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 d├ęcor 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.