Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cajun Corner - Vol. 4, No. 9

Cajun Corner – Vol. 4, No. 9 – March 10, 2012

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


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Oh, what a week this has been!  I don’t even know where to start.  Most people start at the beginning.  I will start at the end.  Mama used to tell me that I always do things backwards because I’m left handed.  Who knows!

The weather is so beautiful right now that I just want to garden.  A week or so ago there was an article on Pinterest that said when you cook with an onion, save the root end that you would normally toss and plant it.  According to the article the onion will begin to grow and voila, free plants and free onions.  There is logic in this.  The root ends of about 4 onion bulbs were planted in the garden and today they are growing.  If they produce more bulbing onions that would be wonderful since bulbing onions have not been successful in our garden in the past.  You know what this means.  The root ends of all root vegetables are now going to be replanted.

Another Pinterest article said that rather than cutting up a potato and planting the eyes, plant the whole potato.  By planting the whole potato you safeguard against some diseases and insects that go for the fleshy part.  There is half a sack of potatoes on the counter that will be planted for this experiment. 

Last year our tomato plants just kept supplying tomatoes.  They were all small tomatoes.  None of the tomatoes were larger than maybe golf ball size.  They were tomatoes nevertheless and they were delicious.  After a particularly cold few days in January, the tomato plants were finished and placed in the compost.  One little tomato plant was unintentionally left in a pot on the side of the house.  Guess what has started blooming?  That little tomato that could has blossoms. 

Our business consultant from the Small Business Development Center visited this week.  She has such good ideas and helps keep me focused on our goals.  For those of you who have been reading Cajun Corner for a long time, you know the goal is to be the Tiffany’s of embroidery.  The problem is that every aspect of embroidery is so enjoyable that I am going in a hundred different directions at once.  My peep keeps me focused on our goals.

The annual Arts & Wine Craft Fair on the beach will probably always be on our annual agenda because of our connections with Pensacola Beach.  However, additional craft fairs will be few and far between.  That just is not Cajun Stitchery.  It is not possible or feasible to provide “custom” embroidery at a craft fair. 

The Cajun Stitchery Etsy Store will stay.  That store has many purposes, not the least of which is an outlet for craft urges.  It also serves as an experimental store to see if people like different colors and different items, and so forth.  Of course, if I make it, it is made in the USA and this is a good place to sell the Made in the USA scarves and handkerchiefs.

This week Shelby Johnson also visited for a one-on-one meeting to get to know each other and each other’s business.  Shelby is our Wines For Humanity representative.  If you have not met Shelby, you definitely need to meet this lady.  She has home wine parties.  About 50% or 60% of the money that Wines For Humanity earns goes to charity.  Shelby is hilarious and we spent most of our time laughing and giggling like school girls.  If you would like to host a wine party at your home, please let me know and I will put you in touch with Shelby.  That girl knows what wine goes with what food and in what glass.  A wine party would be a great get together for any group of women to sit back, drink some wine, learn a little bit about wine, and enjoy an evening.   Just for a group of women?  Heck, this would be a great get together for men and women.  Wouldn’t it be fun to get a group of friends together for a pot luck dinner and have Shelby serve the wine?

Our new Amaya commercial embroidery machine arrived late Monday afternoon.  Our SWF machine was moved into the living room and the Amaya is now situated in the studio.  The SWF is a 1201C.  The C stands for compact.  The machine always seemed very large but now that the standard sized Amaya is here, the SWF does look compact.

Our friend from Orlando, actually she lives in Geneva, brought the machine in her truck.  Since she is also the service technician for the Amaya machines in Florida, she stayed for service and training.  She left Thursday morning.  The machine is amazing.  She gave the machine a once over and did the routine maintenance and made sure it was in good working order.  Then she began the training.  George and I both attended the training.  The cap frames are so much easier to use with the Amaya.  Ball caps are no problem for us whatsoever.  The machine connects to my computer rather than using floppy disks like the SWF does.  Should the need arise; we can have both machine working at the same time. 

The Amaya came with some very special computer programs.  The program that I had been using to digitize was not a bad program.  It was just the low end of the spectrum and I was teaching myself how to digitize with it.  Usually home embroiderers use the Embird program. The new program, Design Shop, is the professional, high end of the spectrum, program and can do some pretty amazing things.  The big bonus for the program is that it is so user friendly.  Now I need to learn the program.  While she was here, my tech showed me how to change the fill of a design into a name or whatever you want.  I would post pictures of the items that we did but they are presents and should not be shared before giving.

Before the Amaya got here, however, we embroidered a shirt for a new customer and friend.  The situation was that she is still working with her graphic artist to achieve the perfect logo.  In the meantime, she needed to wear a shirt with her company name to Bark for Life today.  She contacted me for help.  She purchased a very nice coral/peach colored polo at Sam’s Club and I embroidered the name of her company in brown.  Her company (which always puts a smile on my face) is “We Scoop The Poop.”  How cute is that?

We Scoop The Poop wasn’t our only emergency this week.  One of my WBL friends contacted me saying the annual Maguire’s Run is this Saturday (today) and the guy who originally began the event has passed away.  She wanted 100 black arm bands with something like “In Memory of Les” embroidered in Kelly green.  I played around with some lettering and came up with a shamrock with the name LES in the middle.  She loved it.  I told her that since we were training on the new machine this week, I could do the 100 arm bands but she would have to get the arm bands to me.  I just would not have time to do more than embroidery.  It was quite an ordeal.  We finally decided the best way to do this was getting some fabric cut about 5” by 25” or so.  I suggested some sort of knit fabric, especially jersey, because you can pull the fabric and it will roll the edges and not fray.  As it turned out jersey was unexpectedly and outrageously expensive, so she got some broadcloth and had a friend cut the dimensions needed.  Since my tech was here, anyway, my tech, George and I collaborated on this project.  It was decided that we would fold the fabric lengthwise to hide the side edges.  A rectangle was digitized to hold the fabric down around the shamrock.  This still allowed for unsightly frayed edges down the remainder of the arm bands.  Finally, we decided to use spray adhesive, which held the side edges, and gave a nice finished look to the project.  Once my tech left on Thursday, I began working on the arm bands.  In the end we did 123 armbands on Thursday and Friday using our new Amaya.  Sweet!  Not to mention we have another happy customer.  And I hope Jennifer’s team won the race.

Yesterday I received a message on Facebook from Pandora de Balthazar regarding monogramming work.  Pandora owns a very high end, local luxury bedding store.  This is the type of work I dream about.  She and I have scheduled a meeting for Monday morning.  I do have to thank some people.  Pandora said that Shelley Johnson gave her my name amid high praise of my work.  Thank you, Shelley.  While Pandora and I were conversing on Facebook, Lila and then Courtney, also chimed in with praise of my work.  Thank you, Lila and Courtney.

Since I’m handing out thank you’s, Shelley Johnson and Becky Shearman were the reason that Cajun Stitchery got the Bananimals account during Mardi Gras.  Thank you Shelley and Becky.

It is good to have friends.  Apparently it is really good to have Shelley, Lila, Courtney, and Becky as friends.  And apparently you hit the jackpot when you have Shelley for a friend.  Of course, you all realize that Shelley owns the ISLAND TIMES and if you want to know what is happening on the island, you need a subscription to the ISLAND TIMES.  Also, if you want a good laugh, you need a subscription to the ISLAND TIMES because whatever is going on at the beach is sure to have some comic relief involved.  Visit for further information.  Of course, you can always see Cajun Stitchery’s ad right next to “Peas, Porridge & A Dry Martini” by my friend, Kathi Lewis.

No one answered the contest last week.  The answer is:  Small businesses employ 57% of the country's private workforce.

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Tip of the Day:  Use a lint roller to pick up glitter messes.

Found this on the internet at

How to make chocolate lip gloss:

What you'll need

cocoa powder
microwave safe bowl
lip gloss containers
labels printed on sticker paper


1. put about 1 cup Vaseline in a microwave safe bowl

2. Heat the Vaseline in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each heating (this is very important, don't just throw it in the microwave for a few minutes!). It took me about 7-8 minutes the batch of Vaseline. It will be liquid when it is fully melted. Make sure you wear gloves or oven mitts and make sure children are being supervised.

If you find the Vaseline REALLY hot you may want to let it cool for a bit before you mix in the cocoa powder. I didn't and didn't have any trouble dissolving the cocoa powder but some of my other readers had trouble dissolving the kool-aid if the Vaseline was too hot!

3. Stir in a couple spoonfuls of cocoa powder and a sprinkling of sugar for some sweetness. You don't need exact measurements here. Just put some cocoa powder in until you reach your desired color. I used a couple small spoonfuls. Stir until it is all dissolved. This only took about 30 seconds. If it's not dissolving the Vaseline may be too hot. Let it cool a bit.

4. If starting to solidify you can heat again for another 30 seconds - skip this step if it is still liquidy

5. Pour into your lip gloss containers and leave to solidify - a couple hours

6. Print out labels on sticker paper


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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