Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Man Worth His Salt!

Carter and Coach

Meet my husband. His name is Mike Spradlin. He is a Texas, 5A high school, head football coach. It's not an easy job but it's one he loves! Fifteen years ago, he took an $85,000 pay cut to return to high school coaching after an eight year leave of absence....a decision he celebrates daily! He found out for himself, that big pay checks and extravagant perks don't necessarily make a man happy. Especially if your'e a man with a heart to serve others! He can't wait to get there at the crack of dawn and he's usually the last to leave. Why you ask? Because he knows no better way to teach a boy the lesson's he will need for a lifetime. As good of a coach as he is, it's a job that can't be done alone. It requires a lot of good men like him. Four and half years ago, he began to gather a staff of like minded men, that were loyal, knowledgeable, loved kids and weren't afraid to work hard. Now, five seasons later, these 16 commited men have built a championship program which involves over 225 kids. I can only begin to tell you how much I respect my husband, and all of these fine men. They are the sort that good stories are made of; the ones that inspire young men for a lifetime.
A few weeks ago, I read and article that was titled, My Playbook For high school football changed everything for country star Kenny Chesney. I just posted it, if you'd like to read it. Though his story came as no surprise to me, I never get tired of reading them.
If you're a football fan and have enjoyed this post, I'd like to invite you to follow the Cooper Cougars this fall. Our team has worked extremely hard and is well invested in this 2010 season. They won their season opener last night 40-21 to get things off to a good start. So feel free to drop by 'He calls me Coachette' to cheer on the whole crew (coaches wives included)!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Old chair!

Tell the truth!

Yesterday, after thinking about it all night long, I went back to the house where I got the free chair. Remember, the cute black and white one that will be perfect in Natalie's room? Well, there was another one. It was also free and there was something about the shape...
We all know upholstery can be expensive but I couldn't help but wonder what it would cost to reupholster. So, I picked it up and drove straight to Larry's Upholstry. I explained the look I was going for and he said, "...only you and Terry Browder and Nancy Archibald! Where do y'all get these idea's!" I told him about magazines. Anyway, he quoted me $220 for everything; webbing, batting and burlap. Isn't that a great price? However, I had pulled back the floral fabric and could see old burlap (my favorite) down underneath the old cotton batting. So after a few indecisive minutes I decided to take it home pull everything off and see what it looked like with the original burlap. Here is my question. I really want to know what everbody thinks. Is it too shabby? Do you like it or not?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Curtain Call!

Thanks for all the nice comments concerning the 'Back to School' makeover, my sister Lynnette and I did last week in Lubbock. My sister is so talented and fun! I love working with her. (Jill, we will definitely consider participating in a new HGTV series called, Dorm Storm! :)

Lynnette did a fabulous job on Natalie's room! She made the drapes out of embroidered fabric she found for a song. The bedding was purchased at Anthropologie, and is gorgeous! The shower curtain is from Target. The arm chair was spotted yesterday by my friend Boots. Apparently after seeing yesterdays post, she spotted this chair in her neighbors yard (for free!) she called me right away seeing how it was absolutely perfect! Thanks again Boots! I'm happy to report it's now tucked safely into my garage. Hey, Natalie! How do you like your new chair?

The buffalo check dust ruffle was created on the spot. Definitely a team project, Natalie and I duct taped the fabric directly onto the bed frame, while Lynnette held the mattress up. Way to use your head, Lynnie!

The art project was nice and simple. Flat black paint rolled onto a stretched canvas ( while painting the kitchen wall) and then sketched on flowers with ordinary blackboard chalk! A little misting of hairspray will hopefully set the art and keep it from smudging. It was so much fun! You should try it.

After days of triple digit temperatures, it's encouraging to see (and feel) it's 72 this morning. Just the thought of cooler days is so energizing. Makes me want to skip! So, I'm off to the studio to paint. Wish me well! (It's been a whole week and I'm feeling a little rusty...)

Pink Peony

Pink Peony.....12 x 12....Acrylic......Sold

When I was young, many of my stories began with, ' Debbi and I'! She is on a short list of lifetime BFF. When I think about it, some of my favorite memories include, Debbi. I also loved her mother, Helen. Who was lovely, gracious and created a beautiful home. Helen loved old things and collected many treasures. Her decorative style was stunning and influenced me greatly...even to this day!

Today is Helen's birthday! You can imagine my delight when Debbi commissioned me to paint her mother's favorite pink peonies. With the assistance of Debbi's gorgeous photographs, I gladly did so. Flowers with a lot of petals can be rather tricky but this painting fell into place rather well. I want to thank Debbi for the idea and the challenge. I'll look forward to painting peonies again!

I hope your first days of school went well for kids and mom's alike. A special thanks to all you teachers who influence lives in countless ways. Your reward, though unseen is building our future. Thank you for your passion and dedication. You are appreciated more than you know!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dorm Storm! Three days to decorate.

This time last year, I drove to Lubbock to help my sister Lynnette, decorate her (freshman) daughter Natalie's dorm room. As you can see we had a blast brain storming, shopping, creating and installing the many items we found. It was so much fun! Several days later when we returned home tired but happy, knowing we had left Natalie and her room mate Brittany, surrounded by beauty. Which we girls know, is a helpful thing when your far away from family, friends and the familiarity of home. A pretty room decorated with your momma's love is a sure cure when your homesick.

I'm happy to say that Natalie had a great freshman year at Texas Tech and is back for another. So, last Wednesday my sister veered off I-20, picked me up and headed to Lubbock! Her Navigator was stuffed!!! We had a great visit which made the trip fly by and before you knew it we were standing in Natalie's new digs! A 4 bedroom/4 bath/kitchen/living/laundry apartment. Wow! This was definitely a step up from dorm life! It would also be a bigger challenge for the 'Sisters'/design team... but for me it was an opportunity to pretend I was on Design Star! First we talked to Natalie and her suite mates Brittney, Sarah and Amanda. Much to my delight they gave us artistic freedom and off we went!

Here are all the before pictures of the kitchen and living areas.....

This complex allows you to paint walls and the girls definitely wanted a little color. Pretty quickly we decided that the "L" shape wall w/ counter would be a good one to paint and the tall skinny wall at the end of the counter would make a nice chalk board.

After plotting and planning a bit, we unloaded the expedition and went shopping.

The entire next day was a blur!

I love shopping, but that day it was hard work. Our plan was to get everything we needed so the following day would be spent in the apartment working. I mean everything! Decorations, wall art, hardware, art supplies, paint, rollers and brushes! Just for fun, here is a list of all of the stores we went to that day: Burlington Coat, Ross, Target, World Market, Goodwill, Lowe's, Hobby Lobby, Micheal's, T J Maxx, Kirkland's Hancock's and later that night we made a midnight run to Walmart! Boy, were we tired!

After a good night's rest, we got started on the big list! We divided it and split up. Lynnette got started in Natalie's room (I'll post pic's tomorrow) and I opened a gallon of paint and started rolling on 'blood orange' paint.

While the paint was drying, I addressed the big wall in the room. With charcoal I sketched 'hula hoop' size poppies onto the wall. I loved it! Funny though how it never seems quite right to draw on the wall. It's kind of like breaking dishes on purpose! I sprayed a fixative over the finished art.

Next up: Art work! We bought some and I painted the others.

Then it was time to put it all together! Lynnette hung these Waverly drapes and I ran back to Goodwill to get this HUGE vintage lamp.

We hung art (Burlington Coat Factory) on top of the 'sketched' wall......look closely it's very subtle. We found the metal basket at Ross.

I painted this 3' x 4' canvas titled, He's got the whole world in His Hands, and hung it above the sofa. It made a big splash on the wall. The pillows came from BCF and World Market.

The painted gallery wrapped canvas added a subtle pop.

Above the TV we hung F A I T H ...

Here's the overall look for the living.

The cabinet below we found on Craig's list for $50 and finished painting it around 1:00 am. Saturday morning, I painted two coats of turquoise on the display area. Also notice the bar stools we added (Walmart $19 e.) and the faux pendant lights.

Lynnette dreamed up this idea! They are intended to protect picnic food from flies and were on sale at World Market. They are hanging from black cords (drapery tie backs). These really made a big difference. Everyone that came in really thought they were lights! :)

A framed print ($19.99 - Ross) added color to the kitchen. The bowls came from there too!

And so did these! The biggest one is huge and was $9.99!!!

Here is the tall skinny wall at the end of the counter. I painted it with flat ('oops!' paint at Lowe's $ 5- gallon) black and wrote on it with white chalk. The EAT letters were (on sale at Hobby Lobby- $5 each) spray painted olive green.

Check out this wonderful surprise! Brittany's mom and dad brought these beautiful dishes which we happily displayed in the (barely dry) cabinet. It was simply stunning!

All of the girls were delighted and appreciative. Lynnette and I were tired. It was a long drive home but we slept very well last night....and dreamed of four beautiful college girls living out their sophomore year on the backdrop of our heartfelt creativity. Thank you ladies for letting us share the fun! We've grew fond of you and will be thinking of you often in the days to come.

May God richly bless you Natalie, Brittany, Sarah and Amanda. All of you are precious and He loves you! We know He is with you, watching and listening. Waiting patiently to be your best friend. We pray you will settle for nothing less than His best! He thinks you are worth it. That's why He sent Jesus. It is our prayer this year, that each and every step you take, will bring you closer to His love and His truth. So that you may truly, live happily ever after.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

High Cotton Art Camp...Register now!

Registration day is finally here! So if you would like to join 60 'grown up' girls for a weekend of over the top fun and creativity, you better sign up quick. Most classes have a limit (10 or so) and will likely fill up fast.
So, I'm dying to know are you coming or not?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sky High Cotton

Here in West Texas, there's nothing quite like sunshine and blue skies after a heavy rain. Which we could use a little of right now!
I painted this 18 x 24 painting yesterday in my studio. It is bright and busy, but it does make you feel you could walk right into it!
Months ago I promised I'd donate a painting to the Grace Museum, for their annual fundraiser/auction. So, here it is.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Easy Birdcage Paint Project!

As promised, here is a fun and simple way to paint a birdcage. I do hope you'll give it a try.

First of all decide on what shape you would like your birdcage.

Then paint your entire canvas rusty brown, like pictured above. When the paint is dry, using chalk draw birdcage design on to canvas.

Now for the fun technique (that everyone can do)! With very skinny, 1/4 th inch strapping tape (I bought it at a Benjamin Moore paint store - it looks like masking tape but it can't be torn because it has glass in it which makes it super strong. Pictured above!) Tape over the lines you drew. Take your time and tape well. You'll have less touch up in the end.

  • Press down tape very well and immediately paint over the entire canvas. Dry and remove all the tape. Touch up where needed.

Here is Boot's, birdcage!........................Here is Jo Carol's! Aren't they cute?


Below is a close up of the first one I painted. The looping wires were painted with a brush (using no tape). Taping curves can be a little tricky

You should try it!

Happy 'Eighth' Anniversary, Beth and Nate!

My dear daughter, it has been a blessing to watch your love grow. For the two of you to become a family of four! Love is a wonderful thing, indeed! Scatter a lot of it along life's way....for the best is yet to come.

My heart is full.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I spotted this amazing birdcage while shopping with Clint and Jenny. I instantly loved it and wanted to buy it! However, when I took a few minutes to think about it, I realized I didn't really want it, I just wanted to paint a picture of it! Wow! I wish I had discovered this a long time ago. So I snapped a photo with my iPhone and began to think of ways to paint this birdcage onto a canvas. I knew it would be tricky to paint the wires straight with a brush. It didn't take long to formulate a plan and I experimented. Here is the finished painting! When my class arrived today, they all loved the birdcage! They really liked it when they saw how easy it was to paint. So we painted the smaller cage below using the same technique. Don't worry! I'm going to tell you. I'll even show you a few pictures but before I do, I'm curious. Can you figure out the little trick we used to paint our birdcages on canvas?

Don't hesitate to guess. I won't keep you in suspense very long. Mainly because I'm not very good at keeping secrets.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Girls Night Out!

As most of you know, Roxanne the artist is also, Roxanne the Coach's wife. I, like most of you precious women, wear many hats. We all complain but really don't you love being many things to many people? It's definitely challenging and helps us grow!

Last night I hosted a 'Girls Night Out' party for 12 special ladies. All of which happen to be married to football coaches. Every year about this time, before football season begins, I send out cute invitations and then start making plans to celebrate these women. For those of you who do not know, Football Season is a BIG here in Texas! To be a successful coach requires commitment, dedication, passion, hard work, determination plus long work weeks. Were talking 90 plus hours from August to (hopefully) mid December. Need I say more about these amazing wives that keep the home fires burning?

Yes I do!

They are pretty, cheerful, fun and kind. They cook, clean and wash . They teach, discipline, inspire and encourage. They read, color, play games, go on walks. They bake cookies, make lunches and warm up dinners. They work in and out of the home, pay bills, mow lawns. They hammer, nail and use power tools. They juggle after school sports, errands and appointments. They basically do it all with very little assistance. At the end of the day, when they tuck their babies in bed, they count their blessings and kiss them twice. Once for themselves and once for their daddy, who would love to be there too!

So each year I 'H'uddle 'U'p (these) 'G'irls....I call them H.U.G.'s! I love them with pretty decorations, gifts, good food and encouraging words. Even Coach gets involved by reminding them how valuable and appreciated they are!

We had a wonderful time talking. We ate Spinach Salad with fresh peaches, toasted almonds and seeds. Then, the Mansion on Turtle Creek's Tortilla Soup. For dessert we had Frozen Strawberry Bars. Later we shared our hearts and ideas with each. Discussing ways we can help one another. After all, we are a community of coaching families. We are a sisterhood of coaches wives. We have so much in common but most importantly we love our husband. In fact, it's even more than love, we respect them! They are good men, fighting the good fight and we admire them for it and in return, they love us well!

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have!

A special thanks to our son Clint and his beautiful wife Jenny, and Jenny's precious aunt & uncle Nancy and Jim Martin, who brightened my weekend with their visit. We shopped til we dropped and ate (at Perini's) til we popped! They were so thoughtful and kind, helpful in every way! Everyone, even Clint and Jim, helped make the paper flowers ( an easy to assemble kit from Martha Stewart) and like a good 'coach's kid', Clint patiently hung them up. I was so touched by their willingness to help me out! One of the nicest things about 'love' is the union of families. Jenny, I'm so thankful that God brought you and Clint together. :) You and your family have richly blessed me!