Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Feburary Blog will post on the 14th.  I got called for jury duty.  I've not been called for about 8 years so I guess it is my turn.  Ruth

                                            JANUARY 2015 BLOG
Ahh, January 2015! Let's go back 15 years when the world seemed to be on edge about the rollover to 2000 and whether computers would go down all over the world. The news made a huge deal of it and I can say I was worried - enough to get two new computers for my business.  Nothing came of all the "Chicken Little"nonsense but it took us into the 21st century.  We all wondered what the new century would bring and here we are already starting the 15th year of it.  The new century is no longer new but a teenager.

Maybe we should look back on those years and recall what we have done. After all the month of January was named for the Roman god Janus. He has two heads - one that looks back into the past - the other head looks into the future. I'm thinking it would be a good thing to list all the projects finished in the past fourteen years of needlework, or teaching or designing.  I can imagine all the wonderful needlearts created in a total of 5,110 days or 122,640 hours.  Wow!  I can't believe I keep saying - "when I have the time".  Somehow in all those hours I should have made a time for some of things I wanted to do - and I am determined to do so in 2015.  Perhaps there is something you'd like to get to this year.  If so, let's getting moving!  We've already used up about 312 hours. 

STOP THE PRESSES!  The answer to what to do with small areas on your canvas is here!
Last January I announced the first book by Carole Lake and Michael Boren, Painted Canvas Embellishments - $35.00 that took off like a rocket and stayed there for the entire 2014.  It was only on the shelves for a few weeks when it had to be republished.  Now this January 2015 these two respected teachers bring us a new needlepoint book, Desert Island Stitches. 

Carole Lake was kind enough to send me great information about her and Michael's new book 78 pages long with both side of the pages filled with stitches.  The book is divided into Tent Stitch, Diagonal, Straight,  Oblique and Crossed stitches and is designed for small areas, less than 1" square, although you could clearly add more rows and make it bigger. Most of the patterns are not numbered because there's no right place to start, as you know, in small irregular areas. As she added, "I kept thinking of all those fiddly little areas." Here is your answer. There is also a refresher on basketweave, and other tips on the divider pages, but it's mostly little stitch possibilities. In fact, there are several hundred of them.  This is not a stitch book - there are plenty of stitch books - our authors take the mosaic stitch and make it into all kinds of patterns. And then use the cashmere and scotch and so on and combining them. 

This book is 5 1/2 x 7 1/2, spiralbound and chock-full of advice by two experts. This neat little book can fit handily in a purse. The best news is: this is a first in a series of these little books by Carole and Michael and priced right: $25.00

My order is in. I'd recommend ordering now before the first printing is going, going, gone - that happened last year.

Psst!  Don't forget Carole and Michael's first book - Painted Canvas Embellishment: An Idea Book - 34.95 -When you have a book that sells by word of mouth - you know you have something special.  What is it that attracted so much attention?  The advice for sure - I had a "book friend" in France thanked me for turning her on to this book and many needleworkers in the states.  These two teachers include thoughts on stitching a painted canvas, glossary of terms, frequently asked questions, ideas for threads of all kinds, ideas for stitches for all kinds of areas, index of stitches and more.  $34.95  

Needlework Book Picks  

For a number of months I was trying to order these two books, Stitch Landscape and Ins and Out by Elaine Oliverio from the Little Shoppe with no luck but I've now made contact with her again. She had moving her shop for the second time in two or so years. Well, she's settled in and easy to reach so I once again am carrying her best-selling books. 

If you haven't had the opportunity to preuse her books let me tell you a little about them  Stitch Landscape - As Elaine says, 'stitching landscapes, choosing stitches can be tricky." She shares her expertise with us and gives us lots of tips and stitches to do clouds, flowers, grass, mountains, sand, shrubbery, sky, snow, soil, stone, trees, and water. This is one of the most requested books I've ever carried so you can imagine my joy (and needleworkers) when I could this again.   $39.95

Her second book in the same 5"x 7" format and spiralbound is Ins and Outs - that covers interiors and exteriors plus for barns, baskets, bricks, buildings, chimneys, fabric, floors, houses, molding, patios, pavement, roof, rugs, trims, borders, walls AND wallpaper, and windows. Wow!  Again this book is very popular.  $39.95


Modern Sashiko by Silke Bosbach is now available. It was due out in December but arrived in January. The author shows you how to create 15 embroidery designs which blend modern techniques with the simple and traditional Japanese method of Sashiko. While the traditional Sashiko uses only a basic running stitch to create intricate patterned background. Silko Bosbachshows how to adapt this basic style by applying modern surface finishes on numerous textiles and comibing it with a variety of other techniques. $14.95

Artfully Embroidered by Naoko Shimoda was due in October but arrived a few weeks ago. This book reinvents vintage embroidery through a modern aesthetic. Enjoy traditional Japanese and western motifs that are made with new color and embellishment, and 25 embroidered patterns demonstrating the beauty of the traditional designs. Step-by-step instructions and templates allow you to create lovely sewn or embroidered projects, or use the embroidery motifs on your own designs. Discover a variety of projects including handbags, totes, clutches, and coin purses, as well as wallets, handkerchiefs, and brooches. In addition, there are visual examples of embroidery used as embellishment on clothing and linens. Also included are pattern inserts for selected projects. $24.95


For the Beader in You

Halpenny, Sandra - Beaded Bracelets Pattern Collection - This collection of bracelets is made using beaded net weave stitch. It's an easy stitch to learn and do.  The author takes you through 14 beaded bracelet patterns, with easy to follow full color step-by-step illustrations. Most of the patterns can be made in a couple of hours. Start with a handful of seed beads, crystals and a few other beads, and come up with beaded bracelet designs. $24.99

Landy, Linda - Textured Bead Embroidery: Learn to Make Inspired Pins, Pendants, Earrings, amd More (with CDROM) -This book offers a new perspective on traditional bead embroidery. Our author embraces the colors and shapes of all types of beads - including cubes, drops, daggers, bugles, triangles, and more - to create unique looks for beadwork. Beaders learn to make 12 creative textured, projects, ranging in size and complexity, including earrings, pendants, brooches, bracelets and cuffs, and neckpieces. A gallery of inspiration showing other texture possibilities complete this book.  A CD that contains six of the patterns from the books is an added bonus.  $24.95

Root, Sheila - Peyote Stitch for Beginner and Beyond - If you are a beginner to Peyote Stitch or know a few basics but want to learn more, this is for you. Step-by-step directions with lots of illustrations are given for flat even count and odd count peyote, two-drop, and increasing and decreasing as well as basic information on thread, beads, knots, stopper beads, and patterns. Once you master these basics the book takes you into tubes: spiral tubes, peyote bezels, and shaped dimensional techniques. Ten projects will help you master the techniques, gradually getting more complex as you work through the chapters.  $18.95


Ray, Aimee - Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond: Crewel, Cross Stitch, Sashiko and More - In this follow-up to her first two Doodle Stitching books, Aimee Ray sets our
embroidery off into new directions, whether it's creating a modern geometric design with Sashiko or discovering a fresh spin on Cross Stitch. Using basic embroidery embroidery skills as a starting point, she pairs several fun techniques with her fresh, irresistible aesthetic. In each chapter, you'll find a introduction to the different embroidery techniques and instructions for making beautiful projects. Plus, there's a section of alternate patterns and motifs you can use in place of the ones shown.  Learn to use cross stitch, decorative stitches, applique and color, redwork, crewel, sashiko, shisha, cutwork and stumpwork in doodle stitching.  $14.95

Ray, Aimee - Doodle Stitching Transfer Pack - This new resource contains 300 of her most popular motifs, including nearly 30 new designs. Just tear out the perforated pages, iron the reusable patterns onto fabric, grab a needle and thread, and start stitching animals, flowers, letters, ballons, embellishments, and more. There is no tracing or photocopying required and includes a sealable envelope store the motifs for future applications.  $14.95   Due March 2015.

Deighan, Helen - Beautiful Braiding Made Easy: Revised Edition - An easy to follow guide to producing beautiful
Japanese braids using Kumihimo disks and plates; templates are printed on the cover flap ready to be cut out and used. There is advise on the threads or yarns to use, arranging the threads on the disk or plate, producing many different types of braid, braiding with beads, finishing off and using the braids to make bracelets, necklaces, bag handles and much more.  $15.95

A REMINDER THAT WE CARRY SANDY HIGGINS SANDY'S FINISHING TOUCHES: A Step by Step Guide to Finishing Needlework - Sandy is in her 7th printing of this wonderful finishing guide which speaks for the quality of this advice.  Sandy has been active in the professional needlework finishing business for decades and now her daughter Margi is following in her impressive footsteps.  Margi is responsible for the Tallis Bag, Stocking lingin, Seamless inset and Applique directions in this edition.  $26.95


Salley Mavor doesn't need to figure out what she wants to accomplish in 2015.  She's known since childhood that she loved miniature things and needlework.  On her website, she tells how she rediscovered her childhood delight in sewing and creating
miniature scenes at the Rhode Island School of Design.  Instead of a brush or pencil she found she could communicate her ideas more easily through her hands in a very compelling way. What she creates brings the saying, "a picture is worth a 1000

words," to life.  What she calls her Fabric Relief is a feast for the eyes no matter how old you are.  As one of her many, many fans wrote, "So glad you stuck to your own vision through school and didn't get swayed towards someone else's idea of what is art."  I agree.  Lets all of us take our own visions with us into 2015.  Her vision has gotten her a number of awards for her children's books. 

Her latest book published is: Felt Wee Folk - New Adventures -
This book stars 120 enchanting miniature dolls and as requested by fans, she shares more challenging projects. Explore fresh scenes and an array of new outfits, hairstyles, and accessories, with full-sized patterns. Make bendable dolls that resemble you, your family, or your favorite fairy-tale characters with wook felt, chenille stems, and decorative stitching. Display the figures in a dollhouse, atops a wedding cake, or in a holiday scene.  $27.95   Full color.

Other Salley Mavor Titles Available

Felt Wee Folk - This is her first book of miniatures and has been  going strong since 2003 I'm sure because it is an original - nothing like it!  Learn to create your own tiny figures and accessories using wool felt, chenille stems, simple embellishments, and Salley's new step-by-step guide.  $24.95

Pocketful of Posies - In this book Salley offers a fresh take on classic nursery rhymes with her signature style of fabric relief illustration in this intricately crafted collection.  You'll never tire of her tale on nursery rhymes. $21.99


The Quiltmaker's Gift is one of the most charming children's picture book I've read (yes, read) and I love the illustrations.  I've very picky with children's reading material and have been disappointed in recent years with many of the books (and their illustrations) available. Where's the imagination? And the reading material?  Some of it is, in my opinion, downright raunchy.  Shouldn't we be raising our children to a higher level of thinking and not lowering it?  (discount code: 20jan15)

The Quiltmaker's Quilt Live!
You can imagine my joy when I discovered local theatres here in Phoenix, Arizona and around the country are producing a play based on the book.  This is a play the entire family can enjoy this story that has the feel of a timeless fairy tale.  The generous and kindly old quiltmaker famous for her stitching refuses to sell her creations and instead gives them as gifts to the poor.  The king wants one of her quilts but she will not sell the king one.  Instead she makes the king an offer, she will make him a quilt but will only add one square every time he gives away something he owns. In the play the king protests musically singing, "I Don't Mean to Be Mean" but he is anyway, chaining the Quiltmaker up in a cave.  If it is in your area you might want to "make the time" for such a fun play with a needleworker as a star.  

The Quiltmaker's Gift - Jeff Brumbeau with Gail De Marcken, illustrator - This book is a feast for the eyes whether you are three or 100 years old.  A perfect lesson in how to thaw a greedy king's heart.  $18.99

The Quiltmaker's Journey - Jeff Brumbeau with Gail De Marchken, illustrator.  This is a prequel to the above book and it tells the story behind the quiltmaker's spirit of generosity and giving.  And what a story it is!  $18.99



Cats seem to take the lead in mystery book series. If you are a cat owner or cat lover Laurie Cass brings us a new cozy mystery series with her Bookmobile Cat Mysteries - she is up to #3 in the series.  If you haven't included this series in your mystery reading here is your chance. First let's meet the author. 

Laurie Cass lives in northern Michigan with her husband, Eddie, and their six-pound-killer cat on a lake. I relate to Laurie when she says she was one of those kids who always have their nose in a book.  Like me, she took the books out-of-doors with her and climbed a tree to read.  I was not so brave and took a blanket and food.  According to her site, Laurie spent years in management and then decided to do what she had always dreamed of - writing.  Now some years later here she is with a wonderful Bookmobile Cat Mystery series that has become a hit.  

Lending a Paw- With the help of her rescue cat, Eddie, librarian Minnie Hamilton is driving a bookmobile based in the resort town of Chilson, Michigan. But she'd better keep both hands on the wheel because its going to be a bumpy ride.  $7.99

Tailing a Tabby - In the bookmobile librarian Minnie Hamilton and her rescue cat, Eddie, roll out great summer reads to folks all over the lake of Chilson, Michigan. And when real-life drama turns deadly, Minnie makes sure justice is never overdue.   $7.99

Borrowed Crime - Librarian Minnie Hamilton spreads the joy of reading throughout Chilson, Michigan, with her bookmobile with her cat Eddie.  But when a voluteer dies on the bookmobile's route, Minnie finds her traveling library in a precarious position. Although the death was originally ruled a hunting accident, a growing stack of clues is pointing towards murder. It's up to Minnie and Eddie to find the killer, and fast - before the best chapter of her life comes to a messy close.  $7.99

Other Than Cat Mysteries

Adams, Ellery - Lethal Letters: A Books by the Bay Mystery - Restaurant owner and aspiring novelist Olivia is preparing for Oyster Bay's biggest soiree of the spring. But after a local resident is murdered, it's up to Olivia and her writing group to make sure justice is served.  $7.99

Brightwell, Emily - Mrs. Jeffries and the Merry Gentlemen: A Victorian Mystery - After a stockbroker is murdered, it's up to Mrs. Jeffries and Inspector Witherspoon to discover who had an investment in the man's death.  $7.99

Burdette, Lucy - Death with All the Trimmings: A Key West Food Critic Mystery - It's Christmas in Key West and Hayley Snow, food critic for Key Zest magazine, has been assigned to interview the chef/owner of a new restaurant. When the restaurant is set on fire and a body is discovered in the ruins, is somebody out to destroy the the's business or actually kill her?  $7.99

Carl, JoAnna - The Chocolate Book Bandit: A Chocoholic Mystery - When it turns out a member of Warner Pier's library board has been living on borrowed time, Lee McKinney is determined to discover who wrote the victim's final chapter. $7.99



Carlisle, Kate - A high-End Finish: A Fixer-Upper Mystery - First in a new series. In the seaside town of Lighthouse Cove, California, contractor Shannon Hammer's home-renovation business is booming but her love life needs work. After her recent blind date is found dead in a run-down Victorian home she's been hired to restore, the new police chief suspects Shannon may have laid the foundation for murder.  $7.99

Connolly, Sheila - An Early Wake: A County Cork Mystery - Pub owner Maura Donovan may have Irish kin, but she doesn't seem to have the luck of the Irish. Who could have foreseen that bringing live music back to Sullivan's Pub would lead to a dead musician?  $7.99


Corrigan, Maya - By Cook or by Crook: A Five-Ingredient Mystery - Take one burned-out city girl. add a crusty codger, a pinch of gossip, and a dash of romance. Stir in a generous helping of murder and the result is a truly delicious mystery.  This is the first in a new series that features five suspects, five clues, and five delicious recipes.  $7.99

Ferris, Monica - The Drowning Spool: A Needlecraft Mystery - While Betsy Devonshire is teaching a needlework class at a local senior center, a young woman is found floating in the therapy pool. Someone killed her, and it's up to Betsy to untangle the mystery.  Includes a free embroidery pattern. Due out in February.  $7.99


Hamilton, Victoria - No Mallets Intended: A Vintage Kitchen Mystery - The Queensville Heritage Society is restoring a once-grand manor, and Jaymie Leighton is installing authentic Depression Era furnishings in the kitchen. When the resident historian is killed with an antique mallet, Jaymie must catch the killer before someone else becomes history.  Includes vintage recipes. $7.99

Harris, Sherry - Tagged for Death: A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery - One man's junk is another man's treasure...but finding that treasure can be murder. This first in a charming and amusing new cozy mystery series. Sarah Winston, after her husband leaves her, copes with a little yard-sale retail therapy and solving murders.  $7.99

Hechtman, Betty - For Better or Worsted: A Crochet Mystery - Molly Pink and her crochet group, the Tarzana Hookers, love an adventure. But when their newescused of turning her wedding into happily-never-after for the groom, Molly's chance to find the truth hangs by a thread includes recipes and crochet patterns.  $7.99

Marks, Mary - Knot in My Backyard: A Quilting Mystery - The second book in a chraming, crafty cozy mystery series featuring middle-aged divorcee Martha Rose and her quilter friends. Baseball may be America's official favorite pastime, but for Martha and the others, quilting is far less dangerous.  $7.99

McHugh, Mary - Chorus Lines, Caviar, and Corpses: A Happy Hoofers Mystery - This fun, fast- moving mystery series debut is sure to appeal to lovers of travel, dance, food, animal and dynamic suspense - headlined by a group of unstoppable tap dancers all in their 50s.  $7.99

McKinley, Jenn - On Borrowed Time: A Library Lover's Mystery - Loving a good cup of coffee runs in the family for Briar Creek library director Lindsey Norris. But when her brother, Jack, a consultant for a coffee company, goes missing, her favorite beverage becomes a key clue in a dangerous  mystery.  $7.99

Oust, Gail - Rosemary and Crime - Just a pinch  of murder is all it takes to shake up a small Southern town in this charming new mystery series starring sassy spice-shop owner and amateur sleuth Piper Prescott.  $7.99


Purser, Ann - Scandal at Six: A Lois Meade Mystery - A mysterious infestation of insects and reptiles hits Long Fanden, including the store owned by Lois Meade's daughter. Lois' investigation leads her to a seemingly unhinged zookeeper and a suspicious death at the zoo. And more people could die if Lois doesn't put the killer behind bars soon.  $7.99

Vallere, Diane - Suede to Rest: A Material Witness Mystery - The first title in a clever, crafty new mystery series featuring dress designer Polyester Monroe and her two kittens, Pins and Needles.  Includes a craft project.  $7.99

Viets, Elaine - A Dog Gone Murder: Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper - Mystery Shopper Josie Maricus is getting the dirt on doggy day-care centers, and discovers that one dog-loving local celebrity is really bad to the bone.  $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 order by mail send check or charge card information to:  Ruth Kern Books   7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, Az 85021.

If you have a question, call us Monday thru Saturday between 9 am to 6 pm Arizona time which is three hours earlier in the east in summer, and on the west coast we are one hour earlier in the winter and the same time in the summer. We Arizonians don't do daylight savings time.


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