Monthly Archives: March 2015


Humans are communal by nature. We tend to work in groups and seek out like minded people to share our interests and passions with. The benefits of forming common interest groups are many: fellowship, sharing, learning and mentoring. All of these benefits bring joy, a sense of self-worth and self-growth. Most of these groups are successfully built on the backs of volunteers who give their time, energy and concern to them. 

I’ve always been a joiner. I also am a helper and a teacher. Joining groups throughout my life has fulfilled the communal needs I share as a human. I currently am, or have been, a member of or attended meetings with these bead groups: Toronto Bead Society, Niagara Bead Society, West Toronto Beading Guild, Grand River Bead Society, Great Lakes Beaders Guild. I have given thousands of volunteer hours as Programming Coordinator and then Chair of the TBS. My bottom line is ensuring that members have a great experience at meetings, make new friends, learn something new and share something too. 

Involvement takes effort. I urge everyone, though, to make an effort commensurate with the time and energy they have to give. It will make your bead society better than it is right now and it will definitely make you better at your chosen craft and a better person for caring. 

My only caution is to not let your personal life suffer for it, nor to make the group a closed, and therefore closed-minded, one. Once that happens, and a clique forms, the will of the group falls by the wayside and the rule of the few takes over. All volunteers deserve respect. All members deserve a voice. Strive to make any group you join an inclusive one. Everyone’s contribution counts as much as the next person’s. 

Springing forward

I am still putting all my free time into developing a collection of embroidered vintage buttons as well as a small collection of enamelled pendants. I have so many concepts swirling in my brain and not enough time in the day to execute them. 

I am loving St Catharines and the Niagara region, even in this frigid weather, and I continue my investigations into the creative world I’ve entered here. I met an amazing beader named Genevieve Habib. She invited me to her place and we had tea and shared stories. Watch for her classes at Beads of Colour.

I joined the small but dedicated group of ladies who comprise the Niagara Bead Society. The last two meetings have been dedicated to making jewellery for the Prom Project. 

I attended a local meeting of CHA members and will join that group. 

I am meeting with a new local collective downtown, Craft Arts Market, about carrying my jewellery and offering classes. I’ve been investigating local shows. When the weather improves I’ll walk to the local bead store to say hi.  

In the meantime I am teaching again at Beads of Colour and have great classes coming up at Beadfx — etching and the Infinity Bracelet that will be featured in the Spring 2015 issue of Wirework. 

If your interests stretch to painting and mixed media works you should also check out the Coast 2 Coast Show in April. I’m teaching a resin pendant class and setting up some cash and carry one-hour classes.