Just Because It’s Friday Photo…..

This week’s photo is of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.  Whilst travelling recently we had a 6 hour stopover in Instanbul and decided to leave the airport and see a little of the city.  What an amazing building this is!

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

This week: Blue Mosque, Istanbul – Turkey

Blue Mosque Istanbul, Blue Mosque turkey, travel, big skies

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

Happy Friday!

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Just Because It’s Friday Photo…..

I have just arrived back home on holiday in Norfolk, England – home of the “Big Skies” after which my shop is named.  So I thought it apt that this week’s Friday Photo  was of those Big Skies over Brancaster beach, where I spent many hours in my childhood collecting shells, stones and all sorts of treasures.

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

This week: Big Skies – Brancaster Beach, Norfolk, England.

Big Skies at Brancaster Beach, Norfolk, England; beach; clouds, sky,

  If you like it, please share it!

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

Happy Friday!

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

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

Just Because It’s Friday Photo…..

As a jewellery artist I am constantly inspired by what I see around me.  A lot of that inspiration comes from the natural world.

This week’s cool picture is of unusual swirling clouds, which I think look like soft serve ice-cream,  in the sky above Grytviken, South Georgia Island, at the cold edge of the Southern Atlantic Ocean.  So here it is, a cool picture to make you smile…….just because hey, it’s Friday!

This week: Swirling Cloud Formation – Grytviken

Strange twirl clouds above Grytviken, South Georgia Island, cloud formations, natural world, skies, clouds, nature

 If you like it, please share it!

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

Happy Friday!

Gemstone Folklore & Legends – Onyx

Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, was resting by the Indus River when her son, Cupid, came along and used the point of one of his enchanted arrows to give his mother a manicure while she slept. With the nail clippings in his hands, he joyfully flew up into the sky, but with all of his happiness and excitement, he accidentally dropped the clippings and they fell into the river. As nothing of heavenly origin could die, the nail clippings were turned into onyx. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek meaning “fingernail or claw”.

Venus Disarming Cupid - by Francois Boucher 1751

Venus Disarming Cupid – by Francois Boucher 1751

 

Onyx Jewellery at Big Skies Jewellery

At Big Skies Jewellery I love onyx and work with it all the time.  Shown below are some examples of my exclusive designs, available in the Big Skies Jewellery store on Etsy, which incorporate this lovely and versatile gemstone. 

Onyx and Sterling Silver Drop Earrings with Rhinestone in Silver Rondelles

Onyx and Sterling Silver Drop Earrings – these will go with everything – only $10.99

Baroque Black and Gold Brass, Baroque Pearl, Onyx and Pyrite Necklace

Onyx, Bronze Baroque Shell Pearl, Pyrite and Brass Gemstone Necklace – $45.00

   

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
Turquoise and Faceted Onyx Gemstone Adjustable Choker Necklace, Beaded Necklace
Turquoise Howlite and Faceted Black Onyx Adjustable Choker Necklace – only $18.00

  

 

If you have onyx jewellery and would like to read about how to care for it, please click here.

 

 

 

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Rainbow Jewellery Design Inspiration (in the Rainbow Nation)

Did you know there are several different types of rainbow? Nope? Nor did I – or at least, not as many as 10 different types!

Rainbow Photo taken from my balcony at home, close-up of a rainbow

Rainbow photo taken from my patio at home – we get a lot of rainbows in Johannesburg, due to very sudden downpours on sunny days, but they are not normally as close as this – I almost felt I could touch this one!

Check out the beautiful rainbow pictures in this article and the descriptions of the different types of rainbow:  10 Beautiful Types of Rainbows   (I initially saw this article in a Tweet by Ana Benedicta – so big thanks to her for sharing.)  

Jewellery Design Inspiration

As always inspiration from nature gets incorporated into my jewellery designs.

Rainbow Multi Gemstone Chunky Statement Necklace, Handcrafted Gemstone Beaded Necklace

Rainbow Multi Gemstone Chunky Statement Necklace by Big Skies Jewellery, Handcrafted Gemstone Beaded Necklace

Rainbow Multi Gemstone Chunky Statement Necklace by Big Skies Jewellery  (only $23 + P&P)

This gemstone necklace includes turquoise, citrine, rose quartz, aventurine, black tourmaline, howlite, amethyst, carnelian, crystal, quartz, snowflake obsidian, agate and labradorite – every gemstone under the rainbow!!

Rainbow Multi Gemstone Chunky Statement Necklace by Big Skies Jewellery, handcrafted gemstone beaded necklace

Rainbow Photo taken from my balcony, double rainbow photo Johannesburg south africa

Double Rainbow Photo – Johannesburg, South Africa

You can just make out the secondary rainbow to the left of the primary one if you look very closely….this is known as a double rainbow.

 

 

 

 

If you like this post, why not pop on over and become a fan of the Big Skies Jewellery Facebook page where I upload interesting news and links, photos, articles, jewellery information, sneak previews, work in progress, funnies, etc. on a daily basis.  I would love to see you there!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide – Handcrafted Jewellery

Mother’s Day is just around the corner – hopefully you have Sunday March 10th already marked in your diary (it’s only 2 weeks away!!).

Turquoise Howlite and Indian Kashmiri Bead Handcrafted Gemstone Bracelet

Turquoise Howlite and Indian Kashmiri Bead Handcrafted Gemstone Bracelet

Gemstone jewellery makes a very personal and thoughtful gift for any occasion. Mother’s tend to put everyone else’s needs first and leave themselves at the bottom of the list when it comes to treats and luxuries, so jewellery makes an ideal  Mother’s Day present as it is an indulgence and an extravagance – something that many moms deny themselves or feel guilty spending money on. So give the gift of thoughtfulness with a piece of beautiful jewellery – your mom will love you for it 🙂

Turquoise Howlite, Peach Aventurine and Silver Filigree Bead Handcrafted Gemstone Necklace

Turquoise Howlite, Peach Aventurine and Silver Filigree Bead Handcrafted Gemstone Necklace

Handcrafted jewellery is an extra special gift because the pieces are unique and there’s nothing like owning a piece of beautiful gemstone jewellery that no one else has. Make your mother feel special this Mother’s Day!

Turquoise Howlite and Black Rhinestone in Silver Gemstone Drop Earrings

Turquoise Howlite and Black Rhinestone in Silver Gemstone Drop Earrings

A lot of people who buy jewellery from Big Skies Jewellery are buying pieces as gifts for their mothers (what nice customers I have!!).

Turquoise and Tiger's Eye Colourblock Gemstone Bracelet - Best Seller!

Turquoise and Tiger’s Eye Colourblock Gemstone Bracelet – Best Seller!

Two popular choices shine through – necklaces with pendants and all turquoise (howlite) jewellery.

Onyx and Dragon's Vein Agate Pendant Handcrafted Gemstone Necklace

Onyx and Dragon’s Vein Agate Pendant Handcrafted Gemstone Necklace

So if you are looking for ideas, the photos used here in this blog post are pieces of handcrafted gemstone jewellery that I know have been purchased specifically for customer’s mother’s – perhaps it will give you some ideas if you are still looking for a gift for your mother.

Turquoise Howlite and Labradorite Handcrafted Gemstone Necklace

Turquoise Howlite and Labradorite Handcrafted Gemstone Necklace

Visit Big Skies Jewellery for more jewellery ideas; and whilst you are there have a look around on Etsy for hosts of other handmade gift ideas. 

Check out the lovely handmade soaps and bath products at Cafe Primrose or browse through the handmade knits in natural fibres at the Simple Knit Shop.

 Happy shopping!!

Sun and Sand….Summer in a Necklace

Here is a little something that I am currently busy with: Double strand, handmade necklace, gemstone jewelry, jewelry trends, hancrafted, jewelry design, jewelley making

This necklace really reminds me of sun-kissed days and golden beaches.  The appropriately named sunstone beads have a lovely opaque iridescence which gently sparkles – taking me away to beaches shimmering in the sunslight.

Double strand, handmade necklace, gemstone jewelry, jewelry trends, hancrafted, jewelry design, jewelley making

Double strand, handmade necklace, gemstone jewelry, jewelry trends, hancrafted, jewelry design, jewelley making

It is still a work in progress; I haven’t quite finalised how I am going to finish it yet….I’m playing around with a couple of ideas.  The double strand design is a bit of a departure from my signature design format, but I am really pleased with the result so far.  Sometimes its good to set your path in a different direction!Double strand, handmade necklace, gemstone jewelry, jewelry trends, hancrafted, jewelry design, jewelley making

The colour scheme is also slightly more muted than the colours I often use, but I love the effect created by using different textured beads within the same tonal range. It’s subtle but still interesting and distinctive. I think I may be doing more of this…. 🙂

Double strand, handmade necklace, gemstone jewelry, jewelry trends, hancrafted, jewelry design, jewelley making

To me, this necklace is a whole lotta summer…. and who couldn’t do with a bit of that in their wardrobe?

This necklace will be ready for posting at the weekend.  For other gemstone necklaces and gemstone jewelley in my handcrafted range, visit my Etsy shop.

Just Because It’s Friday…

A cool picture to make you smile…….just because hey it’s Friday!

This week: Sky Wave in Costa Rica

Skywave in Costa rica

Awesome isn’t it? Please share and help brighten up someone else’s day!

Struggling To Express Your Individuality – Let Me Help!

If you struggle to find jewellery that expresses who you are and accentuates your individuality, then perhaps I can help you. My handcrafted gemstone jewellery is created to solve this exact problem. Go on over to my Etsy shop and check out my handcrafted gemstone jewellery collection – maybe I can solve your problems, well, at least one of them!

Pyrite and turquoise necklace, handcrafted jewellery, gemstone necklace, turquoise jewelry, jewelry making

Express Yourself!

Jewellery should express the way you want to feel – chic, stylish, powerful, sexy, elegant – the choice is yours! A piece of jewellery’s uniqueness and ability to accentuate your personality is not just in its design, but the materials used, the combination of different media, the colour palettes, the techniques – there are different ways to use these to affirm who you are.

I am always on the lookout for unusual gemstones to use in my jewellery pieces, and even after I have bought new materials I often take months, even years, to decide how to best use them in something that will showcase their beauty and that of the wearer.

Pick Your Weapons

Stick pearl and apatite necklace, gemstone necklace, beaded necklace, handmade jewelry, jewelry making

This piece is from my personal jewellery collection – it’s a very simple design, the uniqueness comes from the materials used and how they have been paired together. The stick Pearls were a gift from my husband and I confess I had them for nearly a year before I came across a string of Apatite spikes, which were perfect to pair them with.

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

This above piece showcases three large Botswanan Agate smooth tumbled nuggets. I got these on holiday in Cape Town about three years ago. I experimented with various textural and colour combinations before finally deciding recently on this mix using contrasting red coral. I love the way the bright red stands out against the subtle natural beauty of the banded Botswanan agate (which is one of my favourite gemstones).

The Devil is in the Detail

Making jewellery can be a slow process; it takes time and thought, and sometimes a lot of experimentation and attention to detail to get the balance just right. I have been known to take things apart two or three times before I am happy with the final result! And if I am still not sure – I will wear the piece for a day, it’s amazing how that will give me clarity on what needs to be changed!

Baroque Black Onyx and Gunmetal Rhinestone Rondelle Necklace, Gemstone necklace, handmade necklace, beaded necklace

This necklace originally had a thick gunmetal black chain and toggle clasp, but I knew it wasn’t quite right. After wearing it for a day (it looked great with a snakeskin tunic!) I changed the chain to a smaller silver one with a vintage looking flower motif detail, that can be adjusted to different lengths – made all the difference. It was worth the extra time and effort to get it just right.

I Feel Good

Tribal Pyrite, Crystal, Citrine  and Sunstone Gemstone Necklace, Beaded Necklace, Tribal Necklace, STatement necklace, handmade necklace

This piece uses a combination of unusual media of different textures. It features a rectangular pyrite slab, natural drilled crystal fingers, smooth chunky moonstones and rough natural citrine crystals. (I have a total thing about pyrite and about natural crystal formations – I cannot resist either!) This necklace uses a wide variety of textures but has a very natural and calming colour palette, so it is not overpowering. The chains just act as frames to the gemstones.

Make My Day

Another way to make a statement with your jewellery is by using bold or unusual colour combinations. I have recently been working with turquoise, black and silver. I love this combo! Its striking, classy, sophisticated and looks good with a surprisingly wide range of colours. I wore a piece at the weekend with a peach coloured top – it looked great!

Blue, black and silver turquoise and onyx necklace, statement necklace, bold necklace, gemstone necklace, colourful necklace

I am constantly adding new pieces to my Etsy collection, so please check regularly for new listings. You can also connect with me on my Facebook page for interesting snippets and sneak previews of new listings.

There are many ways to express your individuality and personality through your appearance, jewellery is just one of them. I would love to hear from you – how do you express yourself?

Weekend Blues

The only blues this weekend were in the three types of lovely blue gemstones I worked with – blue imperial jasper, blue goldstone and cobalt blue dyed quartz.

Blue Imperial Jasper Bead - Close-up,  Handmade Jewellery, gemstone jewellery

Blue Imperial Jasper Bead – nature really is the greatest artist!

Isn’t this stone amazing? It has such an intense colour.  The blue in this gemstone has a green undertone, which means it looks awesome when you wear it with green.

The name Jasper means “spotted or speckled stone”. It is an impure variety of quartz, containing various amounts of other minerals which give it different colours – reds, greens, pinks, yellows, browns, and more rarely, blues. This association with other minerals gives jasper nice bands and patterns. 

Blue Imperial Jasper Gemstone Necklace

Jasper is usually named according to its pattern, e.g. picture jasper, ribbon jasper, ocean jasper, etc. Jasper is found worldwide, but Imperial Jasper and the sub-variety known as Royal Imperial Jasper are found in Zacatecas, Mexico about 50 miles north of the city of Guadalajara.

Blue Imperial Jasper Gemstone Necklace

This necklace showcases beautiful blue imperial jasper oval beads – stunning!

Goldstone isn’t actually a natural mineral, but a type of glittering glass made in a low-oxygen reducing atmosphere. The finished product can take a smooth polish and be carved into beads, figurines, or other artifacts suitable for semiprecious stone. Isn’t this carved rose pendant lovely?

Blue goldstone rose necklace 1

The most common form of goldstone is reddish-brown, and contains tiny crystals of metallic copper. Goldstone also exists in other colour variants based on other elements. Cobalt or manganese can be substituted for copper in the creation process; the resulting crystals have a more silvery appearance and are suspended in a strongly coloured matrix of the corresponding colour, resulting in blue goldstone or purple goldstone respectively.

This necklace uses blue goldstone, in combination with black onyx and shiny grey hematite.

Blue Golsdstone Rose Pendant Necklace

Quartz is the most common and cheapest crystal for color treatment, because of its clarity and neutral color. The best technique for dyeing quartz is called quench crackling, and it allows the normally non-porous quartz crystals to absorb dyes.

Dyed Blue Quartz Bead

This chunky statement necklace utilises dyed cobalt blue quartz beads. I just loved the rich blue colour when I saw them in the bead shop. Cobalt blue is currently my favourite colour, so this is a piece of jewellery I would wear a lot.

Chunky Cobalt Dyed Quartz and Silver Bead Chunky Statement Necklace

Read more on how to dye quartz:  How to Dye Crystals | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_6012423_dye-crystals.html#ixzz2HsZK8eWa

For sneak previews of other pieces of handmade gemstone jewellery that I am currently working on, please visit my Facebook page http://facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery – please give it a “like” whilst you are there and share it with others!