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.

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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.

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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

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Snowflake Obsidian and Onyx Necklace by Big Skies Jewellery

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

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Create Rather Than Consume!

I read an interesting article recently, can’t quite remember where, but it basically said that you cannot create whilst you consume. This got me thinking….. social media for me is a bit like a giant glitterball – its shiny and sparkly and I want to keep looking at it. But…..whilst I do, I am not creating and creating is at the core of my business. So every now and then I need to remind myself to create rather than consume.

Here are a couple of new gemstone pendant necklace designs created during this recent reminder to myself……

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Fire Crackle Agate Pendant Necklace – $29 from Big Skies Jewellery

I love this necklace, it has a lovely earthy, ethnic feel to it – the metal beads used are very decorative and the fire crackle agate is such an interesting stone – very unique patterning.  The necklace is wonderful blend of colour, pattern and texture.

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Fire Crackle Agate Pendant Gemstone Necklace – $29 from Big Skies Jewellery

Cherry Quartz and Crystal Pendant Necklace, gemstone pendant necklace, cherry quartz gemstone necklace, gemstone beaded necklace, handmade necklace, handmade jewelry, cherry quartz, crystal,

Crystal and Cherry Quartz Pendant Necklace – $32 from Big Skies Jewellery

This gemstone pendant necklace has an opulent feel to it – it is sure to make whoever wears it feel very special.  It features lovely cherry quartz round, oval and faceted beads, clear crystal beads and a mixture of beautifully patterned ornate metal beads that descend around the neck from a fine textured silver-toned chain, to a stunning two-toned pink and clear quartz, wire-wrapped  teardrop pendant.

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Crystal and Cherry Quartz Pendant Necklace – $32 from Big Skies Jewellery

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright…..

“Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night”

The beginning of this poem by William Blake always makes me think of the gorgeous gemstone, Tiger’s Eye.

Tiger’s Eye 

Tiger’s eye is a chatoyant gemstone of honey, yellows, reds and browns; and it has a gorgeous silky lustre.  Tiger’s eye is a member of the quartz group.

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Tiger's Eye Heart Pendant Bead, tigers eye, tigers eye pendant, gemstones

 

Chatoyancy

Chatoyancy refers to the cat’s eye effect which is an optical reflectance effect seen in certain gemstones. In Tiger’s Eye the chatoyancy arises from the fibrous structure of the stone. The luminous streak of reflected light is always perpendicular to the direction of the fibres. The effect can be likened to the sheen off a spool of silk.

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In order to best display their chatoyancy, Tiger’s eye gems are usually cut en cabochon with the fibers or fibrous structures parallel to the base of the finished stone. Faceted stones are less likely to show the effect well – but I think these faceted beads look fabulous:

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Cabachon

Cabochon, from the Middle French caboche (head), is a gemstone which has been shaped and polished as opposed to faceted. 

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Colours

Red tiger’s eye stones are brought about through gentle heat treatment and dark stones have their colors improved by using nitric acid treatments to artificially lighten them.

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Tiger’s Eye Gemstone Beads

The pictures shown here are all from my bead stash.  As you can see, I like to source different shapes and cuts of beads.  The most beautiful tiger’s eye beads I have come across on my travels, are this string of graduated highly polished chunky nuggets:

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 I used them in a really simple necklace design – the stones are so beautiful that they do not need any supporting act to showcase them…..sometimes less is more.

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Chunky Tiger’s Eye Gemstone Necklace $45 by Big Skies Jewellery

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Chunky Tiger’s Eye Gemstone Necklace $45 by Big Skies Jewellery

 

 

To view this necklace and other beautiful and unique gemstone necklaces, please browse through the Big Skies Jewellery Etsy store.

 

 

 

For information about other gemstones:

 

Big Skies Jewellery on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery
Big Skies Jewellery on Twitter: @BigSkiesJewel

Graceful Grey Agate….New Necklace Design

I love to work with beautiful gemstone beads. I personally select all the stones for my handmade jewellery, and specifically look for beads with an interesting shape or unusual cut. They range in finish from rough and natural, to faceted gem-quality stones.  They are all distinctive and unique – just like each of us.

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Beautiful Grey and White Striped Botswana Agate Beads

I individually selected each of these fabulous grey and white striped Botswana agate slivers from a shop in Hout Bay in Cape Town. 

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Grey Agate and Quartz Bib Necklace designed and created by Big Skies Jewellery ($50)

I have combined the agate slivers with lovely graduated faceted grey cloudy quartz beads to form a full string of gemstones, highlighted by a scattering of antique silver-toned metal accent beads.   The necklace closes with a fancy shepherds crook hook, which can be used in conjunction with the extender chain to adjust the length according to what you are wearing.  The extender chain has a cloudy quartz gemstone bead charm to finish it off.

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Beautiful and Unique Gemstone Necklace by Big Skies Jewellery

Jewellery design is not only just about colour – it’s also about pattern, texture and very importantly, balance.  Each of my gemstone pieces is carefully designed with balance and harmony in mind; my goal being to make the wearer feel beautiful and special.

My handmade jewellery collection contains something for everyone – from earthy casual designs to dressy high-end pieces for special occasions.  To view my designs, please browse through my collection on Etsy.

Blue Skies

The bright blue in the agate beads used in my latest Etsy listing, reminds me of the lovely blue skies we have here in South Africa. As we move from a summer of rainfall into the dry winter, our skies are so clear and deep blue – not even a hint of a cloud.

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Blue and white striped agate bead

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Blue and White Agate Bib Necklace $32 by Big Skies Jewellery

If you would like to see this necklace and more beautiful and unique gemstone necklaces and jewellery, please browse the Big Skies Jewellery Etsy shop.

I would love to see you on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery and you can follow @BigSkiesJewel on Twitter.

Bling Bling!

After much deliberation, and a little encouragement from my Facebook friends :), I have decided to add costume jewellery (i.e. non semi-precious pieces) to my Big Skies Jewellery online shop.  This new range is designed especially for those that love a bit of bling!

This is the first piece of the new collection (the original necklace sold within 2 days, so I have just re-listed it).

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Sparkly Crystal and Silver Rope Necklace ($34) by Big Skies Jewellery

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The collection will be expanding soon….variations on the piece below are almost ready for listing!

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Coming soon to Big Skies Jewellery!

 

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

Follow Big Skies Jewellery on Twitter: @BigSkiesJewel

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.

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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.

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

Follow Big Skies Jewellery on Twitter: @BigSkiesJewel

Jetset Jewellery

Big Skies Jewellery is going places……literally.  This week I have had orders from places as diverse as Moscow, Perth and the Midwest states.  My jewellery is getting around – I just hope one day I can follow it to all those lovely places! 

I have a personal connection to every single piece of jewellery I make – and it is a bit like saying goodbye to friends as I put each piece into the post for its new owner.  

Big Skies Jewellery’s motto: “I create what I love and I love what I create”

These are the good friends I have sent off on their travels during the last week…

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Tribal Pyrite, Crystal, Citrine and Sunstone Necklace; gemstone necklace, beaded necklace, pyrite necklace, tribal necklace, natural necklace, handmade gemstone necklace, handcrafted gemstone necklace, big skies jewellery, statement necklace, chuky necklace

Blue and green brass necklace; cobalt blue and emerald green necklace, brass necklace, gemstone necklace, agate necklace, beaded necklace,

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Labradorite Gemstone Necklace, labradorite statement necklace, labradorite beaded necklace, gemstone necklace, gemstone jewelry, statement necklaces

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

Follow Big Skies Jewellery on Twitter: @BigSkiesJewel

3 Great Reasons to Buy Jewellery Online

There are many great advantages to shopping online – here are just three of my favourite reasons to shop for jewellery online!

1. Variety is the Spice of Life!

You cannot beat the sheer variety online– you are far more likely to find something unique, eclectic, and unusual by jewellery shopping online.  You have access to a whole host of jewellery artists that you would never have come across or even known of.  Be spoilt for choice!

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Plenty of choice in Big Skies Jewellery’s Etsy Store. Something for everyone!

 

2. Small Town Blues

If you live in a remote area or a small town (like I did for many years!), your nearest good shops may be many miles away. By going online to do your jewellery shopping a whole new world of shops is literally brought to your doorstep…..or more accurately, into your home and sitting all cosied up on the couch with you!  (And with the price of petrol/gas the way it is…..it could be a budget conscious move too!)  Etsy is a fantastic site to buy handmade jewellery and a myriad of other handcrafted and vintage items.

Etsy store

Buy handmade jewellery on Etsy, the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace!

3. The Price is Right

If like me, you like to know the price of an item without having to ask, then online jewellery shopping is definitely for you. Personally, if I cannot see the price of something, I simply move on to somewhere else where I can see the price. Why do shops not make their prices readily available to consumers?  When I see no prices or tags in windows turned over, I always wonder why – what are they trying to hide? I dare say it is a tactic to force customers to consult with a salesman…. Shop on Etsy and every item’s price is clearly indicated.  

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All prices are clearly indicated at Big Skies Jewellery and all other stores on Etsy

  

Happy online jewelry shopping!!