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  • Newsletter

    A Shout-out to BeadFX and Wonderful Article

    A Quick Shout-Out to BeadFX

    We’re all aware of the amazing content we come across on a daily basis from other beaders, companies, and artists. Here at the GRBS, we saw a blog post by BeadFX that we thought would be helpful to many of our Members. It was posted to our Facebook site, but we thought it worth mentioning here. 

    It’s called Beads ‘n’ Sequins, Sequins ‘n’ Beads, and you can read all about it by clicking on the link. 

    Also don’t forget to check out more articles at the BeadFX Blog and their Store for supplies. 

  • Newsletter

    Design Insights ~ A Life’s Journey

    Design Insights~ A Life's Journey

    Canada Beading Supply in partnership with the Grand River Bead Society and the Toronto Bead Society is sponsoring a Zoom presentation on Wednesday March 15, 2023 at 7pm with World renowned bead artist Virginia Blakelock. She will be covering her journey as a bead artist and sharing design insights she has learned along the way.

    Virginia Blakelock

    Virginia has been beading since she was a child beginning with an “Indian Bead Loom” kit. Her horizons were expanded at age 13 when she lived in West Pakistan for four years where there was a bead stall in the local market. After Art School and a move to Oregon, she encountered beads once again and decided in 1973 to concentrate her artistic pursuits on beading. 

    A major impetus to her career was a 1988 Threads magazine article about her career with beautiful photos of her amazing work. Her Moth necklace was particularly impressive. That article generated the greatest response of any article in Threads up to that point. This prompted her a year later, to self-publish the book “Those Bad, Bad Beads”. It was the first book in decades that provided information about working with seed beads. Virginia inspired a number of people such as Carole Wilcox and Diane Fitzgerald who then went on to become famous themselves.

    Virginia and her business partner Carol Perrenoud founded Bead Cats, Inc (also known as the Synergetics, Inc. Bead store.) They had one of the first mail-order bead businesses in North America. Since there were not many Bead Stores in the 1980’s, the two women toured the country in a 1975 Cadillac limousine making beads available to a growing number of enthusiasts as well as teaching. 

    This talk is not going to be just about her journey. Virginia says “Designing with beads is not easy, and I have made a LOT of really, really ugly things. I still struggle with coming up with colour combinations that I like. Beads are not at all like pigments you place on a canvas or sheet of paper. They are like glass, they live with the light, and seeing how they look “en masse” (together,) is usually not at all how they look when individual beads are placed together. How often have you been disappointed when what seemed like a great design, with great colours, fell completely on it’s face?

    “There are some basic premises that govern the interplay of glass types (e.g.. opaque vs transparent) with surface finishes (e.g.. AB, matte, etc.)  When I realized this, I began teaching classes in which each student made a sample with the same design and colours, but with different types of glass and surface finishes. Then, we talked about how the beads behaved. Did the beads support the design or sabotage it? Using my work and class samples I will share my design insights with you, as I tell the story of my life’s journey as a bead artist. I hope you will come away from this presentation with new eyes for your own work.” 

  • Newsletter

    Gemstones can be made?

    Gemstones can be made?

    Whoa! Hold up, what are we talking about here? Gemstones come from the ground, you dig them up, cut them, polish them and string or wrap them. Now you’re saying they can be made? Yes, that’s right, you heard correctly: Gemstones can be made, and it’s quite clever too. Have you ever wondered why you see gemstones in a store and they seem so expensive, but then in another store they’re almost unbelievably affordable? Chances are they lower priced ones are man/lab-made. 

    First of all, what is a synthetic or man-made gemstone? They are gemstones that are created in a lab instead of digging them out the ground.  They are called lab-grown or man-made. Simulant stones are made to look like a real gemstone. They are created from different minerals and could even contain the same mineral material as the stones they are trying to emulate. There is also another category of man-made  gemstones known as Fake gemstones which are lower in natural materials, quality, and price.

    How can I tell which one is which?

    Lab created stones are the hardest to tell. There are however, ways to tell with just the naked eye or a tool called a loupe. Let’s look at them now.

    1. The quality of a lab made gemstones will be unrealistically high. So the cracks and inclusions you’d expect to find in a natural gemstone won’t be present. Remember if you think you’re finding what looks like a flawless 10ct diamond for $1 a piece it’s probably lab made and not the real thing. 
    2. Colour. The colour on lab made gemstones is very rich, and in some cases deep. It’s like finding the gemstone in the colour you expect it to be in, but it’s such an intense colour you can’t believe it. 

    An example of lab made vs natural is Diamonds. Often people use the lab made diamonds instead of the natural ones because they’re brilliant with their clarity and size, and often more affordable. 

    It can sometimes be hard to to figure out. A sure-fire way (if you have the time and an excellent eye) is to look for the serial number (yes, just like on your phone, or cable box.) Lab made gemstones have serial numbers on them…often in print smaller than fine print, but we promise it’s there. It’s one way governments stop sellers from passing off lab made as authentic gemstones. 

    Interesting fact: Lab made stones are often made up of minuscule amounts of the natural stone. It’s how they’re “grown.”

    Simulant stones look very much like the real thing, but they don’t contain any of the mineral in the natural stone they are emulating. Prices for these are very low. You can’t tell the difference between natural and synthetic with the naked eye. 

    Two examples of these stones are Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite. They can both easily be exchanged for a natural diamond with the naked eye. With a loupe however, you can check them and find they have no inclusions. 

    The most common simulant stones you’ll find are:

    • Diamonds
    • Sapphires
    • Rubies

    These kinds of stones have been in existence since the 1800’s. Geneva rubies appeared in 1885. 

    To determine if it’s synthetic or natural, you can use a a heat test.  A flame from a lighter held against a simulant stone will cause it to melt. 

    The final kind of stone is known as the Fake Gemstone. These are the worst of the bunch.

    They are usually sold by crooked dealers. There is no real gemstone material in these at all. Commonly they are made out of glass that’s been coloured to look like the gemstone they are supposed to be. 

    a 10x loupe reveals bubbles in the “stone” which shows it’s just glass. These are never a good deal no matter the price. 

    So what are some adavantages to to using lab/man-made gemstones?

    1. A lot of gemstones are still being mined in dangerous ways’ that exploit the workers who look for them. Blood Diamonds are a good example of this. They usually fund bad practices with governments in many underdeveloped countries. So buying lab/man-made gemstones would be a better choice for your money instead.

    2. Colour matching.  Gemstones usually make up a large part of the design because of their colour. Lab grown or simulant gemstones hold their colour better than a natural stone and they often come in more shades. Most of the lab grown stones look like the imagined colour for natural gemstones. They are also flawless unlike natural gemstones.

    3. Price. This is the last advantage for lab/man-made gemstones. They are more likely to be within the jewelers budget , whereas Natural gems are very expensive because of all the work involved in obtaining them. Lab/man-made gemstones are about 1/3 of the price. 

    So which is better?

    Well…that depends on you. The main thing to take from is blog is that lab/man-made stones are quite similar to natural stones. They’re just grown in a lab instead of the earth. Synthetic stones are good in a pinch, and be aware of shady sellers trying to pass glass off to you. 

    As always, looking forward to getting ideas for article topics from your curious minds. See you in the April edition!

  • Newsletter

    Bijoux for the Theater- Tami MacDonald

    Bijoux for the Theater

    In February, we had an extrodinary presentation by Tami MacDonald from the Stratford Festival Theater. 

    She gave a presentation on the Stratford Festival Bijoux department and all it entails. 

    Tami MacDonald

    Tami’s education is based in Fashion, with a strong desire to continue educating herself in different mediums and crafts. This led to a natural fit into her department at the Theater and her dream job!

  • Newsletter

    Let’s Get Knotty Together

    Let's Get Knotty Together

    This Article is going to be Knotty.

    That’s right we are going to explore the most popular knots for jewellery making. Knots are very important for jewellery making. Using the correct knot can keep your jewellery from coming apart. It also helps enhance your jewellery piece. There are several factors to take into consideration before trying knots. These are:

    1. The stringing material.
    2. Strength of the thread or cord need for the beads being used
    3. Length of the thread or cord for your project.

    There is nothing worse than running out of thread or cord in the midst of a project.

    Now let’s take a look at the knots themselves.

    Simple Overhand Knot

    The first knot is a simple Overhand knot. You learn this knot when you learn to tie your shoes. It’s just a loop in the cord and pull the ends in opposite directions. For added security, you can place a dab of glue on the knot. E-6000 is a good glue to use for this. 

    It is used in bead stringing and Pearl Knotting. When used this way, try and get the knot as close to the bead as possible. You can also simply us it in the design as decoration as well.

    Lark's Head

    It is as simple as an Overhand knot. This knot is mainly used for macrame projects. It can also be used as a bail to attach stones as pendants or as clasps. It  is pretty secure and can enhance your jewellery piece.

    Square Knot

    This knot is used as a connector. It is the one to use when adding on new cord. You can use beads with this knot to be more decorative or use just the knots for a more simplistic look. This knot lends itself to using multiple strands.

    Each of these knots is created by wrapping the outer strands in a loop around a core piece. Alternating from side to side creates a nice flat finish. 

    For a spiral effect, simply tie the knots on one side only. To do these, you need to secure it similarly to macrame. This technique works best with cord, leather, or hemp.

    Sliding Knot

    This knot is perfect for making adjustable jewellery. There is no clasp required, so this is perfect for anyone with metal allergies. This knot is made by making 2 tunnels of loops in your cord. These tunnels will slide along the cord to make the piece larger or smaller. This is best used with thick cord of some kind.

    Surgeons Knot

    This knot is good for using with slippery cords like elastic cord. This is similar to the Square knot, but more durable. It is not used as a decorative knot, just a utility one.

    Pretzel Knot

    This knot is also known as the Josephine knot. It gets it’s name from the fact that it resembles a pretzel shape. It’s often used as a focal point in macrame. You can enhance the look of the knot by using multiple colours.

    To create this knot, you start out securing it to a board (like in macrame,) then twist the cord into connecting loops.

    Half Hitch

    The final knot in this article is a Half Hitch. This stitch is mainly used in bead weaving. It’s used for adding more threads and ending the weaving also. This knot is similar to the overhand but its done over another thread.

    Hopefully this article helps with knowing which knot to use for a project. Remember practice makes perfect, especially in jewellery making.

  • Newsletter

    The Wonderful World of Modge Podge

    The Wonderful World of Modge Podge

    What is Modge Podge, you many ask? It is a medium that started out for decoupage. Then it branched into jewellery. Modge Podge works as a glue, a sealant, and a finisher. It is not however water proof. It was invented in 1967 by Jan Westone. It is defined as a synthetic resin used mainly in paint and adhesives. There a quite a few formulas to choose from. Below is a list of the best ones for Jewellery making. 


    Our first Modge Podge has to be classic. It comes in three different finishes: Gloss, Matte, and Satin. Gloss is a very shiny look. Matte has a flat, non-shiny finish, and Satin is somewhere between the other two. These are all good to use for most surfaces on projects.

    Brush Stroke

    It gives the illusion of hand painting. You brush it on your project and it gives it a highly textured finish. It resembles the look of hand painting.

    Extreme Glitter

    It’s an ultra fine glitter filled medium. It’s perfect for glass projects or covering dark surfaces. It really shows off the glitter effect. Try thinking “Out-of-This-World” when using this Modge Podge.

    Glow in the Dark

    It’s exactly what you think. In order tot get the glow effect, you’ll need to apply it in layers. It’s good for any project to which you want to add a glow. It won’t be noticeable in light, but it shines in the dark. The intensity will depend on how many layers you used.

    Hard Coat

    This is a super tough formula. It makes  a lot of protection for projects that are frequently touched. It only comes in a satin finish however. It tends to show less scratches with a more durable finish.


    This Modge Podge has holographic glitter in it. It only comes in a glossy finish. The more coats you use, the more sparkle there is. It shows up best on dark surfaces.

    Dimensional Magic

    It has an epoxy-like finish. It’s good for jewellery and paper crafts. With this formula, you have the look of resin without the toxicity and mess. It dries clear and comes in clear and glitter. It can be applied in layers as long as each layer is allowed to dry before the next one goes on.

    These are only a few of the formulas that are available. Most other formulas are for uses such as fabric, puzzles, or furniture. You can find a myriad of information including projects tot try at:

    Modge Podge Rocks.

  • Newsletter

    Pliers, Pliers Everywhere!

    Pliers, Pliers Everywhere!

    Picture of various pliers used in jewellery making

    It’s very confusing when it dcomes to jewelllery making pliers. Which ones for the right task?

    There are some that are self-explanatory, like crimping pliers or looping pliers. There are some that are very confusing. Chainnose, needle nose and round nose pliers are the ones most likely to fit the category. Hopefully, this article will clear up some of the confusion.


    A picture of chain nose pliers
    Chain Nose Pliers

    Chain Nose Pliers

    Chain Nose pliers are flat on the inside edge and rounded on the outside edge of the pliers. They come to points  on the tips. You can grip wire really well such as jump rings and other smaller pieces.


    Round Nose Pliers

    Round nose pliers are completely round with a conical shape. You cant grip as well with them. They do make beautiful loops. Light pressure is best so you don’t mar your wire project with these.


    a picture of round nose pliers
    Round Nose Pliers
    a picture of bent nose pliers
    Bent Nose Pliers

    Bent Nose Pliers

    Bend nose pliers are pliers with a 45 degree bend at the tips. You can use them, along with chain nose pliers to open and close jump rigns. They also help keep your line of vision clear while you work your project. 


    Needle Nose Pliers

    Needle nose pliers have a longer nose on them than chain nose or round nose pliers. The inside edge is often serrated which gives them an excellent grip. The serrated edge unfortunately leaves marks and scratches on your wire projects. So one of the the following three things is recommended:

    1. Geta a pair without the serrated inside
    2. Dip them in a plastic solution to cover up the serrated edges 
    3. leave them serrated and be prepared to spend lots of extra time repairing the damage they leave on your project.


    a picture of needle nose pliers
    a picture of flat nose pliers
    Flat Nose Pliers

    Flat Nose Pliers

    Flat nose pliers have a wide nose on them. It’s almost a square shape. They can be used for straightening wire. They can also be used with Bent Nose pliers to open and close jump rings. They are also great for making sharp bends in your wire for your designs.

    Nylon Jaw Pliers

    Nylon jaw pliers are good for making sure you wire projects aren’t’ marred or scratched. They also straighten wire as well, if not better than, the flat nose pliers. They only problem with these pliers is that the tips need to be replace once in a while as they wear down. Therefore, it’s good to keep a replacement set  of tips on hand.

    a picture of punch pliers used to make holes in metal
    Punch Pliers

    Punch Pliers

    Punch pliers are used for punching holes in metal. They can pierce many different gauges of metal. They also come in different hole sizes. These come in handy for making connection and rivet holes. They can’t be used to make center holes in most projects.  They other drawback is that the punch pins need to be replace periodically as they get dull.

    Crimping Pliers

    Crimping pliers can be a bit tricky. There is a certain order to using them.

    • First put the bead thread through a jump ring or bead.
    • Load the beading wire ends through the crimp bead.
    • Get the beads close to the jump ring/bead without restricting it’s movement.
    • Now on the crimping pliers, there are two sizes of holes.
    • In the larger one (shaped like a heart,) place the tube you want to crimp.
    • Close over the crimp.
    • Before you squeeze down, separate the wires. This will give the tube a better hold.
    • Now press the tube firmly with the pliers but not too firmly (you will split the tube) but hard enough to hold the wires.
    • To complete the crimp, place the tube in the smaller hole at the top.
    • Place the crimp on its side.
    • Hold the two wires together and squeeze the tube together.
    • You can now cut off excess wire and start beading. 
    A pair of Crimping Pliers

    There are many other types of pliers out there on the market. This article was meant to cover the main ones you’ll need for working with metal and wire. Hopefully, this has helped clear up some of the confusion on using some the main ones.

    Do you use different pliers? Find some of these pliers can be used in special ways with other mediums? Leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you.

  • Newsletter

    Show And Share

    Members Work

    A picture of the tools that people use to make Jewellery

    Member's Work!

    Evelyn Lee did some beautiful Bead Embroidering. If you attended our December Social, you saw these stunning pieces first hand!

    Two cute stocking ornaments made by Barbara Reynders

    Barbara Reynders

    Barbara made these cute ornaments just in time for the Holidays! In two different sizes they just add Christmas cheer whenever you see them.

    Sherry Stockton has given us a variety of work! Check out the versatility of her handiwork here.

  • Newsletter

    Christmas Zoom Social & Project

    Christmas Zoom Social & Project

    Welcome to our December Social! We can't wait to catch up

    Happy Holidays!

    Now is the time for family and friends and many get togethers. It’s a time for family getting together and eating great food, and gift giving. The best gifts are always homemade such as the earrings that Gillian is demonstrating at the meeting. 

    Silver Bells Earrings, designed and taught at our Christmas Social by Gillian Clarke
    Silver Bell Earrings in different Colours

    Silver Bell Earrings by Gillian

    These earrings are seasonal and cute! The body of the bell is seed bead netting which works up quickly, so you can make them in ALL the colours. If you don’t wear earrings they could be used to decorate a Holiday wreath or centerpiece, or attached with ribbon to a wrapped Christmas present.

    Materials needed

    For each earring you will need:

    • Size 11/0 seed beads
    • 7 6mm round beads: pearls, druks, or firepolish crystals
    • Headpin
    • A small decorative bead cap (optional)
    • 2 seed beads size 8/0
    • Earwires
    • 6lb Fireline, or your choice of beading thread
    • Beading needle size 10 or 11
    • Round & Chain nose pliers
    • Wire cutters
    • Scissors

    Have a safe and Happy Holiday! We can’t wait to see you one last time this year.

  • Newsletter



    a picture made of amber a naturally occurring type of resin

    What is Resin?

    When most of people hear about resin, the first thing they think is Amber. While Amber is a naturally occurring type of resin, it’s not exactly what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the type of resin that you mix and let your imagination take over as you create beautiful pieces to share with others.

    There are two main types of Resin: UV and Epoxy. There are many brans on the market. You just need to experiment on which brand you are more comfortable with for you.

    A picture of epoxy resin being poured into a mouldEpoxy Resin

    Epxoy resin is a pourable resin for all kinds of projects. This is the type of resin people work with. It has two parts to it, a hardener and the resin itself. When making this resin, you use a 1:1 ratio and stir it for 3 minutes. After this step is done you can then pour it into a mould.

    a picture of a UV resin bottleUV Resin

    UV resin is a bit unique. It comes in two formats itself: hard and soft. They come in dark containers so that available light sources don’t start the curing process before you have a chance to use them. These resins don’t need to be mixed. Just open the bottle and pour into your mould. Add your extras and leave it to cure either in direct light, or under a curing lamp/gel nail dryer (yup, you heard that right.)

    I poured it, it's very plain looking. Now what?

    I’m sure you’ve by now poured mixed (if you needed to) your resin and bought some moulds, and poured them in. If your moulds have funky shapes, great! You now have a one colour, funky shaped resin piece. Maybe that’s what you’re going for, maybe you were hoping for more. Well how do you spruce up your resin? 

    Let’s talk add-ins!


    The easiest additive to either resin is glitter. 

    a picture of glitter in clear resin depicting many colours

    In the Epoxy resin, you can mix quite a bit in to the mixing cup. Then it gets poured into a mould and left to harden. It can take 24 – 48 hours (but usually around 24 hours,) to cure. If it feels slightly tacky when you touch it (always wear gloves), or poke it with needle (gently, so you don’t create a puncture in your work,) it isn’t done. Leave it a bit more.

    When you’re done, you’ll have a glittery piece to shine on the world.

    In the UV resin, a bit is added to the mixing cup and then poured into the mould (not much, this can completely overwhelm and ruin your project.)

    Then you use a UV light or lamp to cure the resin in minutes. That’s why you can’t use much in this resin, the lamp won’t be able to penetrate and cure the resin if there’s so much glitter that it’s light can’t get through.

    Alchohol Inks

    These provide an easy way to colour your resin projects. You must make sure you only use alcohol inks made for resin. Other inks won’t work right and will destroy your project by not allowing it to cure right, or breaking down the resin itself. 

    For the Epoxy resin, you can fill a mould 3/4 full, then drop the inks one drop at a time in to it. You can add as many colours as you like, until you achieve the effect you want. Then let it cure. Once this part is cured, you can mix more clear resin and add it on top to “top up” the mould. 

    Another fun thing to do is fill your mould 3/4 of the way full, and add your inks. Then add a white “sinker” ink on top of the other colours.  You can then take a a toothpick or a pin and make patterns in the resin. Then cure it and see all the beautiful effects you can get. 

    With UV resin, you mix the colour into the resin and pour into a mould. You can’t do the ink drop into UV resin as it doesn’t cure properly under the lamp, and just makes a mess of your project. 

    You can still have different colours in layers, but you’d have to do these seperately, and cure them one layer at a time, building up. It’s harder to do and mostly ends up being stripped projects.

    Glow in the Dark Powders & Paints

    Pretty Self explanatory

    For Epoxy resins you mix the powder or paint in to the mixing cup and pour it into your mould. You can effectly layer the glow in the dark mixture with regular clear or other coloured resin to add a bit of a pop to your projects. 

    Like with most epoxy resins, they need the regular time to cure, and then you have to leave them out in the sun or under a lamp to charge up the glow in the dark powder or paint. 

    As with all UV resins, you mix the powder or paint directly into your resin. Quickly though, as this resin cures quickly. 

    The handy part about using glow in the dark powders and paints with UV resin is that it cures at the same time it charges the powder or paint. It’s more of a one step project.

    Nail Art or Chameleon Powders

    Depending on which powder you choose to use here you’ll get a different effect. Nail Art powders give a shiny effect. Chameleon powders, like their namesake, give a colour changing effect.

    a resin project made using Chameleon Powder

    Epoxy resins need you to brush your decided powder(s) into the mould before you pour your resin in. You’re imagination is your only limit in your colour choices here.

    Again wait the time for it to cure and then pop your project out for a beautiful suprise.

    The same method is used with UV resin. Brush the powders in before you pour resin. You can use as many colours as you like before you pour your resin in.

    Because it’s on the bottom of your mould, there is no problem with the UV resin curing. 


    Dried flowers, found objects, stickers, and nail polish transfers (Epoxy only) can also be used with both resins. Really, you are your only limit in what you can do with resins. 

    Both of these Resins are excellent ways to make fun, funky or dramatic jewellery projects. There are endless ways to use this medium, and it can be used by beginners or experts alike. 

    Experiment and have fun!

  • Newsletter

    Christmas Creativity and Beyond

    Christmas Creativity & Beyond!

    During our Christmas Social’s Show & Share portion, we had members showing off some stunning beadwork, and in the holiday spirit, we also had some fun pieces from Nativity Sets. Instead of trying to remember where you saw it, we decided to just let you know. Check out the Nativity set below and few more in the same vein for flexing your beading skills.

    Picture of the 3 Kings Nativity set. Members have been beading these and showing them at the Show & Share Meetings

    Nativity Collection Kit by Spellbound Bead Co

    Kit to make five Nativity figures – the three kings, one camel and one shepherd. 

    Choose from purple for a camel with a purple blanket and shepherd with a purple jacket or turquoise for a camel with a turquoise blanket and shepherd with a green jacket.

    The kit contains a beading needle and all of the beads and thread you need to make all five figures. 

    In addition to the kit contents you will also need some scissors to trim your thread ends.

    Spellbound difficulty rating  4 out of 5 – Experienced.  Layered techniques that take a little more concentration.

    You can find this Kit and more at Spellbound Beads Co

    A picture of beaded boxes in the form of a Nativity Set from

    Beaded Nativity Pattern Set for Beaded Boxes

    • This pattern will give you 50 pages of instructions to make Mary, Joseph, Crib, Shepherds and Kings. Note: the Angel is a separate pattern, not included in the full set
    • You get over 50 diagrams and over 60 photos to accompany the written instructions
      Also includes technique guide to remind you of the basics
    • You get a special discount coupon to use on beads
    • Choose whether to buy the full set in one pattern or just Mary, Joseph and Crib (34 pages), or Kings (31 pages) or Shepherds (26 pages). Add on the Angel to any of these options (19 pages).
    • You will receive the pattern as an automatic download on your receipt. Please remember to check your spam folder if you can’t find the receipt in your inbox. You can also log in to your account on this website to access and download your pattern, or email me if you are having problems.

    You can find this set at Bead Flowers

    ThreadABead's Christmas Project from 2018.

    Christmas Project 2018 by ThreadABead

    Welcome to ThreadABead’s 2018 Christmas project! This year we have chosen the nativity as our project and of course when ThreadABead does a nativity, we are not just stopping at the figures! Over the course of the project you will be building up an entire nativity scene, something you can treasure and display year after year. In part 5 we will be creating the stable. The entire project will consist of 8 parts in total covering 15 individual beaded elements. All parts do not need to be purchased in order. Please note: Although no knowledge is assumed, it is recommended that the beader does have prior experience of beading. Techniques used are Odd Count Peyote & Round Peyote. As usual with ThreadABead featured patterns we give full detailed photographic instructions and in this part there are 81 detailed steps. Please note the pattern may not work with any other size and type of beads. There are 10 colours in total and the finished beadwork is approximately 5.75 cm (w) x 3 (d) x 4.25 (h) cm. Additionally, gold coloured Nymo thread is also required. A no tangle thread bobbin is useful but optional. The bead pattern supplied is 26 pages with full colour step by step photographic instructions.

    You can find the patterns at ThreadABead

  • Newsletter

    Cliff Swain-Salomon

    Cliff Swain-Salomon

    A picture of our January presenter. Cliff Swain-Salomon

    About Cliff

    Cliff Swain-Salomon is an off-the-loom seed bead weaver known for creating non-traditional jewelry shapes and pushing the boundaries of color exploration. After injuring and losing use of both of his hands for over three years, he began beading when a friend recommended he try it as part of his hand rehabilitation therapy. Once he started, he was hooked.

    In all of his pieces, Cliff integrates over 30 years of study in multiple fields, including graphic design, painting, sacred geometry, and chromotherapy, as well as apprenticeships with several medicine men and women.  He has exhibited his work internationally, including at the Toho Bead Galleries in Osaka and Tokyo Japan. Several publications have featured his jewelry, including Bead & Jewellery UK (Issue 112, 2021 front cover), Beadwork Magazine, Facet Jewelry, and Bead & Button, to name a few. Cliff’s beadwork has earned him several awards—he was the grand prize winner of Bead Dreams in 2018, where he was chosen for the People’s Choice Award, and he also received the Facet Jewelry Reader’s Choice Award in July 2019 and Judge’s Award in November 2019. His work has also been featured in ad campaigns and in a blog article for The Museum of Beadwork in Portland, Maine and Toho Beads in partnership with Bobby Beads & Starman. Toho Beads has also invited him to be a featured artist for their 2019 and 2020 Toho Bead Challenges. He is also a permanent ambassador for the Beadworker’s Guild and International Beading Week who featured him in their January 2022 Journal, as well as the international tutor for Melbourne, Australia for 2021.

    Cliff teaches beadweaving at various stores, for bead societies, and for retreats internationally. Before becoming a full-time artist/teacher, Cliff had worked as an instructor for a college of natural medicine, as a chef, and had held a private holistic medicine practice. He is married with a 4 year-old daughter and lives in California, near San Francisco.

    Cliff's Presentation

    Color and Finish: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

    Using not only different colors, but different finishes, and different temperatures/hues of colors can make pieces more dramatic, tone them down, make them more whimsical, dressier, more casual, and they can even change the story of a piece.  In this lecture, you will learn how to bring your inspirations to life through the use of various finishes and colors.  

    I can’t tell you how many times I have put together a kit and a student says they don’t like a certain bead, only to be pleasantly surprised when they use that bead within the pattern and see how the beads shifts and makes the piece “sing.”  I often hear them say, “I didn’t think it would work but oh my goodness did you prove me wrong and I love it.”  What happens is people get stuck in a rut and are scared to use bead colors that might stretch them.  Sometimes this is because the beads they use most are their favorite colors, they match their wardrobe or skin tone, or because they know what colors work together.  Often it is due to being apprehensive about spending hours on a piece and mixing different combinations, not knowing if in the end if the colors will work.  Other times this is due to not understanding how using some colors can help make your favorite ones stand out more. 

    We will discuss different things to consider beyond the color wheel including the use of fire colors, bead shape/size/finish and how to use them effectively in monochromatic pieces, the unique reflective properties of beads and how they influence the colors of others beads in a piece, and how thread can be used to adjust color tone,  You will also learn how to bring to life pieces that once felt flat and dull.  

    I often say that the only way to expand your comfort zone is to step out of it, and this lecture will teach you how to do so in ways you might not have imagined. 

  • Newsletter

    Carol Perrenoud: History and Manufacture of the Hand Sewing Needle

    Carol Perrenoud: History and Manufacture of the Hand Sewing Needle

    Carol Perrenoud is doing a presentation on the History and Manufacture of Needles

    Many of our hand crafts are reliant upon the lowly hand sewing needle. This month’s guest speaker, Carol Perrenoud, will take you through the history in how needles were originally handmade, then will take you on a guided visual tour of the needle making factory in England and amaze you with many steps of production in making the lowly “I can’t live without it” needle. Why do they break? Why do they bend? What is a Glovers needle and why are they so expensive? What is the difference between needles made in England and needles made in India? How long have metal needles been around historically and culturally what is their significance? And for goodness sake, I just want to be able to thread the darn thing!

    Carol will also show images of her work and will end the talk with the short, “Going to Bead Camp”

    Carol Perrenoud is a bead artist teacher and entrepreneur her work has been exhibited nationally and featured in many beadwork books since 1989 she has penned articles for Bead and Button and Beadwork magazines has authored 4 instructional beadwork videos with Victorian Video Productions – Bead weaving Peyote Stitch, Bead Crochet, Bead Embroidery, and Bead Weaving Herringbone Stitch. She has received the Excellence in Bead Artistry Award along with Virginia Blakelock from Bead and Button in 2002.

    Many of her pieces refer to the animals she studied while a zoology student but her interest in beads and fibers is lifelong. Carol spends her days working in the mail order, Beadcats, bead business and her evenings managing an upscale grocery store. She is a member of the Portland Bead Society.

    Carol states, “I often have to remind customers, students and myself that beads are just static but tactile pretty pieces of glass. What I do with them to make myself feel elegant or visibly put a smile on my face, or impress the viewer that I could do that with beads – THAT is the art of beadwork.”

  • Newsletter

    Holiday Baubles

    Holiday Baubles

    Christmas decorations to get us in the festive mood

    You’ve been crafting all year, and now it’s time for some fun bling not only for yourself, but for your Christmas tree as well. Check out these amazing tutorials on how to make your Holiday a bit more sparkly.

    Beaded Snowflake Rings

    by Beautifulnights

    These snowflake rings will add a flair of Wintery sparkly and whimsy to any occasion. 

    Follow along with this free tutorial on how to make them.

    Pretty Posies Ornament Cover

    by Jill Wiseman

    This beaded cover for Christmas ornaments will be sure to dazzle and awe. Follow along with Jill, as she shows you how to create this wonderful Holiday project and opens your imagination to endless creative possibilities. 

    Wire Wrapped Snowman Christmas Tree Ornament

    By Jocelyn at Fantasia Elegance

    This Ornament is easy to make, and classic in looks. No beading required (incase you’ve had an eggnog cocktail and don’t want to mess with small parts). Join along and create beautiful snowmen for the holidays.

    Paper Quilled Christmas star in green for a hanging ornament

    Stunning Quilled Paper Ornament

    by Sarah Martens

    This Christmas tree ornament is not only fun to make but will add a sense of elegance any way you wish to use it. From hanging on a tree, to a present topper. Its multi-functionality makes it a perfect Holiday must have! Click the title above to be whisked off to the instructions with full colour step by step photos.

  • Newsletter

    Holiday Treats for Fun Meets!

    Holiday Treats for Fun Meets!

    What's a Christmas Social without Snacks?

    It’s that time of year again, where we catch up with one another and make merry. What’s a Social (especially in the Holidays) without a few snacks and some chatting?  Since this is our social meeting, here are a few recipes that would work for any party gathering including our own! 

    Crab Pizza

    A tangy delight for any get together

    Skill Level: All Levels

    Prerequisite: You have to be able to say Worcestershire sauce


    This easy to do recipe, will bring a wow factor to any party and it’s easy to make with just a few simple ingredients.

    Makes a 10″ pizza

    Ingredients List

    • 1 pkg of cream cheese at room temperature
    • 1 sm. jar of seafood sauce
    • 2-3 TBSP of worcestershire sauce
    • 1-2 cans crab meat shredded
    • 1/2 onion chopped
    • Tostito Chips


    • With a mixer, combine cream cheese, onion, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth and creamy
    • Spread the mixture on a pizza pan to resemble a pizza crust, leave room around edges for scooping
    • Spread seafood sauce like it’s the pizza sauce on a pizza, make sure to leave a space around edges like a real pizza
    • Spread the crab meat on top of seafood sauce, cover all sauce
    • Chill for 30 minutes
    • Take out of fridge and serve with Tostitos or crackers and enjoy!

    *A quick variation if you’re not in to seafood is to use shredded chicken in place of the crab, and salsa in place of the seafood sauce*

    Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread

    A holiday treat sure to get you in the festive mood. Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread.

    Skill Level: All Levels

    Prerequisite: None


    This easy yet festive cheese spread is sure to be a colourful and tasty addition to your table. Wow your guests with your festive cooking, and whip this up in no time at all.

    Makes 1 1/2 cups of cheese spread


    • 1 pkg of reduced fat cream cheese
    • 1/2 C chopped cranberries
    • 1/2 C chopped, dried apricots
    • 1 tsp of grated orange zest
    • Assorted Crackers


    • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, cranberries, apricots, and orange zest until well blended
    • Chill before serving
    • Serve with crackers

    Good for everyone including diabetics

    Festive Guacamole Appetizers

    Skill Level: Medium

    Prerequisite: Basic baking skills


    Want to be festive and decorate some food, but tired of sugar cookies? Then this recipe is for you! This festive Guacamole will put the jolly back in your step without the added pounds this christmas, and you get to decorate another tree! What could be better?

    This recipe makes 40 pieces


    • 2-8 oz tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls
    • 1 1/2 tsp taco seasoning divided
    • 20 pretzel sticks cut in half
    • 4 oz of cream cheese softened
    • 1 C of guacamole
    • 2 med sweet yellow peppers
    • 1 med sweet red pepper
    • 1 med sweet green pepper
    • chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

    *For a bit of a bite, consider swapping one of the peppers out for a hot pepper in a festive colour!*


    • Preheat oven to 375 F
    • On an ungreased baking sheet, unroll a tube of crescent dough, and press into a 13×8 rectangle
    • Prick with a fork, and sprinkle with 3/4 tsp taco seasoning
    • repeat these steps with second tube of dough and taco seasoning
    • Bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes
    • transfer both crescent sheets to a wire rack to cool completely
    • Cut each rectangle cross-wise to make 4 strips (8×4 inches)
    • For trees, cut each strip into 5 triangles, reserving scraps at each end for another use
    • For the tree trunks, insert a pretzel piece into the bottom of each triangle
    • Beat cream cheese and guacamole together until smooth
    • Spread over the trees
    • Half and seed all peppers
    • Cut 40 stars from the yellow peppers using a 3/4 inch star shaped cookie cutter
    • Dice and julienne remaining peppers to make tree decorations
    • Decorate the trees with the pepper pieces, and if desired the cilantro.
    • Refrigerate until serving time.

    Hot Buttered Rum

    A warm drink full of good cheer on a cold winters night. Don't drink and drive.

    Skill Level: All Levels

    Prerequisite: None


    This delightful drink is sure to keep you warm on cold winter nights, and be a smashing success at any gathering where good cheer is needed.

    Makes 4


    • 2 C water
    • 1/4 C unsalted Butter (1/2 stick)
    • 1/4 C packed brown sugar
    • 1 tsp Cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 2/3 C dark rum


    • Bring water, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt to a boil in a sauce of med-high heat
    • reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes
    • remove from heat and stir in the rum
    • serve hot

    Eggnog Cocktail

    If you like eggnog, this recipe may be for you to get jolly this season. If not, steer clear.

    Skill Level: Medium

    Prerequisite: Cocktail equipment


    A twist on the classic eggnog. 

    Makes 1 serving


    • 1 oz Amaretto
    • 1 oz Vodka
    • 2 oz Eggnog
    • A pinch of Cinnamon
    • Carmel Sauce for rimming glass


    • Rim a cocktail glass with carmel sauce
    • shake eggnog, amaretto, and vodka together in a shaker half filled with ice
    • Strain into the cocktail glass and garnish with more cinnamon.

    Easy Homemade Apple Cider

    Hot, homemade, apple cider. What could be better during a party?

    Skill Level: All Levels

    Prerequisite: None


    This tasty drink is easy to make, and even easier to consume. It will be a hit at all party gatherings.

    Makes 4


    • 3 cinnamon sticks
    • 1 tsp black peppercorns
    • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
    • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 4 cups unsweetened apple juice
    • 1/2 TBSP orange zest

    *add a dollop of pure maple syrup for added sweetness*


    • Combine first 3 spices in a saucepan, and cook over med-high heat until aromatic, about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently
    • add the nutmeg and stir to combine
    • Add in apple juice and orange zest
    • bring to a boil
    • reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, depending on how strong you like your cider (the longer you simmer, the stronger it’ll be)
    • Pour juice through a fine mesh sieve, into 4 mugs
    • Allow to cool slightly before drinking
  • Newsletter

    How to Embellish Your Life Not Your Stories: Bead Embroidery

    You have a needle, now what?

    Ukranian Bead work

    The meeting on November 16, 2022 will be all about needles. What about learning a bit about two big beading techniques on how to use the needles?

    The first beading technique is bead embroidery. This technique has been used for centuries. It was mainly used for embellishing clothes, footwear, purses and household items. There are several embroidery stitches that can be utilized for beautifying with beads. Seed beads of all colours are typically used but any size bead can be used. Gemstone and metal beads are popular also. 

    Indigenous beadwork is one of the best examples of this technique. They use it in their everyday items as well as their gorgeous ceremonial costumes. One well known Indigenous Bead artists’ is Naomi Smith.

    There are a number of young indigenous bead artists coming on the scene now. If you’re interested, I suggest you do a search, it’s a well worth a look.

    Naomi Smith provided this picture of beautiful beadwork from Indigenous Embroidery.

    A few more examples

    Another beautiful example is Ukrainian Style Beadwork

    The colours, patterns, and history are too amazing. Each piece tells a story, woven through tradition, vibrant colours, and beautiful stitchwork. Maria Rypan is a well-known artist for this kind of work. She’s presented before at the GRBS and TBS and had many stunning examples to show.

    A vibrant piece of Ukrainian Bead Embroidery

    More examples of Maria's work

    A Picture of a beading loom, with a project already started on it.

    The other technique that is very popular is bead looming. It was started long ago as a decorative art form by the indigenous people. It evolved from there to off the loom beading and into the bead embroidery they do today. The technique itself is done on a piece of equipment called a loom (I’m sure you’ve seen these.) Threads are attached to the loom and remain stationary. This is the base. Other thread is used with beads to go back and forth, under and over, on the stationary threads to create a beautiful pattern. It is usually used to make bracelets and bookmarks, but recent developments in the technique have opened it up to so many more possibilities, the creations are endless.


    If you want more information about either of these techniques, there’s plenty out there for you to find. Local libraries, beading societies, the internet and don’t forget often artists use mediums like YouTube to give free beginner tutorials out.

  • Newsletter,  Uncategorized

    Paper Quilling

    Paper Quilling

    A spool of rainbow coloured paper to be used as Quilling
    Ann Martins book on Paper Quilling. Good for Beginners and Advanced alike

    Another recent passion of mine is making jewellery using papers quilling techniques. It was first used in England by the proper young ladies a time passing hobby. They used it to make many different things. DO you remember being taught to make beads out of paper triangles and glue when you were younger?

    In recent years it’s become a trend to use it for scrap booking. I’m sure you’ve all seen it before. The beautiful displays set up to accentuate a picture, but did you know there’s more to it?

    There is a book by Ann Martin called the art of Paper Quilling Jewelry. The designs are beautiful, and the directions are easy to follow. Recommended for Quillers beginner through advanced.

    There are books of other designs to do also, and if you want to learn the history of paper quilling you should go to this website.

    You can also check out Ann Martin’s work here.


    You can also check out YouTube for people who make fantastic designs and how to videos, I recommend as personal favourite Quilling artist of mine: Miriam’s Quilling.

    She has many fantastic videos from beginners to advanced, and how to make your own equipment!

    A Picture of Miriam from Miriams Quilling

    Check out this beginner video below

  • Newsletter

    Shell Beads

    Oldest Known beads made out of shells 82,000 years ago
    Site: Grotte des Pigeons, Taforalt, Morocco photo curtsy of Smithsonian Website

    October is the month steeped in ancient traditions, and to celebrate why not delve int an scientific bead set that sparks interest and mystery even today? What beads are we talking about? Shells.

    Shells!? Are you guys crazy? Actually, we’re not. Believe it or not the world’s oldest beads found were shells that were drilled and then strung. Let’s face it, how many of us have taken a trip along the beach or a lake and come across some interesting shells and picked them up and now they’re sitting in a bag on the shelf or on a box waiting for your inspiration to hit. Well now you can do what cultures across eons have done. String them up and wear the proudly.

    The oldest found shell beads are currently held on a display at the Smithsonian. According to the website they are 82,000 years old!

    According to the Smithsonian site, they travelled over 40 Km from the Mediterranean to get to where they were found. Shells then became part of many societies, not only for decoration, but also for currency.


    Native Americans used Wampum as a for of currency with the first settlers and each other. Formed from Quahog shells, they were used to trade for furs and other necessities.

    Unfortunately like most money was used in this day and age; they could also be used for unkind purposes. Much like today they were also used in scams and unfair trading deals.

    For mor information you can check out this site and many more like it: Wampum

    A white and Purple shells used to Make Wampum either for decoration or for currency.

    Cowrie Shells

    One of the most prolific and easily identifiable shells throughout history and even today is the Cowrie Shell.

    We see them strung up for sale not only as strings we can purchase, but also as necklaces and other crafted items. Did you know there’s much more to them than as pretty decoration though?

    However, money and wealth weren’t the only thing they were used for. They were used for rituals as well. Some cultures used them in healing and fertility rites as they the white colour denoted purity and the curls represented the curves of the female form.

    They started to their use as money when trading routes and agreements opened up with India. Why may you ask? Because unlike North America the cowrie shell was quite common, and the metal was more durable and easily kept and traded over long distances.

    Still to this day, shells hold sway over us. Maybe not as money, but as decoration and crafts and we still find beauty and value in them.

    A picture of a Cowrie Shell
  • Newsletter

    May Newsletter

    Happy Mother’s Day


    Presidents Message

    Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

    Grand River Bead Society is needing enthusiastic members to join the Board!
    Positions available are Newsletter, Bead Fair, and Volunteers – you will need some technical and organizing skills. Help is available for a smooth transition We know you are a creative group. Without member volunteers on the Board keeping everyone informed of great programming, organizing bead fairs or other activities we can’t keep moving forward. Elections will take place at our June meeting. You still have a little time to think about, check out, talk to a current Board member and then make a great decision!

    GRBS is a great creative beading group – let’s keep it going!
    Thanks to all of the current collaborative Board members for a job well done!
    Looking forward to seeing everyone for another super program presentation on Monday, May 16th!
    Wishing everyone a great Mother’s Day!

    Sherry Stockton

    Future Virtual Meetings


    Monday, May 16: Nir Kronenberg: Inventing New Beads Never Gets Old

    Monday, June 20AGM
    Micaela Fitzsimmons: Collection of Beaded Purses

    Barbara Bryce “Window Jeweler”


    GRBS was very fortunate to have Guelph artist Barbara Bryce present to our group at our April member’s meeting. Barbara is a very engaging and humble artist with an amazing creative ability to look at everyday items and see their unique potential to become something beautiful.

    Initially she worked in stained glass, but health issues caused her to look at something different in order to continue her creative process. She now creates assemblages from glass beads, wire and found objects. The treasures she finds inspire her, and many of her findings are turned into stunning sun catchers. Thus the name “ Window Jewellery”.

    Barbara loves re-purposing vintage items and treasures that people give her, into new and beautiful pieces that give others joy.
    All the principles that she learned in landscape design, she now applies to her wonderful creations. Her “Bangles” collection is testimony to that for certain. It started with a set of intertwined “bangles” that were a single solid piece with no clasp. She wasn’t certain how to get them apart without breaking them and then it suddenly dawned on her that they didn’t need to be round and thus her designs were born.

    “Bangles” is a collection of 10 sun catchers, many of which have already been sold, called “Celebration of Spring”. You can find them on her website.

    Her “Remembering Esther” project is another intriguing story:

    Her husband’s Aunt Esther passed away in the summer of 2020 and due to Covid, her relatives were unable to get together to celebrate her life. Knowing Barbara’s love of vintage pieces and unique creativity, her family sent Barbara Esther’s jewellery. While sorting through it, ideas began to come to Barbara for tiny artworks as a way of celebrating Esther’s life. Once completed, Barbara posted the results to Esther’s relative and they began suggesting names for the beautiful pieces. Below is the collection of artworks created from Esther’s jewellery.

    I was mesmerized by Barbara’s presentation and her statement that she “keeps playing with each piece it until it sings”.
    You can contact Barbara and see more of her work on her website:

    Barbara Bryce – Improvised Art Glass 

    Thank you Barbara for an inspiring and intriguing evening, and a beautiful way to honour family members.

    More of Barbara’s Work

    Show and Share from our April Meeting

    These two pieces were created by Lori Finney from a class on RAW run by the Beadworkers Guild in the UK, on Zoom. The beads are designed by Mairi Carleton, the Rope is a simple Herringbone Twist in 3 colours. The beads are removable and interchangeable.

    The bracelet is from the same class~done in 2-needle RAW, and designed by Sylvia Fairhurst. She loves the bracelet with the added montees, but no more 2-needle RAW for her!!! (No disrespect to Sylvia, but Lori is VERY right-handed, and using a needle in her left hand is an accident waiting to happen!) Lori’s comment made me laugh – so good to have a sense of humour and positive attitude when we bead!




    Yvette Herold‘s work always amazes me. She has a very unique way of looking at found objects and asking herself, “What if?”. Her “what if’s?” always turn out so beautifully.

    The one on the left is a bead embroidered pendant with the center made from one half of an empty, squished Nespresso coffee pod!!! The bail is made from a metal ring taken from an old necklace.

    The one on the right is called “The Good Eye”. Yvette’s sister was recovering from eye surgery for glaucoma when a friend gave her a few shells that she had found on a beach in Point Roberts, Washington. The shell reminded Yvette of an eye so she made the iris using some metal wire and a green crystal taken from an old brooch. I am not surprised that she gets many comments about this pendant!

    Somewhere on a beach in the Caribbean, Yvette found this most attractive rock. Using bead embroidery, she bezelled it, trying to use colours that would bring out the ones in the rock as well as the different layers. Yvette has learned to walk the beach looking down for “jewelry worthy” treasures.


    Gillian Clarke created this beautiful beaded reproduction of an old-fashioned perfume atomizer bottle, complete with the squeeze bulb for making it spray. It is called “Leinaala” (Hawaiain for “a gust of fragrance”) and she made it in a class by River Rose







    Sherry Stockton said that she was in need of a splash off colour in Spring/Summer ear jewellery! I definitely think these earring fit the bill. These are based on a peyote pattern by Kelly Dale of “Off the Beaded Path”. Sherry says that they are easy to to construct and could also be used as petals in a necklace. Tension plays an important part in the construction.







    Erin Fish had never done dimensional beading in the past and fell in love with this pattern from Katie Dean. She asked Alexa Bradford (dimensional beading expert) to help her create this little guy. Alexa was very supportive and patient as Erin worked through the challenges of tubular peyote ( she lost count on the number of times it was ripped out). Every year Erin makes a Christmas ornament for each of her grandchildren, so this little guy will be added to their collections. Thank you Alexa!

    Apple watch for sale, hardly used, used to belong to my Granny Smith.

    Women After 50 Inspiration is Contagious!

    Sue Charrette-Hood was so inspired by Barb’s presentation and enjoyed it so much that when asked if we had any jewelry collections from past relatives she got really excited to share hers. Sue is now inspired to upcycle some of her relative’s jewelry into window art: sun catchers and wind chimes. Sue wanted to share her excitement by sending us these pictures of not only her vintage jewellery pieces, but also the women who wore them.

    The above is a shadow box of some of the brooches inherited from her husband’s great great Aunt (Anna 1864-1945), great Aunt (Lena May 1898-1985), Aunt (Margaret Elizabeth 1915-2014) and his Mother (Gloria Jean 1931-2015) who all grew up in the same house in South Carolina. Along with the brooches, Sue also inherited many earrings and pendants. We look forward to seeing at future meetings, what beautiful work Sue will be creating with her vintage pieces. How lovely to see the faces of the women who meant so much, and whose legacy will continue through Sue’s work.


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  • Newsletter

    April Newsletter


    President’s Message

    True to form, April has arrived sporting all fours seasons in just the first week – three more weeks to go. Looking forward to the May flowers.

    GRBS executive met earlier this week and after considering numerous factors have made the decision that a Bead Fair will not be undertaken this year. This decision was not the preferred outcome after two years, however, was the best option for safety and financial.

    We are also preparing for the Annual meeting in June and looking for members to join the Board for a three year term. Skills needed are organization, some technical savvy and a genuine willingness to help wherever needed to make GRBS even better than it is now. Please seriously think about joining the Board. If you aren’t sure and want to chat, please reach out to me or any of the Board members.

    Our programs have been a collaborative effort of all Board members and I’m looking forward to hearing about Barbara Bryce’s creative journey on Monday, April 18th.

    Best regards and Happy Easter!

    Sherry Stockton


    Welcome to new member:
    Carol Brocklebank-Kerwin

    Future Virtual Meetings


    Monday, April 18, 2022: Barbara Bryce: Working with Stained Glass and Found Objects

    Monday, May 16: Nir Kronenberg: Inventing New Beads Never Gets Old

    Monday, June 20: AGM
    Micaela Fitzsimmons: Beaded Collections of Purses

    Meridith Filshie – Never too Many Beads


    GRBS was very pleased to have Meredith Filshie present to us on Monday, March 21.

    Her creative journey is both unique and compelling. Meredith’s love of beads and most definitely for colour, were evident throughout her presentation. For her, colour is both thrilling and invigorating. Her detail with colour in her embroidery pieces is absolutely beautiful, which is evident in the photos below.

    Meredith has had some formal training in art, design, and sewing and has explored a number of fibre art techniques. When she was growing up, her Mother encouraged creative pursuits supplying embroidery thread or wool and beautiful fabrics, primarily to dress her dolls. Excursions to “Dressmakers’ Supply”, a fabulous store in Toronto were always a treat! She was particularly attracted to the displays of seed beads, laces and ribbons which were not available at the fabric stores closer to home. Her love of fabrics and threads meant that she could rarely pass stores that carried anything remotely connected without a “quick” look. Books and magazines generated a lot of ideas about what she might do “if only she had time”. After buying Canada Beading Supply in 1994 and joining Out of the Box, a fibre arts group, in 2002 she has made time to explore new creative directions.

    She purchased Canada Beading Supply in 1994 and been running the store ever since. You can find out more about her store at

    Meredith leaves us with five philosophical thoughts:

    1. Always have plan.
    2. Always learn something new when taking a class – take that away with you and make it your own
    3. Always learn the rules and learn to break them
    4. Personal satisfaction is most important
    5. Mistakes happen – learn to learn from them

    Some of Meredith’s recommended reading:

    1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
    2. Art and Fear by Bayles and Orland
    3. Colour Confident Stitching by Karen Barbe
    4. ColorWorks by Deb Menz

    Our beading society is blessed with the most amazingly talented and yet humble people with a willingness to share their ideas, techniques and philosophies.

    Thank you Meredith for an informative and fascinating evening.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.


    Bio of a “Window Jeweler”

    Barbara Bryce loves creating assemblages from glass beads, wire and found objects. She is often inspired by the treasures she finds and especially loves the satisfying surprise that comes when the finished piece is finally hung in the window with sun sparkling through it. Thus, she calls her work “Window Jewellery”. Barb has picked up tips from many artists along the way, and still draws on design principles she learned studying Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph.

    She is particularly inspired by collaborating on commissions with her clients to produce unique and personally meaningful pieces of work that include their treasured keepsakes.

    In addition to her artwork Barb also enjoys two very different but rewarding creative activities – over 10 years of designing and painting sets for a huge variety of theatre projects, and over 15 years of teaching tai chi with Linda Kearns’ Guelph Tai Chi for Health.

    You can find more about Barbara on her website: Barbara Bryce – Improvised Art Glass 

    We look forward to Barbara’s presentation on Monday April 18th.


    May’s Presentation

    Nir Kronenberg is the owner of Nirvana Beads, a US-based wholesale bead distributor with a focus in Czech Glass Beads and Buttons. Nir got his start in the industry as a traveling bead salesman. Founding Nirvana Beads in 2006, it quickly became clear to him that Czech Beads had the potential to differentiate Nirvana.

    With the talent of his team and bead designers, he quickly got to work creating a distinctive line of Czech beads that would not only distinguish his company, but also take the centuries old Czech bead industry in a new direction.

    Description of Talk

    Inventing new beads never gets old. With thousands of bead shapes, hundreds of colors and dozens of finishes. There is no end to the creative possibilities that lie latent in the Czech Bead industry. Now just a shadow of its glorious past, this old-world industry is struggling to stay alive in a world that has largely sped by. Nir will talk about his company’s role in tapping this largely forgotten world and creating something new from methods, molds and manufacturers that are centuries old.

    Show and Share from Our March Meeting     

    Maria Rypan created this stunning neckpiece which looks absolutely beautiful on her. Snowy Owl – The birch bark stumper in the TBS 2022 Bag of Beads became the focal in this two-piece neckpiece.

    The owl was created with porcupine quill work and bead embroidery. The bugle net collar provides as a base to showcase the birch medallion. You can see more in Maria’s blog:


    Sherry Stockton created these beautiful Jean Power bangles in support of Ukraine.

    The darker bangle was created as per Jean’s written instructions. Sherry modified the light green bangel by adding a few more plain rows. She used Nymo B thread, Delica 11/0 and hearts are Toho 11.
    Sherry says that she learned a lot doing them! As we all know the first one is always the hardest. She’s about about to start a blue one with silver hearts which hopefully we will see at our next meeting.

    Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from the Easter Bunny

    Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
    Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.
    There’s no such thing as too much candy.
    All work and no play can make you a basket case.
    Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.
    Some body parts should be floppy.
    An Easter bonnet can tame even the wildest hare.
    To show your true colours you have to come out of your shell.

    ~Author Unknown

    Tips and Techniques

    Part two of: Glue Can be a Sticky Problem

    Two popular glues are: G-S Hypo cement and E6000

    Here are some reasons why people favour them:


    •  Good for precise applications, as it has a fine needle type applicator.
    •  Can be used for securing thread in bead tips or bead cups when knotting beads, but it is also useful for bonding small pieces of metal.
    •  It dries in about 45 minutes and is clear when dry. You can reposition items if you don’t get items placed precisely the first time.
    •  It is strong.
    •  It can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.


    •  Tube end is more suitable for large surface glue applications.
    •  Excellent bonding properties.
    •  Glue is thick and therefore can fill in holes or dips in surfaces to be glued.
    •  It has a strong smell so use in a well ventilated area.
    •  Dries clear.
    •  Bonding is not instant so you can reposition.Article edited from Canada Beading Supply – a beading company in Ottawa Ontario.

    When You get the chance to sit out or dance….. I hope you dance.


    ∼ Lee Anne Womac

  • Newsletter

    March Newsletter


    “When the power of love
    overcomes the love of power
    the world will know peace.” 

    Jimi Hendrix


    President’s Message


    March has arrived and I’m looking forward to the arrival of Spring.
    I’m working on Jean Powers Heart bracelet in support of Ukraine and being reminded that “even experts were once beginners”! Comfort when learning something new and being successful!
    Happy St. Paddy’s Day and I’ll see you on the first day of Spring at our next GRBS member meeting.
    Take care and be safe.
    Sherry Stockton

    Welcome to Returning Member:

    Janet Jones

    Future Virtual Meetings

    Monday, March 21, 2022Meredith Filshie: Bead Embroidery

    Monday, April 18, 2022: Barbara Bryce: Working with Stained Glass and Found Objects

    Monday, May 16: TBA

    Monday, June 20: AGM

    Pam Kearns Journey

    GRBS members were pleased on February 22, 2022 to have guest presenter, Pam Kearns share her journey of discovery with us.
    Pam’s story of creativity began as a young girl, learning to knit and sew from her mother as part of her upbringing, but Pam’s journey in beading started at the CreativFestival through Cathy Lampole. Cathy gave her a free pattern and a quick lesson on peyote stitch. The rest is history.
    That was her beginning and the rest came from being self taught along with tutorials, magazines and classes. Our own Marilyn Gardiner was also instrumental in promoting Pam’s interest in beading.
    Pam was fascinated by peyote stitching and thought about it so much that it finally became the name of her business “Peyote Dreams”. Peyote is her stitch of choice as she designs patterns and teaches others this wonderful style of beading.
    Her work has been published in Boho Bangle and in many of the TBS calendars. She has also taught at Bead and Button show.
    Pam’s discovery of who she was came about due to the loss of her job and a gastric bypass. Both gave her the courage and willingness to look at who she was and in finding her strengths and passions.
    She has developed a wonderful personal philosophy: “Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not good enough.” True words of wisdom!
    Her creative philosophy is just as powerful:” Learn the technique and then make it your own and If you like it … that is all that matters.”
    Pam continues to keep busy by teaching virtual and in person classes at BeadFX and That Bead Lady along with TDSB’s Learn 4 Life adult-learning program.
    She is involved in Virtually Every Crafting ( and also does Monday Mini Classes.
    Her love and enthusiasm for peyote was very obvious and her willingness to pass on this style of beading to others is truly an inspiration.
    Thank you Pam for an inspirational story of both your personal and professional journey and a wonderful evening.

    You can contact Pam or see more of her beautiful work at any of the following:



    Etsy Shop:

    March Meeting

    Presentation by Meredith Filshie

    Meredith has had some formal training in art, design, and sewing and has explored a number of fibre art techniques. When she was growing up, her mother encouraged creative pursuits supplying embroidery thread or wool and beautiful fabrics, primarily to dress her dolls. Excursions to “Dressmakers’ Supply”, a fabulous store in Toronto were always a treat! She was particularly attracted to the displays of seed beads, laces and ribbons which were not available at the fabric stores closer to home. Her love of fabrics and threads meant that she could rarely pass stores that carried anything remotely connected without a “quick” look. Books and magazines generated a lot of ideas about what she might do “if only she had time”. After buying Canada Beading Supply in 1994 and joining Out of the Box, a fibre arts group, in 2002, she has made time to explore new creative directions.
    During our March meeting, Meredith will give an overview of her beading life.


    Show and Share from Our February Meeting

    Maria Skinner had a bracelet that she wasn’t wearing because it was too large for her wrist. So, being the problem solver that she is, she took it apart, strung the beads on 3 different colours of rat tail and one on cotton thread. She had to do it in 3 parts because she did not have enough of right the colours. It turned out absolutely lovely. Maria is an adventurous soul who loves to try new ideas!







    Alexa Bradford does the most beautiful dimensional beading. The vase is by River Rose. Lexi says that it was fun to make in both herringbone and peyote. Her patterns are very detailed .
    Lexi’s bell is by Teresa Morse of Iceni Bead Design. The pattern is done in a circular peyote in size 11 delicas.










    Lexi’s gnome was from a pattern by Katie Dean. She sells either the pattern or the on-line tutorial and pattern together. Katie also does great classes online which allows you to work at your own speed. When I saw this, I immediately fell in love with it and ordered the pattern with a promise from Lexi that she would help me with this design as I have never done dimensional beading in the past.










    These two beautiful pieces were created by Gillian Clarke. The vessel is “Alison” by River Rose, which was the February 2022 bead-along with the Facebook group “Seedbeads and More”. It’s the fifth vessel of hers that Gillian has made, with another halfway completed. (which hopefully we’ll see soon)


    The necklace was made a few years ago. It is 14K gold filled chainmaille in roundmaille pattern, with a row of inverted roundmaille about every 1.5 cm to separate it into segments. Gillian didn’t plan it that way, but it was turning out too stiff as plain roundmaille and she couldn’t afford to buy any more gold rings. A creative way to fit a design that wasn’t working!!!




    The above pendants and earrings are Yvette Herold’s way of finishing off tubes of delicas and bugles. As she haven’t been to a bead store in almost two years, these pendants (and many more ) have been her COVID projects. All of them are made using brick stitch and are a variation of a diamond pattern….inexpensive to make, but they do take a while. Brick stitch is easy and very Zen!

    Karen Townsend’s stunning work with Kumhimo is truly amazing. It’s easy to see why this is one of her favourites techniques.











    Sue Charette-Hood has beaded the shamrock pin with her Zoom Texas beading buddies since it was her group’s project for March (she was invited to join this Texas beading group in 2020 after the onset of Covid and still beads with them 3 times a week). Beading with these ladies kept her sane whilst being locked down in 2020 & 2021…. just six months after moving to SC. And now, thanks to Zoom, she is happy to be able to bead with our group too.The shamrock is called Quadrifoglio & was designed by Theodora Seimeni.

    These are two pieces of Sue Charette-Hood’s Solar Ecllipse jewellery that she created and are being sold in the South Carolina State Museum. It is a repurposed piece that Sue designed as a request for the museum, based on the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse.
    Sue says that you can check out their cool website where you are able to virtually stargaze from their planetarium. (links below)




    c Women After Fifty

    Tips and Techniques from GRBS Members

    USB Cigarette Lighter which is rechargeable and environmently friendly. Perfect for fusing Fireline pieces together when beading. Available from Amazon.









    Robyn Alexander is an Aussie maker who is an amazing and talented fibre artist. This link to her shop includes her embroidery kits and supplies that she has either sourced as is, or dyed to create unique starting materials. It includes patterns, threads, butons and fabrics.The link to her etsy shop is included below.









    If you enjoy Kumihino check out Pru McRae’s blog at:







    Life has taught me that I am not always in control. Life is full of experiences, lessons, heartbreak and pain. But, it has also shown me love, beauty, possibility and new beginnings. Embrace it all. It makes us who we are, and after every storm comes a clear sky.
    Quotes of Life

    Facebook Twitter Link Website Facebook Twitter Link

  • Newsletter

    February Newsletter


    President’s Message

    Is February your favourite month of the year? The month of Love and Family, not to mention the shortest month. I think February is my favourite month and closer to Spring too. Just a few days left to finish your Valentines gifts then a week to plan your Family Day activities. Wishing everyone a month filled with love and safe family activities during this time of Covid.

    I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing about Pam Kearns creative journey at our next GRBS meeting on Tuesday, February 22nd. If you’re not a member, hop over to the Membership page at and join us.

    Take care everyone and be safe.

    Sherry Stockton

    Welcome to new and returning members:

    Carol Cooper

    Diane Henry-Baretta

    Alison Griffiths

    Future Virtual Meetings


    Tuesday, February 22, 2022: Pam Kearns: Her Creative Journey
    Please note: this is a Tuesday as Monday is Family Day

    Monday, March 21, 2022Meredith Filshie: Bead Embroidery

    Monday, April 18, 2022: Barbara Bryce: Working with Stained Glass and Found Objects

    Monday, May 16: TBA

    Monday, June 20: AGM

    Pam Kearns Presentation

    Tuesday, February 22

    Pamela Kearns has been on a beading journey for the last 20 years. Along the way she learned many seed beading techniques, weaving, felting and knitting and some with beads, some without. Join Pam to see her beading journey and some of the items she has created along the way.










    Floored by Floor Kaspers amazing work.

    Hopefully I am not alone in my adoration of Floor Kaspers work. We were so fortunate to have her present all the way from the Netherlands to Grand River Bead Society and Toronto Bead Society in a shared virtual meeting on Sunday January 16.

    Floor is a well-known awarding winning bead artist. She has an extensive knowledge of the history of beads, creates lamp work beads and dabbles in ceramics. In the future she wants to include all mediums in her pieces. Her beadwork sculptures are already diverse, colourful and challenging. At the beginning of her presentation Floor shared a recently created pottery tea pot that she was clearly pleased with. Her foray into the beading world innocently began with her study of the history of beads, Floor remarked that creating beadwork was a natural progression of sorts.

    I noticed quickly that her engaging presentation style makes you feel like it’s a living room conversation amongst friends. She spoke about her early and current beadwork and the anecdotes that inspired them. Floors describes her work as being based on the exploration of shapes she hasn’t seen before which is then paired with a serious addiction to colour. Personally I don’t think you can work with beads and not be a colour junkie.

    Floor is quite accomplished for someone who has been beading for only a decade. She works in geometric beadwork and has a curious obsession with netting, relishing in how easy it is to create. Floor also commented on how relaxing it is to create beaded netting. Netting was one of the major shifts in Floors evolving explorations in working with seed beads. For sculptural works she studies shaped patterns to create unique dimensional pieces that can be worn. Colour also plays a pivotal role in her beaded art and for the record analogous colours are Floors preference. She often uses colour in graduating tones of similar shades. One such image of Indian squash that come in a variety of orange, yellow and greens, became the bead colours Floor used for a sculptural neckpiece. The effect is dramatic and I was quite captivated by her use of colour. Floor observed during her beading process on how the finish of the bead can also contribute to how a piece looks. Matte beads versus shiny beads are examined, and how they work together in a piece. With Floors larger beadwork she also has to consider the strength of her thread, and has to decide if the thread can support the scale of the beadwork. It can be too easy to overlook the mechanics involved in creating larger scale work.

    Floor very casually pointed out that she has the entire collection of Miyuki seed beads, a point of envy for most. The Japanese seed beads are her beads of choice and this is a common brand for people who create geometric work, or any technique that requires precision. When Floor travels for her day job she has a travelling beaded kit that goes everywhere with her. Her day job is stressful and she uses beading as a form of relaxation and to unwind from a busy work day. I was amazed how Floor manages to have a full time job and create the incredible pieces she does. I also noted how she only works on one project at a time and typically finishes it, this is in contrast to my bins of unfinished projects and beading failures.

    Like many of us Floor also uses her beaded art to reflect her feelings, she created a piece based on the effect of Covid in the Netherlands which she refers to as her “sad” piece. Our work should always be related to our life experiences and covid has certainly been something that is hard to ignore. Some of her geometric works are almost treated like objects of entertainment. One piece of beadwork was just the right size to hold eggs. It was truly remarkable in its colourful presentation and functionality. Never thought of a beaded egg carton before. It’s objects like this that are big, bold and vibrant that make her work truly intriguing. Floor was kind enough to reveal her supplies of choice, noting that she uses Miyuki seed beads almost exclusively, along with 6 lb fire line and John James beading needles.

    Hopefully if you missed Floors live presentation you were able to watch one of two encore zoom presentations. I really enjoyed seeing her work and listening to her stories, which to me is often why we create artful objects in the first place. Can’t wait to see what amazing pieces she will be doing next.

    *Floor publishes her projects in progress on her facebook page.

    Submitted by Naomi Smith

    no matter

    how serious

     life gets,

    remember to

    have fun


    be silly

    Sun, Moon and stars





    Tips and Techniques

    Glue Can be a Sticky Problem

    There are a variety of glues on the market and yet there is no clear statement that helps us to distinguish amongst them.

    The best advice is to read the package and follow the manufacturer’s instructions as they spend a lot of time and money to develop their products. They want to make customers happy and to minimize problems.

    Here are some suggestions for successful gluing:

    1. Work in a well ventilated area with no flames.

    2. For glues that are labeled “instant bonding” consider wearing plastic gloves. They are your best defence against having your skin being bonded to something.

    3. Protect your surface with plastic, foil or waxed paper. Regular paper is too porous.

    4.Try to test the glue first on some scrap material to check the bonding properties.

    5. Most glue packages will tell you to make certain that the surfaces to be glued should be clean, dry and free from dust and oil. Sometimes you may be advised to roughen surfaces with a bit of sand paper as this helps to improve bonding.

    6. Don’t apply too much glue as you may end up with oozing problems which might be difficult to clean up effectively, or the two items may slip out of position. Less is more in this case.

    7. Clean up excess glue before it dries. It helps to have paper towels or moist towels on hand before you start gluing.

    8. Try to support the glued pieces so that gravity doesn’t take over!

    9. Remember to give the glue adequate time to dry. Even instant bonding glues need time to cure – sometimes up to 72 hours.

    10. Date the glue package. Glues have a shelf life and old glue will not bond well.

    11. To maximize shelf life, store away from extreme heat, cold and sunlight.

    If you are “glued” to this this article, and “stick” with it, next month we will have some information on the two most popular glues on the market for beaders.

    Article edited from Canada Beading Supply – a beading company in Ottawa Ontario.

    If you want to touch
    the past,
    touch a rock.

    If you want to touch
    the present,
    touch a flower.

    If you want to touch
    the future,
    touch a life.
    Author unknown
    Facebook Twitter Link Website

  • Newsletter

    January Newsletter

    President’s Message

    2022 – what mysteries and opportunities will unfold during the next 12 months?

    During the next six months, our GRBS members will have numerous opportunities to see and hear about the journeys of international and closer to home, creative artists in the beading world. Hearing about these journeys may unlock some mysteries for each of us. Kind of like an ah-ha moment! No one person can learn everything about a chosen theme and that is why learning from each other can be so much fun – if we let it!

    Not a GRBS member yet, head to the Membership page at and join in the fun.

    Floor Kaspers from Amsterdam is our January 16th inspiration to “think out of the box”. Along with the Toronto Bead Society we are fortunate that Floor has agreed to share her journey with us on this Sunday afternoon. I’m excited to see and hear about Floor’s creative story.

    Covid is helping us to re-visit and explore our beading stashes. On-line shopping is helping us to replenish stashes as we safely restrict our movements, but not our creativity!

    Take care everyone and be safe for you and others.

    Sherry Stockton

    Future Virtual Meetings


    Sunday, January 16, 2022, 1-3 pm: Floor Kaspers presentation

    • Here’s a link to her website:

    • Floor has a spectacular piece in Beadsmith’s current “Battle of the Beadsmith”, an 8-week competition. Here is a photo of her entry:

    Please note : this is a Sunday afternoon and will take the place of our regularly meeting scheduled for January

    Tuesday, February 22, 2022: Pam Kearns: Her Creative Journey
    Please note: this is a Tuesday as Monday is Family Day

    Monday, March 21, 2022Meredith Filshie: Bead Embroidery

    Monday, April 18, 2022: Barbara Bryce: Working with Stained Glass and Found Objects

    Monday, May 16: TBA

    Monday, June 20: AGM

    Presentation by Diane Henry-Baratta

    Kumihimo is Japanese for “gathered threads”, and is an ancient Japanese form of braid-making. Cords and ribbons are made by interlacing strands to make a strong, decorative braided rope. Kumihimo is a fun and easy technique that offers a variety of outcomes from simple braiding to very involved beadwork. One of the most delightful GRBS evenings was the presentation on a braided Kumihimo technique called Kara Yatsu Kumihimo by Diane Henry-Baratta.

    Diane is a self taught “kumihimost” (is there such a word ?) and described it as a rabbit hole that she as gone down, as she can spend hours playing with beads and colours. Diane loves to use resources for braiding that she describes as cheap and cheerful – love that expression!! Diane was a wonderful, patient teacher, who gave very clear, precise instructions and added her own version of humour for this art form. She often asks herself – what would happen if ???, which probably leads her down that rabbit hole to greater design ideas! She defines Kumihimo as a portable art that can be done anywhere with endless possibilities. Her quote – from teaching her primary students, “ criss cross apple sauce, up down and Even Stephen” is a great way to keep the pattern of braiding in your head.

    Recommended resources were a book by Rebecca Anne Combs and of course Pinterest. Her presentation was followed with an excellent and interesting discussion by our members with many wonderful questions and ideas for this unique style of braiding. You can see from our December sharing pieces how popular this art form has become.

    Thank you Diane for a wonderful, fun and informative evening.


    Diane recommended “Beaded Kumihimo Jewelry” by Rebecca Ann Coombs book as a great resource.


    Women Over Fifty Floor Kaspers Presentation on Sunday, January 16th 

    Floor Kaspers is a Dutch glass artist, bead worker and bead researcher. She started out as a sculptor in stone and bronze. Today, 25 years later, even her jewelry pieces still look like sculptures, even though they are made from many tiny components. She captures nature and the color shifts in nature in glass art, installation pieces and beadwork. Most of her pieces takes months of work, resulting in intricate pieces that show different ways that glass and beads can be used. She has recently started working in ceramics.

    In her presentation Floor will share with you her process of designing and creating her larger beadwork pieces, including her 2020 winning Battle of the Beadsmith piece. She will go into design aspects that are unlike any type of standard jewelry or beadwork design. She will also explain her process of picking and mixing colors.

    Show and Share from our December Meeting

    At our December meeting we were overwhelmed with the many beautiful Kumihimo pieces that our members have created. The talent and passion for this beautiful art form is truly amazing.

    This is Sherry Stockton’s Kumihimo bracelet done in two colours. Sherry made an OOPS (Opportunity Of Possibilities) when creating her bracelet and added a charm in that exact spot rather than discarding the braid. Perfect solution! Meant to be!


    It is obvious from the above pictures that Karen Townsend has an amazing talent for Kumihimo. She says it is her favourite form of beading. Beautiful designs!

    These are Kumihimo pieces that Yvette Herold created a while ago. The white and black one was made on a marudai and has beautiful end caps. The pink one has beads on only two strands and uses Chinese knotting cord. The piece of wire wrapped coral is from a beach in Barbados. The brown one combines Kumihimo and wire wrapping. Yvette is amazing at searching out pieces of nature to add to her beading work.

    These cords were created by Roxann Blazetich-Ozols and are examples of another way of creating a necklace with leather dual lucet braided cord. Tie pins were used to keep the focal bead in place through the gaps in the plaiting. The cord was braided in such a way as to have a “trough” along one edge length so that the bead could be nestled into position. The tie pin was passed through the bead and secured at the other end with the protective cap end. Susan Hood made the beads and Roxann made the cords. Teamwork at its’ best!

    Kumihimo is also Erin Fish’s favourite type of beading. The black bracelet is done with black leather cording using Diane’s lesson with Kara Yatsu (still needs the clasps). The others are circular Kumihimo with beads. Her favourite piece is the bottom right with a centre bead that she made by coiling wire. Erin also created the end caps and heart charm with the same wire.









    These stunning earrings were created by Lin Chapman. The St. Petersburg stitch leaf earrings on the right was a YouTube pattern from Sonyscree Creations and came out beautifully. The “ Fandango” style earrings on the left are Lin’s own creation, but were inspired by the picture of a tutorial that Pam Kearns was teaching. They are brick stitch on a handmade copper jump ring with a picot edge. The 6mm seed beads sewn in at the top disguise the join at the top of the jump ring.

    These beautiful bobbin lace designs created by Gillian Clark, were done using perle cotton thread and beads.

    These CRAW pieces from Susan Charette-Hood’s November workshop were created by Evelyn Lee. Evelyn has definitely mastered this technique.


    The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.
    Helen Keller


  • Newsletter

    December Newsletter


    President’s Message

    December brings a close to an unusual year of challenges with Covid-19, but I like to think of the past year as giving me and GRBS opportunities.

    For me, it gave me the opportunity of some time to re-acquaint myself with all of my beading stash treasures and learn some new techniques. Sure, I still added to my bead stash but maybe a little more selective in my choices.

    For GRBS, through the technology of ZOOM it gave us the opportunity to expand our Membership beyond our borders with fellow bead enthusiasts from the U.S. as well as having super presenters from near and far, like Sue Charette-Hood. In collaboration with the Toronto Bead Society we were fortunate to explore the worlds of Jean Powers and Gillie Byrom from England – great presenters and each renouned in their field. Looking to the future, we will spend an afternoon with Floor Kaspers from Amsterdam in January.
    These were/are Member only events – become a Member by heading over to our website

    Yes, opportunities amid the horrific time of Covid. With care, we will come out of these times stronger and better.

    Wishing everyone a very safe and joyous Holiday season, however you choose to celebrate.

    Best regards,

    Sherry Stockton

    Membership Fees

    Your membership fee of $25 to cover January to June 2022 is now due. Be sure to renew now so that you don’t miss the January meeting with our special guest Floor Kaspers.

    So—look after your membership now—whether it’s new or a renewal.

    Go here:

    Fill out a membership form and pay $25 CAD with PayPal or by e-transfer.

    See you in 2022.

    Welcome New Member:

    Barbara Bryce

    Future Virtual Meeting Dates

    Monday, December 13, 2021: Diane Henry- Baratta: Kumihimo presentation
    * Note: this is the 2nd Monday*

    Sunday, January 16, 2022, 1-3 pm: Floor Kaspers presentation

    • Here’s a link to her website:

    • Floor has a spectacular piece in Beadsmith’s current “Battle of the Beadsmith”, an 8-week competition. Here is a photo of her entry:

    Please note : this is a Sunday afternoon and will take the place of our regularly meeting scheduled for January

    Monday, February 21, 2022: TBA

    Monday, March 21, 2022: Meredith Filshie: Bead Embroidery

    We know that our members do beautiful, creative work. If you would like to share your pieces with us, please use the link below to do so. We are looking forward to seeing all of the wonderful work that our members design and create.

    CRAW Presentation by Sue Charette-Hood

    Sue Charette-Hood has a very welcoming style of teaching. Her directions are not only exceptionally clear and concise, but she teaches with flair and humour. It was definitely that way with her presentation on CRAW. Sue even provided us with a limerick by Betty Stephan that shared the many frustrations that come with learning this technique! So much fun!

    Sue’s most important tip when doing Craw was ADVANCE! Probably a good life lesson for us all!

    I have never been a CRAW enthusiast and never tried this technique, but Sue’s positiveness and gently nudging was certainly encouraging enough to give it a go! Thank you Sue!

    Show and Share from our November Meeting

    Some more of Evelyn Lee’s absolutely beautiful beaded embroidery!

    Presentation by Diane Henry-Baratta on December 13th.

    Diane has been practicing the art of Kumihimo for many years and is a long-time vendor at the GRBS Bead Show, and now also a GRBS member. She will talk about Kumihimo braiding, show us some examples of her work, and demonstrate how to make an 8-strand half-round braided bracelet using the Kara Yatsu braid. The pattern and resources will be provided in the Zoom invitation that will be sent on December 6th, so you will be able to braid-along.

    Samples of Diane’s work



    Sample of the Kumihimo bracelet that Diane will be teaching at our December 13th meeting.




    Thank you Teresa Carter

    Tips and Techniques


    Check out Lisa Yang’s site at:

    She has some wonderful tutorials along with suggestions for tools and techniques on her site. I love this idea for storing her delicas. Who knew a shoe bag could be used for beading??

    If you are interested in macrame she also has a lovely tutorial on creating a Christmas tree ornament.

    What is Christmas?

    It is the tenderness of the past, courage for the present and hope for the future.
    Agnes M.Pahro

  • Newsletter

    November Newsletter

    President’s Message

    Here we are – November and just 2 short months left in 2021! Okay, yes they are the regular 30/31 days but they do seem to go quickly – for me anyway.

    The GRBS executive have been busy with planning for 2022 so we are sustainable and able to provide great programs each month.

    We will continue to use ZOOM for our meetings for the remainder of the 2021/22 membership year. Another part of our planning was Membership fees for January to June of 2022. Before Covid our membership fees for 10 meetings was $45 or $4.50 per month. A great deal indeed! Membership fees from September to December were $10. Membership fees starting January until June 2022, will be $25.00 payable by January 1st.

    This brings GRBS annual membership September 2021 to June 2022 to $35 – less than our regular annual fees. But then we all know there has been nothing “regular” during this past year.

    To renew your membership please go to the website and fill in the Membership application – this helps us to also capture any changes to your information. We anticipate going back to annual membership fees in June 2022. Thanks for your patience as we head into the backstretch of the pandemic.

    Lest We Forget – November 11th. I’m thankful for the freedoms I enjoy, at their expense.

    Take care everyone.


    Welcome to our new members:

    Cindy Vaughn
    Lisa Carlin

    Future Virtual Meeting Dates

    Monday, November 15, 2021: Susan Charette-Hood: to CRAW or not to CRAW

    Sue will do a presentation on CRAW using Kelly Dale’s FREE tutorial as reference, with exercises to make a few shapes with 4mm crystals, then again with 8/0 seed beads. We will end with a “show & tell” of Sue’s CRAW projects and any items that members would like to show. To get the free tutorial go to:

    If you want to tackle a more advanced SHAPED CRAW project Sue has negotiated a discount on Kelly Dale’s $15 Mermaid Tail Earrings tutorial (with video support).

    To purchase the tutorial, go to Kelly’s website Off The Beaded Path (link below) and enter the discount code MERMAID for a 10% discount. The coupon code will be good until November 30th.


    Gillie Hoyte Byrom has kindly allowed us to record her presentation from Wednesday October 6, so we can re-broadcast it on Zoom for those who were unable to attend the daytime meeting. The re-broadcast date will be Wednesday, November 17 at 7pm, using the same meeting link.


    Monday, December 13, 2021: Diane Henry-Baratta: Kumihimo presentation
    *Note this is the 2nd Monday*


    Sunday, January 16, 2021, 1-3 pm: Floor Kaspers presentation
    Please note: this is a Sunday afternoon and will take the place of our regular meeting scheduled for January 17.

    We know that our members do beautiful, creative work. If you would like to share your pieces with us, please use the link below to do so. We are looking forward to seeing all of the wonderful work that our members design and create.

    Miniatures Tested by Fire

    We were so pleased to have our next celebrity guest presenter, Gillie Hoyte Byrom present to both the Grand River Bead Society and Toronto Bead Society on Wednesday, October 6, at 1:30 PM EST. Gillie is located in Britain so we altered her presentation time to an afternoon to account for the challenges our differing time zones create. In the enameling world Gillie is a bit of a super star. Her work is world renowned, and she has won several prizes and international awards, and did I mention she has created portraits for royalty? We were so fortunate that Gillie kindly offered to share her insights on the lesser known art form of enameling on metal and is credited as one of few artists keeping the art of miniature enamel portraiture alive. This specialized art form crosses boundaries from having an artistic function and as a form of wearable art, which was what drew my desire to know more. I have in the past dabbled into the art of high fired enameling or vitreous enameling (powered glass and metal oxides fused to a metal base in a kiln) and hope to someday explore this exciting medium again.

    Gillies’ story begins rather innocently, as she recalls her interest in glass began with collecting pieces of smoothed sea glass from the coastal areas of where she grew up in Britain. Admittedly I can relate to how my own childhood interests often became the catalyst for my creative endeavours in my mature years. Gillie said her love for glass continued and eventually she began teaching herself the art of high fired enameling after seeing enameling at a craft fair. She instantly fell in love with the medium and wanted to know more. Her very first piece, the Daisy chain was featured on TV and her foray into the art of enameling began. Like many artists, much of her schooling was based on learning on her own. She was fortunate to discover an enameling course in Barcelona, Spain. This was a turning point in her career and made a huge difference to her enamel portraits.

    Gillie is clearly detail oriented and articulate when it comes to her work. She pointed out that miniature portraits have to be within a certain size or scale to even fit the criteria of what defines a “miniature portrait”. The size of the persons head can be no larger than two inches around to be considered as a miniature. Creating an enameled portrait in itself is no small feat. Some portraits can take up to 12 individual firings at 1300 degrees Fahrenheit in the kiln before they are complete. Her studio space and tools are highly specialized to create the portraits. She mused that contrary to popular belief the brushes she uses consist of more than a single hair. It fascinated me to see the very tiny brushes she uses to lay down the powered glass and the end result is amazing. Creating portraits of people has its own challenges, an artist first of all has to be accomplished at drawing figures and people in any medium. It’s an incredible pressure to paint the likeness of someone and hope that they’re happy with it. The second challenge is creating the portraits in a diminutive size using powered glass as the medium in which to render the most complex facial features and personal details all under the use of a microscope. Gillie was quite descriptive in how the portraits are created and pointed out that some enamels can be created in a day while others may take several days, even months to complete.

    Much of Gillies artwork is inspired by historical pieces of times past. She often exams older enamels in museums to get help in refining her craft. She reflected on how studying the older pieces has become the best way to learn. While she specializes in portraiture Gillie has created an astounding amount of work. She estimates she has painted over 500 of them during her career, in addition she creates enamels that are not portraits. I think it’s only natural for any artist to stray from their usual subjects and create work that is atypical. I do it all the time just to keep things fresh from an artistic perspective. During her presentation Gillies enthusiasm for enameling never waned and her passion for the art form was infectious. I really felt after watching her power point and listening to her stories that enameling could very well be something I continue with in my own artistic journey.

    There were many things about Gillies love for enameling that resonated with me. I was happy to hear that she teaches and shares with others in order to pass on her knowledge and preserve this fine art form. Gillie has also written a book and created online courses on enameling, again for posterity and to share her specialized techniques. She continues to play an important role in the revival of enamel painting. Gillie is an inspiration to artists regardless, and very clearly earns a living through her passion for portraiture and creativity.

    You can find more information about Gillie and see incredible images of her wonderful work at:

    Submitted by Naomi Smith • Black Tulip Designs

    Show and Share from our October Meeting

    This is Meredith Filshie’s beautiful beaded embroidery. I love the combination of complimentary colours. If you have any questions about her work you can email her at










    Gillian Clarke’s exquisite River Rose Purse created from a beadalong class with River Rose. You can find her on Facebook as “Beading with River Rose”.








    These are Sherry Stockton’s stunning necklaces from Jill Wisemans’ videos. Absolutely gorgeous!
    On the left is her Butterfly Kisses using Miyuki Light Sapphire Grey Lustre 11/0 with firepolish accent.
    On the right is her Double Spiral using Toho light rose gold and gilt-lined pale peach opal – both are perma-finish.







    Alexis Bradford is famous for her creative and beautiful stars and she didn’t disappoint this month.

    The “ Tulip Vase” on the left was a beadalong with the pattern by Tracey Lorraine of Crystal Star Gems & Jewellery. The vase is about 6 cm by 4.5 cm.

    The star on the right was a Christmas bauble beadalong by DiMarca.
    Both classes were on line.









    Brandi De Knibber
    GRBS Communications Co-Ordinator

    Brandi is new to the beading world in general. She started out, as most of us did, doing something completely different – in her case, it was knitting and crocheting. Once she learned that you could do both with wire, things changed forever. Many years ago, she and her mother attended a Grand River Bead Society Show which opened her eyes to another world altogether. One member who had a great impact on Brandi was Gillian Clarke, who had a table filled with wired crochet items. Gillian generously (as our members are so willing to do) gave Brandi more information to ensure her continued interest in using wire in a different way. A few years later, she joined the society and continued to grow as a beader. She has since developed a passion for Kumihimo, Chainmaille, and Peyote Stitch. She looks forward to growing old passions, and finding new ones alongside our members.

    I’m giving up eating chocolate for a month.
    Oops – sorry!
    Wrong punctuation!!!
    I’m giving up!
    Eating chocolate for a month!

    GRBS Member Evelyn Lee’s
    Amazing Bead Embroidery Work

    Evelyn designs her own pieces starting with a doodle and usually has a basic idea in mind of what she would like to achieve. Often it will look completely different when she has finished the design process. She uses “Lacy’s Stiff-Stuff” beading foundation to work on, and ultra suede for the finished backing.
    Evelyn works with size 11s for filling spaces along with 8’s and 15’s for finishing a bezel. She often uses 6’s for embellishing and trimming the edges. She feels that working with two beads rather than three allow the beads to sit better on her pieces and are tighter to the backing. Size 10 needles, long or short are her preferred needle size.
    Evelyn prefers Toho or Miyuki beads because of their uniformity.
    She loves colour, but forces herself to work outside of her comfort level with colours that are not her favourite.
    Her pieces are unique and most definitely one-of-a-kind.
    It is very obvious that beading is a creative exploration for Evelyn, often based in a willingness to take chances and explore the possibilities.
    If you have any questions for Evelyn about her work or process, you can email her at



    At our October meeting, our members shared some interesting ideas for unusual tools and their uses. One of the most fascinating tools discussed was the common awl. Merriam-Webster defines an awl as a “pointed tool for marking surfaces or piercing small holes”.
    However, at our meeting, many other descriptors could definitely be used to define the common awl! Many of the uses that our members shared included:

    • Great for knotting cord, picking and probing
    • Helps slide a knot into place when knotting between beads
    • Great for un-tying knots, picking thread and other stuff out of bead holes, knotting pearls
    • Handy for poking holes in earring cards

      Cindy Vaughn has even created her own awls from polymer clay and a large darning needle! Wow!!

    “Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul.”

    Luther Burbank

    Facebook Twitter Link Website

  • Newsletter

    October Newsletter

     President’s Message

    WOW….have you ever wondered “how did they do that” when seeing a work of art – painting, beading, metal or wire working?

    Gillie Hoyte Byrom’s “Miniatures Tested by Fire” portrait presentation showed us just how she does it. Learning her craft over the past 30+ years as well as travelling, teaching others around the globe and writing a book too!

    GRBS along with the Toronto Bead Society make this presentation possible. There is a second opportunity to view the (taped) amazing presentation on Wednesday, October 13th at 7:00 pm for all current GRBS members. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did. I don’t think I’ll look at a 2.5 inch square quite the same and marvel at what can be accomplished in such a small space. Check out her website at

    There is still time to become a member of GRBS by filling out the membership form at, pay the $10.00 member fee and view Gillie’s taped presentation on Wednesday evening.

    I wish you a wonderful and thankful Thanksgiving. Take care and be safe.

    Future Meeting Dates

    Gillie Hoyte Byrom has kindly allowed us to record her presentation from Wednesday October 6, so we can re-broadcast it on Zoom for those unable to attend a daytime meeting. The re-broadcast date will be Wednesday October 13th at 7pm, using the same meeting link.

    Monday, October 18, 2021: Show and Share. Open discussion about buying beads online and “Tips and Tricks” about favourite tools.

    Monday, November 15, 2021: Susan Charette-Hood: to CRAW or not to CRAW

    Monday, December 13, 2021: Diane Henry-Baratta: Kumihimo presentation
    *Note this is the 2nd Monday*

    Sunday, January 16, 2020, 1-3 pm: Floor Kaspers presentation
    Please note: this is a Sunday afternoon and will take the place of our regular meeting scheduled for January 17.

    Welcome to new members:

    Gina Whitlock
    Nahed Squires
    Natalie Baird
    Dianna Hewitt
    Michelle Qwsley
    Diane Henry-Baratta
    Meredith Filshie
    Debra Wozniak
    Sarah Joyes Ugly Necklace Reveal

    Our September meeting was definitely one to remember. It gave new meaning to the word “ugly” and not “so ugly”. We did ooo and ahh, but we also laughed at the crazy, wonderful creations that our members designed. Check out these awesome, ugly pictures!!! I’m certain that you will find your favourite and be impressed with the creativity of our members!

    And to make it even better, Lin Chapman wrote this poem to go with her “ugly necklace “. It set the tone for our meeting and captured the essence of taking care of our precious earth.

    The Ugly Truth That Weighs Us Down

    It’s the little things that matter,

    Those bits of trash that we forget,

    Will flow into the gutter;

    Get dirty, gross and wet.

    We drop and drag, forget our trash

    Affects our Mother Earth.

    The bits and tabs, the bags and glass

    We forget her legacy and destroy her worth.

    And it’s all our fault this messy place.

    A sign of all our greed.

    To make the world a better place,

    More attention is what we need.

    written by Lin Chapman

    This necklace by Lin Chapman is made from salvaged wire that she found on the side of the road and made into a gutter grate to hang on her neck. There’s all types of trash that she’s picked up that people have dropped… notably a cigar butt, paper, shredded tarp, pop tabs, rags. There is a full doggie doo bag (filled with chocolate… sometimes called a Keister Bunny), broken glass, felted dog hair, a ripped and discarded mask and a torn Tim Horton’s cup. Lin says it’s pretty ugly, but I think the entire concept is beautiful!









    This necklace, designed by Yvette Herold, was created from a thorn that she stepped on while she was in Mexico. (Ouch!) Yvette is always creating beautiful pieces from her travels.






    This is Sue Henry’s beautiful necklace created from coke can cutouts and electrical wire. Who thought that coke cans could become such beautiful jewellery?









    Maria Skinner: created this interesting piece using polymer clay, seed beads, hearing aid parts, and a Maple Leafs lanyard. Creativity at it’s best!!!!!







    Sherry Stockton’s piece made me laugh the most!!!
    It’s created from a clothes hanger, novelty yarn and a Christmas bauble. I believe it’s still hanging in her closet and will probably be there for a while!











    Gillian Clarke got really creative and brought back memories from childhood. I think we all remember making things from pasta and spray painting them. That’s exactly what Gillian did: gold painted pasta, rat tail and wooden rings from the dollar store! Well done!












    Rozanne Blazetich-Ozois was taking a resin class and at the last minute grabbed her children’s baby teeth to include in this unique pendant. She added a lucet-woven leather cord. Memories!!







    Sue Charente-Hood created two pieces for our challenge. On the left is a multi-contributor necklace and on the right is a spiky uncomfortable necklace.
    Her husband was diagnosed with Covid, hence her mask that she wears to remind him to get his vaccine!










    We know that our members do beautiful, creative work. If you would like to share your pieces with us, please use the link below to do so. We are looking forward to seeing all of the wonderful work that our members design and create.


    I’m always losing my glasses but never to this extreme! LOL

    Tips and Techniques

    If you are a new beader, here are some great tips from AllFreeJewelleryMaking for helping you on your beading journey.

    How to Get Started:

    1. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Start out with the basics and go from there.
    2. Watch YouTube videos to get started. Seeing someone else execute a step might be easier than trying to deciper pictures
    3. Use online tutorials for ideas.
    4. Skills come with practice; be patient!

    Words of Encouragement

    1. Be patient and kind with yourself.
    2. Don’t get discouraged if your product doesn’t look like the professional one. Keep practicing, and you’ll get there.
    3. Jewelry making is fun; don’t stress!
    4. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
    5. Don’t give up! Love what you do, and keep building the passion for it.
    6. Anything goes; be creative!
    7. Have fun!
    8. And last but not least…
      Be Warned: It’s addictive! 🙂

    Plus: the best tip of all is; become a member of GRBS. We have tons of tips to help everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!

    First, give yourself kindness and grace. Then re-gift it as often as possible.


  • Newsletter

    September Newsletter

    President’s Message

    How the summer has flown by – is it my imagination or did summer seem shorter this year than most or just hotter?
    September has arrived, kids are back to school and we’ll be looking for more indoor activities as the days become cooler and cooler! Time to create your “Ugly Necklace/Bracelet” to debut at our September meeting so all members can ohhhh and ahhhhh your masterpiece. This is also a great time to renew your Membership, if you haven’t already. At the end of September anyone who hasn’t renewed their membership (just $10 until the end of December 2021) won’t receive the Zoom invitation for our October – December virtual meetings. Gillian and Naomi have arranged for some great programs that I wouldn’t want you to miss! Go to the website, fill in the membership form and pay the $10 either through PayPal, or, if you reside in Canada and do online banking you can send an e-transfer to
    Let Fall begin! Take care and be safe everyone. See you at our next meeting on September 20th!

    Welcome to new members:

    Janette Gray
    Nora MacDonald

    Future Meeting Dates

    Monday, September 20, 2021: Virtual meeting: Welcome back, Ugly Necklace/Bracelet Reveal

    Wednesday, October 6th, 2021 1:30 pm: Presentation by Gillie Hoyte Byrom

    Monday, October 18, 2021: Show and Share. Open discussion about buying beads online and “Tips and Tricks” about favourite tools

    Monday, November 15, 2021: Susan Charette-Hood: to CRAW or not to CRAW

    Monday, December 13, 2021: Diane Henry-Baratte: Kumihimo presentation
    *Note this is the 2nd Monday*

    Oct 6, 2021, 1:30 PM EST — Gillie Hoyte Byrom, enamellist

    Gillie Byrom’s presentation to both bead societies of Toronto and Grand River has been finalized for Wednesday October 6th 1:30pm EST. Her talk will be about her enamel portraits: “Miniatures Tested by Fire” in a Power Point presentation.

    Thanks to technology and good will, we are very fortunate to have celebrity artist, Gillie Hoyte Byrom, present for both bead societies of Toronto and Grand River on Wednesday October 6th 1:30pm EST.

    Gillie Hoyte Byrom, an artist of over 500 portrait miniatures in vitreous enamel for a world-wide clientele, agreed to speak to us beaders and tailor her presentation to our interests!! Her talk will be about her enamel portraits: “Miniatures Tested by Fire” and will touch on techniques of portrait miniature and general enamel painting.

    Gillie Hoyte Byrom hand paints enamels for a world-wide clientele. She works mainly to commission to create portrait miniatures using traditional vitreous enamel skills taught to her in Barcelona in 1990. Gillie has further developed these techniques using precious metals to produce jewel like heirlooms, treasured for future generations.

    Vitreous enamel is glass fused to metal in a hot kiln. The base could be copper, silver or gold depending on your budget. The glass paints are applied by hand with the finest sable miniaturist brushes.

    In Brief: Each enamel portrait miniature is painted in a sequence of thin layers.

    The likeness and detail are achieved using a microscope and miniatures can be magnified to life-size. The advantage of enamel over other media is this – the glass colours remain the same from the final firing and will never fade over time, so the miniature can be displayed in sunlight. Enamel miniatures are jewel-like heirlooms to be treasured in your lifetime and by future generations.

    Gillie teaches onglaze vitreous painting by book, course and video master classes.

    Her website: will give you a better idea of this art form and the master who tackles historic figures, and contemporary topics. What a treat it will be to hear her stories behind the commissions!!!

    Because of the time difference, the meeting will be at 1:30 pm in the afternoon (6:30pm England time). We sincerely hope you can rearrange your schedules to be able to personally experience the presentation midweek afternoon. (Sorry, recording privilege unknown at this moment.)

    Submitted by Maria Rypan

    Summer Sharing

    Electromagnetic Radiance
    by Maria Rypan

    This was a Summer 2021 Challenge – vintage lampwork tiles get a second life as a brooch and bracelet!!

    Blog about the creative process was just published:

    This beaded necklace belonged to Michaela Fitzsimmons mother and is probably about 50 years old.







    This is Sue Charette-Hood’s braided wire crochet necklace made with Canadian buttons (maybe military) that she found in her deceased Mother’s button tin years ago. She does not have any military relatives or acquaintances so Sue has always wondered where they came from. Nevertheless, every time she wears it, (and get compliments), she always thanks our Canadian military for their service!







    Breathe Exhibit

    The Breathe exhibit at the Art Gallery of Guelph has been extended to October 10, 2021. Check out the many beautiful works of art that are on display at The Art Gallery of Guelph, 358 Gordon Street, Guelph, Ontario N1G 1Y1.
    Thank you to Maria Ryan her beautiful pictures!

    On Saturday, September 25, 2021 Naomi Smith ( Board Advisor for GRBS ) will be teaching “Oh Let Me Be Free” Mini Dragonfly Pin.
    This virtual workshop is hosted by the Art Gallery of Guelph.

    To register go to:…/online-workshop-oh-let-me…




    I was being so good at the bead store, I really was …..

    But then I got out of the car and went in.

    The 2021 International Iroquois Beadwork Zoom

    September 25, 2021

    We would love to have you join us on Saturday, September 25th starting at 1:00 for our 2021 International Iroquois Beadwork Conference.

    As in 2020 the conference will be virtual, held on Zoom. (Best part is we don’t have to wear masks and we can see each other.)

    100 people can join us on our Zoom account.

    Reply to this announcement to register fo the conference. There is no charge. Those who register will receive the Zoom information on Thursday, September 23rd.

    Please register by Wednesday, September 22nd, so we can send out the Zoom information promptly on the 23rd.

    Participants are invited to share news, including recent creations and acquisitions.

    Following sharing of beadwork news, the program will feature a presentation by Rick Hill. Rick will present Haudenosaunee Visual History. He will be looking at the visual language out of which beadwork patterns emerge. Rick was one of the first people to write and publish information on Iroquois beadwork and has published extensively in prestigious journals and books .

    This program is sponsored buy the Iroquois Studies Association, Johnson City New York.

    Contact Information:




    This jewellery box belonged to Michaela Fitzsimmons mother. Michaela decided to reuse/upcycle her old jewelry box to house her beading threads and tools. Because she’s a fairly new beader, Michaela doesn’t have a lot of tools and accessories (so far). It holds what she needs for bead embroidery pretty efficiently, and all in one place. I love the memories that this this box: holds both past and present.

    If you are interested in knitting with wire, check out this site!!!!!!

    Fruity Knitting

    Episode 114 – Knitting with Wire – Mahliqa

    Freia Fibers Discount

    Mahliqa Discount

    Tutorial Index

    Audio Podcast Index (Merino and Shetland Patrons)

    Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
    Jean Baptiste Massieu

  • Newsletter

    June Newsletter

    June Newsletter

    President's Message

    My gosh how the months have flown by! Here it is June and we are now at the end of our regular membership year. We’ve had wonderful presentations, most we would not have been able to have if not for Zoom. Jean Powers from the UK, Carolyn Cave from Alberta and Susan Charette-Hood from the US, to name a few. Our Show and Share has been fantastic too! To keep connected over the summer, the Executive have decided that for July and August we will have “Social Show and Share meetings” on our regular meeting day – the 3rd Monday, July 19th and August 16th. I’m looking forward to seeing all of your summer projects, big, small, easy or difficult – we want to see them all!

    To hold our Annual Meeting we need to do things a little differently. Each GRBS member will receive an Agenda, the Minutes of our last AGM of June 2019 and the Treasure’s Report. Nominations/elections to the Board will also take place. There is still time to join the Board. Send an email to We would love to have you share your thoughts and ideas as the Board moves forward.

    Following the Annual Meeting the regular meeting program will commence.

    As always, I am excited to see everyone as well as all of the great Show and Share projects.

    Take care.

    Sherry Stockton

    ** Future Virtual Meetings:

    ** June 21 Meeting: AGM

    Mining Mayhem: Presentation by Jeanne Beanne and Brandi de Knibber. Come and have a look at some of the mines that they have visited and what they have done with the pieces they have discovered.

    Summer Virtual Meetings:

    July 19th

    August 16

    Join us for a very informal get together where we can share our ideas, projects and UFOs. There will be no set schedule nor speaker, just an opportunity to socialize over the summer. An invite will be sent out by Gillian Clarke one week ahead.

    Membership Fees June - December 2021

    While we are gradually coming out of lockdown it will still be some time before in-person meetings will be allowed.  The Board has decided to hold the membership fees at $10 for June to December, payable now.

    To renew your membership go to the membership page, fill in the form and pay.

    We look forward to receiving your 2021 membership!

    Dianne Karg Baron

    GRBS members once again had a wonderful evening with an interesting and creative presenter. Dianne Karg Baron demonstrated how to create these lovely caged earrings using a technique call wire knitting.

    Dianne’s story is very unique and interesting one.

    She explained that her journey all started with a piece of beach glass.

    One day while walking the shores of Lake Ontario she picked up what looked like an interesting rock, and was disappointed to find “only” the water tumbled glass. But then, just as she was about to throw it back into the lake, the thought struck her: “this would make a really neat piece of jewelry!”

    Dianne said she wasn’t a  fan of wire jewelry – it didn’t appeal to her at all. But, she was obsessed with making something out of this piece of beach glass.

    So she bought some crappy electrical tools and a few feet of sterling silver wire, and made a pendant. That was the summer of 1995. Since then, she has bent, linked, twisted, woven, hammered, fused, crocheted and knitted her way through many kilograms of metal. She does not consider herself a wire wrapper but rather a professional artist / studio jeweller / metalsmith / instructor who makes jewelry out of wire. The excitement she feels working with the metal has never gone away, and she loves sharing that sense of wonder with the people who take classes with her.

    Dianne has been very fortunate to have her work featured in magazines, fine craft publications and books, including Lark Books “500 Earrings”, “Contemporary Bead & Wire Jewelry” by Suzanne Tourtillott & Nathalie Mornu, “Wire in Design” by Barbara McGuire, and “All Wired Up!” by Mark Lareau along with work included in national and international exhibitions, and in private collections all over the world.

    She is still exploring, still experimenting, still discovering what wire can do. It’s a joyful journey. Dianne walked us through working with the wire on a knitting needle as a base and weaving the wire through loops.

    For someone who has tried Viking Knitting using the Daisy Flower tool,  this approach was not only fascinating but definitely something I’ll try in the future.

    More information on Dianne and her beautiful work can be found on her blog:

    Below are some pictures of the process that Dianne demonstrated for us.

    Meet Naomi Smith, Program Co-ordinator for GRBS

    Naomi is an Indigenous Artisan and Educator from Neyaashiinigmiing, Ontario. She has a passionate interest in Native American beadwork, adornment and textiles. Naomi work includes the creation of a fusion style of beadwork that incorporates both raised and flat beading methods. Naomi’s has a unique educational background in Fashion and Textile Design, Graphic Design and fine art from the notable Sheridan College/University, and Humber. She remains mostly self-taught with her Indigenous artwork but all of her studies have aided Naomi in her creative journey. Over the years she has developed a passion for sharing and is actively involved in educating others about the ways of the Indigenous people of the Great Lakes Region from a historical and contemporary perspective often through the story of beads. For over 25 years Naomi has created traditional objects such as beaded bag, cuffs, collars, clothing, baskets and functional items. She always utilizes older patterns and designs from the Great Lakes Territory that incorporates Natural or glass beads, Sweet Grass, Birch Bark, Porcupine Quill, Hair and Hide always valuing these Sacred materials throughout her creative process.

    Naomi has exhibited her artwork internationally at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield, MA, Castellani Art Museum, University of Niagara, NY, Mohegan Culture Week in Uncasville, CT and acted as guest lecturer for special NMAI events in New York and Washington, DC. She has taught and lectured throughout North America including Bead and Button Show, Royal Ontario Museum, Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA), Bata Shoe Museum, The Textile Museum, Wellington County Museum and Archives, Jake Thomas Learning Centre (Six Nations Brantford), Tom Thompson Gallery, Art Gallery of Guelph, Canadian National Exhibition, Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, Kitchener Waterloo Museum, Joseph Schneider Haus Historical Site, Black creek Pioneer Village, Embroidery Association of Canada in Ottawa and Newfoundland. She was honoured to be part of the 2017 Adaka Arts Festival in Whitehorse Yukon where she won the People’s Choice Award for her beadwork. Naomi was the Artist in Residence at The Joseph Schneider House Historical Site for 2018.

    Naomi participates in several shows every year, when it isn’t a pandemic, where she exhibits her one of a kind wearable art. She also enjoys her role as an Indigenous resource person and knowledge keeper, and has curated several exhibits on Woodlands and Northeastern Indigenous Culture. Naomi’s work and her life are a clearly defined journey that fully celebrates the traditions of her roots and her Nation.

    Artist’s Statement: “Honouring our traditions is my voice within and beyond my Culture and Community. Traditionally there is no word for “art” in Native languages yet artistry and visual expression are critical in defining who we are as First Nations people. It is this path I wish to exemplify through my teachings and my work.”

    May the flowers remind us why the rain was necessary.
    Xan Oku

    Show and Share from our May Meeting

    Amanda Hamilton created these Cellini necklace and bracelets. The necklace in purple was her first time trying Cellini spiral. It ended up being too small as a bracelet so she  converted into a necklace with a thick leather cord which worked out perfectly!

    In the second picture are small Cellini bracelets she made while in lockdown 2020. She created it using Jill Wiseman’s pattern Teeny Weeny Cellini pattern. Amanda bought a kit at Beadfx when Jill was in Toronto teaching classes. I love the colour combinations!

    Patricia McDonald created these lovely peyote and herringbone earrings to go with her necklace and bail.

    She also designed and created these wonderful turquoise cabochon earrings! (one of my favourite colours!!!) 


    Maria skinner has been really busy designing these rings using delica beads. For the base she used size 11 beads and for the design elements she used 8’s and 4’s along with some beautiful crystals. I love the variety of colours and designs from elegant to funky! Well done Maria!

    These are Sherry Stockton’s Butterfly Kisses necklaces from one of Jill Wiseman’s designs. Sherry enjoyed making it so much she’s creating a second one in amethyst. She used 8/0 for the base or spine then 11/0 for the rest. Depending on the length she suggests that you will need about 50-60 gms of beads.

    For the work in progress on the right, she took a page from Carolyn Cave’s book, did a “what if” and created the necklace using 6/0 for the base and 8/0 and fire polish crystals for the netting part.  It turned out lovely, but heavier than the 11/0. She used light blue fire polish about 5mm in size.

    Sherry quite enjoyed making these necklaces and is waiting for more of the gold colour beads to make earrings – something out her imagination.  We can hardly wait to see those!

    Alexis Bradford created this stunning ball using a pattern from DiMarca Online. They carry a great pattern for the basic ball and about three different sizes along with many patterns for the balls.

    This stunning black/red/white bib necklace with the detachable back pendant was created and designed by Roxann Blazetich-Ozols. Mary Ann Helmond made the peacock cabs and toggle clasp out of glass for her. Roxann took the Master Class from Serafini  at the Bead and Button show in 2012.  The other two pieces are special favourites of hers where she used some of Jamie Cloud Eakins ideas for bails.