Review: Fresh Picked Flowers

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

The beautiful, bright colors of this image made this puzzle so much fun; and the quality was so much better than the previous Sunsout puzzle that I assembled. Don’t you love it when a puzzle is so much better than you anticipated? I do!

The last Sunsout puzzle I assembled – Rainy Day Sketch – was purchased at the same time, from the same store. The difference in quality between the two was striking – and that is NOT a good thing. When you don’t know for sure what you’re going to get, it makes it difficult to trust that you’re getting your money’s worth. I’m not a fan of having to guess or gamble when it comes to the quality of the puzzles I buy.

Fresh Picked Flowers had very good quality, in fact I was surprised at how good. Having had a much different experience with the previous Sunsout puzzle, I was dreading this one a little bit thinking it would be equally as disappointing. Thank goodness that wasn’t the case! This puzzle had thick pieces with a very good variety of shapes, and a truly wonderful fit. As you can see the reproduction is bright and crisp, with clean lines – it was a joy to work with.

Fresh Picked Flowers 1

For some reason the dullest colored thing in the puzzle, this brown bird (I have no idea what species this is), was one of the things I really enjoyed putting together. For some reason I can’t really express this bird was lovely to assemble.

Fresh Picked Flowers 2

This bowl of cherries is bright and fun, and was really challenging too. When I look at it the first thing that comes to mind is Erma Bombeck; she was a humorist and columnist that I used to really enjoy reading when I was younger. I’m sure if I had one of her books here now it would still make me laugh. She had a book entitled “If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What am I Doing in the Pits?” and it seems to pop into my brain whenever I see this.

The artwork by Jane Maday made for an excellent puzzling experience, and the quality of the puzzle itself was wonderful to work with. If only all Sunsout puzzles could be this good! If by some miracle you find this puzzle out there, it’s definitely recommended. I loved it. ūüíĖ

Details:

  • Title:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Fresh Picked Flowers
  • Artist:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Jane Maday
  • Brand:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Sunsout
  • Piece count:¬† ¬† ¬†500 pieces
  • Size:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Approx. 18 x 24 in. (46 x 61 cm)
  • Purchased:¬† ¬† ¬† New

Quality:

  • Board:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Cutting:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Image:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Excellent
  • Box:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Average
  • Fit:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Excellent
  • Puzzle Dust:¬† ¬† ¬†Small amount
  • Piece cut:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Random cut
  • Piece shapes:¬† ¬†Very good variety
  • Finish:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Slightly shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Very good, recommended

Review: Baked With Love

Baked With Love
Baked with Love – MasterPieces – 500 pieces

Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of good things to say about this puzzle, other than the thickness of the pieces was very good. It’s a pretty picture I suppose, but it’s really not my cup of tea/pile of pieces. Those are all the good things.

Usually MasterPieces has good quality; in fact, the puzzle completed immediately before this one – Quilting Country – was a MasterPieces puzzle with excellent quality. This one however, perhaps because it was a special edition (The Cake Boss), was less than optimal. There was terrible cutting, imperfect image reproduction, and not a great fit.

Baked With Love 1

You can see that the cutting was not up to par. Not that the pieces weren’t cut all the way through, it looks as if the die wasn’t even and it didn’t come close to getting the whole piece cut completely through. And this happened on many pieces, not just this one.

You can see the color difference between the box image on the left and the actual puzzle on the right. Actually the box image flowers look much more pink than even my picture shows. It doesn’t show as much here, but there was a big difference between the color on the box and the completed puzzle. In addition, while you can see each of the petals in the box image, on the puzzle itself they are just fuzzy, indistinct blobs of color.

Again, I have found that MasterPieces puzzles are normally good quality, but this special Cake Boss edition puzzle fell below their usual standards. In my mind they’re still a company that puts out good puzzles and it won’t stop me from continuing to buy them.

But if you run across a Cake Boss puzzle from MasterPieces, be wary. Baked with Love is definitely not recommended.

Details:

  • Title:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Baked with Love
  • Artist:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Unknown
  • Brand:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Masterpieces
  • Piece count:¬† ¬† ¬†500 pieces
  • Size:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Approx. 18 x 24 in. (46 x 61 cm)
  • Purchased:¬† ¬† ¬† Used, thrift store

Quality:

  • Board:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Cutting:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Poor
  • Image:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Poor
  • Box:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Fair, opens at the top
  • Fit:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Fair
  • Puzzle Dust:¬† ¬† ¬†Small amount
  • Piece cut:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Random cut
  • Piece shapes:¬† ¬†Very good variety
  • Finish:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Slightly shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Poor quality, not recommended