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.

Handcrafted gemstone necklace, gemstone jewellery, green agate, black onyx and cream coral necklace, handmade gemstone necklace, onyx necklace, coral necklace, agate necklace, emerald green necklace

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.

elegant handcrafted gemstone necklace, gemstone jewellery, green agate, black onyx and cream coral necklace, handmade gemstone necklace, onyx necklace, coral necklace, agate necklace, emerald green necklace, chic gemstone necklace

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.

Handcrafted gemstone necklace, gemstone jewellery, green agate, black onyx and cream coral necklace, handmade gemstone necklace, onyx necklace, coral necklace, agate necklace, emerald green necklace

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!

 

Find Big Skies Jewellery on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery

Follow Big Skies Jewellery on Twitter: @bigskiesjewel

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

Advertisements

The Fairest Cape

This time tomorrow I shall be on my way to Cape Town for the weekend. It is a two-hour flight from Johannesburg – time enough for a nice cold glass of white wine between ascent and descent.

View towards the Lion's Head - Cape Town, Cape Peninsula, Twelve Apostles, Lion's Head, the Cape

View from Chapman’s Peak drive on the Cape Peninsula looking back towards the Lion’s Head, with the Twelve Apostles coming into view on the left

Sir Francis Drake, the celebrated English navigator, wrote of the Cape: “This Cape is the most stately, and the fairest cape in the whole circumference of the earth…”

Table Mountain from Blouberg, Table Mountain, Cape Town, Blouberg, Cape Peninsular, the Cape, South Afrca

View from Blouberg across Table Bay towards Table Mountain and Cape Town

Home to the famous landmark, Table Mountain, the shores of Table bay are where South Africa’s recorded history began on Christmas Eve in 1652, when, Commander Jan van Riebeeck, his French wife, young son and a small party arrived.

Cape Peninsula 1

View along Chapman’s Peak drive on the Cape Peninsula

Cape Town is also home to one of my favourite shopping streets – the Main Road in Kalk Bay – it’s cobbled streets offer a variety of arts & crafts, pottery, unusual antiques, book stores, jewellery stores, curios and bric-a-brac shops. A shopper’s paradise!  There is also my favourite rock shop, Rock Chic in the fishing town of Hout Bay.  And let us not forget Cape Town is next to the Cape winelands…..yes, it is going to be a good weekend!

View of Table Mountain from a restaurant in the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, Table Mountain, Table Bay, South Africa, the Cape

View of Table Mountain from a restaurant in the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront

I am looking forward to purchasing some unusual and eye-catching gemstone focal beads from Rock Chic.  Here are some of my necklaces in which I have used the gemstone beads I bought on my last visit.

Grey agate bib necklace, gemstone necklace, agate beaded necklace, handmade gemstone necklace, handcrafted gemstone necklace, handmade jewelry, gemstone jewelry, bib necklace

Grey Agate Gemstone Necklace $50 – from Big Skies Jewellery

Black Tourmaline, Natural Pyrite and Carnelian Statement Necklace, gemstone jewelry, gemstone necklace, handmade gemstone necklace, handcrafted gemstone necklace, black tourmaline necklace

SOLD – Black Tourmaline, Pyrite and Carnelian Gemstone Necklace by Big Skies Jewellery

Tribal Bostwanan agate, red coral, silver and chain gemstone necklace, red coral necklace, gemstone necklace, gemstone jewelry, tribal necklace, chain necklace, tribal jewelry, agate necklace

Tribal Red Coral and Botswana Agate Chain Necklace $45 – available from Big Skies Jewellery

Tribal Pyrite, Crystal, Citrine and Sunstone Necklace, gemstone necklace, gemstone jewelry, tribal necklace, chain necklace, handmade gemstone necklace, handcrafted gemstone necklace,

SOLD Tribal Pyrite Crystal, Citrine and Sunstone Gemstone Necklace by Big Skies Jewellery

Agate Slab Bib Necklace, Agate bib gemstone necklace, bib necklace, gemstone necklace, gemstone jewelry, handmade gemstone necklace, handcrafted gemstone jewelry

SOLD Agate Slab Bib Necklace by Big Skies Jewellery

 

Big Skies Jewellery on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bigskiesjewellery

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

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.

Grey agate bib necklace, Botswana agate, gemstone necklace, handmade necklace, grey necklace,

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. 

Grey agate bib necklace, grey gemstone necklace, statement necklace, bib necklace, handmade gemstone necklace, 2013 necklace design

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.

Grey agate bib necklace, gemstone bib necklace, handmade gemstone necklace, statement necklace, grey stone necklace, 2013 necklace design

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.

Blue and White Agate Slice Necklace, blue and white striped agate, agate beads, blue gemstone, blue beads, blue stone

Blue and white striped agate bead

Blue and White Agate Slice Necklace, blue and white gemstone necklace, blue agate necklace, blue handmade necklace, blue bead necklace, bib necklace, gemstone necklace

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.

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!

Turquoise and Chrysocolla Focal Bead Statement Necklace, Gemstone Statement Necklace, Chunky Blue Necklace, Bold Turquoise Necklace, Turquoise Jewelry, Blue Statement Necklace

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. 

Ocean Agate Statement Choker, Blue Statement Necklace, Chunky Statement Necklace, Bold Gemstone Necklace, Blue Necklace, Agate Necklace, Statement Jewelry

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!

Ocean Agate Faceted Beads, Blue Agate Beads, Silver Filigree Beads, Ocean Agate Statement Neckalce, Chunky Blue Gemstone Necklace, Faceted Agate Beads, Blue Beads

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

Learn About Gemstones – What is a Druzy?

I remember as a child, breaking open flint boulders, which had been delivered outside our door to shore up the sea defences (we lived virtually on a beach), to see if I could find any magic crystals inside.  I am quite sure looking back, that I probably should not have been doing that – but I was 10 yrs old and in search of secret treasure!  I now know that what I was looking for was Druzy.

Druzy Stone, Sparkly Druzy crystals, stone ornament

Definition

A druzy is sets of tiny mineral crystals that form on the surface of another stone. The little pyramid-like crystals, glitter and catch the light – making them beautifully sparkly. There are many types of druzy, because there are many types of minerals. Each type of druzy has particular characteristics, such as crystal size, lustre and color. Quartz is one of the most common druzy types because of the prevalence of silica throughout the world. 

Close up of Druzy crystals, sparkly druzy crystals, druzy stone ornament

Origin

Druzy is formed when water brings minerals onto a rock’s surface.  When the water evaporates, cooling occurs and the minerals left behind form crystals on top of the rock.  The colour of druzy depends on the mineral from which it has formed – druzy gemstones can be almost any color of the rainbow, including white, pink, blue, purple, green or black.

String of Druzy Beads, Druzy agate beads, gemstone beads

 

Geography

Druzy can be found anywhere that water can collect and evaporate on rock. It most commonly appears along river beds and shorelines.

Druzy bead, blue lace agate druzy bead, druzy crystals

Visit the Big Skies Jewellery store for exclusive handcrafted gemstone jewellery: www.etsy.com/shop/bigskiesjewellery

Find entertaining pictures, links, jewellery info, sneak previews, behind the scenes peaks, funnies, etc. at: www.facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery

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

Top 3 Designer Jewellery Picks to Sell Granny For….

Only kidding…..really….I wouldn’t sell my Granny……really…..I wouldn’t…..

Here are my top three designer jewellery picks for Spring/Summer 2013.

For Spring/Summer 2013, Chloé’s Creative Director Clare Waight Keller has embellished chunky golden rings and cuffs with jasper and agate marbles. 

black abby bracelets by chloe

Shown here, the Abby Bracelet by Chloe with black agate in gold and Abby Ring with red jasper in gold.

Chloe Abby bracelets and ring

As part of his final collection for Yves Saint Laurent, designer Stefano Pilati highlighted the darkly dramatic runway with molten florals that wound around wrists and flourished across fabrics.

hbz-bijoux-YSL-fw12-xln

The Arum Lily choker from Yves Saint Laurent.

images

And last but not least, part of the full spring collection coming soon to Anthem Wares is the Vex Collar by Lady Grey, in gold and lapis lazuli, as seen in Harpers Bazaar. 

large_Lady-Grey-Necklace_Harpers-Bazaar

  Be still my beating heart…….

For entertaining links, jewellery info, pictures, sneak previews, behind the scenes peaks, funnies, etc. join Big Skies Jewellery on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery

Follow Big Skies Jewellery on Twitter: @bigskiesjewel

Turquoise, Brass and Agate Necklace…the finished product

Turquoise necklace, handmade, also using brass, agate and carnelian

This is the finished necklace that I started on Sunday afternoon using turquoise beads of different sizes, a faceted agate oval focal bead, brass beads and findings and carnelian.  It looks quite different to what I first had in mind, but that’s how it goes sometimes.  If something doesn’t look quite right or sit totally well with the eye, you start playing around and then the design takes form as you go along.  Originally this necklace was only going to use turquoise and brass, but when I was looking for an interesting focal bead, my eye landed upon the oval facet cut agate bead, which is a thing of beauty – and from there on the the necklace took a different design turn.

Turquoise necklace, handmade, also using brass, agate and carnelian
I used a variety of different sized turquoise beads – from 16mm rounds, 14 mm roundels, 12mm rounds and 8 mm rounds.  Each of the brass findings is also different – there is a mix of beads, bead caps, diamante charms and daisy spacers.  The bead string is securely fastened directly onto the neck chain.
Turquoise necklace, handmade, also using brass, agate and carnelianTurquoise necklace, handmade, also using brass, agate and carnelian
I think I need to add a matching bracelet and earrings – that can be tonight’s project!