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some gtk_render_* blank?

Hello, I am wondering if anyone here has experience with the gtk_render_* set of functions.  

I have had mixed results:
gtk_render_background and gtk_render_frame work pretty well with gtk_button and gtk_window (but not with most other widgets)

gtk_render_extension, gtk_render_focus, and gtk_render_frame_gap do not seem to produce any output, no matter which widget's style I pass in, or which flags I set. 

gtk_render_check (and gtk_render_option) does render, with the wrong color, a check mark or a circle, but no background or frame (gtk_render_frame and gtk_render_background do nothing on these widgets)

With all of the above, I have tried setting various states, and using many different widgets as the style base without any success.  I have also made sure to use widgets that are parented and have been realized.

I am doing something wrong, I am just not sure what.  My process is simple:

1. Get a (realized) widget
2. Get a cairo_t
3. Get a GtkStateFlags
4. Get style context for widget
5. Save context
6. Set State
7. gtk_render_* . (may have more than one render call, like background & frame)
8. Restore context

An example where this works perfectly is the GtkButton.    Is there some simple step I am missing to get these other render functions to work correctly?
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