Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What's new Wednesday - Take care of your Hands

I have lots to share with you today, in fact it may be a two part post. Because of this I will try and make this as brief as possible, well we all know for me that means more like long johns than briefs! :) Anyway.

GLASS ARTISTS: I've received notification from American Style Magazine that the Essential Guide to Studio Art Glass deadline for Reservation for the issue is March 22 and Deadline for photos of your artwork is March 29th. Issue goes on sale May 25th.

Ask for special rates, Contact Merle Honey Porter 800-642-4314 Ex 268 or email She's a dear to work with!

Beautiful Elliot Lucca Handbag full of the newest books giveaway is still going on, sign up free for it here.

Also the Design Challenge for 30 minute Rings for Lark books for you ring makers out there is still open until March 19, so get your designs and photos in now.

For those who admired my Ott lights in my studio photos from last week, (and these are great, fold down, take anywhere with you that you need great lighting and also I've used them for rainy day photo shoots as well) , Michaels has them on sale this week at half off! Also of interest: Bead Gallery Collection at 40% off Elegance Collection 2 for $5 (Gold Silver and Rose Gold) and 40% off their Scrapbook storage ( but many of these pieces can be re-purposed for beading, Polymer Clay and other crafts.)

Hobby Lobby is co-sponsoring a Homespun Prayer Shawl Contest with Lion Brand yarn from March 1 to June 1. Open to Knit or Crocheted designs the prize is $500 for you PLUS $500 for your favorite Charity! That's cool. I've seen some books in the yarn section recently about these prayer shawls and only have an inkling about this current knitting/crochet phenomena, but I guess with this contest it's still going strong! Enter Here.

Looking over the Entry form I found this which is odd:
We are sorry, but residents of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee and Vermont are not eligible to enter this contest
I have no clue as to why residents of these states are ineligible but them's the rules. You might want to write and ask why, I know I'd be interested so if you find out, let me know, ok?

For this weeks specials at Hobby Lobby check the flyer out here.

Now I know most of my readers range from casual crafters to those with full grown businesses based on their art and we all have one thing (if not more) in common as artists. A huge percentage of us don't take care of our hands the way we should. So I have some tips for you out there, And REMEMBER THIS, Your Hands are your MOST precious and irreplaceable Tool, so you must take care of them.

I found this great video awhile back and shared it with fellow artist in another venue and I will share it now with you all here. Bookmark it so you can return to it often.

Cynthia Tinapple shot this video of Karen Lewis (aka Klew) teaching these hand exercises and massage to Sarah Shriver. Those in the PC world will recognize these names immediately but for those who aren't take their well given advise on this Video. (Ignore the background 'music' of the crickets. :)

Now that covers the infrastructure of your hands but what about the outer? Your hands are covered by some of the largest organ of the body, your skin. Many artists dedicate much time to their art, fussing with a painting or piece of jewelry until it's just right, giving attention to the smallest details, but many of the mediums we use are harsh to our skin. And who hasn't used their fingers to paint with (and I don't mean in kindergarten! :) ) or use even harsher things that only end up drying out out skin and worst.

As some of you know I have Celiac Disease, it is not contagious and is a genetic auto-immune disease that can keep one a bit vulnerable against infections because proper nutrients aren't absorbed by the body. Because of this I have been very aware of germs in all places and have taken precautions as best I can or washing my hands frequently (which is recommended for all people really, especially with the outbreak of the H1Ni Swine flu). So I keep antibacterial wipes around the house and always take them with me when I go out. I also have bottle of Hand Sanitizer in every room of the house. This may sound extreme but it saves you from a lot of extra hand washing.

The problem I found though because the main ingredient in these hand sanitizers (aka waterless hand cleaners) is the alcohol, which is best to kill germs but also is very drying. I've found the more I keep my hands clean, the more they are requiring lotion. But because I wash my hands so frequently the cycle continues. It seems this has been a problem for many and this cycle couldn't be broken.

Then I found Infectiguard by Dr Fresh at Light Years Ahead. Infectiguard is an Instant Hand Sanitizer with Moisturizer built in the form of vitamin E and Aloe.

Here are some tips for taking care of your hands from the folks at Light Years Ahead

  • ¨ For the love of gloves: Let your hands live a sheltered life. In winter, wear warm gloves when stepping out into the chilly air. Always use rubber gloves for housework and dishwashing to protect against drying hot water, chemicals and detergents. And at the gym, don a pair of training gloves. These not only wick away sweat, but they cushion your palms and help prevent getting callouses from repeated use of the equipment.

  • ¨ Washing: Especially during flu season, washing with soap and water is a necessary evil. But not all soaps are created equal. Public restroom soaps – including those at your office – are the worst offenders in terms of chemical ingredients. Consider bringing your own kinder, gentler supply. An idea to try: Apartment 5 “Soaps on the Go” soap sheets.

  • ¨ Kill germs, not your hands: Hand sanitizers may be de rigueur, but traditional gel formulas don’t do your fingers any favors. Try Infectiguard’s innovative lotion version. Moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin E make Infectiguard as soft on the skin as it is hard on germs. You’d never know from the smooth results that the formula contains 62% alcohol – mandated by the Centers for Disease Control to kill bacteria.

  • ¨ Cuticles: Perfectly groomed cuticles make your hands the picture of health. But don’t try cutting yours at home – leave that to experts at the salon. Instead, try mild manual exfoliation with a washcloth, or with a microexfoliant powder. Then massage in plenty of cuticle oil.

  • ¨ Moisturize and pamper: You simply can’t moisturize your hands too much, especially in winter. Rub in a rich, shea butter-infused cream a few times a day. And give your hard-working, computer-weary hands a delightful massage at the same time. Place a dollop of cream on one palm, lace your fingers together and rub it in with the opposite thumb. Repeat on the other side, and then massage cream onto the backs of the hands, working it up each individual finger.

  • ¨ Manicures: Keep your nails pretty with a salon or at home manicure. When your nails look good, you’ll have greater incentive to treat them right.

I love how they have this available in so many sizes too and they also sent this to our servicemen fighting overseas.

  • Choose from a wide variety of sizes and formats:
    • Infectiguard Hand Sanitizer, 8 oz. pump bottle $ 2.99
    • Infectiguard Hand Sanitizer, 1.8 oz. bottle with carabineer clip that attaches to backpack, purse, or belt loop $ 2.99
    • Infectiguard Hand Sanitizer Spray 2 pack, great for travel $ 2.99
    • Infectiguard Deep Cleansing Instant Hand Sanitizer Wipes (I8 individually wrapped wipes, great for on-the-go families) $ 2.99
    • Infectiguard Hand Sanitizer Trial Pack: One spray, one .5 oz bottle and 2 wipes $ 2.99
    • Infectiguard Hand Sanitizer Combo Pack: 8 oz. pump bottle and .5 oz bottle $ 2.99
    • Infectiguard Instant Toothbrush Sanitizer: a toothbrush storage case that sanitizes with an ultra-violet light. $ 9.99

Available at stores like Safeway, Kroger, Shopko, Fred’s, A & P and AAFES and other fine drugstores and mass merchandisers nationwide,

I am especially intrigued with the Toothbrush sanitizer. You may wonder why you may need that but most people store their toothbrushes in a holder next to the sink and usually that sink is within 5-6 feet of the toilet. Did you know that fecal bacteria can travel that far and be deposited on your toothbrush? Do I need to say more?

Now I have tried many different hand sanitizers and the only difference I've seen is some have a better fragrance than other, but they all dry out the skin and some even leave a stickiness there that can only be removed by washing with soap and water. But this isn't so with Infectiguard. It goes on like a light lotion, not greasy, not sticky, has a light fragrance that is pleasant and makes your hands feel soft and smooth not dry and sticky. Even my husband noticed a difference and he has very dry hands due to his work.

So may I recommend you give it a try? It's available in many stores so you should be able to find it easily and also keep some in your studio. If you work with polymer clay and don't use gloves this can help in removal of extra clay as well as moisturize your hands at the same time. Not only does the clay stick to your hands but it pulls moisture from them as well. Also if you are a jewelry maker and work with wire you know how you can cut yourself when wire wrapping etc. It's good to have a squirt bottle at your work table to put on the scratch or cut right away to prevent infections.

Infectiguard has even stepped up big time to help the efforts in the after math of the Earthquake in Haiti, read about it here.


Stop back for a review of Sherri Haab new book : Jewelry Inspirations!

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