Tag: puzzles

I did this 1,000 piece puzzle last week. Made by Sunsout, a brand I haven’t owned before, artwork by Greg Alexander. Took a chance and broke my rule to not buy opened thrift store puzzles: luckily this one didn’t have any missing pieces! They all have the same cut: two holes, two knobs, but within that limitation enough variation that it wasn’t too hard to visualize fits. Only a few times did I have a piece in the wrong spot which threw me off for a while. What made it tricky was all the dark hues- I kept confusing pieces of elk fur with the rocks, and dark of the water with the lichens. It was just the right level of challenge.

Use the arrows to see photos I took of the assembly- just for fun:

Just finished what is probably my last puzzle of the season. (Gardening time is starting up and I’m suddenly very busy with satisfying tasks. Will probably get back into puzzles in the late fall and winter again). It was a Cobble Hill 500 piece jigsaw with artwork by Robert Bateman- one of my favorite wildlife artists. Very nice to put together- and the gray muted tones really matched the weather we had outside all last week!

Assembly (click arrows to view):

Pomegranate Artpiece puzzle- 1,000 pieces. Nice sturdy jigsaw, though a bit difficult- there’s all that blue and the variations between pieces are definite but also very subtle. Honestly I thought at first I wouldn’t really like doing this one- it’s very abstract with a lot of similar, flat colors. I had to do a lot more looking back and forth between closely at the provided image to figure out where pieces went, than I’m used to. Running my eye over the image so continually, this had an odd visual effect of making it seem like the bird wings were actually flickering, in my mind’s eye. Then I read more about the piece online, and suddenly realized its significance. 

In Charley Harper’s own words about the artwork, the forty-five birds depicted are among the neotropical migrants that have “shuttled between winter homes in the tropical rainforest and nesting sites in our woodlands. Now their populations are plummeting. Why? Habitat destruction . . . Is your favorite songster in this flock? . . . Are silent springs forthcoming?” It’s sobering. I look at them and try to recognize the species (without reading their names and numbers- there’s a key on the back of the box to their identities) and think if I know that bird, and did I see it last year, and will I see it the next. . . 

Assembly (use arrows to navigate)

1,000 piece puzzle by Peter Pauper Press. Illustration by Stephanie Law. I really like the picture- it has a very soft, dreamy quality compared to most of my puzzles. Also a non-glare surface which is so nice to work with. Just one odd thing- the bottom edge of the picture looks like it was copied in pieces and added on to make the image larger (probably to fit the puzzle size). It looks hastily done, and I\’m not the only person who noticed- other reviews online mention this. Regardless, still a lovely puzzle that I enjoyed time with.

Assembly sequence (click arrows to skip through)

This was such a nice puzzle. 550 pieces, fairly large size, varied shapes, lovely colors.
I\’m fond of lilacs and the artist Beth Hoselton captured how light plays on the foliage and flowers just beautifully here. There\’s fine brushstrokes visible on the bird, barely discernible on the butterfly,
and the blooms and background treated more loosely where you can see the paint strokes if you look close, which I happen to enjoy. It’s made by Reflective Art, Inc. which I would definitely buy again, this feels like a quality puzzle. Assembled (use arrows to view):
504 pieces, made by Encore. Unlike most of my puzzles, this one is scenery. It was included free when I bought the labrador puzzle. It’s rather old- or feels so to me. The pieces are very small, very loose and all the same shape. Several times I had a piece in the wrong spot which threw me off. The sky was difficult. It wasn’t until the area of putting together dirt and grass that I felt “in the zone” of puzzling.
At the end I discovered why it was free. Two missing pieces. Bah. So I made a patch- just for the heck of it, as I’m probably not keeping this one. Thin cardboard, pencil, small sharp scissors, colored pencils and packing tape burnished.
Not precise, but they do blend in. Here in the puzzle, before and after coloring:
I think I did a rather good job, as my husband and kids all had trouble finding the substitute pieces in the finished puzzle. Last time I patched a jigsaw was the row of kittens. This was harder as the pieces are much smaller.
Finally, here’s the assembly sequence (click arrows to view):
This is another of my older puzzles. It has 500-odd pieces and the brand is Current but I don’t know the artist. The cut is very simple- all the pieces have two knobs and two indents- but I like the variety of visual texture and well, the colors and scene fit the season now. The photos don’t show it, but there’s actually only two or three plain white pieces in the background- there are very faint leaves and seedheads painted in varying degrees of atmospheric perspective which is nice.
I guess I still like this one for the nostalgia- it’s one of the puzzles I\’ve had for a long time. Third or fourth time putting it together. Assembly sequence (use arrows to view):

550 pieces, artwork by Mark Fredrickson. This one was a bit harder than it looks- not much piece shape variation and it has more four-knob pieces than I’ve ever seen in a puzzle before! The pieces are definitely individual- none can mismatch by accident- but the variations are so subtle it was hard to do so visually. It’s really dense with details, lots of lovely textures and fall colors, and the surface has a nice quality feel. I only wish I’d had the 1,000-piece version, as I finished this one in just five days. There are nine animals in the background and around the dog (some more hidden than others)- owl, deer, squirrel, raccoon, weasel, mouse, rabbit, woodpecker and fox. I like the rabbit- it reminds me of Albrecht Durer’s young hare.

I think of this one as my first quarantine puzzle. By far not the first one I’ve put together since covid time began, but it’s the first one I got brave enough to go purchase secondhand off someone’s porch (and then leave sit untouched for half a week). Very glad no missing pieces (that has happened to me way too often with thrift store puzzles, so I don’t buy them anymore).

There’s several other puzzles by this artist out there featuring dogs- I really like the one of a chocolate lab swimming through water- and it comes in at least two sizes; would like to find the one with 1,000 piece count someday.
Click arrows to flip through this assembly sequence:

1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle from the MB ‘Nature’ series- like my red fox one. Funny this also had one incomplete cut! It’s in pretty good shape otherwise, even though I must have once bought it used (can’t remember). This is only the second time I’ve worked it.

It’s very much two hues- golden brown and greens. I don’t know which was more challenging, the blurred background foliage, or the jumble of spots in the wildcat’s coat. Kept me busy! (Click on arrows to flip through assembly sequence).

Another jigsaw done! 1,000 piece Milton Bradley puzzle- an older one.

Don’t remember where I acquired this one. I think it was secondhand- some of the pieces are damaged or bent. One had an incomplete cut (see above). My favorite part was doing all the reddish fur texture. The image is a photograph- so the pieces all seem blurry and of nearly the same shade on the table, only when they’re fitted together do I start to see distinctions. Which made it rather hard to assemble. I think there were two to three hours’ work between each stage, here.

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All books reviewed on this site are owned by me, or borrowed from the public library. Exceptions are a very occasional review copy sent to me by a publisher or author, as noted. Receiving a book does not influence my opinion or evaluation of it

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