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Friday, September 30, 2011

Country Goodness

             My blog is titled "City Girl Meets Country Boy". It would only make sense to blog about this city meets country adventure that I have begun. So here is to the wonderful country immersion I have subjected myself to by saying, "Yes" to my country-boy, Aggie sweetheart.

At Henry's parent's ranch in Hico, TX (pronounced HI-CO not HICK-O) - I have always loved horses and gone to visit stables whenever I can. I was in awe when Henry took me down through wooded areas on four wheelers into a clearing with numerous horses and cows.

The view of the field as we rode in on the 4-wheeler - You don't get to see this much open space in the city very often - other than when my parents took us camping. I loved it!

Sitting on the front porch - this was the view of the sky as the sun began to set one evening
it was absolutely beautiful!

Henry, with the help of his parents, planned us a month long trip after we had been dating for only 4 months! A road trip to New Mexico and Colorado for some four-wheeling adventures. Seeing as we would be doing some hiking and walking Henry bought me my first pair of "boots".

With Henry's parents in Colorado - Or this may be New Mexico - I'll double check.

Four-wheeling: At the top of Imogene Pass from Ouray to Telluride, Colorado - one of the most beautiful places I have seen! It was an amazing trip on the four-wheeler (green one in the background). I had only been on four-wheelers a few times, and only in open fields - this was much different and so much fun!

Henry crossing one of the FREEZING cold streams in Colorado from all the snow melting

Chili-fest!! When Henry and I met he asked me if I liked Country music - of course! - "No, no" he says, "Do you like Nashville or Texas country?" - "What is the difference?" - In Houston we don't have a "Texas Country" music station so I had no idea there was even a difference. Apparently there is a huge difference. This led to Chili-fest! A 2 day long Texas Music sh*t-show (pardon the language) - College Students create teams and spend all friday evening and saturday drinking endless beer, eating, and listening to the numerous Texas Country performers that attend. It's actually a ton of fun! These guys are holding up signs with numbers for the girls - and guys - who walk by.

This is one of the things Henry and his friends do for fun - Go to a ranch, create a huge bonfire, bring chairs, trucks, four-wheelers, listen to music and drink. In the city we did something similar, but we didn't have ranches - we had the beach.

My introduction to Barbacoa! Henry had bought me barbacoa tacos once and it was delicious - he then told me what it was. Meat from the head of a cow - or in this instance it was a goat. We went to an after wedding party hosted by a friend's family who had made menudo and barbacoa! I walked in the kitchen excited to try the barbacoa and the mom points to a white bucket lined with foil on the floor. I take a deep breath, walk over, and this is what I see! Barbacoa - skull and all! I know I love it - so I pulled the meat off the skull and filled my tacos - it was the best barbacoa I have had to date.

Small town rodeo - Henry tells me we are going to the rodeo and we have box seats, I get all dolled up and ready to go. Woohoo! We pull up to an outdoor arena with a dirt parking lot and people riding their horses everywhere. I look rather confused and ask, "Where is the indoor part?" See in Houston, we have the Houston Rodeo, it's ginormous and has outdoor things, but most of it is in a big indoor arena. Henry starts laughing and informs me, "We are in Cleburne, there is no indoor arena city girl." "So no air conditioning? It's hot! I would've worn shorts if I knew we were going to be outside." lol It was a ton of fun though and of course saw a ton of people we knew. Oh and this photo is taken from the box seats - I could stretch my feet out onto the dirt! I also had dirt flung in my eyes, down my shirt, in my purse and mouth from the bull-riding because we were so close haha

Henry's 25th birthday out on the ranch with friends.
           Man do I have so many photos to post. But I think this will do for now. I have really grown to love this small town life I have subjected myself to for the past year, and I am sure the surprises won't end anytime soon.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Crayon Canvas Craze

I am sure many of you, especially those who are on pinterest, have seen the new Crayon Canvas Craze. People melting a rainbow of crayons onto a canvas that is. It's awesome! It's cheap, easy, and can have many variations. Also, for those with lil ones - it would be a great fun project for kids! Below I have tips in italics and the basic steps in bold for easy browsing.
The "traditional" take on crayon art - Rainbow Falls crayon canvas by JKCreate on Etsy

I decided to make my own variation of a crayon canvas. Now most of them have picked out a pack of crayons, put them in color group order, glued them to the top of the canvas and melted away for al rainbow look! I decided to do a "fall" twist. Here are the items I needed to do this:
  • 96 pack of crayons ($3.97 at Walmart)
  • 2 24 packs of crayons ($0.40/each at Walmart)
  • 1 Canvas ($7 at Hobby Lobby - Normally $12.99, but I kept my eyes peeled for the 50% off week)
  • Blow-dryer
  • cardboard
  • Elmers Glue or Hot Glue
I picked out all the colors of orange, pink, red, yellow, and light brown crayons, then I separated them into their color groups. I laid them out on the edge of the canvas I chose to use and set 2 reds, 2 oranges, 1 yellow, 1 brown, 2 pinks, repeat. I then took my piece of cardboard, which I ripped off the flap of a cardboard box we had, and glued 1/3 of the crayon onto the cardboard - the bottom 2/3s with the point hanging off. I chose to do this because I did not want my crayons on the finished project. If you like the look of crayons -then by all means glue the crayons on the top of the canvas! :-)

Crayons glued to the cardboard
I let this dry for a few hours and ran some errands. When I came back I took my canvas outside, leaned it against our brick wall. I duck taped the cardboard of crayons above the canvas onto the brick so the tips would just barely hung over the canvas. Then the melting begins! Tip {1}: Keep the blow-dryer on medium! Low isn't hot enough, high had crayon wax splattering everywhere lol! I kept the heat setting on high. I began by keeping the blow-dryer up against the crayons until it started turning glossy, once the wax started its dripping I tilted the dryer to blow straight down the length of the crayon and canvas - pushing the wax out and down. Tip {2}: Only blow-dry like 5 or so crayons at a time - they dry rather quickly. You can use your blow-dryer still pointed blowing downward to help guide the crayon wax further down the canvas - it will begin to dry and clump a few inches down otherwise. Even if it does you can go back and blow-dry the clumps to move the wax further down later. Once satisfied, move to the next few crayons and repeat until done and desired look accomplished!
Finished project of my Crayola Canvas - The red kind of over-powers the other colors in the photo, but in person the definition is awesome - to me that is :-)

Tip {3}: Keep in mind the colors you choose and the colors you set them next to. Colors blend! I chose to mix my color groups so they would ultimately blend - if you want defined colors, then be sure to separate your colors of choice. I also wanted a little more definition of colors toward the bottom - so I took my cardboard of crayons angled it towards the middle of the canvas and blew down the length of the crayons so it would drip on the canvas at the place I wanted. I then used my blow-dryer to keep the wax dripping down the length of the canvas.
Angled crayons to get the colors further down

Angled view of canvas - at the top left you can see how quickly the crayon dries by the initial clumping - by using my blow-dryer angled downward I was able to keep the wax moving for as long as I wanted. The clumping adds an extra 3D texture to the canvas and actually looks rather cool.
Hope this makes sense and is easy to re-create! I plan to make a few more and will try to make a How-To Video :-) If you are interested in one for your own house I would be more than happy to make one for you! :-) Keep your eyes peeled for my newest idea involving the Crayon Canvas Craze!

Of course I had to take a Hipstamatic Photo :-)

Finished product hanging on our wall! :-) It's awesome to walk down our hall and see this.

Be sure to check out other fabulous ideas at the link-up party below:

Unveil Your Genius Link Party

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A day to remember....

             A decade ago today America was shaken by a tragic event. Many firefighters gave the ultimate sacrifice to help complete strangers that were victims of 9/11. Friends, Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, was lost. On this 10 year anniversary we remember all those who helped, who were lost, and who are still fighting - they will never be forgotten - and always in my prayers.

             I bet everyone can remember that day and where they were. I remember waking up that day and seeing my parents had their TV on. I tried to figure out what was going on, but was told to get ready for school. I could tell it was serious because my parents rarely watched the news in the morning, weather yes, news no. I went to school and it was chaotic. A lot of the students weren't there. Every class room had a TV on - the students that were there were one by one checked out by their parents. I remember sitting in my 8th grade math class - that is when they really showed what happened. The Twin Towers had collapsed. I sat there in shock at what I was watching. I had never been to New York, or seen the Twin Towers, but I knew this was serious. By the end of the day I was one of the only students still in school. When I got home I cried so hard! I wanted my parents to explain what was going on, why it had happened, and why almost every parent except mine had checked their child out of school. I can still barely wrap my mind about the occurrences of that day - and I was all the way here in Texas.

           My fiance and I spent our 2 year anniversary and Valentines Day in New York City this year. It was a fun, random trip that we decided to take when Southwest did one of their airfare specials. While there we made a point to go to Ground Zero. It was a beautiful, windy day. When we arrived we couldn't believe the magnitude of the area affected. There was construction all around rebuilding the devastation. Below are the photos that were taken while there February 2011.

To the right is the new building that will be built near the location of where the Twin Towers were. In place of the Twin Towers will be 2 square "reflecting" ponds, with 30 ft waterfalls all around.

A picture posted on the construction fence of what the new tower will look like

St. Pauls church that housed all the volunteers of 9/11

St. Pauls Church - pews were turned into beds, cots were brought in  - this is where the volunteers came for a few minutes or hours of sleep - or just to clear their heads.

It is a Japanese legend that whoever folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane,
such as recovery from illness or injury - thousands upon thousands of these cranes held together by strings were covering a small wall in the church - each to be granted a wish.

Police Badges sent from around the world

Found the Sugarland Badge - a town near my hometown in Houston

Henry standing near the altar

Crosses made by a welder from scraps of the Twin Towers

A letter posted in the church - I hope you can read it - it made me tear up.

A mold of the type of leaf belonging to the numerous trees to be planted around where the Twin Towers use to stand
Sign in the cemetery outside St. Pauls Church

          A decade ago the whole world changed in a second - this day will always be remembered, along with the people involved - May God bless all those who helped, who were lost, and who are still fighting.