Tuesday, December 11, 2018


          November/December 2018 Blog
Don't Forget -Find Discount 20% Code for all new books you want.
Let's Pause and Reflect Before We Rush Headlong into 2019.

2019?  I can remember when we turned the calendar to 2000 as if it were just the other day. Do you remember the fuss and anxiety we computer users went through about that calendar change?  What was going to happen when 1999 turned over to the new millennium? The world was on alert as was I. I ordered in two new computers just in case.  Luckily I discovered a new computer person who for the past nineteen years has updated us, fixed problems and brought new machines into our lives and became a friend.  Unfortunately, he passed away on September 5th of this year.  Mark and I miss him in our lives.  We lost three other friends as well and I think I will always look on this past year as the year of loss. But we also gained a new great grandchild, Myka, and cherish this new life very much.

All this made me realize how much we rush through each day and I think we all do so much including talking on phones, jobs, preparing meals and trying to keep order in our homes and lives. We all take on too much (I'm looking in the mirror as I think about this.) Maybe before we enter the unknown world of 2019 we should stop and think about what 2018 was about.  If you keep a calendar of all your appointments and events or perhaps even a diary to go back to  take a peek and see what your life was about in 2018.  Me, I take thinking time once a week (at least) and review what was in my life for those seven days.  Now I've started in keeping not only a calendar but a diary. (I don't write in it every day - every three days or so.  I must say it has been eye-opening about where my time goes.) 

Life is short and time is our most important resource. I want to use this gift of time to my best ability. This year four friends had their lives cut short. Too short and unexpectedly. I woke up to sudden endings.  I came to see keeping track of my precious time is important.  I think a diary makes a wonderful Christmas present to ourselves and friends and family.  And if the unexpected happens our journals can be a gift to those in our lives who go on. The end of the year is also a great time to label all our needlework projects with the information about each one and who may to have it.  And most of all, finish all those UFO's stored somewhere for "later".  Lets make time to finish our projects. (discount code: happy18)

I wish all of you Happy Holidays and a great New Year!  Enjoy each day and don't sweat the little things.  See you next year!

I've included a selection of blank journals below for you to peruse.  Remember that old Chinese Proverb: "The palest ink is better than the most retentive memory."

Watercolor Poppies Journal - This lovely cover welcomes us to write whatever we want into this blank book, 5"x 7" with 160 pages for our thoughts, needlework projects, or whatever else you desire. $8.99

Tiffany Window Journal - I found this cover very inviting and a reminder of the artistic mind of a great artist.  The pages are made of archival/acid-free paper and are 7 1/4" x 9". The journal is made to lie flat for easy use.  $15.99

Old World Journal - This old world design cover is embossed with gold foil filigree and includes travel quotes throughout. The journal is 6.4" x 9" high and includes 160 pages.  If travel is on your wish list this might be the journal for you.  $14.99

Creative Ramblings of a Restless Mind Journal - This journal sounds suitable for me!  I definitely have a restless mind always wanting to learn something new. This journal is 7.4" x 5" and is perfect for drawing, writing, and visual thinking of all kinds. The cover is decorated with gold foil and the pages are creamy off-white.  $13.00

Grumpy Cat Flexi Journal with Stickers - It is said that misery loves company, so jot down your personal musings and highlight them with stickers featuring everyone's favorite grump. This journal has 192 pages and is 7"x5" in size. $10.95

Cat Tales Journal - If you prefer your cats with a more pleasant disposition then take a peak at this  journal where the cover is alive with multiple cats at play all over the 7"x5".  160 pages.  Inside the back cover a pocket holds notes, reminders, business card, etc. $8.99

Nevertheless She Persisted Journal - I definitely got a laugh out of that title. I feel I've lived that this past year and maybe you have too.  The journal is 7"x5" with 160 embossed pages.  $8.99

Needleworkers should keep a diary - if not about your personal life at least about your stitching with photos of each completed piece not just for yourself but for posterity. Of course a diary can be kept in a simple notebook but I'm not of that school. If it is worth writing down and meant to last for generations your journal deserve a beautiful cover for posterity. How about a hand embroidered cover? How neat is that! And I vote for hand written. I do like writing on a computer but a diary is so personal I write it by hand. But whatever way you chose, it is creating an autobiography of sorts.  Have fun!

Michele Roberts: A Dream of a Needleworker and Writer of Great Needlework Books
   "The crowning fortune of man is to be born to some pursuit 
         which finds him employment and happiness, whether it     
      be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statues,
         or songs."   - Ralph Waldo Emerson -

Ralph Waldo Emerson was so right when he wrote those words and what I love most about being with fellow needleworkers is that they
are so passionate about what they do. Michele Roberts is no exception, not only does she love what she does but she brings an extra dimension to this love, she has purposely developed her art into part of her faith. Not a word is necessary to understand what she believes; she lives it, breathes it and needle works it. The designs she creates reflect s her personal relationship with God using the symbols we humans have created to represent the creator.

Symbols crop up everywhere in our world, after all the human brain, "sees in pictures" and a picture we know is worth a thousand words. As John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) wrote, "Nature speaks in symbols and signs," Any good artist knows this and their work holds a secret message given to us in powerful images.  If these images aren't understood, we miss the point of the work even if we do enjoy the picture (or might I add needlework). Michele has done an in-depth study of Christian crosses and symbols and also uncovered the history and meaning of royal jewels. She has given us a great place to learn about symbols that have been used in great art or in a religious faith.

Part of Michele's studies took her took the Royal School of Needlework in England (for which she received the level of Distinction) and has been a Senior Master Teacher in the American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) for which she received the honorary Chottie Alderson and Massachusetts Scholarships for her work. She also completed her Cities and Guilds Certificate in Stumpwork at the Embroidery Guild of America's (EGA) Fiber Forum. That is just to name a few of her many awards.

Embroidery has been her love since early childhood though she took another path at first, after a B.A. from Rice University and M.B.A. in Finance and a career as a bank vice-president, she found her way back to her first love managing to take those classes at the Royal School of Needlework and from the Embroiderer's Guild, United Kingdom. She had also completed her stumpwork certification under the tutelage of Kay Dennis, the author of stumpwork books.

Someone, whose name now escapes me, once said, "Art is the accomplice of love. Take love away and there is no longer art." Michele's needlework designs and books are so popular because the love of what she does shines through.

Below is a list of books Michele has in-print. I've also included Kay Dennis's stumpwork book and some of Chottie's design books among other great needlework books that are classics. After all, taking a step backwards sometimes leads to a confident leap forward.


Roberts, Michele - Christian Symbols: 36 Ornaments for St. Luke's Church - These ornaments done in gold and white are simply stunning! Not only are these symbols beautifully done but each one comes with well-researched information about it's meaning. Michele includes the instructions to needlepoint these beautiful symbols.  $29.95

Roberts, Michele - 50 Crosses Charted for Needlepoint - I never knew so many crosses existed and was unaware of their meanings. What an amazing collection and reference book for crosses. She includes line drawing, charts, instructions, stitch glossary and diagrams with finishing tips.  $39.95

Roberts, Michele - Crosses in Color: 50 Crosses Charted for Needlepoint - Another 50 amazing crosses all in color. Again, she presents us a gift of another great resource book of crosses but fantastic ornaments as well. Again it comes with charts, stitching, instructions, stitch glossary and diagrams as well as color photos of the crosses.  $44.95

Roberts, Michele - Needlepoint Birthstone Jewels: Inspired by the Famous Jewels of History - Each of twelve month's birthstones are turned into twelve needlepoint projects with all instructions and charting needed to complete these jewels. The bonus here is that all the gems are researched and a story of famous piece of jewelry is told as well.  $44.00

Roberts, Michele - Broad Stripes and Bright Stars: A Needlepoint Star-Spangled Banner - This needlepoint flag is divided into 269 squares. She includes dozens of extra stitches from the ones not used in this flag, so this book actually has 366! Large, clear graphs for the stitches that include the direction your thread should go for each stitch.  See also includes a pattern for a flag ornament to match the flag!  Have fun!  $30.00

Dennis, Kay and Michael - Stumpwork Embroidery - Learn stumpwork from two experts, and remember Kay taught Michele Roberts this needlework art. This guide combines their three stumpwork books into one great resource. They show you how to create stumpwork and needlelace plants, animals and figures, whatever your ability.  This book features clear step-by-step techniques and inventive projects making it an essential guide to the art of stumpwork.  $25.95

Next are several favorites by Chottie Alderson:

The Furth Sampler - Chottie may no longer be with us but her work is still requested. After a brief, interesting history of the sampler that was originally worked in the 1860's. This lovely sampler can be worked two ways: One panel: l long piece is 106" long and 12" wide. Or for two panels: 2 pieces 57" long and 12" wide.  Chottie included all instructions and materials needed to complete this needlework project and charts with color key and lots of instructions so you won't be alone through the entire process.  $70.00

Lady Bug Picnic - I love these lady bugs! The design is 146 stitches high and 105 stitches wide and worked on white Aida fabric with DMC floss in cross-stitch. Depending on the count fabric the size will vary from 14.60" x 10.50" on 10 count fabric to 6.08" x 4.38" if on 24 count fabric.  So that is up to you.  $15.00


Gone Stitching - Got Stitches? - This neat little book about 5" wide and 7" high and spiral-bound and full of multi-layered stitches categorizes stitches by the number of threads per each stitch. Whether you have two, three, or four different threads, they have the perfect stitch for you. They also include chapters on trame and trellis stitches.  All stitches are graphed out in color!  $25.00

Minieri, Anthony - Stars For a New Millenium - This is a classic since published in 2000.  The design is a study in color, texture, stitch and thread. Each square is based on a traditional star quilt pattern in needlepoint and is named after a star from Hollywood's Golden Age. He's included great b/w graphs and each pattern graphed in color.  Lots of explanations as you go.  $54.95

Thomas, Cynthia - Noses, Roses and Other Fun Stuff - How can anyone resist a title like that? I get a big smile just reading it. Cynthia has been around the block with lots of needlework books and this one includes lots of information and all projects in color with handy graphs when needed.  $35.00

Carolyn Pearce - Home Sweet Home: An Embroidered Workbox - This wonderful project sells all the time and is popular with needlework groups to take this on as a project for all to work separately but while together.  Beautiful color photos, detailed instructions and diagrams provide everything you need to embroider and construct with beautiful workbox and the matching accessories.  This award-winning design includes a full-size pattern sheet and over 100 step-by-step photos.  $39.95


Wait a minute! Where's your cup of tea? Your Snack? I need those things when I'm selecting new books.  Makes choosing books yummy.  I'm sipping tea right now.  Join me.  And take a peek at these new books.

Abbondio, Sarah - Crocheted Cactuses - Enjoy crocheting these 16 cactuses using simple crochet stitches and widely available yarn. Some are embellished with beads and others have ridges, flowers, bobbles, and look just like the real thing. All these cactuses need is a plant pot to sit it and they need no care and have no sharp spines to stick you.  With a short techniques section at the beginning of the book to get you started, you can make an entire display in no time. Just pick up a hook and go!  $9.95

Mackay, Moy - The Art of Moy Mackay: An inspirational guide to painting with felted fibres and stitch - The renowned Scottish felt artist, Moy Mackay, sold about 30,000 copies of her first book, Art in Felt and Stitch.  She now shows us how to find inspiration for your own felt painting creations, helping you develop your own original ideas. Moy takes you through every step of her felted painting process, including the materials and tools you need, the process itself (easier than you think) and how to put together four fabulous felt painting of varying subjects. There is guidance on stitching - both by hand and machine as well as how to use colour and introduce texture in the form of different fibres and threads. There are numerous examples of Moy's work throughout the book, evoking the dramatic scenery of the Scottish Borders where she lives and works, providing more inspiration for your own paintings. $35.00 

McKean-Smith, Donna - A Beginner's Guide to Kumihimo - Learn the basics of Kumihimo braiding and beading to create more than 12 pieces of jewelry. This colorful and informative beginner's guide to the craft explains how to use a circular kumihimo disc and a variety of braids and beads plus color and style variations for any occasions. Kumihimo is an easy, take along craft to work wherever you are.  $13.95

Rhiannon, Helen - Sew Perfect Pets - 18 fresh and functional animal-themed designs to sew for your family an home. From useful items such as an owl doorstop, a snake draught excluder and a sheep hot water bottle cover to an elephant tea cozy, fox pillow and doggy oven mitt. For the kiddies Helen has also included
beautiful cat and dog toys and an animal-shaped apron. Key techniques and basic materials are detailed at the beginning of the book, and all of the projects include easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions. Templates for all the animals are provided on a fold-out sheet at the back of the books.  For sewers of all abilities. $19.95

Roberts, Kat - Crafting for Cat Ladies - Hmm, how handy that her first name is Kat. In this book she brings us 35 purr-fect projects divided into four sections: accessories, fashion, home and entertaining, with an extensive range of techniques, including sewing, applique, jewelry-making, embroidery and more. Paw-sitvely sure you'll have fun.  $16.95

Stratford, Sue - Sue Stratford's Knitted Aviary - Create your own flock of 21 knitted birds, from best-selling author and knitting designer Sue Stratford. Her book features beautifully clear colorwork charts that make patterns super-easy to follow whether you choose a seagull, puffin, flamingo, bullfinch or parakeet, your bird will take on a personality all of its own. Bet you can't make just one!  As well as the birds themselves, there are ideas for how to display them, and at the end of the book are instructions for a hanging nest, a felt nest box, branches, flowers and leaves along with all the templates you'll need.  $19.95



Alexander, Ellie - Live and Let Pie ( Bakeshop Mystery) - Life is sweet inside Torte, everybody's favorite small-town bakeshop. But what happens when it becomes the scene of a crime? Just when Jules thought she could enjoy some time away from the kitchen, she manages to discover a skull during a picnic by the lake. As if unearthing remains that may be connected to a missing-persons case from the 1960's isn't enough on her plate, Jules must contend with the unsolved matter of her own marriage while her estranged husband Carolos sails the open seas, awaiting a verdict. Then there's Jule's bitter landlord Edgar, who is intent on making a sweet deal on a vacant lot down the block from Torte - until he turns up dead. If only Jules could find a recipe that would let her bake her cake and eat it, too.  $7.99

Blackmoore, Stephanie - Gown with the Wind (Wedding Planner Mystery) - Mallory's fine - really - handling the wedding arrangements for her ex, Keith. But his fiancée, Becca, has at the last minute decided to switch from a Japanese - cherry blossom theme to a Gone with the Wind theme. She wants to honor her ailing grandmother, who owns an impressive collection of GWTW memorabilia - and who is fiercely at odds with the groom's mother over the nuptial plans. But among other complications, Becca gets into a fight with an old childhood rival over a replica Scarlett O'Hara wedding gown. She wins the dress - but soon becomes a murder suspect when the other woman is found dead in Becca's swimming pool. And it's up to Mallory to solve the mystery behind this unhappy occasion, before a different kind of civil war breaks out.  $7.99

Eaton, J.C. - Botched 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery) - A dead body is discovered at the Arizona retirement community where Sophie "Phee" Kimball's mother resides. At first an errant bocce ball is blamed. However, the police find an arrow in the victim's neck. It looks like this was no accident so Phee and her investigator boyfriend, Marshall, will have to team up to bounce a killer into the slammer.  $7.99

Finley, Mick - Arrowood (Arrowood Mystery #1) - This is not a cozy mystery. This darkly crime debut has been named one of the Top Twelve Mystery Novels of 2017 now in paperback.  In the dark corner of Southwark, London, victims of a serial killer turn to a man who despises Sherlock Holmes, his wealthy clientele and his showy forensic approach to crime: Arrowood-self-taught
psychologist, occasional drunkard, and private investigator.  When a man ysteriously disappears and Arrowood's best lead is viciously stabbed before his eyes, he and his sidekick, Barnett, face their toughest quest yet: to capture the head of the most notorious gang in London.  $7.99

Goldstein, Debra - One Taste Too Many (Sarah Blair Mystery #1) - DivorcZe, Sarah Blair is the polar opposite of her bubbly twin, Emily, an ambitious chef. After Sarah's ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by Emily's award-winning rhubarb crisp, culinary challenged Sarah must figure out the right recipe to crack the case. Includes quick and easy recipes. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death - being in the kitchen!  Includes quick and easy recipes. $7.99

Ross, Barbara - Steamed Open (Maine Clambake Mystery) - It's summertime in Busman's Harbor, Maine, but a mysterious new neighbor blocks access to the beach, cutting off the Snowden Family Clambake's supply. Julia Snowden is just one of the many townspeople angered by Bartholomew Frick. But who is angry enough to confront him and ends up the last person to see him alive - except for the person who stabs him in the neck with a clam rake. As she pores through a  long list of suspects, Julia meets disgruntled employees, rival heirs to the deceased fortune, and a pair of tourists determined to visit every lighthouse in America. They all have secrets, and Julia will have to work fast to expose the guilty party - or see this season's clam harvest dry up for good.  $7.99

Lee, Amanda - Better Off Thread - (Embroidery Mysteries) - Marcy is busy helping her customers make hand-crafted ornaments at her embroidery shop, the Seven-Year Stitch. But despite the yuletide bustle, when her friend Captain Moe asks for her help, she can't refuse especially when the favor is to play the elf to his Santa for sick children at a local hospital. Marcy finds herself enjoying her role as elf until the hospital's administrator is found murdered. Although the deceased had plenty of people willing to put coal in her stocking with coal, evidence pins the murder on Moe. Now it is up to Marcy, with the help of her police officer boyfriend, Ted, and her Irish Wolfhound Angus, to stitch together the clues to clear Moe's name before someone is crossed off Santa's list for good.  $7.99

Shelton, Paige - Lost Books and Old Bones (A Scottish Bookstore Mystery - Delaney Nichols is setting happily into her new life as a bookseller in Edinburgh, but after a medical student selling antique medical tomes - a friend of one of Delaney's customers - is found murdered, Delaney takes it upon herself to help bring the murderer to justice.  $7.99



If this is your first visit, I'd like to introduce you to our book business of 26 years. During this time we have set up bookshops for the ANG and EGA seminars and a variety of other needlework organizations as well as doing this blog.

Can't find a certain book? Please give us a call and we'll try to find it for you whether it is in or out-of-print.

Give us a call Monday through Saturday at: 602-943-0738. If you get the dreaded answering machine please don't be shy about leaving a message.  I'll get back to you ASAP.  Or you can e-mail me at rkern3@mindspring.com. Or you can mail me your order to: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

MOST IMPORTANT!  Look for the discount code hidden somewhere in this blog that gives you a 20% discount on any new book you order from this blog or the previous ones.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

. But

                     SEPT/OCT 2018 BLOG

                     "It is through art and through
                                          art only,
                              that  we can realize our perfection."
                                        - Oscar Wilde -

Oscar Wilde had a way with words and he never minced them and his wonderful observations were nearly always on target.  His observation on art I thought was brilliant.  He was a writer of plays and fiction and won acclaim in his lifetime. He also suffered great indignities that ended up breaking him and he died in poverty. But his art lives on.  His plays are still produced, his books still in print.  He realized his perfection through his art. 

Needlework is an art too.  When I was setting up bookshops at those great needlework seminars I got to see those fabulous needlework juried exhibits where needleworkers got to show off their perfection in the art of the needle.  I'm glad I didn't have to judge those shows as I found the pieces so perfect I couldn't have chose one above the other. 

I hope the books I select for this blog help with your inspiration so you can discover your own perfection through the art of the needle. 

Don't forget to look for the discount code below that entitles you to a 20% discount on any new book we offer.

UNIQUE BARGELLO by Jean Hilton is Finally Back in print!

All of Jean Hilton's books are fabulous. But this book I've had so many requests for I had to make sure all of you who have been asking for it know it is available.  She wrote in the introduction that she began satin-stitching when she was eight years old. Then, she adds, came satin stitching with crewel embroidery. "What is bargello, "she continues, "but stepped satin stitch?"  She goes on to add that today we don't have to use wool, that there are a plethora of threads waiting to stimulate our creative urges.

What makes her book on bargello "unique" is the fact that this is the first time, to her knowledge, that bargello designs with parallel miters had never been done before so she included some of those with traditional designs. The book is full of her color graphed designs and plenty of tips and directions.  Have fun!  $49.95

Jean was a master of the art of needlepoint designing and teaching. She never considered a mistake, a mistake. She saw those as an opportunity to "run with it" to see where that error will lead you. Occasionally that error can lead to a new combination of colors and fibers, to a new pattern of stitches, or to a new way of thinking. She says to see an example of a mistake developing into a new stitch, see the Plaited Rays in her books, Stimulating Stitches.  So I've included that and some of her books and patterns to stimulate your artistic creativity in needlework.

Jean Hilton's Needlepoint Stitches - This was her first book done in the late 1980's and is still requested today.  In this tidy graphed book she shares some of her favorite stitches with her students and followers.  Jean was very clear in her instructions and tips so this is a great place to start learning her craft.  $29.95

Jean Hilton's Stimulating Stitches - This is a follow-up to her first book where she shares her discovered several fascinating variations of the stitches that book. Some she planned, others she stumbled on due to "mistakes".  What she was always encouraging was opening your mind to see new possibilities with your stitching. Try it, You might like it!  $29.95

Jean Hilton's Borderlines - This is her collection of borders shown on the front cover, inside cover, and back covers as well. She includes neat information on how to choose the right border for your project.  To use this book you must have a hand mirror to follow the instructions in the text. And answer three questions: What size border does the needlework require? Does the border serve a purpose other than anchoring threads and does it unify the needlework. Do the selected colors and stitches complement those in the central portion of the design?  All designs are graphed and she gives you more information for each border. $39.95

Jean Hilton's Light 'n Lacy - Here Jean brings needlepointers 30 delicate designs for beginning and advanced stitchers with a unique alphabet and five name tag designs.  Each design was named for a flower that her son, Kurt, loved and tended in his teens. He passed away at age 27 and she created these for him.  As always she includes graphed designs and neat information. $39.95

Puzzle Purse - This is a personal favorite of mine. I could relate to what she went through to select colors and stitch it. Her hubby had to endure most all of the chairs in their family room covered with her threads and charts and other needlework stuff.  I laughed at that.  For me it is my writing pages and books, research, etc.  I've seen this stitched and it is gorgeous!  $39.95

18 Little Guys and Rockaway - Tony Minieri has taken five of Jean's Little Guys and made an octagon design using these 3" squares into a memorable piece of needlepoint. With this book you can do the same selecting the five Little Guys you want to use in your own piece. All the Little Guys are shown in color but of course you can select your own colors if you prefer.  $35.95


Yes, why not?  What a gift to leave your family! So many people are scrapbooking today.  My daughter, Donna, finished a magnificent scrapbook for her granddaughter Kenzie, (my great granddaughter) before her and her husband left for Oklahoma in September to celebrate Kenzie's thirteenth birthday. This massive tome took Kenzie from her birth through her 12th year.  What fun scrolling through the pages and seeing all the wonderful details Donna included.  We shared that at our monthly dinner night at Black Angus. It made me think about all the diaries I've kept over the years but now I want to do something more with all the family pictures I've kept forever. I want to write up my family's life with those pictures so the younger generations can see where and who they came from.  Not an actual genealogy but full of personal memories: stories I remember and stories my grandparents and parents would tell. But I don't plan to stop at that. I will include pictures of the great needlework that has been handed down through the family and needlework I've done and family recipes. 

As I mentioned I've got my childhood diaries (I wasn't good on finishing the year out) but I love looking over my childish scrawl and what I thought was important to me then. My adult journals were more complete and it interested me to see what I wanted to accomplish, where I was stuck, happy moments and disappointments, books and movies I loved.  Sometimes rereading my journals I uncover painful times, my mistakes as well as triumphs and this stops me dead and helps me get back on track with things I never finished or dealt with. Lots of my short stories come out of those pages - a scene, a character, a dialogue from a movie, remarks about the times.

I love to read published diaries and letters from people in history. I feel like I'm living in their world and seeing it from their eyes. Vincent Van Gogh not only left us his painting masterpieces but he also wrote letters to his brother describing how he saw color, other art, people, and how he viewed his own work.  He is an impressive writer.  He put down his honest feelings where he's been and what he was planning on doing so you come to know the real man.   He is one of my inspirations for my book projects.

Does a book project sound interesting? I hope so. What a pity it would be that after we're gone all the information on the family and the needlework they and we've done goes with us.  I know what I'm working on is going to take a goodly number of volumes to cover this family history correctly so I want to create the actual books all the pictures and information will go into.

I hope this inspires you to follow suit and create your own books.  If you need help with ideas I've included some great books to get you going in the right direction.

Ekrem, Erica - Bound: Over 20 Artful handmade Books - Bind a book beautifully with these whimsical and stylish projects from an extraordinaire bookbinder. With her novel approach to traditional techniques, and the use of repurposed materials, Erica has devised creative fun for book artists of all levels. Choose from these categories: Vintage, Nature, and Leather. Make books from mason jars and seashells, a classic leather-bound photo album, and other works of art. $19.95
                Note: Her latest book on Handcrafted Journals is in the Potpourri of Books section.

Golden, Alisa - Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures and Forms - In the digital world, books may seem like an endangered species, but bookmaking is more popular than ever. In as little as an afternoon, beginners will be on their way to folding, gluing, and sewing handmade books in a variety of shapes and styles, from rolled scrolls to Jacob's ladders, folded flexagons to case bindings. Complete with photos of the author's own master books and statements by more than 40 established book artists, this collection is sure to inspired.  $19.95

Krause, Dorothy Simpson - Book + Art: Handcrafting Artists' Books - Discover what happens when you add artmaking and bookbinding together. This book explores the basics of surfaces, images and words in order to create provocative works of art with layers of meaning. Whether you're altering a pre-made book or creating your own, here you'll find both the instruction and inspiration to get it done. In addition to learning mixed-media  techniques - such as how to age paper, transfer images and make your own monoprints - you'll be given step-by-step instructions for numerous book structures for numerous book structures including: Single-fold and Bi-fold books; Simple and extended accordions; Perfect bindings; Side-sewn books; Single and Multiple books; Boxes - Unbound Collections. $32.99

Nerjordet, Arne and Carlos Zachrison - Make Your Own Ideabook with Arne and Carolos: Create Handmade Art Journals and Bound Keepsakes to Store Inspiration and Memories - A keepsake; a treasure trove; a work of art; a source of inspiration; a method of organization; a peek inside the chaos and creativity of our own minds. A ideabook can be any one of these, or all of them, or something else entirely: a collection of memories, a way to store recipes or patterns, a genealogical, a planner for a wedding or renovation of a garden.  The sky's the limit! With Arno and Carlos's wit, style, and trademark handcrafting genius to guide you, learn how you can make and enjoy your own ideabooks.  $22.95


Ekrem, Erica - Bound by Hand: Over 20 Beautiful Handcrafted Journals - Following her successful Bound comes this stunning collection of 21 projects for handmade journals, some using repurposed and found materials. The author provides instructions for making accessories like tassels, and for adding decorative inking, stamping, and stitching. Each beautifully artistic journal - including a refillable booklet for a prolific writer - is designed for a specific purpose or hobby, and features inspiring journaling prompts.  Lots more.  $19.95

Forster, Carolyn - 20 to Stitch: Mini Quilt Blocks - If you want a small patchwork project then look no further. This little book has an astounding 60 variations to stitch based on 20 different designs. The 20 mini-blocks measure five inches square and all constructed from basic shapes including squares, triangles and rectangles. Mini quilt blocks are ideal for making small patchwork projects such as bags, pincushions, coaster, and placemats, for incorporating into larger blocks, or for forming motifs with a larger quilt design. Each of the 20 projects is accompanied by the number and size of each shape in the block and instructions on the order in which to put the shapes together. Includes techniques on how to cut the shapes using a rotary cutter and ruler, design ideas and instructions for a simple coaster.  $9.95

Houghton, Lizzie - Felting Fashion: Creative and Inspirational Techniques for Felt Makers - Offering a breathtaking array of techniques for creating wearable felt masterpieces, felt maker, Lizzie Houghton, shows you how to produce a variety of these wearable pieces. She provides detailed patterns  and templates for constructing every type of garment from corsages and hats to scarves, jackets, and lavish full-length coats. The in-depth instructions cover both lightweight, contemporary Nuno and traditional felts, along with methods for dyeing wool, ruching, and embellishments.  $19.95

James, Rosie - Stitch Draw: Designs and Techniques for Figurative Stitching - To make a fresh artistic statement, turn on your sewing machine and use it to draw! The author is a leading exponent of stitching, guides newcomers through the ins and outs of this hot look. She lays out a repertoire of techniques, including transferring drawing to cloth, working with transparencies, stitching on photographs, using multicolored threads, layering images, and creating pleasing composition.  $19.95 (discount code: JRJ18)

Luhanko, Douglas and Kerstin Neumuller - Indigo: Cultivate, Dye, Create - Explore the gorgeous possibilities of dyeing with indigo! This wonderful and practical takes you through growing this plant; mastering warm or cold dyeing; making multicolored projects; and troubleshooting potential problems. Create intricate moyo-sashi and hitome-sashi , patchwork quilts, resist-dyed patterns, and more. Both beginners and advanced dyers will feel inspired to work with these innovative recipes and unique projects. $21.95

Lyne, Sonia - Mini Hoop Embroideries: Over 60 little masterpiece to stitch and wear - Stitch dozens of different embroidery designs in these cute mini embroidery hoops by the author. Following the simple instructions inside, create over 60 masterpieces in a wide range of styles, using these little hoops as your canvas - from classic embroidered flowers and applique animals, to abstract stitch n' paint shapes and tasseled creatures. Then frame your stitched art and turn it into eye-catching jewelry or simply display them at hleome. Throughout the book Sonia gives you tips on color variation, as alternative hoop shapes you could use from her mini hoop kits. So learn to stitch your art and turn it into wearable jewelry, necklaces, brooches ad more.  $15.00

Nelson, Carrie -  Pin Pals Book - This best selling author packs 40 adorable pinnies with personality. Pincushions are quick to stitch and so addicting - bet you can't make just one. Simply sew, quilt, turn and stuff. Even beginners with basic sewing experience can whip up these pincushions in a flash.  $22.00

Nico, Brooke - Simple Shetland Lace: 6 Knitted Stitches, 20 Beautiful Projects -  Explore traditional Shetland lace knitting with this expert teacher. She shows how three simple motifs - Feather and Fan and Old Shale; Acre and Razor; and Horseshoe and Leaf- can yield lovely items that range from fashion, to accessories, to home décor. Step-by-step photos and accessible instructions help beginners grasp each stitch, and the projects grown progressively more difficult as knitters become more skilled.

Ray, Aimee - Doodle Stitching: The Christmas Collection Transfer Pack: 100 Holiday Embroidery Designs to Celebrate the Season - Featuring winter scenes, whimsical snowmen and reindeer, decorative borders, and more, this Christmas-themed collection combines designs from Doodle Stitching: The Holiday Motifs Collection with completing new patterns. Each enchanting transfer can be reused five times, and there is a handy envelope at the back to store your cutouts. An introduction teaches beginners all the basic techniques.  $14.95

Rhiannon, Helen - Sew Perfect Pets - 18 fresh and functional animal-related designs to sew for your family and home. From useful items such an owl doorstop, a snake draught excluder and a sheep hot water bottle cover through to an elephant tea cozy, fox pillows and more, there is a cute creature for every room. For the kiddies, the author has included beautiful cat and dog toys and an animal-shaped apron. Key techniques and basic materials are detailed at the beginning of the book, and all of the projects include easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions. Templates for all of the animals are provided on a fold-out sheet at the back of the book.   $19.95

Schultz, Carolyn - 20 to Craft: Tassels - The 20 projects in this book include a wonderful variety of tassels, made using a range of easy techniques and a few inexpensive materials. The author has put her jewelry-making expertise to good use to create lovely bag charms, decorative key fobs and fashionable jewelry. There are folk-inspired tassels created using colourful threads and frayed fabric strips, leather tassels and small simple tassels combined with beads and ribbon used to make colourful earrings and brooches. The basic tassel-making technique couldn't be easier and is explained in the beginning of the book, and all the projects have easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions. The materials used are easy to come by and can be sourced from scraps and left-over fabrics, yarn and thread.  $9.95

Thittical, Kim - Hot Textiles - Soldering irons, heat guns, and even household irons can add astonishing texture and variety to fabric.  Renowned textile artist, Kim Thittical, covers a stunning selection of techniques for using this equipment. With instructions for hot and cold foiling, painted and plain Bondaweb (fusible, webbing), bead making from synthetics, three-dimensional designs, embossing powders, and more, this is a must book for textile artists. $19.95


Conte, Cate - Cat About Town - Maddie James has arrived on Daybreak Island just off the coast of Massachusetts, eager to settle down and start her own business - and maybe even fall in love. When a stray orange tabby pounces into her life, she is inspired to open a cat café. When her new furry friend finds the dead body of the town bully all eyes turn to the newcomer. Who is this crazy-cat whisperer lady who's come to town? On top of that she has two eligible bachelors who think she is the cat's pajamas. But how can she even think about happily-ever-after while a killer remains on the loose and on her path.  $7.99

Eliott, Lauren - Murder by the Book - Addie Greybourne loved working with rare books at the Boston Public Library - she even got to play detective, tracking down clues about the mysterious old volumes. But she didn't expect her sleuthing skills to come in so handy in a little seaside town.  Addie left some painful memories behind in the big city - including the unsolved murder of her fiancé and her father's fatal car accident. After an unexpected inheritance from a great aunt, she's moved to a small New England town founded by her ancestors back in colonial times - and living in spacious Greybourne Manor, on a hilltop overlooking the harbor. Best of all, her aunt also left her countless first editions and other treasures - providing an inventory to start her own store. But there is trouble from day one. The grumpy woman who runs the bakery next door. A car nearly runs Addie down. Someone steals a copy of Alice in Wonderland. Then Addie's friend Serena, who owns a tea shop, is arrested - for killing another local merchant. Addie decide she is not going to let them close the book on this case without a fight.  $7.99

Greenlaw, Linda - Slipknot: A Jane Bunker Mystery - This is the first by the author of a new series that takes place in Down East Maine. Before becoming a writer she was the captain of a swordboat. She now lives on Isle au Haut, Maine where she captains a lobster boat. and gets rave reviews for her writing.  $7.99

Griffo, J.D. - Murder on Memory Lake - Alberta Scaglione's spinster aunt had squirreled away a fortune in a secret lake house in Tranquility, New Jersey. More surprisingly, she's left it all to Alberta. So now she suddenly has a beautiful view, surrounded by hydrangeas, honeysuckle, and her cat Lola. But it isn't as peaceful as it sounds. There's a body in the water and Alberta and it belongs to Alberta's childhood nemesis. Alberta suspects foul play and when her estranged grandmother show up it only makes sense for them to team up and investigate.  $7.99

Klein, Libby - Class Reunions are Murder - Newly widowed and stuck in a middle-aged funk, Poppy but there is no way on earth she wants to attend her twenty-fifth class reunion especially after receiving a very bizarre letter from Barbie, the popular cheerleader who taunted her all through high school. At least, not until her best friend practically drags her to the event. Using the dreaded reunion to visit her eccentric Aunt Ginny. Then the unexpected happens. Barbie's dead body is found lying right in front of Poppy's old locker. Now she is singled out as the killer it's up to Poppy to confront her past and clear her name.  $7.99

Klein, Libby - Midnight Snacks are Murder - Between trying to get her gluten-free baking business off the ground and helping her Aunt Ginny remodel her old Victorian house into the Butterfly House B and B in Cape May, New Jersey is already going on all eight cylinders.  But then Aunt Ginny - who is a handful awake - is sleepwalking because of a sleeping medication and helping herself to her neighbors snacks and knickknacks. Even more alarming is the murder of the local humanitarian and the police suspect the "Snack Bandit".  Now Poppy must work tirelessly to uncover the real murderer and put the case to rest.  $7.99

Randall, Shari - Curses, Boiled Again! - This first in a brand new mystery series set at the Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack in Mystic Bay, Connecticut, where the fish is always fresh, the folks always friendly, and murder is on a roll. Allie Larkin was living the dream as a ballet dancer when a bad fall put her out of business. Now she is back home in Mystic Bay helping her Aunt Gully get her restaurant off the ground. Nothing would help Gully more than winning the local food festival's Best Lobster Roll contest. The competition is sure to be a killer - especially after one of the contest judges dies after eating a roll from one of Gully's biggest rivals. With Gully as the prime suspect, Allie is not going to let her innocent aunt go down for the crime. $7.99

Randall, Shari - Against the Claw - Welcome back to the seaside village of Mystic Bay where someone has been found sleeping with the fishes. Ballerina Allie Larkin is still back home, healing from a broken arm and lending a hand at her aunt's Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack, But now that the famous restaurant is branching out, help is needed more than ever - evcn on the lobster boat. The last thing she expects to find once she's out in the bay, however, is the body of a dead beautiful woman. Allie takes it upon herself to learn what happened. But how can she crack this case when everyone seems dead-set on keeping their secrets below the surface?  $7.99

Thanks for visiting with us!

If this is your first visit I'd like to introduce you to our business of 26 years.  During this time we have set up bookshops for the ANG, EGA, and a variety of other needlework organizations as well as doing this blog.

Can't find a certain book? Please give us a call and we'll try to find it for you whether it is in print or out-of-print.

Give us a call Monday through Saturday at: 602-94-0738. If you get the hated message machine please don't be shy about leaving a message, I'll get back to you ASAP.  Or you can e-mail me at rkern3@mindspring.com. Or you can mail me at Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

MOST IMPORTANT!  Look for the discount code hidden somewhere in this blog that gives you a 20% discount on any new books you order from this blog or the previous ones.