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.

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