What’s the Temperature?

What's the Temperature
What’s the Temperature by Lois B. Sutton – White Mountain – 1000 pieces

It will be no surprise to anyone that I had a fantastic time with this puzzle. I love collages, but the downside of them is that they are over too quickly because I can’t seem to walk away. Even if I sit in the chair at my puzzle table until the pain makes me stop, I end up resting for only a little while because I just have to get back to it!

This thrift store puzzle was complete, which isn’t something I can say about every puzzle bought second-hand. It was well loved, and it looks as though it’s been assembled several times; many of the tabs had the image lifting off from repeated assembly and disassembly. Otherwise, it was still in relatively good condition.

What's the Temperature 1

This made me smile, you almost need a magnifying glass to read it, but between the degrees of temperature it tells you why you should go fishing. At the colder end it says “Oh yay! Pre-frozen fish”, “Frozen worms aren’t slimy”, and “Wouldn’t sweat if we fished today”. At the warmer end it says  “We fish, we get a tan, what d’ya say?”, “Too hot for anything but fishing”, and something like “Get the fish pre-baked today”. I’m not one for fishing, but I think this may be the cutest thermometer I’ve ever seen.

What's the Temperature 2

Looks to me like this is some sort of “snake oil” medication, but it makes for a cool looking thermometer. My son says “Dr.” Ramon looks like the Monopoly Man. 😄

What's the Temperature 3

You can see above many of the tabs with the image sticking up. It’s a thrift store puzzle that has been assembled before – you can’t say how many times – and there’s quite a bit of image lift on this puzzle. It makes the end of puzzle “massage” a little less satisfying; you can feel them sticking up and you have to try not to rip any of the image off while it’s getting it’s rubdown.

And when’s the last time anyone heard of Ken-L Ration dog food? Looooong time!

I started this one in the morning and finished before bedtime. Perhaps I need to see if I can find some 2000 piece collages – are there any of those out there? I’m sure there aren’t right now, but once we’re able to find puzzles again I’d love to get my hands on two or three — or twenty-seven of them. 😇

Assorted News 2

Just a few bits of news…

I’ve been contacted by several people who are starting or have started up new jigsaw puzzle companies and websites, and I am passing the information on to my readers. I am not promoting any of these puzzles or sites, this is informational only as I haven’t had a chance to assemble or review any of these puzzles.

Perhaps if you are feeling like playing along on a tournament website or your to-do pile is getting low you may be able to find some out of the way places to perhaps do a little puzzle shopping or even just looking around. Remember that smaller companies have much higher costs to produce and ship their puzzles, so the prices are normally quite a bit higher than puzzles from big companies that are mass produced.

Even if none of these is your cup of tea, it might be entertaining to spend some time looking around these sites to see what they’re offering. If you’re anything like me, you enjoy reading about and window shopping for puzzles as well as actually assembling them.

 

This puzzle company was started by a former teacher with a graphic arts background who began publishing these puzzles upon her retirement. She created these puzzles for middle school students; they are all 513 pieces, and teach concepts in math, science, English, and social studies. I love the idea, and the images are fantastic! (I especially love the look of the math puzzles) Each puzzle also includes a downloadable lesson plan, which is great if you’re a teacher or homeschooler, or if you feel like going back to middle school for a weekend. 😉

Check them out at standardsinpuzzles.com – according to the owner they are still shipping puzzles daily. I can’t speak to their quality as I haven’t assembled any of the puzzles themselves, but if anyone tries them out I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

Attention Buffy fans…

Jasco Games has been a board and trading card game publisher for over 10 years, and they are now applying their art foiling techniques to new lines of Buffy jigsaw puzzles that they are launching.

They have launched their first jigsaw puzzle project on Kickstarter featuring Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is also their most popular board game. If you’re interested you can check out their Kickstarter page here, today is the last day of their campaign. It’s already completely funded, but there’s still time to get in on it and order some Buffy puzzles if you’re of a mind to. Again, I haven’t assembled any of these puzzles, so I have no direct knowledge of their quality. I’m hoping they’ll be good, because they look like fun.

 

 

Marshall Rhinehart has started a free website, to help do his part to encourage people to stay at home. His wife is a nurse educator, so keeping people at home (and perhaps puzzling) helps keep his wife and thousands of other healthcare workers like her a little more safe.

You can create an account, participate in tournaments or just time yourself when you assemble your puzzles and post your stats on the site. You can also post or find available puzzles in your area for swap or sale, or just spend your time looking around at the puzzles others have completed. He’s just getting things up and running, but if it takes off it might be a fun place for puzzle junkies to hang out a bit. Check it out here at pandemicpuzzleplayoffs.com

I think it’s a great idea to encourage people to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus, which helps to keep our healthcare heroes a little bit more safe and keeps the system from being overwhelmed. And you know for sure that I think spending some time puzzling is a fantastic idea!

Crystal Cove II

Crystal Cove II
Crystal Cove II by Christian Riese Lassen – Buffalo (Amazing Nature) – 500 pieces

This is not an image I would normally go for, but after assembling the Stained Glass Songbirds I wanted to see if this image – also from the Amazing Nature Series – would be as striking. It’s very pretty, but as it wasn’t the same artist it didn’t have the same stunning color usage, and this had such a large amount of blue that it seemed to overpower all other colors.

I think I was spoiled by Stained Glass Songbirds. The artwork of Ciro Marchetti and his color usage was so unbelievably beautiful that all others pale in comparison. It was my hope that being in the same series the artwork would be comparable. It isn’t. But it isn’t fair to the artist of this image, Christian Riese Lassen, to compare his work; it’s comparing apples to oranges. This image is beautiful on it’s own.

Crystal Cove 2

The top of the water wasn’t easy, but was much easier to assemble than below the water.

Crystal Cove 1

The fish weren’t too difficult, but the water and the dolphins took much more time and brain cell usage than the top half of the image.

It makes me happy to have found such good quality puzzles from the thrift stores. At the moment, when the world seems to be on pause, venturing out to the thrift stores for a little bit of puzzle shopping isn’t an option. I am hoping that when we’re all allowed out again that there will be MANY puzzles to choose from at all the thrift stores. All those puzzles that have been sold out at all our favorite online and retail shops have to go somewhere, right?

My hope is that many of those people who have taken up assembling jigsaw puzzles during this time will donate their used puzzles when we’re allowed out again. Spread the Puzzle Love ❣

Perhaps I should be saving my pennies; not for a rainy day, but for the shower of used puzzles that will hopefully be falling on my local thrift stores once things return to some sense of normalcy. ⛱

Stranger Things

Stranger Things
Stranger Things – Cardinal – 300 pieces

Stranger Things was a fun but challenging puzzle, and even though the pieces were a little on the thin side, overall it wasn’t too bad in the quality department. The image reproduction was excellent, and it made for quite an entertaining puzzle – I loved putting together the fireworks!

Normally I find that Cardinal doesn’t have the best quality, they make many of the puzzles that you find in the dollar stores here in the US. It seems to me that quality is less important to them than quantity is. But this puzzle looked as though it was a special edition, and even the box was nicer than normal. The pieces were thinner than I’d have liked, but the fit and image reproduction were both excellent…

Stranger Things 1

The image was crisp and clear, even down to the very small sections. I was surprised at how detailed these faces were and how clearly you could see them, considering this is only a few pieces out of 300.

I haven’t kept up with the show; I started watching it in 2016 (the year it was released) and watched a few episodes of that first season. I enjoyed it, but things got in the way and I just haven’t gotten back to it. Therefore, I have no idea what’s going on in this image. Apparently there’s a monster, and things are happening at the mall – sounds like the plot of an 80’s movie to me. 😉

Even though I have no clue what’s happening in this image it was still an entertaining and challenging assembly; and in these times of puzzle shortages, with prices going up, almost any puzzle will do if you’re running low. (I’m not even close to being close to running low, but you get what I”m saying.)

Fresh Picked Flowers In Progress

Fresh Picked Flowers IP
Fresh Picked Flowers by Jane Maday – Sunsout – 500 pieces

I have to say I’m having a much better time with this Sunsout puzzle than I did with the last one I assembled. This one has larger pieces, and the quality of the fit is so much better than the last one. Fit makes all the difference!

It’s been going together very quickly; I’m loving the bright colors, the beautiful image, and the random cut that keeps things interesting. It’s one of those puzzles that’s hard for me to walk away from – which means it should be done very soon.  🍒

That’s part of the reason that I usually only purchase Sunsout puzzles second-hand, the quality is hit or miss. Sometimes you get a great puzzle like this one, and sometimes you get quality like I had on Rainy Day Sketch. I don’t like to gamble on whether or not the puzzle I buy will be good quality, and for me Sunsout puzzles are a gamble.

This puzzle perfectly demonstrates that premise. I bought the two puzzles – Fresh Picked Flowers and Rainy Day Sketch – at the same time, at the same store; it turned out 50/50, I got one good one and one bad one. They were both 500 piece puzzles, why such a difference in the way they fit together? Get it together Sunsout!