Apr 23, 2012

What I'm Working On

Already shared on Facebook this is a picture of what I am currently working on. These are the upper pair of wings for a butterfly focal for what will be a necklace. In sterling silver each wing has a central rose quartz cabochon - the lower wings will too. More pics will follow as I make progress....

Apr 22, 2012

Sunday Theme - Australia

With ANZAC day coming up this Wednesday on April 25th what better theme for this Sunday than Australia itself.

Australia has many icons for which it is known worldwide. There are the natural wonders such as Uluru and The Great Barrier Reef and then there are the native animals unique to Australia such as the Kangaroo and the Koala Bear. There are of course also the man made landmarks such as the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Then there are also the natural resources, the most famous of which has to be the Opal.

The opal is where I can contribute to the Australian theme with my Australian Boulder Opal Pendant:

Here are some more Australian themed items from some members of the BrisStyle team:

Apr 21, 2012

BrisStyle Twilight Market - April 27th

The next BrisStyle Twilight Market will be taking place on April 27th in King George Square, Brisbane. Having taking a break from the last market I am really looking forward to doing this one and hope to see lots of people there!

The Market, sponsored by the Brisbane City Council runs from 5.00 to 9.00pm and is full of Handmade Goodness with over 60 stalls showcasing the wares of local artisans. With a local Jazz group providing live music as they meander through the crowds the night is set to be a great shopping experience.

Click on the link above to see all the participating stall holders.

As if all that wasn't good enough - I will have a Special Mother's Day Sale on the night with 25% off all my marked prices! Check out some of the bargains below!

SALE PRICE: $71.25  Reduced from $95

 SALE PRICE: $131.25 Reduced from $175

SALE PRICE: 183.75 Reduced from $245

Sterling and Crystal Web Pendant - $45.00

Sterling and Crystal Web Pendant. Sterling silver wire has been used to create this "Spider's Web" shaped pendant - although without the spider because I must admit I hate them! Instead, each outer edge of the pendant incorporates a White Alabaster Swarovski Crystal, glistening like a morning dew drop, with a natural coloured Fresh Water Pearl at the centre of the web.

The wires were hamm...

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Apr 19, 2012

A to Z of Gemstones - I is for Iolite

Iolite is also known by the mineral name Cordeirite after the French Mineralogist who first described it in 1809. The name Iolite comes from the Greek ios meaning violet. Iolite is a complex magnesium aluminium silicate with traces of ferric/ferous iron and manganese.

Iolite is typically a soft violet blue colour with unusual pleochroic properties, meaning that it displays different colours when viewed from different angles.Iolite will display a light blue and yellow grey in addition to its dominant hue of violet blue. The value of Iolite depends on the violet blue coloration, the richer the blue the better.

Iolite is found in Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Australia's Northern Territory, Namibia, Brazil, Tanzania, Madagascar,  Connecticut and the North West Territories of Canada. Geologist Dan Hausel found Iolite deposits in Wyoming. These are some of the largest deposits in the world. One Iolite that he recovered weighed in at more than 24,000 carats, the largest ever found in the world.

When Lief Eriksson and other legendary Viking explorers ventured far out into the Atlantic Ocean, they had one secret weapon - Iolite. The Viking mariners used thin pieces of it as the world's first polarising filter. Looking through an Iolite lens, they were able to determine the exact position of the sun, and navigate their way safely to the New World and back.

Here are some gorgeous examples of Iolite jewellery from some members of the JET team:

Apr 18, 2012

Magpie Gemstones Beading Buddy

I was lucky enough to score some free beads when I signed up to join Magpie Gemstones Beading Buddy list. So lucky in fact that I won some beads within two weeks of signing up. I received a gorgeous string of Aventurine Rondells as well as a large Magnesite Faux Jasper focal. 

The only criteria for going on the list to win some beads is that you must promise to write a blog post about winning - either about the beads themselves or about the jewelry that you made with them, and you must show a Beading Buddy badge on your blog or website - mine is now proudly displayed on the side of my blog. Well, I must confess that it took a while to come up with a design and make it but I got there eventually - and so here, as if you haven't already gathered, is my post about it.

I decided to add some Pyrite nuggets to the beads that I had won as these seemed a good match with the Aventurine. Whewn it came to displaying the focal I decided that I wanted to do something a little bit different rather than just coming up with a wired bail. I therefore used some sterling silver wire to create a spiral backdrop/frame to sit slightly behind the focal, pulled together below the focal with some of the Pyrite nuggets.

I then created two small circular links to sit either side of the necklace, with two lower chains then running from the links, one a chain of aventurine/pyrite links leading down to the focal, the other, a shorter chain of aventurine links. Finally I decided to oxidise the necklace.

So here it is - my Aventurine and Pyrite Necklace.

Apr 17, 2012

A to Z of Gemstones - H is for Howlite

Howlite is a borate mineral found in evaporite deposits. Howlite was discovered near Windsor, Nova Scotia in 1868 by Henry How, a Canadian chemist, geologist and mineralogist. How was alerted to the unknown mineral by miners in a gypsum quarry, who found it to be a nuisance.

The most common form of Howlite is irregular nodules, sometimes resembling cauliflower. Crystals of Howlite are rare having been found in only a couple of localities worldwide. The nodules are white with fine grey or black veins in an erratic, often web-like pattern.

As well as Nova Scotia, other areas where Howlite is mined are California and Nevada in the USA and Turkey.

As a very porous stone Howlite is very commonly dyed. In particular Howlite is very commonly used as a substitute for Turquoise. Although sold in its natural state as well Howlite has also been dyed a deep blue to resemble Lapis Lazuli or red to imitate coral. In fact, it could even be fair to say that Howlite is more famous for imitating other minerals than it is in its own right.

Here are some gorgeous examples of Howlite jewelry from some members of the JET team:

Shmetsy - makes Etsy shine!

If you like making treasuries on Etsy then this is one made for Etsy application that you won't want to be without! It makes making treasuries so easy.

There are three tools:

  1. Sketchy - This gives you a blank canvas for creating a treasury and allows you to save drafts to continue working on later.
  2. Treasury Maker - This gives you the same blank canvas for making a treasury as Sketchy does. You can search for items on a separate tag. Every item that you searches has an extra little tag next to the price. Click on this and the item is automatically added to your treasury. Once your treasury is complete click on Save and you are done.
  3. Convo Sender - This a tool that automatically convos everyone in your treasury to let them know that they are - all at the press of a button.
So if you haven't checked it out - then do so now!

Apr 15, 2012

Sunday Theme - Russet

Russet is described as a dark brown colour with a reddish-orange tinge. The first recorded use of 'russet' as a colour name was in 1562. The name of colour derives from 'russet', a coarse cloth made of wool and dyed with woad and madder to give it a subdued grey or reddish brown shade. By the statute of 1363, poor English people were required to wear russet.

These days Russet is one of the popular Autumn colours, very apt for this week's theme. My Carnelian and Red Aventurine Necklace, pictured above, gives a good example of the colour russet.

Below is some more russet coloured jewelry by some members of the JET team.

Apr 14, 2012

Bluestone and Sterling Silver Harmony Necklace - $260.00

Bluestone and Sterling Silver Harmony Necklace. This sterling silver necklace features both sound and texture.

The sound comes in the form of a very pleasant chime type sound found in the Bali harmony ball that is the feature point on the necklace. The elaborate raised pattern on the ball is a lovely example of the Bali silversmiths work.

There are then three different types of links m...

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Apr 12, 2012

Laboradite and Sterling Silver Necklace - $160.00

Laboradite and Sterling Silver Necklace. Well they say that often less is more, and this necklace is no exception to that rule. This is a simple link necklace featuring the gorgeous gemstone Laboradite. Each Laboradite link has the laboradite set on sterling silver. These links are then interspersed with some links on which laser cut sterling silver beads with a hexagonal pattern have been set. All bead links are fin...

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