Wednesday, February 7, 2018

               JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

Do You Know About The San Francisco School of Needlework and Design?


If not, let me introduce you. This wonderful embroidery organization located at 360 Post Street, Ste. 604, San Francisco, CA 94108 known as SNAD. They are open Monday thru Saturday 9:30-4:30. If you are in the neighborhood stop by and see their great library, exhibits and talk to one of the staff.  SNAD's mission: to teach, promote and preserve hand embroidery and from what I've read on their site and in their newsletters and from the classes and lectures and other programs they are doing just that. Their organization continues to grow each year. But why am I writing about them when you can pop on-line and visit their website:

I've included a book one of their needleworkers has written that came out in the fall of last year:      
Mornu, Nathalie - Embroider Your Life: Simple Techniques and 150 Stylish Motifs to Embroider Your World - These motifs have been designed by 20 of today's most popular embroidery artists. Learn the simplest embroidery stitches and techniques, and see how these can be used to personalize your wearables, accessories, and items for your home. Explore color, stitch variations, fabric grounds, thread types, scale, fills, and more. These stitch motifs are contemporary and modern, with a graphic aesthetic - not retro, kitschy, sentimental, or old-fashioned. The book is good not only for beginners but for the more advanced stitchers.  $16.95

                 STILL AS GORGEOUS

I'm in love! I was at a friend's house and she showed me a greeting card she received. The cover was a beautiful 3-D peacock I discovered was quilled. I vaguely knew what quilling was - the art of thin strips of rolled paper made into 3-D designs but I didn't know how gorgeous it truly was. I had to know more about this wonderful art that is known by many names: paper-rolling, paper-scrolling, filigree, and mosaic as well as quilling.  Quilling stuck more than the other names since this name came from the use of the quill - one of the large stiff feathers of birds - to coil paper upon. Well, that answered my curiosity about why it was called quilling but I didn't really care what they called it.  Whatever this art was called it had burrowed into my brain and I needed to know more.

I was surprised to learn quilling has been has been thought by some historians to be around since ancient Egypt since they had a filigree type art that might have been the inspiration of more modern quilling. This paper art was extremely popular in the 16th and 17th centuries where work of high quality was reached by genteel ladies and nuns in Europe who had time for such art. No working class woman during that time period had time for artwork. Eventually, quilling reached the North American shores and caught on here. Today this paper art is resurfacing again as a very accessible, affordable way to create beautiful designs.

I began my search for more information quilling by visiting the card company that created the beautiful peacock card I saw at my friend's house. Their motto is "don't just send a card, send art!' I've included here some examples of their beautiful cards, paper jewelry, and kits found on their site: Enjoy!

quilled earrings

                           Quilling Kit for Flowers

Next I discovered a great website:,  on paper crafts such as quilling created by Ann Martin, who has been quilling since 2002 when she was instantly captivated by a magazine article about the beautiful art of paper rolling. her work and tutorials have appeared on television, in books, including her own: All Things Paper, Creative Paper Quilling, as well as in craft, card making, and handmade jewelry magazines. Her blog features her designs and the work of other remarkable paper artists from around the world.  In the list of quilling books below I've included two of hers.

If this has whetted your appetite more on quilling take a look at the selection of books on this craft I've included below.  (discount code: luv18)

Neals, Cindy - Quilling for Beginners: How to Get Started with Stylish Paper Quilling Techniques, Tips and Projects - No experience with quilling? No worries! This book is suited to the absolute beginner that's looking to get started with quilling. It includes an intro to quilling, quilling history, the importance of Quilling paper selection, techniques, simple quilling projects and much, much more. $9.95

Liquin, Zhu and Paper Arts Museum - Paper Quilling Chinese Style - Sure to delight the myriad of diverse group of crafters who have fallen in love with quilling, this lovely book uses traditional Chinese arts to crate an array of paper quilling projects with a distinctly Chinese design. A flexible and limitless art form, paper
quilling allows so much individual expression that it has attracted fans around the world. By showcasing the bold and inventive use of color, composition and traditional symbols, this book is sure to bring a new level of depth and beauty to your work. With simple tools and materials easily found at most craft stores, you will be able to explore the boundaries of Western handicraft and traditional  Chinese cultures and your own creativity!  $25.95

Liquin, Zhu and Paper Arts Museum - Paper Quilling Four Season Chinese Style - Quilling, the art of coiling and shaping narrow paper strips into 3-D designs, has been popular with crafters for a long time. Paper has a flexibility and elasticity that gives it endless possibilities. All you need to get started is strips of paper, glue and a tool to roll the paper. You can use what you already have: recycled paper and a bamboo skewer or toothpick work well or get a quilling kit at a craft shop. This guide offers examples of various forms of Chinese art for inspiration, different modes of composition with each season is depicted in all its distinct color and beauty through the unique art of paper quilling.  $24.95

Louie, Cevelia - Pretty Quilled Cards - From a thank-you note to a cheery holiday message, here's a quilled card for every occasion. It's easy! Just lay your paper strips on top of the full-size illustrations accompanying each project, and mark the length and folds as indicated. Plus, this collection contains printed backgrounds to photocopy and use.  Make cards, gift tags, cupcake toppers, and more. $17.95

Louie, Cecelia - Quilling Creations: Flora and Fauna: Craft Ten Charming Paper Art Vignettes - This book includes all you need to know to get started. This inspirational kit gives you ten elegant projects and the ability to fold, roll, and create bright flowers, spectacular birds, and other woodland creatures. Plenty of the basic techniques for rolled paper art, step-by-step  photographic instructions and also ideas for designing and creating your own unique pieces. This kit comes with everything you need to get started, including a rolling tool, ready-to-go paper strips in multiple colors, and a thorough guidebook.  $18.99

Martin, Ann - The Art of Quilling Paper Jewelry: Techniques and Projects for Metallic Earrings and Pendants - Ann Martin shows how to create exquisite paper jewelry with the look of copper, silver, and gold by using metallic-edged papers that are very sturdy. Pairing step-by-step illustrations with detailed tutorials on rolling coils, scrolls, and other unique shapes, this book shows you how to create twenty eye-catching designs with Ann's expert guidance and a few minimal tools and supplies. $22.99

Martin, Ann - Creative Paper Quilling: Wall Art, Jewelry, Cards and More - This accomplished quilling artist with other quillers takes you on a true creative adventure as they share expert technique information, helpful tips and eye-catching designs. With projects for beginners as well as experienced artists enjoy creating unique wall art, handmade greeting cards, stylish pendants and earrings and festive holiday ornaments.  $14.95 

Runa, Sena - Quilling Art - Turkish paper artist Sena Runa gives this time-honored craft, a stylish and contemporary update sure to appeal to the 21st- century artist. The twenty great projects include a guitar, apple, owl, butterfly, cloud, heart, and other popular designs and motifs. Pairing elaborate design with a clever use of color crates exciting effects in the projects, which vary in complexity to appeal to quillers of all skill levels. Each project features easy-to-follow instructions with step-by-step photos and templates that take guess work out of the quilling process. It also includes tips that will help you develop skills and techniques that will allow you to create your own show-stopping designs.  $19.95

This is a small selection of beautiful quilling art:




Amor, Shelagh - Crewel Embroidery: A Practical Guide -  I am so happy to see this book back in print. Master an expert instructor's special techniques, starting with the simplest stitches, including stem, chain, split, long and short, French knot, and trellis filling. Our author lives in Australia, has coordinated classes for the Embroiderer's Guild, has taught embroidery techniques for over 20 years and has a reputation for meticulous attention to detail and finish. In this book she covers the entire stitching process from selecting and transferring patterns to framing and finishing. Put it all together with ten original floral projects you can use for clothing, soft furnishings, and framed wall hangings. $19.95

Boggon, Sharon - The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design - 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. This talented quilt artist 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

Draper, Jean - Stitch and Pattern: Design and Technique for Pattern Textile Art -  As she did with her best-selling Stitch and Structure, Jean guides textile artists through some of the most creative ways of working up patterns, and harnessing our love for rhythm and repeat in fabric. She discusses the nature of pattern and its language, and explains grids, symmetry, and the positive and negative in design. Detailed studies explore patterns from other cultures, including  Banjara; in plants and flowers; and on the human body. Throughout, Draper carefully teaches a variety of techniques, from putting stitches together, to exaggerating and overlapping stitches, to using just one type of stitch.  $29.95

Envoldsen-Harris, Carina - Mandalas to Embroider - This exceptional Danish embroiderer who lives in the UK brings us vibrant and contemporary patterns, varying from the traditional to the unusual - from floral designs and calligraphy, through to intricate portraits of Frieda Kahlo and the colorful Day of the Dead skulls. She has given the traditional madala an update and twist by incorporating her almost-trademarked sytle of boldness mixed with femininity. Calming and meditation doesn't mean boring, and stitched mandalas aren't just for working and popping into frames - show them off in a necklace, brooch or on your shoes!  24 beautiful, meditative mandalas for you to embroider. Only 10 stitches used to make all the motifs, explained and accompanied by clear, step-by-step diagrams.   $13.95

Kaprow, Erica - Everything's Blooming - This author has always enjoyed sewing. She now combines her love for wool dyeing, quiltmaking , and embroidery to make rich wool applique quilts. 12 page booklet plus pattern sheets. $19.95

Lubin, Clementine - A Beginner's Guide to Dyeing and Sewing - This author lives in Paris, France and is in love with sewing.  This is not her first book on the subject. In this book learn how to refresh, transform or personalize clothing, soft furnishings or fabric accessories, or to dye fabric to create brand-new items. She shows us how to create 12 dazzling dye effect - from tie-dyeing and dip-dyeing to creating checks, lines, droplets and bubbles - then shows us how to put this into practice to create  21 gorgeous sewn projects, ranging from bags and pillows to towels, scarves and clothing. She offers advice on dyeing printed fabrics and working with a base colour, as wells as guidance on washing and maintaining dyed fabric. The dyeing techniques are created either in the washing machine, by hand or in the microwave, and clear instructions are included for each method. This book focuses on readily-available chemical dyes, but the dye effects could transfer to natural types as well. All the sewing steps are explained clearly, with handy illustrations to provide clarity where necessary.  $19.95

Legenhausen, Courtney - Fashion Jewelry: A Beginner's Guide to Jewelry Making - Bead stringing. Wire wrapping. Pearl knotting. This great guide teaches all the basics of fashioning fun and attractive bracelets, rings, necklaces, and earrings. Detailed instructions and easy-to-follow, step-by-step photos lay out the techniques including jewelry stamping and applying hammered textures and 17 projects. Even novices can make chandelier earrings, a pearl bracelet, a stone pendant, and more. This is a thoughtful, effective and detailed instructional guide.  $21.95

Lubin, Clementine - A Beginner's Guide to Overlockers, Sergers and Coverlockers: 50 Lessons and 15 projects to get you started - Learn how to get the most out of your machine with this comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide. Full of practical advice to help you master all the features and applications of your overlocker (serger)  and coverlocker, you will learn how to handle your machine using its more complex features and will soon be finishing hems like a professional sewer. There are 50 great photographed step-by-step lessons to guide you through all the skills you need to get started, and 15 neat projects to make, to apply your knowledge and help you realize your sewing goals. This book includes full-size, fold-out patterns and is the essential guide for all aspiring sewers. It is a fantastic resource for those new to machine sewing and a great source of inspiration and ideas for the most experienced sewers.  $19.95

Martingale - Stitches from the Harvest hand Embroidery - This hand embroidery is inspired by autumn and brings you 15 all-new embroidery projects. Stitch jaunty squirrels, whimsical birds, and a bevy of fall fruit and leaves to bedeck elegant little projects, including pillow, tote bag, table runner, needle book, pincushions and more. Clear instructions, helpful tips and beautiful original artwork makes this book a source of inspiration.  $24.99

Ray, Aimee - Embroidered Woodland Creatures - This bestselling author offers a new selection of delightful woodland-themed transfers - over fifty designs that range from complex mandalas to simple critters, like frogs, turtles, deer, and owls. These designs are printed on reusable transfer paper - just tear out the pages, iron the pattern onto your fabric and start stitching. There is a handy pocket in back of book to store your cutout transfers. Aimee Ray provides a complete introduction to embroidery as well as a fully illustrated stitch library.  $14.95

Schluz, Carolyn - Jewelry School Bead Stringing - Create beautiful jewelry on single or multiple threads, following Carolyn's, concise instructions complete with diagrams and full-colour photos. This book features twelve projects and variations that use an array of stunning beads and pearls for necklaces and bracelets that can be worn daily or on a special night out.  $12.95

Spargo, Sue - Creative Stitching: Second Edition - This book is based on years of experience teaching thousands of students of all skill levels. It is designed to help you quickly and easily learn dozens of stitches that can be immediately applied to any project. This new revised edition includes over 20 new stitches. Highly detailed illustrations and photos updated. $32.00

Van Baarle, Els and Cherilyn - Interpreting Themes in Textile Art - Two textile artists. Two personal interpretations of the same creative theme. Even though they both have individual approaches to shape, form, color, and technique, their shared interest in the same topics has united them for 25 years. And, often, they inspire each other. These two talented creators start from the same point, but then draw on their own experiences.  They have chosen six themes to explore: memory; graven (cemetery) images and idols; books as objects; Pompeii and archeological excavations; walls; and everyday items. $29.95



Ah! I love reading about a woman who puts her interests before housework.  In fact, Kelly calls herself an anti-housekeeper. This makes me feel less guilty about my giving my house, "a lick and a promise" much of the time. She lives and writes in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. She's had many careers and has now added mystery writer to her past work as a journalist, copywriter, editor, PR consultant for Fortune 500 companies. Before moving to Virginia she had participated in competitive sailing and had one of New England's best equestrian facilities. She calls herself a garden junkie, recipe lover, animal hoarder, farm gal, a family person and is an award-winning photographer.  Holey Moley!  She says she has a soft spot for toll-house cookies and milk, coffee yogurt (hmm, I need to look for this!), wooded boats and old-fashioned roses.

Somehow I picture her jumping out of bed before dawn and getting her day moving. I bet she does her writing first.  She reads "oodles" of books, is a member of Sisters in Crime, has attended writing workshops and has a major goal in her mystery writing,  "If you take the time to read one of my stories, my goal is to entertain and always leaves a smile on your face."

I hope you take time to read one of her books in her Olive Grove Mystery series I've introduced below. 

Lane, Kelly - One Foot in the Grove (Olive Grove Mystery #1) - In the sweet Southern town of Abundance, Georgia, home of the Knox family's olive farm, gossip isn't the only thing that can kill you. After leaving a man at the altar for the second time in her life, Eva Knox, decides to head home to her family's plantation to regroup and soak in some Southern charm. But hiding from her woes is a slipperier proposition than Eva imagined. For one thing, most people in town sill haven't forgiven her for leaving local boy Buck Tanner at the altar and hightailing it up north eighteen years ago. For another, a death on her family's farm soon makes her the leading suspect in a murder case.. and the sheriff investigating is none other than Eva's old flame Buck.  $7.99

Cold Pressed Murder - (Olive Grove Mystery #2) - Eva and the residents of Knox Plantation are oozing with excitement over the activities planned for the Farm Family Fare. The weekend event consists of two days of tours, exhibitions, music, tasting, and. more importantly, cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs from the Chow Network. The enthusiasm, however, begins to dribble away after one of the star chefs goes missing.. and is later found dead in the back of a refrigerated truck.  $7.99

Dipped to Death (Olive Grove Mystery #3) - On a sizzling-hot September day, Eva Knox's ex-boyfriend, Dudley Dexter Codman the Third, along with a bunch of his corporate cronies from Boston, arrive a Eva's family's guest in and olive farm, Knox Plantation. Maps and binoculars in had, the New Englanders claim they're on a bird-watching holiday. Only Eva knows that her ex doesn't know a thing about birds. Eva can't fathom why he'd show up after all these years in her off-the-beaten-path hometown - nearly 1,200 miles from Boston. But when Dudley is found drowned in the pond. Eva starts fishing for answers. But she doesn't have much time after authorities determine that her ex was poisoned by one of Eva's family's olive oils. She'll have to find the real killer before her family is caught for murder.  $7.99

Flower, Amanda - (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #1) - Assaulted Carmel - Assistant chocolatier Bailey King leaves New York City for Harvest, Ohio to help out in her grandparents' Amish candy shop when her grandfather's heart condition worsens. His health is better than she feared, but the police suspect him of murdering a local developer found dead in the candy shop kitchen. Bailey determines to clear her grandfather but finds herself in a batch of trouble. $7.99

Flower, Amanda - Lethal Licorice (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #2) - Now while caring for her widowed grandmother, she plans to honor her grandfather's memory by entering the annual Amish Confectionery Competition. But between lavender blueberry fudge and chocolate cherry ganache truffles, Bailey may have bitten off more than she can chew when the search for a missing pit-bellied pig turns up a body suffering from sugar overload ...the fatal kind from an allergy to an essential licorice ingredient. The suspects include: Josephine's niece, a young woman going through her rumspringa, or running around time, and Bailey herself. Now it falls to Bailey, who's sweet on the local sheriff's deputy, to clear their names and entice a killer with a cast-iron stomach for cold-blooded murder.  $7.99 

Harris, Sherry - I Know What You Bid Last Summer ( A Garage Sale Mystery) - Sherry started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend's yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry combined her love of garage sales, her life as an Air Force spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration skills for this series. In this mystery her heroine, Sarah Winston believes in doing her homework. She also believes in giving back. But when she agrees to manage an athletic equipment swap, she doesn't bargain on an uncharitable killer. The day of the event, the school superintendent is found dead in the gymnasium. In between tagging and haggling, Sarah studies the clues to see who wanted to teach the superintendent a lesson. But as she closes in on the truth, the killer intends to give her a crash course on minding her own business. $7.99

Kashian, Tina - Hummus and Homicide (Kebab Kitchen Mystery #1) - When Lucy Berberian quits her Philadelphia law firm and heads home to Ocean Crest, she knows wheat she's getting - the scent of funnel cake, the sight of the wooden roller coaster and the tastes of her family's Mediterranean restaurant. But murder wasn't on the menu.  Things are slow in the off-season in this Jersey Shore town, but Lucy doesn't mind. She doesn't even mind waitressing at the Kebab Kitchen. Her parents have put in a new hummus bar, with every flavor from lemon to roast red pepper. Lucy could do without Heather Banks, though, the ex-cheerleader is still as nasty as she was back in high school and unfortunately, she's just taken over as the local health inspector. Just minutes after eating at the Kebab Kitchen - where she's tallied up a list of bogus violations - she falls down dead in the street. Work on the grapevine is it's homicide, and Lucy's the number one suspect.  $7.99

Wiken, Linda - Toasting Up Trouble - Event planner Jennifer "J.J." Tanner has a full plate, but that's the way she likes it. First, it's her turn to choose the recipe for the next meeting of the Culinary Capers Dinner Club, a gathering of foodie friends who experiment with the entrees for their creative and gastronomical pleasure. Second, she's organizing an Italian princess party for the twenty-one year old daughter of a high-tech millionaire. But one thing J.J. didn't plan on is that the caterer for the event - hotshot chef Antonio Marcotti - would end up murdered the night of the party. Or that she'd end up being a prime suspect after having had a heated argument with the unscrupulous chef. Now it's up to J.J. with help from her fellow Club members and a handsome if mysterious private eye - to turn the tables on the real killer.  $7.99

Wiken, Linda - Roux the Day (Dinner Club Mystery) - Event planner J.J. Tanner is planning a cruise ship casino night - and she is really going overboard. She even arranged for radio DJ Connor Mac and TV personality Miranda Myers to help the good times roll. But the party comes to screeching halt when Miranda is found dead on the main deck. With a boatload of suspects, the police focus in on J.J., who, though recently linked with Connor, never knew he was once engaged - to Miranda. J.J. turns to her dinner club members to help fish for clues and keep herself out of hot water.  $7.99

Wiken, Linda - Marinating in Murder (Dinner Club Mystery) -  #3) The Culinary Capers Dinner Club is planning a fall picnic for their next meeting. What could be better than sharing delicious food with friends under a beautiful autumn sky? But when club member Alison Maikovich opens the back of her SUV to load the picnic supplies, she finds a dead body - that of her ex-husband, and now she's the prime suspect. Because Alison is a police officer, she is suspended and warned not to do any investigating of her own. That's not about to stop J.J. and the Culinary Capers gang though. They know Alison is innocent.  $7.99


I hoped your visit was a pleasant one.  If this is your first visit I'd like to introduce you to our business of over 25 years.  We have set up book shops for the ANG,  EGA, and a variety of other needlework organizations and have a presence on-line.

Can't find a certain book? Give us a call whether the title you want is in or out-of-print.

Give us a call Monday through Saturday.  If the phone is on message please don't be shy about leaving a message. I'll be back to you ASAP.   OR you can leave me an e-mail at: By mail: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue   Phoenix, AZ 85021.


Sunday, December 24, 2017

   Jan/Feb blog will publish the evening of Feb 23th 2018.  



I'm late, I'm late, I'm late for a an important date,
No time to say hello, goodbye. I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!
                        (from the film, Alice in Wonderland)

That's how I've been feeling all year with all aspects of my life since a good friend of 46 years was taken in critical condition to the hospital by ambulance and spent the entire year of 2017 in that condition and me on her Medical Power of Attorney after her husband. She wanted to be let go, she couldn't speak but did mouth that wish as well as that being in her trust, but her husband, thinking she'd get better, wouldn't honor that hope. I was deeply involved with meetings, listening to the doctors pleading to do the right thing , talking to staff, but instead, her husband after 11 months of this, opted to take her home with a confusion of medical equipment: feeding tube. ventilator, trach in her throat, pacemaker, etc., etc., thinking she would be back to normal,  after being surrounded by her home and pet cats. Instead she declined.  It was then I discovered her brother and I were co-trustees on the estate as well the medical issues. But I was too concerned what was happening with her, having been a medical P.A. years ago, and focused on medical concerns not thinking about trusts. Then out of the blue her husband died first, she died two days later, leaving her brother and I forced to make serious decisions and trying to discover papers, accounts, and many, many bills to deal with.

Her ending came on Thanksgiving and since then two of us have been extremely busy. Luckily, we think alike and work as a team. However, this blog and my entire business took a hit but I am so determined this January 2018 to catch up, after 
having gotten a little late here and there like this blog.  I've hired someone to lighten some of the load starting on January 4th so I'm encouraged. I hope I didn't let any of you down. My apologies if I did. 

I'm looking forward to 2018 and hope you are too!


               If through respect or love I lend
               This book unto my worthy friend
               He must not soil, abuse, nor tear,
               But read with diligence and care;
               And when its contents you have learned
               Remember, it must always be Returned.
                                 (From an old bookplate)

Have you ever loaned a book that was never returned? I have a feeling the answer is an unanimous YES! In a moment of generosity or enthusiasm for a book we love we lend it. Perhaps it is months later when we suddenly need it do we notice a blank space on a shelf - and a flash we wonder: Who did I lend that to?? If we do remember we're now in a position of having to ask for it back. I've had countless customers calling me for a book search because of this scenario. Now they need to replace a book they already owned. Remember the scene in the movie, Out of Africa when Denys Fitzhatten (Robert Redford) tells his friend about loaning books to someone and not getting them back. His friend asks, "You wouldn't end a friendship over a book?" And Denys replies, "No, but apparently he would."

I've heard similar stories. A number of customers told me when they pointed to their book on a friend's shelf and said it was theirs, they received a, "No, you are mistaken, that book is mine." I guess possession is really 9/10th's of the law. It's on their shelf so it must be theirs. BUT there is a way to avoid this sticky situation that'll not only identify your books as yours but will add a charming piece of art to your book and not hurt it's value (writing in them is a definite no-no!), instead use a bookplate. Maybe with a neat saying like the one above.

Since books have existed owners have marked them as their, usually writing some kind of mark or their name in them (again, unless you are famous, don't do this). The first bookplate appeared in the mid-fifteenth century, German in origin and designed by Albrecht Durer, the famous artist. Since then many famous artists have created bookplates and some book lovers have gone to the trouble of having artists design a special bookplate for them.

Bookplates can say I love these books I own. Many libraries bought from estates are cherished for the bookplate art as well as the books themselves. Besides, it's kind of nice to get acquainted with the previous owner who apparently had the same taste in books you do. Believe it or not, there are bookplate collectors world-wide who search out rare examples of this art. Sometimes authors will autograph their book on a bookplate and you just glue it inside the front cover or on the first blank page.

I won't go as far as Ben Franklin did when he coined, "Neither a borrower or a lender be" but at least mark your books. However, Lending books doesn't always have a bad ending - that's how Mark and I began dating years ago. He was a window clerk then at the local post office where I mailed off books. I could walk into this cute little postal station and knew everyone who worked there. Knowing of my trips to Egypt, a place he always wanted to visit, he borrowed a book on Egypt by John Romer, who was doing a series on ancient Egypt on PBS at that time. I was moving to a new home and forgot about the book until a customer asked for that title and I suddenly remembered where it was. I called the post office but he had moved to a different location but I found him. He not only returned my book but took me out to dinner. And a year and half later we got married. So not all book lending has an unhappy ending.

If you are curious to learn more about bookplates and peruse some of the past artistic plates or want to use bookplates in your books I've included some for you to check out.

Castle, Egerton - English Bookplates: An Illustrated Handbook for the Students of Ex-Libris - The author explains that the first bookplate (also known as ex-libris), was used inside a book around 1450. As we know it caught on. Albrecht Durer designed bookplates and had a lasting influence in the art. Yes, these plates were considered an art. Learn this art's distinguished history.  260 pages.  $15.99

Plouvier, Christine - The Bookplate Book, Volume I - This is a cut-and-paste project suitable for teen through adults so you will need scissors, glue or paste. Christine brings us 25 unique color images that illustrate one hundred bookplates. As she says, what more attractive way is there to help your books come home. Have fun! 62 pages. $19.99

Plouvier, Christine - The Bookplate Book, Volume II - Her volume II offers book-labeling options of twenty-five unique monochrome images printed on a elegant parchment background illustrate one hundred bookplates from classic, to contemporary, formal to playful.  Don't forget to keep your scissors and glue or paste. Instructions are provided.  62 pages. $19.99

Plouvier, Christine - The Bookplate, Volume 3: Cookbook Edition - Do you need to find a gift for the chef in your life? The one who owns a large library of cookbooks. (Is that you?) This volume includes twenty-five unique culinary images, illustrating one hundred bookplates. This is a papercraft sampler for a kitchen library so get your scissors and paste ready. Has Instructions.  62 pages. $19.99

Grafton, Carol Belanger (editor) - Bookplate Designs (with CDROM) - This book is a unique homage to bookplate art illuminates over 320 designs of the craft's finest examples. Our author includes a great variety of black-and-white designs embrace a multitude of styles: woodcuts, engravings, lithographs, typography, and more that were collected from all over the world, each bookplate is a masterpiece in small scale.  $16.95


Potter Style - Antiquarian Bookplates: 55 Bookplates to Personalize Your Library - Each bookplate features a beloved literary quote and a charming illustration that makes each book in your collection even more special. A few sample quotes include: "Literature is my Utopia" - Helen Keller. " A room without books is a body without a soul-" Cicero.  "We read to know we are not alone."- C.S. Lewis.  "Read in order to live." Gustave Flaubert. And many more.  $12.99

Harper, Charley - Cardinal Bookplates - I love Charley Harper's art and on a bookplate warms my heart. These 24 adhesive 3x4 in. bookplates come in a decorative hardtop box. What a wonderful addition to the books in any library.  $12.95

Harper, Charley - Limp on a Limb Bookplates - What a great bookplate for all the cat lovers out there. Just looking at this artwork put a big smile on my face. These 24 adhesive 3x4 in. bookplates come in a decorative hardtop box.  $12.95

Rice, William S. - Owls and Magnolias Bookplates - These plates were designed by artist William S. Rice.  Whooo doesn't admire the wise old owl? This one and the magnolias behind him bring a certain sophistication to your books. There are twenty-four adhesive 3x4 in. nicely presented in a decorative hardtop box.  $12.95

I couldn't resist adding this mystery here:

Barrett, Lorna - Bookplate Special (Booktown Mystery) - Tricia Miles, owner of Haven't Got a Clue mystery bookstore, is still setting into Stoneham, New Hampshire, the kind of town where everybody knows your name - and where everyone's quick to lend a hand, even when murder's afoot. The kinder folks of Stoneham might call Pammy Fredericks a free spirit. The less kind, a freeloading thief. Tricia has put up with her uninvited college roommate for weeks. In return, Pammy has stolen one hundred dollars, among other things. But the day she's kicked out, Pammy's found dead in a trash cart, leaving loads of questions unanswered. What was she foraging for? Did her killer want it too? To piece the case together, Tricia will have to dive in headfirst.  $7.99


During the years I was setting up needlework bookshops at the national ANG seminar whenever we arrived the first question Mark would ask me was: "Is Jane going to be teaching?" I'd laugh when I said yes. I knew what was coming. Jane would zoom in on her electric cart and the two of them would banter back and forth and me laughing up a storm. It always ended with hugging. Jane was lots of fun but she's a serious needeworker, teacher and artisan admired by her peers and students alike.

Over forty years ago, Jane, wanting to keep her hands busy, went into a needlework shop and bought threads and canvas and taught herself to stitch. He mother had been a seamstress of couture clothing so needles and threads were no strangers to her. Jane mastered the art of stitching quickly and needlework became her passion. She started teaching but still kept learning from the likes of Muriel Baker, Peg Lunt, and Audrey Francini. Of course she began a library of books by canvas workers such as Sylvia Sydney, Mary Rhodes and Hope Hanley. Then she mastered counted thread, Assisi and pulled thread and became a leading needlework teacher of goldwork.

Amazingly, with all this going on in her life, Jane began writing books and got deeply involved in needlework history (1930 and earlier) and taught herself photography. At this time he began traveling around the states and Canada to teach. In her 'spare time' Jane flew to England to indulge her passion for needlework history. There she visited museums and shot photo after photo of marvelous historical embroidery.  Then she developed a fascinating class on English Embroidery History and wrote a book on the same, which I've listed below. If you get Jane started on the history of British royalty be prepared for a fascinating visit back to the 16th century. She's a great storyteller.

Jane is an original and so are her designs. Where do the ideas spring from? Some of them are based on original, historic pieces but she prefers geometric designs from Islamic, Moorish, Chinese and American Patchwork Patterns and Art.
(discount code: Nanci17)



One last thing about Jane. She taught herself the computer early on as she saw this machine the way of the future including needlework. She even had to learn how the machine functioned. Me, I'm just happy when it works. Her curiosity paid off. She became a forerunner in computer graphics for needlework.

Although Jane no longer travels to classes, her books are classic and still available and still very popular with needleworkers. I had the pleasure of talking to her recently as I was desperate for her Canvas Work Bands and Borders for a needlework class and not only did I enjoy laughing with her but she saved my live by getting the books to me.  Thanks Jane.

Take a look at her classic needlework books:

Art of Elizabethan Embroidery - The stitches and variations shown in this book were used in colored silk and metal thread embroidery in England 1558-1625 and she gives you a taste of the history of this work as well.  $22.00

Art of English Blackwork - This is definitely what you want to learn about this needlework style. Jane includes the history, stitches, and lots of clear charted patterns.  $37.95

Canvas Work Bands and Borders - Need a border? These patterns can be used as horizontal or vertical bands and most all of the stitches are of traditional canvas work stitches or adaptations. The book is divided into categories of stitches.  $35.95

Traditional Silk and Metal Thread Techniques on Canvas - This comprehensive book contains 320+ stitch pattern variations and explores all aspects of silk and metal thread embroidery from the past that is suitable for today. Teachers sing this book's praises.  $38.95

Ultimate Encyclopedia of Canvas Embroidery - Volume I and Volume II - These two volumes each include hundreds of needlepoint stitches and patterns - mosaic, cashmere, scotch, gobelin, eyelet and plaited to name some. B/W photos of stitch examples accompanies the graphs.  $44.95 each.



Barbae, Karen - Colour Confident Stitching: How to Create Beautiful Colour Palettes - Whether you are a beginner or more experienced, any stitching project, no matter how simple, can be enhanced by a well-chosen colour palette but lots of stitchers are nervous about choosing colour. This author, a Chile-based textile designer, embroiderer, photographer and blogger, has had her textiles and accessories featured in Martha Stewart Living. In this book she makes choosing and creating colour palettes a fun and enjoyable part of the design process. Not only does she guide us through colour theory but also includes five stitching projects that encourage stitchers to explore colour. Photographs accompany stitching illustrations and step-by-step photos for the colour choosing process as well as the stitching projects.  $24.95

Benilan, Annabel - Sewing Clothes for Barbie - Sew Barbie this cute wardrobe of 23 stylish outfits including for a picnic in the country, for skiing for the beach or for DIY. Or create outfits for special occasions, such as a cocktail dress, wedding dress or formal dress for the theatre; or everyday wear such as jeans and a tie-waist shirt, fleecy jumper and trousers for skiing, a bikini, towel and sunhat for the beach. The author also includes costumes such as a mermaid, fairy and superwoman. Detailed explanations are accompanied by step-by-step diagrams and real-size patterns, which can be adapted for petite, curvy, tall or original Barbie. The techniques used are simple and the outfits can be sewn by hand or on the machine. These are ideal projects for upcycling old clothes or making use of scraps of fabric or making use of scraps of fabric from your stash.  $17.95

Collinge, Annette, Dr. - Embroidered Treasures: Flowers - The Embroiderer's Guild in England has wonderful embroideries from all over the world considered one of the most important collections assembled in one place. This book showcases their huge collection of embroidered flowers through the ages featured in full-color photos that show full and detailed images to show the flowers at their best. The images are shown with extended captions $29.95

Collinge, Annette, Dr. - Embroidered Treasures: Birds - This fantastic book showcases the Embroiderer's Guild collection of embroidered birds through the ages. Featuring photos taken especially for the book, items are shown in full and also with detail images to show off the birds at their best. These wonderful embroidered treasures are as varied as wall hangings, dresses, bridal bags and samplers, some of which date back to the seventeenth century. The images are shown with extended captions giving the country of origin, age, size and the embroidery techniques employed to make them. Now housed in the Bucks County Museum, the collection hails from America, Spain, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Norway and Switzerland.  These embroideries have rarely been seen.  $24.95  Date of release fuzzy right now but should be out by early spring.

Daymond, Angela - Kantha Stitching - The simple, repetitive act of kantha stitching uses the humble running stitch to create simple yet beautiful motifs, patterns and texture on layered fabric. Promoting mindfulness and creativity, it is ideal for relaxation and de-stressing after a busy day at home or in the office. This ancient form of quilting originated in India, and is now hugely popular with contemporary hand stitches all over the world.  The book includes useful sections on tools, materials and techniques which are all the information you need on preparing your fabric, transferring your design and the basic stitches used. There are then 20 lovely motifs to choose from, each with a full-size template, simple instructions and a photo of the finished motif, include a lotus flower. Paisley patterns dahlia, kingfisher, owl, spiral, and an elephant cushion. The final section gives you ideas and inspiration for how to use the motifs to embellish bags, clothes, cushions, table mats and accessories.  $14.95

Dixey, Jo and Brandon Mably - Stitch People - Learn to embroidery project by project with RSN trained, professional embroider Jo Dixey who addresses those who want to expand their skills and those new to embroidery. The projects range from small embroidered cards to more complex pictures to hang on your wall; simple applique for a scarf to an embroidered jacket all based on the theme of people. Templates of the images to stitch are provided for photocopying and there is a photo gallery of all the stitches covered in the book, along with step-by-step photos of key techniques such as transferring patterns onto fabric or using batting to create 3D effects.  19.95  Coming soon.

Forster, Carolyn - Sew Layer Cake Quilts and Gifts - The author is a highly respected quilter gives you nine beautiful Layer Cake quilt designs, using a variety of patchworking and quilting styles. Also included are nine accompanying gift projects, which range from bags and pincushions to needlebooks and coasters. All techniques you need are clearly explained at the beginning of the book with easy-to-follow step-by-step photography and the instructions for putting together each quilt are illustrated for clarity.  $21.95

Lark Crafts - Embroidered Mandalas - Why should coloring book fans have all the fun? These embroidery-ready transfers make it super-simple to stitch beautiful, meditative mandalas for any craft. Usually, transferring the pattern to fabric is the hardest part, but here you just iron them on and go! Use the transfers to create embroidery-hoop pieces, or embellish favorite bags, shirts, or pillows. Once the patterns is transferred, just take your needle and floss and stitch along the lines to "color" the designs any way you'd like. The process is easy and relaxing, and the results are gorgeous. This book includes 25 iron-on mandalas and 16 pages of basic embroidery instruction for crafters of all levels.  $14.95

Lubin, Clementine - A Beginner's Guide to Using Overlockers and Coverlockers - This book enables you to sew like a professional seamstress. Full of practical advice to help you master all the features and applications of your overlocker and coverlocker, you will learn how to handle your machine using its basic features through the more complex techniques. There are 50 beautifully photographed step-by-step lessons and 15 lovely projects to apply your knowledge and help you realize your sewing goals, including a dress, a T-shirt, shoulder bag, playsuit and more.  $19.95 

McCollin, Sally - Transfer and Stitch - Butterflies, Bees and Bugs - Over 60 reusable motifs to iron on and embroidery on clothing or home furnishings for a unique finish. Designs range from traditions, life-like insects to edgy modern steampunk designs. These intricate motifs can be rendered in pearlescent or metallic threads to give them a colorful, insect-like sheen. Try tiny ladybirds up to larger-scale grasshoppers.  $24.95

Richman, Helen - Stumpwork Embroidery: Techniques and Projects - Beginning with an introduction to the appropriate materials, equipment, and tools, this book instructions on a wide range of stitches and techniques, illustrated with ten delightful projects. It then explains how to design your own piece of stumpwork before advising on finishing, presenting, and caring for your work. $36.95

Von Grabler-Crozier, Debbie - The Bag Boutique - In this book are 20 beautiful bags to sew from popular author and designer. It includes a huge variety of different styles and sizes, from totes and bucket bags to backpacks, clutches and shoulder bags that come with clear instructions and beautiful photos. Complete guide to techniques needed and a section on creating gorgeous finishing touches, including embroidery, applique, crocheted flowers, beaded charms and personalized labels.  $19.95

Watson, Larissa - Dye and Print Alchemy - Our talented author guides you through all the processes, ensuring successful and professional results. She explores techniques such as ombre dyeing, space dyeing, hand painting, shibori, stenciling, screen printing and relief using a range of gorgeous fabrics such as natural, synthetics, silks, velvets, bamboo jersey, spandex and linens.  $35.00  Date to be released coming soon.


Alexander, Ellie - Another One Bites the Crust ( Bakeshop Mystery) - The Shakespeare Festival returns to Ashland, Oregon, for the season and Torteis cast as the supplier of Elizabethan-era treats for the main event.  But on the eve of opening night, a brawl between Julie's friend Lance, the artistic director, and a strapping young thespian named Anthony almost brings down the house.  The next morning Anthony is dead. Julie knows that Lance loves his drama - and his just desserts - but she also knows that murder is way off-script for him. Now it is up to Julie to cut through the bevy of backstage betrayals and catty co-stars who all have their own secrets - before the curtain drops on someone else.  $7.99

Bradford, Laura - Dial M for Mousse - (Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery) - A last-minute delivery turns deadly in the third delectable. The Emergency Dessert Squad business is booming, with owner and baker Winnie Johnson working overtime to  satisfy the emergency cravings of Silver Lake, Ohio. Her latest order, a plate of motivational desserts for an artists' retreat, is just what she needs to keep her mind off her own relationship woes. But Winnie's problems seem like trifles when she discovers the body of retreat owner Sally Dearfield mere inches away fro five oh-so-eccentric and viable suspects. Now, this baking detective must uncover the inspiration behind Sally's murder before another creative genius is iced.  $7.99

James, Miranda - Twelve Angry Librarians (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) - During the Southern Academic Libraries Association the keynote speaker who also happens to be an insufferable  know-t-all capable of getting under everyone's skin is found dead. It is up to Charlie and his cat, Diesel, to find the killer in a room full of librarians. Great reviews.  $7.99

Ross, Barbara - Stowed Away - (Maine Clambake Mystery) - It's June in Busman's Harbor, Maine, and Julia Snowden and her family are getting their authentic Main clambake business ready for summer. Preparations must be put on hold, however, when a mysterious yacht drops anchor and delivers an unexpected dose of murder. Julie arrives to find a sumptuous table set for two - and the yachtsman dead in his chair. Suspicion quickly falls on Wyatt Jayne, who had invited her on the yacht, and Julia's quest to dredge up the truth leads her into the murky private world of a mega-rich recluse who may not have been all that he seemed.  $7.99

Shelton, Paige - Of Books and Bagpipes - ( A Scottish Bookshop Mystery) - Bookseller and amateur sleuth Delaney Nichols finds a dead body in a castle outside Edinburgh and must investigate how this murder is connected to a rare manuscript.  $7.99

Smith, Karen Rose - Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes (Daisy's Tea Garden Mystery #1) - This is a new series. In an old Victorian in the heart of Pennsylvania's Amish country, Daisy Swanson and her aunt Iris serve soups, scones, and soothing teas to tourists and locals - but a murder in their garden has them in hot water.  Daisy, a widowed mom of two teenagers, is used to feeling protective - so when Iris started dating the wealthy and not-quite divorced Harvey Fitz, she worried...especially after his bitter ex stormed in and caused a scene at the party Daisy's Tea Garden was catering. Then there was the gossip she overheard about Harvey's grown children being cut out of his will. Daisy didn't want her aunt to wind up with a broken heart - but she never suspected she would wind up a suspect in Harvey's murder. Now the apple bread and orange pekoe is on the back burner while the cops treat the shop like a crime scene and Daisy hopes that Jonas Groft, a former detective from Philadelphia, can help her clear her aunt's name and bag the real killer before things boil over.  $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 National 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: Give us a call Monday thru Saturday at 602 - 943-0738 between 9am and 6 pm Arizona time. Yes, we are the people who never change our clocks forward or backwards. If the phone is on message I'm probably in the middle of helping 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 books you order.

I look forward to visiting with you again. New Blog: February 10th, 2018.