Thursday, February 12, 2015

My Top 10 Parks - The Ones That Really Made A Difference In My Life - Part One

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



My Crocheted Tree Tapestry - Inspired By All The Hours and Days I've Spent With Trees

Spending time with Social Media - all kinds of comments pass before my eyes when I am on the computer, but when I saw The Wilderness Society tweet --

'If you put together a "top ten national parks list", what would make the cut?'
-- it caught my eye, because going to Parks and Forests all my life has had such an affect on my life that I cannot really measure it - it helped make me who I am.

So, I thought about it - and I decided to come up with my Top 10, but they cannot all be "National Parks" - because some of the most influential parks for me personally weren't those!

It all really started the summer when I was either 5 or 6 years old and our Summer Day Camp in Chicago, IL went for a hike in a local Forest Preserve of Cook County.  I have never forgotten it because for some reason it made a huge impression on me and I have Loved Forests ever since that time!! ---- I can still remember being this small, little girl with all these other kids and the Camp Counselor who was leading us down this trail - showing us different plants - including the lesson I have never forgotten about: Poison Ivy and how to recognize it to avoid it (and I have never in my life missed recognizing Poison Ivy so I didn't get the rash LOL)!

But my Top 10 reflect certain times in my life.  I am going to list them chronologically for me - as my life went along. This blog post will cover the first 3 of the 10 in the years before I went to the Western United States.

Ontonagon, Upper Peninsula of Michigan
I was a teenager and my family would go there for summer vacations - it was where on a family hike I had the experience of seeing Bear Cubs wild in the Forest - and then there was one August we could see the Northern Lights one night on a Lake Superior Beach somewhere around Ontonagon and Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park (southern part of the Keweenaw Peninsula of the Upper Peninsula of the State of Michigan). -- More unforgettable moments!

I was in College at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign when I went to some kind of orientation at "Allerton" where I was immediately impressed with the place - but it was some distance from the campus in the twin cities of Urbana-Champaign and it was some months before I got to go there a second time and just wander.  -----------------Over the years from early 1971 until I moved away (to the St. Louis, MO area), I found ways to go there and explore all areas of what to me was at that time in my life a wonderous place to go walking as shown on this Map  - over on the more "Formal Side" as I think of it, you see Works of Art literally out in the forest:  Beautiful Sculptures such as The Centaur and The Sun Singer - then Adam, The Three Graces and The Girl are more right in the Formal Gardens - and then there is the Avenue of the Chinese Musicians playing all kinds of instruments, which I just loved; and the Walk to the "House of the Golden Buddhas" then over to the Fu Dog Garden - and then down a path to the Goldfish Pond (sort of in the woods) - you just have to go there to know how it is with the Artwork and the woods!!  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------But it was the other side of the Sangamon River - what I call the wild side - that I loved the "Green World" of that Illinois Plains Forest - I would spend hours walking around country roads to get over in there and walk around the paths!  I was very lucky to have a friend who bought a 40 acre farm bordering Allerton's "wild side" - for years I would be visiting there and accessing the paths of Allerton's forest from that farm!  This was my first experiences of hiking in real forest for more than just a short vacation and over and over down the same paths - sometimes alone - seeing all kinds of plants and wildlife: Raccoons and Snakes and Flowers such as "Jacks-in-the-Pulpit" - and, of course, the birds!  Such fun it was for me - and in many ways enlightening.  It was years later I learned that only a small portion of that "Wild Green World" was native, virgin forest - the other hundreds of acres of it were forest naturally regenerated through the work of Biologists from the University of Illinois Biology Dept.!

Southern Illinois
Going to the Shawnee National Forest was my second series of more adult experiences out in wild forest - hiking down paths in real forest.  This was done on weekends when I could go with a friend when I was living and working in St. Louis, MO.  Across the Mississippi River from St. Louis on the southern tip of Illinois, it was a lot of fun to go over there - especially when one of the ways going across the river, we took a ferry across the Mississippi!  Driving down country roads was a favorite pass-time of me and a friend - we did some in Missouri, but it was the hiking in the Shawnee National Forest that was the "wildest" and I appreciated the most - and I remember driving down a road and stopping because of a Turtle sunbathing in the middle of the road!!  Yes - we stopped for Wildlife!!

Well - this is it for now - To Be Continued .... the Top 10 Parks of my Life!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Newest Irish Crochet Lace Heart - In Marsala Reds!

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


Irish Crochet Lace Heart in Marsala Reds


This time I made this "Irish Crochet Lace" Heart with all lustrous DMC Pearl Cotton Threads - with the main color theme being what is being called this year "Marsala" (Pantone's 2015 Color of the Year).

I have had DMC Pearl Cottons in this deep Earthy Wine Red for years and years - I believe DMC named it "Dark Garnet Red" at one time, but when I saw what "Marsala" was, I knew it was that color, which I love!!

For the 3 Multi-layer Irish Crochet Roses inside the Heart, I used a Variegated or Shaded Thread in the same color family - with Marsala Red the darkest and Baby Pink as the lightest in that Shaded Thread.

I did my best, when I photographed it to capture the luster or sheen of the DMC Pearl Cotton Thread - all of their Pearl Cotton Threads have this special "glow" to them - I understand from their description that this comes from the way it is made and twisted in France.  I just love this DMC Pearl Cotton Thread - in all sizes and colors!!

This Deep Red, "Marsala" is an indication of deep Love or Friendship - it seems to me it would make a great gift for any occasion or holiday about Love or Friendship!

I have been crocheting all kinds of things with Hearts since I started crocheting in Thread - 2003 - below is a You Tube video I did:
  "My Hearts by RSS Designs In Fiber"




-- and here is my current Pinterest Board, "Hearts in Fiber Arts I Made"

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Drawing A Picture with Crochet - This Time It's Fantasy Art - A White Dragon!

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


The White Dragon - Fantasy Art - Filet Crochet Art Decor - Fiber Art
The White Dragon - Fantasy Art - Filet Crochet Art Decor


Yes - you can DRAW WITH CROCHET!

The technique used for this "Crochet Drawing" is Filet Crochet.

I kept the Edging of "The White Dragon in Filet Crochet" simple with a rectangular shape.  It is 14 Inches wide and 18 Inches High - it could be framed against a dark background to bring out the Image of the Dragon - with a mesh background and border.

Filet Crochet is a crochet stitch design involving blocks and mesh - some of the mesh is just square/rectangular empty blocks - and some of the mesh is more complicated with "lacet stitches", which is what is used for the mesh background around the Image of the Dragon in this, "The White Dragon".

Though I got the pattern from one of Elizabeth Hiddleson's Original Books of her Crochet Designs, Volume 29 - my real inspiration is from one of Anne McCaffrey's book on the "Dragonriders of Pern":   "The White Dragon"!  Reading Anne McCaffrey's books about the Dragonriders of Pern, I discovered a love for Dragons - and their smaller cousins, "Fire Lizards" (actually small dragons)!

It was fun to make - though rather complicated!!

I've used Filet Crochet to "draw" a few other pictures - some my own design, some others' patterns - here are pictures of a few of them:






Cottontail Rabbit In A Bush - Filet Crochet Textured Mat with Wildlife
Cottontail Rabbit In A Bush - Filet Crochet Image of Wildlife







Sunday, December 14, 2014

It Is The Art In Each Piece That I Love So Much!

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






I, as RSS Designs In Fiber on Artfire, curated this Collection "Artful Gifts".

Everything in it is Handmade.  As I saw these, what I saw was the ART and CREATIVITY in each piece!!

And I decided to share them with the world through an Artfire Collection!

Here are all the Creators - including whose pieces that you can only see HERE (at the bottom).

Designs in Stained Glass
RSS Designs In Fiber
Lise Winne
Uniquely Jen Quilt Creations
Quilt Tops
Art By Sunfire
Shadow Dog Designs
Wyvern Designs
Crafts Of The Past
Covergirlbeads
Umeboshi
Blue Morning Expressions
Jazz It Up With Designs By Nancy
Specialtivity
Sew Amazin
Daisy Doodle Embroidery



Monday, December 1, 2014

Presenting Handmade Celebrating Wildlife

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






I have always loved WILDLIFE - ever since I was a little girl!

From the Birds and Squirrels I saw walking to and from School daily - to seeing some in the Zoo - to seeing some on hikes - and later, when an older child, seeing them when we vacationed in Forests!

I've gone hiking in Forests in various different parts of the USA - been feet away from Deer, Foxes, Raccoons, Skunks, Cottontail Rabbits, Kangaroo Rats (in the Carrizo Plain - they look like very big hopping Rabbits) - across a Valley from a Bear family in the Forest on the North Peninsula of Michigan - and many kinds of Birds - including the Ravens that rule the sky where I live now in the Antelope Valley and sometimes swoosh by not too far from me as I walk through the Gardens here!

They make me Smile!  They are an inescapable part of our lives - the "web of life" on Earth - and they add something special to the experience of Life!

Above is a Collection I made of Handmade items I found on Artfire - all of them somehow depict some Wildlife!

They would make wonderful Gifts I think - either for the person who is already a Wildlife-lover - or some are even educational.

These are the Artisans represented in this Collection:

Azure Dandelion
Quilling by Sandra White
RSS Designs In Fiber
Crafts of the Past
Blue Morning Expressions
Designs In Stained Glass
luvncrafts
Umeboshi
Shadow Dog Designs
Walk In The Woods LLC
Sew Amazin
Quilt Tops

Sunday, November 23, 2014

My Lace Thread Crochet White and Silver Bag in "On Fire For Handmade" Great Finds!

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


White and Silver Crocheted Lace Drawstring Bag - Crocheted Cord Handle


Thank You to Anne Hopfer of the On Fire For Handmade site for putting together a "Great Finds" Event for the Holiday Season!

It contains a variety of Handmade items!!
** DECOR **
** JEWELRY **
** HAT **
** PERSONAL ACCESSORIES **
** TOYS **

Take a look!

Christmas Gift Ideas Great Handmade Finds
On Fire For Handmade Christmas Gift Ideas Great Finds
 YOU CAN ALWAYS VOTE FOR MY HANDMADE LACE BAG IN THE POLL AT THE BOTTOM:  VOTE FOR "RSS DESIGNS IN FIBER"!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Decorating For This Fall or Autumn Season Consider Handmade Decor Accents

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


Decorating in the Fall or Autumn - Tables, Rooms for various get-togethers, Offices, School rooms - including Bulletin Boards - can be Fun!




Fall is such a colorful season - at least in many parts of North America where the leaves on the trees turn all kinds of colors - from Yellow to Orange to Rust or Maple or Dark Brown!

In making the Handmade I do, I tend to think Seasonally!

And Fall is one of my favorite Seasons - with its lovely, and very often, bright colors!

The Collage above is all my Handmade - listed in the "Fall Colors Designs" Section of my Artfire Studio.

Made with a variety of Threads and Yarns - in different designs - and on somewhat different themes!

Many of these Decor pieces could be used in Fall Table Settings - or as Decorations around Rooms - or on Walls.  

In Home Decor or Interior Design, they would be called "Decor Accents"!!

What would fit in your Decorating Theme this Fall????

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Selection of Cotton Pot Holders For Your Kitchen - In A Choice of Colors

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


Fall Leaves - Handmade Hanging Pot Holder Set of 2 - Tunisian Crochet

Here is a Selection of Handmade Hanging Pot Holders that I decided to make in different colors!!

Some people like to buy things for the Kitchens - Home or Office - that actually match or at least go with the color theme in their Kitchens.

Some like to buy in different colors - just for some Colorful Accessories in their Homes.

So-o-o - I came up with the idea of making sets of Hanging Pot Holders in a selection of Colors - all in Peaches and Creme 100% Cotton Worsted Yarn, which I had in quite a few colors already and had used for years - and I knew would make good Housewares!


Navy and Denim Hanging Pot Holder Set of 2 - Blue Kitchen Home Decor


Red and White Basket and Pot Holder Set - Cotton - Kitchen Decor


Yellow Hanging Pot Holder Set of 2 - Tunisian Crochet Center - Kitchen


Emerald Mix Greens Cotton Pot Holder Set of 2 - Protective Housewares


Emerald Green and Burgundy Red Set of 2 Cotton Pot Holders for Holiday


Kitchen Hanging Pot Holders - Set of 2 - Handmade In Berry Colors - Abstract Design In Tunisian Crochet In Cotton Yarn


 I really have been making these - in different designs - for years!  Here's my Pinterest Board for "Pot Holders, Baskets and Cloths" - all crocheted in strong Peaches & Creme Cotton Worsted Yarns!  (Including some that already sold!)



Follow Ruth Sandra Sperling's board Pot Holders, Cloths and Baskets For The Kitchen on Pinterest.