Animal Designs

Animal Designs by Awa Tsireh – Artifact Puzzles – 105 pieces

Isn’t this an interesting puzzle? It’s certainly not the usual image that I go for, but there was something compelling about it, and I kept going back to it on the website. You know me, I hate for a puzzle to be without a home. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was by no means an easy puzzle, but I loved falling into that wonderful headspace where all you can think about is the image and the shapes – it’s meditative and lovely.

Wonderful quality Ecru puzzle from Artifact; their Ecru line of puzzles has a closer cut (less obvious piece shapes in the finished image) and a matte finish to reduce glare. Artifact Puzzles have a special place in my heart, my very first wooden puzzle was one of theirs and I still take it out and assemble it every now and again – it was and still is perfectly lovely!

There were only three whimsy pieces in this puzzle, they’re reminiscent of the animal designs in the image. It’s the perfect place to start working, as the pieces that surround them are the easiest to find. There weren’t many colors in this image, and the ones they used were repeated all throughout; but at only 105 pieces it wasn’t too terrible or time-consuming.

I did enjoy the challenge though, and the mini-hexagon pieces made it even more interesting to put together. An excellent puzzle all around, and I’m looking forward to assembling it again. ๐Ÿ’—

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!

Cat

Cat
Cat by Franz Marc – Artifact – 138 pieces

Words cannot express how much fun this was! It’s a difficult puzzle, with wonderfully designed pieces that made for a demanding assembly. It kept me completely focused on how the pieces fit together and completely out of my head – what more could you ask for in these trying times?

At only 138 pieces it took much longer than one would expect, the Artifact Puzzles website says it should take 4.5 hours to complete. It didn’t take me that long, but it’s hard to track how long it actually took. I have to work in fits and starts because I cannot sit for long periods of time; but the time I did spend was wonderful – I relished the challenge and enjoyed the placement of every single piece.

Cat 2

The pieces were incredible, and once you figured out how things fit together it was such a fun assembly! My youngest son, who never wants to help with puzzles, unbelievably spent many minutes searching for the right pieces, helped me find a few, and put some in himself. (A minor miracle!) When you look at them it seems ridiculous that they would all fit together to form a rectangular image, but it does – and spectacularly so.

Cat 1

There were only a few whimsies, all cats. There was one for each corner, and one that seemed to be stretching out and touching the sleeping cat’s ear to wake up or play with him/her. How freakin’ adorable is that?!

Ecru puzzles at Artifact is their more expensive line, characterized by a closer cut (for a better fit and less obvious piece shapes in the finished image) and a matte finish for less glare. I bought this one because as someone greatly affected by my P.A.D.S. symptoms – such a severe case, it’s sad really – I couldn’t keep myself from constantly checking puzzle websites to see if anyone was selling and shipping puzzles. To my great joy this puzzle was one of a few available on the Artifact site, and my joy seemed to blind me to anything other than “Can you please, please, PLEASE send me a puzzle?!?”.

They could. I clicked. They shipped. Puzzle bliss. Happy P.A.D.S. lady. ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’ƒ

I was surprised at how well the pieces fit together, and how beautiful the finished puzzle was. Compare the fit of this image to another Artifact puzzle I assembled and look at the difference in how obvious the piece shapes are…

“Cat” looks more like a picture, or artwork; where “In Dreams” looks like a puzzle. The Ecru line at Artifact is more expensive, but if the finished image is what you’re all about (in addition to the assembly) then the added expensive seems worth it. I love both of these, because in general I love jigsaw puzzles. For me, if it “looks like” a puzzle because you can see the shapes, I’ve still enjoyed the assembly which is always my bottom line. If you go back and look through this blog you will see that with every puzzle that had obvious pieces shapes, I told you that obvious shapes in the finished image did not detract from my enjoyment of the assembly. Puzzles, for me, except for but a small few, are to be assembled and enjoyed and then sent on to others for the same.

I flipped the puzzle over to show you how all these interesting shapes fit together, it’s much more apparent from the back…

Cat 3

I enjoyed this puzzle much more than I expected to, it was so much fun! They have puzzle designers at Artifact who come up with some amazing piece shapes – I don’t think I’m imaginative enough to do that job, but I’m so unbelievably thankful for the people who are. This is definitely a puzzle that I’ll be assembling again, it was FANTASTIC!

Computer Catastrophe

Catastrophe
Computer Catastrophe by Randal Spangler – Artifact Puzzles – 182 pieces

My sweet baby girl gave me this puzzle for Valentine’s Day; she is so generous and kind, and I’m so proud of who she is – I raised a great lady! ๐Ÿ’— Besides all that, she has great taste in puzzle images, how cute is this?!

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a new Artifact wooden puzzle, or any new wooden puzzle for that matter. It’s so much fun to look through the all the pieces and find the whimsies, and to see all the interesting shapes. The whimsy pieces in this puzzle are all parts of the image…

Catastrophe whims

They are all easy to find except for the interesting shapes at the top of the picture; they are shapes that are shown on the spines of two of the books, it took me a few minutes to figure out what they were. The 3 piece dragon whimsy is so cute, he’s obviously my favorite. ๐Ÿฒ

Catastrophe IP

The geometric shaped pieces made for an interesting assembly, but once you figure out how everything fits together it’s great fun!

Catastrophe 1

I love to see the wooden puzzles from the back, it’s always interesting to look at the shapes and how everything fits together. The cut of this puzzle is something I’ve never seen before; it’s a little simple, but was very entertaining to assemble and placing every piece was a joy.

The artwork by Randal Spangler is so whimsical and adorable, I absolutely love it! I’ve been looking around for more puzzles with his work; it looks as though Artifact and Vermont Christmas Company are the only brands who have Randal Spangler images. I’m thinking I may have to get me some more puzzles with his artwork!

Thank you again to The Baby Princess for this beautiful puzzle! ๐Ÿ˜˜

My Darlin’ Daughter

My sweet darlin’ daughter took it upon herself to be the Valentine’s fairy this year and put together gift bags for the entire family – I raised a fantastic girl who grew up to be the most amazing, selfless, thoughtful woman I know. The whole family is doing their best to get through all the “firsts” after losing a loved one, and she decided to try and make our first Valentine’s Day without her beloved grandmother a good one for us all. I’m so proud of her and how she truly wants to take care of us all. ๐Ÿ’

She did a great job, and of course she went a little overboard and for my present I received the most adorable wooden puzzle from Artifact! How sweet is my girl? So sweet!

computer_catastrophes_web_1024x1024

This puzzle is just the cutest! The artwork is by Randal Spangler, and I don’t think I’ve assembled any other puzzles with his artwork before. I don’t know where he’s been hiding, but I adore the look of this one and hopefully I’ll be able to find more puzzles with his images on them. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve only just started working on it, and have already succumbed to my OCD; the pieces are all laid out on the board in very orderly rows. I started with the pieces just all over the board willy nilly, but my brain can’t function well with things in such disarray. And there’s something very soothing about getting all the pieces lined up neatly, I can’t really explain it. My hunch is that many of us who love jigsaw puzzles have a little bit of the OCD, and putting things right by getting the picture put back together gives us immense satisfaction.

The pieces are very squared off and geometrical looking, but that doesn’t mean it’s overly easy, because it most definitely hasn’t been so far.

Catastrophe IP

I love the interesting cut and the squared off connectors, and I’m looking forward to seeing the completed puzzle – it’s so adorable! It shouldn’t take too long, the puzzle is only 182 pieces so it should be completed today if all goes well.

Thank you to my darlin’ sweet baby girl for the amazing gift, I love it – but I love you more! ๐Ÿ’—