Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cajun Corner Vol. 2, No. 18

Cajun Corner – Vol. 2, No. 18 – may 8, 2010

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


Don’t forget to visit often.

The good news is that so far the oil has not landed on the shores of Florida. The bad news is that tar balls are landing on the shore in Alabama. This week had been a week of learning about oil spills and the politics involved. Prayers are going out that our shores be spared.

The time that I have spent working this week was without the help of George. George spent the week scraping off our popcorn ceilings, smoothing them out, and painting them. My ceilings are beautiful. Neither of us likes the popcorn ceiling. Over time dust, smoke and filth accumulated on those ceilings. We couldn’t paint or clean it because of those popcorn pieces of paint. The ceilings were nasty looking. We now only have one room in the house that still has the popcorn ceiling and that’s the study. We’ll do that some other time. The study is the catch all room in the house. It’s just too much to deal with right now.

After my blessed husband provided me with new ceilings, and taking a significant amount of Advil because his neck hurt from look up at the ceilings, he proceeded to clean the house spotless, including the yard, for a going away party that we gave last night for one of our neighbors.

Last week the neighborhood got together for a birthday party. We began talking about our grape vines. I’ve heard of using grape leaves in cooking and was wondering if anyone wanted any grape leaves and what would you do with them. Apparently, there is one thing you can do with grape leaves and that is for stuffed grape leaves. I had looked on the internet and saw some recipes and directions. Our grape vines are so lush that George worried that the grapes weren’t getting enough sun. So, he wanted to trim the leaves. I didn’t want to throw those leaves away because I knew you could use them in cooking. I read that you can take clean, dry leaves and simply stack them and put them in plastic bags in the freezer, squeezing out all of the air that you can. That was done. We still had a ton of leaves. After extensive discussions with our neighbors and reading many articles and recipes about stuffed grape leaves, we did it. George and I had a little assembly line going. As soon as they were cooked, I had to try them out. Not bad; not bad at all. Of course, my stuffed grape leaves contained Cajun seasoning. We never counted how many we made but I would say in the area of 100. I had some. George had some. The remainder went into the refrigerator. The recipes said that you can serve the hot or cold.

Wednesday night I was telling the girls at our Wednesday night group about the stuffed grape leaves. They were very impressed and instructed me to save the remainder in the frig and serve cold on a platter for my party Friday night. I did. In fact, I used a gold charger, with a clear glass platter, arranged the stuffed grape leaves (there were enough to fill the platter) and put sprigs of the parsley from our garden on top. Those stuffed grape leaves were just about gone by the end of the evening. Who would believe that a little Cajun girl who can’t, or doesn’t like to, cook could make a Greek dish that everyone loved?

Of course, the problem is how many stuffed grape leaves can you eat? I ask because the garden is so lush that we will probably have to trim more leaves soon. If you want grape leaves, I’ve got ‘em.

A friend of mine recently became a barber and asked me to create a design for his smock. He didn’t like any of the stock designs that I offered. I finally had to digitize what he had in his mind. I’m still learning to digitize. I’m at a point where I can do some simple designs. He loved my digitized design and is going to get a smock for me to embroider.

Once I digitized the barber design, I started thinking about a Black Tide design. I digitized the design. A photo is attached of the stitched out design on a red woven fabric. There are areas in the design when stitched that are open. They are where two colors meet. This doesn’t show in the design picture, only when stitched out. I have some ideas of how to correct this but everyone who has seen it, likes the spaces. They remind me of rivers. I may just leave them in.

One of my mermaid friends has decided to do sewing in her home. If you need sewing done or alterations, call me and I’ll give you her name and phone number. I do vouch for her. She is one of the co-chairs of our costume committee and does beautiful work. We did win the Grand Marshall’s award this past Mardi Gras. She is a very talented seamstress. In fact, one friend said she wants to take her wedding dress and have a pillowcase made from it. Then she wants her anniversary date embroidered on the pillowcase. My friend would do the sewing and I would do the embroidery.

Most of the week I’ve been isolated in the embroidery room because George was scraping and painting the ceilings where I’m usually located during the day. It was kind of nice. I was able to work on designs and immediately take them to Boudreaux. We did embroider a towel for a customer.

The other night I couldn’t sleep. I ended up sitting in front of my sewing machine with all of those practice stitch-outs around me, wondering what to do with them. One of my neighbor’s sons has a logging business. We created the company logo and have stitched it out on several shirts and other things. There were two practice stitch-outs and I just hate to throw that stuff away. I made 2 can sleeves, like koozies but without the bottom. The stabilizer added the extra bulk and absorbency. They are adorable. My neighbor loves them. I also had an extra stitch-out of the Cajun Stitchery design and made myself a can sleeve. Once I finished the can sleeves, I headed toward all of those Junkanoo stitch-outs. We have a bunch of those. I made the prettiest, completely lined, tote bag with green grosgrain ribbon for the carrying straps. I remember doing the Junkanoo jackets. Those designs had, I believe, 45,000 stitches in them. If I sold the bag, the stitching alone would be $90, and that’s with a discount.

I need to make more things out of those left over stitch-outs. Maybe I’ll put some on Etsy.

There are some beautiful mermaids stitched outs with no place to go. Hmmmm.

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Boudreaux & Thibodeaux were fishing one day when Boudreaux pulled out a cigar. Finding he had no matches, he asked Thibodeaux for a light."Shure, I got a lighter," he replied. Then reaching into his tackle box, he pulled out a Bic lighter 10 inches long."Jiminy Cricket!" exclaimed Boudreaux, taking the huge Bic lighter in his hands. "Where did yew git dat monster??" "Well," replied Thibodeaux, "I got it from my Genie.""You gots a genie in dat tackle box?" Boudreaux asked."Yep, I shure got one. It's right here in my tackle box," says Thibodeaux.

"Could I see him?" So Thibodeaux opens his tackle box and sure enough, out pops the genie.Addressing the genie, Boudreaux says, "Hey dere! I'm a good friend of your Master, will yew grant me one wish?" "Yes, I will," says the genie.So Boudreaux asks the genie for a million bucks. The genie disappears back into the tackle box leaving Boudreaux sitting there, waiting for his million bucks.Shortly, the sky darkens and is soon filled with the sound of a million ducks ... flying overhead.Over the roar of the million ducks Boudreaux yells at Thiboduaux. "Jumpin' Jimminy Crickets! I axed for a million bucks, not a million ducks!"Thibodeaux answers, "Yup, I forgot to tell yew dat genie is hard of hearing. Do yew really tink I axed for a 10-inch Bic?"


French phrase of the week: Marée noire (Black Tide)


I’m repeating the eco tip from last week since this issue has arisen in our current preparations for the Gulf oil slick. There is a website that collects the hair from salons.

Any major oil spill causes great environmental damage. The oil spill that took place on the San Francisco Bay in 2007 resulted in spillage of 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel from the container ship Cosco Busan.

But what makes the San Francisco Oil Spill unusual, is the oil spill cleanup technique that was adopted. A group of volunteers cleaned San Francisco’s beaches using unconventional products, namely human hair and mushrooms. Though unconventional, it is an organic and eco-friendly way of cleaning up oil spills.

Hair is a natural absorbent that soaks oil very well. In the San Francisco Oil Spill, masses of matted hair the size of a doormat were used to soak up oil. (These mats are woven from human hair donated by salons.) After the visible effect in the San Francisco oil spill, others have also started using these for cleaning up oil spills

You must be wondering where mushrooms come into the picture in this whole process. Oyster mushrooms have the power to convert toxic oil to compost. In the San Francisco oil spill, once the hair mats had soaked up the oil, oyster mushrooms were layered between these mats. In about 12 weeks, these mushrooms not only absorbed but turned these oil-soaked mats into non-toxic compost.

The success of using hair and mushrooms in the San Francisco oil spill cleanup calls for more such innovative, cost-effective, and eco-friendly techniques of cleaning oil spills. One such eco-friendly technique that has proved to be effective in oil spill cleanup is bioremediation technology.

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

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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 catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

SALE OF THE WEEK (Good through Thursday, May 13, 2010)

This week’s sale will be the tee shirt (below) with the Black Tide 2010 design embroidered for $25.00, plus tax. For each order $5.00 will be donated to the Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida.

The Black Tide 2010 design is approximately 5” x 5”.

Fruit of the Loom - #3930Heavy Cotton™ Adult Tee

Colors: Ash, athletic heather, azalea, azure, banana, black, burgundy, chocolate, coral, cornflower, denim, Dakota slate, forest green, genoa teal, gold, jade, Kelly, khaki, kiwi, lavender, light blue, light mint, natural, j. navy, orange poppy, orange, pacific blue, pink, purple, royal blue, sagestone, texas orange, true red, white, yellow.

5.6 oz. 100% cotton (athletic heather is 90% cotton/10% polyester). Seamless rib collar. Shoulder-to-shoulder taping. Double-needle sleeve & bottom hem.

See attached photograph.

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