Friday, March 19, 2010

Cajun Corner Vol. 2, No. 10

Cajun Corner – Vol. 2, No. 10 – March 13, 2010

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


Don’t forget to visit us at often.

Cajun Stitchery’s first anniversary has been wonderful and still ongoing. We still are not getting as much participation in the contests as anticipated, but we are getting enough for a winner each week. I guess I have a lot to learn about contests.

This week’s contest winner is D.J. Zemenick. D.J. won a set for 4 napkins with the embroidery of her choice. D.J. said: “My pet peeve is finding so much plastic on the beach. Balloons and plastic bags get blown into the Gulf of Mexico and cause harm or even death to our endangered sea turtles when they mistake plastic in the water for a jellyfish (which they eat) and then choke on it or it creates a blockage in their stomach. Since it is so easy for an empty plastic bag to get blown away in our strong island breezes, I'm a strong advocate of using cloth/canvas shopping bags when I shop.” Isn’t that a great response for the contest? Of course, DJ and others have Cajun Stitchery bags and our bags are always available. Visit DJ on her blog at DJ is one heck of a photographer.

This week’s contest: This week Cajun Stitchery would like to know some home remedy ideas. This can be health, cleaning, or household remedies. Doesn’t have to be an essay but you are welcome to do so. Email your response to The winner will be announced next week in Cajun Corner. Prize: 4 embroidered napkins.

Junkanoo jackets are done. Embroidering the names on the jackets was a piece of cake, except… First, we found that several of the jackets had patches glued, and I mean glued solid, onto the area that we were going to embroider the names. That’s when we discovered (thank you Amy) Goof-Off. This stuff is fabulous. So, we got the patches off and embroidered the names. We embroidered what everyone had written on a piece of paper in their pockets, or for those without papers in their pockets we figured out whose jacket it was and embroidered their name. One of the ladies wrote her entire name. We embroidered as she had written, only to find out later that she didn’t want her entire name but only her first name. It took us three days to meticulously take out each and every one of those embroidered stitches. George and I were taking turns. After staring at the tiny stitches for so long you had to get up and focus on other things. All is well that ends well and we got the stitches out, embroidered her first name and it looks great.

The Junkanoos are a group of simply wonderful people. I have shopped with them, ate with them, drank with them, partied with them, and each and every one that I know on the krewe is simply a wonderful human being. You know they captured my heart when they held the Kritter Krawl and make donations to the Humane Society.

I remembered to bring my camera and took pictures of the pillowcases that I embroidered for a friend. She had just washed the pillowcases and they were a bit wrinkled but at least I have the photos for posterity.

My discussion last week about Hope Chests created an email conversation with one of my dear, sweet friends. Kathi has a way with words and so I’m going to let her say it herself: “I've never heard of starting a hope chest for someone else (unless of course you're the mother and can't wait to get this child out of your house!). Back 'in my day' the girls started a hope chest in their teens; in the 'hope' of marrying to, basically, get out of their parents’ homes. There were not a lot of other choices for females then unless you had parents rich enough to send you to college (where they 'hoped' their girls would find an educated husband). My eldest sister was the only one in my family (with a total of 4 girls) to actually have a hope chest. I don't really remember what she put in the chest.”

You know I simply cannot resist a good research project and this was just too tempting. My research showed that a Hope Chest could be started or added to by anyone. The actual "hope chest", the elaborate ones, were passed down from mother to daughter. Whatever the girl received through her life that would be classified as a household item would or could be placed in their hope chest. Frequently, the hope chest was simply a drawer where the girl collected the items. The hope chest is also known as trousseau, dowry, cedar chest, glory box, kast, or schrank chest.

Historically, mothers taught daughters to sew, embroider, knit, crochet, etc., and the daughters would put her items in her hope chest as she made them.

"Back in my day" we had bridal showers, as we have today, where the girl was given items for her home. The "Hope Chest" by Lane Furniture became popular after WWII when the Lane Company completed its government contract building ammunition boxes. Lane Furniture was then created and specialized in Hope Chests a/k/a cedar chests. They pushed a huge, successful, marketing campaign for their Hope Chests. The Lane Furniture Company has since gone out of business.

There seems to be a resurrection of hope a/k/a cedar chests nowadays for men and women. Since the cedar will protect even important documents, they are now used to keep passports, birth certificates, and other documents, as well as the traditional blankets and other household items.

Personally, I think a hope chest is a wonderful thing and would love to see it back in vogue. It's romantic, yet practical. Sadly, I don't believe mothers teach daughters those fine arts of homemaking much anymore. I’m just a romantic at heart.

George finished scrapping the living room ceiling. Now he needs to do his magic and paint the ceiling.

We did an experiment with the gold thread. Sitting side-by-side the spools are the identical colors. However, once we stitched a little design, the difference was apparent. I guess there is just nothing like the shine of that metallic thread. The photographs of the experiment were posted on the blog earlier this week. Take a look and let me know your comments, please.

Tax season is a breeze this year. My new tax/financial guru, Dale Jones, has my stuff all in order. I now have a new reason to get outside, professional help with my taxes: it frees me up to make money and complete our orders. Had I been doing the taxes this week, Cajun Stitchery’s orders would have backed up for sure. I believe my Mama would even be impressed. I still have several lists of things to do that Dale has requested but I’m working on that. At Cajun Stitchery Tuesdays are bookkeeping day. That’s the day that George tiptoes around the house because I’m usually muttering under my breath at QuickBooks or some other computer software.

Cajun Corner is not late this week. I have a luncheon to attend today and I want to make sure this issue is received timely. Yes, it is 2:00 a.m. and I’m typing. I have always been my most creative in the wee hours of the morning. In fact, the same was true for Mama and Nancy.

I have to share a story with you. When Nancy and I were still in school, in the early 1960’s, neither one of us liked to do homework. Mama was always on us to get our homework done but she worked and it was hard to get us to do homework after school because she wasn’t there. We were always doing our homework at the last minute. It’s a miracle that either one of us graduated. Mama realized that all of us were more creative in the wee hours of the morning a/k/a late night. So, she imposed a new rule. We all went to bed at 7:00 p.m. and she woke us up at 3:00 a.m. to do our homework. The new rule lasted maybe three days. We were the grumpiest, most cantankerous three females on earth for those few mornings. The flaw in her plan was that none of us were morning people.

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


Thibodeaux came back from a 28 day hitch offshore. He had made him a big check. So Thibodeaux decided to go to Gulotta's in New Iberia and buy himself a brand new pair of patent leather boots. After buying the boots, Thibodeaux decided to go dancing at La Poussierre in Breaux Bridge to break in his new boots. At the dance Thibodeaux asked Marie if she want to waltz. She said, "Mais yea, Thibodeaux." In the middle of dancing, Thibodeaux asked Marie, "You got some blue panties on?" Marie replied, "Yea, how you know dat?" Thibodeaux said, "Because I could see the reflection in my brand new patent leather boots." Thibodeaux then asked Claudette if she wanted to dance. She agreed. In the middle of dancing Thibodeaux asked, "You got some red panties on?" Claudette said, "Yea, how you know dat?" Thibodeaux said, "Because I could see the reflection in my brand new pair of patent leather boots." Thibodeaux then asked Clotile if she wanted to dance. She agreed. In the middle of dancing Thibodeaux asked, "Clotile, you not wearing any panties, huh?" Clotile said, "Mais non, Thibodeaux." Thibodeaux caught his breath and said in relief, "Thank God, I thought I had a crack in my brand new pair of patent leather boots."


French phrase of the week: Descends de là droite asteur! (Get down from there right now!)



The next time you order an espresso to go, ask for a burlap coffee bag, to go, too. Lightweight (and free!) coffee bags are a unique way to add gardening space to your yard, and recycle at the same.

You can plant any kind of annual flowers, vegetables and herbs in burlap coffee bags. Strawberries work great, too! Here's how you do it:

1. Set a coffee bag in place, against a tree, under a shrub, or among a clump of perennials.

2. Roll down the top edge until you have the height you want. The rounded collar around the top is gentle on plants that hang over the edge.

3. Fill the bag with pre-dampened, all-purpose potting soil (or fill halfway with compost and/or garden soil and then top off with potting soil). No need to worry about drainage: The burlap bag holds moisture, yet drains well and stays upright.

4. Plant with seedlings, like you would a regular container. For a filled-out effect, experiment with cutting slits on the sides and poking seedlings in the holes.

Burlap coffee bags provide you with instant container gardens that adapt to any garden and landscape situation. Because they sit gently on the earth, you can use burlap containers to fill spaces and shape in, and around, existing beds.

Because they are biodegradable, plan on using your coffee bag(s) for one season. At the end of the season, they are soft and pliable. At that point, just break it apart and distribute the soil around the garden. Bury the burlap bag in the garden or in the compost pile where it will decompose.

Yes, believe it or not, coffee shops are great sources of gardening supplies. Coffee grounds are a wonderful non-toxic, home remedy for keeping slugs and snails at bay (read the whole article) and many coffee shops are more than happy to give you their used grounds!

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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