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Historic Governors’ Mansion holiday tour

25 Nov
Experience old fashioned holiday traditions at the Historic Governors' Mansion.

Experience old fashioned holiday traditions at the Historic Governors’ Mansion.

By Chaundra Paice

Get a glimpse of the past through a “Tinsel Through Time” self-guided tour of one of Cheyenne’s oldest historic buildings.

About the Mansion

According to Christina Bird, superintendent of the Wyoming Historic Governors’ Mansion state historic site, the mansion was built in 1904.

“We’ve had 19 first families live in the house from 1905 to 1976. The Herschler family was the last family to live in the house and they moved out in October of 1976 into the new executive residence.” – Christina Bird

There are 29 custom Christmas trees with old fashioned decorations, found throughout the Mansion.

There are 29 custom Christmas trees, with old fashioned decorations, found throughout the Mansion.

The Mansion has been a part of State Parks and Cultural Resources within state government since 1977.

“The building has always been a state building, it has only ever changed divisions it has never changed hands… We try to maintain the historical integrity.” – Christina Bird

Holiday tours

What to do
Fifteen volunteers help decorate the mansion for Christmas every year.

Fifteen volunteers help decorate the mansion for the holiday season every year.

  • Self guided tours
    • Wednesdays through Saturdays until December 23rd
      • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Christmas Eve – December 24th
      • 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

“You just come in and can do it on your own.” – Christina Bird

  • Scavenger hunts
    • Available upon request

“We do a 12 days of Christmas scavenger hunt through the house.” – Christina Bird

  • 1 – 9 guests
    • No admission fee
  • 10/more guests (or special requests)
    • Call for pricing 307.777.7878.
Where to go

Hisotoric Governors’ Mansion
300 E 21st Street
Cheyenne, WY, 82001

Glimpse of a holiday tour through the Mansion

“Our normal tours last an hour.” – Christina Bird

“It’s a nice way to celebrate the holidays.” – Christina Bird

Chaundra’s last two posts:

Shake It Up Design Studio & Boutique offering beer, music, and holiday crafting

18 Nov
Holiday Paintings

“All of our paintings and crafts will have a holiday theme this December.” – Katie Durst

By Chaundra Paice

Holiday crafting

Get into the holiday spirit at Shake It Up Design Studio & Boutique this December.  Katie Durst, owner of the studio, says guests are welcome to participate in any of the following upcoming holiday activities/classes:

  • Adult Step-by-Step painting classes
    • Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
    • Classes start at 6:30 p.m.
    • $35.00 per person
      • $10 off for groups of six or more
  • Adult Christmas craft classes
    • Wednesdays
      • The 3rd, 10th, & 17th of December.
      • Classes start at 6:30 p.m.
    • Prices will vary depending on the projects

“One of the projects will be a Christmas Wreath.” – Katie Durst

This is one of the projects Shake It Up Design Studio & Boutique plans on doing this December.

This is one of the projects Shake It Up Design Studio & Boutique plans on doing this December.

  • Open studio painting
    • Saturdays & Sundays
    • 1 – 4 p.m.
    • Prices
      • $15 per child
      • $20 per adult

“All supplies are included for every class & no experience is necessary to join… Guests also enjoy listening to music while we paint.” – Katie Durst

  • Saturday night date nights
    • $50 per couple

“On date nights, we will be going to Freedom’s Edge Brewery for free beer samples while the backgrounds of our paintings dry.” – Katie Durst

  • Kids’ Christmas activities
    • Decorating ornaments
    • Tea parties
    • Cooking classes
  • More classes will be available!

“The official schedule for all of our December classes will be available on our Facebook page soon!” – Katie Durst

Virtual tour of the studio

Where the fun is at

Shake It Up Design Studio & Boutique
315 W. Lincolnway
Cheyenne, WY 82001

Chaundra’s last two posts:

Forest of Christmas lights give sick children hope

7 Nov

By Chaundra Paice

Jessie Hall's tree marker. Every tree in the Hemi Lighted Forest of Hope is dedicated to a different child who has had to undergo brain surgery.

Jessie Hall’s tree marker. Every tree in the Hemi Lighted Forest of Hope is dedicated to a different child who has undergone brain surgery.

What it’s all about

The Hemi Lighted Forest of Hope was created by Gary Kelley and his wife Nancy Kelley in honor of their granddaughter, Jessie Hall. Jessie was diagnosed with intractable epilepsy. Jessie had to endure extensive brain surgery in hope of alleviating her from constant seizures.

“Her seizures couldn’t be treated with pharmaceutical medicine. The only thing the doctor could do was remove the hemisphere of her brain that was affected.” – Gary Kelley

Gary Kelley and his wife Nancy Kelley wanted to establish a site that would recognize every child that had undergone a Hemispherectomy. They also wanted to create a special place to bond with the families of these children. Thus, the Hemi Lighted Forest of Hope was created.

“My idea, my wife’s checkbook.” – Gary Kelley

What it takes to make a forest of hope

According to Gary Kelley, the following is a list of items it takes to create the forest every year:

  • 108,000 lights with indoor display and parade float
  • 4.5 Acres of Trees (600 trees)
  • 2,000 feet of underground wiring with 22 service points
  • 700 Extension Cords
  • 800 Strings of Multicolored LED Christmas Lights
  • Outdoor lighted water feature with 5 waterfalls, 140 feet of creek with garden scale railroad running throughout
  • 13,000 gallons of water are pumped and recycled through the water feature each hour
  • Life size bronze bears in the creek
  • Indoor garden scale railroad, runs each night
  • Indoor Christmas display

Jessie’s story

How to participate

According to Gary Kelley, in addition to the lighted trees and water features, visitors can also enjoy the following when visiting the Hemi Lighted Forest of Hope:

What to do
  • Christmas parade floats on display from November until the end of December
  • Indoor garden scale railroad, runs each night
  • Hay rides throughout the trees
    • Every day until February 28th, 2015
    • 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., weather permitting
    • Hot chocolate and hot apple cider after hay ride
Where to go

Hemi Lighted Forest of Hope
6565 Ashley Drive – East of town off Highway 30

“If visitors choose to make a donation to the Hemi Lighted Forest of Hope, 100% of that donation is used to help the children.” – Gary Kelley

For more information on the Hemi Lighted Forest of Hope, you can call Gary Kelley at (307)630-6641.


Chaundra’s last post:

Painting miniatures for a different kind of game

Painting miniatures for a different kind of game

24 Oct

By Chaundra Paice

A different kind of game


Crimson Fists Space Marine Chaplain wargame miniature. Only 28mm tall in real life.

Warhammer 40K is not the typical board game or video game that many people have become accustomed to.  Warhammer 40k is a science fantasy tabletop miniature wargame.

Jason Brock is a player who has been involved with Warhammer 40K for over 20 years.  He has painted over 300 miniatures, each averaging 28 mm in height.

“Each game typically involves two to four players. Those two to four players each bring an army consisting of anywhere from 30 to 100 meticulously painted miniatures.” – Jason Brock

Warhammer 40K is typically won by the player that achieves the most tactical objectives.  The game can also be won by a player wiping out their opponent’s army.

Getting started

What to buy

According to Jason Brock, the following items are a great start for playing Warhammer 40K:

“These are great for getting started. It will be a small game, but it will give them the general idea of how the game is played.” –  Jason Brock

Where to buy

These supplies can be found online or at local game shops, like Gryphon Games & Comics.

How to paint miniatures

Where to play

  • Gryphon Games and Comics open Wargaming sessions
    •  1710 Central Ave, Cheyenne, WY 82001
    • Tuesdays and Thursdays
      • 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    • Sundays
      • 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“Hope to see you there.” –  Jason Brock

Ladies Auxiliary VFW craft show

9 Oct

Proceeds from the craft show will benefit the Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW’s cause in raising money for veterans.

By Chaundra Paice

For a good cause

The Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) are hosting a craft show to raise money for the veterans of this country.  Connie Simmers, a dedicated member of the Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW, has spent many hours running the VFW craft shows and flea markets.

“ Our motto is to honor the dead by helping the living.” -Connie Simmers

At the craft show

The Ladies Auxiliary has rented 39 tables to different craft enthusiasts.  Connie Simmers says the event will be a craft show and flea market combined.

“ You’ll find a little bit of everything.” -Connie Simmers

Connie says each table will hold different items for guests to purchase. She ensures guests that there will be, “…good stuff to purchase. Not garage sale garbage.”

According to Connie, “Anyone and everyone are welcome to attend.  The gathering is for all ages.”

How to participate

Guests can purchase crafts from the different tables at the show.

  • VFW 1881 Ladies Auxiliary
    2816 E. 7th St, Cheyenne, WY, 82001
  • Saturday, October 11th, 2014
    • Can’t make it on October 11th?
      • If guests are unable to attend the craft show this Saturday, no worries! The Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW will host another craft show on November 8th, 2014, and again on December 13th, 2014.
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Guests can also participate in the upcoming craft shows by registering a table and selling their own items.
    • It costs $6 to register a 6 ft. table.
    • The Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW will furnish the table and chairs, but it’s up to the guest to supply the items for sale.

“No furniture, no animals, and no guns allowed for sale or in the facility.” -Connie Simmers

For more information on the craft show, or for information on registering a table, call Connie at (307)634-0257.

Oktoberfest is coming to Cheyenne

23 Sep

By Chaundra PaiceOktoberfestImage

Men grab your lederhosen, women break out your dirndls.  Oktoberfest is here!

What is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest is a historical German festival that has gained international success.

This year’s Oktoberfest in Cheyenne is being sponsored by the Arc of Laramie County.  Arkansas Le Marr, executive director of the Arc of Laramie County, says the festival will be fun for the whole family.

Arkansas Le Marr informed me that visitors can anticipate partaking in:

One of last year's bands: Beat Grass

One of last year’s bands: Beat Grass

Arm Wrestling

Oktoberfest 2013: Arm wrestling match

  • A wide variety of traditional German foods
  • Entertainment
    • There will be three “live bands” starting at 11 a.m.
  • An assortment of traditional German beer
    • Free taxi vouchers will be available
  • Food and non-alcoholic drinks available for kids too!

When is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest will be held from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 27th, 2014.

Where is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest will be held at the Archer Complex.

How much does it cost?

According to 92.9 and the Boss, proceeds from Oktoberfest benefit Arc of Laramie County.  Arc advocates for individuals with disabilities and their families.

This event has a lot to offer, hope to see you there!

Oktoberfest flyer

Oktoberfest flyer

Artsy, will work for ego (not Eggo)

9 Sep

Chaundra Paice has done graphic design and web development work for local nonprofit companies and small businesses for the past 2 1/2 years in Cheyenne, WY.  She is also a traditional artist and has completed many commissioned pieces, ranging from family portraits to fantasy drawings and paintings.  However, Chaundra hasn’t always received monetary compensation for her work.

Will work for egoFacebook Hippo Painting

Before Chaundra got her first big break with the graphic design and web development work for Historic Cheyenne Inc.; she relied on Facebook “likes” and “comments” to boost her ego and encourage her to pursue her art and design work further.

Today’s undertakings

Today, Chaundra has several notable commissioned design works to her name and is pursuing her dreams of becoming an accomplished artist/graphic designer even more.

Key accomplishments include:

Chaundra has also sold several traditional artworks. She uses a variety of different mediums to complete her traditional art including: charcoal, graphite, acrylic, Letraset markers, spray paint, colored pencils, and water color.

However, Chaundra still enjoys posting her work on Facebook and receiving “likes” and “comments”, she has even started a Twitter account for this purpose – sadly, a bloated ego never rests.

Life at HomeLife at home

When Chaundra isn’t busy with design work, homework, or with her job as an Office Aide at the Children’s Discovery Center; she is busy taking care of her three wonderful children at home.  All of her children enjoy art too, they have even had some of their art projects selected for special displays at their school, Afflerbach Elementary.