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Hand Stitched Beadwork by Isabella Legaspi for Heydays With Hanna

I tried photoshopping this to create a pattern but it didn’t feel and look creative. So I decided, okay let me do this in the old way of sewing it manually. It made me reconnect to an old hobby of mine, plus I have also realized how this hobby is really something I would call being “mindlessly creative” and relaxing at the same time. I just needed to figure out the colors and shape I wanted to put together, then everything else is continuous I would say - Bella

One rainy morning in July 2012, I found myself skipping through puddles along the sidewalk as I did not want to ruin my boots and my look for my first day at work. Like anyone on their first day at work, I made sure to come to the office earlier than usual to get myself settled in for the rest of the day. As I stepped in the small porch at the office and carefully folded my umbrella, I noticed someone standing there already with a huge smile on her face looking at me. It was the brightest smile I have ever seen and for some reason, it was a ray of comfort at that time. Her name is Isabella Legaspi. We shook hands and introduced ourselves to each other and found out that we were both on our first day as Design Assistants to one of the country’s sought-after Furniture Designers. Long story short, Bella and I became instant friends. It was her easy-going and jolly personality that made it seem easier for me to open up and feel well-adjusted in the workplace.
Serendipitous – that is how I would describe my friendship with Bella. Our meeting was nothing but charming, too memorable that the image will always replay in our heads vividly whenever we recall and talk about it.

Passionate about the correlation of places, people, experiences, and design, Isabella Legaspi is an Interior Designer based in Manila, Philippines. Bella to most of her loved ones, anchors on the core value of authenticity and individuality; she believes that these are the highest form of self-love. A true free spirit, she is known and loved by many for her great balance of candidness and professionalism in both life and work. Inspired by the fine details of things, Bella resonates the most with the vast beauty and multiple layers of nature.
Images from Bella's Instagram

'I love how everything seems and feels so random but in reality, there is order and it follows a cycle. I love how there is so much to see and experience in nature and yet people perceive them differently! I think these also go with how life in general parallels with nature.'

As a true fan and lover of nature, Bella is an adventurer. For her, it is through experience that one could get a sense of introspection or what we simply call, self-reflection. Experience for her does not always necessarily have to be a newly acquired phenomenon or something that must always be shared by a group of people, the experience can also be enjoyed alone. It is through this that we get to discover the two poles of an adventure: the internal (through self-realization) and the external (through senses). 'As cliché as it may sound, life inspires me!' She quips.

One of the recent conversations I had with her would be about career and life choices. If given another chance to choose a career, Bella spoke to me about becoming an Architect. 'Having that with my background on Interior Design, it would be exciting! I love the concept of being able to design on a macro scale and you can also have the power to create detailed experiences. I love our creative job because I feel like you can make the intangible seem tangible and personalized'.
Images from Bella's Instagram

Outside of her usual routine in the design studio and the frames of her adventures, Bella also enjoys the craft of beading. I remember receiving one of her intricately sewn beaded purses and I still enjoy using it now as a purse I carry around whenever I travel.

'I got into beading because I have always been fascinated by intricate things. I remember going to fabric and bead store back in college for a subject that required us to create a wedding entourage box. Stepping in the store made me think to myself, “Wow! The things I could imagine while looking at the raw materials!” I love seeing small elements that are composed together that make up a bigger picture. A few years later, I also remember seeing the works of Bea Valdes and the process that goes into her craft. That was the time that I really created simple beaded pieces as gifts for loved ones - my labor of love for them.'
Images from Bella's Instagram

If one would observe the way she does her art and even Interior Design and the things that she showcases whenever she travels, the influence and inspiration of Architecture are present – details, symmetry, order and restraint, contrast, and sensorial experimentation. In a way, these experiences that she gathers and applies to her work are also highly rooted in the memory of sharing and experiencing it with people.

When I asked her to choose a place to live and settle down in, she candidly told me that it did not matter if she is with the person she loves. Bella believes in strong familial ties and the value of friendships. Weekends are usually spent well with her family – 'it can be as simple as going to mass, eating together, or watching the same movies together!' As someone who knows her and has worked with her in the past, I could very much say that the love and connection she has with her family truly reflects in the way she extends herself to the people she holds dear. She is empathic, she is unconditional, and she is willing to journey with you in any type of weather.
One of my last 'normal' photographs were taken with Bella, during the wedding of our dear Architect friends Paolo & Kath of AA STUDIO last February. Photography by OAK ST. STUDIOS.

My kind of heydays would be ticking off the following: Self-care for the mind, body, and creativity; Strengthening my relationship with the people I love and God, and welcoming new discoveries.

I remember spending a lot of nights just walking from work to our shuttle station (a 20-30 minute walk), just talking about how we honestly felt; laughing about our mistakes; and comfort and encourage each other at the end before we bid our farewells. This is truly something I treasure! Bella and I no longer work with each other and being able to spend time together have been more difficult than when we were younger and had all the time in the world. But whenever we get the chance to see each other, we are as if just going back to where we previously left off. Conversations are endless, laughter with a bit of tears are, of course, a must.

Warm, grounded, creative in every way. Living day to day in full gratitude and observance of her surroundings, Bella is indeed a designer of substance and grace; a dear friend that one would truly treasure for her iridescent presence and personality that would echo for a lifetime.

Happy Heyday!


  1. Those beadworks though 😍 I used to experiment with a bit of embroidery back when I was studying art + design as part of my mixed media projects. This makes me want to do them again! Thank you for sharing Isabella's work :)

    nicole |

  2. The hand stitched beadwork looks amazing! It is so cool that you got to meet Bella and became great friends. Bella's work is amazing! It is great that she found some inspiration through her experiences and brought it out with the bead work and everything. Thanks for sharing some insights to Bella!

    Nancy ♥


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