Adventures in Beadland
Java Joanie

 He's dead, Jim.

 The adventure started calmly enough, with Joanie coming to my studio over Memorial Day weekend, to learn how to make beads. Joanie is a nurse, and mother of 3+, so I figured she'd be ready for just about anything, and probably a good person to have around, in case of an emergency. I knew from the emails we exchanged that she had a great sense of humor. Little did I know what was in store for me, that fateful weekend.......

Our first domestic crisis occurred Saturday morning, when I had to inform Joanie that my coffe maker had bit the dust. (He's dead, Jim.) With a bleary eyed glare, Joanie had but two words to say:
Starbucks. NOW.

Seems she suffers from migraines, and actually NEEDS coffee in the morning. Who knew?
(At least that's the story I got. )

That disaster averted, our next crisis was of an actual medical nature, when Joanie impaled her hand on a stringer (we're thinking that second Grande' Cappachino was probably a bad idea.... ) and I had to apply emergency Bandaid therapy.

Fortunately, the patient survived, and went on to make some beautiful beads:

Clockwise, from top left:
Frit bead, encased in clear, with three petal flower and green stringer stem

Beads demonstrating stringer control, sometimes known as
"wonky nipple beads"

Black core, with dichro overlay, encased in clear

Heart bead with white base, encased in amethyst, two amethyst spacers


Adventures in Beadland - Part Two

So, things went along exceedingly well after that, except for the frequency of potty breaks, necessitated by the misuse of the medicinal (and the second "recreational") caffeine fix. After the little stringer stigmata incident, I figured we were in the clear, medically speaking.

Joanie did manage to sneak out onto the deck everytime I wasn't looking for a SUNSHINE break. (She's from Michigan. Need I say more ? She's looking forward to the two weeks of summer they get almost every July.) During one of the sunshine breaks, she even uprooted some of the plants in my garden (on purpose, actually - she's handy, that way) and repotted them for me.

(Yes, I've been watering them, Joanie. At least I think I did... Once this week anyhow. They're fine..... Brown is a good color for a plant - matches the decking.)

Every chance we got, especially after the sun went down and I could drag her back inside, we made Beads: Look !! More BEADS !!

 More Beads:

Center Bead: Amethyst with goldstone chips encased

Other beads demonstrating dots (with and without caffeine), raking, encasing, swirling and tweezer technique, color overlay,
and Sharon Peter's patented
"Ohshitflatfish" technique.

(For those beads that seem to have gone horribly wrong, but still have some life in them yet.....)

And now, for a Joanie Break; See the New Beadmaker In Action:


 Java Joanie Learns The
"Proper Way" To Dip Mandrels
(The proper way being the way I say to do it!)

 Nurse Joanie ! Code Blue ! Stat !

I had to convince her it's a Mandrel,
not a thermometer!!

 Here's Joanie at the torch, practicing safe beadmaking, wearing her safety lenses, and pointing the glass rod AWAY from the teacher, just in case of thermal shock !
(I was running low on band-aids... )

 Joanie making a bead, using gravity to help shape it, becoming one with the bead (but trying to keep her fingers out of the flame!)

Adventures in Beadland - Part Three:

Being from Michigan, Joanie was on the look-out for crab cake, something she'd never tried before. So, on Sunday evening, we felt it was our patriotic duty to take her to Captain George's All You Can Eat Seafood Buffet. Let me just state for the record that they made no money on us. We stuffed ourselves silly, causing no problems for my husband or myself, being seasoned pros at the All-You-Can-Eat places. However, poor Joanie, being a diminuitive Five Foot One AND A HALF, quite suddenly realized that she had run out of room between her rib cage and her pelvic bone.
She went from closing her eyes in ecstasy to grimmacing in pain.

Oh No ! Another medical emergency !
I suggested calling for the Jaws of Life to pry her stomach open, but she said to stop making her laugh, and she'd probably be okay. We rolled her out to the car and headed for home.
People were starting to stare.

 Here's Joanie, making lunch for us.

Okay, Sure, I promise LUNCH with class, but I NEVER actually say that I'M going to make it, now, do I ?

(Always be sure to read the fine print!)

 So, that's it for Adventures in Beadland with Java Joanie.

And a wonderful time was had by all !

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