Scoff at me all you want, but this worked rather well... not QUITE as slick as i thought, but still pretty good... especially for someone who doesn't know the difference between sour cream and cream cheese.
i rolled the ground beef out like pasty dough and used a tupperware as a cookie cutter.
i was determined to get this job done before Uncle Charlie and Aunt Adrea came to visit. my job was not very cooperative and i ended up spackling into the wee hours after scraping and sanding. the morning brought more sanding, then painting, re-installing the light, and re-hanging the mirror, then rushing to the airport to catch my plane. but i love my new light! darryel was kind enough to install it for me, and it was a much bigger pain than either of us anticipated, so kudos to superman for his help.
i don't have a 100% before picture on my home computer, but this is the old light fixture. BLUCK!
and the new one. Beautiful!
special thanks to mom & val for helping me justify the expenditure. :-)