Sunday, September 29, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Autumn Listings

I have been full on into the autumn and Halloween mode for a while already, at least as far as creating pieces for my Etsy shop and for a local gallery, Poesy.  Our weather, though, can't quite make up its mind. It's hot, then it's chilly, then it's raining, then it's sunny.  I don't know whether to turn on the heat or the air conditioning!

Anyway, here are my latest creations.

This Orb Weaver spider appeared outside my window a few years ago.  I'm not crazy about spiders, but I was fascinated by the perfectly beautiful web it created.  The photo is mounted on a wood block and finished with matte poly.

Scary Spider Halloween Block

This owl is giving you the evil stare! I created a digital collage with various elements.  Perfect for your Halloween decor.  

Spooky Owl Halloween Block

This is a simple, beautiful burlap wrapped wreath.  Silk flowers in subtle autumn colors sits in the center, and off to the side are two large clusters of feathers. 

UPDATE: As I was writing this post, I received notification that it has been sold to a friend of mine in Florida! That was a quick sale - I just listed the wreath tonight.  Apparently, my friend liked it as much as I do!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Funnies

Friday, September 20, 2013

Keep Calm and Get Ready for Halloween!

I have never been a huge fan of Halloween; I'm more of a Christmas gal.  However,  Halloween is projected to surpass Christmas (if it hasn't already) as THE holiday in terms of  - well - just everything, especially CHA-CHING!  So I figured it was time for me to get on the bandwagon.

And speaking of getting on bandwagons, I thought I would do my take on the "Keep Calm" craze.
 These plaques are 7.5"x10" on light poplar board, flourescent paint, and vinyl lettering, with twisted wire hangers.

By the way, I learned that getting decent photos of flourescent paint is very difficult!  I had a heckuva time getting the paint to look even in the photos.  It is even in real life, trust me! 

Keep Calm and Fly On


 This phrase is my favorite - glad I thought of it!  :) It's in my etsy shop in four colors. 

Keep Calm and Carry a Wooden Stake

Here's a few other plaques listed in my shop.

Eat, Drink and Be Scary
I'll Get You my Pretty and Your Little Dog Too

Witch, Bitch, Whatever

There's more Halloween and fall decor to come, just as soon as I can post it.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

We Have a Winner!

We have a winner for the Brewed Adornments giveaway!  I think this is the first time for me that Random Number Generator has come up with:


 Karen O'Lone-Hahn

 Congratulations, Karen!  I'll be in touch with the details.  

Stash Buster Fall Wreath

 I follow quite a few blogs and among my favorites is Carolyn's Homework.  She always has such great projects and beautiful eye candy.

Yesterday when I checked in with her blog I laughed to see that Carolyn and I were on the same wave length.  She posted her Stash Buster Fall Wreath, a wreath she created entirely from materials she had on hand.
 Stash Buster Fall Wreath via homework (9)

Probably at about the same time, I had been doing a quick re-do of MY porch wreath, entirely out of materials I had on hand.  For quite awhile now, I have been trying to restrict my spending to items that I absolutely NEEDED, not wanted.  It becomes a bit of a game with me to try to look around my home with new eyes, imagining how I can re-do, re-work, re-purpose what I have.  It's fun! 

So ... here are some views of my very small front porch and wreath over the last few years.


Pink was the color for my spring and summer porch. 

Unfortunately, I apparently didn't take a picture of the most recent update, which included a large pink bouquet of silk flowers like this on the wreath.   

I hate when I forget to take pictures ... 

So ... flash forward to yesterday and Caroline's and my wreath update.  In spite of the fact that we are having a one-day heat wave in Michigan today (record-setting mid-90s temps), fall is here, and in two more days our temps will be down to the 60s.

So here's how I created my own Stash Buster fall wreath!

I had already picked up two pots of fall mums and probably within no more than half an hour, I quickly stripped the wreath, spray painted it with an ivory color paint, and while it was drying I pulled out some fall flowers, berries, that cute little scarecrow, a basket of dried hydrangeas and the fleece throw. It just took a moment to wire the materials on to the wreath, toss the throw on the chair and arrange the flowers.  Trust me, I really don't get too wrapped up in tweaking or taking a lot of time with these quickie decorations - I don't have the time to stress and finesse.   

I think the porch and the wreath are now set until the snow starts falling. Have you transitioned yet to autumn?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday Funnies

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sports Fans Love Brewed Adornments

I think Detroit and Michigan sports fans are among the most dedicated fans anywhere.  They live and die along with their teams and they're not afraid to show it!  Brewed Adornments fits the need:  here's a Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup winner necklace.*  Have you visited to read about the artist and comment to win a $40 gift certificate to the shop?  Go here to enter:  In the Michigan Studio with Brewed Adornments and a Giveaway

Brutal Elegance - Red Wing Stanley Cup Bottle Cap Necklace
Brutal Elegance - Red Wings Stanley Cup Bottle Cap Necklace

* - You have to click over and see the price AND the description for this Bottle Cap Necklace.   Wow!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

In the Michigan Studio with Brewed Adornments and a Giveaway!


 FK: Until I met Christine and saw her work, you couldn’t have convinced me that bottle cap jewelry could be so creative, so sophisticated, so … gorgeous!  Don’t believe me? Just you wait and see …

 FK: Let's start with your basic contact information.
Your name:  Christine Wilson
FK: Tell me, Christine, where in Michigan do you live? Did you grow up there?  

I live in Novi, Michigan, a city about 30 minutes northwest of Detroit.  We moved to Novi shortly after our daughter was born, both to follow the job market and to be closer to family.  Novi is one of the fastest growing cities in the state, and ranks among the top communities for research, technology and service companies.  I was born in Alaska a “couple” of decades ago but grew up in Kokomo, Indiana.  Kokomo refers to itself as the City of Firsts, for the technical and engineering innovations developed there, primarily in the automotive industry. Prior to Novi, I lived in North Carolina, California and Oregon, all following my earlier career as a financial analyst and my husband’s career in engineering. 
Beaded Jellyfish Bottle Cap Necklace
FK: Wow – you’ve been all over the place!  Tell me about your art background.  How did you get started?
My educational background is in Business with a Bachelor of Science in Business from Indiana University and an MBA from Loyola Marymount.  I don’t have a formal education in art but am fortunate to belong to the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild, a strong local guild that brings in a wide variety of national instructors.  While I’ve experimented in a few different craft related mediums, it wasn’t until a friend introduced me to jewelry making that I truly became inspired.  Through self-exploration, visiting instructors, and pure problem solving, I’ve begun to develop my own style and voice.  A course with Mary Hettsmansperger led me to view the bottle cap in a whole new way and I’ve been incorporating it in my work for the last couple of years.  Bottle caps provide me with focus in a diverse area of possibilities and I’ve only just begun to play with them in my work.
Made to Order Bottle Cap Bracelet Vernors

FK: Talk to me about your etsy shop.  How long have you had the shop? 
My first etsy shop was Christines Beadworks. As I began to develop bottle caps into a wholesale line, I knew I needed a more appropriate business identity.  I changed to Brewed Adornments and have slowly transitioned to the new name on all my sites.  Fortunately, customers can find me under either name.  
Bottle Cap Adjustable Ring 3 Floyds
At Brewed Adornments the goal is transformation and it’s not limited to bottle caps. My husband often jokes that if it's not nailed down, I'll bead around it. Hand crafted buttons, painted bottle caps, graphic pin backs; all of these and more have been incorporated in my designs.
Ballywood Days Cuff
I love that sometimes a cap brings back memories of childhood, or a special moment spent with a friend. I have a growing collection of caps and artwork and I will gladly custom brew a piece of jewelry to capture that memory.
Made to Order Bottle Cap Earrings Nunn Design Components
FK: Many etsy artists are already selling wholesale or planning to transition into it.  How do you go about finding and approaching your customers?
The transition to wholesale has been primarily possible through the support of the local community.  Many shops support the local artist community, it’s just a matter of finding the right fit.  For my particular product, personal introductions from customers and/or other artists almost always translate into a new account, but it pays to explore every option if you want to offer a wholesale line.  I’ve found art shows to be equally effective; even a low attendance show can have great follow-up contact.  For example, a local art show, Funky Ferndale, has generated three of my accounts.  Cold calls work as well, but I’ve found that you really need to do this in person.  Emails and phone calls simply do not work as well.   I’m grateful to accounts like New Holland Brewery that purchased my cuffs, sight unseen, from an email contact.
New Holland Brewing
The local craft breweries are very special customers.  There is a great deal of artistry that goes into making a great beer and business savvy required to create a presence in this growing market.  I’m fascinated by the artwork employed in their labels and bottle cap logos.  It’s difficult to impart a meaningful impact on only 25mm of metal.  For me, it’s a pleasure to rescue that metal from its landfill fate and transform it into a piece of jewelry.  Having that jewelry carried by the brewery is a tremendous honor.  There is craftsmanship in brewing a great tasting beer and I hope that my jewelry captures that spirit.  Two breweries currently carry my line, Atwater Brewery in Detroit and Arbor Brewing Company in Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti.  (New Holland no longer carries my line, but they forever have my thanks for their support). 
Atwater Brewery Collection
Arbor Brewing Company Cuff

FK: Full disclosure: Arbor Brewing Company is owned by my nephew Matt Greff and his wife Rene.  I’m thrilled that Christine is working with them. Although I’m not much of a beer drinker, I love their bottle caps and I love Christine’s work.  Here’s the piece I own!
Mine!! All Mine!!

FK: Tell me about your creative life. What do you love doing the most? And what’s your inspiration to get going?
While my metal line is the foundation of Brewed Adornments, I get the most enjoyment from the one or two pieces I create each year that really test the boundaries of what can be done with a bottle cap.  The first piece I created with this material was a beadwoven pendant.  I’ve since created several art pieces with caps as the focal point.  Swimming around in my brain are two pieces using only metal that I hope to create after the holiday season.
Metal Work Vintage Bottle Cap Necklace
I often get asked about what inspires me to create.  It’s a hard question, but mostly I problem solve.  In pursuit of a solution to a particular construction issue, I spend hours researching and experimenting and some of my most creative pieces have come from a mistake I worked to correct.
Detroit Red Wings Stainless Steel Bottle Cap Keychain
FK: I know what you mean, although I don’t call them mistakes, I call them “happy accidents.” Where do you work on your art?   
My studio is in the basement but I tend to do it everywhere in the house and keeping organized is probably the greatest frustration.  I work like a fiend and by the end of the project I’ll go from having a nice work surface to working frantically with only about 5 inches visible on my workbench.  I keep saying I need a surgical nurse following me around that puts everything back in place and hands them to me when I need them.
Riveted Bottle Cap Bracelet Blue Point Brewing
 FK: When I work I do the same thing – I end up with just those 5 inches visible on my work table also!  What do you do when you’re not being an artist?
Mother, daughter, sister, friend, wife, artist….it’s a lot of hats to wear and doesn’t leave time for much more.  Adding accountant and marketer to that list is a difficult part of the business that sometimes gets overlooked.
Champagne Crown Capsule Necklace Winery

FK: Okay, you convinced me that bottle cap jewelry is beautiful! Now tell us about your giveaway. 
My giveaway will be a $40 credit to purchase an item of their choice from my etsy shop.
FK: That’s wonderful, Christine. Thank you for this enjoyable visit to your Michigan studio. Now let me tell everyone how to enter. 
How to Enter

You have several chances to be entered into the random drawing. Please read carefully; the entry requirements have been changed.

First entry: Visit Christine’s shop, come back here, and tell us about your favorite piece(s). 
Second entry: Enter a comment if you have signed up to follow Christine’s Facebook page (or comment if you already follow).
Third entry: Enter a comment that you signed up to follow Christine’s blog.
Fourth entry: Enter a comment that you signed up to follow my blog (or comment that you already follow).
Fifth entry: Enter a comment that you signed up to follow my Facebook page AND/OR my Pinterest page (or comment that you already follow).

Still with me? That's five chances to enter for the random drawing!  Please be sure that your correct email address is in your profile; if it is not, include your email address in your comment.  I will use random number generator to pick a winner after 


Good luck!

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