Storytime Kittens

Storytime Kittens
Storytime Kittens by Amy Rosenberg – Cobble Hill – 350 pieces

A puzzle full of kittens? I know, right?! Even though this isn’t my typical genre of puzzle image, it was still pretty darned enjoyable and I would recommend it – especially to multi-generational families who enjoy puzzling together.

Every time I assemble a Cobble Hill puzzle I am reminded of what a great quality product they put out. The linen finish on their puzzles gives not only a great hand feel, but cuts down on glare and make for such a pleasant puzzling experience. The pieces are thick, they fit together well, and the image reproduction is lovely. Why am I not assembling more of their puzzles? I have no answer to that right now – because I should be, they make me happy.

This is a “family puzzle”, which means that there are three different sizes of pieces. And this brand does it the way that seems most practical to me; large on one side, medium in the middle, and smallest on the other side. I have assembled family puzzles where the largest pieces are the outer edge and the pieces get smaller towards the middle – that makes no sense to me. The point of a family puzzle is that everyone can work together, but if the entire outside of the puzzle has to be put together before the smaller pieces fit anywhere, you cannot work together; you have to wait for one section to be finished before you can actually begin. Nonsensical in my book.

Even though I almost always work on family puzzles by myself, I like that Cobble Hill family puzzles are made so that everyone can work together.

Storytime Kittens 1

This side of the puzzle has the large pieces, and takes up the most space. I love the bright colors and fun image, it made for an entertaining assembly.

Storytime Kittens 2

You can see in this image how the pieces fade from larger to smaller, and it’s pretty seamless and well done. And even though we all know kitties aren’t my preferred animal for puzzle images this was some really beautiful artwork by Amy Rosenberg.


By the way, I’ve had sort of an epiphany about why I enjoy family puzzles so much; and it truly just occurred to me this morning as I was getting ready to type up this post. It’s the sorting! It’s the ease of sorting differently sized pieces that almost buoys my spirits. Sorting is the worst part of puzzles for me, even though my mild OCD requires that I sort; but having it made so much easier and faster because of the different sizes of the pieces makes all the difference. 😎

Walk Me

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Walk Me by Amy Rosenberg – Bits and Pieces – 500 pieces

How cute is this little one? I definitely wouldn’t be able to deny him/her a walk. The rug, however – yikes! The background was the most difficult part of the assembly, but overall the entire puzzle was fun to do and highly entertaining.

Bits and Pieces puzzles don’t have the best reputation in my book, but I’ve also worked some great puzzles from them. The quality being hit or miss, we don’t buy this brand new – we only get them from thrift stores. This puzzle was good quality, but not great.

The pieces were a good thickness, with an excellent variety of shapes. The fit was good, if a bit on the loose side. The image reproduction was good as well, although the finish was quite shiny which made for added difficulty when working the darker areas under indoor lighting. There was a fair amount of puzzle dust, even being a thrift store puzzle and having been worked before.

My one major problem with this puzzle was the construction of the edge pieces – not all the pieces connect. You can see in the picture below that you can pull away a whole section because some of the pieces only sit next to each other instead of fitting together.

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This is a pet peeve of mine, and a major annoyance; especially when they are edge pieces. Until you get specific pieces inserted into the inside of the puzzle the edges move and it becomes extremely irritating.

Although it doesn’t seem like it, I very much enjoyed this puzzle. Other than the edges, the quality was good and the image is adorable! I started with the leash, and although it didn’t go quickly it was fun to figure it out; the puppy was next and kept me completely enthralled. The rug, however, was quite challenging and was the part that took the most time. Still, the entire puzzle was highly entertaining and so damn cute!

Backpack Kitty

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Backpack Kitty by Amy Rosenberg – Bits and Pieces – 300 pieces

This was a fun puzzle that’s perfect for working with a friend, but sadly it didn’t hold up well to multiple assemblies. Still, isn’t that a cute kitty? 😻

This is a Bits and Pieces puzzle purchased at the thrift store. For me, their puzzles are hit or miss in the quality category and this seemed like more of a miss. I can’t say for sure how many times it’s been assembled, but this puzzle had some problems. There was image lift on several pieces, and many other were bent. The pieces seemed a bit thinner than usual for this brand, but on the plus side the fit was quite good and we loved the random piece shapes. All in all the quality was disappointing, but we still enjoyed putting it together.

I love when a puzzle seems made for working with more than one person – you take the green backpack and I’ll take the red and we’ll meet in the middle. I think that’s also part of the reason I love collages so much, they’re perfect for working with others as well as on your own. It’s easy to pull pieces for a section and work it by yourself, but you’re still working together. Mom is my favorite person to puzzle with and we have a great time no matter the image, but it’s even more fun when it’s so bright and charming and gives us our own little sections. Neither of us are “cat people”, but you can’t deny the adorable factor of the kitten in the backpack – so cute!

Even if the quality was less than premium we can still enjoy the puzzle itself as well as the time spent together. Thrift store puzzle that’s cute and fun to assemble – 99 cents. Time well spent with someone you love – PRICELESS.

 

Review: Skates

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Skates by Amy Rosenberg – Bits and Pieces – 500 pieces

This was a fun puzzle that mom and I assembled together. I haven’t seen very many Bits and Pieces puzzles that are grid cut, in my experience they’re usually random cut; it was a nice change.

This was a good quality Bits and Pieces puzzle that was quite a joy to assemble. It was a bit more challenging then we’d assumed, but still fun. The pieces fit together very well and the image itself is cute, and perfect for more than one person to work at a time. Mom started on the left side with the white ice skates and I started on the right with the scarves. We met in the middle to work on the chair and dog. Lots of fun!

Bits and Pieces quality seems hit or miss. Sometimes the fit is way too loose and floppy, and other times it’s just right. I would prefer it if the quality were consistent; that’s why we only buy this brand second hand from the thrift stores. It’s too disappointing when you pay full price for a puzzle that has quality issues.

This is a nice wintry image that has me wishing for cooler weather. It’s supposed to be 82 degrees here today! 🌞

Details:

  • Title:                  Skates
  • Artist:                Amy Rosenberg
  • Brand:               Bits and Pieces
  • Piece count:     500 pieces
  • Size:                  Approx. 16 x 20 in. (41 x 51 cm)
  • Purchased:      Used, thrift store

Quality:

  • Board:               Very good
  • Cutting:             Good, some hanging bits of paper
  • Image:               Very good
  • Box:                   Average
  • Fit:                     Very good
  • Puzzle Dust:     Moderate amount
  • Piece cut:          Grid cut
  • Piece shapes:   Good variety
  • Finish:               Slightly shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Very good, recommended