Friday, February 26, 2010

Cajun Corner Vol. 2 No. 8

Cajun Corner – Vol. 2, No. 08 – February 26, 2010

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


Don’t forget to visit us at often.

I am still trying to get back on track. At least this week I am starting Cajun Corner in the morning. Do you realize that this is the last Friday in February? March is marching in. Our contest has not brought many responses. The best idea will be chosen on March 1st so get your ideas into Cajun Stitchery.

CONTEST: Our one year anniversary is March 9, 2010. I want to do something really special for our anniversary month. Please send in your ideas of how Cajun Stitchery can celebrate their anniversary month. In fact, let’s make this fun. Let’s make this a contest. Send in your ideas and the winner will get a set of four napkins embroidered with your initials or other napkin friendly design. The winner will be announced on March 1, 2010.

It has been a busy time on the embroidery machine. I need to post several pictures of projects done and projects that we are doing.

We cleaned up Krewe Den and took all of our krewe belongings back to the storage facility. Mardi Gras is officially over until next year.

One of our new Nereid Love Ladies suggested that I write sewing tips that I have learned either from Mama or on my own. The conversation was centered around pin cushions and how nowadays pin cushions are filled with cotton or other non-abrasive matter. In the old days you would get the red pin cushion in the shape of a tomato with the little strawberry at the end of a string. The strawberry was filled with sand to keep your needles and pins sharp and free from rust or gunk. I keep a cup of sand in my sewing area for this purpose, as well as pin cushions filled with sand. We live in Florida near the beach, so sand isn’t really hard to find. Even if you don’t live near sand, you can always pick up a bag in the lawn and garden department of your local Wal-Mart or other store. Use your scissors and cut through the sand to keep them nice and clean, too.

This year I am fascinated with pillowcases. In our embroidery room there is a chart that shows the appropriate placement of designs on various items. For pillowcases, the proper placement is above the hemmed area. That makes no sense to me at all. Why not decorate the nice, big hem on pillowcases? Perusing pillowcases on the internet, I have seen it done both ways. Lately, our pillowcases are getting designs on the hem area. A friend said that she felt it would be uncomfortable to sleep on a pillowcase that was fully embroidered. Of course, right above the hemmed area is not the center of the pillowcase and not where you would necessarily lay your head. However, I have seen pillowcases with the embroidery in the center, as well.

Looking through pictures and graphics of pillowcases on the internet brought back many memories of the hand embroidered items of years gone by. The antebellum lady with the full skirt was so popular. Sunbonnet Sue was another popular design. Sunbonnet Sue always makes me smile because that was a way to embroider a little girl without having to mess with facial features.

Nevertheless, I’m very excited about pillowcases this year and designing them. Certainly by the end of the year Cajun Stitchery will find its own special techniques. The pillowcases are available for sale. The price will vary depending on the embroidery requested. Our pillowcases are white, standard size, hotel quality pillowcases. We have chosen white because it matches everything. The pillowcases themselves are $15.00 for a pair, plus the embroidery and sales tax/shipping. These would make wonderful, unique gifts for weddings, birthdays, showers, holidays and don’t forget graduation. Take advantage of our stock designs, too. The pillowcases would be considered an heirloom type item that would be wonderful for a Hope Chest. You can have a name embroidered or the typical “Mr.” and “Mrs.”, but don’t stop there. How about “King” and “Queen”, “Prince” and “Princess”, or “Captain” and “Mate”? We have many fonts available for lettering and beautiful designs, as well. Everyone can use pillowcases, so, why not have pillowcases designed for each holiday or season, such as Mardi Gras, Easter, Patriotic, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years? Or, send a message like “I love grandma” and “I love grandpa.”

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


Thibodeaux & Boudreaux go fishing in the lake. Boudreaux catches a lamp. So Thibodeaux says Boudreaux rub the lamp to see what happens. A genie pops out and says you have 1 wish. Boudreaux says we could use a lot of money. Thibodeaux says wait Boudreaux lets think of something real good, its hot and we are in the middle of the lake with nothing to drink. Let’s turn the whole lake into beer. Boudreaux says no. Thibodeaux says why not. Boudreaux says because we are going to have to pee in the boat.


French phrase of the week: Ils aimont pas le garçon que leur fille sort avec. (They don't like the boy their daughter is going out with.)


Article submitted by Courtney Winstead:

Grow Your Own Mosquito Repellent

.....By Stephanie Bloyd

Lemon balm, the International Herb Association' s 2007 Herb of the Year, is an ancient antidote to modern-day stress. This versatile herb can be used to calm nerves, promote restful sleep, and reduce digestive distress — plus it could be your new best friend in the great outdoors. Not only do its leaves have a rich, zippy, lemon smell, but they also contain compounds that can repel mosquitoes.

"Some northern European forms of lemon balm are high in citronellal, a compound which mimics the well-known herbal repellent citronella oil," says Arthur Tucker, an ethnobotanist at Delaware State University . He notes that some forms of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) are nearly 38 percent citronellal. A variety called `Quedlinburger Niederliegende' with this higher content of essential oil is available from Johnny's Selected Seeds and Richters.

For a quick mosquito repellent, simply crush a handful of lemon balm leaves in your hand and rub them on your exposed skin. Grow the plants near your backdoor or in your garden, where the leaves will be handy when you need them.


In addition to keeping biting bugs at bay, lemon balm has a long history of medicinal use. Cultivated in the Mediterranean region for the past 2,000 years, this perennial herb was prized for its catchall curative properties. During the Middle Ages, King Charles V of France was said to drink lemon balm tea daily for his health. Paracelsus, a Swiss Renaissance physician, called lemon balm the "elixir of life." And in the 17th century, the French Carmelite nuns made their famous Carmelite Water with lemon balm and other herbs to treat nervous headaches and neuralgia. Today, lemon balm is gaining acceptance as a useful herb for modern stress-related maladies.

"Weedy lemon balm, which any old brown thumb can grow, would be one of the herbs you should try before resorting to pharmaceuticals, " says James Duke, an internationally renowned herbal expert. "It's cheap, easy, efficacious, pleasing and safe; and it makes a good tea. Lemon balm is about as safe and pleasant an herb as there is."

Duke thinks lemon balm could compete favorably with drugs such as Ambien for insomnia, Avirax for oral herpes, Zoloft for depression and Zantac for indigestion. The German Commission E, established by the country's Minister of Health in the '70s to review herbal remedies, has approved lemon balm for gastrointestinal problems, as well as nervous sleeping disorders.

Lemon balm is frequently used in combination with other medicinal herbs. Though studies of these are limited, lemon balm has been tested alone, or with other herbs for the following:

Anxiety. Two studies conducted at the University of Northumbria in England found that a standardized lemon balm extract improved participants' moods, with no decrease in mental alertness at certain dosage levels. "The results suggest that low doses of lemon balm may enhance calmness and high doses may have a mild sedative effect," writes Christina Chase for the American Botanical Council.

Cold Sores. Topical applications of lemon balm have proven effective at treating cold sores (oral herpes). A study published in the journal Phytomedicine found that a cream made with lemon balm extract reduced the number of blisters in an outbreak, if used early. Celeste Robb-Nicholson, editor in chief of Harvard Women's Health Watch, writes: "A safe long-term treatment [for cold sores] is topical application of lemon balm. It doesn't prevent cold sores, but it appears to speed healing."

While lemon balm creams may be hard to find in the United States , Tucker recommends making a cream formulated with 1 percent dried lemon balm. (For detailed advice on making herbal products, try Richo Cech's Making Plant Medicine, Horizon Herbs, 2000.)

Sleep. A Swiss study published in the journal Fitoterapia showed that a combination of lemon balm and valerian root improved sleep quality as compared to a placebo group. Another study published in Phytotherapy Research found that the lemon balm/valerian combination reduced anxiety among healthy participants who were subjected to laboratory-induced stress.

Indigestion. Lemon balm is recommended by herbalists for digestive disorders, especially anxiety-related dyspepsia, since its antispasmodic properties are thought to calm indigestion. A German study examined 120 patients with functional dyspepsia who were given a preparation containing lemon balm as the main ingredient. After eight weeks, 43 percent of participants on active treatment reported complete relief from their symptoms.

Other than the possibility of an allergic reaction, lemon balm has few side effects. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies it as "generally recognized as safe." The German Commission E recommends a dosage of 150 to 450 milligrams of the herb per cup of tea, taken daily as needed. However, if you are pregnant or nursing, avoid taking the herb in large quantities. Lemon balm may also interfere with thyroid hormones, so speak to your doctor before taking lemon balm if you take thyroid medication.


There are numerous ways to enjoy lemon balm, whether you add it to tea, use it as a cooking herb, purchase supplements or tinctures from the health food store, or simply enjoy its aromatherapeutic qualities in a relaxing bath.

"Since many of the effective compounds will pass through the skin, you can have your tea, drink it too, and bathe in it," Duke says. To make lemon balm tea, add a handful of lemon balm leaves to 1 cup of water and steep for at least five minutes. For a soothing lemon balm bath, put some fresh (or dried) crushed lemon balm leaves into a muslin bag, then let the warm water run through it as you fill the tub.

Lemon balm also adds a light lemon flavor to a variety of culinary dishes, such as salads, pasta, fish, chicken, sauces and marinades. Since the leaves lose flavor when dried, add fresh leaves to your dish near the end of the cooking process. Look for fresh lemon balm at your local farmers market if you prefer not to grow it yourself.

How to Grow

Lemon balm is easy to grow from seed, rooted cuttings or by root division. The herb thrives in full sun, but can be grown in partial shade. Varieties `All Gold' and `Aurea' have variegated and yellow foliage, and need some shade because they tend to burn when exposed to full hot sun. They are not as hardy or as flavorful as the common green Melissa officinalis, or the high-citronellal variety, `Quedlinburger Niederliegende. '

Lemon balm looks and grows much like mint—it is a member of the mint family—though it does not send runners. It will compete for garden space and is best planted next to other vigorous perennials that will hold their own against this sweet yet somewhat invasive herb. The plants grow from 2 to 2½ feet tall, bushing out laterally, so give each plant about 2 feet of space all around. Prune plants a few times during the growing season to help maintain new growth. If they become too dense and thick, thin by yanking out some of the inner stems. The hardy root system will survive the coldest winters if plants are well mulched.

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.

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