Monday, August 31, 2009

A Quest For The Perfect Hand Fan

I've been looking at so many cute projects lately and wondering what would be something really useful for my friends, but yet, something that could be embroidered.  The answer is a hand fan.  Most of us are now at the age where instead of talking about the cute boy we saw today, we are comparing who had the hottest hot flash and what did our doctor's prescribe.  A quest for a hand fan tutorial ensued.
[These are photographs of some scarves that I made during my "Scarf Period". lol  Those scarves were so much fun to make and I think they turned out nice.  Some were way over on the artsy side.  The scarf period was prior to Doris, the Singer embroidery machine.]

You can fold paper like an accordian to make a fan.  You can cut a piece of construction paper and glue a stick to the back and make a fan.  Heck, for $1.99 plus shipping, you can get a plastic fan.  Elizabethian feather fan tutorials are on the internet -- very intriguing.  It seems as though every country and every historical period has it's own style of fan.  Nothing seemed to be exactly what I wanted.

I did find an oriental fan at Embroidery Library.  That was probably the closest to what I want.  It was made with popsicle sticks and embroidered fabric on the outside.  Still, not exactly.

My friend, Kathi, has a fan that folds tiny to put in her purse and, when needed, it pops open like one of those tents that you throw on the ground and it pops into a tent.  No muss, no fuss.  The fan part is fabric.

I wish I could write a fantastic tutorial on how to make this practical, yet simply beautiful fan, but, alas, I haven't figured it out yet.  If anyone has ideas, please let me know -- write a comment on this blog.  Eventually, the fantastic tutorial will appear.   In the meantime, I'm on a quest.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cooler Beach Bags and other projects

We are still working on patches and placemats for the upcoming Arts & Wine Festival.  I had asked some of the girls, awhile back, what kind of designs I should put on the placemats.  Unanimously, they said beachy type Christmas designs.  I know.  I've seen them, too.  But in going through our designs, I only found a handful of beachy type Christmas designs.  We have hundreds of beachy type designs and hundreds of Christmas designs but...  So, I decided to create my own design.  I took several small designs of fish, shells, seahorses, and other sea type designs and formed them into the word "Christmas."  George likes it and I think it turned out nice, too.  What do you think?  Post a comment and let me know.

Another thing that has become popular is the cooler beach bags.  I saw the cooler beach bags in a vendor's catalog this past Spring and thought it was one of the best ideas around.  It's a beach bag that slings over your shoulder.  The back side is constructed with a netting material and the front is a canvas/poly fabric, with a zippered pocket.  The bottom of the beach bag unzips to reveal a cooler that can hold a six pack.  They were available in red, blue, black, yellow, and a few bi-colors like red and white, and yellow and white.  I purchased a blue one, embroidered a beach scene on the front and have used it frequently this summer.  If we go to Bands on the Beach or other similar outings, I'm usually carrying my purse and several other bags.  Using this cooler beach bag eliminates so many different bags to carry.  In fact, I leave some of those cold packs or gel packs in the freezer and toss one into the cooler part of the bag with a six pack of drinks and we are good to go. 

People who saw me using the cooler beach bag were constantly asking about it, especially my girlfriends.  I sold several of them for graduation gifts.  Then I placed an order one day in the spring and found out that all they had were the red and black ones.  The blue was the most popular.  The vendor told me to check back in August and they may have some more blue bags.  I've checked.  They don't.  Since I couldn't get the blue bags, the orders dwindled, until this month everyone seems to want them again. 

I just finished embroidering a kayak design in yellow on a red cooler beach bag.  I have another order for a black one, which should arrive Tuesday.  The black one is a gift for a friend's husband and the design will be a cute golfing design.  The price has gone up for the coolers and we are now offering them for $25 (plus shipping/handling/tax, if applicable) for the cooler and embroidered stock design.  Email me if you want to purchase one (

I'm puzzled that when I search on the internet for Cajun Stitchery, I cannot find it.  I can put the address in for both of the websites ( and and get to the site, I just can't seem to get a search to find them.  So, I continue playing with help pages and find more and more widgets (I think that's what they are called) to include on this page.  Now you can click on the little icon and supposedly save this site to your favorites (which you should, of course, do) and you can scroll down and see other blogs that I read and like.  You can become my friend (another of course you should do that) and leave comments.  There are so many little widgets out there.
That's it for today.  Check back soon for more projects and discourse.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

August 28, 2009

Cajun Corner – Vol. 1, No. 14 – AUGUST 28, 2009

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


This past weekend I attended the Splash Party at my friend, Sharon’s, home. This is an annual Nereid party that lasts from Friday to Sunday. One of my dear friends told me that she had never seen me so relaxed. Of course, Sharon has a fabulous house with a gorgeous view of the Sound. She has a salt water pool complete with waterfalls, tiki bar, and all of the amenities. When you are with this wonderful group of ladies you never run out of food or drink. Anyone would be relaxed. I returned home on Sunday with a nice little sunburn and a smile on my face. What did we do? The rule is: whatever happens at Sharon’s, stays at Sharon’s. Sorry folks.

Monday was bookkeeping day for me. George stayed outside most of the day and asked permission to enter the house. It wasn’t the bookkeeping making me grumpy. It was the Quicken program. And it was my fault. If I’d stay on top of the bookkeeping on that program, I wouldn’t have to re-learn it every time I decide to work on the books. Poor George.

Monday evening we received a call from a neighbor asking us to join them at his house for a flower opening party. We have actually been awaiting his Night Blooming Cirrus to bloom. They only bloom at night. When they are ready to bloom it takes about 2 hours and you can actually watch the flower bloom. By morning the flower has died. The usual neighborhood crowd appeared. We had food, conversation, and music, as we watched the flowers open. Our neighbor, Buddy, and his brother, Kenny, both play guitars. Buddy and Patrice (another neighbor) have both been in bands at some time and have beautiful voices. Another neighbor, Rhonda, actually sounds like an angel when she sings. When we all get together to sing, I’m always the one that’s flat. But, hey, I have other attributes.

Tuesday evening several of us went to bands on the beach which has become a ritual for us. We bring a picnic dinner, drinks, and listen to a different band each week, right on the beach. I do believe that I live in paradise.

Wednesday night is, of course, Social Committee/Mental Health Night with my girlfriends on the beach. One of my new friends on the beach has started a business and is trying to get name recognition, like me. We are considering creating a business group on the island to network with other businesses in Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Beach. In fact, we are meeting tomorrow to discuss this new group.

At the Splash Party last weekend, a friend of mine who used to sew custom drapes and other high end sewing for decorators, told me that she charged about $600 for the size of roman shades that I may make for my other friend with the valances. She said that she would charge $100 per yard of material for whatever item she was going to make. Similar to my charging $1 per 1,000 stitches for embroidery. From what I saw on the internet for custom roman shades, she’s not out of the ball park with her pricing. I guess I’ve never been in need of someone to make shades or curtains for me and just never realized the cost.

All of that said, I will be more than glad to make baby blankets, roman shades and whatever you like, as long as you don’t go into “sticker shock” when I tell you the price. Of course, they are hand made, and made in the USA.

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


One day, Boudreaux had a sign in his yard that read "Boat for Sale."
Pierre came by and said, "Boudreaux ... tell me sometin ... why you got dat sign in dat yard dat say 'Boat for Sale'? Mais, you ain't got no boat!"
Boudreaux replied "Mais no I don't got no boat, but see my car over dare by dat sign?"
Pierre responded "Mais yeah I see dat car."
Boudreaux then said "And see my trailor over dare by dat sign?"
Pierre said "Mais yeah I see dat trailor."
Boudreaux said "Mais Pierre, dey boat for sale, wats de matter wid you!"


French phrase of the week: crotte (n.f.) [KRAWT] 1. turd. 2. (Figurative) disagreable, nasty person.
Now don’t get offended by this French word. My mother’s pet name for me was “tit crotte.” (Tit means little, as in petite) Actually, that was better than my grandfather’s pet name for me. That’s for another day and another lesson.


This is from my friend, Courtney:
They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery.........if you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor". But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot...........they "didn't have a pot to piss in" & were the lowest of the low.

(I find the above especially interesting because my maiden name was Poor. When I was little and visited family in Georgia, yes, you guessed it, I lived at the Poor House. The nuns at Mount Carmel in Lafayette always made us put our sweaters and coats in the back of the class and we each had a label with last name first. Mine was Poor Peggy.)

Here is Planetpals top ten list of ways to PRECYCLE:

1. Bring reusable bags to the store with you. Cloth or paper will do!
2. Buy Large Quantities. If you buy products in bulk or in large sizes and quantities, you can put them in smaller containers as you need them and this uses less containers.
3. Buy products with the least amount of packaging or none at all. Items packed in multiple containers may look nice, but they are a waste!
4. Buy products packed in recycled packaging. If you have to use a container, it might as well be green. Additionally, you help support green corporations. (Important: make sure you look for the recycled symbol)
5. Don't buy disposable items (plates cups, pens, diapers, batteries, etc.) They only fill the landfill more.
6. Buy less paper towels and napkins or none at all. Use cloth ones!
7. Buy long life and concentrated items (batteries, bulks , etc.) This saves on packaging as well as product.
8. Don't purchase styrofoam. It contains polystyrene, which is the most difficult material to break down in our landfill and is considered a hazardous waste.
9. Buy items in cardboard. aluminum, steel, glass, and plastic containers marked 1 and 2 ( They are stamped on the bottom 1 and 2). These containers can be recycled more easily.
10. Read labels for ingredients. Stay away from chemicals that harm our plant and animal life and poison our land.

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

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

C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall
Cajun Stitchery
(850) 261-2462

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

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 25, 2009

All girls/women need an extended time with girlfriends. I had just that this weekend. Words that come to mind are "refreshed" and "renewed". Thirteen of us gathered at our friend, Sharon's, house. Most of us were there from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. Sharon's home is a gorgeous home with a delightful view of "The Sound". Included in the stay was Sharon's salt water pool, complete with waterfalls, tiki bar, and more food and drink than any 13 women could possibly consume. Ended up going to bed at 2 a.m. on Saturday morning and 4:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. The conversation and entertainment was priceless. If you are a woman and you don't have a girls' group, I highly recommend that you go get one. My girls' group happens to be my Mardi Gras Krewe, The Mystic Krewe of Nereids. Just typing the name puts a smile on my face. Sadly, that's about all I can share of this experience because of a very good rule that we have incorporated: "What happens at Sharon's, stays at Sharon's."

Due to the excitement of the upcoming weekend at Sharon's, I totally forgot to include in Cajun Corner the photograph of the VDL Bowling Team. This is my aunt's bowling team. They hired Cajun Stitchery to purchase orange t-shirts and embroider upon them. They look like a professional team now.

I am still making placemats and will probably be doing that for all of September. George is making more and more patches. All for the Arts & Wine Festival on Pensacola Beach during October 3 and 4, 2009. We will be selling the SOB patches, the Shark Alert Team patches, hand made placemats, and a variety of totes. We also hope to get a selection of napkins, and wine coasters. If we have the time to do it, we may include hand towels, as well. All beautifully embroidered. The patches are selling for $5 each, the placemats and napkins are $7 each or 4 for $25. The totes will probably range in price from $10 to $25 each. If you are interested in purchasing any items, please email me at

More projects are upcoming, so stay tuned.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cajun Corner – Vol. 1, No. 13 – AUGUST 21, 2009

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


Where has this week gone? Last Friday evening our neighbors gave us a wonderful anniversary dinner. It was so good to have everyone together again.

My friend from Mobile visited with us on Sunday and picked up her cushions and valance. She left more material for another set of valances. She liked her items so much that she is now talking about having me make her roman shades, bedspreads, and bolsters. She fell in love with the roman shades that I’ve made for my home. They are so practical and much easier to clean than mini-blinds. I will be meeting with her later today and have to explain to her that these items are going to be very expensive. I do love to sew and these projects are simple, but I keep telling my friends that’s not my business. My business is embroidery. Specifically, Cajun Stitchery does embroidery on ready made items like the weekly sales that I have in this e-newsletter. When I have to actually construct an item, the time involved makes the cost of the item high.

I love to make blankets, especially baby blankets. My friends love my baby blankets. One day a friend of mine suggested that I sell the baby blankets. “You would make a fortune,” she said. I explained that no one in their right mind would purchase a baby blanket for the amount of money that I would have to charge for time and materials. She said, “Shoot, I wouldn’t mind paying $50.00 for one of those baby blankets.” As I explained to my friend, $50.00 for a baby blanket isn’t enough to make me turn on the machine. Those things are so time consuming that I would have to charge more like $500 or $1,000 for a baby blanket. She then realized that I was correct.

I looked online to find out what a nice, custom made roman shade would cost and found that it’s the same thing as the baby blanket. Custom made roman shades can cost hundreds of dollars for a single window. As I will have to explain to my friend later today, for one of her windows the shade will cost her $150, and that’s a small window. That cost is actually on the low end of what I saw on the internet. Plus there are extra charges for installation, if you can’t install the shade yourself.

All of that said, I will be more than glad to make baby blankets, roman shades and whatever you like, as long as you don’t go into “sticker shock” when I tell you the price. Of course, it’s hand made, and made in the USA .

There are items that I am constructing for the Arts & Wine Festival. I will be selling the placemat, for instance, for $7 apiece or $25 for a set of 4. The price is ridiculously low due to the construction, but also the embroidery. Embroidery charges are usually $1 per 1,000 stitches. To create the designs that I wanted for the placemats entailed many thousands of stitches each, usually between 10,000-20,000 stitches per placemat. As you can tell from reading my blog and this e-newsletter, the placemats have been coming along from cutting them out, to embroidery, and finally sewing the placemat together. They are high quality placemats for sure. So far, I have 7 sets done and many more cut out, but it is a time consuming job.

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


Boudreaux and Pierre were walking through the woods one day, when Boudreaux grabbed Pierre by the arm pulling him back. Boudreaux says, "Whooee, Pierre , look at dat big hole you almost stepped in!"
Pierre looks down into the hole, and says, "Whooee, Boudreaux, dat sure looks like a deep hole. I wonder how deep dat hole goes ?"
They find a rock, and throw it into the hole, listening to see how long it will take to hit the bottom. They don't hear anything. They find a bigger rock and repeat the process, but still don't hear it hit.
Pierre notices a railroad tie lying in the bushes, picks it up and throws it into the hole. While they are listening for the railroad tie to hit the bottom, a little billy goat comes running out of the bushes, runs right between them and jumps into the hole.
A few minutes later, their friend, Thibodaux comes walking through the bushes. Boudreaux says, "Hey Thibodaux, what you doin' way out here in de woods?"
Thibodaux answers, "Well I'm out here looking for my little billy goat."
Pierre says, "You want to hear sometin funny, Thibodaux ? The strangest ting just happend. A little billy goat just came running out dem bushes, and jumped right in dat deep hole right dere."
Thibodaux says, "Oh dat couldn't have been my billy goat. My goat was tied to a railroad tie back in dose bushes!"
French phrase of the week: chaboulure (n.f.) prickly heat. Variant: chouboulure. [Often used in the plural.] Proverb: Si c'est pas les maringouins, c'est les chaboulures. (There'salways something wrong. If it's not one thing, it's another.).

1. Turn down the heat, wear sweaters.
2. Carpool, bus, bike, walk.
3. Install low-flow devices for toilet, shower, faucets, gardens.
4. Avoid creating waste, re-use, reduce, recycle.
5. Avoid disposables, use durable products, buy recycled products.
6. Don’t litter, cover pickup truck loads, pick up litter.
7. Avoid toxic & poisonous products.
8. Take household hazardous waste to collection days or sites.
9. Compost yard and food waste.
10. Get involved, join a local community group working on streams or sustainability.

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

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

C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall
Cajun Stitchery
(850) 261-2462

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.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August 19, 2009

Another busy day at the sewing and embroidery machines. Napkins, patches and placemats were all worked on today. I was putting the final touches on some placemats that were embroidered a few days ago. Here are photographs of two sets of placemats that we're selling for $7 apiece or $25.00 for the set of 4. Email me at if you are interested in purchasing.

My friend who had me make her valances now wants roman shades. She saw the ones that I made for my kitchen and fell in love. They look a lot more difficult than they are to make. Simply measure the inside of your window and add 7". Cut the fabric with 3" extra on the top and bottom, and an extra inch on either side. Hem 1" all the way around (1/2" folded, then fold it over again 1/2", then sew). Then for the top and bottom make the remaining 2" hems open on the sides to slide a dowel. Divide the height in evenly spaced incriments of the extra 7", making sure one is at the very top and one at the very bottom. Iron a crease straight across each of the 7 folds. Sew a 1/2" seam across each fold. Put 3 or 4 grommets across each of the 7 folds/seams (depending on how wide the window). Take some sturdy cord and tie onto each of the bottom grommets and through (but not tied) each grommet above making 3 or 4 lines of cord. Now you should have 3 or 4 cords hanging out the top of the roman shade. Put a dowel in the bottom and a dowel in the top. On each end of the top dowel screw a hook (coffee cup hook will be fine, as long as it is sturdy enough to hold the weight of the shade). Inside the frame of the window screw matching eyelet screws to hook the coffee cup hooks, and eyelet screws above each row with the cords. Depending on the width of the window and weight of your fabric, you may need an extra hook in the middle of the window frame for support. Run the cords through the eyelet screw directly above them and through each eyelet screw in the direction that you want the pull cord to raise and lower the shade to be located. If you haven't already, hook the coffee cup hooks on the dowel to the eyelet screws on either end. At this point you should be able to grab all of the cords and pull the shade up and down. With the shade lowered as far as it will go, take the ends of the cord and cut them even with each other and knot them together. Screw a cleat into the side frame wherever would like and is easy to reach. Pull the cords down and wrap a figure 8 with the cords around the cleat and the shade will stay up. Unwrap the cleat and the shade will lower.

There are a multitude of variations to the roman shade, but this is the easy, simple directions. Feel free to email me if you have any questions ( I like the roman shades because I can unhook them, pull the dowels out, and toss them in the laundry. The ones in my kitchen are lined in a silky woven fabric. Mine also have coffee cup hooks across the top instead of the eyelet screws, but my cats get behind the shades each night and every morning we are re-stringing the hooks. If I make another set, I'll use the eyelets on the window frame instead of the coffee hooks. Of course, the way I have it with the coffee hooks, makes it so simple to take down and throw in the wash. With the eyelets you would have to unknot the cords and unstring the eyelets to get them down. Either way works fine. I guess it depends if you have cats or not. Frankly, I'm over the mini-blinds. If you have as many animals as I do, you know mini-blinds are impossible to clean.

Monday, August 17, 2009

August 17, 2009

Can you believe that August is already half over?

Friday, August 14, 2009, was our 39th wedding anniversary and our wonderful neighbors cooked dinner, had presents, Possum Festival slideshow, and terrific conversation. A wonderful time was had by all. And all of the neighborhood group were able to attend. Thank you so much each and every one of you.

Saturday was Pensacola's 450th birthday. The town has been a buz all year awaiting that day. George and I went to the festivities downtown and watched the Florida A&M University marching band. If you have never seen them; you have missed a great show. We walked around town. It has been awhile since either of us has been downtown Pensacola and it was fun to see what new stores are there. Pensacola is a beautiful town. We met friends on the streets downtown and all in all had a wonderful time.

Sunday we just hung around the house and piddled.

I've been working on the placemats for the Arts & Wine Festival in October. The first two sets were previously displayed on this blog. There are several more sets now. They are embroidered but I haven't had a chance to sew them together. That's my goal for this week. A friend of mine suggested that rather than placing the embroidery in the middle of the placemat, I should place the embroidery on the corners or to one side. I took her advice and they are looking good.

We need to purchase some paper bags for customers at the festival. I really want something eco-friendly but at the same time, cost effective. I was surfing the web looking for the best deal for wholesale, recycled bags when I came across some of the cutest little bags for favors. They are about 3"x4". The little rectangular organza bags have been around for awhile but what I saw knocked my socks off. Some of the styles were a Victorian shoe, bustier, bridesmaid dresses, bridal gown and groom's tux, baby dress, and other styles. Some of the little bags opened at the top but the rest opened at the bottom. The bridesmaid dresses were constructed from satin and to get to the bag, you turn the dress upside down and voila, there's the organza bag under the skirt of the dress, like a crinoline. I looked at every picture I could find on that site to figure out how these bags were constructed. Sounds like an experiment in the making. I can't wait to see if I can make these. One thing at a time. I'm working on placemats now.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August 14, 2009

Cajun Corner – Vol. 1, No. 12 – AUGUST 14, 2009

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


This past Friday we went to my Aunt Lillian’s and had a lovely time. It was Lillian’s birthday. She loved the napkins that we embroidered for her. We boarded my Uncle Donald’s boat (13 of us) and went through Destin and into the Gulf of Mexico where we had a very nice memorial service for my cousin Bob and Lillian scattered his ashes, we all dropped roses, and released balloons. We returned to Lillian’s and celebrated her birthday with cake and ice cream. George and I had to leave shortly after the boat trip because we were due in Pensacola at a neighborhood barbeque – and we were bringing the meat. We made it on time and had a lovely evening.

My Aunt Philo and our friend, Paulette, were at Lillian’s. George and I have been trying to quit smoking since March of this year. We have been able to cut our smoking in half, but simply have not been able to quit. Well, at Lillian’s we stepped outside to have a cigarette and my Aunt Philo caught me. Oh, she scolded me bad. God only knows how much I would love to quit smoking. A friend of our’s gave us a self-hypnosis CD to help us quit. I followed the instructions to a T and afterwards couldn’t wait to get downstairs for a smoke. Oh well! Like my Mama used to say, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

I re-covered the cushions and made the valances for my friend. They really turned out nice. She came over to pick them up and left another set of valances for me to make. I do love to sew and these project were simple, but I keep telling my friends that’s not my business. My business is embroidery. Specifically, Cajun Stitchery does embroidery on ready made items like the weekly sales that I have in this e-newsletter.

Since the Arts & Wine Festival is rapidly approaching, George and I are furiously working on items for our booth. I cut out a lot of placemats and have started embroidering them. Two sets were completed today. They have Christmas motifs on them. This made me start thinking that the holiday season is approaching. I am going to include little gifts as sale items in the e-newsletter now. Cajun Stitchery can always put together a lovely gift basket with embroidered items, as well as other gifts.

Later in October we are going to head out to Tallahassee for another arts festival. A very dear friend of our’s from Orlando plays the fiddle and will be playing in the festival. It’s been many years since we’ve seen each other and I’m really looking forward to this trip.


Boudreaux passes to Hawaii on vacation.
Down at the pool, a fellow sits next to Boudreaux. Boudreaux says "Hey, how you doing? My name is Boudreaux and I'm here on vacation. My house caught itself on fire and I got a little extra from the insurance company."
"Well that's interesting," responded the fellow "I'm here from California and my house flooded. I used the extra insurance money for this vacation."
"Mais dats good," said Boudreaux "but let me axe you one ting. How de hell did you start de flood?"
French phrase of the week: bec (n.m.) 1. beak (of a bird). 2. kiss. Donne-moi un petit bec doux, cher! (Give me a sweet little kiss, dear!) This is pronounced beck as in ReBECca. This was also one of Mama’s favorite words but I will not say how she used this word. Those of you who knew her, know.

Buying Locally for a Healthier Taste and Conscience #53
Next time you hit the grocery store, shop around for the best buys that support your own local environment. Check labels and signs of the produce you purchase and make an effort to buy locally grown products. Buying locally means less energy expended to bring food to your table, cutting down on everything from air pollution to the burning of fossil fuels from trucking in cargo. Buying locally also means fresher fruits and vegetables that are healthier for your body and tastier to your taste buds. Fruits and veggies shipped from abroad are usually harvested at least two full weeks before they are ripe so that they don’t go rotten during their long voyages on planes and in crates before arriving to your grocer. By buying from people in your area you’re also supporting the local economy and helping to make your home part of a more sustainable community. If products aren’t labeled at your grocery store, talk to the management and let them know you would like to know whether the tomatoes your buying were genetically engineered at some factory or whether they were grown under the same bright skies you wake up to in the morning. By buying locally, not only are you bound for a fresher taste but also for a healthier conscience by making simple decisions that go a long way in protecting all of our environments

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

C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall
Cajun Stitchery
(850) 261-2462

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 (sale good through Thursday, August 20, 2009)
Sale: Set of 4 Placemats. Normally sell for $7 apiece or a set of 4 for $25. If you order this week, you will receive a set of 4 placemats with holiday motifs for $20. Your choice of birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Fall/Spring/Summer/Winter. Same motif on all 4 placemats.
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, August 10, 2009

Tote, totes and more totes

I've been working on bags today. George is still making patches.

The first bag I made was started sometime ago when we were working on my aunt's bowling team's t-shirts. We messed up one of the t-shirts and I thought that I'd make a bag for Paulette. Paulette actually placed the order, got the sizes, colors, design, and collected the money. She did it all. It's only fair that Paulette gets something special for her efforts. I used some of our practice bowling designs, cut them out of the stabilizer. I then embroidered Paulette's name on the bottom of the t-shirt. The cut out designs were placed around the name and sewn on. To make a deeper bag, some nice black fabric was added at the bottom -- with sparkles. Just a bag to use when she goes bowling. She can put her shoes in there or whatever she likes.
The next bag was another practice run on the tree we used for the big display tablecloth. I love that tree. The practice run was on a piece of brown woven fabric large enough to make a bag. This is a pretty simple bag. When I finished it looked to me like a nice bag to carry a bottle of wine.

The last bag that I did today is a tote. You may recall the tiger that I stitched. That tiger has been sitting off by itself for several weeks because I couldn't make up my mind what to do with it. Today I decided the tiger was going to become a tote bag, and so it did. The flip side of the tote has pockets on the outside.

George just walked in with a movie. I'm off to the living room to watch a movie.

August 10, 2009

August must be one of the busiest months of the year. Each weekend so far has been packed with activities.

Friday at Aunt Lillian's was a blast. We went on my uncle's boat, 42 foot boat with 4 levels, 2 bedrooms and a bath and a half. There were 13 of us and plenty of room. Wow! We cruised around the waters in Destin, FL and out into the Gulf of Mexico. The day was absolutely beautiful. There were lots of jellyfish in the water but we were also entertained by a family of dolphin. It was good relaxing with family.

As soon as we returned to terra firma, George and I had to leave because the neighborhood was having a cookout and we were in charge of bringing the meat. Another wonderful time was had by all. One of our neighbor's sons, his girlfriend and another friend were here from Pennsylvania. It was a delightful evening of dinning and laughter.

Saturday the Pennsylvania visitors headed north and we cleaned house, bathed dogs, and cleaned the yard. Oh, the garden is lovely. We have baby watermelons growing alongside of the peanuts.

Sunday we had company. Our friends from Mobile visited. Since they are master gardeners, they were answering all sorts of questions about the yard and gardens. I had re-covered her cushions and made some valances for her. She was so pleased, which in turn pleased me. She left material for more valances. Since this was her first visit to our home, she wanted and got the grand tour -- all 1400 sq feet of it. She fell in love with my curtains. Had I known she would like them so much, I would have washed them. Anyway, she is now thinking about having me make her roman shades for her house.

Insofar as roman shades are concerned, I am pretty much over the mini-blinds. They collect dust, especially if you have as many animals in your house as I do. And, they are hard to clean. I usually end up tearing something when I try to clean the mini-blinds. So, I opted for the roman shades. I still have mini-blinds on one window and I need to put curtains up there. The nice thing is that you can take them down and throw them in the wash -- wish I had done that before company saw how dusty they were. Of course, the roman shades would be constructed of fabric and color that matches the room. Throw in a few pillows in the same fabric and voila, you have a room that looks like an interior decorator had a hand in decorating. My roman shades have been up since before my embroidery machine entered my home. I bet they would be beautiful with some embroidery splashed here and there. Hummm. I need to think about this.

Here I am, Monday morning. Great weekend and looking forward to a great week in the embroidery business.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

August 7, 2009

Cajun Corner – Vol. 1, No. 11 – AUGUST 7, 2009

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


Our weekend extravaganza to small town Florida began at the hotel. George and I were the first to arrive. When the others arrived, they told us to stay in our room and they were going to drop off their luggage, change their clothes and meet us in our room for a glass of wine. We never suspected that they would all enter our room with a chilled bottle of champagne and a sweet Happy Anniversary card to both of us. The champagne didn’t last through the night, as you can imagine.
The Possum Festival was a real slice of Americana. We had a great time. Wausau, FL is only a few blocks on Highway 77 between Chipley and Panama City. It’s a very tiny town but their hearts are big enough to welcome the world. The people were so friendly and full of fun. It had rained before the parade and was hot and humid but the parade went on without a glitch. Then we walked to the Possum Palace which is a large covered building with no walls on 3 sides. Instead of walls, there were bleachers. It was sort of like an arena or rodeo area. A young lady sang Christian songs on the stage and off to the side they sold Possum Festival t-shirts and had cooked possum for those adventurous souls. Our neighbor, Pat, took a bite of the possum and said it was very greasy. His wife put a bite in her mouth and spit it out. Our other neighbor, Patrice, walked out of line and passed up the possum. George and I avoided the whole thing and went to the t-shirt area. I wish it had not been so hot and humid because I would have like to peruse the arts and crafts more. There were some nice things there. And for those of you who are curious, yes, they did have possum hats, reminiscent of a raccoon hat.

The next part of our weekend was the Marianna Caverns. Marianna has a population of 6,000 and was a lovely antebellum sort of town. The Marianna Caverns State Park was absolutely beautiful. We did not go on the tour of the caverns because the tickets sold out right before we got there. We were able to go hiking through some of the paths. Nature is beautiful. The flora was unique and interesting. The forest is one of the few remaining hard wood forests left in Florida. We also enjoyed the museum which had a video of the tour in the caverns. It was getting to be late afternoon and we all wanted to get home before dark. There was so much more to the park, like swimming, camping, boating and more hiking. We all vowed to return.

Monday evening I met some friends at Perdido, FL. One of the ladies has a condo on the Gulf of Mexico with an absolutely stunning view. While there another friend asked me to recover the cushions to one of her chairs and make a pair of valances. These projects have been completed and turned out nice. She will pick them up when she’s in the area.

My Aunt Lillian’s birthday is tomorrow and we are supposed to meet at her home and take a ride on my uncle’s boat into the Gulf of Mexico around the Destin area. While on the boat we will be scattering the ashes of my cousin, Bob, who passed away earlier this year. After lunch on the boat, we will return to Aunt Lillian’s home and celebrate her birthday with cake and presents. I embroidered a set of white napkins with her name in blue and a design in red.

George is still working on the patches.

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


Boudreaux once had a job as a taxicab driver in Baton Rouge.
One day, he picked up a Texan on his way to the airport. When they passed by the LSU football stadium, the Texan said "What's that?"
Boudreaux said, "Dat's Tiger Stadium."
The Texan said, "How long did it take y'all to build it?"
Boudreaux said, "Mais, about five years."
The Texan said, "Oh, we've got a bigger one in Austin that only took one year."
As they passed the state capitol, the Texan asked again, "What's that building?"
Boudreaux said, "Dat's the state capitol".
"And how long did it take y'all to build that?"
Boudreaux said, "About three years."
The Texan said, "We've got one in Austin that only took six months."
Boudreaux had just about enough of this, you know. Then they drove past the Mississippi River Bridge.
The Texan said, "How long did it take y'all to build that bridge?"
Boudreaux said, "I don't know. It wasn't there this morning."


A reader requested that we include pronunciations in our weekly French phrase.
French phrase of the week: amarrer (v.t.) [AH MAH REH, An MAH REH] 1. to tie up. 2. to attach. 3. to settle the terms (of a race or game, usually in a race between two horses, but it may also be between people) amarrer ses souliers to tie one's shoelaces. (SF attacher)

If you have known me very long, you know that I am an avid environmentalist. In that vein, I would like to include tips to Reduce-Reuse-Recycle each week. We tend to focus on “recycle”. We need to focus on “reduce” and “reuse” as well. I highly suggest that you watch the interesting video at for a look at how we got into this environmental mess. Let’s begin by simplifying.

Simplify: Simplify your life as much as possible. Only keep belongings that you use/enjoy on a regular basis. By making the effort to reduce what you own, you will naturally purchase less/create less waste in the future. For information on voluntary simplicity, check out Voluntary Simplicity Websites. Learn more through books on voluntary simplicity . The Compact blog (and Yahoo group accessed from blog) supports individuals committed to not buying products for a year.

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

C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall
Cajun Stitchery
(850) 261-2462

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

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August 4, 2009

The Possum Festival was a lot of fun but very hot and humid. We will return next year and be in the parade. Wausau was a lovely slice of small town USA. Absolutely charming. The people were very friendly. We all wore out Possums Rule patches. Some of the group tasted the cooked possum but I had to pass that one up. Yuk! We also went to the Marianna caverns and had a wonderful time. That park is beautiful.

I made a terrible mistake and forgot to photograph the latest napkins. I made them for a friend and delivered them to her last night. Totally forgot to take pictures. They turned out so nice.

Today I've been preparing to re-cover some cushions for a friend. This part of sewing is not part of Cajun Stitchery. I do it for friends and she begged me. Hopefully, I'll finish that tomorrow.

We did a full maintenance on the commercial machine. It was acting funny but we have fixed it. Man, it's scary taking some of those parts off, but it must be done. You have to know your machine inside and out.
My neighbor was at Wal-Mart the other day and picked up a pretty, large tote for me. It was on sale for $2.10. It's black and white striped. She bought it because she thought I could embroider a big red rose in the middle of the front, which I may, indeed, do. One of the really cool things about embroidery is that you can find something like this tote on sale and turn it into a really beautiful and expensive looking item, just by adding some embroidery and embellishments.
I was going through some of our stock designs today looking for appropriate Christmas and seashore type designs for the placemats. We have some beautiful designs that I am eager to stitch out. George, of course, is still making the patches.