Tuesday, March 27, 2012

First Day of Chemotherapy

I'm writing this morning because there was no way I would be sitting up, much less typing, after my day yesterday, but this morning....I am a little better.

Yesterday, was the first day of chemo, it sorta felt like the first day of school, I didn't know anyone, didn't know where to go, where to stand, what to do....my MIL was with me so at least I didn't have to feel like a goof ball alone (which is how I felt on first days of school :)

All and all it went pretty smooth, I didn't start to feel bad until a couple of hours after I got home. I felt ok, then all of a sudden I didn't feel so hot. I was given nausea medicine before the chemicals so I didn't feel nauseated....I felt like I'd been hit by a truck and I couldn't move....later a killer headache came...I just laid in bed and never got up. I finally shuffled out to eat dinner and to watch The Voice...then shuffled back. They told me in Chemo Ed that the first time is going to be the worst...my body was just going to be in shock for a while. I've got three more days and Wednesday and Thursday are six hour drips. God give me strength.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hand Painted Coffee Table

Well, before we get to the coffee table, I have to show you these two chairs that I recently scored. No, they are not matching (which is ok) and now I am faced with the decision a.) whether to paint or not and b.) fabric choices. Even more thoughts....fabric paint for the one on the left and I wonder what a bleach and water mixture would do to the one on the right.....although I really don't mind the navy fabric on it and it's in excellent condition...who knows what I'll do....any way you are here to see a painted coffee table right?

We have had this coffee table since before we got married (yikes!) and it was used then...the stamped date underneath is circa 1983....needless to say, she's not a precious antique...so through all these years of abuse from a house of boys....her age was beginning to show.

But the shape is fantastic, I've always adored the legs, but you can really see how bad the top is in this first picture...
chips, dents, dings, water marks...you know the story...

Keegan hauled it outside for me and set it up on my 'painting pallet'. I sprayed the entire piece glossy black. It is not a great departure from the dark walnut, but really cleaned up the finish

Once the table was completely dry, I broke out the gold leaf pen and hand painted some leaves around the perimeter. Gold leaf pens are really great to work with, great control, so I was able to finish the design in under 30 minutes.

I worked 'backwards' so I wouldn't smudge my work, although it dries fairly quickly.

The pattern added just enough to the top of the table to keep it from being just another piece of black furniture. I also added gold to the 'knuckles' (for lack of better word) of the legs...you'll see a better picture below, again bringing a little more detail in.

Once the the gold leaf was nice and dry, I put on a coat of poly and let it cure a couple of days.

Better picture of the legs:

I moved it back into her regular spot in front of the sofa.....

...we'll see how many more years we can get out of her!

I styled her up pretty neutral (there is a lot of color going on in the living room as it is!) but I love the air of formality she's got now.

Now what to do with those chairs.......:)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Forsythia Door Basket

Don't you think forsythia is one of the prettiest flowering bushes? It is blooming everywhere around here, it's one of my favorites. It has always signalled the first of spring for me, so I was inspired to do a basket for the door with some silk forsythia.

I've had this long narrow wall basket for several years now, but this is the first time I've used it on the front door.

Remember the twigs I used in the centerpiece on the dining table? I had enough left over to stick several in with the silk...it really helps keep it looking real. I also used a little ferny grass to pump up the green too.

I'm ready for Spring!

I hope you are having a great weekend. My boys are on spring break, so I hope we get to do a lot of fun things before I start chemo on the 26th. Talk to you soon!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ruffled And Fringed Table Runner {Tutorial}

Well, before we begin the tutorial, I wanted to show you an easy centerpiece. I love simple centerpieces and find them easy to change whenever the mood strikes (which is often ;) I don't keep my table set, it's just not sensible for us, but I do love the look of a nice big piece to draw the eye and add some interest, plus who wants a nekked table? You've seen the white hourglass vase before (take a look at it HERE with tulips), this time faux fern and some real branches really create some height and drama. Luckily, some spring pruning has been happening here in the hood and I grabbed a bundle of twigs before they got discarded. As an added detail, I put a little leaf dish of ceramic eggs off to the side, it adds a little bit o'color too.

Anyhoo, on with the tutorial!
Now, if you've been with me for any length of time, you know that I am determined to become a better sewer and have been experimenting with different runners. I made one out of linen fabric (look HERE) and since then I found some more cute fabric (At Hobby Lobby BTW) I thought that I would show you how I did it. Just keep in mind I am still a novice sewer at this point.

I have really been into runners vs. tablecloths for a while now. I've made runners in the past and made them somewhat narrow, but then I thought, why not make full use of the fabric and make it wider. I love the table showing, but I love seeing more fabric too. For this project, all you need is two yards of designer fabric (54"-60" wide), a sewing machine and common sewing supplies.

Right now, my table has it's leaf in it because you what the runner to be long enough with or with out a leaf.
First, fold the fabric lengthwise in half. Cut along the folded edge, making two pieces. This fabric is 54" so now you've got two pieces that are 27" wide each. Set one of the two pieces of the fabric aside for the moment.

Take the remaining piece of fabric and fold it in half lengthwise and cut along the fold. This will give you two pieces, two yards long...so the fabric is cut in half and then in half again.

Creating the ruffles are next. Now a basting stitch is easily done on the machine, but for me, it's easier to do it by hand....so decide which is easier for you and create one on the edge of one of the long pieces you just cut. I put a knot in one end of the thread, pull the thread and the fabric ruffles.

Grab the original piece of fabric that you laid aside earlier and lay it flat on the table. Work with the gathers and ruffles until they are the exact width of the runner and pin in place (I used a lot of pins to keep in place). Be sure to pin like shown, below this makes it easier to sew on the machine:

Go to the machine and sew on the ruffle. If you want to remove the basting stitch at this time, you can, however, I didn't...it wasn't showing, so I didn't feel the need to remove it.

Once the ruffle is sewn on, remove all pins and flip over the ruffle. Then to keep the top of the ruffle a little more tailored looking, I sewed a running stitch just about the seam and it just helps the ruffle lay flat.

See? :)

Finally, the fringe. If you are not the fringe type, then by all means create a hem at this time....but I like the fringe look for added texture. Be sure that your fabric is woven so it will fringe naturally. All I did for the fringe was sew a tight 1/4" around the entire piece and then pull out the fabric threads. This is probably the most tedious part, but you'll make it through...

You have just completed a ruffled and fringed runner! I really love this project, there is zero scraps or waste, nice right?

You could run an iron over it, but I didn't....wrinkles are more texture. :)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and hope you find it useful. Go make a runner!


Yesterday, I had the port for chemo put in my chest...it went pretty smoothly. I went in at 6:30 am and was home by noon...very smooth. It was sorta funny...they roll me in the OR and getting me prepped for surgery and I'm still pretty awake, but they've put something in the IV...they are securing my arms down, tucking paper blankets around me, putting my head on some sort of Styrofoam "U" shape pillow and I remember thinking " I sure am wake for a lot of this....this is like a bad episode of ER staring ME ......" the next thought that I had was asking the doctor, which I did: "When are we were going to begin?" he said: "We are done!"....so apparently I went under at some point. :) I was feeling pretty good until they started moving me and I could barely move my left arm at all yesterday. For some reason, I thought they were going to put the port in on the right, but it's just a little above and left of my heart. This morning I could move my arm better (which is why I'm typing :) and I'm just a little tender. I gotta be honest though, just looking at the bump right under my skin, turns my stomach a little, hopefully I'll get use to it. {{shudder}}

Joining Stephanie Lynn

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What I've Been Up To

So I've been slip-slidin' away....it's been a busy, busy week with doctor appointments and testing and running all over town trying to get everything ready (here at home) for starting chemo. One such trip included a jaunt to Springfield Missouri, because I just had to get to the fabric store and Kmart. :) So the boys and I took off with my MIL and guess what? Keegan drove the whole way...on the open road...with high speeds and big rigs and blind spots, and all that.
Yikes. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous, and I am trying to not stress out, although I was completely stressed out (don't tell him I said that). He's gotta learn somehow.
The trip also included a little bonus thrifting in which I scored some brand new Target thermal curtains (the creamy fabric below), a single blue striped curtain and 12 orange napkins and hold the phone, two brass trays, and that bottom one is pretty heavy. I told you brass was really growing on me, just not the shiny stuff, mind you....it's got to be olden brass. I'm not sure what I'll be doing with the creamy panels, but that blue curtain has got summer tablecloth written all over it, and I adore the orange with the navy, don't you?

While at Kmart, I found these cute little woven slingback flats, and I love the inside stripe too. I love when they do details like that. And really, with Spring a week away, I'll be wearing these very soon!

I've started the oral cancer drug (called Mitotane) and it's making me a little crazy in that I'm not thinking straight and blurry vision...in essence I'm a little more air-headed than normal. Luckily I have not been sick though, they gave me nausea medicine to help with that so I am happy to report it's working. I also started a vitamin regimen...I've been reading all I can on beating cancer and take a look...I've gone from just a daily aspirin to thin my blood so my graph doesn't clog up to this:
Oh Yeah.

Also, I've been doing some sewing (watch out). I finally put together a tutorial how I did my ruffled table runner...especially since I found this cutesy gingham. I hope to get that pulled together for tomorrow. A little sneaky peaky.

And speaking of tomorrow, I get the port put in tomorrow which is an outpatient surgery, so I know I won't be around again for a couple of days. Just to let you know though, you all are helping me SO much, I am literally gleaning confidence from each and every comment and email and even snail mail!! Most from people that I don't even know, but are so willing to offer advice and encouragement and help (that is so major!). Thank you, I can't say it enough!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Can Do This

I had a really full day yesterday. I spent a huge chunk of time revamping at my booth space because of the hutch selling the day before. It's great that the hutch sold, but it was a major anchor and held a lot. As I suspected, everything was all on the floor when I got there...so I plugged in my ipod and got to work.
My Chemo Ed class was at 2:00 so I left and rushed across town (should have left a little earlier, I was a little late, whoops). The chemo ed was so, so helpful...a lot of the unknowns were talked about and my questions answered. The nurse that was explaining it all to me clearly knows her stuff. I found out all sorts of information like exactly what my regimen will be and how long per day, side effects of chemo, side effects of the pill I'm taking, and what I'll be feeling...what to expect or not. It's true, knowledge is power...I'm feeling ready to take this thing on.

By the end of it I was exhausted and glad that I got to bring a lot of the information home to read over. But, I know that no one can fully prepare you for chemo therapy, but I'm glad that at least I've got an idea of what will be happening. I'll just have to take one day at a time.
After I picked up the kiddies, we headed to McDonald's. Not that this is unusual, but that evening was "McTeacher's Night" where Mickey D donates 15% of the proceeds to Logan's school...so we braved the crowd and picked up dinner.

Today, I am feeling rested and I am headed out to get supplies for wreath making to fill up my Etsy shop....that's code for flower shopping. :)
Tomorrow, I have a cat scan and ultrasound and an appointment with the surgeon about putting in a port for the chemo, which apparently I will just love because it will be located in a major artery and the little veins in my arms will thank me.
Thank you for your continued support, you guys are helping me so much...my own little support group. :)

I can do this.