Holiday Frenzy

This post will feature new pieces and new stones. With all the Holiday shopping frenzy going on, the studio has been busier than ever. This month in particular has been quite tumultuous, between the hurricane, losing power, having the near-lack of a car or transportation of any kind, constant guests, and gearing up for the Holiday season. I want to thank you ALL for bearing with me if I’ve been at all disorderly. Regular Preview posts will now resume before new items hit either shop (instead of listing one new item every few days unannounced). Rock Appreciation Day will be posted once again on the First of December, along with secret special details. I hope you all enjoy the new lovelies I’ve been hammering away at. Other pieces in the near future will include an Icarus Ring, Storm Earrings, ornate dangles for tunnels, more of the To Make Much of Time and Towards Mountains series, and more! During the Holiday season, its best to take a few breathers. Remember what and who are important, take time to do what you love most, and support handmade small business-or make something yourself!

All of these will be in the shop today or tomorrow for the Cyber Monday Sale.

~*ENJOY*~

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NEW CABS~

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^*TOP ROW, left to right: beautiful quality high grade Bisbee Arizona district Azurite Malachite, premium fossilized Dinosaur Bone, Royal Imperial Nodule Jasper.

BOTTOM ROW: 16mm chrysocolla, Russian serpentine.

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^*the ever popular high grade Australian Koroit Opal from Queensland.

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^*a new absolute FAVOURITE stone. This is Pietersite, from Namibia. This stone actually glints like labradorite, spectrolite, or larvakite. They remind me of a study painting for Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa. Pietersite is the perfect stormy mood stone. For those that follow my INSTAGRAM (username TheStrayArrow), you’ll know that I’ve been working on a pair of pietersite earrings since last weekend, posted a few days ago. These large loves will feature moons, morning stars, chevrons, among other dangling elements.  Follow me there for the freshest previews, inside studio pics and stone finds.

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All of these new stones are up for grabs for custom orders. Check back to the blog DECEMBER FIRST for Rock Appreciation Day, a special announcement, and more. I’ll be working longer hours in the studio from now until the end of next month so production times for items do not slow down for gifting! See the results on Instagram and my Facebook Page.

Better start snagging the plugs you want and gifts while the sale is still up folks! Don’t forget to put in the coupon code: BLACKCYBER!

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xx Stray Arrow

Preview Day

A few new items will be hitting the main shop over the weekend. They feature my favourite group of goodies: turquoise, wampum, emeralds, and koroit opal! I’m still recovering from being sick, so production has slowed a bit. For all custom and “made to order” items taking a little while longer, don’t fret! Your lovelies have not been forgotten, they’ll be with you soon ❤

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First up we have a darling little size 5 koroit boulder opal ring from Queensland, Australia. The opal has been set in a gold fill bezel and blackened silver ring design. Nice and simple to highlight the awesome flash of this rock. The electric royal blue looks like lightning on dark bark, and what really sets this piece apart is the opal matrix in the center of the stone is clear! At the right angle you can see straight through.

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Next up we have two turquoise rings. These both tie into my Romantics theme of poetry quotes, Autumn, and the Southwest. The size 7 3/4  Hour by Hour ring features a rounded triangle cut of ribbon Royston turquoise. On the outside of the ring band lies the quote, “Dead leaves scatter, hour by hour”. This is from Oscar Wilde’s, “Impressions, I Le Jardin”. The second size 6 3/4-7  Tracks in Dusk ring features two different coloured old stock turquoise pieces from the Kings Manassa mine. They resemble abstract animal tracks. The quote on the inside of the ring band reads, “Braided dusks of the oaks“. This is from Sidney Lanier’s, “The Marshes of Glynn”.

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Also coming to the shop are two new wampum pieces. I’ve made little genuine wampum post earrings that resemble the “Evil Eye”. These beautifully high grade plum wampum pieces have delicious bands of purple and white. They are set within gold fill bezels and blackened silver borders for some moody contrast. The Wampum Charms Shield Necklace features a grand piece of wampum as the main pendant. Accompanying it are deep green faceted emerald gems, a sweet little 4mm ruby, a natural old stock Cerillos Mine turquoise stone, and little hand sawed leaf shapes within the silver chain.

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Check back in the shop this coming weekend!

xxStray Arrow

Rock Appreciation Day

Alright folks, so the stone for this month is Picture or Landscape Jasper. There are several different types from many regions of the USA and other countries. I’ve been using these in my “Towards Mountains” pieces because of their amazing and completely natural landscapes with horizon lines.

*As a side note I won’t be going into mine or mineral detail tonight as I’m quite sick with a cold. I’ve been under the covers all day drinking tea and eating lemons trying to recoop as fast as possible! It’ll just be pictures for this Appreciation Day.

I’m not an expert or lapidary artist, the lines between these different jasper types blur pretty easily. There are two more sought after types that are easier to identify. Biggs and Deschutes. I have no examples of Deschutes, in all honesty it isn’t one of my favourites because I’ve only seen them with a full brown spectrum instead of the gray/blue for sky. This type will usually have little dark dendrite (plant fossil) like blemishes. They’ll look like little sprigs of dark grass amongst the hills in the stone. Biggs Blue Jasper, especially old stock, is beautiful. It will usually have cool tones to it, either towards the top of where a stone is most often cut to mimic the sky, or throughout all the colouring. These cool tones are rich and deep in saturation. These are the lovely Biggs cabs I currently have:

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A couple past creations using Picture Jasper~

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Another recognizable picture jasper is Palomino Jasper. This always reminds me of Mt. Olympus where the Greek Gods dwell, this stone type is always so dramatic…

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Goodies with picture jasper currently in the shop are the Towards Mountains ring and the Rolling Hills mini ring, each with a different type of picture jasper…

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Each picture jasper is always so unique, and the older Biggs jasper is getting real hard to find. Using these in jewelry pieces is truly like framing a painting! My all time favourite picture jasper is from my first Towards Mountains ring that has sold…

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Well that’s it this time ladies & gents. As always all the cabs seen are up for grabs! Sorry for the lack of information for this one, I am a pile of sniffles today. The next one will be more in depth! In the meantime, enjoy the MONTH LONG SALE in each Etsy shop!

xx Sniffly Stray Arrow

Finga Bling…

A brief preview of the new rings that’ll be coming to the Etsy shop soon. Expect them to be sprinkled throughout the weekend!

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New plugs in the GaugedbyStasia shop will also be added this weekend! New items include 0 gauge Kingman Mine Turquoise plugs, 4g faceted rainbow moonstone, 8 gauge pyrite, and some beautiful rare turquoise plugs with dangling elements in 2 and 00 gauge. Keep your eyes peeled!

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*Don’t forget, Rock Appreciation Day is Monday*

Have a good weekend all, enjoy the weather!

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xx Stray Arrow

The Woodlands…

Last weekend I was able to go the Intertribal powwow I attend every Fall. This year, I had a grand surprise-a vendor had a large amount of drilled, cut and polished wampum! I picked out several pairs and some with double holes for necklaces. All that you see below is all that there’ll be! The man who carved this wampum is no longer able to do so~

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From these beautiful pieces I have made a few earrings. I’ve noticed that, on the whole, only the most exquisite of turquoise grades are used in gold jewelry. There is hardly any turquoise or wampum jewelry out there that pairs with gold or gemstones. This is a minor start to turning this around, as some wampum and turquoise is just as nice as all those fancy diamonds *in my humble opinion*. These two pairs of shoulder duster earrings swing low and loud. They have lush plum wampum, delectable green emeralds, and blackened silver chains for a unique high end look.

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Other goods coming to the Etsy shop are mini cuties in the ever popular Rustic Arrow genre. They include a Triple Arrow Chevron stacker ring made to order in your size, and sweet little Arrow Vane chevron studs.

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Three gemstone stackers will be joining the Woodlands pieces. Natural sapphires do not always come in blues. The rose cut gems in these sparkle in brilliant white, lazy soft yellow, and fierce cadmium hues. Set within true 14k yellow gold bezels, the sterling backings and bands have been darkened for the ultimate contrast and rustic appeal. Ready to go in US sizes 4 3/4, 6, and 7. Not your size? Just ask for a custom one, I have more on hand! For those with upcoming events, or those who just need any excuse to dote on themselves, there are the Black Needle Dangles. These post earrings feature hand sawed and textured leaf shapes with dangling black tourmalinated teardrop rutile quartz gemstones. They have a rich, subtle, and all around elegant feel to them.

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COMING TO THE ETSY SHOP TOMORROW & SATURDAY

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xx Stray Arrow

Rock Appreciation Day & Preview Night

Alright ladies & gents, let’s get right to it. The two types for today are WAMPUM (I know, its really a shell…), and Koroit Boulder Opal. To repeat the disclaimer from the first Rock Appreciation Day: I AM NO LAPIDARY ARTIST OR GEOLOGIST/GEMOLOGIST. All of my information comes from research and experience working with these stones, not mining or cutting them. First up is Koroit Boulder Opal….

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Koroit Boulder Opal is a specific TYPE of opal solely from the Koroit opal mining area in Queensland, Australia. Like boulder/ribbon cut turquoise, the opal is within a host rock matrix. The opal matrix itself is formed when rain containing silica minerals drizzles back down to earth and weaves itself into sedimentary rocks. After all water evaporates and all that is left is silica, the silica hardens into a gel like substance with little spheres, which is what we know as opal. It is essentially hydrated silicon dioxide. The size and distance of these tiny spheres from each other is what determines the colour of the opal. This whole “opalization” process is very mysterious even to the experts, and is generally believed to span over 1 to 10 million years for creation. Way back when, the Romans would actually use opal as a good luck charm stone…

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Below are past commissions or sold Opal pieces…

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These last two are my favourite Koroit opals to date~

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The rest below are either available stones, or pieces still in the Etsy shop (00 gauge Koroit opal plugs coming to the Plugs shop soon! http://www.GaugedbyStasia.Etsy.com). 

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This first photo is prime Koroit opal, just for looking and not for sharing!

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WAMPUM is something I’ve covered before. I adore it. Not just because the intensity of the colour is so beautiful for a natural shell, but because I am a nerd and love all things with deep mythological roots. The two main origin stories for wampum among the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) are extraordinary. A short version of the Seneca Iroquois version can be found written by author Harriet Maxwell Converse. She wrote the story and other myths directly from notes she took while spending time with Seneca council members in the early 1900’s. 

Wampum is carved from the quahog clam shell found on the shores of the East Coast. If you don’t know about it, but have heard the word before, you may have been told in was like “Native American Indian money”. It was only thought to be used financially because the Europeans assumed so from the importance the Natives bestowed upon it. Later on trading wampum for European goods became common. The carved wampum has actually been used for hundreds of years as trade, or for treaties. It could be strung into beaded strings called “condolence strings” for a mourned one, or expertly beaded into belts-famously known and seen in many museums- for peace or war treaties between tribes. White coloured shells represented peace, purple represented war. Although used by many different Woodlands (Eastern) tribes, it is most famously seen used by the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee). The Iroquois Confederacy consists of the 5 tribes of the eastern longhouse-one tribe for each beam, or one tribe for each part of the “Hiawatha belt”. These symbols also refer to the geological locations of the tribes. The tribes are (in the Europeanized names and spelling): Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk. The abbreviation is SCOOM. The sixth tribe, the Tuscarora, was later added to the Confederacy when they came into the region. Wampum can be replicated in glass imitation form. It is what is used most often nowadays when creating replica pieces.  It has gotten harder and harder to find true Native wampum carvers anymore, and I know of only 3 existing in Massachusetts. The rounded cabochons and chip beads in the photos below were carved by Native Mi’kmaq artist Mark Changing Bear.

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Below are sold pieces or past commissions:

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Most of the gauged wampum pieces can still be purchased at http://www.GaugedbyStasia.Etsy.com . The wampum stray pieces are up for grabs for custom work~

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PREVIEW

A few new pieces will be hitting the main Etsy shop, http://www.TheStrayArrow.Etsy.com, AND the Gauged shop on Monday/Tuesday. 

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NEW ADDITIONS INCLUDE: 00 gauge (10mm) Koroit Boulder Opal plugs, 4 gauge rutilated golden quartz plugs, 1/2″ (roughly 13mm) snowflake obsidian plugs, CUSTOM 10 gauge rainbow moonstone plugs, The Arsenic and Old Lace ring with 14k gold fill droplets, green Kingman mine turquoise drop necklace, and the Along The Dark Shores turquoise and wampum bangle bracelet. Not pictured but also on the way….more turquoise drop necklaces, and some surprises!

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Recently a fellow artist was able to give a mini presentation of her work. You can see some photographs of it and a video of her here on her blog:

http://www.torynova.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/drum-roll-please-cue-illustration/

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As all creative processes come from some spark of inspiration, I’d like to share a little snippet of a consistent influence. While constantly looking at new art, the ever growing tumble of talent people put out into the world, nothing gets me going as something old to groove to. Any new music I can get my hands on, I can. Lately, I’ve been filling my ears with the Vaccines, Holly Golightly and The Brokeoffs, Alessi’s Ark, and my old favourites. Here’s one of them-hope all of you give your old sparks the attention and credit they deserve!

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Check back on Monday & Tuesday for shop updates!

xx Stray Arrow

“The Wind-God Frowns In The Murky Skies…”

It has been a little while since my last post, and I’ve had some amazing travels. It has also been raining the past few days, and I have been loving it. This is going to be a fairly long post. I have news to share, recent custom orders to show you, new pieces that’ll be added to the main Etsy shop tomorrow and Tuesday, as well as new stones!

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I’ve traveled before and left the Etsy shops open, but then it is never a true vacation. I always feel the need to respond to conversations immediately or think about all the sold items to wrap when I return. So, last week, I switched both shops to vacation mode. Thank you all for bearing with me!

For all those who don’t know, I love to drive. I mean truly. If I am behind the wheel, I’ll go anywhere. I spent around 23 hours driving in a span of 6 days and it was AMAZING. Thanks to my friend, who never asked to take the wheel. We drove all around the New England and Tri-State areas following one band around. Who needs a fancy vacation when you have good music? We spent all of Saturday at their festival in Portland, ME listening to new bands, and songs of other’s we could sing along with. Through heat stroke, blistered feet, frizzy hair, hot and humid weather, the worst sun burn I’ve ever had, and most importantly a serious lack of caffeine-we had the time of our lives. 

We plan to do it again.

~Pictures of the voyage at the end of this post~

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Now I know I missed “Rock Appreciation Day” this month, but don’t worry! I’ll be doing TWO rock/gem types next month on the 1st!

BELOW:

Some of the more recent commissions I have finished and adored:

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*I have one LAST pair of these beautiful natural rounded trillion cut druzy gems

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BELOW:

All the new goodies coming to the shop tomorrow and Tuesday, plus a few others that are still in the works! Some of these pieces include some beautiful quality stones and gems for extreme Statement pieces. Check the main shop tomorrow to see descriptions, prices, sizes, and more pictures of these new jewels! http://www.TheStrayArrow.Etsy.com

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Although I am *not taking* any custom orders for this month, I do have new stones to share! These can be reserved for custom orders which will resume next month.

In order of the photos below:

BOULDER OPALS (stone on right is already RESERVED)

MARY ELLEN JASPER

FOURTH PHOTO FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:  WHITE BUFFALO TURQUOISE HEART, WATER WEBBED NACOZARI, PRUDENT MAN PLUME AGATE (already in use for a ring!)

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A peek of our travels…. Some new pieces shall emerge by the end of the month inspired by all that is Folk music, mainly old traditional Appalachian Folk ballads.

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*our night after an ADDITIONAL 4 hours of NYC traffic piled on to my 4 hour drive.

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*happy feet! A little leaf leaped into my shoe to join in our trek. I left him in there.

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A very nice gentleman was able to take two seconds of his time for a picture.

It is my one photo memento of the full week of music my friend and I shared.

Everyone we met were exceptional, sweet, generous, and all around great folks.

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Well I am now back in the studio at full steam! Prepare to see a lot of new pieces in BOTH shops in the near future. I wish you all the great luck bestowed upon my friend and I.

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xx Stray Arrow

Rock Appreciation Day!

Today, read all about…..:

WHITE BUFFALO TURQUOISE.

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White Buffalo Turquoise comes solely from the White Buffalo Mine near Tonopah, Nevada. It is very popular, but very rare. There is a LOT of controversy as to whether this stone’s mineral make up actually constitutes it as “turquoise”. I have broken down this highlight blog post for this stone into a few sections…

[DISCLAIMER: I am not a lapidary (stone) artist, gemologist, mine owner, or any other kind of authority on gems, stones, or minerals. I am simply an enthusiast who likes to share the information I’ve gathered in my goal to attain the perfect rocks for my jewelry pieces].

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White Buffalo Turquoise & White Turquoise-NOT THE SAME:

White turquoise is extremely rare and comes from a few different mines, mainly in Nevada and Arizona. White turquoise is not actually “white”, but can be very VERY lightly coloured turquoise that comes in a variety of hues between the green and blue spectrum. A great example of what is classified as white turquoise can be seen in the Dry Creek Mine (also known as SACRED Buffalo Mine), or the White Stallion Mine. Actual “white” turquoise is so hard to find in quality jewelry because it is very low on the hardness scale and cannot take a good polish because it is so chalky (but it is not chalk turquoise!). This makes the stone low quality as a rule no matter how rare or beautiful. White buffalo turquoise is higher on the hardness scale than any chalk or white turquoise. It takes a great polish and is in actuality WHITE, or off-white due to it’s mix of black chert host rock.

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THE CONTROVERSY: Turquoise VS. White Buffalo

You will find many people claiming that White Buffalo Turquoise is NOT turquoise. This is why: Turquoise gets it’s blue and green hues from iron and copper which are all minerals found in your basic turquoise. White Buffalo turquoise is white because it lacks iron and copper. “No iron and copper? Not turquoise!”

            The white buffalo turquoise stone has been tested several times and has BAFFLED gemologists and mineralogists to date. Originally, people thought it was a different stone type other than turquoise. Similar stones are howlite, magnesite, planarite, etc. With each inquiry, each similar type has been dismissed. White buffalo turquoise has the same hardness of turquoise, is found in veins when mined like turquoise, and is found is black chert, which is a host rock of…turquoise! A great theory about the stones from this mine is that it is a kind of “albino” turquoise.

            The authenticity of White Buffalo Turquoise is backed by the family who owns the mine; the Otteson’s. The Ottesons own several turquoise mines and have a long history and good reputation mining turquoise in the Southwest. While not always advertising White Buffalo Turquoise as “White Turquoise”-because, let’s face it, it really isn’t-they still call it White Buffalo or White Buffalo Turquoise. For all consumer and market purposes, the material is called “White Buffalo Turquoise”. Personally, after looking at oodles of stones online and in person, there has never been a doubt in mind as to whether the stone is turquoise or not. I call it turquoise.

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STONE TYPES-Turquoise vs. Boulder or Ribbon Turquoise

Boulder or ribbon cut turquoise is just a different way of saying ‘turquoise within a host rock’. Often you can find lovely patterns of turquoise veining within the host rock, or just large streams of turquoise running through. These nature made designs are beautiful and just as rare as stones containing a higher turquoise to host rock ratio.

***BE CAREFUL:***

All of those similar stone types to turquoise are often marketed as such! Low quality stones like white howlite, or magnesite, can be marketed as “white turquoise”. If a price is cheap, that means the materials are cheap! Magnesite often comes in dark to light brown colours with a cream to off-white matrix (think of the beautiful, rare, and valuable Wild Horse Magnesite stone). White howlite is often a dull white colour with veins of a dark grey matrix. These veins are thin and milky. Although the matrix in real White Buffalo Turquoise can get blurry, it is still BLACK, and the colour has a higher saturation and hardness.

            All of the white buffalo turquoise I use is 100% genuine and authentic. I get it from a source in Nevada (not telling!) and I back it all of the way.

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PICTURE TIME!

Below, behold all of the fairly recent past sold orders or commissions I have created using White Buffalo Turquoise or ribbon cut White Buffalo Turquoise. To see any listings or sold listings, click on the pictures:

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Up next, we have all White Buffalo goodies still available in the shop:

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Lastly, all of my White Buffalo Turquoise currently in stock! The pair with the bezel around them are going to be made into sterling Buffalos as dangles for stretched ears in the future:

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Check back the First of every month for a new Rock Appreciation Day! If you have questions about my sources, just ask. Have a request for a specific stone or mine? Any input or questions on this issue? Comment below!

xx Stray Arrow

In The Shop Tomorrow!

These will all be in the Etsy shop- TheStrayArrow.Etsy.com – tomorrow! They’ll be listed all throughout the day, so keep checking back…

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ah-mazing items for those with stretched earlobes will be coming to the GaugedbyStasia Etsy shop next week!

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Check out the shop tomorrow!

xx Stray Arrow