Monday, June 22, 2009


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

I believe in exercising my right to Vote -- and that includes on ETSY!!

ETSY has a Voter -- each week from Monday morning to the following Monday morning 7 days later, there is a Gallery of items you can view and then Vote on the one you prefer.

I have been following this fairly regularly for about the last month -- I think it is a great way to voice one's taste and help get the items you prefer on Etsy in the Gift Guides.

You see, that is what happens -- is a certain number of them who are at the top of the voting get into the Gift Guide for that theme.

The last few weeks when I voted, though I have never voted for the one that got the most votes, the one I voted for was up there in the top 10. I admit -- one time I didn't vote at all because I couldn't choose one item to vote for -- none of them were really to my taste, which is unusual!

I am a big fan of HANDMADE!! Been doing HANDMADE since I was a kid - maybe a toddler - got my first camera at 6!!

Anyway -- if you look at the picture (screen shot) at the top of this page, you will see an image of the Etsy Voter as I saw it this morning when I checked it - except one of the items has a red border on it -- that is my item that got put in this week's Voter:

I have included all the pictures of it in this post, so you can see it from different angles and get a good idea of what it is.

-- made in DMC Pearl Cotton size 8 in what I call "Shaded Blues" -- a high quality thread of variegated blues with white. It is shaped and stiffened with glue -- and has a blue satin ribbon running through it.

Blue and White is definitely AMERICANA!!

I am also a big supporter of our country -- its Constitution and its Bill of Rights -- I believe in Democracy -- and exercising your right to Vote!!

So, Please -- I invite you and encourage you to Vote in the Etsy Voter -- and exercise your right to vote your taste for what gets in the Gift Guides on ETSY!!

And special thanks to my Etsy Teams that do so much to back up and support me and my fellow team members on Etsy:


Thursday, June 18, 2009

ECO LAPTOP SOCK -- A New Form of Handmade Reusable Bag I Made

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

I got a Laptop for myself a few months back and decided that I wanted something to protect it and cushion and "hide" it.

I had heard of Laptop Socks or Sleeves -- and I decided to make myself one in yarn.

It was my first and an experiment and totally my own design.

To make it thick, I knitted in Garter Stitch with double-strand yarn -- and I made it to fit my laptop exactly. I finished off the edges with a nice crocheted crab stitch!! Took a while to make because I did it in my spare time, as it was for myself, but I made sure I got it made for when I was going to be away for a couple days and was taking my laptop with me, as I wanted it to have something to protect it while traveling.

I got it done and it fit fine and did all I wanted it to (cushion and protect and hide)!

Then I realized I needed something to put the cords and all in -- so I made what I call a matching Gadget Bag.

Now, it was time to see about making one to sell.

I decided I wanted it to be ECO in design, materials and subject or theme. So I decided to make the outside or back of it a knitted tapestry of a tree - dark green on light green. Then in choosing the yarn, I wanted something soft and ECO, so I chose Caron Simply Soft ECO, which is partially made of recycled plastic bottles. I already had the design of the tree charted and just needed to modify it to fit this pattern.

So now weeks later -- I have it done (with its own Gadget Bag) and listed on Etsy: my ECO Tree Tapestry Laptop Sock!!

Have to see how this does on Etsy -- there are others made by others, but I this is totally my own design and I think a bit unique!!

Would you like one? I have lots of different yarns I can do it in!!


LOCAL HARVEST - Local Antelope Valley Orchard - Now Open with APRICOTS!!

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

Called The Local Orchard in the Antelope Valley today to see when they would be open with their first crop and my favorite fruit -- APRICOTS!!

And they are open!!

They expect to have PEACHES to pick after July 4th!!

Will go next Tuesday and pick some APRICOTS - ripe and lucious right off the tree!!

Looking forward to it!

If you are anywhere within driving range of the Antelope Valley and like APRICOTS, it is really worth it! These APRICOTS fresh off the tree - especially picked yourself at the ripeness you like -- are the best I've ever tasted.

They have 2 varieties and hopefully the later one will last a bit into July. I will pick a bunch -- and pit and halve the ones I can't eat pretty quickly and I'll have fresh frozen, yummy APRICOTS for months probably. Did last year.

Then in July -- some PEACHES -- and boy they are also incomparably better than any I have ever found in any kind of store!! Also ripe and lucious right off the tree!!

Have a fun outing -- and get some fresh, local, tree-ripened fruit without the packaging and transport!!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

World Wide Knit (Crochet) In Public Day(s)

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

Personally, I actually think it is funny that there is a "World Wide Knit (Crochet) In Public Day" -- or Days, as it turns out!!

I periodically do it all the time -- though not at events with others -- just on my own as I go around shopping or traveling or going to the doctor!!

But I think having a Day for celebrating it is a great idea for promoting the arts of Needlework!!

  • Saturday, June 13th, 2009 and Sunday, June 14th, 2009 (2nd weekend of June)

  • Saturday, June 20th, 2009 and Sunday, June 21st, 2009 (3rd weekend of June)

Today ( a Wednesday) is right in the middle of the 2 weekends -- and according to the official website, in future years, it will be on the 3rd weekend of June, so it does not conflict with other Needle Arts events going on around the world.

Well, in my little rural town in the east Antelope Valley of Southern California, I did not know anyone else doing it (to organize an event), so I just went out to my local restaurant and had lunch and crocheted on this bag I am making for myself - in public.

But the people at the restaurant might not realize that I was there purposely because it was "World Wide Knit(Crochet) In Public Day"!!

You see -- almost every time I go there (which is once in a while) -- I have with me one of my crochet projects, which I pull out and work on while I am waiting for my order!!

I sometimes have knitting with me instead of crochet, but people worry a little bit about knitting needles in public these days because they are so long and sharp, so I usually have some form of crochet with me whenever I go out!

There is a whole list of public places I crochet at:

  • all kinds of restaurants

  • parks

  • bus stops

  • train stations

  • trains

  • doctor's offices (all that waiting, you know!)

  • hospital cafeterias

  • plazas.

It is a great way to keep yourself occupied -- and from going "stir-crazy" with all the waiting!!

Taking the Metrolink train from the Antelope Valley to Los Angeles -- or vice versa -- I have gotten quite a bit of crochet done on that not-so-short trip!!

I think this coming weekend I'll celebrate it again - just for the fun of it - maybe head over the the local town park and crochet some at a table under the trees!!


Giant Sequoia National Monument MANAGEMENT PLAN MEETINGS - Progressing!!

Ruth Sandra Sperling

Wish I had one of my photographs of a Giant Sequoia to post in here, but none of them are digital or on digital media, so I can't. I took them with a manual camera - a Pentax 6x7 (medium format) - and I have yet to get them on digital media.

Living in Southern California, over the years, the Giant Sequoias were my favorite place to go to on the weekends. Living in a variety of places in Los Angeles County - now in the Antelope Valley - the Southern Portion of what is now the Giant Sequoia National Monument was always just a few hours away.

Being such a forest lover, it is no big surprise that I would like to weekend in a forest -- or visit one -- but having a forest with the Giant Sequoias in it has been a real treat!!

Unfortunately, there has been logging in what is now the Giant Sequoia National Monument -- and I have seen it. In the late 1980's I saw logging trucks -- and, yes, a clearcut on a back road.

So, I was a huge supporter of the establishment of the National Monument and went to a Public Forum in Fresno and actually got up and spoke for it -- by some lucky or unusual twist of fate, my number came up as the first speaker in that Public Forum -- and I managed to get up there and say my little bit without any preparation at all -- in favor of the establishment of the National Monument!!

That was in March 2000. In April 2000, President Bill Clinton did the Presidential Proclamation which took the National Monument out of commercial timber yield, which meant no more commercial logging around the Giant Sequoias, which I am totally grateful of -- having been around the Southern Portion of the Sequoia National Forest and seen way too much of the effect of commercial logging in that ecosystem.

I went to a bunch of meetings regarding the Giant Sequoia National Monument in 2000, 2001, and 2003, including a number of 2-day public meetings of the Scientific Advisory Board, who wrote Advisories for the development of the Giant Sequoia National Monument MANAGEMENT PLAN.

So much has happened since then - some of it in the legal arena -- and they are now in a Public Process to write the Giant Sequoia National Monument MANAGEMENT PLAN again.

Tomorrow (June 18, 2009) and Friday (June 19 2009), they are holding Public Meetings regarding the preliminary Draft Alternatives for this MANAGEMENT PLAN.

Let me tell you, as this MANAGEMENT PLAN is based on the Presidential Proclamation and this involves restoration of a commercially logged National Forest area -- from where I sit, this is not an easy PLAN to get done.

This commercially logged area needs restoration based on the most current scientific data for this type of ecosystem available - and as this is an on-going activity with research on such restoration going on all the time - the MANAGEMENT PLAN must allow for this.

I have placed links throughout this post -- take a look at them and read them -- there is a phenomenal amount of information available!!

I, unfortunately, cannot go to these particular meetings -- but I will be reading the documents on the Sequoia National Forest website. I submitted a 5 page letter on the Scoping Letter. I wrote letters in past years -- and I will write more.

This Public Process is an opportunity for all citizens to make comments on what the MANAGEMENT PLAN for the Giant Sequoia National Monument will be.

Do you love them?

Do you care about these gorgeous, fabulous, globally-significant huge (the largest in the world still, I believe) trees???

Even if all you have to say is that you totally support the total restoration of the ecosystem for these wonderful trees -- say it!!

Personally, I was involved in the Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign, whose Conservation Strategy for the Sierra Nevada National Forests (which includes the Sequoia National Forest and the Giant Sequoia National Monument) is based on the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project (SNEP) (Commissioned by Congress) -- and that is the scientific perspective that I support, including the scientists who were the authors of SNEP - who include Dr. David Graber and Dr. Nathan Stephenson, who work at the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park in the Giant Sequoias there.

I learned so much going to Public Meetings and reading various documents -- many of which are available on the Internet.

I invite you to do the same!!

(And, P-S-S-S-T - by the way - the Giant Sequoia ecosystem, which is inside the Sierra Nevada, which is inside the California Floristic Province - is a globally significant Biodiversity Hotspot identified by the scientists of Conservation International!!)


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Etsy YART SALE - In Progress Now!!

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

A Sale sponsored by the Etsy Supply Street Team has become an Etsy-wide phenomenon!!

Here's the link to the article in The Storque: .

-- And I've decided to be part of it!!!

I have put certain items (that I call "Functional" Designs In Fiber) in my shop ON SALE as part of the Etsy YART SALE for Thursday, June 11th through Sunday, June 14th.

As "ON SALE", I am offering FREE SHIPPING on the items in my special shop section: "June 2009 YART SALE", which you can find here: .

And, I am also participating in the Etsy Free Shipping Collaboration by tagging all my YART SALE items "yartfreeshipping". Search that tag on Etsy and get all the items tagged such -- and that have Free Shipping!
Check the Etsy Supply Street Team blog for current information on the YART SALE!!

Here are a few of the items I have put up for sale:

Good SALE shopping!!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009


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

Here is a screen shot of a Treasury I put together on ETSY and got up very early Tuesday morning: SUMMER FLOWERS IN LACE.

I gathered together a variety of items made in crochet thread on the theme of Flowers, but with different functions!!

You can make some beautiful things with quite fine and detailed designs in crochet thread!!


Friday, June 5, 2009

Folk Music - Old College Days Memories of a Coffee House - SHIFT to the PRESENT: THE SHIP (of 1970's Folk Opera Legend) is on WFMT's Folkstage!!

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

Folk Music - Ah-h-h-h! I love it!! That Acousitc Sound!! The sound of plucking strings, honest, real voices, keyboards, drums - harmonies - a cappelas!!

Grew up with it (and other music), but it was in college that it became really part of my social life.

It was the night before my first day of classes at college -- I was out for the evening with a new friend from the dorm room across the hall, a high school friend of hers and his dorm roommate. We ended up in this basement on campus - there was a small stage surrounded by tables and chairs - at one end of the room was a small room with a counter where you could get coffee and tea and pretzel sticks -- folks, behold: The Red Herring Coffehouse of Urbana, Illinois circa September 1969.

I am not going to name names -- some people might be a little in hysterics at who was on that little coffehouse stage singing that night. Then they were college kids - we were college kids (well, there may have been some "townies" there) - we were all having fun -- and those who know, well they know!!

That was the start of, what for me, developed into a wonderful relationship, a refuge, a place of friendship and fun and music and true camaraderie -- it was real life -- for me, for other friends -- and yes, for the musicians, who were real people for all of us -- whoever they were destined to become.

Over the next year that basement coffeehouse was a place to casually drop in on some evenings.

I heard whatever musicians were there, saw whatever movies were being shown -- drank coffee and tea and ate pretzels -- all very casual.

It was during the following summer when some of my dorm friends and me met for a few days -- one of the places we spent some time at was the Red Herring Coffeehouse - and between then and the fall, when we returned for our 2nd year of classes, that we decided that the Red Herring was where we were going to go that fall to meet people. Our group of friends was just not that much into the bar scene -- and we were pretty sure that the Red Herring Coffeehouse was a place to really meet -- and get to know people.

Well - it turned out that way for me and some of the others.

I jumped "head-first" into the folk music scene on campus -- meeting and listening to musicians, meeting college boys and girls -- and townies -- and poets -- and radio people -- and other people's boyfriends and girlfriends -- and packed standing-room-only weekend nights listening to whoever was playing. It was real living - real relationships - real communication -- and I loved it and it became my home-away-from-home.

It was some time during that Fall of 1970 that I met and became friends with one of the folk musicians who became one of the writers of the Folk Opera, The Ship. He was a singer, a songwriter, a writer period (if you get what I mean) -- and through various times of just talking we became friends -- and some time during that time period writings in a notebook developed into a song that became the title-song, "The Ship" (written with someone else, too). That was Steve Cowan.

Over the months that followed amidst all the other happenings in all our lives, a Folk Opera emerged -- a Folk Opera that became known as "The Ship", which you can read about yourself at this link.

Oh - I remember some of the early peformances of individual songs around the Coffeehouse and the chapel upstairs. But by the Fall of 1971, it was a real put-together thing with the group or band performing it together from beginning to end.

It was a real experience to watch -- a real creation.

And I loved it!!

Read their website, which is truly their website, and see for yourself what it became!!

NOW -- FAST FORWARD TO JUNE 2009 -- THE SHIP had been what it was at various times over the years.

Looking forward to tomorrow, Saturday, June 6th, 2009, when I will listen on my laptop using the Live Stream on the Internet of 98.7 WFMT in Chicago (Listen Live Free) to hear my old college friend, Steve Cowan -- and his friends in THE SHIP -- perform Live on Folkstage on WFMT at 8 PM Chicago time -- it will be 6 PM here in California.

Oh - I'm all set up and ready for it - got my Windows Media Player currently installed on my laptop - already checked it out and listened to a bit of Hayden from WFMT tonight (I grew up with his music, too)!!

Memories, yes , but now, in present time today, I am looking forward to it because, yes, I still like the Folk sound -- and I will enjoy listening to it because I love the actual music.

(And, no, it was not Steve Cowan or anyone from THE SHIP on that small Red Herring Coffeehouse stage that first night in September 1969. Right now, here, I just don't want to say. Those who were there, know. It was a time -- it was the beginning of solo careers for some talented musicians in their college years -- what they became, well those who know, know -- and I believe, so very strongly, that everyone deserves to live their own life -- and achieve their own accomplishments -- and, believe me folks, all I can say - is those singers who sang on that stage that night before classes started in September 1969 - they accomplished a lot!!)

Now -- let's get ready to hear THE SHIP now, as they are now....


Monday, June 1, 2009

ETSY THREAD ARTISTS -- Today's "Happenings"

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

Today we had 2 major announcements today on the ETSY THREAD ARTISTS BLOG!!

The entry from Demet on Etsy is definitely the Winner!!

A big Congratulations to Demet -- this is definitely an acknowledgment of the fine, artistic work Demet does in Thread!!

Now, as a Winner of an ETSY THREAD ARTIST ARTISTIC CHALLENGE, Demet gets to choose the Theme of the next Artistic Challenge we will have -- to be announced at a future time!!

Read this article to see what we have available -- as time goes on watch for new additions to this Gift Guide throughout the month!!

The Etsy Thread Artists Team on Etsy has a variety of items for sale on Etsy under the search tag "threadartists" -- all made with crochet thread:

  • Doilies

  • Jar Covers

  • Ornaments

  • Placemats and Coasters

  • Tablecloths

  • Bowls, Baskets and Boxes

  • Jewelry

  • Doll Clothing

  • Appliques

  • -- and a few other types of things!!

And many of our members will do Custom Orders!!

You can always contact one of our members through their Etsy Shops !!


Designs Style Guide 1st Giveaway of KAREN FAULKNER ART

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

My Etsy Team, Design Style Guide, has its first Giveaway in progress right now!!

It is a $20.00 credit plus Free Shipping in the Etsy Shop of Karen Faulkner Art.

You can find the Giveaway and the full instructions for entering it here:

You can participate through June 3rd 2009 9 PM PDT.

I also have a button for the DSG Giveaways here on my blog now on the right -- I will keep the links and caption updated as DSG has Giveaways on their blog.

You might want to "keep tuned" -- as there are some phenomenal artisans in Design Style Guide that do beautiful Handmade Home Decor of a huge variety.

You can search "designstyleguide" on Etsy for items being sold by the artisans of Design Style Guide!


Kootsac Reusable Bag Giveaway -- A WINNER!!

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

There is a WINNER on IndieNorth today for Kootsac's Reusable Bags (of EcoEtsy fame!)--

Laura! -- Congratulations!

-- And I hope more people know more about available Reusable Bags now!!