Friday, October 31, 2014

The origin of zombies

Note: This is a repost from two years ago, but I thought it was so fascinating! Enjoy! Happy Halloween!

Any loyal reader knows already that I love The Walking Dead. 

I love zombies, monsters, all things gore! The gore in The Walking Dead is FA-BYU-LUS! But if we're being honest, we all know that's not why I watch it.

Oops. Did I just put that on my blog?. . . 

So, my husband LOVES NPR and especially loves "Science Friday." He listens to it while he's driving, while he is doing the dishes. . .  all the time. Last night he was listening to a review of a book by Matt Kaplan called The Science of Monsters. He had me listen to the portion about zombies, and it was fascinating! 
Here's the jist.

The zombie state of being is a very real thing. It is induced by a powder that, until recently studied, was called "coup de poudre," or "powder strike," by Haitians where the zombie state of being was often seen. The zombie state occurs when this powder enters the blood stream via open wound.

This powder is called tetrodotoxin, or TTX. This is a fatal neurotoxin that is often found on the skin of a pufferfish. When this powder is introduced into the blood stream it paralyzes the person and they appear dead. During this time the person undergoes a psychosis and their memory is completely wiped out. They then "re-awake" with no memory and no knowledge of how to live of function, talk or do basic things. The paralysis leaves them stiff and unanimated. Having no recollection of how to do anything, even speak, they are basically "the walking dead" surviving on only instinct.

The earliest recorded occurance of this dates back to 1800 BC. There are many records of it from Haiti during times of Voodoo and black magic practices which is when it began to morph into the "pop culture" zombiism we are familiar with today. It was said in Haiti that a person could do Voodoo on another person to make them their "slave" by putting them in a zombie state. And that was the beginning of the modern day zombie.
Anyway, I thought that was fascinating and wanted to share it with you all. 

After taking the kids for their first round of trick or treat, it's my husband's turn and now I am on candy duty. I feel a little like Elizabeth Taylor as Amy in the 1949 version of Little Women. There is a part when she goes to help feed that family of poor people. There are a whole slew of little children and Amy has candy for them. She passes it out and every two or three kids she keeps one for herself until all the candy is gone. "One for you, one for you and one for me!" 

Happy Halloween!!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Win A Custom Room Design with Caitlin Wilson!

I've partnered with Caitlin Wilson and several other contributors to offer a custom room design makeover!

Check out the details at Mom's Best Network and enter for your chance to win a print painting, custom bedding in a Caitlin Wilson fabric, custom curtains in a Caitlin Wilson fabric, and many more new items for your room! 

View all the details and enter to win here!

Which pillows will you choose?? Let me know in the comments.

Good luck, all!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Black Dog Salvage from the HGTV show "Salvage Dawgs"

Salvage Dawgs!

If any of you have seen HGTV's "Salvage Dawgs," I live about a five minute drive from their warehouse, "Black Dog Salvage." It is one of my favorite places in town. 

My mom is in town visiting while her new house is being built. We thought we'd check out what Black Dog had to decorate her new house with. 

Here's what Google has to say at Black Dog Salvage: "Acclaimed warehouse carrying an eclectic variety of antiques and restored furniture in an airy space."

When homes in our area are gutted and remodeled, all the pieces of the home that are salvageable go to Black Dog right down to the nails! Here is what we found!


Entry Doors

Pocket Doors

Jail doors. . .  Just kidding. I don't really know
what these are, but they look like jail doors.


You can buy separate pieces to construct your own staircase. . . 

. . .Or you can just buy the stairs. 


They had so many mantles in many different sizes, woods, designs, etc. All of them were gorgeous!


There were many different lighting options. My mom bought the chandelier on the left for her new home!!

Vanities and sinks. . . 

There was an endless supply of door knobs and hardware.
Antique Pianos. . .

. . .  and TONS of wall decorations.


Coke Products and tons of old glass jars.

. . .  old EKG reader. Kinda makes me want to watch Roy and Johnny and good old Squad 51! ("Emergency").

Spotlight and, one of my faves, the stomach roller massager! 


 There was no shortage of knobs and handles. Each drawer in the image above was full of whatever the knob was on the door.


A box of Tetanus. Just kidding. But seriously, they have boxes of old nails.

Old window hardware, locks and pulley systems. . . 

They even have plumbing parts! Probably not up to code, but might be cool when designing a movie set or something.


Mermaid statue and bench made out of a Chevy truck. . . 

. . .  Real turtle shells and a lava lamp with a floral arrangement around it. Seems hazardous to me, but whatever.

This place is huge and there's no way I could possibly relay it's massive amount of inventory and awesomeness through words. You must check it out if you are in Virginia. You won't be disappointed. Or check out the show "Salvage Dawgs" on HGTV.

See anything you like???

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ask Melissa: Is Blackout Black?

Ask Melissa: Is Blackout Black?

If I had a dime for every time I was asked this question. . . 

No, Blackout lining is not black. It is

White. .  .

Ivory. . . 

Or Ecru.

It is available in other colors, but at WTbM, those are your three options.

Blackout is made with an acrylic Latex foam coating that is around a layer of flocked rayon. It is flame retardant, light blocking, thermal and sound proof!

Blackout, though more expensive, is a great addition to window treatments. This is because it will protect not only the fabric of your window treatments from fading, but it will prevent the items in the room from fading from sun damage as well. 

The only downside to blackout is that when you so it into the window treatments, the sewing needle will take out the blackout and you will be able to see the seams if the sun shines directly through it. Other than that, blackout is a great addition to any window treatment.

Here is a great picture of a hobbled roman shade I just made for a client. I think it's a great example of how the blackout works as you can see the bright sun coming through the side windows, but the blackout is completely blocking it coming from the door.

In the comments section, feel free to ask me any questions you may have about sewing, window treatments, fabric, etc.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you learned something new today :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sponsor Family Update: The Meli family

October Sponsor Family: The Meli Family Update

The month has started off a little slow and we've only raised $100.00 so far. Every little bit helps, but we want to help this family as much as we can! You can donate personally at their gofundme

We are donating $5.00 of every order placed in the month of October to the Meli family and we are also offering you a free shipping coupon "MeliFam" that is good in our etsy store and on our website. This coupon is good on domestic orders only. Shipping roman shades is expensive as they are usually wide and heavy. Take advantage of the free shipping coupon while it lasts! And consider donating your savings to a family in need. 

Thank you all for your support. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Scented Homemade Halloween Play Dough

Scented Homemade Halloween Play Dough

(This is a repost, but I just made more of this the other day and it was so fun. So i thought I'd share again) 

Last week when my kids stayed home from school we spent the day making Halloween play dough. 

Here is what you will need to make scented Halloween play dough:

3 Cups of Flour
1.5 ounces of Cream of Tartar
3/4 Cup Salt
3 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
3 Cups of Water
Food Coloring
1 Tablespoon of extra of your choice of scent (We used orange, but you can use vanilla, peppermint, cinnamon, or any other extract that you might like)
Halloween Confetti and/or glitter

Here is how to make it:

1) Combine first five ingredients in a large pot (I did this in a bowl because I wanted to make five different colors. Mixing it in a bowl first allowed me to pour as much into the pot as I wanted for each color). Whisk until free of lumps.

2) Stir in extract and food coloring. Please note, I learned that extract and red food coloring are not a fan of each other and nearly canceled each other out. So I mixed up another batch of red and omitted the extract. Stir this mixture constantly over medium heat until it pulls away from the sides of the pot and forms a large ball.

3) Knead the ball on a lightly floured board until the dough is silky and smooth. (I am sorry you have to look at my EDS hands that bend all funky. I tried to make them bend like a normal person's but my thumb and index finger are too far gone :) and my finger tips bending backwards is called "swan necking." There, you learned something new today ;)).

4) Knead in optional glitter and/or confetti.

5) When play dough has cooled completely it can be stored in a food storage container of bag.

It seemed like it was making a pretty good mess while I was in the process of making it, but it was a quick clean up. Yes, there was flour everywhere, but it wasn't anything one swipe of a towel couldn't pick up. It seems like a mess as you are making it, especially if you try to tackle five colors at once like I did. But really the clean up took less than 5 minutes. But the fun time is endless!!!