Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I never go to movies on opening weekend, mostly because I'm curmudgeonly and entirely unwilling to wait in line for anything that I can just waltz into a week later.

Except for this. I swear to all that is green and felt-y, I will make it to The Muppets before this weekend is over. I will also get a baby sitter because I'd really like to see it without having to make four potty trips before the opening credits end.

Until then, here's Sweetums. He's not full-length (I'd planned on it but ran out of brown balloons.) I'll do him again later when I get some more supplies. I also think the head would make a fantastic balloon mask.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Scooter/ Muppets on SNL

As a kid, I liked Scooter a lot. A LOT. I remember really wanting a shiny green jacket like his and the fact that we both wore glasses? A sign that the unassuming show gopher and my kindergarten self were soulmates.

So now you know what kind of nerdy kid I was.
This week's SNL was excellent. I'm not one to go running for every Muppets talk show appearance and tv cameo but I would've watched for Jason Segel alone and the Muppet stuff turned out to be really great. I loved the opening song, Kermit's "REALLY?!?" with Seth Meyers and especially the closing where the Muppeteers appeared onstage with their characters. I saw some complaints about it but personally, I loved seeing the performers who usually fade into the background.

If you haven't watched it, at least go look up Jason Segel's adorable and highly amusing Andre the Giant impression.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Costume Cookie Monster

Another Halloween on Sesame Street balloon. These have been really fun to do.

Trick or cookie!

Vampire Elmo

I've missed the Muppet Project! My fall schedule's left me too busy to twist for fun lately but I really wanted to do some new Halloween stuff.

Here's the thing, though: while I love costumes and candy, I don't like scary things. I sometimes get spooked by my neighbors' seasonal blow-up lawn decorations. The only way to get me on a haunted hayride is to tranquilize me like a wild animal. Name a horror movie and I can guarantee that I've never seen (nor will I ever) see it. Simply put, I'm a Halloween wimp.

To that end, I set out to make the cutest, un-spookiest Halloween Muppet possible.

Elmo vants to suck your juice box.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cookie Monster

It's been a busy summer & I haven't made a new Muppet balloon in a little while but I had to share this:

A while back I referenced Tom Waits/Rowlf mashup videos on YouTube. They're pretty good but someone has really nailed it with a less-expected combo: Cookie Monster/Tom Waits. LOVE.

One small problem: I'm likely to find myself muttering this song under my breath when I make Cookie Monster balloons. And I make a LOT of Cookie Monster balloons.

More Muppets coming soon!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Count

One Count, one monocle, one bat and one candelabra. Ah ah ah!

A little bit of detail on The Count's accessories:

I love balloon candelabras beyond all reason.

Making this balloon has forced me to go watch The Count's "unnecessary censorship" YouTube video again. This being a family-friendly blog, I won't link to it here (though, as the name implies, there's technically nothing explicit in it.) If you haven't seen it, go look it up.* It's delightful.

*Unless you're a kid. Then don't.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Down at Fraggle Rock

Banana tree shirts never go out of style.
Here we go, Fraggle-lovers. Let's dance our cares away! Worries for another day.

I started the Fraggle thing off with Wembley for two reasons:

1.) I've always liked his banana tree shirt.

2.) He's been on my mind ever since James Hance depicted him as my beloved Wash in his Muppets/Firefly mashup, Firefrog.

I hadn't seen Fraggle Rock since I was kid, so my memories are a little fuzzy. When I watched an episode the other day, I realized that while I know the basics (subterranean radish-loving mammals, Gorgs, Doozers) I'd forgotten much of it--like how damp and mossy Fraggle Rock is. I imagine it smells like cheese in there and it skeeves me out a little bit.

I am, however, hatching a plan to make a Trash Heap Halloween costume.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bert and Ernie

 A while back, I made an Ernie and said that when I finally did Bert, he'd get his own blog entry as well. So I tried that: 
Bernice is a very rare breed of pigeon. You've probably never heard of it.

Is there already a Hipster Bert meme out there? There has to be (and if there's not, somebody go forth, make it and maybe link back to here.) The ugly shirt, the argyles, the obsession with things no else one cares about--give that guy a scarf and some glasses and he's good to go.

(Bert's pigeon Bernice here is modelled after my Mo Willems pigeon balloon. Fitting, since before writing some of the funniest kids' books in the world, Willems was an Emmy-winning Sesame Street writer.)

Bert looked pretty good by himself but it just felt wrong to have him without his best friend and constant source of consternation. I had to re-make Ernie.

Much better now:

For extra fun, here's an early failed version of my Bert balloon. He's more balloony Bond villain than likable-but-boring paperclip enthusiast:

No, Mr. Snuffleupagus. I expect you to die.

P.S. Blogger's been kind of buggy lately and not letting me respond to comments. I apologize for any unanswered questions/comments and hope to have it figured out soon!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Abby Cadabby

Another trip to Sesame Street:

Abby's wings:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kermit: This Time, It's Easier Being Green

Remember how I said I didn't like my first try at the Miss Piggy balloon? I liked my first Kermit even less.

Here's the next incarnation. I'm digging this one a whole lot more.

Despite appearances, this picture was not taken in a Sears Portait Studio.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Miss Piggy, Part Deux

I worked on this while watching the Glee season finale and I think Miss Piggy will now forever remind me just a little bit of Rachel Berry.

I did a Miss Piggy balloon way back in the beginning of this project and was never really happy with it. Tonight, I was suddenly struck with ideas for refining the design and I finally understood that Miss Piggy has to have her evening gown, gloves and, yes, a tasteful amount of pig cleavage.

I'm pretty happy with this one and also kind of looking forward to seeing how many people stumble upon my blog by googling "pig cleavage."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The New Guy

After seeing the Green With Envy trailer for the new Muppet movie, I got to thinking about the new guy in the Muppetverse, Walter.

According to my always trusty source Muppet Wiki, Walter is roommates with Jason Segel's character in the movie. I'm always a bit leery of new Muppets but if this dude's good enough for Jason Segel, he's good enough for me. After all, the guy's like Ghandi, but better. He likes puppets!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Oscar the Grouch

Oscar always makes me think about Garbage's "I'm Only Happy When it Rains"
I've been feeling sort of uninspired lately--blah, cranky and generally unproductive. After giving in and wallowing in my lousy mood for a while, I finally got to work and ended up with one of my favorite Muppet/Sesame Street balloons so far and am feeling much perkier.

I guess it's ironic that this story about Oscar's miserable origins (from the Muppet Wiki) makes me really, really happy:

According to Sesame Street Unpaved, "The character of Oscar was inspired by a nasty waiter from a restaurant called Oscar's Tavern in Manhattan. Jim Henson and Jon Stone were waited on by a man who was so rude and grouchy that he surpassed annoying and started to actually amuse both Jim and Jon. They were so entertained that going to Oscar's Tavern became a sort of masochistic form of luncheon entertainment for them, and their waiter forever became immortalized as the world's most famous Grouch." In the Ask web column, Jim Henson Company Archivist Karen Falk said that the restaurant was named Oscar's Salt of the Sea -- and went on to say, "Some of the designs that we have in the Archives were done by Jim Henson on Oscar's paper placemats!"

Now SCRAM! (And, uh, come back soon. I'm thinking of trying Oscar's buddy Slimey next.)

Monday, May 16, 2011


If you're here, you're a Muppet fan and you probably already know that today is the 21st anniversary of Jim Henson's death.

I don't have any new Muppet balloon designs today, but here's this, guaranteed to make you cry or at least give you that punched-in-the-gut feeling (via @CakeWrecks and @ThinkGeek):

The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson.

Clearly, it's time to get cracking on some new Muppet balloons. Coming soon!

Friday, April 29, 2011


"What my father figured out was if you can't get out, you just either blow something up, or you eat something, or you just throw penguins in the air." --Brian Henson

The penguin post seems as good a place as any to talk about Weezer's  Keep Fishin' video. My favorite band, Muppets (in Weezer shirts!) and rocking out, flipping penguins make this just about perfect. I'll even admit that for a while, the background pic on my phone was a screen grab of Kermit with his head on Rivers' shoulder. Le sigh.

My kids always beg to watch the video and then express deep concern that Pat Wilson will miss his chance to drum with the Muppets.

Monday, April 25, 2011


I got requests for Pepe and Beaker recently. Check the archives, y'all! Beaker's in January and Pepe's in March.

I'm thinking about Electric Mayhem. Fueled by a huge pile of leftover Easter candy, I might work on Dr. Teeth soon.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Big Bird

 I don't know about you, but I'm kind of in the mood for a birdseed milkshake. (For real. I'm sure it would be gross but every time Big Bird orders one at Hooper's, I get hungry.)

At 6'6" Big Bird is the tallest balloon sculpture I've made yet. It's a little under 2 feet shy of the real Bird (he's 8'2".) I may try this again one day when I can shoot pictures outside and go for actual size.

I didn't have a stand tall enough, so it took two of us to control the big guy for pictures.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hey, I've never seen the sun come up in the...west?

My balloon twisting productivity was slowed this week by illness and an out-of-control repair project that ate my house. Happily, things are getting better now and I'll be back on my game very soon.

While I've got some things in the works, I'm also open to suggestions. What Muppets (and Fraggles and Sesame Street characters) would you guys like to see in future posts?

I just found this pic--it's the popped remains of several of my early Muppets. You can especially see Miss Piggy's eyes and Rowlf's piano keys. Creeeeepy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Marvin Suggs and the Muppaphone

I'd planned on doing Dr. Bunsen Honeydew next but the idea of a balloon Muppaphone overtook me and I had to do it.

I can't find the clip that I really wanted to link to (a talk spot where Kermit asks the Muppaphones if it hurts when Marvin plays them. The Muppaphones tremble and one asks "Is he still there?") Instead, here they are doing The Witch Doctor, purely because I don't want to be the only one singing this song all day.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cookie Monster

I love to do Cookie Monster balloons but I'm getting really sick of hearing this:
"Did you hear?! They changed Cookie Monster's name to Veggie Monster and he doesn't eat cookies anymore!!!"

No matter what I say, they don't believe me when I tell them that no, really, he's still Cookie Monster. I can direct them to Snopes, I can direct them to Muppet Wiki; sometimes, people just want to be angry.

Instead, I'm going to load up this Colbert Report video on my phone and play it every time I hear the rumblings of Veggie Monster unrest: Stephen Colbert accuses Cookie Monster of abandoning the pro-cookie agenda. It's five of my favorite minutes in all of television (and educational, too!)

Here, the Cookie Monster balloon demonstrates his googly-ness:

*I wish I could take credit for this awesome eye design but I can't. I learned it years ago when I first started and it's still one of my very favorite tricks. Everything's better with googly eyes.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I'm really torn about this entry. On the one hand, I feel like this balloon came out pretty nice and it was fun to make--not an hours-long struggle like some of the Muppets have been. On the other hand...

Pepe is a controversial Muppet. It seems that most who like him REALLY like him and everyone else...not so much. Personally, I'm cool with him. I saw Muppets from Space again* over the summer and I came out kinda liking the guy and saying "okay" at the end of every sentence.

Whatever the case, he has more Facebook fans than I do. An inactive, probably unofficial Twitter account for the prawn has 50+ followers, nearly as many as very active, totally official me.

That inspired me to set a goal: I'd like at least twice as many Twitter followers as Pepe. If you're enjoying my work, please help a girl out and follow me on twitter as @BlackCatBalloon. If you want to be super awesome, tell your friends to as well. I won't be beaten by a crustacean, okay?

*Our local theater does free weekday movies during the summer and the ad said "Muppets Take Manhattan". We stood in line for half an hour waiting to see it on the big screen--the first time I've seen the movie in years, the first time my kids would have ever seen it.

You can imagine my disappointment when it turned out to be Muppets from Space, which I didn't love during its original release. This time, though, it was pretty enjoyable. Maybe it was that I'd forgotten Josh Charles (who makes anything better) was in it. Maybe it was the fact that it was free. Maybe it was because the kids were just happy to see Muppets and eat popcorn.

Mostly, I think it's because when I first saw Muppets from Space, I didn't have kids. In the past 5 years, I have become intimately acquainted with some really crappy children's entertainment and now understand that even my least favorite Muppet movie is infinitely better than an episode of Caillou.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Angus McGonagle, the Argyle Gargoyle

Who's in the mood for a slightly obscure Muppet? How about one that gargles Gershwin (gorgeously?)

I've been thinking about Angus McGonagle, the Argyle Gargoyle because my 3-year-old learned to gargle and he's driving us all crazy. I think I'll teach him to do the weird little arm motion Mark Hamill did when he gargled with Angus, just to put a little showmanship into it.

The color on this one is kind of funky. I strive for accuracy but apparently, my camera does not.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kermit the Frog

Kermit looks simple but I really wanted to get him right. I won't disclose how much time I spent working on/obsessing over him but I will tell you this: after the first five or so hours, a kind of Muppet delirium set in. Pigs in Space madness, perhaps.

Shortly after finishing, I posted the word "Yaaaaay!" on a friend's Facebook wall in response to some good news and pictured myself flailing my arms, Kermit-style.

I still haven't recovered. My whole day has looked sort of like this, minus Alec Baldwin in his boxer shorts. I'm rather enjoying it.

Edited to add: Disappointment! The 30 Rock video of Kenneth seeing the whole world as Muppets is gone. I'll try to find another and re-post soon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More balloons, another blog!

Thanks to everyone who's been following my Muppet Project! I'm having tons of fun with it and am always thinking about my next design. As long as there are Muppets to be twisted, I'll keep going.

That said, I also do non-Muppet balloons and they need a home too. I give you Black Cat Balloon Blog: a collection of designs inspired by tv, movies, cartoons and whatever else pops into my head. Today's entry is Strong Bad from Check it out and if you like what you see, tell a friend! Heck, tell 50 friends. A tweet might be nice, but I'm not telling you what to do or anything...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mahna Mahna

Did you know that this bit debuted on the Ed Sullivan show? Did you know that the pink things are called "Snowths" and the orange-haired dude's name actually is Mahna Mahna? Muppet Wiki taught me those things but this is the most important fact of all: you will be singing this song for the rest of the day.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Statler and Waldorf

This blog is great! It's amazing! Outstanding balloon twisting! Bravo! Actually... it's not that great...You were up HOW late working on this? What kind of a project is this? Get a real job! Boo! BOOOO!!!

Statler and Waldorf embody one of my most deeply held beliefs: if you're going to be a jerk, at least have the decency to be funny about it.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Super Grover

I know I've been focused on The Muppet Show so far (and there are many more of those to come) but it's time for a short detour into Sesame Street.

Who couldn't use the help of a cute, adorable superhero once in a while (even if he doesn't help all that much?)

Obviously, this is old-school Super Grover. He's the one I grew up with and I love him. However, even though I'm usually a Sesame Street/Muppet purist, I'm also totally digging the updated, extra superhero-y Super Grover 2.0. (In case you're not familiar, here he is explaining his new upgrades with Jimmy Fallon. Check out the adorable t-shirt bit they do.) SG 2.0 is irresistible.

The Frog Issue

To those of you wondering why I haven't done Kermit yet, there are two reasons:

1.) This project is a work in progress and I'm working through the Muppets in no particular order.

2.) I'm waiting on the right Kermit-color balloons. They're not here yet. It's hard enough being green, let alone being the wrong shade of it.

Patience. Kermit is coming soon, along with more bears and chickens and frogs and things!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lew Zealand

I've had a couple of requests for Lew Zealand (and by requests, I mean people writing "FRESH FEESH!" on my Facebook page. You know who you are.) The fact is, I was planning to do Lew anyway because I love boomerang fish, his righteous mustache and that swell frilled collar.

Next time I eat Pepperidge Farms goldfish, I'm going to throw them at someone while screaming "FRESH FEESH!" I plan to act surprised when the fish crackers don't perform their boomerang action. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Miss Piggy

This SNL clip doesn't really have all that much to do with The Muppets but in a way, it's partly responsible for this project. Ever since we saw it, my husband and I have been walking around saying "Hiiii-YA!" and I've had Miss Piggy on the brain. 

Sorry for the pre-video commercial but trust me--it's worth the wait.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crazy Harry

Crazy Harry is The Muppets' resident pyrotechnics enthusiast.

There's not a lot out there about him, so here's a video where he appears for about a second. Tonight being the State of the Union address and all, Stars and Stripes Forever (and a little Sam the Eagle action for good measure) feels appropriate.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I love this clip of Rowlf singing "I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along" in The Muppet Movie. Rowlf, Kermit, a sad song and a little bit of Steve Martin at the end? Perfection. Not to mention the fact that this song is Jim Henson pretty much singing a duet with himself.

Research (okay, googling) shows that some believe Rowlf is based on singer Tom Waits. I have no idea if the theory's true but I dig it. More research shows that people with a lot of time on their hands make videos of Rowlf playing piano with TW songs dubbed in. Seeing as I spend my time making balloon animal Muppets in my glass house, I won't throw any stones.

As a balloon, Rowlf was one of my favorite kind of challenges. He totally stumped me for a week and then suddenly, it all made sense. Bonus: I now know that I love balloon candelabras. How cute is that thing? I'm going to shoehorn them into as many other designs as possible.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fozzie Bear

My favorite Fozzie Bear line appears in the Raquel Welch episode of The Muppet Show.

Backstory: Fozzie's started going to therapy and has become more assertive. Good stuff! He eventually goes back to his old ways and sums it up here (the line happens at 1:35 but why skip ahead? It's all good.)

The aggro Fozzie storyline serves to distract from an episode that's basically just a bunch of aroused Muppets. Raquel's appeal apparently crosses all boundries of age, species and one's status as a Fabricated American (to borrow a term from Greg the Bunny.)

Also, this episode has the Muppaphones!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Swedish Chef

My job gives me some unique opportunities. I get to meet lots of people, travel a bit and hang out at parties (and those parties often have cake!) I get to be creative and look at things from different perspectives. That's all great but my favorite part is getting to say things like this:

"Does this chicken look properly terrified?"


I like Animal. Apparently, though, a lot of people like him way more than I do. When I did my first two Muppet balloons (Beaker and Gonzo) the response was always the same: "Cool! Where's Animal?" Now the response is just "WOMAN!" People really like yelling that.


Gonzo the Great: mixes highbrow performance art with tire-eating and being shot from a cannon. Frequently bombs onstage. He's the kind of Muppet a balloon twister can really relate to (except for that chicken-loving thing.)


Beaker was the first Muppet I did.

My kids were obsessed with this clip http://http// of Beaker, the Swedish Chef and Animal singing a Christmas song. I couldn't get his little voice out of my head, so I exorcised my demons through balloons.


I'm always trying to find something new and fun to do, balloon-wise. A girl gets bored with dogs and swords and flowers.

I've loved The Muppets for as long as I can remember and now my kids are starting to get hooked. I love watching the old Muppet Shows with them as they have no idea who any of the guest stars are or what's going on but if there are flipping penguins to be seen, they will watch.

With that in mind, my new project is to twist as many Muppets as possible. Everyone's got a favorite and I intend to get to each of them. If I have to watch hours of Muppet Show dvds and YouTube clips for research, so be it. I'll suffer nobly for the sake of the project.