We continue to meet virtually via Zoom. TBS members will be sent the link via email the week of the presentation. Join us this month when our guest speaker will be Carolyn Cave.

This presentation will focus around cabochons, and what they are with an emphasis on the various uses for Cabochons in fine jewellery and beadwork. Carolyn will explain how cabochons are constructed including images of the creation process that is used at the Lacombe Handicraft and Lapidary guild. There will also be a discussion on which technique to use to turn a stone into a beaded pendant. This will include what materials to use such as foundation fabric, backing fabric, glue, thread, needles, beads, stitches and edging techniques. Carolyn will also share what to do with very large or small cabochons or how to combine multiple stones in to one larger piece. In case anyone was wondering what Cabochons can be used for beyond jewellery, this will also be explored during Carolyn’s intriguing presentation.


“Creating jewellery started about 18 years ago when a young niece gave me a pair of earrings that she had made,” says Carolyn. “I really liked her design but it needed a little adult intervention. So I went to the local bead store and discovered a whole world of shiny round things with holes in them. About the same time I was invited to a ‘pearl party’ by my sister-in-law and the local craft store started selling pearls in packages. I bought a necklace at the party but then made more of my own.”

“I’ve always been involved in creative activities,” Carolyn explains. “My mom taught me how to sew, knit and crochet when I was very young, and from there the creativity spilled over into other areas, such as cross stitch, paper quilling, spinning, dyeing, weaving and quilting. I have always had some sort of project on the go.”

When it comes to jewellery making Carolyn is primarily self-taught. “I learn by looking at how things are put together, then by spending a lot of time experimenting with my beads. I have a large collection of books and have learned a great deal from other authors methods.”

“Often I create projects to fill a need. For example, I am on the BeadSmith’s Inspiration Squad and they will need a new design for their advertising. I take my needle and thread and begin to play. I also need to create, and beading fills this void.” Her inspiration? “I am inspired by the colours of nature around me, the colours and styles of vintage jewellery, and by the beads themselves.” In addition to her inspirations, Carolyn actively collects ideas for her projects. “I cut things out of magazines if I see a fun colour combination. I will sketch ideas that come to mind. I carry a sketch book with me to record a shape or a pattern or an image when I see one. I also have a Pinterest account. If I use all the ideas I have collected or are in my head, I will have to live to be at least 142!”

“When it comes to teaching, I love sharing the excitement of creating something new with the students, and seeing your designs come to life in someone else’s hands,” says Carolyn.

Outside of beading and teaching, Carolyn has a degree in music. “I am the wife of an encouraging and loving husband, and mother to three wonderful young women and one son-in-law,” says Carolyn. “I am a musician and am involved in the musical life of my community, as the pianist for two choirs and as a cellist in the local University Orchestra. I also do contract work for the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.”

Carolyn’s advice to others who create? “There are no mistakes, only more opportunities!”