Monday, August 31, 2009

My GIVEAWAY on Etsy Thread Artists

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

GIVEAWAY of Shaded Pink Mini-Basket and Coaster Set

I've been thinking about it for a while and wanting to do it -- so I finally did!!

I believe that everyone likes Giveaways - at least to look at!

It is on the Etsy Thread Artists blog -- and will be going on for about 2 weeks -- until Sunday, September 13th.

Take a look - if you like Thread Crochet -- and like doing Giveaways -- and like doing things on Twitter and blogs, you can get a whole bunch of entries ... and a better chance of winning!

I do one once in a while -- they can be a lot of fun!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Artisan Feature - A New Series Here on RSS Designs In Fiber ...

Ruth Sandra Sperling

I have found in the months since I started my blog here, that I enjoy the writing and the arranging of graphics, while doing the blog posts.

Members of my family might say things - like - oh, she was always good at writing letters.

Fellow-students or past-teachers might say that she was competent at writing papers and reports.

Past- employers sometimes use to ask me to write letters, though I was not actually a secretary.

What it really comes down to is that -- for some reason, at some times, I enjoy writing and do it well enough.

From what feedback I got when I almost got into a writing course, I am a little too wordy. I try - to be more concise, to find better ways to say things with less words, but sometimes I just want to say something a certain way!

Well, after considering it for some time, I have decided to start a new venture on my blog here, which is sort of a journal, but also, I hope, a source of information for some people (that is why I often have so many links to documents on the Internet in my blog posts).

My new venture is a Series of Features of different types of Artisans.

Now I was just thinking - why the word "Artisans"?

Definition of Artisan from the American Heritage Dictionary:
"A person manually skilled in making a particular product; craftsman. [ Lat. artitus, skilled in the arts, p.part. of artire, to instruct in the arts < ars, art.]

Why not the word "Artist"?

Definition of Artist from the American Heritage Dictionary:
1. One who creates works of art, esp. a painter, sculptor, or musician. 2. Any person who performs his work as if it were an art.

Actually, since my goal is to Interview and Feature those who make things in such a way that I admire them, and I want to tell the world about them and give them a chance to tell the world through my blog -- and I am talking about those who manually make things -- I prefer the word "Artisan", though these Artisans, at least in my humble opinion, are, for the most part, Artists!!

So, this is an ANNOUNCEMENT!!

Starting with the following blog post, I am going to be doing Features of certain Artisans that I have learned about -

-- by posting the questions that I sent them with the answers they wrote me back -- and inserting the photographs that they sent me with the questions and answers.

I do it this way - because - I feel that the person being interviewed has the right to state in their own words what they want to present -- this is their right to full editing of what they say!!

I hope to do about 2 a month, but not on any particular schedule -- just as I can fit them in -- between the other events and occurences in my life!

I hope they are entertaining, informative - and also beautiful, at least to some extent!

If you are curious enough - well - follow my blog!

May it turn out to be beneficial to all concerned!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Ruth Sandra Sperling

There is currently a public comment period right now for the public to comment on the DRAFT ALTERNATIVES for the Management Plan for the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

This Ongoing Public Process is based on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) , which though documented at the link provided, is explained in more common language at: .

Here is the web page covering the current development of the Giant Sequoia National Monument (GSNM) Management Plan:

You can read the proposed DRAFT ALTERNATIVES online in the Monument Public Commenting Portal. The documents are downloadable in pdf form there.

You can make (write) comments on them and mail them to:

Sequoia National Forest
Giant Sequoia National Monument
1839 South Newcomb Street
Porterville, CA 93257-9353

- or fax them to the Forest Supervisor's office at (559) 781-4744.

Calling up and leaving comments is a little difficult, but the phone number for their main office in Portervill, CA is (559) 784-1500.

This is just a small part of an Ongoing Public Process for managing one of the most ecologically significant ecosystems in the Continental United States - the Giant Sequoia ecosystem, which is a globally significant biodiversity hotspot within a globally significant biodiversity hotspot (the Sierra Nevada) within a larger globally significant biodiversity hotspot (the California Floristic Province) - check out Conservation International on the importance and locations of biodiversity hotspots!

Our National Forests and all public lands are for public use -- so us public can voice our opinions about how they are run. Some things are just Congressional and then you voice your opinions to Senators and Congressmen or Congresswomen, but this is about writing mangement plans for our public forests -- and public can also read public documents and voice their opinions about the management of the public lands!!
After the GSNM DRAFT ALTERNATIVES, the next step is the GSNM Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Watch for upcoming news -- sign up on the Monument Public Commenting Portal!!


On April 15, 2000, history was made when President Bill Clinton did the Presidential Proclamation establishing the Giant Sequoia National Monument, which you can read yourself at the link!!

But since that date, there has been a series of management and legal activities resulting in the current ongoing public process to get a Management Plan written and implemented that will accomplish the goals of the original Presidential Proclamation!

Yes - it has been going on over 9 years!!

But, if you have ever been to the Sequoia National Forest and what is now the Giant Sequoia National Monument -- and realize the extent of the logging (including removal of actual Giant Sequoias over a hundred years ago) -- and the ramifications of the years of logging there, you would understand, like I do -- that writing an implementable Management Plan that will accomplish the goals of the Presidential Proclamation, as quoted from the Presidential Proclamation itself (page 3 of the proclamation or page 24097 of the Federal Register) below, is no easy accomplishment!

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States
of America, by the authority vested in me by section 2 of the Act of
June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431), do proclaim that there are
hereby set apart and reserved as the Giant Sequoia National Monument,
for the purpose of protecting the objects identified in the above preceding
paragraphs, all lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the
United States within the boundaries of the area described on the map
entitled ‘‘Proposed Giant Sequoia National Monument’’ attached to and forming
a part of this proclamation."

I went to meetings in various places around southern California for the discussion and public forum for establishing the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

It was in 2001 that I started going to public meetings, including meetings of the Scientific Advisory Board established per the Presidential Proclamation (see page 4 of the proclamation or page 24098 of the Federal Register), to find out what was going on regarding the management of the new Giant Sequoia National Monument.

I learned a tremendous amount listening to U S Forest Service staff and various agency and private scientists discuss the Giant Sequoia ecosystem and its current conditions and how to restore it to what is considered the desirable condition.

I also chose the scientists that I feel are the best to recommend the scientific methods to be used and how to develop the science for this particular ecosystem: Dr. David Graber of the National Park Service and Dr. Nathan Stephenson of the USGS -- and the SNEP authors and other scientists who agree with them.

If you are unfamiliar with what is going on, you might want to read the documents on the following list, which is linked:

-- Summary of the Interpretations of the Monument Proclamation prepared by Carie Fox as of May 2009
-- Sequoia National Forest Interpretation of the Proclamation dated May 22, 2009
-- Strategic Framework of June 2009 at
-- 2008 Symposium Speaker's Presentations at
-- Science Advisories of the GSNM Scientific Advisory Board (2003) at

Also, as regards the Scientific Advisory Board and the current process developing the Management Plan for the Giant Sequoia National Monument, and having attended the majority of the public meetings where they discussed what the Management Plan should be, I have the following comment to make public:

I have read in the Interpretations of the GSNM Presidential Proclamation about
the different views regarding the Scientific Advisory Board with the remanding
(invalidating) of the original Management Plan/Record of Decision from Art

As that (original) Management Plan was totally remanded and a
judge ordered them to re-write it, I agree with View 1 stated in Carrie Fox's
Interpretation of the Proclamation:

"View 1: Since the management plan associated with the last Scientific Advisory Board was invalidated, this will be the “initial management plan” and therefore another Scientific Advisory Board is required—one that is empanelled in the same time period in which the plan is being formulated and that will have the opportunity to comment on the draft plan. In apparent support of this, the Proclamation states that the Scientific Advisory Board is to provide scientific advice during the development of the initial management plan. [Lines 147-154]"

- from pages 12 and 13

That is all I have to say at this moment - except:

If you are so inclined -- I wish you Good Reading!!

Also, in 1999, when I first became aware of the planning going on for the National Forests of the Sierra Nevada, I spent some time in the then Sequioa National Forest, most of which became the Giant Sequoia National Monument. Being a landscape photographer, I took photographs of certain areas. Some of them I mounted. Below is a presentation I prepared. Both were taken in the Southern portion of the Giant Sequoia National Monument - off Western Divide Highway. The photograph on the left was taken in Long Meadow Grove on Western Divide Highway. The photograph on the right was taken on what I call the "Road to Windy Gap" - west of Western Divide Highway and around Nobe Young Meadow - an area that was definitely logged in the past.
One thing I would like to say about the differences between the Grove and the logged area, which is important to me: in the Giant Sequoia Grove there were birds singing and squirrels and chipmunks running around; in the logged area, it was totally quiet - no birds, no animals running around - which brings to mind Aldo Starker Leopold's comment about replanted clearcut areas or plantations: "...where a bluejay would have to pack a lunch to get across" (1978b, p.9). I love the birds and other wildlife in a forest and it "hurts" to see such logged areas!

Draw your own conclusions!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Designs from Etsy for Decorating

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

One of the things I love about Etsy is the creativity in the Handmade items all over the shops.

There are various ways you can show this -- you can do what they call "Etsy Minis" of items from your own shop - or your favorites - and, I believe, of some Gift Guides. Then you can put the "Etsy Minis" wherever will take the code (then it links to the items on Etsy) - or you can make an image of the Etsy Mini to put in things.

But the Etsy Teams I belong to have come up with all kinds of additional ways to show our creative items on the Internet - various Blog postings and websites.

As I have talked about before, I am in 3 Etsy Teams:

This time I am showcasing something on the website for Design Style Guide: . On this website, members of the Design Style Guide Etsy Team can pay for having listings on the website, which is advertised to Interior Decorators and people in Home Decorating. One of the features on this website is that members can create "Treasuries" of 12 listings (curated galleries) on .

Well, I have 2 listings on and I just updated one -- and I decided to make a Treasury on the theme of the Late Summer to Early Fall Harvest Summer: Grapes, Vines and Leaves.

These Treasuries on are really beautiful galleries of items members of Design Style Guide have crafted themselves. Take a look! They change every few days!!

Find uniquely hand-crafted aesthetic items for your home or office or any room or building with Design Style Guide and Etsy!!

If you like to decorate with hand-crafted finely detailed crocheted items in thread - check out Etsy Thread Artists!

If you are eco-minded and are looking to shop from like-minded people who run their businesses "eco" or "green" - check out Eco Etsy!

Etsy Sellers can be in multiple Teams, so you may find some in multiple Teams - just like me!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

For August - SUMMER HATS - Handmade and Cotton

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

Hot, Sunny Days of Summer - AUGUST!

In these hot, sunny days, especially where I live in the High Desert of Southern California, I would never go out without something on my head to protect it from the hot sun and shade my face.

As I have made hats since my teens (oh, about 40 years ago!) and I get a little ticked off at the sunhats sold in the stores, I make my own for myself -- and then some to sell to others.

Made with the Peaches and Creme 100% worsted cotton, they are sturdy, lightweight, comfortable and "crushable", all strong points with me personally.

I am not sure how others feel -- or exactly what they are looking for.

Here are some examples of Summer Hats in 100% cotton -- all of them easily fold up to go in a bag or suitcase and they never get wrinkled!

First, here are 2 from my Etsy shop:

This is a Red and White Sunhat with a 3-dimensional multi-layered flower on the side -- click on the picture to see my Etsy shop listing with several views of it.

This is a Slouchy Beret or Tam with a netted top and a solid band cuff that stretches. In a variegated yarn with yellow, pink and turquoise with white, it is cheerful and bright! The solid band can cover those ears in a cooler breeze. Click on the picture to see the Etsy listing.

Last, here is one that I made as a custom order for someone local where I live. It is in Navy Blue, but I also made her one exactly like it in Black.

I DO CUSTOM ORDERS FOR HATS AND ALL KINDS OF THINGS - Please note that the Peaches and Creme cotton yarn I use comes in many different colors including quite a variety of variegated yarns, which I can get from the manufacturer's online store!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Etsy Thread Artists Team has Grown - and its the THREAD ARTIST OF THE MONTH CONTEST Again!

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

Though I do a variety of crafts in different fibers, over the years I have been selling my crafted items, predominantly my work has been in Thread -- and Thread Crochet at that.

Take a look at my shop on -- and the sales I have had there.

So, my Etsy Team, Etsy Thread Artists means a lot to me!

Our Team has grown -- and I hope will continue to do more in the Handmade community.

We have just re-instated our THREAD ARTIST OF THE MONTH competition, where we have a Poll on our Team blog, listing all the eligible shops for the current month - for a Feature of the Etsy Thread Artist member who gets the most votes in the following month.

Our Etsy Thread Artist members do such a variety of Thread Crochet from Home Decor to Fashion items to Jewelry items to Toys and Dolls!

Take a look at our Team Blog -- and the individual shops of our Etsy Thread Artists members -- and see what's there!!

FALL Table Decor

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

I have been making and selling my crochet for about 6 years in various ways and places.

I have found that one of the most popular times of years that people are looking for decorations is FALL!

All different kinds of things in what is considered FALL COLORS!

  • Orange
  • Gold Yellow
  • Coppery Browns
  • Ecru and other beiges

Over the years I have made all kinds of things - from small trinkets or coasters to medium and large doilies to table runners.

All kinds of leaves - Maple Leaves, Oak Leaves and Generic Leaf patterns!!

All kinds of patterns in beiges and golds.
Most of what I make for the Fall season is Inspired by Nature - the colors and things of nature!

Here are a few samples of my crochet work in colors most people think of for FALL! They each link to my Etsy shop, where these are for sale.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My Little DESIGNS IN FIBER - Crochet and Knitting

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

In the years that I have been crocheting and knitting, I have found that there are some people who love crocheted or knitted table decor, but really only like the little ones or small ones -- I usually call them "Trinket" Doilies or Coasters.

So, I try to have my Designs In Fiber in a variety of sizes - and a bunch of smaller ones -- some in sets and some individually.

Some match larger items -- some are just on their own -- and some are in sets.

Everything is in cotton -- here are photos of various of "My Little DESIGNS IN FIBER". Some of them link to where they are being sold in my Etsy shop (they can be in different sections of my shop). Others have been sold or given away - those are towards the end of this post and don't link to anywhere.

These pictures are of a few items that have sold over time - but in most cases, I could re-make them in the same or similar colors -- and in the same or various sizes!


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

As far as I'm concerned, sustainable is the only way to live, but with things for the home out there made in so many materials -- and some materials the average consumer may just not know that much about or not realize that buying it goes back to something being done that somehow damages the environment.

But when it comes to wood products, there are ways to be fairly sure that there is at least some kind of ethics behind the source of the wood use to make the product.

There is the Forest Stewarship Council - and it handles certifying forests around the world and their products that are managed sustainably. That means that when you are buying something made from new wood - you can look or ask for a certification that the wood comes from a forest that is managed for Land and Forest Health.

Now there are other organizations in the timber and paper and furniture industries that claim to do proper certification of sustainable forestry, but I have rather high standards and so do the environmental attorneys that I listen to (NRDC, EarthJustice, The Wilderness Society, The Nature Conservancy).

The Forest Stewardship Council certification of wood products is the only certification that I have read that these environmental attorneys feel is really based on standards that result in properly managed forests for overall ecological integrity.

Personally, I only buy wood products that I feel good about buying. For me personally, I don't need that much and I am not one of these people who re-decorate my home or work spaces on a seasonal basis -- though I have known of people who do!!

Mostly used or vintage wood pieces are good enough for me -- some, I prefer over new ones, though I can't say I would never want something made in new wood.

But I feel so strongly about protecting the forests left on the planet -- and planting trees for ecological health -- that I would never buy a wood product that I knew was made from a clearcut -- actually, I would want any wood product that I bought to be made from wood that was harvested "single selection" -- meaning one tree at a time - and in such a way as to not damage other trees (or their root structures) around it.

Aldo Leopold ( one of my favorite conservation writers) and his family and supporters (Aldo Leopold Foundation) have written and done research on this issue of susatinable forestry for generations now - just for one example .

Smaller wood products can be made from the various pieces of wood that can be found all over a forest floor -- in fact, it can be beneficial to collect these pieces of wood (sometimes called debris by forest managers), because if left in the forest these pieces of wood (the debris) could create what is known as a "fuel ladder" for a fire and increase the fire risk/hazard -- so picking them up for whatever use is beneficial in reducing fire risk/hazard!

In the Angeles National Forest, the National Forest just to the south of where I live, you can get permits to go around picking up these pieces of wood littering the forest floor for personal use -- the US Forest Service encourages it and it is part of their Fire Hazard Reduction program (I did at one time know someone who had such a permit to get wood for making things).

If you check around the Internet, you can find articles about how much of the original forest that covered this planet is left -- and I have seen the figure of 4% (yes, that means that 96% is gone), but I am not qualified to state what the actually accurate figure is. I just know that we have relatively little forest left and there are so many benefits of forests: shade, trees hold water in the lands, trees clean the air and water -- and we don't have those benefits for the percentage of forest that is gone --and it worries me.

All I am asking and reminding people of -- when you decorate your buildings, whatever they are -- keep in mind that it will be better for everyone if you do it SUSTAINABLY!!

Ruth Sandra