Harvest Farm

Harvest Farm
Harvest Farm by Alan Giana – Wentworth Wooden Puzzles – 250 pieces

I didn’t plan ahead very well this year, so I didn’t have a Halloween puzzle to assemble. Last year there were fun, spooky, ghosty puzzles to post about; not so this year. I promise to attempt to do a better job next year! The attempt is all I can promise, my brain isn’t what it used to be.

This beautiful wooden puzzle made me so happy after not touching a puzzle for 2 whole days – it was a lovely way to feed my puzzle addiction. Once I saw it all together I knew this would be my puzzle for Halloween; I love the pumpkins, gourds, corn, and especially the little hanging scarecrow!

As usual, we start with the whimsies, they are fall/Halloween themed. I was surprised to see the bat and ghost in there; I thought it would only be fall whimsies so the spooky ones were a fun surprise. 🦇


I think the scarecrow is my favorite, but the tractor comes in a close second. The detail on these Wentworth whimsies is so fun, and I can’t wait to see the whimsies in my new puzzles on their way to my house! (Yup, I went crazy again and bought more Wentworths and also one from a new wooden puzzle company I haven’t tried before 😎)

It’s such a beautiful fall image from Alan Giana, and it made for a wonderful assembly. I started with the words as usual, and then for some reason decided to go with the grass next. There was no real plan, I went where the puzzle took me. It’s so nice to not think and just go with it. A beautiful puzzle that took me out of my head for a while, I couldn’t ask for more.

Happy Halloween! 🎃

Penny Candy

Penny Candy
Penny Candy by Lois B. Sutton – White Mountain – 550 pieces

It’s one day before the best candy holiday there is, so it’s the perfect time for this lovely puzzle of Penny Candy! The bright colors and fun candies made for an excellent image that was such an entertaining assembly, I absolutely loved it!

I decided to try laying out all the pieces on my board – a completely different method than the one I normally use – to see if perhaps it was easier or more efficient for me. And since I was doing something new, I also decided to document my progress for the blog, taking pictures along the way. It’s interesting sometimes to watch how a puzzle comes together, at least I hope it is. 😉

Penny Candy 1

Many people use this method when puzzling, so I decided to try it to see if it was better for me. There are some pros, some cons; it was easier at times to find the piece I was looking for, but it made my slight OCD go a bit crazy! I wanted to line up all the pieces into neat little rows. I’m not sure it’s a method I’ll use again, but it was fun (sort of) to give it a try.

Penny Candy 2

These sections were the ones I pulled out to start on first when laying all the pieces on the board; I did pretty well and got most of the pieces on the first try!

Penny Candy 4

Everything’s starting to come together, and I’m becoming more familiar with the colors and patterns so it’s a bit easier to find those stray pieces I didn’t pull the first time. I’m loving the look of the image!

Penny Candy 5

This is how the puzzle looked just before my Puzzle Posse arrived to help finish it off. It won’t be long now!

Penny Candy - with mom

Mom’s here and helping to fill in all the blank spaces. I’m a good daughter and let her have the comfy chair right in front of the puzzle. You can see there aren’t very many pieces left to go now; with her help we finished up in no time and enjoyed every piece. How cute is my posse? So cute!

There were some VERY old fashioned ads and candy that you would absolutely never see these days…

Candy is quick energy for active bodies, put some in their lunch every day. Yowza. That definitely wouldn’t fly into today’s kale infused atmosphere, would it? And candy is delicious food, eat some every day? Oh my! Not that I dislike candy, I definitely enjoy it very much. But food? Yikes. And you wouldn’t see that syrup six shooter in any candy store today! Not only is it a gun, but it’s made out of syrup? Ew! 🤢

I’m old enough to remember penny candy; there used to be a “General Store” in my hometown with a candy counter full of penny candy. The eternally patient clerks would grab a very small brown paper bag and fill it with the candies we chose – adding up the price as we went, making sure we knew how much we were spending.

I have wonderful memories of going into town and getting 50 cents or a dollar from my parents and picking out all the different candies. My favorites were the dots on paper strips, tootsie rolls, pixie sticks, and rock candy. And I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s, so of course we enjoyed out share of pop rocks and cosmic candy! Good times. 🍫🍬🍭

Penny Candy had me reminiscing, and I enjoyed both the memories and the puzzle!

Balloons Over Cottage Cove

Balloons Over Cottage Cove
Balloons Over Cottage Cove by Nicky Boehme – Milton Bradley – 500 pieces

This hot air balloon image is very different to me than most of the others that you see on jigsaw puzzles. Most balloon images are very bright and colorful, this one is muted and understated; I love an image that’s different from the norm. 😉

Pastels and understated colors aren’t my first choice, but I find they’re fun to work with every once in a while.The nature of the artwork made this a bit more challenging, but in the end it’s such a pretty picture!

Doesn’t it look like a lovely place to visit? I love the look of the house, it feels so homey. And the balloon in the foreground has the brightest colors; but all the rest are very understated and more pastel-looking. It’s quite unusual for a hot air balloon puzzle; at least as far as the ones that I’ve seen.

All the greenery and flowers were much more difficult than I bargained for, and took more time than I thought they would. Being only 500 pieces I’d assumed it would go together quite quickly but that just wasn’t the case.

The quality was very good; there were a good variety of shapes, thicker pieces, and a beautiful image. The pale colors aren’t usually my thing, but I enjoyed this puzzle very much. It’s nice to step out of your comfort zone every once in a while. 🙂

3 Teddy Bears?

3 Teddy Bears
3 Teddy Bears by Debra Jordan Bryan – Giftco – 500 pieces

Here’s a new one for you, I’m posting a puzzle that I DIDN’T do. It’s one of the worst quality puzzles I’ve seen in quite some time. As I was sorting it I became more and more disenchanted; and after putting together only a few pieces I put everything back in the box and put the box in the recycling.

First, the colors shown on the box do not match the puzzle – not by a long shot! The image on the box looks bright and fun, with only the bears themselves and the background looking somewhat muted. Many of the pieces are peach colored, but I don’t see that color anywhere on the box. There are so many of them that I’m thinking it must be either the yellow background behind the bears, or the tan background in the border. The other colors seem bright on the box, but are EXTREMELY muted on the pieces; the reds look pink, and the rest are just very, very pale. 😦

Second, there are 6 pieces total that have become totally delaminated. The image layer is completely separated from the cardboard backing. So basically there were 6 pieces of pretty paper in the box, along with 6 naked puzzle pieces. Not good. I was going to just fix them, but the other problems with the quality of this puzzle all added together made it seem not worth the time.

Third, there is no variety in the piece shapes; they are all what I call ballerinas. (2 prong/2 hole – 2/2 – two/two – tutu – ballerina – get it? Yes, my mind is a weird and interesting place) Normally I can deal with that if the image is entertaining, but the severely muted colors and other problems with this puzzle made it seem like it wasn’t going to be worth the effort.

Lastly, even after all the sorting, laying the pieces out on my trays, and seeing those first 3 problems I was still planning on working the puzzle. But once I started the assembly and felt the terrible way the pieces fit together it was the last straw. The fit was very spongy and the awful quality of the cardboard made it so that you couldn’t even tell from the back if the pieces were put together properly. With no variety in shape and the color issues it would have been a nightmare. Ugh!

Life is short, and puzzles are supposed to be fun – not a chore. If it doesn’t seem like fun why on Earth would I do it? Yes, we spent 99 cents on a puzzle that I’m not going to assemble, but it could be worse. We could have paid retail, we could have no more puzzles left to assemble, I could have a yeast infection – there are endless horrifying possibilities! Fortunately we only lost what amounts to loose change, there are hundreds of puzzles still here to assemble, my lady bits are perfectly fine, and I’ve learned what brand NOT to buy. All good things in my book. 😎

If you love puzzles and come across one from Giftco, set the box down and back away! We puzzlers deserve better.

*This puzzle was not named anywhere on the box, so I’ve given it an uninspired name – 3 Teddy Bears. The artwork on the box looks so adorable; it’s a pity it was licensed to this company.

Review: Viva le Vinyl

Viva Le Vinyl by Aimee Stewart – Ravensburger – 500 pieces

This bright, entertaining image was great fun to assemble and went together even more quickly than I thought it would. Aimee Stewart’s use of colors makes putting together her puzzles, for me, an absolute joy!

It doesn’t look like it from the picture, but there are a lot of words to assemble. All the background, everything all the records and paraphernalia are sitting on are concert tickets, record covers, notebook pages, etc. Words, words, and more words! You know how much I love that. 🙂

To be honest, this image scared me a little bit, and I put off assembling it for quite a while. I love the artwork of Aimee Stewart so much, but all the black of the vinyl records had me thinking this might not be as fun to assemble as her other images have been for me. As dumb as it sounds, I didn’t want to have a less than awesome experience with one of her puzzles! I shouldn’t have worried, it was great fun and went together so quickly because I couldn’t seem to keep myself from adding just one more piece or finishing just one more section. I loved it!


  • Title:                  Viva le Vinyl
  • Artist:                Aimee Stewart
  • Brand:               Ravensburger
  • Piece count:     500 pieces
  • Size:                  Approx. 20 x 14 in. (49 x 36 cm)
  • Purchased:      Used, thrift store


  • Board:               Excellent
  • Cutting:             Very good
  • Image:               Excellent
  • Box:                   Good, square box
  • Fit:                     Very good
  • Puzzle Dust:     Small amount
  • Piece cut:          Grid cut
  • Piece shapes:   Very good variety
  • Finish:               Slightly shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Very good, recommended