Love Stamps

It’s been a few weeks since I did a puzzle, but this weekend I finished Love Stamps, a 1000-piece puzzle from White Mountain Puzzles.

I started it when my friend Renee was over, and we did the border and got a couple of the stamps started. Because of the number of pieces and the size of the puzzle, I didn’t have a lot of room to lay out the pieces or even sort them. I had been looking at some puzzle sorting trays on Amazon for a while and decided to order them to help with this puzzle.

Here’s what the trays look like all stacked together. Using them to sort the pieces was very helpful and made doing the puzzle much more enjoyable.

This was a very fun puzzle to do. It was basically lots of mini puzzles connected with different styles of borders. It was interesting to see the different styles of art used for these stamps throughout the years. I even used it as an educational tool to explain to my son the difference between stamps that had the postage printed on them and the Forever stamps that we use now.

Sandra Boynton: Puzzle Complaints

Sandra Boynton’s Puzzle Complaints by Workman Puzzles is the fifth puzzle I have completed. It was by far the easiest as well as the most fun puzzle that I have done. The puzzle is only 500 pieces, and the pieces are quite large, making them very easy to work with.

The design is comprised of chickens who are expressing their various complaints about the puzzle. The text for each area was either a different size, different color, or different font, making it pretty simple to find the pieces for the area I was working on at that time.

I did the chickens last, but even they weren’t really hard. This would be a great puzzle to do with a child. My son thought it was very clever and enjoyed reading the border especially.

Here’s the finished puzzle:

Frederick the Literate

So I did buy a 1,000 piece puzzle called Fantastic Fashionista from Ravensburger Puzzles and even finished about half of it, but I never completed it. I had finished all of the colored parts and was left with the white walls and floor to do, so it was definitely getting pretty tricky. Then we went out one day and left Baxter in the kitchen/dining room, and he pulled the puzzle down off the dining room table and completely dismantled it!

I had no way of knowing how many pieces were ruined or missing after that, so I decided to just trash the puzzle. At least I got to do the fun parts of the puzzle before it was wrecked! Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of my progress, but here’s a picture of the front of the box.

Before starting my next puzzle, I went to Michael’s and bought some foam board to put the puzzle on. That way I could move it to the sunroom if I needed to leave Baxter alone in the house (since we close that door when we leave him alone).

The puzzle I just did was Frederick the Literate by Buffalo Games. It’s part of the Cats of Charles Wysocki line. It was super cute. If you look at the picture closely, you can see that the book titles are all fun, made-up titles related to cats. The cat fur was definitely the hardest part, but because the puzzle was only 500 pieces, even that wasn’t too bad.

I am still really enjoying spending time doing puzzles, although I don’t think I have the patience for large difficult sections, such as single color areas. I want to be making progress all the time, even if it’s a bit slower some of the time.

My next puzzle is Sandra Boynton’s Puzzle Complaints. It’s 500 pieces and just looks like a lot of fun.

It’s a Tie

My third puzzle was It’s a Tie by Springbok. It was 500 pieces like the first two, but the shape of it was round. I started it on a Friday night when my friend Renee was visiting. She enjoys puzzles, so we decided to open this one up and give it a try.

I did sort out the edge pieces first, but they were mostly black so we ended up starting by putting some of the ties together. Once we had several mostly together, we used the picture on the box to put them where they should be. We worked on it for a couple of hours and then decided to take a break from it.

I returned to the puzzle on Saturday morning and was able to finish it within another couple of hours. It wasn’t very difficult to do the border once the center part was together. Here’s a picture of the finished puzzle:

This puzzle was a lot of fun to do. I enjoyed the subject matter of neckties and it was fun seeing all of the different patterns and how they came together.

Puzzling is turning out to be a good hobby for me. I ordered another puzzle on Amazon but it was going to take a few days to arrive, so Joe & I went to the mall so I could get a new one right away. It’s 1000 pieces, so it should be a bit more of a challenge!

A Rainbow of Flowers

I enjoyed my first puzzle so much I decided to get another one. This one is Rainbow Flowers by Galison. It was super fun and so colorful! I loved the look of it and the pieces were very high quality. The fit was a bit looser than the previous puzzle I did, but I was okay with that because when I took that one apart, some of the cardboard came off parts of the pieces.

First I sorted the pieces by the edges and then by color. I think the array of rainbow colors was so pretty.

I did each color starting from the bottom. The yellow was probably the hardest one. I only did a little bit each day because I wanted it to last as long as possible. I managed to stretch it out to 4 days. Here’s the finished puzzle:

For my next puzzle, I’m going to stick to 500 pieces but go with a round shaped puzzle. Should be fun!

My New Hobby – Puzzling

So recently I was talking with my therapist and she asked me what I do for fun. I couldn’t really come up with anything besides reading and watching YouTube that I do now, and I was having trouble thinking of anything I would want to pursue. I used to be into rubber stamping and card making but haven’t done that in a few years and recently got rid of all my supplies.

Later that day, I decided to look up some hobby ideas to see if I could get any inspiration. There were two that interested me from the list I found – jigsaw puzzles and yoga. I decided puzzles would be super easy to start doing, so I went on Amazon and found a puzzle that looked like it would be fun. It arrived on Saturday and I spent some time Saturday and Sunday (today) putting it together.

In between choosing this hobby and my first puzzle arriving, I started watching a new-to-me YouTube channel called Karen Puzzles. The creator films herself talking about puzzles and doing all kinds of different puzzles. She’s currently in the middle of putting together a 24,000 piece puzzle! I have been enjoying her videos, but I decided to start with a 500 piece puzzle myself. 🙂

The puzzle I got was Rare & Beautiful by Puzzle Crush. It has illustrations of flowers and butterflies with the words “How Rare & Beautiful You are” in a lovely handwritten font. I thought the letters would be the easiest part to put together, but they actually turned out to be the hardest part of the whole puzzle! The background is kind of dark, but I didn’t have a problem seeing the images and putting together the different sections.

The quality was pretty good, with a couple of issues. Five of the edge pieces had lifted off the cardboard backing, and the backing also started to life off a couple of times that I had to separate pieces that didn’t fit together where I thought they did. Here was my progress after spending a couple of hours on it Saturday afternoon:

I finished it up Sunday afternoon (the same day I am posting this). The rest of the flowers and butterflies went pretty fast, but the lettering was painstaking. I had to use the trick I learned from Karen Puzzles of sorting the pieces by shape and just try each one in a spot until I found the one that went in. Here’s the finished puzzle:

Overall, it was a good first experience. I have a little more idea now what to look for in choosing a puzzle and have already picked out my next one from Amazon. I’ll be sure to post it here when I do it.

What hobbies are you into? Do you enjoy jigsaw puzzles?

What I’m Reading – December 2020

What I’m Reading Now:

The Caldera by John Flanagan – Brotherband Chronicles #7 – Just started last night but it’s good so far. It sounds like it will be very similar to the other books in the series, which isn’t a bad thing.

What I Recently Finished:

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay – Found this browsing the Libby app and it was enjoyable.

Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber – Holiday romance, okay read.

The Marriage Code by Brooke Burroughs – This was one of the Amazon First Reads for December, and I really enjoyed it. It is the story of an American woman and an Indian man working together in India and falling in love.

Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay – Sequel to The Printed Letter Bookshop, also quite fun to read.

Scorpion Mountain by John Flanagan – Brotherband Chronicles #5 – enjoyable but very similar to many of his other books.

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton – This was another random find and was very good.

The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton – Another book by this new-to-me author. I liked it a lot.

The Ghostfaces by John Flanagan – Brotherband Chronicles #6 – this was probably my favorite from this series so far.

Jolene by Mercedes Lackey – Elemental Masters #15 – I wasn’t familiar with the story this is based on, which is The Queen of the Copper Mountain, but this book was right up my alley in terms of a good read. I loved it!

What I’ve Added to my TBR list:

Return of the Temujai by John Flanagan – Brotherband Chronicles #8 – As far as I can tell, this will be the last of his books set in the world of the Ranger’s Apprentice, at least until he writes some more, hopefully!

The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton – Can you tell I like this new-to-me author? I have already read two of her books and have added her other two to my to-read list.

Glory Road by Lauren K. Denton

If you’re on Goodreads, feel free to add me as a friend. I’m always looking for new recommendations!