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Karen J. Gerrard Blog

Behind the SEAMS Karen J Gerrard

A Stitch In Time Saves Nine

Dealing with a problem right away will prevent it from getting worse and more difficult to deal with later, there is nothing like the now! Some say that "A stitch in time" was first said by mothers weary of mending their children's clothes, and mending a tear right away would require only 1 stitch instead of 10 stitches later. Others that making 1 wrong stitch whist embroidering can mean unpicking a whole section later. Embroidery has been around since 3rd Century BC with the earliest examples found in China. You may have thought that embroidering was something Elizabeth Bennet did in Pride and Prejudice to while away the hours whilst waiting for Mr Darcy to sweep her off her feet, but the art of embroidery is enjoying a huge renaissance, with global designers such as Erdem using embroidery to create the most beautiful floral designs on his pieces, every high street retailers embroidered bomber jackets flying out of the doors, and this season Valentinos legendary Rockstud bag has been embroidered with a Jungle print. At SEAMS this week we are looking after hand sewing the creations for London Fashion Week and I know there are going to be many fabulous embroidered pieces on the catwalk. There are many reasons to sew there is nothing like creating something timeless with a personal touch. Type embroidery into Google today and you will find embroidery groups and courses springing up everywhere. There are Facebook groups where you can chat to Romanian Grandmothers who will show you their country's traditional techniques, and clubs you can go along to socialise and swap tips. Embroidery has come back in fashion in a big way Gwen Stephani loves to sew and says she learnt the craft from her mother and grandmother. Britney Spears has tweeted herself having sewing lessons from her wardrobe mistress. Chris Martin from ColdPlay says he and his band members love to sewing their own clothes. Julia Roberts has been taking sewing lessons to keep her brain active as she grows older. George Clooney once made his own clothes and stepped in to fix a broken zipper on his girlfriends dress backstage at The Academy Awards. Rumour has it that Judy Dench creates the most ornate and beautiful pieces of embroidery but of the most foul language and them gives them to people as gifts! It was my love of sewing that lead me to create SEAMS Hand Cream, knowing from first hand experience the problems that this addictive craft can cause. From pin-pricks and burns to dry, sore and aching hands we needed a hand cream that could be used whilst working as a sewer never wants to stop! That is why SEAMS has a special fast dry formula and doesn't transmit grease onto fabric. Moisturised hands really do 'feel' the material better. With your skin 'a stitch in time saves nine" is so true, meaning it is better to smooth on SEAMS before and during everything you do than to try to repair damaged skin afterwards. Keep your hands soft and beautiful with SEAMS Karen J    


Claire-Louise Hardy – Great British Sewing Bee

"SEAMS is the least greasy hand cream I have ever used, its always on my work bench. When I'm hemming I pop on some SEAMS Hand Cream and pass the thread over my hand."


Our hands are our biggest tool in everything our imagination wants to create, but hours of crafting, the handling of porous material, use of cleaning liquids  and the constant washing of our hands causes dry irritated skin sometimes slowing down or halting work! Nothing worse than flakey skin catching onto wool or pin-pricked fingers making each stitch painful. Looking after your hands will keep them soft, supple and enhance your power of touch. SEAMS absorbs quickly and is not greasy so you can carry on...


The Beauty Of Music

Shakespeare wrote "If music be the food of love play on..." Then on a subliminal note, music is also an anti-ageing skincare tool, and a powerful boost for our wellbeing, health and soul. Music can bring out emotions of joy, sadness, happiness and love as our brains synchronise with the sound, and has the power to slow down or speed up the rhythm of our heartbeat - Tune in and read how this affects the body - Stress The cortisol hormone increases in our bodies when we are stressed out, too much cortisol leads to dryness of the skin and the breakdown of collagen so speeding the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A high level of cortisol also lowers our immune system causing issues such as acne, blemishes, dull complexions and in some cases skin allergies, rosacea and eczema. Slow down the signs of ageing Listening to your favourite music can help you de-stress and relax the mind and body. This lowers blood pressure and cortisol levels so slowing down the ageing process and promoting clear radiant skin. Speed it up for a healthy glow Listen to a fast beat whilst at the gym to boost blood circulation, beat away toxins and cellulite, plump up skin, keep it supple and give your complexion a healthy glow. Feed the soul There's an old saying "Words are the quill of the heart and music is the quill of the soul." When you express something in your heart you use words to write it or speak it, music expresses what's in your soul. Tunes cross all barriers, everyone can be moved by music even if they don't understand the words, even if in a different language it touches you. A small child can understand the message of music, put a child to bed and sing a lullaby they will understand it and fall asleep a lot better than when the mother talks and uses words to tell the child to sleep. Music has a deep power to impart messages and memories, we remember tunes from childhood to old age instantly taking us back to where we were, who we were with and the feelings that song evoked, giving us a deeper inner peace and wellbeing. Bump it up Usually experienced through a chill or a rapid change in temperature some people have the ability to exaggerate the part of the brain where emotions are processed, listen to a chilling piece of music and feel a shiver down your spine and watch Goosebumps appear. Heal Research has shown that regular music listeners have a higher number of lymphatic cells, which help fight off bacteria and viruses. Our bodies heal whilst we sleep, so listen to a calming tune when going to bed, to help relax your mind giving you a better nights sleep. Get creative Listen to your happy music and ignite both the hand co-ordination and ideas part of the brain in unison, to promote abstract thinking and solving problems. Good vibrations Sound waves send vibrations into our ears with which to hear, a deaf person can feel the vibrations and send signals to their brain, then with the help of sign language also know the lyrics and enjoy the music. Dance to the beat  Not everyone likes to exercise but who doesn't start tapping their feet or clapping hands when listening to an upbeat tune. There are 8 essential pressure points in our hands which get activated when we clap having a positive effect on our hearts and blood circulation, helping to remove obstructions in the veins and arteries, sharpening the brain and keeping the immune system healthy. Whether it's dancing around the house by yourself, or at a party with a partner moving together to the rhythm, both will have physical and psychological benefits. Dancing helps you stay fit, increases muscle tone and will keep you supple. Dancing releases the happy hormone and some doctors dance with their patients during appointments to help reduce their anxiety!!! We rely pretty much on our hands during social dancing, it's virtually impossible not to use them whilst on the dance floor, hands help communicate what the body wants to do, telling a story giving attitude, sensual energy or just pure fun. Dancing with a partner will inevitably involve touch, which is essential to our emotional wellbeing. There are more sensory nerves in our hands than any other part of the body, through holding hands we can express emotions and feelings. Hands are a way of connecting the bodies, holding hands whilst you dance signals total unity, a tilt of the hand can indicate the direction you want to go, touching your partner gently around the waist gives an instant feeling of compassion and security. Music is contagious In a good way, music can lift the energy in a room, uplift our mood and bring light to our faces. When Neil Diamond sang Sweet Caroline at a Red Sox game a full stadium of 37,731 people were swaying to the music holding hands with the person next to them, endorphins were released, transmitting joyous energy, uniting both teams. There is not a single style of music that is best for everyone, fast, slow, loud or quiet. Be it Soul, Jazz, Rock, Dance, Latin, Opera, Pop or R&B whatever type of music that brings you joy is the best. SO TURN UP THE VOLUME - DANCE THAT DANCE, SING THAT TUNE AND FEEL THE BEAT OF LIFE!!! Karen J.  


Holding Hands Is The Strongest Form Of Touch

Touch is the one sense that we can never turn off, a newborn baby will grasp a mothers hand at the first touch, and research shows that depriving children of touch can cause a condition called skin hunger or touch deprivation, resulting in emotional problems and late development. Touch Talks - We have more sensory nerves in our hands than any other part of the body, through our hands we can transmit emotions. Holding hands causes brain waves to synchronise affecting the part of our brain that is associated with empathy, pain and interpretation, and triggers the release of oxytocin Aka 'the love hormone' releasing feelings of trust and compassion  - speaking without words. Touch Soothes - Our natural response when a person is in distress is to hold their hand, to give reassurance. Pressure receptors are stimulated sending messages to the brain which are capable of bringing heart rate and blood pressure down. Touch Helps Us Sleep - Massaging hands stimulates the part of our nervous system that calms body and mind, and the pressure on sensory receptors during exercise will release serotonin which helps you get into a deeper sleep. Touch Connects - What is life without touch, but with all our technology we have never been so connected yet disconnected! Take time to nurture your skin, moisturised skin is not only soft and supple but also enhances our sense of touch. The bottom layer of skin called the dermis is filled with tiny nerve endings that send information to our brain where feeling is registered, if skin is soft it is more sensitive to contact. SEAMS Hand Cream absorbs instantly and is non-greasy and a must for dry, rough distressed hands. Widely recognised for it's mending, softening and moisturising properties. With a biomimetic lipid complex which penetrates the skins epidermal layer to help lock in moisture and leave skin feeling exceptionally soft, supple and smooth. Give your hardworking hands the SEAMS touch Karen J.


The History Of Shea Butter

Shea Butter was one of the many beauty secrets kept by Cleopatra, in ancient Egypt she had it sent especially from Africa. One of Cleopatras most famous beauty tips was to have Shea Butter massaged into her face and body after a milk and honey bath. She would also use Shea Butter to hold her hair in place, and when travelling through the dry desserts Cleopatra would get her servants to pack Shea Butter into clay jars, so that she could use it to protect her skin. Shea Butter has been used to moisturise and heal skin for centuries, and was also known to be used by The Queen Of Sheba and Nefertiti. Shea Butter is an ivory coloured natural fat from the seed of the Karite Nut tree, also called the Mangifolia tree found in the savannahs of West and Central Africa. Africans originally used Shea Butter to protect their skin from the hot sun and drying winds over the African desserts. Shea Butter is one of the richest natural sources of fatty acids and Vitamin E, which is why it has the unique properties of moisturising and healing, and can also help reduce wrinkles, stretch marks and scars, heal insect bites, clear sinuses, moisturise dry scalp, and is gentle enough to use on a baby's skin. Shea butter is one of the safest and effective natural moisturisers that you can trust to keep skin soft, it has incredible properties which is why I chose Shea Butter to be one of the main ingredients in SEAMS Hand Cream. Karen J.    


What To Do With Your Hands When Giving A Speech

Whether you are making a speech at a conference, giving a presentation or speaking at a party the question always arises what to with your hands whilst you are talking! Some people say don't use your hands too much so people can focus on your words, keep them still and hold onto a podium or table, but gripping too tightly shows a sign of nerves, hiding your hands behind your back can look intimidating, holding your hands tightly clasped in front of you can draw attention to the wrong places, and if  holding a pen or paper you may start to fidget by clicking the pen and this can be distracting to the listener. Research shows that's it's effective for a presenters hands to do plenty of talking, and can increase the value of your message by 60% they just have to be saying the right thing! When charismatic people use the correct hand gestures audiences will be happy, as they get two explanations in one! So it is important that your words and actions work on the same page, avoid giving out mixed messages which can be very confusing and eventually lead to loosing your audiences attention and they could walk out! But do not dismay there is a way to come back from this, open your hands out to the the audience, ask if there are any questions they would like to ask, get your audience interacting with you possibly invite someone up to the stage, shake their hands, make your audience an active part of the presentation. For most of us speaking in public can be daunting. It is a gifted person who can stand up and speak with confidence and ability, so having to think about what your hands are doing can add another pressure. To minimise stress read my tips on what to do with your hands whilst you are talking, practice a couple of times either in front of someone, or film yourself on your phone and watch it back, so that by the time you stand up and speak it will come naturally to you. Think of hand gestures as the bold print or highlighter to what you are saying. 1. Keep Your Hands In The Box Although its good to always think outside of the box, hands should stay inside of the box, the area from your shoulder to the top part of your hips. Going too far or wide out of this zone can be distracting, try not to repeat the same hand movements too many times, new movements as with new words keeps the conversation engaging. Holding your hand outstretched high up in the box shows "Its a pretty big deal" but lower down toward your waist that its just a small issue. Hold one hand out to the side when describing the benefits of an issue, and the other to describe the downsides. When You Don't Know What To Do Keep Your Hands By Your Side This is your go to position if you don't know what to do with your hands, try not to leave them there for too long. Big & Small Issues If you are talking about a small issue pinch your finger and thumb together, to reinforce an important topic have your hands opened wide in front of you. Separating Subjects, This & That When talking about two different subjects or opinions you can use your hands to symbolically represent them,  always put the same hand out each time, e.g your right hand for 'we' and your left hand for 'they' its a great way to define distance between two things, and people often are looking at their phones or look away whilst listening when they look back up again they can see at a glance what you are referring to. Talking In Numbers If talking in numbers up to five show these with your hand, it helps us believe the word, a bit like a non-verbal underliner. Fist Shaking This shows you are determined, but use it with care and with a soft voice otherwise it can come off as anger. Hand On Heart This shows you are sincere about what you are saying. Ive got my stuff together A steeple with your fingertips is seen as a wise gesture. Open Palms To Build Trust Showing open palms means I've got nothing to hide and installs trust. So from the handshake to the hands up movements make sure your hands are facing you audience palms open. Come Together When you bring both of your hands together, it is a great way of showing two forces coming together and thinking as one, folding your hands together shows completeness. We This is the most powerful, when speaking to a group or team opening your arms as if you are about to wrap them in a hug, gives a feeling of welcoming them into your inner circle. Its  a lovely come together gesture when used correctly. Listening Always end your speech by throwing questions out to the audience, let them give their opinions on the topic, hand on chin has a number of meanings, but it can show that you are listening and thinking about what that person is saying. Groom Your Hands The Night Before To keep your hand gestures fluid and natural, massage your hands the night before with SEAMS. If your hands are dry they will appear stiff and uncomfortable, moisturised hands increase elasticity in the skin, a massage the night before you go to sleep with SEAMS Hand Cream will ensure you wake up with soft hands. If you are wearing nail varnish make sure its not chipped, and take the colour with you in your bag in case they get chipped on the way. Pick your nail colour carefully nothing too bright to take away attention from your face. If you don't wear nail polish shine your nails with a buffer. Moisturise with SEAMS again in the morning. People often want to shake your hand after the speech and there is nothing worse than shaking a dry hand. Before you make your speech, with your thumb press the pressure point between the thumb and forefinger this will help release any tension. Remember its not just about what you are saying, its your actions that will make the difference. All eyes will be on you whilst you are talking just saying..! Karen J.    


Be Kind – Kindness Matters

Spread a little happiness - the saying "Do Unto Others As You Would Yourself" holds many secrets, kindness has many benefits to others and it can also enhance your own life, reduce stress and keep your body healthy. Experts say that helping others can lower blood pressure, give greater self esteem and make for a happier life. Ever wondered why you feel so high when doing a good deed? It's a real feeling, called 'the helpers high', we have a kindness chemical in our bodies called endogenous opioids that elevate the levels of dopamine in the brain that create a natural high and the oxytocin we produce when socially bonding can reduce inflammation in our cardiovascular system, slow down ageing and strengthening our hearts. Here are 5 ways to add kindness into your day - 1. Smile Smiles are contagious, we all rush around with heads down barely looking at others, but if you smile at someone on the street they will smile back, smile until it becomes natural think of something happy and you will feel happy. 2. Be Kind To Yourself We are usually tougher on ourselves than others, but its ok to take time for yourself, and do something that makes you happy, going on a holiday, a hobby, reading a book, relaxing. We only have one life - one body look after it! 3. Be Kind To Others Be kind to strangers you never know what's really going on in their lives. Opening a door for someone, taking a minute to ask how a friend is, giving help when needed can have a big impact on others. We often take for granted the people that are closest to us, not listening and communicating properly, be thoughtful, understanding and responsive, what you give out you get back in return. Always give some coins to a homeless person on the street no matter how they got there, or what they use the money for, they are in need of help. 4. Be Appreciative Be appreciative for everything you have we are all blessed in one way or another. If someone does even the smallest thing for you don't say "you shouldn't have" instead say thank-you and tell that person how much their help has meant to you, even better say thank-you with a hand written note. 5. Be Kind To Your Hands Our hands are the tools for everything we do, we can create amazing things and make a difference in the world, as the saying goes "we have two hands one to help ourselves and one to help others". Our hands are the most hardworking part of our bodies, and take a bashing every day, they show the first signs of ageing, you can tell a persons real age by looking at their hands. Give your hands the care they deserve, use SEAMS Hand Cream Morning, Noon and Night to keep hands moisturised, soft, soothed and looking younger in whatever you are doing. The Shea Butter in SEAMS deeply moisturises, whilst Macadamia and Rosehip Oils soften skin, Beta- Glucan slows down the signs of ageing, Vitamin E helps heal paper cuts and pin-pricks and Pro-Vitamin B5 protects,  all in a fast absorbing - non-greasy formula. SEAMS puts kindness into your hands Karen J.


How To Keep Your Hands Flexible

At SEAMS we have always worked with flexible hours, I believe in a balanced life, everyone should have time for work, family and pursuing individual goals and passions, however with the fast pace of business it's important that team members keep everyone in the loop with regular updates. Now more than ever our hands are working on the keyboards of computers, tablets and phones. Research shows that the average person spends over five hours a day typing, so keeping hands flexible is a must! Have you ever noticed in the past that your hands have felt strained or painful? This was probably caused by repetitive movements, moving forwards here are three easy ways to help keep your hands and wrists flexible for optimum comfort and performance whilst working on a keyboard or writing - 1. Positioning  When you are working on a computer your elbows should be at a comfortable open angle. If your elbows are angled upwards more than 90 degrees you run the risk of fatigue in your tendons and muscles. Use a light touch - slamming the keys with too much pressure over time can cause fatigue and strain. 2. Finger & Wrist Stretch To strengthen wrists - with the palms of your hands and elbows pressed together slowly spread your elbows apart keeping your palms pressed together. Do this 3 times. Sitting with palms together facing upwards and elbows out, slowly rotate palms down until the stretch is felt, hold for 10 seconds and release. Do this 3 times. To strengthen fingers - hold your hand in a fist and then release slowly. Do this 3 times. 3. Keep Your Hands Warm Cold hands feel uncomfortable and are prone to injury, and so it is particularly important to keep your hands warm in the winter. Wearing wrist warmers are an ideal solution as they keep the blood flowing into your hands at a warm temperature. Also taking a minute to massage with SEAMS Hand Cream will help with the blood circulation, moisturise dry skin and leave hands feeling soft & soothed. SEAMS absorbs instantly and will not leave grease on your keyboard, so you can carry on working and following your passions, as long as you like. Karen J. x    


What Does Your Heart Line Say About You? – Palmistry

Bring your hands together and see what your heart line could show about you. I've been intrigued recently about the art of Palmistry - reading the lines on your hands. There are gifted people who have the ability to read the lines on our hands and tell us what the past, present and future hold for us and what our personality is like, but do the lines on your hands really mean what they say? This ancient Chinese art has the philosophy that our lives are predetermined before we are born and that the energy is in the written in the palm of our hands. Here's what my research has shown - Apparently the most popular thing people want to know about when having their palms read is about their relationships. Research shows that if you are interested to learn how you will fare in friendships or romance you can do this fun exercise by looking at your heart line, combine your left hand and your right hand by holding both palms together as in the image above. 1. If the line on your left hand is higher than the right it could mean you are independent, you may not search for a partner to complete your life but can become a fighter for relationships. You take up every challenge and never let a good opportunity pass you by. You transform your strong nature into being passionate and fiery in romance. 2. If the line on the right hand is higher than the left it could mean that you are a good lover and an old soul. Old souls are said to be very comfortable having relationships with older people, they tend not to confirm to traditional thinking, and often try to push the boundaries beyond what others consider normal. You choose to see people in their genuine self and not how they present themselves to you. Honesty and trust is what you are about, and you speak truth in a direct manner. 3. If  both lines are perfectly aligned, showing a perfect curve this can mean you are calmer and have a pure heart. Pure at heart means you are gentle with yourself and kind to others, and only have others best interests at heart. Your sensitivity means you have empathy towards people, and want to offer them comfort. Once you let someone in that person can be safe in the knowledge that they will be offered passion, trust and loyalty. Changes in life can make you uncomfortable but despite everything you are able to manage your way and always end up better than before. Whatever the lines on your hands show, keep them moisturised and soothed with SEAMS Hand Cream. They are our biggest tools for everything we do. What does the heart line on your hands say about you? Karen J.        


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