Sunday, March 15, 2009


Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items In Fibers

Making hats or caps - usually by Crocheting and sometimes by Knitting - is something I have done on and off since I was a teenager.

So, when I found out about Knots of Love, , it was natural that I would make some caps for them.

Knots of Love donates hats to Cancer patients who are on chemotherapy or some kind of infusion treatment -- or other patients with some life-threatening disease -- who would like caps.

How the founder of Knots of Love, Christine Shively, started it all is here:

Here are some Testimonials from the patients, or nurses of patients, who have received caps from Knots of Love:

So, I have jumped on the band wagon and last Thursday I mailed off a bag of 3 crocheted caps to Knots of Love! Here they are:

It was joy to put in the time making them - seamless and made in soft yarns, I hope some patients enjoy them!!

I plan to make more. I've acutally already started my next one!

Thank You to Christine Shively for putting this together and organizing it and making it happen!



Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items In Fibers

There has been quite a bit of discussion about Climate Change or Global Warming for some years now.

I have always been concerned about the Forests on the Planet - and the Forest Canopy - and the Forest Biodiversity -- and have been very worried for years about the land being hotter and drier because the Forests and their canopies, which keep the land cooler, have been reduced so much by logging.

Here are two articles from Ecological Internet covering the issue of untouched Old Growth Forests storing more carbon dioxide than logged forests.

1. August 4, 2008

2. March 11, 2009

The information in both Internet articles are based on scientific research.

I recommend reading them.

Of course, I remember reading the essay by Aldo Leopold, "The Last Stand" which discusses also that "slashed" (another word for clearcut) forests do not grow trees as healthy as un-slashed forests -- and he is basing this on data from a forested area in Europe, where part of it was slashed several hundred years ago and part of it wasn't -- and comparing the tree growth in both areas.

Aldo Leopold points out that it is the biotic province of the soil, which is a source of nutrients for growing trees, that is negatively impacted by the logging/slashing/clearcutting.

(You can contact the Aldo Leopold Fundation,, for a copy of this essay.)

The whole situation worries me no end.

You can restore wild forests, but scientists repeatedly say that they never grow the same as the original Old Growth did -- at least not in our lifetimes as we know it -- even with restoration.

And now the research data about how important untouched Old Growth forests are in terms of carbon sequestration.

It all comes down to overall planet health.

We all need to be aware of what is occurring on our planet and do what we can to contribute to changing how things are handled.

As I have covered in previous posts on Forests here on my blog, , we need to totally stop the logging of any Old Growth.

Keeping these untouched Old Growth forests around the world in their natural state and unfragmented may be one of the best things we can do overall, planet-wise.

I know there are those concerned with Fire Hazard, especially because of the situation with the increasing Human population which tends to spread to forested areas. But cleaning up the underbrush and understory by hand, and not with mechanical equipment, like native peoples and aborigines have for centuries, is the solution to Fire Hazard in these untouched Old Growth forests -- much Old Growth trees are naturally fire-resistant and can withstand low intensity, natural fires - or the low-intensity prescribed fires done to mimic the natural fires.

No more logging of Old Growth.



Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items In Fibers

Being concerned about anything toxic affecting me medically, I have been being quite careful in a variety of things in my life.

One of the biggest areas to be concerned about is PLASTICS - because there still seems to be a lot that is either unknown or not fully researched or in research in the subject of PLASTICS - and what toxins they put in your foods, drinks or environment.

Being Smart About PLASTICS means keeping oneself informed.

This guide from in PDF form is quite useful as far as the different types of plastics that you can find, especially as regards food packaging:

But you need to keep up somehow on what research is going on - I tend to check with certain organizations and individuals who I have quite a bit of trust in, because, unfortunately, there is false data in the world. Not being a chemist or other kind of scientist, I am not capable of evaluating the accuracy of research or testing - or evaluations by individuals. I try to get to the basic article written by the person doing the research or testing - or an article at least quoting them.

Most recently there is an article on the Internet about the possibility found in testing mineral water in PET plastic bottles (plastic #1) of an estrogen-mimicing chemical. This plastic has been previously considered to be safe and is also recyclable.

Here is the article:

It quotes someone from the University where testing has shown "...consistent contamination of bottled water with a hormonally active substance leaching from PET, one of the world's most popular packaging materials." Another scientist who has done research on BPA's is quoted in the same article stating "...he worries about exposures to synthetic estrogens because they add to the natural female hormones already in people."

So, basically now I am worried.

It is kind of humorous - I have already been avoiding these PET bottles of water by using my own resusable water bottles (now stainless steel or glass ones) for environmental reasons -- it is better for the environment to not have to make and constantly recycle these bottles when you can reuse your own bottles. See my earlier post on "Breaking the Bottled Water Habit". Now, it appears that it may also be good to avoid them for health reasons, so I am going to continue avoiding them and more than before. I don't want to take the risks.

Reading and using the "By Number Guide to Plastics" may really be a good thing to do -- I recommend it both for health and environmental reasons.

There is so much PLASTIC out there in the food packaging business.

Based on what I have read including this article I read in 2005, , there are all kinds of reasons to avoid all kinds of plastics.

But I strongly urge everyone to especially watch out for the following:

1. Styrofoam cups for hot drinks like coffee and tea -- some restaurants still use them - they are made of styrene, which leaches into the hot drinks. It is plastic #6 and if you look on the bottom of the cup, it will have a triangle with a "6" in it. I am studiously avoiding such now.

2. Plastic bottles of what are considered healthy drinks, such as soy milk, I have seen in BPA plastic bottles. This plastic will have a triangle with a "7" on it. I found a bottle of Vitasoy soy milk in such a bottle. Not buying those any more.

Several Senators, including one of my own - California Senator Dianne Feinstein - are proposing a law banning BPA in all food and beverage containers. I read about it here: .

It is also in the Recent Headlines as of Sunday, March 15, 2009 on Senator Dianne Feinstein's own website:

-- and here is the Press Release from her website:

I hope all food manufacturers stop using Plastics 3, 6 and 7 right away.

Maybe they will eventually have to stop using Plastic 1, too.

I guess we will see.

In the meantime -- you can take steps yourself and use your own reusable bottles for drinks - waters and teas. Some places will let you use your own bottles to get water or cold teas -- or use your own hot cups to get hot coffee and hot tea. I know some that do in my life: the Cafe at the Palmdale Transportation Center and the Plaza Deli and Grill in the UCLA Westwood Medical Plaza -- when I have asked at both, they were very nice about it and said yes.

So, for your own health -- and the health of our planet and our environment, be smart about PLASTICS -- AND GET YOUR OWN REUSABLE BOTTLES, SUCH AS AT HERE:

I got my stainless steel water bottle at Walgreens, but I don't know if they always have them!!

And don't forget recycling all the PLASTIC that you can!!


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Put Together a Photographic Exhibit of some ETSY items

Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items In Fibers


The above is a picture of what they call a "Treasury" on ETSY.

It is actually a linking Internet Photographic Exhibit of 12 items on ETSY.

I decided it would be good to put together this exhibit of 2 types of Home Decor:

-- Fiber Art (in this case Thread Crochet Art) for Tables (ETSY Team: Etsy Thread Artists)

-- Wood pieces - some furniture and some items for tables (ETSY Team: Design Style Guide)

I have been keeping track of some members of both of the ETSY Teams I mentioned with this in mind for some time.

After all, Fiber Art Table Decor goes well with Wooden Home Decor.

Every time I find some of these pieces on ETSY, I am amazed at what beautiful Handmade pieces there are on ETSY!!

Please take a look at the actual Tresury and click on some of the photos and see what beautiful Handmade items these Artisans have to offer on ETSY!!