Silverstone 2014 Lewis Hamilton

Once again this year we were asked by Matt Lewis of Matthew Lewis Displays in Coventry to assist with the decor for the Silverstone Racing Club Marquee at the British Grand Prix.

Now being huge F1 fans Sara and I made ourselves available for the event.  After seeing the pictures of our large sculpture of the red arrows at the World Balloon Convention, the client asked if we could do something special to celebrate 50 years of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.  They asked if we could create Lewis Hamilton’s AMG Petronas Mercedes W05 car.

We created a 2/3 scale replica completely from balloons.

 

Brooklands and Luffield from the Silverstone Racing Club

Brooklands and Luffield from the Silverstone Racing Club

 

W05 on the ground

W05 on the ground

AMG Mercedes WO5

Lewis Hamiltons Car 2014 AMG Mercedes WO5

Lewis Hamiltons Car 2014 AMG Mercedes WO5

Lewis Hamiltons Car 2014 AMG Mercedes WO5

#keepfightingmichael

#keepfightingmichael

GP3 Driver Nelson Mason

GP3 Driver Nelson Mason

TV pundit and racing driver Karun Chandhok

TV pundit and racing driver Karun Chandhok

Son of James Hunt, Freddie Hunt

Son of James Hunt, Freddie Hunt

F1 Racing Legend Derek Warwick

F1 Racing Legend Derek Warwick

A fantastic weekend and even better with Lewis winning.

 

Big Rooms Need Big Decor

Our brief was to create table decor for an awards ceremony.  The location was Bangor University and the decor had to compliment a Blue & Yellow Star theme creative that was used on the programs and the stage.  As it is a big room it needed big decor.  We chose to use 3ft mylar foil stars complimented with 5″ latex balloons and tulle.  The balloons where secured using monofilament line to weights on the table.  This gave the illusion when the guests arrived that the balloons were just sitting in mid air with no method of attachment.

Before

Before

Before

Before

Bangor University 8

Bangor University 8

Bangor University 6

Bangor University 6

Bangor University 4

Bangor University 4

Bangor University 3

Bangor University 3

More Arch Work

This weekend once again we took out our Aeropole system.  The Arches look great as an entrance to a shop or any event.

We are doing More Arch Work since we bought our Aeropole system.  The fact it stands up to our strange weather here makes such a difference.

Here are a few pictures of it from the weekend.

 

Click & Collect is Here

It’s what you have all been asking for and we have delivered.

Our customers have asked to be able to order balloons out of hours and be able to collect in store.  Our NEW Click & Collect service is simple to use.   Select the bouquets you want, select the date you want to collect them pay conveniently with PAYPAL and your order will be waiting for you to collect when you are ready.

Give it a try now Click Here or select Click & Collect from the Menu Above.

It couldn’t be easier.

Birthday Classic

Birthday Classic

 

Funky Swirl Balloon Arch

The Task

So we had a booking recently for a basic swirl balloon arch.  Nothing too technical.  It had to go outside for a Pub refurbishment.  It was to look something like this.

Swirl Arch

Simple Swirl Arch

The stock was ordered.  Ready for the job, it was a last minute job and thats where the problem started.  Due to problems beyond our control the stock which was ordered in time never arrived leaving us with only half the balloons for the project.

The Re-design

So what do you do when your stock has not arrived and you have to set up for the customer at 7:30am on a Saturday morning and it is 5:00pm on Friday night and you only have half the required stock?

You put your thinking caps on and get creative.  We looked at what stock we had and decided to incorporate some Quick-links and 160q’s.

The Funky Swirl Balloon Arch was born

We put the following design together.

Funky Swirl Balloon Arch

Add a touch of Funky to any party

The customer loved the finished design.  This just goes to show how versatile we at For Every Occasion Balloon Artists Ltd can be.

 

Wedding Fun in a Marquee

This Sunday we had the pleasure of decorating a wedding for a lovely couple Louise & Chris.

The venue was the Faenol Fawr Hotel in Bodelwyddan.  We had been asked to highlight 4 key areas at the wedding, the entrance, the cake table, the top table and the dance floor.

By the door. we went for a simple champagne bottle pillar, personalised with a message chosen by the Bride & Groom.

Personalised Champagne Bottle Pillar

Personalised Champagne Bottle Pillar

 

For the Cake Table, we created a very simple string of pearl arch and accented it with our very popular Lootle Bride and Groom characters.

 

String of Pearl Arch

9 Balloon String of Pearl Cake Arch

Bride & Groom Caricature

Lootle Bride and Groom Caricatures

The top table, being one of the main focal points of the wedding day, was decorated using our stunning heart frame.  The use of an ivory heart surrounding a purple heart in the centre and a clear heart around the outside works as a perfect backdrop for the bride and groom whilst sat at the top table.

 

Elegant Heart Frame

Beautiful Backdrop Heart Frame

For the dance floor, the couple wanted a wow factor that was also elegantly stunning and classy.  We surrounded the dance floor with 4 of our elegant pillars.  These were then linked to the centre point of the dance floor to create a beautiful canopy.  In the centre of the canopy we suspended a 3ft exploding balloon that, when remotely detonated by the DJ, showered the happy couple with 100 balloons, perfect for any wedding day.

The Bride & Groom were absolutely delighted with what we had created and couldn’t believe how our balloons transformed the marquee and gave that ‘WOW’ factor which we all seek to create. Great result for us.

 

Dance Floor Canopy

4 Pillar dance floor canopy with 3ft Exploding Balloon

All of the above items are available to order now in our brand new portfolio.  If you would like any more information or prices call us today on 01745 334299

Aeropole system testing

This weekend we put the new Aeropole Arch System through its paces.  We had wind speeds between 10 mph and 20 mph  with gusts upto 28 mph.  We opted for Polka dots garland.  We chose this pattern so we could see if the balloons twisted on the poles.

We joined the Aeropoles using gaffer tape as advised in the Aeropole video.  We then covered the black aeropoles with white 646q’s.

The balloons were made into garland then attached to the poles.  We used the full 35 feet of Aeropoles and once attached to the the bases it became apparent that the bases would hold the arch shape fine and not move outwards but when the strong winds started the bases lifted.  We know that the manufacturer advises doubling up the bases to use outside, but as this was our first system we only had one pair of bases supplied with the kit.  We added 2 of our very heavy weight plates to the base plates on either side and then nothing moved.  We tied the poles to the bases using dacron line and the whole system was solid.

Below is an image showing how close we were to the coast line being affected by winds.

Arch Location

This is how close the arch was to the sea front

 

This is how the arch looked when we started, note the line up of the pink balloons.

Aeropole ARCH 1

Start of the Day

Aeropole Arch 2

Balloons in place at the start of the day

As you can see from the following pictures the wind started to gust.

Aeropole with the Wind Starting

Wind started to move the poles

Aeropole in Strong Winds

The wind got very strong up to 28 MPH

Aeropole Videos

Here are a few videos of the arch and how it moved in the wind.

Movement in the wind

Wind on the arch

More winds

Wind is not a problem

At the end of the day the arch looked as good as it did at the start of the day.  Notice the pink balloons are still in line and have not spun on the pole at all after 8 hours.

 

Aeropole Arch end of day

This is how the Arch looked at the end of the day

I also spent some time discussing the system with Mark Drury of Pioneer Europe and he had some great advice.

“When attaching and disconnecting the poles it is very important to not to put too much stress on the end of the pole that slides over the metal pin that you have secured to the base plate. The end of the pole should not be allowed to be under stress until the pin is fully inserted or the pole has been fully removed. Naturally with both base plates and pins flat on the ground the poles want to bend to allow all the pieces to connect and create an arch.

You should attempt to straighten the last pole before inserting on to the pin and removing the pole from the pin. The easiest way of doing this is to stand inside the arch and gently push the pole upright to achieve a straight pole. The straighter the pole is when removing and inserting the easier it will be to slide over or off the pin. If the connection seems to be tight or stiff the pole is not straight enough. DO NOT FORCE or you risk damaging your poles.

Other Aeropole Tips: 

Work on one side at a time! 
If you find it difficult to do alone, work in pairs.
When the pole is covered with balloons you can place one hand inside the clusters to grip the pole close to the pin and pull towards you and place the other hand inside the clusters higher up and push the pole away from you to ensure its straight.
When removing ALWAYS aim to remove the pole from the pin fully in one movement.
Remember if its difficult to move, the pole is not straight!
Store poles in there original packaging to avoid damage to the ends in transport.”

The Aeropole is a fantastic system that has proved itself to us in high winds in a costal location.  If I had to make one comment it would be that the base plates should be heavier for arches 35 feet wide, but we had a solution for that.  The notes that come with the aeropole system recommend additional weight and, this is essential.

Don’t forget to cover your poles with 646q’s,  this will stop your balloons moving on the poles and also make your arches look more professionally finished.

I hope this blog was useful.

50th Birthday Celebrations

This weekend we had the pleasure of decorating a 50th birthday party. To say the van was full would be an under statement.

Full van

How many balloons can you fit in a van

We started off with a beautiful Champagne bottle entrance arch complete with twinkle lights to give movement in the design.

Entrance Arch with a bit of bubbles and lights

Entrance Arch with a bit of bubbles and lights

To enhance the cake table we added a simple string of pearl arch in rainbow colours.

Cake Arch

Rainbow cake arch

and to finish off 18 of our basic table centres in an amazing array of rainbow colours.

Basic Table Centres

A mix of colours brightens up the room

The client was happy, we loved the look of the room.  Job done and on to the next one.

International Award Winners

Well we did it. We travelled all the way to Denver, Colorado USA to the World Balloon Convention.

Our Room at the Shereton

Lots of room and nice comfy beds

What a fantastic time. We met up with the rest of Team GB and began a 27 hour marathon to create the sculpture we had been designing and planning for over 6 months.

30000 Balloons

30000 Balloons all waiting for a bit of air

We allocated tasks to everyone, from double stuffing to inflating and building frames.

Bending Ali Rod

The Inflation Station

Team GB inflating

Bending Rod

More Ali Rod to Bend

As the day went on the balloons were inflated and the wall started to come together.

The Wall is taking shape

The Wall is taking shape

We had a team working on the wall with Matt Lewis CBA leading the build of it, a Team inflating the clouds and another team building the planes.

clouds in bags

Bags of balloons ready to build the clouds

Covering Frames

Covering the frames is one of the most important Jobs

At about 11pm, well into the build I heard a scream from Sara.  The next thing we knew her hand was swelling like crazy.  We tried putting it in ice and getting the hotel first aid to have a look at it.  They recommended going to the ER but Sara was determined to carry on.  Not for long!  In the end I had to play the husband card and tell her point blank it was getting worse and she had to go to the hospital.  Julie Conner from Pioneer took Sara to the hospital.  The Sheraton Hotel provided transport both directions complimentary.  So an Xray, medication and an hour later Sara comes back to the competition room with a damaged tendon, a nice bracelet and a $600 bill.  The meds were so strong she had to go and sleep it off for a couple of hours but then she was back with us (what a trooper).

Saras arm

The result of a damaged tendon, damaged by balloons that is

The sculpture was finally coming together.  Matt had taken control of the clouds. and they were slotted in to place.

Clouds taking shape

The Clouds coming together

Matt Lewis in a balloon cloud

Matt Lewis with his head in the clouds!!!

He was so happy I think he was on Cloud 9!!!

I think the lack of sleep caught up with Matt though.

Matt Sleeping

Matt doing what he does best!!!!

All that was left was to finish the planes and put them into place.  We could not have finished the planes without the help of Beth Barlow from Australia.

Weaving Planes

Weaving Planes

Everything came together even with Sara’s damaged hand broken by balloons!

We were so happy with the final design, Sara and I just burst into tears.  This was our baby, we had dreamed this sculpture, designed it, changed the design several times, worried that we would not be able to hold our own on a world stage and then led a fantastic team to create an amazing sculpture that we are so proud of.

The sculpture

We did it

Movement in a sculpture

Static Sculptures that look like they are moving

We could not have done it without this amazing Team GB.  Thank you.

Team GB

We did it what a Team

Team GB are, Mike Harris, Sara Harris, Matt Lewis, Lucy Hennesey, Mari Forret, Joanne Dunne, Janine Crispin, Jeanette Carden, Aileen Murray, Marcia Tull, Caroline Evans and help from Beth Barlow and Matt Russell from Australia.

 

Sara and I also entered the Balloon Column competition.  Due to Sara being injured WBC allowed us to have Mari Forret come and help do the hand work for Sara, while she had to just sit, watch and direct – she loves giving out orders so she was quite happy (not so sure Mari enjoyed this aspect though!)

Mari helping with the column

Mari looking so happy to be Sara’s hands during the column competition

The column came out great and we had some loverly comments about the use of colour and the texture.

Sara and Mike Column Entry

The Column competition entry

So we spent  over 30 hours building a sculpture and a column (27 hours for the sculpture, a two hour break and then a 3 hour build for the column) and then we had to wait until the Saturday final night party to find out how we had done.

We got a bronze award for the column competition and a silver award for the sculpture.

The trophies

Very happy with our awards

 

The following day the public got to come and see the sculptures for themselves at the Festival of Balloons.

Festival of Balloons

Seeing the public reaction to our work was priceless

So what do you do with a sculpture made of almost 30000 balloons when an event is over?

After the sculpture was destroyed

After the sculpture was destroyed

Pop it!  27 hours to build it and 45 minutes to destroy it and it felt so good too!

More about the rest of the World Balloon Convention in our next blog.