Friday, January 20, 2012

Cajun Corner - Vol. 4, No. 2

Cajun Corner – Vol. 4, No. 2 – January 20. 2012

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


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I do apologize about missing last week’s issue of Cajun Corner.  There was simply too much on my plate to get it out.  As they say, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” so, I’m hoping all subscribers are really eager to read this issue.

Pensacola Beach experienced a sad and happy occasion recently.  In order for many of our subscribers to understand, I need to give you some background information:

Jane Waters Cooper arrived on Pensacola Beach from her home in New Orleans in 1978.  Among many things, she was a journalist.  She owned the local beach newspaper and had her hand on the pulse of the island.  Jane was one of the founders, if not THE founder, of Mardi Gras on the beach.  She was instrumental in creating many community enhancements, as well as some frivolities.  The most significant to me is the SOBs, Sisters of the Beach.  Miss Jane, as she was known on the island, passed away recently.  She was 90 years old.  I don’t recall ever being formally introduced to her and I’ve only seen her a few times.  Each year after our SOB brunch, several of the SOBs, including myself in recent years, would go to Jane’s home and serenade her with a Christmas carol.  When I first began playing with the Nereids, my friend and sponsor, Paulette, made me read two books:  (1) The Sweet Potato Queen book; and, (2) to the Beat of an Island Drum by Jane Waters Cooper.  Jane’s book is a history of Mardi Gras on the island.  Anyone interested in getting to know the islanders really should read this book.  Initially the book didn’t mean a lot to me.  I knew a few of the names.  As time went by, I realized that I was meeting more and more of these wonderful, wacky people, and Jane’s book became more and more important in understanding this place called Pensacola Beach. 

Jane has four daughters.  One I’ve never met.  One I recently met.  One I’ve met a few times.  And, one, Shelley, is a close friend of mine and owns the local beach newspaper, Island Times.  (Everyone needs a subscription to this newspaper.  It is the only newspaper where Cajun Stitchery advertises.) Over these past couple of weeks since Miss Jane’s passing, I had the privilege of getting to know and bond with Liz, who I had only briefly met once or twice previously.  Lastly, but definitely not leastly, is Candy.  I’ve heard about Candy but never had the privilege of meeting her until Miss Jane’s Memorial Service earlier this week.  As it turns out, Candy is one of my neighbors here in Warrington.  Small world, isn’t it?    Candy is an engineer.  That may not be significant to this story, but people who know me know that means I will not have the least bit of trouble bonding with Candy.  Many people have told me that I should have been an engineer like my father, and uncle and all of my engineering relatives.  In fact, Candy and I are already developing the SOWs, Sisters of Warrington. 

But, I digress.  I said this was a sad and happy occasion.  The happy occasion is that within a few hours of Miss Jane’s passing, her great grandson was born.  Is that the circle of life, or a miracle?  What it appeared to me to be was just plain perfect timing.  The sadness of losing Miss Jane was counteracted by the happiness of gaining her great grandson.

In addition to Miss Jane, I’ve been knee deep in Nereid frivolities.  Last weekend was our annual bead trip to Mobile.  We left Friday morning.  Yep, the girls came into my house and poured my luggage, me and my cup of coffee into the car and off we went to Mobile.  I am my mother’s daughter; therefore, I am not a morning person.  The rule is:  what happens in Mobile, stays in Mobile.  Suffice it to say that we had a wonderful time and I do believe this was the best bead trip ever.

We returned on Sunday and attended Miss Jane’s memorial service on Monday. 

You do recall that I own a business, Cajun Stitchery?  I recalled that Tuesday morning when I realized that I have a lot of work to do.  Playing around stopped and I began working in earnest.  Okay, I did play with the Nereids Wednesday night but that was after hours. 

Baby blankets take time but are a favorite thing for me to make.  However, the custom baby blanket order that I received was nothing like the baby blankets I usually make.  This one had the cross hairs from a rifle scope for the opening in the letter A of the baby’s name.  The blanket order requested fleece as the fabric.  The design was really cute for a boy.  In the end, the fleece was a camouflage print with peace signs in a khaki green.  What I loved the most was under the design for the name was:  “Sniper in a Diaper.”  How cute is that?  I have to use that one again.  With fleece all of the literature says that you use wash away stabilizer to hold down the pile of the fabric so the embroidery stitching doesn’t sink into the pile and vanish.  I really don’t like wash away because I never seem to get it all washed away.  I have found that putting some mylar underneath does just as good and adds a bling.  The mylar would not have worked on this blanket for two reasons.  One, I would never use mylar for a baby blanket.  Two, a little boy with a camo blanket does not need bling.  I ended up using plain tear away stabilizer and it worked just fine.  Since I did the digitizing, I ended up with something like seven stitchouts.  I was having a dickens of a time with the registration.  The fleece really didn’t need it, but to get a nice straight edge, I serged the edges.  After I was finished and folded the blanket many different ways, I thought it would look cute folded like a sleeping bag.  Once I did that and I was looking at all of the stitchouts, I decided to make a bag from the stitchouts for the blanket.  It did turn out very cute and I was able to use my new grommet press that I got for Christmas.

Another order this week that was a lot of fun was from our cute little ToucanSave lady.  She wanted a couple of scarves to wear like a headband but with the tails coming down to her chest.  This was kind of a 1960’s look.  On the headband area, we embroidered the ToucanSave logo with some heavy stabilizer.  Then just the area with the logo was sewn closed.  One was done on a navy blue, stretch fabric, similar to jersey.  The other headband was on a bright yellow/gold, silk fabric.  They are adorable.  I’m wondering if people who shop on Etsy would buy these headbands?  Vintage and the ‘60’s look are really popular now.

More orders came in for the market baskets, so, I had to place another order for baskets.  They arrived last night.  It appears that the rhinestones and mylar are popular with members of our local krewes.  The next one is going to be for a Queen.

George and I have been working in the garden.  We harvested a bunch of carrots and George made a delicious carrot salad.  The broccoli is growing as well as some sweet peas.  We planted celery and bunching onions.  Oh, how I love to garden.

This year’s design for my Krewe’s birthday gifts was a big success.  The first gift was given and there were plenty of ooo’s and aaaaah’s.  It is a large mermaid on a white beach towel.  The mermaid’s hair is done in Mylar. 

Since I have such strong feelings on buying local and buying MADE IN THE USA, I did a little research online and found that there are still a few remaining fabric mills.  One is in Mississippi and looks like it is about a 2 hour drive from Pensacola.  We may have a road trip ahead of us.  I emailed the mill but haven’t received a reply yet.  Another one is in Texas.  No road trip there.  Now I need to find out the prices and see if their minimum order is something I can manage.  Since all of my thread is MADE IN THE USA, it would be nice to tout that my fabric is also MADE IN THE USA.  Right now I don’t know where my fabric is milled.  It could be the USA.  I just don’t know.

My business consultant once told me that my niche will change with the times and I will probably end up surprised where my niche lands.  Well, I think that one of my niches is going to be scarves.  Since I did the research a few weeks back and found that China and India are #1 and #2 in the manufacturing of fashion scarves, it has just eaten at me.  I know how to make scarves and it is not difficult.  Given the right price on the right fabric, the right equipment, even I could compete – I think.

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. 

Thanks to Bob Kruk for this contribution:

The Cajun Bic Lighter

Prejean and Boudreaux were fishing in the
Bayou when Prejean pulled out a cigar. Finding he had
no matches, he asked Boudreaux for a light.

“Ya, ma fren, I tink I haff a lighter,”
Boudreaux replied with a Cajun
accent, and then reaching into his tackle
box, he pulled out a Bic lighter 10 inches long.

“Holy shit, man!” exclaimed Prejean, taking
the huge Bic Lighter in his hands.
“Where'd yew git dat monster?”

“Well,” replied Boudreaux,
“I got it from my Genie.”

“You haff a Genie?” Prejean asked.

“Ya, ma fren. It's right here in my tackle
box,” says Boudreaux.

“Could I see him?”

Boudreaux opens his tackle box and
sure enough, out pops the Genie.

Addressing the Genie, Prejean says,
“Hey dere! I'm a good buddy of
your master. Will you grant me
one wish?”

“Yes, I will,” says the Genie.

So Prejean asks the Genie for a
million bucks. The Genie disappears
back into the tackle box leaving
Prejean sitting there waiting for his million

Shortly, the Louisiana sky
darkens and is filled with the sound of
a million ducks....flying directly overhead.

Over the roar of the million ducks
Prejean yells at Boudreaux,
“What the hell? I asked for a million
bucks, not a million ducks!”

Boudreaux answers,
“Ya, I forgot to tell yew dat da Genie
is hard of hearing. Do yew really think
I asked for a 10 inch Bic?”


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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