Puzzle 593 - Beads, Beads and Beads!

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Puzzle #593 - Beads, Beads and Beads
A toughie to put together
The Observer is "embossed" on one of the red beads, too small to show up in the photo
Limited Edition of ONE

Puzzle #593 pieces
The two pieces to the right show examples of "bead capture" while cutting the knobs
Signature piece, lower left

Puzzle 593 - Bonus! Some Mardi Gras beads from New Orleans Mardi Gras 2004
Most, or all of these, were used as part of the composition for the puzzle

Shy guy

As it happened (from my Journal archives).

January 23, 2005

3:57 pm - This morning I completed #593, Beads, Beads and Beads, the 41st puzzle of the 100 Puzzles Project, with about 300 Swirl Curl pieces. I'll have the final piece count tomorrow shortly before I start the eBay auction. [Final count was 302].

January 22, 2005

5:15 pm - Worked on #593 today, but not in marathon mode. I now have about 75% of the puzzle done, cutting continues to go well. The puzzle is going to be quite difficult, possibly extremely difficult, to assemble. I plan to finish the puzzle tomorrow morning and will post pictures here tomorrow afternoon or evening. Still on track for Monday's auction..

January 21, 2005

6:05 pm - Cut #592, the Marriage Proposal puzzle, currently untitled, came out well. My first puzzle of 2005. I also started #593, the Mardi Gras Beads puzzle, now named Beads, Beads and Beads (a play on the New Orleans' French Quarter's mantra of Beer, Beads and Boobs), as the puzzle is all beads. Cut about 20% of the puzzle and will go into marathon mode tomorrow and attempt to complete it.

- - - - -

I collected these bead in New Orleans during Mardi Gras 2004, the second to last Mardi Gras before Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent floods devastated the city. Here is the journal entry I made regarding the parade:

February 26, 2004

11:25 pm - I'm back from a wonderful vacation in New Orleans. I stayed with a sister, her husband and their two very active young children.

I saw a lot of Mardi Gras and the best I can say is that the rest of the country doesn't have a clue as to how unique and fabulous this multi-week event really is! I know I certainly didn't!

New Orleans has several dozen "Krewes" which are social clubs ranging from loosely organized to highly organized, open to the public, to secretive invitation only. Most Krewes each conduct one parade, usually lasting a couple hours, sometime during the two weeks leading up to Mardi Gras (the day prior to the first day of Lent). Thus each day sees two or three parades with the biggest and most elaborate parades during the last few days. The parades consist of floats (with bead necklaces and other trinkets thrown by float riders to enthusiastic crowds), marching bands (mostly high school and some college and military bands), small Dixie bands, and "Flambeaux" units which consist of mostly homeless people who carry kerosene or propane fueled flaming metal torch units. Many of the Krewes also conduct evening balls highlighting the Krewes' "Kings" and "Queens" and other "royalty". All of these events are written up in the city's big newspaper (the Times-Picayune) on a daily basis and are covered on local TV. Not all Krewes that have parades have balls and not all Krewes that have balls have parades. Besides the parades, which are family events drawing huge crowds day after day, and the balls which are mostly private and appeal to the glitteratti, there is a continuously building French Quarter based celebration which can best be described as "Beer, Beads and Boobs". In the French quarter, on the last day (Fat Tuesday), many revelers arrive in incredible costumes, and fewer very scantily clad. In New Orleans (unlike San Diego), it is OK to bring one's drink outside the bars, so the scene gets quite wild!

The weather was super for the first three days I was there, then a day of very heavy rain, followed by a couple days of mist and scattered rain.

I also enjoyed new foods, particularly "gumbo" and "jambalaya".

I captured but a very tiny fraction of what I saw with my camera.

Crowd gathering for a parade

One of many floats in one of many parades

Flambeaux unit
Dollar bills and coins were tossed by the crowd whenever a Flambeaux unit passed by

Zillions of bead necklaces to be tossed!

Hands reach up for an airborne green necklace (seen against the black sky)
It is not considered good form to pick up beads that fall to the ground - but nicer ones usually get picked up anyway
Note: just below the airborne necklace can be seen three spears - these and many other things beside beads are thrown!

Aftermath of a long day in the French Quarter, the day before Fat Tuesday
French Quarter beads are thrown from second story balconies to the passing crowd, with the best beads frequently reserved for a quick exposure

Crowd picking up on Fat Tuesday

Looking up on Bourbon Street - hoping yet more beads will be thrown, or maybe a flash of.....

Street scene on Fat Tuesday

On my last day there (the day after Mardi Gras itself), I visited the "D-Day Museum". While D-Day (June 6, 1944) is prominently featured, the museum contains the best graphics, artifacts and photos of both the European and Pacific theatres of WWII I've ever seen.

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Postcript: When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, my sister's family had to flee New Orleans as their home was flooded. The French Quarter made it through the storm fairly well, but many of the parade routes were flooded and nearby homes flooded and destroyed. 10 months after Katrina I returned to New Orleans and while there took some pictures - see New Orleans after Katrina.

Beads, Beads and Beads
John S. Stokes III
Date Completed
January 23, 2005
14 1/2" x 10 1/2"
Cutting Style
# Pieces
Color Line Cutting
None except for a little "bead capture"

© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster

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