Friday, July 31, 2009


I have always admired this particular style of wire wrapping and layering components to create an elegant piece of jewelry. Maybe you've seen some of the "masters" on etsy (check out emily gray, she's amazing!). I've looked in awe and wondered how they do it? But I've never wondered enough to try and figure it out. So, naturally when I saw the cover of this months Art Jewelry magazine I just had to buy it. This is one of the projects they are featuring this month.

It was definitely a challenging project! And my finger tips haven't ached like this since I don't know when! It is totally different than the way I normally work, but I think that's why it was so fascinating to do. I learned a lot and may include some of the techniques I learned into my future work. But overall I am just glad I accepted the challenge to learn something new. And when I gaze upon the beautiful work of the masters on etsy I'll have a greater appreciation for it.
I am soon off to enjoy my anniversary weekend! I cannot wait!!! My husband took off from work early so that we can check in to the hotel right at 3pm. This way we can fully enjoy the delights of a 4.5 star hotel. The pool looks amazing and I can't wait to dive in! I am a bit bummed that I won't be able to model my new necklace. It doesn't go with either of my outfits for the weekend. However, my mom and dad decided to go on a date tonight (which they NEVER do) and I am loaning it to her for the night. They are getting dressed up and everything!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Drama: Just Say No!

That's all I have to say about that...anything else would just be dramatic!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Snarf...Hack...Snarf, Snarf...Sneeze!

That is a really unattractive entry title, but it's what our kitty Max has sounded like for the past few days. He got brave and went outside for the first time about a week ago. To our surprise he was gone for about 2 days! A few days after he came back he started snarfing (that is literally what it sounds like). It started getting worse the past day or so. My husband did some research online to see if he could find anything out about kitty-colds. Every reference said not to bother taking them to the vet because they give all of these shots, run several tests, and hundreds of dollars later just tell you to give him vitamin C. We're going to try that out and if it doesn't work then Maxi is going to the vet!

On a more positive note...I JUST GOT THE CUTEST SHOES! It is my 6th anniversary this weekend and my husband and I are going to a really nice hotel in downtown Minneapolis for a night! We're going to go to a somewhat fancy-pants restaurant Friday night and I realized I don't have a Friday-Night-Out-In-Downtown-Minneapolis kind of outfit. So I did some shopping after work and scored! I found an adorable skirt for just pennies of it's original price! A top to match the skirt and these shoes, which of course make the outfit. I also found an adorable feminine-blousy top for Saturday when we go bummin' around the city (which is our favorite thing to do together). Okay - so these shoes have a 4-1/2" inch wedge which makes them absolutely fantastic! I love heels. I don't wear them that often, but when I do they're the real deal. You can't see it in the picture very well, but they are a raw silk material so they're kind of matte. They are very pretty! Anyway, now I've got to make some jewelry for my new outfit...TTYL

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Hooray for my new computer! It was here waiting for me when I got home from work this afternoon. So far so good; I am just figuring out how to use it. I've never had Vista before so it's a little different navagating etc. However, it's beautiful and super fast! The internet is a pleasure to use (finally). And I love the widescreen screen...I feel so modern! But still, one of the best things about has to be that it is green! It matches my phone, wallet, planner and almost everything else you'd find in my purse. Not that I'll be lugging this guy around in my purse. I do finally have an excuse to buy a super cute laptop bag now. I'll have to get on that!

It was so nice to hear from my ex-studio-partner this afternoon. Leah and I haven't gotten together in way too long. I miss her (and our studio) terribly. I am going to head over to there
to 'play' the rest of the afternoon! I am so excited!!!

Catch ya later!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Recycled Gold

This may sound gross, but several years ago while I was taking my college metals class my dad handed me a baggie of some gold dental work that he had replaced. At first I was a little skeeged out by it, but then I thought- hey, gold is gold! Yesterday I ordered some half round beaded gold wire to make some rings with. I have never ordered or worked with gold before so I thought it was time to break out the gold teeth and see what it does under the torch. It works a lot like silver does so it wasn't long until it felt familiar. Half way working with it I remembered to take some pictures, like a before and after thing. Above is picture of the teeth, I had already sawed some of it apart and melted some down.

It came to just over a quarter of an ounce! That's a lot of gold teeth!

Here's the finished product. Sorry the image is dark and yellow tinted, but you get the idea, right? I made a pair of 1st-hole and 2nd-hole studs and a large pendant. Besides my wedding ring, I don't have any gold jewelry. So far it's been fun to wear!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Time to play...finally!

I have finally met all of my deadlines and took some time out to play today. My sister Meagan and I went to the Stockholm, WI art fair this morning. It was lots of fun! She found a few things but I didn't find anything I could not live without. I was hoping to find a cute scarf, but there weren't any!? So instead I came home and made a bunch of new jewelry. The bracelet above is citrine with a feminine floral clasp. Below are the earrings that match. I'm not sure if I'll keep it or not, but for now I keep walking over to my workspace and staring at it. Citrine is a very entrancing stone.

I also made a set out of 'new' jade stones. I love these stones because of how they vary between shades of cool, opaque white to translucent, grassy green. They are truly stunning all together!

The necklace is very long. I am really into long necklaces right now.

Gosh, the picture doesn't do the stones any amount of justice. They are such juicy, richcolors in person.

I'm loving the earrings! Just a little bit fave!

I can't wait to wear this new set to church tomorrow. I'm thinkin' it will be perfect with a kind of transparent, white, crinkly, tunic that I have and my dark denim jacket...hmmm, what skirt should I wear with that? I'll figure it out! Have a great rest of your weekend!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Work

I don't know why these images turned out so dark...oh well. Here is my finished Late Summer line. There are things I really like about it and some parts that I could do without. But since I'm working under a deadline I don't have time to go back to the drawing board. I also have to remember that I'm not always going to absolutely love everything I make. And just because I don't love it doesn't mean that others won't. I think what bothers me is the teal/magenta combo. Those aren't "my colors"; but they go so perfectly with the abalone shell beads. However, I do like each of those colors on their own or mixed with greens. I really like the abalone/faceted crystal quartz combo, though. And the dark brown suede really adds a nice texture and warms everything up so much. Let me know if you have an opinion...I am always curious! I miss college art critiques, they were always so helpful.

I always seem to have a circle/suede necklace in my seasonal lines. I just love that look!

This earring style has become a Karena Bella Classic - I've done it it many sizes and with many colors of pearls and different pearl combinations. They sell very well.

I like how simple these ones are, they are go-with-everything earrings.

So, we saw Harry Potter last night and LOVED it!!! On the way home I was telling my husband the ways that the book and movie were different (although I felt that the movie followed the book pretty well). Then I started to tell him what happens in the 7th book. I recommended that he just read it because it is so good; he started it last night when we got home! I hope he gets into it. My jewelry orders didn't arrive today...bummer. I hope they come tomorrow. However today was a gallery pay day and I was pleasantly surprised! Maybe now I can order the 14K gold, 14gauge half bead wire that I've had my eye on. I have never worked in gold before and want to be able to say that I have and that I can if an opportunity arises in the future. I want to make two bands to go above and below my wedding band. My engagement ring has a floating tension setting and I get nervous that the diamond will just pop out...yikes! Gotta go!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Organized Mess

I love it when my workspace looks like this! I call it an organized mess. I think I am one of those rare artists who likes their workspace to be tidy. I used to feel like there was something wrong with me because of that. Going through art school with tons of disorganized, free-spirited people whom most of which did not shower; and me being what I am - organized, well groomed and somewhat free-spirited - I always felt a little out of place. But now that I've found my niche I really like that I am organized and detail-oriented; makes the business hustle and bustle!

I am currently working on my Late Summer 2009 line for the galleries. Featuring large, organic abalone beads, faceted crystal quartz and teal and "dark raspberry" freshwater pearls. I'll post better pictures of everything once the line is done and ready to go. I have decided not to list my gallery lines on my website. I'll do things with my same signature styles but not in complete seasonal lines. I think this stems from not wanting to make so many copies of each item...that gets boring. I will post the pics on here though so you can see what's new each season.

Well there is a lot to look forward to for the rest of the week. Tonight my sweetie is taking me to see the new Harry Potter (yes, I am the kind of person who loves Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and the Twilight Saga... but that's as sci-fi as I get). I have tomorrow off of work. My sister is coming to stay a week with her boys. My two jewelry supply orders should arrive later this week. And I get to go to the Stockholm, WI Art Fair. I am so excited about that because I have always been out of town the weekend of it. It is a locally famous art fair - 60,000 people flock to this artsy-destination town that has a population of only 90 people! It is a gorgeous drive so the little town gets a lot of traffic all year round. That is where one of the galleries I am in is located. They do really well! Wouldn't it be great if I also got an email saying that my new computer is made and in the mail?!? That would definitely be the cherry on top of an excellant week!

I've got to get going and get ready for my super hot date!

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Computer!!!

I am so excited! Two or three weeks from now I will be blogging on my very own, brand-new laptop! I was able to purchase a computer for my business today... definitely a milestone for my little business. The best part (well, the best part for the artist in me) is that it's the color green!!! Which is my all time favorite color. I have been using both our desktop computer and our little laptop for my business and it was getting really frustrating to have to go back and forth between the two. Now I'll have all of my business files, pics, etc in one convenient place. Plus the new one will be about 30 times faster than what I've been using. So it'll be a breeze to upload blog and etsy pics. The only bummer is that I have to wait until August 3rd for it to arrive... : ( Maybe it'll come faster than that. Until then, I'll be counting down!

Other than that my life has been crazy-turned-up-side-down the past few weeks. However, I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once I deliver a large order to one of the galleries I'll be able to kick-back and relax a little. My sister (from the Chicago area) and her two boys are staying for a week to visit starting Wednesday so I am really looking forward to that. I do need to edit and post a bunch of new work in my etsy shop, I'll probably work on that tomorrow or Wednesday. Here is a picture of a custom necklace order I got at my jewelry party a few weeks ago.

I guess that's it for now. Hopefully I'll be able to keep in touch better now that I'm not so incredibly busy. Later!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lots to Do

New work! I just made a batch of new jewelry for my etsy shop. I have yet to move my photo studio here with me so I cannot take any proper pics. I have tried to take some in the natural light but the colors always look washed out. I'll be picking it up from my old studio tomorrow and posting asap.

I hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend! Mine was decent. Friday late in the afternoon I finally went to scope out some bead shops I've often heard about that are only about 20 minutes from where I live. I was pleasantly surprised with them! One of them was especially nice. I FINALLY found some waxed linen cord. It might sound crazy but I have been looking for it off and on for several months on several different jewelry supply sites. I have probably just over looked it, but I got some so it doesn't matter anymore. The one shop I liked had awesome prices as well. Besides the waxed linen I got several colors of silk cord, some matte turquoise seed beads, and an awesome natures paint brush stone that I used for a large pendant (I plan to keep it, so far anyway). I'm not exactly sure yet how I'll use the waxed linen or silk cord but I have lots of ideas in mind. So, be on the lookout for some new Karena Bella designs soon to come!

I used the turquoise seed beads to make a faux replica of a necklace I made for myself this Spring. I found a gorgeous strand of tiny hand-cut, verigated, natural turquoise beads at the last gem show and had to have them. They were really expensive though (over $50 retail!!!...however I got a deal). I found a hank of matte Czech turquoise seed beads that reminded me of the strand I got. So I am made a more affordable version of the necklace I made for myself. I receive lots of compliments on it so I thought others may want one. It is a super simple necklace that is great for layering. You can see a pic of it above.

Friday night my honey bun took me out on a little date! We had a fun time together. Saturday we slept in and lazed about until we went to his brother's 4th of July party. It was the eighth annual party and every year it gets better and better. This year was kind of quiet due to it being a weekend holiday. In spite of that (and the 1/2 hour down pour) it was a good time. That night we went to see the fire works with my dad, sister, and nephew (my mom was not feeling well so she didn't come). My nephew is one of those musical kids who always marches around to his own beat. He is obsessed with Yanni (yes, that's right...he's 4 years old and obsessed with Yanni). He was so excited about the fireworks that he was air drumming the beat of his favorite Yanni song while singing it at the top of his lungs! It was funny at first but after a 1/2 hour it got kind of old. Sunday we went to church and relaxed all afternoon. It was a great weekend!

We found out this morning that our friends sold their house!!! That means we need to finish packing up our stuff we left there and move it out into storage. I have so much going on this week already so the fact that I have to now move on top of it all stresses me out a little. However, I am extatic at the thought of getting it over and done with. Anyway, I've got to get going and figure out what to make for dinner. I'm thinkin' it will be simple!