If you ever happen to find yourself in the Peachtree community, just outside of Murphy, North Carolina, and you see a sign that has a humorous looking sheep (his name is Maurice in case you were curious) balancing precariously on an unraveling ball of yarn you should definitely pop in.  Even if you are not a fiber and color addict you will be offered a cup of tea and, hey, they might even be having an old-time music jam session.  You never know what they’re up to at Yarn Circle.

I should let know here and now that I am somewhat biased about how wonderful Yarn Circle is.  Truth be told, it’s a shop run by my parents and some friends of theirs.  I think it’s just great!

They have what they call “The wall of color” from which you can select from an incredible array of yarns.

It doesn’t stop with yarns, needles, looms, spinning wheels and felting supplies.  They also have awesome hand puppets and even a few of my handmade books.

My dear mother, Martha Owen, has been a professional knitter, spinner, natural dyer and sheep raiser for the past 30 years.  She purchased her first sheep the year I was born.  Her name was MawMaw (tee hee) and she lived until I was 17, a pretty long time for a sheep eh?

Here is some of Mom’s work:  (She teaches regularly at the John C. Campbell Folkschool if you want to learn how to do this yourself.)

And finally, a picture of herself wearing a hand-knit, Fair Isle sweater from her travels:

What’s hoppin’ at A. Fain Books’ Etsy Shop?

Here’s a quick look at some of what I’ve been working on here in the studio lately.  Most all of it is available from my etsy shop: www.afainbooks.etsy.com

James' Giant Peach IMG_5460 IMG_5463

Out to Sea Sketchbook and Bag IMG_5648 IMG_5645-1

Mini Butterfly Journal IMG_5708 IMG_5707

My Inspiration Book List #1

Good books are incredibly inspiring to me and are a great resource for when you’re feeling stuck. I’m always on the lookout for not too cheesy books about bookbinding, craft business, journaling and living the creative life.  I created a handout to give my students at the close of a class and I’d like to share it with you in segments.

Segment #1: BOOK ARTS

Happy Reading (or just looking at pictures)!

Penland Book of Handmade Books by Lark Books
Penland Book of Handmade Books

500 Handmade Books by Lark Books

500 Handmade Books

A Degree of Mastery: A Journey through Book Arts Apprenticeship by Annie Wilcox

Degree of Mastery

Making Memory Books and Journals By Hand by Kristina Feliciano, Jo Lethaby, and Jason Thompson

Makind Memory Books By Hand

Bookworks by Sue Doggett


Books, Boxes and Wraps by Webberly and Forsyth

Books Boxes and Wraps

Cover to Cover by LaPlantz

Cover to Cover

Any books by Keith Smith

Books By Keith SmithBooks By Keith SmithBooks By Keith Smith