Sunday, December 30, 2012

Celebrating Colors In Handmade - Fading From 2012 Into 2013

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

COLORS!!  All of Them!!  They Color our Lives - bring Joy, Fun, Brightness -- sometimes using a Color is better than using words!!

In Handmade -- choosing what Colors you use in making something determines:

  • Who it is for, 
  • Who will buy it, 
  • What Holiday it is for, 
  • What Season it is for!!

On Artfire, the Artisans and other Sellers curate Collections to show off what is in their studios.  Curating them is actually almost an Art in itself -- it is actually composing -- when putting the ones I Curate together, I use some of my composition skills that I learned when studying photography.

Here in chronological order are a number of Artfire Collections -- each one focusing on certain Colors - from late November to now -- and the last, my newest Collection "Winter Whites and Reds for 2013" - to Welcome the New Year -- and CELEBRATE THE COLORS IN HANDMADE!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cross Promoting Holiday Gift Ideas

Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - My Handmade Designs

Well, It's Winter Holiday time Again!!




New Year???

Whatever your plans, most people are looking for Gifts - or Personal Accessories to Wear - or Decor for the Celebrations at Home, Office or School!!

Well I have teamed up with a bunch of us who sell either Handmade or Vintage -- and we have lots of Gift Ideas!!

Here's My Handmade I suggest for this week:

Holly Berries and Leaves Holiday Doily - Round Placemat - Centerpiece
Holly Berries On Leaves Holiday Doily

Bird of Peace With Olive Branch - Filet Crochet Hanging

Basket in Red & Green Geometric Stitch - Winter Color Decor OOAK
Red and Green Textured Basket and Ornament

And you can find the "Gift Ideas" from this team of people HERE on this blog --

-- and on Blue Morning Expressions' Blog -- this is a Blog Hop!!

Something Gorgeous!!  Something Fun!!  Something Eco-Friendly!!  You'll find quite a bit this week!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Matching Handmade Decor

Ruth Sandra Sperling 
RSS Designs In Fiber 
- Get My Handmade Designs on Bonanza - or Etsy - or      Privately 

Red and Green Basket

I do the Handmade that I do in certain Colors Themes - which vary - but what I also do is make different items that Match.

Red and Green Pot Holders

The Red and Green Basket and the Red and Green Pot Holders Match - yes, they are made with the same yarn.

Desert Sands Matching Set

This Matching Set is made in a Variegated Yarn named "Desert Sands" - with some Yarns that match some of the Colors in the Variegated Yarn.

Desert Sands Basket

The Basket, Mat and Two Pot Holders are made with these same Yarns in several different patterns I made up. 

Desert Sands Mat

These Two Holly Berries with Leaves pieces - made with the same Threads - would go together really well in any Decor theme with Red and Green - that is if you like Crocheted Lace!

Holly Leaves with Berries Doily 

Holly Leaves with Berries Coasters

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkins - One of My Favorite Halloween or Fall Things

Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Get My Handmade Designs on Bonanza - or Privately

Fall Harvest Pumpkin Coaster Set

Pumpkins Galore!  That is usually how it is this time of the year - Halloween just around the corner - with Harvest celebrations - and then Thanksgiving!

The Pumpkins were either grinning Jack-o-Lanterns - or that delightful smell of Pumpkin with spices!!

You know -- we always had HANDMADE in my life - we did it for all the Holidays and just for fun, but now, with the Internet and TV - it is all over publicly - and people get quite creative in the HANDMADE PUMPKIN "things" they make and show off or sell.

If you search "Handmade Pumpkins" -- you find all kinds of things on various sites.

My Pumpkin Coaster Set - funny years ago when I did not have a set made, someone was asking for some crocheted "Pumpkin Coasters"!

Some years back, I did a Cornucopia (which sold) - and I made sure there were Pumpkins (see down there at the bottom)!

So, I wish you all a good time celebrating - whether it is Halloween ~ or Harvest ~ or Thanksgiving!

-- And don't forget the Pumpkins!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Life Changes - But I Still Have The MUSIC!

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

You may wonder - well, WHAT???

It's been a while since I have been in here.  Since late July I have been working on a Life Change that has taken a lot of work and time -- overall it is very good for me, but there were problems with it along the way.

But through it all -- with my trusty computer, my ipod shuffle and my itunes -- I had the MUSIC I wanted all through it!!

I can't remember when MUSIC wasn't a major part of my life.  Of course, I had a Father who had sung since his childhood -- and he sang around me all the time.  I grew up with all kinds of MUSIC -- and I definitely have my favorites.

Here is where itunes and my ipod shuffle come in.

Oh - since I was a kid, I had albums of MUSIC.  My Uncle Saul gave me an album of the MUSIC from Peter Pan and I still remember it.  We always had a record player and a selection of albums - I grew up with Classical Music, Musicals -- and various types of Folk Music.  I collected them throughout my life - now they are CD's or just digital downloads!!

But those are whole albums -- which I still highly appreciate and buy.  After all, when an artist puts together an album -- very often, that album tells a story or is a "song cycle" or is just on some theme, but there is usually a purpose to a whole album.

But ipods -- I love my ipod shuffle!!  I can put individual pieces I want to hear -- and I can make playlists with the pieces in a certain order -- or I can just load all these songs on it -- and listen to it on Random, so I have a surprise with every song it plays!!

So, from some of the CD's I have, I have chosen some of the songs and loaded them on my ipod shuffle, so I can hear these "favorites" when I listen.  And the great thing about an ipod shuffle is that you can attach it to whatever you are wearing and listen as you go about doing things.

My "favorites" change -- why I do not know.  Mood???  Life??? Aesthetics???

Well -- what I feel like listening to changes!!!

I have figured out that the Vocals and the playing of the instruments have something to do with my favorites.

Here are few of my favorite lines from my current musical favorites -- which helped me through this recent period of change!  You have to realize that when I read the lines, I hear the music and the songs in my head!   

DAN FOGELBERG - From the song "Ever On" - on the Album "The Wild Places" copyright 1990

"May the trail rise up to greet you
 May your heart rejoice in song
 May the skies be fair above you
 As you journey ever on.
"May your love be there to guide us
 May it always keep us strong
 May we walk within your footsteps
 As you lead us ever on"
"Ever On ....

GORDON LIGHTFOOT - From the song "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" - on the Album "Gord's Gold" copyright 1975

"We have opened up the soil with our teardrops and our toil
  Oh, there was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run
  When the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun
  Long before the white man and long before the wheel
  When the green dark forest was too silent to be real
  When the green dark forest was too silent to be real
  And many are the dead men .... too silent to be real"

LEO KOTKE - his arrangement of "Cripple Creek" on the Album, "The Best of Leo Lotke" -- his fine pickin' says it all!!

WOODY GUTHRIE - From the song "Talking Dust Bowl Blues (Alternate Version) on the Album, "Dust Bowl Ballads" - re-publication of the original 1940 Album in 2000 by Buddha Records.

"That stew was so thin you could read a magazine right through it
  Always have thought and always have figured that if it had been just a little bit thinner
     there here politicians could have seen through it"

Note about WOODY GUTHRIE:  My Father introduced me to him when I was a kid and I just loved Woody's singing, harmonica playing and guitar playing -- and his stories and his sense of humor.  Here are a few notes from the Album, "Dust Bowl Ballads".  First from Dave Marsh in May 2000:  "So these songs are not only historical, they are history itself, history being that which links present to future.  That is why, sixty years after they were recorded, Woody Guthrie's Dust Bowl Ballads still deserve their place among the greatest American stories and songs."  Second, from Woody Guthrie's Original Liner Notes:  "This bunch of songs ain't about me, and I ain't a going to write about me, 'cause every time I start to do that, I find that I run out of material. .... Sing as loud and as long as you like, but don't mention my name.  Take it easy, but take it.  True as the Average - Woody Guthrie"


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Writing Letters to Save the Tongass National [Rain] Forest -- Again!!

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

It seems like it has been going on forever - the ecological riches of Alaska - those who want to "plunder" them for short-term economic gain -- and those who are forever fighting to Save them because of their Global Ecological significance!

Though I had heard about it before, it was when I acquired the book by Robert Glenn Ketchum, "THE TONGASS ALASKA'S VANISHING RAINFOREST" (copyright 1987) in 1988 that I saw the riches of that forest in his photographs and read about his on-the ground adventures there.  Though I have never been there, this book brought me closer to what is really there.


Here are two Quotes From "The Refuge of the Rain Forest" in "THE TONGASS ALASKA'S VANISHING RAINFOREST" by Robert Glenn Ketchum with Carey D. Ketchum:

"As we flew over the monumental landscape in a tiny bush plane, the greenness of the world below commanded all out attention.  Green of a richness unlike any shade of this color you have ever known.  Green of more varieties and nuances than you can imagine.  Green in every crack in every wall. Green covering the floors of the valley.  Green
even in the milky waters flowing out of the glaciers.  And everywhere that it is green, life abounds."

"Old-growth temperate rainforest once dominated the West Coast from Northern California to Kodiak Island in Alaska.  Remnants of old growth, such as the Hohn Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state, are scattered along the Pacific Coast.  But, beautiful as they are, they are only remnants.  The Tongass is a world
unto itself, and for centuries it has remained virtually undisturbed.  Now a forest that has achieved full maturity, it has reached a steady state, encompassing trees of all ages, dominated by old monarchs of large size.  Beneath their canopy, younger trees grow toward the light, ready to replace any of the giants that might succumb to wind, rot, insects, or disease.  In the understory, herbs, shrubs, and vines grow in profusion.  Old trees that die and fall open windows to the sky that are filled by the most vigorous younger trees.  Lichens and moss grow everywhere on the forest floor as well as in the canopy.  The decaying trunks of trees that have fallen become "nurse" logs, simultaneously decomposing into soil and serving as seedbeds for new growth.  Biologists refer to this as a forest of uneven age, and consider it to be the most productive and diverse."

I don't know how to communicate to the readers the vast Ecological Value of this National [Rain] Forest - except by sharing with you photos and what others have written and said about it.

 -- Here is a video from Audobon Alaska -- it says and shows the key points on protecting this Global Treasure!!                                                               

In a recent response to the recent attempts of a corporation, Sealaska Corporation, to acquire 65,000 acres of the Tongass National Forest for them to commercially log - including clear-cutting Old Growth trees - for their corporate short-term gain - apparently with no consideration for the Ecological Values of this land or with any 
attempt at conserving these Globally significant values - 300 scientists (listed in the document) wrote this "An Open Letter from Over 300 Scientists on Protecting the Tongass National Forest", which is embedded at the end of this post!

For me it is all pretty much covered in this statement in this Letter, which has a number of Footnotes referencing research and statements from prominent scientists in Forestry Resources and Research:

"When rainforests are logged, much of their stored carbon is released as a greenhouse gas pollutant during site preparation, manufacture, and transport of wood products, which in the case of the Tongass, involves long distances to the Pacific Rim. These losses are not made up by storing carbon temporarily in wood products or by  planting trees, as the on-site reduction in carbon storage from logging takes at least 200 years to return to about the same amount of stored carbon in the uncut old-growth forest."

The reference (5) for this statement in the letter is:
5Harmon ME, Ferrell WK, Franklin JF. 1990. Effects on carbon storage of conversion of old-growth forests to young forests. Science 247:699–702. -- 

 -- including a Forestry Scientist who I have known of for years - and who I have heard speak -- and even emailed with some:  Dr. Jerry F. Franklin -- so I personally feel I can trust this data!!

200 years at least to attempt to restore the same amount of stored carbon that would be released if this Old Growth in the Tongass National Forest is logged???? 

-- And I am afraid that I am not sure of any guarantees of that restoration happening it in that time - with current conditions and Climate Change, we may never be able to have this same Old Growth that they want to remove - again!!  I heard this being discussed by scientists at a Science Workshop in 1999 put on by the Sierra Nevada Framework of the US Forest Service.

We don't have the 200 years on Earth, anyway, I am afraid -- We simply cannot afford to allow such logging in the Tongass National Forest.

How much more do you want to read to be convinced??

I am writing my Senators and the President in this case -- it is said that even if they already agree with you, they need to receive comments to support and back their positions on these things -- so write I will!!

Do you want to?? -- You can!! -- Comments on public lands are allowed - and even welcomed by some - in the United States of America!!

For further Scientific and Agricultural reading -- you might want to check these papers online:

  2. LIGHTENING THE TREAD OF POPULATION ON THE LAND by Paul E. Waggoner, Jessie H. Ausubel and Iddo K. Werrick
  3. Higher density means world forests are capturing more carbon
  4. Searching for Leverage to Conserve Forests:The Industrial Ecology of Wood Products in the United States

An Open Letter from Over 300 Scientists on Protecting the Tongass National Forest

Saturday, June 23, 2012

AMERICANA Themes In My Thread Crochet

Ruth Sandra Sperling 
RSS Designs In Fiber
- My Handmade Designs on Bonanza - or on Etsy - or Get Them Privately


I like doing or making things in "AMERICANA"!

"AMERICANA" refers to objects that somehow are related to being Patriotic to the United States, including Household Objects!

Well -- I make Home Decor (household objects) or Decorative Fiber Arts - and when I do them in an "AMERICANA" theme, then they are either "Red, White and Blue" to reflect the colors of our Flag - or like the 6-piece Coaster set in the lower left picture, have a White Star on Navy with Red and White Stripes!!

Different Shades of Blue are also considered an "AMERICANA" Theme - hence including the Navy and Medium Blue Striped Drawstring Bag.

Though the Three Holidays of Memorial Day, July 4th and Veteran's Day are usually associated with "AMERICANA" Decorative themes - some decorate or have things in such Color themes all year round -- or have collections or areas of their homes in "AMERICANA" - and those are the people who buy my "AMERICANA" Crochet!!

All of the above 4 items picture can be found in at the links below (clockwise from the upper left picture):

1. AMERICANA Red, White & Blue Lace Drawstring Pouch

2. AMERICANA Red, White & Blue Circles Coaster

3.  Striped Light and Navy Blue Drawstring Pouch

4, AMERICANA White Star in Navy, Red & White Coaster Set

Here are some Photos of other "AMERICANA" I made myself -- and SOLD!



Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Rose - the Flower of June

Ruth Sandra Sperling 
RSS Designs In Fiber
- Get My Handmade Designs on Bonanza - or on Etsy - or Privately

Ah-h-h - ROSES!!

Fiber Art Vase of Roses

They mean different things to different people.

They come in all different Sizes and Colors - and Shapes even!

They have been one of my favorite flowers since I was a little girl -- and for my birthday (which is in June!), I always got a vase of the miniature tea roses, which I loved!

What I have been doing since sometime in 2004 - is crocheting them - all types and sizes, some are "3-dimensional" with layers of petals -- and some are flat, but Roses I crochet!

The top photo above is a project I did last year which I blogged about then - I decided to kind of do the Crocheted Roses "free-form" -- and so they would look like the Cabbage Roses that grow wild around here where I live.