Jean Campbell's Top 6 for Summer Beading

It's finally spring here in Minnesota where I live. It's the time of year where we all creep out of the caves we've been hibernating in all winter, slightly stumbling with eyes blinking. It truly is a miraculous time of year because everything comes to life. Not only the foliage, but the people. Those who have been comatose on the couch, eating chips, and watching reruns of The Andy Griffith Show all winter magically become scantily clad people on bikes, sporting tans and bulging muscles.

One of my favorite activities at this time of year is spending long evenings around a blazing backyard fire pit, which I suppose is somewhat of a tradition all around the state. Not only does it make a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, viewing the clear Milky Way and hearing the hoot of owls, but it's a relaxed time to shoot the breeze with loved ones. There are usually fun conversations around a fire pit, especially if adult beverages are involved, but one of my favorites is the "Top 5" game. It goes like this: "So, Jean, what are your top 5 favorite candies?" "Oh, easy: dark chocolate Hershey Nuggets with almonds, Salted Nut Rolls, cherry Nibs, Almond Roca, and peanut-butter cups."

With the Top 5 game in mind, I had this funny idea . . . You and I and a few of our other beading buddies are sitting around a virtual fire pit, shooting the breeze . . . you ask me which are my Top 5 beading products for Summer from the Beading Daily shop. I'd take a sip of my beverage, turn my marshmallow around a bit on my carved branch, and tell you this:

Enchanted Adornments

This absolutely delightful book from Cynthia Thornton is just the thing for a breezy summer beading expedition. Not only are the projects wonderful, but the little stories and illustrations (all done by Cynthia herself) are, well, simply enchanting! I'd love to flip through this one with my feet hanging off the end of the dock.

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Pod Ring

There's always a rainy day in a Minnesota summertime, so I'd make a plan for inside beading. This ring by Janice Berkebile is so creative, so fun, that a rainy summer day would just be an opportunity to bead. I like the fact that the cover says "under one hour," too, since my attention span is considerably shortened in the summertime.

Egyptian Collar

Shelley Nybakke has designed this stunning right-angle weave-necklace that I know will go wonderfully with the gladiator sandals that my kids always tease me about. Imagine how powerful I'll look as I wield house rules this summer, wearing this and those sandals! I like it that the project is done in components.


Beadwork CDs

I often do a really thorough house purge in springtime, and this year I'm really focusing on my office and bead studio. I was delighted to find the back issues of several years of Beadwork on CD! That means that I can keep my pristine copies in their files, give my used copies to the local library, and search these CDs instead. Oh, I'm so excited.

Moon Shapes

I have been obsessed the last few years with how to make curvy, shaping beadwork. I know these Moon Shapes by Kat Allison will give me yet another lesson this summer. I suppose a little summer school is good for anyone.



Marrakech Earrings

(I know this means I've got a "Top 6," but I wanted to sneak this one in, too!) After I saw several of my students wearing these pretty earrings by Lisa Kan and realized how covetous I was, I figured it was about time to make my own. I especially like this design because it's hoop-shaped (my daughter is always bugging me to wear hoops these days), but it's beaderly enough to have a little pizazz.

What's on your summer beading list? Take a spin through the Beading Daily shop, and I'm sure you'll find plenty of items to add to your own "Top 5."

Happy beading-

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