The Artist’s Desk

The Artist’s Desk – Ravensburger – 1000 pieces

I knew it would be difficult going in, but as is usual for me I enjoyed the challenge of it very much. It always surprises me when I’m sorting a puzzle what I first THOUGHT I would pull out, and how much it changes as I’m doing the actual sorting. Many times I think one color or pattern will really stick out, and it turns out other things jump out at me even more than predicted. The same happened here, to no one’s surprise I’m sure.

Very good quality, although there was much more puzzle dust than usual. The bright blue of Ravensburger puzzle dust makes me happy for some reason – I’m just a weirdo puzzle junkie trying not to snort that glorious dust in my quest to find my puzzle nirvana.

Totally kidding, do NOT snort puzzle dust!

This pen drawing of Buzz Lightyear and Woody on an RC car was my favorite section to assemble. It wasn’t easy, but I absolutely loved it.

This was the most colorful part of the entire image, and it was much harder than it looks. Still, there’s something about going through the pieces over and over and then finding the exact ones you need – I can’t get enough of it.

I’ve put together hundreds and hundreds of puzzles and it still doesn’t get old or boring for me. Thank goodness there is a seemingly endless supply of images and puzzles available. They help me bring order to the chaos, a sense of calm to my spirit, and joy to my heart.

Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts (Villainous) – Ravensburger – 1000 pieces

Loved this one, and a special thanks to Penny for letting me borrow it. It’ll be on it’s way back to you in the next swap box that goes out. And I may take you up on your offer to borrow more of the Villainous puzzles, this was great fun! 💛

Excellent Ravensburger quality, and a super fun image to assemble made this more entertaining than I’d hoped. It’s dark along the sides, but once you get down to the last pieces it isn’t difficult at all to find what goes where.

This was the very first thing I assembled after the border was completed – you know how I love words.

The characters moving across several pictures made it more interesting, and the reproduction was stellar. I absolutely loved this puzzle!

Except for the border; the border sucked. But I’m going to let that slide because the rest of it was great fun.

Queen of Hearts In Progress

Queen of Hearts (Villainous) – Ravensburger – 1000 pieces

This beauty of a puzzle was sorted yesterday, and I did start on the border; unfortunately I wasn’t feeling well and spent the rest of the day in bed. Luckily (or unluckily) I don’t sleep much, so I was up and at it early this morning and got the border finished.

The border wasn’t quick or easy and I admit to hating it just a little bit. There were a few spots where the colors changed some and the lines get brighter or duller, but mostly it was more tedious than your average border.

My slight OCD dictates that unless the border is next to impossible I always start there. There have been a few puzzles where starting there would have caused more frustration than I was willing to endure, but for the most part it’s where I need to begin. Thank goodness these are Ravensburger puzzles, if they were made by a company with lesser quality the border might have been even worse. Oh well, it’s done.

Here’s hoping the rest of the assembly is more entertaining than the beginning was!

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland – Ravensburger – 1000 pieces

This assembly was so much fun! All the bright colors made it relatively easy to put together, and the entire image just made for excellent puzzling. I really had a great time. 😊

Working with a Ravensburger puzzle is almost always a wonderful experience. The excellent fit, the beautiful image, the quality of the chipboard and how the pieces feel in your hands as you’re contemplating where it should go – all reasons they’re one of my favorite puzzle companies.

There’s a thing that happens each time I sit down with a puzzle, it’s hard to describe. At first I’m looking at all the pieces as I lay them out, trying to find things that look easy to pick out or colors that jump out at me. I’m searching for the edges, and also for what parts I’ll be assembling first after the border is put together. The pieces and I are almost getting to know each other.

Every time I’m searching for a particular piece to finish a small section I’m also becoming more familiar with every piece, every color, every shape. Soon, it becomes easier to find a piece; because I’ve seen them and touched them and moved them around so much that I know exactly which one I’m looking for. The assembly starts to speed up, the image is becoming clearer – it’s exhilarating and intoxicating – I love that feeling!

This puzzle was the epitome of those things for me, and was completely entertaining to assemble. Cartoon images are much more fun for me to put together than photographic images (just my opinion), and the bright colors make it easier for these old eyes to see what’s going on. There were so many great characters and sections to assemble – absolutely loved it! 💖

Tweedledee and Tweedledum. When you say the names it makes me think of lovable but annoying idiots. They try to help, they think they’re helping – they are so NOT helping! I’ve run into a few people in my life that I would put into this category; unbelievably exasperating. You know the kind of person I mean; the ones that make you repeat over and over in your head that you are actually a good person and please don’t lose your temper – they’re trying to be helpful.

Or is that just me?

Ah, the king. He’s so darn cute, at least I think so. He’s only about 12 pieces out of 1000, but I distinctly remember his voice from the movie; and how he wanted so much to be in charge but was completely overtaken by the Queen of Hearts.

I had such a fun time with this puzzle. I’d like to find more of these collector’s edition puzzles; there are so many memories for me that are locked up in these old Disney movies.

I’m amazed that this movie came out in 1951 – my parents were four years old!

Vintage Poster

Vintage Poster – Ravensburger – 1000 pieces

This Disney collage made me so happy; when it was released in 2018 I remember seeing it and telling myself that I would absolutely be assembling it. It took 3 years, but it finally happened! And thankfully it was just as entertaining as anticipated. 💗

The quality of this puzzle, however, wasn’t the usual Ravensburger fabulousness. It started with the sorting, the amount of puzzle dust was unusual, there was a LOT; the pieces had to go into a colander to sift it all out. That usually means it will be a bit loose fitting, and it was. Most likely it was produced near the end of the run when the die that cuts the shapes is getting dull. But other than those two issues, it was a lovely puzzle. The more matte finish was very nice to work with, and the image is stunning. Each poster has a different style to it, and made for a fantastic collage.

Get ready for a little reminiscing, there are many wonderful memories attached to these movies for me. I picked out a couple of favorites – none from the Memorable Disney Moments puzzle – to spend a little time talking about.

Robin Hood was a family favorite for us, it came out when I was 5 years old. We had a Robin Hood 8-track that we listened to in the car on road trips; it was basically the plot of the movie, without the slow parts – with all the same actors. My father was an umpire when I was young, and we spent every weekend traveling to tournaments for him to officiate. I tell you this to let you know that we were ALWAYS in the car, and we had 8-tracks of many Disney movies to keep us company. We especially loved the ones with really great music. Some of our favorites were The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh and The Blustery Day/The Honey Tree, Robin Hood, The Aristocats, etc. Most weekends in the 70s and 80s you could find us in our vehicle, driving somewhere several hours or more from home, happily belting out Disney songs at the top of our lungs. 🎶

My mother ADORED Roger Miller, and he voiced Allan-a-Dale in Robin Hood – the Rooster folk singer who narrated the movie. So, obviously we had to listen to this one over and over. The whole family loved Robin Hood, and although there aren’t that many songs in the movie, my sisters and I can all sing each one by heart…we could probably quote the entire movie. Phil Harris as Little John was my favorite – that man was crazy talented! There are so many wonderful memories associated with this movie for me.

**For any young people who may be reading this, 8-track tapes were like big, fat cassettes that you couldn’t rewind. Cassettes were small reel-to-reel devices that had recorded sound or music.**

Ah, The Aristocats. This one isn’t as well known, but for me it’s an absolute treasure. Another great movie with wonderful music (and Phil Harris) that takes me back to my childhood. Eva Gabor’s accent enthralled me as a child, and somehow her voice and the animation together made her seem so refined and fabulous. The little girl kitten, Marie, was so very sassy and she was my favorite character; she had one of my favorite lines in the movie, “Ladies do not start fights – but they can finish them!” The jazzy music was so fun to sing along to, especially the nonsensical lyrics. I LOVED IT!

This movie in particular makes me think of the theater in the next largest town to where we lived. They had matinees of kids movies for 75 cents or some ridiculously low price; mom used to take us there all the time. She’d make popcorn – to fill half a large brown paper bag – and off we’d go. We saw so many movies there, and The Aristocats sticks out in my mind. Maybe because I loved the movie so much, and mom was so great about taking us there to see so many wonderful movies. Many times we went and saw the same movie over and over again, and we saw The Aristocats more than once at that theater.

You never know as a parent when what you do for your kids will make a treasured memory. Mom probably just wanted a chance to sit down for a couple of hours and enjoy a good movie with the kids. What happened was she was making memories for us that decades later I still think about and cherish. A song from any one of those movies brings these memories back and makes me smile, and makes me grateful that I had a mom who loved spending time with her children. 💖

There are great memories associated with pretty much every movie in this puzzle, and a post about each and every section would be very, very long indeed. I just chose two of my favorites to share with you – excluding the movies from the big puzzle, because I’ve already talked about them quite a bit.