Friday, June 22, 2012

PUCKER UP!


         "Making It With Balloons" BLOG
             A personal Look At Making Things, 
             Making Success and 
             Making A Difference
             With Balloons



FROM A FLOWER TO A KISS




Here (below) is another digital painting of one of my facebook friends, 
Manon Dudziak. She is a fine balloon artist and marvelous entertainer from Paris, France. Check out her web site at http://www.mademoizelle-m.com
or visit her on Facebook at
 
https:.facebook.com/manon.dudziak   

My painting is derived from Manon Dudziak's Facebook profile photo of April 9,2010. 

The original photo (to the right) draws attention to the balloon hat with a bright balloon flower that wraps around the hat. 

But, I found Manon's expression more interesting. So, I dropped the flower, simplified the background and refocused the lighting on her face (below).





Now, you really notice her piercing look, soft skin and puckered lips. 


Is she kidding with the camera man, flirting with you or pondering projected memories?



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Thanks for joining us here on 
"Making It With Balloons"  Blog

Your Host,
Graham Rouse




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Copyright Graham Rouse / Rouse Technologies LLC  2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

FATHER'S DAY BALLOON PLAY



    "Making It With Balloons" BLOG
       A personal Look At Making Things, 
       Making Success and 
       Making A Difference
       With Balloons


BALLOONS FOR CHILDREN & GRANDCHILDREN

My twin boys got a lot of balloon time in their younger days.  The picture (left) shows them at play with a set of balloon creatures that I designed in modular units so they could be assembled in a variety of ways. They were similar in nature to the "Mr. Potato Heads" that were popular for a while. You could connect the parts and rearrange them to make a lot of different creatures from relatively few elements.

My boys are both fathers themselves now. This picture is one of those I found when I went rummaging to see what interesting things I might send them as a Father's Day greeting (June 17, 2012). 

The grandchildren do not get the same level of balloon play as their fathers except on those infrequent occasions when "Graham Pa" swoops in with a bag of balloons.  Those are fun times.
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CHOOSING THE FATHER'S DAY SCENE
But, on this Father's Day I was searching for something more universal, a scene that my boys experienced with me that might remind them of scenes they have, or could have, with their children.  I found a scene I really liked.

You can see it to the right.  We were nested together on the living room sofa.  We were settling in after one damaged arm had been patched. One brother had catapulted the other through the air and into some furniture.  The furniture survived nicely, but my son's left arm did not do as well. The hospital trip was not so bad. In fact, we made a little adventure out of it.  But, it was nice to pause together on the sofa afterward to reinforce the bonds tested by the day.  I can see my grown up boys having similar moments with their children.


ENHANCING THE PICTURE 

While the scene was just right, the old snapshot was weak, dirty, a little out of focus and the strong back lighting made it hard to see the three subjects.  I decided to rebuild it as a digital illustration.  It took a few hours, but it was a pleasure to work on it, and it gave me a few hours to reflect on my years as a father and grandfather. The memories were rich and I tried to build that richness into the colors and textures of the image below.

I hope you enjoy the illustration and the memories it may stir in you.



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Thanks for joining us here on "Making It With Balloons"  Blog

Your Host,
Graham Rouse



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Copyright Graham Rouse / Rouse Technologies LLC  2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

BALLOON FRIENDS VIRTUALLY ENHANCED

    
"Making It With Balloons" BLOG       
A personal Look At
Making Things, Making 
      
Success and
Making A Difference  
      
With Balloons



Massaging The Virtual World
I find the virtual world of computers and the internet especially fascinating.  And, being a creative sort of guy,  I love exploring and then adding my own "twists" and "enhancements" to what I find.  Some may call it "editing".  Others might name it "digital painting" or "virtual art".  I just enjoy massaging images and giving them new expression.  I though I would enjoy, and I hope you enjoy, sharing in some of the results and a little of the process as well. 

 Facebook Balloon Friends
I thought I would start with images I have created of and about many of my Facebook balloon friends.  Sometimes it is a portrait of a person and some times an image of their work, but always, I have added my own twist, hoping that it will be perceived as an enhancement rather than a detraction.  Let me know what you think with your "comments", "likes", "shares", etc.

Ingrid Janssens
https://www.facebook.com/ingrid.janssens.7  
This is not Ingrid (below). My guess is that it is Ingrid's daughter. The dress made with balloons is Ingrid's work.  You may see more images of the model, the dress and of the construction steps at  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.340377369345314&type=1 .


When I first saw Ingrid's original picture (left), I liked the dress and the girl.  I imagined them, however, in a different setting. There is a bright spot is on her knees.  I wanted the light to move up.  And, I imagined a simpler and darker background to contrast with the subject and to focus more attention on the girl and the balloon dress.  So, I spent some hours shifting the light and changing the background to draw your eyes up to shoulder height and then out to explore her mood and gesture and then on to the texture and craftsmanship of the balloon dress.  


You can see the results in the second and larger picture below.  I find the finished image absorbing and pleasant to explore. It feels as if I am taking on some of the poise and patience exhibited by Ingrid's young model. 


How does the new picture affect you?







Thanks for joining us here on "Making It With Balloons"  Blog

Your Host, Graham Rouse
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Sunday, February 5, 2012

A LIFE OF RAPTURE WITH BALLOONS

    
     "Making It With Balloons" BLOG
 
         A personal Look At Making Things, Making
 
       Success and Making A Difference
         With Balloons


RAPTURE

Rapture suggests a feeling of ecstatic joy or delight. When we see someone apparently delighted and totally wrapped up in concentrated focus, we say that he or she is giving their “rapt attention”.  Hopefully, you are among the many who have enjoyed such feelings and focus when engaged with balloons.

AMAZED
Maybe, as a child, you were amazed at this fat kite that flew without wind and bounced upon a string when you pulled.  Maybe you were fascinated by the way the world changed colors when you held that transparent orb close to  your face.  Maybe  you watched with fascination as the cat chased the colors that danced across the floor when the light through the balloons was just right.

FIRST WAVE – CREATURE
Maybe, instead of tears, there was a gleam in your eyes when your balloon escaped and took flight with the winds.  Maybe you imagined how the world looked from up there and how it felt to be free and floating on air.  Maybe you wondered what adventures awaited  your balloon and then imagined that those adventures were your own.  Maybe you tasted that marvelous ecstasy that comes when you are “RAPT With Balloons”.

SECOND WAVE – CREATOR
Early in 1983 I encountered balloons in a way that stirred my imagination and fed me tastes of that rapture which can come from balloons. I discovered that beyond that first wave of pleasure there was a second wave.  I discovered that I could make things with balloons.  They were a delight to see and wonderful for play.  But, more importantly, they were evidence of my productivity.  They gave witness to the fact that I was more than a creƤture; I was a creator.

AAaahh!  It is such rapture to know that you are CREATOR as well as CREATURE.  That knowledge and that rapture is the birthright of every human.

THIRD WAVE – LEADER
Then I discovered a third wave of rapture from balloons.  The things I made with balloons served up tastes of rapture to those around me. They delighted in their encounters with my balloons.  At least for a while, smiles replaced frowns and sparkling eyes replaced dull. Not only was I productive, but I was effective.  I rode the crest of that third wave of rapture as a LEADER showing the way to others.

FOURTH WAVE – PARENT
Then the fourth wave came as those I lead and taught with balloons became leaders and teachers themselves. I came to know the rapture as PARENT, as grandparent, as great grandparent, etc., etc. It is sad to know that ones own time on earth is limited, but it is rapture indeed to know that the seeds of life, of creativity, of productivity, of leadership, and of parenthood are being passed through you to untold generations to come.

RAPTURE FOR YOU
Balloons are not the only media for such experiences as I have described here,  but, they are a good one.  I recommend them to you.

Join me here for more of these personal discussions. 

Share your stories, questions and reflections in the "Post A Comment" section below.

Visit Making It With Balloons Network (http://miwb.net/blog) for a broader based discussion with a variety of balloon professionals.

Tune in to the discussions by thousands of balloon artists from around the world at http://balloonhq.com.

Search for balloon groups on social networks such as Facebook.  One that is currently very active and flooded with pictures to whet your appetite is the Qualatex Group on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/groups/17261393033/ .

While you are in Facebook, do drop by for a social call at my personal "timeline"  http://facebook.com/RouseMatrix .

And, I would love to have you learn about one of my commercial facets and "like" us at our business Facebook page, http://facebook.com/RouseMatrixPage.

My hope for you is that you will enjoy as many years, or maybe more, than I have of rapture with balloons.
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Thanks for joining me here on "Making It With Balloons"  Blog,
I remain your host,
Graham Rouse

"Making Things, Making Success & Making A Difference With Balloons"
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  • Give us your quick reaction with the check boxes below.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

BALLOON BATS FOR HALLOWEEN

  
     "Making It With Balloons" BLOG

        A personal Look At Making Things, Making 
        Success and Making A Difference  
        With Balloons



Mr. Bat E. Bat And Family Take Flight For Halloween.


 
Rouse Matrix Mr. Bat E. Balloon Bat against the night sky

There are many frightful creatures that spirit through the night to accompany the Trick-Or-Treaters in their costumes; angelic and demonic, paultry and precious, romantic and regal, paper mache' and silk, goulish and glorious. Costumes and imaginations run as wild as the stories that will be told. They are stories designed to trick and to treat those who dare to engage fully in the spirit of the night. It is a spirit filled with ghosts and goblins and BATS.
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Chief among the bats is the family of Mr. Bat E. Bat. He is the living leader of an ancient family of Balloon Bats. It is said that Great Gradbatter Balloon Bat had the power to inflate himself to such a gigantic size that he could block out all the light from even the brightest full moon. His appearance in the Halloween sky guaranteed a scary night.

Rouse Matrix Expand-And-Load balloon bat
Rouse Matrix Expand-And-Load balloon bat
made by Treva Hart
of Event Decorating by Leilani in Oklahoma




But, Beast Lee Balloon Bat was the really dangerous one. He had so much strength in his helium filled wings that he could lift costumed children up above the moonlit clouds. One slip and it could have been the end for his passengers. I am told, however, that he always returned his frightened humans safely to the ground.  
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Today, it is difficult to find living members of the Bat E. Bat balloon family. They seldom fly the night sky of humans, even on Halloween. But, there are many balloon toy replicas. And, many of these you can make for yourself. They are great for decorations, for costumes and for play on Halloween and all year round.

I have included some instructions and links to materials and other resources below.  Use them and make your own Balloon Bats For Halloween.  Enjoy the fright and the flight . . .





Thanks for joining us here on
"Making It With Balloons"  Blog

Your Host,
Graham Rouse


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MAKE YOUR OWN BAT
(Download free instructions to make 6' or 12' RMS Bats.)

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Make Your Own 6' Bat
with one package of two Rouse Matrix Expand-And-Load Banner panels.


Rouse Matrix Expand-And-Load balloon bat layout for RMS Banners
  • Connect the two panels along the narrow edges as suggested in Fig. 1.
  • Expand the connected panels to the open sizes of about 6' x 3' as shown in Fig. 2.
  • Load black balloons inflated to 4" in diameter in the pattern shown.
  • Trim around the balloons with scissors.
  • Add a couple of smaller red balloons for eyes and you will have an awesome RMS Balloon Bat.
  • There are more details in the RMS Banner pkg.
  • Buy your RMS Banner panels online.
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Make Your Own 12' Bat
with 2 packages of two each Rouse Matrix Expand-And-Load Builder panels.

Rouse Matrix Expand-And-Load 12' balloon bat layout
  • Connect the 4 panels along the narrow edges as suggested in Fig. 3.
  • Expand the connected panels to the open sizes of about 12' x 6' as shown in Fig. 4.
  • Load black balloons inflated to 8" in diameter in the pattern shown.
  • Trim around the balloons with scissors.
  • Add a couple of smaller red balloons for eyes and you will have a huge RMS Balloon Bat.
  • There are more details in the RMS Builder pkg.
  • Buy your RMS Builder panels online.
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Make Your Bat 20 Times As Strong
with just double the material.  you can double the volume andincrease the strength of your bat by 20 times by using the Rouse patented Double Layer technique illustrated below. Rouse double layer technique illustrations
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RMS Double Layer Technique:

  1. Tie pairs of balloons closely together.
  2. Stand the pair vertically with one balloon in the first Matrix as shown in Fig. 1.
  3. Add more pairs of balloons as illustrated in Fig. 2 with the strap around the widest part of the balloons.
  4. Lay the second Matrix on top of the balloons and insert the top balloons into the matching openings as in Fig. 3.
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Make Your Bat Even Easier
wth the new Rouse Matrix 6' Bat shape and 12' Bat shape. Just expand and load with balloons. These two RMS Frameworks are already cut into bat shape. We would love to have your comments below and see pictures of your projects. 
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Thanks for joining us here on
"Making It With Balloons"  Blog

Your Host,
Graham Rouse



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    Copyright Graham Rouse / Rouse Technologies LLC  2011

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Balloon Month & The Balloon Arts Movement

  
"Making It With Balloons" BLOG

        A personal Look At Making Things, Making 
        Success and Making A Difference  
        With Balloons



September has been declared as "International Balloon Month" by the International Balloon Association (IBA).  "Balloons Around The World" promotion is coming up October 5, 2011 this year.  These are outward manifestations of what I perceive as a more
Universal Balloon Arts Movement
that is greatly enhanced by, but does not depend upon, such organizations and promotions.

Balloon Arts such as balloon decorations, balloon sculpture, balloon graphics and balloon entertainment are media that have touched and influenced the lives of millions of people in a positive way. Many of you are among those of us who lend our hands, give our breaths and share our imaginations through balloons. We touch, enrich and influence individual lives, economic activities and cultural attitudes in the world around us.
  • We use translucent film made with sap drained from trees or made with oil drained from the earth.
  • We sculpt envelopes for air.
  • We transform them with hands, with machines and with imagination.
In the process:
  • We inflate more than balloons.
    • We inflate our own sense of self worth as WE are filled and transformed by rewards of, smiles, praise and money.
  • We stretch more than latex.
    • We stretch the imaginations of those around us with the possibility that they too might become creators and not just creatures.
  • We color more than the light seen through our balloons.
    • We color the emotions and attitudes of those persons whom we engage with our displays.
We exercise our balloon arts with balloon decorations, balloon sculplture, balloon graphics, balloon entertainment and more. We have daily opportunities to expand business, stretch imaginations, and color attitudes in positive ways. When we do these things, the momentum of our individual influence combines with others in a worldwide Balloon Arts Movement that can significantly alter and improve the world around us.

International Balloon Month helps to focus attention on balloon arts and that is very good.  The Balloon Arts Movement, however, does not depend upon any individual, organization or special promotion.

The Balloon Arts Movement infects the attitudes of people with a rainbow of positive feelings. It then grows with the stretch of each balloon. It expands with each breath. It spreads with each smile. It is, in fact, already on its way to becoming a viral pandemic of delights; visual, tactile, emotional and economic.

The Balloon Arts Movement promises to each person who participates that they will experience life as a creator. It does not matter whether they focus on balloon decorations, balloon sculpture, balloon graphics, balloon entertainment or other balloon art. They will have opportunities to see their creations add life to the living of others. They will, thereby, sample one flavor of life eternal. They will experience again and again that creation stimulates life, life begets creation, creation stimulates life and the process goes on and on. It is a process worthy of life eternal. It is a process that enables life everlasting.

It is, however, a process that is not peculiar to balloons nor to balloon art. Yet, balloon arts can put that experience within the reach of nearly everyone. And, nearly everyone needs to experience life as a creator in order to strengthen their faith and to improve their skills at making life worth, lasting forever.

You can be among those who participate in this movement. You may already be among those who participate in this movement. Maybe you make balloon decorations, balloon sculpture, balloon graphics, balloon entertainment or other. As you participate, you experience, for yourself, life as a creator. You add life to the living of others and share with them the taste of that eternal flavor. It is a flavor they also may savor each time they add their breath to a balloon and share it with someone else.

So, go out now and encourage these others by your example, to participate in the Balloon Arts Movement and, in turn, to act as a positive influence on others around them during International Balloon Month and throughout the year…. … .





Thanks for joining us here on
"Making It With Balloons"  Blog

Your Host,
Graham Rouse
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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gifts From The Other End Of The Rainbow


     "Making It With Balloons" BLOG

        A personal Look At Making Things, Making 
        Success and Making A Difference  
        With Balloons



I planned to share with you next a simple RIBS (Rouse Internal Balloon Structure) tip to make it easier to wear balloon flowers, but when I rediscovered a set of my Rainbow Collection greetings from the mid 1980's I could not resist introducing them to you right away.

COLORING ATTITUDES

Some of the things I find so wonderful about balloons are the ways they can delight your eyes, lift your spirits, and carry your imagination off to friendly places.  They are like rainbows you can see without having to wait for a storm to come and then to clear.  They are like having seen that rainbow and then picked colors from its arch across the sky. Now those colors float like translucent jewels of latex and air tethered to a string for your entertainment.

Balloons, however, can color more than the light you see through them. They can color the attitudes through which you see your world. Your world becomes a little brighter and more positive than is normal on this end of the rainbow.  It is as if, both, the balloons and your new attitude are gifts sent just for you all the way from the other end of the rainbow.

A GIFT  FOR  YOU

In 1985 I wrote a series of short balloon story/greetings to accompany balloon sculpture gifts that I delivered.  I called them my "Rainbow Collection". They celebrate this journey from a balloon fantasy world at the other end of the rainbow all the way to you at this end.  They are part of the inspiration for the Making It With Balloons logo. Here is the first of those story/greetings.  I hope you enjoy it.

"The Other End Of The Rainbow"

The other end of the rainbow is home for a host of magic plants and enchanted creatures.  They have the charm and power to warm human hearts and brighten human lives.  They live in a forest of balloons made from latex, air and imagination.  They are nurtured by warm hugs and friendly smiles.  They are colored with purple laughter and carry the scent of golden joy.  They taste of sky blue friendship and sound like thoughts of turquoise love.  They sing with humor and dance with glee to celebrate the pleasure of knowing both you and me.

Now, one of their midst is delivered to you.  It has been sent all the way from the Balloon Forest at the other end of the rainbow with special wishes that it may warm your heart and brighten your day.

G. Rouse
(C) 1985-2011

Thanks for joining us here on
"Making It With Balloons"  Blog

Your Host,
Graham Rouse
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