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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *