Karen J. Gerrard Blog

Behind the SEAMS

The Space To Sew

More and more of us are picking up a needle and thread and taking our passion for sewing into creating a bespoke wardrobe. With such a massive selection of wonderful fabrics available, its easy to create something unique that matches our own individual personalities and tastes that just couldn't be purchased in a shop. Not only that but sewing can be therapeutic - Sewing Can Be Calming - Even basic tasks like sewing on buttons have their own rhythm and allow your mind to wander. Sewing Teaches Patience - Every sewer knows that cutting corners always backfires! Impatience and sewing do not work together I've recently come to understand that slowing down and paying attention and taking care ensures that no mistakes are made, and makes sewing an even more pleasurable experience it also stands us in good stead in other aspects of our life. There's Always More to Learn - Sewing is such a broad craft that there are many new areas to put your hand to from couture tailoring, embroidery, quilting or appliqué. Socialising  - Depending on how you are feeling or what's happening in your daily life may reflect on how you want to work, there are times when you will want to socialise and work within a sewing group, and there are other times when you just need to be alone and sew quietly in your own home, collect thoughts and recharge from the daily stress. Or at times you may just want to sew with a sewing buddy and work on a specific item together. A sewer can get so passionate about a piece they are working on that they may cancel a social arrangement at the last minute to finish their work. Being a partner or friend of a sewer requires an easy going nature. Whichever way you choose to work, if you give passion, understanding and fun into your stitches the outcome will always be something beautiful. Get To Visit New Places - Nowadays there are a vast choice of venues to sew and socialise, there have been cafes such as the Sew Cafe springing up across the UK where you can sew, chat sip coffee and eat cake, more recently pubs have started sewing and knitting sessions to boost much needed revenue and be able to keep their doors open. Or there are some great sewing classes with experts such as The Thrifty Stitcher from beginners to seasoned sewers - there's always something new to learn. The Effects Of Different Fabrics On your Hands - The reason SEAMS was originally created was to look after seamstresses hands, I was at the London College Of Fashion at a millinery course working with fabrics such as felt, straw and fosshape which together with washing my hands and using hot irons mean't my hands got cut, burn't sore and dry. We needed a hand cream to help heal and moisturise whilst not being greasy, I couldn't find one so created SEAMS. Working with different fabrics can have different effects on the hands, for example hand sewing tough coarse fabrics such as denim or calico takes a strong aggressive hand, and hands can become painful whereas when creating with a fine fabric such as silk or jersey you will be able to release the pressure and make it a fun relaxed experience. Sewing With Challenging Fabrics - If you spent time and are used to working with heavy fabrics such as denim, you will know how challenging they can be and the simple tasks of folding and cutting can be difficult and require a forceful grip with strong tension, any hand sewing or embroidery will require long periods of pressure that can cause pain in the nerves of your hand, when making the transition onto working with a finer luxurious fabric, it may take a little understanding to get used to being able to relax the tension and pressure in your hands. Sewing With A Luxurious Fabric - We all look forward to working with a fine fabric such as silk or jersey which will be a pleasure to work with and much kinder on the hands. It's always good to ask for advice on the way to treat a fabric that you haven't worked with before, so that you can understand the fabric and how it like to be handled for the best results. There are sewing forums and groups online where you can get instructions from people with hands on experience on the way each type of fabric works. Once you have learned the best way to care for the new fabric and work with it, the results will be endless. Looking After Your Hands Taking a minute whilst sewing to massage SEAMS into your hands will help keep the elasticity in your skin and calm sore areas. SEAMS will help heal pin-pricks, keep them moisturised and soothed whilst absorbing quickly and not leaving a trace of grease on anything you are working with Give your hands and fabrics care and create something beautiful How do you like to sew, what are your hand concerns? Let us know and we can help Karen J.


Sun Dried Hands…

Sun dried hands it's a thing... the summer flies by so fast, wether you take a break for 7 days or 7 weeks the lazy days of summer of having time to read books and catch up on sleep is never long enough. Whilst you come back body and mind relaxed, your hands can feel extremely dry. We usually associate dry hands during the winter months, but actually hands get just as dry during the summer, it's just not so noticeable! In the heat our hands feel moist due to the humidity, but its actually the opposite to what you think as your skin is dehydrating from the inside, and if you don't drink enough water then your skin will start to feel dry and peel. On top of that the sun, salt from the sea and sand dries the skin from the outside, and the air conditioning dries out natural oils from the skin. So it's as the temperature drops when you are back home that the skin on your hands starts to feel dry especially around the knuckles and cuticles, a small crack in the cuticle will allow water into the nail bed causing nails to weaken and the skin to become itchy, this then causes the skin to crack even further and in extreme cases can lead to eczema. Applying SEAMS Hand Cream throughout the day will help to mend, moisturise soften and soothe sore skin, prevent age-spots, and protect your hands ready to face the winter months. Karen J.  


The sense of touch

The hand must deal with all kinds of challenges every day, the fingers on one hand will be flexed about 25 million times over the course of one lifetime. The hand is also very sensitive, there are a total of 17,000 touch receptors and free nerve endings in the palm for passing on sensations of pressure, movement and vibration, so its with good reason that the sense of touch is associated so strongly with the hand. The skin on your fingertips is especially sensitive as we have about five thousand touch receptors in each of our fingertips, thats more than in any other part of our body, so there is a larger brain area devoted to receiving their signals and meaning, Whenever you touch something the brain sends a special message (an electric impulse) that travels through the nerves, which connects to the fingertips. That electric signal connects the feeling of what we touch to many parts of the brain our thinking, feeling, trust, sensory and motor system are effected as well as the parts of the brain involved in learning new movements. Studies show that we can identify thoughts and emotions through the power of touch just as well as through speech. When we see another person being hurt, we really can feel their pain, which is why we will often turn our heads away when we see a person being hurt in a movie, it also means we instinctively know how to help another person when they are in pain. A paper cut or pinprick will be more painful in our hands than in any other part of our body, when a sewer repeats the same action time and time again they will end up with a painful cut in exactly the same place, but a simple change of positioning the way you touch something, or which type of instrument you hold, will help heal the skin. Even though both our hands can feel the same thing, there are some slight differences, sensitivity can vary from your right to your left, studies show for example that when a group of right handed people put both hands into ice cold water, most people took their left hand out of the water first that being the most sensitive as the right hand is stronger from being used more of the time. The right hand can trust what the left hand is doing. The hands are the most important tool for everything we do, they take a bashing over the years Let SEAMS give them the tender care they deserve, and be in safe hands Karen J. SEAMS Hand Cream #HandsOn! #HandCare  


In the hands of Make-up Artists backstage

Its been a busy month of June for SEAMS Hand Cream looking after hands backstage on both sides of the atlantic. Make -up up artists love using SEAMS particularly as their hands get sore and dry from the use of stringent brush cleaner  and constantly being washed. They also use SEAMS to give the presenters a hand massage before going on set. In the UK last week I had the pleasure of visiting Helen Hand Make-up artist and all the team at ITV studios London, backstage looking after the hands of the Lorraine and Loose Women. The wardrobe department also took to SEAMS for their pin-pricked fingers. I had the fortunate timing to be there the day Lorraine was interviewing Jon Hamm.. Emma White Turl who always keeps SEAMS in her kit bag was busy at the Isle of White Festival looking after Edith Bowman, Ricky Wilson, Maya Jama. Emma tells me " Men are sometimes wary of hand cream as they dislike the feeling of cream sitting on their skin or are worried they will smell too floral, so SEAMS is absolutely perfect for them as it's non greasy and has a lovely light unisex scent". Onto Canada and with Vancouver being a prime filming destination,  SEAMS is currently backstage in SUITS Season 7, Salvation and Psych at CBS and USA Network. When make-up artist Julia Bors-Dollinger contacted us to say Dule Hill had specifically requested SEAMS to be used on his hands before every take we were delighted, and he has told us that its the only hand cream to help his skin condition Ashy Hand. Julia currently working on Psych The Movie says " In film we use many harsh products like 99% brush cleaner along with always washing our hands frequently that our hands get dry very easily. SEAMS is so perfect for this business where you want something to melt into hands quickly, won't be greasy and when dealing with very expensive clothes on actors I'm not worried about oil transfer! SEAMS is a staple in my set bag" Jacqueline Byers actress on Salvation has been enjoying SEAMS Hand Massages and sent us this image of her hand holding SEAMS before filming. The extremely talented Tamara Harrod Hair Designer Film & TV, currently working on the CBS series Salvation has told us that Jennifer Finnegan is putting SEAMS into her hands, and that the cast and crew love it. From backstage to home we love to be looking after hands... Karen J.  


Hands Are The Biggest Indicators Of Age

When someone says to you "guess my age" we instantly look at their face, but if you want to get close to a person's true age all you have to do is look at their hands. Most of us look after our faces on a daily basis, but it's our hands that are constantly being used, in water regularly, we use our hands for virtually everything we do. The skin on the palm of our hands is much thicker than any other part of our body, this is to protect us from every day wear and tear, and we build up callouses in time from repeated use. In complete contrast the skin on the tops of our hands is thinner than any other part of our body, and as we age it thins even more and becomes transparent. The veins show more clearly and age spots appear from exposure to the sun and elements. What happens to our hands through the ages? Younger than 20, hands start off smooth, soft and plump. 20 - 30 - The first lines start to appear, the constant washing of hands means the skin starts to feel dry this is when prevention becomes the key using hand cream at least at night will slow down the ageing process, and wearing gloves especially when working at the kitchen sink and in the cold weather. 30 - 40 - Cuticles begin to get drier, and no matter what you do with your hands through the day wear and tear will set in. Age spots can start to appear from as young as 30 years old, just driving a car gives long term sun damage as the hands are exposed to the sun whilst on the steering wheel. 40 - 60 - This is when we notice the ageing process the most, veins start to protrude, the knuckles become more wrinkly, the hands have very little tissue and the skin starts to get thinner and sag giving hands a deflated appearance. Nails can start to yellow if you wear nail varnish all of the time as they cannot breath, and ridges become evident. 60+ - All of the above, the skin on the hands and the nails will feel much drier, and hands will begin to stiffen as they loose their elasticity. Pinch the skin on your hands using your thumb and forefinger as it will take much longer for the skin to sink back. But all is not lost, regularly using SEAMS Hand Cream will help keep your hands and nails looking younger and feeling comfortable, and the young garden cress in SEAMS helps to fade the age spots without affecting the surrounding skin. Like we use our hands constantly so we must constantly look after them. There is an old saying "out of sight out of mind" but your hands are never out of sight, keep SEAMS near to sight at all times at your desk, in your handbag, in the car, next to your bed. SEAMS addresses all of your hands needs, Karen J.    


Words Can Be A Handful

Hands are our biggest tool, not only because we use them every minute of the day but according to google there are 324 words containing the word 'hand'. Thought to originate in Old English, it is widely used in Germanic languages such as German, Dutch and Swedish and is assumed to have come from a mixture of the Gothic word for 'seize', the Swedish word for 'reach' and the English 'hunt' originally meaning a body part used for seizing. This later became understood as 'easy to handle' with the more modern sense of attractiveness (as in handsome), not coming until much later. Interestingly the Latin root of the word 'man' also means 'hand'. The root word is the origin of many English words like manicure, manhandle, manual which all refer to something being done by 'hand'. 'Hand over fist' is suggestive of sailors and fisherman hauling in nets (1825). To win something hands down (1855) is from horse racing, a jockey's gesture of letting go of the reins when heading for victory. 'Hand in Hand' was first recorded in 1576 the phrase was used when two people joined in business. 'Never bite the hand that feeds you' first used in the 1800's is suggestive that dogs are a mans best friend they are loyal and  do not bite the hands that feed them. More recently 'handful' hugely used for describing people or children who can be a bit hard to handle 'you've got your hands full there' and also indicating portion sizes. Some dieticians believe you should never eat more food than you can fit into your hand in one go! Evenhanded - the idea of being cool, calm, collected and above all fair in all things. Suggests a lightness of touch and the ability to apply even pressure. Maybe by coincidence the American saying 'Have A Nice Day' all the words start in sequence with the word HAND. Many hands make light work as they say - give yours lots of 'hand care' with SEAMS Karen J.    


Holding Hands

There's something very special about holding hands, it can affect how we feel physically and emotionally, holding hands in a relationship is commonly associated with feeling good, holding hands to another offers comfort, reassurance, and love, and is also good for your heart in other ways as its known to calm down anxiety and reduce blood pressure. Holding hands is one of the most powerful forms of touch because we have more nerve endings in our hands than any other part of the body. Touch is the first of our senses to develop and is vital to our development. From a young age we crave the power of touch. When you touch a newborn babies hand it instinctively grabs your back. Our first response as adults is still to grab another hand when in pain, watching horror movies, in times of distress and happiness. When you hold another hands you are stimulating pressure points which relax that person and make them feel cared for. Today in the ever-growing preoccupation with digital media over physical contact we have never been so connected yet disconnected, the contact of holding hands should be encouraged more than ever, as the lack of physical contact can have a longterm negative effect on our emotions and well being. Nowadays couples can often be spotted texting each other whilst out together in  group of people, but a touch on the hand can convey so much more feeing. How you hold a partners hand is the first step towards bonding, the way you hold hold hands reveals so much about your character and is an important part of any relationship, there is no emoji substitute for the beauty of  touch. Some people don't like to hold hands because they think its a sign of vulnerability and they are loosing control, or they are unable to relax, whilst others enjoy the simple connection of a tender touch. How do you like to hold hands? Here's 7 of the most common hand holds and what they say about your relationship - Finger Grab - flirtatious, you are both independent, individual people but share a close bond. Relaxed Laced - most confident, caring, trusting with space to caress. Tight Laced - shows a deep connection, and are honest with each other. Finger Hold - shows a reluctance perhaps you need space from your relationship? Hand On Top - taking control, being protective. My Lady - seen a lot in wedding photos, a healthy respectful trusting bond. Wrist Grab - This looks aggressive but its actually the most intimate and passionate. A touch says more than a thousand words, say it with soft beautiful hands Karen J.


Slow Down The Ageing Process In your Hands

Most of us take our hands for granted, looking after our faces has become our priority, cleansers, moisturisers and mineral make-up ensure our faces are moisturised and protected, but its our hands that do all the work, our hands are exposed most of the time yet we just forget about them. Its when we are in our 40's that we suddenly look down at our hands with an ahhh whats happened... they look old... and there's not a lot surgically that can be done about it, except there is something easy you can do every day - I can't turn back the hands of time but SEAMS will help slow down the ageing process in its tracks, regular moisturising with SEAMS Hand Cream will make a massive difference, and I mean everyday as much as you can, think how much cream has gone into your face over the years, your hands deserve a catch up of moisture and loving care. SEAMS will keep your hands soft and moisturised help to heal any minor cuts and chaps, and restore condition. The most common cause of dry chapped skin no matter what we do with our hands is a damaged outer layer. The top layer of skin the epidermis naturally provides a waterproof barrier, creates our skin tone and holds onto water, but what happens when that top layer of skin gets damaged? The hands are less protected and the ageing process speeds up, damages to the top layer of skin slows down the natural process of skin repair which creates dryness and cracking then in time the skin starts to get saggy. Our hands are constantly exposed to the elements, we now wash our hands more than ever but water steals the moisture out of our skin, and just the cleansing agents in soap and washing up liquid dry out the skin. Basically our hands take a bashing every day of our life no matter what we are doing, so they need to be looked after. Imagine if our faces were constantly being touched, immersed in water, in contact with surfaces we would all be in panic! Well that's just whats happening to our hands, and the skin on our hands is thinner and more sensitive than any other part of our body so what chance have they got. The quickest and most effective way to look after your hands is to moisturise, put into your skin our natural ingredients that help to mend, moisturise, soften and protect hands. You will notice the difference the first time you use SEAMS. Make a regular time in your day to use Hand Cream before you leave the house in the morning, as you get into your car, last thing at night, keep one in  your handbag, next to the bed, in the car glove compartment, only small amount is needed for one application but your hands will instantly feel the difference. A moment with SEAMS will help moisturise with Shea Butter, soften and restore with Macadamia and Rosehip Oils, protect and nourish with Pro-Vitamin B5, strengthen nails with Hydrolysed Keratin, reduce the visible signs of ageing with Beta Glucan and help calm your emotions with Fragonia and Lavender Oil all in a non-greasy formula. Please don't forget to look after your hands Karen J.


A rise in makers who work with their hands

With our phones and devices never more than a hands length away everything we need can be obtained by a click of a finger, but now the fashionable trend is taking us back to using our hands to create. It's very satisfying and therapeutic to make something with your hands, and more and more people are giving their hands a rest from the keyboard to create. Being able to buy high street fashion at an affordable price and the end of school needlework and cookery lessons  slowed down the crafts of home sewing and baking in the 80's, but now the Great British Bake Off has brought about a huge revival in home baking and The Great British Sewing Bee thankfully has got us picking up our needles and threads. It's so easy to learn new crafts without leaving the house, You Tube videos can be found to cover every aspect. Sewing patterns can be brought from companies such as Butterick that are identical to designer fashions both past and present. But what could be nicer than crafting and meeting new people at the same time. Workshops and sewing groups are opening up all over the country, Claire-Louise Hardy 'Thrifty Stitcher' offers friendly sewing classes for aspiring DIY seamstresses and crafters, where she shares her expertise first hand from being a costume designer for Theatre, Film and TV to a magazine columnist and author of Fashion With fabric. The sewing cafe has been successful in its mission to provide an inspirational place to indulge our passion for sewing. You can put your hands to sewing for charity by creating for the many charities who are asking for handmade donations, or stitching to create dresses to be sent to third world countries to enable girls to be dressed correctly so they can attend school. But what about your hands! The main problem is that most sewers get a reoccurring split in skin on a finger or thumb exactly at the place where there is continually pressure from the needle. Washing hands constantly dries the skin, and just touching the fabric takes moisture out of our hands. Also when hands are dry it is difficult to even feel what you are doing, the warp and weft become untraceable! Thats why SEAMS Hand Cream was created, deeply moisturising hands to enable you to feel the fabric, work faster and in comfort. Our unique formula helps to heal those cuts and pinpricks, whilst absorbing into skin within 1 minute so not leaving any greasy residue on fabric. making the practical beautiful. Touch and be touched with incredibly soft hands. Karen J.


Fashion – Mornings Start In The Middle Of the Night

I had the chance to catch up with Beauty Editor, Donna Francis this week who's been in the fashion business for nearly twenty years. Trying new products is as much a part of her daily routine as is brushing her teeth so I'm delighted that she's a big fan of SEAMS Hand Cream. When she's not slathering on the latest lotions and potions, Donna can be found behind-the-scenes observing the beauty world's most creative make-up artists, manicurists and hairdressers working their magic at fashion shows and beauty shoots. "I look in awe as their hands work tirelessly to create those flawless beauty looks. After such a long time in the industry, it never ceases to amaze me how hard-working these guys are! People think it's a glamorous job, but what they don't realize is their mornings start in the middle of the night in order to get the right light and look, and often they take  no break during the day - not stopping even for lunch. I was on a cover shoot for a magazine recently where it took almost five hours to get the model's hair and make-up perfect. We even changed her nail polish three times to achieve the right look! But the best part of the backstage access is seeing what the pro's carry in their make-up kits. I love having a nosey in the make-up room to check out what they're using. You always find it's the products that prep a look - the face cream that creates the perfect base for make-up, the shampoo that gets skin and cuticles soft fro a mani that are their most cherished staples. As one make-up artist told me - a new mascara is ten a penny, but when I find an amazing cream I stick with it." It's no surprise then that Donna has spotted SEAMS Hand Cream cropping up in a few backstage kits. "It's not just manicurists that love it - make-up artists are always wiping off swatches of lipstick and foundation from the back of their hands, so they use SEAMS to keep their skin moisturised. Hairdressers often complain about dryness because of all the product they work with - hairspray is the worst for making fingers sore an dry, and they love SEAMS because it sinks in straight away. Greasy hands aren't favourable when working with hair!" I'm so happy to hear that SEAMS Hand Cream has become a staple amongst the fashion set, but as I always say, using a good nourishing hand cream should be an essential part of everyone's daily routine. hands work hard - wether they're working backstage at a fashion show or washing up a tea-stained cup - they are constantly exposed to wear and tear and need looking after. If not, dry patches will turn sore; Cuticles may become infected and skin conditions like eczema can develop. In this nail-obsessed era of mani's and nail art - it's more important than ever for hands to look as feel amazing too. My favourite time of the day to use SEAMS Hand Cream is just before I get into bed. Nothing beats that moment when you get into bed and you can relax after a long day and putting on hand cream is the best gift you can give your hands at this time. SEAMS is so relaxing to use - it's non-greasy texture instantly sinks into skin and the calming fragrance helps you unwind so by morning, you're well rested and your hands feel soft and ready to start another hard-working day... Let SEAMS look after your hands through the night Karen J