Friday, July 25, 2014

Holiday Red Flower Thread Crochet Centerpiece Completed to 21 Inches!

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


Holiday Red Flower Thread Crochet Centerpiece on Etsy

Well - it has been a bit of a project for me - I originally blogged about my project to "Make It Bigger" - I took a finely crocheted 12 Inch piece, tripled the number of flowers in it and added more outer rounds - with a finished piece of 21 Inches in diameter!!

Made 100% with lustrous DMC Pearl Cotton Thread - and I used very fine Size 12 Pearl Cotton - with a small steel crochet hook to get a finely detailed, tightly crocheted piece with rounds arranged in contrasting colors, as well as different stitches, to bring out a beautiful design!!

I did complete the ring of 32 flowers on the outer ring (which I had added and figured out) - bringing the total number of flowers in this piece to 48!

With other Handmade projects to do - and I always have more ideas or designs or projects in my head than I have time for it seems - and complete - it has been a bit of a journey to complete this and get it up for all to see!

I love the way the design is with different rounds - or sections of rounds - in the contrasting Red, Green and White!

Enjoy!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fond Summer Memories -- "Let It Shine!" - Sharing "Greetings From The West" Dan Fogelberg Live

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


Other than times spent in the Wild or Nature Parks or Under Trees, some of my fondest Summer Memories are of the Music Concerts I went to - and some of my favorites were of Solo Artists I liked, like DAN FOGELBERG.

Why focus on DAN FOGELBERG?  Well, if DAN FOGELBERG's music is the kind you like, then you might think I am somewhat a lucky one.  It was the night before classes started our Freshman year (yes -our - he and I were both Freshman Sept. 1969) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that I first heard him sing at the Red Herring Coffee House with a friend of his - it was lots of fun and very funny and I never forgot it for some reason - I guess it was the vocals, his and his friend's voices - and their camaraderie between them and the folks there - little did I know that it was the very start of wonderful times to last until -- well, even now in some ways!

It was a year later - September 1970 - that the Red Herring Coffee House became the "heart" of my social life at the U of I - where I made friendships that have lasted to this day.

Part of those days at the Red Herring was listening to the live music of the variety of musicians who played and sang there - some were songwriters and sang their own songs - some sang various different songs.  I loved it - it was a time of exploration in different way for many of us - and watching some of the musicians write and figure out their songs and music was special.

And one of those musicians starting to write - and sing their own songs - was, yes, DAN FOGELBERG.  (He mentions those days in Interviews - and they are mentioned in his FULL BIOGRAPHY.)

So-o-o, I've been listening to his music since those days when he first started writing - and I have to say - it is his own music and his own singing that I enjoyed - then - and in a number of the Summer Concerts that he did over the years and I went to - and still enjoy now!

One of the Concerts I went to was the Concert that was recorded for his Live DVD, "Greetings From The West" - though I went to the one in Los Angeles, CA (The Greek Theatre - outdoors - and I still remember it!).

Maybe you have some of DAN FOGELBERG's albums?  Or you heard songs of his that you liked on the radio - or somewhere?  But if you want to really hear DAN FOGELBERG - and also hear what he himself has to say about some things in life - and how he felt - watch:

DAN FOGELBERG LIVE



He ends this Concert on the DVD (which he himself was involved in producing) - with his song, "There's A Place In The World For a Gambler" from his second album, "Souvenirs".

Like he sings:

"There's a light in the depths of your darkness 
There's a calm at the eye of every storm 
There's a light in the depths of your darkness 
Let it shine...oh, let it shine 
Let it shine...oh, let it shine 
Let it shine...oh, let it shine 
Let it shine ...."

Quoting DAN FOGELBERG from the DVD Album Cover:
"Every song that I write comes from my own personal experience.  I believe the role of an artist is to interpret reality through a system of beliefs and a long-term seeking of truth, in your own life and in the world at large.  To be entertaining and continue to write good music over a lifetime and sustain an audience that still comes to hear not just the old but the new ... that's what keeps me going."

.... And I, for one, kept listening!!

Well --  Have a great summer!  Find some things to Enjoy .....  Maybe some Music??!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Design for Handmade Hanging Pot Holder - with Tunisian Crochet

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


Kitchen Hanging Pot Holders in Berry Colors


I learned how to do the Basic Tunisian Crochet - and when I did it with an Ombre (or Variegated) Yarn, I found out the beautiful look that resulted - Abstract, but I loved it!

So-o-o, I decided to use it to make some Centers for Pot Holders and other Decor - and the set above was my first project that I did and listed online.

Below is a Closeup of the Tunisian Crochet Center for the Pot Holder on the right in the Above Photo!

Closeup of Tunisian Crochet Center for Hanging Pot Holder in Berry Colors
Around the Tunisian Crochet Center are rounds in Colors that fit:  Mauve Purple and the Winterberry Ombre and White.

Tunisian Crochet Basic, done tightly, with an Afghan Crochet Hook that makes tight stitches with the Yarn or Thread you are working with, results in a rather dense, tight Solid Fabric.  I crocheted it that way intentionally - I wanted a Tight, Dense fabric that would result in a fabric thick enough to be Protective for picking up Hot Pots or Dishes!

I moved on to my next project using Tunisian Crochet to make Pot Holders with a Yarn in different shades of one Color - Yellow - mixed in with White -- it is called "Daisy Ombre" by Peaches and Creme (though it is a discontinued Color now).

Yellow Hanging Pot Holder Set with Tunisian Crochet Center

It is a little different with this kind of Colored Ombre Yarn, as the Colors are really Analogous, making a more Monochromatic Color Theme - but enough of a difference from the White to the Darker Yellow to create a design.  I really like this one, too!

Here is the Closeup of the Tunisian Crochet Center for this Pot Holder design:

Closeup of Tunisian Crochet Center of Yellow Daisy Ombre Yarn Hanging Pot Holder

I thought that these Yellow "Daisy Ombre" Pot Holders would fit well in a Kitchen where Yellow is either a Main Color in the decorating theme - or an Accent Color.  From what I have heard from different people - Yellow is often a color in Kitchens (I think)!

A New Crochet Technique incorporated into making my Handmade Decor to add more variety to what I make - I like the "Abstract Design" that results!

There is one thing, though - Tunisian Crochet does not look the same on the back - so I've included a picture below of the BACK of the Yellow Daisy Ombre Pot Holders - the back of the Closeup above, so you can see how it looks - which I also like!

Back of Yellow Daisy Ombre Pot Holder with Tunisian Crochet Center






My Artfire Collection for Four-Footed Friends

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


I don't know about you, but I've had a lot of "Four-Footed Friends" in my life - here's my Tribute to them with Arts and Crafts picturing a variety of them!!




DOGS, CATS FOR SURE! - BUT ALSO:  HORSES, BEARS, RACCOON, RABBIT, MOOSE!!

Tame Pets -- and some from the Wild, which I just love seeing!!


Friday, June 6, 2014

What Are You Doing For Good Summer Days??

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


Well, It Is Almost SUMMER!  For most School-age Kids, it is a time of more Fun and, possibly, more Freedom than when in School - for many Adults, it is a time for outside Family Fun or Warm-Weather Vacations!!

Here is a "2014 Summer Fun-zine From Our Hands To Yours" published by Blue Morning Expressions (a friend, Julie Cleveland) - with a Selection of Handmade - including Summer Recipes - From Independent Artists, Designers and Vintage Sellers!




I , as RSS Designs In Fiber, am in this on Page 20 with a few pieces of Handmade I am selling (see below too) - along with a Recipe for my favorite Summer Salad!

You might have a fun time looking through this zine - seeing what the 34 Artisans contributed!

Here is some of my own "Summer Fun" Handmade - the first 3 are featured in the above "Summer Fun-zine" ~~~

Decor For Some July 4th Fun!!

Symbolizing Beach or Ocean Fun - "Diving Dolphin"

In A Mixture of Greens - A Set of Cotton Pot Holders To Keep Your Summer Fun Safe!

A Bright Red and White All Cotton Sun Hat and Tote For Summer Fun Outings!

Americana Design Lace Bag To Use On July 4th - Or Whenever You Want To Look Patriotic

I have fond memories of a lot of the SUMMERS in my life - and HANDMADE had been a part of those memories going back almost as far as I can remember.

I wish All Real "Summer Fun" - maybe they do their own HANDMADE, maybe they like and get some of the HANDMADE that I - or other Artisans - make and sell --- which ever you choose - maybe the Creativity in HANDMADE can make your life BETTER!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Time to Gradually Re-Open My Etsy Shop

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


Coaster and Napkin Ring Thread Crochet Set in Pink with 3D Burgundy Crocheted Roses

For those of you who have been reading this blog of mine, they may remember the days when I was selling on Etsy!

Went through some Life Changes in 2012 - and everything I had to sell online was in my Artfire Studio for some time - but now it is finally time to re-join some of my friends on Etsy - including the Interior Design Style people (in an Etsy Team) - and other Handmade Artisans that I have networked with for years!

The first 4 listings that I have started the Re-opening with include the Coaster and Napkin Ring set pictured above - and the other photos below - both in Thread Crochet and Yarn.

All Online Venues for Selling - including Handmade - go through changes - and Etsy has gone through its share of changes since my Etsy Shop was active, including an About Page, which I did for my Etsy Shop!

Over the next few days, I will be adding MORE listings, so I actually have a Shop there again!!

Ah-h-h - the Changes of Life, but I am looking forward to interacting and networking with some of my Handmade friends on Etsy - including some amazing Artisans of Decor from Interior Design Style (formerly Design Style Guide) - and a number of Crochet Artists who I am still friends with on Facebook!!

So, if you're looking for something you've seen that I've made - look on ARTFIRE and ETSY to see where it is!




Double Ruffle Yellow and Orange Field of Flowers Thread Crochet Art Doily



Purple and Black Flower Crochet Brooch or Applique with Lavender Beading



Desert Sands Basket and Mat Decor Set

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Finding Artistic Handmade Jewelry - Part 1 -- Hand - Designed Necklaces, Bracelets, Earrings

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


ARTISTIC HANDMADE JEWELRY??? ~~~ What is it anyway? ~~~  I've been inter-acting with other Handmade Artisans online for some years now -- including those who make different kinds of Jewelry.  

Some make the Beads or Pendants themselves and sell them individually or incorporate what they make into complete Jewelry pieces -- some are Designers who have truly made an Art of combining different components in Multi-Color Designs!!

I'm starting in Part 1 of a 3-Part Series with Featuring 5 pieces of what I see as rather Special, Artistic Jewelry that are Hand-Designed with Care, Thought - and for most of these Artisans - some kind of Creative "Process"!!

Tree of Life Pendant Necklace Handmade Rustic Magnesite Gemstones OOAK
Handmade Necklace by Shadow Dog Designs with Tree of Life Pendant

"Shadow Dog Designs" is Catherine Waterhouse - she has her own way of putting together her Handmade pieces of Jewelry - and here is her own words on it:

How do I design jewelry? I get asked that all the time and usually I say "I don't really know".  That's not a flip answer because it's mostly true.  Sometimes, very rarely, I "see" a design in my head; in that case, the jewelry designs itself.  Most of the time I have to play with gemstones, color combinations and textures until the design feels right. Sometimes I have to walk away from a design and let it set for hours, days or even weeks. And sometimes, nothing works and the elements are put away for another day.  For the ARBOL DE LA VIDA necklace, I knew I wanted to keep the design on the rustic side to mimic the gorgeous ancient look to the Gabriel Polymer Clay Tree Pendant.  Over the course of 1-2 weeks, I tried many different strands of gemstones from my stash and nothing worked.  It wasn't until I made a trip to my favorite bead store in Las Cruces, NM, that I found the perfect strand: Earthy Turquoise Magnesite Discs that mimicked the circular bits around the tree and tied into the color of the handmade pendant perfectly. Each disc in the necklace was picked individually to complement its neighbor and provide an interesting flow of color and texture.  I can't tell you how many times, I took off and rearranged the discs until it was right.  Brass Beads Antiqued to a dark color were chosen, once again, to mimic the round bits of the pendant and to provide fluidity to the necklace.  A hand cast bronze toggle clasp from a wonderful artist in Arizona was used to finish the necklace - it was chosen because the pattern reminded me of tree bark.  I absolutely love the ARBOL DE LA VIDA necklace and hope it finds a good forever home that appreciates all the time, energy and positive mojo that went into its creation!!!

*~*~*~*~*

Summertime Blues Handmade Adjustable Bracelet
Summertime Blues Handmade Adjustable Bracelet by JNL Designs

Linda of "JNL Designs" designed this Gorgeous Charm Bracelet!  Here, in her own words Quoted from the Artfire Listing, shows how she put it together!


















Under "Inspiration" -- I designed this gorgeous around the focal point. I saw this slider and fell in love with it. My imagination ran away from me and started designing this beautiful bracelet. I love blues and turquoise as a color scheme.

Under "Description" -- Antique silver plated flower slider..which I used as the focal (it has turquoise color within). ----- All of the beads have been hand wired wrapped and the attached to the chain for more security. The chain is silver plated and I have attached a lobster clasp so that you may attach it to a link to fit your wrist. At the other end of the chain I have attached to beads to dangle off the chain. A great gift for a March birthday or for someone who loves Spring and Summer with all the luscious colors of these Seasons.

*~*~*~*~*


Dumortierite Gemstone Copper and Czech Glass Necklace
Dumotierite Gemstone - Copper - and Czech Glass Handmade Necklace by Solana Kai Designs
Barbara  of "Solana Kai Designs" Hand-designed this Necklace when she found the beautiful Copper Beads and Bead Caps - here is how in her own words:

I began stringing “love beads” as a teenager, but didn't take up jewelry making in earnest until many years later.  Most of my knowledge has been acquired slowly and organically, by reading through bead magazines and books, learning from peers with particular expertise, and a good amount of trial and error.  At the moment, I'm taking a metalwork class, which is proving to be very inspirational.
Typically, the way I create is to start by finding one particular bead or focal pendant that catches my fancy.  Next, l explore my “stash” to see what options I have that will best compliment the initial ingredient.  If all of the right pieces can't be found at home, I'll wait until the missing piece presents itself.  I often start out with one intention, only to find that serendipity is at work!  In the case of this necklace, I was at a gem fair and
fell in love with the copper beads and bead caps.  That sent me searching for the perfect accompaniments and voila!  I found these gorgeous deep blue Dumortierite gemstones and Marea AB finish faceted Czech glass beads, all of which complimented each other and brought out the best of each element!

*~*~*~*~*

Peruvian Pendant,Turquoise,Agate,Jasper,African SandBead Necklace
Handmade Necklace by Specialtivity - Peruvian Pendant with Turquoise - Agate - Jasper

Kathy of "Specialtivity" puts her Heart and Soul into each piece of Wearable ART she makes - in her own words:

My creative process for creating my wearable art usually starts with some sort of inspiration whether it's from the beautiful gemstones and beads in my stash or a dream (yes I actually dream about designing jewelry) :) .  Sometimes I will draw out a plan on my sketch pad of how I would like the piece to look, other times I just start with something that catches my eye as in this Peruvian pendant necklace and let my creative juices flow.  I knew when I purchased the Peruvian bead that I wanted it to be the focal of the creation.  I look at the colours that will be involved and start to pull out beads or gemstones that I think would compliment the piece either texturally or visually or both. Mixing mediums is always a thrill for me, I don't think that a piece necessarily has to be composed of all gold, silver,bronze etc. although of course I think either one of these are beautiful but I also like to mix it up, adding another visual appeal to the creation.  All in all in creating a piece of wearable ART I really do put my heart and soul into each piece.

*~*~*~*~*

Lyre Harp In A Hoop Earrings Unusual Music Themed Jewelry
Lyre Harp In A Hoop Handmade Earrings by The Singing Beader

Connie of "The Singing Beader" is a Singer who makes Jewelry - And who decided to make Music-themed Jewelry - says:

When I started selling my handmade jewelry, I didn't offer any music themed items. Most of my designs were wire beaded with gemstones and crystals. At that time, I was also a karaoke singer and recording enthusiast. My passion for both singing and beading was the reason I named my business, “The Singing Beader”. With that name, it just made sense to start creating music themed jewelry, and I have been doing so for about three years. I am always thinking of new creations I can make to add to my ArtFire shop section, “Musical Instruments, etc.”. Many of the designs are unique like the “Lyre Harp in a Hoop Earrings” or the “Gold and Blue Beaded Harmonica Necklace”. One of my favorite music themed necklaces is the “Abalone Mother of Pearl Shell Guitar Pendant Necklace”. As with most handmade jewelry, these are one of a kind designs, with only one for sale.


SO-O-O, When you are looking for a piece of Jewelry that is:
-- on a certain Theme --
-- in certain Colors --
-- from a certain Culture --
CHECK OUT THE HANDMADE JEWELRY -- READ THE DESCRIPTIONS -- THE  INSPIRATIONS -- THE MATERIALS --

and FIND SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR THAT ONE PERSON !!!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Looking For More Creativity In Gifts For Mother's Day

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


Lovebird In Heart


Creativity for Mother's Day!

I've joined together with a number of others who sell on online venues such as Artfire.com and Etsy and Zibbet - many of us sell our own HANDMADE that we make or design with our own hands, though others sell Vintage and Antique - or Supplies - or Commercial.

But one thing we all have in common is that we have relatively small businesses - and from the interaction I've had with these sellers - we all genuinely Care about what we sell and about our Customers.

If you buy from us - you may get something Distinctive - nothing like the mass-produced items in commercial stores - and you might get something truly One-Of-A-Kind!

I'm not only joining in - I put it on my own blog here:



Each week through this time, it starts with a Blog Hop created by Julie Cleveland of Blue Morning Expressions - links to listings are added by each individual - and some of us, like me, share the whole set of links by doing the Blog Hop, as well as sharing around the Internet - like I have in the PINTEREST Board I set up for this!!




I strongly urge readers of my blogs to take a look and see what we have to share!!

The photos in this post are my 3 Handmade items that I link to in this week's Blog Hop - to give you an idea of what I have to offer that some Mother might like!!!



Woven Celtic Purple Flowers in a Mat





Cottontail In Bush - Nature In Fiber Art