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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Jewellery Ideas for AW 2013

Fall Jewelry

I thought these rich jewel-toned colours were ideal to combine in a gemstone necklace for those who will soon be transitioning from Summer to Fall 2013.

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Gorgeous faceted agate beads in rich jewel-tones

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Genuine faceted green emerald rondelle beads

Lovely rich vibrant tones in dark reds, greens, pinks, oranges and browns – perfect for your Fall wardrobe. These gorgeous berry colours offer a sophisticated take on brights.

The finished necklace….available from Big Skies Jewellery’s Etsy shop:

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Agate and Emerald Gemstone Necklace – $47 from Big Skies Jewellery

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Jewel-toned Sparkly Agate and Genuine Emerald Necklace – designed and created by Big Skies Jewellery

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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 

Find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery

Fabulous Fluorite

What is Fluorite?

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Natural Raw Green Fluorite Crystals

Fluorite (also called fluorspar) is a halide mineral composed of calcium fluoride (CaF2). Fluorite has a wide range of colors including yellow, blue, pink purple and green. It is an isometric mineral with a cubic habit, but octahedral and more complex isometric forms are not uncommon. The natural fluorite crystal beads I recently purchased were of the octahedral form.

Octahedron 3D image, octahedron shape, octahedron image

Octahedron 3D Image

History of Fluorite

Fluorite derives from the Latin noun fluo, meaning a stream or flow of water. In verb form this was fluor or fluere, meaning to flow.

In 1852 fluorite gave its name to the phenomenon of fluorescence – due to certain impurities in the crystals found in certain locations, many samples of fluorite exhibit fluorescence under ultraviolet light.

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Gemstone Necklace Featuring Octahedral Raw Fluorite Crystals – created by Big Skies Jewellery

Fluorite Gemstone Meaning

The ancient Egyptians used flourite to carve statues and scarabs, the Chinese have used it in carvings for over 300 years. In the 18th century, fluorite was powdered in water to relieve the symptoms of kidney disease.

Fluorite is said to help with absorbing new ideas and bringing order to chaos.

Fluorite is said to absorb and neutralize negative vibrations.  It is believed to be effective against computer and electromagnetic emanations (says she, sitting in front of her computer for 8 hours a day!)  It is also known as the “Genius Stone” by helping us increase our concentration and make decisions.

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Raw Fluorite Crystal and Pearl Necklace – designed by Big Skies Jewellery

Healing properties of Fluorite

Fluorite can be used as a meditation stone to help energize the body and raise the power of concentration.

Healers use it to help with ulcers as well as the respiratory tract by stimulating cell regeneration in these areas. It fortifies bones, improves arthritic or other joint ailments.

It is reputed to be a powerful healer and is believed to be good at fending off colds and flu, reducing the pain of arthritis and reducing the discomfort of shingles and other nerve related pain.

The Finished Fluorite Jewellery Piece  – Green Fluorite Crystal Necklace

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Green Fluorite Crystal and Pearl Necklace – $75 from Big Skies Jewellery

Pictured above is how I used my “octahedral” raw fluorite crystals.  I favoured a simple design, just using square bead caps to complement the cubic crystals and pretty iridescent grey freshwater pearls to act as highlights between the crystals.  I find this necklace very calming and soothing…..

Shop for beautiful and unique gemstone jewelry at Big Skies Jewellery: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bigskiesjewellery

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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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The Story Behind the Necklace…..”Phoenix Rising”

Sometimes I know exactly what I want to do with a gemstone bead string as soon as I see it, at other times……..no clue!

I had no idea what to do with these Labradorite spike beads when I saw them, but I love Labradorite and I like unusual shaped beads; this string fit the bill on both counts, so I bought them.

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Labradorite Spike Beads

I began thinking about what other Labradorite I have in stock, including this pendant….

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Labradorite Oval Pendant Set in Silver Metal

And from that, suddenly came the idea! I know, you would never guess that I passed ‘A’ level Art at school!  Thankfully it is not the accuracy and detail which is important in my design sketches, but rather capturing the essence and components of the design before it disappears from my mind’s eye.

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My artistic rendition of a design idea!

The resulting finished necklace was this, which I think (hope!) you will agree, looks a whole heap better than my artistic rendition:

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Labradorite Necklace – Phoenix Rising – $40 from Big Skies Jewellery

The necklace is called Phoenix Rising as the Labradorite spikes remind me of the arched wings of the phoenix as it rises from the flames and ashes – perhaps I am just being whimsical!

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Labradorite Necklace – Phoenix Rising – $40 from Big Skies Jewellery

In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.

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Labradorite Necklace – Phoenix Rising – $40 from Big Skies Jewellery

Please browse through Big Skies Jewellery’s Etsy store for other unique and beautiful gemstone jewellery: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bigskiesjewellery

Find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery

What is Black and White and Stylish All Over?

Here is a selection of some of the smaller gemstone beads that I have added to my bead stash and have been working with recently.

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Gemstone bead strings – part of Big Skies Jewellery bead inventory!

For those that like to know the names of the stones – from the left we have blue imperial jasper, snowflake obsidian, faceted black onyx, gold mother of pearl, faceted zebra stone, goldstone, chrysocolla and red tiger’s eye.  The stone I would like to talk about  today is Zebra Stone.

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Zebra Stone bead string – faceted rectangles

Zebra Stone, as the name implies, is half-black and half-white with a metrical pattern  similar to that of its animal namesake, the zebra.

Zebra

Zebra (picture taken at the Kruger Park, South Africa)

This striking and unusual stone is all about balance. Like the yin/yang of Chinese philosophy, Zebra Stone possesses balanced qualities of opposing, yet complimentary, forces – it is said to help us quieten the mind and take action.

By themselves the Zebra stone beads are actually quite dainty, but I wanted to use them all together to create something more powerful.  I chose a triple-strand necklace design, where each strand is clearly defined and the beads can lie flat, showing off their natural beauty to its full potential.

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Zebra Stone Triple Strand Necklace $85 from Big Skies Jewellery

Monochrome is on trend for 2013, and every woman needs a good black and white necklace in her jewellery box.  This necklace has been specifically designed with versatility in mind.  The length is adjustable so you can wear it high under a blouse or with a summer top, but you can also wear it longer over a polo neck or turtle neck top in winter.

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Zebra Stone Triple Strand Necklace $85 from Big Skies Jewellery

For more gemstone necklaces, bracelets and earrings, please browse through the Big Skies Jewellery Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bigskiesjewellery

Find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery

 

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.

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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…”

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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!

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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.

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Grey Agate Gemstone Necklace $50 – from Big Skies Jewellery

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

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

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

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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

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

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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

Green Gemstone Choker – New Design for Spring/Summer 2013!

I love the fresh colour and simplicity of this green semi-precious stone choker. The stone discs, with their natural variations in size, and light and colour, create their own unique pattern.   A large decorative silver filigree bead, carefully placed assymetrically, adds the necssary focal element to lift the necklace.

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Semi precious green stone choker, green stone disc necklace, chunky gemstone necklace, assymetric necklace, statement necklace

The gemstone rope is finished off with two silver-toned filigree metal beads and an ornate easy-to-fasten toggle clasp – ensuring the necklace looks just as good from the back if you wear your hair up or have short hair.

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This unusual necklace is the perfect spring/summer 2013 wardrobe addition for the woman who likes to express her individuality through her jewellery – it is chic and elegant. Part of our ‘being’ is the need for self-expression, and that is one of the reasons why I create my jewelry range.

The Big Skies Jewellery Collection contains unique and beautiful pieces from earthy casual designs, to high-end dressy pieces for special occasions – there is something for everyone and every occasion.