Friday, January 28, 2011

Cajun Corner – Vol. 3, No. 4 – January 28, 2011

Cajun Corner – Vol. 3, No. 4 – January 28, 2011

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


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

Our trip to the Saenger in Mobile was so much fun. The bus was packed with 54 crazed, Mardi Gras decorated people. We had fun from the time we stepped on the bus until we returned home. God bless our little bus driver. The bus dropped us off right at the front door to the Saenger. As it happened a gentleman was playing a trumpet across the street for tips. When we departed the bus, the trumpeter joined us and played all of the Mardi Gras tunes, including When The Saints Go Marching In. We sang and danced and had a great time. Once we got to our seats in the Saenger, Beausoleil was playing. Who could sit with that kind of music? We were up and dancing. The security guard asked us to dance to the side of the seated audience so we wouldn’t disturb their view. We complied. Before long the whole audience was up and dancing. I noticed the security guard just sat down and enjoyed the show. We were overwhelming. Marcia Ball was actually the main attraction. I had never heard her music before and was very impressed. We danced through her set, as well. When the show closed, we entered our bus which picked us up at the front door, and partied all the way home. There were a few people who fell asleep on the return trip. They must have been tired because I think we were louder going home than we were going to Mobile. I would make this trip again in a heartbeat. It was just a wonderful evening.

Most of last weekend was spent digitizing the logo for the Krewe of Bad Habits. I had some concerns about whether I was a good enough digitizer to do a good job for them because their logo is fairly detailed with the King, Queen, and Jack of hearts in the center. By the end of the weekend I was able to sit back and give a critical eye to the simulated embroidered design. It is beautiful. On Monday I stitched it out. It stitched out perfectly, although it took a few hours to stitch.

I had digitized everything except the lettering. The lettering was done freehand. It’s pretty much a piece of cake to do lettering when there is a font involved. In those instances I can pick the font and type in what I want, give the program a few parameters and with a click of a button, voila, it’s done. Freehand lettering requires actual digitizing, as though it was a piece of art, stitch-by-stitch. With art detail, depending on the amount of detail and the size of the design, you can fudge a bit on the detail, since there is a point where a tiny thread sized detail isn’t going to show whether it is digitized or not. That is not necessarily the case with lettering. You have to read the lettering when it’s done. Tiny lettering is the worse. Many digitizers have to hire more experienced digitizers to do the tiny lettering. I’ve digitized some lettering before but this lettering is extremely thin. Think of it this way. An embroidery machine needle is 1mm wide. If you have a line 1 mm wide, then how do you zig zag for a satin stitch? All you can do is a straight line.

Photographs of the artwork were sent to the krewe, along with an explanation about the lettering. I haven’t heard back whether they like the digitized design or not. Everyone who has walked into this house has raved about it. I’m so proud of the stitch out that I have it on my kitchen table. I gave the krewe the option to hire a digitizer specializing in lettering. In the meantime, I’ve taken a crash course on digitizing lettering and, by golly; I think I’ve got it now. There are a few little things to iron out but I think I was worried unnecessarily. Finalizing, the lettering is my goal for this weekend. In between parties, that is.

Tonight is the Mystic Krewe of Nereids annual Moon pie Party at the Sandshaker on Pensacola Beach. It starts at 7 p.m. If you are local, please come and join us. The money earned from the raffles is going locally to help breast cancer patients and breast cancer research. I have a list of things that I don’t want to forget to bring tonight and it’s so absurd that I giggled after I wrote my list:

Tuxedo jacket

Top Hat

Flashy scepter

Hair lights


Light Stick

We will obviously have a great time tonight!

Tomorrow the Mystic Krewe of Nereids will be entering the Junkanoo’s 3rd Annual Chili Cook-off at the Sandshaker on Pensacola Beach from 1p.m. to 4p.m. You may recall that last year we were going to enter the chili cook-off but after the Moon pie Party some of the girls were a bit inebriated and came to rest at Krewe Den, got hungry and ate our entry. This year we have a failsafe method. Cowboy Carl (authentic cowboy, direct from Texas) is cooking the chili and delivering it directly to the Shaker on Saturday for the cook-off. You won’t want to miss Cowboy Carl’s Cowgirl Chili. We are certain that we are going to be the winners this year.

Oh yes, I also embroidered the aprons which will be given as prizes for the chili cook-off.

Yesterday, I had to take some time for us. If you are a true Mardi Gras person, then you know all about sequins. Our tux jackets have loads of sequins, including the sleeve cuffs. Those sequins snag on everything and we always end up with lost sequins or threads hanging. After awhile it looks tattered. So, I made new cuffs for George and me with the new Mylar embroidery. If for no other reason, you need to come to the Moon pie Party to see the new cuffs. George and I love them. They are every bit as sparkly as the sequin – without the snag problem.

Oh, there’s something else that I made this week. It’s top secret because it’s a gift that will be given tonight. This was another one of those stitch outs that we put on the kitchen table and just stared at – it’s beautiful.

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.

The following Boudreaux joke was sent to us by Paulette Provost:

Boudreaux, an 80-year-old South Louisiana Cajun, goes to the doctor

for his every year check-up.

The doctor is amazed at what good shape he is in and asks, "How you

stay in such great physical condition, Boudreaux?"

"I stay in the swamp and I hunt and fish every day" says the old Cajun,

and, that's why I'm in such good shape. "I'm up well before daylight and out

hunting or fishing all day. I have a beer for breakfast and at lunch and

wid my supper. And I have a shot of hooch before bed time. And I say my

prayers every night. And all is well wid me"

"Well", says the doctor, "I'm sure dem prayers helps, but there's got to be

more to it. How old was your father when he died?"

"Who said Pop is dead?"

The doctor is amazed. "You mean you're 80 years old and your father's still

alive? How old he is?"

"Pop be 100 next month," say Boudreaux. "In fact, he hunted with

me this morning, and then we went to a "beer joint" for a while and had

a few beers and that's why he's still alive. He's a tough Cajun man

And he hunts and fishes every day, too.

"Well, the doctor says, that's great, but I'm sure there's more to it than

that. How about your father's father? How old was he when he died?"

"Who said my Paw Paw's dead?"

Stunned, the doctor asks, "You mean you're 80 years old, your father is

100 and your grandfather's still living? Incredible! How old he is?"

"We tink 'bout 118." says the old Cajun. He likes his beer too, but he

wont touch the hard stuff."

The doctor is getting frustrated at this point, "So, I guess your

grandfather went hunting and fishing with you'll this morning too?"

"No, Paw Paw couldn't go this time. He's getting married today."

At this point the doctor is close to losing it. "Getting married! Why would

a 118-year-old man want to get married?"

Boudreaux looked down at the floor and mumbled "Who said he wanted to?"

Did you know:

Natchitoches, Louisiana, is the oldest city in the Louisiana Purchase Territory, and was founded in 1714.


French Phrase of the Week: Le Parti de Tarte de lune (Moon Pie Party)


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, February 3, 2011)

Cobbler Apron with name or initials -- $20.00

Toppers Cobbler Apron

• 7.5 oz. 65% polyester/35% cotton twill

• Two front pockets

• 19" x 28"

Colors: Black, navy, royal blue

Monday, January 24, 2011

Singing, Dancing, and Digitizing

Friday was one fabulous, traveling party.  We had 54 crazy people on one Good Times Tour bus.  Everyone was drinking, eating, visiting and having a good time on the bus.  The wonderful bus driver dropped us off at the front door to the Saenger in Mobile.  There was even a guy across the street playing trumpet.  He come over where we were congregated and began playing Mardi Gras tunes, i.e., When The Saints Go Marching In.  We are all dressed in our krewe tux jackets covered in sequins and rhinestones..  All of that was before we even made into the theatre.

This was the first time I've ever been to the Mobile Saenger.  It was very nice.  You just couldn't sit still in your seat when Beausoleil began playing.  One by one as we started getting  up dancing.  The security guard would come over and ask us to dance on the far side, next to the wall so we wouldn't disturb the audience trying to see the concert.  We danced and danced.  And it wasn't just our group.  The entire audience seemed to be dancing.  Finally, I noticed the security guard just took a seat.  What was the point.  The whole place was rocking. 

The trip home was fun.  Some people actually fell asleep.  They must have been very tired because even on the way home the noise level was deafening.  I'm so glad we didn't miss this adventure.

There aren't any project photographs to post today.  Aside from recouperating from the Friday night extravaganza, I spent most of the weekend digitizing a Mardi Gras logo for a new krewe.  I've seen more detailed artwork but for me this one is  very detailed.  The logo includes the Jack, Queen and King of hearts playing cards.  Have you ever looked close as those cards?  There are little, tiny lines everywhere.  When digitizing a lot of detail, you have to know when it is too much.  One little line of thread in a thick area can vanish from view.  I still consider myself a novice at digitizing. 

I purchased my first embroidery machine in November, 2005.  That was my Singer Quantum Futura, Doris.  About the best that Doris could do insofar as digitizing was with Auto Punch and then I could move stitches one at a time.  That's not what I would consider a real digitizing program.  But within a couple of months from purchasing her, Doris was stitching out my own designs.  The first one was a cowgirl mermaid that went on our Krewe Vests for the Cowgirl year.  Since Cajun Stitchery opened its doors we have purchased what is probably considered a middle of the road, or even low end digitizing program called Embird.  I'm very pleased with this program.  I guess you could say that I've been digitizing for 5 years now.  To an extent, that's true.  But I've only been doing real digitizing for two years with Embird.  There are so many things that I have yet to learn.  So far I've managed to handle all of the orders that have come our way except for one in the very beginning that I had to hire a digitizer to do.   There really aren't any worries about it.  If a design is more than I can do, there are many digitizers out there who would do the digitizing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cajun Corner - Vol. 3, No. 3

Cajun Corner – Vol. 3, No. 3 – January 21, 2011

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


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

Well, did ya miss me? I apologize for missing last week but Mardi Gras season keeps me hopping. Last week I left for Mobile on Friday at noon and we returned Sunday afternoon. Each year our krewe spends the MLK weekend in Mobile at one of our krewe member’s home. The purpose of the trip is to shop for beads and other Mardi Gras paraphernalia. When we aren’t shopping or sleeping, we are eating, drinking and partying. It’s a wonderful weekend that I look forward to each year.

The two stores that we go to religiously are Dynasty and Toomey’s. Dynasty is a fantasy land of rhinestones. The store is tiny but the brilliance of the rhinestones is blinding. The owner always has a special treat for us. This year we walked in and a new king from another krewe was there. He was an adorable young thing who was trying on crowns and scepters. He practiced walking regally and we all bowed as he waved his scepter over our heads. Of course, our Queen Doris XX had to accompany him – what is a King without a Queen, after all. We all had a glass of wine and toasted the King, the Queen, and most anything else we could think to toast.

We have to take breaks between stores so that we can chit chat about our purchases and other things. After Dynasty we went to lunch. It’s not easy getting a table for 15 women at noon in Mobile.

Then we were off to Toomey’s. Where Dynasty is a fantasy land of rhinestones, Toomey’s is a fantasy land of Mardi Gras beads, costumes, décor, and just about anything Mardi Gras you can imagine. That’s where I spent most of my money. This must be the year of the flashing lights because it seems like almost everything I bought had flashing lights.

After Toomey’s we went to Queen’s Attic. Now doesn’t that name sound appropriate for us? The Queen’s Attic is a little antique store that is so full of stuff you can hardly move. We all went in different directions and began another shopping extravaganza. The animal prints, the fleur de lis, the stuffed animals, the tuxedo jackets, are just a few items in abundance at this store.

Finally, after the last purchase, we headed back to Marilyn’s home where we began partying and eating.

It is always hard to leave Marilyn’s. She loves having company and we all feel at home there. But the party must end and Sunday afternoon we drove back to Pensacola with all of our purchases and some wonderful memories.

As I’ve said before, our weekends are booked solid through Mardi Gras. This evening we are catching a Good Times bus for Mobile. There will be 54 totally insane people on this bus, all drinking and partying. The purpose is going to the Saenger in Mobile to see Beausoleil perform. Beausoleil is the best Cajun band, period. They have won a myriad of musical awards, including the Grammy. Michael and David Doucet, the leads in the band, are also our beautiful Paulette’s brothers. I believe I heard that our group has purchased an entire section at the Saenger for this concert. We aren’t bringing any flashing lights but the rhinestones and sequins will be glaring enough.

So, just when do I have time to embroider? There’s always time to embroider if you love it like I do. I’m just about finished with my fourth black satin krewe jacket of the week. I just have to put the names on the front and I’m done.

The bling is still being listed at our Etsy Store. This week has been rhinestones on handkerchiefs. I only have a couple left to list. After these hankies, I think I’m going to start making and embellishing scarves.

Before I forget, please, everyone visit This is a new website that just opened this week. There are two important things to note in this website: #1, the first picture that comes up in the Home page is the Mystic Krewe of Nereids accepting last year’s Grand Marshall Award (I’m the one up front with the red hair); and, #2, peruse through the website and see the Cajun Stitchery ads. All of the other stuff is cool, too. Truthfully, it’s a wonderful website with the entire calendar of events, the krewes, and everything you would ever want to know about Pensacola Beach Mardi Gras. Good job, Shelley!

There’s a new krewe in town: The Krewe of Bad Habits. They contacted me this week to do their krewe embroidery. They are a brand new krewe that will be parading both in Pensacola and Pensacola Beach. I believe this is their first year to parade, so please make a point to welcome them to our fold when you see them.

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.

Something a bit different this week. A poem:

Let others cheer the winning man, There's one I hold worthwhile; 'Tis he who does the best he can, Then loses with a smile. Beaten he is, but not to stay Down with the rank and file; That man will win some other day, Who loses with a smile.


Did you know:

Natchitoches, Louisiana, is the oldest city in the Louisiana Purchase Territory, and was founded in 1714.


French Phrase of the Week: Beausoleil (beautiful sun)


(The Bible says to keep a song in your heart. Cajuns will also dance to that song and play musical instruments. PH)

• Age Guideline: 5 Years and Up

• Time Required: 30 minutes (Does not include drying time)

The above age and time guidelines are estimates. This project can be modified to suit other ages and may take more or less time depending on your circumstances.

Materials Needed:

• Paper or Plastic Bowl

• Jingle Bells

• Chenille Stems

• Hole Puncher

• Misc. items to Decorate


Using a hole puncher, make holes around the edge of the bowl (this is easier with a paper bowl). Thread the chenille stems up and down through the holes, attaching the jingle bells as you go. Twist the ends of the chenille stems together.

Once you have your tambourine together, decorate it however you like. Decorate the rest of the bowl using glitter, markers, sequins, stickers etc...

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, January 27, 2011)

Black satin jackets, light lined -- $24 (sizes S through XL) – just jacket; embroidery separate

Black satin jackets, quilted -- $26 (sizes S through XL) – just jacket; embroidery separate

(Yes, these are the krewe jackets I’ve been embroidering. )

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Throws, Parties and Taxes

I missed writing Cajun Corner last Friday and missed posting to the blog on Monday.  It's been a busy weekend.  This was our krewe's bead trip weekend to Mobile.  We left Friday around noon and returned Sunday afternoon. Those are some wild and crazy girls.  We partied Friday night, shopped all day Saturday, partied Saturday night, and we did not leave Mobile until the afternoon on Sunday.  While shopping I did find some happy face foam throws.  That is so me.  I had to have that, along with so many blinky, lighted toys.

As I've mentioned before, Mardi Gras season is very busy and my calendar is booked each and every weekend until Mardi Gras.  Not to mention that this is also Cajun Stitchery's busy season.

This month began with me trying to restock our Etsy shop.  I made about 20 handkerchiefs and needed to put some embroidery on them.  So far the 2011 hanky's are all blinged up with mylar embroidery.  Remember the 70 gross of rhinestones that I bought?  Don't be surprised if you start seeing rhinestone bling, too.  Those hot fix rhinestones are pretty cool.  The hardest part is when you are putting a lot of those tiny rhinestones on a design without bumping it and everything moving.  All you can do at that point is start all over.  But once the rhinestones are in place, it's only a matter of placing an iron on the rhinestones to melt the glue.  Combining the rhinestones with embroidery is very beautiful.

All of my big bills are due at the same time this year, homeowner's insurance, car insurance, and, let us not forget that it's income tax season, as well.  With all of that in mind, I was trying to figure out a new, kitsch design for the hankies.  A dollar sign digitized for mylar, of course.  When your money woes cause you to cry, use our nice little hankies to dry those tears.

I love flash drives a/k/a thumb drives.  George picked up a 16 gigabyte flash drive for me the other day and it didn't work.  I got online and ordered a 32 gigabyte for only $10 more than the 16 gig.  Yesterday I organized all of my designs onto one drive, pictures on another drive, and business on another.  Our embroidery designs take up almost 20 gigabytes -- that's a lot of designs.  I probably need one more 32 gig flash drive, but I'll get that later.

Hopefully, I'll be able to stay on top of my posts now, but who knows in this crazy season.

Smiles until nex time:>)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Another Year of Birthdays

Each year I pick an item to be embroidered for each of the girls in my Mardi Gras Krewe.  For instance, in 2009, everyone got embroidered napkins for their birthdays.  In 2010, everyone received embroidered pillowcases for their birthdays.  This year, 2011, they are receiving bath towels. 

The first birthday of the year in the Krewe is always Courtney.  She loves being the first but says that as the year progresses my creative juices start flowing on the item and by the end of the year, the girls are getting some really unique and creative embroidery, while her's is kind of plain Jane.  I really wanted Courtney to get something special this year, but you never know where the designing will end up by the end of the year.  To start off, it's difficult to put a lot of creative juices into a gift right after the holiday season and the time of year where we are the busiest.  I pondered Courtney's gift for a very long time.  Last year I found a design for a beautiful diva that I knew I wanted to use.  So, while I was pondering Courtney's design, the diva came to mind.  She was only about 2 or 3 inches tall but I redigitized her to 9 inches tall and digitized so her dress would be Mylar.  She turned out beautiful but alone she was lacking something.  She needed some pizzazz.  For a long time I've wanted to work with applique.  I touch on applique every once in awhile but not the in depth stuff that I'd like to do.  Courtney's birthday came and went but the girls had decided to celebrate her birthday this past Wednesday, yesterday.  This week had been so busy that I wasn't able to do much on her design, not to mention that I had orders to fill.  The beauty, for me, of designing is that I can be anyplace, doing anything, and get an idea and work it out in my head.  By the time I get to the design program on the computer, I pretty much have already worked the project out mentally.  Before I knew it, it was Wednesday morning and I needed that towel embroidered and wrapped to give her that evening.  The thought occurred to me to put a large clam shell behind the diva and done in applique.  I could not find a clam shell design that I liked but I did see a star applique that intrigued me.  I pulled the star design into the program and began the process of enlarging.  By the time I got the star to 9 inches, the stitches were all askew.  That just wouldn't work.  I decided to take the 9 inch design into the digitizing program and redigitize the star.  I had never used the applique function in the digitizing program before.  It seemed simple enough.  A star shape is not difficult.  The first time I did it, part of the stitches looked fine but most were not coming through.  I finally decided that I must have the satin stitches too wide.  Indeed, that was the case.  I redigitized and the star appeared fine on the computer.

The star behind the diva looked great on the computer but you never really know until you actually stitch it out.  I used one of the cheap towels that I purchased last year for the stitch out.  Then I had to find and determine what fabric to use in the applique.  I happened on a silky, woven, black fabric that I was going to use, just for the stitch out.  OMG!  After that design stitched out, and it stitched out perfectly, I immediately placed that towel in my bathroom.  It was beautiful.  I used one of the nice, new white towels for Courtney's and added her name inside the black star. 

My plan is to use the stitch out towel repeatedly, washing and drying, to make sure everything is sturdy and doesn't fall apart easily.  Then I think I'm going to use the same design for each of the girls this year but change the colors and applique fabric so each is individual.

When my friend, Turtle, was here earlier this week, she was telling me that she uses Fray Check a lot.  I have a bottle of Fray Check but had just never used it.  I did run a bead of Fray Check partially around Courtneny's star where I felt it was the weakest.  That should hold it nice and tight.  I can see that I will probably start investing in a lot of Fray Check, especially if I'm going to be doing a lot of applique.

Also, while Turtle was here, we stitched out an in the hoop card holder.  It holds business cards, as well as gift cards.  The paisley design is so en vogue and fun.  Another friend of mine told me sometime ago that I should always carry give-aways with my cards, so people can see my work.  This card holder would be an ideal give-away.  Just put my card inside and hand the holder to whoever I was giving the card.  Maybe I'll change the design to say Cajun Stitchery. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bad Habits

This weekend was busy, busy, busy.  Saturday was the Mystic Krewe of Nereid's King Kake Party ushering in the Mardi Gras season on Pensacola Beach.  We had a blast and the turn out was fabulous.  Several of the local krewes always come out to support us and we are so grateful to them.  The party was definitely a success.  Our new king and queen were crowned and both seemed very surprised.  King Pierce and Queen Daisy shall reign in 2011.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, a dear friend to everyone on the beach, including myself, passed away unexpectedly last week.  The King Kake Party included a tribute to our Mary.  Mary's funeral was Monday.

While at the King Kake Party, I met a group from a new, local krewe, The Krewe of Bad Habits.  Don't you just love the name.  They said they may be contacting me later for some embroidery work on their logo.  Right now they are waiting to receive their tux jackets that are being made out of lame'.  I think I have previously talked about my feelings about lame'.  There are some things about lame' that I do like.  No doubt about it, lame' is as shiney as fabric comes.  I just hope the krewe isn't spending a lot of money on lame' jackets because they may not last very long.

I received several compliments on the last Cajun Corner.  My friend, Melanie, stopped me at the King Kake Party to tell me that she enjoys reading Cajun Corner.  Thank you so much, Melanie.  I just love the feedback from everyone.

January is loaded with birthdays.  George's birthday is the 2nd and his sister, Kathie's, is the 11th.  Each year we get together for lunch/brunch to celebrate.  We did the birthday lunch this past Sunday.  Kathie brought two of her neighbors/friends with her.  They were delightful people -- Pat and Peter. 

Also on Sunday a friend from Central Florida arrived in Pensacola on a business trip.  She will be here until Wednesday.  We took her out to eat on Sunday and last night she was at the house for gumbo.  We call her Turtle.  It's true and she likes the name.  She is absolutely adorable and is an embroidery machine technician.  I love it when we can spend time with Turtle because we can talk embroidery for hours.  And you know I am passionate about my embroidery.

Turtle actually has the sequin attachment.  I was able to show her some of our Mylar work and share some Mylar with her.  It made me feel good that she agreed that the Mylar is just as blingy as the sequins.

Last week I added several items to our Etsy store -- all were handkerchiefs with mylar designs.  I still have more handkerchiefs to add to the store.  There have been some people looking at them but not nearly as many as I thought there would be.  To be fair, I have been so busy with other things that part of the problem is probably because I need to get in there and do more marketing. 

We have more black satin jacket orders that I need to place this week.  Those black satin jackets have been a real hit.

I'm really looking forward to this coming weekend.  It's our annual bead trip to Mobile.  We spend the weekend at our friend, Marilyn's, home and the weekend is full of shopping.  Then each night all of the girls get together and party -- just the girls.  We drink and talk and sing and dance and laugh.  It's a wonderful weekend and I look forward to it every year.  One year, one of the girls happened into a dollar store of some sort and found slippers with blinky lights.  A bunch of us each bought a pair and that night when we all changed into our "after 5's", we came our with our blinky slippers.  The girls that didn't have them were so envious.  We laughed and played with our blingy slippers all night long.  I still have mine somewhere; although I'm sure they no longer blink.

Got to get back to work.  Have a nice day everyone:>)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cajun Corner - Vol. 3, No. 2

Cajun Corner – Vol. 3, No. 2 – January 7, 2011

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


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

Today is Mama’s birthday, as well as my friend Courtney’s birthday. Happy birthday to both of you. Last Sunday was George’s birthday.

Today brought some sad news. A friend and long time Pensacola Beach resident passed away. When I think of Mary Drees, I see a smile. She seemed to smile all of the time. I notice these things since I am a passionate smiler. We will all miss you, Mary.

Reflecting and projecting are over. Now it’s time to just do it. Bling is the Thing for 2011. The embroidery room is full of little bits and pieces of shiny Mylar. Now comes confession time. In a very weak moment during the holidays I purchased 70 gross of various colored hot fix rhinestones. There must be a 12 step program for me someplace. If I find it, I’m taking my friend, Charlotte, and we are going to attend. Of course, we will have to wear all of the rhinestones. You don’t attend those things without being properly dressed for the occasion.

The Etsy Store is undergoing redecorating and restocking. The Christmas items have been removed. The patriotic items may be removed soon. The shiny Mylar handkerchiefs are creeping in. This week will be handkerchiefs. I’m not sure what the new items will be next week but I’m leaning toward scarves.

Aside from the glitz and new items, this is going to be the smile year. The smiling hankies were such a hit last year that I plan to kick it up a notch and see how that works. Keep looking because smiling hankies should begin popping up at the Cajun Stitchery store on real soon.

I made several little sparkling, happy face patches and handed them out at our Wednesday night girls’ night. I think they were a hit. Of course, the girls aren’t quite sure what to make of this Mylar. Yes, it sparkles. Sometimes it even looks like sequins. It changes color with whatever fabric and/or thread color you are using. I’ve read that it looks like metallic thread but I think it’s even shinier than that. The real nice thing about it is that you can wash and dry it – but no dry cleaning. It also probably should not be used for baby or children items since any kind of plastic/poly could be a choking hazard. It’s hard to take photographs because the shine messes with the lighting of the photo. I’m going to have to beg my photography guru, DJ, to teach me how to photograph shiny objects.

George is still working on the house next door. He pulled up the linoleum flooring in the kitchen and that old adhesive was causing him grief, but he’s got that licked now. He’s such a smart man.

I promised my cousin Kim that I would share a story about Mama that Kim had not heard. It’s the story of the pressure cooker. This took place in the 1950’s in Lafayette when we lived at 612 St. Johns St. As you know, my mother did not cook. Occasionally, she would cook something. She never cooked even as much as I do. Usually when she cooked it was Cajun food. For some reason, she had a pressure cooker and decided that she wanted to cook beans, dried beans. I have no idea why anyone in their right mind would ever give my mother a pressure cooker. Therefore, I can only assume that she purchased it for herself. She probably got it because the claim to fame of the pressure cooker is that it cooks your food in a fraction of the time it would take otherwise. I’ve had a few pressure cookers in my life. I love them. One of the first things you learn when you get a pressure cooker is DO NOT COOK BEANS in the pressure cooker. There are warnings all over the thing. Mama put her water and beans into the pressure cooker, secured the lid, and turned the stove on. So far; so good. Whether she was curious or there was a noise or she saw something, I’ll never know, but after the beans had been cooking for awhile, she opened the lid. That lid flew off the pot. It’s a miracle someone didn’t get seriously injured. The beans exploded and went everywhere. Beans are a starch and starch is sticky. The whole kitchen was covered in beans. Mama was so upset and angry, mostly at herself. I can pronounce all of the french words that she used but I cannot spell them. They were not nice words. The picture that I have imbedded in my memory of the incident is Mama sitting at the kitchen table, cigarette in hand, and beans falling from the high ceiling in the old house onto her head and everywhere, one by one.

George told me today that he counted 13 garlic plants growing in the garden. Once I had a chance to take a walk out there, I noticed a tiny broccoli head starting to develop. Otherwise, there just isn’t much out there. Ah spring, please come soon.

January 6th was 12th night. Mardi Gras season is beginning. Saturday is the Mystic Krewe of Nereids King Kake Party at Paradise Bar & Grill. We always throw the first party of the season. It starts at 3:00 p.m. and lasts until everyone leaves. Our new king and queen will be crowned. So, if you live in the Pensacola area, make sure you come out to kick off the season with us.

It has not gone unnoticed that bling and Mardi Gras go hand in hand. Keep an eye out for a lot of Mardi Gras embroidery coming up from Cajun Stitchery.

A friend of mine was asking me the other day about what days I was available to do something. The answer is that I’ll be available in March, after Mardi Gras. This is one of our busiest seasons at Cajun Stitchery and with my krewe. Every weekend from here through Mardi Gras is filled with bead trips, parties, balls, costume committee, etc. And, of course, please don’t forget our beloved New Orleans Saints.

The black satin jackets are still very popular. The Junkanoos bought a bunch of them in December. Now I’m taking orders from the Nereids, as well. The jackets are $23 for light lined and $26 for quilt lined, plus whatever the shipping charge is, plus embroidery and tax, if applicable. There is an extra charge for 2XL ($2) and 3XL ($5). I’ve had nothing but accolades about these jackets. This particular vendor only sells the satin jackets and the nylon windbreakers and coach’s jackets. There are several colors to choose and the jackets can be machine washed. They do not carry the pink or purple. I have found those jackets and will be glad to get them for anyone who would like to buy them but those are much more expensive.

Both the Junkanoos and the Nereids logos have been re-digitized to include the Mylar, and they shine.

The designer pockets will be coming out soon, as well as everything else. I’ve now incorporated the Mylar into some of the designer pockets. Sew them on, if you like, but it’s so much easier to use glue. You can also use them on your Mardi Gras jackets, like other patches. They are about as versatile as your imagination. Like the Mylar, glue does not like dry cleaning chemicals.

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Something a bit different this week. A poem:

Try Smiling

By Poet Unknown

When the weather suits you not, Try smiling.

When your coffee isn't hot, Try smiling.

When your neighbors don't do right,

Or your relatives all fight,

Sure 'tis hared, but then you might Try smiling.

Doesn't change the things, of course- Just smiling.

But it cannot make them worse- Just smiling.

And it seems to help your case,

Brightens up a gloomy place,

Then, it sort o' rests your face- Just smiling.


During a conversation this week, I found out that not everyone is aware of the Jefferson Island Disaster. The following is from

On 20 November 1980, when the disaster took place, the Diamond Crystal Salt Company operated the Jefferson Island salt mine under the lake, while a Texaco oil rig drilled down from the surface of the lake searching for petroleum. Due to a miscalculation, the 14-inch (36 cm) drill bit entered the mine, starting a chain of events which at the time turned an almost 10-foot (3.0 m) deep freshwater lake into a salt water lake with a deep hole.

It is difficult to determine exactly what occurred, as all of the evidence was destroyed or washed away in the ensuing maelstrom. The now generally accepted[who?] explanation is that a miscalculation by Texaco regarding their location resulted in the drill puncturing the roof of the third level of the mine. This created an opening in the bottom of the lake. The lake then drained into the hole, expanding the size of that hole as the soil and salt were washed into the mine by the rushing water, filling the enormous caverns left by the removal of salt over the years. The resultant whirlpool sucked in the drilling platform, eleven barges, many trees and 65 acres (260,000 m2) of the surrounding terrain. So much water drained into those caverns that the flow of the Delcambre Canal that usually empties the lake into Vermilion Bay was reversed, making the canal a temporary inlet. This backflow created, for a few days, the tallest waterfall ever in the state of Louisiana, at 164 feet (50 m), as the lake refilled with salt water from the Delcambre Canal and Vermilion Bay. The water downflowing into the mine caverns displaced air which erupted as compressed air and then later as 400-foot (120 m) geysers up through the mineshafts.[4]

There were no injuries and no human lives lost. All 55 employees in the mine at the time of the accident were able to escape thanks to well-planned and rehearsed evacuation drills, while the staff of the drilling rig fled the platform before it was sucked down into the new depths of the lake, and Leonce Viator, Jr. (a local fisherman) was able to drive his small boat to the shore and get out.[4] Three dogs were reported killed, however. Days after the disaster, once the water pressure equalized, nine of the eleven sunken barges popped out of the whirlpool and refloated on the lake's surface.


French Phrase of the Week: Laissez les bon temps rouler (Let the good times roll)


Instructions for making a miniature Mardi Gras float for to use for decoration or to put on your own miniature parade!

Materials Needed:

• Shoe Box

• Paint

• Scissors

• Glue

• Miscellaneous Supplies (mentioned below)


Flip your box upside down and paint. You can use whatever colors you like, but the traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold. If you want to use the lid, get creative by gluing it into a different position on the shoe box bottom. Let dry.

Gather miscellaneous supplies to decorate your float. A few ideas for supplies to gather are crepe or tissue paper, beads, foil, a small action figure or doll, ribbon, home-made gold coins (Doubloons), glitter. Use your imagination to create an original float!

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.