Classic Combination – Onyx and Snowflake Obsidian

Today I would like to feature one of my favourite gemstone combinations – glossy faceted black Onyx with lovely speckled Snowflake Obsidian.  I think these two stones were made to go together, they just seem to bring out the best in each other.  They are separated here by tiny square bright silvertone spacer beads.

Onyx and Snowlfake Obsidian Necklace, black and grey gemstone necklace, gemstone jewelry, handcrafted necklace, handmade necklace, quality gemstones,

Black Onyx and Snowflake Obsidian Gemstone Necklace – designed and created by Big Skies Jewellery

What makes this necklace work for me is the contrasting textures of the faceted onyx and the smooth snowflake obsidian.  My three favourite jewelry design basics are contrasting shapes, mixed textures and top quality gemstones – this necklace has all three.  It also has a great feeling of balance too, which is also important in my jewelry designs.

Onyx and Snowlfake Obsidian Necklace, black and grey gemstone necklace, gemstone jewelry, handcrafted necklace, handmade necklace, quality gemstones,

Onyx and Snowflake Obsidian Necklace – $46 from Big Skies Jewellery

This is the third iteration of this necklace that I have made, each one has been slightly different but the design fundamentals have been the same.  (The previous two versions however both sold before I was able to share them here!)

I have just listed this necklace in my Etsy shop; if you would like to see this and other beautiful gemstone pieces, please do come and visit: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bigskiesjewellery

Onyx and Snowlfake Obsidian Necklace, black and grey gemstone necklace, gemstone jewelry, handcrafted necklace, handmade necklace, quality gemstones,

Snowflake Obsidian and Onyx Necklace by Big Skies Jewellery

♥ Find Big Skies Jewellery on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery

♥ Shop Big Skies Jewellery: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bigskiesjewellery

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.

Faceted Red Tiger Eye Beads, tiger eye bead string, red tiger eye, tiger eye beads, faceted tiger eye

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.

Red Tiger's Eye and Hilltribe Silver Stretch Bracelet, urban bracelet, modern bracelet, red tiger eye bracelet, faceted red tiger eye, tiger eye bracelet, gemstone bracelet, handmade bracelet

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.

Blue Tiger's Eye Necklace, Blue tiger eye and sapphire gemstone necklace, handmade necklace, gemstone necklace, blue tiger eye necklace,

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.

Tigers Eye Chunky Statement Necklace, tiger eye necklace, chunky gemstone necklace, handmade necklace, handcrafted gemstone necklace,

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

Tree of Life colour block bracelet, tiger eye bracelet, turquoise howlite bracelet, tree of life charm braclet, tiger eye and turquoise bracelet, nature bracelet, handmade bracelet, stretch gemstone bracelet

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

Shop at Big Skies Jewellery: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bigskiesjewellery

Join Big Skies Jewellery on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery

The Story Behind the Necklace…..”Phoenix Rising”

Sometimes I know exactly what I want to do with a gemstone bead string as soon as I see it, at other times……..no clue!

I had no idea what to do with these Labradorite spike beads when I saw them, but I love Labradorite and I like unusual shaped beads; this string fit the bill on both counts, so I bought them.

Labradorite spikes, labradorite bead string, gemstone bead string. labradorite beads,

Labradorite Spike Beads

I began thinking about what other Labradorite I have in stock, including this pendant….

Labradorite Pendant, labradorite necklace, gemstone pendant, oval pendant

Labradorite Oval Pendant Set in Silver Metal

And from that, suddenly came the idea! I know, you would never guess that I passed ‘A’ level Art at school!  Thankfully it is not the accuracy and detail which is important in my design sketches, but rather capturing the essence and components of the design before it disappears from my mind’s eye.

Labradorite necklace sketch, jewellery design sketch, jewelry design idea, big skies jewellery design sketch,

My artistic rendition of a design idea!

The resulting finished necklace was this, which I think (hope!) you will agree, looks a whole heap better than my artistic rendition:

Labradorite Necklace, Labradorite Pendant, Labradorite Jewelry, Labradorite, Gemstone Necklace, Gemstone Jewelry, Beaded Necklace, Handmade Necklace, handmade jewellery, 2013 handmade jewelry trend,

Labradorite Necklace – Phoenix Rising – $40 from Big Skies Jewellery

The necklace is called Phoenix Rising as the Labradorite spikes remind me of the arched wings of the phoenix as it rises from the flames and ashes – perhaps I am just being whimsical!

Labradorite Necklace, Labradorite Pendant, Labradorite Jewelry, Labradorite, Gemstone Necklace, Gemstone Jewelry, Beaded Necklace, Handmade Necklace, handmade jewellery, 2013 handmade jewelry trend,

Labradorite Necklace – Phoenix Rising – $40 from Big Skies Jewellery

In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.

Labradorite Necklace, Labradorite Pendant, Labradorite Jewelry, Labradorite, Gemstone Necklace, Gemstone Jewelry, Beaded Necklace, Handmade Necklace, handmade jewellery, 2013 handmade jewelry trend,

Labradorite Necklace – Phoenix Rising – $40 from Big Skies Jewellery

Please browse through Big Skies Jewellery’s Etsy store for other unique and beautiful gemstone jewellery: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bigskiesjewellery

Find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life….with a Bold Statement Necklace

This is the latest statement necklace design to join the Big Skies Jewellery collection.

Coral and turquoise gemstone necklace, chunky gemstone necklace, coral and turquoise beaded necklace, statement necklace, coral statement necklace, turquoise statement necklace

For some reason I had woken up with the Monty Python tune “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” (from The Life of Brian)  in my head – a wonderfully annoying earworm to have for the day!!  But, I took it to be a sign, and went straight to the brightest beads in my bead stash, and got to work.

Coral and turquoise gemstone necklace, chunky gemstone necklace, coral and turquoise beaded necklace, statement necklace, coral statement necklace, turquoise statement necklace

Bright red chunky coral and rich blue reconstituted turquoise – highlighted with bright silver accent beads and a big toggle clasp. 

This chunky gemstone necklace is everything a statement necklace should be:

  • eye-catching
  • striking
  • bold.

Coral and turquoise gemstone necklace, chunky gemstone necklace, coral and turquoise beaded necklace, statement necklace, coral statement necklace, turquoise statement necklace

View this, and other statement necklaces and gemstone jewelry, in the Big Skies Jewellery store on Etsy.

We would love you to join Big Skies Jewellery on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery

Beautiful Black Pearls….with a Modern Twist!

I have had a new design idea in mind ever since I bought a string of beautiful  A grade black shell pearls on one of my recent buying outings.  The sheen and lustre of the pearls is outstanding, and the colour is unusual, I have never seen pure black ones like these.

Triple A Grade Black Pearls, String of pearls, black pearl string, black pearls, shell pearls

This is the resulting bracelet, and I love it! 

Black pearl bracelet, modern pearl jewellery, black shell pearls, pearl bracelet, black and silver bracelet. modern pearl bracelet

The concave patterned silver tube beads used between the pearls give the bracelet a modern feel – providing a fresh twist on what is often perceived as a classic, or even old-fashioned, style of jewellery.

So pearl jewellery doesn’t just have to be for granny – it can still be chic and funky!

(This is bracelet will be listing soon in Big Skies Jewellery’s Etsy shop for only $28)

Handmade Jewellery Projects for the Weekend

Blue-grey crystal bracelet, wedding bracelet, sparkly bracelet, crystal bracelet

Blingy Blue/Grey Crystal and Diamante Bracelet

I am well-known for having multiple projects on the go…. My creative process tends to follow the path of doing all the fun stuff such as designing and stringing the piece, and then putting off the more mundane task of finishing it off – adding the chain, clasp, securing the beads, etc.

The process is also somewhat dictated by the light source – I tend to create and design during daylight when I can see the colours at their best and truest, and then finish off the pieces at other times when it doesn’t matter if I use artificial light.   

Turquoise howlite and chunky silver statement necklace, bold silver and blue necklace, gemstone statement necklace
Funky Turquoise Howlite and Silver Tube Statement Necklace

 

 

 

But, there comes a point, where I HAVE to finish off my assembled projects before I can allow myself to create new ones. Pictured here are some pieces due for completion this weekend.

  

 

Ocean Agate Choker Necklace, Blue Gemstone Necklace, Agate Jewellery, Gemstone jewelry
Blue Ocean Agate Choker Necklace

 

 

Visit the Big Skies Jewellery store here.

Aquamarine bracelet and necklace set, gemstone bracelet, blue bracelet
Aquamarine Bracelet and Necklace Set

New Kids on the Block – My New Gemstone Bead Stock

Last week I attended Hobby-X,  Southern-Africa’s largest hobby and craft show, with my beading buddy Bev.  We took a day’s leave from work and felt like a couple of kids bunking school. (Not that I ever did that as a kid…!!) 

Any day that involves breakfast out, curry with a beer for lunch, a swerve past a frozen yoghurt shop on the way home and a post-shopping glass of wine on the patio whilst perusing our purchases – all ON TOP of a day’s bead buying, has to be good, right?

So here are some of the goodies that found their way into my shopping bag:

Black crackle agate bead strings 20mm and 10mm, round bead string

My favourite purchase of the day – black crackle agate in 20mm and 10mm rounds.  I have already made a necklace from the larger beads – they look fabulous combined simply with shiny chunky silver ring spacers and a thick silver chain.  Very chic and elegant – perfect for your monochrome wardrobe this spring.  (Photos to follow….)

Blue Agate Faceted Round Beads

I could resist these cornflower blue agate beads.  Isn’t that colour delicious?  The faceted beads catch the light as you move making it ideal for a summer bracelet.

Round garnet beads, 10mm shiny garnet beads

These garnet beads are so shiny, they almost look like glass.  These are also destined for a bracelet – probably with some diamante to make an evening wear accessory.

Turquoise howlite chunks, natural turquoise howlite nuggets

I have already used half of these turquoise howlite chunks in a very funky silver statement necklace.   Photos to be posted later this week!

Ocean Agate, Dark Blue Faceted Agate Beads

These beads are chunky (20mm) faceted dark blue ocean agate – already made into a simple adjustable choker necklace. 

Labradorite

Ah my favourite gemstone, labradorite – I couldn’t leave the craft show without purchasing some of these.  I just love the way labradorite catches the light with flashes of intense colour.  These beads are small, only 8mm, and so will be used for bracelets and earrings.

Black Reconstituted Turquoise Rondelles, Large Chunky Black Beads,

I fell in love with these chunky reconstituted black turquoise rondelles.  (Reconstituted turquiose is is a mix of real turquoise with resins and dyes.) They are about 20mm and will be used for a serious statement necklace.  I am still deciding whether to combine them with a contrasting gemstone such as coral or turquoise…..

It’s been a fun and busy week at Big Skies Jewellery.  I am looking forward to sharing with you the finished pieces from this new stock – just need to add the final touches and get the camera out.  (And I do have a couple more exciting purchases that I want to share with you down the line….but all in good time!)

Find entertaining links, jewellery info, pictures, sneak previews, behind the scenes peaks, funnies, etc.  here: http://www.facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery

Rainbow Jewellery Design Inspiration (in the Rainbow Nation)

Did you know there are several different types of rainbow? Nope? Nor did I – or at least, not as many as 10 different types!

Rainbow Photo taken from my balcony at home, close-up of a rainbow

Rainbow photo taken from my patio at home – we get a lot of rainbows in Johannesburg, due to very sudden downpours on sunny days, but they are not normally as close as this – I almost felt I could touch this one!

Check out the beautiful rainbow pictures in this article and the descriptions of the different types of rainbow:  10 Beautiful Types of Rainbows   (I initially saw this article in a Tweet by Ana Benedicta – so big thanks to her for sharing.)  

Jewellery Design Inspiration

As always inspiration from nature gets incorporated into my jewellery designs.

Rainbow Multi Gemstone Chunky Statement Necklace, Handcrafted Gemstone Beaded Necklace

Rainbow Multi Gemstone Chunky Statement Necklace by Big Skies Jewellery, Handcrafted Gemstone Beaded Necklace

Rainbow Multi Gemstone Chunky Statement Necklace by Big Skies Jewellery  (only $23 + P&P)

This gemstone necklace includes turquoise, citrine, rose quartz, aventurine, black tourmaline, howlite, amethyst, carnelian, crystal, quartz, snowflake obsidian, agate and labradorite – every gemstone under the rainbow!!

Rainbow Multi Gemstone Chunky Statement Necklace by Big Skies Jewellery, handcrafted gemstone beaded necklace

Rainbow Photo taken from my balcony, double rainbow photo Johannesburg south africa

Double Rainbow Photo – Johannesburg, South Africa

You can just make out the secondary rainbow to the left of the primary one if you look very closely….this is known as a double rainbow.

 

 

 

 

If you like this post, why not pop on over and become a fan of the Big Skies Jewellery Facebook page where I upload interesting news and links, photos, articles, jewellery information, sneak previews, work in progress, funnies, etc. on a daily basis.  I would love to see you there!

Discover This Amazing Colour Palette Generator

Have you ever looked at a photo and thought  “wow, what beautiful colours“?

I have just discovered a website called Big Huge Labs, courtesy of an article in the Beading Daily, which has a colour palette generator that creates a colour palette from any photo that you upload.

Here are some examples of colour palettes generated, using colourful photos from previous blog posts:

Colour palette generator

 

Photo from Just Because it’s Friday blog post

 

Leaning Tower of Pisa

 

Photo from Try a New Perspective blog post

 

poppies

 

Photo from Poppy Love blog post

 

 

It’s so easy to use and a great way to create colour palettes for use in crafting projects, art projects, website design or home decor projects – and its just plain fun!  (You can also download the colour swatches in Adobe Swatch Exchange (ASE) format for Photoshop or compatible applications.)

Try it out for yourself: http://bighugelabs.com/colors.php  

Have fun!!

New 2013 Jewellery Design – Turquoise Howlite & Silver on Black Leather

My jewellery designs constantly evolve – I am always trying new ideas and styles.  My jewellery design ideas are very often prompted by the many metal findings and gemstone beads scattered in front of me – when I look at them all, they begin to combine and form patterns in my mind.  Where others possibly see chaos on my workstation, I see endless possibilities……

This turquoise howlite and antiqued silver on black leather necklace design is brand new. It is quite different to my signature tried and trusted jewellery designs. I completed the gemstone and silver portion first and just for fun, I then asked my Facebook fans what they thought I should string it on – and they all re-inforced my first thought that black leather cord was the right choice for this design.

Turquoise, silver and leather necklace

 Turquoise, silver and leather necklace 4

One of the Facebook comments was that this design would also make a lovely bracelet.  Absolutely! Whilst at one of my suppliers last weekend, I was lucky enough to find smaller antiqued silver tubes, so  I was able during the week to design a matching bracelet to make this a set.

Turquoise and silver bangle 1

Turquoise and silver bangle 5

I now plan to work with the same design using different coloured gemstones – red coralblack onyx, cherry quartz…..

What gemstone do you think would look good in this new design?

(Find both these items in the Big Skies Jewellery Etsy Store)

 

Become a fan of Big Skies Jewellery on Facebook – simply use the Like Me on Facebook feature in the sidebar – nice and easy, just one click!  🙂

(If you read this post you will find a 10% OFF DISCOUNT COUPON CODE which is valid in the Big Skies Jewellery store on Etsy for the remainder of February 2013.)