Sorry Guys…

My apologies for not giving all my faithful readers a heads up, life kinda took me over for a bit and it was all just too much. I took a very much needed mental health break, including a trip back to my home state of Michigan to visit loved ones.

I haven’t touched a puzzle since the last time I posted, on June 2nd. But today, at the very least, I’m back on my computer and sitting at my puzzle table.

Depression and anxiety are no joke, and dealing with them on a daily basis sucks big time. Life just overwhelmed me; hubby had another surgery and I had to drive him everywhere – my anxiety about being on the road went absolutely crazy. That made the depression worse and it was just an infinite circle of one feeding the other. I’m sure that being away from my puzzles didn’t help, but I honestly spent almost all of the last 6 weeks in bed and jigsaw puzzles weren’t even on my mind.

But at least I’ve chosen my next puzzle, a collage of canines that make me smile. Plus, it’s the smallest piece count I have here at the moment (750) other than a 500 piece of 12 shaped puzzles that I’m just not in the mood for right now. I will try to get it sorted today, and may even start on it – but no promises.


So how are you all? Working on some fantastic puzzles? I’d love to hear from you!

*My sincerest apologies for disappearing again, I’m just doing the best I can.*

My Latest Subscription Box

May subscription box from MicroPuzzles

I was so tickled by this month’s box that I decided to share it with you all. On the same day that my husband took me to a local kitchen supply shop to force me to spend some gift certificates, we received this fun-packed box in the mail. What a coincidence!

So along with my new mixing bowl, fancy knives and beautiful bamboo utensils from the store I also got a couple of very nice looking baking-themed puzzles, some puzzle piece cookie cutters and a refrigerator magnet with a measuring conversion table. It definitely cheered me up some. 😊

Along with some baking facts you can also see the full puzzle images on the right – don’t they look like fun? I wish I had the first one, Bake Someone Happy, in a larger piece count; it’ll be fun in this 150 piece puzzle, but it would also be great at 500 or 1000 pieces too I think.

I’m looking forward to both puzzles very much, and can’t wait to see what next month will have in store. 💙

1000 Piece Puzzles – How Long Should It Take?

The answer is simply this – however long it takes.

There is no right way, wrong way, or time frame anyone should stick to; puzzling works best for you when you don’t compare yourself or how you puzzle with anyone else.

I’ve seen many an article/blog post/answer to this question – how long does it take to complete a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. There are averages I suppose, but if it takes you much longer than it takes me that doesn’t mean a thing.

Perhaps you have young children, a full time job, or less inclination to sit at the puzzle table as much as I do……so what? Are you having fun? If the answer is yes then however long it takes you is the PERFECT amount of time.

There are many factors that go into how long puzzles take to complete; the image, the cut, the quality, your preferred method of puzzling, etc. An easy collage image doesn’t take nearly as long as a landscape with plenty of sky and grass to deal with; so there’s no way to tell you how long it “should” take. It takes as long as is necessary for you.

It all depends on how you puzzle, and as long as you’re enjoying the assembly it doesn’t matter if it takes one day or six months!

What Are You Working On?

What fabulous puzzle are you working on this Mother’s Day weekend? Have you treated yourself to a beautiful puzzle that you can spend some time on tomorrow? I certainly hope so.

I’m laying out a new wooden puzzle I bought for myself so the actual assembly hasn’t started yet. It was just delivered yesterday and by the time it got here I was done for the day. I bought myself a few small wooden puzzles from Artifact that were on sale and looked interesting to me. It’s been a little while since I’ve assembled a wooden puzzle that wasn’t a mini (40 pieces), so a week ago I decided it was time to change that and get myself a few new puzzles.

The one I’m assembling first isn’t really an image that I think I would go for usually, it’s the cut of the pieces that makes it interesting. It’s the same cut as In Dreams, the second wooden puzzle I ever owned – it was a gift from mom 5 years ago. Anyway, the cut is one I’ve only ever seen from Artifact (they call it mini-hex), and to me it makes for such an entertaining and challenging assembly that I’m not certain the image matters much at all really.

It’s only a 105 piece puzzle, so sorting isn’t really necessary; I’ll just lay out the pieces and get to it. But the cut and the image will make it so that concentration and focus will be necessary – I’ll be completely absorbed by the assembly. Love that!

Sorting…

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.