Welcome to my web page!
First flight in my homebuilt balloon SewEZ
. It is number five of the balloons we have built.
In my spare time, I do a little painting. If you would like your (or friends) hot air balloon rendered in a beautiful watercolor, send me an email.
|| Bob LeDoux is editor and publisher of the
(no-profit-ever-intended-or-made) Balloon Builders Journal. Downloads are available which contain all the journal publications. Go to Balloon Builders Journal for additional information. He is always very willing to help people with their building projects.
Here are pictures of our new balloon (left) taken in May, 2011 at Jefferson High School and July 4th (right) in the Santiam River near Jefferson. We named her SewHappyII. In December 2010 and Bob and I started this home building project. I wanted to get alway from red, white and blue colors. The fabric arrived December 5th. At that time we were in the process of preparing the workspaces (cutting table and sewing room). We again used silicone-coated lightweight fabric. The pattern was selected because it is the most efficient use of the fabric with very little waste. The very bottom row is regular fabric.
About Bob and I
Bob and I fly homebuilt balloons in the beautiful Willamette Valley from our backyard launch site as well as other launch sites around the area.
We started hot air ballooningin 1980 when Bob decided to swap his beautiful glider for our first balloon. We "paid our dues" with the early morning long drives to launch sites for Bob's instruction and the grueling "how to be the perfect crew chief lessons." There were the perks of finding new friends; the beauty of our colorful hot air balloon, Sundance; the fun of sharing our adventures; and learning about this whole, new unknown world.
After Bob completed his commercial license, it became my turn to learn to fly. My first flight was a disaster--with an ugly four point landing into a huge blackberry thicket. But, amazingly I was hooked--BIG time! Bob was (is) a very thorough and demanding instructor. Despite all his efforts however, I received my commercial license in 1984 (skipping private altogether). I became the local instructor, guiding students to their pilot's certificate. Along the way I enjoyed holding many offices of the Northwest Ballooning Association and the 45th Parallel Aerostat Squadron. I am currently a member of the Balloon Federation of American and the Willamette Aerostat Squadron.
In 1986 Bob built our first homebuilt balloon, Castaway so that he would have a balloon to fly, as I somehow always managed to be the pilot-in-command. Thus started our life as a two balloon, two pilot family. Throughout the years we have continued our homebuilding and I currently fly our sixth homebuilt balloon, SewHappyII. We travel to rallies around the Pacific Northwest and enjoy our beautiful local flying area.
In 1995 I won the Northwest Hot Air Balloon Championship competition flying SewHappy. I can claim to have been the only woman to have won the competition and am the reigning champion, since unfortunately the event was cancelled after that year.
I fly balloons as a hobby, for the therapy, for the love of the sport and the friendships ballooning brings, and for the opportunity to share the magic with others.
| The Balloonist Prayer
The winds have welcomed you with softness.
The Sun has blessed you with his warm hands.
You have flown so high and so well,
That God has joined you in your laughter
And He has set you gently back again
into the loving arms of Mother Earth.
| Marianne's Version of The Balloonist Prayer
The winds have welcomed us with softness.
The sun has blessed us with its warm hands.
We have flown so high and so well that God, and our crew,
joins us now in laughter after we settled gently
back into the loving arms of Mother Earth.
Job Title/Office Hours
AREc and Oregon State University
Department of Agricultural and