IT might be a popular party accessory, but one Barrack Heights mother has proven there is more to a balloon than hot air.
Amanda Griffiths was recently awarded the Treb Heining Pioneer Visionary Scholarship to attend the World Balloon Convention in Denver, Colorado on March 23.
Ms Griffiths had worked at a bank since she left school, but after the birth of her youngest son, she decided to buy a party supplies business as something she could do.
"And the rest of the last 11 years is history," she said.
But the move took her into new realms of creativity and she started "looking at everything in balloons".
"I love the endless possibilities," she said.
"The sky's the limit with what I can create - you twist and turn and suddenly, you've got that item. The trick is to keep an open mind."
The 47-year-old will be one of 35 Australians travelling to the convention, and the only one on a scholarship.
The convention attracts more than 900 attendees from throughout the world.
At the 2012 convention, Ms Griffiths received a bronze award for her contribution to a large sculpture depicting Sydney using 28,500 balloons, another bronze for her table centrepiece entry and a gold award for her bouquet of flower-shaped balloons.
She hopes for similar success this year.
"I'm looking forward to catching up with people I haven't seen for years and competing and showing the world what I can do," she said.
The Treb Heining Pioneer Visionary Scholarship was named after the man who invented the balloon garland and popularised balloon decor in the 1970s.