Drunk as a Skunk

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Drunk as a Skunk by Mike Jupp – All Jigsaw Puzzles (Party Animals) – 500 pieces

More party animals! I really love this artwork by Mike Jupp, the looks on the animal’s faces are perfect!

To be honest, I didn’t realize at first that there is a drunk animal for each season! Drunk as a Skunk is in spring, P****d as a Newt is in summer, and the two I have yet to do are winter (Blind as a Bat) and fall (High as a Kite). I don’t know how I missed it at first, but I definitely did.

This one was a bit more difficult than P****d as a Newt; the darkness of the trees and background and the abundance of leaves made for a more challenging assembly. Still fun, still great quality, just a little more concentration required. That’s a good thing in my book, if it’s too easy it’s just boring. Better to give your brain a bit of a workout, make sure it’s staying healthy. 🙂

It was easy to pick out the pieces of the skunk, the mushrooms around the tree stump, the ice bucket and the grass in the foreground. From there it took a little more brainpower, but I was up for the challenge! It came together well without being too tedious and I had an excellent time assembling it.

I enjoy working the smaller puzzles just as much as the larger ones. 1000 piece puzzles are the average adult puzzle and the piece count with the most puzzles to choose from; but the 500 and 300 piece puzzles are just as much fun for me. I find myself ordering more of the smaller piece counts these days then I used to, and working more of the smaller ones mom finds at the thrift stores. I still do more 1000 piece puzzles than any other piece count, but I’m not as snobby about piece count as I used to be. If it looks fun, I’m all for it!

It’s not about anything but entertainment and fun, if it’s a good time to work a large piece 300 piece puzzle I’m going to do it. If I have a good time putting together a 100 piece children’s puzzle, so what? I’m puzzling because I love it and because it’s fun – those are the only reasons that are important. 😎

The Portrait

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The Portrait by Geoff Tristam – Ravensburger (What If #7) – 1000 pieces

What if Leonardo Da Vinci never painted the Mona Lisa? Would he still have become a famous artist? What would he be famous for? I don’t show the entire image for these types of puzzles because I don’t want to spoil the fun of solving the puzzle for anyone else. When I was just starting to find and order these puzzles I Googled one of them and clicked on a link and was presented with the finished image – I didn’t want to see that!

As usual, I completely enjoyed working this puzzle; Geoff Tristam’s artwork and sense of humor are on display here and make for an excellent puzzle. I love the added difficulty of not having a reference image to work from, it makes me pay attention even more than normal to the pieces and where they might connect. The What If collection by Ravensburger hits the mark every time and I always find myself happy with the end result.

I’m going to have to make sure I type up my post for a completed puzzle on the day I complete it! I finished this puzzle almost 2 weeks ago and I’m just writing it up now. It’s been so long, and I don’t take a picture of the entire puzzle – I’ve almost forgotten the finished image! 😮

This was one of the slightly more difficult What If puzzles I’ve completed. Usually you can tell what the background might look like or what people are wearing from the image on the box, but not so with this one. The box image shows Da Vinci painting portraits on the street long ago, and the finished image is in a more modern setting – not even close to the same background or people. Still, I was up to the challenge and enjoyed it thoroughly!

I love Ravensburger puzzles, the quality of the puzzles themselves is stellar, and they have an excellent catalog of puzzles to choose from. They are one of the companies I never hesitate to purchase if I like an image because I know I’ll be getting a quality product.

The What If puzzles are completely entertaining with an extra challenge to keep you puzzling. I highly recommend them!

 

Adding Real Reviews

I was contacted recently by Puzzle Warehouse, their social media guru had found my blog and asked if I’d be willing to review puzzles, games, and puzzle products for them on my blog. Of course I said yes, I’m quite the puzzle geek/addict/fanatic and I’ve also fallen in love with blogging about the puzzles I do. Also, how cool is it that the largest puzzle store in the world found my little blog?? 😎

I started this blog because I wanted a way for family and friends to keep up with my progress on the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle, and I’ve kept it going because it’s really been fun for me to post about the puzzles I do. Since I was injured and unable to work there are honestly a very limited number of things I can do – but I’m always able to puzzle, even if I have to spend most of the day in bed and even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time.

I haven’t really been doing reviews here, I just talk about the puzzles I’ve done and why I did or did not enjoy them. Reviewing is a bit different and I think my criteria should be adjusted slightly.

I will continue to be honest of course, if I didn’t like it I’ll say why and what I think could be done to improve it. If I did like it what are my reasons? Nothing is perfect and no one would trust a reviewer that only gave praise because they were getting free products. Manufacturers want to know if there is something consumers think should be improved. Distributors want to be sure they are selling quality products that consumers will want to purchase. And most of all, consumers want to know if a product is a quality one and worth spending their hard earned money on. Does it do what it claims? Is it enjoyable? Will I be happy with my purchase?

I also have to think of the reasons why others might like a puzzle or puzzle product. Are they collectors? If so, what aspects of puzzles are the most important to them? If they’re going to assemble the puzzle once and then sell it, give it away, etc., what aspects would be most important to those puzzlers?

The images or artwork on puzzles and the reasons for liking or disliking them are subjective. My opinion of what makes the best puzzle image is likely different from everyone else’s. So a good review would take into account my opinions, but also consider the opinions of others and what might draw them to an image. Not every puzzle is for everyone, so I wouldn’t give a negative review just because I don’t like the image. I may say the image doesn’t lend itself well to puzzling, but again that is my subjective opinion and not a reason for a bad review. If we all had the same taste in puzzles what a boring world it would be! Besides, I’m a little excited about having puzzles chosen for me to do. If it’s not an image I would normally choose and I end up loving it, that opens up a whole new bunch of puzzles that I might now actually choose or purchase for myself. (Hmm, I wonder how hubby will feel about that? 😮 )

To sum up, I believe it’s my job as a reviewer to be trustworthy. To let the reader know the good and bad and the reasons that led me to that conclusion. To let them know if I found it enjoyable or think others may enjoy it even if it wasn’t my cup of tea. To give the reader the information they need to make an informed decision on whether or not they should purchase something. I won’t stray too far from how I’ve been writing about puzzles, but I will try to make sure I’m aware of what others look for in a great puzzle or product.

I will of course be providing links to Puzzle Warehouse where you can purchase all the products and puzzles I’ll be reviewing. They are the ones sponsoring the reviews – and they’re the largest puzzle store in the world!! I have got to get feeling better so I can take a trip to St. Louis! (Mom and I have been saving up for a puzzle pilgrimage) 😉