Saturday, October 7, 2017

The November/December 2017 will be late - look for it right after Christmas.  I'm involved unexpectedly in carrying out the trust for a childless couple who were friends for 46 years. They died 3 days apart and it has been overwhelming but it is getting done. So sorry for the delay.  Thanks for being patient.  Ruth


He who has imagination without learning has wings but no feet           Chinese Proverb

I couldn't say it better. Learning things is so important to me. Every day I try to learn at least one new thing. At the moment, its ants. Yes, ants. After being invaded by tiny ants in my kitchen, all over my counters, etc. I decided I had to learn about them. I'm reading Journey of the Ants, a Pulitzer Prize winning book. that has won many Science Awards. The authors: Bert Holldobler and Edward O. Wilson, are great writers so the book is fun as well as informational. Now I'm understanding about queens, warriors, and workers. I managed to rid my kitchen of the little critters by learning about them instead of using poisons.

My point is, the Chinese proverb is right, we need to learn about things before we jump in and do them. Needleworkers are great at this. While I was doing bookshops at needlework seminars, I visited classrooms full of eager students learning how to do a certain type of needlework from an expert. Needleworkers, I know, first hand, are great book readers too. And books are a great way to learn needlework or whatever we want our imagination to attach too.

That's why I love this business I've had for the past 23 plus years. It is so great to be surrounded by booklovers and needleworkers since I do both.
I've never get bored. My job IS offering feet to the wings of all our imaginations.

So take a look at the books I've included and see if there is a book or more that will increase your learning in an area of your personal interest. 



Hazel refers to herself in her blogs as the "rebellious needlewoman". Not rebellious against needlework but the things that interrupt it. She had so many things going on in 2016 (including illness) she wrote that "she was in the seventh month of the year, that after having given it a six-month trial, she would like to send 2016 back - and get a refund." I think we all have those years. I remembered mine and laughed. Yes, there were times I would have liked a refund too. 

Yet, if you look at the books she has brought out and the classes she managed to travel too, she must have the energy of two people. She lives in KwaZulu-Natal (a garden providence) of South Africa. She travels teaching embroidery to wonderful exotic places as diverse as South African Australia, Canada, Zimbabwe, England, France, Ukraine, Russia and on cruises down the Mekong River spanning Cambodia and Vietnam. I'd love to have been in one of her suitcase and enjoy those places with her.

She's a dog lover so I have that in common with her too except she goes through the adventure of breeding her boxers - eight puppies!That's where we go on different paths. I've been through raising dogs from puppyhood and I'm past that stage. Adult dogs - one or two at a time is all I can handle along with Mark's delightful Tuxedo cat, Selena.  Hazel has to be a whirlwind to handle all that and her needlework business of books, kits, and classes. As she quips, she is surrounded by big, slobbery dogs (her words) so all her designs available on her website are washable. How great is that!

I would like to encourage you to visit her wonderful, informative website: Her BlogSpot is:


NEEDLE WEAVING TECHNIQUES FOR HAND EMBROIDERY - Working from loom weaving graphs and patterns, Hazel Blomkamp has modified and documented 43 different needle weaving techniques and patterns for this book. This book begins with basic guidance on needle weaving techniques based on a single weaving method which Hazel has broken down into easy steps. All these patterns are described, each with a clear diagram and step-by-step instructions, and a photographed example of one of Hazel's beautiful woven pieces. All the stitches have been detailed on one side of the page only, allowing you to place your magnetic crossstitch board underneath. you can then use the magnetic rulers, that come with the board to mark the row that you are working on, making the instructions easier to follow. The book is wire-bound, allowing the pages to lie flat while you work, and the book's notebook-size fits perfectly in a workbag for easy transportation while stitching on the go. With all the stitches needed for needle weaving embroidery at their fingertips, both new and experienced embroiderers will find inspiration from this invaluable resource . $19.95

NEEDLE LACE TECHNIQUES FOR HAND EMBROIDERY - working from the Encyclopedia of Needlework by T.H. de Dillmont, originally published in the late 19th century, Hazel has compiled all of the key needle lace embroidery techniques into one handy and  portable stitch book. This book begins with a basic guide to needle lace techniques, based on several stitches de Dillmont used which Hazel has broken down into easy steps. Over 40 needle lace stitches are then described, each with a clear diagram and step-by-step instructions. All have been detailed on one side of the page only, allowing the reader to place a magnetic cross-stitch board underneath. They can then use the magnetic rulers that come with the board to mark the row that they are working on, making the instructions easier to follow. The book is wire-bound, allowing the pages to lie flat while you work, and the book's notebook-sixe fits perfectly in a workbag for easy transportation while stitching on the go. Both new and experienced embroiders will find inspiration from this invaluable resource. $19.95  (discount code: (opal17)


HAND STITCHED CRAZY PATCHWORK -  Learn how to make ordinary patchwork extraordinary through a fabulous mix of embroidery techniques and bead embellishments. All the great five pieces in this book have been made with only a needle, thread, fabric, ribbons and beads. Also learn to use embroidery to create your own patchwork pieces from scratch. Hazel explains more than 160 techniques for bead embroidery, silk ribbon embroidery, needle weaving and tatting as well as free-hand quilting and working from paper templates. $29.95

CREWEL TWISTS: Fresh ideas for Jacobean Embroidery - This free form of surface embroidery has been around for centuries and is still popular. In this book, Hazel uses a wide selection of materials of materials to update techniques and inspire embroiderers to explore whilst working loosely within the confines of crewel work styles. Learn how to be creative with fabric, threads, beads and alternative stitches, borrowing techniques from other forms of needlework, and still producing a product that is typical of the crewel or Jacobean style of embroidery. $29.95

CREWEL INTENTIONS - This book continues Hazel's concept in her first book (the one above), of using non-traditional techniques and materials in crewel or Jacobean embroidery. It showcases four large projects, each with an accompanying small project similar in technique, and shows needleworkers how to be creative with threads, alternative stitches and beads. Traditional techniques are explained but are extended with the use of bead embroidery, needle lace techniques, and stitches not normally used in crewel work. The book also explores weaving techniques used to create textures like twill and lace weaves, as well as patterns similar to tartan and houndstooth check. Every project is clearly explained with step-by-step instructions and lots of photos, and the completed embroideries are once again displayed in ways that are both decorative and functional in the home. Templates of the original designs complete this magnificent source for creative embroidery.  $29.95

I couldn't say any better!



The Fitzwilliam Museum in England has released a fabulous new book, SAMPLED LIVES that showcases over 100 samplers (in gorgeous color) from the Fitzwilliam Museum's remarkable collection and shows the importance of samplers as documentary evidence of past lives. These beautifully embroidered and stitched samplers illuminate the lives of girls and women, from mid-17th century English Quakers to early 20th century school pupils, encompassing their education, employment, religion, family, societal status and needlework skills. It also highlights the individuality of each sampler, which in some cases is the only surviving document to record the existence of an ordinary young woman.  $54.95


The Great NEEDLEPOINT BOOK is now available in paperback just in time for the holiday season! This is the paperback version of latest edition of this book considered the 'bible" for stitching that includes 436 stitches and 1,680 illustrations. Also included is a crash course on how to use new fibers; updated information on materials, as well as how to work with and care for them, dozens of new stitches; and diagrams and stitch guides for select projects included in this book. There are thirty-two pages of color photographs and a new ribbon stitch chapter.  $35.00

Another Great Book from Carolyn Hedge Baird

Her last book, Teeny Tiny Stitches, is a classic that sells constantly. Now I heard about a new Carolyn Hedge Baird from several customers and I checked it out. Sure enough, Carolyn has just released, Needlepoint Stitches: A Field Guide for Birds. This book includes all the stitches (graphed) you would need for all the birds your heart desires and what size bird you need them for.  And don't forget beaks, eyes, legs, and feet. She covers all of these too.
This is a large, heavy book but shipping will still be $3.50.  The book is $56.95.  Don't forget your 20% discount!

Welcome to More New Books!

Boggen, Sharon - The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilt Design - See It. Stitch it. Contemporary crazy-quilting stitches, photographed step-by-step. Embrace crazy quilting with 35 must-know stitches and endless variations, shown in clear, step-by-step photos for both right and left-handed stitchers. Sharon reveals design fundamentals to guide you in your process. Learn the theory and process behind this fascinating art- how to choose fabrics, piece stitch and flip blocks, and embellish seams with embroidery, beads, buttons, and charms.  $29.95

Botbell, Valerie - Joyful Daily Stitching Seam By Seam -
This book will inspire you to stitch daily, even for a few minutes! Choose from over 500 crazy-quilt seam treatments, each with a detailed photo and guide for the basic stitches included. Learn 61 basic embroidery stitches, including silk ribbon and beaded stitches, through step-by-step photos, plus get crazy-quit block piecing instructions and helpful information on tools and supplies. Then put it all together in a gorgeous, intricate sampler. $26.95

Elam, Kelsey - 100 Simple Paper Flowers - The author is the paper artist behind the company Moonflora, which makes and ships exquisite paper flowers all over the United States. From window displays to weddings, paper flowers are blooming everywhere. This great collection contains a bouquet of beautifully simple step-by-step projects, complete with templates. Whether you are looking to make a single perfect rose, a vaseful of daisies for your desk, or something even more elaborate, all it takes is a handful of techniques to create a colorful paper garden.  $17.95

Higuchi, Yumiko - Simply Stitched with Applique - This embroidery artist offers modern makers a fresh new spin on her beloved designs by combining embroidery stitches with hand applique. Learn how to use felt, cotton, and linen to create beautifully layered designs full of texture and contrast, then embellish with just a handful of basic embroidery stitches. With over 30 motifs inspired by nature, you'll find designs for hydrangeas, sunflowers, lilacs, tulips, poppies, birds, bees, strawberries, and more. With any of these motifs create any of the sophisticated bags, pincushions, coasters, tea towels, and wall art projects included in this book, or be inspired to design your own. Step-by-step color photos illustrate the author's favorite tips and techniques for transferring designs, appliqueing motifs, and embellishing with embroidery stitches. Full-size templates and easy-to-follow instructions are included for each design.  $19.99

Johanson, Mollie - Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big and Small - Love stitching? Love animals? Then this sweet collection of creatures big and small is perfect for you! Featuring beginner-friendly embroidery patterns from a rising star in the craft community, it features a variety of irresistibly cute critters - pets, farm animals, dinosaurs, even mythical favorites like Pegasus and cute kitties and cows and cubs and more. There are 25 projects in all, from a hedgehog stroller quilt to a dachshund keyboard wrist rest, plus dozen of motifs. $16.95

Kettle, Liz - First Time Beading on Fabric - The author teaches nine beading techniques in nine easy lessons. Seed stitch, moss stitch, couching, moss stitch, backstitch bugle beads, stacks, fringe, picot edge and peyote stitch. Two beaded sampler projects are included, one beaded garden quilt. A dozen inspiring beading ideas.  $24.95

Mayo, Lulu - A Million Cats -
Chubby cats. Smiling cats. Cats on buses, pedaling bicycles, playing instruments, and napping happily on branches: lots of cats to color and love! Fans of fabulous felines will find kitties aplenty on these fun and whimsical pages. Each picture is rich in beautiful detail to spark the imagination.  $9.95

Nico, Brooke - More Lovely Knitted Lace - This nationally known lace teacher and designer, presents 16 new projects that offer a fresh and original take on lace knitting. Think sweaters, capelets, tunics and cowls, knit in yarns both thick and thin - contemporary designs that give knitters a wealth of new possibilities. Organized by overall shape-circle, square, triangle, and rectangle- these lovely garments will change the way you look at lace knitting. Step-by-step illustrations clearly explain any advanced techniques, while every pattern regardless of difficulty contains both written and charted instructions. $19.95

Roberts, Kat - Crafting For Cat Ladies: 35 Purr-fect Feline Projects - These 35 unique projects are absolutely purr-fect! These crafts are divided into four sections - accessories, apparel, home, and party. Projects range from a kitty clutch wallet and cat print jeans to kitty-shaped coasters and cat-themed tablecloth. Each project includes easy-to-follow step-by-step photography as well as an overview of the tools and materials used in the book and all necessary templates. $16.95

Shapiro, Emilie - How To Create Your Own Jewelry Line - To develop a successful jewelry line, designers have to be more than just creative artists - they have to understand the ins and outs of running a crafts business. Emile detailed guide explores the many facets of creating a quality handmade collection that people will buy, including where to sell your work, how to do small-scale production, how to carry out market research and publicity, how to price and present your pieces for greatest effect. This is the perfect primer for budding jewelry entrepreneurs.  $24.95

Spargo, Sue - Bird Dance Book - Sue writes, "After teaching in Orvieto in Umbria, I met my parents in Rome and we flew to Sicily. We enjoyed ten days touring that wonderful island and stayed at Agrituristmos, farms that also accommodate visitors. The last Agrituristmos we stayed at was an old olive farm called Fattoria Mose near the town of Agrigento. Every morning we climbed the top floor of the building for breakfast. The buffet was set spread out on large tables and I quickly noticed that the floor, which was quite extensive, was tiled. Interspersed among plain tiles were tiles depicting many species of birds. The birds had been hand-painted and had a distinctly folk-art appearance. Those birds became the inspiration for "Bird Dance". As you sew your quilt, I hope, like me, you experience a joyous sense of gratitude for all the delightful birds that enrich our lives. Creative Stitching book sold separately, is needed for embroidery stitch instruction."  $28.00

Spargo, Sue - Creative Stitching - This goes with the Bird Dance Book. It includes step-by-step concise written instructions along with clear illustrations, for all 50 of Sue's favorite stitches. Included are close up, color, photographic examples of each of the stitches used, along with a detailed look into the needles and threads Sue uses. Spiral bound and small enough to take with you anywhere. Includes an alphabetical index in the back of the book along with a category breakdown of stitches in the front which allows you to choose a stitch by the effect you are looking for.  $32.00

Van Niekerk, Diane and Toody Cassidy - The Textile Artist: The Art of Felting and Silk Ribbon Embroidery - Learn how to make flat nuno felting and felt surfaces, using wool, wool and silk and paper silk, and adorn these with exquisite silk ribbon designs. Beginning with detailed instructions on the felted backgrounds, followed by a step-by-step section on how to make the flowers and creatures in silk, this book then introduces readers to 16 stunning projects, from pieces to hang in your home through to accessories you can wear and keep, to practice and apply your newfound embroidery skills. Over 20 flowers included The stitch gallery includes spider web roses, ribbon stitch, pistil stitch, ribbon stitch with curled up tip, detached chain stitch, fly stitch rose, fly and ribbon stitch rose, French knots, grab stitch, loop stitch, grab stitch, stem stitch rose, twisted straight stitch, blanket/buttonhole stitch, crochet filling stitch, detached buttonhole and many more.  $29.95

PAINT YOUR CANVAS RED! (Or At Least Part of It)
"It is strange how deeply colors seem to penetrate one, like a scent." From George Eliot's Middlemarch.

In this blog and the next two issues of this blog I'm going to walk through the primary colors: red, blue, yellow in this issue beginning with red. What got me started on this quest was a friend of mine, Charlene, who painted a wall in her lovely home red. I loved it! And it made me see how important is selecting the right colors is for homes, paintings, and of course needlework.  Red can be very welcoming as it is in Charlene's home. 

Red is a BOLD color you can't miss. I learned that's why traffic lights use red for stop. and for fire extinguishers. In this country red can stand for anger. In China your wedding dress is red not white - for red stands for happiness. Red was the very first color to be named by all primitive languages. The cave paintings in Lascaux, France, were made from iron ore. But remember, you can be caught red-handed. or be red in the face: embarrassed. Red in the garden is a warm color in landscape design and is the complimentary color for green.  According to psychologists driving a red car means you are sexy, high-energy and a dynamo! And we lay out the red carpet for an important person. A lot of our red coloring in our medicines, cosmetics, and candy comes from the dried, ground bodies of the scale insect Dacrylopius coccus, whose habitat is on cactus plants in places like Mexico and Peru but is also found in oak trees. Ugh, but true!

Red is very popular. But perhaps it can become overkill if it is overused. Like my writing this in red ink. So I'll return to black.

That's better!  I'd like to recommend the following book on the color red.  Next month will be about Blue. 

Patoureau, Michel - Red: The History of A Color - I love this author's books on color that came out earlier this year. He is a historian and director of studies at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes de la Sorbonne in Paris and is a specialist in color. This book offers a social and cultural European history of red from antiquity to the twenty-first century. It contains treasures of forgotten lore and many enjoyable anecdotes. He demonstrates the multiple meanings of color and reveals delightful details about pigments and dyes and navigates centuries of powerful and complex symbolism.  The wonderful reviews fill a page. $39.95  


My historical novel is selling and I'm getting very good reviews. Thanks to all of you who bought a copy. 

For those who are reading this for the first time, the book takes place in the 4th A.D. in Roman occupied Egypt. It is the story of a young female scribe, Ankhasenna, asked by her blind grandfather, Epimachos, to transcribe ancient texts into Coptic, the language of the Egyptian people before they are destroyed by the Roman authorities. Her journey to save these codices (books) leads her on a dangerous adventure spanning Egypt from Alexandria in the northern delta, up the Nile to Nag Hammadi in the south. These books buried in the foothills of the mountains of Nag Hammadi, were discovered in the 19th century. This is my story how they got there.  The times, the historical characters, the books themselves are historically accurate. That's what makes historical fiction interesting reading. I thoroughly researched this book, traveling through Egypt four times (even on camelback) to all the sites for a total of 18 months there.

My editor has encouraged me to write two more books to make this a series, called The Children of the Light, so I'm working hard on that now. 

For more information on the book, I have a new website called: From My Pen  This will not only cover my travels and research on this book and the new books, but other historical novelists even some stories and articles.  Hope you take a look.

The book is $15.95 with a 20% discount when you find the code in this blog. In fact, all the books in this blog get a 20% discount with that code.



Abbott, Krish - Assault and Buttery (Popcorn Shop Mystery) - Repairs are under way at Rebecca Anderson's gourmet popcorn shop. With production of her tasty treats on hold, Rebecca has plenty of time to read the old diary she discovered hidden in the shop's walls. It's a fun peek into her town's history until the diary's abrupt ending leaves Rebecca whether she's actually stumbled on a cold case. Unfortunately for Rebecca, mysteries are popping up right and left. When local busybody, Lloyd McLaughlin is found dead, the police suspect he was poisoned by Rebecca's popcorn.  But Rebecca has only made one batch of popcorn recently, and it wasn't intended for Lloyd.  $7.99

Carlisle, Kate - Eaves of Destruction (Fixer-Upper #5) - As Lighthouse Cove prepares for its annual Victorian Home and Garden Tour, murder is on the to-do list when construction contractor Shannon Hammer looks for a killer.  $7.99

Connolly, Sheila - A Late Frost (Orchard Mystery) - The usually quiet town of Granford, Massachusetts, is even drowsier during the colder months. But this year it's in for a jolt when Monica Whitman moves into town. She's a dynamo who wants to make friends fast in her new home, and she throws herself into community activities. Meg Corey, now Chapin after her marriage to Seth Chapin, is intrigued by the new arrival, who has already sold the town board on a new, fun way to bring in visitors during the off-season: Winterfare, which will feature local foods (such as Meg's apples) and crafts, as well as entertainment. Tragically, Monica falls ill and dies after the event in what looks like food poisoning. When all the food is tested it becomes clear that there's a more sinister explanation to the older woman's sudden demise. Meg's investigation uncovers a bushel of potential suspects, one of whom is rotten to the core. $7.99

Davis, Krista - Not A Creature Was Purring (Paws and Claws Mystery) - Sugar Maple Inn owner, Holly Miller, lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with a brood of cats and dogs, including a snoopy Jack Russell terrier and a nosy calico cat. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices that they keep coming back for more. Inspired by her German heritage, Holly's grandmother has arranged for Wagtail to have a Christkindl Market packed with goodies and decorations for the howliday tourists. But Holly's mood takes an unseasonable turn when she learns that her old flame and childhood friend Holmes Richardson has brought his fiancée home - and she will be staying at her inn. Then a dead body of a beloved businessman turns up in the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia. $7.99

Farrow, Sharon - Dying for Strawberries (Berry Basket Mystery #1) - Much has changed for Marlee Jacob since she returned to Oriole Point, Michigan, three years ago. Between running the Berry Basket, dodging local gossip, and whipping up strawberry muffins, smoothies, and margaritas to celebrate the town's first annual Strawberry Moon Bash, the twenty-nine year old hardly has time for her fiancé, let alone grim memories of her old life in New York. But unfortunately for Marlee, Oriole Point is muddled with secrets of its own. First, her friend Natasha disappears after an ominous dream. Next the seediest man in town threatens to crush her business. Then an unknown person nearly kills her  on the night of the Bash. When she discovers a dead body while searching for Natasha, Marlee realizes she'll have to foil a killer's plot herself - before the past permanently stains her future.  $7.99

Farrow, Sharon - Blackberry Burial (Berry Basket Mystery #2) -Between a booming art scene and elaborate Independence Day festivities in July in the lakeshore town of Oriole Point, Michigan, is always a blast. But when Marlee Jacob, owner of The Berry Basket, stumbles upon a dead body, she must rush to catch an elusive murderer. Includes berry recipes. $7.99

Meir, Leslie, Hollis, Lee, Ross, Barbara - Eggnog Murder - Cozy up with some eggnog and enjoy the spirit of murder with a treat perfect for winter holidays. This collection of mysteries by great cozy mystery writers.  $7.99

Simon, Misty - Cremains of the Day (Tallie Graver Mystery #1) - Tallulah Graver married wealthy to get out of the family funeral home business. To make ends meet after her marriage fails, Tallie turns to cleaning the mansions of the snobby socialites she used to call friends. At least she doesn't have to be around dead bodies until she discovers one of her employers lying in a closet with a knife sticking out of her chest.  $7.99

Wait, Lea - Thread the Halls - This Yuletide season there's no time for Angie Curtis and Patrick West to linger under the mistletoe. Patrick's being needled by his mother - movie star Skye West - to set the stage for a perfect white Christmas as she brings her costar, screenwriters, and director home for the holidays. With his mother's long list of wishes, Patrick's becoming unraveled. To help, the Mainely Needlepointers offer to decorate Skye's Victorian mansion and create needlepoint pillows as gifts for the guests. But not long after the celebrity celebrants invade Haven Harbor, an unscripted tragedy occurs. Then some questionable Christmas cookies make Patrick sick. Before Santa arrives on the town pier on a lobster boat, Angie and the Needlepointers need to trim down the naughty list, catch a cold-hearted killer, and wrap up the case.  $7.99

Weiss, Kirsten - The Quiche and the Dead (Pie Town Mystery #1) - Valentine Harris' dream of opening a pie shop has become a reality after moving to the coastal California town of San Nicholas. But when one of her regulars keels over at the counter while eating a quiche, Val feels like she's living a nightmare. $7.99

McKinley, Jenn - Better Late than Never (Library Lover's Mystery)  - During Briar Creek Public Library's overdue book amnesty day, a copy of The Catcher in the Rye, 20 years past due, catches Lindsey's attention. She learns the borrower was a murdered school teacher whose killer was never found. Now Lindsey wonders if it could provide a clue to the decades-old case.  $7.99


If this  is your first time with us I'd like to introduce you to our company: we've been in business for 24 years and have set up needlework bookshops at both the ANG and EGA seminars and for other needlework groups as well as having sites on the web. Can't find a certain book? Give us a call Monday thru Saturday at 602-943-0738 and if you need to leave a message, don't despair, I'm probably helping Mark, my husband with M.S. or running books to the post office. I will return your phone call ASAP. Or you can e-mail me at To reach us by mail: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.  Love to hear from you.

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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

SEPT/OCT BLOG 2017 COMING OCT 19th. See you then!

           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.