Sunday, August 13, 2017

           JULY/AUGUST BLOG 2017

                 Books are keys to wisdom's treasure;
                 Books are gates to lands of pleasure;
                 Books are paths that upward lead;
                 Books are friends, come let us read.
                         Emilie Poulsson (1853-1939)

Books are not only friends they are teachers. I've been into books since I was two years old and drove my mother crazy begging her to read to me. She did. But her time was limited since she had my new baby sister, Lynn, to care for so I struck out on my own looking at pictures but I was desperate to read those black "squiggles" on each page.

I've been reading those "squiggles" for many years now and I have never grown tired of reading. I have a constant stack of "must read" book next to my bed and each evening I make time to read. What pleasure! Another world to discover between those pages. I can't imagine not having books in my life.  That's me the bookworm!

Since you are visiting this blog I am sure you feel the same about book. That is why I offer a 20% discount to all book lovers who visit this site.  Just look for the discount code in one of the following articles, call me with the title or titles of any new book in this blog (or the previous blogs) and I'll be happy to send them to their new home.  We take, Master Card, Visa, American Express, and Discover.  Or you can send a check - no problem!  (Look at the end of this blog for that information.)

Have fun reading the blog and I hope you find a book or two that sounds delicious to you.  If you do, please give us a call at 602-943-0738 or e-mail us at:  We welcome comments and suggestions and love to hear about your favorite book titles. 


I found this great series on textiles on Search Press North America. I love Search Press needlework books as they seem to have their finger on the pulse on what needleworkers want. (Wait until you see what is coming out from them this fall in my next blog!) Search Press has won a number of awards including best Independent Publisher of the Year, Best Book Publisher in 2016, and a Silver Award for new best craft book.

If you are into working with textiles take a look at what this great publisher has been offering:

Small, Ann - The Textile Artist: Layered Cloth - This author's imaginative use of cutting and manipulating techniques, and her layering and colouring tricks, makes this your go=to guide for bringing form and texture to your fabric artwork. This book is a rich resource and reference for textile artists seeking new ideas and who want to experiment with reverse applique and related techniques such as layering, trapunto, stacks, puffs, and fabric manipulation. It in includes three wearable projects. Clear, close-up images make layering enjoyable and accessible.  $35.00  Due out in September 2017.

Midgelow-Marsden, Alysn - The Textile Artist: Stitch, Fibre, Metal and Mixed Media -  Alysn shows us how to use both textle-based and mixed media techniques to create beautiful artworks using metal in the forms of shim, foil and woven fabric alongside many other materials. She shares her expertise in an inspiring variety of techniques from free machine stitching to gilding, embossing, needle felting, beading, printing, applique, making stitched foil fabric and using dry decal transfer images. There are eight beautiful projects to inspire and instruct textile artists everywhere, including a lampshade, bauble pods, a memory lampshade, decorative panels and a tablet cover. Artists can take inspiration from the individual  surfaces that make up the pieces, the completed projects, and from the developments from each project, which have full, instructive captions.  $35.00

Mill, Abigail -The Textile Artist: Applique Art - This book features five beautiful step-by-step projects as well as themed galleries of her contemporary, ethereal artworks. The book touches on Abigail's inspirations and influences and looks in detail of the elements that bring her work to life; colour, texture, pattern, and free machine embroidery techniques. From fraying and layering to free machine embroidery and embellishment, this gorgeous book teaches the reader how to recreate Abigail's unique, contemporary style, and will inspire them to create wonderful pieces of your own. $35.00

Hughes, Valerie - The Textile Artist: Felt and Fibre Art - Tactile and sensuous felt is at the heart of this author's textile artwork. Explore her extraordinary collections of wearable art, while she leads you through the history, landscapes and imagination that form her inspiration. Valerie's collections showcase their versatility with stunning panels, wearable art, wall hangings, bags, jewelry and accessories. She shows you how to use your senses and emotions as inspiration for your own incredible textile artwork, and how to use wool and water to bring them into reality as felt.  Clear step-by-step instructions.  $35.00

Dolan, Wendy - The Textile Artist: Layer, Paint and Stitch - This beautiful book guides you through Wendy's inventive style of work; From piecing and patching fabrics and creating textures to painting and embellishing with hand and machine stitching. This book is a wealth of inspiration for any textile artist, showing them how to create gorgeous, textured pieces of art and then, in the final chapter, offering inspiration how to transform these pieces into three-dimensional items such as cushion covers, notebooks, 3-d vessels, and even a wedding dress. This book contains six beautiful step-by-step projects, broken down into three chapters: Architecture, Landscapes and Flower, and at the end of each section there is an inspiring gallery of Wendy's work. $35.00

Edmonds, Janet - The Textile Artist: From Art to Stitch - Janet Edmonds creates amazing textile pieces inspired by the artists Chuck Close, Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Matisse, Hunderwasser, John Piper and Giorgio Morandi. She outlines each artist's work, sharing what inspires her, then creates a series of artistic projects using various media and techniques, exploring this inspiration. These works lead in each case to a stitching project, with a stitch sampler to introduce each one. Her finished textile pieces include stitched squares, a portrait, a purse, a landscape, a box-framed 3-D piece, embroidered boxes , stitched panels with casting and more. $35.00


It's A Bead-A-Ful Book!

This book, The Art of Bead Embroidery Japanese-Style,  is an answer to my wishes for a great book on this art. By using the time-honored techniques and traditions of Japanese embroidery, beautiful beaded motifs are brought to life. Discover a whole new world of beading through the pages of this gorgeous, superb book which includes detailed step-by-step diagrams, full descriptions of the techniques involved and fabulous photos. Nine wonderful projects are included ranging from simple beginner designs to a sumptuous evening bags. Softcover - 116 pages with perforated lift-out pattern sheets.  $35.95

The author is Margaret Lee who brought us the wonderful, The Art of Chinese Embroidery, I featured in my May/June 2017 blog.  $34.95. 

Her new book on bead embroidery is due in September for $35.95. 

Two other great bead embroidery books by Yasuko Endo:

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples - Since more and more needleworkers are adding embroidered details to their work this is perfect to learn to create delicate and striking trims and embellishments. These stitch patterns range from elegantly simple single motifs, to complex all over patterns to three-dimensional designs. Along with step-by-step instructions are numerous examples of how to use and place the motifs on hems, pockets, cuffs, collars and handbags; or as home décor on pillows, curtains and more. $17.99  (discount code: Kiss17)

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples: Motifs - This is a collection of 123 embroidery motifs using beads. Patterns emphasize beaded edgings and trims, with step-by-step instructions and numerous examples of how to use and place the motifs on garments, accessories, and décor items. Great for the beginner and advanced embroidery enthusiasts.  $17.99

This next book is a great place to get acquainted with all bead embroidery techniques.  A-Z of Bead Embroidery - Country Bumpkin (brought back into print as a classic by Search Press), features more than 30 stunning and versatile projects. With over 440 step-by-step photos, it brings bead embroidery to life. Find out how to work tambour beading, beadpoint, padded beading, how to handle sequins and bugle beads, and so much more. Discover the best tools for the task and learn to identify different beads by their size, shape and finish. Full of hints, tips and historical insights, and all patterns are provided.  $19.95

And While I'm excited about beading I'm including a blurb about Beadventures next exciting beading tour: They are off to Paris and the south of France with a great itinerary and a great beader to guide through new beadwork: Cynthia Rutledge from October 2 -16th 2017. If you are passionate about France and beading they might still have room for you to join in the adventure.

Cynthia Rutledge - Timeless Beadwork Designs - One of the foremost names in beadwork creates 15 great projects. Widely regarded as one of today's finest teachers of beading, Cynthia Rutledge reveals her creative process and presents stunning designs that explore color, three-dimensional form, and mixed media. The pieces include a classic Renaissance Cameo Necklace, a pearl-and-glass Florentine Rosette Cuff, and Hebe's Floral Earrings.  $27.95.


Brown, Sian - Twenty to Knit - Knitted Baby Mitts - Cute! Cute! Cute! Inside this book are 20 patterns in a range of styles for girls and boys, from traditional stripes and cables to whimsical rabbits, frogs and ladybirds. Each design can be knitted in three different sizes suitable for 0-3, 3-6 and 6-12 month=old babies, with the option of including thumbs in the largest size. Clear step-by-step instructions and full-colour charts provided. Each project comes with a list of yarns and needles required. $9.95

Chalmers, Jamie - The Mr. X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch - more than 20 beautiful, innovative cross stitch designs that push the boundaries of this ancient craft. Mr. X Cross Stitch shows you how to the frontiers of cross stitch design from absolute beginners to those who want to do something different. The book aims to appeal to men as well as women. He offers designs of urban flavors, glow-in-the-dark threads and stitching on metal. This book also showcases the work of other contemporary cross stitchers who are pushing the boundaries of their craft.   $19.95

Ishii, Sachiyo, Mini Felt Christmas: 30 decorations to sew for the festive season - Well-known crafter Sachiyo Ishii shows the reader how to make fabulously cute and easy-to-make felt decorations to adorn their home during the festive season. Ready-made felt is easy to come by and a joy to work with since it cuts easily without fraying, and there's no need for seams or edgings. 30 gorgeous projects to make that include: numerous tree decorations, fun penquins and a snowman; as well as larger projects that include Santa Claus complete with sleigh and reindeer; a yule log with little mini bakers; a stunning gingerbread house; a felt holy wreath; and the complete Christmas Story. The techniques and stitches needed to make all the projects are explained carefully through clear, step-by-step photos at the beginning of the book, and all the templates are provided at the back.  $17.95

Pennell, Suzanne - The Art of Gold Embroidery from Uzbekistan - Since ancient times Samarkand and Bukhara, have been thriving centres of craft production due to their location on the main routes of the ancient "Silk Road". The commercial, religious and political experience of these oasis cities had major lasting influences on craft production, Gold Embroidery was no exception. Detailed examination of historical sources related to gold embroidery or zarduzi, showed that, until the Bolshevic Revolution in 1917, consumption of gold embroidery was restricted to the wealthy middle class and court elites. It was most spectacularly employed in displays of power and wealth among the courts of the Emirs before the Russian invasion in 1868 and produced by ustos, or masters in court ateliers. Follow zarduzi to the present day. $38.00

Powell, Michael - Twenty to Make: Christmas Cross Stitch - This book features the author's unique designs, each with a festive theme. He shares his distinctive cross stitch style to make Christmas cards or samplers as special gifts for friends and family. Designs range from festive candle arrangements to vintage winter street scenes, wintry chapel, Christmas bell, starlit stable, stack of gifts and much more. Each design is accompanied by an easy-to-follow stitching guide.

Browne, Clare, et al - English Medieval Embroidery: Opus Anglicanum - I mentioned this book before but I feel it is so important I am mentioning it again. This book was published to accompany the exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1st October 2016 to 5th February 2107. Stunningly wonderful reviews.  $125.00

Gone Stitching - Holey Stitches!: A Guide to Judaic Themed Needlepoint Canvases - If you are looking for stitch help for a Judaic piece this little book will give you the help you need. Look below in Golden Oldies for Gone Stitching's other wonderfully informative needlepoint book.  $15.00

Pierce, Val - Twenty to Crochet - Crocheted Baby Shoes - If these aren't the cutest baby shoes in the world please show me what are. Size and suggestions are given for each project, from birth to nine months, but general advice is also given at the beginning of the book on how to increase or decrease the size of the projects. Each pair of shoes requires relatively small quantities of yarn and can be crocheted quickly, easily, and on the go using the clear instructions provided. Each project is accompanied by lists of the materials and equipment required and inspiring photos.  $9.95

Rowe, Lynne and Betsan Corkhill - Knit Yourself Calm: A creative path to managing stress - The therapeutic benefits of knitting have long been recognized and holistic health expert Betsan Corkhill, together with knitting designer Lynne Rowe, create beautiful projects designed to calm and soothe. Suitable for beginners and more experienced knitters, discover how the repetitive process of knitting can relieve stress and improve your well-being. $15.95

Shore, Debbie - Sew Advent Calendars - This is the perfect guide to sewing fun, personalized advent calendars for loved ones. These are perfect for filling with festive treats and handpicked goodies. There are 20 designs included, from traditional flat pocket calendars to hanging cones and festive pouches, for both aduilts and children alike, along with a great-filled calendar for the family dog!  The book contains all the techniques needed to make the calendars, and every project is shown clearly step-by-step, with helpful tips and advice throughout. Using Debbie's easy-to-follow instructions, you will want to get crafty and create new festive family traditions.  $19.95

Stratford, Sue - Knitted Cats and Dogs: Over 30 patterns for cute kitties and perfect pooches - The designs are fun and quirky, easy to follow and come in a range of characters, styles, shapes and sizes to suit knitters of all tasted and abilities. Each pattern comes with a comprehensive list of the yarns, needles and embellishments you need, and there are general notes too on basic techniques, materials, equipment and making up.  Some of the dogs and cats also have outfits to wear and the patterns for these are included too. There is a materials section at the beginning and also a section on basic knitting and joining techniques as well as stuffing the animals and surface embroidery. This book is aimed at knitters of all abilities who are looking for cute and quirky projects that work up quickly.  Have fun!  $19.95

Shore, Debbie - Half Yard Vintage - This book features 23 beautiful vintage-style items to sew that will bring a touch of elegance to the home and make wonderful gifts for friends and family. It contains beautiful accessories including a lacy pillow cover, a bucket-style wash bag, a dressing table cover and cones for displaying posies of dried flowers; gorgeous projects perfect for an afternoon tea cosy, made-to-measure tray cover and a cake frill; and accessories for a vintage Christmas such as a stocking, advent calendar and wreath all from left-over pieces of fabric.  $19.95


I have discovered so many needleworkers are looking for or missed some great books so I try to include these classics in issues of this blog. These are in-print so the 20% discount applies on all of these. Here are some great ones:

From the Little Shoppe of Canvas:

Stitch Landscape - This neat, bestselling book covers natural scenery such as mountains, valleys, trees, rivers, water, clouds, flowers, grass, sand, sky, etc. Stitching landscapes, choosing stitches, and selecting threads can be tricky. This great needlepoint book is designed with categories of multiple stitches to choose from. It also provides in each category, how to optimize stitches and thread choice. Each chapter begins by showing an example of a stitch, thread choice, and how to create an interesting effect. $39.95

Stitch Ins and Outs - In this book interiors and exteriors and all new stitches are categorized and organized to stimulate interior and exterior structures. Challenging sections such as Baskets, Trim and Border sections have been included. Also included are Stitch Hints to optimize stitches and thread choices for each categories. Create new and interesting effects using combinations of thread and layering of threads.  $39.95

Stitch Winter - This book has a new innovative spin on stitching shapes and base patterns. The book strives to incorporate many different winter shapes such as angels, bells, bows, candy canes, holly, Judaica, holiday lights, snowflakes, trees, gifts and more.  $46.95

From Gone Stitching -

Got Stitches? Multi-Layered Stitches for Needlepoint - This portable encyclopedia of multi-layered stitches categorizes stitches by the number of threads per each stitch. whether you have two, three, or four different threads, we have the perfect stitch for your project. For the adventurous stitcher, they have included chapters on trame and trellis stitches.  Have fun! $25.00

From Carolyn Hedge Baird -

Teeny Tiny Needlepoint Stitches - This is always asked for since its publication in 2015. This is her compilation of small stitches with good graphs showing by numbers the direction for stitching each good stitch and what the stitch is good for. She also included an index of stitches in  alphabetical order.  $30.00

Need Help Finishing? Try These -

Brown, Marcia - Distinctive Presentations in Needle Art: A Complete Guide to Professional Finishing for Your Needlework - This author has been serving the needle art industry since 1979 providing finishing services for retailers throughout the United States and other countries as well as for private clients, students and designers. Marcia, having run a successful finishing business for 35 years, reveals her special techniques for creating wonderfully finished pieces.  $65.95

Higgins, Sandy - Sandy's Finishing Touches: A Step By Step Guide to Finishing Needlework - This classic in finishing needlework is in its seventh printing and considered a classic. Spiral-bound, this book includes blocking, finishing pillows, other edge finishing, Christmas finishing, brick covers, special effects, and much more.  $26.95

Arthur, Sandy - Can Do Hairdos: Techniques, Threads and Stitches for Hair - This highly respected needlework designer, teacher and author brings us a neat little best-selling book on how to create realistic hair in needlework such as braids, buns, curls, curly, straight, wavy and whimsical. Color pictures of the her examples are wonderful.  $25.00

Mystery Corner

Cass, Laurie - Wrong Side of the Paw - As the bookmobile rolls along the hills of Chilson, Michigan, Minnie and Eddie spread good cheer and good reads. But when her faithful feline finds his way into the middle of a murder, Minnie is there, like any good librarian, to check it out.  Eddie turns a routine bookmobile stop into anything but when he makes a quick escape and hops into a pickup truck...with a dead body in the flatbed. The friendly local lawyer who was driving the pickup falls under suspicion. But Minnie and Eddie think there's more to this case than meets the eye, and the dynamic duo sets out to leave no page unturned.  $7.99

Conte, Cate - Cat about Town: A Cat Café Mystery - This first mystery in a new series is set in a small New England town. Maddie James has arrived in 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's inspired to open a cat café. But little does Maddie know that she's in for something a lot more catastrophic when her new furry companion finds the dead body of the town bully. Now all eyes are on Maddie: Who is this crazy cat-whisperer lady who's come to town? If her pet hair-maintenance and crime-fighting weren't keeping her busy enough, Maddie now hs not one but two eligible bachelors who think she's the cat's pajamas and will do anything to win her hert. But how can she even think about happily-ever after while a killer remains on the loose - and on her path?  $7.99

Flowers, Jean - Addressed to Kill - Love is in the air for postmaster Cassie Miller and the residents of North Ashcot, Massachusetts. Valentine's Day is right round the corner, and the town is gearing up for a special dinner dance at the senior center. With the local musical group performing at the dance displaced from their regular practice location, Cassie is all too happy to host them during off-hours at the post office. But not everything is coming up roses. When one of the musicians, Dennis Somerville, is found shot in his home, rumors swirl over who might have wanted him dead. Cassie must determine if there is a link between a string of recent break-in's and Dennis's murder before another victim winds up with more than a broken heart.  $7.99

Hechtman, Betty - A Tangled Yarn - Casey Feldstein has her hands full with preparations at the Vista Del Mar hotel on the scenic Monterey Penisula as another yarn retreat begins. The retreaters will be thrown for a loop this time, learning the trendy art of arm knitting and finger crocheting. But not everyone is enthusiastic about trying something new, and Casey is forced to come up with an alternative craft for her less adventurous pupils. Things go from worst to worsted when a travel writer from a neighboring retreat group is found dead in his room among a sea of feathers. When one of the owners of Vista Del Mar pleads for help, Casey gets hooked into the case and must unravel a delicate skein of secrets to catch a killer. $7.99

Hamilton, Victoria - Muffin to Fear - While Merry is distracted by her quickly planned marriage to Virgil Grace and a blissful honeymoon in New York, her friend Pish invites the ghost-hunting crew from the TV show Haunt Hunt to investigate Merry's home, Wynter Castle. Merry soon discovers that only only is the crew out of sync, there are so many feuds and squabbles, it's a miracle they get a show produced at all. It all goes from bad to worse when the show's psychics claim to have contact with people murdered on Merry's property. When two cast members are found dead, Merry and Virgil must figure out who's picking off the Haunt Hunt team before their hard-earned happily ever after is cut short.  $7.99

Holmes, Julianne - Chime and Punishment - Years ago, the serenity of picturesque Orchard, Massachusetts, was shattered by a fire that destroyed the town's beloved clock tower. Ruth inherited the dream of repairing it from her late grandfather. Now that she has retuned home to run his clock shop, the Cog & Sprocket, she's determined to make it happen, despite wrenches that are being thrown into the works by her least favorite person, town manager, Kim Gray. A crowd of residents and visitors are excited to see the progress of the tower at a fundraiser for the campaign, until Kim is found crushed under the tower's bell, putting an end to the fun. The list of suspects is so long it could be read around the clock, and includes some of Ruth's nearest and dearest. Time's a-wastin' as Ruth tried to solve another murder in her beloved Orchard while keeping the gears clicking on her dream project.  $7.99

Marks, Mary - Knot What You Think - Martha Rose is alarmed by the discovery of Dolleen Doyle's dead body, especially when evidence suggest a fellow quilter committed the crime. Set on clearing her pat, Martha searches for answers - but with ties to a convicted fraudster's stolen millions and a secret office room, the victim's past raises even more questions. As Martha inches towards the culprit, she learns that wrapping the case up-and living to baste another square will be trickier than she ever imagined.  $7.99

Vallere, Diane - Dressed to Confess - It's no secret around Proper City, Nevada, that the Sagebrush Festival, the town's annual family-friendly event, is the place to be. This year's theme of board games has everything from Conspiracy to Clue. Margo Tamblyn's costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, has been tasked with providing costumes for the festival headliner, the Domino Divas. But on the night of the performance, one fallen Domino threatens to bring down the whole show when head dancer Ronnie Cass is found in her dressing room, unmasked, unprepared, and very, very dead. As the police investigate, Margo learns that Don Digby, her father's best friend, is the prime suspect, tied to the victim by an unsolved robbery connected to Proper City's past. As conspiracies abound and theories are debunked, Margo seeks to unmask the real killer before her dad's buddy winds up in a costume made with prison stripes.  $7.99


I hope you enjoyed your visit. If you haven't visited before I'd like to introduce you to our business. We've been in business over 25 years.  We have set up book shops at both the ANG and EGA Nationals and regional seminars and for other needlework organizations.

Can't find a certain book? Give us a call whether the title you want is in or out-of-print. We have a huge selection of out-of-print needlework books available.

We have a website too:

Questions or Orders?  Give us a call Monday through Saturday at 602-943-0738 between 8am and 6pm Arizona time.  Yes, we in Arizona are the people who never change our clocks forward or backwards. If the phone is on message I'm probably in the middle of help Mark, my chronically ill husband or taking books to the post office.  I will return your call ASAP.  PLEASE! Don't be shy about leaving a message. If you prefer you can e-mail me at: To contact us by mail: Ruth Kern Books   7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

REALLY IMPORTANT! Don't forget to find the discount code in this blog that gives you a 20% discount on any new book you order.

I look forward to visiting with you again. New Blog: September 10th 2107.  


Monday, June 19, 2017

Next Blog: August 19th 2017

I've been involved with a critical care/hospice situation - good friend with no family.  But there will be a blog on the 19th.  Thanks for understanding that is a little late.

                   MAY/JUNE BLOG 2017
  It's Summer! The time most people vacation or laze about on a beach. Here in Phoenix there is usually a large exodus to San Diego, Ca. or up in our mountains near Flagstaff, Az. 

As for me I don't mind the heat - this week should heat up to 120 degrees then go back to more normal temperatures.  But it is so dry it doesn't bother me. The monsoon season will begin with humidity getting into the picture usually in the 30 to 40 percent range but when the humidity comes in the temperature drops and as far as I'm concerned it is much more uncomfortable.  

But high temperatures or not, humidity or not, I have my books! Hope you do too whether at the beach, the woods, or in air-conditioning I love to read and discover more books for this blog.  So sit back and relax wherever you are and discover some new books (and classics) and make time for reading as well as needlework.  

Don't forget to find the hidden discount code that allows you a 20% discount towards any books in this blog.                  


I speak of her in the past tense but she is still very much alive and enjoying life but sadly she is no longer doing her silk ribbon and embroidery business since her beloved Andre died. As she writes in her blog, "For those of you who that are widowed, you will understand the toll it takes. Losing a spouse involves not only unbearable grief but also, tasks and burdens that were previously shared becomes your and yours alone at the same time losing the companion with whom you shared your thoughts, fears and joys."

But the hope is she might return to a smaller version of it at some time. However, her books are still available but let me introduce you to the Queen of silk ribbon embroidery. 

Di closed her shop in May of 2016 after 28 years to come to terms with a life changing event. She reveals she has always been into crafts since childhood from painting, pottery, stained glass to silk painting and among others the fiber arts.  But once she started with silk ribbon embroidery it took over as the craft she wanted to focus on. She writes, "Whether it is working on my blog, creating new designs for my books, teaching online, working on new concepts or painting ribbons, there is not a day in the week that I do not do some craft or another."

Most weekends, she says are for spending time with nature where she gets inspired to create new designs and concepts.  And what a nature she has for that. She lives in Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa, close to the Kirstenbosch Gardens, that is possibly the most beautiful garden in Africa.  Her and her husband moved there in 2007 and never looked back.

She has exhibited her work in many countries, written numerous books, taught silk ribbon embroidery online and in person. Anybody who has their own business knows it is a commitment of working from early morning to late in the evening at least six days a week. Di did that for 28 years and in 2016 realized she was exhausted and needed a rest. I think she's earned it. But hopefully she will come back to us one day with more inspiration and a smaller version of her business. (Discount code: Summer17)

Below are a listing of her books still available in the States.  Each page of each book is a piece of who Di has been and still is: a passionate needle artisan. Welcome to her world.

A Perfect World in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork - There are 17 panels in this wonderful sampler and 60 different elements, with a clear stitch gallery to guide you. Flowers and creatures from all over the world are included. Each flower and insect is shown systematically with great photos. There are panels for beginners, intermediate and advanced embroideries; in fact, this book is an ideal learning tool for embroiderers wishing to learn from the beginning. Gorgeous!  $25.95

Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork - this is a design consisting of twelve panels that are each explained with step-by-step photos and instructions including a comprehensive guide to all needles, thread, and ribbon required. Di includes several new techniques for experienced embroiderers and a stitch glossary with 40+ stitches done in colorful illustrations.  $25.95

Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies in Ribbon Embroidery & Stumpwork - Five fairies been wonderfully done not only in ribbon embroidery and stumpwork but also for needleworkers who love three-dimensional embroidery - whether a beginner or advanced stitcher. These wonderful designs are accompanied by easy-to-follow, close-up photos and step-by-step instructions. Learn how to make delicate stumpwork wings in organza and silky threads, make applique leaves and petals, create charming insects, embroider hair and clothing and find how she creates three-dimensional designs using colour, texture and shapes. This book can be used for needlecraft projects.  $29.95

Little Flowers in Silk and Organza - this step-by-step project book is all about making little flowers in silk and organza ribbon using a combination of thread, ribbon embroidery, stumpwork and other techniques. Learn to produce a gorgeous poppies, sweet strawberry blossoms, delightful daffodils and a ring of daisies. Or enjoy creating magnificent wild roses, chamomiles and meadow grass in 3D, lisianthus and lavender, with butterflies and ladybirds and much more. Di has packed this book with information and many techniques for the beginner and advanced. All completed projects are smaller than A-4 size and templates of all the original designs are included, with easy-to-follow instructions on how to layer the embroidery and stumpwork to achieve the exquisite 3D effect. She includes a range of step-by-step photos as well as a complete gallery of stitches. $24.95

Roses in Silk and Organza Ribbon- There is a flower for every occasion. Techniques include 16 different roses, blooming amongst a latticework of rosebuds, leaves and stems. Learn how to make rose petals and rose hips, sepals, stems and leaves, spent roses and stamens, and gorgeous little birds, a bird's nest, beautiful butterflies, bows and wisteria. 60 new techniques, some easy, some more complex.  $24.95

A Few Other Great Silk Ribbon Books

Montano, Judith Baker - The Art of Silk Ribbon Embroidery -
Included are how-to's for more than 40 stitches, photos of works by 12 contemporary needle artists who specialize in silk ribbon embroidery, and 12 projects designed by the author to show you how to do this fascinating three-dimensional art form  $22.95

Search Press- A-Z of Ribbon Embroidery - This is a practical and inspiring guide to creating more than forty dazzling designs using ribbon. Step by step photos and clear instructions take you through all the stitches and techniques. Accomplished embroiderers have compiled advice on choosing ribbon fabrics, needles and frames, as well as a host of tips and hints. Templates, a pattern key and a comprehensive index make this a must-have manual. $19.95

         "Oxymoron - Figure of speech that uses seeming contradictions; realm or domain of the impossible."  from Webster's Dictionary

As I sit at my desk going over a very long "to-do" list my mind snags on the words, historical fiction. My mind snags easily, too easily sometimes, when I discover something I want to know more about. Right now, its the expression historical fiction, that at first thought seems an oxymoron to me. How can history be fiction? Or fiction a history?  I chew on this for a bit. I do know that straight history can sometimes go down dry and tasteless. Just the fact, ma'am, just the fact. That great for research but many readers like their history in a story form and that's where the fiction comes in.

A good historical novelist will not twist the history out of shape, nor the setting, nor the real historical character true nature. Instead they take all of that and then with using the insight of good research and their talent for telling a story and breathe life into the time and people they are writing about. That's what keeps us up at night,  unable to put the book aside. And history told this way seems to stick in our heads. We remember a story better than lists of dates and places. So perhaps historical fiction is not a contradictory figure of speech. In fact, I've written a historical novel myself. In weaving through history I sense an order to all things both bad and good and even indifferent. I like to imagine I see my own life clearer, the world I live in clearer, and what I want to accomplish in my own life clearer through those who came before me.

I love historical fiction and have written an historical novel, The Secret Codices, coming out on July 10th, thanks to my wonderful editor, Andrea Foster. 

Nag Hammadi Library
In the mid 1940's ancient manuscripts were discovered buried in an earthenware jar at the foot of a mountain near the small southern village of Nag Hammadi. Who buried these codices no one knows for sure, but when translated these books proved to be early Christian texts that the church claimed was heretical. My historical novel, The Secret Codices relates the heroic efforts of a small group of fourth century Egyptians saving and translating these banned books into the Coptic language, the language of Egyptian Christians. They believed what the later poet Heinrich Heine wrote in 1821: "Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people."  

The story is told by a physician's scribe, Ankhesenna, a brilliant scholar tutored  by her  blind grandfather, Epimachos, once a famous tutor in Alexandria who asks her to take on the dangerous task of translating these books. She agrees. This decision leads her into a dangerous adventure spanning the length of Egypt.  She also witnesses the burning of the Alexandria Library by rogue Christians in fear some of the books were "pagan". This is an act of terrorism that cost us, future generations ancient histories, mathematically writings and other important literature.

I thoroughly researched this time period, including traveling to Egypt alone four times and living there for a period of eighteen months. I traveled the length of Egypt, went to monasteries, sailed on a felucca to a Nubian village, rode a camel across the Southern Desert with Sudanese camel drivers, visited museums including the Greco-museum in Alexandria and the Coptic Museum in Old Cairo that have the collection of books I've written about. I've a collection of about 100 books about Egypt, wrote to Marvin Meyer, who was at the site of the books were found. He was kind enough to send me his dig reports. I've also read his books.

My editor wants me to write two more books featuring these characters so I have begun this project for a three book series called, The Children of the Light.

I am taking pre-orders now for the first book. It retails at $15.00 with a 20% discount for readers of this blog.  Just find the discount code in this blog and call or write me by e-mail or postal mail. All that information is at the bottom of this blog. 

  Accident: "An event that takes place without one's foresight or expectations."  Webster's Dictionary

I was taking a friend of mine , who no longer drives, (she's 96) to a medical appointment. This was her first appointment with this dermatologist so neither of us knew anything about Dr. Deborah Mendelson.

Up to the second floor of the medical building we go - the building the usual cold glass and marble and open the door to the doctor's office waiting room expecting , you know, the usual chairs in a row, table with magazines, some paintings on the walls, perhaps a water cooler. Instead, we were greeted by a waiting room, halls, and examining rooms hung with quilts - large, colorful ones, beautifully designed and sewn giving this medical office a feeling of being home, at peace, secure. Even my friend, not at all fond of the medical profession felt at ease.

I went up to the receptionist and asked, "Where did all these quilts come from?"

"The doctor", I was told. "She's made every quilt in this office."

I wandered through this unexpected "exhibit" even peeking into empty examining rooms and immediately felt all the love and patience that went into these gorgeous quilts.

When my friend was called, I went into the examining room with her - not the usual cubby hole of a room but a nicely presented room of some size with quilts on two of the walls. We hadn't met the doctor yet, but I already knew one thing about her, she has a wonderful eye for color.

We had only settled in for a few minutes when the doctor appeared, her demeanor, like her quilts, very welcoming, comforting, with her assistant close behind, wheeling in a computer: a computer the doctor never touches or looked at. I was impressed as I have a horror of the doctors who are constantly dealing with a computer instead of looking at the patient. I had (in my past life) over thirteen years in the medical field and knowing what it takes for an accurate diagnosis, will never go to one who does that. In fact, I have two friends who sought a new primary care physician, walked out on such a doctor when he never acknowledged them and went directly to his computer and started to fiddle with it. How can a doctor form a relationship with a patient and SEE what the person is showing him or her while he is looking at a screen?

After introductions, with this friendly, smiling doctor, I complimented her on her quilts, expressing she had a great eye for color.

She thanked me warmly. "There last four years or so I've really learned much about color."  She was pleased I noticed.

I discovered she took up quilting sixteen years ago and got hooked with this wonderful, creative way to relax. She said I could do this article and take photos. I was ecstatic. 

When I checked out her office hours I noted she starts seeing patients at 6am so a working person, who is trying to "squeeze" in an appointment in their own hectic schedule can go before work.
6 am? She's a morning dove, I realized. And she still has time for quilting. Me, I'm not even stirring at 6 am! I'm a night owl not a morning dove but I made up my minds right then and there while sitting in that lovely examining room thinking about her seeing patients that early I should never complain that I don't have enough time for my own creative projects. Dr. Mendelson, without knowing it, inspired me to get moving earlier in the day, cut out the trivia, and focus on the creative. What a happy "accident" this visit had been.  Here's to all the happy "accidents" in life.  I hope you enjoyed mine. Now enjoy yours.

Since Dr. Mendelson has such an eye for color, I've included books on color below including books on the psychology of color since we use colors to express our feelings.  I'm feeling blue.  She's red with rage.  He's green with envy.  I'm in the pink.  Enjoy getting into colors. Also I discovered fire trucks are now starting to be painted yellow because that's the color most visible to our eyes.  Have fun learning more about this fascinating subject.

Birren, Faber - Color Psychology and Color Therapy: A Factual Study of the Influence of Color on Human Life - This is the full reprint of the 1950 Edition. This author devoted is life to color and it's effects on human life. After writing around 25 texts on the topic, it would be safe to say his work is considered with high respect among color experts and psychologists around the world. His work has a strong focus on linking how humans perceive colors to how it makes them react. He even touches on how it affects the mentally ill.  $24.95

Birren, Faber - Principles of Color: A Review of Past Traditions and Modern Theories of Color Harmony - This is an elementary work on color, dealing with traditional principles of harmony as well as advanced principles derived from modern studies of the psychology of human color perception. The author tells a well-organized story of how to achieve harmony with color, beginning with a chapter on color circles and proceeding to a straightforward discussion of traditional principles of color harmony and how they were accepted in the past.  $17.95

Wells, Jean - Intuitive Color and Design: Adventures in Art Quilting - In this updated edition of best-selling Intuitive Color & Design. Jean's workshop assignments get your creative juices flowing, giving you the challenges to expand your quilting horizons. Start by learning to see line and color; study the nuts and bolts of design; develop your color work and composition; and when you get stuck, there's expert advice on problem solving. Design and piece spectacular, free-form quilts you'd never have guessed you could create.  $29.95

Elliott, Andrew, et al. - Handbook of Color Psychology (Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology) - Color science has progressed to the point where a great deal is known about the mechanics, evolution, and development of color vision, but less is known about the relation between color vision and psychology. Top scholars in the field provide rigorous overviews of work on color categorization, color symbolism and association, color preference, reciprocal relations between color perception and psychological functioning, and variation and deficiencies in color perception. This is an essential resource for anyone interested in color psychology in both theoretical and applied areas of study.  $250.00


Brown, Christine - fast2mark Embroidery Stencils, Essential Collection - From popular author and crazy-quilting and embroidery expert Christine Brown comes this collection of four easy-to-use stitch templates (90+ designs), just position the stencil where desired and mark your designs with a quilter's pencil to get your embroidery off to an accurate start. The expert instructions and tips in the complete how-to booklet will give you confidence in where and how to make your stitches, while the decorative and inventive designs add an unexpected creative element. Laser-cut durable, translucent, medium-weight plastic, the stencils are easy to handle and create perfect marking every time.  Create an endless number of unique designs to embroider: hearts, flowers, baskets, butterflies, spiderwebs, vines, feather stitches and more.  $23.95

Dye, Gilian - Introducing Bone Lace: A Beginner's Guide to Working Early Bobbin Lace - As the author writes in her preface: " A decade of working 16th and 17th century bobbin lace has lead to a realization that the techniques are simple compared to many in later laces, with a freedom of working that provides plenty of room for experiment." This book is suitable for complete beginners and would be of interest to textile researchers and those involved in re-enactment or costumed interpretation for the 16th and 17th centuries. Includes winding bobbins, working diagrams, color pictures of lace and more. Great compact book for a great place to start.  $27.00

Eldelheit, Marlene - Barberini Tapestries: Woven Monuments  of Baroque Rome -  This book is the result of an intense conservation effort, which restored these magnificent works of art to their former glory after a fire burnt two of the tapestries and damaged four more in 2001 - accompanied by two important exhibitions on American's East and West coasts this year. These tapestries are fragments of history: they were once displayed at St. Petyer's Basilica and in the Sistine Chapel. Covering over 2800 hundred square feet, this series is one of the grandest monuments of 17th century Rome.  The final chapter is dedicated to technical aspects of the panels, recounting their recent conservation.  $60.00

Rowan, Emilie - 500 Bead Weaving Patterns for Bracelets - Weaving beaded bracelets on a small bead loom is easy, and with the 500 patterns in this book you can make all kinds of creative designs. From bold graphic prints to animals and flowers to retro or southwestern designs, there are plenty of patterns to suit your style. Each pattern shows how many and what color beads are needed and the placement of every bead so it's easy to complete any bracelet you choose. You can switch up the bead colors - so many options will keep you coming back for more.  $24.95

Jamar, Tracy - Coils, Folds, Twists, and Turns: Contemporary Techniques in Fiber - Learn to use traditional fabric techniques in modern ways. Fiber artists are experimenting with and combining techniques like never before, and this book gives detailed instructions on the rediscovered techniques of folding, shirring, gathering, bundling, quilling, and more. These techniques can be used to create rugs, wall hangings, clothing, bags, and even jewelry. The techniques are explained and illustrated, and patterns and instructions are given for seven projects.  $21.95

Smith, Rebekah - Seasons of Wool Applique Folk Art: Celebrate Americans with 12 Projects to Stitch - The author of the best-selling Wool Applique Folk Art presents a treasure trove of 12 seasonal wool applique projects, with 3 for each season. Presented in a lovely antique color palette, these simple and elegant projects include a journal cover, pillow cover, wallhangings, storage boxes, table rug, and more. Includes an updated chapter on the collection, and storage, and use of wool. $29.95

Tirico, Deborah Gale - A New Dimension in Wool Applique - Baltimore Album Style - Learn this author's distinctive applique style while you honor the legacy and history of Baltimore Album blocks. With luscious felted wool and textures as rich as the history they depict will-known motifs for 9 applique projects from table rugs and pillows to pincushions. Perfect techniques such as trapunto, layering, stuffing, needle-slanting, and beading with this complete visual guide, which includes full-size templates and tips.  No turned edges!  $29.95


I was really happy to see these three titles back in print. 

Lee, Margaret - The Art of Chinese Embroidery - Within these gorgeous pages are the answers to unlocking many of the secrets of this unique stitching style. Equipment and materials are described in detail and the 25 core stitch techniques are fully explained, providing the embroiderer with a strong solid foundation. Seven beautiful projects are included, designed to allow a steady progression and a thorough understanding of the concepts and practices of this style of embroidery.  A pull-out of embroidery designs in the back of this book.  $34.95

Chamberlin, Ruth - Beginner's Guide to Goldwork - First published in 2006 and is now back by popular demand by Search Press. Our author aims to teach us how to create beautiful goldwork motifs, which together form an impressive sampler to show off all our work. Covering a range of designs, stitches and techniques with templates throughout and examples of the author's inspiring work, this book provides a firm basis on which you can build future projects.  $19.95

Pearce, Carolyn - Home Sweet Home: An Embroidered Workbox -  Another favorite of mine and an international phenomenon that has captured stitchers all over the world. This charming English cottage, beautifully decorated with a garden of stitches, opens to reveal a liftout tray and 9 gorgeous accessories and includes storage for all your notions. The color photos are delectable and detailed instructions make this an irresistible book you'll treasure for a lifetime.  $34.95


                "Murder though it have no tongue, will speak with the most miraculous organ."   Shakespeare - (Hamlet)

 What is that most "miraculous organ"? Having read Hamlet decades ago, I will guess the heart or the brain. It takes both to solve this most horrendous of crimes. When a life is stolen it can never be replaced. The ripple effect of murder spreads out over the family and the community and all of us when we read about it in the paper or see it on television. Who would do such a terrible thing? Why did they do it? If it is a random act then we all feel at risk. I think the retelling of real murders are so popular on television is that we want to know the answers to those questions.

Perhaps we want to see the murderers so we can learn to pick out good people from bad people. The problem with that is that many times the murderer is the one you'd least suspect. It is shocking to discover that seemingly "normal people", nice people can be guilty of murder. Since a murderer does not usually look any different than anyone else, we usually miss an important clue in solving the case. But thank goodness some great sleuth does not. They see what we do not and we are forever grateful to the detective for taking a murderer off the streets. There is usually some trace of the murderer at the scene of the crime such as a fingerprint or DNA.

If not, then the crime becomes harder to solve but not impossible. The heart and brain of a seasoned detective will draw conclusions about the character of a murderer and from a list of possible suspects will end up pointing a finger at the guilt party. Crime solvers must also look at the victim. Why was that person picked to die? What did the victim have the murderer wanted, or was blocking the murderer from? 

I've included some new sleuth who rely on their gut feelings or hearts and their brains to uncover some nasty murderers. See if you can find the "red herrings" and other clues to beat the murderers at their own game.

Alexander, Ellie - A Crime of Passion Fruit - Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary café to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jule's estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come abroad his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carols but Jules can't resist an all-expense-paid trip. Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambéing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters when a dead body finds its way onto the itinerary. Why can't anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carolos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?  $7.99

Cochran, Peg - Sowed to Death - The country fair is the highlight of the year for the small town of Lovett, Michigan especially for food and lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald, who writes as the Farmer's Daughter. She's submitting jams and jellies she's created from the produce she grows at Love Blossom Farm in hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon. But the townspeople get more than just the excitement of hayrides, tractor pulls, and cotton candy when Shelby's neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates the body of Zeke Barnstable instead of a dummy during a demonstration of the Jaws of life. The fact that Jake and Zeke were known to be at odds plants suspicion in the minds of the police. As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby knows she has to plow through the clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.  $7.99

Eaton, J.C. - Booked 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery #1) - Sophie "Phee" Kimball is not a cop. She's a divorced, middle-aged mom who works as an account clerk for the police department in a small city in Minnesota. But her retired mother, Harriet Plunket is convinced Phee is the only one who can solve the mystery of a cursed book. According to Harriet, four members of her book club have already succumbed to the deadly curse. Harriet insists Phee catch the next plane to her retirement community in Sun City West, Arizona, to investigate. $7.99

Ferris, Monica - Knit Your Own Murder - She's back with another needlework mystery. The Monday Bunch and other local knitters are participating in a fund-raising auction to save a community center, creating a growling pile of stuffed animals and toys right in front of the auctioneers as the audience bids. Among those contributing the most knitted goods is temperamental businesswoman Maddy Hanover -keels over halfway through the event. After she is pronounced DOA, an autopsy reveals that Maddy had been poisoned. But how? And by whom? One of the prime suspects is her ruthless business rival, Joe Mickels, who lost a bitterly contested property bid to Maddy. When Mickels pleads his innocence to Betsy, she reluctantly believes him. But if Betsy is going to uncover the real murderer's identify, she must first untangle the knots Maddy made in her relationships throughout her life.  Free knitting pattern included.  $7.99

Hollis, Lee - Death of a Lobster Lover - Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell is off on a girls' getaway with her two best friends. But soon they'll have to get away from a killer. The quaint fishing village of Salmon Cove, Maine, seems like the ideal location for a girls' weekend with her friends Liddy and Mona. Liddy's on the rebound from a breakup but when she meets a handsome tourist, it looks like a little romance might liven things up. Unfortunately Liddy's new sweetheart is found dead on the beach the next morning at the town's Lobster Bake, next to an overturned cooking pot. The liberated lobsters may be scrambling back to the sea, but Hayley's not about to let a murderer escape so easily. To crack the case, she'll need to blow the lid off some serious undercover activity or risk becoming ensnared in a killer's traps. Includes seven detectable recipes from Hayley's kitchen! $7.99

Hyzy, June - Grace to the Finish - Now that Grace Wheaton has officially been named heir to Bennett Marshfield's fortune, her usually busy schedule has become a juggling act. In addition to duties at Marshfield Manor, she's bankrolling her roommates refurbished wine shop, Amethyst Cellars. Grace is excited to check out the rustic space with Bruce and Scott. But that excitement turns to dismay when they stumble upon the body of the banker involved with the sale. Grace wants to solve this mystery quickly so that her friends new venture won't be overshadowed by an unsolved murder, but she's got even more to balance when her troubled sister, Liza, is released from prison early. Liza's first stop is Marshfield Manor and her first priority is grabbing a bite of Bennett's  for herself. Grace has to keep her greedy sister at bay and catch a killer before her new life comes crashing down around her. $7.99

Swanson, Denise - Lions and Tigers and Murder, Oh My - Opening up a dime store in her hometown of Shadow Bend, Missouri, Dev thought she'd left the wilds of city life behind her. But she's about to discover that even rural life can be beastly. Handsome private investigator Jake Del Vecchio has rented the office space on the second floor and Dev now finds herself embroiled in his first case, which involves Gabriella Winston, the missing wife of wealthy philanthropist Elliot Winston. Elliot is determined to open a wildlife park on the edge of town but is facing all sorts of angry opposition including Gabriella. After the Winstons have a bitter fight, Gabriella disappears, and their house is ransacked. The authorities are quick to claim Elliot killed his wife, but Dev's not so sure.  $7.99


I hoped you enjoyed your visit. If you haven't heard of us before I'd like to introduce you to our business. We've been in business over 25 years and besides this blog have set up book shops at both the ANG and EGA Nationals and regional seminars and worked with other needlework organizations.

Can't find a certain book? Give us a call whether the title is in or out-of-print. We have a website as well as this blog:

Questions? Give us a call Monday through Saturday at 602-943-0738 between 8am and 6pm. Yes, we in Arizona are the people who never change our clocks forward or backwards. If the phone goes to message I'm probably in the middle of helping Mark, my bedridden husband or taking books to the post office. PLEASE  don't be shy about leaving a message. I will return your call ASAP. If you prefer you can e-mail me at: To reach us by mail: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

IMPORTANT!! Don't forget to find the discount code in this blog that gives you a 20% discount on any new book you order.

I look forward to having you return to this site.  New Blog: August 19th.