Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Decorative Beads

Ok, this "copycat for less" post is inspired by this lovely lady's design. (See below) I stumbled upon these and loved them.
Yes, they serve no other purpose but to look pretty, but for this designer, that's enough. So, I decided to make my own.

Wooden beads, crocheted beads, loose glass/gemstone beads, and ribbon. All through amazon. I like it, there are things I would do differently if I chose to make again, but I still love the look! I think they would make great gifts too.



Wooden beads: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FM56K3I/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Crocheted beads: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IBD099E/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Glass/gemstone beads: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KUH3RFW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

If I give it another go around, I will update!


M.LEWIS

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Day I Found Out I Didn't Have Cancer

You might have heard, March is Colon Cancer Awareness month. Haven't heard? That's okay, I didn't know that until this year. I probably wouldn't even have given it a second thought...but this year is different. This year had a surprise for me.

I haven't told anyone except my closest family. It's sort of embarrassing and a bit uncomfortable...talking about that area of your anatomy. I didn't want to answer certain questions or divulge sensitive information...but I find signs to speak up now...like March being CCA month.

New Year's day I got quite a shock. No one is prepared to see blood where blood shouldn't be...but that's where I found myself. Using the restroom, finding blood. I initially panicked, but calmed down. I called my OB thinking it was due to Finn's delivery. She agreed that hemorrhoids from delivery sounded like the most likely culprit. I scheduled an appointment for an exam.
She found nothing. She said if the bleeding occurred again, I needed to see a gastroenterologist. She gave me a recommendation, and I left feeling unsure and unresolved. A week or so passed and I had no problems.
Then...the blood returned.

I called the gastroenterologist she recommended and made an appointment for an exam with him. After the office visit, he too could not determine the cause of bleeding. Again, probable hemorrhoids due to Finn's delivery was his best diagnosis, but he recommended a colonoscopy to be certain.

I sighed and squirmed internally.

"A colonoscopy? I was afraid of that. I DO NOT want to do that. I'm sure it's nothing. I just turned 30." I thought to myself. I did want to make sure, so, to error on the side of caution, I told the doctor I wanted to go ahead and schedule the colonoscopy.

The preparation was hell. I won't dive into that...but man...that was the least amount of fun I've had ever. Adverse side effects to the prescription was torture, and all I was focused on was not doing this again for another 20 years. (50 years old is the typically start age for colon cancer screening, aka colonoscopy.)

I made it to procedure day, the procedure room, and was put under anesthesia. The next thing I remember was waking up in recovery by the nurse. Chris was by my side and I was being handed grape juice.
In my groggy state my first thought came out. "Did they find anything?"
Internal hemorrhoids were found; the cause of my bleeding. Then, something I wasn't expecting. 4 polyps were found, removed, and tagged for biopsy.

Biopsy. There's a word you never like hearing.

2 weeks into being 30 and I was waiting for biopsy results. 14 days and they would have the results I was told. Now, I am supposed to not think about this for 2 weeks? Lucky (if that's the word for it) for me, the results were back in 5 days. A surprise email from my GI's office alerted me to my results.

Pathology Results. That was the title of the email.

I clicked and read.

All 4 were benign (not cancer). Hallelujah!

3 were a type of polyp that could never be cancerous...but 1, 1 was considered precancerous. 1 polyp, if left undetected, would most likely develop into cancer within the next 10 years. Meaning, before the age of 40, I would be getting very different results from my biopsy...if I even showed symptoms at all to schedule a colonoscopy.

Colon cancer is usually undetected until it is advanced with noticeable symptoms, which is why screenings are recommended before cancer can develop. Again, they recommend screenings starting at age 50, and rescreening every 10 years. Again, I am 30 years old. That's quite a gap.

With my surprising results, I now have to get a colonoscopy in 5 years to check again for any precancerous polyps and remove them before they have time to develop into cancer. This will occur at age 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, etc...

While I never had cancer, I had something that most likely was growing into cancer. Minor complications from Finn's delivery made these findings possible. What started out with me "blaming" my big baby boy, evolved into me thanking God for this wonky detour in my life path. Without Finn and his size, I wouldn't have formed internal hemorrhoids; without hemorrhoids, no blood; no blood, no colonoscopy; no colonoscopy, no discovery and removal of precancerous polyp. I do not like thinking about the alternate journey.

With my story I hope you decide to talk to your doctor about early screenings...especially if you have a family history of colon cancer like I have. It might literally save your life...I certainly feel it saved mine.



M.LEWIS

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Silhouette Portrait Project

I have been reorganizing and re-situating things lately. When we moved in 2 Octobers ago, I put things up fairly quickly. Mainly because I wanted it to feel like home, but also, having things sit around in boxes drives me nuts. I found a decent spot, and hung it up. It's been fine, but lately I have been wanting to really design areas I just passed over before. With this comes brainstorming and budgeting.

I have an idea for a wall collection (you will have to wait on that one), but with this idea comes a project...a project I started with because it would be free, but now, I am really excited about it.

Silhouette portraits of my kids.

I had a collection of 3 mirrors I got awhile ago and was never too thrilled about where I had them. Mirrors are tricky. I like the concept of bouncing off light and making a space feel bigger, but placed too low and I catch my face. It's not a terrible face, but I don't care to see myself two dozen times a day as I walk down the hall.

I would pop out the mirrors and use the frames. The frame shape is the best part. (Saving the mirrors in case a project pops up later where I can use them.)




Then I painted it with my favorite paint to help the frames blend in to my other wall decor. (Distressed them later to make them look more antique.)


Then the insert, the actual silhouette portrait. For that, I used my kids and both our patience. All you need is a profile picture. Lorelai handled this fine...not to happy, but I got my shot.


Addy was a little trickier, she kept wanting to talk to me, and not look in front of her...but again, I got what I needed after a couple of tries.


Last, Finn...obviously there is no explaining to a 4 month old that he needed to look a certain direction and stay still for a couple seconds...so that took longer to capture. After about 10 minutes, I got one I could work with,


Next, you print out the pictures. You then do something sort of strange and trace their profile with a pen/marker, color their cute little faces black with a thick marker, and then cut out. Now, if you notice, I took some creative liberties on filling in certain features that didn't make it into frame, but their noses, lips, foreheads, eyelashes...all the stuff that makes up their perfect portrait, that's all original. ;-)


I know they will grow, and their faces will change, but I like the idea of leaving these as their ages now. I look forward to hanging these up soon. ♥


M.LEWIS



Saturday, January 28, 2017

Antique Window Project

Yay! Project time!

It's been awhile since I've had a project to do. With a newborn, homeschooling a kindergartner, and stubborn as-all-get-out 3 year old, I have had a lot on my plate...which comes with a fair amount of stress. I needed something creative to do to relax. What better than making something pretty for the house?

I have always loved the look of those antique window frames used as wall decor. Examples:::




Unfortunately, with most things I like, the cost for a true vintage window (especially the size one I wanted) would cost around $75 at least.

So, as usual, it was off to Hobby Lobby for supplies so I could make my own version for less.

Wood...frame and cross pieces

Initial frame

Laying out the look before I break out my saw

All set...now paint

First layer of paint, white...then gray paint, a crackle glaze, sanding, and lastly antiquing technique 

Finished product on the wall

Close up sample of the frame's layers

Added wreath

The full effect
I bought the wood, 2 paint colors, the crackle glaze, and a pack of sponge brushes. (Antiquing paint I already owned.) Grand total: $33.

I am very pleased with the results and I look forward to the next project that pops up! 




Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Love Affair With The Candlesticks Continues...

After the nativity scene came down, I needed to figure out how I wanted to configure my diningroom table with my new lovely candlesticks.

The last piece of my design plan arrived today, and it's safe to say, I love it.
(Excuse the cell phone pictures, my youngest has been fussy all day, so it's amazing I could do it all.)

The front view. Candlesticks, mercury glass votives, wood coasters, burlap table runner, and the newest addition: pip berry candle rings.


My favorite votive...reminds me of Oma's house.

All very simple, but effective.

I think the wood coasters add a real rustic edge I love.

Here you can see how the tablescape ties into the collection of vintage botanical prints I have on the wall. 

The decorative edge on the burlap runner adds a bit of delicateness needed for a diningroom, but still keeping things causal.  


Close up on the pip berry rings...I love the collection of colors in the rings. Also, another angle on the votives, every one is different.

And one last shot of the pip berries. :)

Ok, I promise this will be the last post on the candlestick decor...for now. ;-) Thanks for indulging me!


M.LEWIS



Thursday, December 15, 2016

Candlestick Table

A type of post I haven't done in awhile is my "how you get the look for less" posts...and I love those.

My latest purchase (before we were hit by the strep monster):



If look beyond my nativity scene, you will see tall, wrought iron taper candlesticks. 3 different sizes ranging from around 24" down to around 18". Bought at Hobby Lobby at 50% off. Purchase price: $10/$8.50/$7. Total (including tax) : $55

I found these Pottery Barn candle sticks (out of stock) for far more:



Large one alone $50, smaller $35...before tax. If I got 3 of each size, to get the same tablescape look, the total would be (including tax): $276

That blows my mind.
I love Pottery Barn and will happily spend gift cards there, but overall, Hobby Lobby just makes far more sense. Get the look and don't be broke. ;-)

I look forward to playing around with the candlesticks after Christmas and the nativity scene is put away.


M.LEWIS

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Finn's Arrival

The more kids I have, the more time goes by in between posts...sorry about that.

I did want to write down my experience delivering Finn before too much time went by...I have my accounts of the girls, and he needs one too. :-)

Since Mr. Finnian was measuring so big for so long, they scheduled me for induction asap. His due date was 10/23 and he was scheduled for an early arrival on 10/17.

That morning we dropped the girls off at my mom's and Chris and I went to the hospital around 7am. Pitocin, antibiotics, and extra fluids in IV's by 8am. I knew the drill and we were cruising along nicely. My Dr. checked on me around 10am and said she hoped for a "lunch baby." A few hours away? OK!

I got my epidural in around 11am (I was on the fence for half of the pregnancy about getting one...the first half...due to the failure of my epidural with Addy.) and boy, was it needed. Dilation progressed quickly after the epidural and around 12:45pm and when my Dr. came in to check on me then, I was 12cm dilated (yes, 12!) and I was in a lot of pain (even with the epidural) and I wanted this baby boy out! It seemed to take forever, squeezing Chris' hand, waiting for the Dr. and nurses to set up everything. When it was time to push, I was more than ready!

It took only 3 rounds of pushing (approx 10 mins) before I was told to stop. "Oh, he's heavy." I heard my Dr. say...but that's something I knew already. ;-)  I felt some tugging, and then, I heard the best sound in the world. The cries of my Finn filled the room. He was here! I then saw his cute, chubby face and he was placed on my chest. Gooey, swollen, and beautiful, Chris and I finally met our son.

"Let's weigh him...I want to know how heavy he is." my Dr. said after about 20 minutes of cleaning and cuddling.

9lb 7oz; 20 3/4 in, Finnian George Lewis was born at 1:08pm on 10/17/16.

Big, cuddly, sweet, and the perfect addition to our family; everyone was overjoyed to have Finn in the family...especially Lorelai and Adalaide. They are the proudest and most loving of big sisters...which makes my heart happy.

While Finn is definitely my biggest baby, with the most uncomfortable pregnancy...his delivery was the fastest. Recovery took much longer with him. It may be his size, or the fact that I have 2 kids already at home, but my body took much longer to regain strength and endurance. He doesn't sleep as long as I would like at night, but we're getting there. Breastfeeding has been a struggle (just like the girls) but he is happy and healthy with supplementing with formula...actually it's more like formula with breastmilk supplementing...that's how unefficient my body is, but oh well. Yes, I know all the tips and tricks, the herbs, the vitamins, and special tea...it's just the way it is...and I'm ok with that. My pediatrician is supportive and I have no serious worries about his growing and development. I have been blessed with 3 healthy children!

Now, to tend to the little man himself...

Welcome to the world Finn, you are where you belong for sure ♥



*Please excuse spelling and grammar errors, no time for proof-reading! ;-)


-M.LEWIS