Rustic Deer Head

I’ve been a crafter most of my adult life, however, I am not typically a craft blogger.  Having said that, I had to share this simple and easy rustic deer head I made for my work office.  I had picked up the paper mache deer head at Hobby Lobby half price and the the picture frame at a 2nd hand store for just$2.00.   With just a few supplies and a couple of hours, I created a beautifully framed rustic deer head.

My plan was to match the color of the frame to the antlers, or paint the antlers to match the frame.  I was going to cut a piece of plywood to glue the head to,  and reuse the mat.  However, once I got it all apart, I discovered that the mat was attached to the picture.  Since it was mounted on a fairly heavy backboard, I thought it would work well to support the light weight paper mache deer head.

I painted over the picture in white parchment (so the original image wouldn’t show thru the burlap), which matched the white in the mat.  I also painted the head of the deer with the same color.   Once the paint dried, I used mod podge to glue on a piece of burlap that was cut to the opening of the mat.

For the antlers, I found a gold that was close in color to the frame.  Once it dried, it was a little too gold, so I made a whitewash out of the white parchment paint and white washed the gold.  They matched perfectly.

Next, it was time to glue it onto the burlap.  Because the back of the paper mache head was not completely flat, I needed a glue that would fill in the recessed areas as well as fill in between the weave of the burlap for a better hold.  I used E6000 glue, which can be purchased at Wal Mart.

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I used rubber bands overnight to hold it tight and in place while the glue dried, and voila!  I have a beautiful rustic deer head to hang on my wall!

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No Guts, No Glory: No Risk, No Reward

The year was 1949 in Leadville, Colorado.  Two rapscallion friends, Tom Schroeder and Mugs Ossman, conspired to create a  new and unusual racing event, which was to take place during their winter Crystal Carnival. One suggestion was to up the ante by combining the pedestrian sport of skiing with a galloping horse.   They met at the Ossman ranch for a trial run in knee deep snow, and Ski Joring in Leadville was born (Leadville breaks it up into two words, not one).


What is Ski Joring?  It is a competition where a horse and rider pull a skier at a fast pace through a course that has gates, jumps, and rings.  The skier is timed through the course where penalties are assessed by missing gates or jumps and by missing or dropping any of the rings (2 seconds per ring).  Teams are made up by a random draw before the start of the race, competing for a cash prize.    Ski Joring in Leadville is always the first full weekend in March.

It’s unclear where skijoring originated, however, it is believed that it began as a means of winter travel.   It has evolved into a competitive sport and was even a demonstration sport in the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland.   Skijoring today can be found in a couple of small mountain towns, after all they can’t practice this in Texas!  It is a melding of two cultures, the redneck cowboy and the outdoor, high altitude athlete.

Leadville begins their 2 day prep by gathering fresh snow by the dump truck load.  One hundred and twenty to be exact!  They create a track right down Harrison Ave, or Highway 24 on the map, which is the length of 2 1/2 football fields.   The course consists of a couple of jumps and the capture of 6 hanging rings with a jousting stick.     It might sound easy, but the skier is being pulled 35-40 mph behind a 1000 pound horse and a lot can go wrong in the 16-18 second run.

Why would a skier and/or cowboy do this?  Because it is an adrenaline junkies sport, of course!


Wash Park Band

We were in Denver last weekend for a birthday party at the Hoffbrau Bar & Grill off of Wadsworth.   Birthday parties are always fun, but the “icing on the cake” was the live band.  Their rendition of every single song they sang was a rock’n delight!  It was interesting to look at the cross section of attendees, a very eclectic mix of ages….all having a great time rock’n to the beat!

The bass was beating so hard I could feel it in my chest all the way down to my toes!


I would love to see this band perform at Buena Vista’s Gold Rush Days.  They would be an awesome addition to such a great hometown celebration!

#BVRocks #LoveBV



What’s in a Name

Change is inevitable.  We know it.  We often don’t like it. You can’t always stop it.  Buena Vista has been going through major changes ever since I moved here 16 years ago.  Before the name Buena Vista was decided upon for this little mountain town, it had a couple of different names.  I know of two, Mahonville and Cottonwood.  I’m sure the buzz created by choosing a new name caused great anxiety for the locals, especially the Mahons.

If you are Spanish speaking, or even have minimal knowledge of Spanish, you will most assuredly cringe at the correct pronunciation of the name.  You would, however, be mis-pronouncing it if you use proper Spanish.

Alsina Dearheimer, a local, whose first language was German, who did not speak Spanish, chose the name Buena Vista.  The emphasis is on the “u”.  It took me a few years to embrace the correct pronunciation.  You can always tell the locals from the tourists…you can also tell when a local is firmly entrenched in this community as they embrace and love the correct pronunciation.

I had the opportunity to be interviewed by John Duesler, Jr.,  of Emerging Sports TV regarding life in  Buena Vista, or BV as the locals call it, last summer.  John was hired on behalf of CBS sports to provide an endorsing promo of our little town.  I had the honor of taking him and his cameraman by horseback (with a pack horse, of course) to the bluff overlooking BV.  My voice is the first one heard on promo:  Built by a force of nature.  That pretty much sums it all up….literally and figuratively!

Come visit us some time!

Equine Parade Down Main Street of Small Town, USA

I’m not done yet posting about Christmas Opening in Buena Vista, Colorado, USA….it’s just that special!  We are fortunate enough to have not one but 2 parades go through town on this day (the first Saturday of December each year).  I have heard several locals pose the question “why two parades?”  Well, there is a very good explanation.  The first, The Equine Parade,  delivers Santa in town for all the young boys and girls.  He invites all the local children to bring their wish list and sit on his lap.  Photos are usually included too.  Once he has visited with all the little children, The Parade of Lights ferries him to the Community Tree where he lights the tree before moving on to the next town awaiting his presence.

Warm & Fuzzies: Life in a Small Town

This is my fourth year as the chairperson for Christmas Opening in Buena Vista, Colorado.  I don’t meant to go on and on about it in my blog, but it truly is an event dear to my heart.  I think about it, conspire and plan all year.  I may be the only one!   I have fond memories of Christmas on the Square in Belleville, Kansas, my hometown.  I never dreamed that I would have such a big role in creating some of those same memories for the families in my now-hometown of Buena Vista, Colorado, but I hope that those who come year after year, or visit for the first time have the same warm and fuzzy memories.

Of course, things change here from year to year, but all in all, I think that we have created a tradition for our town that is rich in history and traditions.  Some things change every year, such as the different events around town, but then some things remain the same.  Santa will still arrive in town by wagon once again, and leave town in the fire truck.  The steadfast and popular Chocolate Walk and the Chili Cookoff will be back for another appearance this year too.  Of course the participants are forever changing.

Since I took on this project, I have wanted to see a Community Tree and last year the BV Beautification Board brought in a real tree.  They petitioned the Town of Buena Vista to purchase an artificial tree that will go up at the Optimist Splash Park each year hereafter.  It’s a great way to end the day which is fraught with excitement and expectations.  The fire truck will stop just so Santa can get off and flip the switch to turn on the the tree lights which will take us through the holiday season.

We have had several twists and turns to navigate, but as we are coming down to the final hours, it is exciting to see it all come together.  New this year, Reach Air Medical Services will start the Parade of Lights with the helicopter flying the parade route.  Way to go Buena Vista – start the Christmas Season out right!




The Best Way to Eat Stingray? Smoked, of Course.

When you have a newly minted 6 year old in tow, you go where they are sure to be entertained!   We visited the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores to see the otters, stingrays and turtles and to, of course, have our picture taken in the crab.


Paige in the Crab Shell at the Aquarium

There was even a “petting zoo” where we could touch or pet the sting rays.  They were really very friendly….probably because they thought our fingers were worms or something as equally yummy.


Stingray at North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores

The best food can always be enjoyed upon the recommendation of a local, so we asked the aquarium photographer for his favorite lunch time seafood restaurant.  He recommended The Ruddy Duck in Morehead City which was a short drive from Pine Knoll Shores,.


The Ruddy Duck in Morehead City, NC

He also recommended that we choose the special of the day.  OK….the special on that particular day was the Smoked Stingray Reuben Sandwich.  I was the only one brave enough to put that recommendation into action and actually settled on the Reuben.   I was a little uncertain, however, the waiter told me that if I didn’t like it, he would eat it and I could get something else on the menu.  He was that sure I would enjoy it.


Smoked Stingray Reuben

I couldn’t get my lunch companions to take a bite, but it was actually quite good!  If you are ever in Morehead City, NC, my recommendation for a great meal, right on Onslow Bay, is The Ruddy Duck…. make sure to order their daily special!

In retrospect, it is a little suspicious that the aquarium employee sent us to The Ruddy Duck, recommended the special, which also happened to be the stingray….

The Spirit of Christmas

Tradition, folklore, and chocolate…..that is what Christmas Opening  in Buena Vista, Colorado is all about.  You can expect to consume some yummy chocolate on the first Saturday of December.  Every. year.  You can also plan on Santa arriving in town by wagon in the equine parade.  No matter the weather during the day, you can expect the Parade of Lights to be a chilly but entertaining affair.    This is a small town, home town event, that even tends to draws folks from the front range because this is what memories are made of.  The local businesses depend on this day to end the year successfully and the locals depend on this event to create memories with their children, family and friends.   You can always expect to see Santa and probably a little bit (or lot) of chocolate, but no promises beyond that.  You’ll have to just come visit and see (again, the first Saturday of December) what we have planned.  This is the Spirit of Christmas and we love and believe in Buena Vista…..


Loving on Santa Claus


Santa arrives in Buena Vista by wagon….of course!


Parade of Lights Delivered Santa to Light the Community Tree


Santa Brought a Wagon Full of Little Elves When He Arrived in Town