Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Earring Tips for Those with Sensitive Ears

I have REALLY sensitive ears when it comes to earrings. For most of my life, the only earrings I could wear were those that had at least 14K gold. Anything else caused my ears to swell, turn bright red and get all pussy and gross. It was also incredibly painful. Even earrings that were labeled "hypoallergenic" did not work for me.

Now that I sell earrings, I wanted to make earrings that everyone (including myself) could wear, but were still affordable. At first I looked into gold, way too expensive so that option was thrown out immediately. I found some "hypoallergenic" posts that were good, but I still had reactions to them if I wore them for too long. I wanted something better so I did some research and found a couple of solutions.


The first option I discovered was Titanium. Titanium is a nickel-free, non-reactive metal that is used in surgical implants. If it doesn't cause reactions when placed inside our bodies, then it won't cause reactions when used in piercings. Best of all, it is totally affordable. It is only slightly more expensive than surgical steel. The only problem with titanium is that it is really hard and it cannot be soldered so its use is restricted. The titanium posts that I use actually use surgical steel too, the actual post is pure titanium, but the flat pad that I glue the flowers on and that the post is attached to is made out of surgical steel. The ear nuts (earring backs) I use are also made out of surgical steel as titanium is not flexible enough.
Surgical steel is also a great option for those with sensitive ears. It is also non-reactive and is the metal that is used in most surgical instruments. Although it is claimed to be nickel free, it does contain minute amounts of nickel, but the amount is so small that it usually does not cause allergic reactions.

For me, the titanium/surgical steel combination has been working great. I have had the same pair of earrings in  for over a week now, with no reaction whatsoever.

For all the titanium earrings in my shop please go here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RisC?section_id=10220926


Another option I found was using clear plastic posts so that there is no metal at all and therefore no metal allergy. These were a little harder to find, but they are REALLY cheap and easy. When I tried the plastic posts, they also did not bother my ears. The plastic is flexible and easy to work with and incredibly lightweight. I almost forget that I am wearing earrings when I have them on. My only issue with the plastic ones are that the end is really pointy to make it easier to get into your ear. Because they bend easy, the end has to be sharp so that they will go through the piercing instead of just bending when you try to put them on. I don't like to wear these at night because the end pokes the side of my head when I sleep and it is a little uncomfortable.

For all of the plastic earrings in my shop, please go here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RisC?section_id=10220964

Plastic Earring Covers

The final option I have found that works okay are plastic earring covers. These are plastic sheaths that you slide over the earring post so that the metal does not come into contact with your skin. These are great if you have earrings that you really want to wear, but you cannot because of sensitivity. These take a little getting used to though. They make the post thicker than normal and take a little force to get into your ear. You also need to be sure your posts are long enough so that your back can still fit on. I don't like to wear these for very long either. I am paranoid that they will get stuck in my ear or something because they are so small.

Good Hygiene

My final tip is to make sure to use good hygiene when comes to wearing earrings. Before I mess with my ears, I make sure that I have washed my hands really well. Before putting any earrings on, I always disinfect them thoroughly with rubbing alcohol. I also clean my ears well with rubbing alcohol using a q-tip or cotton ball. If my ears are irritated at all, then I put a little antibiotic ointment (neosporin) on the earring before I put it on and that seems to help. Otherwise, if they are irritated to begin with, it doesn't matter what type of earring I put on, they don't like it. The more I mess with my ears, the worse they get, so I try to not change my earrings too frequently.

I hope these tips help you!!!

Shared on:
Creations by Kara

Monday, August 29, 2011

First Day of Preschool

Today was my daughter's first official day of Preschool. We took some pictures on the porch before we left in her special first day of school outfit. She picked out the skirt, her favorite, pink. 

Do you like her headband? I followed this tutorial and plan to share a few more that I have made soon. 

"Can we go now? Can we go now?" She was so excited. Love it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Yep, We Grew That

 This was our first year growing corn. We did not think it would actually work, our yard is too small to grow enough stalks to cross-pollinate. We had really low hopes, but it actually worked. Look at how beautiful that is? I'm glad we ignored the experts and tried it anyway.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Preschool Activity

Today for Preschool we learned about caterpillars. I love The Very Hungry Catterpillar by Eric Carle, so first we read that and did a little activity with it. I had pictures of everything that the caterpillar ate in the story and the kids had to find the items as they were eaten. They really loved it and it really helped them focus on listening to the story and to me.

Then the scientist in me had to do a little biology lesson on metamorphosis. I kept it simple and just had some drawings of an egg, a caterpillar, a cocoon, and then a butterfly. I love teaching kids about science. It is so fun and I want to my kids to have a love of science like I do before they get to high school and its "not cool".

Then on to the activity/craft. We made "caterpillar" necklaces using yarn and dyed pasta. I tied a knot around a bead at one end of the yarn so they wouldn't fall off as they strung them. I also wrapped tape around the stringing end to make it easier to get the noodles on. The larger macaroni noodles were hard to string, so we had to help them quite a bit with those, but they all did really well and it kept them interested for 40 minutes which was way longer than I expected.

I love how the macaroni naturally alternates directions on the yarn making it look like a caterpillar inching along.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dyed Pasta for Kids Crafts

 Yesterday I had a lot of fun making making these:
 We are participating in a Co-op Preschool and tomorrow is my turn to do something fun with the kids before they officially start next week. I have a fun activity planned, but I will wait to share what we are doing with these until tomorrow when I can hopefully get some cute shots of the kids. Should be fun! Until then here is how to make these.

You will need:
Rubbing Alcohol (Isopropyl)
Food coloring
Pasta (doesn't matter what shape)

Place a couple Tablespoons or so of rubbing alcohol into a ziploc and add plenty of food coloring (I think I ended up adding like 15-20 for the red and purple, less for the blue and green). Mix and then add pasta. Close bag and then mix with your fingers to evenly dye/coat all of the pasta pieces. If the colors are not as bright as you want, add more food coloring. Let them sit for an hour or so, mixing them up periodically to really let the colors penetrate.

Pour onto paper towel lined baking pans, spread into a single layer (use a fork so you don't dye your hands) and let dry several hours to overnight.

Monday, August 22, 2011

{Cauli}Flower Soup

My daughter is a pretty picky eater. There was a time when the only way I could get her to eat any vegetables, was to disguise them in things like zucchini bread and carrot waffles. This was a recipe I found to get her to cauliflower. 

I'll admit, I am not a big fan of cauliflower, but this soup is heavenly and good for you. I add a little cream to it at the end to make it even better. The original recipe includes parmesan crisps, but we just serve it with bread (sourdough is really good with it) for dipping. My daughter loves to dip. To disguise it, we call it Flower soup. My daughter is girly like that, so flower soup is fun for her.

Silky Cauliflower Soup

Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman of the Food Network.




Remove the leaves and thick core from the cauliflower, coarsely chop, and reserve. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the cauliflower is very soft and falling apart, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and, using a hand held immersion blender, puree the soup, or puree in small batches in a blender* and return it to the pot. Add the Parmesan and stir until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

"I'm so Pretty La La La"

Everytime I make earrings and my daughter sees them, she comments on how beautiful they are and how each one is her favorite. She keeps begging me to get her ears pierced, but we are not going to do that until she is old enough to take care of them herself. 

The last time I went to the craft store, I found some clip-on earring blanks that would be perfect for her. She was so excited when I put some flowers on them and put the earrings on her. She loves them and wants to wear them all the time.

My favorite part was this morning after I put them on, she started twirling around and singing, "I'm so pretty, la la la la, I'm so pretty."

Oh to have that self-esteem!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Tiny Mums and Rose Rings

 I found some new molds last week...these tiny mums. They are only 10mm in diameter instead of 15 like my medium mums. Aren't they cute?

My daughter "helped" me make a bunch yesterday while her brother was sleeping. I won't really let her help with the resin, but she sorted them by color after I pulled them out of the molds. If I can find any way for her to "help" then she is happy.

 These make me smile.

I also found a mold for a large open rose.
 I think they are perfect for the brass filigree rings.
I'll be listing a bunch of the tiny mum earrings and rose rings in my shop throughout the day (in the spare moments between taking care of the kids and doing laundry) so check them out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Remember these tiny little sunflowers?

Well look at them now!
 My husband is 6'3" (I think?) so we guess that the tall one is about 9 feet tall now! Crazy. They tower over the fence so our neighbors can enjoy them too.
 When they were first peeking over the fence, our one neighbor said it freaked her out a bit because it looked like someone was spying at them.
One of them already has a big beautiful bloom too.

Its so nice to be able to spend time outside. Too bad our lazy summer days have come to an end...school starts next week!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Crochet Bow Hair Clip Pattern

I love how popular bows are becoming again. This crochet pattern I use for Hair Clips for my daughter, but it could easily be made into something for yourself too. I wore one on a headband once, but I felt a little silly. I am just not trendy enough for it and didn't think I could I pull it off. I'm sure I looked just fine, but I was self-conscious  about it the whole time. Maybe I will try again later when I am in more of a trendy mood :)

This pattern is put together just like the Little Guy Bow Tie so go to that post for specific instructions on how to put it together.

I also made an improvement to the Little Guy Bow Tie so be sure to check that out to. I added velcro to the elastic to make it easier to get on and off without having to pull it over their heads.

Bow Hair Clip Crochet Pattern
by Ris C

Worsted Weight Yarn
Size H Crochet Hook
Yarn needle
Alligator clip or barrette
Ribbon (optional)
Hot Glue and Glue Gun

Round 1: ch 6, hdc across (start in 2nd ch from hook): 5 hdc
Round 2-18: ch 1*, turn hdc across: 5 hdc
Sew round 1 to round 18 to form a cuff and then pinch center, sew through, wrap yarn around and knot to keep pinch in place.

Round 1: ch 4, hdc across (start in 2nd ch from hook): 3 hdc
Round 2-6: ch 1*, turn, hdc across: 3hdc
Wrap around center of bow and sew in back to form the center.

Glue ribbon onto alligator clip (optional) and then glue clip (or barrette) to back of bow.

*Technically you are supposed to chain 2 for a hdc, but for me, 1 chain seems to look better. Just do whatever works best for you. It all depends on how tight or loose your stitches are.

I have several colors of these bows listed in my shop if you would rather just buy them then make them :)

Shared on:
Creations by Kara

Monday, August 15, 2011

In Total Disbelief!!!

I still cannot believe it, but I actually won Dana's design her header contest. Check it out here. My design will be her header for the next 2 weeks, so please check it out.

There were so many great entries. I was going to go through and show a few of my favorites, but I could not narrow it down to just a few. Head on over to http://www.dana-made-it.com/ to view her favorites and browse through the flickr group to check out them all.

I do need to give credit to my husband for helping me out. He is the photoshop pro (well, more than me) and he is the one who showed me how to use the magic wand tool to "cut" the skirts out. He also helped me choose which skirts to use. We had a lot of fun!