Review: Birthday Candle

Birthday Candle by Stephanie D. Roeser – Sure-Lox – 300 pieces

This image was too funny to pass up, how could you walk by this puzzle on the shelf and not give it a try? That face!

I’ve found that the newer Sure-Lox box means better quality, so I was confident buying this puzzle. I’ve been impressed with the new quality, especially on their 300 piece puzzles. The chipboard is thick and both the fit and the image reproduction are excellent – look at the bright, beautiful colors, and the sharp focus on the cat!

I decided to sort and assemble this a different way, and documented as I went. It was put together at night when sleep wouldn’t come – as per usual these days. Insomnia = lots of puzzle time.

Birthday 1

After the edge was complete I started with the the cupcake and candle, and it went together quickly. I love the colors, it’s all so bright and cheery.

Birthday 2

Next to be assembled was all of the background; it took a little more time and since I put the box away I was only using the colors to find my way. Shapes were of no help because all of the pieces were ballerinas. It didn’t make it too difficult with this image though; the colors were all the help I needed.

Birthday 3

Next I put in all the pieces with both cat hair and background color. Assembling the puzzle this way, from the outside in was quite entertaining and although it doesn’t lend itself to most puzzle images it was fun to try it on this one.


All that was left was to fill in the cat, it was the most difficult part, obviously. After the eyes, nose, and mouth the whiskers were the next to be put together; they were brilliantly white and easy to pick out. Once those were all done all that was left was just fur, which is notoriously difficult; but because there were only 300 pieces to begin with there weren’t that many pieces left, so it went pretty quickly.

The image was great fun, the background colors made it interesting, and I loved the process of assembling in from the outside in and documenting it as I went. Hopefully you, my readers, liked it as well. Meow! 😽


  • Title:                  Birthday Candle
  • Artist:                Stephanie D. Roeser
  • Brand:               Sure-Lox
  • Piece count:     300 pieces
  • Size:                  Approx. 26 x 18 in. (65 x 46 cm)
  • Purchased:      New


  • Board:               Very good
  • Cutting:             Very good
  • Image:               Excellent
  • Box:                   Average
  • Fit:                     Very good
  • Puzzle Dust:     Small amount
  • Piece cut:          Grid cut
  • Piece shapes:   No variety, all one shape
  • Finish:               Slightly shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Very good, recommended

Firefly Friends

Firefly Friends
Firefly Friends – Creative Edge – 100 pieces

This is a thrift store puzzle that was pretty awful in the quality department, but was still extremely cute, which is why I bought it in the first place. And as a bonus I got the second best glow in the dark picture I’ve ever been able to take. Intrigued about the best one? Check out Creepy Crawlies. 🐛🦟🐜

By itself the glow picture looks a little odd, so for me it’s better to put them side by side. It’s a pretty good one, don’t you think? The hard part is being certain you’ve got the whole image in the frame when you’re taking the picture in the dark – it’s dark, so you can’t see much of anything! Part of the very bottom edge may have been cut off, but I’m sure I got almost all of it.

You know when you finish a puzzle how you run your hands across all the pieces, making sure they’re all pushed down and just reveling in the feeling of all the pieces connected together? DO NOT do that with a glow in the dark puzzle if you are at all like me and have some tactile issues. The additive they use to make the ink glow is grainy, almost like sand. The grainy feel on top gives me the shivers, I didn’t like it at all!

Farmers’ Market In Progress

Farmers Mkt IP
Farmers’ Market – MasterPieces – 300 pieces

If I didn’t have a puzzle blog this puzzle wouldn’t even be on my board right now! But I do have this blog, and my aim is to post every day so I try to be sure to always have something to show. My pattern is to post completed puzzles for two days in a row and on the third day post whatever’s in progress and on my board. Today is in progress day, so I had to get my butt out of bed yesterday evening and get a puzzle going!

I’ve been feeling awful for the past two days and other than finishing the Aimee Stewart puzzle on my board (only had about 100 pieces left to fill in) I haven’t done a thing but lay around in bed trying to rest. Last night I realized that today was the day I post an in progress picture and I had nothing in the works; thankfully I was feeling a little better and wide awake, and was able to leave my snoring husband in bed to start work on my next project.

It was going to be a 500 piece Milton Bradley puzzle that I’d already picked out, but on seeing the pale and indistinct pieces I decided that image probably would be better suited to a day when I’m feeling 100% (or whatever percentage I’m normally working with 😉 ). Back in the box that one went, and I found this Farmers’ Market puzzle that I’d gotten at the thrift store last month. Three hundred pieces and an easy image was just what the doctor ordered for this partially healed blogger.

It didn’t take too long to get about half of the puzzle done, it was quick to sort and to assemble. I was doing well and could have spent more time at the table, but then I would have been too close to finishing. If I had gotten much more done I wouldn’t have been able to tear myself away until it was complete – and then there still wouldn’t have been a puzzle in progress to post about today!

Art City

Art City
Art City by Robert Williams – Mr. Bob Puzzles – 1001 pieces

I love unique and interesting images, and there’s nothing like this one anywhere but at Mr. Bob Puzzles. The colors, the movement of the artwork, it’s just astounding and I absolutely adored this puzzle and the assembly!

The first thing I do when I get a wooden puzzle is to look through all the pieces to see the shapes, hopefully whimsies, and get a feel for the colors and the image. This one definitely didn’t disappoint. Not only where there plenty of whimsical shapes, there were a lot of words too – so fun!

Art City whims 1

I didn’t even notice when I was going through them that “ciao” is spelled wrong, in fact if I hadn’t received an email from the company I probably never would have realized it! They were horrified at the mistake and have offered to fix it immediately. Honestly I don’t think I’ll bother, it makes it more interesting I think. 😉

Art City whims 2

The whimsy pieces have a roaring 20’s feel, jazzy and fun and they made for fun surrounding pieces too.

Art City 2

The image made for a difficult assembly, but it was the lovely kind of difficult that keeps you engaged and engrossed.

Art City 1

This woman taking a picture with her iPhone is the artist’s way of bringing the image into the present as many of the whimsy pieces suggest older times. (Or so Mr. Bob tells me 🙂 )

This assembly was absolutely the right amount of challenging, but not too difficult as to make it frustrating. The cut of the pieces seems mostly regular, but it is quite deceptive and not at all as easy as it looks. If it were too easy it wouldn’t be much fun at all, so thankfully these puzzles have struck an excellent balance.

Even with the shipping from Australia, I’ve found Mr. Bob Puzzles to be relatively reasonably priced; with the exchange rate for the Australian dollar shoppers in the US start out with a bit of a discount already. And with the wildfires in Australia I also like the idea of sending some of my puzzle money down there.

Helpful Garden Paws

Garden Paws
Helpful Garden Paws by Jenny Newland – Karmin International – 550 pieces

This image is so very sweet, there’s something about the artwork, it isn’t like many other “cute animal” puzzles – something is special, but I can’t put my finger on it.

Slightly thinner pieces, somewhat bendable, but not too bad. Very good fit, exceptional image reproduction

Garden Paws 1

I’m not a cat person at all, but that face!


*Sorry for the brevity of today’s post. My hubby has lovingly shared his illness with me, and I’m feeling terrible today.