Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cajun Corner – Vol. 6, No. 22 – October 7, 2014



Cajun Corner – Vol. 6, No. 22 – October 7, 2014

Bon Jour!  Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.
 
ΘΘΘΘΘ
Don’t forget to visit us at www.cajunstitchery.com, www.flickr.com/photos/cajunstitchery, and, www.cajunstitchery.etsy.com often.   We are also on Twitter and Facebook. 
Visit our on-line catalogs at:

Did you miss me?  Hopefully the computer issues are now totally resolved.
It has been an entire month since the last Cajun Corner went out.  A lot of stuff has happened.  We’ve lost a few friends.  We’ve gained a few friends.  Summer has turned into Fall.  This weekend the time changes and we fall back an hour.  Don’t forget to set your clocks; although, with all of the technology, the clocks pretty much change themselves.
It is time to look forward and imagine some fabulous embroidery.

Chenille is the topic today.  Do you remember times gone by when you would drive down the road to see chenille bedspreads hanging on the side of the road for sale in little mom and pop roadside stands?  Chenille has a pretty interesting history. 
There is some controversy about the beginnings of chenille.  Some believe it began hundreds of years ago with the French knot technique of embroidery.  Chenille is French for caterpillar.  Move forward to the 1700’s.  Alexander Buchanan is credited with introducing chenille to Scotland by weaving a leno fabric (a strong, sheer, weaved fabric) and cutting that fabric into strips to create chenille yarn.  This chenille yarn was then made into soft, fuzzy shawls.
This technique was refined over the years.  In the 1890’s Catherine Evans of Dalton, Georgia revived the chenille and candlewicking embroidery technique into hand tufted bedspreads which she sold locally.  She used strips of cotton sheeting to make her tufted bedspreads.  Her little cottage industry took off.  In order to fill her orders, she hired women in her community and taught them to make the chenille bedspreads.  They would stamp designs onto the sheeting and fill with the chenille tufting.  By 1918 her business grew to such an extent that she took on a partner and sold chenille items to retail stores up and down the east coast.  Many families in this area survived the Great Depression by making and selling chenille bedspreads by setting up roadside stands and offering their bedspreads for sale.
The popularity of chenille has been revived several times since the days of Catherine Evans.  Eventually, the chenille process in Dalton, GA became carpeting.  In fact, 90 percent of worldwide wall-to-wall carpeting production is done within a 30-mile radius of Dalton.
You may be asking what this has to do with Cajun Stitchery and custom embroidery.  The answer is that Clothilde has learned how to make chenille.  The “micro” chenille created on the embroidery machine is the chenille found in varsity letters.  In fact, Clothilde can make varsity letters.  Let’s not limit Clothilde to just varsity letters, though.  Many monograms and letter styles, as well as other designs, can be digitized into chenille stitches.  The beauty is that chenille provides a texture to the monogram or design and the little yarn tufts do not pull out like they used to do on the bedspreads.
Cajun Stitchery’s Etsy store is having a big sale.  These items have been slashed up to 50% off.  Once they are gone, they are not coming back.
There are also some adorable new baby bib designs available in our Etsy store. 
HAVE A GREAT WEEK

If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email cajunstitchery@yahoo.com and let me know to put you on our email list. 

No time to read Cajun Corner?  Visit our blog at www.cajunstitchery.blogspot.com and click the Odiogo button to hear the computer read the blog.

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, September 7, 2014

Cajun Corner – Vol. 6, No. 21 – September 7, 2014

Cajun Corner – Vol. 6, No. 21 – September 7, 2014

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

ΘΘΘΘΘ
Don’t forget to visit us at www.cajunstitchery.com, www.flickr.com/photos/cajunstitchery, and, www.cajunstitchery.etsy.com often.   We are also on Twitter and Facebook. 

Visit our on-line catalogs at:

This has been a very rough week.  Most of the Labor Day weekend was spent working on a rush order for a left chest logo that was needed on Monday.  Tuesday was going to be our Labor Day holiday.  When Tuesday arrived I received a disturbing call from one of my Nereid sisters telling me that one of our youngest members was in the hospital.  She suffered from a cardiac arrest Monday morning and had been in an induced coma ever since because of the time she went without oxygen to her brain caused swelling in her brain.  I sat at the hospital on Tuesday with the family and one of my fine finned sisters.  Although she was still in a coma, the medical staff was bringing her out of the coma.  I was able to visit with her, although she was still comatose.  The medical staff brought her out of the coma on Wednesday morning and the neurologist was able to perform an EEG which revealed a complete lack of brain activity.  Since one of her brothers suffered from kidney failure and was on dialysis, the family decided that her kidneys should be donated to him.  The protocol for that procedure took a day or two and turned out that they were not a match.  The family then decided that her kidneys, and other salvageable organs would be donated and she would be able to help at least 3 additional people.  She was taken off of life support this past Friday at noon.
Needless to say work was not a top priority this week.

A few orders did come in from our Etsy store which, of course, were filled and shipped.
This weekend I have gone through all of the items in our Etsy store and placed 94 items in a Sale category.  A lot of the sale items are marked down at least 50%.  If you are looking for Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers, please browse around the store.
This year we have had a few issues with the post office not delivering our items.  The only way I know to track through the mail is via priority mail.  The policies in our Etsy store have changed.  The default is 3 day priority mail, and first class mail upon request.  Shipping to Canada remains the same, first class mail, because priority mail is outrageously expensive to Canada.

Another addition to our Etsy store are a few fall and Halloween items.  Only a couple of Christmas items have been listed at this time but I do plan to list more.
All in all, I just want to get rid of the old stuff in order to make room for newly created new stuff.  As always, I am open to ideas and critiques.  So, bring it on.  What do you like about the shop and your shopping experience?  What don’t you like?  Got any ideas on improvements?
George found two old dining chairs that were left over from the previous homeowner or somehow got in our garage.  He took the seats off and painted the chairs white, at my request.  I plan to recover the seats with, of course, embroidery.  I just have to decide on the design.  You can never have too much seating.
Last year I was looking for large bolts of fabric to make curtains for the studio.  I found an online site out of New York that seemed to have what I needed.  All I wanted was plain, white muslin.  I purchased 100 yards of plain, white muslin and received a fabric that did not appear to be muslin.  It turned out that it was 100% polyester muslin.  That was pretty difficult for me to understand.  In my mind, muslin is a 100% cotton fabric.  I went back to the site and found they offer 100% cotton muslin and 100% polyester muslin.  After a little research I found that you can purchase about any kind of fabric you want in polyester or a poly-blend.  The polyester fabric is, of course, cheap.  The truth is that I’ve just about used up my 100 yards of white polyester muslin on a myriad of items.  It is strong but doesn’t have the nice cotton feel to it.  However, it goes against my “all natural” side.  I later purchased 75 yards of 100% cotton, red muslin from the same company and I am satisfied with that purchase.  I really like the company because although they are the middle man, they state that they purchase only from mills in the USA.  Their fabric is all made here.
The same issue appeared recently when I purchased chiffon scarves from a different wholesaler.  The caption stated that they were 100% chiffon.  When they arrived, I found them to have the same feel as chiffon.  The tag says “100% poly – Made in China.”  I suppose they are 100% poly-chiffon.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK

If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email cajunstitchery@yahoo.com and let me know to put you on our email list. 
No time to read Cajun Corner?  Visit our blog at www.cajunstitchery.blogspot.com and click the Odiogo button to hear the computer read the blog.

Natural Nail Polish Remover:

Pour equal parts vinegar and lemon juice into a small bowl and soak a few cotton balls in mixture. Meanwhile, soak your hands in a basin of warm water for 10 minutes to loosen the polish a bit. Apply the cotton balls on the nail and leave on for 20-30 seconds. Wipe off the polish gently. Repeat if needed.

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, August 24, 2014

Cajun Corner – Vol. 6, No. 20 – August 24, 2014

Cajun Corner – Vol. 6, No. 20 – August 24, 2014

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

ΘΘΘΘΘ
Don’t forget to visit us at www.cajunstitchery.com, www.flickr.com/photos/cajunstitchery, and, www.cajunstitchery.etsy.com often.   We are also on Twitter and Facebook. 

Visit our on-line catalogs at:


Let’s just get this anniversary story going.  What I decided to do for George was hire a chef to come to the studio and cook us a very nice anniversary meal.  I got in touch with a friend who is a chef and she agreed.  I was so excited about this.  I even kept the secret from George, which is not an easy thing for me to do.  Our anniversary was on a Thursday.  That Wednesday morning I turned on FaceBook, as usual, and there was an X-ray of my chef’s hip and leg.  She was in an accident the day before.  I contacted her to find out her status and she said she would be slow because she was on crutches but she fully intended to cook that meal for us.  I had my doubts but was so excited about my grocery surprise.  Thursday she contacted me.  She was in a lot of pain and would have to cancel.  Well, bummer.  Now what?  At least I was able to tell George the wonderful plan I had.  We had Chinese take out for dinner and watched a movie.  Please don’t feel sad for us because the next night, Friday night, we went to Paradise for dinner.  I had posted on FaceBook for friends to join us for our little celebration.  When we arrived one of my sweet Nereid sisters, Chrissy and her husband, Mike, were waiting for us.  We had a delightful dinner together.  Chrissy and Mike then left and I was surprised that one of our very best friends in the world showed up with her mother and great niece.  Suzie is more family than friend.  She has been with us through every major (and minor) event since we moved to Pensacola.  We visited and had a wonderful time.  Then my friend, Angela, and her husband Keith arrived.  Angela, like Suzie, is more family than friend.  In fact, Keith likes to say that Angela wouldn’t have married him if it wasn’t that Suzie and I insisted.  Not only insisted but I performed the wedding ceremony.  After awhile I looked up and another friend, Lisa, appeared.  I hadn’t seen Lisa is many years and we had a lot of catching up to do.  We had so much fun that George said we need to do this every week.  Things always work out for the best and even though I still think the chef idea was a fabulous idea, we had a simply splendid anniversary.
This summer has been very busy at Cajun Stitchery.  Aside from in-town orders, the Etsy handkerchiefs are having a bumper year, especially the lace handkerchiefs.  As you know, I get so tickled at all of the writing these young ladies want on these handkerchiefs.  One lady wanted a lace handkerchief for the groom’s mom and for her mother.  The lace handkerchief has less space for writing than most because the lace takes up the space.  This lady had long sentiments, for a handkerchief, and no matter how I played with the embroidery digitizing, the wording simply was not going to fit in the ¼ hanky area customary for monograms and wording.  I suggest she try another style but she had so much wording that it wouldn’t fit in that ¼ area on any of the handkerchiefs.  Not to mention that she had her heart set on a certain font that just would not stitch out as small as it would need to be.  The end result was letting the wording flow into the rest of the handkerchief and not stay in the ¼ area.  They turned out beautiful and she was very pleased.
I received a call one day from a panicked bride-to-be in Milton.  She needed 2 handkerchiefs: one for mother of the groom and one for mother of the bride.  Problem: she called on a Wednesday and the wedding was the following Saturday.  And, I had other orders ahead of her.  I wasn’t sure I would have time to get this done for her but she was desperate.  Rather than driving to my house, I told her to get on Etsy and go to my shop; then message me that she is the girl I talked to; and she could pick the handkerchief she desired from the Etsy store.  It worked perfectly.  The order was placed, paid, and I made the handkerchiefs.  The only trip required was her fiancé picking up the handkerchiefs.  They were already paid on-line so he didn’t have to bother with anything but the pick up.
We mailed another handkerchief this morning to a lady in California who is getting married next week.  Another goes out Monday to Michigan.
One of the beauties of the wedding handkerchiefs is the stories that go with the orders.  They have either waited too long and are in a hurry to get the hankies, or they want everything just perfect and want to go through every detail.  I think it is so sweet.  I spend much more time on these handkerchiefs than I get paid, but it is kind of nice to think that someone is carrying or gifting something that I made on one of the most special days of their life.  Every bride deserves to have something very beautiful and special.
Since the handkerchiefs are such a hit and because I am a bonafide fabric-holic, I purchased 3 bolts of satin: white, ivory, and black.  The handkerchief section needs to have new and special items.  I’m going to design some satin handkerchiefs and see if the brides like that. 
For a week in early August we had onesie week.  It seemed like all orders were for onesies.  In addition to the orders, I had some baby birthdays and showers to tend to myself.  The shower was for a baby boy who is to be named Cruz.  For some reason I got the name Chaz stuck in my head.  I did some really cute monogramming for Chaz.  When I was ready to wrap the gift, thank goodness, I looked at the invitation and saw Cruz.  Well, there is no taking out these stitches.  I ended up monogramming a baby bib and baby cap.  Of course, they never knew what happened.  So, if anyone knows a newborn named Chaz, I have a couple of really cute onesies that I’ll sell cheap.
Then my computer crashed and died.  Thank you Shelley for telling me about Joe Stukey, who now has my computer.  Things I’ve learned from past experiences with computers may have saved the business. 
#1.  The only things that I keep on the C drive are my programs; never my files and documents.  Files and documents are kept on an external hard drive, flash drives, and Dropbox.

#2.  Always, always, always make recovery disks and keep them where you can find them.

#3.  Back up everything and do it often.
Our newer computers have Windows 8, the older ones have Windows 7.  I had made recovery disks for Windows 7 but didn’t know how to do it for Windows 8.  The computer guy said that Windows 8 is the first one that will allow you to copy the recovery disks onto a flash drive.  He made a recovery flash drive for George’s computer and I’m still trying to figure it out for mine, but we will get it done.
The other thing that saved the business is that we each have 2 laptops.  Now that my Windows 7 laptop is in the shop, I’m using my Windows 8 laptop.
HAVE A GREAT WEEK
If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email cajunstitchery@yahoo.com and let me know to put you on our email list. 
No time to read Cajun Corner?  Visit our blog at www.cajunstitchery.blogspot.com and click the Odiogo button to hear the computer read the blog.
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.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Cajun Corner – Vol. 6, No. 19 – August 2, 2014


 

 


 
Cajun Corner – Vol. 6, No. 19 – August 2, 2014

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

 

ΘΘΘΘΘ

Don’t forget to visit us at www.cajunstitchery.com, www.flickr.com/photos/cajunstitchery, and, www.cajunstitchery.etsy.com often.   We are also on Twitter and Facebook. 

Visit our on-line catalogs at:



Does size really matter?  Sometimes in embroidery it does matter.  With that said, I want to inform you it is my understanding Cajun Stitchery now owns the biggest hoop in the embroidery industry.  It is not so much the size of the outside of the hoop as it is the footprint of the hoop and machine.  Any machine has its limits.  On embroidery machines you can go just so far side-to-side and up and down.  That is known as the X and Y axis.  Flashback to algebra, huh?  Our new hoop has a stitching footprint of 16” wide and 14.75” tall.  That is very big.  Of course, if you turn the design sideways it can be 14.75 x 16.  Just to test the new hoop, I enlarged a fleur de lis to these dimension and stitched it out.  Of course, I don’t have any designs that large now but we can now make them that large.  You aren’t going to buy designs that size, either, unless they are custom designed.  That’s not to say that other machines and other hoops cannot complete a design that size.  They can but not in one hooping.

It is now August.  George and I will be celebrating our 44th wedding anniversary on August 14th.  George did a little research and found that the traditional wedding gift for a 44th anniversary is groceries.  Yep, you read that right.  George said he’s going grocery shopping for our anniversary.  I’m still thinking about what to give him.  He’s not a big fan of sweets.  Maybe I’ll just take him out to dinner but that is just so blasé.  Any ideas?

We have added a new category to our Etsy store for Wedding Miscellaneous.  There are little and big corset bags, Just Married luggage tags, Mr. and Mrs. Luggage tags, and a few other items.  Hopefully, more items will be included as time goes by. 

The new category is because so many people want to purchase unique gifts for wedding and baby showers, as well as birthdays but unique items are either too expensive or not special enough.  I’m going to try to do some items to help out.  I know there are years when it is one wedding after another; then there are years with a multitude of baby showers (usually the year after the weddings).  The pocketbook tends to start shrinking after a few of these showers.  Practically speaking, I would think you can never go wrong with diapers for baby showers, but so many of the young people these days are going with the holistic and environmental thing and you don’t know what kind of diapers to get.  Monograms are always in vogue and appreciated.  They aren’t very expensive, either.  If I can hoop it; I can monogram it.  Yes, even diapers.  And, I have monogrammed disposable diapers.

A friend of mine suggested that I include the following, from a conversation we were having, in this week’s Cajun Corner:

Texture question:  Yes, different textures are digitized differently, not to mention there are different techniques in embroidering different textures.  For example:  if we are embroidering on light linen or cotton, like a sheet, heavy embroidery would be too much and look funky.  You want something light on a light fabric.  Heavy embroidery could tear a light fabric.  However, if you are working on a heavier fabric like the primitive linen, you would want a heavier design so that the embroidery would not look washed away.  Heavier fabric requires an underlay most of the time. 

 

Remember the pillowcases that I made?  Remember the embroidery on the edge compared to the embroidery as you had me change it.  It was the same design but adding the underlay made the embroidery stands out, have texture, and look more elegant.

 

If you are using toweling, velvet, corduroy, anything with a pile, you need to digitize to help the design stand above the pile and/or keep the pile down.  A lot of that is also in the embroidery technique used.

 

Leather, plastics, netting and card stock need the embroidery with longer spaces between the stitches so the fabric is not ripped.

 

So, in a lot of respects the fabric determines how a design is digitized.

 

Price-wise, more stitches = more cost.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK

If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email cajunstitchery@yahoo.com and let me know to put you on our email list. 

No time to read Cajun Corner?  Visit our blog at www.cajunstitchery.blogspot.com and click the Odiogo button to hear the computer read the blog.

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, July 13, 2014

Cajun Corner – Vol. 6, No. 18 – July 13, 2014



 
Cajun Corner – Vol. 6, No. 18 – July 13, 2014

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

 

ΘΘΘΘΘ

Don’t forget to visit us at www.cajunstitchery.com, www.flickr.com/photos/cajunstitchery, and, www.cajunstitchery.etsy.com often.   We are also on Twitter and Facebook. 

Visit our on-line catalogs at:



First of all, we have a new catalog website: http://www.my-catalogs.com/cajunstitchery/

This website takes the place of the older “imprints” website.  Hope this one works better.  Now if I can just figure out how to link it to the blog and Cajun Stitchery website that would be great.  Browse around and look at some of the great items Cajun Stitchery sells.  Bulk orders do get discounts.  I’m not sure if the catalog allows for that but if not, contact me for the discount.

What is all of this hoopla about the movie Frozen?  Cajun Stitchery now has the Frozen embroidery designs.  However, to pitch the designs properly, we needed to see the movie.  George got the movie Friday and we’ve now watched it three times.  Love it.  Of course, we have always loved cartoons.  The music, the art, everything about this movie is, well, pretty terrific.  If you have children, grandchildren, younger nieces, or other children in your lives, especially girls, make sure you get them Frozen everything.  Go to our catalog and pick out something and we can do the embroidery.  My favorite character is Olaf.  Don’t forget that we can always include the child’s name or monogram in the design.

With Frozen in mind, it is not too early to start Christmas shopping.  In fact, a lady contacted me wanting one of our large laundry bags in our Etsy store.  Instead of white, she wanted red fabric.  Instead of being so large, 24” x 38”, she wanted 24” x 24”.  Instead of a plain sack she wanted “Santa’s Toy Bag” embroidered on it.  We put the design together with Santa, sleigh, and 8 tiny reindeer flying through the sky to a Christmas tree with the wording “Santa’s Toy Bag” embroidered on it. 

I suggested to the lady that we include the child’s name.  However, she informed me that the child, who turns 8 years old today, believes that he really is Santa.  She just wanted him to have a sack to carry his stuff over his shoulder.  Well, it takes all kinds.  As Elsa says in Frozen, “Let it go.”

The past two weeks have been consumed with a continuous embroidery design project.  The project was 315” of continuous embroidery.  I think it turned out beautiful.  There sure is a lot of measuring and math involved.  As a child, I remember thinking I’d never use this stuff in real life.  Not a day goes by where I’m not using the math, algebra, and trigonometry.  Sewing is all about mathematics.

I am working on some more continuous embroidery at this time, trying to prefect various types.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK

If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email cajunstitchery@yahoo.com and let me know to put you on our email list. 

No time to read Cajun Corner?  Visit our blog at www.cajunstitchery.blogspot.com and click the Odiogo button to hear the computer read the blog.

Thanks Sandy for the following and yes, I can relate:

SET A NEW PASSWORD  CAN YOU RELATE?
 
COMPUTER   SCREEN:   Please enter your new password.
 
USER:   cabbage
 
COMPUTER   SCREEN:   Sorry, the password must be more than 8 characters.
 
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character.
 
USER:   1 boiledcabbage
 
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USER:   50BloodyBoiledCabbagesShovedUpYourAssIfYouDon'tGiveMeAccessNow!
 
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USER:
ReallyPissedOff50BloodyBoiledCabbagesShovedUpYourAssIfYouDontGiveMeAccessNow
 
COMPUTER SCREEN:  Sorry, that password is already in use
 
 
 
 
 

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.