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Let's Pause and Reflect Before We Rush Headlong into 2019.
2019? I can remember when we turned the calendar to 2000 as if it were just the other day. Do you remember the fuss and anxiety we computer users went through about that calendar change? What was going to happen when 1999 turned over to the new millennium? The world was on alert as was I. I ordered in two new computers just in case. Luckily I discovered a new computer person who for the past nineteen years has updated us, fixed problems and brought new machines into our lives and became a friend. Unfortunately, he passed away on September 5th of this year. Mark and I miss him in our lives. We lost three other friends as well and I think I will always look on this past year as the year of loss. But we also gained a new great grandchild, Myka, and cherish this new life very much.
All this made me realize how much we rush through each day and I think we all do so much including talking on phones, jobs, preparing meals and trying to keep order in our homes and lives. We all take on too much (I'm looking in the mirror as I think about this.) Maybe before we enter the unknown world of 2019 we should stop and think about what 2018 was about. If you keep a calendar of all your appointments and events or perhaps even a diary to go back to take a peek and see what your life was about in 2018. Me, I take thinking time once a week (at least) and review what was in my life for those seven days. Now I've started in keeping not only a calendar but a diary. (I don't write in it every day - every three days or so. I must say it has been eye-opening about where my time goes.)
Life is short and time is our most important resource. I want to use this gift of time to my best ability. This year four friends had their lives cut short. Too short and unexpectedly. I woke up to sudden endings. I came to see keeping track of my precious time is important. I think a diary makes a wonderful Christmas present to ourselves and friends and family. And if the unexpected happens our journals can be a gift to those in our lives who go on. The end of the year is also a great time to label all our needlework projects with the information about each one and who may to have it. And most of all, finish all those UFO's stored somewhere for "later". Lets make time to finish our projects. (discount code: happy18)
I wish all of you Happy Holidays and a great New Year! Enjoy each day and don't sweat the little things. See you next year!
I've included a selection of blank journals below for you to peruse. Remember that old Chinese Proverb: "The palest ink is better than the most retentive memory."
Watercolor Poppies Journal - This lovely cover welcomes us to write whatever we want into this blank book, 5"x 7" with 160 pages for our thoughts, needlework projects, or whatever else you desire. $8.99
Tiffany Window Journal - I found this cover very inviting and a reminder of the artistic mind of a great artist. The pages are made of archival/acid-free paper and are 7 1/4" x 9". The journal is made to lie flat for easy use. $15.99
Old World Journal - This old world design cover is embossed with gold foil filigree and includes travel quotes throughout. The journal is 6.4" x 9" high and includes 160 pages. If travel is on your wish list this might be the journal for you. $14.99
Creative Ramblings of a Restless Mind Journal - This journal sounds suitable for me! I definitely have a restless mind always wanting to learn something new. This journal is 7.4" x 5" and is perfect for drawing, writing, and visual thinking of all kinds. The cover is decorated with gold foil and the pages are creamy off-white. $13.00
Grumpy Cat Flexi Journal with Stickers - It is said that misery loves company, so jot down your personal musings and highlight them with stickers featuring everyone's favorite grump. This journal has 192 pages and is 7"x5" in size. $10.95
Cat Tales Journal - If you prefer your cats with a more pleasant disposition then take a peak at this journal where the cover is alive with multiple cats at play all over the 7"x5". 160 pages. Inside the back cover a pocket holds notes, reminders, business card, etc. $8.99
Nevertheless She Persisted Journal - I definitely got a laugh out of that title. I feel I've lived that this past year and maybe you have too. The journal is 7"x5" with 160 embossed pages. $8.99
Needleworkers should keep a diary - if not about your personal life at least about your stitching with photos of each completed piece not just for yourself but for posterity. Of course a diary can be kept in a simple notebook but I'm not of that school. If it is worth writing down and meant to last for generations your journal deserve a beautiful cover for posterity. How about a hand embroidered cover? How neat is that! And I vote for hand written. I do like writing on a computer but a diary is so personal I write it by hand. But whatever way you chose, it is creating an autobiography of sorts. Have fun!
Michele Roberts: A Dream of a Needleworker and Writer of Great Needlework Books
"The crowning fortune of man is to be born to some pursuit
which finds him employment and happiness, whether it
be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statues,
or songs." - Ralph Waldo Emerson -
Ralph Waldo Emerson was so right when he wrote those words and what I love most about being with fellow needleworkers is that they
are so passionate about what they do. Michele Roberts is no exception, not only does she love what she does but she brings an extra dimension to this love, she has purposely developed her art into part of her faith. Not a word is necessary to understand what she believes; she lives it, breathes it and needle works it. The designs she creates reflect s her personal relationship with God using the symbols we humans have created to represent the creator.
Symbols crop up everywhere in our world, after all the human brain, "sees in pictures" and a picture we know is worth a thousand words. As John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) wrote, "Nature speaks in symbols and signs," Any good artist knows this and their work holds a secret message given to us in powerful images. If these images aren't understood, we miss the point of the work even if we do enjoy the picture (or might I add needlework). Michele has done an in-depth study of Christian crosses and symbols and also uncovered the history and meaning of royal jewels. She has given us a great place to learn about symbols that have been used in great art or in a religious faith.
Part of Michele's studies took her took the Royal School of Needlework in England (for which she received the level of Distinction) and has been a Senior Master Teacher in the American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) for which she received the honorary Chottie Alderson and Massachusetts Scholarships for her work. She also completed her Cities and Guilds Certificate in Stumpwork at the Embroidery Guild of America's (EGA) Fiber Forum. That is just to name a few of her many awards.
Embroidery has been her love since early childhood though she took another path at first, after a B.A. from Rice University and M.B.A. in Finance and a career as a bank vice-president, she found her way back to her first love managing to take those classes at the Royal School of Needlework and from the Embroiderer's Guild, United Kingdom. She had also completed her stumpwork certification under the tutelage of Kay Dennis, the author of stumpwork books.
Someone, whose name now escapes me, once said, "Art is the accomplice of love. Take love away and there is no longer art." Michele's needlework designs and books are so popular because the love of what she does shines through.
Below is a list of books Michele has in-print. I've also included Kay Dennis's stumpwork book and some of Chottie's design books among other great needlework books that are classics. After all, taking a step backwards sometimes leads to a confident leap forward.
CLASSICS FOR YOUR NEEDLEWORK LIBRARY
Roberts, Michele - Christian Symbols: 36 Ornaments for St. Luke's Church - These ornaments done in gold and white are simply stunning! Not only are these symbols beautifully done but each one comes with well-researched information about it's meaning. Michele includes the instructions to needlepoint these beautiful symbols. $29.95
Roberts, Michele - 50 Crosses Charted for Needlepoint - I never knew so many crosses existed and was unaware of their meanings. What an amazing collection and reference book for crosses. She includes line drawing, charts, instructions, stitch glossary and diagrams with finishing tips. $39.95
Roberts, Michele - Crosses in Color: 50 Crosses Charted for Needlepoint - Another 50 amazing crosses all in color. Again, she presents us a gift of another great resource book of crosses but fantastic ornaments as well. Again it comes with charts, stitching, instructions, stitch glossary and diagrams as well as color photos of the crosses. $44.95
Roberts, Michele - Needlepoint Birthstone Jewels: Inspired by the Famous Jewels of History - Each of twelve month's birthstones are turned into twelve needlepoint projects with all instructions and charting needed to complete these jewels. The bonus here is that all the gems are researched and a story of famous piece of jewelry is told as well. $44.00
Roberts, Michele - Broad Stripes and Bright Stars: A Needlepoint Star-Spangled Banner - This needlepoint flag is divided into 269 squares. She includes dozens of extra stitches from the ones not used in this flag, so this book actually has 366! Large, clear graphs for the stitches that include the direction your thread should go for each stitch. See also includes a pattern for a flag ornament to match the flag! Have fun! $30.00
Dennis, Kay and Michael - Stumpwork Embroidery - Learn stumpwork from two experts, and remember Kay taught Michele Roberts this needlework art. This guide combines their three stumpwork books into one great resource. They show you how to create stumpwork and needlelace plants, animals and figures, whatever your ability. This book features clear step-by-step techniques and inventive projects making it an essential guide to the art of stumpwork. $25.95
Next are several favorites by Chottie Alderson:
The Furth Sampler - Chottie may no longer be with us but her work is still requested. After a brief, interesting history of the sampler that was originally worked in the 1860's. This lovely sampler can be worked two ways: One panel: l long piece is 106" long and 12" wide. Or for two panels: 2 pieces 57" long and 12" wide. Chottie included all instructions and materials needed to complete this needlework project and charts with color key and lots of instructions so you won't be alone through the entire process. $70.00
Lady Bug Picnic - I love these lady bugs! The design is 146 stitches high and 105 stitches wide and worked on white Aida fabric with DMC floss in cross-stitch. Depending on the count fabric the size will vary from 14.60" x 10.50" on 10 count fabric to 6.08" x 4.38" if on 24 count fabric. So that is up to you. $15.00
NOW FOUR MORE CLASSICS
Gone Stitching - Got Stitches? - This neat little book about 5" wide and 7" high and spiral-bound and full of multi-layered stitches categorizes stitches by the number of threads per each stitch. Whether you have two, three, or four different threads, they have the perfect stitch for you. They also include chapters on trame and trellis stitches. All stitches are graphed out in color! $25.00
Minieri, Anthony - Stars For a New Millenium - This is a classic since published in 2000. The design is a study in color, texture, stitch and thread. Each square is based on a traditional star quilt pattern in needlepoint and is named after a star from Hollywood's Golden Age. He's included great b/w graphs and each pattern graphed in color. Lots of explanations as you go. $54.95
Thomas, Cynthia - Noses, Roses and Other Fun Stuff - How can anyone resist a title like that? I get a big smile just reading it. Cynthia has been around the block with lots of needlework books and this one includes lots of information and all projects in color with handy graphs when needed. $35.00
Carolyn Pearce - Home Sweet Home: An Embroidered Workbox - This wonderful project sells all the time and is popular with needlework groups to take this on as a project for all to work separately but while together. Beautiful color photos, detailed instructions and diagrams provide everything you need to embroider and construct with beautiful workbox and the matching accessories. This award-winning design includes a full-size pattern sheet and over 100 step-by-step photos. $39.95
POTPOURRI OF NEW BOOKS
Wait a minute! Where's your cup of tea? Your Snack? I need those things when I'm selecting new books. Makes choosing books yummy. I'm sipping tea right now. Join me. And take a peek at these new books.
Abbondio, Sarah - Crocheted Cactuses - Enjoy crocheting these 16 cactuses using simple crochet stitches and widely available yarn. Some are embellished with beads and others have ridges, flowers, bobbles, and look just like the real thing. All these cactuses need is a plant pot to sit it and they need no care and have no sharp spines to stick you. With a short techniques section at the beginning of the book to get you started, you can make an entire display in no time. Just pick up a hook and go! $9.95
Mackay, Moy - The Art of Moy Mackay: An inspirational guide to painting with felted fibres and stitch - The renowned Scottish felt artist, Moy Mackay, sold about 30,000 copies of her first book, Art in Felt and Stitch. She now shows us how to find inspiration for your own felt painting creations, helping you develop your own original ideas. Moy takes you through every step of her felted painting process, including the materials and tools you need, the process itself (easier than you think) and how to put together four fabulous felt painting of varying subjects. There is guidance on stitching - both by hand and machine as well as how to use colour and introduce texture in the form of different fibres and threads. There are numerous examples of Moy's work throughout the book, evoking the dramatic scenery of the Scottish Borders where she lives and works, providing more inspiration for your own paintings. $35.00
McKean-Smith, Donna - A Beginner's Guide to Kumihimo - Learn the basics of Kumihimo braiding and beading to create more than 12 pieces of jewelry. This colorful and informative beginner's guide to the craft explains how to use a circular kumihimo disc and a variety of braids and beads plus color and style variations for any occasions. Kumihimo is an easy, take along craft to work wherever you are. $13.95
beautiful cat and dog toys and an animal-shaped apron. Key techniques and basic materials are detailed at the beginning of the book, and all of the projects include easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions. Templates for all the animals are provided on a fold-out sheet at the back of the books. For sewers of all abilities. $19.95
Roberts, Kat - Crafting for Cat Ladies - Hmm, how handy that her first name is Kat. In this book she brings us 35 purr-fect projects divided into four sections: accessories, fashion, home and entertaining, with an extensive range of techniques, including sewing, applique, jewelry-making, embroidery and more. Paw-sitvely sure you'll have fun. $16.95
Stratford, Sue - Sue Stratford's Knitted Aviary - Create your own flock of 21 knitted birds, from best-selling author and knitting designer Sue Stratford. Her book features beautifully clear colorwork charts that make patterns super-easy to follow whether you choose a seagull, puffin, flamingo, bullfinch or parakeet, your bird will take on a personality all of its own. Bet you can't make just one! As well as the birds themselves, there are ideas for how to display them, and at the end of the book are instructions for a hanging nest, a felt nest box, branches, flowers and leaves along with all the templates you'll need. $19.95
Alexander, Ellie - Live and Let Pie ( Bakeshop Mystery) - Life is sweet inside Torte, everybody's favorite small-town bakeshop. But what happens when it becomes the scene of a crime? Just when Jules thought she could enjoy some time away from the kitchen, she manages to discover a skull during a picnic by the lake. As if unearthing remains that may be connected to a missing-persons case from the 1960's isn't enough on her plate, Jules must contend with the unsolved matter of her own marriage while her estranged husband Carolos sails the open seas, awaiting a verdict. Then there's Jule's bitter landlord Edgar, who is intent on making a sweet deal on a vacant lot down the block from Torte - until he turns up dead. If only Jules could find a recipe that would let her bake her cake and eat it, too. $7.99
Blackmoore, Stephanie - Gown with the Wind (Wedding Planner Mystery) - Mallory's fine - really - handling the wedding arrangements for her ex, Keith. But his fiancée, Becca, has at the last minute decided to switch from a Japanese - cherry blossom theme to a Gone with the Wind theme. She wants to honor her ailing grandmother, who owns an impressive collection of GWTW memorabilia - and who is fiercely at odds with the groom's mother over the nuptial plans. But among other complications, Becca gets into a fight with an old childhood rival over a replica Scarlett O'Hara wedding gown. She wins the dress - but soon becomes a murder suspect when the other woman is found dead in Becca's swimming pool. And it's up to Mallory to solve the mystery behind this unhappy occasion, before a different kind of civil war breaks out. $7.99
Eaton, J.C. - Botched 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery) - A dead body is discovered at the Arizona retirement community where Sophie "Phee" Kimball's mother resides. At first an errant bocce ball is blamed. However, the police find an arrow in the victim's neck. It looks like this was no accident so Phee and her investigator boyfriend, Marshall, will have to team up to bounce a killer into the slammer. $7.99
Finley, Mick - Arrowood (Arrowood Mystery #1) - This is not a cozy mystery. This darkly crime debut has been named one of the Top Twelve Mystery Novels of 2017 now in paperback. In the dark corner of Southwark, London, victims of a serial killer turn to a man who despises Sherlock Holmes, his wealthy clientele and his showy forensic approach to crime: Arrowood-self-taught
psychologist, occasional drunkard, and private investigator. When a man ysteriously disappears and Arrowood's best lead is viciously stabbed before his eyes, he and his sidekick, Barnett, face their toughest quest yet: to capture the head of the most notorious gang in London. $7.99
Goldstein, Debra - One Taste Too Many (Sarah Blair Mystery #1) - DivorcZe, Sarah Blair is the polar opposite of her bubbly twin, Emily, an ambitious chef. After Sarah's ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by Emily's award-winning rhubarb crisp, culinary challenged Sarah must figure out the right recipe to crack the case. Includes quick and easy recipes. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death - being in the kitchen! Includes quick and easy recipes. $7.99
Ross, Barbara - Steamed Open (Maine Clambake Mystery) - It's summertime in Busman's Harbor, Maine, but a mysterious new neighbor blocks access to the beach, cutting off the Snowden Family Clambake's supply. Julia Snowden is just one of the many townspeople angered by Bartholomew Frick. But who is angry enough to confront him and ends up the last person to see him alive - except for the person who stabs him in the neck with a clam rake. As she pores through a long list of suspects, Julia meets disgruntled employees, rival heirs to the deceased fortune, and a pair of tourists determined to visit every lighthouse in America. They all have secrets, and Julia will have to work fast to expose the guilty party - or see this season's clam harvest dry up for good. $7.99
Lee, Amanda - Better Off Thread - (Embroidery Mysteries) - Marcy is busy helping her customers make hand-crafted ornaments at her embroidery shop, the Seven-Year Stitch. But despite the yuletide bustle, when her friend Captain Moe asks for her help, she can't refuse especially when the favor is to play the elf to his Santa for sick children at a local hospital. Marcy finds herself enjoying her role as elf until the hospital's administrator is found murdered. Although the deceased had plenty of people willing to put coal in her stocking with coal, evidence pins the murder on Moe. Now it is up to Marcy, with the help of her police officer boyfriend, Ted, and her Irish Wolfhound Angus, to stitch together the clues to clear Moe's name before someone is crossed off Santa's list for good. $7.99
Shelton, Paige - Lost Books and Old Bones (A Scottish Bookstore Mystery - Delaney Nichols is setting happily into her new life as a bookseller in Edinburgh, but after a medical student selling antique medical tomes - a friend of one of Delaney's customers - is found murdered, Delaney takes it upon herself to help bring the murderer to justice. $7.99
NEXT ISSUE OUT IN BY FEB. 14th 2019 WILL FEATURE LOTS OF O/P and NEW BOOKS - JOIN US!! DON'T FORGET YOUR DRINK OF CHOICE AND SNACK.
THANKS FOR VISITING WITH US!
If this is your first visit, I'd like to introduce you to our book business of 26 years. During this time we have set up bookshops for the ANG and EGA seminars and a variety of other needlework organizations as well as doing this blog.
Can't find a certain book? Please give us a call and we'll try to find it for you whether it is in or out-of-print.
Give us a call Monday through Saturday at: 602-943-0738. If you get the dreaded answering machine please don't be shy about leaving a message. I'll get back to you ASAP. Or you can e-mail me at email@example.com. Or you can mail me your order to: Ruth Kern Books 7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.
MOST IMPORTANT! Look for the discount code hidden somewhere in this blog that gives you a 20% discount on any new book you order from this blog or the previous ones.
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