100 Etsy Sales!!

I am celebrating having reached my 100th sale in my Etsy shop! There is something rather wonderful about moving from 2 digits into 3 digits and reaching such a nice big round number.  I also just made it within my 1 year Etsy anniversary, which is in 2 weeks time.

100 sales, etsy, 100 sales on etsy

A big THANK YOU to all my lovely customers and supporters out there.

A special thank you also goes to Mr Big Skies Jewellery for his unwavering belief in me and my endeavours, and for a) letting our house become overrun by beads; b) listening to me talk incessantly about all things beading; c) still managing to look interested when I say “what do you think of this” for the umpteenth time; and d) devoting precious weekend time to bead/supply shopping.

This is the necklace that was my 100th sale – purchased by Caroline as a birthday present for her mom.

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Big Skies Jewellery’s 100th Sale – Onyx and Turquoise Howlite adjustable necklace

Mom is receiving a pair of complimentary matching earrings and Caroline has received a nice discount voucher by way of a thank you.

Here’s to the next 100 sales 🙂

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New Bead Candy!

Last Sunday, my kind husband took me on a day’s tour, from the south of Johannesburg to beyond the north of Johannesburg, of my favourite bead and gem stockists.  He then finished it off by treating me to a tasty prawn curry!  Perfect day 🙂

Here’s a little taster of some of my new bead candy:

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Natural Pyrite crystal beads, with a Titanium finish

I love these Pyrite beads – they have a Titanium finish which I have never seen before, fascinating!

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Faceted rectangular Anthophyllite beads

This is a very unusual clove-coloured fibrous mineral called Anthophyllite.  I can find very little information on this stone – but I will keep searching and hopefully do a blog post on it later.

Lapis lazuli, natural lapis lazuli, lapis lazuli beads, lapis lazuli bead string, blue beads, blue gemstone,

Chunky round Lapis Lazuli beads with flecks of golden Pyrite

Gorgeous chunky natural (untreated) dark blue Lapis Lazuli with flecks of golden pyrite – always beautiful.

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Dainty round Kyanite beads

For some reason Kyanite just speaks to me….

Botswana agate, botswana agate beads, botswana agate bead string, striped agate beads, brown gemstone beads

Botswana Agate oval beads

And finally another favourite of mine to work with – silky smooth Botswana Agate.

Plenty here to keep me busy for a while!

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Learn About Gemstones – Prehnite

History of Prehnite?

Prehnite has the distinction of being the very first mineral ever to be named after an individual. The gemstone Prehnite was named for its discoverer, Colonel Hendrik von Prehn (1733-1785), a Dutch mineralogist and an early governor of the Cape of Good Hope colony. Prehnite was also the very first mineral to be named and described from South Africa (where I now live), long before South Africa became an important source for precious gems.

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Loose Prehnite faceted beads

So What is Prehnite?

Prehnite occurs in an unsual soft yellow-green to apple-green color. It is a fairly strong crystal, quite resistant to pressures and scratching. Prehnite is composed of aluminum, calcium and silicon with a few specimens containing small trace of iron as well. It is considered a secondary or second stage mineral, meaning that the crystal did not form during the initial volcanic activity, but instead the crystals were formed by events caused by the volcano, much after the fact.

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Prehnite and Hematite Gemstone Collar Necklace – $72 from Big Skies Jewellery

Prehnite Meaning

Prehnite is a stone of unconditional love.   Wear prehnite to strengthen your intuition and recognize truths.  Prehnite is said to encourage composure, forgiveness and acceptance and is excellent for meditation. Interestingly, some people also believe that prehnite helps sufferers of claustrophobia.

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Prehnite and Hematite Gemstone Necklace – designed and created by Big Skies Jewellery

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Paws for Thought!

I love it when my cats ‘help’ me when I am taking product photos……it always makes the session go so much easier and quicker……..not!

Lending a helping paw, product photos gone wrong, cats helping out, funny cats,

Trying to photograph a triple strand Imperial Jasper necklace…and having to ‘paws’ whilst ‘someone’ tries to get in on the action!

Meet the guilty party (or should that be paw-ty)….looking I have to say, a bit guilty!

The guilty party, disco-cat, cat, beautiful cats eyes, domestic cat,

Disco-cat looking beautiful, if a little guilty!

This is Disco-cat, who was abandoned at a cattery at a young age, due to to teenage pregnancy!  We adopted Disco-cat after she had been living at the cattery for over a year, waiting for a good home.

Disco-cat loves beads so much she even eats them if I am not watching carefully!!

 

Happiness is….New Gemstone Bead Strings

Looking at this little lot, I must have had a secret yearning for more colour in my life when I went bead shopping!

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New Gemstone Bead Strings at Big Skies Jewellery – Dyed Agates, Green Jade and Red Coral

Most of these beads are dyed agates, but at the top you will see some green jade and red coral.

Happy days!  Roll on the weekend…. 🙂

Jewellery Ideas for AW 2013

Fall Jewelry

I thought these rich jewel-toned colours were ideal to combine in a gemstone necklace for those who will soon be transitioning from Summer to Fall 2013.

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Gorgeous faceted agate beads in rich jewel-tones

Faceted Green Emeralds, emerald bead string, emerald green gemstones, colour of the year, Pantone emerald green, emeralds,

Genuine faceted green emerald rondelle beads

Lovely rich vibrant tones in dark reds, greens, pinks, oranges and browns – perfect for your Fall wardrobe. These gorgeous berry colours offer a sophisticated take on brights.

The finished necklace….available from Big Skies Jewellery’s Etsy shop:

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Agate and Emerald Gemstone Necklace – $47 from Big Skies Jewellery

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Jewel-toned Sparkly Agate and Genuine Emerald Necklace – designed and created by Big Skies Jewellery

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Turquoise Slabs – My New Gemstone Crush!!

Ok, so my new gemstone love affair is with freeform turquoise howlite slabs. They are funky and bold, but have a rustic earthy feel to them which really appeals to me. And……they are just crying out to be made into statement necklaces.

From this….

Turquoise howlite slabs

To this……

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Chunky Turquoise Statement Necklace – $42 from Big Skies Jewellery

I couldn’t resist using a whole string of freeform slabs in one glorious ‘out there’ piece.  I think the turquoise slab beads in this necklace look like a garland of beautiful blue butterflies…..

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Turquoise Slab Statement Necklace – $42 from Big Skies Jewellery

I also combined some side-drilled turquoise howlite slabs with genuine Tibetan brass beads inlaid with real turquoise and coral, to create something more ethnic but still very exotic.

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Turquoise Howlite Freeform Slab and Tibetan Brass Bead Necklace – $60 from Big Skies Jewellery

I am loving the brass and turquoise combo.

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Turquoise Howlite Freeform Slabs with Genuine Tibetan Brass Beads – $60 from Big Skies Jewellery

If you are interested in Statement Jewelry and Chunky Gemstone Necklaces, why not pop on over to the Big Skies Jewellery Etsy store and see what else is available.

If you love Turquoise Jewelry, check out this section: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BigSkiesJewellery?section_id=12366413 

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Two More Tiger Eyes in My Collection!

Followers of this blog will know that I love working with the gemstone Tiger’s Eye.

Recently I made two exciting new Tiger Eye additions to my gemstone bead stash – faceted Red Tiger’s Eye and some rare Blue Tiger’s Eye.

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Faceted Red Tiger Eye Beads

Because Tiger Eye is such a naturally beautiful gemstone, I favour simple designs that let the gemstones speak for themselves.

I combined the red faceted beads with a single square Hill Tribe brushed silver focal bead to make up this modern, urban stretch bracelet.

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Faceted Red Tiger Eye and Hill Tribe Silver Modern Stretch Bracelet – $45 from Big Skies Jewellery

This bracelet is available in my Etsy shop.

The Blue Tiger’s Eye beads I bought were stunning large smooth ovals.  I can honestly say I have never seen Blue Tiger Eye beads of this quality or size before.  The blue chatoyant striations in them are almost mesmerising!

Blue Tiger Eye Beads, blue tiger's eye, tiger's eye bead string, tiger eye beads,

Blue Tiger Eye Beads

I again kept the design simple, just adding 4mm faceted genuine sapphire accents and tiny patterned silver tone spacer beads to make up a simple elegant necklace.

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Blue Tiger Eye and Sapphire Gemstone Necklace – designed and created by Big Skies Jewellery

This necklace actually sold on my website last night, and is heading off to California today.

Tiger Eye must have been in the air this weekend – as I also sold these two Tiger Eye pieces as well.

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Chunky Tiger Eye Statement Necklace – designed and created by Big Skies Jewellery

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Tiger Eye and Turquoise Howlite ‘Tree of Life’ Charm Stretch Bracelet – designed and created by Big Skies Jewellery

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What is Black and White and Stylish All Over?

Here is a selection of some of the smaller gemstone beads that I have added to my bead stash and have been working with recently.

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Gemstone bead strings – part of Big Skies Jewellery bead inventory!

For those that like to know the names of the stones – from the left we have blue imperial jasper, snowflake obsidian, faceted black onyx, gold mother of pearl, faceted zebra stone, goldstone, chrysocolla and red tiger’s eye.  The stone I would like to talk about  today is Zebra Stone.

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Zebra Stone bead string – faceted rectangles

Zebra Stone, as the name implies, is half-black and half-white with a metrical pattern  similar to that of its animal namesake, the zebra.

Zebra

Zebra (picture taken at the Kruger Park, South Africa)

This striking and unusual stone is all about balance. Like the yin/yang of Chinese philosophy, Zebra Stone possesses balanced qualities of opposing, yet complimentary, forces – it is said to help us quieten the mind and take action.

By themselves the Zebra stone beads are actually quite dainty, but I wanted to use them all together to create something more powerful.  I chose a triple-strand necklace design, where each strand is clearly defined and the beads can lie flat, showing off their natural beauty to its full potential.

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Zebra Stone Triple Strand Necklace $85 from Big Skies Jewellery

Monochrome is on trend for 2013, and every woman needs a good black and white necklace in her jewellery box.  This necklace has been specifically designed with versatility in mind.  The length is adjustable so you can wear it high under a blouse or with a summer top, but you can also wear it longer over a polo neck or turtle neck top in winter.

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Zebra Stone Triple Strand Necklace $85 from Big Skies Jewellery

For more gemstone necklaces, bracelets and earrings, please browse through the Big Skies Jewellery Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bigskiesjewellery

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Back to the Beading Table….

At the beginning of June I went to Cape Town on a bead buying trip.  Well, actually it was a trip to attend my husband’s army reunion, but it combined very nicely geographically with two of my favourite beads shops!

Raw Amethyst Crystals, amethyst bead string, amethyst fingers, Purple gemstones, amethys gemstones

Beautiful Raw Amethyst Crystal bead string – new inventory at Big Skies Jewellery

I then went straight to England to celebrate my Mum’s 70th birthday, so all my new gemstone goodies had to wait in their packets another couple of weeks before I could get my eager hands on them.

Labradorite spikes, labradorite beadstring, labradorite fingers, labradorite beads

Lovely Labradorite Spikes – new inventory at Big Skies Jewellery, and one of my favourite gemstones to work with

Since I have returned home, there has been a flurry of activity at my beading table, so I have much to share in the next couple of weeks.  Included today are just a few photos of the lovely gemstone bead strings I have been working with recently.

Fluorite diamond shaped gemstone beads, fluorite crystals, pale green fluorite, fluorite beadstrin,

Pale Green / Aqua Fluorite Crystals – new inventory at Big Skies Jewellery (the diamond shape is their natural crystalline shape!)

Please visit Big Skies Jewellery on Etsy for beautiful and unique gemstone jewellery:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/bigskiesjewellery

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