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

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!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And now for a little more about Melissa

Hi all! So, I (Melissa) want to share a little more about myself.

I'm a North Carolina native, and I just love living here. I was born in the Piedmont, grew up in Raleigh, went to college in the mountains and now I live in the foothills. Never made it out to the coast, but if my husband has his way, one day we will.

I am the only child of my mother and father (divorce and remarrying makes for lots of siblings), but I grew up as the only child in my home. It's an interesting place to be. Sometimes an only child, sometimes the youngest, sometimes the oldest...the youngest grandchild on one side by 10 years and just 10 years younger than one of my mother's sisters. I really think the constant shift of pecking order and lots of attention from some amazing people of all ages and stages really set me up for creativity.

I also happen to think that being relatively short made me a more creative person (hmmm...how can I reach that peanut butter?)

But more than anything, I think I get my love of thrift and creativity from the women in my family.

So, let's start with my mother.

my mom rockin out
I'll tell you a secret: working mothers are amazing. My mom went back to work to help our family in 1980. But even though we only had a few hours together each day, she made the most out of them. Each year I had a completely homemade and amazing Halloween costume and every Christmas included handmade ornaments. One year for Valentine's day we stayed up waaaay past my bedtime to make all the kids in my class Joan Jett or Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers record-shaped card completed with record jackets and plastic heat-sealed wrapping. (Man, I wish I had kept one!)
Joan Jett rockin out...not to be confused with my mom...

She taught me to knit (which now we have both forgotten), to sew, to be patient with my limitations and to think outside the box. She taught me to appreciate that things don't have to be ideal if you are willing to work with what you have and that sooner or later inspiration will come when you hit a wall. She values the things that could be made over things that could be bought and shows me that love can be expressed in the time spent making gifts that are from the heart.

Thanks Mom!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Hickory Tree

Locals, have you had a chance to stop by The Hickory Tree consignment shop? What a fun place! Our dear friend Meredith opened her doors a year and a half ago and business has been booming ever since. Her place has some of the neatest variety of items for sale. There's big furniture (couches, dining room tables, bed, wardrobes, etc.), small details to complete a room (lamps, dishes, decorative pieces, paintings, etc.) and everything in between (our earrings!). This place is definitely worth a stop, located right on Old Lenoir Rd.  For more information check out her website or Facebook page. Here's some pictures of some items that caught my eye as well as some of our earrings for sale there.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Update, headband dilemma, and Orange Cat.

So it's been a bit since our last blog. We've had a lot going on these days! School has started and both of us have some adjustments this year. Melissa is homeschooling two now with a wee baby at home and Christa has started homeschooling one with a 17 month at home and a new pregnancy (with lots of icky nausea). Because of our new adjustments and our new developments for a fall/winter line we've put our Etsy shop on vacation to be reopened sometime next month. My nausea is keeping my production down a bit, but I'm still plugging away bit by bit and Melissa has been a busy bee making all kind of fun hats and such. So fun!

Yes, I have a headband dilemma. I've been making them the same way and am quite happy with the finished product except for the closure. I like the idea of it, but am not confident with how it looks. Here's the thing. I like that it's a tie closure. This enables people with all sized heads flexibility. The problem is the ties might be too thick? Or maybe it's that they're too long? Also, I'm a short-haired headband wearer and the tie looks kind of Ramboish to me. I'm not actually sure if it looks this way on me, but when I've tried them on babies, for example the way the ties stick out just takes away from the general cuteness of the headband on an adorable baby. This then makes me question how the tie looks with longer hair. Here's Em modeling for her mommy. What do you think? I feel okay about it.

My mom asked me to make headbands for a family of girls she babysits. The two older girls have longer hair so the tie should be okay, but the younger sister is almost one and does not have as much hair as her sisters. So...I've thrown around lots of ideas. Many of them repeats from them I first started the headband making process - buttons, some kind of looping, sewing in some elastic...any other ideas? Please share! All of these ideas, except the looping idea will require extra steps and extra supplies which means more time and essentially a higher priced item. I don't like that. Plus they limit the sizing more, which I also don't like. I also wanted to try thinner ties. My first attempt failed. I have any idea for a second try, but may or may not get a chance to try it before I need to get my mom her birthday gifts. My short term solution is so make the ties shorter. We'll see...

Orange Cat! So...we are taking some of our hats over to the photography studio next Tuesday afternoon! We were going to go yesterday, but my nausea got the better of me and Melissa ended up having dentist appointments for her kids. I called Dana and rescheduled so we are good to go! I'm so excited to finally, after much talk, get our hats in their place. We may end up having other products there, but for now we'll start with hats. Their Open House has been postponed until sometime in September or early October. We're so happy that they've been so busy!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What I'm working on Wednesday: apple hat

What I'm working on....Oh I don't even want to stop to think about it, but here's my couch this morning.

Finishing this apple hat idea I had. Just have to put the stem and leaf on the top, but will I use lime green for the leaf?

Meanwhile, Abby and Reid are drawing away and bringing me their latest creations, hence the pile of paper.

Oh, and I'm trying to finish reading of Abby's history lessons to her. Poor thing! I made her hold the book so that I could multi-task! Well, maybe that's not too bad...she could have just read it to herself.

And I love the cat face she brought to me...see it?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What I'm working on Wednesday: floor pillows, the beginning

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New, Orange Happening!

The other night Melissa and I went over to Orange Cat Photo to check out their new space. Orange Cat is made up of two photographers, Dana Andreasson and Erica Harper, who used to have their studio space downtown on the Square in Hickory. They recently rented a new space on the corner of 127 and 2nd Ave NE. Such a neat, old house with lots of character and awesome lighting for some new photo opportunities on site! Yes, I know I am unashamedly promoting these ladies, but why not?! I actually only know Dana a bit and just met Erica that night. Their photos just have this amazing quality to them (as you can see with this wee man!) and their new house has great energy. ALSO, Dana did ask if Keeperz would be willing to sell some things in their new place. :) Of course Melissa and I are thrilled, honored, etc. Talk about a great motivator! Plus fall is right around the corner and we have yet to have a fall season trying to sell our hats as Keeperz. There is going to be one other retailer selling some pretty cool clothing there, Bada's Boutique (go "like" them on fb as they have a page too!). They have a store front in Newton, I'm pretty sure. We hope that Orange Cat does really well in their new space and that our products bring them (and us, let's be honest) more business. They are offering a great deal for the month of August, no session fee! For more details check out their website, blog, or fb page, links below.

One project we are excited to work on for Orange Cat is a display, well displays. We have to figure out the best way to have our hats and such scattered around the house so that they mesh with their style and ours. Melissa came up with some really fun ideas that I'm so glad she shared! I think we are both super pumped to get moving again. The summer heat and young children really make us tired and finding time to do anything besides basic home survival things is a challenge. However, we are up for it and are determined to make more time to get things rolling!

Orange Cat Photo will be having an Open House in August. Once we know the dates we'll let everyone know. If you are in the Hickory area be sure to come by!

Here's Orange Cat's info:


Monday, July 19, 2010

Hat displays

We are super excited about getting our hats ready to be sold in Orange Cat Photography Studio! They are moving into a great location close to downtown Hickory in an old house on 127.

Christa and I went by there last week and got a sneak peek at the space and how they will set up their handmade boutique shop within the photography studio. We left all a buzz thinking about how to display hats...

We used 2 quart sized mason jars as our displays at past craft fairs, and although that fits with our personal style and image, it just didn't fit in with a permanent display at a shop.

On the drive home, we talked about using Styrofoam heads covered in paper mache or fabric. Once at home I hopped on google. I found heads for $5, but then had to check myself...is purchasing new Styrofoam products part of the Keeperz creed?

So, I kept thinking...and googling...

And I thought, why not keep true to my calling and make something myself! So, I set out to look for ideas for making balls out of fabric and found this cute pattern on the purl bee:

But then I realized...I don't have tons of scrap fabric that I'd like to use, but I DO have a ton of scrap yarn...duh! I'll crochet something!

So I set off with that wonderful concoction of inspiration, determination and confidence...

I decided to combine all the images from my googling and make a head-like, but featureless form, crocheted and stuffed with recycled plastic bags: Viola!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What I'm working on Wednesday: New Earring Desings

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I totally thought today was our What We're Working on Wednesday. We are doing this instead of a Wordless Wednesday. I took some photos, uploaded them, signed in and saw that today is not Wednesday, but Tuesday. Then I thought I might as well go ahead and post since our blog is looking kind of shabby with our lack of postings (we are still here, just busy with our kids and the summer!). So, here is what I am working on. Tomorrow you will get to see something else Melissa is working on. These are a few hats I am making for a friend. I ordered some yarn that still hasn't shown up which the two brown ones are waiting for. The purple one...I can't tell you how many times I pulled it out. The last photo shows one such time. Phew! It was a good challenge for me. It looks pretty straight forward and I felt all confident in my skills, but for some reason I had a tough time.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What I'm working on Wednesday: Acrylic Yarn

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Upcycling old sheets, again

Melissa here:

I'm really enjoying transforming old sheets into something else. So far I've turned two twin sheets into a rug and half a king sheet into a shopping bag. Unfortunately for you, I gave the shopping bag to my mom before I took a picture of it. She used it as her beach bag instead of shopping, but that's what's great about a bag...the user can use it for whatever occasion they like! My rug has found a happy home in front of my kitchen sink. I love how it feels under my feet as I cook or do the dishes, and anything to make those daily chores seem like less of a chore is a good thing! I think I'll start cooking up another rug tonight!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Here's Noah's hat. They aren't the greatest photos and I'm not completely happy with the outlining of the 'N', but it's okay. I just need to see it on the wee guy!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Let's Walk in a Circle

Here I am again talking about lack of motivation. I think I may have a problem. Really, I think my motivation, inspiration, crafting comes in cycles. I work, work, work and then all of the sudden I am just done for a period of time. This period has lasted a little bit longer because of some personal circumstances/happenings, but some inspiration did come my way tonight in a very little package. A friend's wee man, Noah, decided he was going to come meet the world this morning (congrats micah and heidi!) and I started a little hat for him. After seeing Noah and visually examining his little head I think my hat may be a tad big, but that's okay. Babies grow so fast! I wish I had a photo of Noah and my hat so far, but the batteries in my camera died. Boo! I will try to get replacements asap and post a photo of two. I'm sure I'll hit another wall and be out of commission for a bit again, but remembering that it's just a season and within no time at all I'll be right back on the well worn path of productivity.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: crochet rugs from sheets

Monday, May 31, 2010

Upcycling old sheets

Melissa here!

So, I've taken a bit of a break from making things to sell and I've been working with new materials for things in my own home. Research and Development, I guess.

I'm sure you all saw my adventures in plarn. I made of couple of bags, but it wasn't as inspiring as I thought it would be...so I'm moving on....

My next assignment: rag rugs. I've been looking at rag rugs for years, but never could bring myself to buy one. (The curse of a creative soul: don't buy it if you can make it.) Finally, I decided this is the time to get on with it and make one! I had a collection of old sheets and decided that would make a nice material, since it's so large. I decided I'd crochet the rug, and that 3/4 to 1 inch wide strips of material would be the right size.

I realized that I could just rip the sheets into long strips, but I loved the challenge of figuring out a way to turn one sheet into one long strip without using my sewing machine. I immediately thought of a few paper cutting tricks I've seen and this is what I came up with:

I'd love to show you this magic, but I really don't know how to describe it. I'll make a video when I cut up another sheet...promise!

So, with my sheet-yarn balls in hand, I began to crochet:

Come back soon to see the finished product!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Making a Sun Hat for Myself

Hi y'all! Melissa here. I'm taking a break from the plarn experiment to get ready for my annual beach trip with the fam. If you can believe it, I haven't made a hat for myself in over 2 years. Summer is upon us and I have already been sun burned twice! I'm determined to get into the sunscreen routine, but I also know I could use a sun hat. I've been eying the cotton raspberry yarn that I bought for Zoop Zoop hats and now I have decided that yarn is for me!

I'm designing an open weave hat with a wide brim. Here's the beginning:

Now to figure out how wide to make the brim...

Originally I wanted a really wide brim...but now I'm more concerned with making sure the brim doesn't become too floppy. I had a straw hat last year, and the super wide brim was great, until it lost it's shape and became some 80's looking Jane Fonda hat or something. So I've decided to go with a moderate brim:

Just enough to shade my face, but not so much that it's flopping all over me.

I added a little bit of detail to the brim to make it interesting:

And I'm calling it finished! I especially like to wear it with my teal earrings:

Monday, May 17, 2010

First sale! Kind of...

Yay! A very excited Christa here! We had our first sale online last week! Well, that's not entirely true. We have had some sales through Etsy, but they were either friends or relatives :) Not that chums and family members purchasing products is a bad thing it's just super thrilling to have someone find us by word of mouth! Our Art on the Avenue sales were super exciting and encouraging as well, but this was from someone who hadn't even gotten to touch and feel our items yet. I'm quite stoked and hope that our newest customer is very pleased with her owl hat. It is one of my favorite hats, one that I had a lot of fun making. I'm sort of sad to see it go.

I have found that I am slightly heartbroken to see my handiwork find new homes. This might sound really strange since the point is to sell them, but usually I've put lots of time and energy into the pattern, color choices, etc. It's like there is a piece of me in each thing I make. I'm quite the perfectionist when it comes to finished products. I have a tendency to be a little too picky, but I like to think that makes my items better quality. I want to be happy with what I'm offering. I am definitely happy with my owl hat. So pleased in fact, that I think I should make another.