Monday, January 6, 2014

January 2014


Happy New Year!  Welcome to 2014! 

I don't know about you but I'm not as ready as I thought I'd be for a new year. I'm working hard to remedy that.  How are you doing? 

New books are the one thing I'm on top of.  January starts a steady stream of new titles that continues most of the year and I look forward to all the new catalogs I receive in the mail. I love sitting in bed in the evening with a cup of tea and a pile of catalogs What fun!  I like to start this new year off with my finds for January. 

Remember!  Find the code in this blog and use it to get 20% off any new book you want whether it is in this blog or not.  Want to order?  Easy!  Call us at 1-800-429-5075 or e-mail us at  We also accept checks through the mail.  If you need to leave me a message on the phone - I will call back ASAP.   As you can imagine I'm on the phone often. 

If you are new to this blog site don't forget to take a peak at past blogs. 

Have you met Carole Lake and Michael Boren?  If not I'd like to introduce them to you.  

I've known Carole Lake for over twenty years since I began doing the bookstores at EGA and ANG seminars. I love her sense of humor and decided many years ago if I got stuck on a desert island I'd love to have her for an island companion.  Now that I've gotten acquainted with Michael Boren and his sense of humor and talent I  need to have them both. Not only are they great needlework teachers but are into so many interests (like me) we'd never run out of things to talk about.  So I was thrilled to learn they have joined forces and not only have taught and lectured together but have now written a book. But I promised to introduce you to them both so I better get started - there's lots to share so before I get to the book I will introduce the authors. ( Code: JNRK.)

Ladies first.  So I will start with Carole. 

Carole is a talented, patient, funny lady and her classes are always full of eager students ready to be inspired.  Carole lives in Austin, Texas and in 1980 she decided to focus on what she loved -needlepoint.  By 1990 her determination and hard work and love of needlepoint earned her a teaching certification through the EGA.  It would take pages to list all the places around the country where she has taught so I will just say she is asked for everywhere.  By the way, if you need to know anything on Mary Queen of Scots Carole is the person to ask.  I think she owns everything printed in both historical non-fiction and historical fiction about Mary.  We mustn't forget that Mary Queen of Scots was a good needleworker.  But She lost her head over some of the stuff she coded into her needlepoint that her cousin, Elizabeth I, didn't like.  Plotting with a needle can get you into serious trouble. 

      Carole has lectured solo on Mary Queen of Scots but together with Michael they have lectured on Queen Elizabeth including the music of her era - one of Michael's passions.  We must remember since childhood, Queen Elizabeth I did needlework too, some that has survived the ages.  Most touching is the book cover she needlepointed for one of her stepmothers with a gracious and moving inscription.  When you remember Elizabeth's mother, Anne Boleyn lost her head on her father's orders it is even more astonishing.  Over the years of studying history I've noticed how needlework is associated so easily with so many other arts and famous people.  Visit Carole at her website: www.

      I loved Carole and Michael's resource guide for their Elizabeth I lecture that includes a Select Discography as well as Selected References.  I don't believe this guide, Gloriana: Elizabeth I Her Private Passions is available for purchase so I guard my copy jealously.  If it becomes available you will be the first to know.

So onto Michael.....

     Some years back Michael retired from a career with the government as Admisistraative Assistant, Joint Committee on Taxation, U.S. Congrass  to veer off into something entirely different - though I think the attention to details required for his first career is just as important for his second career of designing and teaching needlepoint.  At the same time he was learning needlepoint he thought about a career in performing in music - playing the flute.  He studied under Jean-Pierre Rampal and James Galway. (I have Galway discs plus I love Native American flute music. I find the flute magical.) He ended up on "the hill" for 23 years but now focuses on needlepoint as his full-time career. Since 2002 Michael has been designing and teaching.  See how the arts stream together! Michael has the creative touch!  Visit Michael at: shenandoahstitcherydesigns. com.

So onto their latest project: Painted Canvas Embellishment: An Idea Book due out this month.

Prayers do get answered.  I have "hinted" to both of them to think about a book - such wonderful knowledge should be shared.  But I wasn't smart enough to think of them doing one together - but thank goodness they were. 


What does this brain-child of two great designers and teachers include? They start with thoughts on stitching a painted canvas, answer frequently asked questions, go onto ideas for threads: cotton, wool, silk, silk ribbons, silk/wool blends, linen threads, metallic threads, rayon, synthetic and specialty threads; list thread companies and distributor websites, then cover ideas for stitches that covers faces, eyes, noses, mouths, hair and fur, clothing, rugs, floors, and buildings, leaves and foliage, snow and ice, wings, stars and starbursts, motifs, small areas, medium areas, large areas, very large areas and backgrounds, bands and borders, vertical lines, diagonal lines, outlining and accenting areas, shading stitches and combination stitches.  Now what stitcher doesn't need this reference! All for the low price of $34.99 - with a 20% discount when you find the discount code!


Bosbach, Silke - Modern Shibori - Re-discover this fantastic textile technique and learn all the latest methods and materials artists use today. Shibori is the Japanese term for the dye-resist technique of binding, clamping, or gathering the cloth tightly so the dye cannot reach certain parts. The traditional basic materials are simple threads, fabrics, and the dye themselves so it is easy for anyone to get started. Included are plenty of inspirational illustrations and clear instructions.  Have fun!  $27.95 

Kay-Williams, Susan - The Story of Colour in Textiles - The colour and shades of dyed textiles were once an indicator of social class or position as was the fabric itself and for centuries the recipes used by dyers were closely guarded secrets. The arrival of synthetic dyestuffs in the middle of the 19th century opened a whole new rainbow of options and within fifty years modern dyes had completely overturned the dyeing industry. This book is an introduction to a broad, diverse and fascinating subject of how and why people coloured textiles. A fresh review of this topic, this book brings previous scholars' work to light, alongside new discoveries and research.  $29.95

Kinnersly-Taylor, Joanna - Dyeing and Screen Printing on Textiles - This is a clear, easy-to-follow guide for students as well as accomplished artists and designers who want to expand their knowledge.  The author includes recipes for cloth preparation, dyeing and printing, fixation, designing in a repeat, and preparing imagery and screens for exposure. Also included is advice on equipment needed for setting up a studio and safe working practice. The great instructions are accompanyed by inspirational images of work from around the world. This book has been revised and updated.  $29.95 


Causee, Linda - Embroidery Stitch Guide - She includes clear instructions and step-by-step diagrams for 58 beautiful embroidery stitches. Linda begins with a general explanation of the supplies you'll need and gives tips for stitching and finishing your projects. Each stitch is shown individually in a full-color photo accompanied by how-to illustrations and instructions.  $9.99

JDR Brazilian Elegance - In the Beginning -  I love the look of Brazilian embroidery and some years ago had lots of fun with it.  If you've wanted to try this beautiful embroidery this is a good book to get you started.  Learn to do 12 beginning flowers.  These directions can be used for all the designs on the front and back of the cover (in color).  $12.00 

JDR Brazilian Elegance - Sunshine's Fantasy World: Butterflies, Bugs, Bouquets, Critters - Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery - All color pictures, 136 traceable designs, directions and traceable drawings for doing the front and back covers. 60 flower directions 28 stitch reviews. Many floral arrangements, butterflies, tropical birds, dragonflies, bumble bees, bugs, creepy crawlies, lady bugs, sea creatures, caterpillars, and many more fun things to stitch onto a garment, quilt block or make a wall hanging, picture or a cushion.  $29.95 


Chiaverini, Jennifer - Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker - I am ordering this book for myself. I love this author's writing especially her book, The Lady and the Unicorn, that explored the making of this famous tapestry. Now she takes on Elizabeth Keckley, the famous black dressmaker for first-lady Mary Lincoln. I have read Keckley's own account of her life that was interesting but very careful not to step on toes.  I trust Jennifer Chiaverini's historical research and I am anxious to read her tale on this fascinating woman.  If you saw the movie LINCOLN, you caught a glimpse of Elizabeth Keckley who had a front row seat to a very troubled marriage and politics.  $16.00. 


Ashdown - Hill, John - The Last Days of Richard III and the Fate of His DNA - By deliberately avoiding the hindsight knowledge that he will lose the Battle of Bosworth Field, this book presents a new Richard - a king actively pursuing his own policies and agenda. It also reexamines the treatment of Richard's body, his burial, and the construction of his tomb.  $17.95 

de Lisle, Leanda - Tudor - In an epic narrative sweeping from 1437 to the first deca de of the 17th century.  This book traces the rise and rule of the Tudor  dynasty. Brutal political instability dominated England during this infamous time, and the author reveals the personalities, passions, and obsessions of the men and women at its epicenter.  $29.99 

Goldberg, Natalie - Living Color: Painting, Writing, and the Bones of Seeing - A revised and expanded memoir on living an artistic life, from bestselling author Natalie Goldberg who expounds on her own path of to artistic inspiration.  I've read several of her writing books but I didn't know she painted too. This new edition pairs 13 of her engaging and encouraging essays with 75 of her paintings, and 22 never-before shared artistic exercises.  This book is great for anyone who wants to break through creative barriers or explore their own creativity.  $24.95.  Due out in March but can be preordered.  


Dickson, Elena - Bibilla Knotted Lace Flowers - This lace form goes back to antiquity.  In this book the author has modified and modernized the traditional technique, resulting in a series of stunningly realistic-looking and contemporary projects. She includes patterns for several blossoms commonly found in Australian gardens, all with step-by-step illustrated instructions.  $19.95 



Birker, Caprice - Cuddly Knitted Animals - This is a fun selection of 22 popular animals, all based on one simple body shape from a cute piggy, a cuddly lion, a big-eared elephant, an irresistible cat, an adorable sheep, and a whimsical unicorn, and many more!  A start-up section shows has paired the animals up for ease of reference. Close-up photos are accompanied by instructions and charts.  $19.95 

Modesitt, Annie - History of Two Needles: Exploring Art Through Modern Hand Knits - For years Annie has dreamed about a collection of designs based on iconic works from art history. She has created 17 garments and each piece tells a fascinating story of both political change in the world and garment silhouette and detailing.  How fun!  $26.95 

Search Press - Tea Cozies 4 - Being book 4 tells you this series on cozies has been extremely popular.  In this latest-edition you will find 30 more imaginative and beautiful patterns suited to a wide-range of abilities. $14.95 

Starmore, Alice - Tudor Roses - It's back in print!  This is a completely revised and redone edition. Part fashion, part photography, part English history, and all knitting. Alice is known and respected world-wide for her knitting designs and books. These designs are all inspired by the Tudor dynasty with all the charts and instructions in glorious color.  $40.00 







Chapin, Keri - Grow Your Handmade Business - How to Envison, Develop, and sustain a Successful Creative Business - Are you ready to make a living from your craft? Applying her trademark, "you-can-do-it" coaching style, our author covers all of the issues involved in turning your hobby into a successful business - from mapping out a business plan to expanding production and distribution, finding funding, and addressing legal matters. With this definitive guide, you'll discover how to grow your business beyond the dining room table and finally quit your day job.  $16.95 


Nakayama-Geraerts, Kumiko - The Art of Boutis - This classic style of embroidery has been practiced in southern France since the 17th century.  This book presents 20 projects featuring classic boutis designs for handbags, cases, pillows, baby clothes, placemats, photo album covers and more. Also included are a basic boutis lesson, with step-by-step instructions for every part of the process, and full-size patterns for every project. $22.95 



Draper, Jean - Stitch and Structure -Those eager to expand their repertoire into two and three dimensional forms will find this an essential and inspiring reference. With lavish illustrations, this book covers the entire process from designing through construction to embellishment with mixed media. Diagrams, detailed drawings, and stitch information guide you through the techniques, which include drawing tips, advice on customizing threads, creating knotted forms and more  $29.95 

Impey, Sara - Text in Textile Art - This is due in March but can be ordered now. The creative potential of text in textile art is unlimited and adding words can engage the viewer and express ideas that otherwise the fabric can't portray. The author, one of the world's leading textile artists and an innovator in using text in her work, presents the definite guide to the technique. She illustrates its myriad possibilities for self-expression, both historically and in the contemporary scene, and explores a wealth of practical techniques, from hand and machine stitching to photo transfer and computers. Valuable information on copyright helps protect your work.  $29.95 

Miller, Lesley Ellis - Selling Silks: A Merchant's Sampler Book - In 1764, British Customs confiscated hundreds of samples of different qualities of silks from French agents who were attempting to sell them illegally in London. This sample book was acquired in 1972 by the Victoria and Albert Museum and today it provides us a fascinating account of the 18th century French and British silk industries and their commercial practices. Alongside a full and faithful reproduction of the whole beautiful album,  an extremely rare, fragile, and significant object, she also explores how the silks were made and for whom.  Hundreds of patterns.  $60.00.  Due in April.  Taking preorders. 

Reynolds, Anna - In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion - From an iconic portrait of Elizabeth I to the many paintings of Charles I by Fleming master Anthony Van Dyck and the glamorous 'Windsor Beauties" of the court of Charles II, sixteenth and seventeenth-century portraiture has long been a source of great interest to costume historians. We're all pretty familiar with the stockings, voluminous breeches, and elaborate lace ruffs, but did you know that the clothing seen in these paintings cost more than the paintings themselves? The author, curator of paintings at the Royal Collection, has drawn on the art of the period, as well as wardrobe inventories, literary references, contemporary accounts, and surviving garments to bring us a wonderful insight into these marvelous garments. She takes us from top to bottom of both male and female fashion including hairdos and shoes.  What a trip she gives us!  $75.00  (Psst! Find the code and save 20% on any of these books or any book you order.)  

Woods, Karen - Creative Textile Art: Techniques and Projects - This is a general introduction for all levels to craft textile techniques. You are encouraged to experiment with the chosen medium, creating your own piece of work. Works by featured artists and designers will provide inspiration. Also included are tips on how similar styles and effects can be achieved.  There are design sketches, working drawings, and storyboards to help you develop your work. Topics included are; images on fabric; creating fabrics; wireframe construction; 3D wire con struction; using a heat tool; material manipulation; adapting traditional techniques; joining,; seaming; bonding; layering; mould-making; casting and forming.  $34.95 




I've just finished reading a wonderful non-fiction book called The Paper Garden.  If you haven't heard of Mrs. Delany of England born in 1700 you need to become acquainted with this woman artist who was ahead of her time. Way ahead!  After her second and beloved husband died when she was seventy-two, not ever one to be a shrinking violet or one to sit idle, she invented a  new art form, paper collages that are today housed in the British Museum.  Now we must remember being seventy-two back then was ancient as most people were lucky to reach forty or fifty years of age.  And at that "old age" starting  a new time intensive "seeing intensive" art was considerable a mission impossible.  But she did it.  What was this paper work?  Using tiny pieces of colored paper she maneuvered them into botanically correct flowers now called Flora Delanica, all set on a background of black paper.  In the next ten years of her life she created 985 of these marvelous mosaics that at first glance look like exquisite paintings. Her life must be read to be believed. She never gave up, not even when a very young age she was married off to a drunken old man, then widowed and left very little.  She moved about staying with a variety of family members and friends to survive until she married a second time, that time for love. 

I've read several biographies on her but when Doreen Finkle mentioned she had just read a great book about a woman named Mary Delany I had read it myself.  Doreen was absolutely right, the book is marvelously written. The author, Molly Peacock, an award-winning poet and writer.  She has received wonderful reviews for this biographer. As a reviewer for  Maclean's wrote, "Like collage itself , The Paper Garden is  carefully layered - part fascinating biography, part gripping memoir, accompanied by dozens of vivid photo reproductions. Beautifully written and rendered." 
Mary Delany

Mary Delany is an inspiration to all people who have ever said the words, "I'm too old to start something new/" I've heard that from people in their forty's or fifties much less those in their 70's.  It is never too late to do or learn something new. Mary Delany proved that in 1772.  This is a must read.  $20.00 

                                      One of Mary's incredible paper flowers





Jane Nicholas brings us something new in stumpwork


Over the years Jane has brought us many great books on stumpwork and for 2014 she presents us with her latest book, Stumpwork Butterflies & Moths. This book is the third in a series of stitched insect collections. Jane has created a "specimen box" with 18 Lepidoptera, all chosen for interest, color, and an assortment of materials and techniques. There's everything from surface embroidery in lustrous silks for the Indian Moon Moth to stitched clear plastic for the Glasswing butterfly.  $32.95  

Jane is a master of embroidery art.  She has been researching and working in the field of embroidery for over 20 years. Specializing in stumpwork and goldwork, Jane has written eight books and contributed widely to magazines and journals. In 1999 Jane was awarded the Churchill Fellowship to further her studies in stumpwork and in 2005 she received the Order of Australia Medal for her "services to hand embroidery as an artist, teacher, and author."  What is left to say but Bravo, Jane!  Jane does come to the states to teach so you might want to watch for an opportunity to join one of her classes for instructions. Her website is:

I must mention her other titles still available:  The Complete Book of Stumpwork - $39.95;  Stumpwork Dragonflies - $24.95;  Stumpwork and Goldwork Embroidery: Inspired by Turkish, Syrian and Persian Tile - $32.95; Stumpwork Medival Floral - $32.95. All are in hardback in gorgeous color with great directions and illustrations. 

NEXT TIME JOIN US IN FEBRUARY FOR:  More Needlework Books, Mystery Corner, and Interviews and Articles.  If you have any suggestions, questions, or information on an event feel free to contribute.

Don't forget to locate the code in this blog and get 20% off. 

To order:  Call 1-800-429-5075 (if the machine answers please leave a message we will be back ASAP) or e-mail: or send order to:  Ruth Kern Books  P.O. Box 35366  Phoenix, AZ 85069.

No comments:

Post a Comment