- Associated Press - Sunday, December 20, 2015

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) - A quick look around Kelly Cline’s Johnson City apartment might give someone the idea she has a drinking problem.

But those stacks of beer cans are not a testament to her love of the sudsy drink.

No, Cline uses the spent cans - actually any aluminum can will do - to make jewelry. And while she sells her wares, which includes bracelets, rings and necklaces, Cline came up with the idea as a way to be kinder to the environment.

“My apartment looks like I have an alcohol problem,” she laughed. “I do drink a lot of craft beer, but people donate them, too,” she said. Cline’s had beer cans show up in her mailbox from people in several states. But she doesn’t limit her collection of material to just beer cans.

“Absolutely any can will work,” she said. “If it’s an aluminum can, I’ll use it.”

“It was really an idea I had back in April,” Cline said earlier this month. “I was in Ohio with my boyfriend and we’re really into the craft beer scene. I was drinking a canned beer, and the can was so cool that I didn’t want to throw it away. But I don’t like clutter so I didn’t want to just keep it.”

Her creative wheels started turning, she said.

“I started piddling around with turning it into something i could wear. I tried to find a unique way to turn it into something you could wear to work and it not look like beer,” she said. “I wanted to create something where people would see beauty in something they would normally throw away.”

In theory, Cline is saving the environment one beer can at a time.

But it goes much further than keeping an aluminum can out of a landfill. She has a philanthropic side to her wearable art after discovering that Oskar Blues Brewery - based in Colorado but with additional locations in Brevard, North Carolina, and Austin, Texas - has a non-profit that provides assistance to communities and people who need it.

“They have a non-profit called Can’d Aid Foundation,” Cline said. “It’s a general do-good foundation. If a trail needs to be cleaned up, they’ll raise funds, get volunteers and clean it up. If there’s a family that needs help, they’ll do that.”

Cline uses Oskar Blues cans for part of her jewelry line and now donates 50 percent of the profit to the Can’d Aid organization.

“In January, I’ll donate around $100. That’s not much, but hopefully it will grow.”

Cline has also reached out to the Appalachian Trail Foundation and hopes to create a line of items specifically for that non-profit and donate some of the proceeds to it.

Her jewelry can be found in several local stores, including Overmountain Outdoors in downtown Johnson City and at Boomtown and Co. in the mall.

“Generally, I just wanted to make something cool that would do good by supporting the greater good,” Cline said. “I really wanted this to be something greater than me.”

For more information about Cline’s designs, visit her website at www.recreativedesigns.net, or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest under the name (Re)Creative Designs.

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Information from: Johnson City Press, http://www.johnsoncitypress.com

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