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…… 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:

Find me on Facebook:


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:

Find us on Facebook:

New Bracelet Designs (with ergonomics in mind)

I love to wear bracelets, but I find that with having a computer-based job I often have to take them off when I am using the computer mouse, as the bracelet rubs between my wrist and the desk…. 

Turquoise howlite and faceted black onyx elasticated bracelet, protection bracelet, calming bracelet, black and turquoise bracelet, gemstone bracelet, office bracelet, handmade gemstone bracelet

Labdradorite elasticated bracelet, gemstone bracelet, labradorite bracelet, luck bracelet, protection bracelet, office bracelet, handmade gemstone bracelet


I have therefore designed the bracelets shown here specifically with office ergonomics in mind – but they of course can also be enjoyed by anyone who prefers a more delicate style of bracelet 🙂

Turquoise howlite and faceted black onyx elasticated bracelet, protection bracelet, calming bracelet, black and turquoise bracelet, gemstone bracelet, office bracelet , handmade gemstone bracelet,

Labradorite elasticated bracelet, handmade gemstone bracelet, protection bracelet, luck bracelet, gemstone bracelet, labradorite bracelet








 View these gemstone bracelets and other handmade gemstone jewellery online at Big Skies Jewellery’s Etsy store.

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!

Join Big Skies Jewellery on Facebook for daily updates including more behind the scenes peaks, designs in progress, new beads and findings, funnies, links, etc.

Follow Big Skies Jewellery on Twitter: @BigSkiesJewel


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:

Gemstone Folklore & Legends – Labradorite

Innuit Legend

According to an Eskimo legend, the Northern Lights fell from the sky and became imprisoned inside some rocks along the coast of Labrador. It is told that a wandering Eskimo warrior came upon these rocks and tried to set the Northern Lights free with blows from his spear.  He was able to free most of the lights, but some still remained to be permanently trapped within the stone.  These trapped Northern Lights are what give the beautiful mineral we know today as labradorite its brilliant flashes of light and color.

Labradorite and fluorite double strand bracelet - close up showing the flashes of light and colour in the stone

Close-up of labradorite bead – look at the iridescent flashes of colour within the stone (not the greatest photo I know, but I always try and use my own photos!)

Isn’t that a lovely story?  Labradorite is one of my personal favourite gemstones and I love to use it in my jewellery designs.

Here is one of my current jewlery designs using labradorite.  It has been combined in a gemstone bracelet with delicate pale aqua fluorite cylindrical gemstone beads, with subtle antique silver and diamante highlights, in a simple double-strand design. This gemstone bracelet has a lovely natural earthy feel – very Zen – with calming, cool colours. 

Labradorite and fluorite double strand handmade gemstone bracelet only $20, handmade jewelery, gemstone jewelry

Double-strand Labradorite and Fluorite Handmade Gemstone Bracelet – only $20 from Big Skies Jewellery

Wouldn’t you like to own a little piece of the Northern Lights? (At only $20 its a steal!)

Visit the Big Skies Jewellery shop here to view more affordable beautiful handmade gemstone necklaces, bracelets and earrings.  Be sure to bookmark the page as I update regularly with lovely new pieces.

Like me on Facebook too!

Is there another gemstone that you would like to know more about?