Jewellery Making – Behind the Scenes Peak – “The Bead Stash”

All beaded jewellery makers have a “bead stash“.  Here is the most treasured portion of mine – my gemstone bead boxes.

Red Coral, Blue Quartz, Turquoise, Agate and Blue Imperial Jasper, gemstone beads, gemstones

Red Coral, Blue Quartz, Turquoise, Agate and Blue Imperial Jasper


Amethyst, Tigers Eye, Agate,  Aventurine, Amazonite, Labradorite and Malachite,  gemstone beads, gemstones

Amethyst, Tigers Eye, AgateAventurine, Amazonite, Labradorite and Malachite

   Crystals, Mookaite, Citrine and Sunstone,  gemstone beads, gemstones

Crystals, Mookaite, Citrine and Sunstone


Fire Crackle Agate, Sardonyx, Pyrite, Onyx and Agate,  gemstone beads, gemstones

Fire Crackle Agate, Sardonyx, Pyrite, Agate and Onyx


Turquoise Howlite,  gemstone beads, gemstones

Turquoise Howlite – in all shapes and sizes


Crystals, White and Cream Howlite and Lemon Quartz,  gemstone beads, gemstones

White and Cream Howlite, Lemon Quartz and various sizes and shapes of Crystals


Rose Quartz, Cherry Quartz, Coral and Garnet,  gemstone beads, gemstones

Rose Quartz, Coral, Garnet, Agate and Cherry Quartz


Onyx, Quartz, Hematite, Blue Goldstone, Snowflake Obsidian and Agate,  gemstone beads, gemstones

Blue Goldstone, Grey Quartz, Hematite, Onyx, Agate and Snowflake Obsidian


These are a sight that literally make my heart sing….. having them all lined up like this, I feel like a kid standing in front of the pick ‘n’ mix at a sweetie store.  (It does also make me think that I may possibly have too many beads…….these are just the gemstones……)

See the finished jewellery pieces in my Etsy shop!

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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. 


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: