Author Topic: 134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee  (Read 4690 times)

Graham Lee

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134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee
« on: December 04, 2014, 08:08:12 PM »
Well here we go with a review for the DVD A Romantic Twist. Available from Qualatex Balloons, http://www.balloonartwholesale.co.uk/quala ... dvd-vol-3/
and at just £20 looks like a really good deal as long as the DVD delivers.

A little about the author, Graham has been twisting a good few years, he actually told me it's coming up for 30 years so one could say he is a fairly experienced twister. In front of the camera there was some possibly nervous laughter and what was nice to see was Graham kept the slight little hic ups along the way in the DVD so to encourage others that balloon modelling does not always go according to plan with a volatile substance such as latex. Graham jollied the DVD along and seems to not take himself too seriously.
There is also a guest appearance from Miss Thelma Levett which I'm sure will be interesting
(To be honest I forgot about this so am looking forward to seeing what Thelma put on the DVD for me)

As Darren says,

Anyway let's see what we have here then  :D
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Graham Lee

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Re: 134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2014, 08:16:09 PM »
There is a nice little introduction section where Graham shows all the models that he will be explaining and also mentions a few times about a over the shoulder section where the items will be viewed in more detail and close up. There is just a one camera basic shoot that looks like it was recorded in his study so hence the title the front room tapes. Sometimes it would have been nice to see some of the models a little closer up as some, especially the origami rose was very small and a little difficult to see but I expect all will be revealed once I get to the
over the shoulder section of the DVD.

The first model explained was the 260 flower with leaves that was inserted into a 350 balloon, a nice touch was the explanation for cutting the leaf and using the nozzle of the 260 to hold this in place on the stem. Graham prefers to use a smaller 7 petal flower for the base to keep things all in proportion. Definitely a good start and I'm looking forward to seeing what else will be shown on the DVD.

So far all sizing of the bubbles and how much un-inflated balloon to leave have been fully explained and let's hope this continues all the way through.
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Re: 134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2014, 09:35:50 PM »
So model two is really just a re-working of model one if we are being super critical, another flower is explained but the technique for getting this inside the balloon again is exactly the same.

Graham does stop and hesitate now and again on the DVD where he seems to be unable to put his brain in gear when trying to remember the name of bubbles, balloon size and what size bubble he has just twisted. This does not seem to phase him though and he chuckles away to himself while explaining in some detail exactly the right procedure to get the required result.

There were three or four excellent tips in this section in conjunction with the model being made and I'm sure if Graham was re-making this DVD now he would possibly change the six petal flower base he had then for a smaller 7 petal base so that proportionally it looked better (I added an extra pinch twist at the top of this flower as three sit and look nicer in my opinion than the two Graham showed on the DVD) and also I'm sure he would mention to shape the fold twists on the flower stem upwards to get a better look and feel to the flower. You can see this in the second picture below.

I will not spoil it for anyone buying the DVD but Graham gives out some excellent advise and tips which definitely helps with the overall look of this sculpture.

So far I'm very impressed with models shown and explanations, if I did have a little concern it is that his hair then looks a lot blacker than it is now.
Perhaps Graham used to dye his hair?
He also has the habit of biting the balloon excess off with his teeth, an annoying habit that I do hope he is trying to kick as he does this on numerous
occasions during the filming yet has scissors to hand which he uses during the DVD, very odd.
Graham stop biting the balloons, use a cutter.
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Morethanballoons

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Re: 134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2014, 01:08:41 PM »
Egg sell ant Review Graham.... ;)
so much so  that i will have to put a copy on my gift list.......to her indoors...
great review and better chuckle...thanks...    :D
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Graham Lee

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Re: 134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2014, 08:59:06 PM »
Carrying on with the review Graham then shows the love heart design made from eight 260's. This was my second attempt to make as when I made the join and cut the excess balloon of the first design a good section of the heart de-flated as I did not tie the knot well enough. Graham explains how to get a good connection by threading the nozzles of the balloon through the four bubble box of the heart but perhaps should mention that the deflated balloon could go through this section before tying and then part of the heart would not deflate if you tied it as poorly as I did on my first attempt.

Graham is in the process of recording his next DVD with Geo's which he kindly let me view a couple of the designs, I did notice and you do not have to be too eagle eyed here to see that the background of his latest DVD and this one which was produced in 2009, so some five years apart and the background is exactly the same, pictures, wall paper, paint colour etc, etc. In fact if you look really look closely he is even wearing the same glasses, I expect from this you can tell that Graham is certainly not a slave to the fashion industry. Having said that this design alone is worth the price of the DVD, an excellent design and one you will use again and again in many different applications.

I'm reasonably impressed with this DVD at the moment, I still have more to review but would already recommend this to those that are looking to add a romantic twist to their repertoire.
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magirob

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Re: 134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2014, 09:07:45 PM »
You seem to know this Graham chap quite well :-)
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Re: 134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2014, 11:45:39 PM »
What to say about this design, it is excellent and I take back my thoughts on the heart being the reason to but this DVD.
This design is possibly the reason but as I'm yet to view the rest of the designs I'd better hedge my bets a little till I have viewed them all.

For this model we finally see the over the shoulder shot that Graham was talking about in the introduction, the camera work is very close up and occasionally it is difficult to see the rose being made in the model below. Thankfully Graham used a large 3m balloon to show the technique that is used to make this rather charming design, one that I'm pretty sure I will use when out working in the real world. This one surely is a winner?

There is a very good explanation on how to join two 350's together so the join is hardly visible, my only criticism would be that when the rose was made on the DVD and finished that was it, the rose was shown and then we moved onto the next model to make. With a little thought Graham could have gilded the Lilly a little and added to the rose with the leaf that he had already explained and then to attach the rose as I have done here to three simple pinch twists. Presentation would have been so much more, maybe the DVD is showing signs of aging. But each to their own and if you do buy the DVD I look forward to your comments and if I was being fair with my criticism's.

Graham does mention where he got the inspiration for the design of the rose and gives credit to a ribbon DVD which he purchased from a craft fair back in 2005.
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Re: 134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2014, 09:20:17 PM »
Sorry for the slight delay in adding some more of the DVD review, been here, there and everywhere just lately.

So carrying on with the rose inside 260, Graham shows this over the shoulder and it is very near to the lens, very close in fact, having said that all is reasonably clear. Graham also seems to be a little under prepared here, dropping things, calling the tooth pick a pipe cleaner, not having everything to hand yet he still chuckles away to himself as though it's all going to plan and what ever happens is there to be over come.

To be honest he does explain the majority of things well with plenty of detail, sometimes explaining things two or three times over. He did not show how to attach the 260 un-inflated green to the bottom of the rose that the tooth pick fits inside. I did this by stretching open the 260 with my fingers and rolling quite a lot of balloon up onto my fingers and then pushing the bottom of the rose down into the 260. Another way I thought might work would be to use the castration pliers, you would need to use these upside down for this to work though and have an open end of the 260 at both ends. Hopefully the picture below explains this a little better. It is a little tricky to do this way but possibly worth the effort as the 260 un-inflated stays on the rose a lot nicer and is a better snug fit than when using just your fingers.

Graham did not show putting this into the 260 but as it was explained with two other flowers being inserted into the clear balloons you just have to rewind and look again to refresh your memory, for completeness I think it would have been better for this to be shown here on camera but then that is just me being a little pernickety  with things.

I also changed the tooth pick for a flat wooden stirrer which has a much smoother end and seemed to work just as well if not better. I also doubled over the end of the nozzle that helps to hold the leaf in place on the 260 for a slightly tighter fit, for me this was a better way, others may dis agree though as it's everyone to there own. I do hope Graham does not get too upset with me making suggestions to improve his DVD, some people are very sensitive when it comes to criticism.

There is also an excellent tip with making the rose for the first few times which I must say helped me when making the rose and I'm sure will be a
top tip and very useful to those that purchase the DVD.
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Re: 134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2014, 09:24:44 PM »
You then have to gently unroll the green balloon down off from the underside of the rose balloon.
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Re: 134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2014, 08:37:22 PM »
The next session on the DVD is putting the rose inside a 350 and a 260 to wear as either a wrist bracelet or as a ring.
This turned out to be a little tricky for Graham as he is leaning over the camera assuming at arm's length to explain everything and so that there is a good close up for everyone to see.
There were a couple of times things I assume did not quite go to plan, Graham carries on although on a couple of occasions I think he may have been better to have re-shot a section or two, still you do see it as is so to speak........warts and all and a couple of times it made me chuckle to see him struggling away.

Graham puts the rose onto a 3 twist bracelet, in the picture below I thought it would look and sit nicer on a standard 7 fold flower twist. I do like the look of the 3 fold twist design,
the way it cups the rose inside the balloon. Not sure if Graham looks in on the forum but if he does then perhaps another design will follow shortly after my comments.
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Areyouhappydad

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Re: 134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2014, 09:14:42 PM »
:D
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Graham Lee

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Re: 134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2014, 07:11:00 PM »
Picture 14 was the way Graham showed the way the rose and bubble should sit on the 260 but I tried a variation and I think the 160 is easier to fix when working in the real world,
just my opinion.
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Re: 134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2014, 09:14:36 AM »
I took a picture of all of them together,
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Re: 134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2014, 04:30:09 PM »
We are up to the guest star appearance of Thelma Levett, now what to say............These two seem to be mucking about a lot, laughing and joking and the viewer seems to be non the wiser to what is going on. That is possibly till you look at the out takes and then you can see that Graham introduces Thelma on a couple of occasions and gets things a little wrong and that is what the so called hilarity is all about. Thelma seems a little unsure about the recording as well, Graham explaining that when the red light is on the camera it is OK to film. Perhaps that could have been edited out as well, Graham does seem to prompt Thelma a lot as well, Is she a little forgetful? If anyone does know Thelma perhaps you could let us know. Overall on this section I think people would be a little annoyed with all the laughter and jovial fun between the two, I think there was also a few in jokes being mentioned about the size of balloons used 350 or 360 etc that the viewer watching will have no idea what is going on.

So to the flower explained, it is a very nice and usable flower, a little different to many others about and I'm sure one that would be used.
I have come up with a variation for the flower which I will post later.
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Re: 134 Balloon review, "A Romantic Twist" Graham Lee
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2014, 09:21:59 AM »
From Thelma's flower design I made these, they are not on the DVD though. Just me playing with the flower idea.
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