Monday, November 29, 2010

Boogers, Boogers, Boogers

 A young friend of mine showed me a tissue holder posted on the internet that a lady was making as stocking stuffers for Christmas.  The tissue holder had written on it:  You have a booger.  My friend said if I made those she would buy one.  Well, you know how I feel about our disposable world.  Instead, I made cloth handkerchiefs.  Very dainty lavender hankies.  Two say: You have a booger.  One embroidered in hot pink thread and one in lime green.  Another said:  Placer boogers ici.  That's french for "put boogers here."  And a fourth said:  Got boogers?  They are all hysterically funny.  I took pictures but the french version and the Got boogers pictures didn't turn out very well.  I did list the other two in the Etsy store and one even got a heart.  They are so cute.  I keep telling everyone that they would be perfect for those occasions when you see someone with a booger on their nose and you don't know whether to say something or not.  You could just hand over the hanky.

I've been working on a tea towel order with a beautiful mylar embroidered mermaid.  Embroidering with mylar is very easy.  The problem is that it is so messy.  The mylar has unbelieveable static cling and I find little pieces everywhere.  It is beautiful.

A few years back I purchased an ITH (in the hoop) design for a corset pouch.  A cell phone will fit in it; reading glasses will fit in it.  It's fun to make and very versatile.  The problem is that it doesn't have a closing at the top.  You know my issue about cell phone holders that don't close and allow the cell phone to fall out.  This pouch would be very handy hung around your mirror in the car to hold sun glasses or what not.  I may end up sewing Velcro on it.  Nevertheless, I'm thinking about making some of these cute pouches for whatever can be done with them.

And I ended up making another baby blanket for my friend who is a new grandmother.  This one is for the baby shower next weekend.

Remember:  Cajun Stitchery can make all of your embroidery dreams come true; your other dreams are up to you:>)

C'est tout, mes amis.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cajun Corner Vol. 2, No. 46

Cajun Corner – Vol. 2, No. 46 – November 26, 2010

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


Don’t forget to visit our  catalog at and often.

I still haven’t received the certified copy of my birth certificate.

I certainly hope everyone had a delightful Thanksgiving Day. On our end, I cooked way too much food and ate way too much food. We only had one visitor and that was our neighbor, London. We enjoyed his visit tremendously. We splurged and let the dogs eat leftovers. Evie and I definitely need to go on a diet today. She looks bloated. We watched several Christmas movies and just had a very nice, relaxing day. I must say that George has a gift for packing the refrigerator. I couldn’t get all of the leftovers in there but he worked his magic and everything was put away. If anyone is hungry, drop by the house; we have tons of food.

This week has been very active filling orders. Sadly, I cannot post the pictures on much of these things because they are Christmas gifts and top secret. A friend of mine asked me to make her a kleenex pouch with the words “You have a booger” embroidered and sent me a website where a lady made these for Christmas and traced the wording with a fabric marker, rather than embroidery. I laughed hysterically. I doubt I’ll make a kleenex cozy but I will embroider that and similar sayings on handkerchiefs. Somehow, I think that’s cute.

I finally found a robe wholesaler that I like, seems to have a good quality products and reasonable prices. If anyone is interested, I can get a 100% cotton, 3 lb, kimono terrycloth robe, 50” length, for about $30 and I’ll throw in the embroidered name or initials in the left chest area. This would make a wonderful and elegant Christmas gift for man or woman. This wholesaler also carries children’s terry robes, body wrap towels, towels, and hair wrap towels. In fact, this will be the sale of the week.

George got a bit sidetracked on the house. We needed to tear down the utility shed in the back but when George got inside he believes that it is salvageable. He took what remained of the roof off and is going to work on this building for the time being. The AC guy came over on Monday, as planned. He is supposed to have an estimate to us next week. As long as we can afford the AC job, George will work on the shed while the AC people are installing the AC/heat unit.

Christmas is coming and customers are doing their Christmas shopping at Cajun Stitchery. Get this out of the way as soon as you can. For all who have businesses out there, remember that we also sell personalized gift baskets.

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


This may be a repeat. If so, sorry:>(

Pierre and Boudreaux went on a camping trip.

After supper and several beers they both laid down for the night, and went to sleep.

Some hours later, Boudreaux woke up and nudged Pierre.

Boudreaux says, "Pierre, look up at de sky and tell me whatchu see."

Pierre replies, "I see millions and millions of stars."

Boudreaux says, "What does dat tell you?"

Pierre ponders for a minute, den says ... "Astronomically, it tells me dat dere are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe dat Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce dat de time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see dat God is all powerful and dat we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect dat we will have a beautiful day tomorrow."

Well, despite all of de amazing information coming from Pierre, Boudreaux is not impressed. Boudreaux asks, "Mais Pierre, but *what* does dat tell you?"

Pierre is silent and puzzled, and doesn't answer.

Boudreaux slaps Pierre across de head and says, "Pierre, you idiot. Someone has stolen our dam tent!"


French phrase of the week: Placer boogers ici. (Place boogers here)



Topsoil is the upper surface of the Earth's crust, and usually is no deeper than approximately eight inches (20 centimeters). The Earth's topsoil mixes rich humus with minerals and composted material, resulting in a nutritious substrate for plants and trees. It may one of the Earth's most vital resources, because it represents a delicate nutritional balance that provides food for many of the animals on Earth, either directly in the form of plant material or indirectly in the form of products from animals that eat plants.

The delicate nature of topsoil was imperfectly understood until very recently. Traditionally, farmers have rotated crops because they discovered that rotation created a better crop yield, but they did not understand why this was. During the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, farmers planted profitable crops over and over again, rather than rotating, and ultimately stripped the topsoil of nutritive value. The stripped soil did not support plants, which hold topsoil to the earth, which meant that even light winds could pick up the limited remaining topsoil and transport it elsewhere.

Modern sustainable farming practices place a heavy emphasis on crop rotation to conserve valuable topsoil. Farmers keep crops in rotation, allow fields to lie fallow, and plant nitrogen fixing plants like beans to promote soil health. Many farmers also plow plant material into the topsoil to enrich the humus, and spread compost and manure on it to make the topsoil more nutritious and rich. Healthy topsoil is dark brown, moist, and crumbly, with chunks of plant material and rich earth. Unhealthy topsoil is pale gray, thin, and uniform in texture.

Farmers who do not use environmentally sensitive practices are slowly killing off their topsoil. In some areas of Africa, Australia, and the Midwest, farmers are working with only a few inches of topsoil and a growing pharmacopoeia of fertilizers. As the topsoil becomes more and more degraded, more complex formulations are needed in an attempt to restore the balance of nutrients to the soil. This exhausted soil can take years to repair with organic practices after it has been abandoned by conventional farmers. The ultimate result if these farming techniques continue is desertification, a process which is already being observed in Africa and Australia.

Farmers are concerned about topsoil because it sustains their crops, but biologists also keep an eye on global topsoil health. Plants need healthy topsoil to survive, and it is actually very easy to damage. In nature, an assortment of plants combine with natural cycles of fire and water to maintain the topsoil. Plants hold the topsoil to the Earth, water nourishes the plants, and the plants die or are burned in fires to restore nutrients to the topsoil. When this cycle is disrupted by farming or clearcutting, the results can be disastrous.

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 catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

SALE OF THE WEEK (Good through Thursday, December 2, 2010)

Robe + embroidered name or initials = $30.00 (plus tax/shipping)



Terry Kimono Bath Robes have been woven using 100% Natural Cottons. The World's softest and the most absorbent cottons ever. Robes are made of terrycloth inside and outside. These top quality terry cloth robes are used by most of the first class hotels and spas for their valued customers. First Class luxury hotel spa robe for as low as below wholesale robe price. These terry hotel robes are designed for maximum comfort and durability.

Length Waist Size

S 43" 51"

One Size 50" 56"


• 100 % Super Absorbent Top Quality Natural Cotton

• Approximately 3+ lbs Each Bath Robe.

• 100% Cotton Terry cloth Inside & Outside

• Two Patch Pockets

• Self Fabric Two Loop Belt

• 16 oz/yd2

• Double Stitched for Durability

• Mens Robe & Women's Robe (Unisex)

• White Robes

• Kimono Style

Our products do not contain any harmful chemicals.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Tower of Jackets

Not many pictures today because everything we're embroidering is a Christmas present and we wouldn't want to ruin the surprise.  Suffice it to say that we have a tower of jackets that were embroidered today.  A shipment of t-shirts came in and we're waiting for the go ahead to order some nice terrycloth robes.  Business is hopping and that's a good thing.

This past weekend was hopping, too.  Of course, Friday was ME day and it was a wonderful day.  Saturday night we attended the Wooley Booger Bawl where our dear friend, Deb, was crowned Queen Sugah the 9th or 10th or something.  Lots of friends.  Lots of laughter.  Lots of fun.  We ended the evening going to a friends' condo on the beach to wind down and just enjoy conversation.  Then Sunday, Queen Sugah and I attended Becky's Birthday Brunch at H2O on the beach.  The food was over the top and I started by eating a good breakfast.  Then we had an intermission poolside and afterward finished off with all kinds of decadent desserts.  Talk about a sugar rush!

Today is back on the job.  Thank goodness I enjoy every stitch of the way.  We plan to shop for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.  We invited the neighborhood to drop by during the day and/or evening for a bite to eat, a glass of wine, and maybe even a fire in the chiminea.  I am thankful for my neighbors and neighborhood.

C'est tout, mes amis.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cajun Corner Vol. 2, No. 45

Cajun Corner – Vol. 2, No. 45 – November 20, 2010

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


Don’t forget to visit our catalog at and often.

I still haven’t received the certified copy of my birth certificate but we do have some news on this topic. Georgia Vital Statistics has an email. After contacting them via email and explaining the urgency of the matter, they replied that it takes 3-4 weeks turn around to get a certified copy of a birth certificate. It’s been 3 weeks and week number 4 is next Tuesday, so I’m praying the birth certificate arrives next week.

The Cajun Stitchery Party was definitely a success. Our hostess, Dee, was such a delight and went all out for this event. Her home is right out of a beautiful homes magazine. She has mermaids everywhere in her huge home. In fact, the following morning found me limping around with leg muscles aching. Dee has a great dane named Grace, who is truly a gentle giant. All of the merchandise was placed on tables and hung on a beautiful oriental screen. I gave my little introductory speech about doing embroidery on ready made items. The inventory and shipping issues were covered. All of the Etsy items were there as well as many other items. Samples of several items that can be ordered were displayed. I brought the catalog with the Singer designs and one catalog from the wholesale vendor that I use the most, as samples. More than that would be overwhelming. About 12 or so people attended. Some were already friends and others were new acquaintances. Only a few items were purchased from the tables but there were several custom orders placed.

This week has been busy filling the orders from Sunday as well as some other orders. My wholesaler should be happy with me this week because we ordered 19 micro fleece jackets in one order and those have already arrived. I can’t wait to get started on those. This week we have filled an order for an orange and white cell phone holder and wristlet with the letters VOLS embroidered for my friend Patsy Carol. We embroidered a Blue Angels type airplane with initials on a burgundy micro fleece pull over, “MaKenna” on a blue bag, and “Markie” on a black bag for my friend, Mary. We have also ordered a white apron for Mary that will have embroidery on it. My friend, Deb, had us embroider a crown and the letter P on some beautiful pillowcases. The embroidery was in black. The pillowcases are a gold color with sparkles. This design has actually been reblogged on the internet. Another Mary wants a monogram on some little hoods that she made to attach to towels for her grandchildren.

Then we have the robe issue. My friend wants terrycloth robes for Christmas. I have been searching the internet for some nice robes. It’s hard to determine if things constructed of fabric are quality fabric or not on the internet. Like the towels I bought, they were very poor quality but the advertisement for them was “premium”. You would never state in your description, “buy these towels, they are really not very good.” I have found a place that has what appear to be really nice Turkish towels and robes. I’m still trying to get an account with them. I have a robe that George got me one Christmas which is top of the line. I found my robe on this website. I have also been reading a lot about how to tell if terrycloth items are quality or not and about the different types of robes. I don’t want to sell cheap things. People look at our items and the prices and I guess I empathize that they are looking for the lowest prices. Embroidery is not cheap. Not my embroidery. And I don’t want to put quality embroidery on cheap items. Certainly there are low cost items that are constructed well, there are novelty items that don’t need to be constructed really good, but I am very detail oriented and when you get an embroidered item from me, you know that I have looked at that embroidery from every angle to give you the very best. Sometimes little flaws naturally do occur; usually I’m the only one who notices. Top of the line terrycloth is more absorbent, heavy and thick with a luxurious feel. A really good terrycloth robe, spa and hotel quality, will sell retail for around $100 or more. A poor quality terrycloth robe will sell retail for $20-$30. But spa and hotel quality robes are not always what is wanted or needed. These robes are very warm. What about during the summer when it’s hot and you want something to cover up but you are not really looking for warmth? There are very nice robes that fit that situation, like waffle weave terrycloth. One of my favorite summer robes is satin. You can definitely get a good robe in the $20-$30 range; it just depends on whether you want absorbency and warmth or just a cover up.

The house next door is coming along. George has been working diligently on it all week. The AC guy is supposed to come over on Monday to give us an estimate on the AC and heat unit. We can use lots of prayers that the estimate is something affordable. While George is waiting on the drywall to dry in the green house, we have been talking about what to do with the utility shed in the back of our house. It’s a real nice utility shed. At least it was until Ivan visited and took the roof. It’s been sitting out back in this battered condition since Ivan. The blue tarp has long since disintegrated. We thought we were going to have to tear it down completely but George got in there this week and we are hoping that it is salvageable. It would really be nice to have that shed in good condition. George is back and forth from the house next door to the shed. His To-Do list just keeps growing.

The dreams of what we will do with the green house keep growing and my vision gets clearer all of the time. In my mind, I’m already decorating.

Ever since we decided not to smoke in the house, we haven’t. This house has been smoke free for two weeks. That’s another reason the utility shed would be nice – it would give us someplace outside to smoke when the weather is bad. Smoking outside has certainly curtailed our consumption of cigarettes.

Yesterday was my day. I started out with my gift certificate to get my hair done. Oh yes, this is the very first professional hair color job that I’ve ever had. My hair was cut and colored and styled. My eyebrows were waxed, as was my upper lip (getting old sucks). I was there from 9:30 to nearly 1 p.m. and had a blast. In fact, we are talking about having a Cajun Stitchery party at the salon. That would be fun. When I left that salon, for the first time in a very long time, I felt pretty. It was a glorious time.

Later that afternoon, I hemmed my new pants to my new outfit that another friend gave me for my birthday. New hair do, a touch of make up, a new outfit and we went to the Grand Marlin with the gift certificate that I received for my birthday. That was the first time George had been to the Grand Marlin and the first time I had eaten inside. The food was wonderful.

There was no Cajun Corner on Friday because Friday was ME day and I had a great time. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

Tonight is the Wooley Booger Bawl at Paradise at 5 p.m. A new Queen Sugah will be crowned. There is an excellent article in this week’s Island Times with the history of the Wooley Boogers.

Tomorrow morning we are celebrating Becky’s birthday at H2O. Becky has so graciously asked that anyone wishing to give her a present, please get a present for a child 1-6 years old, wrap in Christmas paper, state “boy” or “girl” and the age. Becky will take the gifts for the Santa Rosa County foster children. These will be their Christmas presents. I’ve already embroidered 2 little t-shirts that are so cute.

Christmas is coming and customers are doing their Christmas shopping at Cajun Stitchery. Get this out of the way as soon as you can. For all who have businesses out there, remember that we also sell personalized gift baskets.

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


This may be a repeat. If so, sorry:>(

Boudreaux and Thibodeaux are standing next to their car, realizing they’ve locked the keys inside. “Do you have a hanger?”

Boudreaux says, "Mais, non”

Thibodeaux asks, “Well, ya have yer phone? We can call a car-lock place”

Boudreaux says, “Non, it’s in da car.”

Thibodeaux says, “Well, we had better hurry up. It’s starting to rain and da convertible top is down!”


French phrase of the week: Il y a pas rien qu'on peut faire pour lui. (There's nothing we can do for him.)



10 Ways to Reuse a Glass Jar

Got any empty glass jars? Get creative and find ways to reuse them!

1. Beach in a jar – This is a fun project for kids who have visited the beach recently and gathered seashells. We just went to Florida and YES we brought home seashells and authentic Florida sand. Simply put some sand in the bottom of the jar (colored play sand works great for this) and add the seashells. A larger shell can be glued to the lid for a finishing touch. Letting the kids paint the shells first is another fun way to add some color.

2. Lantern or candleholder – This is a good project for a glass jar of any size. The kids can use glass paint to create a stained glass look. Use the candle for dining outdoors in the evening…add a citronella candle and you have a bug deterrent too.

3. Use glass jars as paint containers. Just fill with a little paint and away you go. They last longer than plastic, they don’t stain, and since you are reusing something you already have, they are practical too.

4. Flower vase – Glass jars make charming vases. You can give them a layer of paint or a ribbon if desired. Then have your kids pick some wildflowers and you have a lovely arrangement.

5. Snack jars! I like to keep nuts, raisins, shredded coconut etc. glass jars when I can. They stay fresh and they aren’t in close to proximity to plastic.

6. Bank – Jars make great banks. Simply cut a slot in the lid to put change in, and let your child decorate the outside as he or she chooses.

7. An ispy jar – Fill the jar with rice and a few secret objects like a coin, a paperclip, a button, a bead, a small toy, dice, etc and have kids see if they can find all the treasures. Of course make sure to keep and eye on young ones when doing this.

8. Jack-o-lantern jar – This is a great Halloween project. Cut shapes for the eyes, nose and mouth out of masking tape, and place them on the jar. Paint with orange paint, and remove tape when dry. Add a candle or small light to make it glow.

9. Candy jar – This can be decorated any way your child likes. Fill it with candy or other favorite snacks and give it as a gift, or keep it on the coffee table for guests to enjoy.

10. Planter – Put pebbles in the bottom of a small jar, then fill with potting soil. Plant herb or flower seeds, and put in the windowsill.

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 catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

SALE OF THE WEEK (Good through Wednesday, November 24, 2010)

Alpine Fleece - #8708

Alpine Fleece Scarf

Colors: black, charcoal, navy, red

SALE: One Alpine Fleece Scarf with name or initials embroidered on each end = $18.00

100% polyester anti-pill fleece. 9" x 60" scarf with finished edge.

See attached photo

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Day Late and A Dollar Short

Oops!  I missed my blog on Wednesday.  It has just been such a busy week and that is wonderful.  The Cajun Stitchery Party did bring in several orders and I've been working diligently on them.  I ordered about 19 micro fleece jackets yesterday to fill other orders.  It's getting active over here. 

I try to schedule myself so that I can get everything done.  Monday I was supposed to bathe the dogs but never got around to it.  So, Tuesday I was supposed to do bookkeeping and bathe the dogs, but never got around to it.  Wednesday I was supposed to write on my blogs, bathe the dogs, and do the bookkeeping but never got around to it.  Today is the day.  I did the bookkeeping.  I'm writing this blog.  And, hopefully, I'll bathe the dogs this afternoon. 

Judy's birthday was celebrated last night.  We had a glorious time at our usual Wednesday night with the girls.  Judy received many wonderful gifts.  I received a belated birthday gift from a very special friend who understands my attraction to smiles.  She printed out 3 pages of smile quotes.  I began using the quotes on Facebook this morning.  But that's not all.  She gave me the cutest soap dish of a starfish with a smile and shells and sand all around.  I probably won't use it as a soapdish because I don't want to cover up that smile.  It's sitting next to my computer so I can see it.  She also gave me soap shaped as a shell and a beautiful keyring from Venice.  I said, "Venice, Florida?"  She said, "No.  Venice, Italy."  Ooooooh, nice.

When I was trying to come up with an idea for Judy's pillowcases, I knew that I wanted to use as many different shades of aqua and teal as I could.  Those are her favorite colors.  She just had that grandbaby and she loves her cat.  The design started out being a little tyke with a mermaid tail.  The blue just screamed water and I never could put a cat design in the water.  Although she received a magnet with a design that had a cat with a mermaid tail.  Anyway, I started putting fish around the design of the child and it just did not work for me.  I wanted something light and airy.  You know I love the lace and heirloom designs.  Then I put some gulls in the sky above the child and the fish.  The little child just wasn't working for me.  Finally, I found a beautiful lacy design that, if I manipulated it, might resemble a mermaid tail.  From there I decided to play around with my motif digitizing capabilities and it ended up with a beautiful mermait.  The face was completely designed by me.  I am not good at drawing but the face turned out okay.  This one took a long time to design to get just what I wanted, but worth it in the end when Judy opened her present.  What could be more fulfilling that making another person happy.

Speaking of happy, and forgive me if I'm repeating myself, but I love our new catch phrase: 
Cajun Stitchery can make your embroidery dreams come true; your other dreams are up to you.

This morning I found two messages on my phone from a lady saying she hadn't received her fleur de lis.  We take special pride in good service, so this alarmed me.  But she was asking for Gayle and said she paid with PayPal but never received her download.  I have returned her call but I think she had the wrong number.  We don't sell anything that has to be downloaded.

This week I found another closet full of fabric.  There must be a 12 step program for me.  But my cat sure enjoyed sleeping on the fabric.

George has been busy on the house next door and started working on repairing our shed in the back today.  Bless his heart, he has so much to do.  As a matter of fact, so do I and I better get to it.

Have a great day, mes amis:>)

Monday, November 15, 2010


We had a wonderful surprise birthday party for one of our neighbors on Saturday night.  We even met a new couple in the neighborhood from California.  They are going to fit right in.  We all gathered by the chiminea, ate cheesecake, opened presents, sang Happy Birthday, and talked for hours, all the time enjoying the blazing fire. 

The big excitement of the weekend was the Cajun Stitchery Party on Sunday.  Although we had lots of merchandise on display, I did not walk away with much money.  What I did walk away with was a bunch of orders which made the whole party worthwhile.  Now I have to get busy filling those orders.

Our hostess was very gracious and boy did she go all out on food and drink.  Her home was over the top gorgeous.  We had several friends arrive and two or three people we did not know and were able to introduce to the wonderful world of embroidery at Cajun Stitchery.   While enjoying the day, we did come up with our catch phrase:  "Cajun Stitchery can make your embroidery dreams come true.  Your other dreams are up to you."  I like it.

Today we've been working on getting all of the stuff out of the car and working on our inventory.  I brought everything to the party, including all of our Etsy items.  So, we had to separate the Etsy items from the non-Etsy items.  As it turned out we did have a sale on Etsy today.  Just icing on the cake.

After doing the inventory, I worked on the computer a bit and finally got the design for the birthday on Wednesday down.  I ended up doing 3 different designs, never really liking the one and going to the next.  But the 3rd was the charm.  This was the first time that I created a face.  I am simply not a good artist in that I don't draw well, and my drawing is even worse on the computer.  But I was very pleased with the face, although the design is very unusual.  I cannot post it on the internet until after it is given to the recipient on Wednesday night.  I did a test stitch out and it stitched very smooth, so there shouldn't be any problems with the final -- on pillowcases.

Next weekend is my friend, Becky's, birthday and she has requested that all presents be for children from 1-6 years old, labeled with the age and "boy" or "girl".  She will take them to be given to foster children in Santa Rosa County.  That is such a generous and wonderful idea.  While going though our inventory I ran across some children's t-shirts that I think I'll embroider designs for Becky to take for the foster children.  I'll do some for Becky and some for Gulf Coast Kids House.  It will give me another opportunity to use designs that I don't usually use.

Bon jour, mes amis.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cajun Corner Vol. 2, No. 44

Cajun Corner – Vol. 2, No. 44 – November 13, 2010

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


Don’t forget to visit our catalog at and often.

I still haven’t received the certified copy of my birth certificate.

This coming Sunday, tomorrow, is going to be the first Cajun Stitchery Party. I’m pretty nervous about this. My friend, Lois, who is a sales person extraordinaire, suggested that we use the old Tupperware Party idea and have Cajun Stitchery Parties because, as you know, my only store front is on the internet. This way people can see our products. Of course, Cajun Stitchery does embroidery on ready-made items but apparently people like the items that I make and put on Etsy or for the Arts and Craft Festival. I guess you have to go where the sales are. Since I am Cajun, after all, it is in my genes to veer toward parties. We can always find a reason to party. We are asking each of the invited guests to bring people with them who have never heard of Cajun Stitchery.

The party is going to be at another friend’s home, Dee. I’m going early, not only to set up for the party, but also because I’m not familiar with the area where Dee lives. Hope I can find it. What I do know is that my car is going to be packed with stuff. Lois calls me every so often and says “don’t forget to bring” this and that. She will tell me that “Oh, you should make some of these for the party.” I’m working my little tail off for this party. It’s a darn good thing that I love to sew and embroider so much. If this works as well as Lois thinks it will, I have another friend in Mobile who wants to have a Cajun Stitchery Party.

All of this Cajun Stitchery Party stuff brings me to the house next door. A brief update, for those who don’t know, is that we bought the house next door in 2005, after Hurricane Ivan. Our elderly neighbor needed to move into an assisted living facility. Our plans, originally, were to let George remodel the house and then we would rent it. As time went by the remodeling was coming along but very slowly since one person was working on the house and that house was a mess. Then Mama decided that she wanted to move into that house and rent it. Well, by the time Mama sold her apartments and moved here, the house wasn’t ready and Mama was ill. George stopped working on the house to take care of Mama, and did so until the day she died. The work on the house just stopped at that point. This year we’ve decided that house would be perfect for Cajun Stitchery Headquarters and we’ve begun working on it again. George is finishing up the walls and we have some big items that are needed, like a new AC and heating units, water heater, toilets, sinks, tubs, kitchen, etc. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to finishing that house and I am glad we are back on track with it.

When the house is finished and Cajun Stitchery does move in, we will definitely have an open house. A friend of mine suggested a monthly open house for Cajun Stitchery where all of our products are displayed as though in a store. I’ve been playing with that idea all week, since she mentioned it, and I really like that idea.

I’m so proud of George and myself because ever since we decided that this house would be a no smoking house, we have not smoked in the house, at all. My neighbors can attest to this fact because I see them much more frequently as I’m outside a lot more than usual. Another plus to smoking outside is that it automatically curbed our smoking and we have both cut down significantly.

Also, since I’m outdoors more often now, I’ve noticed that some things in our adorable little neighborhood have started getting, what we call the “ghetto look.” There was a homeless person who took up residence in the park. Because of that, the kids and joggers stopped using the park. A couple of lots have piles of furniture outside that have been there fore several weeks and a few other tidbits. I reported this to our Commissioner’s office and things started happening. Although, I must say that the piles of furniture have not been removed and I’ll have to contact the Commissioner’s office again on Monday.

If you are not familiar with our little neighborhood, a brief history is that prior to Ivan this neighborhood started taking a down turn. We started noticing some drug trafficking, abandoned homes, and it was becoming unsavory. In fact, there was a time that George and I considered moving. But we love the neighborhood. When Hurricane Ivan hit, it kind of cleaned up the area because you had to clean up and people had no electricity and we were all outdoors and met our neighbors and started to become a community again. Then, the Sheriff’s Department did a big sweep in a very bad neighborhood several miles away on Cervantes Street. They cleaned out the drugs and the prostitution, etc., and those people were taking back their neighborhood. Well, the drugs and prostitution had to go somewhere and landed in and around our neighborhood. Those of us who own our homes here and have lived here for a long time took our neighborhood back. We have worked hard, together, to bring this area back to life and what I like to call the Mayberry kind of community. There are still some problems and it seems that if we let one problem go, a multitude start to follow. We aren’t being pretentious or uppity. We are simply keeping our neighborhood safe. The nice thing is that our Commissioner and Sheriff and various county departments have and are working with us. The wheels of law spin slowly and some problems take awhile to fix, but we stay on top of everything and persevere.

Remember the free sofa cleaning. We got it! Elite Cleaning came here this past Wednesday and cleaned our sofa. And it was really dirty. It was one of those things where it was embarrassing to have it cleaned. They did a great job. My friend from WBL, Elizabeth, and her father came over and did the cleaning. For the most part, the animals stayed away but Evie sure did take a liking to Elizabeth and was curious as to what they were doing in the living room. So, Evie would go investigate and learned that she got petted each time she went in there. Evie pretty much hung out with Elizabeth and her father. Afterwards, Elizabeth stayed behind and we had a wonderful chat and cup of coffee on the deck. The Blue Angels periodically flew overhead. It was such a perfect day. I got to know Elizabeth much better than just attending meetings with her. She is a delightful person and I do hope we have many more visits. Thank you, Donna, for giving me this wonderful sofa cleaning gift.

On Tuesday, I met another friend from WBL for lunch, Patti Hall. Patti owns a promotional business that she works from her home and has been doing so for many years. It is such a small world because it turns out that Patti and I have several friends in common. Even better than that, we have found areas where we can assist each other in business. She can handle the promotions and I can embroider. We even discussed joining forces on some parties like the Cajun Stitchery Party to show all that both of us can do. That would be fun.

The Arts Festival was a lot of fun last Saturday. We saw several friends there and afterward George took me out to eat.

I embroidered a set of 8 napkins and a wine bottle apron and sent them to my son, Hank. I still cannot believe that they didn’t realize that my business is embroidery.

Christmas is coming and customers are doing their Christmas shopping at Cajun Stitchery. Get this out of the way as soon as you can. For all who have businesses out there, remember that we also sell personalized gift baskets.

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


Boudreaux, Thibodeaux, and Gautreaux was playing a big round of golf for $200. At the 18th green Boudreaux had hisself a ten foot putt to win dat round, and the $200. As Boudreaux was lining up his putt, a funeral procession started to pass by. Boudreaux set down his putter, took his hat off, placed it over his chest, and waited for the funeral procession to pass him by. After it passed, Boudreaux picked up his putter and returned to lining up his putt. Seeing this, Thibodeaux said, “Mais cher, dat was de most touching ting I never seen befo. I can’t believe you stopped playing, possibly losing all you concentration, to pay you respects.” “Well”, Boudreaux replies, “we were married for 25 years.”


French phrase of the week: Ça boit et ça fume et ça couche au serein. (They drink and they smoke and they stay out all night.)


George can tell you that I have loved Mother Earth News since the early 1970’s. Back in the 1970’s they had an article about a Solar Heat Grabber. The article stated that they constructed and installed these heat grabbers in a school up north and it worked beautifully, not only heating the rooms but reducing the heating bill. Since those 1970’s days, I have occasionally read articles talking about the same type heater. With our recent cold snap, I was once again reminded of the heat grabber. This is an article on the heat grabber from Mother Earth News found at

DIY Solar Heating with the Heat Grabber

By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors

Some of the climatologists are predicting that the coming winter could well be colder than the last one. But even if that forecast comes true, you'll be a lot warmer during the clear-but-below-zero sieges ahead than you were during the frigid weather of last January and February, if your house or apartment has one or more unshaded south facing windows and if you outfit those windows with the Heat Grabber. (See the Image Gallery for Heat Grabber plans or click here for larger plans you can order.)

Believe it or not, this simple and effective "window box" solar collector can be fabricated in just under an hour by an experienced home craftsman (or in less than two hours by the more fumble-fingered among us) for the astonishingly low price of $32.18 (see materials breakdown on next page, prices are from 1977). And once constructed, this sturdy unit should give years of dependable service.

The secret of the Heat Grabber's quick assembly and low cost is a new rigid foam insulation board manufactured by Celotex. This board, trade-named "Thermax TF-610," is impregnated with glass fibers for strength, faced on both sides with heavy aluminum foil, and available in thicknesses ranging from 3/8" to 1-7/8". Celotex actually markets the material as a replacement for the pressed fiber sheathing or "blackboard" now used by contractors in the construction of wood framed houses and does not recommend it for any other purpose. Mother Earth News researchers, however, have run heat and other tests on the insulation board and found it near-ideal for use in quick, easy and low-cost solar collectors such as the Heat Grabber.

Yes, the basic Thermax TF-610 sheet does have a slight disadvantage. Its aluminum foil surfaces can be punctured relatively easily by anyone intent on doing just that. There are, however, at least two remedies for this problem: [1] Substitute Thermax-610/.019 — which is the same foam, but faced on one side with a much heavier layer of aluminum—for the Thermax-610 specified here, or [2] use the Thermax-610 called for in our plans and protect the sides and bottom of the finished collector with a casing of scrap lumber. The second alternative will be less expensive than the first, but, really, neither course of action should be necessary unless you live in a high-vandalism area.

The ideal angle at which to position a southfacing solar collector (in the Northern Hemisphere) or a north-facing collector (in the Southern Hemisphere) is your latitude plus 10°. This adds up to 45° for Mother Earth News' North Carolina offices (which are situated 35° north of the equator) and that's the angle shown on the following plans. Please take this into consideration when making the cuts called for in Steps 3 and 6 in the diagrams in the Image Gallery.

(Miami, for instance, is located about 25° north, which means that collectors there should be angled up at 35° to the horizon, which, in turn, means that the 67.5° cuts specified in the following plans should be 72.5° for Miami. Likewise, the cuts should be 65.75° for Washington, D.C; 61.5° for Seattle; and 54.5° for Anchorage. You can calculate the specific angle for your own location [subtract your latitude plus 10 from 180 and divide by two] or just average it out from the figures given here. The angle is critical, but not that critical.)

Remember that all the dimensions given in the plans are for a collector specifically tailored to fit the windows in one particular house. If your windows are wider or not as wide, feel free to build your Heat Grabber(s) accordingly. And don't get unnecessarily hung up on trying to keep the upper and lower air chambers in the collector exactly as deep as shown here either. A half-inch or more variation is fine. As a matter of fact, it's awfully hard to keep this little Btu-grabber from working, as long as its passages are deep enough for air to circulate through them at all.

One final caution: Although the single-strength glass used to cover the prototype Heat Grabber is no more nor less safe than the single-strength glass currently in use in millions of storm doors and windows throughout the continent. It can break and possibly cut you or a child if, for any reason, either of you falls into it. Take whatever measures you deem necessary so that such an accident never happens.


How the Heat Grabber Works

The Heat Grabber is nothing but a weather tight box that's insulated on the bottom and sides and topped with glass. An insulated divider is positioned inside this box and brought out its top to form an open "lip" at the box's upper end. This lip is designed to hook over a windowsill so that the window itself can be pulled down snugly onto the glass which covers the top of the Heat Grabber, leaving the main body of the solar collector "leaning against" the south side of the house at a 45°-or-better angle. (See illustration in the Image Gallery — How it Works.)

The operation of the unit is just as simple. When the sun shines, its rays pass through the glass on top of the Heat Grabber, strike the upper surface of the divider (which is painted black), and warm the aluminum foil covering on that divider. As the foil heats up it, in turn, warms the air next to it. And that air, as might be expected, rises up the face of the divider and begins to pour out the opening at the Heat Grabber's top.

But, of course, that hot air can't move up the face of the divider unless it pulls cool air around the divider's foot to take its place. Which pulls even more cool air in through the lower opening at the collector's top (the only place that cool air can enter the otherwise airtight unit) and down under the central divider.

What we have, then, is a "convective loop" solar room heater that operates automatically on nothing but the sun's energy. Whenever the sun shines, this clever little unit (which, as near as we can tell, seems to be an old Steve Baer design modified by William A. Shurcliff and further refined by some of Mother Earth News' research staff) just sits there happily pumping thousands of Btu's of heat into the house. And when the sun quits shining? The air in the box cools and tries to sink to the collector's foot, which "shuts off" the whole convective loop. (The Heat Grabber, in other words, will spew heat into the room when the sun shines, but it won't pull heat from the room when the sun doesn't shine.)


Heat Grabber Materials

Quantity Material Our Unit Cost Cost of Materials Used

1 sheet 1" x 4' x 8' Celeotex Thermax TF-610 $10.75 $10.75

1/2 sheet + 3/4" x 4' x 8' Celotex Thermax TF-610 8.85 4.60

1 tube Liquid Nails panel adhesive 1.00 1.00

1/2 tube silicone caulking compound 3.50 1.75

16 No. 8 finishing nails (scrounged) 0.00 0.00

3 pieces single strength glass cut t fit (all inclusive order) 10.49

1/4 roll all-metal aluminum foil duct tape 4.00 1.00

1 quart Rustoleum flat black paint 2.59 2.59

Total cost of materials used in construction of window collector: $32.18

Collector's size: 12.6 square feet

Cost per square foot: $2.56

Note: All materials were purchased at retail from local outlets in Hendersonville, NC (1977). Expect minor differences in the prices quoted above in your area, due to variances in freight charges, dealer policies, etc. Thermax TF-610, for instance, is manufactured in Tampa, Fl., and the further you live from Florida, the more your dealer will probably pay for his shipment of the panels. Celotex is opening up several new Thermaz manufacturing plants across the country, however, and this particular pricing difference should soon disappear.


Tools to Build the Heat Grabber

Thermax is so easy to work with that you won't need any saws, hammers or other "conventional" carpentry tools to build this solar collector. The Heat Grabber, in fact, was constructed with little more than a protractor, tape measure, paint brush and two little "we built 'em ourselves" knives. (See illustration in the Image Gallery — Tools.)

These knives are nothing but blocks of 1 " x 2-1/2" hardwood cut to fit the hand comfortably. The pieces of wood were then slotted and rigged with 10-32 bolts and wing nuts to grip Stanley 1992-5 utility knife blades at either a 45° (for "V" cuts) or a 90° (square cuts) angle to the blocks' faces.

All cuts on the Thermax used in the collector were made straight and accurate by sliding one or the other of the two knives along a board or other straightedge that had been clamped to the rigid sheets of foam. For "V" cuts, the blade in the 45° knife was set to slice only to within about 1/32" of the aluminum facing on the "far" side of the sheet (not all the way through either the facing or the foam). Since the foam varies slightly in thickness, this setting (for the most part) kept the blade from cutting too deeply. Two such cuts (with the straightedge reset between them), of course, were necessary for the completion of each "V".

And if you don't want to make "V" cuts and fold up the box of your solar collector? Then just build your "heat grabber" from separate pieces of Thermax, all made with right angle cuts; peel back the aluminum skin from the butted face of each joint; and glue the sections — foam to foam — together.

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 catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

SALE OF THE WEEK (Good through Thursday, November 18, 2010)

This week’s sale is a set of 4 dinner size (20” square), hemmed napkins with an initial or name in one corner. Our usual price is $7 each or 4 for $28. This week’s sale price is $20.00 for the set of 4.

A variety of colors are available.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Communing with Nature

It's Wednesday and I should be discussing embroidery but it is so beautiful outside that all I want to do is commune with nature.  A friend of mine told me to pick the green cherry tomatoes from my plants and make a salsa with them.  Sure enough, I looked it up and there are several things, other than fried green tomatoes, that you can do with green tomatoes.  Well, I've harvested and plan on making the salsa. 

We are still getting a bumper crop of bell pepper and hot peppers.  You have to understand that when I say "bumper crop" this is not like a farmer using that term.  We just have a small garden outside our kitchen.  But those plants have produced and produced all season.  I think I may harvest all of the peppers and freeze for later during the colder months.

The lettuce and radishes are coming into season and I've notice the onions, garlic, carrots, cabbage and brocolli all look healthy but not ready yet.

My hands smell very sweet because I've been cleaning out the stevia area and harvesting some stevia.  My dog loves to eat the leaves.  Dogs definitely have a sweet tooth and so, of course, they will like the stevia.  It's good for them and the stuff grows like weeds in my plantar. 

If I have time, I'm thinking about harvesting and drying the basil, as well.

A friend of mine came over the other day and brought a bottle of mixed seasoning with dried herbs that she garnered from my garden and other friend's gardens.  Oh those herbs smell delicious.

I've never tried to dry the lemon balm but it's supposed to be terrific for you.  Maybe I'll try that, along with other herbs in the garden.

One of our ginger plants has seeds in the pods.  We never noticed it before this year.  George is harvesting those seeds.  We have several different types of ginger in the yard.  Beautiful plants.  But I don't know which ones you can eat and which you cannot. 

It's been such a delightful morning in the garden.  I need to get back to the embroidery machine.  This Sunday will be the first Cajun Stitchery party at my friend's home.  I'm bringing everything from the Etsy shop, the left overs from the arts and craft festival, some new stuff, and samples of shirts, jackets, etc., that we can order for embroidery.  I hope this party is successful.  Even so, it will be a lot of fun visiting with old friends and meeting new friends.

Our sofa is being cleaned today because I won a sofa cleaning at a raffle last week.  The owner of the cleaning company is a friend of mine from the WBL group.  I warned her that we have all of these animals and that sofa has never been cleaned more than running a vacuum over it.  Yuk!

 Back to work.  C'est tout, mes amis.