July Blog will publish on July 12th evening
JUNE 2015 BLOG - WELCOME!
|JUNE'S FLOWER: THE ROSE|
|NATURAL PEARL ONE OF JUNE'S BIRTH STONES|
Whatever you are busy with in June keep plenty of time available for needlework and reading.
For June I have two artists that will inspire and stir up the pot of your Imagination: Leo Lionni and Charley Harper
Frederick is a field mouse who lives with other field mice in a stone wall not far from an abandoned barn and granary. Winter is coming and the little mice are gathering up food for the cold weather ahead - all that is except Frederick. When they complain he's daydreaming and not working he calmly replies he is. He is gathering up colors for grey days, words for long, dark nights and the sun's rays for the cold, winter nights. They get disgusted and go back to their food gathering with him. Winter comes. At first the mice have lots to eat and talk about but the time comes when they grow cold, hunger and grumpy. It's then Frederick uses his supplies to save the day.
The first time I read this book I immediately related to Frederick. Like Frederick I'm a dreamer and a memory storer. I never saw myself a business person in the true sense of the word, nose to the grind-stone, board meetings, long financial reports and the like. I was an out of place Frederick in the corporate-run world. Just when I was ready to accept this was my fate in life I found myself wanting to go into the book business specializing in the needlework books, an art I had loved doing for years. Book dealers shook their heads and laughed. "Needlework books?" They told me this specialty was impractical, that I was dooming myself for failure. Well, one thing about Fredericks, they are a stubborn lot. Their dreams are so real they try for the gold in spite of good advice. This was 24 years ago and as you see I'm still here. I knew I had made the right choice the first time I set up a bookstore for a needlework seminar. To my surprise I discovered lots of other Fredericks designing, stitching, writing books, teaching needlework and of course, learning how to do it. By following my bliss I had stumbled into what Somerset Maugham referred to as,"my rightful place."
So here I am 24 years later. This business keeps me more than busy seven days a week. And like everyone in business I've had hard times and fat times. But when you are chasing a dream, somehow it works out. No magic formula has turned me into a real business person. I still daydream about new books and ideas. I get sidetracked by long phone calls with book lovers and finding that one book someone mentioned when I should be totaling reports.
I have great respect and admiration for left brainers but I just can't manage to hunker down to filing, mounds of adding machine tapes and data entry with any great enthusiasm. It all gets done - eventually get it all done and on time.
I hope after reading this you might have a little more patience with us side-tracked Fredericks, if you aren't already a Frederick yourself. Signs of being a Frederick are: bed is unmade, you forget to eat a meal, dishes are in the sink and dust is on the furniture while you work out a needlework project or some other love. Someday when someone needs a little color in a grey world show off your needlework or other creative projects. It's then we Frederick's have a chance to show them what we can do.
I'd like you to meet my two favorite "Frederick's" who listened to the inner rhythm of their creative hearts and who willingly shared their talents and their lives with other.
Leo Lionni: Storyteller for children and adults (and inspiration for all creative people) - I would love to see Leo Lionni's wonderful children books illustrations turned into needlework. Leo, an internationally known designer, illustrator, and graphic artist was born in Holland and lived in Italy until he came to the United States in 1939. He's won so many awards I couldn't possibly list them all here but since he illustrated books I have to mention he won four Caldecott Awards. He was hailed as the master of the simple fable by the Chicago Tribune. He died in 1999 but his work lives on. (discount code: moon15)
I love all of Leo Lionni's artwork but because of Frederick I am passionate about his mice. Some of his other mice stories include:
Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse - This was another of his award-winning books about the magic of friendship is now available as a Step 3 reader for children who are ready to read on their own (or adults who haven't lost their childhood wonder. $3.99
WHAT? - Yes, that's a title! In this boo mice discover and explore such well-known objects as a telephone, eyeglasses, and a book. Done on board-pages for the tiny ones. $5.99
WHERE? - Now the mice discover such places as trees, boxes, shoes, and mouse holes. $5.99
Geraldine, the Music Mouse - After nibbling an enormous piece of parmesan cheese into the shape of a giant mouse holding a
flute, Geraldine hears music for the first time.
Charley Harper: Artist and Needleworker's Friend
Charley Harper was an American original. For more than six decades he painted colorful and graphic illustrations of nature, animals, insects and people from his home studio in in Cincinnati, Ohio until he passed away in 2007 at the age of 84.
His work is still as popular as ever and what I love the best his illustrated art is available as needlepoint canvases. I plan on carrying these in the near future. If you are interested let me know. Charley called his work Minimal Realism - I call it delicious! There is never enough Charley!
Todd Oldham - Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life - If you want to get fully acquainted this is the for it covers his entire life of illustrating by Todd Oldham, a New York designer who rediscovered Charley in 2001 and collaborated with him to bring this extensive archive of his work into one book. $49.95
Charley Harper's Birds and Words - If you are a bird lover and want to explore the bird world from Charley's perspective this 1974 reissued book will show you there is more to bird watching than flight patterns, measurements and range maps. Charley captures the true nature and personality of each bird on each page. $34.95
Need Note Cards? How about note cards designed by Charley:
Charley Harper: Hummingbirds Note Cards Folio with Envelopes - There are 10 units in a package. $10.95
Charley Harper: Wings: A Folio of Note Cards with envelopes - There are 10 units in a package. $10.95
Charley Harper: Eastern Meadowlark Note Cards - There are
ten units in a package. $10.95
Charley Harper: Thank You Notes: $8.95
POTPOURRI OF NEW BOOKS
Ahmore, Sonia - Muslin - The story of the finest cotton ever woven, supporting the finest embroidery and the most fashionable dress of 19th century Europe - Muslin is referred to as "woven air". $40.00
Currie, Elizabeth - Inside the Renaissance House - A tour of what it was like to live there as an outward symbol of status, wealth and erudition. $24.00
Farini, Stefania - Il Fazzoletto - A well-annotated exhibit catalog of 19th century lace handkerchiefs from La Botlega di Simons de Panzani $49.00
Jim Shore - Monograms (cross stitch and beading) - This 40 page book contains the Jim Shore Monograms for every letter of the alphabet, plus a lower-case alphabet to use for the birth announcement design included in the book. There are suggestions for a Noel bellpull, afghan and pillow projects. $19.99
Kaplan - Ribbon Embroidery Guide 2 - Crazy Techniques - This 105 page book takes any crazy quilter to new heights. The pages are filled with color photos and patterns to send your imagination soaring. $29.85
Leisure Arts - Teach Yourself to Make Biscornu - The neat little shapes on the book's cover are called biscornu which is French for "quirky". In needlework a biscornu is usually a snall eight sided pillow. It can be used as a pincushion, ornament, decoration, scissor fob, scented sachet, or anything your imagination can think to do with a tiny cushion. You will learn the simple steps to create your own biscornu plus you have nine designs to get you started. Also learn how to adorn your biscornu with tassels, cords, and organza pom-poms. 32 pages. $14.95
Search Press - A - Z of Thread Painting - Another great Country Bumpkin book in the A-Z series is back as a classic with Search Press. This comprehensive guide shows all the stitches and techniques needed for thread painting, with full annotated step-by-step photos and detailed instructions. There are dozens of beautiful designs with an accompanied by a pattern, full-instructions and a stitch direction diagram. The price for this great classic is great. $19.95
Special Hardanger Magazine A301 - This magazine is packed full of great patterns suitable for gift giving or holiday decorating. There are over 50 projects including runners, ornaments, table toppers, pillows, doilies, curtains, and gift ideas. This magazine is in German so you'd need experience with hardanger then figuring out the patterns from the wonderful color photos and pull-out charts should be easy. $11.50
Takano, Hiromitsu - Japanese Quilting: Sashiko - In recent years there has been a great revival of interest in Saskiko, the traditional Japanese technique of needlework quilting based on a quick-and-easy running stitch. This is a practical introduction to the distinctive patterns and designs of the style. After guiding you through the basic techniques, the author provides 30 detailed designs ranging from the ougi (fan) ume (plum blossoms), to shippu (seven treasures) to sayagata (Buddhist symbols). There are ten step-by-step projects to insure you from aprons to place mats, cushions to bags. Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced quilter, this is an exciting exploration of a traditional craft. $19.95
Wood, Dorothy - The Knotting and Braiding Books - Hundreds of projects are in this book including macrame, kumihimo, and braiding and all directions. $25.00
I couldn't resist including this book in the list even though it has nothing to do with needlework.
Hardy, Emma - Teeny Tiny Gardening - These tiny gardens are the cutest gardens I ever saw and very original. The 35 projects range from an elegant fern terrarium and scented spring bulb display to colorful woven baskets filled with cheerful summer bloom to edible crops in pots and a child's fairy garden. I never thought to have a roof top garden on top of a bird house. I'm definitely doing some of these. $21.95
CLASSIC BOOKS IN NEEDLEWORK
Kershner, Lois - Threadscapes: Design, Stitching Techniques and stitches. She is the queen of transforming landscape photos into embroidery. This great book released in 2012 is already a classic. She includes all step-by-step instructions and includes lots of color photos and stitch diagrams. $54.00
Stanton, Yvette - The Left-Handed Embroiderer's Companion -If you are left-handed this is the book for you. She teaches how easy it is to learn and master new stitches when the instructions are written specifically for left-handers, how to work surface stitches, needlepoint and counted thread stitches, in a step-by-step format. She also includes how the stitches and their variations should look, how different stitches can be used creatively in your embroidery with color, texture, and different types of thread. $27.95
Stanton, Yvette - The Right-Handed Embroiderer's Companion - Learn to master over 170 stitches including their variations with clear step-by-step instructions, accompanied by diagrams showing you what to do. You will learn to work surface stitches, needlepoint stitches and counted thread stitches, how the stitches and their variations hsould look, and how you can make yours look the same, how different stitches can be used creatively in your embroidery with color, texture and different types of thread. $27.95
The Love of Chocolate is no Mystery
When reviewing books for Mystery Corner I noticed that certain subject matter becomes popular in mysteries. Right now it seems to be chocolate. Now who can argue with the popularity of chocolate? When I set up bookstores for Needlework Seminars I always take a large (and I mean large!) supply of all kinds of chocolate kisses. I have two small glass bowls one set on each side of the register and keep filling them up all day. Of course needleworkers come in to buy books and to chat but some stop by just to get a "chocolate fix". I love that. And I started to understand the love of chocolate.
As a child I hated chocolate and wouldn't touch anything that had chocolate on it or in it. That dislike of chocolate stayed with for many years. Then I started nibbling it - a taste here - a taste there. I started to like it but it didn't like me - I got migraines so that was the end of that idea. However in the last 18 years no more migraines so I experimented with chocolate and no more problems though I avoid dark chocolate since that chocolate is most strongly connected to migraines. I dislike dark chocolate so that's no problem. I'm careful still to eat only small amounts of milk chocolate but I look forward each piece.
The city of Glendale, Arizona, west of Phoenix has an annual Chocolate festival. I went once to simply watch all the chocolohlics indulge in their pleasure. Amazing the hold a simple bean can have on us humans.
Since there are plenty of mysteries below that feature chocolate I thought I include a few "Did You Know"questions about chocolate. Have fun while you are indulging in the type of chocolate you enjoy.
Did you know that the history of chocolate began in Mesoamerica with evidence of chocolate beverages dating back to 1900 B.C?
Did you know that chocolate was unknown to Europeans until the 16th century?
Did you know that 2/3's of all chocolate today comes from Western Africa?
Now definitely get your chocolate (and tea) out and enjoy a mystery.
I'd like to introduce you to two mystery writers:
Please meet Kathy Aarons, an enthusiastic mystery writer, who debuted the first book in her mystery series last year (Chocolate Covered Mysteries). She's always loved to write but went serious at getting published after her oldest daughter went to college. Wonderfully, she had the talent to get published. There are two mysteries in her series that includes scrumptious chocolate making recipes. I bet she loves chocolate!
Death is Like a Box of Chocolate - The locals in charming West Riverdale, Maryland head to Chocolates and Chapters to satisfy their craving for chocolate and a great book, a business started by best friends Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell. They decide to host the Great Fudge Cook-off during the Memorial Day weekend Arts Festival. But success turns bittersweet when Main Street portrait photographer is found dead in their store, poisoned by Michelle's signature truffles. Together these store owners must pick through an assortment of suspects before all their dream store melts away. $7.99
Truffled to Death - A Chocolate Covered Mystery - Hoping to sweeten sales for their shop, Chocolates and Chapters, Michelle and Erica host a reception highlighting a new museum display of ancient Mayan pottery. Yet all is bittersweet after Erica is accused of stealing some of the priceless artifacts - and killing the curator as well. Includes recipes. $7.99
Now meet Christine DeSmet author of The Fudge Shop Mysteries. She has three chocolate mysteries under her belt and on our shelves. Christine is an award-winning writer and professional screenwriter. She is a fellowship graduate of the Warner Brothers Sitcom Writers Workshop. So far there are three mysteries in her chocolate series.
First-Degree Fudge - Ava Oosterling leaves her Hollywood acting career behind and returns to her hometown in Wisconsin to open a shop specializing in fudge. But when a former film star chokes to death on a stolen diamond hidden in a piece of Ava's fudge. Ava has to get moving and uncover the murderer. Includes recipes and tips. $7.99
Hot Fudge Frame-Up - Ava Oosterling mixes it up with a fudge judge with a grudge - who loses his life before he can pick a winner. To her shock, he'd been complaining around town that her Fairy Tale fudge flavors were ... well fudged. Guess who the sheriff looks to as a murderer. $7.99
Five-Alarm Fudge: A Fudge Shop Mystery - According to Ava Oostering's grandpa, a famous divinity fudge recipe from the 1860's is hidden somewhere in a local historical church. But after a fire in the church a body of a murdered man is revealed. It looks like someone is willing to go to any length to possess the valuable secret to the divinity fudge. Includes fudge recipes. $7.99
Now on to other mysteries - but yet another chocolate mystery lurks in the group. With all this writing about chocolate I need to get a piece from my stash.
Brown, Duffy - Demise in Denim - A Consignment Shop Mystery - It's springtime in Savannah, Georgia. When Reagan Summerside turned the first floor of the old Victorian home into a consignment shop, she never imagined she'd be harboring a fugitive in her attic. But after a dead man is found in a bathtub and local lawyer Walker Boone is accused of doing the dirty deed, she suddenly has a new house guest. $7.99
Casey, Elizabeth Lynn - Wedding Duress: A Southern Sewing Circle Mystery - Tori is ecstatic to become Mrs. Milo Wentworth in a few days, but she has a lot to do before she sashays down the aisle. Favors need to be sewn, vows need to be written - and a mystifying murder needs to be solved. Includes a pattern and sewing tips. $7.99
Craig, Elizabeth - Tying the Knot: A Southern Quilting Mystery - Wedding bells are ringing in Dappled Hills, North Carolina. But when the festivities take an unexpected turn, quilter Beatrice Coleman must get crafty and catch a killer wedding crasher in the fifth installment of Craig's best seller series. $7.99
Crockett, Jessie - A Sticky Situation: A Sugar Grove Mystery - The author of Maple Mayhem returns to Sugar Grove, New Hampshire, where the Green family - including Dani's irksome Aunt Hazel - are busy preparing for the annual Maple Festival. But nothing kills the festive spirit like murder. Includes recipes. $7.99
Davis, Krista - The Diva Steals a Chocolate Kiss - A Domestic Diva Mystery - Amore Chocolates is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a chocolate tasting at the mansion of the company's CEO, Jo Merano - and Domestic Diva Sophie Winston is in charge. But when Jo goes missing and Sophi discovers the body of a competing chocolatier in the guesthouse, the event turns downright deadly. Includes recipes. $7.99
DiSilverio, Laura - The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco: A Book Clud Mystery - First in a new series, Amy-Faye Johnson's book club, the Readaholics, enjoys guessing whodunit in mysteries like The Maltese Falcon. But when a murder happens in their midst, they discover that solving crimes is harder than reading about them. $7.99
Erickson, Alex - Death By Coffee - First in a new series. When Krissy Hancock and her best friend Vicki decide to open a bookstore cafe in their new town of Pine Hills, they decide to call it Death by Coffee, after Krissy's father's most famous mystery novel. Little do they know how well the name fits. $7.99
Fielder. Chrystie Fielder - Garden of Death: A Natural Remedies Mystery - When a local doctor is found dead in Willow McQuade's medicinal garden, she must find the killer to clear her boyfriend's name in this third clever book in this mystery series, But can Willow dig up enough evidence before she becomes the killer's next victim? $7.99
Mugavero, Liz - The Icing on the Corpse: A Pawsitively Organic Mystery - The author delivers another entry in her pet-friendly mystery series that has gourmet pet food chef Kirstan "Stan" Connor investigating the murder of a local historian who apparently had ties to an unsolved death from 1948. $7.99
Parra, Nancy J. - Bodice of Evidence - In the second installment of this series, Pepper Pomeroy searches for a wedding gown for her sister but instead discovers the murdered body of a bridal boutique owner. $7.99
Pike, Penny - Death of a Chocolate Cheater: A Food Festival Mystery - at the San Francisco Chocolate Festival, chocolatiers vie for a spot on the reality show "Chocolate Wars" - and food truck vendor Darcy Burnett and her Aunt Abby intend to win. But things get sticky when one of the judges is found murdered in a vat of chocolate. Include recipes. $7.99
Shefton, Maggie - Yarn Over Murder: A Knitting Mystery - In the latest installment of the author's New York Times bestselling series, Kelly Flynn and the House of Lambspun knitters may be able to save the helpless animals in danger from a raging Colorado wildfire, but not the unexpected bvictim of a cold-blooded murder. Includes recipes and knitting patterns. $7.99
Shelton, Paige - Bushel Full of Murder - In the latest installment of Shelton's New York Times bestselling series, a fleet of food trucks moves on Bailey's Farmers' Market, creating fresh tensions that turn deadly fast. $7.99
SEE YOU IN JULY!
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