Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cajun Corner, Vol. 1, No. 31

Cajun Corner – Vol. 1, No. 31 – DECEMBER 26, 2009
Bon Jour! Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.
ΘΘΘΘΘ
I certainly hope all of you had a delightful Christmas.

This week turned into a virtual food fest in the neighborhood. George and I had a great time baking last weekend and delivering all sorts of cookies and sweets to our sweet neighbors. Then another couple decided to do the same. Then we spent Christmas Eve with my next door neighbor and the rest of the gang joined in for a mountain of appetizers, wine, lovely conversation, present exchange and antics. Christmas Day was a repeat of the evening before with more traditional Christmas Day food, friends, and fun. My oldest granddaughter joined us which definitely added to my day. Today I feel like I’ve gained 50 pounds and the mention of food nauseates me.

There are no children running around our home waiting for Santa. It has been a long time since we have had little children around here to bring that special excitement to the holidays. We made do with a more adult Christmas. George gave me the gold sequined tennis shoes, a flash drive and an electric bias tape maker. He received shoes, too. The motorcycle part that he wants did not arrive in time for Christmas but is expected to arrive today or Monday.

All of our Christmas projects were completed early in the week which gave me a little time to do some projects for us. Cajun Stitchery gave us a beautiful Christmas table. We found a really good deal on chargers and purchased 4 red chargers, put our regular plates on the chargers and created 4 Christmas napkins to place on the plates. We cleaned off the kitchen table and made the 4 place settings. Then I took an extra table runner, green, and embroidered an angel design on either end. The table runner, of course, was placed across the middle of the table with a red glass vase containing a beautiful bouquet of eucalyptus branches in the center. A cute dancing Santa was placed on one side of the vase, and a set of Christmas kitty salt and pepper shakers were placed on the other side. I had wanted to make a Christmas tablecloth but the fabric that was purchased for that purpose has apparently been sucked into a black hole in the house which has apparently consumed several items this season. In other words, we cannot seem to find it but it is around here someplace.


Surfing the internet I found a place that sells “Tables in a Bag.” I’ve heard of “Bed in a Bag” but never “Table in a Bag.” The table settings on the site are beautiful and they come in a nice variety. They are not cheap. You get the tablecloth, the pretty table cover that goes over the tablecloth, napkins, chair back covers, and then you can purchase additional items to match, such as vases, chargers, dishes, silverware, etc. Of course, nothing is embroidered. Cajun Stitchery offers all of these individual fabric items, if anyone is interested in putting a beautiful table like this together.


Our kitchen table is usually the catch all. We walk in the door and whatever we have in our hands is immediately placed on the kitchen table. My office, in fact, is the kitchen table. My laptop is on the table. It just seemed that since we do sell so many napkins, runners, tablecloths, etc., that our table should be pretty for customers and guests to see. However, we will have to forego the chair covers. I have dogs and cats. Although they do not get on the table, the dogs do walk by the chairs and are big enough to leave fur attached to fabric. It is not unusual to see a cat curled up in one of the kitchen chairs, either. In the same vein, I could not have a floor length tablecloth. My tablecloths drape about 6 inches off the table.

When she was alive, Mama had me make a tablecloth for my kitchen table that matched my kitchen curtains. The uniqueness of the tablecloth is that the drape part has elastic around the hem. That tablecloth does not slide. The reason she had me make the tablecloth was because the table has a glass top and when we would play canasta, the cards slid all over the place. The tablecloth prevented the cards from sliding around. She really was a remarkably creative woman.

Next week is New Years Day. Ahhh, the resolutions. Although Cajun Stitchery’s fiscal year begins in March, this week we plan on contemplating and making some decisions on what we anticipate for Cajun Stitchery in 2010. Right now, there seems to be so many directions that we can take. We certainly will have more than one venue but we also do not want to be scattered into too many directions.

George’s birthday is coming up on January 2nd. What do you get a man who has everything? That is always my dilemma.

Take advantage of the totes and napkins this week. Both will remain $5 apiece for 5,000 or less stitches. The cost of these items will go up in 2010, probably to $6 or $7 apiece, but that is one of the things we need to make decisions on this week.

Cajun Stitchery would like to announce that we are now on YouTube. Go to www.youtube.com and search for “Cajun Stitchery.” It is simply photographs of our projects that you see on the blog, but I’m tickled that I could actually get it on YouTube.
Always remember that we are just a call or email away at cajunstitchery@yahoo.com or 850-261-2462 and place your order.

ΘΘΘΘΘ

THE CAJUN DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Day 1

Dear Emile,

Thanks for da bird in the Pear tree. I fixed it las night with dirty rice an' it was delicious. I doan tink the Pear tree would grow in de swamp, so I swapped it for a Satsuma.

Day 2

Dear Emile,

Your letter said you sent 2 turtle dove, but all I got was 2 scrawny pigeon. Anyway, I mixed them with andouille and made some gumbo out of dem.

Day 3

Dear Emile,

Why doan you sen me some crawfish? I'm tired of eating dem darned bird. I gave two of those prissy French chicken to Mrs. Fontenot over at Grand Chenier, and fed the tird one to my dog, Phideaux. Mrs. Fontenot needed some sparring partners for her fighting rooster.

Day 4

Dear Emile,

Mon Dieux! I tole you no more of dem bird. Deez four, what you call "calling bird" wuz so noisy you could hear dem all da' way to Lafayette. I used they necks for my crab traps, and fed the rest of dem to the gators.

Day 5

Dear Emile,

You finally sent something useful. I liked dem golden rings, me. I hocked dem at da' pawn shop in Sulphur and got enough money to fix the shaft on my shrimp boat, and to buy a round for da boys at the Raisin' Cane Lounge. Merci Beaucoup!

Day 6

Dear Emile,

Couchon! Back to da birds, you coonass turkey! Poor egg sucking Phideaux is scared to death ah dem six goose. He try to eat they eggs and they pecked the heck out ah his snout. Dem goose are damm good at eating cockroach around da' house, though. I may stuff one ah dem goose with erster dressing to serve him on Christmas Day.

Day 7

Dear Emile,

I'm gonna wring your fool neck next time I see you. Ole Boudreaux, da mailman, is ready to kill you, too. The crap from all dem bird is stinkin up his mailboat. He afraid someone will slip on dat stuff and gonna sue him. I let dem seven swan loose to swim on da bayou and some stupid duck hunter from Mississippi done blasted dem out da water. Talk to you tomorrow.

Day 8

Dear Emile,

Poor ole Boudreaux had to make 3 trips on his mailboat to deliver dem 8 maids-a-milking & der cows. One of dem cows got spooked by da alligators and almost tipped over da boat. I doan like dem shiftless maids, me. I told dem to get to work gutting fish and sweeping my shack--but dey say it wasn't in their contract. They probably tink they too good to skin all dem nutria I caught las night.

Day 9

Dear Emile,

What you trying to do? Boudreaux had to borrow da Cameron Ferry to carry these jumping twits you call lords-a-leaping across da bayou. As soon as dey got here dey wanted a tea break and crumpets. I doan know what dat means but I says, "Well la di da. You get Chicory coffee or nuthin." Mon Dieux, Emile, what I'm gonna feed all these bozos? They too snooty for fried nutria, and da cow ate up all my turnip green.

Day 10

Dear Emile,

You got to be out of you mind. If da mailman don't kill you, I will. Today he deliver 10 half nekkid floozies from Bourbon Street. Dey said they be "ladies dancing" but they doan act like ladies in front of dem Limey sailing boys. Dey almost left after one of them got bit by a water moccasin over by my out- house. I had to butcher 2 cows to feed toute le monde (everybody) and get toilet paper rolls. The Sears catalog wasn't good enough for dem hoity toity lords. Talk at you tomorrow.

Day 11

Dear Emile,

Where Y'at? Cherio and pip pip. You 11 Pipers Piping arrived today from the House of Blues, second lining as dey got off da boat. We fixed stuffed goose and beef jumbalaya, finished da whiskey, and we're having a fais-do-do. Da' new mailman drank a bottle of Jack Daniel, and he's having a good old time dancing with the floozies. Da' old mailman done jump off the Moss Bluff Bridge yesterday, screaming you name. If you happen to get a mysterious-looking, ticking package in da mail, don't open it.

Day 12

Dear Emile,

Me I'm sorry to tell you--but I am not your true love anymore. After the fais-do-do, I spent da night with Jacque, the head piper. We decide to open a restaurant and gentlemen's club on the bayou. The floozies--pardon me--ladies dancing can make $20 for a table dance, and the lords can be the waiters and valet park da boats. Since da' maids have no more cows to milk, I trained dem to set my crab traps, watch my trotlines, and run my shrimping business. We'll probably gross a million dollars next year.

Joyeaux Noel et Bonne Annee!

ΘΘΘΘΘ

French phrase of the week: samedi (n.m.) Saturday

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Taken from: http://environmentalism.suite101.com/article.cfm/green_ideas_for_new_year_resolutions

Green Ideas for New Year Resolutions

Top 10 Eco-friendly Green Tips for Environment Conservation

Dec 14, 2009 Lakshmi Ananth

Global warming and green house gas emissions may be issues for governments, but some trivial changes in lifestyle are all it takes for each one of us to do our bit for environment conservation. Here are some new year resolutions to make, some really easy-to-follow, actually practicable green ideas to save the environment.

Green Tip – Use Eco-friendly Shopping Bags

This is probably the easiest green resolution to make. We read about it all the time, but how many of us actually practice it? All one needs to do is carry along biodegradable or reusable bags while going shopping. Cloth bags, knit or crochet bags, old rucksacks or backpacks will all do nicely to replace plastic bags. Select lightweight bags that can be folded, carried easily or stashed in the car.

Save Fuel – Save the Environment

How about giving the car a holiday once or twice a week? Taking a walk or riding a bicycle whenever possible help save fuel and also reduce emission. Other ideas to minimize car usage are car pools, car sharing and using public transport. Electric scooters are also something to think about.

Green Tip - Plant a Tree

What better way to go green than to plant a sapling, one small step towards increasing the earth’s diminishing green cover? Plant one in your yard or in a park or use services like American Forests that plant trees for a donation.

Go Veggie, Save the Environment

Going vegetarian, besides being healthy, can help save the environment, too. Livestock production is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so avoiding meat, at least once a week, is a small step towards reducing them. According to Dr. Pacchauri, chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this diet change has the potential to show immediate results (The Observer, Sunday 7 September 2008).

Use LED Bulbs

Consider replacing regular light bulbs with LED bulbs and other fluorescent light bulbs that are more energy-efficient and last longer.

Green Tip - Avoid Plastic Water Bottles

Bottled water may have its benefits, but it contributes to plastic waste in quantities that recycling cannot keep up with. It may be simpler and safer to carry water in a steel water container or at least minimize the use of plastic water bottles.

Use Recycled Paper for Environment Conservation

Using recycled paper in the office, home and kitchen achieves two ends – it saves trees and reduces paper waste. Recycled paper doesn’t necessarily have to be brown: whitened versions are available. In the kitchen paper towels can be replaced with recycled paper or washable dishcloths.

Energy Saving Appliances to Save the Environment

Old electrical appliances can be a drain on electricity consumption. Switching to newer, energy-saving appliances that are Energy Star-certified can help save on electricity bills and reduce carbon emissions.

Green Tip – Buy Local and Organic Products

The benefits are two-fold. Organic food products are healthier and with locally produced grocery, transportation costs (and emission) can be avoided. Local products can be easily purchased at local grocery stores.

Calculate your Carbon Footprint

Finding out exactly how much we individually add to pollution may be an eye opener. Quantifying our contribution may well become the first step in reversing the trend and adopting environment-friendly habits and who knows, maybe giving this whole list of green ideas a shot!

Let us pledge to save the environment this new year, all it takes are a resolve and some green ideas.

Please let me know if there is something that you would like to see in the weekly email. You may always call me at (850) 261-2462 or email me at cajunstitchery@yahoo.com.

If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email cajunstitchery@yahoo.com and let me know to put you on our email list.
C’est tout, mes amis
Peggy Henshall

Cajun Stitchery

(850) 261-2462

cajunstitchery@yahoo.com
P.S. You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the new catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.
SALE OF THE WEEK (Good through Thursday, December 31, 2009)
Totes (limited number of totes in stock) and Napkins with 5,000 or less embroidery stitches for $5.00.
Cajun Stitchery

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Baking and Christmas Cards

Yesterday was a winner.  We baked sugar cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, and peanut butter cookies.  George really enjoyed the baking but wore out too soon.  Today the plan is to make "Boiled Cookies".  These cookies go by a variety of names but all are yummy.  They have oatmeal, chocolate, coconut, and peanut butter in them.  No baking to it.  You heat the butter, milk, and sugar and then add the remaining ingredients and put them on wax paper to dry.  What is Christmas without gingerbread?  Not the cookie, the bread.  I love the smell of gingerbread baking.  After that I want to pull out the breadmaker and make several loaves of bread.  Again, nothing like the smell of fresh bread.  If we still have time, I'll make some kind of muffins or maybe cupcakes.  Finally, we plan on writing and sending our Christmas cards.  That should do me for another year.

The breadmaker is a dream machine.  You pop in the ingredients and voila!  A few hours later you have bread.  The only problem that I've found with it is that if you don't use it regularly, the first loaf turns out odd, either too hard or too something.  Then you figure out what you did wrong and the next one is fine.  I guess to be a good cook, like anything else, you have to do it all of the time.  Not me.  I cook in spurts.

It's cold this morning, in the mid-30's.  I'm looking at the garden and wondering if the tomatoes are frozen.  With all of the rain that we've had recently the cherry tomatoes became larger than normal, to the point that they are literally cracking open with moisture.  But they are only in the orange stage and haven't turned red.  I may go ahead and pick them anyway.  I picked the tomatoes and peppers a few weeks ago when the temperature was going to be low one evening.  What do you know?  The tomatoes and peppers have continued to grow and we have new tomatoes and peppers. 

The winter vegetables are doing fine.  There are some weeds in there, but I'm not worried about that.  I can see the lettuce from my kitchen window, romaine lettuce.  We have carrots, lettuce, spinach, onions, garlic, and broccoli.  The parsley is still beautiful.  I think I also planted cabbage.  Oh yes, and the chard is doing fine.  I probably need to put the chard and ornamental peppers in the ground.  They are presently in pots on the deck. 

We must learn to cook out of our garden more than we have in the past.  Again, I'm sporatic because I don't cook that much and George doesn't think to pick things out of the garden.  I am looking forward to spring when we can begin harvesting the asparagus.

The camelias are blooming and bring color to the yard.  George picked a beautiful pink camelia for me yesterday.  We also have the red camelias.  The petunias and pansys are staples for winter and are doing fine.  There is a beautiful yellow daisy, alone, on one side of the yard.  I must remember to plant more daisys.

Neither George nor I "need" anything but we "need" presents under the tree.  We ended up telling each other what we want for Christmas and both of us sat at our computers and ordered it.  We know what we are getting but at least we have something under the tree.  It's a financially tight year due to starting the business and having no other income.  So, we set a limit to the Christmas spending.  It's stupid to just throw money away picking out gifts that no one will use.  The best gift that I will receive is my granddaughter spending Christmas Day with us.  I suppose I've reached that point in my life where the valuable gifts are not under the tree.  Which reminds me that I must get the other gifts in the mail with the Christmas cards, today.

Morning coffee time is over.  I need to get up and get going.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Get In The Kitchen and Rattle Those Pots and Pans

Yesterday George and I created the big grocery list.  Once a year we make up a grocery list of everything we want in the kitchen -- foodwise, of course.  Then to the store we go and have a field day buying all sorts of food.  As you know, it's not because I like to cook but Thanksgiving and Christmas are different.  This is the time of year for cookies and cakes and all of those delicacies.  Our plan was to stop working Friday, take the weekend off to bake and send Christmas cards.  George should have been an engineer.  No way I would have been able to fit all of that food into our refrigerator and cabinets.  He's a genius.

Once everything was in the cabinets and refrigerator, we decided to take a break before beginning the cooking.  I cleaned the kitchen and George was upstairs looking through our Christmas boxes in the attic for Christmas cards.  No such luck.  We'll have to make another trip to Wally World to get cards -- tomorrow.  My favorite cookbook "Talk About Good" was placed on the table and turned to my favorite cookie recipe.  Then all of the ingredients were taken from the cabinets and placed on the counter, along with the appropriate utensils.  Then we decided that we were hungry and George made us eggs and sausage.  Then we didn't feel like cooking and wanted to watch a movie.  So we did.

While at Wal-Mart we passed by the DVD section and the new movie out was "Julie & Julia". I've seen the trailer for this movie and thought it would be fun. So, we purchased the movie.  After dinner we sat down to watch this movie.  It's pretty rare to find a movie that I am nuts over, but this was one of those rare occasions.  I love this movie.  I laughed.  I cried.  Then I laughed until tears streamed down my face.  The movie, if you have not seen it, is a combination of two true stories.  One of the stories is of Julia Child.  The other is the story of Julie Powell.  The main vein in the movie is the connection between the two women, decades apart.

This morning the cookie paraphrenalia is still in the kitchen.  Of course, nothing was left out that would spoil or required refrigeration.  I wouldn't want you to think I was that ridiculous of a cook.  We've had our coffee and are getting ready for the day.  Wonder if we will make it to cookies today?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cajun Corner - Vol. 1, No. 30

Cajun Corner – Vol. 1, No. 30 – DECEMBER 18, 2009


Bon Jour! Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.

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The house is decorated and what do you suppose our theme is this year…SANTA’S WORK SHOP, of course.

Next week is Christmas. There is still time to get your orders in on a rush basis and get them back by Christmas, but you better hurry.

George and I realized this week that we don’t have any presents under the tree for each other. We’ve been too busy to shop or think of shopping. Heck, we still haven’t sent out our Christmas cards or baked cookies. Hopefully, we’ll get all of that done this weekend. Wish us luck.

After Christmas we need to turn our thoughts to New Year’s Resolutions. I love them. It gives me time to reflect on the past year and hope for the new year. Where are we heading in the new year? What do we want to accomplish? What do we want to improve? Of course, there will always be the resolutions to lose weight and stop smoking. I’ve had those resolutions for the majority of my life. Ha!

There are still little embroidery projects that I haven’t had time to do and share. I wanted to do some notepad holders and see if anyone would be interested in them. They have a magnet and go on your refrigerator with one of those little notepads held in place. I’m looking at my refrigerator now and see that I have three magnetic notepads up there. I took a piece of magnetic strip and glued it to a pencil so I would have the pad and pencil right there. I love those things. They are so practical and handy to use.

Another project that I actually wanted to do for myself was a magnet for the dishwasher. It’s a square (or could be any shape) with “Clean” embroidered on one end and “Dirty” embroidered upside down on the other end. If the dishes in the dishwasher are clean, then you put the magnet showing “Clean” and you know not to put dirty dishes in there. Vice versa for the dirty dishes, if the magnet is showing “Dirty”, then you know not to pick up a dish and eat off of it.

One of the projects I did, but I only made one sample of each and I intended to do so much more. That was the little freestanding lace Christmas tree ornaments. There is a picture in the blog. Those have such potential and are beautiful.

One of our big sellers this year was the napkins. Next year I want to highlight something different. Oh, the napkins will always be around with the myriad of colors and plethora of designs. But each year should have a different star product. I think everyone has more tote bags and purses than they can handle. If not, they are still and always will be available. We need something different. I’m working on it. It will be a surprise for you and me.

George and I always laugh about how frugal I am. Mama used to say that I was not frugal, I was just very creative. She said I reminded her of her grandmother. Someday I’ll have to write about all of the things my boys and I did when they were growing up in Orlando. Most of the time we were as poor as a church mouse, but we had the richest life, never boring and always something new and exciting going on. I would say “those were the days” but different town, different year, different circumstances, still living the rich life, and never bored. As I always told my boys: Prosperity and success have nothing to do with money; they have everything to do with the quality of your life.

So, crank up your Christmas music and, as my sister used to tell me, get in that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans. This weekend is for baking all of those delicious Christmas delicacies that are too rich to enjoy any other time of the year.

If you need the little personalized totes, email me or give me a call. We have a bunch of the totes in stock. The tote with a name or initials embroidered for $5.00 plus tax. Order them while we still have the totes. They make such a unique and personalized gift container.

The gift certificates are still available in the denomination of your choice – no tax. Great last minute gift, stocking stuffer, etc.
Always remember that we are just a call or email away at cajunstitchery@yahoo.com or 850-261-2462 and place your order.

ΘΘΘΘΘ

Boudreaux met up with his buddies at a nearby watering hole after a hard day’s work.

Thibodeaux said, “Boudreaux, we got some bad news and good news to tell you!”

Boudreaux said, “Well, you might as well give me the bad news first…”

Thibodeaux: “Unfortunately, Boudreaux, we found your wife floating face down in Bayou Lafourche! I’m very sorry!”

Boudeaux, wailing: “Oh, how could that be? How could that be? After news like that, what could the GOOD NEWS possibly be?”

Thibodeaux: “The good news is that we found eleven blue crab on her, and we’re thinking about running her again tonight!”

ΘΘΘΘΘ

French phrase of the week: raconter (v.t.) to recount; to tell [a story or a narrative]; to tell about. Raconte-moi de tes nouvelles. (Tell me your news.)

ΘΘΘΘΘ

From www.ecofriendlytips.com

A friend of mine was so appalled to tell me the other day that her stepmom has re-gifted her with a beauty product that was obviously used. It had about 10% of it already gone from the bottle. While we advocate re-gifting, there is a right way of doing this without being tacky.

What items can you possibly regift without looking too cheap for doing so? Here are some suggestions:

Check your kitchen. I am pretty sure you have a box or two lying around with an unused bowl, plates or glasses in it. These are great gifts to give to neighbors or married cousins. Just make sure to clean and dust off the box and put a pretty bow on it and you’re good to go.

Give away old books. If you have a book reader friend, books, no matter if they are used, would be perfect. I know a lot of bookworms who still hunt second hand thrift stores for treasured finds, so I know they wouldn’t mind getting second hands. Give them five of each, they will love gorging on it.

Gift vintage accessories. And by vintage we mean those necklaces and beaded bracelets found in your cabinet. The older they are, the better and the fashionable and trendy they will look. Best persons to give this to? Young 20somethings who know their vintage fashion.

Wine is always perfect. Since they age well when stored for years, it doesn’t matter if the bottle has been in your stack since 1973. Also, it’s the best one to gift if you are running out of ideas to give someone.

Please let me know if there is something that you would like to see in the weekly email. You may always call me at (850) 261-2462 or email me at cajunstitchery@yahoo.com.

If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email cajunstitchery@yahoo.com and let me know to put you on our email list.

C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall
Cajun Stitchery
(850) 261-2462
cajunstitchery@yahoo.com

P.S. You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the new catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

SALE OF THE WEEK (Good through Thursday, December 24, 2009)

Something special for Christmas.

With all of those napkins everyone has been purchasing, we decided you need napkin rings. These beautiful “in-the-hoop” napkin rings secure with a ribbon in the back. These napkins rings are hand made at Cajun Stitchery. We thank Embroidery Library for the photographs.

Your name or initials may be substituted for the pictured design.

One set of 4 custom hand made napkin rings = $25.00


One set of 4 custom hand made napkin rings with 4 non-embroidered, 20” x 20”, cloth napkins = $30.00

Christmas is right around the corner – have you done your shopping yet? Take advantage of this week’s special and get ahead of the shopping rush.
Cajun Stitchery

Thursday, December 17, 2009

We Wish You A Merry Christmas...

I wasn't going to post anything again until Cajun Corner in the morning but poo yie things have been happening around here.


We've been embroidering tee shirts and sweatshirts and all sorts of things.


Last night was the Christmas party for my Wednesday night girls.  Everyone was to bring one gift and some food.  We could have fed a small nation.  I brought the vegetable tray, a la Food World.  Most of the other girls cooked and made exquisitely rich dishes.  Debbie brought dessert directly from Jay's Bakery.  Bottom line is all 13 girls at like little piglets.  We laughed.  We ate.  We drank.  We opened presents.  Two of the girls brought a little something for each of us.  Then I played Santa.  Santa is a perfect role for me and my finned friends have realized that and indulge me each year.  Each girl had a number and each package had a number.  No.  We did not play Dirty Santa because some of the girls had to go to work today and it would have taken us too long to get out of there.  Each number was called and a gift delivered.   The girl would open the gift as we all watched and commented with the appropriate ooooohs and ahhhhs.  Once we were satiated with that gift, we moved onto the next number and began again.  We toasted everyone and everything.  We sang the 12 Days of Christmas and several choruses of We Wish You A Merry Christmas.  Luckily, I did not feel like Celine Dion last night.  In the end, we hugged, kissed and wished each other a happy and safe holiday season.  Several of the girls are going out of town and we won't be meeting next Wednesday evening.  The evening was such a joy. 


The gift I brought to the party was a red table or mantle runner with a Christmas palm tree embroidered on either end.  Included in the gift were two green tapered candles.  My dear friend Charlotte received my gift and seemed please.  The table runner was taken so well that another friend has asked me to embroider one for her daughter and son-in-law.  The tree is outlined in metallic gold.  What do you think?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Santa's Little Workshop

I never said that I was a good photographer and this post will prove it.  Most of the time my camera takes pretty good picture dispite my shakey hands and inability to focus on an object, but these photos are not my best.  I ask you kind indulgence.

These napkins were done for my girlfriend, Judy.  Bad photograph but beautiful napkins with a mermaid outline and Judy's last name.  The tote bag has Judy's name embroidered in metallic thread.





Then I had an order for this little tote.  The name on the tote was supposed to be Chanler.  I admit it, I'm a dummy, I put "Chandler", but then we did another bag with the right name.



So much has been going on.  I caught George sitting on the deck yesterday and he said he couldn't believe that we've missed the entire Christmas season.  Christmas is upon us.  Yes, 10 more days until Christmas.  But we certainly haven't missed the season.  We have been busy, busy, busy.  Yay!!!

Last weekend I spent with my Nereids in Mobile.  Mardi Gras is approaching not long after the New Year.  So, we combined our Christmas party and our normal Mardi Gras bead trip.  Oh, what a weekend that was.  Have you ever laughed until your side hurts?  We did that several times this past weekend.  We also got a lot of Nereid business accomplished.  But, you know the rule:  What happens in Mobile, stays in Mobile.  Suffice it to say that we had a blast.

Tomorrow night is our MHN/SCM Christmas party.  It started out as our Social Committee Meeting every Wednesday night, but along the way we had non-Nereid friends that we simply could not live without, so we included the title Mental Health Night.  Oh my, my Wednesday night girls are the best.

As Christmas approaches I'm seeing a lot more towels to embroider and less totes.  Napkin orders keep rolling in, as well.  Shirts and sweatshirts, too.




And look at this cute little blanket in a bag.


Tomorrow George and I are going to be embroidering some beautiful Christmas table runners.  I can't wait to see how they turn out.  We may even have time to do our Santa hats.  I saw the cutest Santa hat at the SOB Christmas party that had the word "Naughty" embroidered on it.  I think we will do one with "Naughty"
and the other with "Nice".

We have had torrential rains lately.  In fact, last weekend the girls were looking for an ark builder. lol  Nevertheless, the garden is looking great.  I sit at my kitchen table and look out the window at my garden all day.  It is just soothing to the soul.  And the tomato plant is still producing cherry tomatoes.  It is December, right?  Ah, this surely is paradise.  Someday I'm going to take the time and do something big and beautiful with the embroidery and plant designs.  I love nature.

The jackets in the photographs are for some of my dance teacher's students.  I delivered them to Monette tonight and one of the girls was there and was pleasantly surprised to get the jacket.  She loved it.  And that makes me happy.  Alas, we are through with dance class until January.  And yes, these are all done in metallic thread, gold and silver.




We haven't even had time to send out Christmas cards this year.  Hope we can get to it.  Heck, I hope I remember to send presents to my son and family in Tampa.

Although the photographs are terrible, these napkins are gorgeous.  They are the 20" x 20" white, restaurant quality, napkins with the green "E" embroidered with a metallic gold outline.  They are to match a set of china that is white with green bamboo and gold trim.  Can't you just envision the place setting -- fabulous!



Please note on the right hand side of this blog, I have now placed our price list.  To order from Cajun Stitchery simply call or email me with what you want and I'll take it from there.  Even if you want something but just aren't sure what, talk to me.  Last week it was brought to my attention that I am a "solution provider."  Sounds impressive.  I just want to see my customers happy and we can work together to find just what you want.  Think of Cajun Stitchery as an experience rather than simply an embroidery business.  You can go to any embroiderer and order items, pay the bill, take your purchases and leave.  Before you leave Cajun Stitchery, I want you to be my friend, get on our email list, join me on Facebook, and let's have a great experience together.

Until next time, mes amis.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cajun Corner Vol 1, No. 29

Cajun Corner – Vol. 1, No. 29 – DECEMBER 11, 2009
Bon Jour! Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.
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Metallic thread is so beautiful incorporated into embroidery. We can get metallic thread in most colors. The most popular, of course, is gold. It will cost you to have something embroidered with metallic thread because that thread is difficult to use, but it can be done. Metallic thread is made by covering a core thread with actual metal, albeit extremely thin metal, similar to gold leaf. The thread must be threaded through all of the holes and tensions on the machine until it finally reaches the needle. Your tension must be perfect. Too tight and the metal will scrape off of the core, bunching above the needle and the embroidery is nothing but the white core thread. Too loose and you get loops in the embroidery. Metallic thread, like any metal, reacts to friction. Going through all of the holes and tensions and hooks and hoops causes friction and the thread will break – a lot. Then there is the problem of the thread twisting and breaking. Not to mention the special needles you need to use. To combat the friction issue, the embroidery machine must be set at an extremely slow speed. That eliminates any chance of running the machine at 1200 stitches per minute and embroidering mass produced items. The end product, however, is absolutely gorgeous.

This week we finished some satin jackets for my dance teacher. We did them last year as well. They are totally done in silver and gold metallic thread. Last year the jackets were done on Doris, the Singer. This year, we did them on Boudreaux, the SWF commercial machine. This is one of those instances where the fact that Doris is so much slower than Boudreaux was a plus. Boudreaux’s slowest speed is faster than Doris’ fastest speed. When we first started the project, the metallic thread caught in a bird nest and literally tore a piece out of the machine’s trimmer. We had to purchase a new piece, wait for it to arrive and install it. Bummer. Lesson learned. These jackets definitely have bling.

Christmas orders are still coming in. Everyone seems to want the little personalized tote. We have a bunch of the totes in stock. The tote with a name or initials embroidered for $5.00 plus tax. Order them while we still have the totes. They make such a unique and personalized gift container.

The gift certificates are still available in the denomination of your choice – no tax. Great last minute gift, stocking stuffer, etc.

I met with my team members from the UWF Small Business Development Center yesterday. Wow! These people really know what they are doing. Sometimes I get so scattered and it’s nice to know that my peeps at UWF are there to set me on the straight and narrow again. I am so grateful for these people and this service.

Always remember that we are just a call or email away at cajunstitchery@yahoo.com or 850-261-2462 and place your order.

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Boudreaux, Thibodaux & St. Pierre been on dis island for 5 long years. One day St. Pierre was walking along da beach when he found dis bottle. He brought it to da camp dey built and opened it. A genie popped out and said,"I grant 3 wishes and since there are 3 of ya'll, you each get 1 wish. Since you found me,St. Pierre,you get the first wish."St. Pierre said,"I am from Cut Off and I wanna go back home." So den he was back home.Thibodaux said,"I am from Galliano and I wanna go back home." So den Thibodaux was back home. Boudreaux,him, he had to think a while. He said,"You know sha, I am kinda lonley, I wish my 2 podnas were back here!"

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French phrase of the week: quelqu'un (pron.) someone.

quelque chose (loc. nom.) something.

quelque parte (loc. adv.) somewhere.

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Discover easy and green holiday gift ideas! *Newly added gift ideas for last minute shopping- some good last minute sales such as; 2 for 1 gift memberships, great gifts that support green causes are a click away! Many environmental organizations offer gift memberships that notify your recipient by email ecard, or adopt an endangered animal and print out the animal name and biography as an easy and thoughtful gift. Also newly added fun holiday e card gifts- like make yourself: elfyourself, myelephant emovie card!

**One year my youngest son gave George and me an adoption certificate for Christmas. He adopted a wolf for us for one year. We enjoyed this gift so much that we frequently still mention it. The wolf’s name was Dakota and lived on the Nes Perce Indian land in the northwest. There was a documentary called “Wolves At Our Door” about the circumstances of this wolf pack and, indeed, featured Dakota. As you can tell, this gift not only gave us something under the tree, but gave us fond memories that will last forever. That’s one great gift!

Please let me know if there is something that you would like to see in the weekly email. You may always call me at (850) 261-2462 or email me at cajunstitchery@yahoo.com.

If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email cajunstitchery@yahoo.com and let me know to put you on our email list.

C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall

Cajun Stitchery

(850) 261-2462

cajunstitchery@yahoo.com

P.S. You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the new catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

Christmas is right around the corner – have you done your shopping yet? Take advantage of this week’s special and get ahead of the shopping rush.

If you don't see the special of the week, then you are not on the Cajun Corner subscription list.  If you would like to take advantage of these weekly sales, please email me at peggyhenshall@yahoo.com and let me know to add your email address onto our list.  It's free.
Cajun Stitchery

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Festive December

We've been preparing for December since July.  Of course, since this is our first year in business, we have no idea what each day will bring.  We just do our best and guess a lot.  December is here and we are surely busy.  The little tote bags are such a hit for $5 each with names/initials embroidered on them.  How cute is that!  We've been doing a lot of embroidering on towels and wash clothes.  George is working on jackets for a dance class and I'm working on odds and ends of towels, totes, tee shirts.  Both machines are humming along.  Just think of us as Santa's Workshop in Warrington. lol

This past weekend I attended the annual SOB Brunch at Flounders on the beach.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  SOB stands for Sisters of the Beach.  This is a group of unbelievable women.  There is no actual membership and God only knows how many of us there are.  To be sure, it's over 100.  If you have to ask about membership, then you would never make it as an SOB.  We have our annual brunch on the first Sunday in December at Flounders every year.  Mark your calendar.  We dress in festive, Christmas colors and attire.  These girls clean up pretty good.  It is one endless glass of champagne.   Each year Shelley (of the Island Times) gets all of us together for a group photo.  This year Shelley was ill and DJ took the photo.  Can't wait for that one to come out.

My dear friend, Courtney, gave me the greatest gift at the SOB brunch.  She took my business card and had it enlarged to stand up on it's own.  Now why didn't I think of that?  Courtney said that our booth at the festival just didn't say "Cajun Stitchery".  I had planned on embroidering a table cloth with "Cajun Stitchery" on it but time ran out.  Hopefully, I'll get that done for next year.  Thank you so much Courtney for this wonderful gift.


I had to stop working on the little dog Christmas attire to get some of our other work orders completed.  I'll get back to the doggies shortly.

With all of my cats trying to get equal time in our photographs, I decided to take a picture of my black Labrador Retriever, Evie.  I need to brush Miss Stinky up and take a photo of her.  She's such a pretty little thing.  But alas she is 15 and beginning to show her age.


Monday night the neighborhood group went to Seville Quarter and were entertained with live Christmas jazz music.  We danced and talked and drank and had a wonderful time.

Last night was dance class for the Nereids.  We have a secret dance each year.  One of our members, Monette, is a dance instructor and choreographs each year's dance.  Monette is our youngest member and each year we tell her to go easy on us older ladies.  As the story goes, one year she choreographed a dance and at one point the girls went to their knees and then up again.  Monette was dancing in front of the group with her back to the group.  Everyone went down to their knees and Monette just kept dancing until someone got her attention to look behind her.  Indeed, the ladies made it down on their knees but were struggling to get back up.  Some of them fell, others were helping them up, they say it was hillarious.  So, that part of the dance had to be scratched.  Monette is now much easier on us and uses simple dance steps.  Each year our dance is TOP SECRET until parade day.

Friday the Krewe is going to Mobile for a combined Christmas Party and bead weekend.  Each year we spend the weekend with our friend, Marilyn, in Mobile.  She is a krewe member.  We shop all weekend for bead and stuff to throw at the parade.  This usually occurs in January.  This year our parade is actually on Valentine Day and we decided to combine our party and bead weekend because time is running out on us.  Some of the girls are going Friday morning and plan on fabric shopping.  I will be going Friday evening and shop for beads on Saturday.  Saturday night is our Christmas Party.  Sunday morning we have to leave early to make it back to Pensacola Beach for our annual Christmas Parade.  George will meet us at the beach, to join us for the parade -- he is King Nerius this year.  This weekend will be busy and so much fun. 

I regret that I will miss a neighborhood birthday party Saturday night.  I'm green with envy that the neighborhood group is getting together for a birthday party, camp fire, and singing Christmas carols.  The Celine Dion in my certainly would have been entertaining. 

Before I forget, my new saying is:  In stressful situations, take the advice of dogs.  If you can't eat it or play with it, simply pee on it and walk away.

C'est tout mes amis.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cajun Corner - Vol 1 No 28

Cajun Corner – Vol. 1, No. 28 – DECEMBER 4, 2009
Bon Jour! Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.
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One of my friends mentioned to me that it was unfair that I charge sales tax on the gift certificates and then when the recipient uses the gift certificate, another sales tax would be applied to that as well. I called our friendly Department of Revenue gal, Tracy, and sure enough I had been mistaken. Tracy explained to me that a gift certificate is basically exchanging cash for cash. I should not apply sales tax to the gift certificate. I am supposed to apply the sales tax when the gift certificate is redeemed. You learn something new everyday – at least, I do. Think about giving gift certificates, cash for cash. No taxes. And you have a lovely present that can be redeemed for something they really want. No guesswork involved.

The neighbors who invited us to the Thanksgiving Day festivities have three little Yorkies, Kizzie, Pogo, and Gigi. My neighbor and I decided a few months ago that I would make outfits for the dogs for their annual Christmas party. Last Saturday my neighbor and I went shopping for the fabric and embellishments. The instructions to me were to make the outfits as festive as possible. The total results are not in yet but what has been done is out of this world. I have discovered that I love making dog clothes. Mama would be so tickled because when I was a little girl she and I would make doll clothes all of the time. I usually put my doll clothes on the nearest cat.

Kizzie is the mama of Pogo. Pogo is about three times the size of little Kizzie. We purchased a cotton fabric with all of the colors of the rainbow for Kizzie’s outfit. The pattern we purchased for Kizzie was a regular dog coat with a hood.

Gigi is the smallest of the little Yorkies. We purchased a bride and groom pattern for Gigi’s and Pogo’s outfits. Since we do not actually want to end up with a wedding gown and tux, the fabric for Gigi’s dress is a pattern of blues resembling water. The fabric for Pogo’s tuxedo has a dark blue background with a sprinkling of stars.

As I write this issue of Cajun Corner, Kizzie’s and Gigi’s outfits are complete. Pogo got a coat with hood as a bonus. I still need to finish Pogo’s tuxedo. The reason Pogo gets the extra outfit is that I confused the dogs and thought the coat went to Pogo. By the time I realized my error, I simply finished the coat for Pogo. There was plenty of fabric. Always buy more fabric than needed for any project. As Mama would say, “en tout cas” (just in case).

The pretty rainbow fabric was used on Kizzie’s coat with hood. I covered some webbing with the fabric to make the belt. The belt is secured onto the dog via Velcro dots. That’s the basic pattern. Then we embellished. My neighbor had purchased a couple of bags of a variety of colors of some pom poms with metallic strands. The pom poms were sewn onto the back where the belt was sewn onto the coat. Pom poms were also applied around the edge of the hood. I then took some thin, red satin ribbon and made a chain of tiny bows and sewed those around the pom poms on the edge of the hood. My neighbor had also purchased the thin satin ribbon in every color in the fabric. I took long strands of each of those ribbon colors and made a simple bow with long tails and attached the bow at the point of the hood. Then I sewed more pom poms on top of the bow, onto the point of the hood. Pom poms were also applied to the end of each tail of the bow. Talk about festive!

At this point, I brought Kizzie’s and Pogo’s coats for the first fitting. They fit but were a bit tight. You simply never want your projects to be uncomfortable. I added a gusset under the neck of each of the coats and at the second fitting they fit perfectly.

Gigi’s dress was the next project. Although we purchased white lace, I already had a bunch of 3” baby blue lace that matched the fabric. The dress is secured at the chest area with Velcro dots. It has arm holes for the front legs, no sleeves, no collar, and then the skirt attaches to the bodice. I trimmed and gathered the blue lace for around the neck area, the arm holes, and the bottom of the skirts, and attached. My neighbor had purchased some very pretty white satin with pearls trim which I applied around the neck and waist. My neighbor also purchased a few cards of tiny lavender and white roses. I sewed the tiny roses sporatically over the skirt. The final touch was two (one pink and one aqua) medium sized rhinestone buttons which were sewn onto the bodice back. Voila! The dress fit perfectly at the first fitting.

The only outfit remaining is Pogo’s tuxedo. The pattern is for an extra small dog. Pogo is large for a Yorkie, about the size of one of my full grown cats, maybe a tad larger. I will have to re-size the pattern to fit Pogo. In addition, the tuxedo pattern has more pattern pieces than either of the finished outfits. The tuxedo will take a bit of time to complete. At least, they each have an outfit to wear now.

Garters still need to be done. When the Saints won last week’s game against the Patriots, it became apparent that Saints garters would be in demand. I’m sure we could sell a lot of those. I have to be so careful not to cross over the copyright line. I decided to do garters saying “The Saints Are Marching In,” but I’m still hesitant about the use of the “Saints” name, even if it’s not “Who Dat” or some other associated phrase. I think I will simply embroider a gold fleur de lis on a black garter. George saw someone with a fleur de lis embroidered on the back of their jacket, except the fleur de lis was upside down. What does that mean? If anyone knows, please let me know.

Christmas orders are still coming in. Everyone seems to want the little personalized tote. We have a bunch of the totes in stock. The tote with a name or initials embroidered for $5.00 plus tax. Order them while we still have the totes. They make such a unique and personalized gift container.

The Mardi Gras orders are beginning to come in. We can do the Mardi Gras (purple, green and gold) garters with your krewe name for $10 each. Each garter is hand made by me.

Always remember that we are just a call or email away at cajunstitchery@yahoo.com or 850-261-2462 and place your order.
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One day Boudreaux walked into Thibodaux's house & asked him may what's that in ya front yard?? Thibodaux said "may it a helicopter." Boudreaux says "may a helicopter. What it do?" Thibodaux say "come see I show ya." They walk in the yard. Thibodaux gets in and takes off strait up into the clouds. After a while Boudreaux hears a loud noise and Thibodaux and helicopter come crashing down. So Boudreaux walks around and finds Thibodaux laying on da ground all cut-up. Boudreaux asks "may Thibodaux what happen? " Thibodoux say "may Boudreaux I was going up in dat helicopter der and it got cold so I turned off the fan!!!!!!" :)

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French phrase of the week: pelote (n.f.) [PLAWT] ball. jouer à la pelote to play ball.

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Reprinted from www.nationalgeographic.com

For many, Christmas wouldn't be the same without a live, fragrant Christmas tree in their home. Today nearly all of the trees sold at seasonal Christmas-tree lots are grown on tree farms. So forests aren't hurt by choosing a cut tree, said Jeff Olson, the vice-president of marketing and development for American Forests, a Washington, D.C.-based conservation nonprofit.

While potted trees might seem like a green option, they often don't fare well in unseasonably warm homes. "The last thing you want to do is bring it into the house," Olson said. He plans to get a potted tree this year and keep it outside for the holidays.

Artificial trees, he noted, consume significant energy and petroleum-based materials during their manufacture.

But Lilienfeld, the Use Less Stuff co-author, noted that a one-time purchase of an artificial tree can save gas otherwise used for annual trips to the local tree farm.

Please let me know if there is something that you would like to see in the weekly email. You may always call me at (850) 261-2462 or email me at cajunstitchery@yahoo.com.

If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email cajunstitchery@yahoo.com and let me know to put you on our email list.

C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall

Cajun Stitchery

(850) 261-2462

cajunstitchery@yahoo.com

P.S. You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the new catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Puppy Party Pretties

Uh oh, we may be going into the puppy clothing arena.  A friend of mine has 3 little Yorkies and wanted me to make party attire for an upcoming Christmas party.  These are so adorable.  The only other time I made dog clothes was for my dog, Stinky, when she dressed up for Mardi Gras as a Merpup.  My directions were to make the outfits festive.  My friend and I went shopping for fabric and festive bling.  We ran across some of the prettiest colored fabric.  It reminds me of a rainbow. 


The smallest female, Gigi, is to wear a party gown.  We used a bride and groom pattern from Simplicity.  The pattern is for the extra small dog size.  Gigi's gown is lovely and I hope to have her first fitting today.  A blue cotton fabric was used in making this gown.  The fabric pattern resembles water.  The lace is a light blue, very soft lace.  We used a pearl trim, splashed tiny white and lavender roses, with 2 rhinestone buttons on the bodice center back.  Velcro dots are used for the closure in the chest area.



The male is Pogo.  Pogo is large for a miniature Yorkie.  Since the groom tuxedo pattern that will be used for his outfit is sized for an extra small dog, we are going to have to resize the pattern.  I've put this off as the last outfit, so that I can spent the time required on resizing the pattern.  As it turns out, Pogo's tuxedo has the most pattern pieces and is the most intricate.  The fabric to be used for Pogo's tuxedo is a cotton fabric with a dark blue background and splashes of tiny stars throughout. 

Kizzie, the other female, is wearing the rainbow fabric.  The pattern for this dog coat is so simple that we will be glad to make this coat and offer it for sale at Cajun Stitchery.  Inquiries for the dog coat should be sent to cajunstitchery@yahoo.com or call me at (850)261-2462.  This dog coat has a hood which has red satin bows and metallic pom poms surrounding the face opening.  At the peak of the hood is a multi-strand bow of satin ribbon with metallic pom poms at the end of each ribbon strand.  The back of the coat has the metallic pom poms on the center back on the belt.


The dog coat with hood was so simple to make that we made Pogo a plain coat out of the extra rainbow fabric.


The first fitting for the rainbow dog coats resulted in the coats fitting Kizzie and Pogo but they were tight.  We have altered the coats and are ready for their second fitting.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Gardens, Dogs and Christmas

We really didn't go much this weekend besides the neighborhood and local stores. 

I did get some much needed time in my garden though.  That is like a natural tranquilizer.  The cherry tomatoes and peppers are still growing.  Who would have thought that we'd be harvesting fresh tomatoes and peppers after Thanksgiving?  I am not complaining.  On the south side of our house we have a single yellow gerbera daisy.  It looks so lonely over there but I'm glad we have that beautiful flower.  Sassy the Satsuma is looking really pretty.  George pruned the grapes.  Hope we get lots of grapes in the Spring.  The cold weather vegetables are still seedlings but they are growing.  Can't wait for the romaine lettuce, carrots, onions, spinach, cabbage, and brocolli.  The swiss chard and ornamental peppers are still beautiful.  In fact, we picked some and I "tried" to saute the chard.  We like the taste but I didn't cook it very well -- too oily.

A friend of mine asked me several months ago if I would make his dog a Christmas outfit.  At first we thought of a tutu, but she already has one.  This weekend we went shopping and got patterns, fabric and notions for three doggy Christmas outfits.  My instructions are to make the outfits as bright and festive as possible.  The first one was done last night.  Hopefully the fitting will be today, so we can apply the final touches.  I cannot wait to publish these photographs.  The pattern is very simple.  In fact, simple enough that I would make this outfit for sale.  If anyone is interested, just let me know.  I'll post the photographs later when I get them.

We've been working on a few little things trying to finish up some jobs and get them out the doors.  One is the little personalized denim purses.  They are so cute.


The wine aprons have been pretty much perfected.  I love the font that we're using for Christmas.




We did a test on a Notre Dame garter with some simple green plaid.  This, too, is a very doable project.


Of course, napkins remain the top seller item this Christmas.  Here are some that we've done recently.  I love the one for Katie with the personalized gift bag.



A friend who is an LSU fan found a cute football vest in the LSU colors but the back had a football embroidered saying "Minnesota".  We created a football patch with "LSU" and sewed it over the Minnesota football.  It turned out pretty nice.  I think she'll be pleased.



Friday, November 27, 2009

Cajun Corner - Vol. 1, No. 27

Cajun Corner – Vol. 1, No. 27 – NOVEMBER 27, 2009


Bon Jour! Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.

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Thanksgiving Day in the neighborhood. If there was a modern version of the pilgrim experience, we had it yesterday. Our neighborhood group got together for Thanksgiving. Everyone brought some contribution to our Thanksgiving meal. Yes, even I made a green bean casserole. There were 9 of us at the long table. The best I recall we had 3 turkeys and a pork roast. That was only the meats. Each of us had 2 plates, a salad plate and a dinner plate. As the food passed by, I filled one plate, then the other. Finally, I found myself refusing even a bit of food because the plates were so full. The word for it is “scrumptious.” The meal ended when no one could force another bite into their mouths. We then went into the process of cleaning the table and picking up the food. We needed this exercise to help deal with the large amount of calories just consumed. Of course, throughout were wonderful conversations. We met the parents of one of our neighbors. They were interesting and delightful people. With so much food, cleaning off the table and putting the leftovers into containers took more time than setting the table. We realized that we still had dessert. That came much later in the evening.

The weather was getting chilly and a fire was started in the chiminea. We all had some wine. Then the karaoke began. There were two microphones. Words probably cannot sufficiently describe the karaoke experience. Two of our group used to be professional musicians/singers. They have lovely voices. The rest of us can barely hold our own singing in the shower. I love music. I love to dance. And, I love to sing. However, I am fully aware that I cannot carry a tune. It’s genetic. Neither Nancy nor Mama had beautiful singing voices, and I certainly am not an exception. We still loved to sing along. Knowing this, I nevertheless joined in the karaoke fun. Apparently, some others felt the same way. It’s all in fun, anyway. It was not a situation where one person would sing. We were all singing together and the microphones were being passed around. The singing began with some old country tunes, Hank Williams’ “Your Cheating Heart”, and others along that line. Then the song “The Tennessee Waltz” began. I love that song and said so. I suppose that when you have been a professional singer, loving a song must mean that you know the words and can carry your own. That is not necessarily true. That is definitely not true in my case. Well, we had the words in front of us and we all were singing at the top of our lungs. Even when you don’t have a beautiful singing voice, knowing the words goes a long way in convincing yourself that you can sing. Somehow I went from knowing that I can’t carry a tune to Celine Dion in one magical moment. As the evening progressed we had dessert and coffee with Kahlua, and of course, more wine. Then they put on the CD with my songs. You know, the songs from the 60’s, Little Peggy March’s “I Will Follow Him”, “Chapel of Love”, “My Boyfriend’s Back”, and so forth. I was so excited to hear songs that I do know and like that I’m afraid I included a dance routine in the sing along. By the time they hit “Johnny Angel”, I was thinking to myself , “Hey, you’re sounding pretty good.” Finally, I took a break and went out to see what the guys at the chiminea were doing. I walked to the back of the yard, behind the beautiful landscaping to see George and Kenny sitting by the chiminea with little grins across their faces. I could hear the karaoke still going on in the house, as clear as though they were standing next to me. That’s when I realized that I’m not Celine Dion after all. George and Kenny were holding back their laughter. I asked if they heard all of the singing and they responded in the affirmative. I think I saw little tears trickling down their grinning faces. The karaoke continued for awhile longer before we all thanked our hosts for a lovely day and went home.

Today is Black Friday, the notorious “busiest shopping day of the year”. No way am I getting out and into that madness. However, I have friends who got up as early as 2 a.m. to get the “deals”. The radio stations have begun playing Christmas music. The Christmas Season has officially begun.

This week we’ve been working on bottle aprons. I found a beautiful Christmas font to write “Merry Christmas” and have adorned the aprons with the simple message.

We also worked on a football patch to go over another patch on a friend’s football vest.

Garters became an idea this week when we discovered that football teams have garters as part of the ever growing football paraphernalia. Yes, we can make garters in your team colors and with your team’s name on them – not the licensed logos or anything requiring a license. A simple garter begins at $10.00 each. This would make a unique gift for the football lover in your life.

Don’t forget the GIFT CERTIFICATES. They make a great stocking stuffer. They are so simple. Just fill out the information and put them in an envelope – instant gift. Especially nice for gifts that you would normally mail or ship, since you only need a stamp and can give a nice gift without the high shipping costs. The gift certificates are in any denomination that you like, for any occasion. No hidden charges, just the amount you want on the certificate and sales tax, if you live in Florida.
Always remember that we are just a call or email away at cajunstitchery@yahoo.com or 850-261-2462 and place your order.
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• Boudreaux goes shopping for a bargain

Boudreaux and Fontenot are walking down a street in Houston when they see a sign on a store that reads, 'Suits $5.00 each, shirts $2.00 each, trousers $2.50 per pair.'

Boudreaux says to his pal, 'Look here! We could buy a whole gob of these, take 'em back to Abbeville, sell 'em to our friends, and make a fortune. Now when we go in there you be quiet, okay? Just let me do the talkin' 'cause if they hear your accent, they might think we're ignorant, and try to cheat us. Now, I'll talk in a slow Texas drawl so's they don't know..'

They go in and Boudreaux says with his best fake Texas accent, 'I'll take 50 of them suits at $5.00 each, 100 of them there shirts at $2.00 each, and 50 pairs of them there trousers at $2.50 each. I'll back up my pickup and ....'

The owner of the shop interrupts, 'Ya'll are from Louisiana , ain't ya?'

'Well...yeah,' says a surprised Boudreaux. 'How come you know dat!'
'Because this is a dry-cleaners.'

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French phrase of the week: oignon (n.m.) onion

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Ideas For An Eco-Friendly Christmas
• Give memories rather than gifts. Give tickets to a favorite concert, community theatre, or museum. How about a season pass to a local park. Look in the newspaper, tour guides, local websites for parades or events that you usually don’t attend and gift attending these events with the recipient.

• Recycle holiday gift wrap. Better yet, avoid using holiday gift wrap and wrap your gift in an alternative. For instance, give a tote bag as part of your gift and put the remainder of your gift inside the tote. Wrap your gift in a re-useable tote/gift bag. Wrap your gift in a towel, blanket, or piece of fabric. For the arts and craft lover, wrap your gift in newspaper that you have stamped or decorated with Christmas sayings or art.

• Give a donation to the gift recipient’s favorite charity in their name.

• Give a U.S. savings bond.

• Give a recipe and include the ingredients in the bundle. “Wrap it” by using a tote bag or wrapping in a towel or apron. There are several of these type gifts pre-packaged at most stores to give as gifts. Avoid the pre-packaging by putting the ingredients together yourself. Try giving a mug with a packet of cocoa mix and a spoon. Wrap it in personalized napkins or put in a basket. Give a frying pan or some other type of pot or pan and put the recipe and ingredients inside and give as a basket.

• Give a batch of your homemade cookies, cakes, candies, pies, or other baked goods.

• Wrap your gift in a Santa Hat or stocking. For an extra special touch, have the hat or stocking personalized.

• Give a bottle of wine with a personalized wine apron.

• Give gift certificates.

• Give a plant. Make a gardening basket with seed packets, gloves, apron, and a spade or other garden implements and wrap in a tote bag or basket.
Please let me know if there is something that you would like to see in the weekly email. You may always call me at (850) 261-2462 or email me at cajunstitchery@yahoo.com.
If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email cajunstitchery@yahoo.com and let me know to put you on our email list.

C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall

Cajun Stitchery

(850) 261-2462

cajunstitchery@yahoo.com

P.S. You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the new catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

Christmas is right around the corner – have you done your shopping yet? Take advantage of this week’s special and get ahead of the shopping rush.

Cajun Stitchery

Monday, November 23, 2009

Garters and Other Ornaments

Garters are a staple of most Mardi Gras festivities.  They are so dainty and so pretty.  This evening I was reminded that garters are used in many different festivities.  Weddings pretty much require at least one garter, if not more.  I actually remember my grandmothers and other older ladies rolling their stockings over their garters.  Those were not the pretty little things that are tossed at weddings.  The history of the garter toss seems to stem back in time when the couple needed witnesses to the consummation of the marriage.  The witnesses would bring the garter or a piece of undergarments to prove they witnessed the consummation of the marriage.  It became good luck to acquire a piece of the couple's clothing.  Frequently, the groom would simply toss the garter or garment out the window to get rid of the spectators.

There are more uses for the garter than the above festivities.  Sleeve garters came into vogue in the late 19th century when men's shirts could only be purchased in one size.  The sleeve garter was used to push up and hold up the sleeve.  Of course, your more wealthy and aristocratic gentleman of the day had his shirts tailor made to fit.  So, the sleeve garter became a sign of your financial situation.  Sleeve garter can be seen on musicians, especially the barbershop quartet variety; card dealers in casinos; the wild west; bookkeepers; welcome home attire; and sadly, funeral attire. 


I had to make some.  They are super easy to make and so much fun to decorate.  My attention was brought to the fact that team garters are now an accessory for the multitude of football and other sports paraphenalia.  Yes, you can purchase garters with the name or logo of your favorite team.  When I did a search on the internet, the garters were not the most popular team item, like the tee shirt, but darn if they didn't have them.  Except for the one I was trying to find, of course.  My research was not exhaustive but hit the high points.


The garters that I made are LSU colors for a friend.  I should be able to embroider on the garter.  I've read articles and watched videos on embroidering on ribbon.  If I can embroider on ribbon, I should be able to embroider on garters, especially if I make the garter.  I'm thinking that if it works out okay, I might do garters for my Krewe.  Oooooh yes!


There is also a type of machine embroidery called "free standing lace" (FSL).  This type of embroidery is done on a water soluble stabilizer (WSS) and is specially designed for FSL.  The design is stitched onto the stabilizer in such a way that the stitches hook onto each other.  Once you've finished embroidering the design, you wash away the stabilizer (which is simply a sheet of starch) and dry the design.  Here are three such designs that I did this weekend.  They are Christmas ornaments.  They turned out pretty cute.  The trick for something like this is to wash away the stabilizer leaving just enough starch in the design to make it stiff.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cajun Corner - Vol 1, No 26

Cajun Corner – Vol. 1, No. 26 – NOVEMBER 20, 2009


Bon Jour! Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.

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Ron Magee’s shirts are all done with the exception of one. It was the first one. We started sewing and toward the end of the logo the letters weren’t very crisp. Darn, the back of the shirt had gotten caught up under the hoop and we embroidered the back to the front for several stitches. We thought we might be able to undo those stitches, which we did, but once undone the letters are out and you cannot match the stitches perfectly in the machine. So, we ordered another shirt, which I’m waiting on now. It should arrive today and the order will be filled. Lesson learned. Even when you just know nothing is caught, keep checking. This is one of the reasons that embroiderers don’t particularly like embroidering on items provided by the customer. Had this been something that we didn’t order wholesale, there really would be no way of replacing it. Sure, you may be able to go to the store and buy another one, but we certainly wouldn’t be making money on the sale. We can’t afford to give away work and stuff simply happens. That’s why we make sure the waiver is signed when we do work on items that we do not purchase wholesale.

Now we are working on the logo for the Krewe of Junkanoo. Can you believe it’s almost Mardi Gras season. Our parade this year (always the Sunday before Mardi Gras) will be on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2010. I’m especially pleased about the Krewe of Junkanoo logo because I digitized it myself. Actually, I have digitized it twice. The first time was 8” x 8”. It turned out that their logo (on the back of their jackets) is actually 10” x 10”. Remember, you can usually make a design smaller without losing the details, but the reverse doesn’t work. George is stitching out the new 10” x 10” logo as I type this. If all is well, we can begin working on the jackets.

My sweet dance instructor, Monette, gave me a bag with jackets to embroider. I embroidered her jackets last Christmas before there was a Cajun Stitchery, on Doris. This year we will do them on Boudreaux. We will have to get Boudreaux used to metallic thread.

With Mardi Gras around the corner, I began looking at my various costumes. Our krewe, the Mystic Krewe of Nereids has a tuxedo costume that we all wear on various occasions. Last year I purchased a new tuxedo jacket and never attached the sequins and bling. So, when I was looking last night, I realized that I need this jacket finished and soon. I was up until 4:00 this morning taking sequins and patches off the old jacket. I want to put some embroidery on my jacket this year. I’m busy trying to design it in my head.

My most memorable Mardi Gras when I was a little girl in Lafayette was the last year we lived there. Mama dressed us as a band of gypsies. Yes, we were an adorable looking little family. I remember going to friend’s homes and eating gumbo, crawfish, gratons (cracklin), boudin, and an unending list of Cajun delicacies. The parade was downtown Lafayette. The streets were closed off. We caught beads and candy, and I remember one float was handing out hot dogs. After the parade there were bands in the streets and everyone was dancing and having a wonderful time. We ended up at the VFW. It was a delightful day.

Don’t forget the GIFT CERTIFICATES. They make a great stocking stuffer. They are so simple. Just fill out the information and put them in an envelope – instant gift. Especially nice for gifts that you would normally mail or ship, since you only need a stamp and can give a nice gift without the high shipping costs. The gift certificates are in any denomination that you like, for any occasion. No hidden charges, just the amount you want on the certificate and sales tax, if you live in Florida.

Always remember that we are just a call or email away at cajunstitchery@yahoo.com or 850-261-2462 and place your order.

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One morning Thibodeaux was sitting under the tree in his front yard patching holes in his shrimp net. His neighbor, Boudreaux, came out his front door, waved to Thibodeaux, and walked to his mail box. He looked in the box, scratched his head a minute, and went back inside.

Half hour later Thibodeaux was still patching when Boudreaux checked his mail box, again. This time he slammed the box shut and walked back inside mumbling.

Another half hour passed. Thibodeaux was still patching. Boudreaux stomped to his mail box, yanked it open, looked in, and slammed it shut. He took a deep breath and started back to the house.

“Boudreaux, what’s wrong?” Thibodeaux yelled.

“Dat computer my boy give me has lost it’s mind,” Boudreaux replied, walked into the shade.

“You got a computer? I didn’t know dat,” Thibodeaux said.

“Yeah, Pierre give it to me yesterday – all hooked up to dat Inner Net,” Boudreaux replied.

“Pierre. Dat’s a good boy you got. What’s he doin’ now?” Thibodeaux asked.

“He’s workin’ over in N’Awlins, got a good job,” Boudreaux answered.

“So what’s wrong with de computer?” Thibodeaux asked.

“It just plain lost it’s mind,” Boudreaux replied. “You saw me. Tree times I looked in dat box. ere ain’t nothin’ dere. But dat computer keeps sayin’ ‘YOU’VE GOT MAIL’.”

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French phrase of the week: neuf (adj numér.) nine.

neuf (adj.) new; brand new. quoi de neuf? what's new?

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This week’s tips come from: http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-have-an-eco-friendly-thanksgiving
HOW TO HAVE AN ECO-FRIENDLY THANKSGIVING
• Step 1: Make the turkey eco-friendly.

Don't panic. This step isn't about replacing your turkey with a Tofurkeyhttp://www.tofurky.com/1 though that is certainly an option. This is about choosing a turkey that is as eco-friendly as possible. Some tips:

1. Buy from a local source.

2. Make sure it's organic and had been grass fed.

3. Also make sure it wasn't fed antibiotics or given hormones.

4. On top of that, make sure it was raised on a humane facility.

• Step 2: Reduce waste.

How much waste gets produced during the Thanksgiving festivities? It can really add up. Here are some ideas on how to reduce the trash produced while preparing the meal and when you have guests over.

1. Use reusable shopping bags when buying supplies for the feast.

2. Don't use a disposable aluminum pan - buy a nice roasting pan instead.

3. Recycle all bottles and plastic items that are eligible.

4. Be sure to serve the meal using reusable plates, knives, forks, etc. Disposal plastic and paper is not good for the environment.

5. Start a compost bin and put all eligible food scraps in it instead of throwing them away.

• Step 3: Reduce your carbon footprint.

Between traveling to your Thanksgiving dinner, cooking the dinner if you're having it at your house, and the fact that all your guests needed to travel to get to your location, Thanksgiving can have a substantial carbon footprint. Reduce yours by taking these suggestions.

1. Planting a tree puts more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which will reduce the carbon load.

2. Care2www.care2.com has "free clicks to donate" and one of them is about reducing your carbon footprint. Make it a point to click each day at no cost to you (the sponsors donate).

Please let me know if there is something that you would like to see in the weekly email. You may always call me at (850) 261-2462 or email me at cajunstitchery@yahoo.com.

If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email cajunstitchery@yahoo.com and let me know to put you on our email list.

C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall

Cajun Stitchery

(850) 261-2462

cajunstitchery@yahoo.com

P.S. You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the new catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

Christmas is right around the corner – have you done your shopping yet? Take advantage of this week’s special and get ahead of the shopping rush.
Cajun Stitchery