May 17 Newsletter

President’s Message

We’ve all heard the old saying “if everyone does a little a whole lot can be done” ……… no, well, how about the “80/20 Rule – 80% of the work is accomplished by 20% of the workers”?


Here is how you can help:  JOIN THE BOARD!
Board Roles that need to be filled at the June Annual Meeting are:

Membership and Bead Fair — for a 2 year commitment.
Programming, Volunteers and President — for a 3 Year Commitment.
Please consider joining the Board at our Annual Meeting in June.
Here is the fine print (or check out our Bylaws on the website).
                   You must:
Be a member of GRBS
Be available to attend monthly, virtual or in person Membership meetings when restrictions are lifted and safe to do so.
Be available to attend virtual/in person Board meetings as scheduled.
Have computer skills and access to the Internet.
Be willing to help other Board members as needed.
Please send any questions you may have and indicate which position(s) you are interested in to by Monday, May 31st.
Thank you for wanting to keep GRBS a great beading society alive and well!

-Sherry Stockton

New Web Site

The Grand River Bead Society is moving websites and we are very excited about the new look!  It is more user friendly, has more options and space.

We are almost ready to go and in June we hope you’ll join us at our new site.

Thank you to Brandi De Knibber for all her hard work getting our new website up and running!

New Members

  • Welcome to new members:

    Christine Forgo
    Michele Owsley
    Lori Clarida

Future Virtual Meetings:

May 17 Meeting:

Dianne Baron: At this meeting Dianne will be sharing her wire working skills and carefully guide us through creating some beautiful wire earrings. She has extensive knowledge on knitting and crochet of wire. It’s going to be an interesting evening of learning so gather your tools everyone and see you May 17 for some wire knitting fun!

June 21 Meeting:

AGM Mining Mayhem: Presentation by Jeanne Bean and Brandi de Knibber about some of the rock treasure finding digs they have been on.

For further information go to our website: under Program Schedule

Carolyn Cave's Cabochon Journey

We had a wonderful evening of inspiring designs presented by celebrity guest Carolyn Cave. Her journey began with a discussion on how Cabochons areconstructed and what machinery and tools are required. She is a rare artisan that not only carves her own stones but she marries these wonderful stones with glass seed beads in clever and intriguing ways.

As part of her presentation Carolyn went to great lengths to provide us with tips and methods she has discovered over the years. Carolyn mentioned Jamie Cloud Eakins book: Beading with Cabochons as her favourite source of ideas and techniques when she first began working with Cabochons. The book is now out of print but can be found on second hand book sellers, so it is possible to still find a copy. Another surprising tip she shared with us: her favourite glue is Mono ULTRA that is available at the hardware store. Theglue doesn’t dry hard and can be stitched through, it also seems to hold stones well to any kind of fabric foundation. I just might acquire a tube and explore how it can be used.

Carolyn took the time todemonstrate how to match beads to a cabochon and how beads of different colours can highlight a stone or glass cab that has similar colours in it, she also advised against being too coordinated with the colours by showing a pair of earrings that had a variety of shades of green that effectively complimented each other. She said she approached her designs often with the question: What if… implying that she loves to experiment and try new things. Beading is truly a creative exploration for Carolyn andnothing is off limits. She has actually used metal fishing lures as a focal for one of her designs that ended up being the main embellishment on a purse. The brass fishing lures were very pretty surrounded by her turquoise coloured beads.

One of our members was curious about how Carolyn ensures she has enough space between her stones and she recommended gluing the first stone and then stitching around it, then attaching the second stone and beading around it, until your piece is completed. She has also beaded over stones that are too close together. Her insights were quickly understood and appreciated by our members.

The last part of Carolyn’s presentation focused on what else can be used beyond stone cabs for your beading? She presented a variety of ideas such as: candy beads, coin beads, laser carved beads, buttons, sliced beads that had imperfect holes, vintage Lucite, glass buttons, coins or tokens, shell beads, costume or vintage jewellery, covered buttons (earring), shards of china, Conchos, gears, and if that wasn’t creative enough she brought out a small ceramic dog… suggesting it could also make a good focal point.

Once again this brings us back to the power of creativity that is often rooted in a willingness to take a chance and explore the possibilities.

– Submitted by Naomi Smith 


To plant a garden is 

to believe in tomorrow


May 17th Virtual Meeting

with Dianne Karg Baron

Dianne Karg Baron is an award winning artist who has spent more than 25 years re-envisioning traditional forms of wire working, bending, linking, twisting, weaving, hammering, fusing, crocheting and knitting her way through many kilograms of metal. She creates collectable one of a kind and limited edition jewelry with precious and non-precious metal, and semi-precious stones. Dianne has an infectious passion about wire working, and pays meticulous attention to detail. She has published over 80 tutorials, courses and videos on wire working and chain making. She especially enjoys teaching wire working through live online workshops on her website, and previously at George Brown College, Haliburton School of the Arts 

and other localities in Canada and the USA. Dianne will carefully guide us through creating these beautiful wire earrings. She has extensive knowledge on knitting and crochet of wire. It’s going to be an interesting evening of learning so gather your tools everyone and see you May 17 for some wire knitting fun!

Oh, Let me Be Free...

Art mask by Naomi Smith

As the pandemic continues I realize everyday just how isolating it has been not enjoying the company of my family and friends. In keeping with my optimistic nature I always try to see the joy and bright side of any situation. My art, specifically beadwork is my happy place, it’s where I can become lost in my thoughts and ideas. It provides me with a way to share my stories without actually saying anything at all. I entitled this piece “Oh, Let me Be Free” based on my appreciation for dragonflies and the 

obvious limitations the pandemic has presented to us all. My connection to these amazing winged beings began when I was quite young. I wasn’t a fan of insects, like many I always felt somewhat cautious around them or worse that they were up to some kind of masterful plot to frighten me. In fact it’s bemusing to think how we can be fearful of such tiny creatures. Dragonflies however were another story. In the warmer months, the summer days spent outside, dragonflies would often land on me, and oddly I accepted their visits without fear. The way they flew with such precision and grace was a constant fascination. Their animated faces reminded me of something alien, and yet I felt quite comfortable in their presence. We are told that we have certain worldly beings that we will form a connection to, some call this our spirit animal, or animal totem. For some Indigenous Nations, dragonflies have spiritual meaning and are a being of significance. For me, I enjoy watching them fly and seeing their jewel like bodies shine in the sun. This past summer was spent almost entirely indoors and sadly I didn’t get to see any dragonflies. We always miss the things we cannot have. My mask symbolizes what I have missed this year, but also honours the things I love and appreciate. It is also a symbol of freedom. Dragonflies spend most of their lives in a nymph stage living under water away from the air and sun. Scientists actually figured out that some dragonflies stay in this stage for over 5 years and when they emerge in their final winged form they are alive for a very brief time by comparison. This is how the pandemic has made me feel. The irony of being house-bound, unable to enjoy the life I had before the pandemic, seemed so much like the life of my beloved dragonfly. I can’t wait for the day when I can be free of masks, free of the fear of contracting COVID-19, and free to explore and enjoy life. In the meantime my art provides me with the healing I need now. I am always reminded of how long a dragonfly waits to be free from the water, to enjoy the ability to fly, travel and explore… I am grateful for the lessons the dragonfly has shared with me over the years. A shout out to my friends at John Bead for kindly photographing my art-mask! Chi miigwetch, Nia wen, Thank you. Submitted by Naomi Smith Show and Share from April’s Meeting

Show and Share from April's Meeting

These are Sherry Stockton’s beautiful Cellini bracelets which were created using 6lb Fireline and Toho and Miyuki beads. The pattern of colours and beads is a personal choice. She used beads that she already had in her stash. Sherry recommends Jill Wiseman’s video on how to get started to create these lovely pieces.

This is Alexis Bradford’s lovely star designed by “Beading with Bugs” called Plains Star Ornament. It is 19 rows plus the joining row.

Maria Rypan focused her energy on getting everything in the TBS 2021 Bag of Beads Challenge into one wearable piece and already wore her “Blooming Flowers” necklace for a virtual Malanka, Ukrainian New Year’s event.

While wearing her necklace, she found the bar slipped out of the fancy toggle as she wore it. On a suggestion from her Beading Circle, she effectively shrunk the clasp by anchoring mini daisies from leftover beads all around the clasp. There’s no way the bar could wiggle out now! In hindsight, she says now her necklace is truly blooming!


This is Susan Charette-Hood’s stunning Cabochon Critter: a blingy bead embroidered bug looking for his mate this spring! 
He is made of:

head= swarovski 19x12mm lemon crystal #4230 in a metal setting

antenna= sequin, bugle beads on wire

body= german rauch rosen acrylic 30 x 40 mm cabochon bezelled with gold seed beads

wings= woven wirelace shaped on wire with a bead embroidered seed bead edge and adorned with a sew on flatback crystal.

Maria Skinner has been very busy creating these gorgeous pieces. Such a beautiful array of colours!!!

Lin Chapman created these gorgeous earrings after watching Sue Charette-Hood’s March workshop on creating jewelry with the Sizzix machine!

This is Gillian Clarke’s cabochon that she beaded after Carolyn Cave’s presentation last month. It’s her first time using this technique and she’s very pleased with the result!

The Story of Raku

The history of Raku dates as far back as the 16th century. Traditional Raku pottery is also known to have been used by the Zen Buddhist masters who liked its simple naturalness. Traditionally the pieces are handmade, not thrown. In essence, Raku is when pottery is taken from the kiln while they are still glowing red hot, they are then placed in a material that would be able to catch fire, such as sawdust or newspaper easily. The reason for this is to starve the pot of oxygen, which gives the glaze a wonderful variety of colours. Pieces with no glaze on them take the oxygen from the clay itself, meaning some areas will have a matte black colouring. Raku differs from normal firing, where the piece is removed from kiln after it’s cooled down slowly. For potters, it’s an incredibly exciting technique, as there’s always the anticipation of how each piece may turn out with so many different variables. Raku firing really is one of the most natural techniques that you can encounter in pottery. In raku firing, all of nature’s elements are used, earth, fire, air, and water. The earth is used to make the pot, then it’s put into a reduction chamber kiln then plunged into water. The cold water halts the firing process. A lovely fact about raku is that its name literally translates as ‘happiness in the accident’. Source: These are some of Sue Henry’s beautiful pieces created using Raku pottery. You can find more information about the pieces that Sue used at

As you can see from the pictures below, Sue used magnets on the back of her broaches: Hysagtek 20 Pairs Hidden Magnetic Snap 15mm 20mm Invisible Sew Magnetic Purse Closure Fastener Sue likes the ones on the right better but they are more expensive. However, they can easily be used as a bail for a chain if you prefer a pendant to the broach look. Readerest Magnetic Eyeglass Holder, Stainless Steel (Pack of 2)

The ultimate beading reference book

From the beginner to the consummate professional, 350+ Beading Tips, Techniques, and Trade Secrets is a beader’s on-call, 24-hour-a-day resource for every beading need. Starting with the basics and working up to expert tips for a great finish, 350+ Beading Tips is an indispensable reference book that can be used over and over by crafters of all levels. Techniques, and Trade Secrets has all the answers.

Featuring step-by-step color photographs, clear instructions, and an extensive glossary, this handy guide is an essential resource whether you are stringing, wiring, or bead weaving. The techniques are organized in the order you need them when making a project, starting with the right tools and materials to finishing tips for neat, professional results. You can even dip in for help with a particular problem! Beginning with instructions for creative knot work, quick and easy stringing, and working with wire, beaders can soon graduate to mixing vintage and modern beads, incorporating charms and findings in their work, and even rescaling and designing their own patterns. Whether you’re using crystals or seed beads, wirework techniques or stitches, making jewelry as gifts or to sell, Jean Power’s 350+ Beading Tips, Techniques, and Trade Secrets has all the answers. Thank you to Jean Power for giving us permission to highlight her book.

Ugly Necklace Challenge
Coming Soon!
Stay Tuned

When you’ve nothing to give

But the love within your heart

A gentle touch Is everything


Poem written by Athey Thompson

Picture taken by J Peterso

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