I have been on a vacation this pass week and decided to try this Blender tutorial (click thumbnail to the left for full image). I saw this tutorial last year when it first came out but my blending skills were still very novice and I could not get through the first 5 minutes.
This is a good intermediate tutorial. I was able to practice working with mesh manipulation, materials, uv wrapping in the new Blender interface and learning about the render node editor capabilities. Made lots of mistakes along the way (always due to my lack of understanding how Blender works) but all in all was able to follow along with the tutorial with out getting lost. The number of balloons is homage to twentysixcats.com. Technically you can see all 26 balloons but a few of them are almost completely hidden from view. Here are the blend file for anyone interested.