My mural project garnered a little publicity for Brews & Bytes the other day. The Sapulpa Daily Herald ran a story and photo. The online version of the photo came out looking like a negative for some reason, so you can’t really tell anything about it. (I’m not complaining; the tight quarters left the photographer with no choice but to shoot from the most unflattering possible angle, so the publication problem was probably a blessing in disguise.) Anyway, if you want to read the story, it’s here.

Yay, me. Or something.


Latest painting

I spackled some holes, gave the inside of the door a couple of coats of chalkboard paint, scraped the ridiculous slick-pen scribbles off the outside of the door, finished another postcard painting, and talked to a reporter from the Sapulpa Daily Herald this morning at Brews & Bytes. Here’s the latest painting:

Shot with my cell phone, hence the poor quality and dingy color.

In other news, our academic team was undefeated in the district seeding tournament this afternoon. My kids are awesome….


More paintings

Here’s the latest from my Brews & Bytes project:

Bison picture is finished.
The late, great Shady Rest.
Neon effect works better in full color, but it'll do, I guess.
The old-fashioned notes about location were Stevia's idea.
I really like the way these turned out.
Overview of the top half of the wall.
I just started this one. Stay tuned....

I’m really pleased with the way this project is going. I’d hoped to do a lot more during this break from school, but I was so exhausted that I took a nap as soon as I got home Thursday afternoon, got up for dinner, went straight to bed after I ate, slept in Friday, took a long afternoon nap, and then went back to bed immediately after dinner and stayed there until 8:30 this morning.

Despite all the slacking, I got a lot done today, and I wrote a press release about the project this evening before I left. Hopefully that will garner a little publicity for the business. It’s all well and good to paint pretty pictures, but the point is really to help Mike and Stevia attract customers. Hopefully people will be interested enough in what I’m doing to stop by a few times a week to check my progress.

I’ll probably make the Roman shade for the window tomorrow so I can install it Monday morning when I go over to give the door a coat of chalkboard paint and spackle some holes in one of the walls.


Unexpected blessing

From the “I really need to pay more attention” files: I didn’t realize this until I was sitting in church this morning and heard it announced from the desk, but my fellow blogger Evan is giving a lecture this afternoon in Edmond.

(If you haven’t read Evan’s blog, do yourself a favor and click that link above for a quick dose of uplifting thought.)

Chance to meet an online friend in person and a good excuse to blow off my responsibilities for the afternoon in favor of spending a pretty afternoon driving a nice stretch of Route 66? Wrap it up; I’ll take it — especially after getting a Tweet this morning from a new Twitter follower recommending a link to some advice Mary Baker Eddy gave a student about the value of taking time to pray for himself even when he felt overwhelmed with responsibilities and demands.

I put the iPod on shuffle and drove straight over after church, enjoying the dazzling sunshine and an incredible sense of peace and joy all the way from Tulsa.

I got here with time to spare, had a chance to visit with Evan a little bit, and am looking forward to hearing his lecture in a couple of minutes. God doesn’t usually rearrange my schedule without a good reason, so this should be good. 🙂


Calm before the storm

I ran three miles tonight at a way more respectable pace than you’d expect from a girl this out of shape. It wasn’t exactly a PR, but 11-minute miles aren’t too bad, considering. When I finished, I did a mile and a half on a stationary bike.

I also read a good book today: Carl Hiaasen’s Hoot. It was cute.

I was gratified to see a kid reading my copy of Rumble Fish today. I hope he likes it. I’ve loaned out a lot of P.C. Cast novels this year, too, and a kid came and got my copy of The Road to read while he was in TRAICE, which is similar to what we called in-house when I was a kid.

It makes me happy to see my kids enjoying my classroom library.

I’m glad today was quiet, because the weekend is going to be insanely busy.


More painting

I spent about three and a half hours working on my mural project this evening. I’m pretty happy with the way it’s going thus far. Behold:

The Round Barn on Route 66 in Arcadia.

Finishing touches on the Chandler Phillips 66 station. I took some liberties with the background, which is terribly cluttered with buildings and whatnot in real life. I like the way the roof turned out. The multicolored shingles translated well to faux-sepia tones, I thought.

Work in progress. Brews & Bytes closed before I finished this one, but I’ll go back and work on it some more this weekend. Again, I took some artistic license with the background. I’m doing that a lot just to keep things simple and uncluttered.

Overview of the project thus far. I have room for two or three more images on this part of the wall, and then I’ll move to another section.

Hope you enjoyed your evening. I’d had some good intentions about going to church and then hitting the gym this evening, but I got so caught up in my painting that I lost track of time, and it was 9 o’clock before I knew it. I’m still pretty tired from my run the other day, so I think it was probably wise to give myself another day to recover.


Latest adventures

OK, so “adventures” might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I’m heading into some unfamiliar territory this week: I’ve joined a respectable gym and put myself on a low-carb diet.

No, I haven’t lost my mind. I’ve just decided I want another marathon, and I’d kind of like to do it right this time.

This basically means I’ve treated myself to a Gold’s Gym membership (I joined last night and logged three miles at an 11:30 pace, which I think is pretty respectable for a girl who hasn’t run in the better end of year) and started cooking dinner at home to cut back on the carbs.

Notice I said “cut back,” not “eliminate.” I’m not doing that Atkins-diet, deprivation-to-the-brink-of-organ-failure crap. Instead, I’m practicing something completely alien to me: moderation. Basically, this means I have my usual decaf Sumatra for breakfast, a package of Reese cups and a Diet Dr. Pepper for lunch, and something heavy on the protein and vegetables for dinner. I’ve also swapped my usual late-night Dymaxion sundaes for mixed nuts and/or fresh veggies with all the fiesta ranch dip I want. It’s pretty painless, although I’m sure I’d be climbing walls if not for the Reese cups — which, for the record, have only slightly more calories and about the same amount of carbs as a can of Slim-Fast. (If I manage to lose 30 pounds on this diet, I am so going to lobby Hershey’s for an endorsement deal. That insufferable Jared from Subway has needed somebody to knock him off his low-fat pedestal for years, and I think I’m just the girl to do it.)

In other news, I did some more work on my painting project at Brews & Bytes this afternoon. Mike Reed, who co-owns the coffeehouse with his wife, Stevia, was kind enough to take a picture of my handiwork with his iPhone after I stupidly walked out of the house without my camera. Here it is:

For some reason, that second rectangle turned out a little wonky (no idea how that happened, since the first was fine, and I used the same template for both), but I think it still looks pretty good. The picture is based on Bill Fernau’s 1930 Phillips 66 station on Route 66 in Chandler.


Will work for coffee

A few weeks ago, I wandered into Brews and Bytes, a little coffeehouse that opened this summer about half a block off Route 66 in Sapulpa, and spent a quiet morning grading papers and planning lessons. If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend it. The owners are friendly, the coffee is good, and the ambience is just right: soft lighting, comfortable furniture, historic building, free Wi-Fi, local artists’ work on the walls, and live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

The restroom hadn’t yet received the same cafe-chic treatment as the rest of the building, so I asked the barista/co-owner what she had planned for that space.

“I’m not sure yet,” she said.

That’s what I was hoping she’d say. I started painting this afternoon.

Here are a few before-and-after shots to give you an idea of where we started and where we’re heading:

We started with clutter, previous tenants' bad decisions, and a necessity-driven tendency toward function over form.
Coupla quarts of Valspar and about three hours later, things were starting to look a little neater.
No matter how clean a room is, exposed spackle, sheetrock mud, water putty, etc. will make it look nasty.
The faux-textured paint job -- inspired by scrapbooking papers -- hid the uneven wall surface nicely. I haven't started working on that wall to the right, obv.
See the line and the paper residue? That awful satin-moire-floral-whatever wallpaper border was everywhere. Ghastly.
The owners loved the rag painting.
Here's the lower part of that wall. I'm really thinking about stripping the paint around the window to expose the bricks.
Here's the beginning of the cool part. This will eventually be a huge collection of oversized "postcards" featuring scenes from along Route 66 in Oklahoma.
I considered bright colors but decided a pseudo-sepia look was better suited to a coffeehouse in an old Plains Commercial building. It looks milky in spots because I sealed it with a Mod Podge knockoff that hadn't completely dried yet.

I’m really pleased with the way it’s turning out so far. If my estimate is right, this project should keep me out of trouble until baseball season starts and I can return to my rightful spot on the berm at OneOK Field….


Further proof

Here is further proof that my kids are awesome: I was recently asked to teach the journalism classes, which are responsible for writing content for our student-produced newspaper, the Webster Weekly. The photography classes shoot all the pictures, and the kids in my j-classes do all the reporting and writing. I’m currently editing and designing the page, but I’m hoping to shift those responsibilities to the more advanced students as we go.

Click here to see our most recent handiwork. I personally think we have a pretty terrific publication.