Presidents Message
What a difference a year makes!  As I write this, the sun is shining and the birds are singing.  I’m really looking forward to Spring, as I’m sure everyone is. It has been a few difficult months/year.  I’m so glad we have had our beading passion to help us through this time - re-discovering projects in progress, finding great beads in our stash or learning new techniques. Sometimes we just need to step back and enjoy our accomplishments.

GRBS has and is working hard to stay connected with our members virtually and to that end some of our super tech members are diligently working on an exciting new website!  We’ll let you know when it’s ready to launch.

In the meantime, I’m excited and looking forward to spending an evening with Susan Charette-Hood at our March meeting.  Come and join me!


Welcome to New Members:

Michaela Fitzsimmons
Stephanie Clarke
Amanda Hamilton
Future Virtual Meetings:

March 15 Meeting: Sue Charette-Hood: At this meeting Sue will demonstrate how she uses her Sizzix to create leather and seed bead earrings.

April 19 Meeting: Carolyn Cave: At this meeting Carolyn will talk about cabochons and bead embroidery.

May 17 Meeting: Diane Barton: 
At this meeting Diane will be sharing her wire working skills with our membership. We will be working on a project that will be revealed at a later date. 

For further information go to our website: under Program Schedule
Meet Sherry Stockton
our GRBS President

Sherry’s Beading Journey

Back in early 2000’s a very good friend asked if I would like to attend a knitting/yarn fair with her in Stratford. She, being an avid knitter and crocheter (I was a novice in comparison) and thought it would be a nice way to spend an afternoon with a good friend and do and see something different

At this Fair there was a little workshop/class offered “learn how to knit with beads”. Both of us being intrigued, we signed up, purchased the little kit for a beaded lariat to be knitted on 2 double pointed needles. The simple 2 stitch pattern was fun and quick. Finding the beads and suitable yarn to make more was not as easy. (Note to self - purchase more kits in future). I also purchased the book by the instructor. 

At that point, my beading stopped until 2008, when I decided I would like to learn stringing. Off to Michaels. Oh my, what did I need, all of those pretty beads, what tools, how to use, trial and error and many dollars later I had a necklace.....well of sorts.
After many starts and stops and queries I found the Grand River Bead Society who held monthly meetings at the Evergreen Senior’s Centre in Guelph. Meeting cost was $5. Attending these meetings, I felt like an imposter. I didn’t know much of anything but I kept going back every month (they didn’t seem to mind that I didn’t know anything and that I kept showing up).

As GRBS grew in Membership so did my learning from the programs on how to use interesting tools like a Coiling Gizmo to a Kumihimo class and classes using sparkly crystals and then more classes with tiny beads to bead around objects like stones and sticks. Yikes, I could hardly see their tiny holes. Soon my beading stash was getting bigger and bigger. How could it not, with wonderful GRBS members willing to share their knowledge and selling all of those pretty beads and tools at the Bead Shows they hosted.

A plea was put out for volunteers to help with a Bead show - only a couple of hours needed to help - why not, surely I could offer something, and shop too!

Then another plea for members to serve on the Board with GRBS having been newly Registered as a Not For Profit entity. Should I, could I, something to think about. Me, still a part of the busy corporate world put it off for a few more years. Then I took the leap and became a Board member. That will soon be six years ago. What a great beading journey this has been. So much more to learn; more friends to make; and continue “buying crystals, pearls, seeds, and books”.

When I’m not beading, stringing or doing a Kumihimo braid, I can be found on the golf course, (in nice weather of course) or in my sewing room, or with a crochet hook in hand with or without beads, ear buds in my ears enjoying a good audiobook. I truly am a lucky person.

PS: Oh, I should mention, my knitting friend didn’t have the beading bug bite her that day but she continues to knit adding beads individually as needed to embellish her knitted creations.

Check out this book that got Sherry started on her journey and some of Sherry's beautiful work!
(Note - the lariat shown is not the one from that day. From the lariat, she graduated to a knitted choker style necklace.)
Show and Share from our February Meeting

Boxes, boxes and more boxes were the theme that evening!

Maria Rapan's beautiful "Beehive Box". The turquoise colour is stunning. What a lovely contrast.

Janet Jones created this gorgeous black and cream box with a beautiful lid. I love the feet and the handle to match!
Gillian Clarke also created a Beehive Box in a variety of orange colours.
The lid on her origami box was mesmerizing!!!!!!


Beehive Box bead-along (ends Feb 28th): 

Little flower origami box by Akke Jonkhof: 

If you are interested in a great resource, this book by Julia Pretl was highly recommended by our members.

On February 16, Pam Kearns, class co-ordinator for Bead FX, did a slide show presentation to our members. Pam’s love for the Huichol people, their culture and art was evident as she shared many heart warming stories and samples of their unique and colourful creations.

Pam talked about her 2 o’clock ideas, a comment that we all chuckled at, but one that we can relate to very easily.

Pam is the class co-ordinator for Bead FX in Toronto. You can find more about their classes at www.

Below are some of Pams beautiful Huichol work. She shared the method of using a special wax (available at BeadFX) to adhere the beads to a flat surface. Pam generally works from the centre out, without a pattern, letting the design itself take shape.

The Huichol are an  indigenous people of Mexico living in the Sierra Madre Occidental range.The symbols in their work are sprung out of Huichol culture. From the small beaded eggs and jaguar heads to the modern detailed yarn paintings, each is related to a part of Huichol tradition and belief which consists of four principal deities: the trinity of Corn, Blue Deer, Peyote, and the Eagle. In more modern times they have been able to develop these art forms in ways they could not before. The colours and intricacy of the yarn and materials for beads are more readily available to make more detailed and colourful pieces of art. Previously, beaded art was made with bone, seeds, jade, ceramics, or other like materials when now the Huichols have access to glass beads of multiple colours. 
For more information on the Huichol people, culture and traditions one site that was very informative was

Once again, thank you to Gillian Clarke for organizing and hosting this interesting and captivating evening.
March 15th Workshop with Sue Charette-Hood


Sue Charette-Hood is an internationally published and award winning Canadian jewelry artist. She has been creating jewelry since 2001 after a career change provided much more time for a hobby. In 2007 a bead store in San Antonio, TX hired her to teach monthly beading classes and changed her focus from a hobby to a passion. Sue has been inspired by her students, especially the absolute beginners, who ask the most mind opening questions. Sue has retired as a worldwide medical ultrasound specialist to Lake Murray, S.C. with her husband and continues her beading passion. 


For more information on our March workshop with Sue go to: under Program Schedule

Tips and Techniques

Thank you to Jean Power for sharing her tips on some of her favourite and must have beading tools. You can find more on her blog,

Arthritis gloves (or similar) - a few years ago I realized I was hurting my hands a lot when beading and one of the causes was pulling threads tight against my hand. Wearing some sort of glove really helps to put a stop to that and will help you to injure your hands less.

Cohesive bandage - if you find pushing against your needle end with your finger means you are often cutting or injuring your finger or always have very rough or torn skin then protecting it with a covering will really help.
This is a non-sticky bandage that has a lot of stretch to it and sticks to itself so it can be unwrapped and reused multiple times.
It's very flexible & lightweight and doesn't interfere or feel strange at all.

A magnet - we get so blasé having these sharp objects around us all the time and forget just how dangerous they are. I always try to never have more than one needle on my mat at any time so I don't lose track of them and always have a magnet so that I can store the needle quickly for any reason.

Sharp Scissors - a must for dealing with sneaky threads.

A bead breaker or awl - breaking beads by pushing down on them with pliers is much more likely to cut your thread as you're pressing the broken glass down onto your thread.
Instead you should break the bead by exploding it outwards and the best way to do this is with an awl or a bead breaker (a push pin stored in an eraser to keep it safe).
Always make sure you remove all the broken glass once you do this to reduce the potential to tear your thread.

"Laughter is the closest distance between two people."
Victor Borge
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