Lady Bug Land

Lady Bug Land by Michael Searle – Ravensburger – 300 pieces

Beautiful and colorful, this one was a goldilocks assembly – not too hard, not too easy, just right. I couldn’t pass this bright beauty up when I went to the thrift store, it was too gorgeous to leave it sitting there on the shelf.

Great Ravensburger quality even though it’s been assembled many times. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten one of their puzzles from the thrift store that wasn’t in good shape; they hold up well in my opinion. Especially the smaller piece counts and images made for kids, they’ve always been great quality.

Obviously there was a missing piece, but it’s been a while since I’ve had a thrift store puzzle with a piece that’s gone AWOL. It’s a risk we take when buying second-hand, but it doesn’t bother me much at all.

As a friend told me, “Our job is to put all the pieces together until there are none left; even with missing pieces you can still complete your task and put them all together.”

Mission accomplished! 😎

Quilt Country

Quilt Country by Lena – MasterPieces – 300 pieces

Beautiful, bright, colorful, and interesting – it made for a fantastic puzzle, and a fantastic puzzling experience! Hubby helped out with the border, even though I was trying to get away from him for a few minutes and puzzle alone with my music and my thoughts. Sigh.

This was a MasterPieces linen puzzle, and it was very good quality. Thick and sturdy pieces, very good fit, nice variety of shapes and beautiful reproduction. Only issue was that the pieces didn’t sit flat – in many places parts were slightly raised compared to surrounding ones.

There was a small blurb about the artist on the back of the box, and I was surprised to learn that Lena is a young Ukrainian illustrator and concept artist who produces a wide spectrum of art in differing styles including illustrations for films, games and advertising (in addition to her beautiful artwork shown here).

Of course you know I couldn’t resist this adorable little puppy. ❤

I didn’t notice it at all when I looked at the box cover, or when I was sorting – even the inside of the barn has quilts everywhere – including the ceiling!

I don’t know what kind of bird this is, but it’s beautiful. The colors are amazing!

Story of the Lion

Story of the Lion by Amanda Michele – Sure Lox – 300 pieces

This puzzle is absolutely beautiful, but was not fun to assemble at all. It’s such a disappointment though, I really wanted to enjoy this one!

Sure Lox is much better than it used to be, with thicker pieces and a better fit: not these special editions though, it was NOT fun to work with. Adding whimsy pieces to cardboard puzzles never works the way people would hope – when things don’t connect they are constantly shifting all around and you are perpetually moving them back to where they go. It can be unbelievably frustrating – and it was.

In addition, this puzzle doesn’t lay flat – the whimsy pieces especially. As they don’t connect to anything they stick up out of the puzzle in places. Extremely annoying.

There are 75 whimsies out of 300 pieces, that’s a lot. And in this instance it isn’t a compliment. Some were huge, some small as the average puzzle piece. I found it a bit too much. Theater, if you will. Look at us, we can make fun shapes out of cardboard! Did it make for an entertaining puzzle? Nope.

Some of the pieces you can see come in different sizes, those I stacked up to be able to take the picture without using my entire board. The only one that’s image-side up is the shape of Africa; if it were turned around it would look like a bizzarro-world African continent.

Unfortunately this puzzle was not enjoyable, and I wouldn’t recommend it. Even at only 300 pieces it was difficult and cumbersome – and for me it was just annoying.

Butterflies

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.

Tiny Toy Tops

Tiny Toy Tops by Alyssa Hemsath Mooney – Milton Bradley – 300 pieces

This puzzle was SO much more difficult than it looks; I definitely misjudged the challenge level. From the box image it looked so bright and happy, but the pieces themselves seemed so dark and painterly. It took me quite a bit longer than a 300 piece puzzle usually does.

That isn’t to say it wasn’t enjoyable, because it was. Figuring things out, deciphering the colors and shapes and eventually putting everything back together again gave me such a sense of accomplishment – I did it!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Milton Bradley puzzle. This one was good quality; with somewhat thin pieces and a good fit. They aren’t a go-to brand, but they’re not too bad either.

If you’re looking for a 300 piece puzzle that’s a little more challenging than most, give this one a try. It definitely gave me a run for my money. 💵🏃‍♀️