Butterflies by Anne Geddes – TCG – 300 pieces

The image is what drew me to this one, who could resist adorable sleeping babies? It was lots of fun, and didn’t take long at all.

TCG isn’t a brand I normally purchase; but the fact that it was only 300 pieces, an image that I liked, and was on sale were probably the deciding factors. The quality was fair; chipboard was nice and thick, and the image reproduction was excellent (other than the shiny finish). The fit wasn’t great, however, and it doesn’t lay flat.

Although this puzzle had a great image it reinforced why this isn’t a brand that I normally buy. Fit is paramount, and when a puzzle has a bad fit and doesn’t lay flat there aren’t many factors that can make up for it – at least for me, that is.

Look at that face! Sleeping babies are just too adorable for words, I think that’s why I couldn’t resist this puzzle.

Krystol’s Palace

Krystol’s Palace by Ciro Marchetti – Buffalo – 750 pieces

This puzzle was unbelievably beautiful, and challenging enough to be fun and completely engaging. What’s not to love about Ciro Marchetti’s color palettes and stunning scenes?

Great Buffalo quality – pieces are slightly bigger for a 750 piece puzzle than a 1000 piece, and for me they’re the perfect size. The fit was excellent and the image reproduction was stellar. I’ve been on a bit of a Buffalo puzzles binge lately, and most of my purchases have been either Ravensburger or Buffalo; I know the quality will be good with both brands and they have a lot of images that are definitely my pile of pieces.

There’s something about the detail on this balloon, my eye is drawn to it every time I look at the image. Gorgeous!

There’s not much to say, other than the peacock’s color works wonderfully with the entire image. I’ve seen peacocks in several puzzles with Ciro Marchetti’s artwork, and they always seem to blend with the scene perfectly.

The colors are just lovely, everything fits just right. The purples/pinks, and oranges/reds of the sky, the brighter colors of the cupolas on the palace towers: it’s just a fantastic puzzle image that was completely engrossing to put together.



Sorting. Do you sort before you start puzzling? Scrabble through the box to find your pieces? Lay them all out on your board or boards? We’re all different in how we approach it, and the truth is whatever works best for you is what’s best.

I’ve found through many years and many puzzles the way that works for me. I loathe the sorting, but I also know that it’s the way that helps me keep my brain and my puzzles pieces in order so that the joy of assembly isn’t lost in frustratingly trying to find something in the chaos of pieces strewn everywhere.

While I’m sorting I’m counting the seconds until I can begin the assembly – obviously actually putting the puzzle together is the best part. But I’ve learned that for me slogging through the sorting process is how I get to where I can puzzle best. When I was first starting out I read plenty of articles, blog posts, etc. about the “best way” to puzzle. But in all actuality what I needed to do what just keeping puzzling and figure it out for myself.

I still like to read articles and blog posts about jigsaw puzzles and “how to” do certain aspects of puzzling, but only because I love everything puzzle. Sometimes I pick up a great idea that I try out to see if it works for me; and many times I know it won’t work for me, but I enjoy reading about the different ways people do things anyway.

So from time to time I write up a post about how I do things. Not to instruct anyone thinking my way is best, but just to let you know my process. It may help you, give you an idea, or just entertain you for a few minutes.

I’m sorting my next puzzle, and although it isn’t my favorite part, it’s completely necessary for me. Looking at each piece, deciding where it goes and whether or not it’ll be laid out on a tray or set aside – it helps me become familiar with the pieces and the overall image. Every time I touch the pieces or move them around I’m getting used to the colors and patterns and the more I see them the more it helps me with the assembly.

With every puzzle I try to pull out several sections to begin assembling once the border is complete. I love being able to start doing something immediately. Sometimes it’s a pattern or color, or perhaps a section with words – whatever it is, being able to get to the assembly right away makes me happy.

In the picture at the top of the page you can see a few of the sections that I’m pulling out, and once the edge is done I’ll choose one of them and get going. All the pieces that aren’t separated at the initial sort get laid out on trays (second picture) so that if I need to find a particular piece it’s easier to look through them. My mind needs some sort of order, so even though I’ve tried laying out all the pieces on the board I find it too chaotic – which is why I’ve developed my particular method.

It may seem tedious to you, and as though it isn’t worth the trouble – but it’s what works for me.

You can read about how you “should” approach a puzzle, whether or not to sort, which way is best for 1000 piece puzzles, etc. – go ahead, learn all you can. But in the end whichever one works for you is the way to go. Trying to change how you do things because some random person on the internet says it’s the “best” or the “right” way is ridiculous. You do you, there’s no better way!

Our brains are all different, we are all different, and the way we approach our jigsaw puzzles should be different as well.

There is no best puzzle brand, because what I look for in a puzzle may frustrate the crap out of some of you; and things that don’t bother you at all might set my teeth on edge. Likewise, the way I sort may seem like time-consuming idiocy to you, and the fact that you don’t sort at all would send my OCD into overdrive.

But that’s ok, I’m me, and the way Stacey does things doesn’t have to work for you. All you need to really know is how things go best at your puzzle table, not mine.

So sort, rifle through the box, lay them all out, or whatever other way works for you. What truly matters is that you enjoy putting together your puzzle. End of story.

Dinosaur Alphabet

Dinosaur Alphabet by Karen Rossi – Ravensburger – 60 pieces

This artwork isn’t my favorite color scheme, it’s slightly washed out and dull – but it was a fun little kids puzzle that went together quickly. As an added bonus I learned the names of a few dinosaurs that I’d never heard of before. I just love learning new things! 😁

It had a loose fit, but has also been a very well-loved puzzle that seems to have been assembled many times. The previous owners seem to have been quite organized too. There was an X written inside the box, and an X on every piece; if piece(s) got loose you would know which puzzle they belong to and which box to put them in – great idea for kids puzzles if you ask me.

The last three letters were dinosaurs I’d never heard of before. I’ve done my share of dinosaur puzzles and I don’t recall ever seeing these names. Very cool!

Many of the words that the letters represented were put into the image in the middle to pull it all together. Overall just a great puzzle for kids; the image, the information, and the quality.

The Quiltmaker Lady

The Quiltmaker Lady by Charles Wysocki – Buffalo – 1000 pieces

A little more challenging than I bargained for, but still very entertaining. You know I can’t resist a puzzle with quilts! This was great fun, and a bit difficult at times – but I loved it.

This image was the most “painterly” Charles Wysocki I’ve ever done, I’m used to his puzzle images being crisp and symmetrical. This had elements of symmetry, but the entire image was fuzzier and more brush stroke-y than I’ve ever seen in his work. I’m no expert by any means, and my only exposure to his work has been in puzzle form; but I’ve done MANY a puzzle with his artwork and this is the first time it seems different in this way.

Again, great quality from Buffalo – excellent fit, nice variety of piece shapes, beautiful reproduction – overall just a wonderful puzzle to assemble.

This was my favorite of the three quilts to assemble. I didn’t use the poster image at all, just let the pieces take me where they went. I absolutely adored this section. 💛

You can see from the closeup of grama and the pups how fuzzy and indistinct some of the elements are. It was odd for a Wysocki, from my point of view anyway.

Whether it was fuzzy or crisp, it was still so entertaining to assemble – one of my favorite Wysocki images that I’ve ever done. Trick or Treat Hotel is still my favorite of all time, but I think The Quiltmaker Lady is running a close second. If this one interests you it is highly recommended, two spools of thread WAY UP! 👍🧵👍🧵