Archive for September, 2008

My new header!

September 30, 2008

What do you think? This is a small preview of Cotton Spice Digital and the things I’ll be making. Stay tuned for more news about more new  stuff 🙂

A Must Read for the Men in your Life….

September 29, 2008

I may have mentioned it here before, I don’t know, but I do some writing for Associated Content That link will take you to my page, and if you scroll down, you’ll see a list of all my articles. I don’t get a lot of time for writing, but when I do, I enjoy it. I can be a little controversial, but… that’s a part of who I am! So, anyway, I wrote this article and for the life of me, I can not get it to display properly at AC. Every time I upload it, it cuts out part of the article, so – their loss is your gain! I’m putting it here for YOU! If you want to share this with your friends, please just direct them here to my blog. :)If you MUST copy/paste it please keep my info on it.  And if you want to print it out for your hubby or SO… that’s ok too. This is important stuff! 🙂

What Every Man Should Read Before Buying Gifts for Women

by Karen Gass


Very few men know how to purchase the right gift for the woman in their life. It’s not because they don’t love us. It’s not because they don’t care. They just don’t know what to buy. In general, men are not shopping, gift picking out, purchasing people. When faced with perfume gift packs and bracelets and wallets and slippers, what’s a guy to do?


So, here are some basic guidelines. And some questions for you to ask your sweetie when it comes time to buying her a gift.


1. Somewhere along the line, men were told that buying us Gift Certificates were unpersonal and unwelcome. Are you kidding? This is the gift of Shopping! Enough said!


2. Clothes. Should you buy your sweetie clothes? Only if – you are very aware of her style, size, favorite color (to wear) and favorite store. If you don’t know those things, skip the clothing store. Never buy shoes for a woman.


3. Jewelry. Jewelry is generally always welcome, but again, you Have to make sure you know her Style. What is Style? Observe these things about your honey –


     – Does she wear jewelry?

     – Is it gold or silver?

     – Is it beads and gemstones or diamonds and rubies?

     – Does she wear necklaces, bracelets, earrings, ankle bracelets, or rings?

     – If she doesn’t, is it because she doesn’t care for jewelry or doesn’t have any?


4. Appliances. Oh my, the fuss over appliances over the decades. Should you buy her a blender or not? Well, there are some very cool appliances out there these days. Does she like to cook? Have you heard her say, several times, Oh I wish I had one of those…? If the occasion is Birthday or Christmas an appliance might be fine. If it’s an Anniversary or Valentines Day, probably not.


5. Accessories. You know, purses, umbrellas, wallets, scarves, those kinds of things. Accessories are generally not the entire present. They are great ‘go-alongs’ though and stocking stuffers. If you’re purchasing accessories of any kind, make sure they are quality and match her Style and personality. Don’t buy these things at the dollar store.


6. Hobby. What about things for her favorite hobby or pastime? Unless you know specifically what kind of yarn and what color, weight and brand, I’d stick with the gift certificate to her favorite yarn store. Or fabric store, or wherever she generally buys her hobby supplies. Look at the bank statements if you’re not sure and don’t want to ask. Where does she generally spend her hobby dollars? If you keep seeing Hobby Warehouse listed, that’s where you’d go.


7. Lingerie. Should you buy her some sexy lingerie? This is tricky because you need to buy her something She would like, not what you’d like to see her wearing. Most men can’t differentiate between the two. Again, connect with her Style and that should tell you something. What does she wear to bed? Is it a t-shirt and jammie pants/shorts? Or a lacy nightgown? Does she normally wear lingerie of different kinds and types? What does she wear to relax and lounge around the house? If you can key in to those details, buy her something similar, just newer and nicer.


8. Money. What about giving a lovely card with money enclosed? Hmmm… again, tricky. In the minds of many women, just money says, “You forgot my birthday.? A gift certificates shows thought and effort. You knew the correct store, and you went there. Money says, “Here ya go, baby!? You will have to make a decision based on your knowledge of the one you love.


So, how do you determine all these things about the woman in your life? So many details!


What is she doing in her life?

Is she career, work at home mom, stay at home mom, stay at home wife?

What color do you see her wear most often?

What’s the color you see over and over again throughout your home?

Does she cook or bring home take-out?

Does she have a hobby room?

What does she do in there?

Is she a student?

What’s she studying?

 Does she belong to a gym?

What are her goals?

What does she wear at home?

What does she wear when you go out?

Is she a free spirit, serious or silly personality?

Does she paint her toenails?

Is your master bedroom closet decorated?


These things and a hundred other details will help you learn how to buy gifts for the woman you love. Pretend you’re starting a new position on Monday and your success in your new job will require that you know this woman. It will require you to pick out the perfect gift for her, inspired by who she is and how much you love her. And then, remember how much more important she is than any position in any company, and you’ll be the happiest man in the world.

Answers to Digiscrapping questions

September 24, 2008

Someone asked me, maybe it was in an email as I don’t see it in the Comments – Where are you getting your formal training? I have the perfect answer for you… DigiDesign Academy! This is instruction for designers or wannabe designers (ME) 🙂 It’s comprehensive, interesting, and Sherah makes sure you know what you need to know in order to create a Great Digiscrap business. She is encouraging, fun and always excited about my new work, but at the same time, she’s very honest, so I can learn and make my ‘stuff’ better. I highly recommend studying with her. The website is brand new, but I’ve been studying with her for almost a month and it’s well worth every dime.

There are Great tutorials out there for digiscrappers, and here are some of my fav’s…

Digital Scrapbook Place tutorials


Just Mommies

That ought to get you started!

Digital Scrapbooking

September 23, 2008

Talk about a left turn in subject matter! 🙂 Ok, how many of you are digiscrappers? If you like Cotton Spice, you’ll love what’s coming up next!

I’ve been learning digiscrapping and learning to make my own kits – papers, elements, overlays etc… They will debut in Cotton Spice Creative. You’re the first to learn of this… I haven’t said much to anyone about what I’ve been doing, quietly in the background. Here are a few pages I’ve done –


This LO was created with  Katie Pertiet’s  “Botanist Exclusive” Kit That is a link to some of her work, I received this kit in the Sept issue of Scrappers Guide(i have two other grandsons, but they are in their teens, and I doubt very much they’d appreciate being grouped with the babies, or being called ‘sweetie’) 🙂


This was made from Backyard Playground by Lara’s Digi World. I made it for the SAS-y Layout Design Challenge going on this month at Stone Accent Studios. Do you remember this picture from the first issue of Cotton Spice? 🙂

But to see the papers etc that I’ve designed, well, you’ll have to wait for Cotton Spice Creative, which should be available in an entirely new venue within the next month. Are you curious? You’ll have to be patient!  ~a wink and a smile~

Note: I know they kind of lap over into the aisle on the side there… if it’s too distracting I’ll make them thumbnails. Let me know!

2 posts in 1 day!

September 22, 2008

Oh my! Well, I said I set aside sewing time and I did. This is the result of my time…



I made this tiny pincushion, with a 2″ 60 degree diamond.  I glued a button on the bottom, for stability, and it works great! However I realized, that once the button was glued on, that was pretty much it as far as embellishment. Wrapping trim around it, sewing a button or yoyo in the center of the top was out of the question. But, it’s still cute and functional!

My next was this wool, utilitarian pincushion. I wanted something that would be ultra-functional. Sturdy. Still no reason why it can’t be pretty 🙂


I used a 3″ 45 degree diamond for this one. I wanted to use the different colors of wool – everything shows up on black, and for the ‘black’ threaded needles, I added the white. Nothing will get lost in this pincushion! The other thing I wanted to do – to make it pretty 🙂 – was to add the ribbon over the seam lines. Once the diamonds were sewn together into the star, I sewed the ribbon to the star, stopping of course, where the seam stopped, but I left enough ribbon to cover the bottom seam, once sewn. I found I could machine sew the ribbon on underneath, as long as I alternated the seams. On 4 of the ribbons, I added loops. Still not sure what they’re for, but I wanted them. I sewed on beads, rather than buttons at the curve, on each ribbon.


You can see the bottom here, and I still plan to glue on a button for a base. The layers of wool and ribbon are pretty thick, and adding a button in the center of the top will be difficult and I’m not sure I want to mess with it. I’m pretty happy with it as is.

Got any bright ideas for the loops?

Are you bored with Pincushions? I’M NOT!

September 22, 2008

Just a note – if you click on the pictures, you’ll go to the blogs or sites where these pincushions live full time.


Is that adorable or what? This is truly an Angel Cushion! Look at the other one she made…


Satu is the maker of these little darlings, she is from Finland. Spend some time exploring her blog, she made several of the projects from Stitchers Angels   and they are just as well made as these. I’d love to be her secret pal! 🙂

I have some sewing time set aside today, and I’m inspired to make a few more pincushions. I’ll post them tomorrow!

We’ve got pincushions…. All over the place!

September 19, 2008

Look at this pincushion Lizzie made…All one color, what a neat idea! I like that and will have to try that myself. You can never have too many pincushions!


And Annette made this one – isn’t that cute, made from quilting cottons? The yoyo in the middle is a fabulous idea! Looks like this one is already hard at work, with all those pins 🙂


I had to add a New Category – Pincushions! 🙂

Anymore out there? Anyone make some a different size? It’s super easy to do, just use a smaller diamond for your pattern!

September 2008 Cotton Spice is online!

September 17, 2008

You can download the September issue over at Cotton Spice Quilting Magazine   Once you get there, click on the link right there on the magazine and it’ll take you to the download page.  112 pages packed with projects, articles and stories. A very special Sunflower Section – don’t want to miss that!

Now… back to pincushions! Did you see this one? Rhonda made it. Her blog is definitely worth a trip over there, her handwork is exquisite! Beautiful 🙂 


I’d love to see your pincushions. Leave a comment with a link to your blog. Over 700 people downloaded the pincushion directions, hopefully a few of you have made them 🙂

Here’s a plug for my good friend Tammy, who does all the techy work on Cotton Spice. She is an absolute wiz at marketing and has a neverending supply of creative and fantastic ideas. If you have a quilt shop – online or off – or have a friend who does, she is now offering her marketing services for all you quilt shop owners.  Quilt Shop Marketing is a gold mine of information and believe me, I know! I did editing for her and I know what’s in there. Well worth your time and dollars, especially in this shaky financial period we are experiencing here in the US. Hop on over and check it out!

Now that the magazine is DONE 🙂 I can relax for awhile. I’m working on some Christmas presents, which I can’t talk about until after Christmas.

Have you seen the blogs that were awarded the Cotton Spice Blogging Awards? They are listed in the magazine, but here’s a sneak peek –

Best Tutorial Blog 

Best Quilting Blog and Judy has a free pattern for all you Cotton Spice readers!

Best Charity Knitting Blog

Go visit them, leave a comment with some Cotton Spice love!

Have a GREAT day!

Chenille Pinchushion

September 8, 2008

It’s my turn for Stitchers Angel week 🙂 and I’ve designed a Chenille Pincushion. You can download the PDF file chenille-pincushion-karen-gass.pdf

page11.jpg  page21.jpg  page31.jpg

Click on each page to make it full size.

I’d love to see your pictures if you make one or four of these!

You can find more Stitchers Angels project on Helen’s blog…Hugs ‘n Kisses

Did you see this?

September 3, 2008

Did you read the comment by Larissa? Well, I did and checked out her blog. WOW!!!!! I’m borrowing her picture, I’m sure she won’t mind :)Click on the picture to go to her blog.


Here’s a picture of the pattern, designed by Leanne – Is that the cutest basket cover you’ve ever seen? Click on the picture to go to Leannes blog.