Sunday, December 24, 2017

   Jan/Feb blog will publish the evening of Feb 23th 2018.  



I'm late, I'm late, I'm late for a an important date,
No time to say hello, goodbye. I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!
                        (from the film, Alice in Wonderland)

That's how I've been feeling all year with all aspects of my life since a good friend of 46 years was taken in critical condition to the hospital by ambulance and spent the entire year of 2017 in that condition and me on her Medical Power of Attorney after her husband. She wanted to be let go, she couldn't speak but did mouth that wish as well as that being in her trust, but her husband, thinking she'd get better, wouldn't honor that hope. I was deeply involved with meetings, listening to the doctors pleading to do the right thing , talking to staff, but instead, her husband after 11 months of this, opted to take her home with a confusion of medical equipment: feeding tube. ventilator, trach in her throat, pacemaker, etc., etc., thinking she would be back to normal,  after being surrounded by her home and pet cats. Instead she declined.  It was then I discovered her brother and I were co-trustees on the estate as well the medical issues. But I was too concerned what was happening with her, having been a medical P.A. years ago, and focused on medical concerns not thinking about trusts. Then out of the blue her husband died first, she died two days later, leaving her brother and I forced to make serious decisions and trying to discover papers, accounts, and many, many bills to deal with.

Her ending came on Thanksgiving and since then two of us have been extremely busy. Luckily, we think alike and work as a team. However, this blog and my entire business took a hit but I am so determined this January 2018 to catch up, after 
having gotten a little late here and there like this blog.  I've hired someone to lighten some of the load starting on January 4th so I'm encouraged. I hope I didn't let any of you down. My apologies if I did. 

I'm looking forward to 2018 and hope you are too!


               If through respect or love I lend
               This book unto my worthy friend
               He must not soil, abuse, nor tear,
               But read with diligence and care;
               And when its contents you have learned
               Remember, it must always be Returned.
                                 (From an old bookplate)

Have you ever loaned a book that was never returned? I have a feeling the answer is an unanimous YES! In a moment of generosity or enthusiasm for a book we love we lend it. Perhaps it is months later when we suddenly need it do we notice a blank space on a shelf - and a flash we wonder: Who did I lend that to?? If we do remember we're now in a position of having to ask for it back. I've had countless customers calling me for a book search because of this scenario. Now they need to replace a book they already owned. Remember the scene in the movie, Out of Africa when Denys Fitzhatten (Robert Redford) tells his friend about loaning books to someone and not getting them back. His friend asks, "You wouldn't end a friendship over a book?" And Denys replies, "No, but apparently he would."

I've heard similar stories. A number of customers told me when they pointed to their book on a friend's shelf and said it was theirs, they received a, "No, you are mistaken, that book is mine." I guess possession is really 9/10th's of the law. It's on their shelf so it must be theirs. BUT there is a way to avoid this sticky situation that'll not only identify your books as yours but will add a charming piece of art to your book and not hurt it's value (writing in them is a definite no-no!), instead use a bookplate. Maybe with a neat saying like the one above.

Since books have existed owners have marked them as their, usually writing some kind of mark or their name in them (again, unless you are famous, don't do this). The first bookplate appeared in the mid-fifteenth century, German in origin and designed by Albrecht Durer, the famous artist. Since then many famous artists have created bookplates and some book lovers have gone to the trouble of having artists design a special bookplate for them.

Bookplates can say I love these books I own. Many libraries bought from estates are cherished for the bookplate art as well as the books themselves. Besides, it's kind of nice to get acquainted with the previous owner who apparently had the same taste in books you do. Believe it or not, there are bookplate collectors world-wide who search out rare examples of this art. Sometimes authors will autograph their book on a bookplate and you just glue it inside the front cover or on the first blank page.

I won't go as far as Ben Franklin did when he coined, "Neither a borrower or a lender be" but at least mark your books. However, Lending books doesn't always have a bad ending - that's how Mark and I began dating years ago. He was a window clerk then at the local post office where I mailed off books. I could walk into this cute little postal station and knew everyone who worked there. Knowing of my trips to Egypt, a place he always wanted to visit, he borrowed a book on Egypt by John Romer, who was doing a series on ancient Egypt on PBS at that time. I was moving to a new home and forgot about the book until a customer asked for that title and I suddenly remembered where it was. I called the post office but he had moved to a different location but I found him. He not only returned my book but took me out to dinner. And a year and half later we got married. So not all book lending has an unhappy ending.

If you are curious to learn more about bookplates and peruse some of the past artistic plates or want to use bookplates in your books I've included some for you to check out.

Castle, Egerton - English Bookplates: An Illustrated Handbook for the Students of Ex-Libris - The author explains that the first bookplate (also known as ex-libris), was used inside a book around 1450. As we know it caught on. Albrecht Durer designed bookplates and had a lasting influence in the art. Yes, these plates were considered an art. Learn this art's distinguished history.  260 pages.  $15.99

Plouvier, Christine - The Bookplate Book, Volume I - This is a cut-and-paste project suitable for teen through adults so you will need scissors, glue or paste. Christine brings us 25 unique color images that illustrate one hundred bookplates. As she says, what more attractive way is there to help your books come home. Have fun! 62 pages. $19.99

Plouvier, Christine - The Bookplate Book, Volume II - Her volume II offers book-labeling options of twenty-five unique monochrome images printed on a elegant parchment background illustrate one hundred bookplates from classic, to contemporary, formal to playful.  Don't forget to keep your scissors and glue or paste. Instructions are provided.  62 pages. $19.99

Plouvier, Christine - The Bookplate, Volume 3: Cookbook Edition - Do you need to find a gift for the chef in your life? The one who owns a large library of cookbooks. (Is that you?) This volume includes twenty-five unique culinary images, illustrating one hundred bookplates. This is a papercraft sampler for a kitchen library so get your scissors and paste ready. Has Instructions.  62 pages. $19.99

Grafton, Carol Belanger (editor) - Bookplate Designs (with CDROM) - This book is a unique homage to bookplate art illuminates over 320 designs of the craft's finest examples. Our author includes a great variety of black-and-white designs embrace a multitude of styles: woodcuts, engravings, lithographs, typography, and more that were collected from all over the world, each bookplate is a masterpiece in small scale.  $16.95


Potter Style - Antiquarian Bookplates: 55 Bookplates to Personalize Your Library - Each bookplate features a beloved literary quote and a charming illustration that makes each book in your collection even more special. A few sample quotes include: "Literature is my Utopia" - Helen Keller. " A room without books is a body without a soul-" Cicero.  "We read to know we are not alone."- C.S. Lewis.  "Read in order to live." Gustave Flaubert. And many more.  $12.99

Harper, Charley - Cardinal Bookplates - I love Charley Harper's art and on a bookplate warms my heart. These 24 adhesive 3x4 in. bookplates come in a decorative hardtop box. What a wonderful addition to the books in any library.  $12.95

Harper, Charley - Limp on a Limb Bookplates - What a great bookplate for all the cat lovers out there. Just looking at this artwork put a big smile on my face. These 24 adhesive 3x4 in. bookplates come in a decorative hardtop box.  $12.95

Rice, William S. - Owls and Magnolias Bookplates - These plates were designed by artist William S. Rice.  Whooo doesn't admire the wise old owl? This one and the magnolias behind him bring a certain sophistication to your books. There are twenty-four adhesive 3x4 in. nicely presented in a decorative hardtop box.  $12.95

I couldn't resist adding this mystery here:

Barrett, Lorna - Bookplate Special (Booktown Mystery) - Tricia Miles, owner of Haven't Got a Clue mystery bookstore, is still setting into Stoneham, New Hampshire, the kind of town where everybody knows your name - and where everyone's quick to lend a hand, even when murder's afoot. The kinder folks of Stoneham might call Pammy Fredericks a free spirit. The less kind, a freeloading thief. Tricia has put up with her uninvited college roommate for weeks. In return, Pammy has stolen one hundred dollars, among other things. But the day she's kicked out, Pammy's found dead in a trash cart, leaving loads of questions unanswered. What was she foraging for? Did her killer want it too? To piece the case together, Tricia will have to dive in headfirst.  $7.99


During the years I was setting up needlework bookshops at the national ANG seminar whenever we arrived the first question Mark would ask me was: "Is Jane going to be teaching?" I'd laugh when I said yes. I knew what was coming. Jane would zoom in on her electric cart and the two of them would banter back and forth and me laughing up a storm. It always ended with hugging. Jane was lots of fun but she's a serious needeworker, teacher and artisan admired by her peers and students alike.

Over forty years ago, Jane, wanting to keep her hands busy, went into a needlework shop and bought threads and canvas and taught herself to stitch. He mother had been a seamstress of couture clothing so needles and threads were no strangers to her. Jane mastered the art of stitching quickly and needlework became her passion. She started teaching but still kept learning from the likes of Muriel Baker, Peg Lunt, and Audrey Francini. Of course she began a library of books by canvas workers such as Sylvia Sydney, Mary Rhodes and Hope Hanley. Then she mastered counted thread, Assisi and pulled thread and became a leading needlework teacher of goldwork.

Amazingly, with all this going on in her life, Jane began writing books and got deeply involved in needlework history (1930 and earlier) and taught herself photography. At this time he began traveling around the states and Canada to teach. In her 'spare time' Jane flew to England to indulge her passion for needlework history. There she visited museums and shot photo after photo of marvelous historical embroidery.  Then she developed a fascinating class on English Embroidery History and wrote a book on the same, which I've listed below. If you get Jane started on the history of British royalty be prepared for a fascinating visit back to the 16th century. She's a great storyteller.

Jane is an original and so are her designs. Where do the ideas spring from? Some of them are based on original, historic pieces but she prefers geometric designs from Islamic, Moorish, Chinese and American Patchwork Patterns and Art.
(discount code: Nanci17)



One last thing about Jane. She taught herself the computer early on as she saw this machine the way of the future including needlework. She even had to learn how the machine functioned. Me, I'm just happy when it works. Her curiosity paid off. She became a forerunner in computer graphics for needlework.

Although Jane no longer travels to classes, her books are classic and still available and still very popular with needleworkers. I had the pleasure of talking to her recently as I was desperate for her Canvas Work Bands and Borders for a needlework class and not only did I enjoy laughing with her but she saved my live by getting the books to me.  Thanks Jane.

Take a look at her classic needlework books:

Art of Elizabethan Embroidery - The stitches and variations shown in this book were used in colored silk and metal thread embroidery in England 1558-1625 and she gives you a taste of the history of this work as well.  $22.00

Art of English Blackwork - This is definitely what you want to learn about this needlework style. Jane includes the history, stitches, and lots of clear charted patterns.  $37.95

Canvas Work Bands and Borders - Need a border? These patterns can be used as horizontal or vertical bands and most all of the stitches are of traditional canvas work stitches or adaptations. The book is divided into categories of stitches.  $35.95

Traditional Silk and Metal Thread Techniques on Canvas - This comprehensive book contains 320+ stitch pattern variations and explores all aspects of silk and metal thread embroidery from the past that is suitable for today. Teachers sing this book's praises.  $38.95

Ultimate Encyclopedia of Canvas Embroidery - Volume I and Volume II - These two volumes each include hundreds of needlepoint stitches and patterns - mosaic, cashmere, scotch, gobelin, eyelet and plaited to name some. B/W photos of stitch examples accompanies the graphs.  $44.95 each.



Barbae, Karen - Colour Confident Stitching: How to Create Beautiful Colour Palettes - Whether you are a beginner or more experienced, any stitching project, no matter how simple, can be enhanced by a well-chosen colour palette but lots of stitchers are nervous about choosing colour. This author, a Chile-based textile designer, embroiderer, photographer and blogger, has had her textiles and accessories featured in Martha Stewart Living. In this book she makes choosing and creating colour palettes a fun and enjoyable part of the design process. Not only does she guide us through colour theory but also includes five stitching projects that encourage stitchers to explore colour. Photographs accompany stitching illustrations and step-by-step photos for the colour choosing process as well as the stitching projects.  $24.95

Benilan, Annabel - Sewing Clothes for Barbie - Sew Barbie this cute wardrobe of 23 stylish outfits including for a picnic in the country, for skiing for the beach or for DIY. Or create outfits for special occasions, such as a cocktail dress, wedding dress or formal dress for the theatre; or everyday wear such as jeans and a tie-waist shirt, fleecy jumper and trousers for skiing, a bikini, towel and sunhat for the beach. The author also includes costumes such as a mermaid, fairy and superwoman. Detailed explanations are accompanied by step-by-step diagrams and real-size patterns, which can be adapted for petite, curvy, tall or original Barbie. The techniques used are simple and the outfits can be sewn by hand or on the machine. These are ideal projects for upcycling old clothes or making use of scraps of fabric or making use of scraps of fabric from your stash.  $17.95

Collinge, Annette, Dr. - Embroidered Treasures: Flowers - The Embroiderer's Guild in England has wonderful embroideries from all over the world considered one of the most important collections assembled in one place. This book showcases their huge collection of embroidered flowers through the ages featured in full-color photos that show full and detailed images to show the flowers at their best. The images are shown with extended captions $29.95

Collinge, Annette, Dr. - Embroidered Treasures: Birds - This fantastic book showcases the Embroiderer's Guild collection of embroidered birds through the ages. Featuring photos taken especially for the book, items are shown in full and also with detail images to show off the birds at their best. These wonderful embroidered treasures are as varied as wall hangings, dresses, bridal bags and samplers, some of which date back to the seventeenth century. The images are shown with extended captions giving the country of origin, age, size and the embroidery techniques employed to make them. Now housed in the Bucks County Museum, the collection hails from America, Spain, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Norway and Switzerland.  These embroideries have rarely been seen.  $24.95  Date of release fuzzy right now but should be out by early spring.

Daymond, Angela - Kantha Stitching - The simple, repetitive act of kantha stitching uses the humble running stitch to create simple yet beautiful motifs, patterns and texture on layered fabric. Promoting mindfulness and creativity, it is ideal for relaxation and de-stressing after a busy day at home or in the office. This ancient form of quilting originated in India, and is now hugely popular with contemporary hand stitches all over the world.  The book includes useful sections on tools, materials and techniques which are all the information you need on preparing your fabric, transferring your design and the basic stitches used. There are then 20 lovely motifs to choose from, each with a full-size template, simple instructions and a photo of the finished motif, include a lotus flower. Paisley patterns dahlia, kingfisher, owl, spiral, and an elephant cushion. The final section gives you ideas and inspiration for how to use the motifs to embellish bags, clothes, cushions, table mats and accessories.  $14.95

Dixey, Jo and Brandon Mably - Stitch People - Learn to embroidery project by project with RSN trained, professional embroider Jo Dixey who addresses those who want to expand their skills and those new to embroidery. The projects range from small embroidered cards to more complex pictures to hang on your wall; simple applique for a scarf to an embroidered jacket all based on the theme of people. Templates of the images to stitch are provided for photocopying and there is a photo gallery of all the stitches covered in the book, along with step-by-step photos of key techniques such as transferring patterns onto fabric or using batting to create 3D effects.  19.95  Coming soon.

Forster, Carolyn - Sew Layer Cake Quilts and Gifts - The author is a highly respected quilter gives you nine beautiful Layer Cake quilt designs, using a variety of patchworking and quilting styles. Also included are nine accompanying gift projects, which range from bags and pincushions to needlebooks and coasters. All techniques you need are clearly explained at the beginning of the book with easy-to-follow step-by-step photography and the instructions for putting together each quilt are illustrated for clarity.  $21.95

Lark Crafts - Embroidered Mandalas - Why should coloring book fans have all the fun? These embroidery-ready transfers make it super-simple to stitch beautiful, meditative mandalas for any craft. Usually, transferring the pattern to fabric is the hardest part, but here you just iron them on and go! Use the transfers to create embroidery-hoop pieces, or embellish favorite bags, shirts, or pillows. Once the patterns is transferred, just take your needle and floss and stitch along the lines to "color" the designs any way you'd like. The process is easy and relaxing, and the results are gorgeous. This book includes 25 iron-on mandalas and 16 pages of basic embroidery instruction for crafters of all levels.  $14.95

Lubin, Clementine - A Beginner's Guide to Using Overlockers and Coverlockers - This book enables you to sew like a professional seamstress. Full of practical advice to help you master all the features and applications of your overlocker and coverlocker, you will learn how to handle your machine using its basic features through the more complex techniques. There are 50 beautifully photographed step-by-step lessons and 15 lovely projects to apply your knowledge and help you realize your sewing goals, including a dress, a T-shirt, shoulder bag, playsuit and more.  $19.95 

McCollin, Sally - Transfer and Stitch - Butterflies, Bees and Bugs - Over 60 reusable motifs to iron on and embroidery on clothing or home furnishings for a unique finish. Designs range from traditions, life-like insects to edgy modern steampunk designs. These intricate motifs can be rendered in pearlescent or metallic threads to give them a colorful, insect-like sheen. Try tiny ladybirds up to larger-scale grasshoppers.  $24.95

Richman, Helen - Stumpwork Embroidery: Techniques and Projects - Beginning with an introduction to the appropriate materials, equipment, and tools, this book instructions on a wide range of stitches and techniques, illustrated with ten delightful projects. It then explains how to design your own piece of stumpwork before advising on finishing, presenting, and caring for your work. $36.95

Von Grabler-Crozier, Debbie - The Bag Boutique - In this book are 20 beautiful bags to sew from popular author and designer. It includes a huge variety of different styles and sizes, from totes and bucket bags to backpacks, clutches and shoulder bags that come with clear instructions and beautiful photos. Complete guide to techniques needed and a section on creating gorgeous finishing touches, including embroidery, applique, crocheted flowers, beaded charms and personalized labels.  $19.95

Watson, Larissa - Dye and Print Alchemy - Our talented author guides you through all the processes, ensuring successful and professional results. She explores techniques such as ombre dyeing, space dyeing, hand painting, shibori, stenciling, screen printing and relief using a range of gorgeous fabrics such as natural, synthetics, silks, velvets, bamboo jersey, spandex and linens.  $35.00  Date to be released coming soon.


Alexander, Ellie - Another One Bites the Crust ( Bakeshop Mystery) - The Shakespeare Festival returns to Ashland, Oregon, for the season and Torteis cast as the supplier of Elizabethan-era treats for the main event.  But on the eve of opening night, a brawl between Julie's friend Lance, the artistic director, and a strapping young thespian named Anthony almost brings down the house.  The next morning Anthony is dead. Julie knows that Lance loves his drama - and his just desserts - but she also knows that murder is way off-script for him. Now it is up to Julie to cut through the bevy of backstage betrayals and catty co-stars who all have their own secrets - before the curtain drops on someone else.  $7.99

Bradford, Laura - Dial M for Mousse - (Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery) - A last-minute delivery turns deadly in the third delectable. The Emergency Dessert Squad business is booming, with owner and baker Winnie Johnson working overtime to  satisfy the emergency cravings of Silver Lake, Ohio. Her latest order, a plate of motivational desserts for an artists' retreat, is just what she needs to keep her mind off her own relationship woes. But Winnie's problems seem like trifles when she discovers the body of retreat owner Sally Dearfield mere inches away fro five oh-so-eccentric and viable suspects. Now, this baking detective must uncover the inspiration behind Sally's murder before another creative genius is iced.  $7.99

James, Miranda - Twelve Angry Librarians (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) - During the Southern Academic Libraries Association the keynote speaker who also happens to be an insufferable  know-t-all capable of getting under everyone's skin is found dead. It is up to Charlie and his cat, Diesel, to find the killer in a room full of librarians. Great reviews.  $7.99

Ross, Barbara - Stowed Away - (Maine Clambake Mystery) - It's June in Busman's Harbor, Maine, and Julia Snowden and her family are getting their authentic Main clambake business ready for summer. Preparations must be put on hold, however, when a mysterious yacht drops anchor and delivers an unexpected dose of murder. Julie arrives to find a sumptuous table set for two - and the yachtsman dead in his chair. Suspicion quickly falls on Wyatt Jayne, who had invited her on the yacht, and Julia's quest to dredge up the truth leads her into the murky private world of a mega-rich recluse who may not have been all that he seemed.  $7.99

Shelton, Paige - Of Books and Bagpipes - ( A Scottish Bookshop Mystery) - Bookseller and amateur sleuth Delaney Nichols finds a dead body in a castle outside Edinburgh and must investigate how this murder is connected to a rare manuscript.  $7.99

Smith, Karen Rose - Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes (Daisy's Tea Garden Mystery #1) - This is a new series. In an old Victorian in the heart of Pennsylvania's Amish country, Daisy Swanson and her aunt Iris serve soups, scones, and soothing teas to tourists and locals - but a murder in their garden has them in hot water.  Daisy, a widowed mom of two teenagers, is used to feeling protective - so when Iris started dating the wealthy and not-quite divorced Harvey Fitz, she worried...especially after his bitter ex stormed in and caused a scene at the party Daisy's Tea Garden was catering. Then there was the gossip she overheard about Harvey's grown children being cut out of his will. Daisy didn't want her aunt to wind up with a broken heart - but she never suspected she would wind up a suspect in Harvey's murder. Now the apple bread and orange pekoe is on the back burner while the cops treat the shop like a crime scene and Daisy hopes that Jonas Groft, a former detective from Philadelphia, can help her clear her aunt's name and bag the real killer before things boil over.  $7.99


I hope you enjoyed your visit.  If you haven't visited before I'd like to introduce you to our business. We've been in business over 25 years. We have set up book shops at both the ANG and EGA National and Regional seminars and for other needlework organizations.

Can't find a certain book? Give us a call whether the title you want is in or out-of-print.  We have a huge selection of out-of -print needlework books available.

We have a website too: Give us a call Monday thru Saturday at 602 - 943-0738 between 9am and 6 pm Arizona time. Yes, we are the people who never change our clocks forward or backwards. If the phone is on message I'm probably in the middle of helping Mark, my chronically ill husband, or taking books to the post office. I will return your call ASAP.  PLEASE! Don't be shy about leaving a message. If you prefer you can e-mail me at: To contact us by mail: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

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

I look forward to visiting with you again. New Blog: February 10th, 2018.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The November/December 2017 will be late - look for it right after Christmas.  I'm involved unexpectedly in carrying out the trust for a childless couple who were friends for 46 years. They died 3 days apart and it has been overwhelming but it is getting done. So sorry for the delay.  Thanks for being patient.  Ruth


He who has imagination without learning has wings but no feet           Chinese Proverb

I couldn't say it better. Learning things is so important to me. Every day I try to learn at least one new thing. At the moment, its ants. Yes, ants. After being invaded by tiny ants in my kitchen, all over my counters, etc. I decided I had to learn about them. I'm reading Journey of the Ants, a Pulitzer Prize winning book. that has won many Science Awards. The authors: Bert Holldobler and Edward O. Wilson, are great writers so the book is fun as well as informational. Now I'm understanding about queens, warriors, and workers. I managed to rid my kitchen of the little critters by learning about them instead of using poisons.

My point is, the Chinese proverb is right, we need to learn about things before we jump in and do them. Needleworkers are great at this. While I was doing bookshops at needlework seminars, I visited classrooms full of eager students learning how to do a certain type of needlework from an expert. Needleworkers, I know, first hand, are great book readers too. And books are a great way to learn needlework or whatever we want our imagination to attach too.

That's why I love this business I've had for the past 23 plus years. It is so great to be surrounded by booklovers and needleworkers since I do both.
I've never get bored. My job IS offering feet to the wings of all our imaginations.

So take a look at the books I've included and see if there is a book or more that will increase your learning in an area of your personal interest. 



Hazel refers to herself in her blogs as the "rebellious needlewoman". Not rebellious against needlework but the things that interrupt it. She had so many things going on in 2016 (including illness) she wrote that "she was in the seventh month of the year, that after having given it a six-month trial, she would like to send 2016 back - and get a refund." I think we all have those years. I remembered mine and laughed. Yes, there were times I would have liked a refund too. 

Yet, if you look at the books she has brought out and the classes she managed to travel too, she must have the energy of two people. She lives in KwaZulu-Natal (a garden providence) of South Africa. She travels teaching embroidery to wonderful exotic places as diverse as South African Australia, Canada, Zimbabwe, England, France, Ukraine, Russia and on cruises down the Mekong River spanning Cambodia and Vietnam. I'd love to have been in one of her suitcase and enjoy those places with her.

She's a dog lover so I have that in common with her too except she goes through the adventure of breeding her boxers - eight puppies!That's where we go on different paths. I've been through raising dogs from puppyhood and I'm past that stage. Adult dogs - one or two at a time is all I can handle along with Mark's delightful Tuxedo cat, Selena.  Hazel has to be a whirlwind to handle all that and her needlework business of books, kits, and classes. As she quips, she is surrounded by big, slobbery dogs (her words) so all her designs available on her website are washable. How great is that!

I would like to encourage you to visit her wonderful, informative website: Her BlogSpot is:


NEEDLE WEAVING TECHNIQUES FOR HAND EMBROIDERY - Working from loom weaving graphs and patterns, Hazel Blomkamp has modified and documented 43 different needle weaving techniques and patterns for this book. This book begins with basic guidance on needle weaving techniques based on a single weaving method which Hazel has broken down into easy steps. All these patterns are described, each with a clear diagram and step-by-step instructions, and a photographed example of one of Hazel's beautiful woven pieces. All the stitches have been detailed on one side of the page only, allowing you to place your magnetic crossstitch board underneath. you can then use the magnetic rulers, that come with the board to mark the row that you are working on, making the instructions easier to follow. The book is wire-bound, allowing the pages to lie flat while you work, and the book's notebook-size fits perfectly in a workbag for easy transportation while stitching on the go. With all the stitches needed for needle weaving embroidery at their fingertips, both new and experienced embroiderers will find inspiration from this invaluable resource . $19.95

NEEDLE LACE TECHNIQUES FOR HAND EMBROIDERY - working from the Encyclopedia of Needlework by T.H. de Dillmont, originally published in the late 19th century, Hazel has compiled all of the key needle lace embroidery techniques into one handy and  portable stitch book. This book begins with a basic guide to needle lace techniques, based on several stitches de Dillmont used which Hazel has broken down into easy steps. Over 40 needle lace stitches are then described, each with a clear diagram and step-by-step instructions. All have been detailed on one side of the page only, allowing the reader to place a magnetic cross-stitch board underneath. They can then use the magnetic rulers that come with the board to mark the row that they are working on, making the instructions easier to follow. The book is wire-bound, allowing the pages to lie flat while you work, and the book's notebook-sixe fits perfectly in a workbag for easy transportation while stitching on the go. Both new and experienced embroiders will find inspiration from this invaluable resource. $19.95  (discount code: (opal17)


HAND STITCHED CRAZY PATCHWORK -  Learn how to make ordinary patchwork extraordinary through a fabulous mix of embroidery techniques and bead embellishments. All the great five pieces in this book have been made with only a needle, thread, fabric, ribbons and beads. Also learn to use embroidery to create your own patchwork pieces from scratch. Hazel explains more than 160 techniques for bead embroidery, silk ribbon embroidery, needle weaving and tatting as well as free-hand quilting and working from paper templates. $29.95

CREWEL TWISTS: Fresh ideas for Jacobean Embroidery - This free form of surface embroidery has been around for centuries and is still popular. In this book, Hazel uses a wide selection of materials of materials to update techniques and inspire embroiderers to explore whilst working loosely within the confines of crewel work styles. Learn how to be creative with fabric, threads, beads and alternative stitches, borrowing techniques from other forms of needlework, and still producing a product that is typical of the crewel or Jacobean style of embroidery. $29.95

CREWEL INTENTIONS - This book continues Hazel's concept in her first book (the one above), of using non-traditional techniques and materials in crewel or Jacobean embroidery. It showcases four large projects, each with an accompanying small project similar in technique, and shows needleworkers how to be creative with threads, alternative stitches and beads. Traditional techniques are explained but are extended with the use of bead embroidery, needle lace techniques, and stitches not normally used in crewel work. The book also explores weaving techniques used to create textures like twill and lace weaves, as well as patterns similar to tartan and houndstooth check. Every project is clearly explained with step-by-step instructions and lots of photos, and the completed embroideries are once again displayed in ways that are both decorative and functional in the home. Templates of the original designs complete this magnificent source for creative embroidery.  $29.95

I couldn't say any better!



The Fitzwilliam Museum in England has released a fabulous new book, SAMPLED LIVES that showcases over 100 samplers (in gorgeous color) from the Fitzwilliam Museum's remarkable collection and shows the importance of samplers as documentary evidence of past lives. These beautifully embroidered and stitched samplers illuminate the lives of girls and women, from mid-17th century English Quakers to early 20th century school pupils, encompassing their education, employment, religion, family, societal status and needlework skills. It also highlights the individuality of each sampler, which in some cases is the only surviving document to record the existence of an ordinary young woman.  $54.95


The Great NEEDLEPOINT BOOK is now available in paperback just in time for the holiday season! This is the paperback version of latest edition of this book considered the 'bible" for stitching that includes 436 stitches and 1,680 illustrations. Also included is a crash course on how to use new fibers; updated information on materials, as well as how to work with and care for them, dozens of new stitches; and diagrams and stitch guides for select projects included in this book. There are thirty-two pages of color photographs and a new ribbon stitch chapter.  $35.00

Another Great Book from Carolyn Hedge Baird

Her last book, Teeny Tiny Stitches, is a classic that sells constantly. Now I heard about a new Carolyn Hedge Baird from several customers and I checked it out. Sure enough, Carolyn has just released, Needlepoint Stitches: A Field Guide for Birds. This book includes all the stitches (graphed) you would need for all the birds your heart desires and what size bird you need them for.  And don't forget beaks, eyes, legs, and feet. She covers all of these too.
This is a large, heavy book but shipping will still be $3.50.  The book is $56.95.  Don't forget your 20% discount!

Welcome to More New Books!

Boggen, Sharon - The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilt Design - See It. Stitch it. Contemporary crazy-quilting stitches, photographed step-by-step. Embrace crazy quilting with 35 must-know stitches and endless variations, shown in clear, step-by-step photos for both right and left-handed stitchers. Sharon reveals design fundamentals to guide you in your process. Learn the theory and process behind this fascinating art- how to choose fabrics, piece stitch and flip blocks, and embellish seams with embroidery, beads, buttons, and charms.  $29.95

Botbell, Valerie - Joyful Daily Stitching Seam By Seam -
This book will inspire you to stitch daily, even for a few minutes! Choose from over 500 crazy-quilt seam treatments, each with a detailed photo and guide for the basic stitches included. Learn 61 basic embroidery stitches, including silk ribbon and beaded stitches, through step-by-step photos, plus get crazy-quit block piecing instructions and helpful information on tools and supplies. Then put it all together in a gorgeous, intricate sampler. $26.95

Elam, Kelsey - 100 Simple Paper Flowers - The author is the paper artist behind the company Moonflora, which makes and ships exquisite paper flowers all over the United States. From window displays to weddings, paper flowers are blooming everywhere. This great collection contains a bouquet of beautifully simple step-by-step projects, complete with templates. Whether you are looking to make a single perfect rose, a vaseful of daisies for your desk, or something even more elaborate, all it takes is a handful of techniques to create a colorful paper garden.  $17.95

Higuchi, Yumiko - Simply Stitched with Applique - This embroidery artist offers modern makers a fresh new spin on her beloved designs by combining embroidery stitches with hand applique. Learn how to use felt, cotton, and linen to create beautifully layered designs full of texture and contrast, then embellish with just a handful of basic embroidery stitches. With over 30 motifs inspired by nature, you'll find designs for hydrangeas, sunflowers, lilacs, tulips, poppies, birds, bees, strawberries, and more. With any of these motifs create any of the sophisticated bags, pincushions, coasters, tea towels, and wall art projects included in this book, or be inspired to design your own. Step-by-step color photos illustrate the author's favorite tips and techniques for transferring designs, appliqueing motifs, and embellishing with embroidery stitches. Full-size templates and easy-to-follow instructions are included for each design.  $19.99

Johanson, Mollie - Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big and Small - Love stitching? Love animals? Then this sweet collection of creatures big and small is perfect for you! Featuring beginner-friendly embroidery patterns from a rising star in the craft community, it features a variety of irresistibly cute critters - pets, farm animals, dinosaurs, even mythical favorites like Pegasus and cute kitties and cows and cubs and more. There are 25 projects in all, from a hedgehog stroller quilt to a dachshund keyboard wrist rest, plus dozen of motifs. $16.95

Kettle, Liz - First Time Beading on Fabric - The author teaches nine beading techniques in nine easy lessons. Seed stitch, moss stitch, couching, moss stitch, backstitch bugle beads, stacks, fringe, picot edge and peyote stitch. Two beaded sampler projects are included, one beaded garden quilt. A dozen inspiring beading ideas.  $24.95

Mayo, Lulu - A Million Cats -
Chubby cats. Smiling cats. Cats on buses, pedaling bicycles, playing instruments, and napping happily on branches: lots of cats to color and love! Fans of fabulous felines will find kitties aplenty on these fun and whimsical pages. Each picture is rich in beautiful detail to spark the imagination.  $9.95

Nico, Brooke - More Lovely Knitted Lace - This nationally known lace teacher and designer, presents 16 new projects that offer a fresh and original take on lace knitting. Think sweaters, capelets, tunics and cowls, knit in yarns both thick and thin - contemporary designs that give knitters a wealth of new possibilities. Organized by overall shape-circle, square, triangle, and rectangle- these lovely garments will change the way you look at lace knitting. Step-by-step illustrations clearly explain any advanced techniques, while every pattern regardless of difficulty contains both written and charted instructions. $19.95

Roberts, Kat - Crafting For Cat Ladies: 35 Purr-fect Feline Projects - These 35 unique projects are absolutely purr-fect! These crafts are divided into four sections - accessories, apparel, home, and party. Projects range from a kitty clutch wallet and cat print jeans to kitty-shaped coasters and cat-themed tablecloth. Each project includes easy-to-follow step-by-step photography as well as an overview of the tools and materials used in the book and all necessary templates. $16.95

Shapiro, Emilie - How To Create Your Own Jewelry Line - To develop a successful jewelry line, designers have to be more than just creative artists - they have to understand the ins and outs of running a crafts business. Emile detailed guide explores the many facets of creating a quality handmade collection that people will buy, including where to sell your work, how to do small-scale production, how to carry out market research and publicity, how to price and present your pieces for greatest effect. This is the perfect primer for budding jewelry entrepreneurs.  $24.95

Spargo, Sue - Bird Dance Book - Sue writes, "After teaching in Orvieto in Umbria, I met my parents in Rome and we flew to Sicily. We enjoyed ten days touring that wonderful island and stayed at Agrituristmos, farms that also accommodate visitors. The last Agrituristmos we stayed at was an old olive farm called Fattoria Mose near the town of Agrigento. Every morning we climbed the top floor of the building for breakfast. The buffet was set spread out on large tables and I quickly noticed that the floor, which was quite extensive, was tiled. Interspersed among plain tiles were tiles depicting many species of birds. The birds had been hand-painted and had a distinctly folk-art appearance. Those birds became the inspiration for "Bird Dance". As you sew your quilt, I hope, like me, you experience a joyous sense of gratitude for all the delightful birds that enrich our lives. Creative Stitching book sold separately, is needed for embroidery stitch instruction."  $28.00

Spargo, Sue - Creative Stitching - This goes with the Bird Dance Book. It includes step-by-step concise written instructions along with clear illustrations, for all 50 of Sue's favorite stitches. Included are close up, color, photographic examples of each of the stitches used, along with a detailed look into the needles and threads Sue uses. Spiral bound and small enough to take with you anywhere. Includes an alphabetical index in the back of the book along with a category breakdown of stitches in the front which allows you to choose a stitch by the effect you are looking for.  $32.00

Van Niekerk, Diane and Toody Cassidy - The Textile Artist: The Art of Felting and Silk Ribbon Embroidery - Learn how to make flat nuno felting and felt surfaces, using wool, wool and silk and paper silk, and adorn these with exquisite silk ribbon designs. Beginning with detailed instructions on the felted backgrounds, followed by a step-by-step section on how to make the flowers and creatures in silk, this book then introduces readers to 16 stunning projects, from pieces to hang in your home through to accessories you can wear and keep, to practice and apply your newfound embroidery skills. Over 20 flowers included The stitch gallery includes spider web roses, ribbon stitch, pistil stitch, ribbon stitch with curled up tip, detached chain stitch, fly stitch rose, fly and ribbon stitch rose, French knots, grab stitch, loop stitch, grab stitch, stem stitch rose, twisted straight stitch, blanket/buttonhole stitch, crochet filling stitch, detached buttonhole and many more.  $29.95

PAINT YOUR CANVAS RED! (Or At Least Part of It)
"It is strange how deeply colors seem to penetrate one, like a scent." From George Eliot's Middlemarch.

In this blog and the next two issues of this blog I'm going to walk through the primary colors: red, blue, yellow in this issue beginning with red. What got me started on this quest was a friend of mine, Charlene, who painted a wall in her lovely home red. I loved it! And it made me see how important is selecting the right colors is for homes, paintings, and of course needlework.  Red can be very welcoming as it is in Charlene's home. 

Red is a BOLD color you can't miss. I learned that's why traffic lights use red for stop. and for fire extinguishers. In this country red can stand for anger. In China your wedding dress is red not white - for red stands for happiness. Red was the very first color to be named by all primitive languages. The cave paintings in Lascaux, France, were made from iron ore. But remember, you can be caught red-handed. or be red in the face: embarrassed. Red in the garden is a warm color in landscape design and is the complimentary color for green.  According to psychologists driving a red car means you are sexy, high-energy and a dynamo! And we lay out the red carpet for an important person. A lot of our red coloring in our medicines, cosmetics, and candy comes from the dried, ground bodies of the scale insect Dacrylopius coccus, whose habitat is on cactus plants in places like Mexico and Peru but is also found in oak trees. Ugh, but true!

Red is very popular. But perhaps it can become overkill if it is overused. Like my writing this in red ink. So I'll return to black.

That's better!  I'd like to recommend the following book on the color red.  Next month will be about Blue. 

Patoureau, Michel - Red: The History of A Color - I love this author's books on color that came out earlier this year. He is a historian and director of studies at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes de la Sorbonne in Paris and is a specialist in color. This book offers a social and cultural European history of red from antiquity to the twenty-first century. It contains treasures of forgotten lore and many enjoyable anecdotes. He demonstrates the multiple meanings of color and reveals delightful details about pigments and dyes and navigates centuries of powerful and complex symbolism.  The wonderful reviews fill a page. $39.95  


My historical novel is selling and I'm getting very good reviews. Thanks to all of you who bought a copy. 

For those who are reading this for the first time, the book takes place in the 4th A.D. in Roman occupied Egypt. It is the story of a young female scribe, Ankhasenna, asked by her blind grandfather, Epimachos, to transcribe ancient texts into Coptic, the language of the Egyptian people before they are destroyed by the Roman authorities. Her journey to save these codices (books) leads her on a dangerous adventure spanning Egypt from Alexandria in the northern delta, up the Nile to Nag Hammadi in the south. These books buried in the foothills of the mountains of Nag Hammadi, were discovered in the 19th century. This is my story how they got there.  The times, the historical characters, the books themselves are historically accurate. That's what makes historical fiction interesting reading. I thoroughly researched this book, traveling through Egypt four times (even on camelback) to all the sites for a total of 18 months there.

My editor has encouraged me to write two more books to make this a series, called The Children of the Light, so I'm working hard on that now. 

For more information on the book, I have a new website called: From My Pen  This will not only cover my travels and research on this book and the new books, but other historical novelists even some stories and articles.  Hope you take a look.

The book is $15.95 with a 20% discount when you find the code in this blog. In fact, all the books in this blog get a 20% discount with that code.



Abbott, Krish - Assault and Buttery (Popcorn Shop Mystery) - Repairs are under way at Rebecca Anderson's gourmet popcorn shop. With production of her tasty treats on hold, Rebecca has plenty of time to read the old diary she discovered hidden in the shop's walls. It's a fun peek into her town's history until the diary's abrupt ending leaves Rebecca whether she's actually stumbled on a cold case. Unfortunately for Rebecca, mysteries are popping up right and left. When local busybody, Lloyd McLaughlin is found dead, the police suspect he was poisoned by Rebecca's popcorn.  But Rebecca has only made one batch of popcorn recently, and it wasn't intended for Lloyd.  $7.99

Carlisle, Kate - Eaves of Destruction (Fixer-Upper #5) - As Lighthouse Cove prepares for its annual Victorian Home and Garden Tour, murder is on the to-do list when construction contractor Shannon Hammer looks for a killer.  $7.99

Connolly, Sheila - A Late Frost (Orchard Mystery) - The usually quiet town of Granford, Massachusetts, is even drowsier during the colder months. But this year it's in for a jolt when Monica Whitman moves into town. She's a dynamo who wants to make friends fast in her new home, and she throws herself into community activities. Meg Corey, now Chapin after her marriage to Seth Chapin, is intrigued by the new arrival, who has already sold the town board on a new, fun way to bring in visitors during the off-season: Winterfare, which will feature local foods (such as Meg's apples) and crafts, as well as entertainment. Tragically, Monica falls ill and dies after the event in what looks like food poisoning. When all the food is tested it becomes clear that there's a more sinister explanation to the older woman's sudden demise. Meg's investigation uncovers a bushel of potential suspects, one of whom is rotten to the core. $7.99

Davis, Krista - Not A Creature Was Purring (Paws and Claws Mystery) - Sugar Maple Inn owner, Holly Miller, lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with a brood of cats and dogs, including a snoopy Jack Russell terrier and a nosy calico cat. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices that they keep coming back for more. Inspired by her German heritage, Holly's grandmother has arranged for Wagtail to have a Christkindl Market packed with goodies and decorations for the howliday tourists. But Holly's mood takes an unseasonable turn when she learns that her old flame and childhood friend Holmes Richardson has brought his fiancée home - and she will be staying at her inn. Then a dead body of a beloved businessman turns up in the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia. $7.99

Farrow, Sharon - Dying for Strawberries (Berry Basket Mystery #1) - 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 fiancĂ©, let alone 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. Next the seediest man in town threatens to crush her business. Then an unknown person nearly kills her  on the night of the Bash. When she discovers a dead body while searching for Natasha, Marlee realizes she'll have to foil a killer's plot herself - before the past permanently stains her future.  $7.99

Farrow, Sharon - Blackberry Burial (Berry Basket Mystery #2) -Between a booming art scene and elaborate Independence Day festivities in July in the lakeshore town of Oriole Point, Michigan, is always a blast. But when Marlee Jacob, owner of The Berry Basket, stumbles upon a dead body, she must rush to catch an elusive murderer. Includes berry recipes. $7.99

Meir, Leslie, Hollis, Lee, Ross, Barbara - Eggnog Murder - Cozy up with some eggnog and enjoy the spirit of murder with a treat perfect for winter holidays. This collection of mysteries by great cozy mystery writers.  $7.99

Simon, Misty - Cremains of the Day (Tallie Graver Mystery #1) - Tallulah Graver married wealthy to get out of the family funeral home business. To make ends meet after her marriage fails, Tallie turns to cleaning the mansions of the snobby socialites she used to call friends. At least she doesn't have to be around dead bodies until she discovers one of her employers lying in a closet with a knife sticking out of her chest.  $7.99

Wait, Lea - Thread the Halls - This Yuletide season there's no time for Angie Curtis and Patrick West to linger under the mistletoe. Patrick's being needled by his mother - movie star Skye West - to set the stage for a perfect white Christmas as she brings her costar, screenwriters, and director home for the holidays. With his mother's long list of wishes, Patrick's becoming unraveled. To help, the Mainely Needlepointers offer to decorate Skye's Victorian mansion and create needlepoint pillows as gifts for the guests. But not long after the celebrity celebrants invade Haven Harbor, an unscripted tragedy occurs. Then some questionable Christmas cookies make Patrick sick. Before Santa arrives on the town pier on a lobster boat, Angie and the Needlepointers need to trim down the naughty list, catch a cold-hearted killer, and wrap up the case.  $7.99

Weiss, Kirsten - The Quiche and the Dead (Pie Town Mystery #1) - Valentine Harris' dream of opening a pie shop has become a reality after moving to the coastal California town of San Nicholas. But when one of her regulars keels over at the counter while eating a quiche, Val feels like she's living a nightmare. $7.99

McKinley, Jenn - Better Late than Never (Library Lover's Mystery)  - During Briar Creek Public Library's overdue book amnesty day, a copy of The Catcher in the Rye, 20 years past due, catches Lindsey's attention. She learns the borrower was a murdered school teacher whose killer was never found. Now Lindsey wonders if it could provide a clue to the decades-old case.  $7.99


If this  is your first time with us I'd like to introduce you to our company: we've been in business for 24 years and have set up needlework bookshops at both the ANG and EGA seminars and for other needlework groups as well as having sites 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, don't despair, I'm probably helping Mark, my husband with M.S. or running books to the post office. I will return your phone call ASAP. Or you can e-mail me at 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 hidden in this blog that gives you a 20% discount on any new book you order. Enjoy the fall!