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Topics - nippy99

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1
Balloon Review / 161 - LITTLE SWEET CHEEKS VOL 1 BY ERIC WEINSTEIN
« on: January 15, 2017, 12:58:21 PM »
Balloon Review 161 - Little Sweet Cheeks Vol 1  (Streaming Video)

Available from http://www.liveballoons.com/shop - priced $30

This video collection of 10 designs by Eric Weinstein follows on from his wonderful collection of PDFs. To purchase this for me was a 'no brainer' as I have enjoyed his work to date. I purchased the video and promptly received a confirmation email and a secret password to view the video on-line.

Before I start reviewing the designs I must have a bit of a moan about this product. You cannot DOWNLOAD this video to your PC or tablet device. This is a major issue for me as I store all my balloon videos on my tablet for watching 'on the go' where internet may not be available. I contacted Eric to see if the video could be downloaded but this is not an option. So effectively I am purchasing the rights to VIEW the video and I will never OWN the video myself. I can live with that for a site like balloonclick.com which is a low-cost subscription service but not when I have paid $30 for a single product.

So everytime I want to view this video I have to find my purchase code and type it into the site before viewing it.

The video quality is mixed. The video is small on my macbook and I was unable to zoom in and make it full screen. Some of the finer details of some designs are difficult to see. The audio quality is mixed and the volume varies for each segment (I guess as each section is filmed at a different time).

At the start of each section, a list of balloons needed for each design is listed which is helpful.

But the worse part of all - there are no chapters!! So I need to use guesswork to find the start of each design. Lucky for you guys I will include the timestamp for the start of each section as I progress through my review.

I regard $30 as a premium product and, ignoring the actual content, the way this collection is supplied to the customer is extremely poor.

I really love Eric's work and I am sure the actual designs will be very good but I owe it to you all to be honest - sorry!

Now let's see what we have here....

2
Balloon Review / 160 - MONKEY BY JOHN LONDON - VIDEO DOWNLOAD
« on: July 13, 2016, 08:35:20 PM »
Balloon Review 160 - Monkey by John London (Video Download)

Available from http://www.jlomagic.com/balloon-tutorials/ - priced $5

This set of instructions comes supplied as links to private youtube videos to view and stream on-line. I prefer to have the ability to download the files for safe keeping on my PC and so I can watch them without being connected to the internet. There are many utilities available on the internet to allow you to download videos to keep from youtube so I had to use my own method to download the files.

The video instructions are usable but a little strange as the instructions contain a little bit of talking to introduce the model and then muted during the actual making of the model - very strange. There is no mention of bubble sizes etc so you will need to be comfortable visually following the instructions.

The end result is really good and makes for a very cute monkey. Good value for $5 but a little more attention could be made to the filming of the video.

[attachment=0:1isa3e7m]monkey.jpg[/attachment:1isa3e7m]

3
Balloon Review / 159 - RAINBOW PONY BY JUSTIN REAMS - VIDEO DOWNLOAD
« on: July 08, 2016, 11:55:38 PM »
Balloon Review 159 - Rainbow Pony by Justin Reams (Video Download)

Available from http://twisterscookbook.com - priced $10 (just $7 using discount code 3offpony until August 1st 2016)  

At the last TBAG event in Birmingham I think it was Lisa who was looking for a My Little Pony design - well here is one that is really good and a bargain at $7. The download comprises of 3 individual video files. The first video shows you how to make the basic pony. The second explains how to add the colourful mane and tail and the third one explains how to make the optional base.

The video is instantly accessible from the Twisters Cookbook website but I do have to say that the video quality is certainly not the highest definition and the sound is very quiet so you need to crack up your computer to full volume to hear it clearly.

As with Justin's previously releases the instructions are clear, concise and easy to follow. The pony is a great design, really love the feet and using q-links for the base to provide attachment points for the pony's feet and the optional flowers makes it easy.

In summary a really good design, takes a while to make (but you could simply it) which will pay for itself fairly quickly.

Buy it whilst you can still enjoy the $3 discount.

4
Balloon Review 158 - Magic Balloon Design Vol 2 by Beating (BOOK)

Available from http://www.balloonconnexion.com - priced 76 singapore dollars (which includes shipping to UK) approx £41 GBP - you will need to email sales@balloonconnexion.com to place an order which took about a week of exchanging emails (due to the time difference) and once the book was despatched it arrived within a week all in pristine condition and signed by Beating which is cool!

Beating's first two books were excellent so if you don't know about them checkout both my reviews in this forum.

This new book contains 14 characters with additional balloon ideas and variations. The book itself is 100 pages long in A5 format (or maybe slightly bigger). It contains 100s of colour photos and very LITTLE english language. All the descriptions are written in Korean (looks the same as Chinese characters). Don't let this put you off. Using the handy guide below you can work out the various colours and the number of pumps to fill each balloon. The measurements are given in centimetres. Most of the time I just looked at the photos to work out the design and the end result is similar to the original design.

[attachment=0:31e3kvb6]korean.jpg[/attachment:31e3kvb6]

On the front cover of the book it says this is for twisters with upper-intermediate skills. None of the twists are that challenging you just need to be comfortable making up some gaps in the descriptions that you cannot understand.

If I managed it so can you...

Let's see what we have here...

5
Balloon Chit Chat / Technical Balloon Skills
« on: June 19, 2016, 09:59:08 AM »
For the many years i studied card magic I measured my technical ability and progress by the various card sleights I could perform. I set myself a road map of skills to keep myself focused and to give my development some direction.

Now technical ability doesn't make you a better entertainer or balloon artist or increase the rate you can charge but it got me thinking about balloon skills.

Where are you on your journey? Are you still trying to master a particular twist? What are your technical ambitions?

I like to think technically I am competent yet I am still learning and would love to master the double frumple twist. I've hit a brick wall with one of my current reviews as I need to be able to do this. I won't give up!

6
Balloon Review 157 - Little Red Haired Girl by Corrine Smith Video Download

Available from http://www.twisterscookbook.com - priced 7 dollars

The lovable character from the recent Charlie Brown movie is the girl without a name. The one who lost her pencil!

Let's see what we have here...

7
Balloon Review / 156 - TOUCAN BY PATRICK VAN DE VEN - PDF
« on: June 13, 2016, 09:53:39 PM »
Balloon Review 156 - Toucan by Patrick Van De Ven PDF

Available from Facebook - priced at 7 euro - see link below...

https://www.facebook.com/ballonkunstenaar

Patrick Van De Ven’s award-winning  bird designs (including his Cockatoo and Parrot) can be found in Balloon Magic Magazine and were taught in his TBAG lecture.  Both of these creations are reputation makers and I frequently make a version of his parrot at all my paid events. Check them out if you haven’t done so already – they are brilliant.

Over the last year or so, Patrick has released a series of balloon PDFs via his personal facebook page. These are not widely advertised. You send him money via Paypal and you receive the PDF within a facebook message.

This PDF is 17 pages long comprising of colour photos and step-by-step instructions to make the Toucan.  Balloon sizes are given in inches which are accurate. I would recommend you follow along the first time measuring each bubble using a ruler to get the hang of things.

If you are already familiar with Patrick’s bird designs then the various components of this model will be straightforward (for example, the feet and legs are the same as the Cockatoo). The key difference is with the head structure. I am not going to reveal all the details here (you will need to purchase the PDF) but it requires a Frumple Twist. Patrick explains how to do this using a clear balloon so you can see exactly how to do it. Be warned, the white 350Q with the Frumple is prone to popping. Patrick ties the black balloon directly onto the joining point but I found this very tricky so I tied the frumple using a scrap of balloon first.

Don’t be too worried about the joint looking a bit of a mess and it is suitably covered by a black 160Q. The key point is not to make the frumple too deep as it distorts the look of the toucan.

This is not a tutorial for beginners – and some advance twisters may find it a challenge but the end result is incredible. I absolutely love it and if you haven’t quite got the skills to make it don’t give up – use it as a source of inspiration.

Buy it…

8
Balloon Review / 155 - CUTIE DOLLS BY SHANA BRENION - VIDEO DOWNLOAD
« on: June 07, 2016, 11:09:44 PM »
Balloon Review 155 - Cutie Dolls by Nifty Balloons - Shana Brenion

Available from http://www.balloon-animals.com/catalog/ ... cts_id=106 priced at 35 US dollars.

Nifty Balloons is a leader in top quality and original balloon designs which enhance your overall reputation as an artist and are made for real-world entertaining. This is a collection of cutie princess designs which are impressive and yet can be made in real-time for line work and restaurants.

The video and sound quality is excellent, the teaching clear and concise and nothing on this collection will pose too much trouble to the average balloon twister.

Let's see what we have here....

9
Balloon Review / 154 - BALLOON ART DVD #3 - PIETER VAN ENGEN DVD
« on: June 04, 2016, 02:16:56 PM »
Balloon Review 154 - Balloon Art DVD 3 by Pieter Van Engen

Available from http://balloonartdvd.com/product/balloo ... van-engen/ priced at 33 euros including worldwide shipping.

I really enjoyed Pieter's first two DVDs (see links below) and I am hoping this one will offer the same high standard. There are eight different designs on this DVD. The instructions are first rate and the quality of the DVD is exceptionally good. I recall some of these designs appearing in editions of Balloon Magic Magazine so if you have these it would be worth checking.

Let's see if Pieter can continue his previously set high standard....


060-balloon-art-dvd-pieter-van-engen-progress-t6238.html

033-balloon-art-dvd-pieter-van-engen-progress-t5197.html

10
Balloon Review 153 - Seasonal Help (Minions) by CJ Nelson VIDEO DOWNLOAD

Available from http://twisterscookbook.com priced $25

This video download is a collection of 6 Minion characters. Each model is supplied as an individual video download. The quality of the video and audio is acceptable but not as good as usual. The video is not at the highest resolution and you need to turn the audio volume up very loud to hear any dialogue. Not that this detracts from the overall product but I do need to mention it.  As always CJ is a good teacher and explains each design carefully with good clarity.  

Lets see what we have here!...

11
Balloon Review 152 - Character Cuties Vol 2 Space Wars by Corrine Smith VIDEO DOWNLOAD

Available from http://twisterscookbook.com priced $35

This video download is a collection of 13 Star Wars characters. Each model is supplied as an individual video download. The quality of the video and audio is excellent and all these designs are filmed in 'over the shoulder' mode which makes following the instructions easy with plenty of close ups. Corrine is a good teacher and none of these models are particularly difficult to make.

I would think all of these designs will be quick enough for line work / restaurant work...

Lets see what we have here!...

12
Balloon Review 151 - Blue Forgetful Fish by Ryan Lavallee VIDEO DOWNLOAD

Available from https://gumroad.com/l/blueforgetfulfish priced $6

This is a balloon tutorial found on the video distribution site gumroad.com. Based on the upcoming movie Finding Dory this is the main character. The video lasts just over 8 mins and is easy to purchase and download. The video can also be streamed on-line directly from the site.

The quality of the video and audio of Ryan's download is excellent. He is an good teacher and gives clear and concise instructions. This design does use a sidewall bubble in a geo - it will take some practice but keep the geo soft and you will be fine.

This fish can be a standalone model, mounted on a headband or maybe even a party cup (as in my photo).

With some practice this is perfect for line work and will be very popular with the release of the movie later this year. Well worth the $6 investment. I will be using this lots!

13
Balloon Review 150 - Bruiser the Bulldog by Archie Cobblepot VIDEO DOWNLOAD

Available from http://twisterscookbook.com priced $10

This is the first time Archie Cobblepot has appeared in Balloon Review - to start. this 20 minute video has excellent video and sound and is well presented by Archie. I do have an issue though... what you are ultimately getting are video instructions on how to make a bulldog head. There are no instructions given for any style of body and there is an assumption that you will already know how to make a dog using 350Qs. Once the head has been explained then Archie shows examples of bodies including Buster Balloon's Spike The Dog. Whilst I do not expect him to explain Buster's balloon I feel just for completeness he should have included a body OR made it clear on the pre-sales blurb that only the head would be explained.

Putting all this aside the head itself is really very good and fairly quick to make. The instructions are clear and well explained. The bubble sizes are a little 'lose' so you need to experiment with sizing for your own model.

I feel the instructions are over-priced when I compare this to other material available at the $10 range and if funds a limited I would go for the Puppy design (see review 149) which has greater market potential and will generate a much bigger return on investment.

Sorry!

[attachment=0:150s41a3]bulldog.jpg[/attachment:150s41a3]

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Balloon Review 149 - Puppy Police by John Justice VIDEO DOWNLOAD

Available from http://twisterscookbook.com priced $7

John Justice is a new name to Balloon Review and is his first instruction video download on the newly revamped Twisters Cookbook website. Based on the popular kids TV show Paw Patrol this is a parody of the character called Chase.

The video is available to download in two parts. The first video lasts 26 mins and covers the making of the dog's head and the second video lasts 20mins and completes the design. To start with the video quality is very good. John is a very good teacher. He clearly explains how everything goes together and frequently pauses to show the various stages of the balloon construction so you can easily see how it all goes together.

The face design is fairly complex and relies on accurate sizing to ensure everything is tight and you get the right shape. The bubble sizes are given in fingers/approximate inches but they are a little inaccurate and so you need to visually compare your bubbles to those shown on the video. The head can get a little confusing so you do need to watch carefully. The final head size is huge, much bigger than I expected and is really good.

The body design is straight forward and the addition of a doggie emergency backpack is cool.

The only change I made was I added a round black balloon for the nose. In John's original design he draws the nose on - just me being fussy.

This really is an excellent show piece. Since putting it on my facebook page this morning it has had over 1800 views and I have sold 4 of them for £25 each already for future deliveries. The download price is extremely good value and I cannot wait to see what else John releases.

Put yourself aside 90mins for the first making - I think with some practice you should be able to crack this one in about 30-40mins.

A five star release...

15
Balloon Review / 148 - BLOSSOM WITH GEOS DVD BY GRAHAM LEE
« on: February 24, 2016, 09:28:49 PM »
Balloon Review 148 - Blossom with Geos by Graham Lee DVD

Available from http://www.balloonartwholesale.co.uk/ba ... vds-books/ priced £22

Graham has been very generous by sharing step by step instructions for the models on his earlier DVDs so I only felt it fair to review his latest DVD. There are not many instructional sources for the use of Geos so I approach this DVD with interest to see if Graham can suggest new ways to use these odd shaped balloons. To start with it is rare these days to find a traditional DVD release. Ordering from the website is easy and the DVD arrived the next day along with some balloons I ordered. Each DVD is supplied with 10 Geos of assorted colours to get you started. This is a really nice touch and means you can get started right away.

The DVD is self-produced and made at home. The video is good quality, the teaching first rate and everything well explained in Graham's unique style. There are 12 designs contained on Volume 1 (which indicates there may be more to come) - having a quick look at some of the designs I have a feeling my fingers may be in for a tough time....

Let's see what we have here....

p.s. look out for Graham's special guest who introduces this DVD - so cute and funny - mini-Graham! (poor kid)  :D  :D

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