Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items
RSS Crochet Thread Plus - Internet Shop of Crochet Thread

When I joined the Eco Etsy Street Team on, I found some like-minded sellers of handmade items -- we do it in an ecologically conscious way. We do handmade and we do what we can to help our planet stay healthy.

One of the eco-minded sellers is Jesse Wright who has 2 shops on etsy. com:

Glitter Star is about "Recycled Art, Jewelry and Other Fun Stuff"!! Take a look and see some of her recycled goodies - I really get a kick out of the bracelets made from recycled grocery ads!

Jesse Wright also has a blog: - and every so often Jesse has a Featured Artist.

And today, I am the lucky one to be featured:!!

I say lucky because those of us who want to do business in an ecologically conscious manner need to stick together -- maybe if more of it is available in the world, more of it will sell.

If more of us do "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" - maybe more will catch on.

I also believe in consumer-driven conservation -- and selling and buying products that reduce waste in some way by either recycling or re-using - or are reusable and replacing the disposable items in our society -- is all part of that.

I think it is great that 2 of the other Festured Artists on Glitter Star Designs Blog - are also 2 other ecoetsians that I have mentioned and who I think have great products -- Debby Arem Designs and Penguin Love.

I like the blog, Glitter Star Designs -- maybe you will too!! If you are into funky eco things, you also might find something you just can't resist at Glitter Star on!!


Monday, May 26, 2008


Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items
RSS Crochet Thread Plus - Internet Shop of Crochet Thread

Totally in alignment with what I want to see happen with forests on this planet -- Conservation International now has a program for donating to "Protect An Acre" of Tropical Forest:

Right there on the page are links for the "Protect an Acre" program - and articles to "Learn About Climate Change" and "See The Solution".

So, all the relevant information is right from the above link.

Conservation International with their Biodiversity Hotspot concept is on it again!!

And there is more on their website -- there are 2 articles about areas in South America (which, by the way, is full of Globally Significant Biodiversity Hotspots [#4, 1, 7, 5, 6] and has a Major Tropical Wilderness Area - the Amazonia -- I know because I have the map from Conservation International!!):

Brazil's KayapĆ³: Powerful Allies in the Amazon :

Forests for Water in the Sacred Mountain (Peru):

I am afraid, folks, that we have an uphill battle on this planet - being informed and donating as much as you think you can is one way you can contribute to making this planet healthier and keeping it livable for all!!


Friday, May 23, 2008


Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items
RSS Crochet Thread Plus - Internet Shop of Crochet Thread

Spring brought some pleasant surprises in my little front yard garden.

This year, I thoroughly pruned my miniature rose bush in my front yard - early in the year sometime when it was not frozen outside. We get freezing weather here in the Antelope Valley of Southern California, but very often during the winter days, especially when we have bright sun, it warms up. Well, the pruning really paid off -- I have the best show of miniature roses ever since I moved in - in 2001.

Here are 2 more pictures of the rose bush - showing the blooms closer up:

The other surprise was that the snapdragon plants I bought blooming last summer and potted and put in the front yard, did not die this winter -- and came back more spectacular than ever!! Snapdragons are actually annuals - not perennials - and I expected them to die off during the winter. All I can figure is that the pot never actually froze -- and the blooms are like a second period of blooming -- and are better than they were originaly!! I was watering the plants out front all winter long every so often, so they would not dry out -- a gardener from a local nursery told me to water the perennials all winter long and I included the snapdragon pot -- this also really paid off!!

Now my succulent plants are another matter!!

The Jade Plant off to the right in the back is an indoor/outdoor plant -- this past fall I got it inside in my living room early enough so none of the leaves froze off -- the previous year I didn't watch it carefully enough and we had had a frost and some of the leaves froze before I got inside -- it grew back then -- but this year I got it inside and also watered it all winter long. It kept growing a little bit all winter long -- when it got warm enough and the trees in the front yard had leafed out some to give the front yard some filtered light (rather than the harsh sunlight from the west in the afternoon), I put it out in the yard. It is doing really well!!

The other 2 succulent plants in front of the Jade Plant (I don't know their names) was given to me by a neighboring friend who moved to northern CA last summer. I placed them there -- and they don't freeze in the winter for whatever reason -- and I have been watering them ever since I was given them -- including during the winter -- they are really getting new growths and are really lovely!!

I also read up a little about keeping lawns green and growing in -- in this High Desert climate of the Antelope Valley, that can be a real problem. Even with a sprinkler system, we very often end up with brown spots. The landlord leaves it up to the individual tenants if they want to do any additional watering (I am careful to not do too much and use too much water as water conservation is so very important).

Since I am out there anyway watching my potted plants and I have a little round sprinkler head for my hose - it is something I can easily do. I read that watering them lightly and soaking the roots some in the growing season (early spring) -- the grass will really grow in -- and then watering them lightly on a regular basis in the mornings will help to keep it from drying out and turning brown.

I am not really that big on having the "perfect lawn" -- but I much prefer the live green grass than the dried up dead brown spots -- so all spring I have been doing a little bit of watering with my round sprinkler head in the mornings before the sun hits my front lawn. I started before the trees leafed out - and have kept it up since the trees did leaf out. The trees have really grown and offer a lot of shade for the yard and my apartment now.

The little bit of watering I have done has really paid off, too!! The grass has grown in all over my front yard with nary a brown spot -- and my beautiful dog Misty just loves rolling in the fresh green grass!!

Just thought I would share with you one of my joys of life!!

Next time, I will go into more of my plants -- and what herbs I have growing!! Hopefully, I'll have fresh herbs for salads and other cooking this year!!


Thursday, May 8, 2008


Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items
RSS Crochet Thread Plus - Internet Shop of Crochet Thread

Part of my joy in doing crochet is doing new things - and doing things in multiple colors.

It was a few years ago that I bought a book that I am totally glad that I bought. It is "How To Crochet" by Pauline Turner.

When I bought it, I was already quite an advanced crocheter. I have been crocheting since my teens, and since 2002, I have been doing a lot of it and experimenting around with different patterns. It was one of those things - I knew I was going to be glad I bought it when I bought it. And am I!!

The book's chapters are actually workshops in different crochet skills - and just about each chapter has a Stitch Library. These Stitch Libraries are what I love - and what I am using to create/design some things of my own.

And some of these stitches are in multiple colors!!

I take patterns all in one color and make them multiple colors all the time.

But here are actually stitch patterns in multiple colors - and you can do some really neat thigns with them!! I love it and am excited to experiment around with it.

Here is a picture of a little swatch I made in a stitch that is new for me - it is called the "Spike Stitch" - and I did this little rectangular swatch in crochet thread in burgundy red and white - then I put a multicolor border around it - and then I have a little coaster/doily!! I'll just use it around the house.

Actually, the picture below is how the stitch is actually made - with the spikes going down, but I prefer them going up, so in the picture above, I have the little coaster with the spikes going up.

Below I am showing this closeup of the above picture, so you can see how it is actually done. You change colors of thread every certain number of rows (even number for it to work out right) - and the first row after the color change is groups of 4 "long single crochets" - with each of the 4 stitches being 1 row longer than the preceeding one.

If you want to see the actual instructions (written and diagrammed) on the stitch, you will have to get the book - it is copyrighted and I respect that.

Just a fun crochet thing I wanted to share!!

There are a lot of good books out there on crochet - I have a numeber of them and I have some specialty books by such crocheters and designers like Elizabeth Hiddleson and Patricia Kristoffersen (I like to do complicated doilies) - but this book by Pauline Turner has actual workshops and stitch libraries in it and I think it is really great for someone who really wants to learn to do crochet -- and not only how to follow patterns, but how to learn techniques and stitches so that you can create your own designs.

If you want to do it - go to it!!