Thursday, December 03, 2015

How are my banana leave earrings made from banana?

Bananas do not grow from seeds but from bulbs and it takes between 9 to 12 months from planting to harvesting. They don't have a harvesting season.

Banana's are grown in tropical regions like Uganda and Ndejje.

The banana is an edible fruit, as most people know, and they grow in bunches. Mostly people in the UK are aware of the yellow, soft, sweet dessert banana. In Uganda, a different variety of banana is mostly grown. Plantains are harvested when green, firm and more starchier. The local name of this food in Uganda is called Matoke.


Matoke is peeled plantain, either boiled or softened in the oven. They are then usually mashed or used in stews.

In Uganda, the matoke is often cooked or steamed rapped in banana leaves

The banana leaf is very important in Ugandan cooking as it gives so much flavour to the Matoke or meat that is cooking.

So how can the natural little oval beads come from the leaf? They are rolled from actual dried banana leaves and weaved and varnished for a smooth and professional finish.

Friday, November 13, 2015

ab: Coral Design's reveal for the Superstition blog hop sponsored by Paisley Lizard

Thank you Tammy from Paisley Lizard for giving me a chance to participate in this blog hop and her lovely cat polymer clay bead.

I lover her business card and packaging.

Do I believe in superstition? It depends but I did encounter something that can't be explained by logic or science. Well I am not a person who just believe what could be proved by science and logic anyway. I think women in general believe in sense.

Back to my design. I am very sorry I can't do a lot of research or make several drafts before I create this necklace due to family matters. I thought about adding "13" into my design but it doesn't work. You may not believe. It's my first time to touch a polymer clay bead. Since the bead is very unique, I have no idea how to add beads along as I don't want to distract the focal.

As the bead has some curve lines, I picked up beads with curve lines instinctively. The curve lines also represent the smoke coming from Chinese scent that is widely used in different superstition worship ceremonies.

Finally, I made this whimsy necklace with the beads hanging at the bottom of the bead. To make it look more superstitious, I did some effect on the photo.

Here are the participants of this blog hop. Please visit their blogs.

Tammy Adams (Hostess)
Renee Hong
Betony Maiden
Coral Law You are here!
Lee Koopman
Jeanette Belmont
Shai Williams
Beth McCord
Robin Lynne Showstack
Lori Blanchard
Deb Fortin
Michelle McCarthy
Maria Rosa Sharrow
Kim Dworak
Divya N
Karin Grosset Grange
Mowse Doyle
Rebecca White
Shawneen Fagnani
Catherine King
Brook Bock
Kari Asbury
Nan Smith
Carolyn Lawson
Linda Anderson
Ann Schroeder
Melissa Trudinger
Kathy Lindemer

Monday, May 04, 2015

Upcycled train ticket jewelry

Inspired by the color and nature of the found objects in my live, I like to create something with various texture. 

My first design was a purse made for my Barbie when I was 8 years old. I used scrapes of an old towel as the "leather". The handles were a pair of plastic pink round file holders. Since then, I created many things 
with waste.

In my upcycled jewelry collection, I have used recycled bullet shells, recycled paper, recycle glass, 
old train tickets, old music records and other materials that could be thrown to the trash can. 

Some of the recycled glass beads are handmade by Indonesian artisans who work for WFTO member
group. Most materials are made according to fair trade principals. 

Once I traveled between Suzhou and Shanghai often for seeing doctor. Every other day, I got used tickets and seeing tones of tickets thrown away, I decided to do something with them. After spending half year in the design process, I finally finished these jewelry made with train tickets. 

More hand painted earrings

When I was digging out some old stocks, I found two pair of glass buttons. After learning more about color theory, I decided to make a pair of cold color earrings and a pair of warm color earrings. I also used Gilder's Paste to highlight the texture of the stampings and the tear drop shape beads. Viola!

Friday, May 01, 2015

Ugandan Barkcloth Jewelry

I have been using barkcloth made in Ugandan in my Fair Trade and Recycled Jewelry line. Barkcloth is the oldest cloth in history and today I came across this article about how barkcloth used in fashion. They are fabulous.

These are my design with barkcloth.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Jewelry inspired by Chinese Garden Windows

My design is always inspired by the surroundings. I particular like the lines, patterns and shapes I found on the street. Once I walked along Pingjianglu, Suzhou, China, I came across this beautiful window. I don’t know why I am so attracted to this out of thousands of windows in Suzhou’s gardens. Coincidentally, I found a stamping made in the States from old tooling, which looks like this window. So, I made a pair of earrings and a bracelet with them.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Build A Line Challenge from B'sue Boutiques, Coral Law of ab:coraldesign, Part Three

Woohoo...finally we are almost to the end of this journey. I can't believe I can make it with my impatience. First of all, I would like to say thank you to Brenda Sue from B'Sue Boutiques who hosted this master class for 54 artists. Also I would like to thank for all the participants who have left encouraging comments to me here in the blog or on facebook.

Let's see what I made first. And then I would like to share what I have learnt from this challenge.

peace by piece abcoraldesign

This challenge requests five pieces at least. While I saw other artists making more and more, I was discouraged for a little while. However, my spirit came back after I realized after this challenge, it will be the real start not the end. Even it took me a long time to design one piece, I am planning to make more later on.

About the name:
If you have read my first blog post about this challenge, you will have found that my inspiration for this line is from peace. It takes a long time, a lot of effort and many steps to achieve a peaceful society. Piece by piece of all our inputs are important to that so I name my line "Peace by piece".

About the engraving words:
Besides the part of jewelry design, the most difficult part for creating this line is the choice of words that reflect my thoughts. I took some pictures on the street and at the exhibition for my inspiration.

 In my first and second blog post for this challenge, I have showed these designs. The first pieces is "和平" (Peace) while the second pieces i s"珍惜" (To treasure). Please check my old posts if you want to know more about their meanings.

Peace in Peace by Piece by abcoraldesign

To treasure in Peace by Piece by abcoraldesign

In my third piece, I used "怒" and "恕" which means "anger" and "forgiveness" respectively.
"怒" is composed of "奴" (slave) and "心" (heart). When you are angry, a slave is in your heart.
However if you choose "恕", you "如" (follow) as what your "心" (heart) tells.

Anger and Forgiveness in Peace by Piece by abcoraldesign

In my forth piece, I used "自由" (freedom). We all want freedom to do what we want. However, there are many constraints in reality. We cannot be selfish to just fulfill our needs. I hope people can be more considerate when you are striving for your freedom. 

Freedom in Peace by Piece by abcoraldesign

The fifth piece is "心" (heart). I created this line from solely what inside my heart. I am so glad I could use jewelry to express myself. I don't follow the trend in the fashion world but I follow my heart. I hope you like my line.

Heart in Peace by Piece by abcoraldesign

Reflections from this challenge:
Thanks for Brenda Sue's and other participants' advice, I was enlightened to create a cohesive line that is not only one of a kind but also be able to repeat. I used to make once for each design as I like to create. When the number of design grows, my style gets distracted. Also the pro-design time like photography is so much that I can't focus on my design. With this cohesive line, I can repeat the design while keeping each piece unique as I engrave and paint every piece.

Besides creating a cohesive style, I have also started to think about the difference between collection and line. Up till this moment, I am still figuring so hopefully I can share my research in my next post.

One of the important point of selling a line is the pyramid of design. More items for simple pieces and less items for over-the-top design. Certainly the price goes up along the pyramid. However, I haven't created some in the middle. Probably I will make some bracelets. The four pair of earrings are closed to the bottom while the necklace is at the top.

As I am not very good at matching color, I take this challenge as a practice for finding color in the same category according to the theory in the book "Color me beautiful" by Carole Jackson. Luckily I met a new friend who is a specialist in color theory. She has shown me how to distinguish color into Spring, Summer, Autumn ans Winter.
When I was matching the color of glass beads, I put the beads on the color chart to see if they are in the same season.

Thanks for reading. Please share this blog if you like "Peace by piece"

Before you go, hop to other blogs of my mentor and classmates.

Brenda Sue Lansdowne
Marcia Tuzzolino
Jann Tague
Judy King
Linzi Alford
Cynthia Wainscott
Carole Carlson
Lynn Stinten
Marica Zammit
Catherine Shattuck
Michaele Collie
Mary Craig
Lee Koopman
Erin Whitacre
Monica Casady
Leila West
Cindy Peterson
Leila Belcher
Gloria Allen
Pamela Anger
Tammy Adams
Lynda O'Mara
Elizabeth Hildreth
Dana Hickey
Janet Calardo
Maria Clark
Lori Beekman
Jennifer Kroeger
Amy Jorgensen
Robin Reed
Ingrid Anderson
Louise O'Shields
Susan Killam
Mary Katherine Deis
Nike Bottalico
Susan Bowerman
Kristy Le
Jan Peters
Mitzie Crider
Gina Hockett
Linda Anderson
Alexandra Sefton
Melida Boman
Teresa Shurter
Melissa Latimer
Renee Hong
Nadine Edris
Lori Meyer
Jennifer Merrill Williams
Denise Lussier Poirier
Renee Allen
Autumn Adams
Elizabeth Owens
Kat BarronMiller
Sandra Ballard
Coral Law
ab:coraldesign (you are here!)
I treasure your comments!
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