Monday, October 5, 2015

   November  Blog will Post evening of Nov. 12th.  See you there!

                    OCTOBER BLOG 2015 

          October is a lovely month - a restful place in the calendar between summer activities and winter events like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.  All that exhausting fun that includes shopping, company, cooking, and partying.  This gentle fall month gives us a moment to contemplate on what we've accomplished thus far this year and how we are going to handle the final months of 2015.  I hope needlework plays a big part of both times in your lives.

The other thing I love about October is that its birthstone is the opal, my favorite gemstone, actually classified as a mineraloid. The opal is the national gemstone of Australia because it produces 95-97% of the world's opals.


Precious opal can be clear through white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, rose gray, olive, black and other shades. Of these black opals are the rarest and the white and greens are the most common.  That's what I love most: the colors, like a rainbow in a stone. I hope some day to own a black opal - that's one thing on my bucket list.  I discovered that Virgin Valley, Nevada has opal fields that produce a wide variety of the precious black among crystal, white, fire, and lemon opal. The state of Nevada has made the black fire opal the official gemstone of that state. 

In the Middle Ages opal were thought to provide great luck until Sir Walter Scott wrote a novel in 1829 where a Baroness wears an opal with supernatural powers. When a drop of water falls on it the opal turns colorless and the Baroness dies leading opals to become associated with bad luck and death.  I choose the latter belief of good luck.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the year as well as October and before I forget - Happy Halloween!   


     It's hard to believe that something so revered and so beautiful as silk comes from a worm. I remember back to the sixth grade to a science class in which we raised silk worms. Since I lived near a mulberry tree I was a "leaf collector". I quickly learned how huge these little worms appetites were. On Fridays I had to collect enough leaves for the entire weekend. This became slightly tedious. Not until I read Kathryn Harrison's historical novel, Poison, set in Spain in the Middle Ages did I realize the life of the silk worm farmer was a horrid, tedious one that many times ended in crop failure, starvation or death. Imagine that your life depended on a worm - a worm that could spin a cocoon of the most amazing thread that could be woven into a fabulous fabric ancient royalty demanded for themselves and eventually became desired by humans around the world. Your life depended on the weather producing a great crop of mulberry trees. A poor crop of mulberries meant few cocoons and that equaled no money and starvation.

     I'm always amazed at how complex inventions like using the thread from a worm's cocoon gets discovered. No one can pinpoint the exact time this first occurred in China. Carbon dating of the oldest known silk fragments points to approximately 3000 B.C. but since any invention usually comes from a long process of learning it could possibly be earlier.  According to legend, Lady Hsi-Ling (23677-2597), chief wife of the yellow Emperor Huang Ti, is given credit for discovering how to unravel this thread and weaving it into a cloth and so her title, Lady of the silkworm.

     The story says that while relaxing in her garden a cocoon from a mulberry tree dropped into her hot cup of tea. When she plucked it out she noticed how it had begun to unravel and how beautiful it was. She unwound the thread and twisted a number of strands together and experimented with weaving it. Eventually she wove her husband, the Emperor, a great yellow robe of this new thread. Is this story true?  Who can say for sure.

Whatever happened this important discovery was kept secret by the Chinese because silk became the most sought after trade product. Spies from other countries were sent to discover the secret of making silk but China enforced strict rules and penalties for sharing this information. China's custom stations at frontier posts were so thorough in their inspections of each traveler that no one could get the eggs, mulberry leaves, cocoons or a weaving specialist through. Eventually someone will figure a way to smuggle a secret out. In the case of silk, legend has it that it was a conspiracy of three people, the King of Yutian, his wise minister, Yuchimu, and a Chinese Princess said to be called Lushi that finally got the secret through. For the country of Yutian to stay financially sound, Yuchimu saw his king needed the secret of silk. His king had depleted his country's sources of jade trying to obtain the secret of making silk.  Yuchimu suggested he marry a Chinese princess who he would convince to bring the secrets of silk with her. He did and she, knowing even she could not break the law, did anyway. She hid the silk eggs in her lush hair in her headdress since no one was allowed to touch the head of a person of rank. And she smuggled mulberry seeds hidden in her chest of herbs and medicines. Her female servant was a technician of silk.  Is this story true, no one knows, but most such stories contain seeds of truth.

So what was the secret of making silk that men had risked their lives to discover? The story starts simply enough with a tiny egg, the egg of the blind, flightless moth, Bombyx Mori. This simple moth spins the best silk, its threads smoother, finer, rounder, than that of other silk worms which is irregular and flattened and breaks easier. Unfortunately this poor creature paid a great price for its gorgeous silk thread. Humans have bred to spin this great silk and in the process it has become sightless and flightless and dependent on humans to feed it.

As soon as this moth lays eggs, these eggs are put into an incubator to keep them warm for twenty days. At that time the larvae emerges that at once begins to eat mulberry leaves. It only stops eating when it is molting which occurs four times. At these times it is said, "the worm is sleeping". After each molting the worm "wakes up" and immediately starts eating. After the fourth molt it has consumed 80% of the food it will eat before spinning a cocoon and weigh in at 10,000 times as much as it did when it hatched. At the fifth stage of eating the silk glands develop and make up more that 25% of it's body weight. When the glands developed the worm, once again, stops eating and is ready to spin the cocoon the silk worm farmers have waited for. Each worm is placed on a cardboard cocoon frame where after attaching itself to it, the worm begins to spin the cocoon. The 'silk" is a liquid in it's body but hardens immediately when it comes in contact with the air.

For two long days and nights the worm never stops spinning a house of silk from a single strand of thread that, when unraveled, will be more than one mile long. Most pupae however never metamorphose into a moth since that would destroy the silk. Instead the cocoons are sent to a hot oven to die in the cocoon. Once dead, the cocoons are placed in hot water to dissolve the sticky
substance, sericin, that sticks the threads together. Since the thread of one cocoon is too fine for human handling, as many as ten cocoons are put together and wound on a reel, that is treated to remove the rest of the sticky sericin, dried and dyed. Because of its great absorbency, silk takes less dye than other fibers and holds the dye better.

No other fiber rivals silks versatility, for silk is light but strong, soft, adaptable and because it "breathes" is warm in winter and cool in the summer. man-made fibers even those mimicking silk can not compete. To wear real silk is to feel royal. Women of royalty in Japan had kimonos made of the finest silk, so sheer
these women wore them in layer upon layer perhaps twenty in all. The colors from the kimonos underneath would show through each layer giving a wonderful appearance. The women were judged as to how well they could pull this coloring off.


As weaving techniques improved family crests or 'mons' became important and highly skilled weavers constantly had to improve their art to impress royalty. Symbols woven into or embroidered on the cloth had important meanings, such as the chrysanthemum in Japan or the eagle that came to mean powers around the globe. In medieval times a famous horse race, the Palio, that comes from the Latin "palium", meaning a piece of silk, referred to the silk banner that went the winner. Through history silk was worth its weight in gold: taxes, ransoms and armies have been paid in this priceless fabric.

Silk, even after thousands of years, still commands immediate attention. It confounds the minds to learn, a small, humble worm changed the path of human history and blessed us humans with one of the most sought after natural products that has taken human artistry and imagination to a great height.

Every time I gaze upon a beautiful piece of silk or feel it between my finers, I think of the sacrifice these little creatures have made for us. It is for me, a moment of mediation on a simple worm that has brought us the opportunity to create things of beauty for all of us to enjoy and use and hopefully appreciate.

If you are intrigued by silk like I am and you would like to learn more about this fascinating subject or work in silk you might enjoy the titles I've included below. 


Silk Road History
I've included several books on the history of the silk road that was central to trade of this valuable product. The books are excellent reads and have had rave reviews from scholars and readers so I included them both.


Backwith, Christopher - Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present - This professor of Central Eurasian studies at Indiana University suggests the most crucial element of societies all through this region was the ideal of the heroic lord. He brings us new information of this important area and the book, though detailed is never boring. To understand the importance of silk to this part of the world, we must understand the history of these empires.  $16.95

Barham, Henry - An Essay Upon the Silkworm - This lovely reprint of the original book in 1719 is fun to read especially for me who has a large fruit bearing mulberry tree in my back yard. I don't raise silk worms but the berries are good to eat. April is a messy month for the tree but the birds and I love it.  From this little essay I read how to make mulberry wine, mulberry honey and more.  $12.95

Hansen, Valerie - The Silk Road: A New History - This history will appeal to the general reader as well as the scholar. She explores seven oases along the road, from Xi'an to Samarkand, where merchants, envoys, pilgrims, and travelers mixed in cosmopolitan communities, tolerant of religions from Bouddhism to Zorastrianism. There was, in fact, no single continuous road, but a chain of markets that traded between east and west.  $21.95

This is an interesting book on silks I had to include: Selling Silks: A Merchant's Sample Book 1764 by Lesley Ellis Miller - In 1764, British Customs confiscated a book containing hundreds of silk samples of different qualities from French agents who were attempting to sell them illegally in London. Alongside a full and faithful reproduction of the whole album, the author sets in the context the role of the book as a marketing tool from the premier European silk-weaving centre of Lyon and as a model for Spitalfields manufactures. This publication makes accessible the contents of an extremely rare and fragile object. Translations of French inscriptions, identification of how samples have migrated from one page to another, and technical analysis of some of the silks, as well as a glossary and biographical date on the Lyonnais suppliers make this an invaluable resource for historians, collectors and designers.  $60.00

For Those Who Love to Work with Silk

Cox, Ann - A-Z of Silk Ribbon Flowers - Perfect for beginners, this project guide features step-by-step instructions to make beautiful ribbon flowers, including how to handle and work with ribbon, transfer a design to fabric using a template, and paint ribbons and backgrounds to achieve different effects. Each design includes a template and diagrams while inspirational ideas for variations on the main design expand the range and style of the projects. Information on ribbon stitches and gathering techniques and types of materials rounds out this great reference.  $30.00

Cox, Ann - Beginner's Guide to Silk Ribbon Embroidery -This is the first of two books she published on this subject. This first of the series is now once again available with the second coming out later.  $17.95

Hanham, Clare - Beginners Guide to Silk Shading - This inspiring guide gives full instructions using step-by-step photos on the techniques and stitches needed for silk shading. There are four great projects to create and learn to transfer a design, prepare the fabric, frame up and more.  $15.95


Homfray, Sarah - Silk Shading: Essential Stitch Guides - This book was researched by Royal School of Needlework who have developed hand embroidery to the highest standard. Graduate apprentice, Sarah Homfray shows how to create stunning embroideries using traditional techniques. She includes clear instructions and beautiful examples of historical and contemporary pieces.  $21.95


Montano, Judith - The Crazy Quilt Handbook, revised: 12 Updated Step-By-Step Projected Illustrated Stitch Guide, Including Silk Ribbon Stitches - For nearly 30 years, this book has been the essential guide to learning crazy quilting. Now this book has been updated with new stitches and technique. This third edition includes a history of crazy quilting, 12 beautiful projects to make, a dictionary of 37 embroidery and silk ribbon stitches, and detailed instructions for addition embellishments. Benefit the author's wealth of knowledge on color fabrics and much, much more.  $29.95


Search Press Classics - A-Z of Ribbon Embroidery - Step-by-step photos and clear instructions take you through all the stitches and techniques, and there are 40 beautiful designs to stitch. Accomplished embroiderers have compiled advice on choosing ribbons, fabrics, needles and fabrics, needles and frames, as well as a host of other hints and tips. Also included is a helpful Ribbon Embroidery Index directing you to the appropriate step-by-steps for each techniques. Templates, a pattern key and a comprehensive index make this a must have manual for anyone wanting to learn or brush up on ribbon embroidery skills.  $19.95

Search Press- A to Z of Goldwork with Silk Embroidery - This was originally a Country Bumpkin book brought back to print by Search Press Classics. In this book you will learn more than 100 stitches and techniques, including 15 silk embroidery stitches to enhance your work with color. There are 8 original designs to stitch, with full instructions, diagrams and patterns and the price is right.  $19.95

Van Niekerk, Di and Marina Zherdeva - Little Flowers in Silk and Organza Ribbon - This book has been so popular with needleworkers. Using a combination of thread, ribbon
embroidery, stumpwork and other techniques, you can produce gorgeous poppies, sweet strawberry blossoms, delightful daffodils and a ring of daisies. Or enjoy creating magnificent like wild roses and meadow grass in 3D, with butterflies and ladybirds and so much more.  $24.95

If you have special gifts to wrap you might enjoy using this silk gift paper: Chinese Silk Gift Wrapping Papers: 12 Sheets of High-Quality 18x24 Inch Wrapping Paper - This fine-quality tear-out wrapping sheet features twelve traditional and modern prints suitable for craft projects as well as for gift wrapping. An introduction details the history and meaning behind the designs. $11.95  Due out in December.

If you love reading your history as historical fiction I've include these novels about silk.

Estes, Kelli - The Girl Who Wrote in Silk - Inara Erickson is exploring her deceased aunt's island estate when she finds an elaborately stitched piece of fabric hidden in the house. As she peels back layer upon layer of the secrets it holds. Inara's life becomes interwoven with that of Mei Lein, a young Chinese girl mysteriously driven from her home a century before. Through the stories Mei Lein tells in silk, Inara uncovers a tragic truth that will shake her family to its core - and force her to make an impossible choice. Inspired by true events, Kelli Estes's brilliant and atmospheric debut serves a poignant tale of two women determined to do the right thing, and the power of our own stories.  $14.99

Harrison, Kathryn - Poison - As I already mentioned in the article this tells the story of the silk worm farmer who depends on harvesting cocoons and the queen who wears the silk.  $15.95

Small, Bertrice - Lucianna: The Silk Merchant's Daughters - Despairing of finding an ideal husband in light of her older sisters' scandalous lives, Lucianna Pietro d'Angelo reluctantly accepts the proposal of an aging bookseller and inherits his sizable fortune after his death before being set up by her family to win the heart of a courtier of Henry VII.  $16.00

Tsukiyama, Gail - Women of Silk - This beautifully written novel is a rich portrait of a woman's life in a China now lost. Step inside the lives of women that make silk. It reads like a legend or song.  $15.99


From Down Under:  A Jewel of an Embroiderer: Merrilyn Heazlewood  

Many great things come out from our neighbors down under (including my beloved opals) but one of their greatest exports is embroidery. To have great embroidery means having great designers and teachers and Merrilyn  Heazlewood definitely is a great teacher and designer and author of a number of silk ribbon embroidery books. Her name is probably familiar to you because she has come to the states to teach on numerous occasions and has written a number of articles in Needlepoint Now, the magazine of the ANG, and in Needlepointer magazine. (discount code: Hal2015)

Merrilyn resides in Tasmania, an island state that is part of the commonwealth of Australia, south of the Australian mainland, separated by the Bass Strait. This island state was named after the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who was the first European to find the island on November 24, 1642. (In blue)

Like many of us needleworkers, Merrilyn stitched as a child. In 1978 she opened her first needlework/craft shop which, as she says, "was the starting point for a long, creative and rewarding journey with needle, threads, and fabrics." She has traveled widely as a wonderful ambassador for needlework to New Zealand, USA, UK, Canada, and Asia.  She loves that her silk ribbon flowers have been the inspiration for other designers.

I've included her silk ribbon flower books below that hopefully will be an inspiration for more of us to attempt silk ribbon flowers for the first time or improve techniques. 

Spring Bulb Sampler: Silk Ribbon Embroidery - this book is designed for the beginner and more skilled silk ribbon embroiderer both. She keeps the stitches and their uses in a simple format with step-by-step instructions. She includes such flowers as the: tulip, crocus, jonquil, hawthorn blossom, iris, hyacinth and more.  She also includes instructions on how to combine flowers.  $22.00

Fuchias - She notes that fuchsias and silk ribbon embroidery blend well together. She also says that, "these flowers are designed to give pleasure and satisfaction to embroiderers of all levels. The limited stitch knowledge needed is an asset and the varying sizes and shapes of the fuchsia flowers allow for individual interpretation."  $22.00

Roses - In this book Merrilyn explains the stitching techniques for nine different ways of creating a rose with silk ribbon. Each page has its own page with large clear diagrams. She includes a guide for needles, fabric, ribbons and threads, stitch glossary, and detailed step-by-step instructions for you to create your own flowers.  $23.00

Romantic Garden - Again Merrilyn shares her passion for silk ribbon flowers with all the diagrams, materials, ribbons, threads, stitch glossary and directions you'll need to create your own silk flower gardens.  $23.00

Silk Ribbon Miniatures - If you like your flowers tiny and delicate for some of your embroidery projects this book is for you. As we know bigger is not always better and this book shows how beautiful little can be. All directions and materials like all of Merrilyn's books.  $23.00

Potpourri of New Books  

Bates, Deborah - Threads: The Basics and Beyond - Be inspired by the surprising evolution of threads from a devise that holds fabrics together to a creative tool that beautifies projects with designs, colors, textures, structure, and ornamentation. Follow each step-by-step technique in photos and text; then create a world of your own. Whether expanding your knowledge of traditional techniques or experimenting with thread painting and molding thread structures, you'll experience thread with new creativity and inspiration.  $24.95

Blondeau, Sylvia - Japanese Fabric Flowers - 65 beautiful Japanese-style fabric flowers to make from French artist Sylvia Blondeau. The Japanese word 'kanzashi' originally referred to decorative pins as part of the traditional female hairstyles. These pins were often works of art in themselves, holding in place elaborate floral arrangements made with natural or silk flowers. Today, kanzashi encompasses flower made from regular fabrics. Our authors shows how to make 65 of these stunning designs. She includes clear instructions and color photography, and pattern templates at the back of the book.  S19.95

Halpenny, Sandra D. - Beading and Designing Bracelets - This book is written with designing your own bracelets in mind. A variety of techniques such as net weave, right angle weave, chevron, chain and square stitch. You will learn how easy it is to change a design to make a unique bracelet.  $34.95

Halpenny, Sandra D. - Drop Lace Necklace Patterns - This 2nd edition of this book has even more necklaces to make than the first edition. All the patterns have step-by-step instructions and updated full color illustrations. By using the bead netting technique create beautiful lace-like necklaces.  $27.99

Nelson-Smith, Rachel - Two Stitches: Jewelry Projects and Right Angle Weave - Right angle weave and peyote are two immensely popular stitches that beadweaving master Rachel Nelson-Smith turns into gorgeous bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. This in meant for intermediate - to advanced-level beaders, and featuring detailed illustrations that illuminate her construction for her 23 projects. Make a City Beads Bracelet, a rainbow-hued Voldekol Necklace, Narti Earrings, and other jewelry.  $27.95

Oates, Cindy Taylor - Turtle Pin Cushion- Create this great companion to your projects! Perfectly allows you to have of all you need at hand in an easy organized way! Includes step-by-step instructions and are perfect to make for the rest of your crafty friends! Finished size including legs: 7"x6"x2 1/2 tall. $6.00

Oats, Cindy Taylor - Sit and Stitch Pincushion - Again Cindy gives us a practical and fun pincushion that is more than a pincushion. This neat project allows you to have all you need at hand but in an organized way! She includes step-by-step instructions. Makes a great gift too!  $6.00


Saito, Yoko - Yoko Saito's Japanese Taupe Color Theory - In this book our author walks us through the "Simplicity and Complexity" of taupe colors and how to lay the groundwork for designing and creating your own color collections to achieve the look you want. You will find 20 color collections shown in traditional or originally designed blocks as she integrates step-by-step instructions.  $37.95

Shaffer, Cynthia - Simply Stitched Gifts: 21 Fun Projects Using Free-Motion Stitching - Rev up the sewing machine because these 20 modern projects make perfect personalized gifts. Ranging from wall art to tote bags to baby accessories, they all feature free-motion stitching, as well as a variety of mixed-media techniques including painting, layering and journaling. An ample introduction to the basics encourages creative exploration with fabric.  $17.95

Singer, Ruth - Fabric Manipulation: 150 Sewing Techniques - Features 150 sewing creative sewing techniques, from smocking, trapunto quilting and reverse applique to Suffolk puffs, pleating and shirring. Hundreds of full-color diagrams of her innovative techniques and offers inspirational project ideas demonstrating practical applications to create accessories and home décor. Step-by-step instruction for each technique and all the techniques can be done by hand or with a domestic sewing machine without the need for specialist equipment.  $27.95

Sturrock, Hannah - Modern Cross Stitch: Over 30 Fresh and New Counted Cross Stitch Patterns - Discover five chapters of great ideas such as stitched gift tags; Christmas toy sack; a flower hessian tote; a floral finch cushion; decorate walls with washi tape birds and stitching velvet ribbon onto woven chair seats and more.  Make use of other innovative materials including soluble canvas - which allows you to cross-stitch on any fabric and glow in the dark embroidery thread. $19.95

Wellesley-Smith, Claire - Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art - Sometimes less is more. That's true in textile art too, and this much needed guide brings a meaningful, sustainable approach to stitchery. slow down and experience more joy in your craft by trying simple techniques based on traditional practice, reusing and reinventing materials, and limiting equipment. Our author lives in Yorkshire, UK. She teaches extensively, working in adult education, schools, community-based projects, museums, and galleries.  $29.95

Mystery Corner

Alan, Isabella - Murder, Plainly Read: An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery - Angie is helping to organize the Rolling Brook library's annual book sale, working alongside brash librarian Austina Shaker. Austina's attitude has drawn the ire of cranky Old Order Bishop Bartholomew Beller, who publicly vows to ruin Austina - and is later found dead in her bookmobile.  $7.99


Andrews, Donna - The Nightingale Before Christmas: A Meg Langslow Christmas Mystery - As the holidays draw near in Caerphilly, Mother volunteers to take part in a big Christmas-themed decorator show house and insists that Meg pitch in with the organization. But after the rooms are sabotaged and an unfortunate designer turns up dead. Mother becomes a prime suspect. Can Meg catch the real killer in time? $7.99


Bryan, Mollie Cox - Scrapbook of the Dead: A Cumberland Creek Mystery - Halloween means spooky scrapbooks for the Cumberland Creek Scrapbook Crop, but what's been happening around town is truly frightening. Two sister have been murdered in as many days. As All hallows Eve approaches, the crafty croppers must cut and paste the cludes to unmask a deadly killer, Includes tips and a glossary of terms for the modern scrapbooker.  $7.99


Buckley, Julia - The Big Chili: An Undercover Dish Mystery - This is a first in a delicious new mystery series filled with casseroles ... and killers. Lilah Drake's Covered Dish business discreetly provides her clients with delicious fresh-cooked meals they can claim they cooked themselves. But when one of her clandestine concoctions is used to poison a local woman, Lilah finds herself in a pot0load of trouble.  Includes recipes.  $7.99

Childs, Laura - Gossamer Ghost: A Scrapbook Mystery - Carmela Bertrand knows that Halloween in New Orleans means a week of rabble-rousing, costumed craziness - and she can't wait to get the party started. But when a local antiques dealer turns up dead, Carmela suddenly finds herself in a real-life danse macabre. Includes recipes and scrapbooking tips.  $7.99


Connolly, Sheila - A Gala Event: An Orchard Mystery - Orchard owner Meg Corey is busy planning her wedding - who knew picking out a dress could be harder than picking apples? But when ex-con Aaron Eastman comes back to town, determined to find answers to the tragic fire that put him behind bars 25 years ago, Meg vows to help him solve the cold case.  $7.99


Dunnett, Kaitlyn - Ho-Ho Homicide: A Liss MacCrimmon Scottish Mystery - In the eighth book in the Scottish mystery series that combines a high amount of fun with colorful characters, Liss MacCrimmon finds the ghosts of Christmas crimes past lead to an all-too-present danger.  $7.99


Holmes, Julianne - Just Killing Time: A Clock Shop Mystery - Every minute counts when it comes to murder in this new mystery series. When expert clock maker Ruth Clagan discovers her beloved grandfather has been killed, she's set on solving the crime before someone else winds up dead.  $7.99


Hollon, Cheryl - Pane and Suffering: A Webb's Glass Shop Mystery - This is the first in a new series. To solve her father's murder and save the family owned glass shop in St. Petersburg, Florida, Savannah Webb must shatter a killer's carefully constructed façade.  $7.99


London, Colette - Dangerously Dark: A Chocolate Whisper Mystery - Chocolate-whisperer Hayden Mundy Moore arrives in Portland, Oregon to attend a friend's engagement party. Fresh from nabbing her first candy-covered killer, the last thing Hayden wants to do is mix her love of chocolate with criminal mischief again. But then the groom-to-be turns up dead.  Includes recipes.  $7.99


Myers, Ann - Bread of the Dead: A Santa Fe Café Mystery - Trick or treat - and murder - are on the menu for a Day of the Dead bread-baking contest in this first of a new culinary mystery series featuring Santa Fe chef Rita Lafitte.  $7.99


Washburn, Livia J. - Trick or Deadly Treat: A Fresh-Baked Mystery - Halloween in Weatherford, Texas, finds Phyllis Newsom playing with a rescued Dalmatian, baking dog treats - and attempting to clear a local veterinarian of murder charges.  $7.99


If you haven't heard of Ruth Kern Books I'd like to introduce you to our business.  We've been in the needlework book business for 24 years. For over 21 years we've set up bookshops for the ANG, EGA, and other needlework organization.

Can't find a book? Give us a call whether the title is in or out-of-print.

We also have a website that is being updated but is still plenty useable

Questions? Give us a call Monday through Saturday: 602-943-0738 between 9am and 6 pm Arizona time. (Yes, we are the people who never change our clocks forward or backwards.)  If you prefer you can e-mail me at: or  To reach us by mail: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

IMPORTANT! Don't forget to find the discount code in this blog that gives you a 20% discount on any new book you order from us.

Have a great life! Remember to keep plenty of time available for stitching and reading!