Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I’ve been saying that I had some new and exciting things planned, and with the arrival of September, I promise not to disappoint you. There are so many things happening right now it would be too lengthy to list them all, but I am happy to announce some of the new major changes to my web site.

In the beginning, I planned on only offering hand made items made by me, and items made by some very talented guest artists whom I have been featuring since 2008. I also offered a few manufactured items to hit a lower price point just so that I was able to offer something to everyone that visited my store. All along I have known that there is so much out there offer in the world of jewelry, but I had found it difficult to find my niche in the industry, until now.

I am known primarily as a “beader” in the jewelry world. I use precious metals, Freshwater pearls, semi-precious stones and genuine gemstones, only the best Swarovski Crystal and hand made glass beads among other things in my designs. I do not make the CZ findings myself, although I use them in my designs. I do not use art clay, YET, although I do own a kiln. I do not make chain maille at this time. However, these are all of the things, and more, that I want to be able to offer my customers. So, with that being said, I would like to happily announce the unveiling of my new and improved web site complete with an ever-changing slide show of new items on the Home page, and over 6000 NEW ITEMS added to my store.

I love Authentic Murano glass. I can now offer you the designs of Alan K who only uses Genuine Murano glass from Italy in his designs. I have a brand new Men’s collection that I am SUPER EXCITED about, as I have been anticipating it for quite some time. I make some of the items, and some are high quality manufactured items made with Sterling silver, 14K gold, and contemporary materials such as Stainless Steel, Titanium, and Tungsten. I promise there is something for everyone, and you won’t be disappointed!

The Bridal collection is now complete. There are so many items from which to choose. I make many of them myself, and those that are made primarily of metals with CZ are high quality manufactured items.

The new Body Jewelry Collection is here, and is still expanding. I can now offer ear cuffs, naval rings, nose rings and studs, with more coming soon! The Religious Collection has also started and is also still expanding. Right now I am working on crystal, wood beads, and precious metal rosaries for Men, Women, and children.

Lastly, I am very excited to offer Story Bead Jewelry. These bracelets, necklaces, and earrings are similar to Pandora, Troll, etc., but are a fraction of the price. The materials are the same high quality materials used in making the competitor’s beads. I am able to offer them at a lower cost for 3 reasons:

1. I buy direct from the manufacturer

2. You pay for the name whenever you buy anything “designer”.

3. And more so because my profit margin is much lower than that of a retail store.

Home shows. I have been preparing to start home shows in the Philadelphia and South Jersey area starting in September. I want to have an amazing display so I am taking a little longer than I had hoped, but I am almost complete. I look forward to unveiling all of this to you and more in the coming months.

As with my old policy, I stand behind everything I offer 100%. If you are not satisfied with any purchase, handmade or otherwise, you will receive a full refund. Please see the refunds section for complete details. For your shopping convenience we accept all major credit cards, money orders, and cashier’s checks. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Don’t forget, my passion is still creating custom one-of-a-kind items specifically for you. So if there is something that you’d like but don’t see in my store, I’ll be happy to make it for you.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Featured Artists (and other stuff)

It's been hectic around here to say the least. I mentioned to my friend Lisa Atchison just last night how I haven't had any time to work on many of me planned designs, especially since the wedding. I feel like nothing has slowed down yet. That is probably because my son, who will be 10 months (ALREADY!) on the 10th of October is running me all over the place. I'm desperately trying to potty train my 3 year old daughter, and thankfully that is going A LOT better these days, nevertheless, it's still hard work and it's keeping me busy along with the rest of life's daily activities.

OK. Enough about that. Almost a year ago I started a "Featured Artist" program where I featured 5-7 pieces of any guest artist who wanted to participate. I even created a special section in my store called Guest Jewelers & Merchants to display only their items. All that was required along with a Biography is that they send pictures of a specific size, a description for each item, and the price for which they wanted to sell it. I agreed to post the items in the store for a period of one year, free of charge. (Disclaimer: The price on the items has to be slightly adjusted to the nearest dollar so that the artist can receive the asking price, because all new customers on my site receive a 10% discount.) I posted this offer on LinkedIn and received a very positive response. This is not done so that I could directly profit from the sale of their items. This is beneficial to both my site and the Guest Artist as it offers the artist exposure, and me new content perhaps in areas that I do not dabble ;)

For example, although I own a kiln and silver art clay, I have yet to post any of the pieces that I have made. Instead, I leave that to the experts. This piece made by Jennifer Dewey is one of my all-time favorites. It is a handmade sterling silver baby's rattle. It is highly polished and features a freshwater pearl filled rosette (the pearl is symbolic of purity and innocence), musically rotating upon the sterling teething ring. You can click on the photo to see its full description in the store.

Although my Father is a talented artist, I am not (not in the drawing and painting sense of the word anyway). So, another unique artist I featured back in June is Barbara Yalof. Most of her artwork depicts people or animals rather than designs. What her artwork and jewelry do have in common is knowledge of color theory and a playfulness with color and line. What I love most about Barbara's work is that it is affordable to just about EVERYONE, and that is difficult to find when you are dealing with quality handmade items of any kind.

This Original Art and Hand Painted Jewelry is the work of Barbara Yalof who graduated Temple U./Tyler School of Art and resides in Narberth, PA. In the past, Barbara's jewelry has been sold by artist's rep to boutiques and stores, including the shops of The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum. Her one-of-a-kind jewelry was awarded "Best Fashion Jewelry in Philadelphia", and was given a solo trunk show at Macy's Manhattan.

After 8 years in business, Barbara took a hiatus from her jewelry and took this time to concentrate on parenthood and other interests. She went back to school to study computer graphics, and took time to paint and draw again. Barbara's paintings and prints can be seen on her website: .

When things quieted down at home, she realized just how much she missed creating tiny works of art. Armed with a heightened interest in colors and how they interact, Barbara is back creating the earrings, pins, bracelets, and necklaces that are once again on the market. Hours fly by, pieces are moved around and paired up with other pieces; a lot of thought goes into the production of each of these one-of-a-kind miniature works of art. Barbara currently teaches Color Theory at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, PA.

If you or anyone you know might be interested in becoming a Featured Guest Artist on my site, please E-mail me with your request and we'll get you set up right away! I will be posting some new items next week, and I am hoping to get the collection finished on which I started working months ago. It's really something special and it's unfortunate that it has taken me this long to complete. I look forward to sharing my new designs with you.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Handmade Wedding Items

So, as I mentioned in my last blog I am going crazy planning a wedding; My wedding. We are getting married on the beach so naturally we are walking in the sand. I decided to wear these beautiful beaded, sole-less sandals to match my gown. Now, the picture that I am about to post doesn't show how truly beautiful these beaded sandals are, but it's the only picture I have at this time. When the professional photographer takes pics on the wedding day I'll be sure to post some.

I will be making these soon, and adding them to the site. I think they are essential for any beach bride, and her bridal party. Surely you can see that these can be customized any way that you can imagine! Do you like fringe or don't you? What colors are your favorite? The possibilities with these materials are endless, as Swarovski crystals, pearls and seed beads are available in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and finishes. Also I wanted to share with you a few other items that I purchased. Naturally they are all handmade, and I purchased them from some very talented artists who sell their products on Etsy. Here is a picture of my Guest sign in book with pen. It's perfect for my beach theme wedding and made from top quality materials. I purchased this from CreativeBridal on Etsy...

I want to share one more item with you. It is my ring pillow. I LOVE this pillow. It is also a beach themed, handmade item of silk, seashells and Swarovski Crystals. I purchased this from BellesandCrystals on Etsy. It is the most unique ring pillow I have ever seen for a beach wedding. The addition of feathers is great, because there are also feathers in my bouquet (I'm not telling what kind. You have to wait and see!) It'll be perfect for mine!

For those of you interested in learning the above stitch for beading sandlas, I found this very simplified video for creating a vertical netting pattern.

How to create a netting stitch

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Upcoming Wedding

Well, I haven't written too much and I haven't had a ton of time to even make a lot of new pieces. I am getting married on August 1st, and there is still so much to do that I feel like it's never going to get finished in time. I'll post a separate blog on that fiasco later!

I did make this bracelet and called it "Something Blue". I thought that I might wear it on my own wedding day. I still might, I am not sure. Nevertheless the bracelet is beautiful, and I think anyone would be happy to own it. It is made of the same great quality materials that I always use; Swarovski Crystal and Freshwater pearls along with Bali and Sterling silvers. Keep in mind that this bracelet, should you want one for yourself, can be customized with any color pearl, and various colors of crystal in these graphite and butterfly shapes.

I did have some time a few weeks ago to complete some new pieces with beads that I had waiting to be used. The photographs aren't the best, as I have procrastinated on purchasing a really good lighting system. I don't seem to be very good at juggling being a mommy of 2, a wife-to-be, a poker player, and jewelry maker all at the same time. I'll get it together one of these days. It's a goal of mine! Anyway here is a piece from the "Breakfast at Bella's" collection that I had started. In this collection I used handmade glass beads from Laurie Whitney of Mermaid Glass. Here is one of the newer pieces. It is a Cupcake and Doughnut set and it's accented with Swarovski crystal bicone beads and sterling silver. The chain was cut and assembled by me so the length is completely customizable.

The next piece is something I just love, although the picture surely own reflect it's beauty. This I call the "Grand Slam". It is a very solid sterling silver rolo bracelet with toggle clasp, and on it several delicious charms accented in sterling silver and Hill Tribes silver dangle delicately, and just tempt your taste buds! You'll find a complete breakfast of bacon and eggs along with a short stack of syrup smothered pancakes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Temporary Insanity

It's been a while since I put out a blog. I am in the middle of so many things right now you couldn't imagine. I have some beautiful new jewelry to list, but I need to take better photos. I have new guest artists to introduce to you and items of theirs to list in the store, but I am going to wait until June, and here is the reason why.

I am continuing the Search Engine Optimization for my website so I can be listed higher in the search engines, AND to improve my page rankings. I recently had my site optimized, but it wasn't done completely and in some cases it was done improperly. So, when I thought I was hiring a new company for SEO Maintenance, I was very surprised to learn that before I purchased a maintenance plan I needed to have the site further optimized "on-page" to correct some things that were done wrong before, and to complete other things that were never done in the first place!

So, please be patient with me while I wait until June to list new products and feature new artists. I want to have the best site that I can and that is going to take both time and money. The good news is that in the mean time I can make a lot of new things so that in June I will have a TON of new items to post in the store and introduce to you!

In the midst of all of this I am still planning our wedding, which will take place on August 1st. It's very exciting, but it has been a lot of work because we already have 2 small children and we live a "Married Life" every day (that means we don't get much of a break for leisure activity! I know...we're ass backwards). I am sure that things will turn out perfectly, as I have a wedding planner doing all of the research to alleviate some of the stress. I just need to make the selections :)

Thank you all for your continued patience and support. In the mean time I will post another blog with the FREE GIFT winner for this month, and a picture of their prize tomorrow. Stay tuned....

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Easter ( and other Holidays too!)

Happy Easter! (and other Holidays too!)

It's been a while since I have put out a blog. I have new items from my "Breakfast at Bella's" collection that still need to be added, but I am finding that time is scarce since I had my second child. Once I photograph and re-size these items I will add them to the store for all to see (and buy!) Also I have been collaborating with Laurie from Mermaid Glass and our ideas are complete and the beads are being made for my next collection. I promise to have the breakfast pieces up first though.

I am obviously still trying to find myself as a jewelry designer among other things. There are so many beautiful mediums to use within a creation, I want to experiment with all of them before settling down into one specific area, which I swear to the almighty poker gods I will do one day.

To keep with my new tradition I would like to introduce you to my featured Guest Jeweler this month. She is award winning artist, Ann Marie Hodrick

Ann Marie Hodrick has been artistic from birth, developing her creativity in one medium or another all her life.

Ann Marie crafted as a young child, developing a keen sense of color and fine motor skills. In high school she pursued the fine arts of painting, printmaking, ceramics and silversmithing. She continued her exploration of these mediums while at Loyola University in New Orleans pursuing a degree in Liberal Arts. After earning her BA degree she went to work as a video editor choosing to voice her creativity on television while earning a regular income to help support her growing family, all the while never losing her artistic desire. Her current foray into jewelry design is simply a part of her life-long dedication to artistic expression. She has won multiple national awards for her jewelry designs.

Ann Marie currently lives in Oakland, Ca. with her husband and two teenage sons. As for her philosophy, Ann Marie uses skills from all areas of her past art studies. She has synthesized a unique style, blending her romantic nature and experience in the arts with a fascination for the art of personal adornment. Nature and architectural design inspire much of Ann Marie’s work. It is because of this influence that she does not confine herself to one specific jewelry technique, allowing the materials and stones to inspire her final design.

This design is one of my favorites from Ann Marie because of its simplicity and richness. Please click on the photo to view the item in our store.

If any of you are interested in being a featured artist on my site, or you know anyone who might be interested, please contact me for details on how to get started!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Arts & Crafts!

Arts and Crafts day with a 2 year old...HOW FUN!!!! It's one of those days where I almost wanted to commit myself to an institution, but at the same time I couldn't imagine myself doing anything else, if that makes any sense.

Isabella and I had our first real Arts and Crafts day. I bought a plaster of paris kit to make her tiny hand print along with some decorations. She painted really well at first, adhering to the idea of using only her brush and the paints. She started off painting the heart and star decorations.

After about 10 minutes of intense concentration on those she was done. Slowly she moved on to painting the paper towel, then the table, and then she moved to painting herself, which was phenomenal!

After she was bored with that, she tried to paint the cat. That's where I drew the line (poor Mimi). I helped her decorate and even added some wire and jewelry embellishments for her. Here is our finished project...

This was by far one of the best days we have had together and I can't wait to start another project with her. Most of my sisters think I am insane for trying this with a 2 year old, and perhaps I am, but I haven't had that much fun in a long time :)

About Me

My photo
Started as a hobby, Isabella's Beads is owned and operated by me, Mariealena Calabrese. After realizing that beading was more of a passion rather than just a hobby, I wanted to share my creations with everyone. I recently gave birth to my first child, my daughter Isabella Rose. I started Isabella's Beads with the hope that when she grows older she will have a successful, reputable business for herself. One thing I pride myself on is the fact that I am committed to outstanding customer service. 100% satisfaction is guaranteed! I hope you enjoy your jewelry as much as I enjoy making it.