Sunday, September 30, 2012

Discount Name Brand Fabrics from Lynn Chalk

Visit Lynn Chalk's website for up to 40% off all the most popular fabrics!

She carries all the latest in name brand fabrics. Here are a few of my favorites.

 One of the first window treatments I ever made was from Thom Felicia fabric and I have been in love with it ever since! It drapes beautifully and is perfect for curtains. See below.

The fabric is absolutely ideal for draperies and I recommend it to anyone!!

The ever popular David Hick La Fiorantina Wine Magenta. It comes in a variety of colors.

Here is a picture of a shade I made for Kirsten Krason at 6th Street Design School

And the ever popular. . . . Imperial Trellis.

Here is the shade I made for Fran at Green Street Blog.

Lynn Chalk  has page after page of the most gorgeous designer fabrics. Lynn is my "go to" person for all my window treatment projects that require designer fabrics as she offer unbeatable prices! She is also very fast at ordering and shipping and communicates quickly and often. She is a pleasure to work with and I hope you will get the opportunity to have a shopping experience with her.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Current Orders, shipment dates

  1. Our current turnaround time is around 8 weeks. I wish I had time to write to everyone and give you and exact date of arrival, but I just can't. We are so busy.  We are working at full steam and have your happiness and best interest in mind always.

    With this in mind I plan to post on here, facebook and etsy our planned shipment schedule for the week. If you do not see your name (or etsy name) please check back again next week).

    To ship on or before October 6th
    Ellen Mottolla
    Kate Flack
    Nana Lemmon
    Jennifer Lentz
    Anne Baker

    Thank you all for your patience. We appreciate your business. Please understand that i would like to give you all concrete dates and communicate with you all personally, but we are in our busy season now and unfortunately I cannot sit and calculate everyones dates. But I do appreciate you all very much.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Client Love

We love our clients, and they love us! Read what they have to say.

Lesley's nursery shade, made by our seamstress, Sara.
"I ordered 3 roman shades. There was a problem with one of them, and Melissa quickly made a new one to replace it. She was VERY responsive in dealing with my concerns and seemed to really want to make the problem right. She also helped me choose the fabric, which loooks great. Very happy overall with my purchase and experience."  (One of the shades showed up dirty and we were happy to replace it at no cost to her).

 Missy's shades made by me!
"These shades are gorgeous and perfect and everything I expected handmade custom shades to be. Melissa even made the effort to make the pattern repeats in this lovely upholstery damask (from Etsy seller fabulessfabrics) as symmetrical as possible. I did pay extra to expedite, but even so they arrived sooner than expected. In the end, they actually cost a smidge less than those "budget" custom shades websites and look about 10x nicer. I really like the way she broke down the total invoice cost in such detail so I could see exactly how much for labor, supplies, and extras. I would definitely order again from windowsbymelissa and recommend her to anyone looking for beautiful, truly custom window treatments."

 Jessica's shades made by our seamstress, Janeen!
"Turned out perfectly! They look great in my kitchen!"

I know some of you have been waiting very patiently for your shades, and we appreciate your patience. We recently had to part ways with one of our seamstresses. It was a very hard decision to make as she is fabulous in every way and has contributed greatly to our shop. She is an amazing and talented woman and will perform well in whatever she does. We are still adjusting to her absence and ask that you all continue to be patient with us as we adjust to our new workload. While I cannot guarantee my turnaround times right now, I can guarantee you will be happy with the quality of your final product which we are working round the clock to get out in a timely fashion without sacrificing quality. 

We appreciate all of you and wouldn't be anything without you. Thank you for your interest in us and for your business. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Room Makeover with JWS Interiors

Black and White Room Makeover

Recently I joined efforts with Jennifer at JWS Interiors. She had a Black and White room makeover that needed curtains. We decided to do White curtains with a black Greek Key trim.

The white fabric is a 9 oz cotton duck fabric. The heavier the base fabric the better for applying ribbon. If the fabric is too light it will bunch when sewing on the ribbon. This is not the case, however, if you are using fabric glue. For a more quality product we sew our ribbon to our fabric. 

The ribbon is a 7/8" wide black grosgrain ribbon. I made the keys on the curtain panels larger than we do our roman shades so that it could be proportionate with the length of the curtains. 

The room is gorgeous! Jennifer did an outstanding job! I don't think I could be so daring as to put black paint on a wall. But now that I have seen it here I am very inspired to go bold!!

Follow Jennifer on her blog and get some great ideas for your next project.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to Plan a Room Makeover

How to Successfully Plan a Room Makeover

1) If you are planning to redo a room in your house the first thing you should do is shop shop shop! You should know what is out there and what your options are. I like to shop at a variety of places to get the ideas flowing. Some places I go to are department stores, craft stores, Ross, Marshalls, TJ Max, Good Will, Kirkland, Bed Bath and Beyond, home decor and upholstery fabric shops and just whatever I happen to run into while I am out at those places. If you stick to your "usual" place, like Ikea (. . . not an Ikea fan. . . ) then you are likely to end up not changing anything or buying all new stuff just to end up with a room that looks like your old one! Shopping at a variety of stores will allow you compare and contrast the different styles available to you. If you only go to one place you are limiting yourself and not exposing yourself to the updated or new styles that are out there. 
 a) Check out furniture stores that already have rooms set up so that you can imagine the functionality of certain items you are considering. It may be a good idea in thought, but when you see how a piece of furniture functions in an actual room setting, you may be surprised at the reality of it.

2) Acquire some home improvement magazine or check out design books at the library. Have some sticky notes on hand to mark all the things that stick out to you or "speak" to you when browsing.

3) Visit model homes in your area to learn the most up to date trends and to get fresh ideas.

4) Once you have gathered all your ideas you should make a plan. Whether you are just adding a window treatment and pillows or redesigning an entire room, you should have a plan. Planning will include measuring, fabric sample, if possible, pictures from magazines or written ideas from your home and furniture store visits. 

     a) Your plan should be able to answer the following questions:
          .1) What do my family and I want to be able to do in this room? Eat? Sleep? Watch tv? Do homework? etc.
          .2) What currently is not working for me in this room? What is working?
          .3) Does the room have a focal point? A fireplace? A view?, etc.

5) Choose a color scheme. Be sure to note when you are gathering ideas colors that stood out to you. If you are stuck here I recommend picking one thing to focus on:
         a) Perhaps a season; Spring: light and airy tones, Summer: rich, ripe and full, Fall: warm, golden hues, Winter: whites and browns.
         b) Or choose an object. Perhaps you have a favorite vase, painting or some item that has been passed through your family for generations. Select an item that is personal to you and that you are attached to and use the colors in it to choose your color scheme. 

6) Then put all your ideas together and create a notebook, packet or portfolio of some kind. Your portfolio should include the following:
      a) Pictures: every angle of the room and all the items you plan to keep in the room
      b) Any clippings you may have acquired from magazines, etc
      c) Fabric swatches and paint samples
      d) Appropriate measurement information: windows for window treatments, space for couches or chairs, space for mantle pieces or other wall surround for a fireplace, space for art, and doorways for trims or molding. 

This portfolio should help you tackle a redo by yourself. However, if you lack the self confidence necessary to make a change it may be worth the cost of an interior designer to offer some help. Don't underestimate the value your living space can add to your life and your family. If you lack the self confidence it will be well worth it to consult an interior designer. I am also always available for fabric and color advice. A retreat in your home can add so much to your mental health! I know it takes money, which is hard to come by these days. But there are so many affordable ideas out there to spruce up a room. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Giveaway Tuesday!

I don't know what I want to give away. What do you want? What is it that you have put in your etsy cart and were ready to buy until your husband said, "That's $X we could be out of debt!" (My husband said that to me when we were in college and I wanted to spend $7 to get my eyebrows waxed ON MY BIRTHDAY! "That's $7 we could be out of debt!") ha!

What do you want? A coupon? Fabric yardage? Pillow covers? Ice cream? Magic Beans? A high five? Cash? Just kidding, guys. I'm not going to give you a coupon. ;) But is there something you have been hoping I would put up in a giveaway but haven't seen yet? 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Let's talk TV!

I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have a few obsessions. Among them is obsessive thoughts. I will think about things until I am sick. Little insignificant things that don't matter. After I make cookies I will sit and wonder if I added another tablespoon of flower if they would have risen higher or just become harder. And I will think about it until it drives me nuts and I make cookies AGAIN just to satisfy that obsessive thought.

I know, I know. Crazy. But at least I'm at peace with my craziness. I feel bad for some people in my life, **ahem**, who are so insecure with their sensitivities and instabilities that they make stupid decisions that affect everyone in their lives and then pretend like they are the victims because they couldn't possibly have anything at all wrong with them. Sad lives. And then leave everyone else to clean up their mess because they won't acknowledge it. Accept your inner crazy and deal with it. End rant.

When I work I turn on the tv for background noise so that I don't think about stuff until I want to dig my finger nails into the cement walls!!! My dad is an accountant and owns his own successful firm. During tax season when he works late nights he puts on what he calls his "tax season movies." This is any movie you've seen more times than your own face so that it can play in the background and you can watch it without actually having to look at the screen to know what is going on. But after Boondock Saints for the four millionth time, I decided to move on to tv.

I love netflix! Lots of good tv shows. Does anyone have any good series to recommend? I love the AMC shows The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad.

 I have also seen all the Deadliest Catch series and Ice Road Truckers ;). I recently started Lost and oh much what the heck is up with that show?! I didn't finish. . .

I have started Supernatural and let me just say that I am one Supernatural episode away from buying a teeny-bopper magazine for some Sam and Dean posters. My birthday is coming up, by the way. I am not normally a fan of CW tv shows. I usually think they are pure garbage and dramatic trash that the people I mentioned above who can't accept their insecurities watch to find someone with an equally sad life to connect with since they are incapable of connecting with real people. But, I may have changed my mind after watching Supernatural. Not Vampire Diaries, though. Total VOM right there.
Yes, please.

I'll take two.

***Confession: I have seen every episode of Vampire Diaries. :) But not because I am looking for someone with a sad pathetic life, but because Ian Somerhalder is vvveeerrrryyy good looking. :)

There are a lot things on netflix that interest me. I majored in English in college and was very interested in a documentary on Mark Twain. But I sat and watched it instead of working :) So if I am going to have the tv on it has to be something that I am way into, but it also can't be soooo bad that I watch it to if it can possibly get any worse (Vampire Diaries). It has to be in the middle somewhere.

Any suggestions on what I should start after I finish Supernatural?


P.S. Sorry if I offended any Vampire Diaries fans.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Don't Forget Brewer! Coupon inside!

Hello readers. I love to help others in any way that I can. I used to volunteer at a nursing home, food banks, etc. But my physical disorder, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, has left me limited in what I can do to help others. Having been blessed with an extremely successful bussiness, I have decided to help monetarily as I can at the very least provide funds. I was a little sad in August when we had no sponsor! I have had one every month since we started this program last year! But not August. So if you know of anyone or if you yourself might be a good candidate for our modest donation, please contact me at windowsbymelissa at

This month we our sponsoring


Brewer's mom tells us about his condition: " Brewer has hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). HLHS is a terminal heart defect where the left side of the heart is under developed and cannot perform it's function. During the course of his life, Brewer will have three different open heart surgeries that will transform his heart from a two ventricle system to a single ventricle system. These surgeries are stop-gaps to help extend his life into his teenage years and possible into his twenties before he will go into heart failure and need a new heart. Since Brewer's birth, on February 26th, he has undergone two of the three surgeries; the first on Febraury 29th and the second on July 19th. Doctor's predict that his third surgery will take place between 3 and 5 years of age. 

 Because Brewer's heart, his oxygen saturation levels are lower than a person who has a healthy heart. We have to monitor them a few times a day and at night to make sure he's staying in range. It's a little scary because if they fall too low then not enough oxygen will be able to get to his brain and the rest of his body.

  When we first came home from the hospital the medical staff informed us that they didn't want Brewer crying because it puts extra stress on his heart, burns valuable calories and his oxygen saturation drops. They also failed to tell us how you prevent a newborn from crying. That was a stressful and constant challenge. We also left the hospital with many "signs" to look for in Brewer's health that might signal a problem, such as labored breathing, dusky skin tones, cold feet, and a hard tummy. It is also crucial that Brewer doesn't catch a cold or some other illness which could set him right back in the hospital in critical condition.  

Brewer burns more calories in general, meaning that he needs to eat more and has yet to go for longer than 4 or 5 hour stretch at night. Since we've been home from his second surgery we're pretty much back to a 3 hour eating schedule, eating 7-8 times a day. Babies who have HLHS are also at risk for developmental delays. We are involved in an early intervention program and it feels good to know that we are doing all we can to help Brewer progress. Between feeding Brewer, rocking him to sleep, pumping for breast milk, washing bottles, doing development exercises, keeping Brewer happy, and taking care of the needs of my almost 4 year old, there is usually not much time left to do anything else, like a bathroom break or an occasional meal. Showers have become quite the luxury. Thank goodness I have an amazing husband who has picked up where I am falling short. Since February, he has prepared all the dinners for our family.

 My husband is self employed and has been working long days to meet the financial demands we face. While we do have insurance, there are many things that are still not covered, like all our home health care equipment, oxygen, saturation monitor, breast pump, prescriptions and gas to travel to multiple doctor appointments. We also dread the time when we will have to renew our insurance and face the new premiums that will come with a baby who has such a serious heart defect. 

There isn't a moment in the day when my mind can stop thinking about Brewer's health and wondering if what we are doing is enough. And at the same time I am so grateful for what we have. Brewer is such a joy when he's feeling well and well rested. Hundreds of people have fallen in love with our sweet boy! There is something different and special about him that can easily been seen through his eyes and I am so grateful that he gets to be a part of our family. Phil and I have given up everything for Brewer and even though there are many times that we feel like there is nothing left to give, we will never quit. Brewer deserves the best chance at a happy and healthy life, just like everybody does and so we will continue to do all we can for him."

What a beautiful family! We hope to be of some help to them by donating $5 of every order placed in September to help care for baby Brewer's expenses. If you would like to make an individual donation aside from the $5 we will donate, please let me know and we will be happy to get that to them. 

Monetary donations are great, but if you feel so inclined I am sure this family could use any support. Please leave a comment of encouragement here or visit their own family blog at 

If you use coupon code BREWER we will give you free shipping on your next order. If a separate individual donation is made we will match it! We have had people in the past opt out of the coupon code and ask that $15 they paid for shipping to be forwarded on to the sponsor families. If you choose to do this we will match that $15! (or whatever your shipping cost comes to as it is based on amount purchased).

Let's help baby Brewer!! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Boozing and Whoring. . . and Planting Trees.

What really matters?
Do Something That Matters Today

Alrighty, readers. It's time for a heart to heart. I try to have a few blog posts a week and I'm sure you've noticed I haven't been doing that the past two weeks. This is because I have been at various doctor's taking care of some health concerns that have to do with my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I apologize if some of this seems a little disconnected. I have been writing this for three days and have had to keep stopping because I became overwhelmed with bad feelings. It was extremely difficult for me to write this. I hope you will stick around till the end of the post. I believe I have an important message. I know it's long, but I hope you will read till the end and feel inspired to do something that matters today.

You know you have EDS
when. . . .
I had some X-Rays done last week and got to view them with the doctor on Tuesday. I was a little scared about what I would see. When he turned on the background light it was immediately evident that there was significant curving and damage in my spine and neck. He had a stencil type thing that he put on the x-ray and drew in red marker where my neck and spine should be curving and then told me at what degree those curves should be. When we go to my lower spine he said, "This should be curved. . ." and I felt relief at first because I was looking at a curve. But then he finished, ". . . in the opposite direction.

You know you have
EDS when. . . .
A bunch of times he said things like that I should be between 32 and 38 degree curves in certain places where I was measuring at 11. There is supposed to be a curve at the base of the spine for the tail bone, but mine is straight, therefore making sitting extremely uncomfortable. My neck is supposed to make a curve like a crescent shape. It does at the base but then goes completely straight toward the top. This cause severe headaches and migraines.

He found that I have arthritis in the base of my neck and top of my spine. This makes it very difficult to do every day tasks like driving. But the worst is sleeping. It hurts to lay my head on a pillow and I wake up every time I turn in bed because my neck hurts.

You know you have
EDS when. . . .
The straight parts in my neck and lower spine have also contributed to significant nerve damage that will continue to happen. It may cause me to lose feeling in my legs, etc.

I am not writing this to complain. I have already designated some time this weekend for my pity party. The reason I write is because I feel that I have something very important to say. I have been very disappointed lately in some family, friends and media as I have been watching myself deteriorate. I was listening to the radio and a catchy tune came on called "One Lyfe" or something with equally bad grammar in the title. I can't remember exactly what the name was or the exact lyrics. But they said something like, "you only have life so I'm going to enjoy the party and drink what's in my cup." This song in addition to watching some friends and family make bad choices has me feeling very unsettled about the message being conveyed about "living your life to the fullest." Life is not measured by the amount you put in yourself or let in yourself. It is measured by what you put out.

When the doctor turned on the x-ray light it was immediately evident that things weren't right. He may as well have put up signs that said, "Wheel chair," "Surgery," "Paralysis in legs," "No more bike rides with your children," "No more walking your children to school," "No more!" "NOTHING!" I should mention that I knew this was coming. But it's one thing to feel yourself deteriorate, and it's quite another to see the evidence and have someone else tell you. See, when you feel yourself experiencing the deterioration you can trick your mind into thinking, "maybe I just hurt that exercising today." Or, "Maybe I just did too much today and need to slow down." And that helps me to not believe that it is the deterioration of my body. But when I looked at the x-rays there was nothing I could do or say to my mind to trick it into thinking that it wasn't my time yet to begin deteriorating. I thought about my philosophy on life and how I believe the quality of life is not based on what I let in my body, but what I put out. So I chose not to let that fear in.

When I got home from that appointment I could have sat and cried about my future and about how I won't get to do certain things with my children. But instead I sat down at my computer and I downloaded the ringtone "The Final Countdown," which is Gob's magic show music from Arrested Development ;) This action helped me ease into my work day much better than crying.

I have to be realistic. I will never climb Mount Everest. I can't ride rollercoasters anymore. My husband will have to ride Space Mountain by himself from now on ;) I will never run that marathon that I tried to train for for three months. I will not have more children. But in accepting this and being realistic I've realized that life is not measured by Mount Everest climbs, or the amount of marathons run. It is not measured by the amount of drinks your have or the amount of drugs you do. Those are things you let into your body or subject your body to. My life is measured by what I put out. I won't climb mountains, but I can plant a tree on one :)

My mountains and marathons can be organizing charity efforts, volunteering at the food bank, visiting those in need of friends and companionship. Each of those things and many more is what will fill my life to the fullest. I want to fill my deeds and things that matter. Not alcohol and bad choices.

Please, do something that matters. Don't allow yourself to be brainwashed by the idea that living your life to the fullest means taking from the world whatever you can. It means giving to the world whatever you can. Stop taking and give a little more. I hope to live up to this no matter what physical condition I am in. That is why I started our sponsor program. I can't always help physically, but I can help monetarily.

Make your life significant no matter what your condition. Whether you have mental or physical conditions or no conditions at all! Make it count. You matter and you are significant. You can make a difference. Live your life to the fullest. Fill it by putting out, not taking in. Make it count. Do something that matters.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Let the season begin!!! Read for information about holiday orders!

2012 Holiday Orders

Place your holiday orders at our etsy shopor our website.

Thanksgiving, Thursday November 29th
All window treatment orders to be received by thanksgiving must be placed by OCTOBER 15th. We will still take orders for Thanksgiving after October 15th, but we will charge the expedited fee.

**Normally, our expedited fee is $50 plus an additional $5 for each additional item after one. And that guarantees you will receive it within six business days. During our busy holiday time, we will not make this time guarantee and so we will be lowering our expedited fee to $40 per order. This will only guarantee your order will be shipped USPS 2-3 day priority by Friday November 23rd.

The last day we will guarantee November 23rd as the ship date is Friday November 16th. Any fabric received after Friday the 16th is not guaranteed to be received by Thanksgiving, though we will do our best.

Christmas and other year end holidays
Christmas: Tuesday December 25th
All year end holiday orders MUST be placed by MONDAY NOVEMBER 5th or they will be charged the expedited fee. **Read the note above on expediting. Expediting for Christmas orders will not guarantee it within the usual six business days but will guarantee it to arrive in time for the year end holidays.

The final ship date for all year end holiday orders will be Monday December 17th. They will be shipped USPS 2-3 day priority. All fabric for end of year holiday order must be received by MONDAY DECEMBER 10th or it will not be guaranteed to be shipped out by Monday December 17th. We will continue to accept order after the 10th, but they will not be guaranteed to arrive by Christmas, though we will do our best.

***!!! This is our busiest time of year as people prepare their homes to receive visitors. We ask that you take special note of the dates above. Every time we receive a message asking for the status of your window treatments it sets us back a little further. We have to take the time to read and respond to each of those. And with 100+ open orders at a time, that time can add up. We ask that you not write us to ask about the status of your shade UNLESS it has not arrived by the guaranteed time we quoted from the time your order was placed. Your cooperation with this is greatly appreciated. We will do our best to keep in touch throughout production, but our focus will be on the construction and we will likely only communicate when absolutely necessary during the holiday season. It will also be extremely helpful to us if you follow the instructions in the “Description” section of the listings when inquiring about your order. !!!****


As always, we appreciate your business and look forward to working with you. Thank you.

Place your order at our etsy store or on our Website.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Giveaway winner!!!

Congratulations BECK!!! You won the giveaway!

What should be in our next giveaway? What are some things you could make use of that we could give away? Leave a comment and let me know.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fabric 101- repost

I am re-posting this blog post about fabric choices. We had a good run for a while where we were getting appropriate fabrics, but recently we've been getting things like apparel fabrics and light weight fabrics. Here is a little fabric 101 for you all so you can become familiar with the many types of fabrics there are out there.

Cotton- Cotton is durable, strong and affordable. The weight of the cotton affects how it hangs. Higher thread counts wear better. While cotton is a good choice of fabric because it is machine washable, it will wrinkle and mildew in a damp environment and can turn yellow or fade in the sun. But, it can be treated to prevent the mildew and yellowing from happening.

Linen- Like cotton, Linen is strong and durable; however, it is more expensive. Most linen is dry clean only. It is somewhat resistant to sun and mildew and hangs stiffly when draped.

Silk- Silk is costly, but drapes well and resists mildew. Water will spot silk and can fade in the sun.

Wool- Wool is an excellent insulator and drapes easily. It is moderately priced, but dry-clean only. It attracts moths and weakens in direct sunlight.

Nylon- Nylon is strong, affordable and wrinkle free. The higher the thread count the better the draping.

Polyester- Polyester is durable, strong and wrinkle resistant. It can weaken over time in direct sunlight. It is  moderately priced and machine washable.

Rayon- Rayon is weaker than other fibers, but drapes well. It is affordable and can be draped to look like silk or linen. Rayon wrinkles and is dry clean only.

Brocade- Brocade features a raised floral design that resembles embroidery. It is a heavy fabric usually woven from cotton, wool or silk.

Canvas- Strong and inexpensive. Good for covering outdoor furniture.

Chintz- Made from a cotton weave and coated in a high-luster glaze and usually features a floral motif.

Damask- Made from a weave of cotton, silk or wool and is finished in matte and satin.

Gingham- Crisp cotton fabric woven into block or check prints.

Lace- Lace features the eyelet design and made from cotton or a cotton-poly blend.

Satin- Satin is woven from silk, linen or cotton and features a glossy finish.

Sheers- Sheers are a translucent fabric, such as voile or lace, and gently diffuse light.

Taffeta- Taffeta is a crisp, shiny silk weave that retains shape well with little support.

Toile- A tightly woven fabric usually featuring a pastoral scene and printed in one color.

Velvet- Velvet blocks drafts and light, and shapes well.

Voile- Voile is also known as muslin. Its texture can range from coarse to fine. Add a layer of muslin to your window treatments to add insulation from heat and cold as well as light.