Monday, October 24, 2016

                                    OCTOBER BLOG 2016


October is a colorful month full of orange, red and gold. I like October.  When I was a girl I loved Halloween, the one night I was allowed out after dark to scurry about trick or treating. Back then we didn't have to worry that we'd be snatched off the street; kids ruled going house to house, knocking on doors and asking for treats.  I lived in a small town on Long Island and knew all the neighbors. But that night I got to wander off the blocks to houses I didn't know so well but no one worried. We were safe.  

I loved the fall leaves, piling them up and jumping into them, why I don't know.  I guess because I could.  Where I live in Phoenix, Arizona we have grass and tree that change color only in late November and December and by February new buds are popping. As you know I'm not a winter person so a very short one without snow and ice is very welcome.

However, October can't seem to make up her mind about some things like making a final decision what her gem or flower should be. So she settled for two in each category.

As for gems she settled for opals and tourmaline and for flowers she decided to keep the cosmos and the marigold. Let's see why.

Opals are one of my favorite gems.  I love the color in them from pale to fiery. I always thought it would be fun to go to Australia and dig them up.

The tourmaline, I must confess I knew little about but now that I've seen it I find its different colors amazing. Legend has it that both of these stones came to earth through a journey involving rainbows.  How delightful!  Didn't I say October was a colorful month?

Now there are the October flowers: the cosmos and the marigold. There are about 20 species of marigolds that are in the daisy family. The creation of the marigold is mentioned in the Roman myth about Clytie and Apollo. The marigold is said to be a sign of sacred affection.

The cosmos is a genus of about twenty species of annual and perennial plants of the Asteraceae family and is also called the Mexican Aster. These flowers are said to symbolize peace, modesty, creation, and wholeness.  Again this flower comes in a variety of colors. So take your choice!

Now I come to the name October and I'm afraid the name leads us astray again since this was once upon a time the 8th month of the year.  In the ancient Rome the year started in spring in their Roman calendar. When January and February were stuck ahead of March the names of the months didn't change. So here we are with misnamed months. Of course, to make matters worse, we in the northern hemisphere celebrate spring in April but in the southern hemisphere it is celebrated in October. Discovering all this has been fun but a little confusing.  Hope you are enjoying this monthly journey with me.

SYMBOLS: The Visible Signs of Things Invisible

I was reading THE LETTERS OF VINCENT VAN GOGH selected and edited by Ronald De Leeuw and translated by Arnold Pomerans when I was struck by a particular passage Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo on September 3, 1888: "So I am always caught between two currents of thought, firstly, material difficulties, turning this way and that to make a living, and then, the study of colour. I keep hoping that I'll come up with something. To express the love of two lovers by the marriage of two complementary colours, their blending and their contrast, the mysterious vibrations of related tones. To express the thought of a brow by the radiance of light tone against a dark background. To express hope by some star. Someone's passion by the radiance of the setting sun. That's certainly no realistic trompe l'oeil, but something that really exists, isn't it?"

That constant search for the "perfect metaphor or phrase" so the reader will "feel" the characters, storyline and time period. It was nice to know a painter of his stature had struggled with the same problem in his art, that I wasn't alone (although certainly not in his league!) he was grappling for the perfect colour to get his vision across and me the special word. I know it is no different for needleworkers (I've done that too!) or graphic designers and musicians. That struggle to get across in a unqiue way what we want so desperately to say goes with the creative territory.

We humans commonly use the written word to express the meaning of what we want to impart but we also employ signs and images. Some are mere abbreviations or string of initials  such IBM, EGA, ANG, USA or logos although meaningless in themselves have acquired a recognizable meaning in themselves through common usage. Painting uses visual symbols, or colour as Van Gogh was trying to do to create a mood or meaning to his painting. Needleworkers use thread. Musicians use notes. Writers use words. I discovered another interesting art form that reached a pinnacle of imparting symbolic messages during the Byzantine period.

Some years back I was fortunate to travel to Italy. I was met by a friend who lived in Torino and we traveled by car, beginning in Milan then to Verona, Florence, Ravenna, and Venice on the hunt to see the magnificent mosaic art from the Byzantine era. Ravenna was, for a moment in ancient history, the capital of the eastern Roman empire and a center for building after building containing wonderful mosaic art. Today this mosaic art is still there as well as a school for mosaic restoration. 

Once upon a time I had been in the tile business and have a son and son-in-law both in this business and got so interested in mosaics I took art history classes and collected books on this interesting subject in preparation for this trip. But nothing prepared me to see this art that covered walls, floors and ceilings in a myriad of basilicas, cathedrals, tombs and other sites. I had seen ancient mosaic work in Egypt and plenty of breathtaking tile work in mosques but seeing the incredible craftsmanship done in
mosaic was far beyond what any book could picture. Until we moved in very close we couldn't tell if the scene was a painting or mosaic (and in some cases it was still difficult to tell even then). The expressive faces were all unique, the folds in the clothing, the hands and feet were so realistic we couldn't imagine how 1500 years ago these artisans could have created these from tiny pieces of tiles. No electricity for kilns existed then. Yet the brilliant colors and shadings even in the skin shadings were undimmed by time.

Why were these complex murals created? These mosaics told biblical stories from both the old and new testaments. Each mural is a picture story that explains some tenant of the religious belief of that time. They murals were created, in part, for the illiterate population to instill an awe for the bible stories they knew orally. And it worked. In fact, these masterpieces have been dubbed, "the poor man's books". These stories and their morals were immediately recognized by the citizenry and the symbols, those signs posts of meaning were understood because the symbols were as familiar to them as the MacIntosh Apple or a football team's logo is to us.

Having studied the art form and read about it for years, I of course, knew the stories so how could not I be sure what I was seeing worked for someone who had not. It so happened my friend was born and raised in Egypt as a Moslem and not exposed to either Judaism or Christianity. As we strolled through the halls, tombs, and cathedrals totally absorbed by these murals he immediately grasped the meaning of the stories being told and the symbols. Some of his interpretations had the flavor of his culture but he was on the right path and never missed a guess. This taught me, first hand, how important symbols are and using the wrong picture could cause serious miscommunication or ruin the beauty of a painting or needlework piece or a story.

For a perfect example of how symbols played a part in creating a movie phenomenon think of Star Wars. This movie hit a subconscious nerve with teens and adults alike.  George Lucas was very clever in that he hired Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist, to make sure all the symbols, religious and otherwise were correct.  It worked.

I guess you could say the mosaic murals we saw were the Star Wars of their day.  People felt awe and inspiration while they gazed at those murals; a something that reached somewhere deep inside them and stayed with them. Design, colour, visual symbols, size, and workmanship all were necessary ingredients to make the whole thing work. We spoke in hushed reverence staring at this art and left feeling humbled and inspired.

I surround myself with books, pictures, movies, and music to help slip into a mood when I write or do needlework. So I've included a listing of books I hope will help us all on our journey for the right metaphor or symbol for the particular creative things we are working on. You can never tell when or what will make the light go on in our heads.  How do you get in the mood for needlework? What do you put into your designs?  How do you create a mood with colour? Or with design? Have fun with symbols. Here's some books to help you out.

Chevalier, Jean, et al - The Penquin Dictionary of Symbols - This was a bestseller in France where it was originally published. This supremely erudite book draws together folkloric, literary, and artistic sources and focuses on the symbolic dimension of every color, number, sound, gesture, expression or character trait that had benefited from symbolic interpretations.  Illustrations. I'm getting this book!  $25.00

Cornwall, Hilarie and James Cornwall - Saints, Signs, and Symbols - This updated and comprehensive new edition enhances the well-loved and often-used earlier work as a guide to symbolism in Christian liturgical art, architecture, manuscripts, stained glass, and more. This book is heavily pictorial in an effort to provide an even stronger resources for artists and researchers, as well as the general public.  $18.00

de Leeuw, Ronald, editor - The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh - this volume reinstates a large number of passages omitted from earlier editions of Van Gogh's letters and includes, whenever possible, the wonderful pen-and-ink sketches Van Gogh added to his written messages. The author's notes provide informative links between the letters.  His writing is so full of symbols of his artistic journey I had to add this to this list.  $18.00

Ferguson, George - Signs and Symbols in Christian Arts; With Illustrations from Paintings  from the Renaissance - Divided into 14 chapters, text and illustrations reveal the symbolism inherent in representations of religious personages, the Earth and Sky, animals, birds, insects, and flowers.  $19.99

Jung, Carl - Man and His Symbols - Illustrated throughout with revealing images, this is the first and only work in which the world-famous Swiss psychologist explains to the lay person his enormously influential theory of symbolism as revealed in dreams.  $7.99

Klein, Aaron and M.G. Anthony - The Coloring Book of Jewish Symbols - This is all I could find on Jewish Symbols but it is a place to start. If anyone has a recommendation for a book on Jewish Symbols please let me know.  This coloring book will take you on a journey utilizing five key Jewish symbols. $9.99

Messent, Jan - The Bayeux Tapestry Embroiderer's Story - This is a fascinating account of this famous tapestry. Virtually every page has beautiful illustrations, accompanied by Jan's lovely calligraphy that gives details of the materials, dyes, stitches and threads used and of course, the symbolism. $29.95

Williams, Charles Alfred Speed - Chinese Symbolism and Art Motifs: A Comprehensive Handbook on Symbolism in Chinese Art through the Ages - This fourth revised edition features the eight immortals, the five elements, the dragon and phoenix, and "yin and yang". These important cultural symbols are pervasive in Chinese literature, art and architecture. Arranged alphabetically for easy access, the book not only explains essential cultural symbols, but also contain many articles on Chinese beliefs.  $24.95


blackwork  sleeve
The first time I saw blackwork embroidery I fell in love with it. When I saw it on costumes in movies on Henry the VIII and Queen Elizabeth I, I was totally in awe.  How did this embroidery begin? Who originally designed this? Actually, we will probably never discover the beginnings. We do know this embroidery was hugely popular in the Middle Ages. Many think Henry's first wife, Catherine of Aragon brought a wardrobe of blackwork garments with her from Spain and it was also called Spanish Work.  Others say it began with the Moors and Arabs who brought it to Spain. Whoever it was I'd like to thank for adding something so beautiful to the world

Blackwork stayed in style for nearly two centuries.  There are painting of Henry's daughter by Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I, wearing it. But somewhere in the 17th Century this embroidery style went out of fashion but not forgotten. Do some of these ancient garments exist today? Yes, and no. Since an iron-based dye used in England to make the silk thread much of the work from England has been lost but blackwork embroidery from other countries such as Spain that used less iron in their threads have survived. Unfortunately there is no conservation techniques that can save those lovely pieces of clothing. (Discount code: Hall16)

Today, in the 21st century, the technique of blackwork is alive and well.  Below, I've included a listing of great books on the subject.  I was going to highlight one of these great authors but they are so equal in technique and design I decided I shouldn't pick one.  You decide which one you think will help you the most.  You can even do blackwork in color. You can't lose!

Altherr, Ilse - Blackwork and Holbein Embroidery - This is definitely a classic originally published in 1981, this one of her consistent best sellers full of great blackwork patterns, graphs and wonderful design ideas. She includes 100's of medallions and border ideas that are presented as well as darning patterns.  $28.00

Altherr, Ilse - Blackwork Companion - Volume 3 - Here we go! Another classic by Ilse on blackwork.  In this volume Ilse, through her expert techniques, teaches you the importance of coordinating patterns within a design. Illustrated throughout.    $29.59

Altherr, Ilse - Reversible Blackwork revised and expanded - This classic is back in a revised and expanded edition that contains more patterns and more designs. Ilse includes complete instructions on how to achieve excellence in blackwork technique through step-by-step instructions and what she calls "pathfinders". She also includes how-to-begin, materials, design outlines, diagrams and plenty of tips.  $32.95

Altherr, Ilse - Swiss Samplers - Ilse made it her quest to find blackwork and pulled thread embroideries and to study them. She found this sampler in a museum in Zurich. This sampler is a complication of borders and motifs consisting of stylized trees and ornaments, star motifs as well as ornamental corners and other small decorative items. The  stitches include cross stitch, long arm stitch, satin stitch, back and forward stitching, double running stitch, and backstitching.

Hogg, Becky - Blackwork - This is one of the great stitch books put out by Royal School of Needlework: Essential Stitch Guides. The author shows how to develop many different patterns from the basic blackwork stitches using detailed instructions and beautiful examples of traditional and contemporary embroideries. This book is in full color, 5x7 in size with an inside spiral binding. She includes stitches, patterns, shading and a lovely history on this embroidery.  $21.95

Perin, Laura - Blackwork Patterns - This large reference book has more than 600 patterns showing one color, two-color, three-color variations intended specifically for blackwork. This great designer includes the basic instructions for three stitches that can be used for blackwork (backstitch, running backstitch, and double-running backstitch). She divides the chapters into small, medium, large and borders so you can easily find the right filling pattern for your blackwork design. She also includes a gallery of blackwork with color photos of the designs to inspire you and to illustrate her discussion of the types of fabrics and threads you might use.   $39.99

Scoular, Marion - Why Call It Blackwork? - If you need a great place to begin your blackwork, Marion's book on the subject is a classic, highly recommended book to begin your passion for blackwork. She takes you through the basics and encourages you step-by-step to become a confident blackwork stitcher.  $18.00

Wilkins, Lesley - Beginner's Guide to Blackwork - The author discovered blackwork while visiting the VandA Museum in London, and that got her started in her fascination with this embroidery. Now years later, she is an expert in blackwork and has collected thousands of patterns from all over the world and her own work is inspired by historical motifs, patterns, and borders. In this book she shows how to create traditional blackwork embroideries using simple stitches on evenweave fabric. Step-by-step photos and a wealth of charts illustrate how traditional motifs, patterns and borders can be combined to create stunning designs.   $15.95

Zimmerman, Jane - Art of English Blackwork - This too is a classic and Jane taught it for years. This is a reference collection of over 600 stitchery patterns showing one color, two color, and three color variations intended specifically for blackwork designs. She includes a short history of English blackwork and lots of graphed patterns.  $39.95

           A POTOURRI OF NEW BOOKS    

Brown, Pauline - The Encyclopedia of Embroidery Techniques - This is a unique visual directory of all the major embroidery techniques, plus inspirational examples of traditional and innovative finished work.  This comprehensive directory is for both the beginner and the experienced embroider. The book includes 240 stitches, ranging from cross stitch to assisi and from machine embroidery to quilting, each one illustrated in full colour and from machine embroidery to quilting, each one illustrated in full colour and accompanied by explanatory artwork. An inspirational gallery includes finished examples of traditional and innovative pieces from around the world.  The author is an expert quilter and teacher of embroidery, patchwork and textile crafts and has written several book on embroidery and applique. $19.95

Browne, Clare - English Medieval Embroidery: Opus Anglicanum - In medieval Europe, embroidered textiles were indispensable symbols of wealth and power. Owing to their quality, complexity, and magnificence, English embroideries enjoyed international demand and can be traced in Continental sources as "opus anglicanum" (English work). This sumptuously illustrated book draws on the new research and detailed photos to offer an introduction to that design, production, and use. Essays by leading experts explain the embroideries artistic and social context, while catalogue entries
examine individual masterpieces $89.95    

Guerrier, Katharine - The Encyclopedia of Quilting and Patchwork Techniques - This author, designer has been making quilts since 1980. She is a regular contributor to local and national quilt exhibitions and has won prizes and been exhibited in the UK and USA. Her work draws on the traditional motifs of pieced patchwork, developing them to give a contemporary feel in an attempt to create textiles which are original and collectable.  For beginners she includes how-to-start advice and step-by-step photographs, diagrams and instructions to guide them through each stage of their work, and for more experienced quilters there are advanced techniques that they can use. She also includes a section on rotary cutting and speed piecing and a gallery of stunning items. $19.95

Ishii, Sachiyo - Mini Knitted Toys - This charming book contains over 30 fun, simple knitting patterns for a range of cute and cuddly toys. Create simple playthings such as animals, cars, trains, fairies, and cupcakes, and then try your hand at larger toy sets, including a castle under siege, an alien invasion, a prehistoric play-scene and a fairytale collage complete with magical characters. This book is suitable for knitters of all skill levels, and all the patterns require only small amounts of readily available yarn. This book also contains a useful techniques section containing step-by-step instructions for the necessary techniques, including stuffing and sewing up figures, creating knitted eyes and I-cords, and all the embroidery stitches needed to create the facial features and details.  $17.95

Leder, Eve - Casual Bead Elegance - This book features 24 projects in timeless bead stitches starting with simple applications and expanding each stitch with more elaborate pieces. Though the focus is on learning and applying specific techniques, the resulting projects are wearable and casually elegant, using beads in any beader's collection (seed beads, crystals, pearls, gemstones, and shaped beads). Whether the goal is to learn the perfect stitch or merely to follow the instructions for weaving lovely projects, you will find plenty of earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces to make and wear in this collection. Stitches include ladder, right-angle weave, cubic right angle weave, herringbone, square stitch, circular brick stitch, and peyote stitch.  $21.99

Perry, Janet - Needlepoint Trade Secrets: Great Tips about Organizing, Stitching, Threads, and Materials - Love needlepoint? Looking for inspiring ideas, organizing tips, information about techniques, threads materials or stitching? This book by Janet Perry will make your stitching better, easier, and more fun. She has gathered tips from other needlepoint professionals, teachers, and stitchers and combined them in this book. This is the third edition of this book that is almost double in size with lots of great new tips.  Great size for carrying with you.  $24.95

Martin, Judy - The Encyclopedia of Coloured Pencil Techniques - The author is a painter and teacher known for a number of art books brings us a complete step-by-step guide to key colouring techniques using coloured pencils. Filled with information on the basic characteristics and colour ranges of the main kinds of coloured pencil, and step-by-step visual demonstrations of key techniques from blending, blocking in and burning to sgraffito, stippling and impressing. The reader will not only discover how professional artists use imaginative and dynamic styles to interpret a wide range of subjects, but they will also be inspired by the 150-plus full-colour illustrations to crete brilliant artworks of their own.  $19.95

Search Press Classics - A-Z of Wool Embroidery - This valuable resource for the wool embroiderer containing a wealth of stitch guidelines, and embroidery patterns and motifs to follow - ranging from delicate flowers to intricate forest animal designs. Detailed instructions and clear, step-by-step photographs lead you through the process from the beginning to the end.  $19.95 

Snyman, Fransie - Ideas for Cardmakers - A great book filled with ideas for cardmakers of all levels. Basic information on colour, composition and balance is practically applied in easy-to-use templates that will give you basic designs, so you can focus on creativity on selecting and combining the different elements. Each template comes with information on proportions, placement and sizes of the different elements. All the templates can be flipped, inverted and rotated, and the designs include standard square, square, oblong and large cards in both vertical and horizontal orientation. For each template there are several examples of cards made by different cardmakers, providing the readers with numerous ideas for their own card designs.  $19.95

Walters, Angela - Quilting Is My Therapy - Behind the Stitches with Angela Walters - Take an in-depth look at the artistry of Angela Walters, a true visionary and leader in the modern quilting movement. This book delves into her free-motion quilting journey in gorgeous detail. This best-selling author gives insight into her design process, with full-page photography of her own quilts and commissions for well-known designers. Discover how she sketches with grand detail and lavish texture to complement each quilt's specific design.  $29.95


Adler, Rebecca - The Good, the Bad and the Guacamole -(Taste of Texas Mystery) - Tex-Mex waitress and part-time reporter Josie Callahan is about to serve up some Lone Star justice. Tourists are pouring into the town of Broken Boot for the annual Homestead Days Music Festival. Opening the celebration at Two Boots dance hall is smooth-talking country singer Jeff Clark, the ex-boyfriend of Josie's best friend, Patti Perez. When the charming Clarks woos Patti onstage in an attempt to rekindle some sparks with his old flame, Josie fears her friend will end up as just one more notch on the singer's guitar strap. to impress her editor at the "Broken Boot Bugle," Josie and her Chihuahua, Lenny, pursue the singer to Patti's house, hoping for an interview. Instead, they discover Clark facedown in a bowl of guacamole with a bloodied guitar at his side. With Patti suddenly a murder suspect, Josie must use her reporter skills to find out who had a chip on their shoulder before the killer double dips.  Tex-Mex recipes included.  $7.99

Brandon, Ali - Twice Told Tail (Black Cat Bookshop Mystery #6) - As Thanksgiving approaches, Darla Pettistone is preparing for the busiest shopping season of the year. They've recently launched their online store, where one anonymous bidder is offering a suspiciously high price for an antique book and Darla doesn't need Hamlet's special senses to know that something isn't quite right. However, there's no time to think about that after Darla's roped into helping bridezilla Connie Capello get ready for her big day. After looking at wedding dresses, Darla and Connie head to an antique store to find her something old but they find someone dead instead. When Darla learns that the shop carried a copy of the book that her mysterious bidder is after, she suspects she'll need Hamlet's help to discover who penned the poor soul's final chapter, before someone else is real their last rites."  $7.99 

Delany, Vicki - We Wish You a Murderous Christmas (Year Round Christmas Mystery 32) - A Grinch is spoiling the holiday cheer and causing fear. It's Christmastime three hundred and sixty five days a year in Rudolph, New York, and as Christmas Day approaches, shopowner Merry Wilkinsonis enjoying a rare evening off at the Yuletide Inn when she runs into owners Grace and Jack Olsen. With Jack's health failing, Merry is relieved to hear that his son Gord will be taking over the day-to-day running of the inn. But then Gord reveals that his new plans have no room for Christmas at the Inn, and Merry and the other shopkeepers start to fret about the effect a bland franchise hotel could have on their livelihoods. When Gord is found stabbed to death, there's an entire town of potential suspects and it is up to Merry to find whoever brought homicide home for the holidays.  $7.99

Carl, JoAnna - The Chocolate Falcon Fraud - This consistent best-selling author its a murder, my sweet, for a chocolatier whose love of old crime films plunges her into a real-life murder in which the motives aren't so black-and-white. The Warner Pier tourism board is kicking off its Tough Guys and Private eyes film festival with The Maltese Falcon, and Lee Woodyard and her aunt Nettie are preparing a delicious chocolat noir tie-in at TenHaus Chocolade. What Lee isn't prepared for is a face from the past, Jeff Godfrey, her former stepson. The last time Jeff showed up in town, he would up being accused of murder. He says he's in Warner Pier only to see Bogart on the big screen. Honest. Then Jeff goes missing, the Falcon theme is haunting everyone, and a body falls at Lee's feet when she opens the front door just like in the movie. Now Lee is under deadline to rewrite the ending of a cunning killer's increasingly convincing murder plot. Includes tasty chocolate trivia.  $7.99

Carlisle, Kate - Deck the Hallways - Someone's been slayed! If contractor Shannon Hammer can't nail the real culprit in the St. Nick of time, her dad will wind up in the clink. Even at Christmastime, Shannon is more spackle than sparkle, which is why she leaps at the chance to transform a grand old Victorian mansion into ten charming apartments for homeless families. Filled with the spirit of the season, all of Lighthouse Cove turns out to help including her best friends, a troupe of far from angelic Santa Claus impersonators, and her father, Jack. But their merriment is soon dashed  by a heated scuffle between Jack and the miserly president of the bank who's backing the project. when the man is murdered, all eyes are on Jack, and visions of prison time dance in Shannon's head. Now, she needs to pull off a crime-solving miracle, before her father's Christmas goose is cooked.  $7.99

Duncan, Elizabeth - Untimely Death: A Shakespeare in the Catskill Mystery (#1) - A Catskills resort's production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet takes a wickedly ironic turn when the leading lady, Laura Richmond, is first poisoned and then stabbed. Who would extinguish the life of such a beautiful young thesbian? Who wouldn't? Seems like just about everyone had a motive to pull the ropes on her final curtain call.  At the center of this Shakespearian tragedy is Charlotte Fairfax, formerly the costume mistress of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Upstate New York is a long way from the royal stage but Charlotte is always the queen of her domain. As this small production anyone could possibly imagine about the rise and fall of Lauren Richmond. But curiosity killed the cat. And it might well kill the costume designer. $15.99

Farrow, Sharon - Dying for Strawberries (Berry Basket Mystery #1) - With seasonal crowds flocking to its sandy beaches, lively downtown shops, and the Berry Basket, a berry emporium with something for everyone, the lakeshore village of Oriole Point is ripe for summer fun and murder. Much has changed for Marlee Jacob since she returned to Oriole Point, Michigan, three years ago. Between running the Berry Basket, dodging local gossip, and whipping up strawberry muffins, smoothies, and margaritas to celebrate the town's first annual Strawberry Moon Bash, the twenty-nine year old hardly has time for her fiancé, let along grim memories of her old life in New York. But unfortunately for Marlee, Oriole Point is muddled with secrets of its own. First her friend Natasha disappears after an ominous dream. Nest the seediest man in town threatens to crush her business. Then an unknown nearly kills her on the night of the Bash. When she discovers a dead body while searching for Natasha, Marlee realized she'll have she'll have to foil a killer's plot herself before the past permanently stains her future.  $7.99

Hardy, Susannah - A Killer Kebab (Greek to Me Mystery #3) - the Bonaparte House is closed for the season, and Georgie Nikolopatos looks forward to fixing up the Greek restaurant and historic landmark until her renovation plans hit a fatal snag. With her divorce underway, her mother-in -law returning to Greece, and the tourists gone, Georgie finally has life under control and the Bonaparte House to herself. She quickly hires a contractor for some much-needed renovations to reopen in time for a special Greek-style thanksgiving meal. Georgie is suspicious though when the former dishwasher Russ Riley arrives with the construction crew. He still has an ace to grind with the Nikolopatos family but is it sharp enough to kill? When Georgie finds the body of her divorce lawyer amid the construction debris and Russ is quickly arrested for murder, something about the case doesn't add up. While Georgie is no fan of Russ, even a bad egg deserves a crack of justice.  Includes delicious Greek recipes.  $7.99

Hechtman, Betty - Hooking for Trouble - Molly Pink can't help seeing a pattern of trouble in this latest crochet mystery by this bestselling author. The Tarzana Hooker's Yarn University has been a big success, and the classes have drawn in a slew of new crochet devotees. A less welcome arrival is the boxy monstrosity in the yard behind Moll's house. She hasn't met her new neighbors, but when she sees a couple struggling on the balcony and later spies what looks like someone lying on the ground, Molly wastes no time calling in her ex, homicide detective Barry Greenberg. To Molly's shock, Barry reports that noting is amiss with her neighbors, and asks her to lay off the amateur detecting. Molly knows she wasn't just seeing things, but with no body to prove her case she'll have to unravel the evidence on her own because someone in Tarzana is tangled up in murder.  Delicious recipes and crochet patterns included.  $7.99

Myers, Ann - Feliz Navidead (Santa Fe Café Mysteries) - It is the most picturesque time of the year in Santa Fe, and Chef Rita Lafitte of Tres Amigas Café hopes the twinkling lights and tasty holiday treats will charm her visiting mom. Rita is also planning fun activities, such as watching her teenage daughter, Celia, perform in an outdoor Christmas play. What she doesn't plan for is murder. Rita discovers a dead actor during the premier performance but vows to keep clear of the case. Sleuthing would upset her mom. Besides, there's already a prime suspect caught red-handed in his bloodied Santa suit. However, when the accused Santa's wife begs for assistance and points out that Celia and other performers could be in danger Rita can't say no. With the help of her elderly boss, Flori, and her coterie of rogue knitters, Rita strives to salvage her mother's vacation, unmask a murderer, and stop this festive season from turning even more fatal."  $7.99

Vallera, Diane - Masking for Trouble (Costume Shop Mystery #2) - Halloween brings more tricks than treats for costume shop owner Margo Tamblyn in the second new mystery in the series. Halloween conjures up big business for Margo's costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, but this year, the holiday comes knocking with serious trouble. Venture capitalist Paul Haverford plans to rezone historic downtown into a glitzy commercial area which would push out local business. Margo is set on saving her family's store, especially after a nasty run-in with the chain-store tycoon, but after Haverford's body is discovered during a spooky party at the derelict Alexandria Hotel, Margo finds herself dressed as the police's prime suspect. Anxious to clear her name, Margo begins hunting down anyone who might have wanted Haverford dead. Between all of his malicious maneuvering, the murdered mogul had buckets of people anxious to see him gone. Now, Margo will have to use every trick in the book to find a cloaked killer before someone else winds up wearing a death shroud.  $7.99

Wait, Lea - Dangling by a Thread (Mainely Needlepoint Mysteries #4) - Hermit Jesse Lockhart lives alone on King's Island, three miles east of haven Harbor, Maine, where he's created a private sanctuary for the endangered Great Cormorants. But when a wealthy family wants to buy the island and Jess's cousin Simon petitions for power of attorney to force him to sell, Jesse is the one who becomes endangered. Mainely Needlepointer Dave Perry, who befriended Jesse in the VA hospital, rallies the group to his defense. Angie Curtis the ravelers stitch Save the King's Island Cormorants pillows and sell T-shirts to pay for Jesse 's legal counsel. But tragically, on a visit to the island, Angie finds Jesse dead. Now the search is on for a common thread that can tie the murdered man to his killer.  $7.99

Introducing Ruth Kern Books

I hope you enjoyed your visit. If this is your first time with us I'd like to introduce you to our visit. We've been in business nearly 24 years and have set up needlework bookshops at both the ANG and EGA seminars and for other needlework groups as well as being available on the web.

Can't find a certain book? Give us a call Monday thru Saturday at 602-943-0738 and if you need to leave a message I'm probably helping Mark, my husband, with M.S. or running books to the post office. I will return your call ASAP. Or you can e-mail  us at: To reach us by mail: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021. Love to her from you.

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

Have a good month.  Enjoy the fall colors.  See you in November. 

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