Tuesday, December 2, 2014



We are coming to the end of another year. Between Christmas and New Year's Eve I take "thinking time" to prepare myself for the next year to come.  I go over the past year using the calendar and notes. What did I enjoy?  What changed?  What challenges did I have to face?  Did I do all the things I wanted to do in my personal life and for my business?  Was it a hard year or a normal year?  What did I do to simplify my life? 

Well, even though the year is not over yet I will have to admit because I had a difficult 2014 I didn't accomplish all that I set out to do this year but there were good moments in the tough ones and now that I'm getting a chance to slow down a bit I am planning ahead for next year.  I am really hopeful that 2015 will be a better year.  Mark's (my husband) health is poor but stable at this moment and his attitude has gone to the sunny side of the street.  I lost staff this year but for happy reasons. They were offered managerial full-time positions at their other part -time jobs and I was really happy for them.  They deserve to be recognized for their wonderful attitudes, loyalty and hard work. 

I'm now working on organizing around these happenings and I am going to make sure I will be ready for 2015.  It's a good thing that we have an ending and a new beginning in one short period of time - the month of December!  We always have a new chance to do things better, enjoy more of life, and resolve those loose ends from the year before.

I love this business and look forward to all the books, blogs, and people I will be involved with next year.  Hope you will be part of this with me. 

May you all have a happy Holiday season and a glorious 2015.  I hope all your plans and goals come to fruition.

I'd like to share another event at the EGA National Seminar 14:


At the EGA National Seminar 14 I was fortunate enough to be in the same area of the ballroom with the exhibit of Jan Jellins original thread paintings.  Everyone was awed by the genius of her work.  These highly acclaimed thread paintings have been presented in shows, lectures, and screened exhibits from coast to coast.  Her highly acclaimed work has won many coveted awards including three "First" awards, two "Best of Show" at the Golden Thimble Exhibition held bi-annually in Los Angles.  Jan is no longer with us but her work lives on.

Who was Jan Jellins?  She was a pianist, singer, dancer, advertising director and artist extraordinaire.  Her favorite was Thread Painting, a fascinating technique she conceived and developed and it should be said, perfected.  Jan lived in San Pedro, California overlooking the Pacific.  What a great inspiration for her creativity. And she always said, "You can do it!

As they say a picture is worth a 1000 words so let me give you a glimpse of what she did and what you can reach for.

I had the great fortune to get an invitation to the Lacy Ladies of Arizona Annual Lace Day right here in Phoenix on the 14th of November.  I am not, at this time in my life, able to make lace but learning more about it is fun to do.  Let me introduce you to them. 


Lacy Ladies is based in Phoenix, Arizona for the purpose of promoting interest, study and preserve Old Laces, also to demonstrate, exhibit, learn and share knowledge with others interested in laces. They meet the first and third Tuesdays in the evening at 7 pm and twice a month on Thursdays at 10am.

Every year for the past twenty-four years they have hosted an Annual Lace Day.  This November I attended that 24th Lace Day at the Irish Cultural Center on Central Avenue here in Phoenix.  I'd never been to the Irish Center and was very impressed with the large stone building and the classrooms. I'm going back for another visit to go to the actual museum.  Since the event was in the Irish Cultural Center, the focus was on Irish laces.   

Jean Doig, the librarian at the Irish Center, and expert lacemaker and teacher gave an impressive lecture on Irish laces and held a question and answer session before the group  broke up

for classes. 

Although the focus was on Irish lace I am including only two books on Irish lace. (Discount code: HNY14)

The first book I wrote up several months ago, Youghal Irish Lace (pronounced Yawl) by Elizabeth Kurella. As always Elizabeth clearly describes the lace and how to make it.  $30.00

Irish Crochet Lace: Motifs Collected and Described by Eithne D'Arcy -She begins by telling us that of all forms of crochet lace, "Irish Crochet" is most sought after.  All directions and samples of this crocheted lace are in clear b/w photos.  $21.95

Two other lace books (not Irish) came to my attention.  Quaderni Di Aemilia Ars: Corso
Base - Bianca Rose Bellomo and Carla D'Allessenero, et. al - This is a basic course in this Italian needle lace based on geometric themes and the techniques of Venice lace.  Well Illustrated with step-by-step photos stitch diagrams and working patterns.  In Italian.  $29.00

Introducing Traditional Bedfordshire Lace - Barbara Underwood - This author introduces us to this beautiful lace and includes lace techniques for advanced designs for flower, leaf sprays, and grounds.  $30.00


IL Reticella by Paola Barbeieri - This is the precursor of Punto Antico where the needle work is done without a grid formed by pullwork.  The techniques exolored here with traditional and novel stitches using contemporary thread of color.  Italian text with a bound English translation.  $70.00

Punto Antico 7 by Bruna Gubbene - Classic Italian designs in drawnwork and counted thread surface technique with photos stitch diagrams and charted patterns.  English/Italian text.  $98.00

Glass, Alison - Alison Glass Applique - This book covers both traditional and modern techniques and includes eight essential and updated techniques, including the hottest new thing in quiltmaking: large scale applique. Use this skill to create one of the beautifully crafted 14 projects by this pattern and Andover Fabrics textile designers. Further embellishment tips capture the trend of taking time to add layers of handwork to compositions.  $28.95

Johanson, Mollie - Stitch Love - Sweet Creatures Big and Small - Cute Kittens and Cows, and Cubs and more ... and a Yeti! - This book features beginner friendly embroidery patterns from a rising star in the craft community, it presents a variety of cute critters. There are 25 projects in all, from a hedgehog stroller quilt to a dachshund keyboard wrist rest, plus dozens of motifs. $16.95

Sheard, Beth - Stitch It Simple - These projects and patterns for accessories and home décor are guaranteed to work well for sewing novices and produce fast, beautiful results. Created for new-to-sewing crafters who have little or no experience in hand stitching or using a sewing machine, each project offers clear instructions and everything readers need to stitch.  $21.95


Art Pop-Up

Howard, Martin, text - Dali Pop-Ups - If you know my history you know I collect pop-ups so I'm getting this one.  Howard Martin and his illustrator, Courtney Watson McCarthy, bring surreal paintings from the inimitable Salvator Dali to life through spectacular pop-ups in this visually stunning collection.  #29.95

Finlay, Victoria - The Brilliant History of Color in Art - Critically acclaimed writer and popular journalist takes us all over the globe and over the centuries on an unforgettable tour through the brilliant history of color in art. Written for newcomers to the subject and aspiring young artists alike. Finlay's quest to uncover the origins and science of color will fascinate readers of all ages.  $24.95

Midda, Sara - A Bowl of Olives: On Food and Memory - From the author of the international bestseller In and Out of the Garden comes a treasure for lovers of food, art and fine gift books. Midda offers a work of pure enchantment celebrating food of the seasons, of family, of travel and memory.  $18.95

Walther, Ingo and Norbert Wolf - Codices Illustres - The authors share 167 of the most exquisite and important manuscripts of the medieval age. Present in brillant large-format reproductions, these paradigms of miniature painting and illuminations from the 4th century to the 1600s were once the property of some of the greatest power players in history. $39.99 


Carroll, Leslie - Inglorious Royal Marriages - It's no secret that marriages of monarchs are often made in hell. Here are some of the most spectacular mismatches in 500 years of royal history.  $16.00

Garelick, Rhonda K. - Mademoiselle Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History - With unprecedented detail and ambition and through fascinating, thoroughly researched portraits of fashion guru Coco Chanel's lovers and friends. Garelick reveals the Chanel who conquered the world - a woman who thirsted to create others in her image and who understood the idea of branding well ahead of her time.  $35.00

MacGregor, Neil - Shakespeare's Restless World: A Portrait of an Era - The N.Y. Times-bestselling author of The History of the World in 100 Objects brings the world of Shakespeare and the Tudor era of Elizabeth I into focus in the brilliant world of historical reconstruction with more than 100 color photos.  $18.00

Ruthbone, Belinda - The Boston Raphael - This is a riveting storyof a museum director caught in the web of local and international intrique while secretly pursuing a forgotten Renaissance painting - the Boston Raphael. Brilliantly researched and lavishly illustrated with full-color plates and many previously unpublished photos.  $29.95

Brill, Amy - The Movement of Stars - Brill sets her debut historical novel on 1845 Nantucket, where 24-year-old Hanna Gardner Price is up on the roof each night, hoping to discover a comet.  This book is inspired by the life of Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astonomer in America.  $16.00

Elkins, Kimberly - What is Visible - Laura Bridgman was the first deaf and blind person to learn language, 50 years before Helen Keller. Using a stunning array of voices, this unforgettable novel illuminates the challenges of living in a completely unique inner world.  $25.00

Girard, Anne - Madame Picasso - The mesmerizing and untold story of Eva Gouel, the unforgettable woman who stole the heart of one of the greatest artist's of our time, follows young Eva from the salon of Gertrude Stein to the glamorous Moulin Rouge and inside the studio and heart of the enigmatic and iconic Pablo Picasso.  $14.95

James, Syrie - Jane Austen's First Love - From the bestselling author of "The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen and inspired by actual events, the fascinating Edward Taylor makes 15-year-old Jane's heart race. However, another seeks his attention and when her attempt at playing matchmaker for three other couples fails she comes to learn the human heart cannot be easily deciphered.  $16.00

Ness, Patrick - The Crane Wife - This is a magical novel, based
on a Japanese folk tale, that imagines how the life of a broken-hearted man is transformed when he rescues an injured white crane that has landed in his backyard.  $16.00

Smith, Lee - Guests on Earth - In 1936, 13-year-old Evalina Toussaint is admitted to a North Carolina mental hospital and is soon taken under the wing of the its most notable patient, Zelda Fitzgerald. Evalina witnesses the events leadingup to the 1948 fire that killed nine women - including Zelda.  $14.95

Trenow, Liz - The Forgotten Seamstress - In 1910, England's Queen Mary hires a talented young seamstress for the royal household. A century later, a struggling designer discovers a mysterious quilt with a curious verse embroidered into its lining. The thread is a rare royal wedding silk, which reveals an extraordinary story of two lives.  $14.99

van Praag, Menna - The Dress Shop of Dreams - This critically acclaimed author makes her exciting Ballantine debut with this whimsical tale of buried secrets, hidden possession, and the undeniable power of love.  $15.00

Willig, Laureen - That Summer - From modern-day England to the early days of the Preraphaelite movement, this author's novel takes us on un-put-downable journey through a mysterious old house, a hidden love affair, and one woman's search for the truth about her past and herself.  $25.99


Bass, Jennifer Vogel - Edible Colors - With a combination of  unusual foods and a kaleidoscope of colors, this concept book shows that not all foods have to look the same way. A banana can be red, broccoli can be purple, and cherries can be yellow and still taste just as delicious.  $12.99

Boldt, Mike - Colors versus Shapes - In this wacky follow-up to "123 versus ABC, two teams of colors and shapes face off to see which one of them deserves the spotlight. But it's when the two teams figure out how to work together that the picture really comes alive!  $16.99

Schillios, Siri - Bird Wing Feather - Bold lines, soft shapes, and happy colors form the birds in this book. On the right-hand page appears a painting of a lovely bird, while the left-hand pages shows details of the bird children ages 3-6 will recognize.  $17.95

Schwartz, Amy - 100 Things That Make Me Happy - In the
great tradition of the song "My Favorite Things" comes an uplifting tribute to 100 everyday things worth celebrating. The list, in rhyming couplets, draws directly from a preschooler's world.  For ages 3-6.  $16.95

Tullet, Herve - Mix It Up! - This author issues an invitation to 3-6 year olds to mix it up in a dazzling adventure that offers a prefound understanding of colors.  $15.99


Meet Isabella Alan - Author of the Best-Selling Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries

Isabella Alan is an Agatha-nominated mystery writer and an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland, Ohio. She's been writing since grade school and has made trips to the Amish community since she was a kid. Her debut novel,  Maid of  Murder was an Agatha Nominee for Best First Novel.  Below are the three books in her Amish series:

Murder, Plain and Simple - This is the first title in her new series featuring amateur sleuth Angela Braddock, who inherited her late Aunt's Amish quit shop in Ohio. Angie doesn't quite fit in with the local Amish community, and her aunt's quilting circle tries to help. However, when Angie finds the body of an Amish woodworker in her storeroom, everything starts falling apart.  $7.99

Murder, Simply Stitched - When Angela Braddock enters her deceased Aunt's most prized quilts in an Amish auction, she never expects one of her neighbors to end up going, going, gone.  The cause of death: a poisoned blueberry fry pied from Rachel Miller's bakery table. With Angie taking the lead, she and the other women her aunt's quilting circle set out to patch together the clues and stop a killer set on shredding the simple peace of Rolling Brook.  $7.99

Murder Served Simple - Amish quilt shop owner has a lot on her plate this Christmas.  But things only get worse after someone develops a taste for murder.  Angie has no time to dwell on her parents visiting or her ex visiting as she prepares her store, Running Stitch, for the town's traditional progressive dinner, featuring a sleigh ride stopping at each shop for a different course of the meal. The meal ends with an Amish-themed Christmas play at the Swiss Valley Hotel and Barn. But the performance is cut short when an actress falls from the scaffolding to her death. After the sheriff suspects foul play, tensions between the Amish and "English" heat up, as do rivalries among the acting troupe. angie and her quilting circle take to the clues.  $7.99


Ordering is easy! Call us at 1-800-429-5075 and use your Master, Visa, Discover or American Express card.  If you prefer to send a check: Ruth Kern Books 7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.  You can e-mail us at: rkernbooks3@gmail.com.

If you have questions I am available Monday through Saturday between 9:30 am to 5 pm Arizona time.  That is 3 hours earlier than in the east and 1 hour later than the west coast.

Most important - look for the discount code and receive 20% discount on any new book you order from this blog, my past blogs, or on any new title you want. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

                    WELCOME TO MY NOVEMBER BLOG

October ended on a high note doing the EGA National Seminar's bookstore and November began on another high note with my attending the Lacey Ladies event at the Irish Cultural Center here in Phoenix.  This will take more than one blog to walk through so I will continue this report in my December blog.  But for now come on in and visit awhile.


Lucky for me these incredible artisans were set up next to me and I got to enjoy their stitching through the entire seminar.  They spoke Italian and little or no English but who needs language when you can watch the entire stitching process?

Assisi embroidery has a strong history in the ancient Italian past. The traditional designs come from the 13th and 14th centuries monastic embroideries where designs and motifs were on fine linen cloth with the outlines and background embroidered in color silk. The motifs used were traditional designs of bird or animal pairs surrounded by elaborate scrollwork and used on altar cloths and chasubles. During the 16th century a wider range of motifs were used including Renaissance imagery of satyrs, demons and ancient mythical creatures with threads of red, blue, green or gold for the background and black or brown for outlines. Assisi embroidery is called a voided technique where cross-stitch fills the background while the motif is blank. The Holbein stitch is used to outline and emphasize the motif and create the surrounding decorative scrollwork.  It is so pleasing to the eye.

Fortunately they brought some books and a great DVD on
Punto Assissi.  The first book,  Academia Punto Assisi, is a largeinside spiralbound design book that is wonderfully graphed and includes large fold out designs as well as full page ones.  Yes the introduction is in Italian but the great designs speak for themselves.  $39.95

This second book,  Punto Assisi is also full of great Assissi designs and yes, it is in Italian but the instructions on doing the stitch for this
embroidery is in English.  This too has some fold out designs.  $39.95  

Best of all is the DVD, Il Ricamo l' arte dell'infinito, is in English as well as Italian and French.  This 35 minute color film contains technical instructions and the history of Punto Assissi and Punto Madama Caterina de Medici.   $39.95

Back home these ladies teach Italian hand embroidery with the emphasis on Punto Assisi. 

Who wouldn't want to learn Punto Assisi in this historic setting? If you want to see more about this embroidery and the Accademia Punto Assisi simple visit the web site: www.accademiapuntoassisi.com.


Needle artisans are definitely book people and know what they like to read especially needlework books.  I'd like to share what books were at the top at seminars 2014. 

Painted Canvas Embellishment: An Idea Book - Carole Lake and Michael Borne - This book took off in February and has kept going all year.  $35.00. 

Home Sweet Home: An Embroidered Workbox - Carolyn Pearce - This unique workbox complete with a crafted liftout tray and nine superb matching accessories has stayed at near the top for over two years.  $34.95

Got Stitches?  Multi-layered Stitches for Needlepoint- from Gone Stitching has come on the scene recently and quickly rose to be a best seller.  $30.00 (see my October 14 blog for more info.

Stitches a la Carte - Lynda Richardson - Another sudden best-seller.  As they say word of mouth is the best way to discover a new needlepoint stitching book.  $30.00 (see my October 14 blog for more details.) 

Crewel Intentions: Fresh Ideas for Jacobean Embroidery -Hazel Blomkamp - this is her second book on this subject.  Crewel Twists was her earlier and bestselling book.  $29.95 (See my review in July 14 blog).

Distinctive Presentations in Needle Art: A Complete Guide to Professional Finishing for Your Needlework - Marcia S. Brown - This surprised me.  The book is excellent as is the author's credentials but the price is high: $59.95 but worth it! (See my review in my Oct 14 blog).

The Midas Touch and All That Glitter - Alison Cole - Meeting Alison at the EGA National seminar was a highlight for me.  Her students loved her and her books sold off the map and not just to her students.  She's a brilliant teacher and a wonderful author.  (see my review in my October 14 blog.) 

Little Flowers in Silk and Organza ribbon - Di Van Niekerk and Marina Zherdeva - I was very happy to see a book on ribbon book published that covers using a combination of thread, ribbon embroidery and stumpwork and other techniques and so were the seminar attendees.  $24.95 ( See my review in my June 14 blog.)

Beadwork was taught at many seminars and two book stayed at the top:

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples - Yasuko Endo - This book that combines beads and embroidery has been at the top since last year.  $17.95  (See my review in my August 14 blog.)  

Bead Embroidery Stitch Sample: Motifs - Yasuko Endo - This book flew out the door this year and continues to be highly popular.  $17.95 (See my review in my August 14 blog.)

Zentangle books were very popular at the EGA Seminar 14.  Classes on this mediative art is now being taught at seminars.  And it has caught on in a big way.  (See my article on zentangling in my July 14 blog.)

Jean Hilton Books are as popular now as they were when she was still with us.  Her Needlepoint Stitches, Stimulating Stitches, Borderlines are always sellers.  Why? Because Jean was one of the greatest needlepoint artisan's that we had.  Thank goodness her books are still available.  One of her needlepoint patterns, Teals of Laughter was very popular at the seminars.  $16.00 


Yvette Stanton Has A New Embroidery Book

Yvette is a prolific needlework writer.  Her three books are classics and now she has added a fourth: Sardinian Knotted
Embroidery. This beautiful embroidery comes from the town of Teulada in Sardinia, Italy. A simple knotted stitch creates the pattern and textures of this embroidery.  She includes 11 projects and step-by-step left and right-handed instructions. She includes a pattern insert covering projects.  $30.00

As you see from her new book and two of her earlier books she has a great interest in whitework, especially historical whitework.  She's a left-handed embroiderer and took it upon herself to make embroidering for all left-handers much easier to master.  She hails from New South Wales and has taught widely the art she is passionate about.  On her website she tells us she is mainly self taught and tries to teach others how she would want to be taught.  She strives to make sure each student understands before moving on to the next step. 

Her other books are:

Mountmellick Embroidery: Inspired by Nature - Yvette includes detailed instructions, history, patterns and the technique for knitting the characteristic edge fringes and this traditional whitework embroidery of Ireland.  $30.00

Portuguese Whitework Embroidery - In this fine book Yvetteintroduces us to bullion embroidery from Guimaraes in northern Portugal. Drawn thread work and bullion embroidery combine to create needlework this unique style. She includes pattern insert covering projects.   $30.00

Ukrainian Drawn Thread Embroidery (written with Merezhka Poltavsha) -  Both authors introduce a unique counted thread technique detailed through historic perspective and include step-by-step drawings and photos and sampler projects.  $20.00


Bosbach, Silke - Modern Sashiko - Our author shows us how to create 15 stunning embroidery designs which blend modern techniques with the simple and traditional Japanese method of Sashiko. Traditional Sashiko is a simple folk technique originally used for darning. While the conventional craft uses only a basic running stitch to create intricate patterned backgrounds, our author shows how to adapt this basic style by applying modern surface finishes on numerous textiles and combining it with a variety of other techniques.  $14.95

Ralui, Gioja - Sardinian Knot Stitch - Based on personal experience, the author presents a book for those who approach this traditional Sardinian embroidery for the first time. Every aspect of this embroidery is clearly illustrated with the aid of diagrams, photographs and instructions. In addition to the preface which outlines the origins and traditional uses of this stitch, the principal motifs and borders used on stitched pieces are also detailed with their names in both Sardinian and English. A few "non-traditional" projects are proposed which are simple to implement and complete with instructions and diagrams that will help to perfect the execution of the work.   $39.95

Halvorsen, Nancy - Table Please: Art to Heart - This book tickles me because if I'm celebrating something I like to have a great table look. Nancy includes wonderful projects including Boo table runner, spider web table topper, trick or treat table runner, mummy chair cover, autumn table runner, merry table runner, santa hat chair cover, peppermint garland table runner, snow much fun table runner, snowball men, winter birds table topper , and a thankful table runner.  She includes all instructions for embroidery stitches used, fusible applique, and patterns.  Have fun!   $15.00

Pedersen, Carol - More Hardanger Tips, Tricks and Fix-its PLUS Care and Feeding - This book is an addendum to the previous book, "Hardanger Tips, Tricks and Fix-its". In this book you will find additional tips regarding: Scissors, Managing stitching threads, Eyelets, tension, plus fix-its of open-work, on Hardanger fabric, plus providing inofrmation on protecting textiles, cleaning, displaying and storing.  This book was a best seller at the EGA National Seminar.  $25.95


Lippert, Sabine - Sabine Lippert's Beadwork Evolution: New Techniques Using Peyote Stitch and Right Angle Weave - If you are familiar with her other books you will be eager for this one.  This is a gorgeous collection that not only includes 24 wonderful projects, but also provides breathtaking variations on popular stitches to build beaders' skill.  From a peyote-stitched crocodile bracelet to right-angle-woven Marrakech earrings to the embellished shapes of a Helena ring, Sabine's savvy techiniques take beading to a whole new level. Sabine Lippert was a physican who transformed her passion for beading into a full-time profession as an internationally  popular teacher and designer all over Europe and United States while living in Bonn.  $27.95


For those of you who have been missing the A to Z needlework books since they've gone out of print I've discovered they are coming back in print not with Country Bumpkin but with Search Press, a wonderful needlework publisher.   Search Press is releasing them a few at a time and are calling them "Classics".  I agree these books are definitely that. Due out now:

A-Z of of Embroidery Stitches - This book is designed to help you try new embroidery techniques so you can experiment as you wish.  This comprehensive guide contains all the information you know to work dozens of stitches and includes how to chose material, beginning and ending a thread and using hoops to working as a left-handed stitcher as well as learning how to paint threads.  Step-by-step photos and clear instructions make the techniques available for the beginner and great information for the advanced needleworker.  $20.00

A-Z of Embroidered Motifs - This book features over 120 bullion designs, 146 step-by-step photos, hints, experts articles and patterns and revamped design of a great book.  $20.00

A-Z of Stumpwork - With its beginning in 17th century England this embroidery technique is still popular today. There are over 400 clear step-by-step instructions presented in five easy-to-use sections and 20 stunning designs from around the world.   $20.00

Another "classic" Search Press is bringing back is The Beginner's Guide to Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Ann Cox.  I assume they will bring back her second volume of her silk ribbon set.  In this first book you learn how to create foxgloves, roses, hydrangeas, delphiniums, primroses, geraniums, irises, poppies, and more. All the techniques are explained and only a few stitches are needed to create great designs. There are also instructions on how to paint and stencil fabric backgrounds. Both for beginners and more advanced embroiderers.  $19.95


Downey, Sarah Jane - Fashion in the Time of William Shakespeare - This neat little book reflects the time when clothing identified the social status of the wearer.  $13.00

Malle, Chloe, editor - Vogue and The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute - Costume without bounds in this extraordinary look at the history of the Metropolitian's Costume Institute exhibitions and galas celebrating the past with the threatrical mutations of today's icons.  $50.00

Thunder, Moira - Embroidery Designs for Fashion and Furnishings - This beautiful book illustrates the highlights of the fine collection of designs for embroidery of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Focusing on designs for fashion, accessories, and furnishings, it includes gowns, jackets, bags, collars, children's clothing, saddle pouches and designs for home furnishing as well as poignant embroidery.  Featuring exquisite designs from the Italian Renaissance to the embroiderypatterns of Morris & Company and 20th C. Russian creations, this book provides a wealth of practical information and inspiration for designers and embroiderers.  $34.95


As I was scanning the new mystery books I saw a common theme - Christmas mysteries.  This flashed me back to the (code: thxs 14) Victorian Era in England and the British passion for ghost stories especially at Christmas.  Some of the greatest writers of all time have written ghost stories: Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Willa Cather, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James, Edith Wharton and many, many more.  These literary ghost stories are not a cheap thrill with lots of blood and gore but carefully constructed psychological tales that tell us about a person experiencing an otherworldly experience.  Who hasn't read or seen a movie version of Charles Dicken's, A Christmas Carol?

Today it seems to be a tradition to write a Christmas mystery.
I noticed this a number of years back but now seems even more popular.  See if any of these mysteries is your cup of tea.

Andrews, Donna - Duck the Halls: A Meg Langslow Christmas Mystery - The residents of Caerphilly,Virginia must struggle to maintain their Christmas cheer in Andrew's lighthearted 16th mystery. Andrews leavens the actions with her trademark humor, including dueling Christmas dinners and an extravagant live nativity scene.  $7.99

Bryan, Mollie Cox - A Crafty Christmas: A Cumberland Creek Mystery - The ladies of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbook Cropper are thrilled when Sheila wins a 10-day scrapbook-themed Caribbean cruise. Vera and Paige tag along to rest up before the chaos of Christmas. After Sheila finds a famous crafter dead, the luxury cruise veers toward disaster when she's named the prime suspect. Can the Croppers find the real killer?  $7.99

Crawford, Isis - A Catered Christmas Cookie Exchange: A Mystery with Recipes! - Bernie and Libby Simmons, caterers extraordinaire, are hosting a televised cookie contest just in time for Christmas, but unfriendly rivalries cook up a cutthroat competition.  Includes original recipes.  $7.99

Hollis, Lee - Death of a Christmas Caterer: A Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery - A caterer for the Island Times'Christmas party, food and wine columnist Hayley Powell's quest for a cook turns into the pursuit of a killer who caters to no one.  Includes recipes.  $7.99

Meirer, Leslie - Christmas Carol Murder: A Lucy Stone mystery - It's Christmas, but Tinker Cove has fallen on hard times. Lucy Stone is excited, however, to be a part of the town's production of A Christmas Carol. but a real-life Scrooge has everyone feeling frosty. When the miserly man is murdered, the mourners are few and the suspects are many.  $7.99

More Mysteries

Brandon, Ali - Literally Murder: A Black Cat Bookshop  Mystery - From her Brooklyn bookstore, Darla Pettistone not only sells mysteries, but solves them, aided by her big-boned black cat, Hamlet. Invited as guests of honor at a championship cat show in Fort Lauderdale, Darla and Hamlet are soon investigating a murder.  $7.99

Connolly, Sheila - Picked to Die: An Orchard Mystery - It's harvest time in Granford, Massachusetts, and orchard owner Meg Corey and her fiancé, Seth, are both racing to beat the New England winter. Seth's restoration of an old building in town is halted after the discovery of a skeleton. Then a relative of one of Meg's former apple pickers is found dead. Is there something rotten in Granford? Includes recipes.  $7.99

Gerber, Daryl Wood - Stirring the Plot: A Cookbook Nook Mystery - Jenna Hart has packed The Cookbook Nook chock full of everything from ghostly texts to witchy potions in anticipation of the annual Halloween fund-raiser luncheon held by the Winsome Witches. But there's one unexpected addition to the menu: murder.  Includes recipes.  $7.99

James, Miranda - Bless Her Dead Little Heart: A Southern Sisters Mystery - The New York Times-bestselling author of the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries, returns to Ahtena, Mississippi, with the first in a spin-off series featuring snoopy sisters Miss An'gel and Miss Dickoe Ducote. When a stressed socialite beings murder right to their doorstep, even they have trouble maintaining their Southern hospitality.   $7.99

Martin, Carol Ann - Weave of Absence: A Weaving Mystery - It's a joyous time at Della Wright's studio in Briar Hollow, North Carolina as part-time employee Marnie Potter prepares for her wedding. At the engagement party, Della notices Marnie's suave fiance engaged in a heated argument with one her students. After the student turns up dead the next day, Della must weave together the clues to find the killer.  $7.99 

Reed, Hannah - Off Kilter: A Scottish Highlands Mystery - National bestselling author Reed delivers the first in a brand-new cozy mystery series, in which a young writer finds herself swept up in a murder amidst the glens and lochs of the Scottish Highlands.  $7.99 

Washburn, Livia J. - The Fatal Funnel Cake: A Fresh-Baked Mystery - It's time for the Texas State Fair - and cooking contests galore! Fryers are heating up, and stomachs are growling. Phyllis Newsom has entered the contest for the best funnel cake, but she'd better watch out. Someone's brought an appetite for murder. Includes recipes.  $7.99


ORDERING IS EASY!  Call us at 1-800-429-5075 and use your MC, Visa, Discover, or AMX card. If you prefer to send a check: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

QUESTIONS?  Call us Monday through Saturday between 9:30 to 6 pm.  If I happen not to be here - I'll call you back as soon as possible.  Now that we are on standard time the time difference is 2 hours earlier than the east coast and 1 hour ahead of the west coast.  You know us stubborn Arizonians - we
don't change our time.  Look forward to hearing from you. I always have time for book lovers.  Or e-mail me at: rkernbooks3@gmail.com  or rkern3@mindspring.com

Enjoy autumn, I will see you in December!