Irises by Vincent Van Gogh – Andrews + Blaine – 126 pieces

This is another very small piece puzzle that mom found somewhere. The image is only the top of Van Gogh’s Irises, but it was lovely and challenging and I had the best time putting it together!

The two puzzles we have from this series were truly the best quality smaller piece puzzles that I’ve worked with. The pieces are thick and fit together extremely well, there is no wondering if you have placed the piece correctly or not. The image reproduction is very good, but seems a bit darker than the original artwork (from my non-artist point of view anyway). If mom finds any Andrews + Blaine small piece puzzles at the thrift store we’re definitely getting them!

The whole puzzle fit on a cookie sheet, and I assembled the entire thing while in bed. I haven’t been able to sit at my puzzle table for well over a week now, so all the puzzles I’m doing have to fit on my white board or something smaller so that I can do them while lying down or propped up. There’s another advantage of the tiny puzzle! 😉

I was actually a little afraid of this puzzle for a while, the image is a bit difficult. I found it to be quite calming to assemble though; and even if I had to sit and stare at them for a bit, I could find and place the pieces correctly. In the end though, I’ve discovered that I’m much braver about difficult images if there aren’t many pieces. I don’t think I’ll ever attempt Starry Night in 1000 or even 500 pieces; but I didn’t have a problem putting it together as a 40 piece wooden puzzle. If it’s super challenging my courage is directly related to piece count. 300 pieces or less? Sure! More than that? Probably not. Maybe 500 tops – maybe.

I really enjoyed this puzzle much more than I anticipated, just as much as the first one I assembled – Fairgrounds. You can’t really tell how small they are until you see the tiny little box they come in. I took a great picture of the puzzle box next to my coffee cup in that post!

It doesn’t look like these small puzzles are being produced by A + B anymore, but if you happen across one in a thrift store, go for it! It’s a nice change from larger piece counts, and just may be more fun than you think. 👍

Darling Doe

Darling Doe by Charlie Zabarte – Andrews + Blaine – 500 pieces

Another puzzle with only ballerinas – good thing this had interesting artwork too or it might not have been completed! The artwork is quite nice, and perfect for puzzling. It was a thrift store purchase, and even though it’s missing 2 pieces we still got our money’s worth.

Mom and I assembled this puzzle together on one of our visit/puzzle days – so much fun! Andrews + Blaine puzzles seem to be hit or miss quality-wise. The pieces were a good thickness and fit together well. But I really don’t care for puzzles with only one shape piece, it’s boring and makes the assembly more difficult. Although if the image is a good one I’ll put up with it; sometimes if the image makes for a fun assembly I barely even notice that all the pieces are the same. Andrews + Blaine have some beautiful images to choose from, I wish all their puzzles had a good variety of shapes as well.

Luckily the image of this puzzle was a good one, and we didn’t have too much trouble with large areas of the same color/pattern. It was definitely better that mom and I worked it together – she’s my favorite puzzle partner and many puzzles I wouldn’t want to do alone I have no problem doing with her. We’re an awesome puzzle posse! 🙂