Friday, January 30, 2015

 The March Blog will be published March 8th. Please join us.

                     FEBRUARY 2015 BLOG 

Hearts abound in Feburary. On the 14th of February love is everywhere expressed with greeting cards, candy, flowers, and dates for dinner for Valentine's Day, a holiday in the middle of winter that brings happiness to millions.  Candy comes in heart-shaped boxes, cards have hearts all over them. Is the heart on cards the same shape as our hearts?  Well, hearts are red, that's for the blood our hearts pump through our entire body but the shape is not the same as our heart. Believe it or not this shape we are so familiar might have begun in North Africa. North Africa. The peoples in ancient time used the Silphium seed for seasoning and the seed was heart-shaped and appeared on coins.  As we know once a form gets into the human psyche it gets widely used. 

Well today the red heart makes us think of Valentine's Day on February 14th named for St. Valentine, a Christian martyr in 269 C.E.  In 496 C.E. Pope Gelasius marked the 14th of February as a day of celebration of his martyrdom. He is the patron saint of couples, love, happy marriages, travelers, bee keepers and more.  Like the game of telephone where a group of people line up in chairs and the first person whispers a message to the second person, the second to the third, and on to the end of the line, the message received by the last person usually doesn't resemble what the original message was.  So here we are, sending valentines with hearts that don't resemble our hearts.  
We can always use a reminder of the love in our lives so I guess it doesn't matter how it all got started other than it tickles me to discover the beginnings of everything.  So  Happy Valentine's Day!

On a serious note, February, because of celebrating the heart, usually called the seat of the emotions, is now American Heart month.  That most important muscle shouldn't be ignored or taken for granted.  We all need to check our diets, blood pressure, cholesterol and weight and never smoke or quit if a smoker.  All these things affect the heart. I just experienced a heart arrhythmia called Atrial Ectopy caused by stress, benign but a warning. I cut back on my must dos like freaking out over house and yard work and proble disappeared like magic. I was lucky. But I will take better care of myself.  Apparently, watching diet, weight, not smoking, etc. isn't enough.  We need to mind our schedules, emotions and sleep habits as well.  

My Valentine gift to all my blog reader is a wish for a healthy heart and happy life and happy stitching.      


         "It is much better to have your gold in the hand than in the heart"
                                                  - Thomas Fuller -

Around the world, across the centuries, as long as man was civilized (maybe before) the metal, gold was loved and desired and even lusted after). Why? It was soft and malleable and never tarnished like silver and the color was beautiful. Gold has served us faithfully as adornment and as money and definitely speaks of power. Gold was thought the sun's metal and the metal of a god was only for royalty. King Tut's Death Mask was made of it, as was the lining of the succession of boxes his sarcophagus was placed in and as were many of the gorgeous objects he was buried with.  I've seen his tomb, his burial objects, and gold-lined boxes. I can say I was blown away by the craftsmanship.

In 1380 the King of Castille forbade all Spaniards except royalty from wearing cloth of gold or gold jewelry. Religious have used gold in cermonial robes as well as in sacred art and the actual decor of their temples, cathedrals, or mosques. Close your eyes and imagine entering an ancient Egyptian temple or a Medieval cathedral full of golden objects, mosaic tiled walls glittering gold and robes of gold embroidery in the candlelight.  Who wouldn't feel they were catching a glimpse of the afterlife?

In some societies even today, gold in various forms is a show of a woman's wealth and worth.  In Egypt the bride-to-be is given a platter of gold gifts, when married her husband gives her gold. If she is a valued wife, she is aglitter. When I lived in Egypt I loved
seeing the Bedouin women with their veils of gold coin, gold about their necks, arms and ankles. When they walked, which was most graceful, their gold made the most delightful tinkling noise.

 Stories of legends have been written about the seductive power of gold. Think of fairytales. King Midas, whose greedy love for gold, made a wish all he touched would turn to gold. Only when this power turned his food and beloved daughter to gold did her realize what was really important.. Rumplestilskin demanded straw be turned into gold but that didn't end well for him either. In mythology Helen of Troy's golden spindle could produce perfect thread. Even the apples of the Hesperides were made of pure gold. And don't forget Jason's quest for the golden fleece. Centuries later a design of apples in gold thread was embroidered on the cloak of King Mercia to bring him good fortune.

That brings us to needlework and the passion for goldwork.  Who can resist the glittering opulence of gold threads in a beautiful design. In earlier times royalty and the church was assured the gold embroidery was real. It is recorded that the entire Nave of St. Denis in Paris was hung with real gold-embroidered fabrics. Byzantine designs of elaborate patterning with figures worked in laid gold against a silk background adorned churches and royalty. Couching was used in minutely different directions to catch the light, a reminder to the faithful of power of God and his church on earth.  What about the "gold" threads of today? 

Do you remember the old saying, "All that Glitters is not gold?" What looks like gold thread may or may not contain real gold.  Select carefully.  Some needlework may or may not need gold but just the color to work.  For your "masterpieces" maybe all that glitters should be gold.

If goldwork fever has hit you and you need to explore this technique further, I've included some great, great books on goldwork. But a warning to the wise: if you haven't already been bitten by the gold bug you will after you read these books.

Everett, Hazel - Goldwork: Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration - This skilled goldwork embroiderer draws on traditional methods and creates works that are brilliantly executed in a style that is both modern and unique. She includes a huge range of techniques and materiald, nine projects and numerous examples of the author's own work, providing both instruction and inspirations for embroiderers and textile artists of all abilities.  $29.95

McCook, Helen - Goldwork - Our author teaches, designs, and lectures at the Royal School of Needlework.  Her needlework has been exhibited and is held in private collections worldwide.  In this great little book you are introduced to metal-thread embroidery and as she says, "offers a helping hand to iron out any general problems" as well as learning great techniques. This book is in full-color, spiral-bound and a handy 5 1/2 x 8 1/2.  $21.95.

I've spoken about Alison Cole before.  As I mentioned I met this delightful red-head at the EGA National Seminar 2014 and loved the sparkle in her eye and love of needlework. She combines stumpwork with goldwork and brings us the most gorgeous and orginal projects not only in class but in her two marvelous books. She has a knack with her teaching and her needle.  At the seminar I sold out on her books and took orders as well.  I will be carrying her books - she says I'm the only one in the states - which is really a shame because they are classics. Both books are beautifully done in full-color with clear instructions. 

All that Glitters contains gorgeous projects featuring the techniques of Goldwork and Stumpwork. She includes sections on Beasic Supplies and Requirements, Stitches and Techniques and Prjects, ranging from dimensional framed pieces to functional items all with clear, easy to read instrucitons and illustrations.  $39.95

The Midas Touch - follows the same layout but all new projects from bejeweled dragonfly and a gorgeous butterfly to a fuchsia fantasy with a wonderful hummingbird.  Eleven projects.  $39.95

Another gold and silver project comes to mind.  Patricia Mazu's Gold and Silver Times Three - Three petite stockings that can glitter on your Christmas tree. Pat includes all instructions and I can tell you the pictures, though lovely, do not do them justice. I had a customer hungry for this project after she had seen it in person. $14.00


I love to answer that question.  So I'll get right to it with my finds below:

Ringquist, Rebecca - Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops: A Bend-The-Rules Primer - This book is for the embroiderer who appreciates the value of beautiful stitches but likes to break a few rules. Our author is a refreshing new resource for both standard and outside-the-box techniques. She teaches everything from the "proper" way to form a French knot and transfer a design to a canvas to new ways to stitch three -dimensionally, work with nontraditional threads and fabrics, draw with thread free-form, and mix and match machine and hand-stitching. Included are 20 innovative projects, including a cloth sampler designed specifically for the book and it is included in a package in the back, table linens, wall art, and clothing embellishments.  $29.95   Due out on April 14th. 

Snyder, Julie - Just Stitches I Use - This is the latest of her books in her series with titles going through the alphabet.  She is up to "J" now.  There are some repeat stitches from her other books but Julie, being the great needlework teacher and designer she is, does a number of variations of stitches in this book. For example, she goes wild with Rhodes stitches, Crescents and more.  She presents this book as she did her other books, tall, thin and spiral-bound.  $39.95.  

These are the other titles she has available:
176 Amazing Stitches to Unlock Creativity - $37.95; Categories for Needlepoint Stitches - $36.96; Darn Fillings - $34.95; Backgrounds for Needlepoint - $36.95 and Great Layers for Needlepoint - $36.95. 

Burr, Trish - Miniature Needle Painting Embroidery: Vintage Portraits, Florals and Birds - I was so excited to see this new book by Trish.  She covers small, embroidered "paintings" and shows they can have all the detail, form, and beauty of a larger piece - except they're much quicker to stitch. These lovely images capture the appealing designs of the romantic images typical of the Victorian and post-Victorian eras. All the projects - traditional portraits, birds and flowers - have detailed thread diagrams, and easy-to-follow instructions teach the basic stitches.  $19.95

Her other five books are classics in the embroidery field:
Colour Confidence in Embroidery - $32.95; Crewel and Surface Embroidery - $24.95; Long and Short Stitch Embroidery - $19.95; Needle Painting Embroidery - $19.95; Redoute's Finest Flowers in Embroidery - $19.95 (now O/P but copies available).

GMC Publishing - Embroidery: 20 Projects for Friends to Make - This book encourages friends to stitch together.  Embroider projects from napkins, to chairs to wall hangings then this book is for you.  Suitable for all levels of ability and featuring 20 fun and gorgeous projects, this book includes a full-technique section that explains the basic-skills needed and includes clear and stylish photos to guide you through.  $19.95

Simpson, Sophie - What Deliah Did: Secret Garden Embroidery- This enchanting stitchery guide follows Deliah as she comes upon a secret garden right next door and meets its lively and eccentric owner. All the embroidery projects capture the flora, fauna, and other wonderful curiosities that fill Deliah's newly discovered horticultural haven. Using a range of techniques, you can stitch birds, bees, blooming flowers, and more.  There are 15 projects included.  $19.95 
           This is a third in her series: What Deliah Did.  The first two are: Stitch the Halls! - $14.95 and Storyland Cross Stitch - $19.95.


The new edition of the classic book,  The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen is due in April and is  known to many needleworkers as the "black bible".  This classic has been completely revised and updated and includes a crash course on how to use new fibers; updated information on materials; as well as how to work with with and care for them; dozens of new stitches and a chapter on the popular openwork stitches; and diagrams and diagrams and stitch guides for every project in the book. Also featured: thirty-two pages of color photographs with all new projects; a new Ribbon Stitch chapter; and in all, 432 stitches and 1,500 illustrations.  $60.00 
            Don't forget your 20% discount! Discount code: heart15.  Use it for this or any other book you want in this blog or past blogs or any book you've found somewhere else.


Two bestselling books are once again available:

Richardson, Lynda - Stiches ala Carte - Linda says she found her "Aha" moment when she didn't want to leave the background blank but didn't want to fill it up, either. She found a lovely twisty turny sort of image and that became her first background stitch. This book, she says, is more than just backgrounds; it's changed the way she looked at needlepoint.  $29.95

Gone Stitching - Got Stitches: Multi-Layered Stitches for Needlepoint - This portable encyclopedia of multi-layered stitches categorizes stitches by the number of threads per each stitch. Whether you have two, three, or four different threads, they have the perfect stitch for your project. They also include chapters on trame and trellis stitches.  $29.95


A year ago last February I was excited about receiving a new book, The Art of Chinese Embroidery by Margaret Lee.  I was waiting for it to arrive and this February I am again waiting for it's arrival near the end of this month. This book is hard to find so if you want a gorgeous book on Chinese embroidery by a world-known embroiderer here is a great chance.  The book is fully-illustrated in color with clear diagrams and perforated full-size patterns.  $44.95   (Don't forget your 20% discount.)

There is another fine book available on Chinese Embroidery by Shao Xiaocheng, Chinese Embroidery: An Illustrated Guide that includes a brief history of the subject, styles, knowledge about selection, and collecting and preservation of embroidered articles. She includes wonderful photos, analyzes 25 kinds of needlework for Chinese embroidery to help you master this art.  $27.95

As for Japanese Embroidery there is only one book in-print available that teaches this art, Traditional Japanese Embroidery by Julie Grey.  She mentions students of this embroidery must watch a master at work and 'steal the knowledge'.  Here's our chance to 'steal' her knowledge.  $21.95

I'm hoping someone somewhere will come out with a much needled book on Japanese embroidery.  

I guess for the month of February I should have romance novels instead of mysteries but perhaps you will find enough romance in some of these stories to warm your heart.

Archer, Connie - Ladle to the Grave - With her grandfather and her best friend both accused of murder, Lucky Jamieson, owner of the popular By the Spoonful in Snowflake, Vermont must work fast to get them out of hot water before the real killer stirs up more trouble.  Includes recipes.  $7.99

Bradford, Laura - Suspendered Sentence: An Amish Mystery - After a fire, hundreds of Amish men raise a new barn for the Stoltzfus family. But in the midst of the work, a human skeleton is unearthed. The remains belong to a teen thought to have left her Amish family during her Rumspringa years ago. Detective Jakob Fisher is determined to solve the young woman's murder with Claire Weatherly's help.  $7.99

Budewitz, Leslie - Assault and Pepper: A Spice Shop Mystery - This Agatha Award-winning author introduces Pepper Reece, the owner of the Seattle Spice Spice who thinks she can handle any kind of salty customer - until a murderer ends up in the mix.  $7.99

Childs, Laura - Steeped in Evil: A Tea Shop Mystery - Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning has been invited to a wine-tasting party at the Knighthall Winery, owned by Jordan Knight. But the sweet evening develops a bitter aftertaste when the body of Knight's son is found in a wine barrel. Cracking tough cases is vintage Theodosia. Includes recipes and tea time tips.  $7.99

Hale, Rebecca M. - How to Catch a Cat: A Cat's and Curios Mystery - This is another in her bestselling New York Times series featuring Rupert and Isabella, and their mistress, to put a stop to a serial killer with a penchant for City Hall interns.  $7.99 

Harris, C.S. - Why Kings Confess: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery - Regency England, January 1813. The mutilated body of a young French doctor found in an alley besides a mysterious, badly injured woman entangles Sebastian in the deadly riddle of the "Lost Dauphin," the boy prince who disappeared during the darkest days of the French Revolution.  $7.99

McLaughlin, Staci - A Healthy Homicide: A Blossom Valley Mystery - Resourceful Dana Lewis of Blossom Valley's O'Connell Organic Farm and Spa is suddenly faced with stiff competition from another spa - until the proprietor turns up dead.  Includes tips for healthy living.  $7.99

Orgain, Diana - A First Date with Death: A Love or Money Mystery - Reality TV meets murder in the first in a new series from the co-author of the New York Times-bestselling Scrapbook Mysteries. When brokenhearted Georgia Thornton goes looking for romance on reality TV, she has nothing to lose apart from a good man, a cash prize - maybe for her life.  $7.99

Swanson, Denise - Dying for a Cupcake - Cupcake Queen Kizzy Cutler returns to Shadow Bend, Missouri, after 20 years to kick off her new line of cupcakes with a competition, which Dev has agreen to host in her shop. But before the first cupcake is even baked, Kizzy's assistant dies from a mysterious ailment. After Kizzy escapes several near misses, Dev is convinced that someone has it in for Kizzy.  $7.99

In case you are not familiar with Ruth Kern Books I'd like to introduce you to our business. We've been in business for over 23 years specializing in needlework books.  We have provided needlework books for ANG and EGA seminars for 21 years.  We also offer a free out-of-print book search and stock lots of out-of-print books at our shop.  If you are searching for a particular title give us a try.  We have a website: that is being updated.

Questions? Call us Monday through Saturday between 9:30 to 6 pm.  Look forward to hearing from you. I always have time for book lovers. Or e-mail me at: or  If you need to reach us by mail:  Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Ave.  Phoenix, AZ  85021.  



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.