Alt Summit Summer 2015: Picnic Party + Balloon Arch

Note - Photos not bearing my watermark are courtesy of Altitude Summit.

Alt Summer Picnic Party and Balloon Arch

If you didn't hear, last week I had the most amazing time attending Alt Summit in Salt Lake City. I met some of my favorite craft, party and lifestyle crushes like Damask Love, Jodi Levine, The Alison Show, Handmade Charlotte...but more on that later.

balloons from Oriental Trading; photo courtesy of Confetti Sunshine's Instagram feed
To recap, I entered one of Alt Summit's contests for a conference ticket with teammates Sara of Confetti Sunshine and Melissa of Lulu The Baker (pictured above) and we won.  We were one of five teams tapped to put together an amazing picnic party to close out the conference, and everyone pulled out the stops.  Our task, to create a balloon arch.  But no, my friends, it would be no ordinary one...and the entire affair wasn't ordinary either.

We took inspiration from The House That Lars Built's amazing structure for her Flamingo Pop collaboration.  In fact, Brittany is local to Salt Lake City and we actually picked up the PVC stands she used in another structure.  And no, your eyes do not deceive you...those bad boys were easily 12 feet tall...we had no idea.

My friends at Oriental Trading hooked us up with lots of balloons in our signature colors that we blew up (with an electric pump, hallelujah!!) and tied to the PVC stands.  We also added fabulous little honeycomb balls from Devra Party and our friends at My Mind's Eye sent us gold banners to wrap around everything.

Alt Summit Picnic Party + Balloon Arch; view from the bottom

I didn't get a shot of us creating the top of the was 20 feet of twine tied between two chairs that we were madly tying bundles of balloons to.  A little tip we learned; you need helium balloons to float the arch, but all the balloons don't need to be helium.  We had lots of air-blown balloons left over after we finished the stands (because I was a blowing-balloon fool and only stopped once my balloon-tying finger was sore) so we mixed helium and air balloons together. The process moved so much faster after that.

Alt Summit Picnic Party + Balloon Arch; blowin in the wind

Now, we we had our pieces...including tying on nearly 3 foot tall mylar balloons spelling out ALT...we needed to assemble everything outdoors and carefully moved both the stands and the snake of 20 feet worth of balloons outside...and that is where I aged about 20 years and my heart stopped a bazillion times.  The weather had was WINDY!  It was gorgeous all week and the one day....

And I don't mean a breeze...I mean a wind, that takes tablecloths off, blows over glasses and lifts cement-blocked PVC poles and 20 feet of balloons taped to them. We moved the baskets back and forth because they kept tipping and finally supported them behind the urn stands. I thought for sure, the whole thing would be carried off like Dorothy...or fall on someone.  More heart stopping...

 Alt Summit Picnic Party + Balloon Arch; inside the ballroom

But that was a moot point because the weather got so bad, some gentlemen picked up the buckets and MOVED THE WHOLE THING INDOORS. In the process, the L mylar balloon escaped into the courtyard.  I was near tears, because earlier, while we were assembling the balloon arch, it escaped into a very high ceiling, where I had to climb a ladder and knock it down.  No, no, it wasn't getting away again, not on my watch.

Thankfully, the rain weighed it down and some kids chased it until they could reach it and I ran out into the rain after them.  There are photos and videos of it drifting around the courtyard. I was in no mood to tie it back in pictures after that, spelled out AT.

And just when I thought I could relax and eat something, mingle, take pictures in the VW bus photo booth in the lobby, the rain stopped and they MOVED THE WHOLE THING OUTDOORS again.  For reals.

 Alt Summit Picnic Party drink station

 Alt Summit Picnic Party
  Alt Summit Picnic Party

It wasn't too bad... and then the sun came out for a little bit.  And people took lots of fabulous pictures.  And we ate super cute food.  And made giant bubbles.  And played badminton.  And got balloon animals.  And body painted.  So many photos...head to the Alt Summit flickr page to see them from the entire conference!

Before you know it, the party was over and we had to move everything back inside to disassemble and pop all the balloons. As a party hoarder, it is hard for me to let go of something that I have spent hours on, sweated and stressed over.  It was hard.  Seriously, I was less stressed giving birth to my boys.  So, surprisingly, popping the balloons kind of felt good.  And we still had the letter balloons that went to a good home.

Was my first time at ALT amazing? Yes, it was! I had so much fun, especially seeing Sara again (she used to live in Seattle and now is in SLC) and meeting Melissa was so much crazy, fabulous fun, which is always the story at the end of it all.  And I wouldn't have changed a thing.  Except for the wind.  I could have done without that.

And even better, we so honored,  Brittany did a shout out of all her favorite doppelgangers and ours was featured!

Stay tuned, next week I am sharing all the awesome business cards I collected, swag and some tidbits of amazing advice from Alt Summit.

Alt Summit Picnic Party balloon arch

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