Another Hurricane…

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Hurricane Dorian is on his way for a visit here to the East Coast of Florida, and he looks like he’s going to be packing a big punch. Even if the eyewall doesn’t make landfall, we are still going to be severely affected; extremely high winds and lots of rain are on the way no matter what.

We’re putting up the hurricane shutters today, and are stocked up and ready to shelter in place here at the house. I’m reminded of the last time we did this, during Hurricane Irma almost 2 years ago – I set up and sorted a 2000 piece puzzle that mom, my daughter, and I worked on together during the storm.

I won’t have any help from the puzzle posse this time, so I’m on my own with whatever¬† puzzles I’ll be assembling – unless my hubby and sons get super bored and want to help. I’ve got plenty of puzzles to keep myself busy (probably enough for many months if I’m honest) but it will most likely only be a few days that we’re all stuck here inside.

If the power is out and the internet isn’t available I won’t be able to post anything. Even though the eye of the hurricane isn’t due until Tuesday morning, we’ll start getting tropical storm force winds tomorrow night. So if I’m absent for a few days don’t worry, most likely it’s just lack of internet access. I’ll be getting plenty of puzzling done though, or at least I hope I will!

Coral Reef (The Moving Puzzle)

Coral Reef
Coral Reef by Lambert and Samborski – Great American Puzzle Factory – 294 pieces

This is a VERY interesting puzzle that I found in the trunk of my mom’s car. She bought it at the thrift store, but didn’t have a chance to show it to me before she went into the hospital. It was extremely entertaining, and she would have loved working on it with me; I would have loved working on it with her too.

It’s called The Moving Puzzle, and is made by the Great American Puzzle Factory. On the box it says “The never-ending, always moving jigsaw puzzle!!” On the back of the box it tells you that there are two ways to approach this tricky image. You can assemble the picture so that it matches the image on the box top, then change your picture by moving the pieces from top to bottom, left to right and so on. Or, you can pick any piece and build your puzzle from it, all the pieces will fit together and the image will grow in all directions, it doesn’t have to be a rectangular puzzle.

I assembled it the first way to begin with. The picture above is the puzzle assembled as it is on the box top; then I started moving things around…

Coral Reef 1

Then I moved many things around and changed the puzzle to be rectangular again, I’m showing it next to the original way it was assembled so that it’s easier to see the differences…

 

It’s a pretty cool concept, and it was fun to move things around and make the image change. I will say though that everything doesn’t always line up exactly right. If you assemble it to look like the box top the image is fine. When you see where things can move and start changing the puzzle the image doesn’t always line up perfectly. (Just an observation from a puzzle nerd who looks closely at those things ūü§ď)

At only 294 pieces, it would be great for kids too. This one will end up at the school my daughter works for, and I hope those children enjoy it as much as I did.

It’s a great quality puzzle; the pieces are extremely thick and the colors are lovely with very nice image reproduction. There is only one piece shape, and I cant really comment on the fit because they really only snug up next to each other, they don’t interlock. It wasn’t much of a problem for me because my puzzle board is covered with fabric, but if you work on a slippery surface it would most likely be quite frustrating.

Mom always found the most interesting puzzles when she went thrift store shopping. If you find a Moving Puzzle, give it a try – it’s a different puzzle experience, that’s for sure.

Farm

Farm
Farm – Patch Products – 24 pieces

Another from the big box of 24 piece educational kids puzzles, I’m learning things I didn’t know before, or perhaps I knew and just forgot! ūüėČ

This time I assembled one side, then scrambled up the pieces again and reassembled the other. I’m giving myself 48 pieces on my count for the year on this one.

Farm 1

My dad used to call the disk ripper something else, but I don’t remember what. We had a John Deere tractor when I was growing up, but we didn’t grow crops. He used the tractor for many things, and we were always glad it was available to pull people out of the ditch in the winter. (We lived on a dirt road, and many people go too fast on back roads in the winter and end up in the ditch).

My sisters and I all knew how to drive the tractor well before we could legally drive; and we used it to mow our giant lawn, help split wood for the woodstove, clear the snow out of the driveway, etc. I loved that tractor, and anytime dad asked if I wanted to go with him when he was doing something with it I would always say yes and end up having fun with him.

Sorry for the trip down memory lane, this puzzle makes me think of my dad and that’s just where my mind went. ūüôā

Review: Lip Smackin’ Sweets

Lip Smackin'
Lip Smackin’ Sweets by Karen Romanko – Lafayette Puzzle Factory – 1000 pieces

Lip Smackin’ Sweets was difficult, but in a good way. Even though the quality was less than optimal it was still entertaining and completely absorbing.

Lafayette Puzzle Factory has good/fair quality; though I have noticed that the smaller piece count puzzles seem to be better quality. This 1000 piece had thinner pieces, a loose fit, lots of puzzle dust, and didn’t lay completely flat. On the good side there were a nice variety of shapes and the image reproduction is crisp, which is many times not true of photographic collages.

Lip Smackin' 1

The plate above was my favorite part; the bright yellow was easy to find as were the Nerds. I’m not sure I know exactly why this part was my favorite, but it was. Perhaps I just liked the look of it.

Lip Smackin' 2

The little blue “Satellite Wafers” were one of the first things I assembled. The pale blue was easy to find, and there were quite a few of them. I had a good time figuring out which satellite went where – I enjoyed the challenge. I never did like these candies though, it felt like eating tasteless styrofoam. Blech!

Some puzzlers don’t mind a less than premium puzzle, and for those people I’m recommending Lip Smackin’ Sweets. Even though the pieces were thin and the fit was loose I still enjoyed this puzzle. It doesn’t have to be perfection for me (or anyone really) to be entertained – and in the end, it’s a beautiful finished puzzle. This is a pretty image, with bright, fun colors and it kept me absorbed and wanting to be at my board for several days. That’s truly what it’s about.

Details:

  • Title:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Lip Smackin’ Sweets
  • Artist:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Karen Romanko
  • Brand:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Lafayette Puzzle Factory
  • Piece count:¬† ¬† ¬†1000 pieces
  • Size:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Approx. 27 x 20 in. (69 x 51 cm)
  • Purchased:¬† ¬† ¬† New

Quality:

  • Board:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Good, but thin
  • Cutting:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Good
  • Image:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Box:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Average
  • Fit:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Fair, quite loose
  • Puzzle Dust:¬† ¬† ¬†Moderate amount
  • Piece cut:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Grid cut
  • Piece shapes:¬† ¬†Very good variety
  • Finish:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Slightly shiny finish, does not lay flat

Overall Rating:      Good, recommended 

No Peeking

No Peeking
No Peeking – Ceaco (Avanti) – 100 pieces

These Avanti images are so adorable and fun, I just can’t resist them. Add in the fact that there’s only 100 pieces and that it’s just a “one coffee puzzle” and I love them even more.

This image was a little more difficult than Studio Kitty-Four, because as much as I enjoy puzzles with dogs, the fur requires a little more mental effort. This one is about 3/4 dog and took a few extra minutes to complete. It’s darling though, and completely worth the effort.

It’s about average Ceaco quality, the pieces are on the thinner side, but the fit is quite good. There’s a good variety of shapes and the image reproduction is lovely. I’m glad I bought these four puzzles, I’ve enjoyed the first two immensely.

I’ve got two more of these to assemble, fun images and only 100 pieces. My love for mini puzzles is still intact. ūüíó