences.
Locals simply take a photo of themselves or with friends between a life-size display of the letters “B” and “G” and then share the photo on social media channels using the hashtag #DallasBIG. Nearly two dozen “B & G” displays are placed at locations throughout the city giving fans a chance to be the “I” in BIG. Taking photos sounds like lots of fun, but I’m more of a “why take a pic when we can make a video kinda guy”. So I started working on a plan for the “BIG” video.

First, I picked three of my favorite locations. Pioneer Park, Fair Park and Deep Ellum. Pioneer Park is located in front of the Dallas Convention center, and it is one of my favorite places to take my friends when they come to visit. It is so much fun to take pictures with all of the bronze steers acting like you are being chased by a wild cattle drive. Fair Park is the home of the world’s largest collection of art deco building and is a truly wonderful place to explore even when the state fair is not happening. Deep Ellum is Dallas’ old warehouse district, turned into entertainment venues. Back in the days all the great African-American blues artists played there. Today this area offers great clubs, bars and restaurants. Deep Ellum is also the home of Balloon City USA world headquarters.

Now, all that was left was to create the video. I decided to feature the Balloon City crew along with…. Balloons of course. After choosing the location and the cast, I needed the perfect song. It had to be snappy and fun. I chose PSY’s gentleman. After all my entire balloon crew are all gentlemen.
I hope you enjoy this quick 1:16 minute video. Come and dance with us.
VIDEO:Balloon City goes BIG
BIG things happen here



Balloon inflators which one is right for you

At Balloon City USA, we have over 25 Balloon inflators. The inflator choice depends on the job we are working on.

I would like to show you a few examples of some of my favorite balloon inflators. I want to start with the Conwin inflators. The Precision Air is my go to inflator for any work that requires exact balloon sizing. I can set it as low as 0.01 seconds and go up to more seconds than I ever use. The Precision Air is electric, using only compressed air. The issue with this inflator is that you cannot use helium.

Another inflator, The Duel Split, can be used with air and also helium. The Duel Split will require the use of tanks. Steven Mayhew from Conwin gave a demonstration, explaining how to use this inflator, to the Betallic balloon design team. Below you can click to see this video.


Steven Mayhew

Now you know how great Conwin products are, but there is one extra thing you need to know. The Precision Air and the Duel Split are not cheap! Conwin is the Cadillac of inflators and so is the price, but if you are just starting out in the balloon industry you may not be able to afford them until you build your business.

Zephyr makes a line of inflators that will be a great deal for the price you pay. We always carry a Zoom and Zizer inflators in our toolbox on every job we do, even if we are using the Precision Air. Now lets talk about the Zoom and Zizer.

We use the Zoom inflator when we are doing classic balloon décor like arches and columns. We can inflate two balloons at the same time just like the Conwin inflators; however, we can’t automatically control the size of the balloons. We have to do it manually by lifting our hands off the nozzle. In the next link, you can find a brief explanation of how to use the Zoom.


Zoom Balloon INflator

With the help from my 2 close friends, Jan Iiams and Melissa Vinson, the next video will demonstrate how much fun and easy it is to use the Zizer inflator. The Zizer has a nob that can be adjusted to turn off the inflator using a timer. The Zizer is an excellent inflator for using with an untrained crew. After using for only a few minutes your crew will be able to inflate all the balloons to the same size.


Jan Iiams Melissa Vinson

There are many balloon inflators that do different kind of jobs. I decided to share with you only these few inflators because they are the ones I use the most at Balloon City USA.

I hope you have found this blog informative as well as fun.






MelRhea Balloon Creations

Melissa Vinson MelRhea Balloon Creations wins big at Twist & Shout

Melissa Vinson MelRhea Balloon Creations brings home the Gold and Silver from this year’s Twist & Shout Balloon Convention.

Wins big at Twist & Shout

My “Sweet Melissa” that is what I love to call her. There is one other thing that I love about Melissa. I Love to IKEA her!!!! Now get your minds out of the gutters when I say “ I love to IKEA Melissa” It is nothing naughty or nasty, for me it is the highest complement I can give to any designer.

So I need to explain while I have your attention. I love the store IKEA. The way they use color and space, their clean designs and my favorite thing is the way they take ideas that are already exist in the market and make them their own. Some may call it copying or knocking-off but I think IKEA is brilliant for not trying to reinvent the wheel. They just find one they like and make it their own.

Melissa Vinson is my favorite balloon artist to IKEA. The reason why is always the same. Her designs are clean, cool and oh so clever. Something I can look at and immediately connect to and understand. The most important thing for me is I can reproduce it (IKEA).

I should say, almost always able to reproduce. When Melissa goes into competition mode it’s a whole new game. I have watched her work under pressure with crazy conditions and never give up until she is happy with the piece she is creating. She is always learning new techniques searching out new skills.

That is why this year at Twist & Shout. She won 3 times!


First place: Small Artist Balloon Sculpture

“What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger”

Melissa Vinson

Makes you stronger

Second place: Un-inflated Artist Balloon Sculpture

“Whooo Loves Balloons”


Melissa Vinson
Who Loves Balloons

Second place: Medium Artist Balloon Sculpture

“Mothers Day Off”


Melissa Vinson
Mother’s day off

See what I mean? When it comes to her competition pieces she is “in it to win it!”

I think my next post I will show you a few videos we made together with Jan Iiams. So subscribe to my email list by clicking the subscribe link at the top of the page and you wont miss any of my posts.

Wishes take flight

Make A Wish wishes take flight

Make-A-Wish      Wish night 2014                  Wishes take Flight

This past weekend Make-A-Wish held their annual Wish Night fundraiser at the Lowes Anatole hotel in Dallas Texas. The theme was Wishes take flight. We were asked if we could make a giant balloon bouquet that would look similar to the one used in the movie UP.

That sounded like a fun project to me, so I proceeded to work on a few ideas for their event to make sure everything went smoothly. It was only a simple balloon bouquet just on a grand scale but after I had a site inspection with my clients we decided there were several possible problems that needed to be addressed.

The first potential problem was they wanted the balloon bouquet installed on top of and ancient marble wedding temple. I know it is structurally sound, but the idea of climbing around on top of anything with the word ancient in it makes me nervous. I decided to use a freestanding ladder so I would not have to lean against the temple. I could also use a pole to push my balloon anchor to the center of the temple.

wedding temple

The second was the balloons were filled with helium. We were using 3’ balloons to make the scale of the bouquet huge. This also meant if any of the balloons were to get lose it would be next to impossible to retrieve them from the atrium ceiling. We had to make sure there was no way this could accidentally happen.

inflating 3' balloon

By placing the bouquet on the temple ceiling I was sure none of the guest would be able to reach them. Guests are the number one reason why balloons get lose. There is something about alcohol and balloons that turn adults into a 9-year-old kid. With that problem out of the way the only other worry was my own balloon crew. We have been known to lose grip on a balloon or two every now and then. I made sure all balloons were inflated under a low ceiling and secured to the anchor before put them into place.

3' balloons

All of the prepping paid off and everything went as planned. The clients were happy. The party was a success, and we accomplished our mission.

wishes take flight

Pat Crosland Holidaz by Dezign Balloon twists using 18 gauge floral wire

Introducing Pat Crosland

Holidaz by Dezign

Pat Crosland

I first met Pat Croslandfrom Holidaz by Dezign when she volunteered to pick me up at the Phoenix Airport to take me to my first ever Twist & Shout Balloon Convention. I was there to help Jan Iiams keep the jam room  stocked with balloons and add an extra hand for her centerpiece class. As it turned out Pat took Jan’s class. All the students were creating their own designs to use as table centerpieces for the final night party. The class was close to ending so I picked out my favorite arrangement. I asked Who had created this design? it was Pat. I picked out another centerpiece that had good use of design and composition, it was also Pat’s! and the next couple I picked out also were created by Pat!!!

A few years have passed since our first meeting. We have stayed in touch and met at several other balloon conventions. FLOAT, the Halloween and Party show and a couple more Twist & Shouts. She has always been someone I could depend on. If I need help getting supplies or labor (think minion), she is always willing to lend a hand.

Pat Crosland was kind enough to show a couple of her balloon twisting techniques using an 18 gauge floral wire. I know it sounds totally crazy to insert a floral wire inside the balloon, but wait till you see. She uses the wire as the framework for her twists.

I have seen these techniques used in competition pieces but never knew how it was done. A big Texas thank you to Pat for allowing me to make this video to share with Yawl.

balloon centerpiece

balloon centerpiece