Friday, November 29, 2013

Hope You Had a Happy Thanksgiving - and Happy Hanukkah - It's All About Giving Thanks!

Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - My Handmade Designs on ARTFIRE

In concept, Thanksgiving Day has always had significant meaning for me as a person - and though I have always enjoyed Thanksgiving Dinners or Get-togethers, it is more rooted in the meaning of it - I guess you would say that I believe in Giving Thanks.

I guess you would say that is one of the reasons I crocheted the above Cornucopia - a traditional pictorial depiction of what we are Thankful for at Thanksgiving - though when I conceptualize "Giving Thanks" - it is for much more than the "Plenty" shown in a Cornucopia.

This year, in 2013, for those of the Jewish Faith - it is an unusual convergence that another Holiday of Giving Thanks occurs on Thanksgiving:  Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights!

Hanukkah is another Holiday that has always had significant meaning for me - because it is a celebration of Thanks for the Re-dedication of the Jewish High Temple in Jerusalem in Judea in the Jewish tradition -- after Syrian leaders had outlawed Judaism, denying Jews the right to observe their own religion - and introducing pagan practices in the Jewish High Temple - then with traditional Jews winning back their rights to practice Judaism -- making Hanukkah actually about having Religious Freedom!

So - for some of us, there is a lot of similarity in the "Giving of Thanks" on these two Holidays, as discussed in this online article !

One of the most traditional Hanukkah songs - and also one of my favorite ones is the song "Maoz Tzur" (in Hebrew) or "Rock of Ages" (in English).  I have sung it in both, having been singing and praying in Hebrew and English since a child.

But I just love the meaning of the song!!

Below are the lyrics of "Rock of Ages" that I have (3 stanzas) in English - and below that a You Tube Video  by jwipe - singing the song clearly, so you can hear how it is sung!!

And - OH!  What do you have to give Thanks for?  And how will you do it?  In Judaism - some of us Give Thanks by doing "Tikkun Olam" (in Hebrew) - or "Repair of the World".  As discussed in this article, I will be putting in some time during Hanukkah crocheting a Blanket to be donated through Project Linus to needy children - a small way I can help out in the world is to donate Handmade for other's needs or joy.

Now -- Enjoy!!


Rock of ages, let our song
Praise Your saving power;
You, amid the raging foes,
Were our sheltering tower.
Furious, they assailed us,
But Your arm availed us,
And Your word
Broke their sword,
When our own strength failed us.

Kindling new the holy lamps
Priests approved in suffering,
Purified the nation's shrines,
Brought to God their offering
And His courts surrounding
Hear, in joy, abounding
Happy throngs
Singing songs
With a mighty sounding.

Children of the Maccabees,
Whether free or fettered,
Wake the echoes of the songs,
Where you may be scattered.
Yours the message cheering,
That the time is nearing,
Which will see
All men free,
Tyrants disappearing.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hand-Crafted in Fabrics and Fibers For the Holidays

Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - My Handmade Designs on ARTFIRE

People get creative in different ways!  Though I have done "Arts and Crafts" since I was a toddler, there are lots of arts and crafts I have never explored.

I have drawn and stumbled around creating designs in different ways since I was a toddler, but it wasn't until I was a teenager that I really constructed items -- and those were all in FABRICS and FIBERS!

I am not sure in which order I did them - but I did some basic weaving on small, almost toy looms, I crocheted - and I sewed.  I actually made real things!

Woven potholders - scarves - and when I was a teenager and given a sewing machine (a Pfaff, which is 90-something % metal parts and I still own to this day), I made real clothes that could be worn (from patterns - with my own "modifications", of course - LOL).

It never occurred to me, other than in drawing decorations, to make things that could not be used - don't ask me why.

Well - now some 50 years later, I am Crocheting, Knitting and Sewing.

Those "Arts and Crafts" are lifetime skills and activities that have stood me well!

So-o-o --- I put together this Collection of Hand-crafted Items in FABRICS and FIBERS to show off what the following ARTISANS are making --- and I think they would all make wonderful Gifts!