Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cajun Corner - Vol. 4, No. 45


Cajun Corner – Vol. 4, No. 45 – November 25, 2012


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



Don’t forget to visit us at,, and, often.   We are also on Twitter and Facebook. 

Visit our on-line catalogs at:

Ah, Thanksgiving week.  I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.

We planned on spending Thanksgiving Day with friends.  George is funny about Thanksgiving and Christmas.  No matter where we go or what we do, he has to have that turkey smell in the house.  Wednesday was our Thanksgiving with each other.  I baked the turkey, sweet potato soufflé, bread and cornbread dressing.  Yes, I used real recipes and it all turned out wonderfully delicious.  We cleaned off our kitchen table, which is usually used as our desk/office and piled with stuff.  Rather than a buffet at the stove, the food was all set out on the table.  It was a delightful time.  Wednesday evening we watched Polar Express. 

On Thursday morning I prepared the green bean casserole and we went to our friends’ home for the day.  There was lots of wine and food.  We actually intended to leave around 4:00 but I think it was more like 6:00 before we left.  That’s a real testament to how much we enjoyed the day with our friends.

We had arranged that some of our neighbors would drop by Thanksgiving evening just to get together.  They arrived around 8:30.  It was a bit cool outside, so, we all gathered around the table and enjoyed our time together.  Finally, we did end up sitting on the deck after Evie got a bit irritated with Sam under the table.

By Friday morning I decided that I was never eating another bite of food.  Famous last words, huh?  Today is Sunday and we still have leftovers. 

Friday evening we were invited next door to an evening in front of the fire pit with our neighbors.  Oh my gosh, that was fun.  George was pooped and left earlier than I did.  I guess we stayed out there until about 10:00.  The beauty of getting together with the neighbors is that you don’t have to drive home.  In fact, my neighbors walked me home.  We must do that more often.

My favorite radio station has been playing Christmas music for a couple of weeks now.  What’s with that?  I love the idea that they play Christmas music from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas, but to start a week earlier is too much; it is still the Thanksgiving season.  Nevertheless, the Christmas music is playing everyday over here. 

The Etsy store has been busy lately.  There are a lot of items listed.  The other day I noticed that several Etsy stores are selling embroidery designs.   There is nothing wrong with that.  I just had not noticed it before.  Ever since I first purchased Doris, I’ve looked at all of the beautiful embroidery designs on the internet.  Doris came with a disk of Singer designs.  There were lots of free designs online, as well, especially at the various embroidery machine websites, like Singer, Baruden and Husqvarna.  As I learned to use the embroidery machine, I found more and more embroidery design websites.  Some designs I purchased, some were free, and some came with the various machines and programs that I’ve purchased.  Eventually, I began learning to digitize some designs with my programs.  It wasn’t until this year that I began digitizing more intricate designs.  I still think that I’m a novice at the digitizing thing, but I have come a long way. 

All of that said I started wondering if my designs were good enough to sell online.  I did have the Classy Cajun monogram set that was recently digitized, and several other designs that I’ve done.  There is now an Embroidery Design section in our Cajun Stitchery Etsy store.  There aren’t a lot of designs in there right now but there are a few.  We’ll see if anyone wants to purchase them.  The beauty is that after the design is created, it is offered for sale and is emailed to whoever wishes to purchase them.  Unlike other tangible items in the store, the designs can be sold over and over; therefore, the price is pretty low, usually $5 or less.  A lot of the wording was taken from perusing other shops and their terms, conditions, warnings, etc.  Time will tell if this is an avenue worth pursuing for Cajun Stitchery.  Why don’t you go check it out?

Right now we are busy embroidering names and designs on bags and satin jackets, as well as some heirloom embroidery. 

Ever since the purchase of our professional grommet machine, I’ve wanted a similar machine for snaps.  This week the machine was purchased and should arrive next week.  These machines are so much better than hammering those little metal pieces.

We did have some sad news recently.  A friend’s mother passed away on Friday.  It wasn’t a surprise.  Her mother had been ailing for sometime.  The funeral is scheduled for Monday in Mobile.

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. 
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Tip of the Day:

Keep matches in a mason jar - with a strikeable sandpaper lid!

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Found this at:

Start Wrapping Earlier

Say goodbye to Christmas chaos this year. Follow these simple gift-wrapping strategies to give family and friends one-of-a-kind packages this holiday.

Avoid a gift-wrapping time crunch and start wrapping gifts as you buy them. Add ribbons, bows, and tags later. Label presents with sticky notes so that you don't forget who gets what.


Ideas for Paying it Forward
(This is also a pretty good blog article)

  1. put a quarter in a meter, any meter, that’s about to expire
  2. leave a copy of a really great book you’ve read in a cafe for someone else to enjoy
  3. be nice to the customer service people who are trying to help you with your technological difficulties
  4. tip your restaurant server generously
  5. thank the cooks, waitstaff and bussers personally
  6. say something nice or funny or goofy to the toll booth attendant (like, “Don’t drive too fast, now” or “Glad to have encountered you today”, or something less hokey)
  7. forgive a driver directing road rage at you
  8. buy or pack a meal for a homeless person (or give him/her your to-go box from a restaurant)
  9. give a warm coat to a homeless person
  10. offer to do pro bono work on a project where your skills are needed
  11. mentor someone
  12. make a donation
  13. say a prayer or whisper a kind wish for someone
  14. compliment a stranger
  15. send a box of donuts or bagels or muffins to a construction site
  16. next time you leave a foreign country, give all or some of what’s left of your currency to someone who resides in that country
  17. next time you’re at the airport, offer to pull the bags belonging to a woman or a mother with child out of the conveyor belt
  18. praise generously
  19. give local tips (re: restaurants, sights, etc.) to a tourist
  20. show respect equally to all human beings
  21. put a tip in a street musician’s jar
  22. let someone cut in front of you at the grocery store
  23. tell a funny joke to a stranger
  24. give someone a chance to prove him or herself
  25. encourage someone to pursue their dream
  26. allow someone to let his or her light shine
  27. show support to an artist or writer or musician
  28. hold the door open for someone
  29. tip a cab driver generously
  30. teach a child something you wish you knew at that age
  31. smile at someone who’s sad
  32. smile at strangers
  33. offer sincere, kind words to someone who’s hurting
  34. visit a hospice and spend some time with a terminally ill patient
  35. volunteer at a battered women’s shelter
  36. spend some time with a senior citizen living alone
  37. give up your seat on a crowded bus or train or ferry
  38. inspire someone to be the best that they can be
  39. give someone the benefit of the doubt
  40. offer to babysit for a single mother
  41. offer the FedEx, UPS or DHL delivery person something to drink especially on a warm day
  42. help a pregnant lady
  43. sit and talk with a homeless person and learn their story
  44. loan something to someone and forget about it
  45. loan money on Kiva
  46. contribute to a friend’s child’s education fund
  47. give blood
  48. show respect to a soldier regardless of your pacifism
  49. donate to or volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation
  50. replace an angry or bitter thought toward someone with a loving thought (or at least try)

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.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cajun Corner - Vol. 4, No. 44



Cajun Corner – Vol. 4, No. 44 – November 18, 2012


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



Don’t forget to visit us at,, and, often.   We are also on Twitter and Facebook. 

Visit our on-line catalogs at:

This week we had the pleasure of entertaining our friend and embroidery technician from Central Florida.  She planned this trip to Pensacola and had four or five customers in the area needing their machines serviced.  She arrived on Wednesday afternoon and was anxious to see the new tablecloth.  Once she did; she loved it.  We all went out to eat each evening, drank wine, and talked about embroidery and crafts.  It was such a delightful time.

There were a few new embroidery techniques that she taught me.  One was using scrap thread in the embroidery.  It is pretty cool.  The center fill of the design needs to be changed to about a 20 point density. An outline of the design is run; then stop the machine and place enough scrap thread to cover the inside of the design.  Then you cover the thread with Solvy or Aqua Magic (any water soluble topping will do).  Next you let the fill stitch run.  Stop the machine and trim the threads outside of the outline.  Then let the machine finish the embroidery.  Once the stitching is completed, wash away the topping.  The light fill holds in the threads.  The threads are very colorful and make a unique and pretty appearance.

The other technique was a spin on the fringe technique.  We did not try this but she did digitize a sample for me which I will try out later.  Using a satin stitch, you create a small, simple design, let’s say an oval.  Digitize the oval very small.  Then digitize another oval over the first one but slightly larger than the first.  You can do this as many times as you like.  The important thing is that it is a satin stitch and there are no center stitches.  Use a different color for each round of stitches.  When you have finished stitching, take your scissors and cut straight down the middle.  The satin stitches fluff up in all of the colors that you used.

As we discussed puff embroidery, I asked how to use a hair dryer to shrink the puff that sticks out.  She explained that it is not a hair dryer but a heat gun.  It looks like a hair dryer but gets much hotter.  George bought us a heat gun and is going to try it out today on some practice puff embroidery.

She solved many of my embroidery issues and answered my questions.  When we get together, we usually create designs and techniques of our own.  It was a wonderful visit.

On Thursday, she decided to check out Clothilde and make sure she was running up to par.  Poor Clothilde blew her Z Motor.  We had a new Z Motor overnighted and installed on Friday.  That was unexpected but it could not have happened at a better time – when my technician just happened to be here.  We are up and running and purring like a kitten now.  Clothilde is a pretty fabulous and amazing machine.

Our embroidery technician departed Saturday morning.  We fully intended to attend the Wooly Booger Bawl at 3 p.m.  However, we were exhausted.  Three o’clock came and went and we just could not seem to get up and going.  Nevertheless, a hearty congratulation to our new Queen Sugah, Jayne Drees, who was apparently very surprised at her selection as Queen Sugah.

This morning George decided to make pancakes for breakfast.  I usually don’t eat breakfast at all but George makes some good pancakes.  He served me first and then, to my surprise, served the dogs pancakes.  He served himself last.  My mother would be appalled.  I was pretty amazed, myself.  Those dogs are so spoiled.

The lap scarves were finished, embroidered and mailed to the customer this week.  I haven’t heard from her since.  I asked that she let me know when they arrive.  Considering they were mailed, she may not have received them yet.  I think they turned out lovely.

This coming Thursday is Thanksgiving Day.  At 5 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, 2008, my Mama passed away, peacefully, in our living room.  Thanksgiving hasn’t been the same since.  I am thankful for so much.  In fact, it is because of Mama that Cajun Stitchery even exists.

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. 
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Check out this website for 100 Christmas gifts to make.

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Found this at:

Learn how to make your own laundry detergent, and enjoy clean clothes for less.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 10-15 minutes

Here's How:

1.               Mix together two parts Borax, two parts Washing Soda and one part grated Fels-Naptha soap to create your own laundry detergent (You can make as much or as little as you'd like).

2.               Use up to three level tablespoons per wash load.

3.               Store the rest in a lidded container, out of the reach of children and pets.

- Recipe Courtesy of James77777


1.               Be sure to label your detergent container, so others will know what's inside. Include a list of the ingredients as an added safety measure.

2.               Borax sells under the name 20 Mule Team, and can be found on the laundry aisle. You should be able to find Washing Soda and Fels-Naptha soap there too.

3.               Having trouble locating Fels-Naptha soap on the laundry aisle? Check to see if it's in with the bar soap.

4.               If the grocery store or discount store that you shop at doesn't stock these ingredients, try an international grocery store.

5.               Zote, Ivory or castile soap can be used in place of Fels-Naptha.

What You Need

·                        Borax

·                        Washing Soda

·                        Fels Naptha Soap

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.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cajun Corner - Vol. 4, No. 43


Cajun Corner – Vol. 4, No. 43 – November 11, 2012


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



Don’t forget to visit us at,, and, often.   We are also on Twitter and Facebook. 

Visit our on-line catalogs at:

George and I were sitting in the living room late Saturday afternoon, watching a little television, when the door bell rang.  There were two little girls who looked to be between the ages of 8 and 11 asking if we had any left over candy.  They said they were “re-trick or treating.  They were turned away – George ate all of the candy.   And what’s this re-trick or treating?

Saturday afternoon I traveled to Navarre for my friend’s garage sale.  It was really a fund raiser for her sister-in-law who has been diagnosed with cancer.  I ended up with many items.  A young girl, perhaps 8 or 9, was having a bake sale for the fund raiser.  I inquired about the price of her cupcakes.  She said, “50 cents.”  I asked her how many she had.  She said, “all those in the carrier.”  I asked her how many were in her carrier.  She said, “I don’t know.  You’re not going to buy all of them.”  I told her that I was thinking about buying all of them.  She said, “There are 12 cupcakes in each carrier, but you can’t buy the chocolate ones.  I want those.”  I bought George 12 carrot cake cupcakes because I couldn’t buy the chocolate ones. Hahahaha!

This week I noticed my niece selling her soaps on Facebook.  She wasn’t just advertising but selling, as well.  She has a Facebook store.  Once I looked into it, there is a new feature on Facebook where you can connect to your Etsy store and sell those items directly on Facebook.  You know I did this.  So, now if you want to purchase items, you have a choice of purchasing at Facebook or Etsy. 

As I continue to practice my digitizing skills, this week I digitized a complete, A to Z, monogram alphabet.  It is pretty boxy, but it is my first attempt at digitizing monogram sets.  Nevertheless, it looks pretty cool.  George named it “Classy Cajun”.

Last Wednesday the girls gave me a birthday party.  The bling that came out of those packages was simply blinding but delightful.  I felt like a princess with all of the shiny presents.  It was a wonderful evening.

Friday we were scheduled to attend a neighbor’s retirement ceremony.  He retired from the Air Force.  I’ve never been to a military retirement ceremony and really looked forward to this event.  George and I got ourselves all pretty.  Another friend was picking us up.  We got to the entrance of NAS and the military lady that checked us in said, “Go straight down this road until you reach the T.  It is next to the Officers Club, I think.”  The “I think,” concerned us.  We went down the road until we came to a dead end with an intersecting road.  We didn’t see any signs for “Officer’s Club”, so we turned right.  We traveled for awhile and didn’t see any gathering of cars or people.  We turned around and drove that way until we reached an “Authorized Personnel Only” sign.  We passed a whole group of guys jogging in orange shirts.  We stopped a red truck containing another military fellow, but he didn’t know where the pavilion was located.  Then we went the other way, again.  By this time, the ceremony should have been nearly over. We never found the ceremony, so, we left.  After talking with our neighbor later, we apparently were right there and didn’t see it.  In fact, the young fellows jogging were right in front of the pavilion.

A lady contacted me via our blog page to inquire about the lap scarves that I made awhile back.  She wants me to make two of them.  This is the third time I’ve been contacted about making lap scarves.  I ought to make some and put them back on Etsy.

It is now evident that Mardi Gras is not too far away.  The first krewe order of the season arrived last week for a Bananimals logo on a white tux jacket.  Clothilde did a beautiful job on the jacket. 

This week our Amaya technician and friend plans to visit.  We are going to take her out to eat.  Every times she visits, we just stay at the house drinking wine and playing with the embroidery machine.  Although there is nothing wrong with that agenda, this time we want to take her someplace.  I think we’ll dine on the beach if the weather permits.  Then she and I can play with the embroidery machine.  In the meantime, I do need to clean up that messy room, the studio, because that is where she sleeps when she visits.

Thanksgiving is coming.  Can you believe it is just a week and a half away? 

Have a wonderful week.
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. 
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2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon essential oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1-3/4 cups water
Spray bottle (16 oz size or larger)

Mix the ingredients in the order listed into your clean spray bottle. Shake well to mix. Spray onto wooden furniture and wipe off with a soft cloth to dust and clean the surface.

You may be wondering if the oil and water actually mix. The olive oil does want to rise to the top. I found it helpful to shake the spray bottle often while I was cleaning which was no big deal. A light olive oil might be even better in this recipe.

It’s Important to Label

Be sure to label any homemade cleaners that you make because otherwise they just look like some kind of watery mixture. Don’t rely on your memory. You need to make it clear to yourself and others what’s in the bottle. You can make your label with your computer printer, or with a label making machine, or just use a Sharpie marker. It’s also helpful to list the recipe right on the label and then you’ve made it super easy the next time you need to mix up a batch. I would also recommend you buy a new spray bottle rather than recycling one from a purchased cleaner so that you don’t have to worry about any residual chemicals getting into the mix.

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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.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cajun Corner - Vol. 4, No. 42



Cajun Corner – Vol. 4, No. 42 – November 4, 2012


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



Don’t forget to visit us at,, and, often.   We are also on Twitter and Facebook. 

Visit our on-line catalogs at:

Usually George dresses in costume to hand out candy to trick or treater’s.  This year he really didn’t feel like doing that until a neighbor asked if he was going to use the same costume as last year.  He got out his old black poncho and hat from last year and found a really scary foam mask at Wal-Mart.  He even scared me.  Then he sat outside by the bushes with his cauldron of candy. 

It was still light outside and there were a couple of women strolling a baby around the park.  I had my witch’s hat on and was setting George up.  Apparently the ladies didn’t see George moving around and thought that he was something that I constructed and put in the yard.  About their third time around, the ladies and baby strolled over to tell me that they had been watching me set up for Halloween.  They thought the monster/creature was really cool and we all laughed – until George moved and scared the bejeebers out of the ladies and child.  We had fun that night.  There were more than the usual number of children but not a lot.  Our neighbors were handing out candy and it was nice mingling with them.  All in all, we were inside by 8 p.m.

Our usual tradition is afterwards we stoke up a fire in the chiminea and enjoy a glass of wine.  This year was no different.

The following day, of course, was my birthday.  By the end of the day, I had over 400 birthday wishes on Facebook.  I love my Facebook friends.  One friend later told me that she was late getting on FB to send me a Happy Birthday wish.  When she did, she got a message that my Facebook page was full and she couldn’t place the message.  I didn’t know they did that.

The day was pretty quiet and peaceful.  I had some embroidery work to do.  George gave me a great present.  I walked into my studio to find a new, adjustable, swivel, and rolling chair, with a back on it, placed at my embroidery machine.  Very nice. 

I told George that I would like a steak dinner.  He cooked a wonderful meal and afterwards we relaxed, with wine, in front of the chiminea.  Obviously, the chiminea is one of my favorite places.

This may not seem like a very exciting birthday, but George understands that I don’t celebrate a birthDAY.  Oh no, my celebration entails a birthMONTH.  We have to pace ourselves.

Saturday we attended the memorial services for our friend who passed away recently.  It really was a lovely service.  Tears were flowing.  A good friend will be missed.  The memorial was at the Elks Lodge on the beach.  After the service everyone went to the food and bar.  We visited with many friends.  Many thanks go out to our wonderful SOB ladies who planned, prepared, hosted, and cleaned for this memorial to a wonderful man.

Hurricane Sandy killed 11 people in Cuba and proceeded along its path north until it collided into 2 additional storms and hit New York and the surrounding areas.  It was only a category one hurricane, but the combination with the other storms and hitting in the location that it did, was devastating.  Our thoughts and prayers have been with all of those people.  Sandy closed down New York City.  We watched the news and all of the photos on the internet.   Memories of Hurricane Ivan kept flooding our thoughts. 

A friend of mine posted a question on Facebook today:  How long would you survive where you live if utilities and transportation STOPPED? No water, sewer, electricity or food coming to the stores?”  Interesting questions.  I don’t think we would have too hard a time.  In Florida you can always dig for water.  It is there.  The garden and knowing what plants are edible would suffice for food, not to mention fishing and seafood.  We even have the bamboo that we could use for fishing poles.  If there is nothing to buy at the store, there is little need for transportation other than walking or bicycling.  I even have my grandmother’s treadle sewing machine.  Aside from fire, there is solar cooking and heating.  Our big problem would be cooling and finding coffee.  The biggest problem, I think, would be crime.    People who do not know how to survive tend to loot.

This week I have spent hours surfing the web and scouring Pinterest for handmade Christmas gift ideas.  Good gosh, the internet has tutorials on everything.  If you don’t like to read a tutorial, there are plenty of tutorial videos available.  There is no need to ever throw away fabric or paper.  The internet is littered with uses for these.  Aluminum cans have a million recycled purposes, as well.   There are all kinds of craft projects using plastic of every kind.  If that’s not good enough, there are crafts projects for organizing all of these craft supplies.  It is just so amazing what the internet has done for everyone.

With that said, it is time to be thinking of Christmas presents.  What to make?  What to purchase?

·         Cookies, cakes, fudge, bread, etc., are always wonderful gifts.  Print out the recipe on pretty cardstock and tie with a nice bow.

·         Do a theme present such as kitchenware.  Buy or make a potholder mitt and fill it with wooden spoons, whisk, spatula, etc.  Tie a pretty bow around the middle.

·         A set of napkins with pretty napkin rings.  These are easily made and there are many tutorials online with a wealth of design ideas.

·         I recently saw a cute idea.  Place settings for the table included a burlap pocket with a flower on top.  The silverware was inserted into the burlap pocket and all was placed on top of the napkin.

·         Burlap, muslin and linen with their earth tones are very popular right now.

·         Cool looking spice dispensers.

·         Garden apron with packets of seeds in the pockets.

·         A basket for the garden with a handle, insert seeds or plants, gloves, potting soil, fertilizer, seedling pots, small hoes or rakes and garden utensils.  Even an outdoor thermometer or rain gauge.

·         Soaps, bath salts, scrub cloth, towel, lotions, etc.

Yesterday a lady contacted me for heirloom looking handkerchiefs for her Nana’s birthday.  Of course, they were made and initialed in the corner using a small diamond shaped monogram.  They looked very nice and the customer was please with the results and that we could get this done so fast.

Have a wonderful week.
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. 
No time to read Cajun Corner?  Visit our blog at and click the Odiogo button to hear the computer read the blog.
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Taken from Pinterest:  Homemade toothpaste! Here's a cheap and much better alternative to commercial toothpaste. Supplies: -5 Tbs baking soda -4 Tbs coconut oil -About 10 drops of essential oil. (I used peppermint) -Container (Make sure it has a lid. Baking soda will absorb smells if left to open air.) -*You can also add a bit of stevia or other natural sweetener if you're used to a sweeter toothpaste.
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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.