Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Friday; Happy Winter Hands :D

Not an inspiring day for titles 'round here, but I did want to pop in and share my progress on my New Year's start, which is BBD's Mystery Sampler.

You may remember,
Last Week

This Week!:

I definitely like the warm plum of the "B". :)

And, here I was thinking I hadn't really gotten anything done. I'm aiming for a pace of "just doing a little" each day. It doesn't matter how little, but just to put some in. This isn't a piece I'm stitching for the fun of it--oh, no! I want this baby on my wall!! :D

SO, It's easy for me to get impatient with my slow stitching. I missed a day or two, and one day I stitched "a lot", but for me I'm impressed with my progress! I think I'd like to keep it up with a weekly photo log so I can watch it move along. When you stare at it hour after hour your eye just can't see the progress anymore, perhaps.


This week I've been seeing more and more reports around blogland of super-dry hands that complicate or even prevent stitching! Oh, no! I've been so blessed this year to avoid this plague (as compared to previous years), so I thought I'd share what I've been doing. I'd say that my hands are less than 10% "off" of their warmer-weather state, and they'd have to be 60% off before my stitching would be compromised.

I do feel like I have to warn that the supplies altogether aren't cheap at the outset, but what in stitching is? :P

Even if you don't change your beauty products, changing the way you use them can help.

Key point: Shower or bathe in the evening before retiring to bed, and IMMEDIATELY do your moisturizing routine. Personally I wrap my wet hair, pat off just enough water from body that I'm not dripping and go directly to the vanity in my bedroom where I have my stuff laid out. I take care of my face, then my hands, then my feet (due to the different products).

I consider the facial care products I use to be expensive, so I'm careful not to contaminate them and I also keep a small 1-2 oz. "mister" filled with distilled water with them. I mist my face then apply some lotion to extend the moisturizer a bit.

Right now I use various things, but my favorite commercial products are made by Shiseido.

Late in the fall I was out of cotton to apply my pre-lotion tonic. It's a thin liquid, and is used at the same step where you would use a toner, but it contains no alcohol and is very moisturizing. Speaking of shiseido, I'd say that their lotion is "okay, I guess" used alone, but that changes to "Amazing--Works Absolutely!!!" when you use this softener first. So, back to the story, I just splashed some in my palm and then patted it over my face instead of hunting down a cotton round. And then, when I was ready to moisturize my hands, I noticed that my "stitching pads" which had started to get a bit rough had "settled right down". So,

• Try using Shisedo's "Balancing Softener N" from their Benefience line on your crackly digits. Do this before using hand lotion. Hey, it works on your face, too (lol)! I'd advise against using the "Enriched Balancing Softener N", because it contains some alcohol, which will be drying. Side-by-Side the one you want is the lighter colored liquid of the two.

I follow immediately with hand cream, and again I've been having good results with another Shiseido product:

• "Advanced Essential Energy Moisturizing Cream".

Another key point is to save your hands from dishes and other too rough-n-tumble tasks. I found that re-useable dishgloves were giving me a reaction because no matter how nicely you let them dry stuff grows in them, so I switched to these. I do feel they're a little wasteful, but I don't have a better solution. They are also great for dying fabric! :3

Just in case I missed 'em:

• Consistency is key: if you want good hands every day, you have to care for them every day. I moisturize at night for 2 reasons: 1. I don't like the feel of lotion on my hands when I'm trying to use things (Books, stitching, video game controllers), so if I'm going to sleep it's a good chance. The second reason has to do with bathing, and gets its own bullet point!

• Moisturizing after bathing is TOO IMPORTANT. The goal is not to get some parafin-and-perfume gunk all over you and drenched in to replace your skin's lost moisture so it will stop cracking. Most lotions (even the ones I use) have some stuff that's technically not good for you. Like a scent. Scent is perfume, and Perfume contains alcohol, which drys the skin. Okay.

The Point of moisturizing is to seal in your body's natural moisture, and create a barrier between you and the harsh winter air (indoors and out). If you're suffering from dry skin, the wettest it will be is during the few minutes after you step out of the bath. This is because you are now a sodden sponge. Picture placing a new sponge in the sink, and turning a stream of water on it. Once it's completely soaked, you can carefully pick it up--there is a stage where it stops dripping, but it is still so sodden that if you don't support the weight just so it will squeeze itself out a bit. This is the point at what you want to seal yourself :) (Gross, eh?) You want to lightly pat yourself just enough so that you are not streaming water everywhere. If you are toweling vigorously, you've stolen your own water. However, the dryest you will ever be is about 15-20 minutes after that washing, when all the water that you poured into yourself evaporates TAKING ALONG WITH IT MOISTURE YOU HAD BEFORE BATHING. This is why you hear that too-hot baths or showers are bad for your wintry skin. Actually, they are okay, but you must be quick to "seal" and protect with a moisturizer.

I hope this soliloquy is able to help even one person enjoy better comfort and stitching this winter; I'm praying these for all of you, my friends! It may seem like a small thing but it can be big in your quality of life!

I want to especially thank everyone who has included me in their thoughts and prayers regarding my hair loss--I'm happy to report that it has stopped falling out! :D This is a HUGE Happy Dance for me! Now, to focus on growing-in!

I'm off to do some chores before a friend's birthday tonight--have a great stitchy weekend, everyone!



Meadows08 said...

Love the BBD project. The colours are great.

I'm lucky enough to have avoided the dry hand plague. I live where it rains all winter so dryness is not a problem :)

Hazel said...

Wow love the BBD wip. Very nice. I get dry hands too and have to moisturise. Esp round my knuckle areas. This cold snap that we have had over here recently has not helped at all. Those products sound good. Not sure we can get them over here though. I'll look out for them. x

Anonymous said...

You've made excellent progress on the BBD piece, it's looking lovely :)

I'm like you and prefer to use moisturiser on my hands just before I go to bed. After a bad bout of dryness before Christmas, my hands are much better, thank goodness! Glad to hear that the hair loss has stopped :)

Anonymous said...

Fabulous progress!! Love the colours!!

mainely stitching said...

Absolutely love your progress on this project!

I also moisturize at night. During the worst of winter, I use a serum from Dr Hauschka, which helps minimize the flareup of rosacea that I always have. :(

Beth said...

You have made fantastic progress on your BBD project. I love the colors.

Dry hands gets me only when I am doing a lot of baking and my hands are in and out of dishwater a bunch. Now that Christmas is over, hands are happy again !!

Elaine said...

Love you new project, it;s so pretty!

Diane said...

Love your BBD project and you've made great progress in a short time!

Another Animal Crossing addict here (GameCube version). I love it, but it sure cuts into my stitching time! We have about 8 towns in various states and I've just started actively playing three of them again after breaks of 55 months, 25 months, and 11 months, according to the villagers. Weeds, yuck!

Word vreification is "ressist". Is blogger trying to tell me something, in its own misspelled way?

Margaret said...

Beautiful BBD progress! I do get dry hands, but a combination of having a heavy duty humidifier in the house for the big double bass and doing a nightly moisturizing with a strong hand cream seems to be doing me well. Luckily!

Rowyn said...

Love your BBD start, such gorgeous colours in it.

Pointed Stitcher said...

Your mystery sampler is coming along well, I love the colors. Thanks for the tips on taking care of dry skin.

Kellie said...

Your BBD Mystery Sampler is very pretty. I am looking forward to seeing your weekly progress on it. The dry skin tips are interesting and informative. I need a good moisturizing hand cream as my hands seem to suffer the worst in this weather. I will have to look for the products that you mentioned. :)

Have a great weekend!

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Awesome colors and progress on your BBD piece!

Myra said...

Ohhh, I am loving the colors in this one, gorgeous plum! Thanks for the moisturizing tips - I have problems with the thumb on my needle hand drying and cracking. I have even had to use a pumice stone to smooth it so it doesn't catch on the floss!

Lynn said...

The colours in this piece are so pretty! I'm really loving it.

I'm also an advocate of showering and moisturizing at night. I've been doing this for years and my skin is so much better. I used to use Shiseido but now I have trouble locating it out where I live so I've replaced it with Aveeno products.
As for cracks, the most amazing product I've ever found is Hemp cream by The Body Shop. Works like a charm!

Giovanna said...

Nice progress! This is such a rewarding project.

Robin said...

Love the warmth of the colors that you are using for the BBD design. You're right, that plum is a gorgeous color! I'm a strong proponent of moisturing and I slather on lotion everytime I wash my hands, except when I'm stitching. Thanks for the great advice!

Brigitte said...

Wow, you made some considerable progress on this wonderful BBD piece. I so love the vines the left hand border consists of.

Lucy said...

I'm with ya on the moisturizing routine. I have one of those hot wax things for your wonderful!

Siobhan said...

Wonderful progress on your BBD, Berit!

Michele said...

I get impatient too! :) I look around the house and visualize which samplers I would like on each wall - then realize I need to get stitching! Thanks for the tips about hands!

Anonymous said...

Your WIP is looking great Berit, love the colours. And thanks for the moiturizing tips, off to have a nice shower now :)

Sally said...

This is looking so pretty. Love it!

I try to moisturise my hands several times but I forget sometimes!

Anonymous said...

Your WIP is coming along well - I often do the "before and after" comparison photos to highlight the amount of work that has been completed ... it's often a great motivator :)

Anonymous said...

Your WIP is coming along well - I often do the "before and after" comparison photos to highlight the amount of work that has been completed ... it's often a great motivator :)

Sweet Homestead Alabama said...

I like the new sampler, Berit. And my skin could definitely benefit from your beauty/skin tips! I'm glad I stopped by. : ) I've been toying with the idea of making *myself* a sampler. I'm not sure why, but I never seem to sew or stitch for myself... I need to work on that. I'd love to make myself a few spring skirts.

About your question:

I have a Kenmore sewing machine (not a long-arm version) and I love it. This is my machine:

There were times during the quilting process when I thought having a long-arm would be soooo nice. But my little machine did the job. I had to keep the fabric rolled up on the inside of my machine, but it was workable. I really enjoyed the process. Thanks for asking! You should give it a try yourself!( made a lapsize quilt - 45 x 60.

Sweet Homestead Alabama said...

Berit, I seriously recommend you read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon - if you haven't already. This book revolutionized the way I eat, and I'm so much healthier now. It's ironic to say it revolutionized my food, when in fact it is a return to traditional food preparation techniques.

I'm still struggling with bone issues caused by years of improper nutrition, but I am hopeful that better days are on the horizon. Our bodies replace (generate new) bone mass at the rate of 20 percent each year. Hopefully, by the time I've been eating this way for 5 years, I'll have healthy bones!

Texas Gun Laws said...

Winter can wreak havoc on your hands.