by Ralph Dewey
The Balloon HQ challenge this month is a moose or moose hat.
Inflate a brown #260 fully except for about 4-1/2 inches and tie off the nozzle. Twist off two 1″ bubbles and ear twist them. Twist off two soft* 6″ bubbles then fold twist them both. Place the two 1″ ear twist bubbles between the two 6″ bubbles.
The remainder of the moose is basically a standard dog body. Therefore the sizes are approximate. Twist off a 1″ bubble (the neck) and two 5″ bubbles (the front legs). Twist-connect the two 5″ bubbles. Twist off a 3″ bubble (the body) and two 5″ bubbles (the rear legs). Twist-connect the two 5″ bubbles. The remaining 1″ bubble is the tail.
Make the antlers from a white or blush #160 balloon. Make half of it first. Inflate it to about 12″ and tie off the nozzle. Twist off a 2″ bubble and a 1/2″ bubble. Ear twist the 1/2″ bubble. Twist off two 2″ bubbles and twist-connect them together. Twist off a 2″ bubble and a 1/2″ bubble. Ear twist the 1/2″ bubble. Twist off two 2″ bubbles and twist-connect them together. Cut and discard the remaining balloon. You have just made the first half of the antlers. Now make the second half just like the first one. Tie them together through the 6″ bubble loop at the top of the head.
Make the eyes from a piece of a white #160 or #260. Twist off two 1/2″ bubbles. Tie both ends of the bubbles together, then ear twist them. Take the scrap ends and wrap them around the head to hold the eyes in place.
To complete the moose, mark the nostrils and the eyes.
* Soft = Squeeze the bubble, which makes the inflated part advance toward the nipple end, then twist off the bubble. Now the bubble will not be as taut. I first tried making the entire antlers from one single #160 balloon. I found out that to get them into their proper place, that I would have to wrap the 6″ bubble (the top of the moose’s head) around the middle of the antlers. This proved to be somewhat awkward and difficult to manage. So now I make the two halves as explained above and tie them through the loop formed by the 6″ bubble. That makes it a lot easier to assemble.