Review: Pasture’s Edge (Moo)

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Pasture’s Edge (Moo) by Linda Elliott – Ceaco – 550 pieces

This image grabbed me right away when I saw it, and it makes me laugh to look at it. The beautiful flowers everywhere and the angry looking cows are quite opposite and I find it hilarious.

The quality was good with very nice image reproduction and a great fit. The pieces are on the thin side, but sturdy enough with a good variety of shapes. Ceaco isn’t a brand I normally buy new, but I really loved this image and couldn’t pass it up.

It was more difficult than I bargained for, but not too much so. I started with the black and white of the cows, and then assembled each of the different colors of flowers. Once all the flowers were complete all that was left was the grass, and it was relatively easy to fill in. The different textures of the grass in the foreground and background helped, as did the different piece shapes.

This was a fun puzzle, I love the image and it was challenging in a good way. If the image is something you like, I would definitely recommend it. It isn’t a premium quality puzzle, but I found it worth my time, and it still makes me smile to look at the picture. Moo! ūüźģ

Details:

  • Title:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Pasture’s Edge (Moo)
  • Artist:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Linda Elliott
  • Brand:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Ceaco
  • Piece count:¬† ¬† ¬†550 pieces
  • Size:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Approx. 24 x 18 in. (61 x 46 cm)
  • Purchased:¬† ¬† ¬† New

Quality:

  • Board:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Good
  • Cutting:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Good
  • Image:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Box:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Average
  • Fit:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Puzzle Dust:¬† ¬† ¬†Moderate amount
  • Piece cut:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Grid cut
  • Piece shapes:¬† ¬†Good variety
  • Finish:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Slightly shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Good, recommended

London, The Thames….

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London, The Thames… by Giovanni Canal – Wentworth Wooden Puzzles – 40 pieces

London, The Thames with View of the City and St. Paul’s Cathedral – a giant name for such a small puzzle! This is another in my collection of Wentworth micro puzzles, perfect for when I’m stuck in bed but still want to work on a puzzle.

This is absolutely NOT the type of image that I prefer to assemble, but when there are so few pieces I’ll take on just about any challenge.¬†I appreciate the workmanship of these puzzles, and that they’re easy to take and assemble anywhere – especially when you don’t have much time or space.

I’m always amazed at how difficult a puzzle with so few pieces can be. You would think with only 30-40 pieces it would go together quickly, but they usually don’t. The cut is such that it takes a bit of brain power to complete, but I love that. They’re fun and challenging, the best qualities of a great puzzle!

 

Bearsville

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Bearsville by Roger Nannini – Ceaco – 300 pieces

This was a quick, fun puzzle that I put together one afternoon when I needed a puzzle fix in between larger piece count puzzles. It’s part of Ceaco’s Home Sweet Home series by artist Roger Nannini. I found I enjoyed the artwork very much!

Ceaco puzzles aren’t my favorite brand, but to be honest my opinion of them has gone up quite a bit after working with a brand that was much, much worse. Of the 25 puzzles I have assembled this month from 14 different brands, the Ceaco puzzles have been the best fitting of all of them. Shocked? Me too!

It’s interesting to me how a much lesser quality puzzle boosted my impression of Ceaco. Perhaps it just caused me to re-assess what I would and would not put up with in a puzzle. The fit is amazingly important to me – too loose is extremely annoying and frustrating. Too tight is the same way; if it takes upper body strength to smash the pieces together I always second guess if the pieces actually fit together (and it hurts my thumb!)

The pieces are on the thin side, with a good variety of piece shapes – made from multi-layered board that tends to split easily – but the fit is excellent. The image reproduction is good, with beautiful colors and crisp lines. This puzzle has been assembled many times, there is documentation on the side indicating each time it was put together. From what I’m reading it’s been put together at least 11 times before me. You can see in the picture above that many of the pieces were either split or bent and the finished puzzle didn’t lie flat. I don’t feel I can comment negatively on the quality of this specific puzzle if it’s been assembled so many times; I have no idea what it was like when it was new. That said, I actually think it’s held up well.

I enjoyed this puzzle very much, the artwork was interesting and made for a great afternoon of puzzling. I suppose I have more puzzles to choose from now that I’ve re-thought my stance on Ceaco. ūüėŹ

 

Current Puzzle in Progress

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I’m finally working on my Mother’s Day/Anniversary puzzle! It’s going very slowly, but I’m having a great time anyway.

The bird shown was the first part of the puzzle I assembled as it’s the lightest color and the pieces were the easiest to find. I love the cut of the pieces and the fantastic whimsies – there are so many birds! There are 2 bird¬†and 3 human figures in this small section alone.

I’m finding it hard to concentrate so I am only able to work on this puzzle in little chunks of time, but however long it takes me will be time well spent. Do you have a puzzle in progress? How’s it coming along?

Review: Butterfly Kingdom

This post is sponsored by Bone Owl Puzzles.
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Butterfly Kingdom – Bone Owl Puzzles – 1000 pieces

Butterfly Kingdom is a beautiful image and makes for a wonderfully challenging puzzle. I enjoyed the random cut and oddly shaped pieces which added to the difficulty, but didn’t detract at all from the entertainment of the assembly.

Bone Owl Puzzles is a new company based in Canada offering a small selection of beautifully crafted “offbeat” jigsaw puzzles from artists all around the world. Their puzzles are manufactured in the US and I found them to be very good quality. The images are unique and interesting and I had a difficult time choosing which puzzle I wanted to review. They have 6 different puzzles in their catalog at the moment, and I was only able to narrow it down to 4. I had to enlist the help of my husband and sons to help me decide! The artwork is so beautiful and unique and each of the choices had something that really drew me in; that’s so important – having images that inspire and get you excited about assembling them.

The quality of the puzzles was very good, and I was quite impressed. The pieces are made from single-ply chipboard to prevent the splitting that sometimes happens with lesser quality multi-layered board. They are a good thickness and fit together well, and have a linen finish that gives a luxurious feel. The image reproduction is excellent, the lines are crisp and the colors are amazing.

My only problem with the quality was the large amount of puzzle dust. It can be annoying to deal with, but in the end doesn’t really interfere with my enjoyment of the assembly. I’ve learned that if you get a puzzle that’s near the end of the run when the die is getting duller you’ll have more dust. I’ve had many premium quality puzzles with a lot of dust, and I don’t consider it to be a flaw, it’s just one of those things that sometimes happens – there is no perfect manufacturing process. I’ve never assembled a cardboard puzzle that didn’t have at least some dust, for me it’s just part of the process of working with puzzles.

The pictures above show the unique cut of the pieces and the beautiful colors in the image, it was a fascinating puzzle that was a joy to assemble. I enjoy the random cut, it keeps me on my toes and makes me look at the pieces differently. The image is always the key though; if the image is boring or uninspiring I won’t be assembling the puzzle no matter how interesting the pieces are.

The trees on either side of the image were the most challenging part of the puzzle for me, but not too much so. There are shades of color and patterns in the tree trunks that help with the assembly, along with the unique shapes of the pieces. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be, and I was nearing the end of the assembly and very motivated to see the entire finished image. It was the perfect combination of fun and challenging for me and the completed puzzle is gorgeous!

Bone Owl Puzzles are definitely recommended. This puzzle was a treat to assemble and I look forward to working on more of their puzzles, the only problem is choosing which one I’d like to do next. ūüĎć

Details:

  • Title:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Butterfly Kingdom
  • Artist:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Dan May
  • Brand:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Bone Owl Puzzles
  • Piece count:¬† ¬† ¬†1000 pieces
  • Size:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Approx. 27 x 19 in. (68 x 49 cm)
  • Purchased:¬† ¬† ¬† N/A, sent for review

Quality:

  • Board:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Cutting:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Image:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Excellent
  • Box:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Average
  • Fit:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Puzzle Dust:¬† ¬† ¬†Large amount of dust
  • Piece cut:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Random cut
  • Piece shapes:¬† ¬†Very good variety
  • Finish:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Matte finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Very good, recommended

 

I received this product at no cost in order to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are truthful and 100% my own.