This On Line Publication Contains No Paid Advertising.
In this May issue:- * Italian Balloon Convention –
Another Huge Success!
* From The Editor’s Desk –
AntarcticaThe Event , “Leaked” to Editor!
* Did You Know- Products, Tuition and Trivia. * 2002 Crystal Award Winner
* From my Inbox * Positions Vacant * Darwin –
Go Go Gadget Balloon City
* Pro Tip #12 – Square Packed Duplets * Pro Tip #9 – Arrogance & Ignorance
* Win For Balloons in Parliament * Products from Business of Balloons

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK – G’day from Down Under!
I was recently pleased to receive a visit from Ian Shuey and Raymond Connett who are working feverishly to stage the Australasian Balloon Convention in April ‘03 in Hobart, Tasmania. Boy …. was their visit an eye opener! The things they have in the pipeline for what will undoubtedly be the best balloon convention ever staged in the southern hemisphere, is quite astounding.

Year 2003 has been designated the official “International Year of Fresh Water”. The entire theme for the ABC 2003 will revolve around this plus, the history of Sir Thomas Mawson’s exploration of the continent of Antarctica. What a challenge! Here’s just one planned event to wet (another intentional pun) your appetite;

Ian Shuey is well known to many of you from his balloon work and fabulous techniques being published in past Images magazines and from his innovative large sculpture entries at IBACs gone by. Ian has a professional background in engineering and that field of expertise is obviously what gave him the idea of constructing the world’s longest arch over water. Can you imagine trying to erect a S.O.P. arch using 3 foot latex … almost one third of a mile ( 500 m) long? Well, let me tell you that after speaking with Ian, he’s not phased about it at all.

Ray and Ian gave me a little insight to the planning and logistics. Yes, the people from the Guinness Book of Record have been contacted. The City Harbour Authority in Hobart have given this project their approval. Press and television coverage is assured. Even the Tasmanian politicians want to make sure they are invited. More importantly, Tasmania’s world renowned environmental lobby groups have endorsed Ian’s plan for creating what will be a unique entrance to the docks in Hobart. No balloons will be released into the atmosphere and there will be no danger to sea creatures.

So how does one go about creating the longest balloon arch ever? Ian has done his homework here as well. He showed me a light weight super strength woven steel cable that will have jumbo latex balloons hand tied to it . The balloons will be filled and attached individually from the rear of a small cabin cruiser vessel that will progress slowly from shore to shore. How many? Well, if the balloons are attached at 1m increments (approx. 40”), it’ll take 500 balloons to complete the

arch. The weather factor on the day may determine the final number of balloons to be attached as lift and wind forces will have a major bearing on the final number of balloons to be used. If it is to be 500 x 3 ft latex, the volume of helium needed will be around 191 cubic m (that’s 6,744 cu ft)…. + waste factor. Quite a task! Then there’s the need to have confidence in the anchoring methods at either end of the arch? I know I’d be losing sleep if I had to undertake such a mammoth task. But to Ian, Ray, Sean, Margie and the rest of the team involved in the staging of ABC 2003, they simply take it in their ice cool stride along with registrations, catering, travel arrangements, class instructors, competitions, entertainment, accommodation, sponsorships and the multitude of other things to be addressed in order to stage such a major balloon convention.

Want to get involved in the world record attempt? Wouldn’t that be something to have in your portfolio? And it’s just one of the fantastic, innovative events planned for “Antarctica – The Event” . Details of the plans for how the entire ballroom space of the Grande Chancellor Hotel will be totally transformed with balloons, staging, lighting and other special effects are being kept water tight. Readers now know as much as I do. But I can assure all of you, it will be an experience not to be missed! Come on Down Under next April. Business classes, loads of hands-on balloon work, parties, fine Tasmanian hospitality, food and drink …. with ice, of course.
From My Inbox
Hello Don
I am writing to you after reading your last newsletter, I think this one, along with all the others are very good and I enjoy reading them. Just to let you know I am Greg Arrigoni Staff person at IBAC, the one they always force (not really) into doing crazy stuff. I am not real well known for any balloon work I do, but a great many people know my face or the clanging of my tool belt as I run by at IBAC. I try to make everybody’s IBAC a great experience. Thank you and keep up your news letter.
Greg Arrigoni CBA
Unique Balloons – USA
Dear Don,
Wow – what a great newsletter – of course, we love having our name all over
the place!! However, one tiny mistake, we won 1st place in Delivery Bouquet and not in the centerpiece category. The 1st place centerpiece was done by Tope from England. Thanks for mentioning that the final results had to be close!
Judy Bradt CBA
Picco Rivera – CA, USA

Hi Don,

I’m attaching a pair of scissors that I made for a scrapbooking store. They were having a re-grand opening. I have to say I was really proud of these, as this was conceived in my brain, and worked out very well. I used two 12′ sections of 1/4 conduit, shaped them like #9’s and crossed them. I also did balloons in two flower pots outside. Now the store has hired me to do the flower pots again in May.

I have expanded my business to personalised items such as invitations, waterbottles, candy bars, etc. I finally got a digital camera, so when I make up one I’ll send it to you. How is life in the outback? Good day,
Sue Grzybowski
AHhhh Balloons and Favors
Az. USA ________________________________
New Qualatex® 260Q Colors!
Pioneer® Balloon Company proudly announces the release of seven, new Qualatex 260Q balloon colors. All the new 260Q colors are available in 100-count, single-color bags. The new Qualatex Blush 260Q, an opaque, light peach tone, is ideal for making balloon caricatures. Blush is currently only available in the 260Q size.

Five of the new colors are the classic, opaque, Standard Qualatex balloon colors, already available in a variety of other sizes. The new 260Q colors include: Dark Blue, Green, Red, Orange, and Yellow. Lime Green 260Qs are now offered as well. This trendy, opaque col

or continues to be popular with kids and adults alike! Plus a new 5″ “Space Alien” Lime Green Round latex design was released to coordinate with the Lime Green 260Q.

These new balloon colors will be available through Qualatex distributors from mid May, 2002. For the name of a distributor, call Pioneer Balloon Company at 1-800-356-0901 (press 1), or 316-685-2266. Pioneer Balloon Company is the manufacturer of Qualatex brand latex and Microfoil® balloons, the most recognized brand of balloons in the world. Retailers can visit Pioneer Balloon Company online at
Hello Everyone,
A lot of people have called and written to ask when I will be teaching the
Fantasy Balloon Fairy class, and I finally have some dates. The next class
will be at Ballooniversity July 26-27 in Athens, GA. This class will be
hands-on and you’ll learn how to make tiny fairies and people out of
balloons and wire (similar to the wired fantasy flower technique).

I’ll also be teaching “Use of Color in Your Business” at this event, which
will cover color in design, marketing, and at work.
Margie Padgitt, CBA or email:

Chris Horne is coming to Pittsburgh, USA. Sponsored by the Western PA QBN
2 Great Classes in one day long lecture on May 17, 2002
Don’t Miss Out!!! For more information…
David Weiss, CBA – Pres, Western PA QBN or Ph: 412-432-7177

Gill McGregor Honored with Balloon Industry’s Crystal Award
Gill McGregor, CBA, NDSF, & FSF, of Festivities in Hertfordshire, England, received the Crystal Award at the 18th annual International Balloon Arts Convention (IBAC), held March 6-10 in Rosemont, Ill. The balloon industry’s highest honor, the Crystal Award is presented to individuals or companies who actively advance the industry through
innovation, skill, and dedication.

McGregor, a florist for 24 years, discovered the potential of balloons 13 years ago when her wedding customers began asking about balloon decorations. One of the first British balloon artists to earn the Certified Balloon ArtistSM (CBA®) designation, she has been instrumental in developing nationally recognized qualifications in Balloon Artistry
through City & Guilds, the leading provider of vocational training in the UK. According to IBAC producer Marie Mandoli of The Balloon Lady® in San Francisco, Calif., “Gill has spearheaded the effort to create a comprehensive educational program that receives government funding and allows people to attend classes and learn how to work with balloons and flowers. She has been a real trailblazer in promoting the balloon industry throughout Europe.” Colleague Sue Marston-Weston, CBA, of Buckinghamshire, England, agreed. “Gill fought very hard to get City & Guilds to recognize balloon artistry as a profession,” she explained. “Now, they’re so enthusiastic about this industry, they go to Gill and ask her what she thinks!”

McGregor is currently Head of School of Floristry and Balloon Artistry at Capel Manor, greater London’s horticultural college, and continues to influence the future of balloon education in Europe. “I’m hoping the Crystal Award will actually help me promote the balloon industry,” she said. “I’m just very proud and honored to receive it.”

Previous Crystal winners include: Bruce Walden, CBA, Walden Productions Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Don Cheeseman, The Balloon Lady, San Francisco, Calif.; Jan Iiams, CBA, Conwin Inc., Los Angeles, Calif.; Conwin Inc., Los Angeles, Calif.; Jim Parker, CBA, The Red
Balloon Company®, Seattle, Wash.; Tim Vlamis, CBA, Pioneer® Balloon Company, Wichita, Kan.; Marvin Hardy, CBA, Balloon Magic, Provo, Utah; Maxine Burton, Flowers, Inc. Balloons, Bogart, Ga.; Gary Wells, CBA & AIFD, Premiere Designs, Kentwood, Mich.; Rocky Toomey, CBA, Future Affairs Productions, Providence, R.I.; Don Burchette, HI-FLOAT®, Inc., Louisville, Ky.; Steve Smith, CBA, Balloon Creations of Nashville, Inc.,
Nashville, Tenn.; Pioneer® Balloon Company, Wichita, Kan.; Marie Mandoli, The Balloon Lady, San Francisco, Calif.; Darlene Dykstra, Unique Creations, Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Treb Heining, CBA, BalloonArt by Treb®, Los Angeles, Calif.

The 2003 IBAC convention (IBAC 19) will be held March 5-9 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill. For more information, call the IBAC office at 1-800-458-4222, fax 614-840-0202, or visit International delegates may call 614-840-0868.
IBAC is produced by Marie Mandoli of The Balloon Lady, San Francisco, Calif.; Rocky Toomey, CBA, of Future Affairs Productions, Providence, R.I.; and Jay Erlandson, Columbus, Ohio. Pioneer Balloon Company, maker of Qualatex® balloons, is the convention’s major sponsor.

PRO TIP # 12
Not all garland need be clusters of 4 balloons. Square packing duplets on mono or rod gives quite a different visual effect. Nice, clean straight lines of colour. Best of all:- you use 25% fewer balloons than with clusters of four. Sell the effect – NOT the number of balloons used!
In last month’s issue of B@W I announced that a new “Balloonie Pro-File” column would appear in the May issue. Even with the technology of the New Millennium, sometimes the wheels turn slower than anticipated. The new column, to be interviews with some high profile balloon industry people, will appear in the June issue. Don Dixon

Registrations Are Filling – Fast! One Australian Appearance Only!

Wynn and Lindy Bell CBAs. America’s Wedding Decor Experts! IBAC Multi Award Winners.
Hosted by BASA-NSW
Venue: Pacific International Suites & Hotel – Parramatta (Sydney)
Date: Sunday August 25th and Monday Aug 26th.
BE ADVISED; that since registrations opened one month ago, half the available seats for both days are already sold. Registrations are arriving from as far away as South Australia and Northern Territory. Wynn and Lindy Bell are not booked as instructors for Hobart! This will be their ONLY Australian appearance. One day or two day registrations are still available, but all are expected to sell out soon. Don’t miss seeing America’s Best!
More details:-

NEW! Arriving in
Have you tried
Australia soon.
a box of the dots? MagMover
Why climb a ladder?
Dear Ballooning Colleagues,
A sweaty palms victory occurred in the Tasmanian Parliament today, regarding the DEFEAT of a Bill introduced by the Tasmanian Greens. The Bill presented appeared identical to that recently enacted in NSW (Aust) and the Greens presented an identical story to that of the Bethany account etc., with reference to the killing of marine life, her biodegradable back yard experiments, her political will and the 70,000 release for the rugby final and 30,000 for an AFL grand final. They raised the canning of the Olympics balloon release, however they gave credit to the use of balloons at the Paralympics shortly thereafter.

As background information Bethany excited an area school near Hobart into similar action. The kids in turn lobbied the Greens to introduce similar legislation. I recently cornered the Leader of the State Opposition [Bob Cheek] and highlighted the environmental farcity that took place in the NSW Parliament. He phoned at 1.00pm today to ask a few more questions and to advise the Greens were presenting the Bill in Parliament at 2.30pm.!!! After trashing my office I finally found the information supplied at a November crisis meeting of BASA-A in Sydney., then screamed off to Parliament with copies for the Premier and Opposition Leader.

The Government canned the Bill but appeased the school kids in attendance by saying they would refer the matter to a review of the State Litter Act and would seek both sides of the argument. The Opposition canned the Greens and the school kids with OUR list of hard facts. The Bill was jointly rejected by both the Government and the Opposition – end of story.

I’m planning a world record balloon release for ANTARCTICA – The Event next year! Just kidding. However, I’ll be using the decision this afternoon in my defence of doing the occasional small balloon release upon request in the future [perhaps with the Premier again! ]. He got caught up in a release net of mine not so long ago when welcoming an historic boat to our wharf and nearly went for a swim!

Thanks to everybody at our November crisis meeting in Sydney. Information presented was instantly available [almost] and perfect for the occasion and was used very effectively in Parliament to counteract the Greens argument.
Please all come to Hobart next April to celebrate the occasion!
Ian Shuey. – Balloon Magic Pty.Ltd. (Hobart, Tasmania)
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DARWIN – Go-Go Gadget Balloon City.
Dolly and I have just returned from a working holiday in Australia’s northern most state capital, Darwin. At the invitation of Debbie Barnett CBA and her husband Allan, we jumped at the chance to see a part of Australia we’d only ever read about and to help with a few days of marketing and balloon skills tuition for the five staff of “Enchanted Moments”.

What we discovered about the balloon industry in Australia’s top end was amazing. Even though Darwin is a relatively small city of around 90,000 in population, the 3 serious balloon businesses (judged by the # of Yellow Pages ads) in Darwin survive quite well with corporate, sporting, state and private special events. In the case of “Enchanted Moments” the business enjoys the benefit of high exposure from being located in Darwin’s largest shopping mall. Additionally, Debbie runs a branding style advertising campaign on Darwin radio. From what we saw, there is ample opportunity for all three in a city that endures many months of tropical, hot, humid weather. Balloons are really beginning to take off in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Last year one of Debbie’s best friends renamed her, “Go Go Gadget Girl”. How come? Well, whenever this balloonie arrives on site, she’s prepared! I’ve seen some pretty tidy, well stocked, compact balloon pro tool kits in my balloon travels. But, I’ve NEVER seen one as impressive as Debbie Barnett’s mobile kit box (made by “Stanley” – the tool manufacturers). I was so jealous! It has drawers, two lift out trays, wheels, compartments, extendable trolly handle, flaps, lids …. a Tim The Tool Man Taylor Love Story! A message for all readers, ….. Allan bought it for Debbie last year …….. for her birthday. He said, “It’s what she really wanted most.”

There’s more to this story! You see, Debbie Barnett is someone we admire for her approach to her business. To Debbie, she might very well be in one of Australia’s remote state capitals? She has a small number of serious competitors. Her employees are all casual staff at this time and many of Darwin’s population are nomadic. But Debbie Barnett CBA is just as dedicated, passionate, professionally equipped, long term investment conscious and marketing savvy as any of her counterparts in Sydney, Melbourne or even Los Angeles from what I’ve seen. Debbie is already planning her trip to the “Wedding Bells’ Tour” in Sydney in August, plus she’s started designing her creations to compete at the ABC in Hobart next April. Her dedication and determination certainly inspires us! Good Luck to the Go Go Gadget Girl!

Balloons by “Celebrating” Staff:- Leanne Brown, Jean-Marie Pace, Don, Dolly & Bettina Dixon CBAs, Belinda Davis, Stephanie Burden, and Rose Davila CBA. Sydney – AUSTRALIA
Inspiration: Staff at Celebrating say they would be lost without their “Images” magazines.
Advocates of the K.I.S.S. principle!

Arrogance is speaking down to others. Ignorance is thinking it’s a sign of good management.

Well established party shop in Northwest Sydney offers a Full Time position for a bright and energetic salesperson. Knowledge of balloons, decorating, party products and/or party hire an advantage, but not essential. Apply with resume to:- <> or Phone (02) 9804 8533
A balloons and retail party shop in Sydney’s inner-west, seeks a casual salesperson for 3 days per week. Applicant should be self motivated with good telephone sales and retail skills.
Phone Michelle during business hours:- (02) 9810 4058

Balloon Art Club Italia


The global balloon community is abuzz with news of magnificent workmanship being displayed at the 6th annual BACI. Jack & Roberta Levy of “Balloon Express” in Milan, Italy are the organizers of this European balloon arts competition. Jack and Roberta are (arguably) the most effective marketing people in balloons today. Pioneer Balloon Company USA are the sponsor for all balloon product to BACI. Inflators by Conwin.

“Bravo!” Congratulations to all the competition category winners including:-
Christopher Horne, Alberto Falcone, Luc Bertrand, Sue Marston-Weston, Jodie Copely, Tope Abulude, David Grist, Nazionale Ungherese and Pim Santhuizen and many others.
Visit: for more information.