100 Etsy Sales!!

I am celebrating having reached my 100th sale in my Etsy shop! There is something rather wonderful about moving from 2 digits into 3 digits and reaching such a nice big round number.  I also just made it within my 1 year Etsy anniversary, which is in 2 weeks time.

100 sales, etsy, 100 sales on etsy

A big THANK YOU to all my lovely customers and supporters out there.

A special thank you also goes to Mr Big Skies Jewellery for his unwavering belief in me and my endeavours, and for a) letting our house become overrun by beads; b) listening to me talk incessantly about all things beading; c) still managing to look interested when I say “what do you think of this” for the umpteenth time; and d) devoting precious weekend time to bead/supply shopping.

This is the necklace that was my 100th sale – purchased by Caroline as a birthday present for her mom.

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Big Skies Jewellery’s 100th Sale – Onyx and Turquoise Howlite adjustable necklace

Mom is receiving a pair of complimentary matching earrings and Caroline has received a nice discount voucher by way of a thank you.

Here’s to the next 100 sales 🙂

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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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Make it a Double…….or even a Triple!

No I haven’t hit the gin……yet……I am actually talking multi-strand gemstone necklaces.  Often I am a ‘less is more’ advocate, but every now and then I veer towards ‘more’ also being more!!

Two recent creations include this double-strand blue and white striped agate statement necklace.

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Statement Necklace of Blue and White Striped Agate in a Double-Strand Bib Design – created by Big Skies Jewellery

I am totally in love with the agate beads in this necklace.  I have used them previously and when I saw them again at the bead shop recently, I snapped them up.

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Gorgeous Blue and White Striped Agate Beads

My other creation was this blue imperial jasper triple strand statement necklace:

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Chunky Gemstone Necklace with a Triple Strand of Blue Imperial Jasper Beads – created by Big Skies Jewellery

The beautiful abstract patterns that nature paints on jasper are amazing; each stone is unique and beautiful.

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Bright Blue Imperial Jasper Beads

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Just Because It’s Friday Photo…..

This week’s Friday Photo is another wildlife picture that was taken at the Kruger Park, South Africa.

So here it is, a cool picture to make you smile…….just because hey, it’s Friday!

This week: Bull Elephant – Kruger Park

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(Have a look at some other cool pictures here.)

Happy Friday!

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New Bead Candy!

Last Sunday, my kind husband took me on a day’s tour, from the south of Johannesburg to beyond the north of Johannesburg, of my favourite bead and gem stockists.  He then finished it off by treating me to a tasty prawn curry!  Perfect day 🙂

Here’s a little taster of some of my new bead candy:

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Natural Pyrite crystal beads, with a Titanium finish

I love these Pyrite beads – they have a Titanium finish which I have never seen before, fascinating!

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Faceted rectangular Anthophyllite beads

This is a very unusual clove-coloured fibrous mineral called Anthophyllite.  I can find very little information on this stone – but I will keep searching and hopefully do a blog post on it later.

Lapis lazuli, natural lapis lazuli, lapis lazuli beads, lapis lazuli bead string, blue beads, blue gemstone,

Chunky round Lapis Lazuli beads with flecks of golden Pyrite

Gorgeous chunky natural (untreated) dark blue Lapis Lazuli with flecks of golden pyrite – always beautiful.

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Dainty round Kyanite beads

For some reason Kyanite just speaks to me….

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Botswana Agate oval beads

And finally another favourite of mine to work with – silky smooth Botswana Agate.

Plenty here to keep me busy for a while!

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Learn About Gemstones – Prehnite

History of Prehnite?

Prehnite has the distinction of being the very first mineral ever to be named after an individual. The gemstone Prehnite was named for its discoverer, Colonel Hendrik von Prehn (1733-1785), a Dutch mineralogist and an early governor of the Cape of Good Hope colony. Prehnite was also the very first mineral to be named and described from South Africa (where I now live), long before South Africa became an important source for precious gems.

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Loose Prehnite faceted beads

So What is Prehnite?

Prehnite occurs in an unsual soft yellow-green to apple-green color. It is a fairly strong crystal, quite resistant to pressures and scratching. Prehnite is composed of aluminum, calcium and silicon with a few specimens containing small trace of iron as well. It is considered a secondary or second stage mineral, meaning that the crystal did not form during the initial volcanic activity, but instead the crystals were formed by events caused by the volcano, much after the fact.

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Prehnite and Hematite Gemstone Collar Necklace – $72 from Big Skies Jewellery

Prehnite Meaning

Prehnite is a stone of unconditional love.   Wear prehnite to strengthen your intuition and recognize truths.  Prehnite is said to encourage composure, forgiveness and acceptance and is excellent for meditation. Interestingly, some people also believe that prehnite helps sufferers of claustrophobia.

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Prehnite and Hematite Gemstone Necklace – designed and created by Big Skies Jewellery

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Paws for Thought!

I love it when my cats ‘help’ me when I am taking product photos……it always makes the session go so much easier and quicker……..not!

Lending a helping paw, product photos gone wrong, cats helping out, funny cats,

Trying to photograph a triple strand Imperial Jasper necklace…and having to ‘paws’ whilst ‘someone’ tries to get in on the action!

Meet the guilty party (or should that be paw-ty)….looking I have to say, a bit guilty!

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Disco-cat looking beautiful, if a little guilty!

This is Disco-cat, who was abandoned at a cattery at a young age, due to to teenage pregnancy!  We adopted Disco-cat after she had been living at the cattery for over a year, waiting for a good home.

Disco-cat loves beads so much she even eats them if I am not watching carefully!!

 

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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Don’t Be Scared of Colour!

Creative Colour Combinations

Don’t be afraid to try out new colours and colour combinations, you may just be surprised by how effective an unexpected colour choice can look.  Accessories are a perfect way to experiment with different colour ideas and trends.

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Gemstone Necklace – designed and created by Big Skies Jewellery

This new gemstone necklace design in emerald-green, black and cream is probably not a colour combination you see very often, but I think the result looks so elegant and sophisticated. The gemstones featured are a sparkly faceted green oval agate focal bead, glossy round black onyx beads and cream coral beads that have been irregularly planed on their surface.

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Agate, Onyx and Coral Necklace – $38 from Big Skies Jewellery

This necklace design is perfect to wear with a variety of wardrobe options – over a polo neck sweater, under a collared blouse, with a plain black scoop-necked T – the choices are many.

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Green, Black and Cream Gemstone Necklace – designed and created by Big Skies Jewellery

Perhaps also think about the colours of the clothes you already have in your wardrobe too, maybe there are some new combinations you could put together to give existing clothes a new lease of life!

Most importantly, just have fun and play with colour!

 

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Happiness is….New Gemstone Bead Strings

Looking at this little lot, I must have had a secret yearning for more colour in my life when I went bead shopping!

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New Gemstone Bead Strings at Big Skies Jewellery – Dyed Agates, Green Jade and Red Coral

Most of these beads are dyed agates, but at the top you will see some green jade and red coral.

Happy days!  Roll on the weekend…. 🙂