Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Home Sweet Home Winner & the Popularity of Books


Amazon Books

Happy Weekend!

Today, someone out there is going to be a very happy winner of a copy of the recently re-printed Home Sweet Home, a very popular needlework book featuring an embroidered workbox and all its accessories, offered by the kind folks at Wooly Thread.

In fact, speaking of book popularity, we’ll talk a little bit about that below, too – what makes the book so popular, and its previous and subsequent appearance, disappearance, reappearance, disappearance, reappearance…and disappearance!

Home Sweet Home Embroidered Workbox

If you’re curious about Home Sweet Home, you can find my in-depth review of the book here.

I think the appeal for this book is pretty obvious: the project in it is not only playfully beautiful, but it’s functional. It promises hours of engaging entertainment while creating the workbox and the accessories, and a lifetime of enjoying the use of a beautiful tool box.

But there’s more to it than that!

The books is a dream come true when it comes to learning finishing techniques. Often, we wonder just what to do with the needlework we make. Well, with a book like Home Sweet Home, you learn all kinds of ways you can finish small embroidery projects into useful, beautiful items. Once you know the techniques, you can apply them to your own original needlework.

So even if you’re not planning on embroidering the whole cottage, the book is jam-packed with practical instruction on finishing pieces of needlework into interesting things.

Home Sweet Home Winner!

Today’s winner, drawn randomly, is Chrissie Stewart, who answered my question, what’s your favorite needlework accessory or tool? thus:

Heavens to Mergatroid, it’s gotta be magnets. I used to lose needles, ’cause I can’t see the durn things in the carpet, chair, or on me, and pre-threading is MUCH more organized. For sheer ease of use and less egregious pokery, it’s gotta be the magnets.

I remember reading your review of Home Sweet Home, Mary, when you posted it back then. So beautiful! Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

Congratulations, Chrissie! Drop me a line with your mailing information so the book can wing its way to you!

Home Sweet Home Embroidered Workbox

It’s Disappearing Again

So, when Home Sweet Home first came out, it didn’t take long for its print run to run out. It sold fairly rapidly, and then it was hard to find.

When you could actually find it, the prices through third party used book sellers were seriously gouged. In fact, right now, there’s a ridiculously priced copy on Amazon for $480.

Do those copies ever sell at those prices? I don’t know. But I seriously doubt it. While I could imagine paying hundreds of dollars for a rare book that has some investment value – an antique that can no longer be found or had, the value of which increases over time, and the content of which is unique and can’t be had elsewhere – I can’t imagine paying gouged prices for a contemporary needlework project book.

As much as I love this book, I wouldn’t pay $500 for it! (No offense at all to the publishers or the author!) Eventually, excitement for the book will settle down, and you’ll see reasonably priced offerings out there again.

In any case, here we are, on the third printing of the book, I believe. The first two printings sold out rapidly, and lots of folks were waiting for this new edition.

As it happens, Home Sweet Home is getting scarce again. It’s sold out of some shops, it’s not available through common online book sellers, or through publishers like Search Press, where it’s listed as temporarily out of stock, too.

Where to Find It Now

If you’re keen to get the book right now, this is where you can find it, to my knowledge, today:

In the US, it’s still available through Stitching Shop in Denver, Colorado. They’re also the folks who offer the complete kit for making the workbox. You’ll find links to both the book and the kit on their home page.

Stitchology in Australia has it. They’re the original publishers. You’ll want to check exchange rates and international shipping, if you don’t live in Australia.

If you’re willing to wait, your best bet is to keep an eye on your favorite shops and your favorite book sellers to see if they re-stock it, and then snatch it up then.

But hey – if you can afford to buy the book for $500 – I’ll sell you my copy!

Just kidding!

Have a wondrous weekend!


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(17) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    Congratulations to Chrissie I hope you enjoy this great book and thanks Mary for the opportunity of winning the Home Sweet Home give-away.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. Hi Mary,
    This is a gorgeous book that I bought in its French version (could not find the English one) a few years ago after reading your blog. I haven’t started the project yet because I am too busy with other projects, but have gathered what I need to do it.
    For those who do read French, here is the link to buy it from the French publisher, Éditions de Saxe: http://www.edisaxe.com/home-sweet-home-une-boite-a-couture-brodee for 24,50 Euros.

  3. Dear Mary,
    If you think the book is overpriced, I think the kit also is overpriced. My biggest gripe is not being able to find the buttons, bees, etc. that are listed in the book. I received this book as a present along with cash to buy the supplies to make this wonderful project. I can find a few of the findings, but not all of them, even substituting for some of the items. Why didn’t the author think of that when writing the book? I am deeply disappointed the findings are not easily available.
    Sincerely, Judy

  4. Congratulations, Chrissie! Mary, you sold me on this when you wrote that the book provides great instructions on various finishing techniques. That’s one area where I really, really need to improve. Some books are worth having for their beauty alone, and this may well be in that category, but these days I also look for what I can learn. (And yes, I have bought Lavender Honey – I just need to sit down and try making some of your little projects so I can learn finishing techniques from them too! They are less intimidating than the workbox.) For anyone else in Oz, local shipping isn’t too exhorbitant.

  5. I read something somewhere about how these ridiculous prices get assigned to books. My hazy memory of it is that used book prices are controlled by algorithms. When one company posts a book for a certain price, an algorithm for the competitor records that price it the company’s database and adds a bit to it. I can’t remember the logic to that, but there is one. The algorithms then continue to bid against each other, raising the prices to absurd levels without any human intervention. Such is life in cyber space.

  6. Lucky Chrissie! =) (And just where/what *is* Mergatroid anyway???!!!)

    I’m still on a book No Buy, but this title does tempt me to break it – the very first publication that seriously has!

  7. I admit to being so very surprised and outright squealing when I read my name as the winner! Wow! I’m looking so forward to enjoying each page of this book with a cuppa something on a cold, grey day. Thank you, Mary!

    I, too, have been a bit dismayed at the total cost of acquiring all the supplies to kit up this great project. I’ve decided to go along with the spirit of the project, since the letter of it is denied me. Where embellishments aren’t available, I’ll substitute something in the theme of it, and where the original threads prove hard to find or too dear for my wallet, I plan to substitute something as close as I can. Although my general rule is to completely kit up a project before I begin it, I’ll do it in bits, so that progress is made. For me, the bottom line is to craft the thing, keeping as close to the original in stitch and spirit as I can, and to FINISH it, so that I may one day squeal again at such a beautiful accomplishment. Thank you again, Mary!

  8. I bought this book while taking a class with the author at Beating Around The Bush in Australia. Really quite beautiful! ….And “someday’ I’ll tackle the project…

  9. Hi Mary,

    I am so glad that I bought this book when it was 1st released. This is going to be my plan for next year – to create that gorgeous little cottage, it may take me more than the year but………..
    Cheers Judy
    SE Queensland, Australia

  10. Hi Mary!

    Thank you for letting us know about the reissue of this a few weeks ago. I had looked for this book for a long time, and hadn’t realized it was out again. I was happy to act quickly on ordering and got it from Wooly Thread on Friday.

    It really is as good as everyone (including you) says it is! These are some great instructions! I hope the company might consider reprinting a fourth issue, as this is such a great resource for anyone looking for good finishing instructions for constructing a sewing box and accessories!

    Thank you for being such a great teacher and resource ! 🙂 And congratulations to Chrissie! (You’re going to love it!)

  11. Hi Mary,
    This is a really lovely book. What fabric would you recommend? The book says cotton linen blend. I have not started because I am still looking for the fabric.

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