Autumn Hillside

made by Pomegranate ~ artist Franklin Carmichael ~ 1,000 pieces

Another puzzle I did over the holidays. Not enough time to complete it, but I knew that would be the case when I started so didn’t mind. This is just two days’ work, a bunch of short sittings between other activities. I had forgotten to take my camera along on the trip, but tried to do progress shots with my new (old style) flip phone. You might think these photos are terrible, but I’m actually impressed how well most of them turned out. I had the puzzle turned to sit with my back to the window for the best lighting, but that made it awkward to get into the space for taking pictures. There was nothing to stand on to get a good height above the table for a photo, or to prop the board up at an angle on, and it was too heavy to move to the floor (all things I do when taking photos of puzzles in progress at home).

So I took these pictures holding my little flip phone above my head and angling it best guess down at the board on the table (with many I just had to delete). The really awful three just before the last in the series were done at night with the overhead artificial lights. I tried to make adjustments once I had the pictures on the computer, but there’s only so much you can do. I could have puzzled for another hour, but was into all the darker pieces then, it was taking me ten minutes just to fit one piece in. Gave up. The next morning (last sitting, final photo) I put a whole dozen in place while my tea was steeping.

I had some help too. My mother-in-law, my husband’s nephew and niece (she’s five) all sat and joined in at various times. The niece was the most eager. I think she placed three pieces! And it was a tough puzzle. (My father-in-law glanced at it once and said “That’s a terrible puzzle!” I’m not sure if he just didn’t like the picture, or thought the colors were all dull). But I actually liked this one- it reminded me a lot of Jack Pine and Poplar. If I come across it in a thrift store or at a swap, I’ll definitely get it to work again to completion. I wanted to see how the colors would punch once the final dark blue-green trees and shadows were in place, but I left all that hard part for the relatives to finish!

I’ve said a lot about the circumstances around this puzzle, but not the quality- it’s same as Jack Pine. Lovely surface texture, very minimal glare, ribbon cut with standard shape variety. My only complaint is that some of the shape variations (the knobs) are so small I have to look at them very closely. I used this very nice puzzle board that my in-laws have- it’s the kind with a ledge on one side, and four drawers you can pull out, to keep the pieces sorted. So I did a lot of sorting at the beginning. Which was handy, but then found myself moving all the pieces again from each color group, to spread out around the puzzle on the board. I’m so used to working with everything visible to run my eyes over, soon realized I prefer my plain old assortment of boards rather than the fancy drawers/sorting trays- and I have quite a few now for different puzzling situations. My largest and most often used, is a sheet of thin plywood painted white. I also have a smaller sheet of white corrugated plastic (which is lightweight so easier to move around but flexible so also tricky), two panels of pressed chipped cardboard, one of black foamcore, and a set of eight thick cardboard pieces I’m going to someday do a 9,000 piece Hieronymus Bosch on.

Well, here’s the terrible assembly pics. I’ll try to remember and take my actual digital camera along next time I travel, in case of more puzzle opportunities (and family photos, of course).

borrowed from a relative

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