We started working on a puzzle this evening. Cathy had pulled one out to work on over the Christmas break and we finished that in reasonably short order. That one had 500 pieces and was a pretty straightforward task. I bought this one as a Christmas present for Cathy and it promises to be a bit more challenging. It has a scene from Venice, Italy and is cut up into 1,000 pieces. Until the puzzle is nearly done, that’s too big for our card table so I brought up a four foot square piece of wood and put that on top of the table. That’s just about enough room to get all the pieces laid out in a single layer and turned right side up with enough extra space to start putting the sides together.
I happened to read something recently that compared some task with trying to do a puzzle without the aid of the photo on the box. That made me laugh, because that’s the rule in our house. Looking at the box is considered cheating so once a puzzle is put out, the box is put away and not looked at again until it’s all done. You don’t have to follow that rule, if you’d rather not, but that’s the way we work things.
It’s time for another installment of Henry and Cathy’s puzzle collection. This one looked nice so I bought it and we finished putting it together a couple days ago. The water in the foreground and the sky were the most challenging parts, which isn’t too surprising. The stern of the ship and parts of the rigging were done first (after the edges, of course, which are almost always finished before much else has been done.
We don’t absolutely always have a puzzle going, but lately we’ve tried to. We’re running out of them, though, with only a few more on hand, so I’m not sure what we’ll do after that. We also like crossword puzzles, sometimes doing them together but more often, separately. We have crossword puzzle books, published by Simon and Schuster and The New York Times. For quite a while now, my mom has saved the puzzles from the Washington Post and gives them to me, so I work through those. They are generally a bit easier than the other two sources and I actually do them in pen (and sometimes without actually making mistakes, although certainly not all the time).
Bird House Puzzle
We started this puzzle at the beach. It’s a used puzzle that mom bought. Buying a used puzzle is always a bit of a risk because a missing piece can be so frustrating. As it turned out, there was one piece missing, but of course we didn’t know that until the rest of the puzzle was done.
Last year at the beach we got two large sheets of felt. We put the puzzle together on one of them and when our week at the beach was up we put the other piece of felt over the partially complete puzzle, rolled it up, and put it in a heavy, cardboard tube. That works reasonably well and we unrolled it here without too much fixing to be done. This puzzle in particular was poorly made and the pieces didn’t really stay together very well, but that had more to do with the puzzle than with rolling it up. I’d also put the puzzle on the yellow felt instead of black in the future, because the black made it hard to see where pieces had not been placed. At home, we have a large (4′ by 4′) piece of MDF that sits on a card table and the beige color is generally good as a background.
Another issue with this puzzle, especially while we were at the beach, was that there wasn’t room to put most of the pieces out on the table. So, about half the pieces were still in the box, meaning we’d rifle through the pieces in the box looking for a particular piece. Not idea. Once we got it home, we were able to lay out the other pieces and eventually we finished it.
We finished another puzzle this week. It was sent to us by our good friends, Brian and Lisa. We really enjoyed hiking with their dogs when we were in Alaska in June. Sadly, one of them is gone now, but Ayla and Lucky made the move with them to Oregon. This was a slightly easier puzzle than some we’ve done lately, being only 500 pieces, but we enjoyed it, nonetheless. We’re hoping to have Brian, Lisa, Ayla, and Lucky visit us this fall. This photo isn’t as good as some of the puzzle pictures I’ve been able to take, but it gives you a pretty good idea of what it looked like. Of course, we never know, in any detail, what a puzzle will look like while we’re putting it together. Looking at the box would be cheating.