Blue Butterfly Garland

A short while ago I posted a picture of this necklace saying that it reminded me of a garland of blue butterflies:

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Statement Turquoise Howlite Necklace – designed and created by Big Skies Jewellery

Totally by coincidence, I saw this picture on Facebook which perhaps helps illustrate what I meant – slightly different blue, but same effect!

Blue butterflies

Cluster of Blue Butterflies

 

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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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Southwestern Inspiration Makes a Return!

I don’t think Southwestern inspired jewellery ever goes out of style. Turquoise and silver are meant for each other – a timeless combination.

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Southwestern Inspired Turquoise Chrysocolla Chip Double Strand Choker – only $25 from Big Skies Jewellery

About 5 years ago, a long time before I was ever selling jewellery online, I made a limited edition of these necklaces, and the other day I saw one of my work colleagues still wearing her necklace – and I thought wow, that still looks really good.   So I decided to have a re-run of this classic necklace design for release in my Etsy shop.

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Southwestern Inspired Turquoise Chrysocolla Chip Double Strand Necklace – only $25 from Big Skies Jewellery

The stone chips used in this necklace are actually turquoise coloured chrysocolla, as oppose to turquoise howlite which I usually use.  I like the depth of colour in the chrysocolla.

I loved this necklace design the first time round, and I still love it now.  However, I would like to think that I have managed to improve both the design and my photography skills in the last 5 years!!  Here is the original….. 🙂

il_570xN_392339176_s5mj

For more beautiful and unique gemstone jewellery please visit my Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bigskiesjewellery

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True Blue – Statement Necklaces

It was a blue weekend at Big Skies Jewellery – a royal blue ocean agate and deep blue turquoise weekend to be precise!

Two blue gemstone statement necklaces were added to the Big Skies Jewellery range this weekend.  I love creating statement jewellery –  my favourite thing is to work with beautiful bold gemstones; I just can’t resist them!

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Turquoise and Chrysocolla Statement Necklace by Big Skies Jewellery – $45

This statement necklace features rich blue reconstituted turquoise beads with a chrysocolla focal bead of mixed dark blues and greens.  The antiqued metal filigree beads and motifed bead caps are all highly decorative and have unusual shapes and patterns.

Chrysocolla Oval Focal Bead, Chrysocolla, Blue and Green Gemstone Bead, Blue Gemstone Necklace, Big Skies Jewellery

Blue and Green Chrysocolla Focal Bead

This second statement necklace features a luscious full rope of royal blue ocean agate faceted beads alternated with antiqued silver filigree cylindrical beads. 

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Royal Blue Ocean Agate Statement Necklace by Big Skies Jewellery – $80

This gemstone necklace looks absolutely beautiful on – very rich and luxuriant, perfect for a special occasion!

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Faceted Royal Blue Ocean Agate Beads

Both these statement necklaces, plus many more, are available in Big Skies Jewellery’s Etsy store.

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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!

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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.   

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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

Keep it Clean!

The spring 2013 fashion season is approaching fast and a major trend is popping up in the jewellery scene – chunky silver settings and turquoise stones – southwestern elements are big in jewellery this spring.

Turquoise and Peach Quartz Necklace

I love turquoise, so I couldn’t be happier! I have a section dedicated to turquoise in my Etsy shop and have blogged previously about turquoise and why we love it.

A turquoise necklace may be just thing to get your collection started….

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Turquoise and Agate South-Western Gemstone Necklace

or maybe you’re more of a bracelet kind of girl….

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Turquoise and Silver Chunky Gemstone Bracelet

Whatever your thing, you need to know how to look after your new south-western-inspired jewellery – after all, you want to keep it looking as good you do! You may not know that turquoise is a soft, porous stone which requires different cleaning procedures than its frequent partner, silver. Since it is such a soft stone, traditional silver polishes may scratch or damage the stone.

How to Keep your Spring 2013 South-Western Inspired Jewellery Looking as Good as You!

Things You’ll Need:

  • Silver polishing cloth
  • Gentle dish liquid
  • Soft toothbrush

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Instructions

  1. If your turquoise jewellery contains silver, clean the silver part of jewelry with a dry silver polishing cloth. If your silver polishing cloth is permeated with cleaning agents, do not let it come into contact with the turquoise as it will damage the lustre of the stone.
  2. Apply a cotton swab with diluted dish liquid to heavily tarnished silver. Remove any dish liquid residue by wiping the silver with a soft, damp cloth (luke-warm tap water only).
  3. To clean the turquoise, scrub gently with a soft toothbrush and luke-warm tap water. Do not scrub too vigorously. Never soak turquoise in water or jewellery cleaner as it can become unstable due to its porousness.
  4. Dry the jewellery with a separate, soft, absorbent cloth. Air dry out of direct sunlight for several hours before storing.

Store the clean and dry silver and turquoise jewellery in an air-tight, resealable bag. Place the bag in a jewellery box.

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Why We LOVE Turquoise

 
Turquoise Necklace Handmade Handcrafted Bead
http://www.etsy.com/listing/115095971
The main reason we love turquoise is because it looks amazing!  But, turquoise is also said to attract money, success and love. Its powers include protection, healing, luck, friendship, and courage. It also relaxes the mind, and eases mental tension.  So let’s be honest, what is there not to love about turquoise? 
Turquoise is indigenous to the Americas, Egypt, Iran, Tibet and China.  Other names for turquoise include the “fallen skystone” and the “gem of the centuries”.
 
Turquoise Earrings Handmade Handcrafted Bead
http://www.etsy.com/listing/115096609
Turquoise ranges in colour from sky-blue (the most popular colour) to blue-green to apple-green (the rarest colour).

If you wear turquoise it should not be exposed to oil, cosmetics and household chemicals – always remove turquoise rings when washing your hands as its colour may not remain stable and it is a fairly soft stone.

 

Turquoise Necklace Handmade Handcrafted Beaded
http://www.etsy.com/listing/114477508

 

If you are born in December, lucky you as turquoise is the Jeweller’s birthstone for December.  It is also the gemstone for the 11th year of marriage.
Turquoise is ever popular.  In the United States it is mostly utilised in silver settings, per the Indian Jewellery fashion trend.  In the Middle East it is commonly set in gold, sometimes with diamonds.  Whatever the style, turquoise always looks amazing.