Sunday, December 4, 2011

Toot Toot


Forgive me...but I just wanted to toot my horn really quick. Early last week I was contacted from a writer for the Des Moines Register (comparable to the St Paul Pioneer Press) about including my bracelet/etsy shop in a gift giving guide in the Sunday paper. Of course I said YES! The article featured a handful of local Iowan etsy shops. I was honored to be selected. It was pretty cool to see my work in the paper (in color!). The bracelet sold right away, among some other things. Gotta love free advertising!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Lagniappe

I am happy to announce that Karena Bella Jewelry is now available at The Lagniappe on the historic Valley Junction in West Des Moines, Iowa! I am thrilled about this new opportunity. Not only to be represented in the charming Valley Junction artist community. But to be represented by such an established gallery. The Lagniappe has been serving the artist community for 22 years and offers a variety of unique and quality art. Not to mention a beautiful roof deck to relax and enjoy the charms of the season. If you are in the area, or ever find yourself in Des Moines, head on over and experience this lovely gallery! Who knows? Maybe you'll find "a little something extra"!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

First Time for Everything

I was only able to take one semester of metals while in college. We didn't work with faceted stones - that was considered 'advanced' level work. I have always been intimidated to work with them because of that. I FINALLY did it! And I even made my own stepped bezel from scratch for the stone as well. It was challenging and fun! I felt quite satisfied to make this ring. I wish I could say this is a diamond...but it's not. It's a 1 carat cubic zirconia. But leaves quite an impression.

Making a hole in the band to fit the bezel was both time consuming and challenging. Thankfully it was a perfect fit. One tiny mistake and I would have had to start completely over. Silver can be unforgiving!

The flared edges make this ring very comfortable to wear.

And it's versatile. Here I paired it with delicate gold bands for a simple look.

This look is quite bold...and my favorite! I've got to say, it looks so much better in person.

Gotta love a good text book!

I've said this before. But it never ceases to amaze me what you can do with some silver, stones, fire, hammers, and saws. I love metalsmithing!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Brand New

I recently made a goal to make 3 new things in my studio per week, aside from the necessary things like orders or repairs. I figure even I can reach this goal. At times it can be so hard to get to work in the studio. But so far, so good. I reached my goal last week and am on track to reach it this week. Here's a look at my new creations.

First, it always amazes me what you can do with some silver and some tools. A couple of weeks ago I FINALLY bought a disc cutter (the peg looking thing on the left). I gotta tell ya, it has rocked my jewelry making world. I've been making these sweet little silver flowers with the discs I can now so easily cut out.

Pretty cool, huh?

{handmade on 7.9.11}
These little flowers are my new obsession. The best part is that the possibilities are endless. Each one in completely unique.

{handmade on 7.18.11}

These little ladies are donning freshwater pearls (my favorite)

{handmade on 7.19.11}

I am loving this ring. I wonder if I should turn it into a stacking ring? We'll see. I can see lots of different flower designs in cuffs, dangling earrings, pendants. Maybe I'll even try a pin? Again, we'll see. Most of this jewelry is earmarked for a gallery I am hoping to get into on
Valley Junction in West Des Moines, IA. Fingers are crossed.

Check these out! Maybe they don't look it, but they are GIANT freshwater pearls. I need to make more of these babies. They look amazing swaying from your ears.

This bracelet is so versatile. It's one I made a long time ago but recently re-did. It features crystal quarts, freshwater pearls and a sterling charm.

{handmade on 7.18.11}
A high-dome labradorite pendant featuring handmade fine silver leaves. I'm still not sure what I want to do for a chain.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Yes. That's right. I am having a sale in my etsy shop. My first sale. I really don't know why I have not done this before. It seems like such a good idea all of a sudden. I want to start moving things through the shop more quickly. And I feel like times are hard for a lot of people. But that doesn't mean they shoudn't be able to treat them self (or someone else) to a pampering gift. You will find select items (many are brand new!) marked 25% off. So, head on over to my etsy shop and score a great deal on some new jewelry. But do it fast, this sale won't last long!

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Thursday, June 9, 2011


It is such a great feeling to get new work finished and in my Etsy shop. The following items are listed and ready to send to a new owner {that could be you}!

{Crazy Lace Agate Necklace in Neutral}
View the listing in my shop

I tried something new with this necklace and ended up loving it! I took some silk cord and wove it into the sterling chain. It ended up being a great way to get a little color into the chain without using stones etc.

{Double Strand Bracelet in Neutral}
View the listing in my shop

I'm happy with how this bracelet turned out. It is simple and neutral, making it a versatile piece.

{Crazy Lace Agate Studs in Rose}
View the listing in my shop

These studs are so sweet. I love the rosey hues--even though they have 'pink' they look neutral in person. A great every day earring.

{Crazy Lace Agate Ring in Gray}
View the listing in my shop

This ring was a happy accident. In this economy and with silver prices soaring you have to get creative and reuse raw materials. I won't bore you with the details, but this ring features recycled silver parts.

I am loving the batch of neutral crazy lace agate cabs I bought a couple of gem shows ago. I think it's wise to have pieces that you can wear with everything. These are definitely those kind of pieces. I hope you enjoyed looking at them as much as I enjoyed creating them!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Back to Work

"The Studio" It's a bit of a huge mess at the moment but it works for now.

It's been a month and we're finally getting settled in to our new home here in Iowa. I have my studio in order (aside from a few random boxes that still need to find a home) and it feels SO good to be working in there again. My creative juices are flowing and now I just wish I had more time in the day to play.

These babies are first on my list. I made the bezels for these stones shortly before this whole Iowa thing came about...they've been waiting patiently to be finished (so have I). They are intended for my etsy shop. I'll post pics when they are done.

*Sigh* Pearls. I {l o v e} pearls. I bought a ton of them at the last gem show and cannot wait to play with them. It's a shame that they're not draped around someone's neck or dripping from a pair of lobes. They'll get there! I never did post pictures of all the treasures I found last month at the gem show. I got to buy the 'fun' stuff this time (last time, if you remember, it was all of the necessary supplies...not fun and always expensive); namely pearls, stones, and a wide variety of cabs to set. I'll try to remember to take some pics of them.

Well, break time is over. Time to get to work.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A New Adventure Begins

Life has been NUTS lately! My husband recently found a new Iowa. This all happened so fast and really I should say this job found him. He'd been looking since last November and nothing had been happening. And when I say nothing I really mean n o t h i n g. Resume after resume, application after application and n o t h i n g (with the exception of a couple phone interviews, so maybe 'nothing' isn't completely true). Then one day a few weeks ago he received an email from a nice man at a bank in Iowa which was followed by a phone interview...then a family trip down including an entire day of interviews, lunch and a tour of the town he'd potentially be working in. Within a week he had the job (!!!). It's quite a big promotion and is EXACTLY what he was looking for. So yay! But in the past 3-1/2 weeks we've been to Iowa twice, come to terms with the fact that we're moving there (away from family and everyone we know), and begun packing. Needless to say I am tired (keep in mind we have a 4 month old!).

Unfortunately, my business will take a little hit from this move. I am leaving behind lots of customers and one of the galleries I have been in (who has a strict 'local only' policy). Big bummer there. They have been a big money maker for Karena Bella. But my husband kindly reminded me that when God shuts a door, He opens a window. It's exciting to think about a whole new market to tap in to.

So, what's on the bench? Hmmm...a batch of half finished work for etsy...a PILE of jewelry for the gallery (sigh...this used to be galleries) waiting for tags and waiting to be delivered. Oh, tags. You have been the bane of my existence as of late. Hours upon hours of designing...changing my mind...coming up with better ideas...and redesigning. I am finally getting there though. I think.

I will soon be packing up my studio (yet again). I should be back at it in a few weeks (hopefully). One really good thing about this move is there will be very little distraction considering that we are leaving everyone and everything we know. I can see myself spending lots of time in the studio! That will be heavenly : )

p.s. Since I have no jewelry pics to post here is a cute one of Evelyn...*sigh* I love this little girl!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's About Time

I am so happy to have new work to post. I feel like it's been a really long time. I suppose it has been! The following is a mix of jewelry I've made for the galleries, my etsy shop, and a couple things I made for myself. Enjoy!

I made the "Evelyn" necklace shortly after she was born. I was aching to make my 'momma' necklace my entire pregnancy. But that's hard to do when you don't know the gender of the baby. I gotta tell ya...this was a difficult necklace to make. Any little mistake in the stamping led me to re-melting down the gold, re-hammering it back out flat, re-polishing it...etc. I probably did this 4 times before I got it right. When it comes to jewelry, I'm a bit of a perfectionist. That fact makes my life difficult sometimes! Ugh. The moldovite necklace is something I made to layer with the Evelyn necklace. I LOVE moldovite. It is the most stunning shade of green (love). I bought 4 stones about 2 years and have not been able to part with them. I also made a pearl pendant to layer with Evelyn but I forgot to take a photo of it. Anyway...

Vessuvianite and variegated green amethyst.

Crazy lace agate (this stone is AMAZING in person).

The most beautiful green/gold freshwater pearls knotted on matching green silk.


Earrings to match

Pearl these!

Little rustic hoops

Mmmmm, paisley and pearls. Does life get any better?!

An authentic 100+ year old Indian charm (called "Patri").

Silvery-aqua freshwater pearls

I love this color combination of's fresh.

And some bracelets to match!

There you have it. New jewelry. Now I need to attack my next project, new tags for the gallery jewelry. I have no ideas so far. Hmph.

Other than that--life continues to be good. Take care ; )

Friday, January 28, 2011

A New Life

Nearly 8 weeks have passed since the birth of my sweet, little girl. In some ways it feels like it's been a lot longer than that--for example, it feels like it's been a lot longer than that since a decent nights sleep! At the same time, part of me wishes time would slow in passing. Evelyn has out grown all of her newborn clothes, diapers, and even the need to be swaddled. My heart broke a little while cleaning out her drawers, putting the teeny-tiny newborn clothes away to make room for the 0-3 size.

This new life as a mother has been beyond rewarding. Even though it comes with it's challenges the blessings have been abundant. Things I struggled with for what seems like forever are starting to come easy to me (time management being a big one!). Every little smirk and smile fill my heart with joy. Every diaper, feeding, bath...every opportunity to serve my little one makes me love her more.

I have had some time to play around in the studio here and there the past 7 weeks. I FINALLY got to make my 'momma' necklace : ) My camera is currently full to the brim with pictures of Evelyn so I have yet to photograph some of my new work. Hopefully that will happen soon. I think February will be a fresh start in the studio. I am anxious to re-open my shop and get some new jewelry to the galleries (which is actually in progress...yay!). My husband will be my new assistant. That is he will be in charge (feedings and all) while I work in my studio a few nights a week. I cannot wait to get started!

Love and Hugs!