Monday, August 25, 2008


It's football season! I live in TEXAS and I'm a coach's wife. I do a lot of cheering! Seriously!

How can I possibly explain this? Most of you who visit my blog will understand because you are from Texas or grew up here and you....and well, you know what I'm talking about! There's nothing quite like Texas high school football. It's FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, where it is common to find multi-million dollar stadiums with jumbo Teletron scoreboards and 10,000 plus screaming fans ( this happens to be Beth...with blue false eyelashes and Carter w/a rubber 'eagle'...tar'd & feathered),
on Friday nights in every city dotted throughout the state. It's BIG! It's CRAZY! It's TEXAS Football!!! So what's it like to love a football coach? It is breath taking, hair raising and foot stomping!
It's the most thrilling, frightening roller coaster ride you can imagine. ..and lonely...oh, I can't forget the lonely. Five months out of the year, a Texas high school football coach works an average of 110 hours a week and that's not including the extra hours spent traveling to out of town games! This year our team will drive: a 2 hour drive to San Angelo, 2 hours to Big Spring, 2 1/2 hours to Odessa, 2:45 min.'s to Lubbock, 3 1/2 hour's to Garland and 4 hours to Planview ...and that's just one way! After each nail biting competition we have to turn around and drive back home. CRAZY! Sometimes they don't get home until 2:00 in the morning and even though they are absolutely EXHAUSTED they can't sleep because their on a adrenalin high and already plotting and planning their next opponent or they lay in torment, 'fitfully' replaying every play that led to their defeat. Which feels similar to lying in bed next to someone who is wrestling a large alligator! Neither provides much opportunity for rest but winning is 100 times better than losing. Losing, is to a coach...death. It's the worst.

Anyway, our pre-season games began 2 weeks ago and we're off to a great start. Our first game was against Ft. Worth O. D Wyatt. the final score was Abilene Cooper -33, O. D. Wyatt- 0.

Last Friday we won again, Abilene Cooper Cougars - 42, Saginaw Boswell Pioneers - 21. It was a fabulous game! Great team work! Things look promising!!!

This week we play our cross town rivals, Abilene High Eagles. Our schools have been playing for the past 47 years.

The over-all record is : Abilene Cooper 30 wins

Abilene High 16 wins

& 1 tie

The Eagles have won the last 4 years but the Cougars are ready to change that! AHS is ranked 5th in 5A. CHS Is ranked 3rd in 4A. It is sure to be a match! Stay tuned for the results which I'll post early Saturday morning.


Anyway, I've said all of the above to say football is serious business in Texas, and my coach and his staff of 15 coaches, take seriously their roles and the responsibility that has been given to them to teach young men all about life
through the game of football. Frequently, like Trey (above) players grow up and become coaches! I am so proud of all of them. They love these kids and are making a big difference in their lives. From top to bottom they are a team of Champions!

To read more detailed hype go to Oh, did I mention that it is not uncommon to find a huge crowd at this game? .....15,000 or so!

P.S. Coaches wives have lots of time to make crafts! (We are clever lot! Very resourceful..making a lot out of a little, wearing many hats, juggling husbands, children, finances, schedules, repairs, homework, responsibilities and relationships,all on a 'shoe-string' budget)
These are tall skinny candles in jars, decoupaged with colored copies I designed with various paper elements. Just hollar if you need more info!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A beautiful french bath!

Earlier this year, I believe it was March, I posted pictures of a beautiful piece I painted for my friend and neighbor Debra. It is so pretty! ...and I really enjoyed painting it! Here is a recent picture, complete with antique mirrior and accessories.

So when Deborah asked me to paint her master bath, I eagerly jumped at the opportunity. I knew it would be gorgeous! (Debra and her designer/friend Kathy don't do ugly)!

The first thing I did was paint alkyd base, Fresh Start (Benjamin Moore) all over the entire room. Walls , ceiling, woodwork and trim were coated with a roller or brush and let it dry overnight... and the following day I hand troweled joint compound onto the primed walls and painted the ceiling, crown moulding, base boards metalic gold.

Day three, I began to trowel metallic paint onto the walls careful to leave alot of the white showing. I would repeat this this procedure several times using various shades of paint to create the look of old world plaster....

which would add dimension and interest. This little french bathroom maybe short on square footage but it's big on beauty and style.

The black marble tiles add the finishing touch!

This effect was stunning and one of my favorites to date.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Last week, after a leisurely fun filled summer with precious family and friends, it was time to get back to work. So I pulled up in front of VanStavern Interiors bright and early, ready to paint. Quickly I was greeted by James VanStavern and his signature kiss on the cheek! After hugging Miss Ruby (James mama), Norma, Bea, Diane and Julie, I was ready to go. James showed me 9 various furniture pieces he needed me to face lift, gave me artistic freedom and left so i could get started. The first thing I did was open a can of Benjamin Moore alkyd Fresh Start (a 'miracle' primer) and gave every surface I would paint, a generous coat. I won't paint anything without a coat of Fresh Start primer. It's THAT IMPORTANT!!! The primer then had to dry over night. Next morning the painting began.

The 1st piece I painted was a small chest. With a hand full of crumpled-up brown paper, I haphazardly applied 2 shades of red paint. Later, I would add a little black, metallic bronze, aqua, turquoise and green.When dry, I free-handed impressionistic acanthus leaves over entire chest. When completely dry, I QUICKLY brush on and wipe off Minwax stain and seal, in Walnut over the everything for the finishing touch.

The lightest color in the background is the primer showing through.

The end result is a new piece that looks and feels old.

Next up....was a giant floor mirror. You know the kind that leans against the wall. Well, this mirror already had a gorgeous finish on it but had been damaged so I had the task of matching the existing colors plus the faux finish technique. Which is not always easy but in this case things went very well and the repairs are not noticeable at all!

Next was an antique wardrobe with 2 doors. Originally it probably had wood or mirrors in the door panels but now there empty, anyway after looking carefully at the piece I decided to paint the entire inside. I liked the thought of a colorful pattern, like a damask,

so I ran to the workroom to flip through books of fabric samples and found something with a 'Moroccan' flavor. With a 3" brush I painted on the background colors. The following day, using many stencils and metallic gold paint, I rolled on the designs to imitate the appearance of 'stamping'! I rarely use stencils but for the look I was trying to achieve they did seem best.

The painted gold details on the outside of the piece were already there which was one reason I decided to go Moroccan. Now add lighting in the top and 3 thick glass shelves and this tired old wardrode will take on new life as the focal point of the room.

I'm curious what you will think about this next item. It was very pretty to begin with but the client wanted it have a new look that would fit into her decor.

So, after the primer had dried over night, I used crumpled brown paper and shades of metallic gold paint to cover chest . Later I painted the acanthus leaf pattern. When dry a coat of Minwax , walnut stain was brushed on and wiped off.

This desk and cabinet were painted with the same palette of colors, in hopes that they could be

used together. Using the same brown paper technique above the desk receive touches of white, Tuscan gold, red, bronze and more black, with a final coat of stain. The black cabinet was newly built to accommodate the old leaded glass window. To make it coordinate with the desk I decided to embellish it with a little red. Probably because I was still under the influence of the Moroccan Wardrobe above, I decided to use one of stencils all over the entire piece.

Though I'd never done this before I instantly knew it would be a hit!

Keep this idea in mind for small rooms and accent walls as well...mind you, going around doors and windows would be a nightmare.

The knobs will be changed out with something big and cool...maybe something that's never been a knob before....hmmm! I'll have to look around!

This beautiful stained chest is solid wood, very thick, heavy. The entire time I was painting it

I felt like a criminal because I know that, in the future, getting back down to the wood will be a grueling task....but nevertheless this client LOVES gold and wanted it painted! So here it is looking very regal in two shades of Modern Masters metallic golds and finished with The Minwax S & S walnut stain. I really do love the way it looks! Old Gold!

James also had some chandeliers he wanted to recycle so I thought I'd show you these just in case you are living with some 'less than lovely' lighting. As you can imagine both of these were snoring boring. So the very 1st thing they needed was???? you know what I'm going to say? That's right , Benjamin Moore's Alkyd Fresh Start! O.K. let me prepare you. This is going to be a BIG mess. Tie your hair back, wear long fitted sleeves and fitted rubber gloves and settle in because this is going to take awhile, but the end results are worth the time and effort...especially if someone gives you the light or you get it from a garage sale. This one was white....

And now it's pink and green and metallic gold with many different chandelier shades on it and hanging in some cool boutique. This next light was brass. You know, you've seen a thousand of them! It too, is hanging with it's pink friend! What a fun change. The next one is my favorite! I think James may have done it but it's awesome and I LOVE it! It also was originally brass and has been painted silver and rubbed with stain.

As you can see it has been decoratively embellished with tons of old tarnished silver things.

Isn't it fabulous? That's one of Jame's, well used phrases except he says it like this....It's FABULOUS!!! ...and it is.........and you can be sure I've started my own little collection of silver things!Love it! love it! Love it!!!

Well that's all for this time. I'll head back out west in the morning and will be painting at Van Stavern Interiors for several days. I'll share more pictures on my next post. In closing, I wanted you to see the 2 french side chairs with ottomans ( painted earlier this summer) finished! (I painted them at the same time and to coordinate with this chest).

Here is one of the chairs, you can see the fabric in the background. In this photo the chest and chair have not had the final coat of really makes a big difference!I painted them minus upholstery, so it was fun to see them finished product. Here they are....and the other.....Pretty, huh!I'd LOVE to have both of these sitting in my house but that's not going to happen....each chair is price over$2,000. After I got over 'sticker shock', I got tickled because the tag read:

French Arm Chair with Roxy finish

That's me!

My momma called me 'Roxie' growing up, so did close family and friends, and for I long as I can remember Coach has called me 'Rox', now my precious 2 1/2 yr. old granddaughter calls me 'Roxi' and at Van Stavern Interiors, I've got my own Roxy label.( thanks Able, that was a fun surprise!)