Cats with Careers

For this puzzle, I didn’t end up doing any of the ones I already owned. Instead, I purchased the puzzle Cats with Careers, which is similar to the Dogs with Jobs puzzle I did last. This is a 500-piece puzzle from Galison.

It was super cute, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the dogs puzzle. The background was a bit darker, and the finish was a bit uneven and felt rough in places. At one point, I was having trouble fitting two pieces together, and one of the knobs actually popped off one of them!

With that said, I did enjoy seeing the different cats and what their professions were. Here is a picture of the finished puzzle:

And here are some closeups of a few of the cats:

Dogs with Jobs

As promised, my next puzzle is a fun one. Dogs with Jobs is a 500 piece square puzzle from Galison. It is super adorable with all of the different dogs and the jobs that they have. Here are a few closeups:

The pieces were all 2 in and 2 out, like my last puzzle, but it was a very different puzzling experience because they fit together much better and weren’t all the same shape even though they were the same style. I was also able to move sections around without any problems. All the text made it a lot of fun and the dogs were all pretty easy to distinguish from each other.

Here is the completed puzzle:

I’m not sure what my next puzzle will be. I have two that I got from my Secret Santa last Christmas and another one I picked up on vacation this year. All three are 1000 pieces. I have several puzzles on my wish list, mostly 500 pieces. Oh, and I have two that were gifted to me, but I was informed that they are both missing a piece, so I’m not sure if I want to do those. I guess I’ll see what my mood is when I’m ready to start the next one!

The World of Jane Austen

My most recent puzzle was The World of Jane Austen from Laurence King Publishing. It was a 1000-piece puzzle featuring many of the buildings and people from Austen’s novels.

This was a very difficult puzzle to do. It was hard from the beginning to the end. Part of that was because all the pieces were the same shape – 2 in and 2 out – and they had an extremely loose fit. The fit made it impossible to pick up sections and move them around. Anytime I wanted to move a section, I had to do it 2 pieces at a time. I also had a fair number of false fits, probably due to both the loose fit and the similar shapes.

Another thing that made this puzzle difficult was the image. It was so dense with details that it was hard to find the pieces you were looking for. It took several sessions of intense puzzling to get it finished. I am glad I stuck with it though because I am very happy with the finished product.

Here is the completed puzzle:

And here are some detail shots:

Another thing I wanted to share is my new puzzle mat that I used for the first time with this puzzle. It is big enough to hold a 1500-piece puzzle, and it has a felt backing. It also has a cover that I can place over the puzzle with stretchy pieces that fit over the four corners. This worked great to protect the puzzle when I had to leave my dog alone in the house. It’s so nice to find a solution to that problem!

Here’s a picture of a corner of the mat showing what the cover looks like:

My next puzzle is going to be a super fun and easy one, so stay tuned!

Woodland Magic

Last weekend I did the puzzle Woodland Magic by Elena Essex. It’s a 1000 piece puzzle showcasing a variety of mushrooms and toadstools. I absolutely loved this puzzle! The colors are so vibrant, and the design was beautifully done.

I would say this puzzle was low to medium in difficulty. There were only a handful of pieces that were solid cream for the background – almost every piece had some amount of color on it. And the different color sections didn’t have so many pieces that they became overwhelming; plus there were a lot of different textures even within each color.

Here’s a picture of the finished puzzle:

This was such a fun puzzle to do – it was really perfect for me! I have already put more of her puzzles on my wish list.

A Trio of Puzzles

I was so happy with the way my last puzzle turned out that I decided to do some of the puzzles I had been loaned from my ex-husband’s girlfriend. This weekend I actually completed three of them.

The first one was Peddlin’ Posies by Cardinal, which is a 500 piece puzzle. It’s a charming scene of a flower cart in front of a window. There were a few sections that were a bit challenging, but overall it wasn’t too bad.

The second one was Moonlight Serenity from Bits and Pieces. This one is a 300 piece puzzle, which was a first for me. The low piece count and really large pieces made it super easy, so even though it wasn’t a design I would have normally picked out, I enjoyed putting it together.

The third puzzle I did was Afternoon Tea, also by Bits and Pieces. This one was a 500 piece puzzle. I felt like the pieces were still pretty big and the puzzle was fairly easy to put together. I did it all in one sitting, which did make my back hurt a bit, but I really wanted to get it done before the weekend was over.

I haven’t decided which puzzle to do next. I still have two more loaner puzzles, but I’m not sure if I want to do them or not. I may do one of the puzzles from my Christmas/birthday haul. I have four puzzles waiting to be done, and they are all 1000 pieces, so will be a bit more challenging than these were.

Steeped in Tradition

Today’s puzzle is Steeped in Tradition, a 550 piece puzzle by Ceaco. I received this puzzle from a friend who got it while she was helping another friend clean out his dad’s house after he had passed away. It had belonged to his mom, who had passed some years earlier. I knew going in that it was missing two pieces, as she had written the information on the back of the box, as shown in the picture below.

After doing the border and a couple of small sections from the middle, I moved the puzzle to our sunroom to be safe from our dog Baxter while we were out of the house. However, I got sidetracked and left the sunroom door open, so he got to it anyway. I ended up losing a corner piece and a few of the border pieces. I have no idea where they went, so I’m guessing he ate them!

I let the puzzle sit for quite a while before finally deciding to tackle it. I was worried it would be hard because the colors were so muted, but it wasn’t too bad and I actually enjoyed it. The other day my friend who had given me the puzzle came over and helped me finish it. By that point, I had progressed to sorting the pieces by shape and was working one by one to figure out where each piece fit. With two of us working on it, we got it done fairly quickly. Here is the finished puzzle:

You can see the two original missing pieces as well as the pieces Baxter got a hold of along the bottom edge. I still think it is a charming puzzle, though. I probably won’t keep it to redo since so many pieces are gone now, but I’m glad I got the chance to do it once.

Next up are some puzzles that were lent to me by, of all people, my ex-husband’s girlfriend. She has sent five puzzles home with my son. I’m not sure if I’ll do all of them, but I will likely do at least a couple.

Rainbow Crystals

For my next puzzle, I chose Rainbow Crystals, which is a 500 piece puzzle by Galison. This was one of the puzzles I got for Christmas from my wish list. It has everything I like – an object present in a rainbow of colors with very little white space or solid color areas with no texture.

Here are the pieces, sorted by color with the edge pieces in their own pile. So pretty!

I did this puzzle in two days. I think the total time was about 3 hours. Here’s the finished puzzle:

When I posted a picture of the puzzle on Facebook, one of my friends thought it looked like candy!

This was a very fun puzzle to do. It was very easy but still satisfying. I think the next one I’m going to do is an image of a bunch of different teacups. A friend was helping another friend clear out his dad’s house and grabbed it from there for me.