There is an interesting category in needlework books - the celebrity author. And by celebrity I mean someone well-known in an area outside of needlework. The only other type of book where I think this happens is cooking.
Off the top of my head, I know and love Mary Martin's needlepoint book. Loretta Swit also did a needlepoint book. Rosey Grier's book was titled Needlepoint for Men. Funny how I can't think of any counted technique books or surface embroidery books written by celebrities.
My latest acquisition in this category is the wonderful Sylvia Sydney Needlepoint Book. Some of you may not recognize the name. She was a stage, film and television actress. You may have seen her guest starring on WKRP or thirtysomething in the 1980s. Or in Mars Attacks! or Beetlejuice. Can you see this photo here? Is she glamorous or what?
Like the Mary Martin book, you get needlework mixed together with show biz anecdotes, a terrific cocktail in my opinion. More color photos than most needlework books published in the 1960s. She drew many of her own designs and wasn't afraid of being irreverent. I can recommend this book as a fun way to spend a few hours.
One of the newer books that I've found recently is Terrific Tassels and Fabulous Fringe. Lots of inspiring photos and the directions are clearly written. I don't have much call for tassels and fringe in my life, but when I do, I'll be prepared.
I stumbled across a signed copy of Jane Greenoff's Treasures in Cross-Stitch which was published in 1996. Just a generic "best wishes" with Jane signed with a huge letter J. Did you know that there are twenty books listed on the Amazon Jane Greenoff page? That's a lot of stitching. I think this book is a fabulous find as the subtitle is 50 projects inspired by antique needlework. And that's exactly what it is. Obviously there are samplers in here, but there are also cross stitch versions of quilts and surface embroidery and tapestries. And the projects make up things like bags, clocks, picture frames, as well as framed pieces.
Well. This is making my stack of books slowly disappear. I might not tell you about all of them as I think I've purchased over two dozen books in the past two months. Funny how if the price is $1.40 I will buy it whether or not I consider it useful. But if the price is $14.00 I will carefully consider whether or not to add it to my collection.