We love to craft and want to share our love with the world! Well, maybe not the whole world...yet.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Keeper from way back

It's not my usual post, but I think just for today, I'm going to toot my own horn.

11 years ago I came across some animal crochet patterns and with my sister's third baby on the way, I decided to try them out. It was my first crochet project beyond dishcloths, scarves and dread caps, and I was so excited. My sister had chosen a Noah's ark theme for the nursery, so I set out to make two monkeys, two giraffes and two elephants. Well, I had no idea how much time little animals took to crochet and sew together! I was able to finish two monkeys and two giraffes and had to call it quits.

I have a terrible memory when it comes to things I make, which makes no sense because while I'm making them, they are my heart and soul. But when I let it go, it's gone. So it was a real treat when my sister sent these little guys back to me when my first daughter was born almost 8 years ago.

Two monkeys and two giraffes have now passed from my niece to my daughter, to my first son, and finally to my second son. And guess what? They still look terrific! Dillon, by far, is the most attached to the little monkeys. He lights up when he spots one and carries it around for hours. Neither of my other children have ever been so attached at such an early age to a toy, and it makes me so happy that its the one I made all those years ago.

So, it must be said....Its a Keeper!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A New Home

Over the holidays I visited my parents and inquired about a sewing machine for my friend Carrie. She's been interested in sewing for a while and after making her daughter's Halloween costume, she decided it was time to get her own sewing machine. I told her that my parents have a few they've collected over the years, and I would check to see if they had one that would work for her.

My mom immediately thought of my aunt's machine. Here's the history: My great grandfather, Grandpa Bayler, picked up this Brother sewing machine at a yard sale for 25 cents sometime in the 80's and gave it to my grandmother for one of the granddaughters to have. She decided to give it to her youngest, my aunt Theresa. She hasn't really developed the sewing bug, she prefers painting, so she asked my mom to find a new home for it.

So Mom and I pull it out and set it up on the cutting table and took it out of the case. Mom smiles and looks over the machine. She tells me about all the details from the taped up cord to the straight stitch foot. She adjusts the threads through the foot and sighs. Maybe she doesn't want this memory of Great Grandpa's great finds to leave the family...

She tells me that she's oiled it and that it stitches really well. The tensioning's all set up, and she notes that the straight stitch foot on it is really great...Then she looks at me and says, "I don't know. Maybe this should be your machine...That foot is really great...And this machine works really well...And it WAS from Grandpa..."

But I think about Grandpa. He was so generous. He was a real keeper. He foraged through junkyards and made bicycles that looked brand new for all 9 of his grandchildren. He built himself a shower in his cellar and installed a toilet in his garage. He found 12 busted up caned chairs, learned how to cane and refinished and caned all of them for his daughter, my Grandmother. He built little tables and chairs for his grandchildren that have been passed to his great grandchildren and his great, great grandchildren. The list goes on and on.

And now, this machine is for Carrie. This machine will help make memories of a keeper in her home. Curtains and skirts and Halloween costumes and who knows where it will end?

Here's hoping that it never does. Best wishes to my dear friend as she embarks on her own creative journey!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Yarn Rocketships

I'm in a beautiful place in life: staying at home with my 9 month old, my preschooler and homeschooling my second grader. However, most days roll like ocean waves, high tide, low tide, clean dishes, dirty dishes, clean bottoms, dirty diapers, lesson 39, lesson 40, but something changes when I get out the hook and yarn...

Abby grabs her hook, too..."Mom, now that I can crochet a circle, how do I turn it into an earring?"

Reid marches like the tin man around the living room in my latest fingerless gloves, "Can these be mine and you make more for your friend? I want these to be my robot arms!"

It's like the mold is broken and we are all ready for something new to happen; to go somewhere new; to make a new game; to be alive in this moment.

Who knew we only needed a hook and yarn to transport us to the present?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Lessons on Not replacing the television

So, last fall our television turned on for the last time. It was a Christmas gift from 2000, so in TV years, it was like 100 years old. It was bulky. It wasn't HD compatible. It wasn't exceptionally wide. But for 10 years we kept it in our living room, with our couches and chairs carefully positioned for maximum viewing possibilities.

Then it was over. And of course, I was instantly reminded of my years-old promise to my husband that when it died, we could go out and buy the huge flat-screen he had wanted. Ugh! What was a girl to do?

Well, thankfully, the man had changed, and when I glanced over at him with my big brown eyes and told him I didn't want to replace it, he smiled and said, "I don't care if or when we replace it. I never watch it anymore anyway."

But, we also have a seven year old and a four year old to drop the no more TV bomb on. And again, surprisingly, they didn't care! In fact, they just ran outside and for the next month, rode their bikes through the eroding grass, built forts in the bushes, made a sink from a piece of PVC pipe and two buckets, attempted to grow pine trees from pine cones, jumped in leaf piles, and watched the sun go down from the branches of the trees.

Meanwhile, back in the living room, a free piano moved in, the TV cabinet moved into the kids' bedroom and found a new life as a toy cabinet, and the guitars came out of their dusty corners to sit front stage with new piano seated directly across from the couch. Instead of asking to turn on the TV, the kids ask if they can play piano, and instead of tuning out by tuning in, my craft cabinets are always open with projects dangling all over the place, my daughter and husband and learning to play the piano, and my son has learned how to use a fingernail brush to clean out the beautiful dirt from his daily romps in the yard!

It's the home I always hoped for, and a small price to pay to get it!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Okay, so it's been forever...

since my last post. Sorry y'all. But I'm still here, and still creativing...uh, I mean creating creative new things. I think I like creativing better...

Christmas is upon us, and it's got me in a reflective and introspective mood.

I am so happy for all the people who have shown interest in our hats and earrings and for all the people who we have met and are building relationships with.

I am so happy that my friends are coming to me to have a button sewn on their pants or make a pillow out of a favorite piece of cloth.

I am so happy that I actually made a gift for each of my family members this year.

And I am looking forward to starting off a new year of Keeperz creativing. I can't wait to see what 2011 will bring!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

the return of the stylista, earring therapy

I hesitate to tell you...In terms of personal style, I'd classify myself as a recovering mama. Now look at that picture. I mean, come on! That's me. First time proud mama. Little A sure is a cutie, but newbie mama's wearing some version of a tank top, hair yanked back into a bun and no adornments but a wedding band. I was probably wearing capri-mom-jeans too. Not so cute. Happy, proud, glowing, but not cute.

Now, for those of you who haven't known me very long...I used to be pretty hip. I gave up my some of my style to be more conservative, then decided to be a stay at home mom, which translated to frugal shopper. That dwindled into "I need to put on something that can handle spit up and still look decent."

But, alas, with continued limited funds, extremely limited time, lots of spit up, and another baby planned for a couple of years down the road, I continued on without much thought about my appearance aside from "hair up" or "hair down."

I moved to Hickory and most of my new friends were either single, newly married or surprisingly stylish in spite of their mom-status (mother of one, two, three, four?!) I loved being friends with all these lovely ladies, who were lovely on the inside and out...but I couldn't help but feel like I just wasn't fitting in. I just didn't care anymore about who made my shoes, whether my jeans were flared or skinny or that the outlet mall in Gafney was having a huge sale.

Well, time for baby number three brought more changes than I realized. I was excited to be pregnant for the last time, and this time...I wanted to enjoy it in every way. I wanted to dress that big baby belly as best as I could! I still didn't want skinny jeans, or care if I was wearing the most popular color of the year, but I wanted to enjoy getting dressed for each day.

And then I rediscovered EARRINGS! Oh man, oh man...I hadn't bothered with earrings since high school, and let me tell you...a world of difference!

It sounds silly, but there's a connection between how much thought I put into getting ready for the day and how much I value the minutes in the day. If I stay in pajama pants and throw my hair up in a bun...it's a boring, clean up the house sort of day, but if I put on earrings...well, who knows what this day will bring?

Now, I'm not just advertising MY earrings, although I love wearing earrings that can't be bought at the mall,...I'm calling out to women who've lost the joy in adorning themselves and saying "Start with the ears and work your way down!" Oh, and earrings don't get much spit up on them either!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Custom colors in cotton, wool, and acrylic

Welcome to our customs page! Here you will find our in-stock colors for wool, cotton, acrylic and wool blends. Any item that we sell can be made any size, any color. Don't see your color choice here? Let us know and we will shop around to find exactly what you want!

Here's our cotton collection color swatches. We recommend cotton when you are interested in a soft feel, but not too concerned with warmth. Our cotton yarns are easy to clean and wear well, but we recommend storing them out of direct sun, as they can fade.

And this is our wool collection. This wool yarn has an amazing vibrance and feels super soft. It's Peruvian wool and requires a bit more care for cleaning, in order to prevent felting and shrinking. Wool is a great cold weather choice for hats, scarves or mittens as it repels water and is super warm.

This is our acrylic collection. Lots of colors to choose from and really easy care. We recommend hand washing to keep shape and the most color retention, but if it slips in the wash, it will come out just fine. Acrylic is not a natural fiber, but it is warm, soft, and beautiful!

Finally, our color section for bamboo-wool blend yarns. Eco-friendly natural fibers. The feel is very similar to cotton, but warmer. Vibrant colors.

We would love to whip up something wonderful just for you!