Saturday, May 21, 2016


     MAY 2016 BLOG

     Welcome to Ruth Kern Books


For me May is a happy month.  Since I love to gaze at the stars I look for the Eta Aquarids meteor shower that show up in May visible in the heavens from  about April 21st to about May 20th each year with it peaking around May 6th. Of course, Mother's Day is in May with my two children celebrating that day with me every year. I hope all you mommies out there got the same honor.

May was named for Maia, the Greek goddess who was identified with the Roman goddess, Bona Dea, who had a festival in May. But the Roman poet, Ovid gives us a second meaning of May. He says it was named for the maiores or elders. Since I belong in that category these days (though I don't feel it) maybe that is another reason why I like May. By the way he also said that June was named for the iuniores, or young people. And that is still how I feel so I have to love June too. But more on that next month.

The flower of May is the Lily of the Valley and since I adore all lilies (even though the Lily of the Valley is technically not a lily at all) this flower is a favorite. You don't see Lily of the Valley in Phoenix since it grows in much cooler climates. The heat in our summer would kill it. I never knew until researching this piece that all parts of the Lily of the Valley are poisonous.  If swallowed in large quantities the poison can cause slow, irregular pulse rates and can cause heart failure. But I'm not ingesting it, I'm smelling it and the aroma that draws me to it draws lots of other people and insects.  The sweet bell-shaped flowers stand for "the return of happiness" which is why these flowers are also used at weddings.

The gemstone for May is the emerald. The green color appears when pure, clear beryl contains trace amounts of either chromium or vanadium, The most beautiful emeralds come from Columbia though lovely ones are also found in India, South Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, and Zimbabwe. It seems North Carolina has a diamond mine that may provide us with quality emeralds if it continues to produce.  This beautiful green stone is the traditional gift for the 55th wedding anniversary.  It is thought that wearing the emerald assists in healing and enhances love and contentment as well as giving the wearer more insight. Before you run out and purchase one take time to learn the ins and outs of emerald buying and care. Many synthetic emeralds abound.  This lovely emerald ring is called the Chalk emerald that is a top-level stone weighing in at 37 carats that is housed at the National Museum of National History.


Sometimes the meeting of one person can lead to another person and to a wonderful day of visiting and seeing fabulous needlework. In April I had that lucky experience.  While attending the 95th birthday party for my former anthropology professor and long-time friend (we met 38 years ago), I met a member of her family, Thelma, the mother-in-law of Mary's grandson Christopher. We sat across from each other during Mary's fabulous birthday dinner for nineteen, Thelma mentioned a friend, Amy Rider, who does needlework.  I had to know more and the next thing you know a few weeks later, Mary and I are driving west to Peoria to visit both Thelma and Amy.

Amy is as cute as a bunny, not even five foot tall and under a hundred pounds but she is full of fun and energy. She welcomed us to her lovely apartment and, I was happy to note, decorated with lots of her needlework. Amy was born in North Dakota ninety years ago and proudly claims a Norwegian heritage which helps explain her love of hardanger embroidery. She was interested to learn my husband, Mark, is Norwegian also and that led us into many things Norwegian.

As you may already know this style of embroidery orginated in the Hardanger Fjord region of southwest Norway. Since this Hardanger region is an isolated mountainous area this means this embroidery style seems to have developed without outside influence and is very distinctive in style. Local flax was always used to make the linen fabric and thread. As Marion Scoular, a hardanger expert, informs us, "Hardanger is traditionally geometric in design and worked on even weave fabric, white on white is considered traditional. To maintain the appearance of lace, using a matching color of thread, a tone lighter that the fabric, or white but today is even done in over-dyed thread. "

I've never done hardanger embroidery. I have no problem with stitching but the idea of counting threads and removing some of them (cutting them!) to form the beautiful open patterns is scary. I can see me easily making mistakes but Amy laughs and tells me it is not hard to do.  Yes, she has made mistakes but she has the patience to redo her work but I'm not sure if I do. Enjoy examples of her beautiful stitching.  

Amy's husband Donald was a pilot for the B-24 bomber in WW II with the United States Air Force.  He was called back for the Korean War so they got to live foreign. They had three children, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. In later years when Donald was ill, Amy was with him working on her needlework while she kept him company.

Amy is left-handed but that never slowed her down. She figured how to do the stitching to stitch it exact and beautiful. I'm right- handed but when I got home I tried to stitch left-handed but gave up since so many books are instructions for right-handers.  There is a great book out by Yvette Stanton, The Left-Handed Embroiderer's Companion - $27.95 to guide those who are lefties and have gotten frustrated with right-handed instructions. Kudos to Amy who figured her stitching out without this book.

Amy also does gorgeous needlepoint.  I couldn't resist putting some of her beautiful needlepoint stitching on display with her hardanger work.  Enjoy it!  

One of these days soon I plan on returning to visit with Amy and hopefully catch her in action to see her work her left-handed magic stitching these beautiful designs on canvas and linen.

If you'd like me to display some of your needlework on display feel free to call me at 602-943-0738 or e-mail me your information and pictures to:

If you are inspired to try hardanger embroidery or want to improve your techniques, I've listed some books to help make your hardanger journey easy and fun.

Love, Janice - Basics and Beyond - This is a classic by a classic teacher and designer. Janet calls this book a textbook containing complete step-by-step instructions for stitching all of the basic hardanger stitches. She includes not only the basic information for the beginning but includes help for the advanced stitcher to perfect her/his techniques.  $16.95

Love, Janice - Fundamentals Made Fancy - This classic book is a well-loved follow-up to her first hardanger book and as the title says takes hardanger embroiderers from the basics to much more advanced work.  $19.95 

Marfaing, Frederique - Hardanger Embroidery - This hardanger expert lives in Norway the home of this technique.  As she explains this Norwegian technique uses simple stitches and pulled threads to create beautiful geometric designs. Her book is a complete, easy-to-follow introduction to the craft, giving step-by-step instructions for stitching 43 different embroidery building blocks, from basic squares to more intricate motifs. Charts and instructions for 18 projects show just a few of the ways these building blocks can be put together to creative beautiful designs for decorating pillows, bags, home décor, and more.  $24.95

Pedersen, Carol - Hardanger Tips, Tricks and Fix-its - Carol is an expert hardanger teacher and designer who brings us a wonderful spiral-bound book rounded up from her years of doing this beautiful craft.  She includes tips on thread, surface stitching, fixing errors and more.  $22.99

Pedersen, Carol - More Hardanger Tips, Tricks and Fix-its Plus Care and Feeding - Carol writes the minute she finished the first book other tips, tricks, and fix-its popped into her head and she had to work a new book especially since new tools came on the market and added a chapter on the care and feeding of needlework. This book is all new-found tips, tricks, and fix-its. It does not replace the original book, it is an addendum to it.  $25.99

Pedersen, Carol - Hardanger Needleweaving Tips, Tricks and Motifs - Carol designed this book to provide a resource for designing and stitching the needleweaving portion of Hardanger embroidery.  She confesses this is her favorite part of doing hardanger. She notes that she has designed pieces where she combined various needleweaving stitches or motifs to create a motif related to the theme of the piece, such as a needlewoven violet for her violet-themed bell pull and a needlewoven truck for a picture frame for a 1-year-old boy.  $22.95

Scoular, Marion - Hardanger - This book has been a classic on hardanger for many years by a talented stitcher, designer, and writer.  Her booklet contains simple step-by-step text and
diagrams and is a marvelous stepping stone to master the technique Marion uses for her hardanger embroidery.  $8.50

Stanton, Yvette - Elegant Hardanger Embroidery - This manual will take you step-by-step from novice to advanced stitcher, with helpful diagrams and hints and tips at every stage. Great hardanger projects, graded beginner, intermediate and advanced, will guide you to your next level of expertise. She includes lots of tips that you normally only learn in classes, how to fix mistakes and how not to be afraid of cutting the fabric threads.  $19.99

If like Amy, you want to needlepoint too, there are lots of helpful books available.  I can recommend a few for your library but if you have a special title you are looking for give me a call.  The following books are all classics in needlepoint.

Christensen, Jo Ippolito - The Needlepoint book: New, Revised, and Updated Third Edition  - This is also known as the "black bible" by needlepointers. The first book came on the market in the 1970's and as of 2015 the third version hit the shelves. It has four new chapters, 222 new illustrations, and more than 430 stitches inside. Also included is a crash course on how to use new fibers, updated information on materials and dozen of new stitches as well as a separate chapter on the popular openwork stitches.  She also features all-new projects and stitch patterns for every level of expertise. $60.00 (don't forget to find the code in this blog and get a 20% discount.

Search Press Classics - A to Z of Needlepoint - In this classic book first published by Country Bumpkin and now brought back by Search Press Classics brings us 65 stitches shown in clear photos and steps. Snippets of history, helpful tips and beautiful embroideries are interspersed throughout. Kathy Troup, Editor of "Stitch Magazine" says, "The A-Z series has truly stood the test of time, and remains one of the most comprehensive , easy-to-use guides available."  $19. 95

Howren, Suzanne and Beth Robertson - The Stitches for Effect Series - Stitches for Effect -$29.95; More Stitches for Effect - $32.95 - and Even More Stitches for Effect - $34.95. This series is a classic and won the prestigious American Needlepoint Guild's book award.  Each book is spiral-bound in an 8 1/2 x 11 1/2 format.  The books all have a section on materials and threads and then get into stitches. Each stitch graph is large, easy-to-read and numbered for stitch direction. What is beloved about this series is that these authors explain what each stitch can be used for and suggestions on what threads to use. If you don't have this series in your needlepoint library you might want to consider it. 


Afshar, Ani - Flower Jewelry - Take a jewelry-making workshop with this designer, who will teach you step-by-step methods to make an elegant flower brooch, a flower lariat necklace, and flower dangle earrings with colored beads and fishing wire. Then introduce your own variations as you build skills with Ani's guidance and over 100 color photos that detail each step. A gallery of similar styles Ani has made with different beads and colors will inspire you to keep creating.  $12/95

Angulo, Lorena - Behind the Brooch: A Closer Look at Backs, Catches, and Pin Stems - This book examines the side of the brooch that usually isn't noticed: the reverse where in we discover a secret. Clever brooch maskers often adorn the back with items meant to complement the front, or the backside may have a unique, intricate design all its own. When you flip a brooch over in your hand you may find a surprise message, a hidden pattern, or even an unlikely foreign implement. The result is a better understanding of the artist's abilities and personality. Now, you can judge for yourself what the 128 artists represented in this volume had in mind, and, if you are a jewelry maker, you may be inspired to leave your own unique mark.  $34.99

Aoki, Kazuko - The Cross-Stitch Garden - Inspired by her love of wildflowers, the author has created a collection of more than 20 projects and over 70 individual cross-stitch motifs. Designs are included for all your floral favorites, such as viola, pansies, poppies and roses. These motifs are used to create traditional samplers, as well as bags, pincushions, pillows, coaster, aprons and tea towels. Instructions are presented in counted cross-stitch charts, plus step-by-step diagrams for constructing projects.  $24.95

Blomkamp, Hazel - Hand-Stitched Crazy Patchwork - In her latest book she combines a range of patchwork techniques including embroidery, beadwork, lace making and tatting to create inspiring, hand-stitched designs. There are five projects to make exploring and combining your needlework skills. Everything has been created with fabric, a needle, threads, ribbons and beads. In some cases, even the 'patches' have been created with embroidery techniques. Be inspired to explore and combine your skills in new and exciting ways.  $29.95

Cross, Kate - RSN: Applique: Techniques, projects and pure inspiration - This book features an introduction to the Royal School of Needlework and its prestigious heritage. It reveals the history and context of applique and showcases galleries of inspiring applique work from around the world. But as well as featuring a rich selection of inspiring applique pieces, this is primarily a practical, instructional guide that offers a complete grounding in all essential applique techniques: its contains a comprehensive stitch guide and leads the reader through each technique using clear step-by-step photography and easy-to-follow expert guidance. It shows the reader how to knot thread and start stitching correctly, how to create a design, transfer it onto fabric, frame up a slate frame, build up, cut away, apply a variety of edges and apply fabric, as well as basic ribbonwork, goldwork, shadow work and silk shading. The book has four beautiful projects that build in difficulty and put these techniques into practice.  This book is flexibound so it will lay flat when open.  $35.00

Fijalkowska, Nicky - Knitted Birds -  Is this not fun? Patterns and instructions to knit more than twenty types of birds are in this gem of a book, along with information on the materials, tools, and techniques you'll need.  Whether you want to create a robin to perch on your Christmas tree, an owl to overlook your breakfast nook, or a whole family of ducks to decorate your desk, these are fun to make and display whether you are a beginner or a more experienced knitter.  The book also includes step-by-step photos and instructions for techniques such as sewing up, stuffing, and creating legs that will let your birds stand, or even cling to your finger.  $19.95

Goddard, Janet - Simply Modern Patchwork Bags: Ten Styles Patchwork Bags in a Modern Mode - The author provided detailed instructions on patchwork techniques including
piecing, seam allowances, pinning, pressing, large simple blocks using rectangles and geometric designs.  The 10 projects - all machine pieced and quilted use fabrics that are bright and bold, fresh and modern. Each bag will feature step-by-step instructions. There are also instructions on fabric choices and preparation, materials and basic equipment.  $17.95

Hollander, Tom and Cindy - Constructing and Covering Boxes: A Beginner's Guide - Learn all the steps necessary to make a variety of colorful, decorative, useful boxes created from book board and covered with book cloth or paper, serving a variety of purposes for use in the home or as gifts. Over 230 clear color photos illustrate every step needed to make hinged lid, clamshell, and creative boxes. Necessary tools and materials are discussed and essential formulas are provided for each box type discussed. Basic skills necessary for the successful production of any box are also explored, including determining grain direction, pattern layout, cutting materials, covering book board with paper or book cloth, and gluing. Also provided are box making resources, a useful glossary of terms, and an appendix featuring measurement conversions. $14.99

Pickett, Jan - Decorated Lettering - A highly-visual guide to the techniques and materials for successful decorated calligraphy with a strong contemporary feel, the author's work is beautifully executed with a fresh, modern style that lifts calligraphy respectfully from its traditional roots and gives it a modern appeal. This book includes a vital grounding in calligraphy while presenting a huge variety of colorful exercises and projects for the reader to follow. Each chapter is accompanied by a wave of gorgeous ideas for how to use techniques from embossing to watercolor.  This author produces work for the Royal family.  $24.95

Schmitz, Beate - Boho Bags - 15 stylish and trendy bohemian bags to make. The styles are creative and fun with a wonderfully casual bohemian edge. Expert crafter Beate Schmitz's has created these wonderful bags using cotton and wool fabrics and even leather - every bag is unique. Clear step-by-step instructions and photos will walk you through every stage and there are fold-out templates for every projects at the back of the book. With so much variety to choose from there is something for everyone and, for those more experienced crafters.  $15.95 

Schmitz, Beate - How to Make Beautiful Buttons - Make buttons out of fabric, clay, beads and more! There are 25 designs to make with easy to follow instructions and step-by-step photos accompanying every project. Buttons are not only practical additions to bags, jackets and other garments but they also make great fashion accessories all on their own.  Starting with a detailed explanation for making each button, the projects span on incedible array of crafts including crochet, embroidery, knotting, felt and paint for embellishing your handmade beautiful buttons. Over 189 color photos.  $17.95

Schmitz, Kathy - Stitches from the Garden - Inspired by nature and stitched with the gentle romance of days gone by, this noted artist designs use simple embroidery techniques and creamy lien or cotton fabric to create thoughtful keepsakes.  Select from a variety of elegant embroidery projects, including a pillow, pincushion, wall decoration, tote bag and more. Clear illustrations demonstrate how to master every featured embroidery stitch.  Enjoy Kath Schmitz's original artwork.  $24.99

Shore, Debbie - Half Yard Gifts: Easy Sewing Projects Using Left-Over Pieces of Fabric - This is the latest title from this sewing guru in her best-selling half yard series. It contains 22 projects to sew and give away, each made using less than half a yard of fabric. The projects range from pincushions, bags, and paperweights to aprons for budding chefs, kneeling pads for gardeners and tool belts for DIY enthusiasts. The projects are made in a range of prints and styles and use a range of techniques. Debbie gives advice on how to customize the projects. Clear step-by-step photography in color.  $19.95

Van Niekerk, Di - Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork - This new edition of this best-selling book, first published in 2004, is a must have for all lovers of ribbon embroidery and stumpwork. It is suitable for first-time embroiderers as well as those who wish to brush up on certain technique. In addition to modified text to suit techniques and materials available in the market today, the names and colours of the threads and ribbons used in the design have been updated. Also included are lots of new photos and a completely new layout.  This book remains unique in its combination of ribbon embroidery and stumpwork. The 12 panels are each individually explained with step-by-step photos and instructions, including a comprehensive guide to all the needles, thread and ribbons required. There are over 30 models to learn from, making this the ideal book for anyone wishing to learn how to make many different flowers, leaves and little creatures in a gorgeous flower sampler.  $29.95


Witney Antiques has one of their gorgeous catalogs coming out in June - Now While My Hands are Thus Employed - Three Centuries of Historic Samplers -  This full color catalog illustrates around fifty samplers. Many of these historic pieces are from private collections and all will be for sale. The coinciding with an exhibit beginning June 24th through July 7th 2016. The exhibition will cut across all levels of society embracing both the affluent and the poor and stands as a testament to the skill and perseverance of the young and their talented teachers. Whether worked with a view to future employment, for pleasure or in order to be the mistress of a large household, they illuminate the lives of girls and young women going back over 300 years.
THIS CATALOG WILL $52.95  (Don't forget your 20% Discount - Discount Code is: MOM20)

I've  included a list of past (and still popular catalogs from Witney:

An Exceptional Endeavour - This catalogue reflects the long tradition of both professional and domestic embroidery in Scotland. Some samplers name the town in which they were worked. Other samplers are identified as Scottish through elements in their design or text influenced by popular literature. The magnificent Lennoxlove bedhangings illustrate the wealth of the landowning gentry in Scotland during the 17th and 18th centuries. For a comparison to their Scottish counterparts some interesting English samplers from the 18th and 19th centuries have also been included.  $39.95

Stitched in Adversity - This catalogue illustrates some of the finest work produced by the poorest girls in adverse conditions. Examples illustrated come from orphanages, asylums, charity schools, and schools of industry. Four examples of rare pocket samplers are shown in both front and back. Sections relate to different orphanages are accompanied by an informative text. Many samplers are directly related to the family background of the young embroidress forming a fascinating a social history.  $39.95

Samplers Mapped and Charted - This catalogue focuses on map samplers. Until relatively recently map samplers were often regarded as "curiosities", their significance remaining largely unrecognized. There are illustrations of the more frequently seen embroidered maps of England and Wales, as well of rare county maps. maps of Spain, Ireland, Palestine, France and Europe are illustrated and also double globe World maps of the Northern and Southern hemispheres and other remarkable examples of embroidery, including an unusual farm map and a war map.  $39.95

What's in a Name - This selection of samplers looks into the legacy left by now forgotten school girls and their teachers in attempting to peel back time, finding perhaps forgotten details of their daily lives and the places they lived. The samplers cut across all levels of society embracing the affluent and the poor, sometimes leading us into unexpected places.   $39.95

Wrought with the Needle: Art Treasures of English Domestic Embroidery Elizabeth I to George II - This catalogue depicts some of the finest Elizabethan needlework which in fine condition are extremely rare. This catalog an embroidered gentleman's cap from Stanford Hall, a rare bodice panel and, of particular interest, an exquisite folio cover embroidered in silk, metallic threads and spangles on an ivory silk ground with beautifully worked images of small animals, insects and flowers, typical of the Elizabeth period. From the mid 17th century are silk and raised works of exceptional and vibrant colour and feature an mirror decorated with Royal figures, Charles II wearing a cloak composed of hundreds of minute feathers. The Wilby House Casket is one of the finest and most colorful to have come onto the market in recent years. And, of exceptional rarity, is a beadwork layette basket inscribed "Mary Baker Her Basket 1670", the only known named and dated example also a group of attractive tent stitch embroideries and rare band samplers.  $39.95


Alan, Isabella - Murder, Handcrafted (Amish Quilt Shop Mystery - Amish quilt shop owner Angie Braddock crosses wires with a killer. Spring has arrived in Holmes County and Angie couldn't be happier. She's got great friends, a thriving business and is in the perfect relationship with Sheriff James Mitchell. The only thing raining on her parade is her mother drafting her into a massive home renovation project and using their sudden mother/daughter bonding time to comment on Angie's ticking biological clock. The house's repairs and upgrades between the Amish craftsmen and their "Engisch" counterparts are proceeding well until a tremendous shock comes to the workers when the electrician is found dead on site. With the sheriff suspecting foul play, it falls to Angie to root a killer out of the woodwork.  $7.99 

Bradford, Laura - Éclair and Present Danger (Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery) - The first book in the delicious new Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery series by the national bestselling author Laura Bradford. With her rent rising faster than her pie crust, bakery owner Winnie Johnson had hoped to be rescued by an inheritance from her wealthy friend and neighbor Gertrude Redenbacher. Instead all she inherits is the widow's hostile hissing tabby, Lovey, and a vintage ambulance, restored by Gertrude's late husband. As her dream crumbles, Winnie makes her final delivery; a peach pie to an elderly widower. But she finds Bart Wagner lying on his kitchen floor, smothered by a pillow. To comfort her frightened and grieving neighbors, Winnie comes to the rescue with her baked goods and an idea is born; dessert delivery via her ambulance and a new business is born. When she's not speeding to the scenes of dessert emergencies, Winnie is also racing to track down Bart's killer before she need to call a real ambulance for the next victim.  $7.99

Carmack, Amanda - Murder at Fontainebleau (Elizabethan Mystery) - In this mystery amateur sleuth Kate Haywood investigates deadly machinations unfolding behind the scenes in the magnificient French court in 1561. Queen Elizabeth's throne is threatened as Mary Queen of Scots pushed in every direction by opposing and powerful forces declares herself the rightful Queen of England. To discover her rival's next unpredictable move, Elizabeth dispatches a party of trustworthy intimates to Mary's court at Fontainebleu. Chief among them is Kate Haywood, who finds that the glittering balls and genial banquets conceal a web of poisonous ambition that soon turns deadly. When a beautiful and disruptive flirtatious member of the visiting party is murdered, Kate suspects that the man who stands accused has been set up to discredit Elizabeth. She vows to find the real killer, but the French court is a labyrinth unlike any she has every navigated before and at every turn there are more traps set to spring.  $7.99

Connolly, Sheila - Dead End Street (Museum Mystery) - This New York Times bestselling author returns to Pennsylvania Antiques for more history and a chilling mystery when the Pennsylvania antiquarian Society discovers it owns some unique real estate, a deadly plot unfolds. Society president Nell Pratt believes life is finally going her way. Everything is running smoothly at work, and her love life is thriving. Then some unexpected news rocks her foundation. Two member of a local neighborhood rescue program, Tyrone Blakeney and Cherisse Chapman, inform Nell that her society owns an abandoned row house in a rundown area of Philadelphia and they insist on taking her to see the property before its date with the wrecking ball. But soon after they arrive at the house, Cherisse is fatally shot and Tyrone is badly injured. The police it's just random violence in a bad neighborhood, but Nell thinks there is more to it and is determined to find answers before someone else becomes history.  $7.99

Corrigan, Maya - Final Fondue (Five-Ingredient Mystery) - Val Deniston certainly has her plate full running a café, dabbling with recipes, and helping her grandfather prepare for the town's upcoming tri-centennial celebration, but she's grown fond of her new life in the Chesapeake Bay town of Bayport. So when Valis asked to reclaim her old position as a cookbook publicist in New York City, she puts off her decision in order to help her grandfather perfect his chocolate fondue for the weekend festivity's dessert cook-off. But after the opening ceremonies, Val finds a houseguest strangled to death in her grandfather's backyard. She suspects a classic case of mistaken identiy, especially when another guest nearly bids her life a fondue farewell. Now it is up to Val to keep the killer from taking another stab at murder! Includes 6 five-ingredient recipes. $7.99

Davis, Krista - The Diva Serves High Tea - This N.Y. Times bestselling author brings us a new mystery. When The Parlour opens up in town, domestic diva Sophie Winston finally has a place to satisfy her cravings for all things tea and crumpet related. And the shop serves as the perfect place for the ladies of the town to gather and gossip, especially since it is conveniently located right across the street from the new antique store run by the handsome and charming Warren Smith. But speculation around Warren really boils over when he is found dead, a victim of poisoning after attending a literacy fundraiser at The Parlour the night before. What Sophie learns about the man leaves a bitter taste in her mouth, and she 'll have to strain out a killer from a strange brew of suspects. $7.99 

Finch, Kay - The Black Cat Knocks on Wood (Bad Luck Cat Mystery - Sabrina finds it difficult to work on her latest suspense novel when her Aunt Rowe's antics keep tying up her thoughts. This time Rowe and her fun-loving friends have decided to compete in the upcoming Texas Hill Country Senior Pro Rodeo. The problem is these women have little or no experience with lassos, bulls, or even horseback riding.  Before Sabrina can keep the stubborn seniors from mounting their steeds, she's sidetracked by a bigger problem An uppity local business owner is found dead in an accident right after a black cat was seen in her office. While the townsfolk think the bad luck cat has struck again, Sabrina suspects there might be something more murderous afoot. With a twisted killer on the loose, she'll have to round up clues quickly before she or her aunt are steered straight into the path of danger.  $7.99

Hechtman, Betty - Gone with the Wool (Yarn Retreat Mystery) - Our author spins a deadly yarn of knitting bees, butterflies, and beauty queens. Every October, thousands of monarch butterflies flock to California's Monterey Peninsula to spend the winter there. To welcome their colorful guests, Cadbury by the Sea holds a seeking festival complete with a butterfly queen and her court. Eager to show some town spirit, Casey Feldstein finds herself fluttering back and forth between setting up a yarn retreat, baking and helping out oat the festival. But when a former butterfly queen is found dead with a knife in her back after a Bless the Butterflies service, Casey must set her loom aside to hook a killer with a score to settle.   $7.99

Kennedy, Mary - A Premonition of Murder - (Dream Club Mystery) - An elderly Southern heiress's becomes a real case of murder in the latest Dream Club Mystery from this national bestselling author. When Abigail Marchant, Savannah's famously reclusive heiress, invites the Dream Club ladies to lunch at her Beaux Reeves mansion, Taylor and Ali hope for an invitation to join the distinguished Magnolia Society. But Abigail has a more pressing concern; a recent dream that seems to foretell her death. Taylor reassures Abigail that there are many ways to interpret a dream, but at the next meeting of the Dream Club, their discussion is cut short by a call from Detective Sam Stiles. She's at Abigail's mansion, where the elederly woman appears to have been pushed to her death down a flight of stairs. Now Taylor, Ali, and all the Dream Club need to catch a killer before someone else is laid to rest.  $7.99

Marks, Mary - Something's Knot Kosher: A Quilting Mystery - Funerals can be patchy affairs for Martha Rose and her close-knit circle of friends - especially in the case of a missing body. When Birdie Watson's husband Russell is killed during a bank robbery, Martha just wants to support her grieving friend. But en route to the burial plot in Oregon, Martha just wants to support her grieving friend. But en route to the burial plot in Oregon, Martha makes a harrowing discovery about the casket's  contents --instead of Russell, she finds an unidentified man. Now Martha and her quilting klatch can't rest in peace until they unspool the truth behind the macabre mix up.  $7.99

McAndrews, Jennifer - A Shattering Crime (Stained-Glass Mystery) - Life in Wenwood, New York, sparkles for Gerogia, but for one of her neighbors, it is about to lose its luster. Georgia's day-to-day routine finally seems to be lining up. Stained-glass projects in the morning, clerical work for a law office in the afternoon, waitressing in the evening. Best of all she gets to spend relaxing Sundays with her new boyfriend. But that comfortable pattern is about to be broken. Everything falls to pieces after a local activist is found dead from a poisoned Danish. Authorities quickly put the heat on Rozelle, owner of the local bakery, but no one is town believes Rozelle capable of murder. Now it's up to Georgia to crack the case and foil the real killer's plans before the tranquility  of Wenwood is shattered.  $7.99

Sefton, Maggie - Purl  Up and Die (Knitting Mystery) - Here is another N.Y. Times bestseller. Kelly Flynn and the Lambspun Knitters must unravel the truth from the lies to clear a friend's son of murder. Kelly's summer in Fort Connor, Colorado is off to a great start with knitting classes taught by her friend Barb. But while the advanced stitches are giving Kelly the slip, a more deadly problem soon has her friend coming apart at the seams. A young woman has accused Barb's son, Tommy a young doctor doing his residency of assaulting her. The yarns spun by the local rumor mill are bad enough, but when the woman is found dead in her ransacked apartment, Tommy becomes the number one suspect. With the police ready to close the case, it's up to Kelly to knit together the clues to uncover a killer who doesn't seem to drop a stitch.  $7.99

Welcome To Ruth Kern Books Blog

I hoped you enjoyed your visit. If you haven't visited us before I'd like to introduce you to our business. We've been in business for over 24 years and have been busy setting up book shops at both the ANG and EGA National Seminars and Regionals and other needlework organizations as well as being on the web.

Can't find a certain book? Give us a call whether the title is in or out-of-print. We have a website as well as this blog: It is being worked on but still very usable.

Questions? Give us a call Monday thru Saturday at 602-043-0738. If I don't answer I'm probably in the middle of helping Mark, my invalid husband or running an errand to the bank or post office. Please don't be afraid of leaving a message and I will return your call ASAP. Or you can e-mail us at: or To reach us by mail: Ruth Kern Books 7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.  Love to hear from you.

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

Have a great spring. Remember to keep plenty of time available for stitching and reading.  SEE YOU IN JUNE.