Saturday, May 30, 2009


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

The 2nd Artistic Challenge of my Etsy Team, Etsy Thread Artists, still has the Voting open through Sunday, May 31st.

The Theme of this Artistic Challenge was "Floral" - with no variegated thread to be used.

For voting, you can find the post, with the Voting Poll to the right, on our Team blog here: .

There are 8 entries -- and mine is #8, "ROSES AND SHAMROCKS - OH MY":

If you are so inclined, Please Do Vote!!

Thread Crochet is a specialized type of crochet - you can make some really beautiful, fine designs in crochet thread!! It is a craft and art that has been done for hundreds of years!!

I have discussed some different techniques and threads in different posts here on my blog.

Such an enjoyable hobby and I enjoy making things for people!!

Anyone who has questions or comments can either leave them here or email me.


Friday, May 29, 2009


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

I want to give a big THANK YOU to KIM of Kim's Country Cottage for
presenting me with this "One Lovely Blog Award"! I feel very honored to have been chosen!!

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:

  1. Accept the award.

  2. Post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award,
    along with his or her blog link.

  3. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Please be sure to stop and visit these wonderful blogs that I've discovered recently and am passing this award on to:

Also - I want to Thank all these bloggers for contributing some really good communication through images, art and words to the Internet!


Thursday, May 28, 2009


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

Reusable Bags -- I have a whole bunch of them. Have for years!! Actually, I grew up with some, though when the family went shopping when I was a little girl, there were all those paper bags -- but we use to save them in the Kitchen closet and reuse them!!

What is even a bit funnier is that I remember my Grandmother had some string cotton reusable bags -- I wonder -- did she bring them over from Germany when they emigrated here in 1936???

I think you get the point - re-using bags and reusable bags are not a new thing in my life -- or in my family.

The disposable plastic bags, now so prevalent in stores, are a relatively modern creation that is part of our throw-away society, that I dislike so much.

So, today, I want to feature a Giveaway on IndieNorth of Reusable Bags from Kootsac on Etsy.

If you buy a lot in bulk, I think these bags would be a great asset to you -- and much better for you and our environment than the plastic bags available in the stores. They are also much more attractive.

I am going to feature two styles of the bags that Kootsac has on sale on Etsy, though Kootsac has quite a few different colors and sizes -- and even weights.

The first is my favorite bag - a Produce Bag in 100% natural cotton in white with attached ties. Part of the reason this is my favorite is that this bag has ties attached, which I think is very convenient. I also like cotton.

The second is a Large Light Nylon Blue Food Bag -- can be used for quite a variety of different types of items according to the description!!

Kootsac's Profile on Etsy covers why these are better than plastic bags.

Did you know that it can take 1000 years -- or never -- for a plastic bag to disintegrate in a landfill?? Boy -- all these disposable plastic bags are going to be haunting this planet for a long time!!!

I think the Giveaway on IndieNorth is a great way to introduce people to these Reusable Food Bags -- participate -- learn what is available -- and maybe win some!!!

And - OH - Kootsac on Etsy is a member of one of my Teams on Etsy -- EcoEtsy!!

I have blogged previously about Reusable Bags -- I think they are important part of living an ethical, healthy life -- check here for my other posts on the subject!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

LOCAL HARVESTS - Local Pick-Your-Own Fruit Orchard in the Antelope Valley of Southern CA

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

I am a strong supporter of getting at least produce that is relatively locally grown.

Of course, I live in California, a major agricultural state. When I shop locally, I make a point of watching where the produce comes from and I usually make a point of buying locally, which for me means California or maybe Mexico.

I make another point of not buying anything from a different continent - including Central America and South America and Europe, etc. I really think it is funny when the local stores here in the Antelope Valley of Southern California have fruit and vegetables from Chile -- just saw some green grapes last Friday, but they were from Chile, so I put them back.

One of the reasons I think it is so funny is that the Antelope Valley of Southern CA is agricultural and there are various orchards and even a few vineyards and other agricultural business right in our own valley.

I personally know of a small Pick-Your-Own fruit orchard a few miles from where I live in the east Antelope Valley.

I've been getting fruit from there during the season when they have fruit for years now -- and my personal experience is that you can't compare the fruit you can pick fresh off the trees there to anything you can buy at any grocery store - or even any of the farmer's markets or fruit stands that I have been to.

Of course, I prefer to pick my own, though I sometimes get the pre-picked fruit they have available also (for those who can't or don't want to pick their own). When you pick your own, you get it ripened on the tree to the level of ripeness that you like.

About the first 4 weeks of the picking season each year, they have 2 varieties of apricots. Now apricots are one of my favorite fruits of all time -- and I could never find ones in the stores or markets that taste as good as theirs -- but I am picking right off the tree!! I pick as much as I can during the weeks they have them -- then some I halve and pit and put in the freezer before they go bad -- after all I can only eat so much!! I remember that last year I still had some in the freezer in September.

They have different varieties of Peaches starting about early July through about mid-October.

They also have Plums and Pears and lots of varieties of Apples!!

This March, I still had a few of their apples in my refrigerator from last fall (they had lasted a long time) -- I was not supposed to be eating fresh, raw fruit at the time -- so I cut them up to make apple sauce in my crockpot and it was so yummy!!


There are various Pick-your-own Orchards in the Antelope Valley.

I have found out that this year they expect to open sometime mid to late June with Apricots - and they expect a plentiful crop. That is an estimate - they open when they have fruit that can be picked. You can call - at this time of year they either have a message on their answering machine or whoever answers the phone will know what is happening.


 I JUST CHECKED AND FOUND Morgan Botanicals from Tehachapi, CA who I am now following on Twitter.

I'll bet if you check it out and try it, and maybe even do some comparisons, you'll find that local fruits and veggies taste better than others that travel long distance.

It is also better environmentally - as no travel means no carbon emissions from transporting the food (this is called eating low carbon).

My fresh herbs in my own container garden in my yard taste better than any dried herbs could taste and, since I snip off the plant when I want to use them, they are better than any fresh ones you can buy in the stores!!

For the best fruits, vegetables -- and meats, if you can find them -- GO LOCAL!!


Sunday, May 24, 2009


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

Do you do decorating based on seasons -- or just prefer some decor items in certain themes?

My Etsy Team, Design Style Guide, like I have said here before, has an amazing number of artisans who create Handmade Home Decor.

We also have our own website,

On our own website, members can create "Treasuries" -- or visual collections of listings on our website.

In the mood for Summer, I created one:


It will be on our website for 3 days, but it expires in 3 days, so I took a screen shot of it:

Take a look at - see what our members have to decorate your home(s) or offices or buildings or gardens!!

Also search for our members' items on Etsy - search tag: "designstyleguide" .

Be prepared for some Gorgeous creations - all HANDMADE!!

(And remember - Handmade is Eco!)



Sunday, May 17, 2009


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

One of my ETSY Teams, Etsy Thread Artists is having its 2nd Artistic Challenge on its blog,

The theme is "Floral" and there were certain requirements for doing it. (The theme was chosen by the winner of the 1st Artistic Challenge, Brenda.)

We have 8 entries, one of which is a doily that I made -- ROSES AND SHAMROCKS. Here are some pictures.

You can find it for sale on Etsy here: .

The voting is going on from May 16th to May 31st on the Team blog in the upper right-hand corner. My entry is #8.

I really enjoyed making it, though it took a lot of work because there are 11 flower motifs (including the center motif) and 10 shamrocks -- and each of the 11 flowers has 3 colors in it (all made in DMC Cebelia size 20)!!

The close-ups really show the detail in different parts of the doily.

Doing these designs in thread crochet, it is really delightful to watch the design unfold as you crochet -- or, in this case, when you put it all together!!

Though I don't actually teach crochet, if anyone has any questions or comments about making a doily like this, why don't you leave a comment on this post -- and I will respond here on the blog as soon as I can.

I am self-taught, but I use patterns, books -- and now years of experience -- to be able to do a project this complicated -- and in multiple colors.

Though I sell my completed craft projects, I also like to encourage others to do it themselves - either for themselves - or others - or to sell.

It is really amazing what you can do with crochet thread and a crochet hook -- just take a look at the work showcased on the Etsy Thread Artists blog !!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009


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

For anyone who has taken a good look at my shop on ETSY, RSS Designs In Fiber, saying that NATURE has had an influence on my crafts -- would be -- like stating the very obvious.

Flowers, leaves, trees, even a bear head -- hard to miss!! The pictures are all over the shop!!

You see, I love NATURE -- yes in capital letters!! As long back as I can remember as a child, I loved being out in NATURE -- even if it just meant the NATURE as I walked home from school on the streets of Chicago.

Yes, on the streets of Chicago, what I remember is the trees (some of them seemed like giants to me as a little girl) and the bushes and the squirrels and the birds of all different colors. Oh-h-h, the trees --on the North side of Chicago where we lived, there were all kinds of trees along the streets and I remember the trees budding in the spring and turning gold and orange and eventually brown in the fall; then the stark design of the bare branches with the grey winter sky showing through.

I just loved it -- all of it!!

And if anyone wonders why I want NATURE protected so bad, well, I admit that it isn't just the beauty of it or my pleasure in it, though those are big points for me -- at this point I am also worried about survival.

-- I would hate living in some of those Sci-Fi civilizations which are mostly enclosed "bubbles" so us humans can breathe.

And now as I do my crochet or knitting and I think of designs -- and even the ones that don't depict actual things out of NATURE -- the colors and the designs still come from my experiences in NATURE!!

So, when you see in my listings for my craft items -- crochet or knitted or whatever -- "Inspired By NATURE" -- it is really so!!

Following are pictures of a few items I have made trully, trully Inspired by NATURE that I have actually seen!


A Video on a Campaign to Protect Forests from Conservation International - done by Harrison Ford

I've been writing here on my blog about forests and biodiversity and climate change.

Here is a short video from Harrison Ford about the very subject and a realistic program where you can help as part of Conservation International's strategy to "...prevent further loss of the species, ecosystems, and ecological processes that comprise the Earth's biological wealth." (from a Conservation International map of Global Biodiversity Hotspots).

Harrison Ford asks the right question.

It is my question, too.

And if you would rather watch the video on YouTube, here is the link:


Monday, May 11, 2009

A Video About Conservation International's Strategy - Biodiversity Hotspots - from Harrison Ford

I've been reading and I've been writing.

I've listened to scientists speak and have read what they wrote -- and written about it here.

It was in the Conservation Strategy of the Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign from 1999 (which I have an original copy of) that I first read about Biodiversity Hotspots. You see, that is because the Sierra Nevada is an identified globally significant Biodiversity Hotspot (inside the California Floristic Province Biodiversity Hostspot).

With a little bit of research, I found out about Conservation International and their books.

But here in this video are pictures from our planet and the voice of the author of the Foreword for the book, "HOTSPOTS: Earth's Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Ecoregions", Harrison Ford.

So, I will let him say it -- his way.

You could always get the book and read it!!

And if you would rather watch the video on YouTube, here's the link:

You know, if we really do it, we might just literally keep this planet and atmosphere livable longer!!


Friday, May 8, 2009


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

I know it seems a little late for buying a Mother's Day gift online, but I have seen all kinds of things happen online and in the retail world.

People buy gifts on the holiday for the holiday -- or after the holiday either as a belated gift -- or in advance for the following year -- or for some other occasion.

ETSY THREAD ARTISTS put together a MOTHER'S DAY GIFT GUIDE on their blog.

It will be up for some time -- even after Mother's Day.

A lot of people buy flowers for Mother's Day -- but think how nice it would be to either supplement real flowers with a beautiful thread creation -- or get crocheted flowers that won't wilt and will last a long time instead of the real ones.

Take a look at the ETSY THREAD ARTISTS MOTHER'S DAY GIFT GUIDE -- you may find some really artistic and aesthetic thread work that will be just the perfect thing for any Mother at any time!!



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

I just read an article about something that I think is mandatory and responsible for us to support, because Climate change -- both naturally occurring geologic warming and cooling periods, as well as human-caused global warmings, are facts in this world -- at least from the data I have read.

The article is on the blog of The Nature Conservancy, one of my favorite environmental groups, because they work to protect and save all kinds of ecosystems worldwide in may different biotic provinces -- or ecoregions.

It is about adaptation funding for the climate change strategy of adapting natural and human systems to a changing climate.

Here is the link to the article:

It is reality we have to face and a responsibility that we need to take in our world.

Climate change happens and we need to adapt the way we live so that we can survive as well as we can.

I have seen pictures and reports of the melting of ice/glaciers in the Arctic and Antarctic --it is happening. Face it and take responsibility.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Treasury on Design Style Guide.Net -- NATURE IN WALL ART

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

My Etsy Team, Design Style Guide (Etsy search tag: "designstyleguide" or "interiordesignteam"), has a very neat feature on their own website, you can do a 12-item "Gallery" that they call a Treasury, like they do on Etsy.

For the first time the other day, I decided to try and do one -- I found it tremendously easy to put together.

There are so many beautiful things on Etsy -- and this Team has such beautiful, handmade things in it for Interior Design that it is such a pleasure doing it!!

I decided I wanted to do one of Wall Art -- and there is such a beautiful collection of original handmade Wall Art on!!

Here is the link to the Treasury I did, with some pictures of it, as it will be on their website only for a certain amount of time. If you go to the Treasury, you can then click on the images to see the actual listing of the item.

The Design Style Guide website, is a separate website from Etsy for promoting our Team items for sale -- especially to Interior Designers or people doing their own Interior Design. The listings on this website is only a sampling of what most of us sell in our Etsy shops. I have a couple of my items on it!! Just search for "crochet" and they'll come up!!
Browse through our Design Style Guide website and get an idea of what Design Style Guide has to offer!!!


Quick, Easy, Pretty Healthy Lunch!!

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

I like to get a bit creative with my cooking and stay healthy -- but when I am busy doing things all day and I don't have something already cooked in the refrigerator, I need to come up with a quick solution -- especially in the middle of the day for lunch.

On recommendation from a doctor years ago in the 1990's, I avoid using that apparently convenient appliance, the Microwave, for cooking foods, because of what those waves do to the foods when they cook it.

So, some time back I discovered this neat electrical appliance by Black and Decker that doubles as a Rice Cooker and steamer, with a good-sized steam basket. It is the Black and Decker Home 16-cup Multi-use Rice Cooker Plus, Model RC436 -- and I love it -- and now I don't know how I would live without it -- LOL!! I use it not only to make rice and steam things, but to make soups and meat and veggie dishes, etc., etc., etc.!!

So, a fairly quick lunch to throw together and just let cook is the following all steamed in the steamer basket of this Rice Cooker Plus!!

-- 2 chicken thighs, with or without the skin (up to you)
-- a bunch of basil leaves spread out over the chicken thighs
-- 2 cloves of garlic, cut in half (this actually should be optional if you don't want the garlic smell from lunch)
-- a half of a medium-sized onion, cut in quarters or other piece of vegetable in similar size
-- some soy sauce
-- some chili powder
-- any other herbs or spices you want to use - fresh or dried
-- a little salt either while cooking or put on after cooking
-- freshly ground black pepper after cooking

I put enough water in the main bowl of the Rice Cooker Plus for steaming for a while, but keep the level below the steam basket bottom. I make sure the Rice Cooker Plus is plugged in and warming up at this point. I arrange the chicken thighs and pieces of vegetables in the steamer basket. If you have the skin still on the chicken thighs, it is supposed to be better to put the halves of garlic cloves under the skin for cooking - some may not want to clook with garlic for lunch, but I like the taste of garlic and I like the cloves when they are steamed, so I use them in cooking this. Then I sprinkle a little soy sauce and the chili powder over the chicken and vegetables and put the Rice Cooker Plus on Cook.

Then you just leave it cook and steam until the chicken is at the right level of tenderness for you. Make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through. I like my chicken well-cooked to a very tender level.

Go off and do the other things you need to do and leave it -- then come back -- and you have a healthy chicken and veggies lunch!! I'm not sure how long it takes to cook the chicken as I just run in and check it until it is just right.

Also, for those of you who insist on having some carbohydrates with your meals, which I hear some people do, throw in the steamer basket a couple of smaller potatoes, pricked with a fork at the beginning!! Boy the potatoes will come out just yummy!!

And with it all in the steamer basket and not in the water, the meat and veggies keep most of the nutrients in them while cooking.

A quick, easy, pretty healthy lunch for a busy person!!


Friday, May 1, 2009

My DESIGNS IN FIBER Are Back Up for Sale

Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Gifts and Home Decor In Fibers

My Designs In Fiber -- for gifts -- or useful, eco-friendly items for your own home are now available in my Etsy shop again!!

I have some things that some Mothers might like for Mother's Day!!

Some designs with flowers that last forever (flowers in fiber don't wilt!!):

A PINK EVENING PRIMROSE BLOOM -- check the listing to see!!





And I have some useful baskets, potholders and cloths for around the home:




Each item has a link to the listing in my shop.

Take a look around the whole shop -- in the different sections you could find something just right!!

Also - just a reminder -- I do Custom Orders by request - email me!!